Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.
So it’s been awhile, huh? I got back from vacation last weekend all set to crank out a recap at record pace, just so Bluzgirl wouldn’t make me look quite so bad, and sat down in front of the TV with laptop and iPad and all sorts of serious writer artillery only to discover that my show was taking the week off. Why wasn’t I told? So instead I left a nice long comment on Bluzgirl’s killer recap, but probably nobody read it since it was like 5 days late. FML.
Now that the show is back and I am back, what’s on tap this week? Joe still has amnesia. Bill and Charlie get a bad case of the warm fuzzies. Janet remains a fickle hag that for some reason everyone adores. And we get a manager upgrade from the nameless dork to Liam The Smarmy Irish Host. Let’s go see how all that’s going to play out this week.
As always, the episode opens with a shot of an empty Main Street, Twilight Zone, USA. Mark and Kat mosey into town like a pair of woolly-haired gunslingers. It’s broad daylight and no one is about. That’s a little weird. They compare the Chinese restaurant with the photo they have and are confident they’re in the right place. (I’m not so sure.) The restaurant is open but empty, except for the crew loading up their van in the alley out back and breaking fool out of town. Interesting.
Meanwhile, over at the Downtown Hotel…
Joe and his 8 o’clock shadow still aren’t sure about this Janet lady hovering over him like a crazed mother hen, but he fears for her safety all the same. He’s put all the Hotelguests in danger, and the Powers That Be are about to get medieval up in this town. Joe also needs a new nemesis. Tom is dead, and he was more of a frenemy. Erika is formidable, but completely nuts.
Enter Liam The Smarmy Irish Host. He explains apologetically that he’s locking the door to the roof, since Joe was so clever to hide out up there last episode. You mean to tell me that an organization this powerful doesn’t have access to some satellites of spy planes or something? Not even a traffic camera on a pole? Anyway. Liam sees Joe and says “nice to see you, it’s been a long time,” only what he’s really saying is I own your ass now, jerky. So how does Joe know McSmarmy? “I thought he was dead. Because I killed him.” Cut to title sequence. Speaking of which, ever notice this?
Back in the lobby and McSmarmy has more info for the Hotelguests. They’re on lockdown so “modifications” can be made to the town. The bulletproof blinds from the first episode are back so no one can see outside. To bribe them soften the blow, McSmarmy says they’ll each find a gift in their rooms, and leaves. The Hotelguests gather around Joe for more dirt on Liam. Why’d he think he was dead? “Because I shot him in the chest. I even gave him his last rites.” What huh, last rites? “That means… you were a priest?” Obvious statement!
Joe confirms what we all suspected; that he got the same fortune as Janet about killing his neighbor, and actually carried it out. Um, or tried to. So, what’s the Undead Irishman got up his sleeve next? Joe thinks he’s going to “flush the town”. Which means kill everyone off and start over with a new batch. Doesn’t make much sense to me, since they went to the trouble of sending Joe back there and everything. But if they were going to kill off everyone, it would make sense to send in these guys:
The Blue Man Group is invading the town, doing recon and making hand signals and whatever else it is crack paramilitary units do. Markat hides and watches. I guess these aren’t the droids they’re looking for, because surely the cameras know exactly where they are and the Blue Team would be all over them. It’s not like you can hide anywhere in this town. Well, except the roof, but that’s off limits now.
Back in the hotel, it’s Christmas as the Hotelguests unwrap their presents. Let’s just go down the list:
Bill tells Charlie the kids called him Lardass, until he turned 13 and his dad made him play football.
So you just knew Bill was the Al Bundy type, who had like one story in him about how he made a great play and won a game once in high school, only to get hurt and piss away the rest of his adult life. And guess what, it’s all true! Charlie is less than impressed, but sympathetic enough to retract his earlier “donut hole” statement.
Joe would no doubt like to spend some time reminiscing over his old Bible and girlfriend, but Liam drops by to heckle him instead. He goes on about Janet and how she’s the new kid in town, The Director is showing a lot of interest in her and so on and so forth. So it’s McSmarmy’s job to watch over her progress. “I’m not the man I was when we we were in Level 1 together.” “Neither am I,” Joe counters.
So… the hotel is Level 1. What’s Level 2? Wonder how many levels there are? THEORYGASM: this show is a thinly-veiled expose of Scientology. Now I’ve gone and done it. Tom Cruise is probably on the phone with the network right now and they’ll pull the show before the finale airs. Sorry guys.
After Liam leaves, next up is Janet to heckle Joe about the whole celibacy thing. Seriously, grow up. I’m pretty sure that a priest’s job description includes a lot more important stuff than not having sex. Besides, if he was married, he wouldn’t be having sex anyway. At any rate, celibacy wasn’t the tough part for him.
“Then what was?”
