Push, Nevada
Storybook Hero

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Djb: C | Grade It Now!
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One Night in Prufrock and the World's Your Oyster

A title card reading "Storybook Hero" appears on screen, sucking on the Tic Tac flavors of Orange, Cinnamon, Wint-O-Green, and Spear-O-Hint. Because it's the title. And so it's the hint. Jim is in his cell, sitting with his back to the window through which we can see Pawn watching the ABC morning line-up. Not. Whatever. You've heard my Katie Couric spiel already. The Desolate Electric Guitar Of Perpetually Unengaged Nielsen Boxes rages on the soundtrack, and Sheriff Relaxo enters Jim's cell with a well-dressed, wearing-my-glasses African-American gentlemen who introduces himself as "Jameson Jones, Provo Office." How does Jim know that this guy is his lawyer and the other guy wasn't? Why would he just trust a random stranger at this point when we've learned we're in a place where nothing is as it seems and everyone is watching some other show entirely? Nevertheless, Jim shakes Jameson's hand warmly and confirms the charlatan's story with the mistaken-relief-drenched statement, "Ira Glassman told me you'd be coming." Not Jim's Lawyer kicks things off, still right in front of Sheriff Relaxo: "This is quite an interesting place." Oh, we could quibble over the technical definition of "interesting" all day before we realized just how not it this was. Jim responds in kind with a line I hope I'm never boring enough to say: "You don't know the half of it." Ugh. Why not just shake a Magic 8-Ball of dialogue if you don't have an original thought of your own to contribute? Why not, indeed? Maybe I'll just "ask again later." Not Jim's Lawyer goes on to say that "the legal situation here is a bit muddled." Sheriff Relaxo argues that t'ain't nothing "muddy at all," saying that Jim needs to be tried for his crimes and that's the end of it. Not His Lawyer has other thoughts on the matter, and he rounds on Sheriff Relaxo and explains the concept of due process before telling him he wants some private words with Jim, and "your office will suffice." Sheriff Relaxo lives up to Not His Nickname for a moment, barking back, "Now just hold on a minute" before finishing, "It's right over there." Good one. Nothing I love more than a bit of the old bait-and-zzzzzzzzzzzz.

All it would have taken would be for Prufrock to have grabbed Not His Lawyer by the arm and whispered "We are being audited" before they talked at full volume about what they know in a doubtlessly bugged room in hostile territory. This entire episode could have been avoided. We're in Sheriff Relaxo's office, Not His Lawyer sitting behind the desk and Jim pacing nervously around the room. Not His Lawyer tells us that he thinks this town is "a confederacy of dunces." Overused line, overrated book. What else you got for me, Glorified Extra? "The evidence they do have, assembled and assessed clumsily, could prove insurmountable. And, despite my confidence, one's proficiency at chess makes not a whit of difference when the opposition is playing checkers." People, if Polito runs into the room and yells "Yahtzee," I'm cleaning up my Jacks and going home. But instead, Not His Lawyer backpedals right on back into the previouslys, asking Prufrock, "Can you help me destroy the narrative flow of this episode by recounting the non-activities of the first three episodes for me? See, I just got here from a shoot at a show that actually goes forward, so I'm still trying to figure out how all of this works." Which is so not far afield from what he actually says: "I need to know everything. No detail too small, no theory too abstract. Are we clear?" Speeches? Prufrock loves 'em! But -- and he doesn't want to be greedy, here -- do they come with over-explicating montages of everything that's happened on the show until now? In fact, they do!

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Push, Nevada

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