So Sara M is out this week with what I fervently hope is not lupus. But not to worry; I'm an expert on House myself, because it always seems to be on before 24 and Burn Notice so there are literally scores of episodes I've seen the last minute of. Also, my five-year-old son is a big Hugh Laurie fan, but all he had to contribute was, "Stuart Little's dad needs to shave."
A woman is banging away on an old manual typewriter, which is the first major sign that she's got something wrong upstairs. At least she's working in a nice study, where the walls are hung with framed cover reproductions of novels from what looks like a series about Jack Cannon, Boy Detective, by Alice Tanner. They have such exciting titles as The Castle of Stone and Light, The Map Of Tomorrow, and The Girl From Columbia (which is either about a university student or a typo). In none of these covers is the hero's face clearly visible, but that'll be remedied soon. Alice Tanner herself, played by a blonde Amy Irving, hammers frantically at the keys like she's on a tight deadline. In fact she's on the ultimate deadline, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Finally she pounds out THE END and slumps back in her chair in relief. Wow, that was a really short episode. Is it like this every week?
Oh, never mind, it's still going on. She's massaging her aching hands when a smart-ass teenager in the room suggests a cure: "It's called a computer." Whatever, he's playing with a yo-yo, so he's clearly not up on the latest electronic gadgetry himself. Shouldn't he be playing with a DS or some Silly Bandz or something instead? She tells him the book is finished, and he's not too cool to get excited about reading it. But she's not going to let him this time, instead walking across the room and locking the ream of paper in a safe. He wonders how he can help with the next book, but she breaks the news that there won't be one. He asks why, and she pauses to look at his face, his Bieber cut, and the gnarly scar on his cheek before saying she can't do it any more. "I'm not brave like you." As she returns to the desk, he wonders what she's going to do with her life without writing. "What I should have done years ago," she says, pulling a revolver from the desk drawer. The kid freaks, as Alice holds the gun barrel up, pointed vaguely towards her own face. "Put it down, or I'll make you!" he says unconvincingly. "How, Jack?" she asks. "You don't even exist." Sure enough, she's alone in the room; he was a figment of her suicidal, typewriter-using imagination. Yeah, the yo-yo was a dead giveaway. She tries to put the muzzle in her mouth, but her hands shake so badly that when the gun does go off, all she manages to do is give herself a powder burn on the cheek. She topples out of her chair, and the maid rushes in to see her producing what may be the last line of her career -- a line of drool.