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Episode Notes and Observations by Gale Dumont

How the Other Half Lives

How the Other Half Lives -- Notes & Observations

This week: The world ends not with a bang or a whimper, but the fevered ravings of Grant Sorenson -- okay, no, but this big alien crystal bee queen jellyfish slams into a door and makes a squishing noise. Thank you, foley guys! Plus: Alex and Kyle bond over Don McLean and imminent suffocation; Jim gets that search warrant we've been waiting for; and, to the surprise of absolutely no one, Michael pisses me off. Again. Join us, won't you?

I went to a crafts store this weekend, and got one of those neat silver-ink pens. As I'm typing this, there is a finger-shaped doodle on my left wrist and my left ankle. No one's noticed them so far, but if they *do*, I'm just going to smile furtively and just tell them they're "souveniers" from when I had company over this weekend, then walk away. Why did I tell you this, you might be asking yourself? Because it's the most amusing Roswell-relating anecdote that's happened to me in two weeks. Besides, it distracts from the conclusion to THC, and as far as I'm concerned, anything that gets me away from S2 Roswell deserves all kinds of peanut-buttery goodness.

And now, part 4 of THC. Thank you *God*.

Hey, remember when the previouslys went past last week?

"You're not my grandpa, are you?" What gave him away?

I kinda want UncleDupree's sunglasses. Those things are just neat.

Yay! Desmond! Please be on this week!

Oh, crap, new scenes. Now I have to pay attention again.

Please tell me this isn't Max. *Please* tell me this isn't Max. I should not be giggling at this. Max, if it's you, we need to sit down and have a nice, long talk about rummaging through an apartment, because you're doing it all wrong.

Why does Maria's hair have to be up again? It doesn't look good on her.

Michael's getting all pissy, and Maria's completely being a girl. Which is a stereotype, and that annoys me, but it's also annoying Michael, so I'm amused.

Oh, and then Michael hangs up on Liz. Dude, you try doing that when Max is talking to her and you're getting a big ol' face full of King Fist, buddy.

Again with the green filter! What, was there a sale?

I still think that's not Grant. This dude looks *way* more like Antonio Banderas. And that's not in his favor, mind you.

Jim's comment re: the search warrant: hee.

Jim so missed being a cop. You can tell.

Why do Brendan and Majandra always get scenes together? This is so not fair. Someone make it fair.

"My aunt and uncle need me to be crazy." Five will get you ten it's to get the money. Because, you know, they're evil WASPs.

Michael, of all the times to wuss out, now would not be that time.

I swear, I think that was Max in someone's apartment. Which makes me think of Max Evans, Boy Commando, and bwa ha ha. I'm still giggling. Funniest thing I've seen in weeks, y'all. Which is all the sadder because it wasn't intentional. Still. Boy Commando. Hee.

And now my radio station is playing "Kryptonite". Could whoever's calling in these timely requests stop it now? I bought the Fuel CD. Jeez. What more do you people *want* from me?

"Which is why we called this meeting." Yes, you heard that right: "we". We. Man, I missed that word.

Man, for a second, I thought Brody actually knew the Big Dangerous Secret. That would be so damn cool. Go Brody! Woo!

"No, um, I'm lost, too."

"First you get some alien cells, then you get some human cells." You do the Hokey Pokey, and you turn yourself around -- okay, I'm sorry. I'm really, really sorry. Just forget I did that.

"Fewer than 1 in 50 million people have it." But Laurie does? What are the odds?

"She and every infected person on the planet will die." But wait, would that mean Liz and Kyle would die, too?

"Tess is right". Never thought I'd hear Liz say *those* words.

So gandarium = bees? And the granilith is a time machine/Holy Grail? AAAAGH! This! Makes! No! Sense!

"This is a stupid idea." And you would know from those, wouldn't you, Mikey G.?

Man, I know they're public records and all, but they seem to have no problem handing it over to teenagers. Maybe this is some sort of Southwest thing.

"...although generally that was pretty rare." Hee! Go Whitman! Whoo! See, writers?

"This club bears a striking resemblance to a chain gang." Hee! Okay, I'm gonna do that pretty much every time Kyle and Alex are on-screen this week. They're cute. Not in a creepy UC way, either.

