Carnivale
Outside New Canaan

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Reunited! And It Feels So...Bleh.

You know that scene in O Brother Where Art Thou? when all the people walk through the forest in their baptismal robes singing "Down to the River to Pray"? This looks just like that. Except without the trees. Or the music. Or the gopher on a stick. Or George Clooney. Sigh. So there are people walking down to a pond, and Brother Justin's dunking them, basically. Ben watches from the shore in his baptismal robe as Varlyn is dunked. Next in line, already in the water, is Sofie. Ben stares. A freshly baptized Varlyn embraces Justin happily, heh. Ben looks around at the crowd, and the camera slides down to show several inches of knife-blade protruding from his sleeve. Subtle, Ben. And...weird. I mean, I would excuse the fact that he's being stupid if I thought they wanted the audience to know he's ready to kill Justin. But I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the audience knew that already. We knew he had the knife. I, at least, was pretty sure that he wasn't just there to renew his faith. But wait! As the knife pokes out, Justin suddenly wobbles and looks faint. So that's what they wanted us to know. Okay, I guess. One of his flunkies steadies Justin until he recovers and turns to Sofie. He asks, "Are you in need of a savior?" Sofie says that she is. It's kind of funny that they don't ever set it up so that Sofie has to say, "Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned." Maybe they're saving that one. Justin lectures her, and the crowd, about repenting, and Sofie turns and spots Ben on the shore. Ben shakes his head slightly, and then Justin pinches Sofie's nose closed and dunks her. When she's upright again, Sofie looks for Ben, but he's vanished. Justin tells everyone, "This is Sofie, one of the most treasured of my faithful. She was asleep, but we woke her up." As he goes on about that, a guy on shore points at the water. Eleanor's body drifts toward Justin. Whoopsie. The crowd mutters, "Ew, I thought the water smelled funny," and retreats as Justin turns. He gently starts to carry Eleanor toward the shore.

Sofie walks through Shantytown in her baptismal robe. Ben reaches out from behind a shanty and pulls her to him. Sofie gasps, "It was you! How did you find me?" as she hugs him. D'oh. Ben says that he wasn't looking for her, actually. Sofie's surprised to hear that, and I think maybe Justin's praise has gone to her head. Ben says that this isn't a good place for Sofie to be, adding, "The preacher...he's evil." Sofie pshaws, and Ben explains that he's seen Justin in his dreams. I'm using the word "explains" kind of loosely. Sofie grins, "In your dreams? That's crazy!" Which would be a sensible reaction from almost anyone on the show except Sofie. I'm starting to see why she and Ben like each other; it's a real meeting of the minds. Sofie says that Justin's a great man who changed her life and gave her "something to hold on to." Ben doesn't point out that he also gave Sofie something to hold on to, if you know what I mean and I think you do. She asks Ben why he's there again, and doesn't give him a chance to answer before she pouts, "Leave me alone," and starts to leave. Ben tries to argue, but Sofie says, "I don't need you to protect me from the best thing that's ever happened to me." Ben says that Justin's real name is Alexi Belyakov: "He's a Russian. He killed my father, and he aims to kill me, too." Sofie tearfully says she doesn't believe Ben. She heads up the hill to the house as Ben calls after her.

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Carnivale

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