Once and Again
Food For Thought

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Cut to a very angular, very shadowy city that looks like something out of a comic book. I'm half expecting to see a tiny Spider-Man hanging off one of the walls. The camera flies over the rooftops, meandering around the buildings. David's voice-over wonders, "You ever wonder if the earth's crust is strong enough to hold up all that weight?" "Certainly out-of-town visitors will have no trouble finding it," Miles drones, I guess by way of response. "I think it'll have its own weather system," Rick says. Miles insists that rain is not allowed. I bet he can make the necessary arrangements. As the camera swoops around, we find ourselves -- dear god! There's an enormous monster lurking over the city. Oh, wait, it's just Miles, looking at a model of the Atlantor development. Okay, the model is huge. It spreads across half the conference room, at least. How much time has passed since the last episode? How did they build this tiny city so fast? Miles brings up the opposition they're facing from neighborhood groups and pulls out a few articles to show Rick. He's taken the trouble to mount them on black cardboard. Is anyone surprised? "God forbid people should want to defend their own property, right, Miles?" David snides. "God has generally shown a reluctance to get involved in local politics," Miles counters. David leaves to "work on one of [their] other several now minor projects." Miles lays out his strategy in dealing with the protestors, saying he thinks it's "time for corporate America to show some compassion for those they displace." I wonder if "compassion" was the word of the day on Miles's calendar? You can tell by the way his lips curl around it that he's never uttered the word before, and it tastes a little off. And then it all makes sense: "Preemptive strike," he adds with a smirk. I don't think people are going to like Miles's definition of "compassion" at all. He suggests that they "befuddle the competition with their concern," and his smile becomes positively reptilian. Rick says he has no idea what Miles is talking about. "Oh, but you shall," Miles promises. Cue the tingles running down my spine.

We next see Rick slouched in a waiting room chair with Karen and Jessie. The parents are sitting next to each other while Jessie sits off on her own, leafing through a magazine. Karen says they "saw [him] in the paper this morning," and Jessie looks up from the magazine to say "yeah." Karen wants to know if "they're really going to build this thing." She rhymes off the boundaries, which of course, mean nothing to my ignorant Canadian ass. I'm assuming it represents a fair chunk of the city. Rick confirms that that's the development, all right. Karen looks less than impressed. In fact, she looks personally offended, as she shakes her head disgustedly and gets out of her chair. Rick snaps that he's got to pay the mortgage somehow. Jessie lifts her head to watch the exchange. Rick wisely changes the subject to the upcoming birthday party and boasts that he's a good bowler. "We know, Dad," Jessie tells him. He asks if Jessie's given any more thought to inviting Grace or Zoe. Jessie hedges. Rick tries to act like it's not a big deal, and Jessie wants to know why he keeps mentioning it, then. This gets Karen's attention, as she and Rick simultaneously turn to look at Jessie. Rick says that it's just that if Jessie does want to invite them, she should give them some notice. Karen actually sides with Rick, saying, "He's not pressuring you, he just doesn't want you to be inadvertently rude." Jessie sulks that only Zoe would want to come, anyway. Rick says he should just invite Zoe, then. Karen quickly quashes that idea.

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Once and Again

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