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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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I Am Highly Flammable Right Now

Ignacio and Till are tied to the bedpost, sitting on the floor opposite Nancy, who's all but applying eyeliner on a sofa against the wall. Till pretty much orders Nancy to untie him, and Ignacio says he'll be the first to die. "You have no badge, Roy," Nancy says quietly, and he barks that he's undercover. And Sucio? The "dirty Mexican," she clarifies, with apologies ("It's true, he stinks like pigshit," Ignacio replies). Well, he killed Roy's partner. Sad that the obvious lie about the medication is now absolutely positively a lie, she asks if he's going to hurt her too, and there's no answer.

Last time we saw Till I thought a lot about how, to an addict, therapists are like cops: they exist to help you, to fix the problem, but when they do it can really suck. And the threat of Till for Nancy always seemed to mirror the threat of rehab for Celia. But when the addiction is the game, itself, those two jobs are even closer. Till says the things you don't want to hear, and enforces the rules you think you're beyond. He's like a moral compass too.

"He's a killer!" Ignacio says, in contrast to himself, who will kill Till in a moment if she lets him, and they can go watch Milo & Otis. They start kick-fighting, hands chained above their heads, and Nancy yells at them to settle down. "I'll make you pee your pants again!" she shouts, and they chill a bit. Till asks whose side she's on, and caught up in the fight, Ignacio yells that she's on his side: having a baby with his boss, in fact. She shoots Ignacio a hurt, annoyed look that is almost worse than the taser, and he's contrite. "What's it like, fucking a monster?" asks Till, and she nearly starts crying, but kicks him viciously instead, over and over, biting down on it.

So the choice is who to free, because they can't both be there forever, but whoever she frees they're going to kill the other one. Go with the good guy, he'll kill you and the bad guy and probably your family. Go with the bad guy, and he'll kill the good guy, and you will no longer be a good guy. So, by the additive property, the choices are: be the bad guy, or be the dead guy. As per usual. Of course, Celia chooses this moment to let herself in downstairs, and the kick-fighting starts again until Ignacio notices that Till's getting a hardon. Hilariously, Roy chins that it's a "perfectly normal reaction to the adrenaline of combat," and keeps kicking at him, but Ignacio, in a hurt tone, whines that he doesn't want to fight with Roy anymore. It's pretty darling, the whole thing.

The door was open. Well, it was ajar. Well basically, it was unlocked. Nancy stares at her, hatefully exasperated, and somehow summons within herself the ability to put down the taser. Well, using it would just make more of a mess, in more ways than one. Celia's next plan is a doozy: she realizes that, due to being utterly despised at this point by Nancy, she can't live in the house proper, but she's willing to compromise and stay on the couch in the balmy screened-in porch out back. Nancy responds by lighting a match and throwing it at her. "Hey," Celia yips. "That's fire!"

Nancy stalks her, walking backwards, to the door, tossing match after match as her delirious monologue gets ever more delicious. She points at her head ("Okay, Final Net Extra Hold?") and her clothes: "This is cotton! I am highly flammable right now!" Finally she just can't take it anymore and starts screaming, even as she's still backing away: "You know what? You are crazy! You are fucking crazy, and I HATE YOU." She stares at Nancy and remembers she has nothing. "We'll talk later." Nancy puts the last match in her mouth, and spits fire at her.

Judah's bank account: $186,437.96. Andy dressed as "Judah," with slicked-down hair and ridiculous hornrims and a soft cardigan sweater: priceless. He looks like a million bucks, actually. Judah was hot, hotter than Andy, but Fake Judah might be hottest of all. And not just for the mirroring with Jill/Nancy going on here, either: When Nancy ran away, Jill's life went to hell, but when Judah's life ended so did everybody else's. All we want to be is the opposite of what we are, until we're big enough for both: "Nothing is exactly as it seems, nor is it otherwise."

