Hidden Palms
Ghosts

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Joe R: C- | Grade It Now!
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Ghosts

Back home at dinner, Johnny spills the beans to Mom about how Bob knew a kid killed himself in the house before they bought it and he let them move in anyway, knowing how traumatic that could be after Dead Dad blew his head off and all. Mom's not happy with Bob, but I'm not sure it's going to drive quite the wedge between them that Johnny would hope. In fact, all it leads to is an awkward heart-to-heart between Bob and Johnny later on where we learn that Bob was Dead Dad's "friend and business partner." Hmm.

Later that night, Johnny gets a mysterious instant message from an "08Nova," who knows Johnny's name and warns him to "be careful." He doesn't tell Johnny that he's too hold to be typing things like "Who R U?" but I suppose that wouldn't have been as creepy. The next morning, Johnny gets another message, and he looks out his window to see Cliff on his computer. So Johnny's at least thinking of the obvious: that Cliff the dead body dummy prankster is behind this. Of course, all it takes is for "08Nova" to be like, "This isn't Cliff" and Johnny kind of drops it. Well, nobody said he was one of those intellectual drunks.

Greta picks up Johnny while he's off biking to...wherever, and they drive off to a remote windmill field where they tell each other their secrets. He confesses that Nikki's an old flame from rehab, meaning yes, he's an alcoholic. Johnny, hilariously, is like "I hope you don't think it's too unappealing," like, has he met Greta? That kind of damaged is all she knows. Greta, meanwhile, gives the boilerplate poor little rich girl spiel: her dad's a big-shot defense lawyer who barely has time for her, and her mom's dead, so she's left to be an emotional trainwreck all on her own.

Cocktail party at the Club. This is where all the adults go while their kids sneak off to booze in the golf cart shack. Sharon Lawrence sweet-talks Johnny's mom in that still-vaguely-Southern accent of hers (I now think it's actually supposed to be Southern, but it comes and goes like the breeze) and introduces her and Bob to her very young-looking paramour. He looks like he could be Phillip Rhys's smarmy cousin, so needless to say I hope he ends up intimately involved in the storylines.

Johnny brings Nikki to the Club party on the way to the Shack party, and they run into Liza who, of course, acts all flustered around Johnny's fine self. Oh, and she's dressed up like Harpo Marx due to some poorly-explained theme for the party. Anyway, on to the Shack, where Johnny is immediately Uncomfortable because everyone's already acting like a drunken asshole. Nikki, for her part, is looking awfully thirsty, and she ducks out with Cliff. She gets the 411 about Johnny and Greta and then takes a few longing glances at the plastic kegger cups before succumbing to Lady Liquor. And, much as I think Tessa Thompson has improved as an actress, she can't play drunk for shit. Way too over-the-top and not believable. Cliff manages to assure her, in between gulps, that she shouldn't worry, because Johnny and Greta are "doomed."

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Hidden Palms

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