Once and Again
Thieves Like Us

Episode Report Card
Niki: B | Grade It Now!
Unity of Effect

Cut to the interior of a dark red lounge, where a guy in a suit is perched at the bar. The camera follows his gaze to the table nearest him, where Rick is seated with Miles, examining menus. Rick glances up and catches the guy staring. Paranoia is engaged. The guy turns away and sips his wine, and the camera pans back to include Miles in the frame. He starts droning nasally about his lunch recommendations, suggesting the "fresh and tender chunks...of...lamb." Thank god he finished the sentence as he did. Or not, actually, because the thought of eating super-cute little Easter animals turns my stomach. Rick continues staring at the starer. "So, tell me about Karen," Miles says, definitely loud enough for the starer to hear. "Is she corruptible?" "What are you talking about?" Rick whispers, giving Miles the "cheese it" look. Miles clarifies, "Is she all work and no play? I'm looking for something that we can..." A blonde in a suit strolls past, taking Miles's attention with her. "...use against her," Miles concludes once the blonde is gone. He asks whether Karen is still in love with Rick. Rick asks him to lower his voice. Miles thoughtfully chews on his appetizer, and then conspiratorially leans in to whisper, "Should we, perhaps, meet next time in a parking garage, and use code names?" Dropping his voice even further, he adds, "Order me the lamb," and then heads off to the men's room. Rick guiltily glances at the starer a few times.

"You fancy me mad?" Grace's English teacher reads, pacing around the classroom. He continues reading from "The Tell-Tale Heart" as he wanders up and down the rows. Wannabe chews her nails while Grace looks like she's got a giant thorn under her ass. The teacher wraps it up and asks for comments. Wannabe stretches up her arm and volunteers, with a big dumb grin, "Wasn't Edgar Allen Poe a drug addict?" And to think, I once entertained the thought of teaching high-school English. I'd be dead by now, if I had. The teacher remarks that Poe's drug use has never been conclusively confirmed. The teacher continues talking, but Wannabe interrupts with her little conspiracy theory: "'Cause they don't want you to think you can take drugs and still be a successful writer." Spencer points out that Poe was hardly successful: he died destitute. The teacher decides that the best course of action is to ignore these two, and tries to engage the class again by asking why the character hears the heart beating: "What's [Poe] doing there?" Spencer continues his rant about Poe's lack of success. "Why does he hear it, over and over again?" the teacher asks. "Why does it get louder?" Grace shifts and looks like the thorn's getting bigger. Wannabe pipes up, "With certain drugs, your hearing gets superhuman. Like you can hear colors." Yeah, I bet that's exactly what Poe was going for. Shut up, you illiterate ass. Spencer announces that that part disappointed him, and suggests that maybe if the guy's heart had exploded.... The hapless teacher keeps trying to get any kind of intelligent answer out of the group, asking, "What is Poe exploring here? Why does the beating get louder and louder until it becomes almost unbearable?" Spencer suggests, "'Cause he's...he's crazy!" "Is he? Is he crazy?" the teacher prods, "or is it something else? What dark emotion could Poe be attempting?" The camera swirls around Grace, and the background drums get louder. "Guilt!" she yells, startling everyone in the class. Geez, even I knew that, and I haven't even read the damn story. I just saw the diorama episode of The Simpsons. Of course, Grace isn't yelling out of impatience; she's yelling because she feels guilty, see? Everyone turns to stare at her, but the teacher just looks thrilled that someone finally contributed a useful idea. The bell rings, and Wannabe says, "Guilt. Right, I shoulda thoughta that." Yes, but then that would've required thinking, now wouldn't it? ["No one can answer that it's an emblem of guilt, and this is AP English? Sad, sad." -- Wing Chun] "So, are we going to Eli's?" Grace asks, still a little rattled by her outburst. Wannabe says that Grace doesn't have to, but Grace quickly says that she doesn't mind. Ah, returning to the scene of the crime. Doesn't she know that's how most criminals get caught? Well, the dumb ones and the ones who secretly want to get caught, anyway.

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Once and Again




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