Kyle, please don't be a dunderhead. Oh, you're being a dunderhead. Bad Buddhist! Bad!

See, this is why I would never have gone into the hole. I have no cell phone. I bet Alex and Kyle don't either. This is what we call a problem.

If you're gonna show ads for Dawson's Creek during Roswell, could you at least show a couple of the Chris Wolfe eps? Please?

I hate Liz's hat. I love Max's. Anne, Miranda, Michelle, everyone who was in Covina last August -- you were so right. Jason looks nummy in that hat.

Okay, so Kyle had a cellphone. So I was wrong. It happens.

"Our powers don't work on this." Then get a shovel!

Tess, shut up! Don't make me hate you! You've been doing pretty well so far with the whole Kyle thing. Rather than bitching at Liz, you could just squat over the pit and make with the Magical Ass Fire(tm). Maybe it doesn't kill Skins, but I bet it does a number on genetically engineered alien bee crystals. I can't believe I just typed that last sentence.

There's something vaguely funny about watching everyone run around panicked so that Alex and Kyle don't die. I feel bad about it, but I'm still giggling.

"That's really smart." Oh, Laurie, I know you're not entirely with the rest of us, but don't stroke Michael's ego any more than it already has been. First Courtney, now you... I'm telling you, any minute now he's gonna go off and you're going to need to get that shirt dry-cleaned.

Dude! Grandpa's in the basement! Ewww! Oh, wait, no.

"We can't fight who we are, Michael." Stop it, Darth! Stop it with the meta-statements! Anybody utters the word "destiny" and a P.A. gets it!

Please, please, *please* stop shooting scenes on video, guys, okay? It looks jarring when compared to film, and I can spot it from Canada. Thanks.

Oh, dang. The guy in the mask is Grant. It was funnier when he was Max Evans, Boy Commando. Hee. See? Even writing that makes me giggle.

Isabel, you're an alien. Just jump out of the moving vehicle, okay? Jesus. Like you're gonna get hurt.

"That *was* you." Hi, Isabel. The rest of us figured this out a month ago, waaay back in January.

September 7? Dude! Anne, his birthday is two days after yours! Shout-out!

Gotta say, we do seem to be whipping through this one. I don't consider that a bad thing.

"Found these weird crystals." Dude, don't you ever watch Outer Limits? You never, *ever* pick up weird crystals/eggs/funky things you find in the middle of nowhere. No good ever comes of it.

See, Isabel, this is why you don't date men who are *decades older than you*.

Katie, do-rags look good on no one. And hey, guys, any luck with that pit yet? Guys? Yo, guys?

Jim's obviously feeling better. He's in his Sheriff shirt again.

And again with the climactically-placed lightning! What is this, Buffy?

Oh my God! They're singing American Pie! MD, it's a shout-out! And are we ever going to finish that? And how many high school students actually know the words to AP? I mean, besides me.

Oh, wait, that could be the oxygen deprivation. That would be bad.

"But you were heating it the whole time" -- See, Tess? Magical Ass Fire! Get moving, girl!

I don't need to see Michael and Maria in bathrobes again. *Ever*. Darth, I sweat to God, I'd better see Max and Liz in bathrobes before this season is over. With wet hair. And naked pool swimming. And cementing. For 48 minutes. That would make up for the UTTER NIGHTMARE that has been second season. Well, no, but it would be a nice start.

"Oh, by the way, Meredith and Bobby are *evil*." Maria, don't bogart my catchphrase, okay? Well, one of them.

Man, it's good to know that the Candytwins are living it up by the pool while Kyle and Alex are *suffocating*, Isabel's stuck by the side of the road, and everyone else is digging in the mud and wet and rain. Michael, if Max kicks your ass next week, I am going to jump out of my chair and begin dancing. You have my word on that.

"We need a plane." Well, *that* came out of nowhere, didn't it?

"'ll kill your career." Just ask Mulder. Well, you could have asked him before he was kidnapped by evil aliens who look like Brian Thompson and possibly impregnated Scully. Mulder, I mean, not Brian.

"Oh my God, they're using the good crystal." Why does Dennis Christopher get all the good lines?

