This week on your favorite show you’ve never heard of: The Hotelguests are informed (by telegram, no less) that one of them will be checking out. Dear God. Someone is leaving? YES! Now, do I have to decide who I want to get kicked off the most? Mission: Impossible.
The camera opens on a bee. We follow it through town, Forrest Gump-style.
I’m not a smart woman, but I know what annoying is.
Janet catches the bee in her hand as Joe walks up. In response to his entirely appropriate “WTF?” face, she explains that Crazy Grandma used to drop her off at the zoo for free babysitting, and the “bee lady” was the unlucky staff member most often stuck with the kids. This explains a whole lot about Janet. Joe listens to her story sincerely, then stomps the bee flat just as sincerely. “It was either the bee or me.” So Joe is allergic to bees. Yeah, that’ll never come up again.
It occurs to me that all of these people are completely nuts. Except Joe, who I originally pegged as a first-order douche, and possibly McNair. Joe hasn’t improved, really; everyone else has just gotten loonier. What makes this entertaining is that they’re all different kinds of nuts. Take Bill, for instance. He’s throwing things at the invisible fence just to watch them fry. He put a box of Chinese takeout by the fence to zap a poor unsuspecting raccoon Diagnosis: psychopath. Along comes Charlie, who is still the closest thing Bill has to a friend, and makes the same observation. Bill notes that perhaps the wife-murdering pot might be calling the animal-torturing kettle black, and a crazy-old-man pissing contest follows. Bill wins, barely. Charlie’s diagnosis: codependent with resentment issues. Yes, I’m totally pulling these out of my butt.
McNair and Moira sit in the hotel lobby having, of all things, sign language lessons.
***NAME THIS RANDOM MOVIE QUOTE:*** “Language lessons. Inspired words from a man who knows how to ski.” No cheating with IMDB, either. I’ll know, trust me.
Does Moira know the most random stuff, or what? Diagnosis: Crazy Cat Lady. Along come the Grumpy Old Men, still bickering over who’s the most psychopathic. The bickering starts to turn into fisticuffs as they enter the lobby. Yes, I said “fisticuffs”. Hey, they’re old, remember? Before it gets past the taking off of jackets, however, the manager rings his little bell and announces he has a telegram for them. Yes, I said a telegram. Apparently those still exist. Everyone goes running over to hear the news: that one guest will be checking out. “Ring my bell if you require further assistance,” says the manager, and retreats to his office.
Well, I mostly meant you two in the middle.
The Townies discuss this new turn of events. Bill wonders whether “checking out” means A) going home or 2) taking a dirt nap. Charlie asks Bill where he got his oh-so-impressive knowledge of gangster jargon, and Bill says it isn’t something he can talk about. I call shenanigans. Bill’s just a shlub who’s watched too many Sopranos episodes. Janet wants to exchange emergency contact numbers with everybody so next-of-kin (mostly hers) can be informed. No one else is interested in the phone tree idea. Funny, Janet hasn’t struck me as the PTA type so far. PITA, more like.
Back in the park where it all began, Renbe is poking around for clues and stuff. At least, I think it’s Renbe. He’s missing his glasses and vest, and looks just a scoche more badass. Come to think of it, he looks just like he does in the photo with Janet. He takes a call from a bad Irish accent saying that Janet’s husband needs to butt out.
Hold the phone. So Renbe really is Janet’s ex? I thought that guy was supposed to be a giant stain. Renbe seems OK, except for the whole King Of Sick thing. Is this maybe Renbe’s evil twin brother? And why did he lose the glasses? I’m really confused.
Clark Kent’s glasses make a great disguise after all.
While we ponder what connections we missed between last week and now, a beat-up taxi arrives on Crazy Town’s main drag. The driver doesn’t speak English, of course, which is a good excuse for Bill to call him a terrorist. “Janet Cooper” are the only words anyone can make out. Luckily, McNair speaks just enough Arabic to provide a rough translation. What are the odds? The driver is trying to tell them that Janet can pick one person to come with. This show gets more and more like Big Brother every week. She picks Joe before McNair can even finish his sentence. They hop in and ride off into the sunset against McNair’s advice.
Don’t let the door hit ya where the Good Lord split ya.
Janet may be gone for now, but she didn’t take her security camera monologues with her. She left them with Tori. Tori’s sitting up in her room whining to Daddy on camera that she didn’t get picked to leave. She apologizes for whatever it was she did, then has a flashback of stumbling through a posh do (that’s British English for a fancy party, BTW) on the arm of a Navy officer. A captain, if I counted the bars on his shoulder right. Not bad. She accuses her dad of killing her mom, then the rest of the flashback is the same as the one two weeks ago.
Back in the present, Tori’s getting dressed up to go to work.
She slinks downstairs to the lobby, where she tries to, um, ring the manager’s bell.
