Back in Brownsville, Elka's private chat with the camera displays the first of her conservative, Catholic school girl sweaters ripped from the Sunday Sears circular and accentuated by her hair style supplied by the Celine Dion Collection at her local Glamor Shots salon. As she hugs her father in the airport and steps onto the plane, her coming-of-age characterization is solidified with the admission that "I knew that this is what I had to do. I needed to get out of Brownsville. I hadn't had a chance to really go off and find myself, so to speak, and to experience new things, and to learn to do things for myself." Oh, yeah. She gets really, really wild, all right. Try to stay calm, Mr. Elka's dad. Someone's about to discover that God invented cigarettes and eye shadow.
On the Amtrak train to Boston where the same coming-of-age story would fear to tread (one believes he already knows everything, the other has not that many more ages to come to), Sean and Montana discuss Sean's trip to Australia to participate in something called "a lumberjack contest." This phrase cues a montage of a pre-Real World Sean involved in contests featuring him throwing an axe and running on a log in a pool, all of which serve no valuable purpose other than providing me the inspiration to speak aloud the genuinely quizzical, "Is he, like, going to law school through the mail, or what?" Montana takes this opportunity to cement her own character as "the wacky one" in singing a song about lumberjacks. Well, it sure is easier than listening to his story in its entirety, I guess. And for this I am forced to thank her.
Over at Logan Airport, elegantly edited shots of planes we're supposed to believe are carrying Elka cut to her aqua-sweatered confessional concerning her first meeting with Kameelah: "I just knew she was going to be black. I mean, that name just screams black. Y'know, for me." And you care why? "Because they're cheap?" No, Elka, those are the Jews. Try to keep your prejudged slurs and assumptions about people who are different from you and daddy straight, won't you? Speaking of "straight," if you're not you rot in hell, I suppose? Just so we're on the same page here. So "Elka" dares to make a judgment call on the name "Kameelah." Tough call, "Elka." A name which screams "feminine plural of mule-like forest dwelling animal" to me, by the way. Kameelah arrives. She is of average female height, wears a stylin' black leather jacket, hair pulled on top of her head and a pair of sunglasses propped on top of the whole thing. And yes, she happens to be black. How convenient for Elka, who now believes herself to know everything she needs to know about Kameelah. The first question Elka lobs at Kameelah is, "Is your tongue pierced?" It is, and Elka takes a step back in shock before uttering a sanctimonious "wow." Hey, MTV producers, that's about enough "well, golly jeepers" glares of awestruck wonder, okay? We get it. I'm about halfway to believing that if Kameelah were to so much as play a spirited round of "got your nose" with this provincial target, Elka would just about drop to her knees and pray for this exotic Nubian voodoo sorceress to spare her short, futile, God-fearing existence.