"Let at least one of them choke on a pigeon bone." Please be Michael, please be Michael, please be Michael...

Maria, Carmen will kill you before the night is over. And as much as I love you, I might help.

Oh my God! Drusilla slit Carmen's throat! Well, no, but *man*, that would have been cool.

Damn. Damn damn damn. Who decided that this year, Michael and Maria were gonna get all the good stuff? I'd like to meet that person. And, preferably, kick said person's ass for a good hour-and-a-half.

And Michael gets shot! Whee! I might need to rewind that later. And slo-mo it. And get screencaps.

"Why do I get stuck in these places?" Because you hang out with Guerin too much, Maria. Duh.

Okay, how did Jim and Duff know where to find them? What, were they giving out maps or something? Why didn't I get one?

"You have to kill me." Jim, you heard the nice possessed man. Thank you, Agent Duff. Maybe you're not so bad. Okay, I don't mean that, but as long as she gives Jim his job back, I don't bloody well care.

Okay, so the gandarium/bee queen looks like a jellyfish? Words fail me. Words. Fail. Me.

"Max said they need oxygen to live". Oh, wait, so you were listening to Max? Funny, 'cause it looked a lot to me like you were lounging around the pool and relaxing while everyone else was doing work.

"They're attacking! Get up!" I ever meet Nick, I'm hugging him for, like, five minutes straight.

All the squealing and hugging made *me* squeal. And I bet if there was someone in the room, I would have hugged him. Or her. I'm not picky.

"We saved the world! I say we party!" Okay, no, that's from Buffy. But still pointy.

"Our job here is done, and I need to take a shower." Showers for everyone! Max, Liz, you two go first! Oh, darn, there's just the one shower. Guess you have to share.

See? Melodramatic mourning-Grant scene. Told you she'd do one. Hey, remember when Isabel was cool? Yeah, me neither.

"...or write a false report and commit a felony." Or tell the truth and start calling yourself Spooky. That's what Mulder di -- oh, oops. Maybe he's not the best role model for this situation, huh?

You know what? Maria is kissing Michael on the forehead, and I suddenly feel like I'm 50. I am tired and sick and sad, and I have more than a passing interest in figuring out the music playing during this scene.

So, what, Laurie's sticking around? Because that could be cool. Maybe I wouldn't even hate Michael. Okay, I probably would, but it would be like the Tess-hatred: tempered by circumstance.

"All we need is a lawyer." Maybe Philip's back from Whereverthehell. Man, he spends a lot of time there, doesn't he?


So The Hybrid Chronicles is done. And I know I should care about that, but really, I don't. Not at all. Not one jot or whit or tittle. I mean, yay that the world didn't end, and (presumably) Jim got his job back, but other than that -- ehh. It wasn't so much "The Hybrid Chronicles" as it was "The Aliens-With-Human-DNA-That-We're-Calling-Hybrids" Chronicles, which is a little annoying. It started off with Kyle wondering if he had powers or not; we still don't know. Other than MitC, we've never seen Liz do anything with hers, let alone get a clear definition of what precisely hers *are*.

And, really, it would have just been simpler to subtitle it "The Candy Chronicles", because that's what they were. One of the problems with this week was that Michael and Maria didn't *do* anything. Yeah, they saved Laurie from being sent back to the hospital. Yeah, they thwarted her evil (and surprisingly gracious, in a snotty they've-got-us-by-the-short-and-curlies kind of way) relatives, and saved the world, but mostly they just lounged around the pool and ate squab off of the good crystal. *And* got fifth thousand dollars for their efforts. "Max, I've got to go make another sweep of the perimeter." Shut the fuck up, Guerin. This is one of the key reasons I *don't* like Michael. I mean, it would have been cute if the world hadn't been at stake, but it *was*. Michael doesn't seem to get that. He never does. Which, quite frankly, is why he would make a shitty king. He rankles at the fact that Max keeps him on a short leash -- but Michael? That's what you *need*. Otherwise you go around melting lockers and blowing up rocks. You make a kick-ass second-in-command; as long as you have clearly defined parameters, you do just fine. It's when you're allowed to run rampant that you get into trouble. Under your rule, O Pharoah, the planet (and can we name it? *Please*?) would last all of six months before being plunged into civil war. Asshole. Grow up, *then* come talk to me, 'kay?

