Independence Day

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Djb: F | Grade It Now!
Tony Clifton's Revenge

Crashdown, where -- yuck, who the hell is that? Oh, it's Liz. I should have known from the uniform and the sweeping and the grating speech pattern and the way she isn't listening to the problems of anyone but herself. But I guess I chose to ignore all that, now didn't I? She's ranting about a totally unrelated non-plot point for the better part of the episode, indicating that it is indeed Congressional Filibuster Hour inside of Liz Parker's brain once more. She then has the audacity to ask Maria, "Are you even listening to me?" But Maria is for once sullen and mopey herself, so Liz finally finds a dark corner for her own weighty personal baggage and gets around to asking Maria, "What's wronk?" At this moment they are interrupted by Isabel, who runs in asking after Michael. Maria plays aloof in telling Isabel that she's worried about Michael too and wants to know what the big deal is. Displaying further proof of the Alien Three's only conditional loyalty to each other, Isabel somehow manages to wrap the contrasting statements "It's Hank. He's been hurting him and Max and I are trying to help" and "Michael made us promise not to say anything" into one breath and still make it all sound believable. Maria cops to Michael's presence in her bed, ending said admission with, "I haven't seen him since." You guys? YOU GUYS? I know it's kind of an uncharacteristic move for him and all, but didn't he, like, spend the entire day in school? Clarifying this knotty plot point, the only other person who saw fit to access the many benefits of a secondary school education, Max, runs in and informs the other three about Michael's apprehension by Porno. Like I care.

DeLucawitz arrives back at New Set. Maria tells her about Michael being in jail and all. And if I were Maria's mother, which I'm not, this what I'd say: "Standardize the damned haircut already, okay? You look like a different person every week, and never a particularly fetching one in any of your numerous incarnations. No child of mine is going to march around the streets of this town looking like she's in the goddamn Witness Protection Program." Oops, that would be a bit off-topic, though, wouldn't it? But you still couldn't stop me from saying it. So I'd finish up that important parenting tip, and then I'd say, "Maria, why is your fake-boyfriend in jail? And why on earth are you telling me about it?" Turns out Michael decided not to rat out Maria and never produced an alibi for the previous evening. She needs DeLucawitz to talk to Porno and tell him that Michael was on New Set the whole time. Which is nice and very, very noble, what with the bonding and the "can I trust you" mother/daughter spiel. But unless I'm missing something significant here, the noises coming from The House That Drives (the yelling, the gunshot, et. al.) actually occurred while Michael was there, before he ever arrived on New Set at all. We don't know how and why Tony Clifton disappeared, but that was never really part of the conversation, now was it? Hence, we cut to the police station, where Maria's process of making a pathetic, unwitting pawn out of her mother is now nearly complete. Valenti believes DeLucawitz: "If you say he was at your house, he was at your house." But DeLucawitz asks why Porno believes her and not Maria. Maybe because Porno pretty much hates anyone excepting those who bring to the table the possibility of him getting laid? It's just a theory.

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