Opening credits. Except they're not credits at all, because the only names mentioned are Ben Affleck's and the fake, Andrew Ridgely-esque partner who Ben and his publicist cooked up so there's a Blame Decoy when the axe falls. Because that's just what happens to your opening credits when the real star of your show is math.
A title card reading "The Black Box" appears on screen in MS Thanks So Much Yo But We Already Get The Hint Bold. We cut to a shot of Dennis Hopper's non-union counterpart, sitting behind the wheel of a car wearing a suit and announcing into a cell phone, "He's not happy. The money presents an exposure risk." The screen splits (Hi Margo! Hi Alice!), and on the right side appears another suited, steering-wheeled, phone-talking man, rebutting, "He doesn't like loose ends" (What's the story, morning glory? What's the word, hummingbird?), as the left third of the screen fills in with a third man (Tell me quick about Hugo and Kim!), letting us know, "Neither do I." The first man puts not too fine a point on it with the line, "If another call to him is needed, it won't be pretty," and snaps his cell phone shut before either of the other men can ask for Hopper to tell them quick about Hugo and Kim and, if in fact, Harvey Johnson will ever get a date to the prom. Goin' steady! Goin' steady! Goin' steady, steady for good! The Three Product-Placed Lexus Drivers Of The Apocalypse jet off down a lonely stretch of desert highway, toes a-tapping and each confident almost to arrogance that he's in love with Kim, Kim's in love with him.
The Three Product-Placed Lexus Drivers Of The Apocalypse quickly become The Three Product-Placed Ross-Dress-For-Less Suit-Wearers Of The Apocalypse, appearing in the middle of the Versailles Casino, ordering drinks. A hapless-looking, bumbling kind of guy in a string tie runs up to them, apologizing, "I had no idea you gentlemen were already here." Augh! It's Evil Ed from the first season of television's forgotten-by-everyone-who-isn't-named-me, Roswell! Who also, amazingly enough, appeared as a creepy older man who answers the door for Philip Baker Hall in Magnolia after spending the night with Baker's onscreen daughter, played by Melora Walters, who is also on this show! Sigh. Listen to me. Phones are ringing all around the country right now with people in the midst of conversations beginning, "So, which one of the new Survivors did you think had the biggest titties…I think it was Jed," and I'm trapped behind the network glass like the bad guys in Superman II, alone in the corner playing some Rain Man-esque version of "Six Degrees of Scarlett Chorvat" all by myself. I suck. Evil Ed vamps nervously until the head The Three Product-Placed Ross-Dress-For-Less Suit-Wearers Of The Apocalypse (Ross himself, perhaps) orders a stern "Zip it," adding, "We want to see the safe."