John From Cincinnati
His Visit: Day Eight

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Mr. Sobell: B+ | Grade It Now!
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Shaun Gone! Khaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!

Speaking of Mexico, we're back down there, with Mitch offering Dr. Johnny Fever a ride back to the border in his woodie. Hey, no thanks there, Mitchie -- Dr. Johnny's got his own ride: a 1970s sedan with a camper soldered onto the top. "I drew a full house against a flush," Dr. Johnny says proudly. Yes, the $23.80 pot you collected must have been quite the haul for you. There's some funny business with Dr. Johnny trying to get his car started and about him and Mitch giving each other contradictory hand signals about who should drive first in what direction, but I'm most struck by the fact that Mitch is apparently such an unpleasant traveling companion that someone would rather take a chance on a vehicle that falls somewhat short of the dependable ground transportation so many of us take for granted.

At the Snug Harbor, Butchie is awoken by the only thing worse than an early-morning screeching phone call from Cissy -- the sound of her squealing tires as her Miata pulls up in the parking lot. Summary of conversation: Shaun's gone; no, he's not surfing; yes, I called Kai; hey, what about that weirdo friend of yours -- where's he? "That skinny bitch with the camera's place," Butchie mutters, meaning Cass's hotel room. He vows to pay her a visit forthwith. Cissy stares off into space, trying to contemplate whom to yell at next.

Heartbreaking scene here: Bill is in his house, clutching Zippy's empty cage to his chest. I am totally serious -- I haven't been this choked up since the end of Gallipoli. "I put him in against a whole different weight class," Bill moans to no one in particular. "They wiped him from the face of the earth." And on top of Zippy's disappearance, Shaun is gone, too -- Bill is handling neither fact well, considering that both disappearances happened on his watch. "Stand watch and fail, stand watch and fail, and lose 'em all one after the other," Bill says with mounting distress.

Also not taking Shaun's disappearance well: Freddy. Palaka is giving him the rundown of the extraordinary measures taken to ensure Shaun's safety -- summary: Not Palaka's fault! -- but Freddy isn't having any of it. "I oughta break your other fucking wrist," he snarls as they return to the Snug Harbor. "That kid had to have turned into mercury and...and oozed below my watch post at that fence and turned into a tiny silver ball," Palaka hypothesizes, not entirely with any basis in fact. Naturally, Freddy takes this as an indictment of his sentry skills, but Palaka protests that's not what he's saying at all. Meanwhile, Butchie emerges fully dressed from his room and walks over to his van to confront Cass about John. First, however, he must contend with the prospect of burning hot pavement. "Ow! Ow! Ow! Fuck!" he screams, as he high-steps it across the parking lot. Ramon is drinking all this in from the office as he sips his anti-dioxin tea.

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John From Cincinnati

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