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Episode Notes and Observations by Gale Dumont

We Are Family

This week: Alex returns! And he's brought slides! And a hot long-distance girlfriend! Oh, and Laurie displays her ability to scream like a banshee, Liz decides she wants to see the world, Jim gets fired, and Sean leaves a filmy trail all over my TV. Blech. Where'd I put the cleanser?

Whee. Part two of the Incest -- oh, no, wait, The *Hybrid* Chronicles. Sorry. My bad. And they're calling it "We Are Family". They're just handing me the jokes now, aren't they?

Dude, don't do previouslys now. Jason's gonna have to do 'em in, like, 30 seconds anyway.

Okay, no previouslys? Cheating! Lousy cheaters!

Oh my God. It's, like, a decent-length drive back from the woods; y'all couldn't have gotten your stories straight? Bad accomplices! Bad!

Ooh, the library's a plot point. Watch me thrill. Oh, no, wait, not "thrill". "Nap". Damn me and my confusing definitions.

The Dan/Jim fight: "I want the truth!" "You can't handle the truth!"

Okay, why is there Indian music in the background? I see Michael Horse nowhere.

"You're officially suspended." Max! Isabel! I love you guys, but you're both f**kers! You got the nice man *suspended*!

Anyone else think the nurse is suspicious? She just screams Skin. Or maybe that's me

. I think Laurie's gonna be special. You can tell by the ominous background music.

"The sexual dysfunction unit is *that* way." Oh, hell. Hee. You can't knock Michael-bashing.

"This polyester number is not working for me." Honey, few clothes you wear work for you. Here's a hint: never again wear animals prints. Of *any* kind.

And like that -- poof! -- she's gone. Okay, I think I've seen The Usual Suspects too many times. No I haven't. You can't see that movie too many times.

There's something very, very funny about the fact that the only times I see commercials for Valentine are during Roswell and Angel. Okay, Buffy once. God bless cross-promotions on the WB.

Aaagh! Erica Gimpel! And again with the B5 guest-stars!

"Laurie Dupree is missing again." Man, she's harder to find than Blue. Maybe we should get Steve on the case, huh?

"Beats watching Oprah." Word.

In that scene, Bill looked frighteningly like Nick. I mean that in a good way.

ALEX! Baby! And now I'm learning handy phrases in Swedish. Points for that.

"I looked up Swedish websites while you were gone." Liz, honey, hi. You're a geek.

"So, how is everybody here?"

"I've been gone one month." And you've missed surprisingly little, sweetie. Well, other than utter crap, a really cute Christmas and some incest. But other than that, nada.

Kyle, honey? Not your story to tell. Not your secret.

Ew, funky green thingy. And it's not even penis-shaped. Run out of money, Darth?

"Why are you poking around a closed crime scene?" "If I don't look after us, who will?" Oh, I don't know -- *everyone else*? F**k it, Mikey G., you're not Batman. Angel is. You're a punk with a sh*tty attitude and bad hair. Move. On.

Oh, man, I think I'm slipping and they give Jason good hair. Bastards.

"You're worried about me." Damn, Darth, you're a sneaky little f**ker, aren't you?

Sean? Hello, Bad Timing Boy. Get out. Then go stammer and hit on Angela some more. Jesus. You just scream "date rapist". Points, Parker. You know the men to blow off, and you know the men to just plain blow. (To all the kids reading this: Hi. Welcome to Mature Subject Land.)

Isabel, what's with the hair? Katie, did you annoy a hairdresser or something?

Oh my *God*. Alien/human bonding? Is this S1? Y'all switch tapes on me again?

I hate Majandra's hair. Seriously. The last time I had hair like that, I dressed up as Princess Leia for Halloween. Those boots damn near killed my feet, too.

You remember how Liz had decent clothes at the beginning of the season? Yeah. That's all gone. She looks like that chick from Freaks & Geeks -- and those clothes made sense on *her*, becaue it was the 70's.

Laurie reminds me waaay too much of Crazy Topolsky. But at least *this* one doesn't have a nasty brunette wig.

