The River

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

While her parents are busy arguing, Libby is busy sneaking a cigarette with Sofie on the carousel. It's quickly explained that her new hair color is officially called "Blondex" (it's the latest craze from the makers of Windex!), and that Ma had something called a "duck fit" when she saw it. Now, I've heard of Duck Head, and also Duck Duck Goose, but "duck fit" is a new one on me. I'm sure I'll be getting email on that one, as well. Libby also mentions that her new hairstyle is designed to help her get ahead in Hollywood, so that she can better emulate her idol Thelma Todd. Libby wants to be just like Thelma, who has an ocean view from the window of her apartment, and a coffee shop in town where all the glitterati gather for mochacchinos on the weekends. It goes unmentioned (probably because it hasn't happened yet) that Thelma Todd also killed herself under some highly mysterious circumstances. In any case, Libby's official plan is to blow into town and strike up a conversation with Thelma by mentioning the fact that they both share the same birthday. Aww. Isn't that sweet? That should easily be enough to delay the restraining order for at least a few minutes. I, on the other hand, share my birthday with Paula Abdul, Salman Rushdie, and Garfield the Cat, so that probably won't be much help when I head out to stalk Lauren Ambrose. Libby's last major revelation is that her and Pa are planning on leaving the very next day, which makes Sofie all sad that her bestest new gal-pal will be abandoning her so soon. But not before Libby gets her tarot cards read, at least, although Sofie does have to agree to lend her fifty cents just so she can afford to get the reading done. Oh, yeah. Libby'll do just fine in Hollywood.

It must be later in the day by now, because Ben is back from the hunt and busily repainting Adrienne's snake charmer sign. It's too bad no one from the prop department bothered to put any actual paint on the brush he's using, however, because that sign looks drier than one of Mommatose's freshly-changed bedpans. Lodz and Lila stroll by, both dressed to the nines for a fun-filled afternoon of rabble-rousing and gossip-mongering. When Lila reports that Ben is painting the banner, Lodz leads them both in for the kill. "You know, Ruthie was something to see back in the day," offers Lila. "A man could literally be hypnotized by the swaying of her hips." Ahh. So that's why I have to watch Escape from New York every time it comes on. Lodz tries yet again to get a job tutoring Ben, and Ben yet again blows him off. If you want details, just read the last four recaps, where they've already had this same exact conversation. Lodz does, however, go on to mention the time that Scudder healed Ruth, only this time we learn the added salacious detail that Ruthie thanked the guy by petting his personal anaconda a few times. Lila joins in with some additional teasing, and Ben gets so mad that he just up and walks away in the middle of her sentence.

Leaving Lodz and Lila behind, Ben runs straight over to Adrienne Barbeau, and pretty much goes ballistic on her. He accuses her of sleeping with Scudder, calls her a bunch of names, and gets really, really pissed for absolutely no discernible reason. You know, this whole scene could easily be described just by saying "weird people, inappropriate sexual behavior, obscure references, dirt, dirt, dirt, Adrienne Barbeau," but recapping the sophisticated, intelligent dramas on HBO unfortunately forces me to be a bit more descriptive. So I'll just add that Adrienne looks really hungry. Oh, and Gabriel is standing right behind her, and he really doesn't approve of anyone treating his mommy like this. And speaking of mommies, let's all take a quick minute to notice Adrienne's highly suggestive glance back at Gabriel when she admits to sleeping with Scudder. And here we all thought that Sofie would be the surprise sibling. Anyway, the shouting match soon degenerates into a shoving match between Ben and Gabriel, and the shoving soon degenerates into a full-fledged fight. Gabe scoops Ben up in a bear hug, which Ben quickly escapes from. Then he kicks his brother in the nuts, and shoves him right in the chest. Despite the fact that Gabe must outweigh Nick Stahl by about seven gazillion pounds, he still ends up flying all the way across the midway and straight into a pipe, which breaks his wrist. Jonesy and his crew of merry mathematical rousties rush over to break things up.

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