Max makes googly eyes with UPN's next PSA ("Kids, if an adult ever looks at you, well, exactly like this, please do yourself a favor and run away like your hair is on fire."), finally standing up and walking toward Max. The beleaguered mother stands up behind him, all, "Samuel? Where're you going?" But it's too late. Samuel is on the run. He walks up to Max, pausing for a moment before uttering the single word, "Daddy." Max leans in too close: "I think you've got the wrong guy." Beleaguered Mom asks if her son has said something to Max. "He called me 'Daddy,'" Max shudders. But Beleaguered Mom doesn't think so. "That's impossible. My son doesn't talk." Well then, what're you going around asking for? Max leans in with piercing eyes. Ew ew ew ew ew. Eyes on your own paper there, Jolly Old Saint Squick.
Opening credits: Dido nipping at my nerves.
"He called me 'Daddy,' it was crystal clear," Max opines (what? That's what he does here. He "opines") on the roof of the Lizbot. She attends to a finely decorated Christmas tree (on the tree: tinsel. Under the tree: the DVD director's cut of Bicentennial Man, because someone must love her very, very much). Liz, out of patience with such a garish display of opinery awfully early in this episode, doesn't bother looking back at Max when she snips, "I can't believe they actually let Robin Williams play me. Robin Williams doesn't even look anything like me!" Or maybe that's what she says in the director's commentary. The hour has grown late and I am easily distracted. What I believe she actually says is, "Yeah, I heard." Max wonders if maybe his son is trying to communicate with him, backstorying my last nine recaps (total approximate word count: 54,000) with the so-awkward-you-can-taste-it-and-it-tastes-kind-of-tangy-for-some-reason explanation, "You know my son is trying to send me signals!" Liz corrects him and the story arc, pointing out this show's plot holes with a giant laser pointer on a big chalkboard with Xs and Os written all over it with the too-true, "No, Max, he hasn't sent you a signal for over a month." But Max is resolute, retorting, "Well, maybe he hasn't been able to until now." What with the purchase of a bitchin' Camaro and watching his sister marrying a gay foreigner, ol' Sonny Boy Evans has watched his relevance slip significantly since the final days at the WB. But no more, as Max wonders, "What if there's something about this child -- something about the fact that he's different -- that allows my son to reach out to me through him?" The next several lines are forever obscured by the deafening "beep beep beep" of the world's largest Mack truck backing up through the holes in that logic, and we return hours later to find Max and Liz talking about...exactly the same damn thing. Max outlines the dramatic tension of the episode: "Something made him talk to me. I have to find out what that is." The other day, the homeless guy who sleeps outside of my apartment building told me he was Jesus. Goddamn if this episode isn't making me wonder.