Jack & Jill
Animal Planet, Part II

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The Foul Nine Yards

Back at the Habitrail Hideout, Ick ushers Ill to her door and embarks on an exegesis of her keys. "They used to be all color coded, with little plastic rings," she begins, concluding that now, for whatever reason, her key-coding system is "kaput!" She says "kaput" in such guttural tones that I assume her gender identity scam will now be exposed -- though it's anyone's guess what Madame Butterfly antics she employed during their last encounter. Ill looks annoyed and laughs listlessly, compelling Ick to ask, "Why do you even want to come in anyway?" He's on the ropes immediately, stuttering explanations as Ick goes for the jugular. "Funny how a couple days ago we were greatest wish, horse-and-carriage material and now I'm getting rain checks, and you've got 'stuff' to do --" Sorry, Ick, but if you wanted to come off like a Rules girl, then you shouldn't have dropped trou on the first date. At any rate, it comes out that Ill thought Ick was "in a weird place" emotionally, as opposed to in the video closet with her chilling ex-flame. They reproach each other for becoming so alienated over an unfortunate word choice on Ick's part. Before you know it they're in another torrid clinch, with Ick baring her gums in vulpine delight. "You want to go inside?" she asks Ill, who waits a beat before saying, "No." Fade out on Ick's incredulous horse face saying, "What?!"

Thank God, it's the relatively chaste and small-mouthed Elispa, with the rather charming Mr. E. They open the door of Mr. E's apartment to reveal a turbo-charged fire hazard, with candles burning on every surface and rose petals carpeting the floor. The Acoustic Meanderings of Burgeoning Love Despite Dead Spouses begin to waft as Mr. E says "Happy Valentine's Day" to Elispa's "Oh my God!" She trudges through the petals, opening and closing her mouth like a fish as Mr. E claims he "couldn't help it." Elispa takes issue with this statement and Mr. E says, "You didn't really want me not to do anything, did you?" She wheels around all "J'accuse!" and says, "We had a deal!" Her objection, apparently, is that he lavished her with luxury without giving her the opportunity to reciprocate in kind. So much for her Marxist principles. Mr. E's solution is to give her a gift-wrapped guitar string he bought for himself and tell her to give it to him. Simp that she is, Elispa is won over by this tsunami of sap staged by Mr. E. She dithers appreciatively.

But look, it's Belinda, in yet another outlandishly eclectic outfit! She answers the door to Mikey in an orange nylon shirt depicting cells going through mitosis, over which she wears a woolen bustier. She's got on blue hiphuggers and sports a Sacajawea-riffic set of mini-braids. Not since the immortal Liberace has there been a character with more sartorial derring-do. She will be sorely missed. Mikey stands there looking sheepish in the patented three-quarter-length leather car-coat that only assholes wear. Mikey tries to break up with Belinda, but she drags him into the apartment and threatens to blindfold him if he doesn't close his eyes. He sinks down in a chair and closes his eyes with a sigh. We hear footsteps, then Belinda tells Mikey to open his eyes for his surprise. The camera assumes a Mikey's eye view as he unshields his eyes to see Belinda -- and the ever smirking, chronically unattractive Lucy. Lucy attempts to look ironic and above it all as she allows her simpleton roommate to pimp her out to a troglodyte. Sorry, babe, but acting cool doesn't cut it when you've spent all your screen time hankering after a man with the depth of a contact lens. Am I right? I am right. Moreover, she's dressed like a Kindergarten Valentine, in a pink, rhinestone-spangled sweaterlet and God knows what else. She looks pseudo-demurely at the ceiling as my boyfriend asks, "Are they going to have a three-way?" Mikey seems to be getting the same signal on a different frequency. He says, "Huh?" his slack face framed by a glass pillar and a miniature bamboo forest. It seems opportune to mention here that in the last episode, Belinda and Lucy flounced into @Bar claiming they were on their way to adopt a shelter pet. Said pet is nowhere to be found, proving that it was just a plot device to establish "opposites attract" tension between Mikey and Lucy. Unless they adopted a chameleon, and it's camouflaging itself in the draperies throughout this scene. "Look Mikey," Belinda says. "You're a really great guy, but I need someone more adventurous!" She keeps a goofy grin plastered to her face, while Lucy looks like she's digesting a sack of nails. "And you and Lucy -- I don't even need to tell you guys, do I?" Belinda blathers on. Mikey looks downcast that what's being suggested is in fact serial monogamy as opposed to a kinky three-way. "Anyway," Belinda continues, "I'm in the middle of throwing this really cool pot, so -- good luck!" Um, Belinda? I think you need to stop throwing pots and start smoking some, because reality clearly isn't your bailiwick. Good enough? All righty then. She flounces out, leaving Mikey and Lucy to marinate in the painful atmosphere she's created. Mikey says, "I don't know if that's the nicest person in the world, or the weirdest," he says. Lucy insists that it wasn't her idea, and Mikey takes this as implied rejection. "Oh," he says. "So you don't even really want to . . ." "Oh, no," Lucy interrupts with many daring eyebrow pyrotechnics, "I do." They stare fixedly at each other's tracheas until Mikey suggests they take a walk and Lucy gratefully assents. On the way out the door they both start talking at the same time again, which is meant to imply that they're soulmates, but to me only proves that they're windbags.

Ferret hobbles to the waiting room on crutches, bidding farewell to a nurse who overacts frantically to compensate for her total lack of dialogue. Barto gets up to meet Ferret and grips her shoulders. "So. What did they say?" he asks. "No serious tears, just stay off it a couple of days, it should be fine," says Ferret, smiling wanly. Barto is enthused, but Ferret wants to fixate on what might have been: "Next time I fall and tear my ankle and really rip something, or I fall on my knee funny and that's it: I'll never dance again," she says. "Or you could get hit by a bus or fall off a building or get diverticulosis of the gall bladder," says Barto, whose version of the Hippocratic oath apparently demands that he pepper his casual conversations with medical terms whenever possible. "Audrey," he says, "You're lucky you can dance the way you do and you knew this would be a part of the bargain and you knew that you'd be able to handle it." He delivers this last line with her pointy little snout gripped in his hand, which she seems to enjoy. "You have a nice bedside manner," she says. Barto gets all come-hither and asks, "As a doctor?" "As a boyfriend," she says, and he grunts appreciatively. He then strips her of her crutches and explains that he doesn't want all his swing dance training to go to waste, so . . . the Ferret makes alarmed protestations as Barto picks her up and starts twirling her in the hospital lobby to imaginary jitterbug music. The hospital staff gathers to look on, wishing collectively that the Ferret's diagnosis had been dire enough to prevent this saccharine spectacle.

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Jack & Jill

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