Episode Notes and Observations by Gale Dumont

Michael, the Guys and the Great Snapple Caper

Written by Ron Moore
Directed by Paul Shapiro

This week: Michael joins the company of his fellow "slacker losers" (Ron Moore's words, not mine; sometimes, he does get stuff right) in the fun and fascinating world of Night Watchery (ok, so it's not a word. Sue me), as Max and Liz get closer and closer to Seven Minutes In Something Resembling Purgatory, and John Doe makes me want to beat him with a stick. Again. Join me, won't you?

Oh, goody. Ron wrote this. Which means the science is going to be for shit *and* I'm going to be annoyed by Act 2. Still, it's not G&A. They wrote Ep 5, though, just in case any of y'all want to start preparing yourselves for the suck now. Seriously, Ron. You did fine with the Klingons. What the hell happened? Did your talent not get packed up with the rest of your stuff in the Great Move Across the Lot?

Terry O'Quinn? What the hell? Look, people, it's Roswell. *Roswell*. On its best week, it's a B+/A- show. How do they get these guest stars, blindfold them and tell them they're gonna be on Buffy?

Michael in a suit. Clearly, this is the wrong show.

"Gwerin." Hee.

Oh, my God. Brendan's being funny. I'm scared. Hold me. Nice use of jumpcuts, there. Someone's been watching Farscape.

"Well, there are many reasons." Like a lack of money. Did someone tell Darth and Joss they had to have a theme night?

Really, this is just a comment on Brendan and Majandra's relationship, isn't it? On-again, off-again my ass.

Dude, I didn't think security guard required an orientation. It's not like you're a *real* cop. And neither is Jim, from what I'm hearing.

Ok, so Unibrow has a good smile. Shut up! It's not like I like him or anything. Also, the credits? Still suck.

Well, we got through the teaser without Max's son being mentioned once. So far, so good. That's this year's granilith, I swear.

And my closed captioning is working again! Huzzah!

No, thank you, I *won't* be going to alloy.com. Those people do not want me anywhere near a set.

Why would teachers call your father, Liz? I don't think the school can, like, legally do that. No, really, I don't think they can. It's not like your parents got a restraining order against Max or anything. It's personal business. Schools really don't care what romantic relationships their students are in, unless they get caught having sex with, like, a teacher or something. They're usually all Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

No, Liz, flying through the night? Cornball. And the Smallville slam? Niiiiice touch. Subtle, even. Kudos.

Mr. Parker? You suck. Hard. Officially. Liz, I think he *can* stop you from seeing each other. But not from committing suicide in a remarkably melodramatic fashion, if Darth insists on toting us down Shakespearean Homage River. Darth, have you *read* that play? Romeo and Juliet both end up *dead*. Do you want that? Do you? Wait, no, don't answer that.

Kyle! Jim! Welcome back!

Can't see I ever imagined Kyle as a mechanic. And he's drinking pink lemonade. Hee. He's also reaaally giving off the Christian Slater vibes.

Maria's so proud of her sad little man, isn't she?

"Is this some deranged sex thing?" Ok, funny. Would have been cooler first season, though. Also, Max needs to change his damn clothes.

Michael, don't start throwing stones. You had me liking you for all of 10 minutes. Don't start picking on Max, unless it involves mocking the whole teenage father thing.

You drive a *Chevelle*? Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Want Bob back. Want Bob *now*.

Ok, Isabel? The Mr. Ramirez thing? Doesn't make me like you any more. Or at all, really. God, this subplot is already tired. Somewhere, Alex is

"The smell of microwave burritos is going to kill the mood." It already did, Jesse. Killed it did, buried it, and had Willow botch a resurrection spell before the rest of us even got here.

Yes, he's Latino. We get it. And, in other words, we GET IT. Thank you, O Holy and Racially Diverse UPN.

Awkward!Kyle. Love him. Love him lots. Want him on every week, even.

Michael looks far too at home at this security guard thing, doesn't he? Like he was born to it, even. And why do all the guards have long, mullet-style hair? It's a dress requirement, isn't it? Like the tie, only with waaay more conditioner.

The most boring thing ever? Dude, it's five hours. Bring a book, or write fic, or do *something*, but don't blatantly flaunt the rules. Five hours. Suck it up, Guerin. Jesus.

Seriously. This is what Rath was like back on Antar, wasn't he? A big ol' slacker with a hankering for pizza and deranged sex involving uniforms. Ok, now I just grossed myself out. Bleh.

Decent choice of music. Fatboy Slim's "Weapon of Choice". Nice. Though you might want to now invest in orthodontia, Brendan. Ow.

And in other news, Brendan apparently plays the drums. Five bucks says that he plays hockey at some point before the season's over. Because, as we all know, it's All About Him.

Michael? Out of control? No, that would never happen. Heavens.

"I don't think you should say chico. You really don't pull it off." Ok, that guy I love. Can he get a name? I can't hand out cookies without a name.

"You actually worked?" "Well, we screwed around a lot, but let me tell you something." Michael in a nutshell, Ladies and Gents.

Brendan, no! Jason, give up the tapeworm. He's eating on-camera! That defeats the diet plan, dammit!

