Push, Nevada
Storybook Hero

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One Night in Prufrock and the World's Your Oyster

Marty and Elaine seem to have gotten a gig at One-Eyed Sloman's, for they form the jazzy background noise to Taudrey's seduction of a new sucker at the bar. But Jim breaks up new love at this moment, storming up to Taudrey and insisting, "We need to talk." The guy takes off, and Jim tells Taudrey that she set him up, and he can only think of one reason why: "Bodnick's money. You were in on it." Taudrey explains that it's a lot more difficult than that, and that she gave him fair warning to get out of Dodge about a thousand times in three episodes. It's true. She gave him the brush, and he was like white trash on rice with Push, Nevada. "You planted that handkerchief," he rants, and Taudrey feigns ignorance and stands up in a huff. But the mood shifts and the music rocks when Mr. Sloman himself happens past them -- his head mysteriously not buried in a copy of Uta Hagen's Tips for Young Actors, which I highly suggest Taudrey pick up a copy of -- and gives Taudrey a withering look. He passes on, and Jim follows after him against Taudrey's futile calls for Jim to save himself. Someone please get her that book.

Cut to Jim entering Sloman's office and introducing himself. Sloman deadpans, "I know who you are. How'd you get in here?" Jim almost calls him stupid before kind of gesturing behind him and responding, "I took the elevator." Sloman still doesn't look up, venturing, "And you saw it's marked private." The most powerful underworld mastermind in town and that's his crack security method? A "private" sign? Shouldn't he at least have, like, one goon? Perhaps he saw that episode of Geraldo where they slid open the door to Al Capone's vault because someone finally noticed that, after decades sealed behind a "private" sign, someone turned the little placard to read, "maid service requested." And he pounced, as any crack reporter would do. Jim has the scene that he's had eleven times already -- once with Bodnick, one with Evil Ed -- where he goes on and on and on and on and on about how he's the Slim Shady who's going to bring down the corrupt system no matter how hard they try to keep a man down. By imprisoning him. And impounding his car. And planting a surveillance collar on him. Yup. I'd say he's really sinking their Battleships now. Sloman stands up and rebuts, as you do, asking Jim whether he's ever heard of something called "The Sharpshooter's Fallacy." Jim has: "It relates to a statistical flaw in a theorem." Right on, Taxman. You're working for no one but your bad-ass self. I think those are the lyrics, anyway. Probably on some session bootleg I have somewhere. Sloman agrees that this "flaw in the theorem" -- known to the rest of the world simply and unannoyingly as "circumstantial evidence" -- comes about when "you find a bunch of random bullet holes and you paint a target around them to prove they were made intentionally when they weren't. That's what you're doing with Wilkes and Bodnick. Painting a target of them on my back. But be careful. You might end up with a target of your own." Wow! This here Salt Water Metaphor sure is stretchy! But Jim shoots back he won't be scared by "hollow threats," so Sloman pins him to the wall and screams that there's nothing "hollow" about them: "I made this town! I own this town! And right now, I own you, you little bitch!" Okay, that line is kind of funny. It's not, like, creeping its way onto my email signature or anything, but I kind of dig its intent. Sloman punts Jim from his office, but not before Jim tells Sloman, "I am an enemy no one should wish to have. Every blow you throw at me will come back to you with ten times the force." Said The Trucker to his stargazing wife. And really, why? I seriously don't understand the bravado of this speech. I mean, Jim is hella nice and all, but he's hoodwinked. He still has no idea what's going on. He is a mess. He is being audited! It's all kind of dumb.

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Push, Nevada

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