This week was all about dealing with a pesky little thing called emotions. It sucks, right? You have to do it though, even if it’s on a to-don’t list, right along with kissing Dennis on his cigar stained lip ring or being within 20 yards of Carrion.As for Tom and Monroe? They stayed. After all the build-up of drama at the end of the last episode, Monroe talked him into staying and even enrolled herself across the street. So, yay Tom. Monroe isn’t the devil after all, at least not yet.
We’ll see what comes out when she tries to get clean and has no one from the outside to hide dope in the bathroom for her. Also, I really hope that she doesn’t turn into a camera hog like Jeff Conaway’s hideous girlfriend, barging in and interrupting everone else’s treatment. Take care of you own stuff, and leave Tom alone.
I really thought that he was a goner and had planned to be all along. I can admit when I’m wrong and I did learn something very important. All that sweating and freaking out that Tom did when Monroe showed up? It turns out that she’s a trigger for him. When he is in her presence, his brain automatically goes to a place of doing drugs. So I was right about one thing- as long as she’s using, he will not be able to get clean. Not without breaking up with her, and even then she might suck him back in.
He tells Mack how close he came to leaving, how addiction is a monster. Biology takes over and you can’t control your urges. Hmm. Should I say it? He better not use that excuse when explaining why he hit Heidi. It better be confronted soon too, it’s becoming the elephant in the room for me.
Drew comes out and tells him how relieved he is that Tom’s staying, a big smile on his face and swearing. All very un-Dr. Drew-like.
“Yay! Now I don’t have to field any nasty calls from those mean VH1 executives!”
Other than that Tom doesn’t play much of a part THANK GOD, leaving us free to move on to an even worse time and energy sucker- Carrion.
It’s day 12 and everyone is waiting for her to get her ass in gear. They show her in her room trying on various outfits, as if anyone is going to remember anything you wear when your sparkling personality shines through like hers does.
Everyone is pissed because of the delay, checking the time and rolling their eyes. Carrion is fucking up the perfect order that they’ve established by introducing her disregard for rules into their daily routine.
The thing that rehab tries to do at it’s very base level is to give structure to chaotic lives as a foundation for recovery. This girl needs to go back to the second grade and learn to clean her room.
A messy filthy room like this is such a red flag. I did the same thing when I was a pre-teen. I was a skinny, gawky sad girl. My family was going through hard times financially and my room reflected the confusion that was going on in my newly hormonal mind. Then I turned fifteen and began to gain some control. I babysat, made my own money and my parents got new jobs. My room improved drastically because of it.
Carrion seems like she hasn’t quite gotten there yet. Maybe she should have applied at a day care instead of selling her ass to scumbags in Hollywood once her beauty queen days were behind her. As it is, I think this girl needs shock treatments or about fifty years of intense psychoanalysis. Or maybe just a good kick in the teeth.
She finally drags her butt to morning meeting and Dr. Drew starts in about how addiction is the only disease that you have to convince someone that they have. You may start out being able to control whatever you are using but then eventually lose that ability, and need to recognise that.
The Bob says that as an addict he would look at other people as a commodity- what he could get out of them and what they were trying to get out of him. This led to resentment and mistrust and guess who pipes up with her own trust issues? Our little princess, that’s who.
Poor misunderstood Carrion, she lays it all out there when she meets someone new and then almost as instantly shuts herself down. She wonders why that is. Can you say bi-polar? Or is it just that people get to know her and don’t like what they see? How can anyone tell?
It’s no wonder she turns to drugs and sex in her sad life. It’s the fast food of feelings and intimacy. Fleeting connections in the age of attention defecit disorder and emotional laziness, and no more satisfying than an egg roll from Panda Express.
Mack tells her that she’s doing the same distrustfull things in rehab, hiding in her room and keeping her distance. It makes others return the favor and not trust her either. She isn’t mean about it, she’s actually very nice and says that she would like to get to know her better. She even gets teary as she’s telling her this.
What does Carrion do? She gets defensive and says that she hides in her room because she’s tired. “But you’re not too tired to change your clothes four times a day,” says Mack. Ha ha ha. I love group tough love, especially when it’s directed at someone who so deserves it.
Carrion says not to make comments about her taking too much time to get dressed since she doesn’t make comments about the fact that Mack obviously doesn’t take any time at all with her appearance. Really, Carrion, really? If you take so much time getting ready every single day, why are you still so ugly? Is it just me or is she kind of repulsive?
I can’t tell if it’s because she is so vile or if she is actually unattractive, really, I can’t.
