Bachelor
Gun Shy

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A Wrong Turn On The Southern State

A rural-esque, turbine-looking machine that turns corn into gold or hay into America spins lazily in a Texas cornfield while God is all, "Pardon the expression, but I didn't know I had a country," and then tightens His shiny new Bible Belt all over Andrews, Texas. An enormous sign in the middle of a field reads, "Andrews loves God, country, and supports free enterprise." Translation: "I'll see you in Hell, Commies, war protesters, and Jews." Ah, save your hate mail. I'm sure I'd just print it out and swap it for vodka anyway.

Mandy Jaye stands in the middle of a parking lot wearing the pinkest coat this side of the color wheel, meekly whining into her cell phone, "Hey, um, everybody's been trying to get a hold of you to see if you were gonna be able to come out and meet with us today." It's her father. Here to teach us that Divorce Is Hard. You know who agrees with that? God. And the country. And the free enterprise of shyster attorneys who can cite Bible passages from memory that prove the words "fidelity forever" are, apparently, open to interpretation. "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." According to God. Not to grandstand or anything, but...sigh.

Mandy Jaye's father, hated by god, whispers on his phone in a way that requires subtitles, telling her daughter, "Tell Jesse what the circumstances is [sic], I ain't [sic] gonna [sic] be able to come." And yet, oddly, the patron saint of grammar does not smile upon Andrews, Texas. Jesse approaches a blue awning containing the letters "Andrews Country Club," which has to be sarcastically named. Mandy Jaye hangs up with the phone with her father as she explains in a confessional, "When my parents split up, it was definitely a difficult...it was a hard separation. And they don't talk." Don't you mean they can't talk?

Jesse and Mandy Jaye toast with champagne glasses inside the -- ahem -- country club, as they toast to not grammar. Mandy Jaye toasts to "a fun day," while Jesse sees her toast and raises her one confusing temporal loophole when he -- TWICE -- notes, "Here's to meeting your family." Okay, at which point Mandy Jaye notes, "Speaking of meeting the family, I'm sure you noticed that my dad did not...he was not able to join us."

Jesse: "He's not coming?"

Mandy Jaye: "He's, um, not going to be able to."

???

Okay. Even if you want to argue that she just misspoke and said that he won't be able to join us rather than he wasn't able to join us, it's pretty hard to argue with the nonsensical nature of the phrase "I'm sure you noticed" in a linear narrative world that's asking us to believe that Jesse has not yet met Mandy Jaye's family at all. I know Andrews exists in a different world from the rest of the planet, but this scene exists on an almost sci-fi plane of reality. And until I hear a perfectly reasonable explanation for any of what just happened, I'm going to believe that this is the moment they finally crossed the line and that entire sequence was faked. I'm here if anyone has the time to convince me otherwise.

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