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Episode Notes and Observations by Gale Dumont

Max in the City

This week:

See! Max and Tess's Excellent Adventure! See! Gale gag at the former! See! Bunches and bunches of Wacky Alien Mysterious Crap, courtesy of The WB! Thrill! To the sight of nifty blue sigils! Run screaming! At the sight of Tess doing her best remora impression! Pray! For a quick death, 'cause this is it until December 18! Oh, yeah, and Ava whips plot twists at Liz so fast I damn near get whiplash. Join us, won't you?

Damn, the summary was long for this week. Memo to self: Maybe the wacky Batman-esque descriptions don't work so well.

Word of advice, kids: if you've got the apartment to yourself, and you feel the urge to run from the kitchen over to the sofa and leap on it, twisting in mid-air, don't do it. Not a good idea.

The ep is not called "Journey to New York", promo guys. Do you see "Journey to New York" at the top of this page? No. You see "Max in the City". If you didn't want to use a crap-ass title, then maybe you should have actually named the ep "Journey to New York". But you *didn't*. "Sweeps" is not supposed to be synonymous with "sloppy".

I hate the TV Guide for this ep. A full page of Jason and Emilie. Yecch.

Oh, God, not Rath. What god did I annoy to get *Rath* for another week?

Love Brody. Love him, love him, love him. Just sayin'.

Jeez, WB, okay: you get stock footage cheap. We *know*. Gah.

"It's a mistake." You're learning, Max. You're learning. Points to see you panicking, because, you know, *you should be*.

Tess! No! No touching! Bad touching! I'm gonna be yelling that for an hour, aren't I?

"This is where you belong, Max." We are not five minutes in, and I need to put the Bullshit Boots on. I'm pretty sure that's a record.

Look, Darth, I don't care how many scenes you put her in, or how many kicky hairstyles you give her, or what sort of meant-to-be-flattering-lighting you bestow upon her. Emilie de Raven. Cannot. Act.

"I'm the king of the world." I'm inclined to agree, son, because this show is sinking like the Titanic.

AAAGH! Nicholas! That's cheating, dammit!

HBO must be having a Roswell theme night. They've got The Thirteenth Floor on now, which Shiri was in, and Go is on at 9:45, starring Desmond Askew (Brody). Man. I have to miss the first 15 minutes of Go for *this*? Dammit. I like that movie.

Rath and Lonnie still can't dress. And again with the "yo's"! Stop it! Have you people learned *nothing* in a week?

"You were dumped in the sewer. Figure it out." I don't like Nicholas, but he does get most of the good lines, I've gotta say.

"Here come the losers!" Uh, Lonnie, you have *that* hair and *that* coat on. Let's not start throwing the word loser around all willy-nilly, huh?

And now Brendan has a hockey stick. We know, we *know*, you're Canadian.

Sewers. Eww.

Is it just me, or does Tess look like she's trying not to touch anything? Not that I would be.

"Yeah? How close was that?" Points to Rath, for the incest implication. Never did trust the Tess/Nasedo relationship to be entirely on the up-and-up...

"You two done the deed yet?" AAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGGHHHH! Cold. So cold. Can' and stab...brain...

"They think he's gone camping again." For some reason, . Diane, Phillip, maybe you'd better crank Max's therapy sessions from once a week to, like, three. He's behind the tree again.

Maria: Michael no. Brody yes.

Why am I thinking Tess spread the Liz-slept-with-Kyle rumor? And why will I not be surprised when that proves to be true?

Liz, no. You can't lie. Maria, look at her! She can't *lie*! I've known her for a year, and I know that! You've known her since kindergarten, and you can't see that? Bad Maria! Bad!

See, Ava is a Dupe. She says "yo" a lot. Proving characteristic, don't'cha know.

Memo to the wardrobe guys: Hooded sweatshirts? No. I'm pretty sure Shiri had on the same one Colin had on during "Crazy". Didn't look any better on her than it did on him.

Hey, Michelle, help me out -- is New York *always* that blue? 'Cause I didn't think so. It's never like that on Felicity.

Great. Little bald guys. And is that Radiohead I hear? That sure as hell sounds like Thom Yorke.

Oh. Great. Blue glowing alien thingies. Someone wake me when the episode continues, huh?

See, that's the thing about this scene: maybe Brendan can act, but not with those sideburns and that mohawk. Or that accent. It just makes him look even more like Puffy McFunkyPants.

"Your Highness". Oh, hell, I got a tiny little chill at that. But what kind of bullshit hierarchy needs paperwork to document its royals? This isn't Europe, for chrissakes.

