We open, as usual, with the cam’s eye view panning around town. Switch to a shot of Janet sleeping. Then a voiceover starts, which is kinda creepy. Especially since I remembered to turn on captions up front, and I can see that the voiceover-er is someone named Tom. Who’s Tom? Whoever he is, he’s quoting some freaky poetry. “There’s a wolf in me…” then something about fangs and tongues and maybe he just got back from a Twilight-a-thon at his local cineplex. Zoom out from the screen and we see that Tom is the “cook” that Joe confronted at the end of last week’s episode. So that’s the poor guy who has to watch Janet’s monologues every day.
I feel for ya, broham.
Next he checks out Bill’s room (“There’s a baboon in me…” Priceless). Then he peeks on Joe… Joe? Hey, Joe? Where y’at? Not in his bed. Nope, he’s… right here in Mission Control making fun of Tom’s poetry. Although he knows the poem just as well as Tom does. Who knew Joe had a literate side? Tom points out that someone is watching them watching everyone in town, and in fact it’s probably cameras all the way up, so Joe needs to forget about the girl and get back in bed before Daddy comes to break up the slumber party. Joe goes “Haven’t you ever had feelings for another…” and Tom flips out. “Don’t complete that sentence. I don’t want to have to red-card you.”
Also: Another what? Are they robots or aliens or zombies or something? Maybe they’re all dead and in purgatory? So Joe goes down the hall to the elevator, which turns out to be the hotel elevator. Mission Control is in the hotel basement. Up on the Hotelguests’ floor, someone’s happy to see him.
We’ve got to stop meeting like this.
Someone else is not happy to find Tori missing. Her room’s been cleaned out like she was never there. Moira suspects Daddy. Then there’s hope for us all, says Janet.
Not so fast. What’s that floating in a fountain in Rome?
Did we take a wrong turn into a Dan Brown movie?
So long, Tori, we knew ye way too well.
Not so fast. What’s that lying down at the end of the street wearing a blonde wig and Tori’s dress?
So Tori was reincarnated as Halle Berry in Monster’s Ball. Ouch.
They haul the new chick into the lobby, throw her up on the counter and check her for identification.
Very helpful. Also very contrived.
Moira sees some needle marks in her arm and thinks she was in a hospital recently. Bill, three steps behind everybody, finally realizes she’s not Tori and pretty much blows everyone off. Everyone except Charlie, who he’s terrified of after that little lesson Charlie taught him last week.
I’m your huckleberry.
Across the pond in Italy, Tori’s daddy has to identify her body. It’s hard to tell since everything’s in Italian, but he seems more annoyed than sorry she’s dead. Quick thought: Tori’s still alive, the body is a fake and he knows it. Why? Just so they can mess with us.
Meanwhile, Moira gets the urge to redecorate her room.
“Now it looks just like my nice padded one back home!”
She wants to believe Tori is safe back at home, but has a feeling they’re getting picked off one by one, by a traitor in their midst. Like in this Agatha Christie novel she read once. Lots of literary references already this week. McNair promises he’ll protect her. Awww.
The New Mark Renbe is not doing so well today. His boss/girlfriend (by the name of Kat, BTW) is firing/dumping him. Remember when eDick gave that photo of Renbe and Janet to the cops? Looks like Renbe was using an alias and the real Renbe (the one without the glasses, natch) has a criminal record. Wonder what he did? All everyone keeps saying is that he left his pregnant wife. While that’s definitely scumbaggery of the highest order, I don’t think it goes on your rap sheet, does it? He apologizes to her, but he’s a day late and a trashy story short. The former King Of Sick is deposed.
We’ll always have conjoined twin pimps.
Back at the Foo Bar Ranch, the new girl proves herself to be a Terminator T1000. She wipes the deck with Joenet, jumps out the window and takes off out of town only to have her circuits fried by the microwave fence. Tom, watching it all from Mission Control, looks less than happy. Today is not going according to plan, I take it.
