Emmett, Vic, and Mike keep The Babe in their sights as he walks over to Debbie and asks where Wonder Woman is. Debbie raises her arms and cackles, "You found her!" Yeah, yeah. Debbie proudly tells The Babe that her son owns the store, which is Mike's cue to trot on over. The Babe says he's looking for some comic books. Mike nods, "Good thing you didn't go next door, or you would have gotten Lebanese takeout." Debbie laughs a little harder than necessary. The Babe's game, though, and continues, "I'm looking for works based on their narrative, their graphics, cultural references, subtextual points of view, that one might regard as --" The camera slides over to a tight shot of Mike's face while The Babe is talking, and wow, Hal Sparks needs to get his pores cleaned. Mike finishes, "Gay?" Behind them, Emmett "accidentally" rings the counter bell. Mike continues that The Babe has already picked up some good choices, but he also suggests Alpha Flight No. 106, in which Northstar takes in a boy with AIDS. He also comes out to the rest of the team in that issue, but Mike doesn't mention that, for some reason. Northstar was one of the first openly gay superheroes, I believe. That was right about the time I got a life, so I'm not quite sure. Mike also recommends X-Force No. 56, "where Rictor and Shadowstar are described as being 'more than friends.'" Rictor and Shadowstar are gay?! Why doesn't anyone ever tell me these things? Mike offers to show The Babe around. The Babe follows eagerly. Vic shakes his head that it's "amazing how much Michael knows." Debbie chortles that Mike's a genius! Genius, idiot savant, same difference.
PIFA. Dean Ryerson looks at some examples of Justin's latest works. Posters of exploding heads, exploding cars, dismembered stuff, in harsh black, white, and red. No reason for alarm. Or to call Justin's psychiatrist or anything. Ryerson mutters, "These drawings are, uh, very disturbing." Justin snaps that they're supposed to be. Ryerson says that they're nothing like what Justin submitted when he applied. The camera pulls in real close so we can see the results of Randy's recent facial as he shakes his head and replies, "Well, I don't see things the same way." Ryerson's got another complaint: Justin's been using a computer to do his projects. Justin explains that it's the only way he can work right now. Ryerson says that every student has to learn the "traditional disciplines." Because it's Art School. Justin replies, "Sometimes the traditional disciplines can be a handicap, too." Oh, okay. Let's throw away a billion years of traditional training, then. Of course Justin has to learn all the traditional methods. It doesn't have to be one or the other. His hand is supposed to get better, isn't it? He can't just defer a semester/quarter/whatever until it does? Justin continues, as the Violins of Angst and Cultural misunderstanding play on, "I thought that I could never be an artist again. But instead, this has taught me new ways to be an artist -- ways that I never would have thought of, otherwise." Ryerson nods thoughtfully. These tight shots are making me claustrophobic. You can't even see Justin's mouth moving, and there's really nothing in Randy Harrison's eyes that's adding to this scene, I'm sorry to say. The monotone delivery isn't helping, either. He couldn't have been directed to show a little more passion? A little more urgency? Guess not.