We are back to the tactics of turning things on your agressor instead of facing issues head on. I hate to even waste my time and energy on it, so I can only imagine how Mack the Rehab prize fighter feels about it.
She tells Carrion that she must have hit a soft spot since she overreacted so badly, and she’s right of course. Mindy says that her mother was exactly the same way when she was growing up. She acted as if making the outside perfect would keep people around them from noticing how messed up they were on the inside.
Hello, beauty queen, DING DING DING DING. Carrion starts crying now because Mindy’s description of her mom is sounding an awful lot like her mother too. She wouldn’t let the kids sit on the white couches and never left home without lipstick because she never knew when she might meet Mr. Right.
Self worth all tied up in appearances leading you to do things in life that are all wrapped up in appearances. Truth and consequences, who knew?
Mack asks her if she’s scared that she is going to turn into her mother and then she really starts crying and smearing her makeup. Uh-oh. She says that she wants to leave and Mindy tells her to toughen up and stop turning away every time things get hard to deal with. Amen, sister. So glad to see that no one is falling for her bullshit.
Yeah well, imagine how everyone else feels.
She runs out of the room anyway, clutching her Parliament Lights. No wonder Loesha had such a hard time getting her the exact brand that she wanted. What’s the matter? Marlboro isn’t good enough for her, she has to smoke a brand that only old ladies in Palm Beach seem to like?
I would not be surprised to find out that it’s the brand her mom smokes too, would you? This chick has some fucked up mommy issues. Get in line, sister. And while you’re at it, get to know Mindy. She might be able to help you, asshole.
And you thought YOU had mommy issues.
Mack follows her back to her room where indeed, she is trying to fix her damn face. She and Shelly somehow keep themselves from giving her a beatdown ask her if she wants to go back to group. She says, “Does it look like I’m ready to go back to group?” and I fantasize about strapping her to a chair and pulling her nails out one by one until she BEGS to go back to group.
What an evil child. What a nasty mouth.
How many times do you think that little Carrion walked into her mom’s room for something and was told the exact same thing? Who here would be surprised to find out that any disagreement with said mommy would turn into “Why are you arguing with me, stop arguing!” Let’s all chip in and get her a voodoo doll with mommy’s painted face on it and she can stick pins into it all day instead of doing what she does next.
After changing into her afternoon tea dune colored caftan/halter top/maxi (who is this girl, Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra?) she saunters down the hallway past the little coffee room where they all converge, saying, “I’m somebody’s mother, I’m somebody’s mother.”
That is what Mack said when she got arrested, and Carrion is just trying to get her goat. They all stick up for Mack since she probably has the most experience dealing with bad people and fucked up situations and why would you want to get on the bad side of someone with zero psychobabble filter?
You could end up in a freaking metal hospital after she’s done analyzing you.
By the way, if Carrion pulled that shit on me, it would take every damn orderly in the place to tear me off of her, and she could say buh- bye to that weave. You don’t fuck with people’s kids and Mack’s son is pretty damn cool as we find out later.
Drew voice-overs that Carrion is exhibiting something called bitchneedsasmackdown-itis, only he calls it ‘splitting behaviours,’ meaning that she thinks you are either all bad or all good. She believes that the group is all bad right now and that they all hate her. She sounds like a paranoid bitch to me, but I’m not the one with the degree, so take that for what it’s worth. Plus, she’s kinda right. Nobody can stand her.
Mack heads back to Carrion’s room to confront her for what she said and it’s an excercise in futility. Carrion is like a Chucky doll in attack mode and keeps harping on Mack’s looks and the fact that she only has eight months’ sobriety. It’s the whole ‘you can’t tell me anything because you’re fucked up too’ argument that always works so well.
Mack tells her that she’s done trying (ri-ight) and Carrion calls her a fucking bitch. Donald Trump must be so proud. His young protegee has grown up into quite the little lady!
Mack then interviews that she thinks Carrion has a screw loose. Well, gee. I think anyone could have told her that. The freaking spiders in her room have already filed several complaints with the staff, and are pooling their fly money for some Wellbutrin.
At the next morning meditation everyone identifies as an alkie or an addict except Rodman, of course. He’s still being stubborn and rude and tells Shelly that she’s allowed the program to take over her life. What fun is there in thinking about staying clean 24 hours a day?
Teacher’s assistant Mack tells him that some people are so sick that they have to recommit to being sober every ten minutes. Can you imagine? She says that it may sound desperate to some people, but it’s life and death for them.