Case of the Mondays?
While we’re on the subject of action heroes with estrogen, here’s a trailer for NBC’s new fall show Chase. Take Walker: Texas Ranger, put Horatio Caine in it and give him a sex change, et voila. Well played, Mr. Bruckheimer. I’m looking forward to seeing her toss out signature one-liners while doffing her cowgirl hat.
The New Mark Renbe is in the middle of a just-got-fired bender when he looks up and sees news of Tori dead on the news on the bar TV. He yells at the bartender to turn it up. Why is he interested? Another person who seems to know more than he should. What does he know and when did he know it?
Moira goes looting for clothes in Tori’s honor, and runs into an old friend of Bob’s.
Is it just me, or is that TV upside down?
The TV shows her a news report… of Tori found alive. Now that’s interesting. Someone went to a bit of trouble to set that up. “Tori” is wearing a hood and shades, so it could be anyone under there. I can’t tell if the father is the same guy or not. Old white character actors all look alike to me.
Speaking of old white character actors, Monday night wouldn’t be complete without Bill getting his ass kicked, and this week it’s the new girl’s turn to oblige.
Bill 0, Nutcases 3.
She puts on his clothes and runs down the street to the Chinese place, where Tom (playing cook again) gives her some munchies and a sip of water. She grabs a knife and runs out. Still hasn’t said a word.
Tom uses a high-tech palm scanner thingy to get into the secret room in the freezer, where Joe’s waiting to ask him what happened to Tori. They both know she’s dead, and “there will be other eliminations. There always are.” Oh, and BTW, isn’t the new girl a riot? Now get back to work, he says. Wonder what Joe’s job is. Besides being a pest.
Other people glued to a TV screen at the moment: Renbe’s watching the footage of Janet’s kidnapping and comparing it with the footage of Tori’s body being found. Once again, I have to ask why he’s interested. The man is either following up every single missing-person report, has superhuman dot-connecting powers, or knows something we don’t know. I demand the truth. (Luckily, next week’s episode is titled “The Truth”.)
Fresh off yet another clock-cleaning, Bill staggers into the lobby looking for help, only to find himself out of the frying pan and into the fire.
You’ll get no sympathy from this guy.
Charlie’s good humor doesn’t last long when he realizes he’s the new girl’s next target. She chases after him with a show shovel. Moira tries to approach her and talk her down (possibly by explaining that no one else likes the old guys either), but gets whacked upside the head for her trouble.
Where’s your protection now, Sergeant?
The gang follows the new girl to the police station. Or maybe the bank. I get all the empty buildings mixed up. They’re calling “Erika!” after her. I really hope that’s her name and not, say, her dead kid’s name or something. She runs into the vault to hide. OK, so the bank, then. Janet follows her in there… then Tom, watching on camera, decides to stir the pot.
Might want to check your six, babe. Caution, the doors are closing.
Well, now they’re locked in. Erika decides it’s time to start talking now, since there’s nowhere to run. And by “talking” I mean knife-waving. “The only thing you gotta be afraid of now is me.” Joe goes running to Mission Control to yell at Tom and throw around technicalities like how this isn’t in the protocol and blah blah blah. But Joe hasn’t heard the worst part yet: they’re sucking the air out of the vault. The ladies have exactly nineteen minutes to get out, according to the helpful display on Tom’s screen. While Joe runs to get McNair and a couple of pickaxes, Erika grabs Janet and has a nice friendly conversation with the camera.
Go ahead, make my day. Kill her now. Your new nickname is Crazy Eyes, BTW.
Renbe breaks into his Kat’s apartment (well, he probably still has a key). He uses her journalist database access to Google up a missing persons search. She walks in on him, of course. His explanation is of no help whatsoever, because if he’s searching for Janet, he must still care about her. So yeah, non-starter.
Ten minutes in the vault and Janet’s got the knife now, but the boys have failed to break through the wall. Yeah, the pickaxe probably never worked for the Hamburglar, either. Erika can tell Janet likes Joe, so naturally they bond over deadbeat baby daddies.
