On the Beach

Episode Report Card
Heathen: F | Grade It Now!
On the Beach

Surf shop. Ella is still with the mythical Janet, getting fed whatever herbs the woman is pimping, while her parents pay attention to the evil child. Rachel trails somberly behind her parents. "What's she going to do with a surfboard in St. Louis?" Elizabeth hisses. Alex Kingston looks great, by the way -- she's in an orange tank top that's a flattering color on her, and some khaki pants that show off how well she's shed her pregnancy weight. Mark figures Rachel can let the surfboard gather dust in the garage; apparently, he just wants to do this for her, perhaps so that she can talk to the surfboard when she needs advice, and pretend it's Mark. This would never work, obviously, given that the surfboard is by far too animated to play the role of Mark. Elizabeth notices Rachel's glum and rude attitude, and nudges Mark. "Has she been like that the whole time?" she asks. Mark confirms this. "Lucky you," Elizabeth mutters. They enter the surf shop.

Mark half-heartedly inquires about purchasing a board, while Rachel drifts over to a cute Hawaiian guy and starts chatting him up. Eagle-eyed Elizabeth spots this. "It's okay," Mark whispers. Apparently, Rachel's been inventing excuses to go to the shop so that she and the guy can flirt. Mark's totally juiced to see his daughter turning some heads, which is creepy. He's practically salivating and shouting, "Come on, boy! Nail that!" The boy's name is Kai, which elicits an amused snort from Elizabeth that I don't fully understand or appreciate. "He looks sixteen," Elizabeth whispers nervously. "Maybe seventeen!" Mark's completely unconcerned that Rachel's hitting on a guy who's at his sexual peak. So he goes about his business of pretending to shop for a surfboard, leaving Rachel alone with Kai. Elizabeth follows him skeptically. This episode is just plodding along. Can we please have a pace change? Anything? A Diet Coke?

Rachel follows the sound of her father's voice up to Ella's room, where Mark rocks Ella gently and croons "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Judy Garland sobs in her cold grave. The little tyke is fast asleep. Rachel watches Mark finish the song, which takes eons, and responds quickly when Mark asks her for help. Mark's right side, increasingly paralyzed, can't sustain Ella's weight if he stands. So Rachel grabs his arm and supports him as he shuffles toward Ella's crib. "Remember when I used to sing you to sleep?" he reminisces. "No," Rachel answers rudely. Based on what we just heard, she must've blocked it out. Mark waxes nostalgic about how she used to watch The Wizard of Oz and The Little Mermaid over and over; as Rachel stomps impudently down the stairs, Mark chases her with memories of their old apartment and the neighbor's dog. The onslaught continues until Rachel's downstairs in the living room. "I don't remember, okay?" she spits. "I don't remember any of that stuff. It's not important, and you just keep talking and talking about it." Elizabeth, sitting in the kitchen, pricks up her ears to listen but keeps her expression impassive. Mark drags himself around to the couch. "It is important," he insists. "No, it's not," scowls Rachel, her tone escalating as she checks off all the memories she doesn't care to hear. Elizabeth warns her to keep her voice down so that Ella can sleep. Mark eases himself onto the couch to try reaching out to Rachel. "I'm trying to tell you about us, our family," he whispers. Rachel calls it stupid, boring, useless crap, and that pretty much sums up my feeling about what we've seen so far. "I don't care about those things," rants Rachel. "I don't want to hear this stuff, so just stop talking to me about it!" And with that, she bolts outside and slams the door. Ella begins to cry. Mark and Elizabeth exchange glances, and hers says, "Hey, baldie, you started it." So Mark volunteers to tend to Ella, and toddles upstairs.

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