Props to Wing. And thanks. And hi. ["Aw. Back atcha, baby!" -- Wing Chun]
We join the "action" in "progress" this week, opening on a tight shot of the increasingly familiar sight of the pinched, grimaced, and sweatily shiny face of IRS Special Agent James "One Night In" Prufrock "Makes A Hard Man Humble." He's sleeping soundly for the moment -- because one of us should be -- but soon enough we're in flashback mode with a close-up shot of a young boy who may or may not be part of Hollywood's current Keep Our Culkins Working Outreach Campaign For Troubled Culkins. Well, you've seen the billboards. The young face registers fear ("Please don't make me sit through one of my fifteen brothers' performance in Igby Goes Down ever, ever again," it seems to beg) while an unintelligible voice-over the director of this episode found in the basement of Apple Records comes pretty close to but somehow avoids repeating "Number Ten. Number Ten. Number Ten" over and over and over again just to add to this moody, incomprehensible opening montage. We spy enough scenery behind Young James A. Culkin to figure out that he's in a dark, enclosed space of some kind. Look behind and around you, Culkin. If you can see spare rollers and brushes and the smell is vaguely propane-ish, you may well have found yourself in the corner this show has painted itself into. Don't panic. Suited ABC execs are on their way to rescue you, and they're armed with state-of-the-art reruns of Drew Carey and special encore showings of Alias. Right after the sounds of slapping followed by plaintive cries of "Thank you, Mr. Eisner, may I have another" ebb completely, I'm sure they'll be afoot.
We cut back to Prufrock -- the sweat of his intervening twenty years glistening like something that hasn't stopped nervously sweating for approximately the last twenty years -- who is sacked out on the tiny bed in the tiny yellow Dancer in the Dark prison cell. He continues waiting for the opening clacks of "I Have Seen It All" to kick up and thinks in his dream state that he might never be able to figure out a way to pronounce the last name "Deneuve" without sounding like a totally pretentious asshole. But no matter. Just then, the door to the cell opens and Sheriff Relaxo enters, flanked by his trusty sidekick Pawn (er...I mean "Dawn." No, no. I totally mean "Pawn"). They stand above him for a moment, Pawn for once not speaking a line of the "Don't he look like such an angel when he's sleeping" variety because she's corn-fed but secretly evil and WE GET IT. Sheriff Relaxo points at the open cell door and gallumphishly lets Jim know, "Lawyer's here." Jim leans against the cement wall and looks vaguely concerned, as Shoulda-Hadda-V8-Cam captures the room from so many pointlessly disparate angles that the very geometric notion of the triangle calls itself into question, Pythagorean logic collapses in upon itself, Earth plunges into darkness, and our unbroken weekly streak of blaming Ben Affleck for breaking the whole wide universe remains blissfully unbroken. Jerk.