Instead of being hot, this is more like clumsy and awkward and tragic, and the manager says he can’t help her.
If you can’t seduce this guy, turn in your woman card. Now.
When the sexy time doesn’t work out, she tries tears, and begs him to at least give her dad a message. He doesn’t know her dad and he doesn’t take messages. “Tell him I just want to go home,” she pouts and slinks back upstairs.
Joenet’s taxi drives along a country road, and the inevitable flat tire happens. I swear car tires in the movies are made of balloon rubber. The driver gets a machete out of the trunk. DUN DUN DUN. He uses it to… lop open two coconuts, which he gives to his passengers to drink from. He even has straws. I’m surprised there aren’t paper umbrellas.
Jimmy Buffett is watching all the camera feeds, stroking a parrot and laughing evilly.
Evil Renbe is at a train station or LAX or some big public place, having another run-in with eDick. Watch your step, he says, and oh, also wants those files back that Renbe ganked from his office. Renbe mentions the weird call he got from the Irish guy, to which eDick comments that he might want to try a tinfoil hat. He can borrow mine, I have to put it on just to get through an hour of this show. But yeah, they’ve really done a number on Renbe this week. He’s like a totally different person. I wonder. Could it be that they skipped an episode? Are they showing the episodes out of order by accident? They did that with Firefly back in the day, you know. Best TV ever. Go watch it on DVD. Nothing else is on this summer anyway. But this thing with Renbe is bugging me, y’all. At least I’m invested now, I guess.
While Janet and Joe are kickin’ it island style, the slowest tire change ever is cut short by the evil black semi truck from Knight Rider.
Ratings are slipping! Quick, blow up a car!
Joenet heroically runs toward the wreckage, Baywatch-style, to save the driver, but there’s no trace of him. What are the odds?
Back at the hotel, Bill smokes a cigar in the lobby and sees post-seduction-fail Tori all sexed up… and sobbing. Which has to be the most action Bill’s seen in awhile. At least since 2 weeks ago when he tried to jump Tori and got his clock cleaned as a result. Inexplicably, she apologizes to him for said clock-cleaning. She kisses him (!) and says she’s going home. This is all very weird. Smells like David Lynch again.
After a brief interlude of Joenet walking along the road and Janet insisting she’ll do anything to get home–whatever it takes–Bill is back in the bar with Charlie. Funny how you always see these two together after Bill leaves a woman.
”I wish I could quit you!”
Bill has picked this of all moments to pitch his awesome business idea to Charlie, who is an investment banker, remember. Charlie isn’t interested because A) Bill keeps calling him Chuck and 2) Bill’s business plan is dumb. Bill is like what happened to Peppermint Patty when she had a midlife crisis and decided that she needed to become a man to get her groove back. This scene is really boring, so let’s check on Joe and Janet and see if they’re still in Kansas. It’s really cold wherever they are. That’s all we get.
Well, that was a non-starter. Back to town and Tori’s drowning her sorrows in the gazebo. McNair decides to come check on her. I swear the guy has a chick radar. He always knows when there’s a woman that needs some bonding time. So he listens to her talk about her daddy issues, and they’re formidable. Basically, Dad used her as a party favor whenever he needed to do some schmoozing. Oh yeah, and she also suspects him of offing her mom, which we heard in the flashback already. McNair is good at playing spiritual leader. He goes on about hearts healing and stuff that your mom likes to quote in those chain emails she’s always forwarding to you. You know. Dance like it hurts. Love if you need the money. Work if somebody’s watching. Something like that. Tori goes out in the middle of the street and announces to the world that she wants to go home. Film at eleven.
Great! Just click your ruby slippers together and…
Charlie sits by his bathtub soaking his feet. 1) Ewww and 2) can your feet really get that tired when you’re restricted to a 2-block radius? Bill busts into the bathroom and starts making blackmail-y innuendoes. Raise your hand if you knew where this was going. Bill is about as subtle as the truck that just flattened Joenet’s cab.
Speaking of the Dynamic Duo, they run across a cabin in the middle of nowhere. (Janet actually says something to the effect of “Oh look! A cabin in the middle of nowhere!”) It’s pretty well stocked up.
Make up your own fish joke here…
Joe looks like he’s aged about 25 years, BTW. He’s starting to remind me of Gary Oldman in Dracula. They toast each other and watch the stars out on the deck. Janet gushes about her daughter, Joe bares his soul by talking about… the Red Sox. Oh good he loves the Red Sox. Another douchebag cliche to check off the character list. Wicked. Janet notices that the stars look familiar. She’s narrowed down their location to… the Northern Hemisphere. Nice work, Encyclopedia Brown. She asks him to come visit her in San Francisco when this is all over. Janet, since it sounds like you’ve never seen Big Brother or The Bachelor before, here’s a hint: Showmances? Never work out.
They fall asleep in the cabin. Fully clothed. Don’t get excited just yet. What’s that buzzing noise?
