ER
Just A Touch

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Just A Touch

Disclaimer: I'm writing this recap on a plane and on very little sleep. So I've not only got on the Bitch Pants you all know so well, but I'm also sporting my Nasty Britches and some shit-kicking boots. Air travel and recapping do not friendly bedfellows make.

Previously: Pratt flirted with a girl on the El and made a crack to Gallant about TUBE-ing a stripper ("TUBE" being an acronym for "Totally Unnecessary Breast Exam." Do you think one -- or, gasp, both -- of those things will come back to haunt Pratt like the ghost of a bad tertiary medical tragedy of the week? Then there's a blink-and-you-miss-it mention of Sandy's death, Weaver's loss, and The Baby-Napping Of Henry. Alex's deadbeat dad Steve showed up. Neela whined to Gallant about not enjoying working with old people and drunks and whatnot, and then sobbed when he left for Iraq. It's the most haphazard "previously on" in the world -- snatches of this and that and a pinch of the other, kind of like when you throw all your leftovers that haven't turned fuzzy or a rich shade of green and make a Refrigerator Casserole. And both go down better if you have a shot of Pepto.

Sam comes home with an armload of grocery bags and finds Alex strumming away on Steve's guitar. He excitedly shows Sam the song he can play, which I should recognize, I'm sure, but which I don't, so we'll dub it, "My Daddy's a Schlub But At Least He's Not Boring Like My Mother." As Sam makes appreciative noises as politely as she can, masking her urge to wrap the guitar strings around Steve's neck, Alex boasts that Steve might even take Alex to get his own guitar. "Oh really," Sam says skeptically, carrying the bags into the kitchen. Steve awkwardly says that he'd have gone to the store for her, and she doesn't respond. "You all right?" he asks. "Yeah," Sam lies. Steve fishes out a grimy wad of cash and hands it to Sam, who touches it like it might be filled with poison. "Grocery money, rent money..." he explains. "Guilt money," she prods. Then she stares at it. "Not much guilt," she says icily, tossing it on the table. Well, the economy's bad these days. I don't think guilt trades for nearly as much as it used to; she's lucky he didn't just give her a bushel of tomatoes, a tent, and a tiny plot of parched soil. Steve insists that there's more where that came from, and that he's got a few jobs lined up; Sam scoops this up on her shovel and throw it on the dung heap of their shared history. Steve leaves the money for her, sure she'll want it eventually, because spite and pride alone don't pay for rent or food. Or Trojan Magnums. Sam makes a cutting remark about using it to buy Alex a guitar, clearly disdainful of the idea; Steve defends that music can inspire a kid and stimulate his brain -- you know, the part that isn't interested in fire and entrails. "Prove it," Sam says, cocking an eyebrow. Steve lets this insult float over his head, and notes instead that it always helped him score with the hot chicks. Sam bites her tongue. Steve sits down to show Alex how to play a song that always worked for him with the ladies, and begins to strum that song by Blind Melon. You know the one -- the Bee Girl song. Sam flinches but her eyes aren't entirely cold, as Steve smiles up at her like he's remembering the night they put on this romantic ditty and conceived Alex.

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