People, how you doin', there's a new day dawning. From the earth mother it's a brand new morning. For such a long while, there's been such a longing, but now the sun is shining, let's roll back the awning!
Hola, amigos. Hope this Christmas finds you well. I hope everyone was with loved ones for Christmas. I'm here, in my parents' place in Calgary, after a loooong drive from Moose Jaw. If you want to know the definition of "sad," it's a grown man feeling sorry for himself because it's dark outside the night before Christmas and there's still a few hours of the Trans-Canada Highway stretched out in front of him before he can get to his parents' place, and he's starting to tear up because Vanessa Williams or someone starts whisper-singing, "Have yourself a merry little Christmas" on the radio. It's calling from the highway telling your family you're going to be late getting in because you were late getting away because you had to drive another friend home because his car broke down and you couldn't very well leave him stranded on Christmas Eve. It's realizing you're not going to be able to make it home in time to go to Christmas Eve Mass with the family, which is your favourite Christmas thing in the world to do, now that you've grown up and the presents aren't your focus anymore. It's being saddened by knowing you won't be in the pews while your little brother and sister start trading the Annual Christmas Eve Mass Wisecracks, like looking at all the extra altar servers and saying, "Check it out, they really beefed up security." It's arriving home on Christmas Eve to an empty house, frantically showering, shaving, and changing into your suit, and then peeling out again hoping to catch the last ten minutes or so of mass, or at the very least being there for the exit procession when everyone sings "Joy to the World," and getting to the church and finding out mass is already over. It's driving home and finding everyone in the front entrance waiting for you such that you absolutely lose it when your mom says, "Welcome home, dear," and hugs you. So maybe it's the beauty of the season that's inspired me to give this Birds of Prey ep my highest rating ever. Or maybe it's because I've been drunk more or less since I got home. Either way, enjoy it, Birds of Prey.
We open on a dingy restaurant, where two apparently Russian guys are waiting for someone. "He was never a very punctual man," says the older, stockier one, obviously the boss. "Are you sure he's coming? He's got a lot of people after him. Might be afraid to come out of his rabbit hole," says the younger one, who inflicts his Russian gangster accent with a touch of Brando-esque Godfather gravel. The older guy says he understands the police would never recognize him: "He looks different now." "How different?" says younger guy, like the straight man in a comedy routine.
And in walks Frankie "Goes to Hollywood" Spitz, followed by none other than Mitch "A.D. Skinner" Pileggi. "Very different," says older Russian mob guy, which really isn't much of a punchline. Then he asks Skinner how he can be sure it's really him. Frankie gets all "'cause I say so" on him, but Skinner holds up his hand to silence him, then lowers it and starts fiddling with his wedding band, mainly to show us that the back of his hand is scarred. He tells "Mischa" he'll just have to take his word for it. Mischa asks Skinner to excuse his caution: "The Albert Hawke who stands before me now is not the same Albert Hawke I once knew." No kidding. Skinner, or I guess "Hawke," points out that the Hawke Mischa once knew was a bitter rival of the Petrov family, but now wants to discuss a merger. You'd think that would only make Mischa more nervous, but instead he starts laughing and bellows, "Come! Drink!" in the stereotypical hale-and-hearty way of Eastern European crime lords. They all toast and drink.