Black Blizzard

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Aaron: B- | Grade It Now!
Lust in the Dust

And speaking of sleazy, here's Lodz, preaching patience to young Ben and announcing that they've been presented with a "unique opportunity." When he refuses to elaborate any further, however, Ben decides to pull a, "Betty," and demand that Lodz get out of the car. "I'm calling you," he yells. "You put up right now or I'm turning back." "I'm afraid it's much too late for that," replies Lodz. He gestures towards the horizon, and Ben fearfully reacts to whatever it is we can't see yet by swearing and rolling up the truck's windows.

Cut to a naked woman lying in bed. Ben is afraid of boobies? Wow. Who knew? Although actually, that's not really much of a surprise. Nor is it really what he was afraid of, because the boobies belong to the woman Samson is visiting, and Samson himself is getting dressed by the bed and whistling a happy tune. "Heigh ho, heigh ho, it's off to the ho I go," he sings, as he lays some money on the table. "I should be paying you," she sighs, in a parody of every conversation every hooker has ever had with a john. "You're probably right," answers Samson (heh), "but I wouldn't have it any other way." This perversely charming tableaux is interrupted by a shout from outside the window, where Samson's driver has just noticed whatever it was that scared Ben. I don't think it's spoiling anything to reveal that the wind has picked up quite a bit at this point, as Samson stands between the billowing curtains and exclaims, "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!" Now, I know I'm Jewish and everything, but given the circumstances, wouldn't "Jesus, Mary Magdalene, and Guido the Killer Pimp!" have been a more appropriate exclamation?

Carnieland. Jonesy and Random Roustie #6.02 x 1023 are actually doing that thing where they both take turns hammering a pole into the ground with sledgehammers. The Minor-Key Piano-Tinkling Of Impending Doom warns Jonesy of impending doom, and he looks up to see the same thing that's freaked everyone else out. "Tell the others to pack it up," he orders, and we finally cut away to see a massive dust storm roaring towards them across the plains. ["Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate… For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth." -- Isaiah 13:9-10] The CGI is actually very impressive, and to my eternal relief, Paul, Stilgar, and Shai-Hulud are nowhere to be seen. Avogadro's Roustie panics and shouts that they need to move to shelter, but Jonesy insists that they'll ride out the storm right where they are.

And speaking of Jonesy, cut to Sof…er, "Betty," who's speaking of Jonesy. "Clayton Jones," she says. "Used to be a star boxman for the Sox. Real fireballer." Happily, Harlan has heard of him, and his "Horse-Hide Houdini" nick-name, so he's all the more impressed that Betty was actually "married" to the guy. They're alone in the diner by this point, by the way, and seated across from one another at the counter. "Betty" goes on to explain that Jonesy got injured, and had to quit playing baseball. Well, that much is true, at least. Assuming the HBO website can be believed. "After that…he changed," she continues. "He got real sad, real quiet." And then one day she came home and discovered that he shot himself in the living room. If by "shot himself in the living room" you actually mean "tried to use a childhood game of catch as an awkward flirtation method," that is. She does a passable job of fake crying, and as the storm slowly darkens the interior of the diner, Harlan reaches out to hold her hand. This charming trollops-and-townies tableaux is interrupted when they both finally look up and notice the hurricane-strength winds that are blowing outside. Sofie shouts, "Mama!" and bolts for the exit, and the best part of that shot is totally the real-live, actual tumbleweed that blows down the street while she's running for the door. Hee! She only makes it about two steps outside, however, before Harlan grabs her and pulls her back out of the billowing dust.

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