You know what pisses me off? The fact that the Sheriff doesn't think that the humans can be of any help with the whole Laurie thing. Dude, Liz can *astral project*. Maybe that'll come in handy.

You know what? I really, *really* like MoreConfidentAlex. All he needs is to finally tell Isabel off, and kick Sean's ass, and have hot cheerleaders hanging on his every word. Alex deserves cheerleaders, after the sh*t Isabel's put him through.

Liz, kick him! Kick him very hard in a sensitive man place!

Maria, I love you, but if you could please beat the sh*t out of your cousin, I would be forever grateful.

Honey, just tell him to get the hell out. It's not rude. The man snuck into your house and is eating your food. Politeness only goes so far, after all.

"You're not dumping this stuff on the candy." "Yes I am."

"...built like a supermodel." Complete with the breast augmentation surgery.

Amy! Oh my God, I am loving you! Almost as much as your daughter! And that hair makes you look a *lot* younger. You might want to think about keeping it.

"You're dead!" Okay, I know why she's doing that, and it's pretty damn cool. Bless you, spoilers.

Dude, what's with all the tract houses? It's New Mexico. It's not like you're lacking land or anything.

"Don't worry, I'm not gonna hurt you." Michael, if you body-blocked me and said *that* to me, I'd be a little worried, y'know? You're not what I'd call trustworthy.

"The aliens are coming." Hi, I just took that *entirely* the wrong way. That happens when your brain lives, eats, breathes and sleeps in the gutter.

Laurie, while I feel bad for you, you need to shut up, like, *now*.

Ooh, they're showing The Replacement again. Yay. Double the Xander, double the fun.

Those "island of Manhattan" shots? The same ones from the promo for MITC and the opening of MtD. What, is the WB funding its shows with coupons now?

"...I didn't." Okay, Jim? Awkward pauses don't help you be a more believable liar.

"What's your relationship with the kids in this town, Sheriff?" On the UC boards right now, they're peeing themselves, I bet you money. I don't even want to *see* the MBTV recap for this one.

Aw, slideshow. And that Swedish family is just so damn *cute*.

"That's Leanna. Me and her have a long-distance thing going." Someone check for me; was that Busy Phillips?

Twinkle. Eeew.

You know what I'd really like? If the new Alex Whitman could get more screentime than the old Alex Whitman.

Um, Alex? I think Liz knows what the Aurora Borealis is. She's the science geek, not you.

Shiri looks a lot like Neve Campbell this scene. And I don't mean that as a compliment. Neve ain't what you'd call pretty.

Uh-oh. Kyle busted out the letterman's jacket. Not. Good.

Uh, Max? Why in the name of upright walking God would Kyle possibly want to help you? No, really, why?

Oh, no. Max and Liz scene. Here come the sniffles.

You know what? We're in Act Three, and there's not a drop of incest *anywhere*. And Jason and Shiri are making me sniffle. Go, y'all. Darth, I'm not kidding. Get them back together *now*, or your pets die a bloody death.

"You guys are getting cheated on a lot of things, and it's not fair." Pretty much what the fans have been saying all season, actually.

Dumbass! Go *with* her to Sweden! Make it a very special episode! Have sex in new and exotic lands! And please let us see!

"Why can't I come with you?" "Because I can't." Someone give me something to hit Darth with.

Eeew. Valenti uses chaw. Points off, Sheriff. That sh*t's nasty.

Ooh, I don't like Agent WhateverTheHellHerNameIs. Bad agent. Man, are we gonna get another asshole *next* week? Two's enough.

Oh my God. Tess and Kyle are now the second cutest things on this show.

Jim. Just. Got. Fired. F**kers.

"We were born into this cause. Valenti chose it." Michael, just -- you know what? No. I don't *even* want to get into this now. Suffice it to say that you aren't gonna be coming across as a good alternate-choice-for-the-throne this week, Sandwich Boy.

Could we pan the cameras up? I'm trying to see Max's prints on the walls.

And it's Amy! Could you guys just go ahead and get married? Please? Just to see Maria, Kyle and Tess living in the same house and the ensuing Wacky Hijinx. Plus, you're just cute.

