John From Cincinnati
His Visit: Day Seven

Episode Report Card
Mr. Sobell: C- | Grade It Now!
Shaun Gone? Yawn.

Speaking of Linc, he's standing in the Yosts' living room, watching Shaun sign a contract. Guess we'll find out for certain what that someone who may be watching has in store for the Linc-Shaun union, huh?

Outside the house, Bill and Freddy are crammed into Freddy's rental car, keeping vigil on the Yost house. Palaka is a few yards away, crouched behind a fence, watching them. It would absolutely slay me if we panned back and Ramon was a few yards away, hiding in a bush, watching Palaka, and Dickstein was peaking through a van's windows, watching, Ramon, and so on. But alas, there is not. There is, however, the next best thing, which is Zippy's caged wedged into the rental car's back seat as Zippy squawks merrily. Freddy is very displeased with this partnership. "Yeah, mortal combat with unseen forces," Bill says. "I should deprive myself of telepathic information to spare you irritation. From cheeping." Bill notices Kai walking down the street and struggles mightily to get out of Freddy's car to go talk to her, leaving Freddy and Zippy to bond; from the look on Freddy's face, that's not really happening. Kai and Bill grab themselves some curb and go to work on Kai's hip flask. "Fifteen years," Kai sighs. "A nice round number." Bill offers to give her some space if she wants, as he is keeping "an informal watch on the boy." "I resigned that position this afternoon," Kai says. "You let Cissy piss in your ear, Kai, every day" -- it's John who says that, because he's suddenly hovering right over Kai and Bill. Apparently, this is just a voice in Kai's head, because neither of them acknowledges John's presence. "You surfed with Shaunie every day he wanted to," John continues. "You kept Butchie's boards. Every day. Shaun will be gone. Butchie will need you on the water." Kai turns to Bill, as if she's just processed what John has said: "Should I stick around?" she asks. "Staircase situation in my own home," Bill says. "Failed to alleviate it going on a year." Your point, Bill? "Probably I'm not who to ask," he concludes. Oh. From the car, Freddy observes, "All nice inside, all lit up. This ain't over, believe me." Zippy squawks. "Shut up," Freddy replies. And with a shot of Shaun juggling in his room, the episode ends.

Some great acting in this episode, and occasionally the performers get some interesting things to say. But if we were to treat John From Cincinnati like a play -- and perhaps we should since it certainly doesn't seem interested in following the narrative conventions of a TV show -- I feel like we're entering the final act with all the momentum of a tree sloth. It's like entering the last act of Hamlet, only to have Hamlet stop on his way to the duel with Laertes to tell you about all the offbeat things he saw on his way back from England. I hope you understand why that frustrates me.

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John From Cincinnati




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