So here's how it went down at Über HQ the morning (and by "morning, I mean "2 PM") after this episode of Once and Again aired. Niki and I were both enthusing about the episode and nitpicking particular details about the way webzines are actually financed and run as opposed to the way they're portrayed on TV, and I told her that I'd been talking to my TV the whole time the episode was on and that I wished I could recap it. And Niki was like, "No way, bitch." And I was like, "Oh no you di-in't." And she was like, "You heard me." And I was like, "I will house you, a-ight?" And she was like, "Come over here and say that." And I was like, "This can go down one of two ways. Either I recap this episode, or I fire your ass." And she was like, "You can't fire me, I quit. Oh, wait. That means I'd get the week off? Oh, all right." Then we went to the mall. True story! ["Oh, so that's how you're selling it, huh? People, I still have the bruises and I'm typing this with my nose because my wrists are tied to my chair." -- Niki] So that's why I'm your guest recapper this week. Thanks, Niki, for letting this control freak commandeer your gig, just this once. ["No problem, but could you just loosen the ropes a bit? They really chafe." -- Niki] (For those of you looking for a Niki fix this week, she wrote a short article about Mark Feuerstein -- O&A's Leo -- for Fametracker, so look out for that.)
Hey, is Peter Jennings a Special Guest Star in this episode or something? Oh, no, wait -- it's just a news break pre-empting a few seconds of the opening credits as (for once) it pays to be Canadian; CTV, the network that carries Once and Again for those Canadians who want to watch the show but don't have even the most basic cable, is still showing the episode. Wahoo! The episode opens with Zoe "Half-Pint" Manning trucking up to the PC in the family room. She checks her watch and tells Grace "Pouty Balboa" Manning that it's twenty after eight, and is thus Zoe's turn on the computer. Cut to the screen, and we see that Grace is on the MBTV boards, commenting on Felicity's hair. She is. They don't actually show the MBTV, but I'm sure that was for legal purposes. Zoe nags Grace to relinquish the computer, and Grace tells her not to stand over her. Frustrated, Zoe reaches onto the keyboard and -- one-handed, no less -- logs her off. Zoe anticipates a fight and takes off running; Grace gives chase as Lily "Idle" Manning appears at the door and calls out to them that she's home. Grace screeches that she was in the middle of an email, and in response, Zoe calls her "a big, fat hog." I think that refers more to the fact that Grace was hogging the computer, rather than her physiognomy. At least, I hope so. Lily, holding a bag of groceries and a handful of mail, tries to break it up by telling them "how ridiculous [they] sound." Zoe yelps, "I'm not the one hogging the computer to talk about Felicity's hair!" See? And step off, Zoe; that's a perfectly legitimate use of a computer. Lily asks whether it was Zoe's turn, and Grace dodges, "I was finishing up a conversation!" Zoe mimics, "I was just using up all the air on the planet!" Heh. Lily says that they need another computer. Uh. They have another computer -- at least they did, last year, in Grace's room; I'm pretty sure it was an iMac. So, okay, I guess that doesn't really count. I'm sure that when some of y'all see this episode, you'll think that buying another computer is a poor solution to their problem, but seriously, when Glark and I only had one computer at home, we would scratch each other's eyes out to get on it, and I can see Lily's point. Although, why a ten-year-old requires that much time on a computer, and what she's doing on it, I'm sure I don't know. Anyway, Grace whines that she needs her life back, and Lily allows, "Grace, honey, I know it's been hard with me working so late..." Zoe objects that Grace isn't the only who's had it hard, and Lily protests that she just meant Grace had been very agreeable about baby-sitting Zoe recently. Zoe pouts that she's not staying with Grace anymore, and Lily whatevers, "Okay." Zoe races back to the computer, where Grace had, as soon as Lily'd turned her back, resumed her post. Lily shoos them both off to do homework and tells them that it's her turn to use the computer. Lily, I should think you get plenty of that at the office. When I was an editor's assistant, I know I did. Zoe sounds like she's about to claim her turn, but Lily tells her she has to prepare for a meeting in the morning, and that she'll make it up to Zoe. Zoe crosses her arms and pouts, and Lily orders her back upstairs. She removes a sheaf of files from her backpack, and exhales. The folders all have big PagesAlive.com stickers on them. Because putting stickers on all your company's file folders is a smart use of your office-supply resources. Not. I know it's a minor thing, but in light of what happens later, I think it's worth mentioning.