Disturbing Behavior (1)

Episode Report Card
Djb: C+ | Grade It Now!
Almost Shameless

Props to Kate and Meredith. Also big ups to the usual forum regulars. And happy birthday, Julie and wmpoty.

I started saying it during "285 South" and I'll continue to say so now: I'm just a sucker for a good road narrative. Also, for whatever kind of road narrative this episode is.

The well-guarded WB Stable Of Extras Over Forty is cracked open but a peek, allowing an older man and woman to escape the shackles of ageist typecasting as "Mr. and Mrs. Dick Van Dyke's Friend" on a first-run episode of Diagnosis: Murder, as they instead walk through the glass doors of a supermarket-like building and out onto the streets of Roswell. A pan to a sign above the store allows for the discovery that Ye Olde Lactose-Tolerant Couple is exiting a market which includes the neighborhood's "Cheese Shop," which another neon sign a few steps away indicates is "Open 24 Hrs." Which, truth be told and secrets revealed, is about a full hour short of the amount of cheese this show has the ability to perpetrate on its remaining viewing audience of the six of us during the course of its average business day. Up on the roof, one good visit to Hair and Makeup deserves another, as the suddenly admirable coif-stylings of Michael "Vidal" Guerin and Maria "Sassoon" DeLuca are the best things about a sequence in which the two alternately stare through sets of binoculars and stare at the Ye Olde Glamour Shot of "Grandpa 1935." In a rat-tat-tat banter-tinged string of dialogue that makes me wonder if Jason Katims didn't drop a quarter into the electronic carnival fortune teller and wish with all his might "I wanna be Buffy" (it's a Big reference, folks), Maria kicks things off by looking at the picture and observing, "Okay, that is freaky." Michael concurs that the similarity between his own gap-toothed mug and that of Grandpa 1935 is "pretty weird," and Maria takes it a step further in an expository direction with, "Michael, have you ever even thought of the possibility that this guy more than just looks like you? Like he is you. Like, your donor. Like, your human side is him." At which point, Maria drops her binoculars, scratches the needle on the record of a mysteriously-appearing phonograph, turns her rump-side to the camera, and gets wiggity-wiggity-wiggity-whack with a rousing hip hop chorus of Delfino and the Delphonics' "Baby's Got Backstory." Okay, that doesn't really happen or even have to happen, because we watched Part I and we also watched Part II and we get it. But Maria continues getting "Backstory in the High Life Again" with her continued assertion that "in some weird and twisted way, he and his relatives are, like, your family." Michael kills time, filling us in: "Like Laurie DuPree?" No, Michael. Like Tom Bergeron. But you were so close. Should have watched Parts I and II like the rest of us. And read the recaps, too, each more brilliant than the last. Michael laments that "it figures" that he "finally found a family member, and she's a complete whack job." A police car glides by the completely empty streets of town, passing without comment because they don't want none unless you've got guns, hon (see set-up for this punch line, as established above), and Maria peers through her binoculars and notes, "Someone's in Garrison's Hardware Store." Michael scolds, "Maria, we're supposed to be watching the Sheriff's Station." Maria defends herself: "I think they're having sex." Not damn bloody likely on this show. Unless it's some really unsavory coupling in keeping with the hella offensive nookie pairing from last week. Either way, Michael temporarily drops his "but we're supposed to do blee, but we're supposed to do blah" routine and guides his own binoculars in that general direction. But he'll be back to his cranky old disagreeable self in no time, I'm sure. Because he likes to contest opinions. Because he likes to argue. Because he likes big "buts." And he cannot lie. Heh. Sorry. Damn, Maria's hair looks good.

A close-up on the glazed-over eyes and slack-jawed, pasty face of Laurie "In A Box" DuPree pans back to the interior of the Sheriff's Station, where Agent "Ball-Breaker" Duff fills in even more I-already-knew-that gaps for the apparent target demographic of this show, known on the Nielsen comparative chart as "Born riiiiiight…now." Ball-Breaker: "Laurie [In A Box], if you help me find the man who did this, I can stop him from hurting someone else like he hurt you. But you have to talk to me." Ball-Breaker sighs that they've been "at this for two days," and threatens in the most gently passive-aggressive of ways to send Laurie In A Box back to her "old room" at Pinecrest with the art therapy and the electric shocks and the piping-hot box of genuine freshly-baked Crazycakes. Laurie In A Box thinks on it for a moment, then chokes out the minor-chord cue of the opening segment, "They're aliens." Laurie In A Box then erupts in a well-patented fit of ACTING, because the Secret Word Of The Day, "aliens," has been mentioned (other Secret Words Of The Day inciting equally incendiary results include "grandpa" and "help" and "in a box" and, on a very special episode, "Mecca Lecca Hi Mecca Hiney Ho"). Laurie In A Box makes for the door, but is held back by two deputies who burst in and pin her to the table. Her eyes dart around, and she has the wherewithal to grab a nearby pen and conceal it in her sleeve, an action noticed only by me, the six aforementioned viewers, and Jonathan Demme's lawyers. Who have been dying for something to do for the last ten or so years anyway.

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