Smoking. Reading. Watching a TV with a blurred out picture, thus eliciting the through-the-coma-haze comment from this barely-conscious recapper, "Sure seems like a strange time to be surfing for scrambled porn. Oh, wait." Lurking in a corner for the first time in weeks, The Cat Of Vulnerability must have heard the Smashing Pumpkins on the soundtrack and come out to see who was feeling angsty. Cats have that extra sense, supposedly. In a turning-of-the-tide confessional, Montana is back on the phone, letting us know in voice-over, "Hopefully, I'll be able to volunteer somewhere else, do something good. Redeem myself a little bit." Cue montage of her tossing out some personal information, culminating with the explanation, "There was alcohol being served...samples of it. And I just didn't realize the implications of doing that." Meanwhile, the heads of volunteering at SADD, AA, and Common Sense International make some hasty, stonewalling excuse about not needing any further help in the immediate, oh, say, ever, and terminate the call in a hurry.
Back at the CCC, The Vindictively Napoleonic Complex Formerly Known As Poor, Poor Anthony (oh, wait...that's not who it is. It's actually some guy named "Anthony, Director, After School Program." Thanks as usual, Squiggly Hip Font) pulls Syrus into his office with a "Sy, I need to talk to you, man." When did "Sy" become your "man," um, "Tony"? May I call you Tony? No? Well, then, I guess you're seeing my point. Syrus sits down, and Anthony hands him a piece of paper, adding, "I hope this doesn't kill your morale." Close-up on the piece of paper. Ugh. Y'know, it's at this point in, like, every other Real World season that hook-ups or fights are reaching their dirty little climaxes, and here I am with a shovel and a sack of rock salt, digging out from underneath six months of snowbound sameness, recapping scraps of internal paperwork for mightybigmemo.com. Fine. Here goes: "Syrus, During your orientation on March 11, you were informed that I needed to be notified if you were going to be late or absent. Tuesday, April 22, and today, April 24, you were absent without notice. In the future, if you are going to be late or absent, I need you to contact me no later than 11:00 AM." Anthony's name, appearing on The Scrambled Porno Network right along with Montana's I'm At A Low marathon, is signed below. The letter is dated April 24, 1997. Okay, first of all, they've only been working at the CCC for five weeks, even though we're three episodes from the end of the run and they first started showing up there back in Episode 4? Have we been watching the escapades of these people blatantly ignoring the welfare of defenseless children in real time, or what? If I had known this season went by the underground title of Time Code: Boston, I might have reconsidered the whole signing on thing to begin with. Kameelah finds someone to blame: "The day we got back from the Philadelphia trip, Syrus and Sean did not go to work. They had a barbecue." Cut to a few random folks outside the firehouse, enjoying some food on a hibachi. Wasn't that the day they were told not to come in at all? Oops. Sorry. My blasé attempt to inflict some internal logic over the time frame of this show has opened up a tear in the time-space continuum, and all of the unlucky Somber Seven have gotten sadly sucked inside. So weird, how no one's exactly making any kind of concerted effort to help them get out. Die, suckers. Die!