Did someone turn on a World Cup game?
I didn’t see any security cameras in this cabin, but someone found Joe’s Kryptonite. He wakes up to find a bee crawling on his face. Janet leaps to the rescue. She gets on top and starts blowing.
I know, I know, but they make it so easy.
Bees have never been this hot on network TV. Even Janet’s impromptu biology lesson about winter bee clusters and body heat fails to de-sexify this scene. Probably because she’s whispering her lecture all husky-like into Joe’s ear. Her scientific plan is to sneak out gently and try not to disturb the bees too much. Despite the minor problem of Joe’s boots being full of bees, they make it out safely and get back on the road. However, here comes the Knight Rider Truck again. They hide off the side of the road, then run away.
Back outside the Matrix, Renbe breaks the news to his boss/girlfriend (There has to be a slang term for that. Someone hit up Urban Dictionary for me?) that he and Janet were married, that he did her wrong, and all he can do now is apologize to her and that’s why he wants to find her. Well, he knows where his daughter is, maybe he can start by apologizing to her. Then he and the writers can apologize to us for totally screwing up the character development so we didn’t see this coming. Seriously. There are plot twists and then there are cheats. This is the latter.
In the hotel, Bill is still trying to blackmail Charlie, and I’m about to fast-forward through this boring display of suckitude, but Charlie snaps and starts to do to Bill what he did to his wife; namely smother him with a pillow. Unfortunately, he lets him up before he dies. “Maybe my wife didn’t have cancer… and don’t ever call me Chuck.” Bill bails from Charlie’s room post haste. I told you he was in over his head. He’s now pissed off two lunatics and gotten his ass handed to him both times. He should really quit while he’s behind.
This next scene will shock no one. We’ve seen it once before already.
Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends.
So much for Janet’s celestial navigation skillz. She navigated them right back to where they started. She’s on the brink of a(nother) nervous breakdown, but Joe calms her down (again). We have to go back because we’ll die out there, he says. Seriously? It’s just, you know, the country. You guys are doomed because what, there’s not a Starbucks down the block? I’m guessing neither one of these people has seen The Road. Go watch that–or better yet, read the book–and you’ll never complain again about roughing it or about little stuff like starvation or cold. I spent two days curled up in a ball on the floor after reading that book.
Anyway, Joe finally convinces Janet to go back to town. Do it for Megan, he says. Yeah, stay locked up for the sake of your little girl who would love you to get free! That’s the ticket! So they head back to the hotel like the sheep they are. But hey, at least now they have each other.
McNair and Moira, still in the lobby, nod as the two prodigals return to the hotel. No words are exchanged. It’s all very dream-like. Janet asks Joe to stay with her. Nothing more than that, she says. This time.
Patience, Joe. I give it 2 episodes tops.
Here comes another taxi! Tori sees it from her window and tells Daddy thanks. The cabbie asks her name, she hops in and off she goes. Never to return again, if there’s any justice in TV land.
Next we have the obligatory morning-after shot of Janet sleeping while Joe watches her. He gets up and heads next door to the Chinese restaurant. For breakfast? Whoever has locked these people up is seriously twisted. The least they could have done was stick a continental breakfast down in the hotel lobby. Chinese for breakfast… that’s just wrong.
Joe asks for the okra special. Now I know something’s up. No one eats okra except in states that end in “-arolina”. I know because I live in one of them. Fried okra is actually pretty decent, but I don’t expect y’all to believe me. So yeah, something is rotten in the state of Not-In-Kansas. The cook leads him through the kitchen and into the freezer. Whereupon his Chinese accent drops like a prom dress as Joe asks him what they have in store for Janet.
I frickin knew it! Our favorite D-bag is a plant! I totally called this in the first episode. Go back and look. But enough shameless self-congratulation. Joe doesn’t think he can go through with whatever it is They want to do to Janet, whoever They are. The cook-who-is-not-a-cook keeps asking Joe (who is a Joe, we know that much) if he is threatening withdrawal. Withdrawal? says Joe. I haven’t even scored with her yet. She just blew some bees off me is all. So no, he’s not quitting. Then the payoff: “Do you believe in the process?” says the cook. “Then you have to accept its results.”
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over?
Is this some sort of boutique 12-step therapy? Are they creating the perfect super-annoying-soldier? Something even more nefarious? Or did Chris McQuarrie (that’s the creator) watch Shutter Island one too many times last year? Whatever it is, that’s all he wrote for this week and we’re left guessing as to the meaning of that statement. But at least we finally got some red meat. About time.
So it was good to get confirmation on Joe, even if we didn’t really learn anything new. Tori’s dad might possibly be involved, but we don’t know that for sure either. The biggest curveball for me was Renbe. I just didn’t recognize the guy at all after he lost the glasses. Anyone got a read on that? Either way, now we have something to watch for next week. Smell you then!