"The Emissary works for a temp agency?"

"...makes him think he's been friggin' abducted." Hey, what's with this anvil labeled "Brody" that just hit me on the head? Watch where you toss 'em, Darth. My neck already hurts.

It's very sad that Jeremy Irons has been reduced to appearing in Dungeons and Dragons: The Movie.

The 3 a.m. phone convo is just very, very cute. I've had calls like that at 3 a.m., including that whole "that place where we did that thing that time". But usually the person I'm talking to is drunk, and in another state.

Yay! Liz is telling Maria! But doesn't that story need a flow chart?

"Frigid!" And the hand slap! Yay!

"Oh, Mr. Davis!" See? *See*? Maria needs to be with Brody. They are the cutest things since -- well, since Max and Liz first season, certainly.

No one is hurting Brody. Someone hurts Brody, someone *dies*.

"Space is what we call very, very big." Oh, God. I just snickered at *Rath*. Someone help me.

"We can go home?" Listen to that again. Emilie just oozes menace.

Granilith! You sons of whores! I still have to type granilith! Ron Moore! You will die!

I like Liz's jammies. I have jammies like that, except with shorts instead of pants.

Liz is gonna be a great mother. Look at her, comforting Ava, who's the spitting image of her worst nightmare. Heart of gold, that one.

Emilie, chill. Stop looking to Patty Duke as your acting role model, a'right? Overacting is not a virtue, any more than underacting is. You may not be in a scene with a bench, but that doesn't mean you have to chew the scenery to shreds, either. Damn, girl. Ease. Up.

"I always felt like he was waiting for someone else to walk into his life." See? It's not just Max. Nyah, Darth!

Michael, is that *your* restaurant? No. Then don't just start randomly blowing crap up.

All right! Michael! Isabel! Form up and hie your alien asses to the Big Apple, pronto! No stopping at Wall Drug, no buying cute postcards. Just go save Max. You can linger on the return trip.

Rath, you just called Max a retard. Max has, by all accounts, had a pretty shitty month. Maybe calling him names ain't the best game plan, huh? Word. Oh, Christ, now *I'm* doing it.

Sorry. Missed a couple of minutes of Extraneous Alien Talk because of the kickass Smashing Pumpkins song on the radio.

"We're here in the spirit of reconciliation." Which means that there's gonna be a bar fight, and somebody's goin' out a window. Not quite the U.N., is it?

Dude, why is Nicholas in the big chair? Suck *ass*.

"Max returns the granilith to us." Oh, like f**k* he will, Sunshine.

It's gotta be really weird to be talking to your boss about matters of interstellar war and peace, and know that you've got to do inventory with him in, like, a month.

Tess, what are you thinking, bitch? Max shouldn't cut a deal. That's how you *lose*. Puppet governments! Ringing any bells? Do you people not pay *attention* in world history? Damn. I learned all that my sophomore year in high school.

"I don't trust them." Well, I don't trust *you*, so I guess we're at a pretty fair pace, then, aren't we, O Skankalicious One?

"I know it in my bones."

Gale: "And in my boobs, which are fake."

"I think in that other must have been one great husband." Oh, gag. If it wasn't for the fact that we still have an act left to go, I'd be tearing out my eyes right now. And my ears. And my fingers, because I just had to type that dialogue.

"God, I hate this town." Nicky, is there a town you *do* like?

>From what I've seen of Lonnie, and what half-truths Nicholas has been spouting, Vilandra must have been a stone-cold bitch. I'm starting to want to see a flashback to *that*.

"I can arrange that." I hate you, Lonnie. I *so* hate you. Rath's not gonna like being double-crossed...

"You've been changed." Ooh, spoilers! Yay! Yay yay yay! More later, in MCS!

"You lied to me." And, y'know, if you weren't a big horking liar yourself, I bet he'd feel a lot worse about that.

Okay, I take back all the shit I've been saying about Isabel this season. She kicks ass again. Yay!

Anybody else think that it's kinda touching that Brody's alien used to be friends with PastMax? Or is this just the neck wound talking?

Desmond Askew kicks major, major ass. Love him lots. Darth, keep him!

Max! No! No touching Tess! Don't make me shove your sweet, sweet ass under the Buick!

"I am the man." Aaagh! MtD flashbacks!

Nice job on the falling plate-glass thingy. And for once, I'm not being sarcastic.

Max, no! Leave Tess! We like Ava a *lot* better. She doesn't try to get in your pants, *and* she's fairly nifty, though none of us can figure out why.

" I fought back."
With Magical Ass Fire, I'll bet!

