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Couch Baron: B | Grade It Now!
You Only Live Twice

Ballard and Mellie are eating pasta, and Mellie tries to break through his lack of enthusiasm with a joke that goes nowhere, so she sacks up and asks him what's going on. He claims that he's just tired, but when she brings up the Dollhouse, he can't stop a cold fire from entering his eyes for a moment. Getting no reassurance of any kind, she recoils, but he apologizes and promises he's fine, and gains momentum as he assures her he thinks she's adorable. She's mollified, and the mood turns light, but once he heads to the kitchen with their wineglasses, his face goes dark again, and he puts her glass into a plastic bag before sighing and heading back out to continue the masquerade.

In Margaret's gracious drawing room, William's doing his best impression of a teetering skyscraper as he slurs that "Julia" doesn't seem like an old friend. She explains that she met Margaret while she was on a backpacking trip in Morocco, and Margaret took her "under her wing" and showed her around. She goes on that she and Margaret were very close, and she thinks Margaret liked having "an outsider to share her little insights with." Nicolas gives this statement a noncommittal "Hmm," while Jocelyn looks like she's trying to decide whether it's worth the energy to get up and strangle this saucy interloper right here and now. When "Julia" continues, however, that Margaret always gushed to her about her loved ones, there's a look from everyone that's kind of the facial equivalent of a needle scratch, and then the kids and William hilariously start drunkenly babbling stats and traits about Margaret to make sure they're all talking about the same person. Hee. "Julia's" kind of offended, and gets more so as the rest of them cackle into their highballs before explaining that Margaret wasn't so much the warm and fuzzy type, although, as Jocelyn informs us, "She did like to befriend complete strangers for short outbursts and have them stay for the weekend wearing all of my clothes." If I ever have the opportunity to repeat that sentence in context, I will die an ecstatic man.

The kids then bicker about whether Nicolas slept with said stranger before William slurs that Nicolas is like he was at his age -- a womanizing degenerate. "Julia" instinctively jumps to Nicolas's defense by saying he has loads of potential, earning an inquisitive glance before she covers with "Margaret told me," and then there's bitchery about the death of Jocelyn's photography career and William getting banned from the family due to "the boat fiasco" and a grandmother who's likened to Medusa, and while I like Dollhouse an awful lot, a show about this family is something I really want to see. The conversation then goes to the "Fuck Margaret, how rich are the three of us now" place, but Margaret's not done trying to rehabilitate her image as she offers that she had a soft side -- she fell in love with Jack. Unsurprisingly, though, all this does is open up another subject about which the three drunks can excoriate her, and Jocelyn sneers that they haven't seen much of "Prince Charming" since Margaret "slapped him down." Not having access to Margaret's most recent memories, "Julia" wonders what they mean, and Nicolas takes great delight in telling her that Margaret only left him the horses, which he didn't care about at all. "Julia" thinks that's because she treasured the horses and trusted Jack with them, but Jocelyn giggles that if that's the case, she's glad Margaret's not around to see how badly he's taking it. This whole setup is making me wish that the Dollhouse was real and had been around in the '80s, just so Sunny von Bulow could have had herself imprinted and posthumously told us what Claus was really like. Nicolas then suavely admits that they're all being rather shocking, and given what the uncle said I'd suspect him of beginning his campaign right here to bed "Julia" even if I didn't know what's coming, but tells her she needs to face facts: "You may be here to mourn Margaret, but the rest of us? We just live here." Ouch! Margaret looks floored...

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