Carnivale
Outskirts, Damascus, NE

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Strega: A | Grade It Now!
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Self-Promotion

Libby wakes up in Jonesy's bed, fully dressed, and then notices a ring on her finger. Oh, if I had an nickel for every time that's happened to me. "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas," my eye. She sits upright, gasping, as Jonesy enters with two mugs of coffee. Jonesy sits on the bed next to Libby, who still looks kind of concerned. Jonesy is all smiles , but displays a little astonishment himself when he shows her his matching ring and says, "Ain't that somethin'?" He says he should get to work. Libby says, "Me too," and then, off Jonesy's glance says, "I mean, you know." They share an awkward kiss, and Jonesy leaves. A second later the tent flap is opened again, and Libby looks up to see Rita Sue growling, "What the hell are you doing in there?" She grabs Libby by the wrist and drags her outside.

Rita Sue tugs a protesting Libby across the midway as she berates her daughter for "shacking up with that gimp for everybody to see." Rita Sue plays the "You're breaking your father's heart!" card and the "Where did I go wrong?" card in quick succession, which is pretty hilarious. Libby finally wrenches herself away, and Rita Sue says, "Don't you put the high hat on with me! You ain't too old I can't take a switch to you!" Libby smirks, "Maybe I'm too married!" and flashes her ring at Rita Sue. Rita Sue freezes and gasps, "Him?" It'd be fun if Libby said, "No, some other guy, but I'm already working on my first extramarital affair!" Instead she just grins and says, "Yeah. Him." Rita Sue starts crying and walks away quickly. Libby calls after her, "Ain't ya gonna congratulate me?" Heh.

Samson's in Management's trailer, flipping though the Gospel of Matthias, when Ben enters and declares, "I got it figured out." Oh, good. Ben says they have to go west: "I felt him out there." Samson dryly says, "Is that a fact?" Ben, whose gifts from Management did not include the ability to detect irony, enthuses that if they hurry, they might be able to catch up. Samson asks who exactly they're catching, and Ben explains that if they follow "the bald fella," they'll find the Usher. Samson sniffs, "If you're so powerful, you bring him back." Ben frowns as he finally realizes that Samson's not quite on board with the mission yet. Samson asks what Ben did with Management, and shows Ben the sheet that used to cover the body. Ben huffs that there's no time for this, and finally sighs, "He...he, uh, ascended," and gestures upward. Heh. I like Nick Stahl. Samson asks what that's supposed to mean. Ben babbles, "He went up to, I don't know, to heaven." He's less than convincing. Which is why I like Nick Stahl. Samson, eyes wide, tells Ben, "I want you out of here, goddammit." Ben insists that he needs Samson's help, although this does raise the question of why, if it's so urgent, Ben doesn't just grab a truck and go on by himself. Samson unfolds the sheet and shrieks, "Look at what you killed, you ignorant hayseed!" On the sheet is a brown image of Management's face, à la the Shroud of Turin. Near tears, Samson yells, "Don't you see what he was?" Buck up, Samson: you can charge people two bits to look at that thing. Ben snaps, "I know exactly what he was, 'cause that's what I am!" Samson goggles, and finally says, "Well, there's one thing he was that you ain't. My friend." Which is odd, since I got the impression that Samson liked Management about as much as Ben did. I guess there were some scenes we didn't see where Management really did put on little puppet shows to entertain Ben and Samson. On the other hand, Samson's "You may be a super-powered deity, but I won't help you move" tone is kind of entertaining. After a long beat, Samson sneers that he'll help Ben if Ben brings Management back. And then he stomps out. The thing is, I had assumed that we, and Ben, were kept in the dark so that there would be a dramatic "all becomes clear" moment. And I suppose that there was one for Ben, but not for the audience. Ben saying that he figured things out is funny, because he didn't figure anything out. There was no learning process; he was given knowledge magically, and now he's Ford Prefect. I just don't understand why they went through contortions to avoid explaining things for so long just to set up some scenes full of exposition.

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Carnivale

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