First Years
The First Thing You Do…

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Keckler: D+ | Grade It Now!
Pride and Prejudice

Back at the office, Anna and PlasticMan are working late in their separate and VERY LARGE offices. PlasticMan shouts to Anna, asking if she's found anything on the good doctor. She hasn't. PlasticMan shouts again, "You mean, you haven't found anything on his tax returns?" "No." "Financial investments?" "No." "Charitable contributions?" "No!" "Good, just making sure you weren't doing a better job than me," PlasticMan says. They both chuckle, and, unbeknownst to Anna, PlasticMan puts his headphones on. Anna reflects out loud that PlasticMan makes her laugh, but that afternoon he almost made her cry. She closes her eyes and says, "What you said today, to Frances? Look, don't say anything, I wanna say this. I learned a lot about you today, Miles." Blah blah blah he's open, she's closed, pouring out her heartcakes. Naturally, PlasticMan has his headphones on and can't hear the splat and ooze as she spills her guts all over her VERY LARGE office floor. She tells him she understood what Frances was talking about because she also let a "good one" get away. "Miles?" Anna calls out. "You could say something!" She walks out of her VERY LARGE office and sees PlasticMan plugged into his 'phones. Anna stalks back to her office and strikes a pose, hip cocked, arms crossed and steams.

Back in the conference room with the big glossy table, O'Donnell tells his minions that the Ex, Frances (who I strongly suspect becomes a recurring character as long as this show lives), has decided to drop the case. Everyone is aghast. Andy Moffat asks if he might be allowed to inquire what changed her mind. "Well, Warren, to paraphrase, she said it would be more fun to take the money out of my assets. She's dropping the case." Joe, morphing into Igor the Insulter, steps forward and says, "She wasn't going to until he dropped his pants." "Come again?" Andy Moffat says, as the rest of the first-years gape. "Yeah, he couldn't keep his briefs in order. He slept with her, and, like it always does, it ended with the yelling and the fighting and her deciding to keep giving him a fiscal colonoscopy instead of Dr. Heineman. Is that what you wanted, sir?" Joe squeaks. "Not bad," O'Donnell says clapping him on the shoulder. "Well, I can be worse," Joe tells him hopefully. "Play with it," O'Donnell suggests, and they leave.

It must be quitting time at Tara, because the receptionist says polite farewells to Dewey, Cheetham, and Howe, and then as the elevator slides shut she says, "They're gone." Suddenly the busily silent office is loud with the bustle of people leaving. Oh, they're sneaky ones. PlasticMan offers to take the train with Anna. Anna tells him it's okay because "the five" drops her in front of her apartment. "It's eleven-thirty!" PlasticMan exclaims. It is? Okay, okay, so they do work late; I'll give them snaps for keeping the reality element there. Anna tells him she's got pepper spray. "Well, try not to use it on me because I'm walking you home," PlasticMan tells Anna. Then Andy Moffat asks the question that NBC hopes will keep viewers tuning in on Monday nights instead of watching That Other Lawyer Drama: "Do you think they're going to Have Sex?" "NO!" PlasticMan and Anna collectively answer, as Shaggy puts his fingers up in the sign of the cross.

PlasticMan and Anna sit in Japantown, eating food out of take-out cartons while watching a couple compete in the CCHA tongue hockey finals. "Do you ever feel as though the world is conspiring against you?" PlasticMan chomps at Anna. "No," she chews back, "think they're going to move out of my doorway?" "I think they're going to do it in your doorway," PlasticMan tells her. "Hey!" Anna shouts, "I really want to go to bed so why don't you?" The saliva-covered couple laughs and moves along. Anna and PlasticMan get up and walk over to her door. "I love this place," Anna says looking around. "It's cheap, it's tacky, it never lets me forget how much money I owe." PlasticMan and Anna look at each other, and it's awkward, oh, it's awkward. Well, it would be if there were any sexual tension whatsoever between these two. Anna thanks PlasticMan for walking her home. She notes that they aren't flirting and that it's nice. "You know, I'm actually thinking of going upstairs and doing my roots!" Anna says by way of testimony. "And I got a stomach thing going on from the dim sum and I'm looking forward to spending some alone time in my car," PlasticMan tells her. What is with the obsession this show has with the gastrointestinal tract? Besides, didn't he tell her they would take the train together and then he would walk her home? Oh, I know -- it's because he's a SuperHero and has his own private car on the BART in which he can blow all the plastic bubbles he wants. Of course they kiss, because a guy telling me he's feeling like Gaseous Clay is definitely a turn-on, and the writers also want to make perfectly sure they kill every last bit of that non-sexual tension they were not creating. She calls him "an arrogant pig" and he calls her a "tease" and that he "see[s] right through [her]!" They "tcha" at each other, and Anna slams her door. A second later, she opens it and says, "Miles, this is much better." PlasticMan just looks confused. Well, who wouldn't be? This is just dumb, given that it's the first episode of the show, the viewers haven't formed any sort of bond with any of the characters yet. They have no reason to care at this early stage whether or not PlasticMan and Anna get together, because the viewers are just getting to know them as characters. So, now that the writers had them kiss and the viewers absorbed this scene at a time when they haven't formed much of an opinion of the characters, it's really not going to create much of an impact if they ever kiss again. In fact, I doubt the viewers will even be anticipating it. It would have been as if Buffy had kissed Spike in the very first episode -- the show would have lost all that lovely and extremely important tension that has been building for years. Years, people, not mere minutes!

Riley tells Miss Spears that, by refusing to come to an agreement with the Mitchells, she risks never being allowed to see her baby again. Miss Spears tells her that she doesn't want her daughter to ever lay eyes on her again. "Miss Kessler, when my daughter grows up, I want her to hate me. I want her to be angry at me for leaving her. I want her to be so mad at me for screwing up my life. Because if she is, it'll be because she believes she deserves better and she'll expect better from everyone else. She won't let anyone treat her badly and she won't let anyone give her less than what she deserves!" This actress delivers this speech with such passion and conviction that it stands out as the best performance in the whole episode. Riley asks her if she's willing to take the chance that her baby won't get adopted and be shuttled in and out of foster homes for the rest of her life. "As kind as those people are, they don't know what it's like to live out there and they can't teach her that. Miss Kessler, I want my baby to have a chance. She was born unfairly and that's my fault but I can give her her dignity, I can give her her self-respect, because maybe if somebody had given it to me, I wouldn't be here." Riley responds by telling her all she went through in her life having a white mother that people didn't believe was really hers. She goes on to say that, throughout her life, she was faced with the fact that she was never enough of one race, but she never felt as though she were missing out because she had two whole parents who loved her. Interesting that they gave her this story line, because I do believe Sydney Poitier comes from a biracial family. Maybe not as much "interesting" as "obvious."

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First Years




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