Ok, so Michael and Maria are cute. We get it. We got it last year. Can we please move on? No, please. Can we?

Steve, c'mon. Punch him. You know you want to. More importantly, I want you to.

Michael, must you destroy everything you touch? Get another hobby. I hear macrame is fairly challenging. Try that.

Max, no. No cuteness. I'm still mad at you, dammit. Liz would be, too, but she got to see you shirtless from about three feet away, so her brain's a little fried.

Anyone else think this is gonna take all of five minutes? Between the steam tray and the kielbasa? (If you got that joke, hi. You watched the show before it started to suck.)

See, last year, this would have killed me. Killed me *dead*. Now? It gives me little tingles. Little. Not even, like, Max-and-Liz-sitting-on-the-stairs-studying-together-at-the-beginning-of-Crazy tingles. The mighty haven't fallen, they've been shoved off a dock with lead weights strapped to their feet.

Liz? Gay little midget pigtails are not your friend. Write it down.

"26? That's a problem." Though not as bad after Grant the Dead Geologist, oddly enough.

"Nothing's ever easy, is it?" I want to reach through the TV and hug Kyle. And bop Isabel over the head. Oh my GOD.

"My day's never truly complete 'til my life's been threatened by an alien." I missed you *so* much, Kyle. Don't ever leave again.

Michael lecturing Max on principle. Hee. Pot. Kettle. Black. Though slumpy hot alien boys are always nice.

It's called a conscience, Michael. Welcome to having one. Mine always makes me itchy, but YMMV.

Notice that Michael leaves Liz, Kyle and Jim out of the "people I care about" equation. May I bean him? Please? You're so not allowed to give the toast at Max and Liz's wedding, buddy. At this point, I think Jim can. Maybe. *Maybe*. He did harbor the Interstellar Skank, after all.

"What you have is not an idea. It's something you come up with in your mind, and then you come up with something. Better." Very true. Max, he's gone! You can shave now!

Ok, clearly they're pumping pheremones through the broadcast or something, because Michael? Looking very, very hot. Max, unfortunately, looks like one of those kids you can feed for 70 cents a day. No joke, man: have a pie. Jeez. I feel guilty having *water* during this damn show when you're on-screen.

Jim trying to take his shoes off quietly. Hee. And he needs to get a fucking job, like, pronto. I don't want to see him this way. It makes me extremely uncomfortable. I hope Hanson gets shot in the head. Ok, only sorta.

He's in a band. Jim Valenti. Is. In. A. Band. Is this hell? I'm in hell, aren't I? Funny, I would have thought hell would have waaaay more Emilie de Ravin.

And when, precisely, did Jim lose his job? I remember him still having it as of Off the Menu. Dude, did *anyone* have a good summer? Besides Michael and Maria with the deranged sex, and Isabel with the cheap backroom sex, and the hey hey hey.

"Are you wasted, man?" "No. Maybe. Yes. Leave me alone."

"That sounds a bit too risky for a black man." Ron's making with the funny! And I don't entirely hate it! Um, ow.

Everyone, say it with me: But You Stole The Snapple, Michael.

And now the title makes sense! Yet it still sucks. Huh.

You know it's bad when four ex-security guards do a better job breaking into a place than three teenagers with alien powers and a shapeshifter do breaking into a government base. If Max ever gets kidnapped again, I say we bring Monk and the gang along. They can't do any worse than Isabel and her five-inch platforms, walking casually down the hallway.

What is this, MacGuyer? Why do I care? I could be doing something else right now, guys.

Sheriff Hanson. Hey, come over, Hanson! Die in a hail of gunfire! It's fun! I mean, for everyone else. Not you, so much.

Yeah. Michael falling through the ceiling. Did anyone *not* see that coming?

Why is Michael always having guns pointed at him? Why must it always end in tears?

Oh, and according to Anne M., Smallville sucks. How many times did I say it was going to suck over the summer, yo? Was I wrong? No. Thank you.

Well, 'twas roundabout now that Ol' Sheriff Hanson showed up at this here corral and caught hisself a varmint, yessir!

Again, where did y'all get a dock? It's *New Mexico*. The part you're in is fairly *land-locked*. Jesus, Darth, do you *own* an atlas?

Max, the last time I checked, Liz's dreams didn't involve you fucking some tiny blonde skank, impregnating her, and finding out she murdered one of Liz's best friends. Unless I missed an ep.

Oh, yeah, they *really* went hang-gliding.

I so don't want to be watching this. Aw, man, you're doing a Barenaked Ladies song? Kill me. Just kill me. Though, um, Bill's voice? Not half-bad. And the drunken cowboys seem to like "If I Had A Million Dollars". Do y'all take requests? 'Cause I wouldn't mind hearing "Box Set" or "The Wrong Man Was Convicted" right now.

Not even really pangs of glee. Wow. This is disenheartening. Max, you still need to suck up. No, not to Liz. To me.

Aw, man. Jeff's *so* not chipping in for the wedding, is he? He's really not.

"I don't give a damn about your love." I still kind of do, though God only knows why some weeks.

