Samuel Rising

Episode Report Card
Djb: F | Grade It Now!
There's Something About Sammy

Max sits on the hastily-built "psychologist's office waiting room" set, while the session goes on behind him featuring the psychologist, Mr. and Mrs. Rising, and little Samuel himself. The psychologist tells Mother Rising that they have to "figure out what it means" that Samuel spoke, attempting to temper her response that "it means he's finally starting to communicate with the world" with a dose of reality. Mr. Rising busts in all mad and snipes, "We've had moments like this before. Emergency meetings, breakthroughs, changes." Mother Rising bites back, "Don't try and take this away from me!" Wow. This is awkward. Kids tear all the good marriages apart, don't they? Max, meanwhile, sits outside and looks aimlessly forlorn. Mother Rising conjures his name, hopefully letting the others know, "Max. Is outside. In the waiting room. He was the young man Samuel spoke to at the diner." Mr. Mad freaks out, but the psychologist thinks that's a good idea. Max is called in for his close-up. He enters the room, and the psychologist introduces herself. Samuel's father is also introduced. He's mad at kids for messing up his life-in-a-nice-house-with-bay-windows existence, so he just kind of grunts a hello. The psychologist asks Max to tell her and them and us what happened, even though most of us were actually there to see it the first time, thanks. Well, no matter: "I was sitting with some friends having breakfast, and I noticed him looking at me. Kind of staring." Samuel rises (much as the title promised he would) and walks over to Max, silencing him when he hands him a drawing on construction paper of...a spaceship! Or, maybe, a dreidl.

House That Government Subsidy Built. Max sits and stares and stares and sits and sits and sits and sits and sits and...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. A knock on the door reveals Liz, who storms in all excited, announcing, "I'm so excited! I haven't gone ice skating in so long!" What? Where? Who cares? Max hands Liz the drawing, and her comic (ha!) timing (shya!) mechanism fails to engage as she makes a wacky (balf!) and well-placed (bork!) "joke" about how good Max's drawing is. As if Max did the drawing, people! Don't you see? DON'T YOU SEE? Sigh. Anyway. Max explains that Samuel drew it, then over-explains, "He has never drawn anything in his life but numbers. Not a picture of a person or a tree or a sun." Not a bright copper kettle or warm woolen mittens! Liz, proving that her composition of alloyed metals is cumulatively magnetic, channels the audience vibe like a damn electric shock by continuing not to care. But Max is undeterred: "It means my son is trying to communicate with me!" Once, someone at my job handed me a comic strip she found amusing. Does that mean Dilbert is trying to contact me? Max plays the psychologist card, telling Liz that even the doctor found this turn kind of unusual, and Liz frets, "You're getting really involved in his life." Lost for actual support, Max goes for the jugular with the Jewish Guilt Trip, reminding Liz, "Liz, you were the one who said you'd do anything to help me find my son." Liz makes the fatal error of unironically referring to Samuel as "special," but nevertheless nails the point, "I just don't want you to get what you're looking for and walk away." With frivolity, she suggests that they go ice-skating. But he's going to the Rising Residence, and has to cancel. Liz turns around and storms out, snarking, "We'll do it another time." Until the next budding cartoonist child prodigy draws Max orbiting Mir and he has to cancel his wedding or something.

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