The White Room (1)

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Cream-Filled Ding-Dong

And then I skipped a line and wrote, "Blah." 'Cause I'm a riot like that.

More! Can you believe it? "Early in the series[,] they were all laughable stereotypes of people, now they're all unlaughable carbon copies of each other. Yes, I know, I'm impossible to please. That's why I work here." Hmmm, three whole paragraphs of quoting myself, eh? I might need a week off to recover from the broken leg I just suffered when I fell down hard while in the process of trying to get over myself. But I mean, really, it is true: it's like the only thing that remains consistent about their characters as they were initially imagined is that, when times get tough, sometimes they hug. And really, that's it.

But comically, to a finally amused audience of me, Lizbot has no one to hug. Divested of this comfort, she rails against the one person she thinks is to blame for a situation that is all undoubtedly her own fault for some reason I implicitly believe but remain at a loss to describe, threatening Tesla, "Where's Nasedo?" Tesla doesn't know; he's never left her alone this long. Segues be-damned, Isabel insists that they have to rescue Max, leading Liz to strangely determine that they have to go to Porno. Dismissed before the words are even fully out of her mouth and labelled "Dismissed Plan #1," Tesla suggests that they render the abounding humans even more pointless than they already are in using their mad voodoo alien powers to bust Max out of the white-paneled joint themselves. Living with Nasedo has taught her quite a few things, but she becomes dubious of her "Alien Lite" counterparts, ending her speech with the doubtful powers questionnaire, "You do have them, don't you?" Michael does his reluctant best to describe that the extent of his powers pretty much ranges from "I can open a can -- with a can opener" to "I like donuts." Isabel, on Alex's urging, divulges her ability to walk into people's dreams and subconsciously communicate with them. Lizbot insists that Isabel perform this sorcery on Max, but Isabel expresses doubt that she could get into a waking person's head, conveniently erasing the continuity-based conundrum that he's sound asleep by almost-lethal levels of toxins injected into his blood stream even as this pivotal scene lurches toward an indeterminate conclusion.

Meanwhile, back in "this place where the sun never shines, where the shadows run from themselves" (um, Cream reference again. Same one as before, almost), a white-suited man (a medical white suit, not a David Byrne white suit. I guess you'd call them "scrubs") threateningly enters. Max is still strapped to the table, and seems helpless to defend himself against said eeeevil man advancing on him with a laser of some kind and pointing it in his direction. Max flinches as the button is pressed, only to find that the laser thing is merely a remote-control device for the table he's strapped to, thus recalling thousands of childhood images of gimmicky Craftmatic adjustable bed infomercials and inspiring my roommate and me to lob several "I chose the VCR!" and "I got my new bed, a great night of sleep, AND a free toaster!" jokes at the screen. Ah, '80s humor. How it's fallen, and how it can't get up. Aaaaanyway, Max becomes alert and sits up to stare into the eyes of The Apprehender Formerly Known as TFOVODEeeee, now made flesh in the form of Agent Pierce. For some reason, Max recalls last week's run-in with the agent when in deputy's clothes, a ten-second detour on the way to the carnival. Pierce shares with Max the results of his tests, telling Max, "There's something very strange about your x-rays. Something that doesn't make sense." Glacial pause. "They're completely normal!" Ta-da! Well, now that that's all clear, I guess we can just wrap things up and go home. Let them go. Let us all go. Oh, but not so fast, you optimistic overreactor, you. For the clever ruse is that there's something else about Max that "doesn't make sense." One thing? Let's start with why he didn't manipulate the molecular structure of the metal clasps. It's been documented that he's used his powers to increase the temperature of whatever he wants to, like, a billion degrees. How about melting those white walls and waltzing right on out of there and naming an episode after a classic rock band I can actually reference with some authority? How many albums did Cream record, really? Four? And solo Clapton doesn't come close to counting. The blood cells, upon further inspection, are "completely not human." Pierce gets a little angrier, launching into a list of the special agents who had lost their lives in the line of trying to track down aliens. Pierce knows all about the crash. He knows all about the silver hand print. He knows all about the alien they kept for "three years of observation on the one held in captivity. RIGHT HERE!!!" Hey, pipe down, man. This shameless display of "acting" you seem to be falling into is strikingly at odds with the glazed-over homogeneity of everyone around you. No one's impressed. No one's watching. Flah blah gah. That's really what I think of it all. Pierce conjures up Lever 2001 again, asking Max what it does. Max remains mystified. Pierce points the laser at Max and the Craftmatic Adjustable Death Bed again lies flat, as the white outfitted henchmen enter and administer some more, er, "Strange Brew" into Max's bloodstream. Cream reference, by the way. Pierce passes a hand over Max's face and his eyes fall shut. How about that dream infiltrating thing now, Isabel? Or now? Or how about -- oh, never mind.

Alex and Isabel sit in Liz's bedroom, Alex still deeply invested in looking for any situation to promote his "creepy and constant groping of you for the good of the human race" platform. As she lapses into the dreamy state for the first time in many an episode, Alex attests that "if I'm holding onto you, maybe you won't get lost." Wow. I know it's like, Friday at 1:30 in the afternoon and all, but I feel suddenly so gripped by the irrepressible power of that pick-up line that I can barely restrain myself from running out onto my empty street and screaming it out to the heavens just to see how many lovely ladies stop by for some further slick material. Throw that line at enough people and it's bound to stick to someone eventually.

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