Casus Belli

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Jake And The Black Man

Richmond farm. (For now.) Stanley and Mimi hang out on the porch, and I do believe that not only is Mimi sitting in a rocking chair, but she is also shelling peas. Or stringing beans. Bonnie walks up. My mistake, Mimi's not shelling or stringing anything; she's breaking down twigs for kindling. Is it really warm enough to be doing that on the windy porch? I guess I'm still in denial that the "coldest winter in decades" is already ending with a whimper. Signing, Bonnie thanks Stanley for letting Sean stay and for not calling him an idiot even when he is one. Mimi narrowly watches all of this, and it's not clear that she can understand everything that is being signed. But when Stanley exhibits signs of getting all het up and signs, "Okay, if you know that...," Mimi clears her throat loudly. Stanley stares at her. "Sorry, just a little frog in my throat -- don't let me interrupt your nice sibling bonding moment," Mimi says meaningfully, adding, "That's what it is, right?"

Stanley gets the message (I think), and he turns back to Bonnie, who signs, "Sean can be an idiot, but he can also be really great." Mimi's still trying to understand what's being said. "All guys are like that," Bonnie goes on. "You have to put up with the 'idiot' stuff to get to the 'great' stuff." Stanley laughs, and Mimi relaxes with a small smile of her own. "Yeah?" Stanley signs back, "And where did you come by that little pearl of wisdom?" Bonnie points at Mimi with a knowing smile. Stanley looks over at Mimi all, "J'accuse!" "What's she saying about me?" Mimi asks, suddenly paranoid. Bonnie walks over to Sean, who signs a question. "When did he learn how to sign?" Stanley asks with a touch of petulance. "He's sleeping with a deaf girl," Mimi duhs him. "Hey, that's my sister!" Stanley protests. Mimi cocks her head at him. Stanley watches the teenagers leave and muses, "I guess if Sean Henthorn's my biggest problem, then I'm a pretty lucky guy." Mimi walks over to him and signs, "Want to get luckier?" Did Bonnie teach her that? "Yeah," Stanley chuckles. Mimi come-hithers him inside.

God, back to the storyline I should care more about but don't. Skylar presents Gray with a document that declares her parents legally dead, making her an emancipated minor. Gray protests how wrong it all is and suggests that they forget about it. "You can't do that," Frodale says, uttering what I think are his first lines in this episode. "What? You going to pedal your little bike to Topeka and file this, Dale?" Gray taunts. Dude, don't taunt the purple-mouthed psycho. Skylar argues that her parents would want her to claim her half of the salt mine, and Gray argues that her parents are coming back. "And if it turns out that that is not true, then I will help you learn the business," Gray suggests. Yeah, that's like when my sister "helped" me "learn" Monopoly, and I ended up mortgaging half my property and selling her the rest. She's an accountant now. Frodale is similarly skeptical. Skylar insists that she made a decision and asks if Gray is implying that laws don't apply any more. Gray bellows at her, "Do you really want your parents to be dead that badly?" Skylar gets weepy. Frodale tries to put a stop to this manipulation. "You're advising her, Dale," Gray goes on. "Did you also tell her how her parents died? Because New York survived, so I guess you probably had to get pretty creative, right? Were they killed there? Or were they murdered on their way back to the child who meant everything to them?" "It's just a piece of paper," Skylar insists. Seriously. If her parents are alive, they can be declared alive again. It's not like Skylar's killing them, all death-by-papercuts, with her little document there, sheesh! Gray hands the document back. I'm not sure what this means, really. Did they need Gray to sign it to make it legal, or were they just telling him about it as an FYI? Frodale takes Skylar out of the room. I think Mayor Dad would have handled that totally differently. For one thing, he would have asked them to sit down, and for another, he wouldn't have lost his temper. Of course, he doesn't own the other half the mine, so there would have been none of this icky conflict-of-interest. Eh -- I sort of feel about the Frodale-Skylar thread the way Janeway feels about time travel: I don't understand it and it gives me a headache.

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