20/20 Hindsight

Episode Report Card
Chuck: D | Grade It Now!

Previously: Bobby endures a competency evaluation as part of the ongoing custody battle for his sons. Neil plays protective husband to Lyla, who gets stabbed by Rickle, a man who shot five people in Times Square a few days after she chose not to admit him. Abe learns that commitment can be depressing.

This week, we get a quick "previously on Wonderland" montage, which includes a scene that I swear has not previously happened -- Bobby sitting in a bar with his estranged wife; he says, "I don't want to lose my boys. So sue me." To which she replies (unable to resist the mile-wide opening Bobby has just handed over on a platter), "I am." That was a sneaky little bit of context-building.

It's a Rivervue morning, and weapons are being distributed to the guards. Neil begins the day in the ward, getting props from a beefy guard for his attempt on Rickle's life (turns out Rickle killed at least one cop in Times Square). Beefy tells Neil he "had passion," which was not at all apparent to me, and goes back to reading a Daily News with the headline, "Terror in Times Square." Is that not something that occurs there every fantasterrific day? ["Not really, unless by 'terror' you mean 'The All-Star Café.'" -- Sars] Neil meets Bobby in the hall, and they start discussing patients. The ward, which had an approximate population of four last week, is teeming with people -- patients burble and saunter about, and a small army of badge-wearing doctorish types gathers behind our two leading doctorish types. Did another hospital just shut down? Has Hallmark created "extras week"? Neil tells Bobby that Rickle's not taking his meds (a nutty twist, since Lyla thought Rickle was looking for drugs when she sent him away), which consternates Bobby, who then asks about Lyla and her big day, which must be just one in a series of many recent "big days" for Lyla, seeing as how she just got poked in the baby with a big, menacing needle. Neil tells Bobby that all is cool because Lyla has everything under control. Yeah, right.

A reporter hounds Lyla as she walks purposefully down the hall, followed by yet another badge-wearing doctorish type. As the hard-hitting muckraker pesters Lyla about professional responsibility and other dumb crap, she suddenly takes issue with his use of the phrase "about to blow" and asks if he thought up the headline "Madman of Midtown." He climbs a little higher on his soapbox and asks if she feels no responsibility for five deaths, only to be interrupted by the polished hospital spokesperson. PR guy is shaken because Lyla has chosen to engage the reporter, which is a big no-no, especially since this one obviously has a pretty strong anti-Lyla bias. Her transgression merits a "crash course in PR crisis management," which consists entirely of a rousing round of "no comment." Dr. Spin tells Lyla they've had a "total system failure" -- referring to the needle in the tummy incident; "every link broke," and despite the presence of police and security, Lyla ended up getting to Rickle first. "Well," says Lyla, "I'm quick and I'm dumb." You can say that again. Spin tells her she was acting on instinct (not, apparently, the maternal kind) and assures her that nobody will fault her for that, and she kids with him about the Special Review being an educational tool. It's really great that even in this time of stress, Lyla can maintain her hilarious sense of humor. Lyla, Spin, and their great big foreshadows climb into an elevator and vanish.

Exterior aerials of the hospital, as we zip back to the ward, where Bobby and Neil pay a visit to Rickle, looking like last Wednesday's enchiladas. Bobby asks Rickle about his disinterest in medication as Neil fixes him with a sour gaze. Rickle recognizes Neil and says, "That pregnant woman was your wife." "That's right," says Neil. To which Rickle replies, "I'm sorry. That wasn't in the plan." Neil decides that hanging out for a chit-chat might be a bad idea, since the guy just punctured his wife and his unborn son, and leaves Bobby to handle Rickle's issue with pills. When asked why he won't take his pills, Rickle replies, "Better steer clear of poison hazards whenever possible, that's what I already told them. Circe drugged men with a magic potion and she turned them into pigs. Odysseus was the only one who could resist her charms and convince her to turn them back into men," starting to sound like an off-her-rocker Edith Hamilton. Bobby is intrigued because he's never had a patient refuse medication (they'd have to be insane to refuse drugs!), and Rickle starts shaking -- Bobby thinks he's hearing the voices. Mythology primer aside, this actor is doing a commendable job of playing a schizophrenic -- he's frighteningly convincing, and he makes it look like an unpleasant, sweaty place to be. Rickle explains that he doesn't go around wanting to kill people, even though he knows that's what everyone thinks and he understands their confusion. Sucks to be you, dude. Bobby reminds Rickle that he mentioned something about impostors, which sends Rickle into another circuitous rambling about how their wives and bosses and mommies didn't know, but he knew -- I'm assuming here that Rickle has the inside scoop on some funky twist on the old "group of aliens who have managed to infiltrate the human race" theme. I'm voting for Disney, which might explain Rickle's shooting range of choice. Anyway, Rickle "got the message" and felt duty-bound to expose these frauds; Bobby wants to know if Rickle got the message right, which stops him cold. "Gods know more than we do, Doctor, they understand more than we do, and they're always right. They are not gonna direct somebody to go out and do something wrong," says Rickle, now sounding like a Christian zealot. At this point, the camera suddenly takes over the scene, jiggling about as Rickle points and claps and yammers on about balance, which is something the cameraman needs desperately right about now. More clapping and hyperventilating about the Titans and Zeus and mission accomplished and finally Bobby holds out his hand and, like Billy Graham silencing the flock, restores order to a scene that was quickly spiraling out of control into an unwatchable mess. Can it with the friggin' epilepticam, will ya?

So Bobby tells Rickle that if he's looking for balance, he's got just the thing (Jackie Susann would be so proud!) and, for being a good sport, he'll throw in something to quiet things down. We all need dealers like Bobby -- this guy could sell me a breast pump. Or meds to a schizo. Convinced, Rickle confirms that he's in a hospital and starts to feel like everything might be okay after all. Rickle blurts, "I don't want to fry," which snaps Bobby to attention, blue eyes aflame. Maybe it was the ominous soap-opera music that snapped Bobby to attention, actually; he looks like he's just gotten news about some "she's my sister/she's my daughter" sort of business. Sniffing coercion, Bobby asks if anyone has told Rickle not to take his medication, but Rickle just keeps repeating, "I don't want to fry." Bobby rises, looking all-knowing and, after grabbing Rickle's leg and copping a feel, goes away, as Rickle swoons and lies back in his bed.

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