Friday, October 12, 2007

Thursday night with the remote control

Last night, Earl broke out of jail. Well, only figuratively as the episode focused on backstory during his "pre-list" days. Earl runs into his old roommate Frank in prison and the episode flashed back to right before Earl met and married Joy, before Harry Munroe became Darnell (Crabman) Turner and before Catalina arrived in the U.S. After being kicked out of the house by their parents, Earl and Randy wander around Camden County before stumbling upon an ad for a cheap room. The room is actually the kitchen (and "half bath") of Frank's trailer. He inhabits the bedroom--and the other bedroom serves as a home gym, although he doesn't have a treadmill just yet so he just runs in place when he works out. The lovelorn Paco lives in the living room.

When the rent comes due, Earl and Randy decide to steal the expensive watch of a Japanese businessman (and one of Patti's johns). Turns out that Frank and Paco had the same plan. When the four discover that they are all thieves, they plan a huge heist of an Indian casino. Meanwhile, Catalina--who it turns out is the love of Paco's life--makes her way to the U.S. in a packing crate. And Harry Munroe aka Crabman undergoes Witness Protection Orientation. Earl is so nervous about the big heist, he goes out and gets drunk. Which enables the single but pregnant Joy to trick him into a quickie wedding. Unfortunately, waking up with his new wife the next day, Earl is unable to meet up for the big armed robbery.

Randy gets caught up in a Sid and Marty Kroft marathon (omigod--Freddie the Magic flute! Did that flashback to childhood or what?!!!) and also misses the robbery. Turns out to be a good thing, because after taking Howie Mandel hostage and robbing the casino, Frank and Paco crash into an FBI van that has just dropped off the newly minted Darnell Turner to begin his new life in Camden County. Frank and Paco get 20 years in jail and when they don't return home, Earl assumes they've taken off with all the money and takes residence of the trailer with his new bride as well as control of Frank's red El Camino.

This was a smart move by the writers to give us a break from the incarceration story lines by flashing back to Earl's ne'er-do-well day--cleverly interweaving the stories of the different characters with the occasional overlap of scenes from previous episodes to give the plot greater depth and continuity. Plus, once Joy found out that by tricking Earl into marrying her it caused him to escape a 20 year prison sentence, she says she saved him 18 years now that he's serving only two years by taking the rap for her. So now she feels like she's off the hook.

On Ugly Betty, the episode centered around the upcoming Black and White Ball--a charity event sponsored by Mode. The show featured hottie Freddy Rodriguez (who has the same birthday as I do! I knew there was a reason I liked him...) as the Gio, the sandwich guy--who may be competition for Henry as another possible love interest for Betty. I hope he sticks around--he's adorable! As Betty races around trying to obtain the souped up wheelchair that Daniel (who is faking paralysis to score with chicks) requires, Gio taunts her about not pursuing her real dream of writing. When Betty finds out the Daniel can walk, she unleashes her anger on him--and even uses the "A" word! Later, she apologizes saying she was really angry with herself for allowing excuses to interfere with following her dream.

Also in this episode, Wilhelmina gets Alexis' approval for her wedding to Bradford while Claire crashes the Ball to unsuccessfully try to convince Bradford to come back to her. Amanda makes her debut as the daughter of the late Faye Summers, only to go unnoticed by reporters and paparazzi--until Mark rips off her dress which causes the desired media stir...The biggest story was Ignacio being held at gunpoint by the man he thought he'd killed years ago. He makes a flan for his former employer, Ramiro, who pronounces it perfect--but still orders his son Hector to shoot Ignacio. A gunshot is heard--but did Hector shoot his abusive father instead? Ignacio arrives back in Queens for a Suarez family reunion and happy ending for this episode.

On last night's (yet another hour-long!) episode , The Office prepared for the big website launch party. The main party for VIPs would be in NYC--hosted by the now obnoxious Ryan--with satellite parties at the branches. Angela, as always, is in charge of the satellite party for the Scranton branch--assisted by the less than competent Phyllis. Dwight decides to take on the website, insisting that a computer cannot outsell than a human being. Jim and Pam prank Dwight by pretending to be the computer and sending him taunting IMs as he races to sell more than his automated counterpart.

On his way to NYC for the VIP party with Jim, Michael realizes that Ryan has dissed him--excluding him from the big bash and relegating him to the Scranton satellite party. He returns to the office and orders Angela to upscale the party plans so as to outdo Ryan's big bash. When the punk-ass pizza boy shows up and refuses to apply Michael's half off coupon to more than two of the eight pizzas ordered, Michael takes out his anger at the punk-ass Ryan on the delivery boy instead. He and Dwight hold him hostage in the conference room until he accepts the coupon.

Meanwhile, Dwight actually outsells the website, but his efforts to impress Angela and win her back are unsuccessful. Pam feels sorry for him and IMs him as "the computer" telling him, "You beat me. You are the superior being," but that doesn't cheer Dwight up. Andy also angles to impress Angela--first with an ice sculpture and finally (the best moment of the episode) serenading her with ABBA's Take a Chance on Me--complete with speakerphone backup by his buddies. Will Angela end up with Andy? Now that would be quite a match...


  1. Andy's song was awesome.

    I had to skip over the Ugly Betty part...I love the show, I just save it for Friday.

  2. I wish I could tape it and save it for Friday, too. I'd be able to focus more attention on it--instead of flipping back to Earl for the first half hour!

  3. I watch it on, it's free if you don't mind watching the same Gwen Stefani-HP ad over and over.

  4. I need to start doing that. But first I need high-speed internet instead of dial-up. It's on the list.

    1. Find a new place to live with neighbors who don't inspire homicidal fantasies...

    2. Get DSL and Direct TV

    3. Start downloading and DVRing TV shows instead of scheduling life around them.

    4. Get a life. ;)