Great. That numb, gnawing feeling in the pit of my stomach is back. F***. It's not EotW, people. It's not even last week. I shouldn't be feeling like this. Stop manipulating me with the background music, Darth. It tires.

Okay, the Max/Isabel scene in the kitchen is cute.

I hope we see Ava again. I like her. Maybe she can kill Tess. Please?

"'re special." Maria! Rock *on*! Stick it to the Spiky One!

And we still have no idea who spread the Kyle-and-Liz rumor!

Oh my God. Max and Liz are in a scene together, and they're *smiling*. Someone pinch me! Is this last season? Did someone switch tapes at the station?

"Did you...sleep with Kyle?" At which point I get sniffly. If you even *think* about having payback sex with Tess, Evans, that's it. I'm done. I will do very bad things if that happens, and much like Bruce Banner, you wouldn't like me when I'm angry. All five-foot-nothing of Tiny Pissed Off Girl Of European Descent.

"You're all I want, you're all I need, you're everything..." That *better* be Musical Foreshadowing, Darth. Next sweeps period is in February, right along with my 21st birthday, and you. Owe. Me.


Okay, so I was wrong. Apparently, Colin's 7.32 court-mandated minutes of screen time air over a stretch of episodes, not just one. Sorry about that, but it explains where he was *this* week. Bill and Nick...I don't know. Fishing again? Hell. If the writers can't be bothered to explain where they are, why should I? Oh, right, I *like* the show. Keep forgetting that, sometimes.

Michael is all Gratuitous Blowing Crap Up Boy this week, for all of the six minutes he's on-screen as himself. And I still hate his hair. But he gets points for not rolling his eyes when Ava was explaining about the whole "Liz got changed" thing -- well, not rolling 'em on-camera, anyway. Cookie for Brendan, most notably for clearly delineating the lines between Michael and Rath. Not that we're dealing with subtle character shadings here, but hey.

Maria is all Gratuitous Best Friend And Brody Buddy this week, which is fine, though I would have liked to see her a little more than I did. And how cute was the convo with her and Liz outside? "Are you still a virgin?" "Yeah." "So am I! Frigid!" You'd never hear that on Dawson's Creek. No, Paul Stupin, that's not a compliment. She and Brody are rapidly becoming the cutest things I've seen since various scenes in "Crazy". Cookie to Majandra, and not just for keeping the extensions. You go, girlfriend!

Isabel - okay. I take back every bad thing I've been saying about Isabel. Except in "Surprise", 'cause that really, really sucked. She's understandably pissed off at Max for taking off like that, confused when he starts bringing up the fight-that-never-was, and worried (though, again, understandably not as worried as in TWR) about exactly how they're supposed to contact Leader Lad. Very nice turn by Katie on this one. Cookie. Now just cut back to ONE pair of leather pants, and we'll get along just fine.

I read the spoilers ahead of time in AICN, and I've gotta say, they made the whole "Liz gets powers" thing look a lot cooler than it did on-screen. Not that it wasn't cool; it completely, totally was. I was having Babylon 5 flashbacks for a minute there, though, when Sheridan's being tortured by Clark's goons, and he sees Delenn, and he doesn't give up hope - and I'm describing a completely different show. Damn. Same basic thing, though: see the love of your life, and avoid something bad. In Sheridan's case, torture; in Max's case, getting hit by falling plate glass. Now all we've got to do is make sure the audio works next time, and we'll be all set. It'll be interesting to see where the writers go with this. And if alien sex is supposed to be the best, what about alien/human-who's-sorta-kinda-but-not-really-anymore sex? Oops, did I say that out lou - Oh, hell. Of course I did.

Liz, on the whole, rocks. She spills the beans to Maria (though I was hoping she had a chart handy; I sat through EotW, and sometimes I feel like I need one), who completely understands because, y'know, aliens. She takes care of Ava - someone who, let's face it, is the spitting image of someone Liz admittedly doesn't like. God knows I couldn't have been that nice; if someone who was the double of the girl who, in a lot of ways, caused my life to be shattered, showed up on my doorstep, the air wouldn't even have time to whistle before it hit her ass on the way out. Which is, quite frankly, why I'm not Liz Parker. I'm not that nice. She's gonna be a great mommy some day, after she finishes school and gets her degree in molecular biology. But until then, cookie.

Does anyone here not think Tess was the one spreading the Liz-slept-with-Kyle rumor? No? Okay, then.

