Due to the ever-increasing deluge, I've decided to go ahead and make answering my reader mail a regular feature here in the recaps. To that end:
1. The Russian lettering on the bear's hat in episode two says "Bruno." Spasiba, Russkis! Ty moy luchshiy drug. Ya pravilno eto napisal?
2. The owners, management, and staff of Television Without Pity are in no way affiliated with the shows we recap. We don't write them, we don't produce them, and we certainly don't control their content. To put it another way, I am NOT Aaron Sorkin, so please stop emailing me to come back.
3. Products I don't wish to purchase this week include: anti-depressants, anti-oxidants, and Evil Auntie's Naughty Cousins Live 24/7 Webcam.
We open on a slow-motion, shutter-stopped image of a man in a brown suit standing in the middle of a windswept, small-town street. He's facing away from us, looking at a building from which a large crowd soon emerges. They're led by a priest who'll be important later, and trailed by a totally unimportant group of pallbearers carrying a simple pine-box coffin. This is all accompanied on the soundtrack by some tinkly, Old West-style music, which can really only be described as an amusingly jaunty dirge. Given the obvious lack of modern, timely opportunities, it's probably no surprise that Carnivàle has taken to product-placing itself, as a truck emblazoned with a giant logo for the show soon drives straight through the frame. It seems that the carnies have come to town, and indeed the very next shot is one of Ben atop his truck, looking down to see the disapproving townspeople loading the coffin onto a wagon, just as he saw in his dreams in Episode One. Oh, goody. That's another one I can check off the creepy images list, which only brings us closer to the inevitable arrival of Lobster Boy and his freaky-cool Pincer-Hand of Death. I wonder if that thing could be classified as having a "kung-fu grip"?
The slow-motion continues as we dissolve to Carnieland, and then things finally speed back up to normal as Samson orders Jonesy to head into town and pick up a few items from the local store. Our fearless leader wants "beans, lard, flour, and milk and sugar, if they've got it. And also some more Slim-Fast for Adrienne, a Mach 3 for Lila, some two-ply toilet paper, and a case of Depends for Mommatose." "Oh and, uh do me a favor," he adds conspiratorially. "Check and see if they got the latest issue of Short & Sexy behind the counter, would ya? It gets mighty lonesome out here on the road sometimes." Okay, maybe he doesn't really say that last part. But he definitely does assign Ben to go along with Jonesy. Aww. Isn't that sweet? He's trying to patch things up between them. He's just like a little dust-bowl Alicia Silverstone. Except for the part where he totally isn't.