Let's start out with the good news -- there were scenes in this week's episode I actually found entertaining and engaging and not just puzzling, crypto-mysticism babble. Unfortunately, none of those scenes involved the Yosts. And since they're the centerpiece of the show, that's kind of a problem. Still, that's my cross to bear and not yours. Anyhow -- the episode: We pick up where we left off in episode two with Shaun waking up after Zippy's kiss of life. The broken neck, the permanent brain damage -- all healed up, thanks for asking. That nice doctor who used to murder hookers on Deadwood is understandably disquieted by all this, but not so much that he needs to keep Shaun in the hospital. So Shaun's not dead, and the Yosts are all happy about that. Well, not Mitch, who took off after last week's spat with Cissy and is now flanked by that pretty young documentary maker who's trying to seduce him on orders from Linc. Their courtship would be heading toward its inevitable humping much more smoothly if Linc weren't always calling to offer pointers -- you know, I think I can seduce older gentlemen without your help, Dylan McKay -- and news of Shaun's sudden, miraculous recovery. So Mitch returns home to get yelled at by Cissy, who really should have been all yelled out by that point after screaming at Butchie about his absentee-fatherism. A bit of a yeller, that Cissy. And what of our mysterious title character? Well, he and Kai depart from the hectic Yost household for that boning John's been promising since episode one. Trouble is, John doesn't know the first thing about boning. What he does know about is putting some sort of zap on Kai's head that makes her eyes roll back into her skull and makes any character with metal -- Kai's piercings, Butchie's implants, Ramon's crucifix -- feel a not-apparently-refreshing burning sensation. On the bright side, we have Freddy The Drug-Dealer, who apparently has a love of Sarah Brightman albums, an astonishingly stupid henchman, and a newfound animus toward Bill. Note to HBO: When the inevitable Freddy From Haleiwa spin-off is created, I promise to watch that show religiously.
Previously on John from Hamilton County: Linc tried to convince the Yosts to let Shaun enter the contest at Huntington and succeeded and then dispatched his beautiful henchwoman to make eyes at Mitch. Freddy the Drug Dealer flew in from Hawaii to
Opening credits. Don't you know about the bird? Well, everybody knows that the bird is the word. Or Jesus. Quite possibly Jesus.
The folks who were still standing in the hospital at the end of last week's episode -- Cissy, Butchie, and the sad-eyed doctor on one end of the room, John and Kai by the restroom, Linc sort of hovering about without anyone to pal around with -- when Bill slinks out of the room where everyone assumes Shaun is still vegetating. "He's much improved -- Shaun," Bill says in what is quite possibly the biggest understatement since "I think we're gonna need a bigger boat." Dr. Sad Eyes immediately heads into Shaun's room while Bill continues to chronicle his treatment regimen: "I had Zippy kiss him. I thought I'd take a shot." It is to the credit of everyone's superhuman restraint -- or a sign that everyone is used to Bill spouting nonsense -- that they just stare at him blankly as he details how a parrot was able to bring a brain dead boy back to life.