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Children Of The Corny

This is totally off-topic, for those of you keeping score: Yeah, I know "Father Figure" is technically not a Wham! song. Let's make that clear right up front. No need to let me know again. Turn your e-mail off. Don't send that e-mail. No need to. You don't have to click that button that says...oh, now see what you've gone and done?

Fade in on just another day at West Roswell High, where Liz "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Sappiness" Parker and Maria "The Star-Spangled Yammer" DeLuca stage direct a meeting at the far end of the, I mean "hallway," and vamp toward the camera in sync to the product-placed soundtrack. Maria asks Liz if she is "okay," and Liz responds that she "didn't get much sleep last night." Maria makes it All About Her with the non-segue, "You look like you got your heart stomped on. No, wait, that would be me," before tossing out the at-least-I-was-listening-before-I-nodded-off concession, "It's possible you look worse." Says the girl with the ├╝ber-beehive hair pile that leaves her one shapeless housedress and a Jell-O mold away from being a 1950s suburban housewife. But anyway. Liz wonders as to Max's whereabouts, and Maria surmises, "He did this to you?" Liz explains that she can't explain, instead asking of Maria, "If you see him, just don't tell him I asked." Maria smiles a broad, non-sequitur kind of smile that in no way constitutes a rational reaction to Liz's request, just so she can register a radical shift in facial expression when Michael "The Shaggy D.A." ambles up and effortlessly fulfills the stage direction of, "Through pursed, too fleshy lips" which seemingly precedes all of his lines these days. If by "these days," you mean "forever." And thus he spake: "Hey." Maria wants none of his "hey" or his "lips" or his "flesh," shooting out this week's Contrived Speech of Faux-Female Liberation in record time when Michael evokes Courtney's appropriately-reviled name: "You listen to me. She made a play for you and you went for it. So what, now she's screwed you over and you've come to realize she's a cheap, manipulative tramp? This is not news to me." Well then, is this? "She's an alien. A Skin, like Whitaker." Judging from her slow, "I. Am. In. Shock." turn and the abrupt disappearance of the "Featured on tonight's episode" Top 40 poor-man's-every-other-band-with-three-chords-and-a-pair-of-leather-pants rip-off (a band I would probably take the time to nickname "Destiny's Bile" or some such other thing, if I thought popular culture was ever going to hear a peep out of them again), this is quite the surprise indeed.

Cut to a conveniently empty classroom, where the introductory seminar "Conspiracy For the Feeble-Witted Mind: We Loudly Discuss Being Aliens 101" brings the Alien Four plus Maria together for this week's lesson, "Maybe A Megaphone Would Do The Trick There, Shouty." Michael orates that he knew "there was something wrong" with Courtney even before he found something called a "pitcher" of her in Whitaker's office. I think he's trying to say "picture," but it sadly seems that the oft-mentioned SAG strike has already taken the WB diction coach down with it, so quickly did the put-upon man want to get out of town to catch some fall "foilage" before the fall-out of the "nucular" war about to take place. Michael claims that Courtney got away "out the window," and Maria interrupts that it must have been tricky to catch her "with your pants around your ankles." Tess "Warren G." Harding leaps in and demands they "settle the personal crap" on their own time. She also deduces that Courtney and Whitaker must have been working together, seeing as they were both Skins and both in Roswell, and Isabel "God Shed Her Grace On Thee" Evans agrees that Courtney must know everything about them. Michael snarks at a dazed Max "Garnering Votes For The Pectoral College" Evans, and Max returns to this room again to ask, "If Courtney is a Skin and she was working with Whitaker, the first question is does she know Whitaker is dead." Proving that the excess volume of their conversation has alerted the local media to conveniently air stories in an order that favors contrived plot development for the Alien Four, just at this moment a conveniently placed TV practically turns itself on as an oddly Jennifer Love Hewitt-esque (the most significant distinction between them, I guess, is the fact that this one is still allowed to appear on television) reporter lets the kids know, "A controversial New Mexico congresswoman is dead. We'll have that story in just a minute." JLH leaves out the teaser for the fluffy entertainment news that reads, "And also tonight, not me. Never me. Never, ever again." Because really, it's just too sad.

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