Carnivale
New Canaan, CA

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Strega: C | Grade It Now!
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This Way To The Egress

Sofie screams, "Stop!" Seconded. She's back in Shack de Creepy, but she's not alone. A veiled woman sits in a chair nearby. Sofie moans, "Mama?"The woman gets up and walks toward Sofie, who tries to slide away across the floor. The woman bends over Sofie, who wails, "No!" The woman takes Sofie's chin in her hand and forces her to watch as she pulls her veil up and reveals Sofie's own face, with black eyes. Black-eyed Sofie leans in and says, "This. Is. Your. House." Sofie stares back, thinking, "I own property? Cool." We cut to a shot of Shack de Creepy as Sofie screams. She really is good at that.

The scream fades into the sound of children yelling happily. It's night, and the Carnivàle is in full swing. Rita Sue watches the crowds pass as Samson walks up and takes a seat next to her. He says, "Sorry about this." Rita Sue says, "We gotta take care of our own." She figures they owe Ben for healing Jonesy. I think Jonesy owes Ben; I'm not sure about the rest of them. After a moment, Rita Sue adds, "Felix wanted us to put long johns on under our costumes. Call it 'The Dance of Salome' or some such horseshit." She and Samson laugh, and then Rita Sue says that Stumpy's scared, and that she is too. Samson pulls out his honorarium and puts it in Rita Sue's hand. Rita Sue tries to refuse, but Samson repeats, "We got to take care of our own." He kisses her on the cheek, and Rita Sue tucks the money into her bra.

Casa de Creepy. Brother Justin comes downstairs and is greeted by Varlyn, who sniffs, "I don't like it." Justin says, "What, the cassock? Does it make my hips look fat? Tell the truth." No. Justin says that "an evening of frivolity and games will do [them] all a world of good." Varlyn says that the Carnivàle is trying to set Justin up, and Justin chuckles and agrees. Varlyn says that the ferris wheel is a trap, and Justin snaps, "It's the only way to flush him out!" Varlyn begs Justin not to go. Justin takes Varlyn's face in his hands, making me nervous for Varlyn. But then Justin just commends Varlyn's loyalty and kisses him on each cheek before insisting, "You must have faith." Varlyn nods, with scared eyes. Aw, Varlyn. Justin turns to the dresser and pulls out his sickle. He eyes it speculatively and says, "Pain is an unavoidable side effect." And out he goes, Varlyn following.

Ben sits on the back of a truck, smoking. And, I guess, still trying to think. He stares up at Casa de Creepy, and Sofie voice-overs that the Carnivàle wakes up people who are sleeping. And then they get cited for violating local noise ordinances. Ben repeats, "We wake them up." It's very profound. In the sense that I don't know what the hell they're talking about.

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Carnivale

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