Secrets And Lies (1)

Episode Report Card
Chuck: D+ | Grade It Now!
L.A. Story

Max returns to his car, coffee in hand, ski mask on head, to find a parking ticket on the windshield. But wait, that's no ticket -- it's a note that says "GO HOME MAX." As soon as Max reads it, it disintegrates, like sands in the hourglass. Completely unnecessary special effect. Isabel calls to scold Max about being away from home and turning his mother into a complete basket case. She wants to know when he's coming home. He has no idea. She and Michael disapprove of Max "wandering around LA and looking for shape-shifters." Sounds like Max has two mommies. Isabel worries about exposure, death, but as soon as Max mentions his son, she gets all sad and sympathetic. Stop it with the son. No more. I really hope he's dead, or at least an intolerable drip. When Isabel asks Max if he has a plan, he says, "Sort of. I'm getting an agent."

JayDub. Max. Lunch. Discussion of Joey Ferrini's acting career as a hit-man, mobster type. Lunch arrives, and JayDub, all sunglasses, black, and gleaming pate, pauses to assess the waiter's marketability, confirming for us all that he is, in fact, a bottom feeder. Max's hair looks particularly highlighty in the sun -- I see him in Feria. According to JayDub, Joey was "big on assault. He loved assaulting people, which is why he was so convincing on screen." Max starts fishing for details about Utah, but JayDub says he "didn't book that job." Art imitating life, or life imitating art. Or whatever. Contradicting himself, JayDub confides that Joey was a sucky actor, but thinks Max has potential. Like Tom Cruise. Like Keanu Reeves. Oh. Potential as another sucky actor. "I'm not an actor," protests Max. "Like Keanu Reeves is?" retorts JayDub, almost beating me to the punch. Okay, that's it, no more dialogue. It's too painful. Suddenly, JayDub has a conniption, because Joe Pantoliano, this week's extra-super-special guest star (evidently slumming), has just walked in with two cell phones and an entourage (I start humming Beck). He's Cal Langley, the biggest and most powerful mega-producer in all of Los Angeles. As JayDub skitters off to network, Max pilfers Joey Ferrini's address from his Palm Pilot.

And we're there, at 1651 Whatever Street. Max makes his hand all red and unlocks the door. As soon as he enters, his cell rings. It's Liz, she of impeccable timing, all giddy in her blue waitress outfit with the alien face (I guess she has a job, in addition to her positions as master sleuth and family wrecker), with another clue. She tells Max all about the film and the suspicious death, calls the shape-shifter a serial killer, blah blah blah. Max wonders if this might be a coincidence, but Liz reminds him that there are no coincidences in Roswell. She trots off to see if there were any suspects in the case of the movie murder; when Max thanks her, she says that the sooner Max finds what he's looking for, the sooner he'll be back. Max then finds a videotape labeled "Utah Shoot." It's footage of Joey running lines -- badly -- for his confrontation with Michael in Utah. Max realizes that Joey's message delivery was all an act, when a computerized voice blurts out, "You've got mail." Then it says, "You've got mail, Max." Creepy. The screen reads, "I warned you Max. Stay away." Max backs away and turns around to find himself staring at the barrel of a gun, held by none other than the blowjob queen from tonight's first scene, who wonders what Max is doing there. The ringing cell phone, conversation, video, and computerized voice must have finally roused her from her vapid, wall-staring stupor in the other room.

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