He nods his head like some kind of all knowing party sage, like he’s deigning to chew on that idea for a little while. Talk about having a wall up. Nobody thinks that you’re better or smarter than them (except maybe Joey), Dennis.
Mack is turning into the Gary Busey of this show. She can’t help but impart her wisdom and experience to the group. There is one huge distinction, though. The words that come out of her mouth actually make sense and don’t sound like they came from a group of schizophrenics playing Mad Libs.
Shelly asks Dennis what his program is, and he answers that he knows that he is eventually going to drink but that’s his choice. He’s in such denial. He should listen to himself. The good news is that when he says the word ‘choice’ it rings hollow. Then he plays with a match.
Light it under Carrion tomorrow morning. Everyone will thank you.
Before we go on to Dennis’s scary trip to Dr. Can I Get An Amen In Here, did you notice that for a split second Shelly looked pretty? it was a blink and you’ll miss it moment but girl done got her face did! Yay! Unfortunately, like the Pig Pen of cosmetics, it was gone in about ten seconds.
Keep trying, sister! We’re all praying for a speedy plain girl recovery!
Oops. Spoke too soon.
The Cookie Monater is back, as we are treated to a computer screen of Rodman’s fucked up brain.
I’m seeing less mcDonaldscharacter and more Carvel this trip.
Mmmmmmm, Cookie Puss.
Dr. Amen tells him that there are signs of damage that could lead to early Alzheimers down the road. The very near road, since he is already 49. It turns out that alcohol is the second most common cause of dementia. Did you guys know that? Scary. This would scare me straighter than the drunk driving lady last week. Who wants to lose their marbles? Can you imagine a guy his size wondering around frightened, confused and angry?
No thank you. The movie was scary enough for me.
There’s good news too. If he stops now his brain can actually get better and heal from some of the damage. He looks a little scared, you’d be insane not to be, but he fronts by saying that it doesn’t matter. Dude, remember Mindy? Don’t you know what brain damage can do? What if you fall down some stairs before one of your black-outs? It could happen.
A kid that went to my high school did the exact same thing and died at the age of 24. He fell off a brick wall he was climbing, brushed himself off, drank some more and never woke up the next day. He died of a hemmorage that he didn’t even know was there. All this happened years after mangling his leg in a drunk driving accident. God, we used to drink and drive all the time as teens in the 80s.
If the cops caught you, they probably knew you somehow, would follow you home and talk to your parents. NOBODY got DUIs in the early days of MADD, and nobody was surprised every year when a kid ended up in a ditch, face half missing and beer bottles strewn across the road. Nowadays, you’re lucky if your parents don’t lock up the liquor cabinet. I’m not saying thins were better back then, just different.
They go back to the PRC to talk about the brain scan and Dennis tells Drew that even though he saw the damage with his own two eyes, it still hasn’t affected his ability to rationalize his drinking, I mean intellectualize things, I mean HIS SMARTS. He is treading on thin ice here.
Drew tries to explain to him that he won’t lose his intelligence but he will lose brain function down the line. So he’ll be a really smart friutcake in a hospital gown, pinching nurse’s butts and telling them that he’d really like his dick sucked. What a joy that would be.
He needs to get a real job too. I think that his present job description is ‘party host.’ You know, the name they put on those little club flyers to get you to come in, dance around like an idiot and pay for ridiculously expensive bottles of Grey Goose. All in the hopes of brushing up against a celebrity who spends the entire night sexually harassing waitresses in the VIP room.
If he’s so smart, why doesn’t he do something with that giant brain of his? Go do something that he’s proud of so he doesn’t have to walk around hammered and defensive any more. If he thinks it’s too late because of his age, he’s wrong. He still has his celebrity and he can parlay that into almost anything.
Enough of him, let’s get in our first cry of the day! And Carrion’s doesn’t count. She isn’t human. She’s an amalgamation of assorted body parts that some sadistic scientist decided to reanimate in a basement somewhere, and now it’s all gone horribly wrong and we’re the poor villagers that have to suffer.
I’m dying to see the former patients that have cultivated enough sobriety to come back for a visit but first, a montage of their stints on the show.
We are reminded of what Brigitte looked like before the plastic surgery, back when she was still smoking and crying about what a horrible mother she was. Next up is Rodney. He broke my heart with his story. You can tell that he’s a big lovable teddy bear that got lost along the way. How else do you explain the fact that a trucking company would hire him even though he was puking out of the window on the way to a job? Oh, that’s right. He almost got beaten to death by LAPD’s finest. That pretty much wins you a pass for life.
