Roswell
How The Other Half Lives (2)

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Crystal gale

Props to Wing and Glark and my perpetual traveling companion, "Baby, You Can Drive My" Sars. And I'm recapping this week's episode on Niki's computer. Thanks, Niki. ["Anytime, man." -- niki] Wing's across the room. Hi, Wing.

Under the cover of Roswell darkness, Earth's newest graduate from "The Michael Guerin School Of Covert Skulking: Facile Plot Development Division" jimmies open the front door of an as-yet-unknown house. Said intruder shines a flashlight on a mess of books strewn around a table, remembers that reading is for suckers, and takes an angry swipe that sends the books floorward. Guerin's Clumsy Ingénue next makes for the fridge, on the front of which is a poster advertising a concert which will feature the musical stylings of both Pearl Jam and Metallica. And though the casual viewer of this show is as yet not supposed to have figured out just exactly where we are in these lightless opening moments, if forced to take the planet's current musical climate into consideration, I would guess we're probably inside the house of someone who cares most for the musical stylings of Pearl Jam and / or Metallica. That being -- and this is just the context cues talking -- the house of one of the members of either Pearl Jam or Metallica. I sincerely hope Said Intruder hasn't come for the Napster downloads. He would have gone ahead and skulked all this way, and for what? Crackers and other top-of-the-fridge food items are also deemed as belonging squarely in the For Suckers category (Damn you, foul Cheese Nips. Daaaaamn yoooooou!), as The Least Mysterious Intruder Since Jon-Benet's Dad (it's Grant, okay? Is there anyone who doesn't know that by now, you think? It's GRANT, people) takes a swipe at them and tears open the fridge. Inside the fridge, It's Definitely Grant stares down four boxes of product-placed Carvel cakes ("Dear Sean Fanning, Thanks For Everything, Lars Ulrich"), decides that, temper tantrum be damned, no man taunts Cookie Puss, and shuts the door without further use of his now-patented, highly dramatic Arm Swipe Of The Angrily Cluttering Burglar.

Maybe Not Grant But It's So Grant then makes his way over to another table, on which lies the ill-concealed spoils of skulking he seemingly came for: the black-and-white cover of the 1935 edition of Appalachia Wear Daily, featuring Grandpa 1935 with his hayseed and his overalls and his brother-can-you-spare-a-dime glare, a photo of the WASPs Nest Of Bel-Air in Tucson, and some newspaper clippings in which the expression "Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals" probably appears with far more regularity than anyone has interest in seeing at this point. Napster joke recall. I don't know. Maybe Not Grant's black-gloved hand makes its way to a color photograph of Laurie "In A Box" DuPree, taken during that heady time when you didn't get your ass kicked into an open locker for buying your knitwear at Aeropostale, and the latest in trendy hair fashions was spelled T-O-P-S-Y T-A-I-L and available only in this special TV offer, not available in stores. Too bad Laurie wasn't one of the first twenty-five callers to order this revolutionary hair styling product and also receive her free Bedazzler, though. That pink Aeropostale sweater could really stand a couple of well-placed rhinestones. Grant Sorenson, Skulker Emeritus of the Covert Skulking Academy and current "Figure 1-1" textbook exemplar for Best Supporting Skulker In A Late-Night Skulking Sequence, thinks so as well. I'm sure.

A stock footage shot of a three-quarter moon illustrates quite clearly that it is night, apparently in a bid to stem the high number of worried viewers staring into the otherwise dark sky, stumbling off their couches, and flailing about their homes screaming, "It's all dark! My eyes! I'm blind! I'm blind! I'm…oh, the moon. It must just be night. Thanks!" On the outskirts of the grounds of The WASPs Nest Of Bel-Air, Michael "Vidal Spitoon" Guerin stares through binoculars as his usual partner, Maria "My Name Is" DeLuca "I Live On The Second Floor," maintains her static look of disinterest in any topic that doesn't somehow include repeated use of the words "our relationship" and "my Jetta." Michael espies Susan from Seinfeld and her gender-challenged brother, Harvey The Gay WonderWASP, inside a lighted window, and turns to chastise Maria for dialing a cell phone. She responds that it's "official business," and awaits an answer from the other end before launching in, "Liz, how do you get tree sap out of fabric? I think I ruined my top." I guess I missed the episode where Lizbot's "more input, Stephanie" included a perusal through the finer points of Hints from Heloise, but she reads the damn things so fast it's just hard to keep up with what she's flying through this time, I guess. Or maybe it's just one sap to another. As always, it's difficult to say for sure. Maria blathers about which sweater was ruined and oh-what-a-pity-that-thing-called-life, and after a stern, manly warning of "You're wasting the battery," Michael tears the phone from her hand and disconnects the call. Girls and their phones. Tee. Hee. The lights go off in the house, and Michael grabs Maria's arm and insists, "Let's go." Ah, the true Master Skulker, finally ready for work. He and Maria skulk (masterfully, of course) down toward the pool, laying eyes on a security guard kind of fellow also skulking (someone cue the sun, stat, or all this defensive, furtive slouching is going to give this whole damn cast scoliosis already) in the bushes. Maria asks Michael, "You got any cool powers to take care of him?" Michael obliges by grabbing a rock and hurling it off in another direction to capture the security guard's attention while they make off past him. Whatever. It's a skulk thing. You wouldn't understand.

Every self-respecting town needs a sinister dark alley, and, well, seeing as it's already nighttime and all. Cut to a compromised one-lane road so darn versatile it was once referred to as "Lexington Avenue," which the set designers have thoughtfully adorned with two neon signs on opposite sides of the street reading, respectively, "Pawn Shop" and "Bail Bonds, 24 Hours." Oh, this is so gritty and Mean Streets that I don't even need to wonder after the location of the scantily-clad woman of the night wearing a multimedia t-shirt adorned with blinking neon letters reading, "I am a crack whore who loves crack. I am a crack whore who loves crack. I am a crack whore who…" to wonder how deeply in The Bad Part Of Town we've landed. Because we've landed, people, and we've landed hard. Let the skulking commence in earnest, then. A beat-up SUV that looks like it might just belong to a skulking archaeologist who may or may not (or may) be on his way back from a skulkfinding mission at The House Government Subsidy Built pulls down said alley, followed by an unmarked car with a blaring siren on the roof, pulling the SUV over. Agent Ball-breaker and Porno step out of the car and demand that the shadowy Still Not Quite Grant Sorenson do the same. Finally, Grant "Mel Glibson" Sorenson emerges, asking the two, "What the hell is this about?" Hey. No more h-e-double-hockey-sticks on the WB, okay? You kiss your mother with that mouth? Do you, skulky? Eh? Porno holds up a piece of paper and celebrates, "I've brought you something you've wanted for a long time." Porno finds time in this insanely busy script to pause extravagantly, while Grant's eyes light up in that hey-is-that-the-newest-volume-of-the-So-You-Wanna-Be-A-Skulker-pamphlet-I-see-before-me kind of way (y'know, that kind of way) before Delta flies a commercial airliner through the hugeness of this pointless break in the action before responding, "A search warrant." Grant looks disappointed. That's not what he wanted at all. And Skulking for Dummies remains on someone's Amazon Wish List for yet another day, it sadly seems.

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Roswell

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