Clarence Montgomery

Episode Report Card
Tippi Blevins: B+ | Grade It Now!
Do the Wrong Thing

Warden James heads out into the mess hall, which is divided down racial lines and separated by both a physical and metaphorical gulf. The inmates sit politely, their plates of food untouched. Clarence stands at the service window, eager to see how his cooking is received. The Warden tries to explain to them the concept of parley, of sitting down with one's enemies and being civilized. "Bon appétit," he says as a signal for them to start eating. The black inmates tuck in, but the white inmates shove their trays aside. Warden James tries again: "I said, 'Bon appétit,' you sons of bitches." Heh. The men begin shouting their protests. "Rome wasn't built in a day," Tiller says, having watched quietly from the sidelines. Warden James skedaddles, leaving Tiller to deal with the stink that's about to erupt. The men start throwing food, then punches. White inmates grab Clarence and proceed to beat him savagely. Tear gas flows from the overhead canisters.

Present. Clarence orders a beer at the country club bar. It's apparently host to a wedding reception. Clarence catches sight of a TV across the room. Violent images flash across the screen, along with the world "guilty" like an accusation. He looks disconcerted for a moment. An attractive young lady -- another of the fair-skinned, dark-haired variety -- walks up to him. They smile and chat and he invites her for a walk. Ladies, I don't care how good-looking a guy is: don't go on a secluded walk with him a hot minute after you've met him.

The next we see of this young lady, it's the next morning and she's being wheeled away in a body bag. The A-Team shows up to wonder why Clarence has started killing when he was innocent of the original crime. The Chief of Police asks Hauser to meet with him later. Hey, whatever it takes to get him out of the scene. Rebecca and Doc wander off and notice the catering van. He just left that there all night? They take a look at the menu. Annie May's smoked pork ribs make another appearance. Has Clarence been back long enough to work his recipes into a wedding menu? Those things are decided pretty well in advance. I'm thinking too much again.

Flashback. A guard pulls Clarence from his cell, punches him for good measure, and then escorts him downstairs. They pass through the Broadway cell block along the way so that Clarence can endure the shouts and slurs of white inmates. In a dank basement I don't think we've seen before, guards strap Clarence into a chair. Dr. Beauregard injects him with something. He turns on a film projector and tapes Clarence's eyelids open. "If it works in one direction," Beauregard says, "I don't see why it can't work in reverse." He zaps Clarence with 60 volts of electricity while gory images flash across the screen. Some appear to be of his dead girlfriend, others of random acts of violence and mutilation. "Enjoy the movie," Beauregard says.

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