What Makes Sammy Run

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What Makes Sammy Run

Kennedy High. Brooke sits in class re-reading Sam's note from the end of last week's episode. "I'm very sorry for the church debacle and I hope everyone can forgive me . . ." The class is reading Crime and Punishment. Miss Ross is talking about how Raskolnikov thought that he was extraordinary and therefore exempt from punishment. Miss Ross asks the class what they thought of Raskolnikov's subsequent incarceration. Nicole suggests that Raskolnikov was weak, and that if he'd just held out longer he'd be blissfully happy and hanging out with that hooker. Speaking of crime, I guess that hairdresser is still mad at Nicole. Her rat-do has grown out a bit, but now she looks like she's playing Grizabella in a New Rochelle community-theater production of Cats. Miss Ross tries to ignore what Nicole has just said and goes on to talk about the concept of one lie leading to another until the burden of so many lies becomes too much to bear. "Nothing in life goes unpunished, babies," says Miss Ross. Hey, if the motif of tonight's episode is going to be Crime and Punishment, how come I didn't see any spoilers about anyone being chopped up with an ax?

Class ends and everyone collects their books and leaves the classroom. Brooke walks up to Lily and Carmen and asks them where Sam is. They don't know. Brooke at first thinks they're covering for Sam, but soon realizes that they are just as out of the loop as she is. Lily and Carmen do not ever make a move in this episode without being at each other's side. For that reason, I am simply going to refer to them as the Lilmen. The Lilmen are shocked that Sam has run away. Lily got a nice perm for that "wig" she's been wearing since the mohawk episode. It sticks out cutely from under her blue skull cap.

San Francisco. And just in case we can't tell that it's San Francisco by all the landmarks like The Golden Gate Bridge, Nob Hill and cable cars, the song "San Francisco" by Scott McKenzie is playing. Sam "Love is a battlefield" McPherson walks into a photo gallery dressed like the runaway that she's been for the last four hours: rat's nest hair, Gap backpack, sweater tied around her waist, and one of those big long coats that incest survivors wear to hide their bodies. Sam, you're running away to stop a wedding. This is not Go Ask Alice. Put on a clean outfit and comb your hair. She goes up to the woman who runs the gallery: "Are you the mother of Brooke McQueen?" The woman who may be Brooke's mother is played by Peggy Lipton. And just in case you can't remember who Peggy Lipton is, the Twin Peaks theme plays. Ooh, looks like Peggy Lipton's starting to look really old. I swear she looks like she might be 29 or 30. No wonder Quincy Jones left her for Nastassia Kinski.

"Young lady, who are you?" asks Peggy Lipton. Ah, for once an adult character that finds Sam as tiresome as we do. "I am the girl who is going to become unwillingly hitched to your daughter and you are the only one capable of stopping it," says Sam, who is acting surprisingly self-centered even for her. Peggy, who obviously saw Carly Pope's performance in Trapped in a Purple Haze, takes her by the arm and escorts her outside. "Where are you taking me?" asks Sam. "To the methadone clinic across the street," says Peggy. Can we give this woman a recurring role? Sam insists she's not crazy. "I've done some Internet research," she whines, and recites Brooke's mother's history. She was a photographer from LA who got married to Mike McQueen, then ran off with a rich boss named Ron Foster and opened a photo gallery in San Francisco. This woman, according to Sam, is the only Kelly Foster in the San Francisco area with a photography gallery. Kelly tells Sam that she's wrong: Kelly is single, and up until last year she lived in New York. "And unless I was very drunk," she says, "I never slept with anyone named Mike McCafferty." Sam apologizes. Kelly explains that she's not the mother type and regrets that she can't help Sam. That's okay, Peggy. No one can really help Sam. All anyone can do is anesthetize their own pain at having to watch her go off on a binge of self-righteousness every week.

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