Episode Report Card
Daniel: B+ | 3 USERS: A
It Takes an Equation of Millions to Hold Us Back
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!
It's a dark, rainy night in Middletown, Conn. A car slices its way through the downpour, carrying a boy in the backset tracing streams of water on the window with his finger, and scribbling in a notebook. He's writing musical notes.

"Are those notes you're writing, Ben? I thought we talked about this," says his father, driving. Is his problem that the piece his son is writing is in the key of B-major? "That's an awful lot of sharps, son. Why don't you work in C-major?" No, his dad wants him to take a break from the music so he has time for other things. Football, I suppose is the thinking. Anything non-gay. At least, that's what I thought, but later developments will suggest his father's got valid reasons for wanting his son to lay off the musical notation, and not just because his treble clefs look really sloppy.

Ben asks his dad to "not get mad" at him, but he wants his dad to slow down the windshield wipers: "The tempo. It's messing me up." Dad: "Sorry, Bean. I need to be able to see." They drive on, the father showing no regret at all that he can't make his windshield wipers go a little more largo.

Through the rain-blurred windshield we can see the headlights of a vehicle parked on the other side of the road. We hear a woman yell, "Stop! I need help!" and Buddy pulls over to see what the trouble is, having not seen enough horror movies or perhaps too many porno movies.

There's a redhead under an umbrella, and she tells him her car just shuddered and stopped, and her cell phone died. Buddy gets out of the car and calls a tow truck for her, giving the license plate number (332EWD, in case there's some sort of Abrams importance embedded in there). He gets off the phone and tells her they said they're busy and they'll be a while. "Oh. Then I'm definitely gonna be late for the meeting, which would normally be a blessing, but this one's important." Well, that subtle plea gets to Buddy, so he says he'll have a look under the hood, even though he doesn't know very much about cars. She tries to put up a protest, but he's not hearing it. She looks in the car at Ben, and smiles. Ben stares. He's got eighth notes on the brain, lady.

Ben's dad lifts the hood. "Transmission's dry," he says. Then, the blinking starts: a green light blinks at him three times from the left side, then a red one blinks from the right. "Must be an electrical short," he mutters. Yeah, you know, I'm no expert on cars either, but I know they don't have FLASHING CHRISTMAS LIGHTS in them. The lights keep blinking, and he stares, completely mesmerized, until there's a hand on his shoulder.

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