River Dog (2)

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And Don't You Come Back No More

Below the slatted floor of the best little haunted house in Texas, we, the audience, are treated to an opening sequence almost entirely devoid of actual dialogue, but with more disparate shots and angles than a Spike Jonze-directed Skechers commercial. In fact, there is only one full sentence spoken in the entire sequence. Heed it now, and wonder no more why the writers put down their pens and settled for three subsequent minutes of fresh-faced teens running: "Hey, whoever’s up there looking for us isn’t going to stop until they find us. All right? I’m going to find out everything I can before they do." Thanks, Michael. Now can you please try and stop slurring your lines so egregiously? My rewind button can’t take another heinous round of this blah-di-blah you call diction. Be aware. Thank you.

Meanwhile, the black-clad size sixes of Renee Zellweger’s trendy boots (though no more femme than Porno’s suede l’il hoofers) continue their pursuit of the kids, and she steps over a dazed and bewildered Porno, still lying where she left him. She spots an irregularity in a wall of the house, which we know to be the secret lock to the basement door. Renee uses a compact six-inch flashlight to inspect the wall more closely. Needing her hands to pick the lock, she frees them for the job by putting the flashlight into her mouth, in a gesture which could only have been made more phallic had the flashlight been shaped like a giant, flesh-colored dildo. And you know, for six Disney-sanctioned recaps without so much as a swear word or blatant sexual reference of any kind, that last comment of mine was one hell of a way for that streak to meet its unceremonious end. Yeesh.

Anyway, Renee picks the lock and the door flips up, but at the same time Porno awakens and IDs his assailant from last week. But for now, he plays dead, and she suspects nothing. Meanwhile, the kids down below have followed suit, adopting Michael’s plan to ransack a dead man’s dome, grabbing whatever they can get their hands on and heading for a newly-discovered escape route beyond. Isabel hangs back temporarily, pausing over an artifact without which this episode would have been exactly four minutes long. Damn you, Isabel. Put that thing down and let’s go to bed early tonight. Hasn’t anyone mentioned that it’s Thanksgiving? But of course she can’t leave well enough alone, and she snags a black-and-white necklace that looks like a jewelry-making project my girlfriend in third grade gave me in arts-and-crafts because "we’re going to be together forever and ever and ever." None too surprisingly, the relationship ended with summer. All in all, the gang foils Renee once more, escaping through a complex series of underground pipes ("he Phaaaaaaatom of the opera is there") and emerging from a pot hole some distance away from the house. Renee discovers said pipes and gives chase, reaching the outside just in time to see the Jeep motor off into the bright desert day. Renee? Looks like it sucks for -- whom?

Opening credits: My roommate and I have begun belting the show’s theme song out in harmony, karaoke-style, and singing with that kind of passion requires me to close to my eyes. Sadly, I reopen them halfway through a commercial for Sleepy Hollow, realizing with a sigh that there will be no snarky comment about the opening credits this week.

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