Roswell
Panacea

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Death Becomes Them

Fade up on a nondescript exterior establishing shot of a glass-and-chrome building that once held an impromptu Nelly Furtado concert when the building used to be in Las Cruces, I think. The building has now been re-designated "Meta-Chem Corporation, 11:29 PM," as we learn from the subtitle written in MS Word font Alien Bold Sans This Show's Future On This Network Or Any Other Please Oh God Please For The Love Of God In Heaven Already Bold. Inside the building, a wall's worth of video surveillance screens goes unmonitored, and we pass the surveillance equipment to discover Michael "Time To Call Your Agent…Wait, What Agent?" Guerin sound asleep on his security console deep inside Sector 7-G. One of his worker drone pals to whom we were introduced in "Michael, The Guys, And The Great Snapple Caper" -- and about whom we totally forget somewhere in the length of time it takes to fight through that episode's title -- hits Michael on the arm and rouses him from his drooling, bloated slumber. Michael looks up to discover "Lenny" or "Carl" or whoever attempting to balance a pen on his chin. Michael lazily asks, "You woke me up for that?" Lenny/Carl defends himself that he "had it a second ago," and I rewind the tape just to confirm that, in fact, Lenny/Carl never had this so-called "it" at all, ever, even for a second. Michael regards Lenny/Carl and whines, "Man, I miss those other guys. These two-man shifts are boring as hell." Lenny/Carl speaks as the Greek chorus for us all, soothsaying, "Harsh economic times." So everyone else has been fired? Didn't we spend, like, a whole episode a couple of weeks back watching Michael have a "One To Grow On" moment in trying to keep one of "The Guys" employed so he could pay for that surgery little Timmy has been needing? Where did they all go? Can't we make Michael go there with them?

Blah. Michael lifts a crusty Band-Aid off the knuckle of his right hand in close-up, courtesy of Crusty Band-Aid Cam. Lenny/Carl asks the second most important question ("What happened to your hand?"), while the rest of us shriek in frustration and go for the more obvious, "Why didn't you heal the tiny boo-boo yourself and, same question, subsection B, why would you even keep Band-Aids in the house if you could heal a flesh wound or maybe have some interstellar alien brother come over and do it the fuck for you?" But that continuity-laden logic would deny us of the remainder of this scene, so Michael answers the question with a simple, "Put it through a window." And why? "Maria issues." Lenny/Carl considers this for a moment, manfully responding, "No chick is worth it." Says the pen-balancing minimum wage security guard with no chin whose girlfriend prospects include "gathering up the courage to one day buy porn." But Michael agrees, and male bonding is rampant. Lenny/Carl then pauses a moment before awkwardly transitioning, "So, do you wanna hang out this weekend?" when what he clearly means is, "Will you please go somewhere this weekend and buy me some kind of porn." Michael looks all, "No, dork. Roll that ninety-sided Dungeons & Dragons die yourself," but agrees that he wouldn't mind taking advantage of Lenny/Carl when we learn that he has acquired a video game entitled, I think, "Madden 2002." They banter about games and gaming systems I don't understand. I haven't had a home game system since "Dig Dug" on the Commodore 64. Once I dared to use the words "Crash Bandicoot" in the presence of someone I respected, and they thought I was cursing them out in Bulgarian. Sorry, Grandma. It's just a video game, I think. Anyway, they make plans for the weekend to play Commodore 64. Because "Dig Dug" rules the world. And because, well, that confounded Carmen Sandiego could be anywhere.

Time for rounds. Michael and Lenny/Carl rise and exit the office for a thorough search of Sector 7-G. The room they vacated remains empty for exactly three-fourths of one second, before two people in full-on biohazard suits with those big scary Luke-I-am-your-plot-contrivance filtration masks enter the room and turn it upside-down. They open up briefcases of equipment and put everything left in the room -- hats, chips, crusty leftover Band-Aids (ew, Michael) -- into Ziplocs and vials and things. They're so scary, like when the bad men came to take back E.T. I always hated that scene. Thank goodness this one could come along and remind me of it.

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Roswell

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