This goes right over Janet’s horny head.
“Like no sex, ever?”
“Not for a very long time, no.”
She must not have been married-with-children for very long. Besides, I don’t know what she’s upset about. The one time they were close enough to get freaky (the bee episode), she turned him down. Women. Liam comes back in, with unasked-for room service and a snide comment about the girl in Joe’s Bible. This has the intended effect of sending Janet out in a huff.
Meanwhile, outside (or so we are led to believe), more vans and jeeps full of bluecoats roll into town. Markat must have been hiding behind the window, unseen by cameras, all day, because it’s getting dark now. Kat’s getting stir crazy; she’s yammering about dying in a small town just like the little one in Montana she grew up in and tried desperately to get away from. Until she spread her wings, learned how to fly and won American Idol. I swear, Hollywood creatives and their flyover-country phobias. They should all be sentenced to a year in a gated community in Peoria, right next to a Walmart. Not a Pinkberry within a thousand miles. But I digress.
McSmarmy is making the rounds and bringing all the townies a nice dinner. Bill’s is all meat and potatoes, of course. “This isn’t like a last meal, is it?” Quite the contrary. Liam says the management has seen a lot of potential in him and they want to make sure he’s comfortable. Thus buttered up, Bill tells Liam that Charlie didn’t get the whole newspaper in his gift box and would he please get the rest of it for him? Wow, who is this new nice-guy Bill? All it took was a little flattery.
Moira goes to show McNair the scarf she got for a present. He loves it! Maybe a bit of an overreaction for a scarf? In return, he shows her the belt that came in his box. His mom used to “beat the devil out of him” with it when he was a boy. Then one day when he was 14 he took it from her and beat her with it, then ran away from home. Wait, don’t tell me. Home was a small stuffy Southern town and he escaped to LA. I know you people like the back of my hand.
Next up on McSmarmy’s Room Service Tour is Erika, who’s pissed at having her Bad Girls’ Club marathon interrupted. “I’m one bitch that can’t be bought,” scoffs Erika, whose name is apparently not Erika, but Teresa. Erika was her cellmate, says Liam, and he’s going to use her M.O. of blackmail on her to keep her in line. “You gave me this picture of my son to show me how well he’s doing now that I’m gone?” “Your son is doing well because he’s your son.” And just like that, Erika or Teresa or whatever her name is is bought. YAWN. Too easy.
Next up: Charlie. This one should be cake. Liam brings him the rest of the paper. I don’t know why he thought he needed it; newspapers never bury anything important in the bottom of an article. All the important stuff is in the first paragraph. Not like this recap, where you have to read every single line, and click on all the ads, to get all the info. You’re welcome, TVgasm front office. Charlie tells McSmarmy how he worked for his wife’s dad, was underappreciated, yada yada yada. Is Liam good or what? Less than a day as Head of Hotel and he’s got almost everyone eating out of his hand. Now for the hook: the end of the article says the investigators couldn’t link him to the crime, so he’s cleared. Another one bites the dust. Wonder if The Program will clear him of killing his wife too? “Please thank Mr. Blackham for me,” says Cheerful Charlie.
And thus a beautiful bromance is born.
So I take it a “successful end of the cycle” involves giving everyone Stockholm Syndrome. Next week in the finale, are they all going to get cushy jobs watching non-grainy video of the next set of hamsters? Because what else does The Program do, really, besides harass mid-level government officials and cook awesome Chinese food? I bet there’s a nice blue coat in store for Erika/Teresa. I also wonder how this applies to Tori. She didn’t get bought; she begged to go home. Unless maybe her dad pulled some strings there? Who knows.
Janet’s bribe involves an old doo-wop record and a fancy dinner date with Ben Linus, I mean McSmarmy.
He calls it “psychological improvement”. There’s also one of those old TVs, which plays a video of young Janet hiding while her parents fight.
“The management has had their eyes on you for a long time,” says Liam, unnecessarily. Mission accomplished, he heads back to his evil lair to watch everyone pass out from the drugs in their food. Number One calls him up to check on things. They have an Ominous Conversation in which a lot of scary words are slung around. Like “Alpha units are standing by” and “I wish there’d been another way,” I don’t know what they’re talking about, exactly, but I’ll bet this whole bag of Dark Chocolate Chex Mix keeping me awake that it’s a red herring. They are not, in fact, about to kill off everyone. Otherwise all those bribes would have been pointless and we wouldn’t have a finale next week. The cameras show everyone passed out in their soup, except McMoira.
Hours later and Markat has been blessed with superhuman bladder control. They’re STILL watching the town from the same window. You can’t tell me no one knows they’re here. They’re obviously supposed to be here. I bet the priest at the church who sent them is in on it too. But what are they here for?
