The White Room (1)

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Cream-Filled Ding-Dong

Commercials. Y'know, it just occurred to me that if there's one media entity who really defines America at the start of this, the new millennium, it's the "Snap into a Slim Jim" guy.

Over the strained psychedelic grooves of the incongruous incidental music (hey, show, leave the Cream thing along already, okay?), this week's wacky caper transpires: Michael, Isabel, and Tesla skulk into the seemingly deserted facility which holds Max. And though assumed to be perhaps the most secretive government conspiracy (this building might as well be called "The John F. Kennedy Memorial Alien Holding Center for Cuba's Plan B Facility") the history of our great nation has to offer, not one armed guard or angry dog prowls anywhere in sight. Hey, want me to quote another one of my forum posts? Nah, forget it. I guess all of those tiny FBI surveillance cameras are in short supply, seeing as so many of them have gone out on location, recording essential documentation of alien life, things like the roaches and backs of cereal boxes on top of Michael's refrigerator. Back in this scene, however, Michael opens a pothole of some kind which reveals a ladder that -- surprise! -- leads directly into the creamy nougaty center of said sealed facility. Michael climbs down the ladder first, and for some reason the camera remains directly at the bottom of the ladder, capturing a multiple-second shot of Michael's expanding rear end descending rapidly and ominously on the helpless viewer. At least this time the underwear color is indeterminate. Anyway, they're inside. As I've mentioned. They stand in plain sight of just about everything, watching a suited individual place his palm on a security pad and gain access via his fingerprints. This development somehow leads Tesla to observe, "He's in there." Another suited man walks by, and Tesla pulls them into a corner. Danger passes. OR DOES IT? Michael attempts to exit their hiding place, but Tesla pulls him back and warns him at almost full voice that "they always patrol in intervals." Cut to inside the white room, where a decidedly non-lucid Max listens to Pierce's questions about the crash, the orb, the communicator, and blah. He's completely unresponsive, leading Pierce to begin bellowing that he wants Max "completely coherent -- for the NEXT PHASE!!!" You mean . . . there's MORE? Oh, foreshadow's sake!

Now this right here is just getting plain ol' sad as hell. Cut to the Crashdown, where the Irrelevant Three (those are the humans, by the way) sit in silence. Porno enters and sits, reaching out a hand one more time only to have it slapped away like so many old men who attempt public bonding with underage girls. He sidles up to the three and swarthily confides, "I was up all night, trying to figure out what happened at that carnival. I mean, I know what I saw. Mirrors or no mirrors, there were two Max Evanses standing right in front of me. And now one of them is in the hands of Agent Pierce and the Special Unit." Good. Fine admission, Porno. You're still normal. Now STOP. Because you're never going to earn their trust with a follow-up confession like, "I'm just hoping that it isn't the one we all care about." Ew. Or should I say EW! Stop that. It's crawling all over me. Anyway. Liz looks away and tells Porno that she doesn't know any more than he does. Tacit agreement all around. He leaves, asking how he can help them if they won't let him in. Turns out he can't. Ha ha. How about a totally absurd music video charading as plot development to make us all feel a little better? Fine: as the music blares and the scene fades back to the white room, a song I know nothing about accompanies the scene of Max's torture. The Storm Troopers strip him down, shoot him up, throw him in water, and feed him after midnight. I remember this scene being, like, twenty minutes longer than it turned out to be, and I'm momentarily disappointed at the lost prospect of a Real World-esque montage I can recap in three words while glossing over eight minutes. But there is no rest for the weary, and the weary is me. And so we move on. Cut to Michael, Isabel, and Tesla, still hiding out and "whispering" their attack plan. Remember those girls at slumber parties who didn't know how to whisper? These three cats are all her. Shut UP, Tesla! Isabel knows something is very wrong, and Tesla warns that "the minute they see us, it's all over." Michael threatens to "take this thing down" himself, and proceeds to exercise his normal modicum of care as he goes chasing after a suited man wheeling a Craftmatic Adjustable Death Table and making a right at the end of a hallway, where an arrow points and a sign reads "morgue." Okay, people, two words: SEALED FACILITY. Who the hell are these signs for?

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