Final, end-of-season props to everyone in the good and great TWoP community. Television Without Pity: when you're here, you're family.
Somewhere just between the intersection of Richie Rich Road and Easy Street lies the Firestone Vineyard. We join the action this week via a series of sweeping aerial shots, a clear sign that the true majesty of the place can only be captured from the air, just in the way that we are used to when viewing the Great Wall of China, the light on the top of the Luxor, and the few other man-made structures visible to the naked eye from outer space. Lush, rolling green fields -- the color comprised of a mixture of winery-appropriate grassy expanses, combined with the overflowing outdoor cash mines the family has been forced to resort to as a result of surplus -- surround the Firestone Family Manse, a somewhat enormous house with a confounding number of floors and, if I'm to believe my soap-opera lore about utterly wealthy semi-recluses living on estates, a deranged cousin named Rupert or Cecil or Stewart sequestered away in the dreaded East Wing.
The camera sweeps around the house to fetishize it from every angle, and you can practically hear Andrew watching this episode from inside the gilded walls of richdom, pointing comically at the screen and cracking himself up with some variant on the joke, "Hey, look, I can see my house from here!" Which you'd think was the most annoying thing you'd ever, ever heard, until he paused momentarily, leaned back into the Stickley couch with the five-billion thread count slipcovers and muttered just loud enough for you to hear, "My house is the bee's knees." Then he'd say it again. He'd say it at least thrice weekly. Grrrrr.
"Today we're back in my hometown in Santa Ynez," the nasal voice-over drawl of Andrew "I Can't Believe It's Taken Me This Long To Make The Inevitable 'Wine And Cheese' Joke" Firestone tells us. Ew. "Ynez." Buy a vowel, town. You can clearly afford it. I guess the Firestone family fortune was originally accrued by Grandpappy Firestone landing a triple word score in a high-stakes game of Geographical Scrabble and they're still collecting interest on the four billion points they got for the word "Ynez." Who was Saint Ynez, anyway -- the patron saint of unpronounceable consonant clusters? Anyway. We pass a large brick sign reading "Firestone Winery" at the entry gates, which are surrounded by tall, sharp-shooter-obscuring hedges on the off chance that an intruder should try to get in or if Crazy Cousin Stewart should try to get out. And for all you history buffs out there, the Firestone Winery was established in the Ye Olde year of 1972. What rich history! What timeless majesty! Doubtless it's only been a few years of the many since the fine elixir of Firestone Wine was used exclusively for drinking purposes, seeing as its chief use for centuries must have been to disinfect wounds during the Gold Rush years before the advent of proper medicines. I mean, 1972? How am I supposed to give myself over to the rich cultural heritage of the Firestone Winery if it isn't even older than Christina? Actually, though, come to think of it, what really is?