Ah, Tess. Tess and her Magically Mutating Tess Powers. Kill me. I've said it before, I'll say it again: you keep shoving a character down my throat, Darth, and the gag reflex is gonna kick in. "I…I don't know what happened." YES YOU DO! YOU ARE DRIVING ME TO TYPE IN ALL CAPS, WOMAN! JUST STOP IT! Okay. Okay. Must calm down. Must not punish self and audience for the fact that A) the writers seem determined to make us like her, or that B) EdR still. Cannot. Act. Really, other than we needed Ava in Roswell for the whole "Liz has powers" thing, did we really need Tess in New York? No. No we didn't. Actually, we don't need Tess on this show, period. And if we don't start getting some explanation on the Magically Mutating Tess Powers (now with Magical Ass Fire and the Halo of Unholiness!), I'm cocking the shotgun, Darth. Consider yourself warned.

Max…hell. This is not the same character we met last October. That I don't have a problem with, because the progression has been natural. You get tortured, you have your heart broken, and you find out you're a king in exile; not quite on the same par as "Sheriff Valenti slams me into a fence" or "No one else can know about this", now, is it? He's a hell of a lot more comfortable than he would have been even last season, though I was giggling when he was panicking in the elevator. The scene between him and Isabel at the end was very touching - oh, shut up; I'm not made of stone, people - and even though I was having traumatic EotW-style flashbacks over that whole "Did you sleep with Kyle?" thing, it was nice to see Max and Liz, you know, actually have a scene together. Remember those? Yeah, me neither, but I have screencaps of the two of them together, so it must have happened sometime, right? If you're asking about cookie, you really should start paying more attention.

How much do I love Brody? Let me count the ways. Nah, maybe later. Damn, so exactly how long has he been used as a human cab for The Alien Powers That Be? (I'd get out my tape of AN, but that would involve actually watching it - and yeah, like that's gonna happen). He does a perfect job switching from Brody to Sussudio (look, I wasn't paying attention to the guy's name, all right? It was a really good Smashing Pumpkins song) and back again. And him and Maria…not to offend any Candies in the hizzouse, but I am thisclose to becoming a PepperJacker. You've been warned. Desmond Askew (look! I learned his name!) gets a cookie. Keep him, guys. He's a good one.

Glad to see that Nicholas is dead, but Nicholas2: Electric Boogaloo (Nicholas2, from now on) is just as much of a pain in the ass as version 1.0 was. I'd pay real money to see a flashback ep set during the Betrayal or thereabouts; his body language with Lonnie is suitably creepy, and he's just the pissiest thing when he doesn't get his way, isn't he? Jeez. I'm kind of glad he's sticking around, though. Now if we could see this Khivar we've been hearing so much about…

Ava…I am at a loss to explain it, people. I hate Tess, hate her, hate her. I don't think EdR is much of an actress; watching Beastmaster this weekend only proved my point. But as Ava…I really don't know. I like Ava. I like her a lot. She's Exposition Gal this week - the first time that's honor's been accorded to someone who's not a central character, I think - and she doesn't hate Liz on sight the way Tess seemed to. Which just goes to show that the Skankalicious One should be drop-kicked out of our solar system immediately, and Ava can be adopted by the Pod Squad. Yay! I like my plan! It's a pity Darth doesn't…I genuinely hope we get to see her again. But I'm still not giving Emilie a cookie.

I still hate Rath, but we don't get as much of Puffy McFunkyPants this week, which is nice. Brendan, you've got to stop annoying the hair people; you do that, and they give you the Sideburns That Ate Chicago and that thing I must laughing call a Mohawk, but which looks far more like the mane of a My Little Pony. And he's not gonna be too happy when he finds out Lonnie's more than willing to sell him down the river. And I want to see that. Now. Preferably sooner.

I still hate Lonnie, too, but from the Evil Bitch perspective, you've gotta give her props (oh, Jesus. I just typed "give her props". Kill me? Please?): she knows which side of the street to work. She's all innocent and you're-my-brother-and-I-love-you to Max; she's about ten seconds away from dropping to her knees on Nicholas; she's got her tongue down Rath's throat, knowing that that's how you control him. We haven't seen her true face yet; she's a chameleon, more than ready to do whatever it takes to save her own ass. I admire that. I also want to shove her in front of a truck for it, but that's just me. Katie kicks ass as Lonnie; I want to see her and Rath again. But not too soon, thanks.

And I still say Zan's not dead. We haven't seen a body; years of genre TV have conditioned me to believe that if you don't see a body, he's not dead. And, thanks to Buffy, sometimes if you do have a body. He's not dead (allow me my delusions, huh, people?); Ava's not dead; Rath and Lonnie aren't dead. Is that season finale I smell?