Carnivale
The River

Episode Report Card
Aaron: B- | Grade It Now!
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He ain't heavy, he's my brother!

Back at the ranch, Ma Cooch is smoking a cigarette and sitting on the edge of the carousel. Flick…ahh. Samson walks over and tentatively mentions that he just saw Pa and Libby packing up the car. Ma remains defiant, and continues to insist that he'll never leave. "I know him," she declares, as she flicks some ashes into the dust. Samson comes a little closer, and sadly confesses that he blames himself for Dora Mae's death. He should have stood up to Management, and refused to go to Babylon. Ma also feels guilty, because she's the one who overruled him and decided to do the blow-off. The pity party continues for a few moments more, and then Ma says, "The thing that tears me up, is knowing that bastard who killed her is still out there walking around." "No, he isn't," replies Samson, with shake of his head. "You can only know a man so much," he adds, without further adding that technically both Stangler and Dora Mae really are still out there walking around. Well, maybe not "walking" so much.

Pa and Libby aren't the only ones packing, it seems, because Sofie is also loading up a suitcase while Mommatose watches from her bed.

Mommatose: Aw, come on! Don't go! I promise I'll be nicer. I mean, we've had some good times, right? Remember when we stayed up all night and played Uno with the tarot cards? That was fun, wasn't it? And that time I coughed up the lung pudding, and we just laughed and laughed and laughed…
Sofie: It's my chance.
Mommatose: But…but…you can't leave me! Whatever shall I do? However shall I piss?
Sofie: Goodbye, Mother.

Cut to the car, with Pa and Libby in the front seat, and Sofie in the back. Everyone is all excited and bouncy (though not Jonesy-bouncy, much to my dismay), and even Pa gets into the spirit things by shouting, "California, here we come!" But then he looks in the rearview mirror, and spots Ma watching them from a distance. If you look closely, you can actually see the resolve draining out through the pussy-whipping scars on his back. Libby begs him to start driving, but Pa just shuts off the car, and softly says that maybe they should try again the next day. Libby, incidentally, is wearing a raspberry beret. Someday I'm totally going to write a scholarly paper on the meaning of all the Prince references in this show. For now, however, I'll just mock the girl's fashion sense, because she looks like a French hooker. Then again, her family name is "Dreifuss-Cooch," so she may actually really be a French hooker. Pa climbs out of the car looking totally broken, and Libby brats that he's breaking his promise to take her away from the carnival. But when Sofie climbs into the front seat and offers to drive, Libby ends up refusing to leave without her daddy. In the end, Sofie is left alone in the car, realizing that she's the only one who was actually serious about going.

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Carnivale

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