The White Room (1)

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Cream-Filled Ding-Dong

Porno's office, where the one and the ONLY nixed plan suggested in the course of the entire run of this show -- the one where Liz tells Porno "everything" -- is currently being enacted. She enters his office and he turns around to face her, relishing her arrival there with just a little too much in the way of hedonistic satisfaction. She dispenses the follow gem: "Your new deputy, Fisher, he isn't a deputy, Sheriff, and his name is not Fisher. It's Pierce. From the FBI Special Unit. He's the one who has Max." Oh, really? That's news. Brilliantly written and brilliantly delivered news, too. Porno responds, "How do you know that?" and I half-expect Liz to break her character of total non-character behavior by responding, "Well, first of all, everybody in the freakin' COUNTY knew that." She doesn't. Freak. She advises him that she "can tell you where he is," but first he has to trust her. And one glance later at those pouty lips of the Lizbot 5000, it is apparent that Porno wants to do plenty more to her than just trust. But trust will be in there somewhere, I'm sure.

Back at the sealed facility, Michael and Isabel share a private status report; meanwhile, Evil Ed and Tesla are off somewhere in the background, banging pots and pans together and playing another hilarious round of "Who can scream louder?" You guys, quiet. Seriously. Anyway, Isabel doesn't want to travel with Nasedo anymore, claiming that he could be working for Pierce. They can't trust him at all. But all at once Evil Ed and Tesla return unto the scene, and the plot thread in development is abandoned faster than Evil Ed's once and future evilness. In anticipation of a complex escape from a place they literally strolled into, Evil Ed has actually brought along a clipboard. No, really. Soon he will take them all into the sealed facility's locker room and pull down a chart with football plays diagrammed in a complex maze of X's and O's and lines connecting them. He's just that thorough. They synchronize their watches. This is all very Laser Tag of them. Evil Ed hands Michael the clipboard which has "the escape route," telling Michael to "scan it." We learn that the aliens are supposed to be equipped with the power of photographic memory, a capacity Michael does not possess. Then there's the door. It's made of a metal the aliens can't manipulate. Go, alien hunters. But how did they know to make a door an alien couldn't break through? Nasedo, field this one, will you? "They know more about you than you do. They've been studying us for fifty years, remember?" Hmmm . . . how about the rotting three-pound wooden plank they tossed aside so cavalierly to gain access in the first place? Oh, right. The thing about nothing making sense. I'd almost forgotten. Okay, then there's the x-ray-protected door behind which Max's Behind The Music is currently being taped. Evil Ed can shape-shift into anyone or anything, he claims, but he doesn't have human bone structure so he can't get through the x-ray. Fine. But Michael does have human bone structure, so he can get through the door. Even though the x-rays won't match, right? Wrong, I guess. Michael looks forlornly on and inquires, "So you're different from me?" Evil Ed responds, "Biology lessons later." (Read: never.) Evil Ed continues that, since the only other female agent is now dead, Michael will have to be the one to help spring Max. Michael smartly observes that he can't get through the door either because he can't alter his fingerprints, and Evil Ed tells him that he can, he just doesn't know it yet. For why THIS pisses me off, please refer to last week's episode, in which Max asks Tesla why Evil Ed can shape-shift but they can't, and Tesla gives him a reasonable explanation why and agrees, "Yes, we cannot shape-shift." Until this week, that is.

Back inside the white room, a post-torture Max attempts to rise on Pierce and molecularly manipulate his ass right on down to the ground. But Pierce laughs it right off, telling Max that the serum they've given him suppresses neurotransmitters and prevents his use of powers, but I'm still sticking with my original proclamation that there was a long, long window of time when The Most Agreeable Alien Nice Guy This Side of ALF could have offed them all with his mad-ass voodoo powers. So Pierce changes his approach, locking Max back into the Craftmatic Death Chair and observing, "It's not that you're part alien. It's that you're part human." Next, Pierce fits Max with a huge piece of headgear which looks less like the virtual reality tool it is intended to be, and more like the sunglasses all of my grandmother's friends in Boca have taken to wearing on those hot, bright afternoons at the flea market. As Pierce narrates a filmstrip of Max's life, he presses a button and the images inside of the granny glasses change from Isabel to Michael to Alex. "You have feeling, emotions," Pierce says. "Love." As a picture of Liz, looking airy and exhilarated, comes up, Max begins to scream. And I finally think Max and I might just have something in common, until I realize that the image inspiring his bellowing is one in which a bloodied Liz appears to be very, very hurt. And then I begin to giggle and snerk, realizing that, sadly, no, Max and I will never be the same at all, in any way. It's virtual reality. It's not real. Max says it: "You're evil." Good work. Now tell me, Pierce demands, where is the other Lever 2001? Tell me where it is. TELL ME! Acting! Damn, these FBI guys can't keep it under control. Running out of non-trite threatening dialogue, Pierce threatens Max with that threat that just never comes off as believably threatening, "You can either tell me where the other orb is, or you can tell me which one of your friends you want me to kill first." Oooh, I have some ideas, if this run-off should come down to audience participation. Lemme know, okay? Max caves.

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