"Tell me you're not dangerous, Max." And then he totally doesn't lie! Max, of *course* you lie! It's her dad! You never tell parents the truth! Geesh. Fucking amateurs.

Oh my God. Oh my God. Jeff, you're getting a new asshole in a few paragraphs. I do not have time for this Mr. Capulet shit right now. It's late, and I apparently don't hate Michael as much as I used to, and Michael's being all noble and shit, and you being all "I'll send her to a boarding school in Vermont if you see her again" isn't making me want to beat you any less.

Steve! Punch him! Punch him! You're so not going to, are you? Dammit.

OBSERVATIONS:

Also, on the Smallville front, the premiere ran over time, and they're playing Lifehouse's "Everything". I hate them. Hate them so much. Hope they tank. Tom Welling is not cute. His mouth is just...scary. Eugh.

Max scruffs up remarkably well, doesn't he? Mmn. I was confused by how he was acting, until I remembered: Oh, wait, he's happy. We haven't actually seen Happy!Max in about a year, so I understand if you're confused. I was, too. The hang-gliding is a bit goofy, and I'd have been too busy panicking about crashing and dying, but Liz seemed to like it, so effect achieved, I guess. Also, bonus points for showing a glimmer of Responsible!Max (welcome back, baby. Here, have a calzone. No, really. No, *really*), and not mentioning your son at all. Keep that up, and we'll get along just fine.

Liz should never wear the gay midget ponytails again. Other than that, she got to snog Max at least three times, go hang-gliding, and have him do the lip-biting-grin in her direction. Ok, so sometimes I understand why she forgave him. Not enough groveling, though. There should be more groveling, preferably on his knees. And while he was down there, Max could -- oh. Whoops. UPN, not HBO. Gotta remember that.

Michael...Michael had a good week, and it's *not* the low blood sugar talking. He learned a few Life Lessons about Responsibility and Duty to Others (a pity he didn't learn this in regards to his *friends*), got Steve and the Guys their jobs back, and the Jesus-hair works for him. He also stole four cases of Snapple and didn't seem terribly repentant about it ("But you *stole* the Snapple!" "That's not the point!" Except that it is, moron), but it's Michael. We can't expect miracles to be worked overnight, and not after the fairly decent week he was having in other regards. And yeah, I caught him leaving all the humans *except* Maria out of the "I care about them" equation, but like I said, it's Michael. Baby steps. He keeps leaving Liz and Co. out by the end of the season, he's going behind the woodshed, but I'm feeling generous this week. Half a cookie.

Maria gets to be flippant and show off her newly capped teeth. Good for her. Majandra needs to pay for those somehow, and it's a nice change from seeing her every damn scene last season. It won't last, but I'll enjoy it while it does.

Isabel has no real plot, but when she *is* on-screen, she annoys the piss out of me. He's 26. He's a lawyer. Your dad seems to like him. Best of all, he's not Grant. And yet, you won't commit. Bet this impending marriage we all know about already is gonna really come as a shock, huh? I don't care, other than to say that Isabel snogging some guy in the middle of the Quik Stop makes me get even more pissed off at Jeff Parker, somehow.

Kyle is so not having a good week. He's had to take an ass job, he's keeping his family afloat, and that's not a fun position for someone his age is to be in. I don't envy him at all, except to say that he's coping a hell of a lot better than he would have been at this point last year, and that's because he's accepted Buddha into his life. Rock *on*, tiny Valenti. And don't ever leave again. That's how Alex ended up fighting in WWII, you know.

Jim is having a mid-life crisis, and while it couldn't come at a worse time -- unless, of course, it happened for even longer than it apparently has been -- I can understand *why* it happened. He lost his job (to *Hanson*, no less; that's gotta suck) and his sort-of foster daughter committed murder and fled the planet. God alone knows how his summer went. Methinks the band's not going to work out, though I hear private dicking works out pretty well...

Jesse was, again, a non-presence this week, other than to remind us that UPN is Racially Diverse by informing us that yes, he's a Latino. Ooooh. Because, you know, the actor's last name being "Rodriguez" didn't give that away at all. Golly, no. Don't care. Maybe I will when he gets a plot, but don't go throwing money away on side bets you won't win.

Dear Mr. Parker: You're not winning friends with this whole Angry Dad bit, nor are you influencing people, other than Max, and we really don't need you standing in the way of their forbidden love, because quite frankly, people behind the scenes are doing it for you. You are practically asking your only child to do very stupid things in the name of love, and while I can appreciate not wanting her to hang out with the guy who got her arrested for knocking over a convenience store in Utah, acting all Angry Dad and threatening her with boarding school in Vermont is only going to make her to the pharmacist and buy some poison while Max sharpens his poisoned dagger, and does that end well for anyone? No. No, it doesn't. So back up a few dozen steps, 'kay? Love, the Audience.

Rating: 4 out of 5. Max/Liz, though not to the exclusion of anything else (not that I'd mind); Michael being not entirely an asshole; and Jim Valenti covering a Barenaked Ladies song. It can get better than this, sure, but only if it involves copious amounts of Dreamer sex and Tess's sun-bloated corpse.

Next week: Again, no scenes. This sucks, yo. "Significant Others". See you then.

Gale