Next up (or perhaps it is six hours before -- it's impossible to know now for sure), Ana tells the seven to "focus on what you were doing after school" as a method of connection with the children. Uh-oh. Childhood memory divulgence. You can hear the pathos a-brewin'. Sean had a big family so there were always people around. Elka played with her Barbies. Jason tells a story about shoes almost as lucid as the handwriting on his poster. Montana gets some more points for referencing "Atari" as an integral part of her childhood years. Yay, Atari! Speaking from the educated perspective of someone who spent two years trying to get a high enough score on "Pitfall" so I could take a Polaroid of the screen and send it to Atari Inc. and win a free sew-on patch for my soccer jacket, well, let's just say I briefly connected with Montana for a minute there. Syrus tells a story about his arrival in Los Angeles, seeing the ocean for the first time, and numerous other scoping activities that in no way answer the question of what he did after school. Genesis took care of her brother both before and after school, "because my mom was always passed out and my father was at work at the Air Force base." Her mother and step-father got a divorce and her brother went with her stepfather and it was really very sad and blah blah blah pitypartycakes. Everyone, excepting the melancholy strumming of the acoustic guitar on the soundtrack, observes a moment of silence at her disclosure. Elka smooths her hair back and looks sympathetic in a "no wonder you're such a disturbed, deviant heretic whore" kind of way. Okay, not really. Hereby leaving poor, easy target Elka alone, for at least the rest of this week.
Scanning the "Pathos" chapter of the Bunim-Murray-sanctioned Big Book o' Big Issues and realizing only child abuse, alcoholism, and growing up having only a videogame as a best friend do not make for quite enough dramatic tension, Ana delves further into the pasts of her seven captive confessors under the pretense that "the memories we have sometimes, you might connect with somebody in the program." And so they are told to find a partner and basically repeat the last three exercises where they talk and wail and beat their breasts about their miserable lives. Again. Kameelah tells Sean that she hates her stepfather. Jason shares with us in a confessional that he expects "it's gonna get more honest the longer we live together." Yeah. In the unlikely event they are ever, ever allowed to leave this visually bare, blandly decorated (and even more blandly convened group of yawn-inducers) room again and go the hell home. Anyway, Syrus begins to recount a story, and Sean's informative confessional lets us know that "a discussion arose about rape. And that's the point right there where Montana and Syrus clashed." Montana announces that rape causes women a lot of pain (thank you for telling us that, ye wise oracle), and Syrus rails back with a story about a girl he slept with who "cried rape," even though, as Syrus explains, "This woman took my clothes off! I didn't ask to come up to her room!" Oh, Syrus. The ol' "look at what she was wearing, she asked for it" argument, I see. Yeah, that'll fly with this crowd. If all that weren't enough, Syrus "has a lot of trouble believing when women say they're raped." Ouch! Silence all around, as the lead balloon that is his comment floats over the Boston skyline so loomingly and pervasively that it interrupts the transmission of my television reception and somehow causes the cable to go out. No more recapping of said scene for me. Darn.