"You look like roadkill." And I bet if she gave a tinker's damn about your opinion, Sean...

"I won't look." Yes you will. Liar.

Wow! Women on TV who *eat*! Man, it's weird to actually see.

Sean, you are not breaking The Barrier. Move on.

Oh my God, are we gonna see Untuckable making out? Of course we are. They're f**king playing *James Taylor*. It's like Marvin Gaye for guys in their forties.

No, Tess! Don't leave! Well, okay, don't leave Kyle's house. Just leave Max alone, that's all. But ditch the Heidi braids, 'cause they don't look good on *anyone*. We've established this previously.

"Well, you're my favorite martian."

Brendan, if I write you a check, will you f**king get a haircut?

"This would suck big." And once more with gutters!

"This just doesn't feel right." Or look right. What were you *thinking* with that top?

Brendan does *not* look good in funky stained overalls. Good to know.


Hi, Dan. So sorry to see you go. Well, no, not really. But *man*, you left us with a real bitch, so maybe I am sorry.

Actually, no, that's not true. Agent -- oh, hell, I'm gonna call her Agent Erica, simply because I don't remember her last name -- was just doing her job. You can't fault her that. But we're on Jim's side in this, so she gets to be the bad guy. We'd love it if she could just step aside and let him handle the investigation, complete with misuses of alien abilities and flagrant law-breaking, but she *can't*, so she's the villain. One of 'em, anyway, since we're actually dealing with an arc. (Not a great one, but hey. I grew up on Buffy and Babylon 5; I know from good arcs.)

Finally, *finally* we get Alex back -- and Whitman Version 2.0 kicks *ass*. Speaking Swedish, a lot more laidback than the one we're used to (who was still pretty damn cool -- he told off Jim back when Jim was the bad guy, for criminy's sake), *and* he's got a hot long-distance girlfriend. Of course, long-distance relationships are notorious for sucking, but come *on*. She's *Swedish*. And any host family who can cure him of his love for Isabel, or at the least tamp it down a good bit, deserves cold hard cash. It's nice to see Isabel as the one with the appreciative eye, while Alex just shrugs and says "Whatever" -- and not in a dismissive way, either. Now all we need to do is have him get shot and have Max heal him and bam! he'll be the coolest thing ever. I really, really, *really* hope this augurs Colin actually being on the show more often. Needless to say, baby, welcome back. Have a cookie. Have several. You've been missed.

Maria -- well, Maria gets nothing to do this week, really, except welcome Alex back and have bad hair. Damn. Still, more than three lines, and she practically flattened Alex in the hallway, so cookie.

Sean? Hi. This is every female on the planet. Please get out of New Mexico, like, *now*. You're gross and slimy and hitting on a 17-year-old girl, and your name isn't even Grant. You have no manners to speak of, and your entire demeanor screams "date rapist" -- if you'd even wait for the date, anyway. If you don't stop hitting on Parker (who, BTW, is clearly as charmed by you as I am), you're gonna have alien royalty doing nasty things to your kidneys. Greyhound's that way, Sean. Start walkin'.

Laurie...well, Laurie's a mystery wrapped in an enigma, smothered in secret sauce. And she's got some *lungs*, doesn't she? Damn. For the record, honey, screaming "The aliens are coming!" at 10 o'clock at night in the middle of a residential street is *not* how you make friends on this show. She's freaked by Michael (not that I can blame her) -- which is gonna make sense, if Darth bothers to put in the backstory I heard a month ago on the spoiler boards. And yes, StainedOverallMichael was a hint.

Ooh, speaking of which, Michael is working every last good nerve I still have left. Maybe it's the fact that I read some missing scenes that were left out of EotW a couple of hours before the ep aired, but he annoys me in ways I didn't think were possible without Tess sitting in Max's lap. He's becoming rather cavalier about breaking things and destroying other people's property, not to mention his attitude towards Jim getting fired: "He chose this. We didn't." Well, actually, dumbass, he didn't *choose* to get yanked into the Laurie Dupree saga; Isabel and Max went to him, and he's a *cop*, so he kind of had to listen. Much as I feel for y'all in the whole Wanting to Find Where You're From Department, the man just got fired. You could at least put on a depressed face. Jesus. And lay off the gravy shakes, would you, Pudgy? I have now concluded that Maria is too good for him. Go, Brody!

