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Djb: C | Grade It Now!
Countdown to Ecstasy II: Nearly-Cancelled Boogaloo

Sure, London Fog is seedy and all, but do you have anything just a little more "outskirts of town"? You do? You do! Thanks, Roswell Fairy! No, not you, Jesse. A different Ros…oh, never mind. Cut to a seedy roadside motel on the outskirts of town -- the same seedy roadside motel, in fact, where Michael chased down an old geezer for a class project in "Summer of '47." Ooooh, look at the Roswell geek, with all his facts and the like. Anyway, this place, this so-called "Pineview Lodge," finds the aforementioned so-called Connie so-called Griffin alone in her room, pouring herself a stiff J&B. Something the geezer must have left behind. She's despondent. She's tear-streaked. She's…a boy? And to think I thought she was an incognito Tess the first time I saw her on that podium. Who knew her looks would turn out to be so Y-chromosomal? So BoyTess cries and knocks back a sip of the old devil's poison.

But she is soon to be interrupted by the opening of the door, which yields an uninvited Michael offering the uninvited advice, "You might want to keep your head clear." Her indignant reaction of "Who the hell are you?" ensures that I didn't actually change this to a reversed-gender military porno (in which her response would be "How 'bout you pour me a something a little more…stiff?"). Michael yanks Papa Griffin's helmet out of his sleeve, a mere "tada!" and two rings away from being both Barnum and Bailey, reporting, "I think your father is alive." BoyTess is slow to believe, however, turning on Michael soon after and sniping, "What kind of sick bastard are you, huh?" Michael gives a look of confusion that tries to answer, "The, uh, puffy kind?" before realizing that the question is rhetorical and he is, in fact, every kind of sick bastard. BoyTess thinks he's a faker of some kind, but Michael directs her attention to the lining of the helmet, which contains a photograph of a little blonde girl flying toward the camera as an older gentleman holds her legs. That sounds gross. It's not. Nevertheless, BoyTess gazes upon it nostalgically -- she remembers when she used to be a girl -- and turns it over to find it reads, "Daddy's Angel" in My Left Foot-esque writing in blue crayon. She sobs and sobs. Michael approaches, brimming with "there there" intent, which BoyTess rewards by elbowing him in the stomach and punching him right in the face. The stomach one only makes him yell "hee hee" and cook some crescent rolls, but the face one's gotta hurt. She's pissed: "Who are you?" Michael just wants to know why she lied, and she tells him that they're only lying "to protect national security." She tosses him from her motel room and picks up the helmet. No one is ever going to finish that J&B.

Cut to what appears to be a showroom for knock-off Mission-style furniture with the Thomasville price tags still dangling from the bottom. Jesse "Attorney At Yawn" Ramirez sits in a plush Ernest Hemingway chatting with Monopoly Nazi, who is smoking a cigar and offering up every phallic reference this scene needed before we had a chance to do it for him. Monopoly Nazi lights Jesse's cigar (not going to go there, so don't bother looking) and asks, "You missing home?" Jesse offers a distracted grunt that means "uh, no" before The Boss And Father has a chance to rephrase the question: "Isabel?" Jesse responds with a dispassionate "Yeah, sure." What a meditative think piece that scene was. The empty plush leather chair must be for Godot.

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