Next is Amber and her pretty little pill collection, all lined up in the proper compartments along with her feelings and mommy issues. Why did they have to show her massaging her epiglottis into a trash can again? I have one thing to say- it made me sick the first time and nothing’s changed since then. Moving on.
All the girls are crying now, and then we come to footage of Jessica Sierra who was perhaps the most poignant of the bunch. I don’t know what trumps partying with your mom until she dies and I sure don’t want to find out. (Are you listening, Mikey?)
They finally come out, everybody looks great, especially Brigitte. I know that she is only a year older than me but she was looking way harsh before her facelift. I cannot tell you how happy I am that she didn’t use Sylvester Stallone’s plastic surgeon. Or Jackie’s, can you imagine?
I also couldn’t write this recap and talk about Bri-gee-tah without including this little French and Saunders bit:
I love, love, love them. Watch everything on Youtube. It’s all hilarious.
Brigitte seems to be the leader of the addict alumni and she asks how everyong is doing. “Like that,” Heidi says and points to the screen where their montages were playing. No doubt.
It must feel strange to come back to place where it all started, the exact location of your rebirth. And to see others going through the beginning stages of recovery, that has got to be tough. They have such a long road ahead of them and you have to talk to them as if they were intelligent infants.
Brigitte recounts how she chose a bottle over her own son’s health (brain tumor, ugh) and Rodman grins.
What is up with that? I hope he’s just remembering the Surreal Life foofy days. Sorry. I know. That was gross. Nobody needs to be reminded of her making out with Flava Flav.
She finishes her story and then asks if any of them have any questions, particularly Dennis. She tells him that she’s glad to see him in rehab, probably because it means that she doesn’t have to kick his ass for beating up women. Seriously, girl could probably take him. What is she, like six feet tall?
Excuse me for a second but where is Tom during all this, grabbing a quickie with the crackhead? I don’t remember seeing him with the rest of the patients. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I’m just surprised that he would be allowed to skip such an important meeting.
Rodney tells the group that it was hard for him to admit that he was an alcoholic but he’s been sober for almost an entire year. That’s good to hear. He says that you are never alone, that there will always be someone who believes in you.
Amber starts to talk but gets all emotional. She recovers her composure and tells the group that she never wanted to get clean, she didn’t want to deal with her feelings and felt nothing while she was in rehab. It’s only just now, after a year and a half of sobriety, that she is starting to feel again. That’s odd.
I guess that’s what happens after sixteen (sixteen!) years on pills and booze. How on earth does she look as good as she does? Has she found the fountain of youth and she just isn’t sharing, or do pills keep you young? She’s almost forty and she looks less than thirty.
She apologizes to everyone for being such a downer but it’s obviously a struggle for her. She wasn’t a social addict and she’s used to isolating herself. Talking to people about her new feelings is slow going, especially when you have to wonder if the person she is talking to is actually listening or if they are just taking in her beauty. I mean, seriously, she’s gorgeous. I’d say that I’d do her if I was a guy, but she’s been through sex rehab so that’s probably not very appropriate.
Next up is Jessica. She admits to having difficulty with staying sober. She drank after she left, got arrested, and got knocked up. She’s got a year and a half under her belt, which cannot be easy after what she’s been through. How do do lines with your mother one night and not commit suicide when she ODs on the coke you paid for? She must be a very strong girl to have made it this far.
They finish up and mingle informally and Brigitte makes a bee line for Dennis. His denial must read just as obvious in person as it does on TV because she tries to open his eyes a little.
He tells her that it would be different if he was a fucked up mother fucker like the rest of the patients but he’s not so he’s having a hard time believing that he has a problem. Holy crap, was that honesty I just heard?
He says that he’s stronger than everyone else but doesn’t say how, so take that with a grain of salt. Brigitte tells him to stop comparing himself to others and start concentrating on making himself better. He nods and puffs on his cigar. Is he finally getting it or is it the editing? Either way, I’m glad that she talked to him- alcoholic to alcohlic, so he can stop justifying himself because he’s not on smack or crank.
This next part was so hard for me. Ugh.
It’s later in the day and Mack is on the phone with her veterinarian. They are dicussing her elderly dog and whether or not to put the poor little critter down. They decide that it’s in his best interest to let him go since he’s gotten skinny and feeble. Shelly comforts her and she decides to do it now, while she’s in rehab so she doesn’t have to deal with it when she comes out.
