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[NOTE: This is Part 2 of the finale recap. Part 1 can be found here.]
Enough chitchat. Right back to the action. What’s this? Mark and Janet actually have a scene together! They’re unpacking and they look happy, not like the picture she painted of the deadbeat who left her holding the baby. The only thing marring this happy scene is the rejection slips Mark keeps getting for his novel.
So, boys and girls, whenever you see a young couple being happy and boring on screen and you need some drama, what do you do? You throw in a pregnancy test. And thus Mark transforms instantly into the jerk we’ve all heard about and have never seen. Janet wakes up in a hospital room, because that was a dream, or a flashback, or maybe the producers just got back from watching Inception and decided to recut the whole finale. She goes out in the hall and asks for her daughter, only to be drugged up and put back in her rubber room by a Nurse Ratched type. Her doctor mentions that she was picked up wandering out on the highway four days ago. Guessing this is another mental hospital. Just with less chickens this time.
Next time Janet wakes up, Mark’s pal Detective Gomez is waiting to debrief her. Janet is only interested in seeing Megan, of course, and it would be kinda weird that Grandma and Megan aren’t there except for the obvious stench of The Program all over this place. Anyway, Janet goes through her I-know-it-sounds-crazy speech, which Gomez basically ignores because he wants to hang her disappearance on Mark. When Janet tells him he’s wasting his time, in go the drugs.
Those drugs must give you pretty good dreams, because next we see Erika and Moira all veiled up in Morocco.
How in hell did they get to Morocco after crashing in a van in the middle of nowhere in California with no money? I want to see the Lost Episode that explains that one.
So yeah, I realize I didn’t really cover the final scene of Part 1 of this recap. The Townies jumped the driver of the van and it crashed on the side of the road. They all got out and wandered off. That’s all I missed. I swear. OK. Next we see our intrepid reporters, broke down on the side of the road somewhere in the wasteland of Middle America, presumably on their way back from getting kicked out of The Program’s front corporation in, of all places, Iowa. They’re trying to thumb a ride, only to get blown off the road by… Bill and Charlie, driving a (stolen?) muscle car. That’s kind of awesome and I almost don’t care that it’s totally unexplained. Mark gets a call from Gomez letting him know they found Janet. The reporters hug it out.
Janet gets a visit from her doctor and a very special guest.
So yeah, Number One is apparently the hardest-working arch villain around. Either that or she’s shopping around an evil version of Undercover Boss. After she hears Janet’s crazy story, she recommends–what else–transferring Janet to her facility for, shall we say, more intense treatment. Did I miss the part where Janet was committed? She is still legally in control of her own person, right? I think it takes more than standing on the side of the road with a loony conspiracy story. Half the population of New York could be locked away, amirite?
Meanwhile, out in the land of the free, Charlie and Bill are getting served by karma for not stopping to pick up Markat. We’re long overdue for a shipper name for these guys. Barlie or Chill? What’s it gonna be? We have to live with it for 3 more pages, so choose wisely. Barlie it is. Bill wishes they’d stayed in town where they at least had warm beds and great Chinese food. Except for that whole kill-or-be-killed thing, Charlie points out. In the meantime, Janet gets more drugs from Nurse Ratched and does the old don’t-swallow-the-pills trick. Oldest trick in the book!
Mark and Kat reminisce about their Excellent Adventure while driving go the hospital to check on Janet. After that they’re pretty much on their own in this great big world, with no jobs or money or homes and hmm, something tells me Mark is gonna have a fun time getting some custody of his newfound daughter. He apologizes to Kat for getting her in this situation. She isn’t sorry, not one bit.
As Markat closes in on the hospital, Janet is at this very moment plotting her second great escape in as many episodes. She takes out Nurse Ratched using moves she learned from Erika. The hospital desk clerk tells Markat they don’t have a patient named Janet Cooper. Kat’s spidey-sense tingles. Something isn’t right. Gomez and the cops are sneaking up on them.
They make a run for the stairs chased by the guys in blue, while Janet heads down. Aww. Mark and Janet are about to have a re-meet-cute.
Mark tells Janet to run while the Smurfs-with-guns catch him. Except they don’t have guns this time. They just have Tazers. What is it with TV and Tazers these days? I miss the old days when the air was full of bullets and no one got hurt.
Number One’s already back at World Domination HQ, having apparently taken the Floo Network to get back there so quickly. She tortures Joe with a tape of her interrogation of Janet. Remember Joe?
Number One makes a few vague threats about what might happen to Janet if Joe doesn’t cooperate, until Patchy buzzes in to tell her that her speech sounds an awful lot like something that got cut from Inception, and also, they have a problem. I’m not sure what the problem is, because it doesn’t exactly take a rocket surgeon to figure out that Janet’s going to go straight to Grandma’s house and pick up Megan. Sure enough, this chick is devious.
