Old Cherry Blossom Road

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A Carnivàle Thanksgiving

Gramma's singing "Abide With Me" as she fumbles around some gravestones. Ben watches from the background. Gravestone #1 is for Owen Scudder, who died August 1, 1889. Gramma says that Owen was Ben's uncle, and that the next gravestone is for his Uncle Gilbert. The third is for Gramma's husband, Hilton. He's got a great big gravestone. And he also died on August 1, 1889. Gramma purrs that Hilton was "a mighty powerful Grand Dragon in these parts. And an Elk." Ben thinks, "My grandfather was a couple of animals?" She says that Hilton was a pallbearer at Nathan Forrest's funeral. Ben doesn't know who that is, so she growls, "He founded he Klan, boy. Him and your granddaddy, they had great plans for this country." Ben gets bored, understandably, and then looks at the graves again and notices something: "They all died on the same day." Gramma mutters about "a terrible thing." Ben asks if there was an accident, and Gramma huffs, "People die. Best you accept it now, boy. It ain't never an accident."

"Minnie the Moocher" plays as Libby practices a fan dance. Jonesy enters, explaining that he was told the stage floorboards squeaked. He gets to work, and Libby goes back to practicing her dance. There's lots of pausing and tension and lingering looks throughout all of this. Then Rita Sue enters. She suspects that Libby is distracting Jonesy from his work, but Jonesy insists that he's almost done. Rita Sue skeptically watches Libby dance, and then Jonesy finishes up and exits. Rita Sue avoids looking at Jonesy as he walks right by her, and as soon as he's gone, she marches onstage and takes the record off, like she's Tipper Gore or something. Libby argues that she thought the song worked. Rita Sue snaps, "Take a lesson from me, girl: don't fuck where you eat." Libby snaps, "I ain't you, Momma." Rita Sue looks hurt, and exits.

Once outside, Rita Sue grabs some tent ropes and sobs for a second, and then pulls herself together.

Sofie's still digging. A shovelful of dirt knocks the bottle over, and soda spills onto the ground. And then some men standing behind the latrine curtain start to do their business, and a stream of urine curls down into the pit. Sofie sees it and scrambles up out of the pit, and the carnies giggle. Honey, you were holding a shovel. And they've got their dicks in their hands. I'm just saying. In the background, Jonesy stops as he notices what's going on. Fletch and two other carnies step out from behind the curtain and giggle at Sofie as they walk away. Jonesy leaves, and Sofie hops back into the pit and resumes digging. Someone quietly sings "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God." I have no idea who. If it's Sofie, she should give up digging and put on a ventriloquism show.

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