"Call me Judah," and all that, and Andy spins a tale about Uncle Yitzhak locking himself accidentally in a freezer chest and dying of the first and still only case of hypothermia in Woodland Hills. "Judah" saved his, but his idiot brother "Andy" spent it on a van one summer when he needed a place to live. This whole "I am a suck-ass and Judah was a prince" thing goes on for a while, but the associate at the bank finally tells him that the growth is pretty average on this account: it's just that Bubbeh's been adding to it for, oh, thirty years or so. "THAT BITCH!" he screams, and then fake-pulls it together about how sad is favoritism.

Andy asks the crazy-eyed lady about the hold she's placed on the account, and she leans forward with the real deal, all "I don't know what bullshit he's pulling, but you tell Judah he has to come talk to me before he sees a penny of this, because I've been waiting a long time to say my piece to Judah Botwin and by God I'm gonna" whatever, whatever, Andy takes off his glasses and soberly fesses up that Judah's dead. And in the time it takes to blink she's catapulted herself into Crazytown, ripping out her hair and banging her head on the desk and crying to the tunefully wacky piano.

"Fast cars, rodent rape, summers off," Shane says in the parking lot, to hottie Sandusky. "Wow, to be you." Sandusky says everything's hilarious to a punk like Shane, but his parents had dreams one day too, and Shane heads for the nose again: "Nothing shits on my mom's dreams -- least of all me! -- and my dad's dead. But nice try." He tosses the gym bag of pot in the trunk, and Sandusky offers him a ride home after they settle up, then adroitly locks the doors and drives off, leaving Shane staring and holding no bag whatsoever. For a moment he looks his age again.

Nancy begs Till to just, hypothetically, walk away: go home and forget the whole thing. Of course, he's high drama about how he has nothing to go home to anymore, and Nancy -- because of all the people on this earth the one person who should be offering grief counseling is Nancy fucking Botwin -- gives him a hilariously insincere, "I know it's soon, but what about dating?" Is she still talking to him, though: "He wouldn't be who you had, but..." And if not, who's she talking about? Ignacio nods helpfully. "My ugly cousin Paolo made himself a fuckdoll from a tire!"

Never let it be said that I stopped loving Cesar -- or Sucio's agreeable grossness, for that matter -- but this Ignacio, he has a certain something. He has that Sir Didymus kind of hyperactive, super-destructive charm that suits me even better than Cesar's malevolent-yet-darling ennui. All that time sitting on the tunnel, and he could have been telling us about Milo & Otis and fuckdolls. Nancy nods: out there for Roy Till, there is someone. Someone, or something. Maybe a tire.

"You have to choose, Nancy." Between Till and Esteban, there is no choice. There was a point where she chose the law over chaos, and went to Till. And he almost saved her, but then he didn't. And thanks to the baby, she had Esteban to keep her safe. Except she didn't really pick him and he didn't really save her. His comfort and safety mean nothing except a long tunnel with death at the end. But thanks to Sucio and a certain belt-sander, the other option's tainted now too: Till's comfort and safety are now nonexistent, a much shorter tunnel with death at the end. She has sufficiently pissed off justice to the point where there's none. She has no shelter: just two men who hold her in the palm of their hands.

"I can't have it either way," she tries to explain, but he's not having it. These are the hard choices, he's saying: "Mommy, you have to pick your favorite!" Because she's right: he'll kill Ignacio, that's the only reason he's alive. On the other hand, Ignacio will kill him without a second thought, and go watch movies and eat a sandwich. "That's true too," Ignacio says agreeably. The people she associates with.

"CHOOSE!" Till shouts, and the force of it sends her sideways, lying on the couch, with a Magic Eight Ball in her hands. If there's no shelter in law, and damnation in the opposition, then we don't even need a moral compass anymore. It's all random, now. Kind of Zen in a way. "I can't. I'm bringing a child into the world. I'm not ready to... sit here and play Buddha and be fucking Zen about who lives or dies. So we'll ask the magic ball." She wipes away a tear and stares up. "Tell me, Magic Ball. Can these two men part in peace? To live to kill another day?" She's playing with them, but not like a cat, not like Milo: she's playing with them because that's what she does. There are a multitude of random options. There aren't any options at all.

"Go on," he hisses. "Shake your magic ball. Tell yourself you're so noble because we're both still breathing. You've got blood on your hands!" Na

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