John From Cincinnati
His Visit: Day Four

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Mr. Sobell: D+ | Grade It Now!
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The Guns of Imperial Beach

Cissy orders Shaun to get dressed, drop all plans of surfing with his pals, and accompany her to work. Mitch tells a protesting Shaun to do as he's told, and then, when grandson is safely off-camera, asks Cissy in sotto voce what's going on. "What's happening," Cissy says, through teeth clenching a cigarette, "is that the B-side bombshell has decided that she could make more money off of Shaun than in porn." So to recap: Shaun's birth mama, name of Tina, has returned to Imperial Beach from her career as an actress in movies that address provocative adult themes about relationships and hopes and dreams and marital aides. "If she thinks she is getting him away from me," Cissy continues, "she has taken one too many money shots." Hey -- I saw One Too Many Money Shots. Very disappointing. No logical character development at all.

Back at the hotel room, Cass is going to the bathroom -- we can tell because of the (thankfully) off-camera flushing noise -- and John is standing literally inches away from the bathroom door. If he does that parrot-lines-back thing and asks her if she just took a dump a man could be proud of, I am going to chuck the beer bottle I'm holding at my TV set. Fortunately, he does not. That still doesn't stop Cass from being understandably freaked out by walking out of the bathroom and walking right into John's sternum -- not "that blowhard old dude I just slept with is now levitating" freaked out, but freaked out nonetheless. "Work here, Cass," John says with a majestic sweep of his arm. Cass points out that she'd love to, but she's kind of low on funds and unlikely to see a windfall any time soon, what with being fired from that lucrative henchman-to-evil gig. And there's a bit where she wraps a towel around her head and ululates like she's in some Middle Eastern bazaar, moving John to observe brightly, "Fucking towelheads are going to get themselves eradicated." And what was the point of that exactly, Milch? Anyhow, Cass is broke and the product of an unhappy home and "no longer able to trade on my sex, and I need to make some money." "You need your camera, Cass," is John's reaction to all this. You need a more unforgiving editor, Milch, is Mr. Sobell's.

We join Bill in his palatial estate just as he finds himself on the receiving end of a squawk from Zippy. "Listen to me. Listen to me. Listen to me," Bill says in increasing exasperation. "Do not confuse my admitting a mistake -- like a gentleman -- with a check made out to you to subsequently go berserk." I guess those squawks are Zippy making more demands of Bill. Wonder what's he's asking now -- go form a bowling team with Dickstein, Ramon, and Cunningham? Go get me a Dove Bar? Let me crap in your pocket some more? Whatever it is, it's got Bill flustered. Responding to another squawk, Bill concedes that he got along well with Freddy -- "Twenty-six years in law enforcement, I am able to co-exist with shitheels" -- but notes that "the subject you raise now concerns a different kettle of fish." And that kettle of fish is apparently John, with Bill still smarting from their "I got my eye on you" exchange from four episodes ago. Zippy squawks some more, and Bill seems resigned: "So this isn't an even-handed back-and-forth? This is me on the receiving end of you delivering unalterable instructions." Bill storms off to go urinate. It says something that of the three scenes we've had so far, the most compelling dialogue has been not between Cissy and Mitch nor between Cass and John, but rather between Bill and his squawking bird.

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John From Cincinnati

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