It's time for the Cains' annual charity dinner, and, in order to keep Leopold's abduction under wraps, everyone has to pretend like nothing's amiss. This sends Aubrey off into a snit, and she spends three-fourths of the episode giving Meadow Soprano a run for her money for top honors in the Snottiest Offspring of a Well-To-Do TV Character tournament before coming through with a nice toast for the party guests at the end of the episode. So that redeems herâ¦I guess. Special Agent Atkins certainly seemed impressed.
Ma Cain isn't doing much better keeping it together, especially when this week's mysterious stranger shows up at the charity function demanding money for Leo's safe return. He's an imposter, of course, clued in to Leo's disappearance by a stoner friend of Aubrey's during her I-hate-my-family fits earlier in the episode. On the bright side, we get to see Knapp beat the holy hell out of both the imposter and the stoner,so we have that going for us at least.
Oh, and there's another unwanted visitor at the Cain gala -- the shadowy Sully that Conrad tried to get in touch with during last week's episode. Turns out Sully's an organized crime figure who Conrad used to run with when the two of them were juvenile delinquents. Conrad's got it in his head that Sully has something to do with Leo's abduction -- a conclusion that I was able to discern when Conrad dangles Sully off the roof of the Cain apartment and demands to know where his son is. You would think that such rash behavior might come back to haunt Conrad, but fortunately for him -- and unfortunately for Sully -- Sully gets gunned down upon his return to the mean Sunnysider streets. So there's another person implicated in the kidnapping who's due for a long dirt nap.
Finally, we learn that Jimbo really likes shrimp puffs, that the kidnappers tasked with babysitting Leo are having interpersonal problems, and that Leo's next plan of escape involves a razor blade, cheese, and a leg infection that makes me long for the subtle understatement of severed human ears.
Previously on Kidnapped: The son of a wealthy New York industrialist was kidnapped in a intricate, yet murky, scheme whose very tendrils might reach back into the still-secret past of said industrialist. But since nobody watched, NBC has hired itself a gravelly-voiced narrator to tell you everything that happened in the first two episodes in a little less than 60 seconds. Yup -- that oughta perk those ratings right up.
For those of you scoring along at home on your fold-out Kidnapped Timeline Sponsored by Swatch, it's Day Three.
Conrad begins the day as he begins so many others -- sleeping alone in a bedroom far away from Ellie. We know this because Ellie enters to inform him, in a weary, out-of-it voice, that they've missed Leo's PSAT tutorial, and that she's referring to Leo in the first-person plural, just like she did when Aubrey was applying for colleges, and the kids, they grow up so fast you know? And all of this is meant to portray that Ellie is having a hard time coping with the kidnapping, and we're doubtlessly in for more scenes just like this one to show her upper lip has become decidedly less stiff. Which means those of us who have gone on the record with our disdain for Dana Delaney's body of work are in for a looooong evening. Apparently, Conrad is feeling that same way, if the expression on his face is anything to go by. "What about tomorrow?" Ellie asks suddenly. Well, I suspect there will be offers to be on other TV shows. Not everyone feels the same way about you that I d... oh, you were talking about something else. "We have to do it," Conrad says. "If we cancel, people will think there's something wrong, and... " Ellie cuts him off: "Something is wrong," she snaps, as she turns and walks out of the room, leaving Conrad to sit up in bed with a "Who farted?" look on his face. As far as Great Ways to Start the Day go, that probably ranks somewhere between "Skipping a nutritious breakfast" and "Mistakenly gargling with Drain-o."
Aubrey has a much better way to start her morning: with a brisk swim in the Cain's spacious indoor pool. Less invigorating: her flashbacks to her abduction at the hands of Not So Cute the other day. Even less invigorating than that: the vision of her brother on the bottom of the pool mouthing the word "help." That'll put you off exercise -- that and the physical exertion. Aubrey is brought back to reality by her father, who calls her name and splashes the water so that they can talk about this evening. "I can't believe you're actually going through with this," Aubrey says during the elevator ride from the pool to the apartment. Conrad repeats his reasoning from the last scene about not drawing attention to the family's plight, which seems to irritate Aubrey even more than it did Ellie. You're 0-for-2 with the Cain women so far this morning, Conrad; try not to piss off Alice before noon. Before Conrad can pick up the hat trick, he scurries off to work, leaving Ellie and Aubrey to deal with the hustle and bustle of work crews readying the Cain foyer. Aubrey's coping strategy is to complain snottily about putting on a brave front for appearance's sake. "It's just the price you pay for being associated with this family," she gripes. Well, that and the fabulous Central Park digs. And the Ivy League education. And the hassle of the local shops not being able to make change for your $50 bill. Yes, life is one hardship after another for poor Aubrey Cain. I'd send her a sympathy card, but I might need the money to pay my mortgage this month.