The show opens with an establishing shot of some "Happy Birthday" decorations and some of the ugliest baby caterwauling I have ever heard. And I have lots of friends who have babies, so I've heard a great deal. Unfortunately. The caterwauling is a cross between grunting, yelling, and crying, and given how non-verbal it was, I assumed it was Tiny Gay Chris -- you know, the one who isn't SUPPOSED to be talking -- and we were celebrating HIS birthday. But noooo to both. Piper rushes into the room asking, "Oh, no, sweetie, what are you doing? That's not funny -- what are you doing? What are you doing?" The Dead-Eyed Psycho seems to have taken a bowl of chips and dumped the contents on a table right next to Crusty Ted. Maybe he was thinking of impaling Crusty Ted with shards of potato chips, in order to get some info out of him about Crusty Ted's twin, the exceedingly creepy Snuggle Bear. What a brat. Piper tries to quickly clean up the chips while telling her unnaturally silent psycho of a son that making such a mess isn't funny. The Psycho immediately orbs the empty bowl onto his head and oozes out a smile. Damn, that kid is creepier than shit when he grins! Piper asks the Psycho if he wants a time-out on his birthday, and takes the bowl off his head. The Psycho, making a play for sympathy, grabs at Crusty Ted and whimpers wordlessly. Piper understands that the Psycho is upset. "But Mommy's here," she reminds him, and gives him a hug. Over Piper's shoulder, the Psycho stares down the cameraman, who better watch his back from now on. Piper sends the Psycho off to brutalize his toys while she cleans up his mess. The blasting cacophony of an incoming orb doesn't make Piper look up -- I guess she assumes it's just Raige -- but a male voice saying, "It isn't easy, is it?" makes Piper whip around to behold a rather shabby, very Berkeleyish, but still Ever Useless Elder. I swear I've bought hemp bracelets from that guy's cart on Telegraph.
Hippie Elder flaps his arms a bit and apologizes for not knocking before he orbed. Remember when Cole knocked before he smeared? That still cracks me up. Piper warily stands up and asks if Hippie Elder knows anything about the Dolt. Hippie Elder stilts out that he knows no more than she, but promises that the deal she made with the Angel of Destiny will be honored. Piper asks if Hippie Elder knows anything about the force they're supposed to encounter and defeat. "If I knew, I'd tell you Piper," Hippie Elder says. Seriously, what is up with this guy's goofy delivery? It's like he's Kern's uncle who promised to give his twerpy nephew his dust-jacketed collection of vintage Jugs magazines in exchange for a small and pointless speaking part on the show before it dies. Hippie Elder remains ever useless by reminding Piper that she's suppose to figure it out on her own. Piper's having none of it, and after a few more unhelpful platitudes from Hippie Elder and even more glares from Piper, Hippie Elder tells Piper that the Psycho "is a good kid, he's just acting out." At that moment the Psycho orbs a handy -- probably cyanide-laced -- birthday cake smack into Hippie Elder's face. The Psycho laughs gleefully at Hippie Elder's impending horrible and agonizingly painful death, and Piper smothers a laugh, repeating, "He's a good boy!" Hippie Elder stares through the blue frosting and nods.Travelogue! With Depeche Mode! Okay, been there, eaten there, driven there, peed there, worked there, slept there! I was hoping for a shot of the Painted Ladies on Alamo Square Park, so I could tell you where I lived, but I guess this isn't Full House. Oh, but I should pay attention to the words of the song: "Angels with silver wings / Shouldn't know suffering / I wish I could take the pain for you / If God has a master plan that only He understands / I hope it's your eyes He's seeing through / Things get damaged / Things get broken / I thought we'd manage / But words left unspoken / Left us so brittle / There was so little left to give." I guess that sort of applies, not to this precise episode, but to the fact that the Dolt is pushing up ice cubes. Although, if they wanted to go all Dolt-centric with the Depeche Mode, couldn't they have used my ultimate favorite, "I'll Stop the World and Melt with You"? Am I going to hell for that?