Episode Report Card
Shack: B- | 4 USERS: F
A River Runs From It

Back with the hicks, Simon turns around to discover yet again that River's gone. So's Ruby. Butterfly McHillWoman offers to check out back. Oh no! What if they got kidnapped? By a group of people who live in the caves on the other side of the hills and snatch people they think they need from the kidnapped people of Hick City? Simon opens another set of doors to find River standing outside, using a piece of cloth to carry a bunch of berries. Simon grabs a bowl and helps River pour the berries in. River insists to Simon that he has to eat. She feeds him a few. They're called hodgeberries -- probably invented in some Monsanto laboratory. This inspires some recollections by Simon -- apparently, the two of them found a bunch of hodgeberry bushes on some private estate, and they thought they were wild. River looks up at him and says, "I took you away from there." Simon says that she didn't, but River insists, "I know I did." River explains that she gets confused. She remembers everything, but she remembers too much, and some of it isn't real, and some are secrets that she can't reveal for another week or so, and some of it is just KRZY programming information. Simon reassures River that it's okay. River says, "You gave up everything you had to find me, and you found me broken. It's hard for you." Simon grasps River's face in his hands and says, "Mei mei ['duck liver'], everything I have is right here." River feeds him another berry and assures him that soon Daddy Tam will come and take them both home, and she'll get better. Simon looks sadly at her and turns away, because he knows that Daddy Tam is a bad, bad man. They sit down at the table. Simon says these berries are better than the ones they had as a kid. River responds, "They are, except they're poison." I know somebody who's going to be hearing from Monsanto's lawyers. Oh, that was just River's idea of a joke. Ha ha!

Just then, Butterfly McHillWoman returns with Ruby. She urges Ruby to get to bed. Simon figures that he and River should do the same. Butterfly explains to Simon that he doesn't have to sleep there -- they've got a house all gussied up for them. They've been looking for a doctor for a while, so they've gotten everything ready. You know, if somebody kidnapped me, but then they gave me a house, I think I might be okay with it.

Then River starts muttering about Ruby's predicament. She says that Ruby's mom went crazy and killed Ruby's sister. Butterfly thinks this means that she got Ruby to talk. She explains to Simon that what River said is true -- Ruby's mom went psycho and tried to kill both her little girls. Ruby survived. Butterfly calls River an "angel" because nobody else has been able to get little Ruby to speak since then. River looks at Butterfly with confusion and says, "Ruby doesn't talk. Her voice got scared away." Then, in River fashion, she's distracted by the sound of crickets. Butterfly is confused and concerned. How does River know what happened to Ruby if Ruby didn't talk? Simon tries to give some explanation, but clearly the hillfolk keep themselves in shape by jumping to conclusions at record speeds. Butterfly quotes the parts in the Bible about evil, magical folk hiding themselves among the commoners. Yeah, but if I've learned anything from Buffy and Charmed, it's that the witches stand out from the crowd with their ridiculous wardrobes, and River…oh. Right. Carry on, then. Butterfly McHillwoman concludes, "Thou shall not suffer a witch to live!" Uh oh. This Backwater Stereotype Theater has gotten a bit out of control.

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