Carnivale
The Day Of The Dead

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Sister? But I just kissed her!
Before we begin, there are a few things you should know about this recap: It was written in its entirety somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico, on a small, godforsaken island which is apparently best known for its foreboding skull-like topography and vast native population of genetically-engineered mutant human-animal hybrids. Although I do have to admit it was nice to see my whole family again like that. Additionally, significant portions of the text were subsequently edited and annotated by the highly inquisitive seven-year-old seated in the row in front of me on the flight home. Staci definitely disapproved of Sofie and Libby's lesbian scene, although I did catch her casting the occasional meaningful glance at her younger brother during that final Justin and Iris bit. Best not to dwell on that too much. It's also worth noting that this particular island just recently saw the introduction of such niceties as indoor plumbing, universal women's suffrage, and some newfangled gizmo the kids are all calling an "infernal combustion engine," so it goes without saying that TiVos and 57-inch big-screen Sonys are few and far between in this shithole. In other words, I'm writing this entire recap on a ten-year-old 486 laptop I stole from work, using nothing more than whatever notes I managed to hastily scribble before heading out to the airport. So if it's lacking in the usual level of descriptive (yet ultimately pointless) detail I'm usually so pleased to provide, you'll just have to forgive me. With that said: Razorblades, lesbians, Mexicans, snakes, worms, haircuts, semi-naked children, adultery, wet t-shirt contests, incest, inappropriate confessions, huckey duck, hammer suck, fiddler's bitch, Ruthie is dead, the end. See you next week!

Oh, and I also just spotted Doug E. Doug getting a shoeshine in the USAir terminal. Best not to dwell on that one for too long, either.

We fade up on Brother Justin, giving communion in Father's Walton's church. And just out of curiosity, is "giving" really the proper sacramental verb here? No one seems to know, not even my normally reliable Catholic co-workers. Give me an email if you know. The kicker to this otherwise pastoral scene is that young Ben Hawkins is also in line with all the other parishioners. Hmm. Does this mean that Ben is actually a long-lost cousin of the Coin-Puking Dirty clan, home for a joyous holiday meal of mudbugs, wild turkey, smelts, and dirt pie? Not to mention the razorblade communion wafer appetizer, which is what Brother Justin has elected to distribute today in lieu of the usual Saltines or Wonder Bread or whatever you're supposed to be using for this sort of ceremony. Ouch. And also ew. And while we're at it, how come Christians always think it's so funny that we Jews do wacky stuff like eat nothing but Matzoh for a full week each year, but think nothing at all of satiating their mid-morning munchies with "the Body of Christ" each and every Sunday? Oy vey. When it comes to disturbing rituals, nobody's got nothing on the Catholics. Justin's congregation, however, doesn't seem to have any problems with the razorblades, which means that a) this is obviously a dream sequence, and b) you don't ever want to go trick-or-treating in Mintern. The various razor/tongue close-ups really sell the "ew" factor, but it's the shot of the woman in the third row chewing happily with blood trickling down her face that cracks me up every time. As Ben finally makes it up to the front of the line, the congregation chants "The Body of Christ" over and over again. "No, it ain't," snarls Ben, as he grabs Justin's arm to hold off the proffered razorblade. Our two main characters lock arms, and stare deep into each other's eyes, and then things suddenly get very Over the Top (in just about every sense of the phrase), what with the grunting, and the arm-wrestling, and the swelling music, and the glacier-sized cakes of dirt getting shaken off Ben's quivering biceps. Before either of them can attempt the patented Sly Stallone wrist-bend maneuver, however, the scene ends, and Ben jerks awake, in a bed this time as opposed to his usual spot under the truck. The dirty girls among you may be interested to know that there's no sign of Adrienne anywhere at this point.

Over in Management's trailer, we get to catch the tail end of yet another conversation between Lodz and the boss. Once again, all the good parts apparently occurred off-camera, because all we get to hear Lodz say is, "We both know it's the only way to reach the boy." Before learning what that way might be (although I personally like to imagine it has something to do with everyone ganging up to pummel him with bars of soap like they did in Full Metal Jacket), Samson barges in, looking peeved and explaining that the local sheriff has arrived to collect his piece of the gate. Lodz chortles because such mundane concerns are beneath him, Samson looks pissed because Management has dumped him for a boy with better hair, and I just sit there enjoying the beautiful exterior shots that led into and out of this scene. We had some truly excellent cinematography this week.

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Carnivale

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