As I mentioned to you all when we started this delightfully quality-soapy journey together, I had occasion to view the original pilot a couple weeks before the actual one aired. Thinking that the ostensibly enormous budget blown on the first one meant that reshoots would be mostly cosmetic in nature, I chanced doing the pilot recap in advance, figuring it would save me some time. In my defense, I was covering four shows back then and was a little too panicked to think clearly, but I still should have known that that ain't how things work in Hollywood. But the upshot is that if you haven't seen the original offering, you can read about it here. Of course, in these content-starved days, I wouldn't be surprised if you haven't seen the last of it, if you follow me. I'm going to bold the stuff that didn't appear in the aired version, begging your eyes' forgiveness in advance.
We start by looking up at helicopter blades in full flight, and then we pan left to see Peter Krause peering down at the ground. Jaunty music (Rob Thomas?) plays as Peter Krause shifts his focus to the briefcase sitting on his lap; he opens it and the folder therein, and on top is an article talking about someone called "Naomi Leeds" being appointed editor-in-chief of "Genteel" magazine; apparently Ms. Leeds "promises a tough approach." If your first thought is wondering whether she's going to change the title, you're not alone. Peter Krause looks at a picture of the ostensible Ms. Leeds, and then shifts to a photo of a ring that's large enough to give The Heart Of The Ocean an inferiority complex. Underneath is a birth certificate; it's almost fully covered, but given what happens in the episode, it's probably worth mentioning. Peter Krause closes the briefcase, and we see the helicopter going in for a landing.
Sometime later, Peter Krause gets out of a town car; we cut to him inside a chichi-looking restaurant/bar, wherein the previously mentioned and seen Ms. Leeds is waiting for him. She's played by Canadian actress Victoria Pratt, whom I recognize from Xena: Warrior Princess and, far more embarrassingly, Cleopatra 2525. In my defense, even I find her hot. She greets Peter Krause as "Mr. George," making it clear from her delivery that they've never actually met before, and then Peter Krause gets right into it, asking what she wants to know about "the Darlings" and why. Ms. Leeds pauses for a moment before telling Peter Krause that Genteel has a long history of publishing exposés about the filthy rich. She name-drops the von Bulows and the Kennedys, which gives me hope that these Darlings are going to pay homage with plane crashes, assassinations, and eating ice cream sundaes while sporting enormous pairs of sunglasses. Naomi starts up her tape recorder and asks how Peter Krause came to be the Darlings' chief counsel -- did he always want to follow in his father's footsteps? No, honey, it took a lot of convincing and a rather strange power play in his father's will -- oh, dammit, wrong show. I think I've been working a little too hard here. Peter Krause is like, "Honestly?" and then, with a wry smile, says that's completely the case. I'd think he was being duplicitous, but what are the chances of that, given that he's a lawyer on a show with "Dirty" and "Sexy" in the title?
We get a card that reads "343, 989 hours ago." Do you remember the B-Sharps episode of The Simpsons, where Skinner told the other members that the name of their barbershop quartet should be witty at first, but get less funny each time you hear it? That's how I feel about these cards -- funny at first, eye-roll-inducing over time. (Speaking of time, that's a little over 39 years, for anyone too lazy to open up the Calculator application on your laptop.) [I can't express enough how glad I am that they ditched this idea. -- CB 2008] Anyway, as Peter Krause tells us that his dad led an amazing life, we fall into a flashback, wherein a young boy is watching his WASP-y parents have a fight about the fact that the dad spends too much time attending to the Darling family. The mother storms out, but the dad gives his son a wink, although he still looks chagrined.