Once and Again
Ozymandias 2.0

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Niki: B+ | Grade It Now!
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In a Whole Lot of Shhh

I feel like I'm suddenly watching a horror movie. I keep screaming, "Don't go in there!" but it doesn't make a difference. This is going to be bad.

One of the Heads has just finished telling a joke when Lily arrives, and everyone chuckles snootily. Lily sidles up to Rick. Miles's smile freezes a little. The laughter dies, and the room grows subdued awfully fast. Lily doesn't pick up on this classic clue that she's interrupting. Even if it were a regular party, you'd think she'd get the hint. She notices the pregnant Head and asks when she's due. I can't watch. The Head answers her civilly enough, and Head #2 even makes a little joke. But Lily can't quit while she's ahead, and insists on drawing attention to the woman's pregnancy. She asks if it's the woman's first child. She gets a terse "no" by way of reply. Silence. Uncomfortable half-smiles around the table. Lily finally figures out that she's got cooties, and quietly says, "Well, I guess I'll get a refill." Thank god! That was too tense. Rick glances at Lily over his shoulder, and Miles watches Rick.

Meanwhile, Eli's in his room, actually doing homework. He's frustrated with it, though, and slams the book and his pen on the bed. He glances up, and his guitar appears in the foreground. Oh, sweet temptation...

Back at the non-party, everyone's seated around the table, and dinner appears to be over. Rick's spinning more crap and the Heads are working hard at being pompous, grating business stereotypes. I hate them. I'd like to mute this entire scene. But I can't, see, because as your intrepid recapper it's my job to suffer through every pretentiously pretentious word. Out of consideration for you, though, I'll just skip over the bullshit and only transcribe the good stuff. Basically, the Heads blah blah blasé about the public and make apparent their scorn for Joe Q. Lily asks if their opinion isn't "terribly cynical" and says that they "sound like [they] want to cut people out of the process altogether." Miles casts a disbelieving eye in her direction. Rick quickly distances himself from her, sharply cutting her off and dishing some bullshit in support of the clients' blatherings. The clients resume insulting the intelligence of the public. Lily, still going on the mistaken assumption that this conversation is a friendly free-for-all, offers up another unwelcome opinion. As she "banters" with Head #1, Miles shoots Rick a warning look, and Rick glances uncomfortably at the table. Lily's about to say something more when Rick turns and levels her with a stank-eye. She shuts up immediately and looks hurt and embarrassed. She lowers her head. Pregnant Head looks positively smug, the bitch. Lily looks as though she's about to say something, but can't get the words out. I think she's on the verge of tears. Miles pipes up to recover the situation: "How fortunate for us that politics has been rendered irrelevant." While everyone chuckles, Lily looks positively miserable and glares at Rick. Miles shoots Rick a pointed look, letting him know he's got to grab the ball and run with it. Rick nods into his lap, psyching himself up.

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Once and Again

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