Death is a trigger for her, and she threw away a decade of sobriety when her dad died. I really don’t want to get into her daddy issues because they are BEYOND fucked up, but holding on to this little dog with special food and medicine isn’t doing the little guy any favors. It’s hard to know when to put a puppy to sleep. This I know.
We had a big dog named Storm who was about 70 pounds when we put her down. It got so bad that we had to carry her out to go to the bathroom and hand feed her. She never complained or whined but you could tell that she was just waiting for us to get our heads out of our asses, bite the bullet and put her to sleep.
We gave her steak the night before we took her to the vets and she gobbled it up while we cried. It sucks to play God but when you don’t, things can get worse. I know of a dog that commited suicide in a lake because her people couldn’t make up their minds and end her misery. And no, I’m not joking. She dragged herself to the neighbor’s house and drowned in their lake.
The point is that death is a part of life. Drew says that our culture isn’t very good at dealing with death, and I have to agree. We have our rituals, we have our individual beliefs but the one thing we have in common is that nobody knows anything for sure, except that it’s inevitable. You can try to stave it off with medicine or herbs, what have you, but the truth is that our time here is finite. Nobody reading this right now is going to live to see the next century, let alone witness a miracle like Carrion develop a soul.
So she goes to the vet with Dr. Drew and meets up with her ex boyfriend and her son Shane. She feeds Max some ice cream since he loved it before when he wasn’t diabetic, and he looks so pathetic. Big blind eyes, his rib cage visible, he looks like a canine version of Starvin’ Marvin from South Park. I am losing it and so is Mack. She can’t bear to witness his death and leaves it up to her son.
He’s really mature, takes care of it and then reassures her when it’s all said and done. How sweet was he to kiss her and tell her that it’s going to be all right? I was bawling, I tell you, bawling. Thank God they didn’t show the vet putting the dog down. I would have lost it. It is exactly like Shane said – intense – to watch a creature take it’s last breath.
I hate to have to do it, and I was almost thankful that we were out of town when our last dog died. It’s embarrassing, but true. I get really weepy and sad over little animals. People too, of course, but animals give me so much more pleasure than most humans so I sometimes get more affected by their plight.
Case in point- Last year we had a particularly bad grackle problem in our back yard. We have a small pond and waterfall that finches and cardinals love, plus a big garden and bird feeders. Well, the grackles would terrorize the smaller birds by dive bombing them away from the food supply, especially the little babies. One of them got a beak to the brain and died in my hand. I watched it struggle for breath, it’s heartbeat visibly quickening and then slowing to a stop while I looked on, helpless.
It pretty much ruined my day, so I know exactly how Mack is feeling. And her son, what a hero. I’m glad to see that she seems to have stopped the cycle of abuse in her family and raised a good kid.
Her ex was really sweet to be there too. She should have an awesome support group around her when she gets out, to replace all the family that turned against her because of the book.
To make up for the sadness of that experience, we have a little surprise coming our way. It’s the next day and everyone is doing their morning affirmations, Mikey says he’s an addict, Joey does, and so on. They get around the group to Dennis and he announces, “I’m Rodzilla. I’m an alcoholic.”
Yay! Thank you, Brigitte, for finally opening his eyes. I’m not stupid, I know that it wasn’t all her doing, but I think that she was the final catalyst. He heard her words after seeing his brain scan, and finally woke the fuck up.
Maybe he’ll start to deal with things now, like his fucked up family. He’s going to need to because the previews for next time showed his wife asking him for a divorce. Plus, I take it all back. Mrs. Rodman is not cute like Elin Nordegren. Girl is BEAT. I would not be surprised if she had a problem too.
And no, I do not for one second believe that Carrion is going to turn over a new leaf for the final eight days and make an effort to get along with everyone. I honestly wouldn’t even believe it if I saw it. She’s going to need to do a hell of a lot more than that, like join a convent or devote the rest of her life to sponge bathing AIDS patients, then MAYBE I’ll buy that she’s made a change in her life.
I’ll see you all next week when we find out if Heidi takes her birds and hightails it out of there, and listen to Mikey describe getting shot up by dead rock legends. It’s a miracle that he’s still alive. There are so many from that era that aren’t.
Crazy busy, crazy in love and crazy about golf. Not so crazy about narcissists and do-nothings. Completely indifferent to network TV unless a sporting event is being covered, and completely in love with half the chefs on the Travel and Food channels. Chefs, not COOKS. If any of them really ARE chefs. I haven't seen any proof.