But no. Back to Program HQ where Number One has called an evil board meeting. The only person at the table who really participates is this character.
That’s The Doctor from Star Trek: Voyager, BTW. Better yet, he’s The Cowboy from Innerspace.
Doctor Cowboy is calling Number One on the carpet for bringing too much exposure to The Program, except he calls it an institute. Number One isn’t about to let a conference table full of extras thwart her evil plan, and she isn’t about to let Janet get away. Meanwhile at Grandma’s house (which is full of spy cams as you may recall)… Janet’s not going anywhere. Yep, she’s having a midnight snack/bonding sesh with her mom.
Edick is there also, basically being Grandma’s butler. He takes a call so he doesn’t have to participate in all the Eating, Praying and Loving going on in the next room. As you might have guessed, it’s Number One on the line so Grandma picks up. I didn’t turn on closed captions, but I swear it sounds like one is named Ellen and the other is named Ellie. Anyway, I get a twin-sisters or maybe a college-roommates-who-experimented vibe. They’re definitely not strangers. Grandma refuses to give up Janet, and Number One says that the two of them made a commitment a long time ago and they have to honor it. Decision time. Grandma bundles Janet and Megan into Edick’s car and sends them off with the standard trust-no-one speech.
So hey, remember that ensemble of supporting characters? They’re still hanging around like loose ends that need tying up. What’s everyone else up to right now?
Kat’s hanging out in a cage in the Pit of Despair, or the Valley of Lost Souls or Gitmo or whatever you want to call it. They saved her a spot right next to Tori’s dad, the ambassador.
McNair’s been scooped up by The Program and given an hour in the reprogramming room. Do we get to find out how he got there? Or how Moira & Erika got to frickin Morocco? I swear, this is a Franken-episode of stitched-together bits and pieces. I bet NBC bought less episodes than they were supposed to and they ended up having to mix them down. It’s the only thing that makes sense. Too bad we’ll never see a DVD with all the footage.
The old guys are having a Brokeback Campfire moment. They’ve decided they don’t want their old lives back and are ready for a change. And Charlie wishes he could quit Bill. Then something weird happens: Bill asks Charlie if he misses Charlotte. “How did you know my wife’s name was Charlotte?” asks Charlie.
Even more importantly, there’s a camera watching them even out here IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. Does The Program have a fleet of jackalopes that they strap cameras onto? Out on the lonesome highway, Edick is supposedly driving Janet and the still-sleeping Megan to safety.
So they pull into a hotel that is not called Downtown Hotel. Edick tucks the women in and assures them he’ll be right outside the door. Famous last words, bub. Ten bucks says he’s keeled over dead outside that door in the morning. Megan wakes up just to tell Mommy she loves her, then they both fall asleep. Janet dreams about her escapade with Joe during the bee episode, evidently remembering outtakes because she calls him “the boy scout from hell” and I definitely would’ve remembered that. More flashbacks, probably more stuff we’ve never seen on air just so the producers can stick it to the network, then Janet wakes up.
In the Downtown Hotel.
You guys! I should’ve seen that coming, but I’m glad I didn’t. Five minutes before the end, the show totally redeems itself. It’s like the opposite of the Lost finale. Joe wakes up, also back in Crazy Town. So does Mark. Told you he’d make a good Townie. Joe drops right back into his old role, getting the keys out of the Bible and going around knocking on doors. He runs into Mark, who recognizes him and calls him Father Tucker. Now that should be interesting. I don’t recognize any of the other new Hotelguests. Janet ain’t there. But guess who is…
Janet is, in fact, back with all her old Hotelguests, who were apparently captured off camera when The Program decided they’d had enough fun. Everyone meets up and head to the elevator without a word, in this resigned way that is totally awesome. The Old Townies have Patchy as their manager again. “Welcome to Level 2,” he says. What he does not say: BWAHAHAHAA. So what’s outside the door?
So. They went with the Dark City ending. Well, sort of. The boat name is Something Perdidas. Perdedores? Adios Losers, maybe? That’s terrific beyond words. Are they talking about the Townies or about us? (Less-funny sidenote: I looked it up. Almas Perdidas = Lost Souls.)
So I have a whole bunch of questions, and the list of loose ends they left just dangling around on the cutting-room floor would be longer than this recap. Both parts of it. I won’t try to hit ‘em all here, but feel free to discuss in the comments. I’ll join in too. Just a couple of quick things.
What was up with Bill knowing Charlie’s wife’s name?
The episode was titled “Shadows In The Cave”, which makes zero sense to me. Is it just me, or did the titles make less sense as we went along?
Last but most: did they beat Level 1 by escaping from it? That’ll bake your noodle for a bit.
I’m telling ya, the adventures of the Townies while they were free would make a good series of webisodes. (Morocco? What was that about?)
None of these questions will ever get answered, so go nuts in the comments. It’s been quite a ride! Stay Unknown, everybody!