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The First Day of School

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Lady Lola: B | Grade It Now!
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Nothing Happens, Again
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

So, that first hour was incredibly boring and slow and kind of lame BUT I still saw some potential there that the previews for this episode suggested it would soon realize. The AMC marketing people seem really -- perhaps too -- proud of themselves for this show so they must have a reason ... right? I can be patient. Up to a point. That point is probably a bit sooner in coming than usual, seeing as how I just returned from a vacation to find that my car doesn't work, I'm exhausted from jetlag, and I caught a nasty head cold on the Petri dish that was Virgin Atlantic Flight 045. So I might be a little bit cranky this week.

We open on Will standing on the roof of a building. If he jumped and died right now, that would make this show slightly awesome. Just a thought. But he'll probably just stare at the people walking on the sidewalk below for a while and bore the shit out of me instead. Sure enough, that's exactly what happens. But thanks for the long shots of various parts of a nondescript and rather ugly building, show. I've always wanted to see the ugly side of New York City.

I do like the theme song, though.

Tanya arrives at work and is duly searched by guards, one of whom might be played by one of Chris Farley's brothers. He orders her to take off her sunglasses for "visual identification," which she doesn't want to do either because she's been crying or her eyes are just looking extra puffy this morning. She then heads for the bathroom and barfs in a stall while Maggie tries to put on her lipstick. I hate it when that happens. Tanya emerges from the stall and the women exchange a brief look but say nothing even though there is clearly a problem, because that exchange of dialogue has the potential to be slightly exciting or advance the plot in some way. And we can't have that.

Will arrives at work and nearly runs into Tanya on his way upstairs to his new office, which is still full of his dead boss's stuff. Maggie arrives almost immediately and asks if Will is nervous about his first day. He says he is, and she says everyone is rooting for him. Are they really? Because Tanya barfed all over the place, Grant clearly wanted that job for himself, and Miles is a weirdo. That's not exactly the most supportive group in the world.

Will heads over to talk to a guy we haven't seen before, whose office is enclosed in a chainlink fence with just a keyboard and monitor and a bunch of computer-type things. And the monitor and keyboard are high up, too, so he has to stand to use them. Did they shoot this in the post-production offices? What the hell? Will hands him a bunch of crossword puzzles to research for a "big case," but tells him not to tell anyone else about it for now. The guy says that's against the rules and that his name isn't Hal, which Will keeps calling him. "Thanks, Hal," Will says, walking away. They could make this into a hilarious workplace sitcom if the conspiracy drama angle doesn't work out. Will can star as the clueless asshole boss. NotHal sits down at his heretofore unseen actual desk and gets to work. Although the work he's doing is probably a list of people he's going to kill (new #1: Will) and not so much the secret crossword puzzle research.

Will shows up for the meeting with his new evil boss late like a moron. Evil Boss makes a note of this, then assigns various piles of work (like, actual piles. Stacks of papers and folders and things. Because this collection of brilliant minds doesn't seem to have access to a computer except for what's inside NotHal's chainlink fence office) to the heads of various teams. Except for Will, who gets to meet his evil boss's evil boss instead. You'll remember that the last time Will tried to meet him, the guy was out meeting with his Four Leaf Clover Society friends, thus causing the episode to end on a decidedly anticlimactic note. Well, now it's time for Will to come face to face with Spangler for reals! As they head out, Evil Boss comments that Will could have at least tried to dress sharp for this meeting. "A coat and tie," he suggests. "Right, coat and tie," Will repeats. Meanwhile, Evil Boss is wearing, like, a black mock turtleneck and slacks from Banana Republic, so it's not like he's setting the best example here. "Don't let me down," Evil Boss sighs. "Excuse me?" Will asks, because he doesn't even get the simplest things. How is this guy supposed to be at all intelligent? Evil Boss slowly explains that he recommended Will for the position, so it would reflect poorly on him if Will were to suck out tremendously. "I appreciate the support. I won't let you down," Will says. Evil Boss seems to realize that Will is going to be the end of his career, one way or another.

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