Episode Report Card
Alien Nation
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

This is what you got me for Christmas, Smallville? Was the coal lump factory store closed? Was an anal rape option not available? Seriously, guys. This was terrible. Why, Smallville, why?

We open on a vast field, which is useful for farming. A cropduster flies overhead, and we pan across to look at an irrigation ditch. A tractor rolls by and a helicopter flies off into the distance as, nearby, about a dozen workers are toiling in the field. This scene looks expensive. ["No, no. You keep costs down by hiring illegal immigrants, Omar. I thought you were from Texas!" -- Wing Chun] A boy in a cream shirt and jeans is digging, while his friend, to the left, is just standing there, shovel next to him, watching. The darker boy warns "Javier," in a slight accent, not to let the boss catch him resting. The fairer boy, Javier, says, "He's gonna do what? Fire me? Francisco, the guy doesn't even pay us. I didn't come to America to be a slave." Are you sure you came to America, Javier? Because you sure sound pretty American. In fact, with your bushy hair, non-existent Latin accent, and young-actor-on-The-WB looks, I'd say you might hail from Hollywoodland, California. Javier says that he came here to be with his mom. Also, if they run fast enough, they can escape. Francisco -- who's sweating from the work and looks slightly annoyed -- says that everyone who's tried to run disappeared. That's because they didn't come back, did you think about that? Everyone's dressing pretty light, and the heat seems pretty heavy. Isn't this supposed to take place after Thanksgiving? Francisco gives Javier a look like, "Well go be with your mom, then. Baby." In that grating middle American accent, Javier says that Francisco has known him his whole life (yet they sound completely different), and asks if he's ever let Francisco down: "Just gotta trust me." Bueno.

Javier and Francisco plant their shovels; it's obvious that Javier barely knows which side goes into the dirt. A worker falls behind them. It's almost like those shots in a comedy where the characters are talking in the foreground and something funny happens in the background, only this isn't funny and the background action isn't done well enough to draw your eye. Brooding music with light-FM Spanish guitar plays. Mark Snow is getting mucho ethnic, compadres. Javier and Francisco jog over to help, while all the other workers just keep croppin'. Javier asks (in English) if the man is all right, and then says, in awful Spanish, "¿Está bien? ¿Necesita ayuda?" Owwww! My Latino ears hurt! The bearded man, who is lying on his back, croaks. "Somebody call a doctor!" Javier yells. In English. The other workers can't understand him, but they're all thinking, "Did somebody yell, 'I am an awful actor'?" A shadow falls on the boys as they try to look concerned while everyone else works. "What's happening here?" asks a man in a straw hat and blue overalls. The farmer whistles as he artfully blocks the bright sun. He tells someone to give the man some water. The man we'll come to know as Farmer Hans Moleman tells the two boys to get back to work. All that bad acting ain't just gonna perform itself. Francisco and Javier go back to their beloved shovels. They are named Christy and Melanie. Farmer Moleman whistles again, at no one in particular. Maybe a purty lady walked by just out of frame. Javier tells Francisco that if he stays there, he's going to end up like the guy on the ground. Francisco thinks he'd look pretty cool with that beard. Javier blinks his pretty eyelashes, and then tells Francisco, "Let's go find my mom." The friend nods. It will be his doom.

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