Anyway, Mark can’t hold his water another minute, so they make a mad dash across the street to the bank. While looking for the bathroom they find this:
Meanwhile, McSmarmy tucks Janet into bed in the lech-iest manner possible. “If only you had any idea of the plans in store for you,” he says while rubbing his hands together and stroking an invisible cat. OMGLIGHTBULBGASM! It’s The Parallax View! They’re creating super-assassins! Renbe even looks just like Warren Beatty in that movie! I refuse to believe this is coincidence. I bet the casting sheet even said “young Warren Beatty” on it.
So yeah. Our young Warren Beatty and his foxy mama have got some dead bodies on their hands. But who do these bodies belong to? Not our Hotelguests–they’re all still conked out in their rooms.
Soooo let’s check those bodies for prints. Except… someone’s gone and cut all the thumbs off the dead bodies. Except… one of them’s not quite dead yet.
Yes indeed, it is The Italian and he still has his thumbs. We last saw him on the plane from Rome and I assumed Markat knew he was there. Guess not. He’s been casing the town too, but hasn’t seen any sign of Tori.
It’s now morning in Crazy Town, and all the Hotelguests wake up in a great mood from whatever potion McSmarmy slipped into their food. Everyone except Joe, that is. McSmarmy played a nasty trick by leaving him right where he passed out.
They weren’t killed in their sleep after all. So what was the point of drugging them? We’re missing something. New brofriends Bill and Charlie talk about going for a jog together, and Joe can’t find Janet anywhere. Liam says she probably just went down to breakfast. At the Chinese place. Meaning the lockdown is over.
Janet apologizes to Erika for hitting her the other day when she was defending Joe from the angry mob. See, that was the other day when she loved Joe and today she hates him again. Erika’s all pouty because “you chose Joe over… the rest of us.” Nice save there, Crazy Eyes. Joe walks in and the girls go all junior-high on him. Again the mood wheel spins, and again it ends up on Bitchy.
Outside (somewhere), the Blue Man Group is still cruising around talking into their Bluetooth headsets. Markat and the Italian try to fight them off. The Italian steals an abandoned Jeep and they all hit the road. Meanwhile (?!) McMoira is sitting on the gazebo discussing the stylish accessories they got from Big Brother, just like there isn’t a massive car chase going on right around the corner. Know why? Because there isn’t. I know the sometimes-crappy editing makes it confusing, but it ought to be obvious by now that these two things are not happening in the same place at the same time. Markat and The Italian stumbled on an entirely different Crazy Town–one that just got “flushed” like Joe and Liam said. There’s probably a hundred of these things scattered all over the world.
But back to those accessories. We already heard the story behind McNair’s belt. Moira’s scarf used to belong to her mother. Daddy molested her and Mommy didn’t do anything to stop it. So Moira strangled them both, in their sleep, with the scarf. Two thoughts: 1) Two out of seven Hotelguests strangled family members. Coincidence? 2) That scarf has got to have some nasty DNA on it, and Moira’s cuddling it like a three-year-old’s blankie.
So why did these two get the skeevy presents? I think for the same reason that they didn’t get bribes. Their bribes are each other. The reminders of bad family history brought them together. To prove my point, McNair tells her “we don’t have to run from our past or ourselves.” Because they’ve got each other now. More satisfied customers for The Program.
Markat and The Italian drive through the jungle chased by the Smurf A-Team Yes, I’m mixing remakes of ’80s movies. Try it sometime, it’s fun.
They get to the place where The Italian ditched his car. He hands over the box of thumbs, bails out, and promptly gets himself tased.
Back in the OTHER Crazy Town, there’s a call for Janet at the front desk. Looks like she won this week’s Luxury Competition, because it’s her mom on the line! This is some pretty awful acting by Grandma Dearest, and her talk pretty much proves she’s in the conspiracy. Like, not a single “Where are you?” Even Janet doesn’t buy it when she apologizes for all the mean things she did back in the day. “It went a little too well,” she says to McSmarmy as she hangs up. On the contrary, he was “quite moved” and glad that the little girl he saw on the video can finally have some peace from her mommy issues. Why doesn’t she hate this guy half as much as she hates Joe? He says he’s always at her service, and retreats to his office where he can watch more video of Janet on his 18 monitors while stroking his pretend cat.
McSmarmy’s stroke-fest is interrupted by a Skype from Number One. He tells her the Evil Plan is going according to plan, but she thinks his feelings for Janet and his hatred of Joe are getting in the way. “I just want to see this cycle completed with a positive outcome,” she says.
So, next week is the finale. Wow, already? Seems like there’s way too much to wrap up in one more episode. Was Markat sent to the other town on purpose? Maybe to throw them off the scent? What’s Tori been up to? How do they keep bringing dead people back to life? Why blue coats? They say “all will be revealed”. I’m holding them to it.