ER
On the Beach

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Heathen: F | Grade It Now!
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On the Beach

Dinner. Mark and Rachel eat in total silence. Mark gazes at Rachel as if to start conversation, but she looks away poutily. Mark is silent. Mark is a whipped man. Say something, idiot. Tell her you're selling her to some unclean and deeply horny pirates. Better yet, go ahead and actually sell her. I'm sure you could get beer money out of it.

The next morning, Mark tries to teach Rachel how to drive a stick-shift car. This could be an allegorical sex talk, too, for all we know. She gingerly follows his instructions, shifting into first, easing onto the accelerator, and easing off of the clutch. The camera keeps flashing to her feet. The car sputters forward, then stops. "What did I do?" she panics. Mark laughs that it's just a matter of finding the right speed at which to release the clutch and pin the gas. He tells her to try again, so she does; this time, the car lurches forward violently before coming to a halt. There's also a ton more shots of Hallee Hirsh's ugly, dirty toes. I feel like I'm in hell -- nasty feet plus crusty thong flip-flops equal a queasy Heathen. Rachel starts getting pissed off, whining that she wants to learn to drive on an automatic. Sing it, girl. Mark adamantly insists that it's better to do it this way, and uses the "get on the horse" adage to make her try one more time. Rachel looks as if she'd rather shoot the horse. Instead, though, she fires up the engine and manages to get the car rolling forward. "Woo!" cheers Mark, throwing his arms up in the air as if to announce a touchdown. Rachel totally wigs out when Mark tells her to shift into second gear, but he guides her hand and she's off and driving.

Later, Rachel creeps up to Mark's bedroom door and peers through the shutters. He's lying in semi-darkness with his eyes closed. She tip-toes in and asks if he's okay. "Is your headache back?" she wonders. Mark sits up, his back to Rachel, and we see he's got a weird reflective thing taped to the eye that won't close. It's a cross between a monocle, an eyepatch, and half a pair of sunglasses. I expect him to smoke a pipe, speak with a heavy German accent, and keep a parrot on his shoulder. Mark gently takes off his pirate monocle and lies that he's just fine. Rachel uncomfortably invites him down to the beach with her. "I'll be there in a minute," he says weakly, covertly putting eyedrops into his right peeper. As she leaves, Mark stares at the wall in dread and exhales shakily so that we know he's drawing one of his last breaths of good health.

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