Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
The Wrap Party

Episode Report Card
Joe R: D | 1 USERS: F
Standin' In The Middle Of Afghanistan, Wastin' Time...

Back in the studio, a dance club has broken out, and the Simple Sisters are going through their "we've been dating musicians" spiel on Darren Wells and a ballplayer buddy of his. Jordan approaches, and some puffy douche who looks a whole lot like Glenn Guglia from The Wedding Singer gets all gatekeeper about the Darren Wells Inner Circle, and also manages to hit on Jordan at the same time. "I'm Jordan McDeere," she says, "and you're drinking my booze." I love how many different ways there are to say "go fuck yourself." It's really quite the versatile language we have. Darren makes the save -- get it? SAVE! Because he's a relief pitcher! -- and charmingly introduces himself. Jordan asks if he'd sign a baseball for her, and Alex and Soratio produce the closest they could come to actual baseballs: an orange that Props painted to look like a baseball, and a baseball that explodes. Luckily, Darren's just toolish enough that he carries some baseballs around with him, and in a second we'll see why. "So," says Darren as he begins to sign, "you like the clubs?" "The Cubs?" Jordan asks. No, in fact, Darren means the sex clubs. Like he's been reading about in the gossip rags. Jordan's all, "Uncool, dude! Not in front of my new friends Alex and Soratio!" She takes the ball and tells Darren to piss off (using the "appreciate it" idiom), and as she walks away, she takes a look at what he wrote on the ball and sighs in exasperation.

Cal and Lilly are back to let Eli know what they've found out: he's a war hero. See? War heroes and blacklists, Eli Wallach's tying this whole episode up in a neat little bow. ["I assume the nuggest about him teaching at Kent State in 1970 was cut for time." -- Wing Chun] They've also called Eli's assisted living residence, and Cal says that they've been very worried about him. Eli looks alternately guilty and suspicious, but he doesn't speak. Cal says that they've called him a cab and Lilly's going to make sure he gets home. Cal pulls up a chair, however, because in the meantime, he's going to use the guise of being a big WWII buff to essentially give the audience a rundown of what Eli did in the war. I'm sorry, give Eli the rundown. Of what he did in the war. Because he certainly wouldn't know, and if he's forgotten it, lord knows he'll want to be reminded of all the gunfire and fear. Cal says that Eli took part in "Operation Overlord," and when Lilly asks what that was, Cal is all, "You might know it by another name: the invasion of Normandy." Lilly doesn't say anything, but I'm going to extrapolate a "thanks, Professor Know-It-All" from her expression. I also have to say that whole "just a little [noun] called [whatever's the most famous example of said noun]" construct is beyond irritating and condescending, and Tom's been using it throughout the episode as well. I read this somewhere this week, and I'm pretty sure it was on the forums, but all the characters on this show really do talk like Josh Lyman. Not a good thing. So the whole expository story leads up to Eli taking shrapnel in the chest and face, and that's how he ended up with the scar that I just realize is on his face. Don't hate me, Eli Wallach, but I thought it was a deep wrinkle. He's still not talking, however, and when Cal thanks him for winning World War II, he whispers a "thank you" and then looks like he might want to say something else, but keeps quiet. Again, Wallach is so good here -- you don't know whether he's senile, scared, or overcome with emotion, and in what proportion -- I just wish he had a less clich├ęd story to work with. Before Lilly can take Eli out to the cab, Cal notices something in the framed photo: a man with a scar on his face. "It's you," says Cal, finally catching up to the rest of us. "I only had the one sketch get on the air," Eli says, "before..." Cal asks, "Before what?" Eli then tells the story of Clifford Odets, who Eli had met only one night, and who went before Congress the next day and named names. Cal asks Lilly to hold off on the cab and take Eli to the writers' room, and then hands Eli the picture. Eli clutches it to his chest and sighs sadly.

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Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip




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