And as much as I love Maria, she wasn't amusing me much more this week. She didn't seem much more concerned about the fate of the world, which strikes me as odd because, you know, *she also would have died*. And the whole "brave...handsome...alien" thing made me want to gag. Hey, Maria? Remember Brody? The man you wanted to marry at Christmas and help raise his five-year-old daughter? Funny, I'd have thought you would have. Gah. You people. You're usually better than this, Maria. I think Michael's rubbing off on you. And not in a good way.

At long last, Isabel's love affair with The Creepiest Geologist Ever is over, and while I feel bad that Grant had to die -- dating a girl fifteen years his junior aside, he wasn't that bad -- I don't feel *that* bad. I mean, we all saw that Grant was the shooter waaay back in TSAP, right? Right. There was no way he was gonna come out of this alive. It was just kinda gross to see the jellyfish erupt from his stomach like that. Bleh. And I was right about the Isabel-mourning-him scene I predicted in DB, which is depressing; I really, really, *really* hate being right, sometimes. No, she didn't fall over his body and begin weeping, but from what we saw, her relationship with Grant couldn't have been *that* strong; I don't know why she felt the urge to sit alien-shiva over his body. It just felt wrong and a little forced to me, which is why I couldn't quite bring myself to really care. Much like the show this season, actually.

Ten bucks for the first person who comes up with a plausible explanation about where all the goddamn parents on this show are.

Alex and Kyle were, obviously, the comic relief this week -- odd, considering that they came thisclose to suffocating in the Alien Bee Crystal Pit. (Look, *you* come up with a funny name for the damn things.) Part of me is annoyed that Nick never gets to do dramatic scenes, but the rest of me is too busy giggling when he gets to do funny -- you know, every time he's on-screen. Plus, Colin was *on* this week, and that's never a bad thing. From what I heard, it sounds like Kyle is accepting his place in the neverending nightmare that is Knowing the Pod Squad, and good for him. Just a matter of time, baby. Accept it. You're stuck here like the rest of us. And you've gotta love a couple of high school juniors who, when stuck in a pit full of alien bee crystals, being singing "American Pie". Why couldn't you guys have gone to *my* high school?

As for Jason, Shiri and Emilie...well, I hope they had fun on their many, many days off they obviously had while filming this. That couldn't have been more than two days' worth of filming, unless Shapiro really fucked up and lost a lot of takes or something. Blah blah dig, blee blee breathe shallow, yelling and hugging wah wah. Someone make me care. Oh, wait, you didn't. And that's not the actors' faults (though I still can't get behind Emilie as a dramatic actress); it's the writers, who seem bound and determined to make Michael the fun one and Max the boring one. Hi. We've seen it done before. You know, in the 13 episodes before this one this season. Let. It. Go.

Man, that was supposed to be about the Max/Liz/Tess subplot (no, not that way. *Ewww*). Went off on a rant, didn't I?

Jim got his job back. Whee. Was anyone surprised? No. Okay. Let's wrap this puppy up, then.

Final tally: Four stars, if only for all the giggles (Max Evans, Boy Commado!). Minus a star for the whole alien-bee-crystal thing, and for a shitty resolution to the Laurie thing, and for the Candy vibe. Feh. Bring me the head of Brendan Fehr. You'll note I haven't specified which one.

Next week: Witness Gale falling out of her chair at Alex's scream of "I just lost three thousand dollars!" Hear her snerk at Max's flat "Are we having fun yet?" (Total shout-out; my dad and I should have that particular phrase/inflection combo copyrighted.) If you listen really carefully, you can also hear her heart break at the sight of Max and Liz in a tux and wedding dress, respectively. See Michael waste fifty thousand dollars, end up in jail, and more than likely ruin Max's eighteenth birthday. Dude, you could have gotten him a hotel room, taken Liz shopping at Victoria's Secret, and locked her in there with him for a weekend. I promise, Max would *not* be saying "Are we having fun yet?" in that particular tone of voice.

Anyway. Next week. "Viva Las Vegas". Be there. And for once, look! No sarcasm! Well, very little, anyway.