Once and Again
Busted

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Reefer Madness

Lily quietly slips in the front door, setting down her boxes of crap from the office. She cocks an ear, listening to the sounds of Springer. We flash to the television, where TPT is predictably telling the audience they can kiss her [bleep] and to go [bleep] themselves. Eli turns down the volume and greets Lily, giving her the lowdown on the low-down dirty Springer guest. He concludes with, "No matter how bummed out you are, you can always find people who are worse off than you." Lily starts unpacking her boxes, asking, "You're bummed out?" Eli crunches a chip and grunts noncommittally. Lily asks, "How's the job search going?" perhaps as a means of cheering him up. "Ah," Eli says, and launches into an imitation of the ass-pole: "How many people have you called? What are you going to do about school? What are you going to do about the rest of your life?" He works a potato chip out of his molar as Lily unpacks framed photos and arranges them on the bookshelf. She turns and says, "Well, I guess [your mom] just figured that summer's one thing, but now it's September." Eli quickly points out that he's still looking for work and that he's not just goofing off all the time. He says the band has been practicing a lot lately. "I guess it's just hard for her to understand...that finding work isn't your priority," Lily says carefully. Eli pops another chip and asks why Lily is home so early. She perches on the back on the sofa. "Well, it looks like I'm going to be looking for work myself," she says, a little too calmly. Why isn't she freaking out? It's not like finding that last job was such a picnic. She tells Eli that "the whole magazine got fired," and slides wearily down the couch, gently nudging Eli's legs off so she can sit next to him. Watching the family horror on Springer, she whimpers a little. Eli offers her the bowl of potato chips. She accepts without thinking twice, which means the spit bucket must be tucked behind the couch.

Cut to Grace coming through the back door of Manning Manor, where she's faced with an auditory assault. Following the "music" to the living room, she finds Lily flopped out in a chair, grooving to the beats, while Eli crouches eagerly in front of the stereo. Grace freezes, certain that she ate something rotten at lunch and it's causing freakishly vivid hallucinations. She approaches the surreal scene with caution, half expecting Lily's head to swivel 360 degrees on her shoulders. "How can you understand anything?" Lily laughs. Eli advises her to "just forget the words. Just listen!" "Mom?" Grace says, unnerved. They don't hear her. "Mom!" she shouts. Lily turns in the chair, chomping on yet another chip. She's now holding a bag of blue-corn tortilla chips, which suggests that she's been eating pretty steadily since the last scene. Yeah, that's believable. "Oh, hey Grace," she says, flashing a lovely wad of chewed chip bits. Grace smiles and asks what they're doing. Lily says they're listening to the new Vibe album and asks if Grace has heard it. "Yeah," Grace says, smiling indulgently. "It reminds her of the Moody Blues," Eli says, but Lily quickly denies it. She'd never say something so unhip! This season, anyway. Grace, smiling like you would at an escaped con, asks why Lily's home. "Oh," Lily says casually, "I got fired." She pops another chip in her mouth, trying to fill the emotional void with additives, preservatives, and fat. That's not healthy. And it's not conducive to those tiny little tank tops she's become so fond of.

Later that night, we find Lily perched on her bed, filing her nails. The pounding sounds of the Vibe filter down through the ceiling from the attic. Lily's still getting her groove on. "The Vibe," she says knowingly to Rick, and examines her nails. Rick moves onto the bed and says, "Ooooh!" Other than "whoa," that's the second thing he's uttered so far. Billy Campbell must be pissed. He looks toward the ceiling and wonders, "How'm I gonna get him off his ass?" Lily drags the file across her nails and mutters, "Oh, he'll do it." Rick pushes her hair back from her ear and leans in, saying softly, "You're awfully philosophical for someone who just lost her job." He nibbles at her neck. "Yeah, well. Maybe I'm getting more mature in my old age," she muses. With the exception of her wardrobe, which seems to be regressing. "I just figured it was denial," Rick mumbles around a mouthful of neck. "Oh. Yeah, that," Lily says. She gets into the nuzzling. Rick offers to comfort her with "sexual ministrations." Ew. Not the offer; the line. "How about if you just jump me instead?" Lily suggests, grabbing him for a passionate tonsil massage. The position, coupled with her tank top, shows off her sculpted new arms to advantage. I bet that's no accident.

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Once and Again

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