Swap Meet

Episode Report Card
Sobell: C+ | Grade It Now!
For wives can also be lovers too

We then find out that the Bradys really liked Vanessa. No, really liked her. And Mr. Brady gives Sara the rules of "the lifestyle": "No means no. Arrive as a couple, leave as a couple. Drugs, never. Condoms, always." Mrs. Brady continues, "No affairs. Sex with someone other than a spouse is only allowed at parties. No photos, no video, and the kids must never know." Mr. Brady then gives the world's worst explanation for how an entire gated community got into wife-swapping: their houses are so bland and interchangeable, it was possible for someone to wander into the wrong one and not notice the difference. So why not extend the metaphor and wander into a different spouse every once in a while? Mrs. Brady is saddled with the sadly rote task of schooling the CSIs on what possesses people to make the kind of sexual choices that are later dissected on CSI episodes: "Everybody fantasizes. Even you, Mr. Grissom." Here, the camera swings from Gil to Brass. That imploding sound you heard was the S.S. Geek Love falling into an abyssal canyon as the S.S. Oh, God, The Picture In My Mind's Eye! rocketed up from the benthic depths.

Following the interrogation, Sara's sitting in the hall watching the Bradys' warm reunion with a mix of disgust and detached curiosity. Gil plops next to her, handing her a cup of coffee and looking at the Bradys with the same observational pique. Sara turns to Gil and says, "I know I'm supposed to be objective, but I think I have a problem with the lifestyle." Gil, to his credit, doesn't pass judgment. He says, "Well, they're consenting adults, it's not illegal. At most, they only hurt themselves." Sara snorts, "Tell that to Vanessa Keaton. Everyone has a jealousy gene." Gil asks, "You think it was a crime of passion?" Sara does: "When you have to go outside a marriage for passion, you're in trouble -- or you're asking for trouble." Gil says mildly, "They say they're happily married." Sara gives him a sharp look. "You think they're happy?" she asks incredulously. Gil looks like he's at a loss to respond. So am I -- this is the first scene in seasons where I've enjoyed these two connecting on some level. I…I don't know how to feel about that. Fortunately, my enjoyment of this scene is saved by the bell: Hodges calls Gil to tell him that he's matched the water in Vanessa's lungs to a new set of neighbors, the Cunninghams. And the Jeffersons, the Seavers, the Bunkers, and the Huxtables all breathe a little easier.

Cut to Gil noting the bloodstain on the side of the Cunninghams' spa and explaining to the couple that they've matched the water in Vanessa's lungs to the spa. Mrs. Cunningham figures her neighbors did a little pool-hopping. She also gives them a snow job about her and the mister leaving the party for a night at the Bellagio because "sometimes, being with others gives you the urge to be alone." Gil points out that he'd like to know if Mr. Cunningham was alone with Vanessa Keaton. Surprise, surprise, he was. And with Erin Brady -- or Karen Brady, as she's called here. And with someone named Mallory Stone. Brass quips, "Three strikes, you're out." Mr. Cunningham grins.

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