But Liz's addled internal monologue carries on despite our most stern warnings: "The trouble with making plans for the future, even when you can see the future, is that fate has a way of intervening and upsetting the best laid plans of mice and men." Like the book says: we may be done with the past, but the past ain't through with us. Cue Aimee Mann. But Liz has a slightly different literary antecedent: "Robert Burns, 1785." A caption appears in Microsoft Word font MS Alien Bold to tell us that we are now at the smoky remains of "Rogers Air Force Base, New Mexico." A gloved hand in a white biohazard suit picks up a melted videotape labeled "Isabel 5/10/02" and places it into a plastic bag. Make a mental note of how fucked up and unplayable that tape looks. If you cough near a videotape, it's over. This thing has been recycled into a superball. But happy birthday, if that day was your birthday. Not to put too fine a point on it, Liz explains that her Robert Burns knowledge "was on the SAT too." Or maybe she means the SAT II. Either way, constructing an opening monologue crafted around the thrilling concept of a reading comprehension blurb on a standardized test has got AP Shitty written all over it.
Opening credits: Shut up, bitch. I won't say it again.
Jesse "Gaylien Sympathizer" Ramirez sits alone in his house, talking on a fake cordless phone while pretending it's a real cordless phone because this is what actors do. "So," he asks, "this is for real?" And though we the viewers cannot hear the response on the other end, I imagine it to be something to the effect of, "It's totally real. And for the low cost of $2.99 per minute, you can talk to totally real guys and listen to their messages, or record one of your own." But just then, through the front door walks Isabel "Straight Woman Trapped In A Gay Man's Marriage" Evans, and Jesse is forced to terminate the call with a terse "well, I'm gonna have to get back to you on that" and pray that the credit card charges really are billed to "H&H Mattress Shop" or something. Isabel looks really concerned about Jesse's news, but he assures her that that the news is neither good nor bad, but instead a liberal mix of every shade of "boring," peppered as it is with a lot of fake names: "My friend Chris Hobson just made partner at Langtree, Watkins & Sullivan. They're one of the top law firms in Boston." It's true. Langtree, Watkins & Sullivan tries all the best fake cases in Boston. My fake friend who is a fake lawyer in New England told me. But just between you and me, he thinks Hobson is kind of a dick.