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Viking Pride

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Jacob Clifton: A+ | Grade It Now!
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Murder on the Dancefloor
an be educated, the other one can't: It already knows the truth, but has sided with evil.

Funny Mike rides up to Lars's house on his stolen scooter and they chat about this and that, I guess the fat girlfriend broke up with him, so Silas finagles his way in there helping him move out. They sit down for a beer. "When I was 19, I was in a Whitesnake cover band," Lars says. "You could've gone camping in my hair." I like how Lars is just like this nice, Dearborn loser. Exactly the kind of guy you can see in her trail of dead. If he were super awesome this story would feel one way, and if he were a jerk it would go the other way, but instead it's in the middle. Just this douchey, nice guy.

He'd make a good dad for a person, if that were a thing you could choose. But not a good boyfriend or husband, unless you like them dumb and sweet and malleable, which just means you deserve nothing at all. This is so Nancy: Doesn't like 'em malleable, but the ones that get in under her radar -- bad but not evil -- and she mauls them too. Not because it's their nature but because of hers. Totally get that impulse, right? You want a man you can respect, but not one you have to respect. Somebody that will spank you but won't punch you.

Lars talks about the pussy in his bitchin' Camaro, and Silas makes a sort of slanty fun of him, sounding him for depths that don't exist, but the more he judges Lars the more he comes to like him: This is the simple man he was born to be. The simple man he thought Judah was. Maybe he was. Silas asks, casually, where Lars went to high school. East Dearborn, he says: "Take a Liking to a Viking!" Silas sidles up to it without looking and screws his courage to the sticking place and pretends to be surprised: "Really? My mom went there!" Nancy Price? Lars can't believe it, tosses out a STFU, and admits he used to ("f...") "date" Nancy Price once. "You don't look anything like her!" Lars says. "Here's hoping," Silas thinks.

Schiff calls Silas Midas and Shane he calls Swan, and he wants to get bunkbeds for them and he wants them not to fight about the top bunk and he wants to put in a new wall for more privacy and he wants this and that. Shane's like, "We are not going to be here for long. You are the beachhead, consider yourself established." Schiff doesn't hear. He's been ignoring teenagers for a long time now. "And you're right! You're only gonna be here a little while longer, and then it's just gonna be me and your mom!"

Just entirely making up male narratives, from whole cloth, with no input from anybody. Deaf to it. It's what child molesters do; it's what men do. Schiff's been living here with Nancy, alone, for thirty years. Why should three kids, her life partner, and retarded Doug factor into that dream, now that it's coming true?

Nancy sends Swan out to empty the car, and Schiff starts in on her about his renovation plans. While she was prone to go along with Esteban's plans, because she loved him, she knows now that it's too dangerous to even begin to dream like that. Not that she would, but he doesn't know that. The smile on her face is twenty years old. Schiff wants to put his massage table next to the bed, so he can be with her and tend his sciatica at the same time. She tells him not to go to all that trouble and he tells her their troubles are behind them; for him it's true, and all that matters is what Schiff says.

Nancy asks about Ellis Tate, the crumbum from the cemetery, and he takes a minute before he remembers. Nancy's glad, because that means his cover story was real: "Yeah, nebbishy white guy? Glasses." No, Ellis Tate was a fat girl, very good at Geometry and very good at Lunch. Before Nancy can process this or think about her next step in the Tate issue, Andy comes out wowing about another of Schiff's Skymall purchases, the showerhead that turns the water colors. "It's like I'm shrooming! The only thing that would have made it better is a large-breasted fairy in there with me."

While Doug plays with a "purifying wand" in a glass of water -- "I'm so over Brita" -- Nancy rolls her eyes, because honestly Doug puts worse things in his body daily than particulates, waits for Schiff to go away (he doesn't get it) and sends Andy to see the guy about the passports, and explains about the "no-lady zone." There are so many people in the room who aren't in on their whole two-person Team Botwin action; Schiff and Doug just stand around awkwardly and eventually disappear, because they don't understand chemistry, which is why they are both lost.

Doug asks what picture they'll use for his passport, and there's an awkward thing where I think instead of telling him to fuck off because he has no place in any of this, they decide that it's too awkward and decide to include him. Doug runs off -- back to Agrestic, as it turns out -- to grab his from home. Sad. Sadder, if I didn't hate Doug so much. Andy makes the inevitable "Loved him in Star Wars" crack about Hooman Jaka, and they break.

Nancy heads to the Viking library for some amazing interactions and to see if she can connect Ellis Tate to Klosterman. The librarian lady goes, "If you're looking for Bob Seger, those ones were vandalized years ago." Nancy politely corrects her -- "Bob is an ... acquired taste, I was looking for '84 to '87, actually?" -- and the librarian leaves with a hilarious, "Nobody good in those years!" Behind Nancy is standing one of my favorite people in the world, Stephnie Weir, looking all crazy like she does and feeling all kinds of historical trauma and reminding Nancy of who she is and was.

"Viking Pride, right right. You told Maureen Byrne I was a prude. In the locker room after gym, you said if I ever let a... A dick inside me it would turn into a popsicle. Then everyone started calling me Popsicle Patty." I don't actually remember much of 1984-1987 inclusive, and I've never really been a teenage girl, but I guess I can accept that "frigid" was a dangerous mean thing to imply, and maybe still is. I've always found it weird as a put-down, whether in the '50s or now. I mean, it's not possible that the world is so incredibly shitty that both having sex and not having sex are equal insults, because then what the fuck are you supposed to do?

Lady problems, they are a mess. It's more interesting that Nancy chose to express her power in such a nasty way: In this brick dance universe sex isn't bad, there are no sluts or whores (unless you sleep with Zack Morris), but not having sex? Well, that's unforgivable. Or maybe she was just calling her ugly in a very subtle way. I really have no idea. It seems like a cliché, like something that might have once happened that could be the basis for a joke in this scene at the library, but for all I know you could actually ruin a woman's life by calling her a "prude" in the girl's gym. If so, I have to give the girls of 1984-87 inclusive a lot more credit.

Nancy's like, "I do not recollect this instance, but that sounds pretty mean, so sorry?" Unfortunately, Popsicle Patty took it to heart, fucked fourteen guys junior year, got thrown out of the house and never went to college, and now she works at the high school, another corpse in the trail of dead: "I have had herpes for 27 years! But I am no prude!"

Nancy dives the fuck into her yearbooks, now that Phyllis has returned, and tries to be gracious about it considering this woman totally just attacked her out of nowhere, but Patty's not exactly out of bounds to whisper bitch! as she's walking away. And the day they took pictures, Ellis Tate wasn't available. She calls him for a date, flirty and cute, and wonders what she's gonna do about this one. If you asked her right now who Popsicle Patty was I have the funny feeling she wouldn't know who you were talking about.

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