It would totes be awesome if Janet came out of there with cornrows and a tat or two. Ghetto fabulous.
Joe finally decides to give up on the hacking and go get some real help. McNair tells him that the old guys are going to be useless, but we know where he’s really going: into the hotel elevator where he pushes the buttons in a super secret order, and down it goes to the super secret level. Moira watches with either suspicion or paranoia or both.
Meanwhile, interesting factoid about Erika. Last thing she remembered, she was on death row getting a lethal injection (hence the needle marks), and woke up in Crazy Town wearing a blonde wig and a polka-dot dress. She wants to know if she’s in Heaven or Hell. Take a guess. It must have been exactly 19 minutes and whatever seconds by now, because Janet starts fading out.
Joe tells Tom he’s not going to let him let them die. Tom pulls a gun on Joe and they fight. I keep hoping someone’s going to shoot up some control panels and blow stuff up, but no such luck. Joe wins the fight, but has probably just lost his job, whatever it is. Tom opens the door and Janet runs out asking McNair where Joe is.
What, a black man can’t save a white girl’s life? Get your skinny ass back in there.
Renbe walks up to his door to find Kat dropping off an envelope. It’s the list of names he was looking for, with Tori and Janet circled on it. She makes sure he knows she’s just doing it so he can make up with his daughter, then she’s out. No breakup nooky or nothing.
Back at the ranch, it’s gotten dark during the 19 minutes they were locked up. Bill jumps Erika out of the shadows only to get his butt kicked (literally) by Janet. Poor schmuck had no way of knowing that the new girl’s been voted into the tribe.
Tori’s Emotionless Dad gets a buzz from the mysterious Irish caller. He refuses “to participate in any more of your charades”. Various threats and go-to-hells are exchanged. Not much info to go on there.
McNair’s prayer time turns into flashback time. The Private Ryan Cam shows him shooting a Muslim boy at prayer. So yeah, some issues there I’m thinking. He flushes his dog tags down the crapper, but not before we get a glimpse of his first name.
Peep his Social Security number. I have the same combination on my luggage!
Janet, chillaxing down at the gazebo once again, is joined by the new girl. She wants Janet to know that she’s always got her back. No matter what. Joe watches them not at all creepily out an upstairs window.
Renbe goes to the park to spy on his long-lost daughter. He tries to talk to her and gets the “I can’t talk to strangers” line. Grandma, watching like a hawk from nearby, recognizes him as “that reporter from the Register”. So 1) she never met her grandbaby daddy and 2) how did she recognize him without the Clark Kent disguise? She’s pretty sharp. He introduces himself as Mark Cooper. I knew “Renbe” sounded made up. I guess I’ll have to start calling him Mark. He promises Megan that he’ll find her mommy, and leaves them alone.
McNair apologizes to Moira for letting her get hurt. He thinks he’s responsible for the safety of the whole group. Which is more understandable now that we’ve seen that last flashback. +1 for character development this week, writers! He feels guilty for letting Tori die. Moira tells him about the newsflash she saw and that Tori is alive. He doesn’t buy it. He still thinks they’re in some fancy training simulation and he’s being psychologically tested. Speaking of which! Moira wants to tell him her suspicions about Joe. Who is this very moment down in Central High Command, getting called on the carpet by Tom. Joe can’t help the way he feels, he couldn’t let her die. Tom’s response: “This wasn’t about her, OK? This was about you, pal. You and me. This was our test.”
The camera zooms in on Joe as the Lost horns blare to end the show.
Who watches the watchmen?
So, pretty good stuff this week. Some long-overdue character development and a look behind Crazy Town’s curtain. I’m gonna call it the best episode yet. There’s no episode this Monday, so you’ll have to wait until Saturday to find out more. The trailer for next week seems to say that Erika’s gonna go all crazy prison lesbo on Janet. Yay cliches!