Katie needs to stop annoying her hairdresser and wardrobe guy post-haste. She also needs to get that alien-shaped stick out of her ass. She left me with a kind-of ambiguous vibe this week; other than getting annoyed at the way she was dressed (hair is included in that), she didn't really have a lot to do. Well, run after Laurie and get panicked, but really, a lot of people were doing that. She was just the most vocal, that's all. It's a sad, sad day when Katie can't get screen time unless Grant the Creepy is there, too. Maybe next week.

Amy is the kick. I'm pretty sure she's on-screen as much as Maria is, this week. *And* she gets to tell off Random Snotty Lady at the minimart. Points for that. Now could you please stick around for a while? Pretty please?

Kyle needs a hug, like, *now*. He's had a sh*tty week -- first his dad gets suspended and doesn't even tell him, then he hearts people talking about how crazy the Valenti men are, and then his dad gets fired. And that's all *before* Max asks him to sneak into Jim's office and get the green lump of whateverthehell. You know it's bad when Buddha Boy goes old-school and breaks out the letterman's jacket. His world is crumbling almost as fast as Jim's is, except that his dad has Amy to make out with and Kyle is waiting to turn green and grow antannae. On the plus side, he gets Tess to stay and tells her she's his favorite martian. Hee. See? Nick can do dramatic stuff, too. All we need to do is have him and Max get in a fight, and spill his guts about the whole I-didn't-sleep-with-Liz thing, and he's in there, baby. Cookie.

And further continuing my downward spiral into the Twilight Zone, I liked Tess this week. *Really* liked her. We haven't seen her try to climb into Max's pants for a fairly long time, and I think that's part of it. They're letting her be in scenes with other people -- points for insulting Michael -- and for the most part, she's pretty good. She's not the manipulative little bitch she used to be; granted, that's mostly the writers, trying desperately to make us like her. And you know what? It's working. Of course, the minute she starts using the word "destiny" again, I'm hoisting the flamethrower and targeting her, but for now...she can stay. Just with Kyle, though. Sorry, Candygirls; Lamp Trimmers have supplanted you in my heart for runner-up cuteness. (Ain't no one dethroning the Dreamgirls, though. Uh-uh. We were here *first*, y'all.)

Okay, I love Max, but we need to give him something to do. He's *second lead*, y'all. That's just not right. Points for the Liz hugging, and that look on his face when Liz comes back in from kicking Sean the hell out of her personal space, but other than that...not a hell of a lot, really. Which really, really sucks, and not just because I'm over here impatiently holding my breath waiting for Dreamer happies. Good hair, though. And did any of y'all catch JAG last week? Damn, he looked cute in an OCS uniform. Military hair, nervous expression -- oh, come on, you'd be nervous too if you killed a goat. Yeah, yeah, sidebar. I know. I'm moving on.

Okay, at this point, Shiri has had enough time off to make, like, three movies and crochet a small teepee for the Wanapi Indians. (Those of you who got the ref, points for you.) I liked the tackle-hug, though, and she at least tried to learn Swedish. (Wonder if she went to the Alternative Dictionaries?) And she dislikes Sean! Yeah! I can understand how she wants to go all over, and see everything...and wants to take Max with her. Awww. Yes, I'm a sap. Move on. We've got to talk to the wardrobe director, though, about what he's putting these women through. Flower prints and big sleeves? Yeah, *that's* a good idea.

And now, Jim. Oh, Jim. Oh, honey, I'm sorry. I don't know what to say beyond that. Oh, no, wait, I do: want me to hit Michael for you? Really? Okay. But the offer stands, just so you know. Bill gets his own package of Oreos this week. Man. Love him to freaking bits. And if he doesn't get his job back, Darth, someone dies. Not a character. Here's a hint: hide your fish.

Final count: 3.45 stars out of 5. Not quite 4, what with the vague sense of "aren't we there *yet*?", but higher than last week because of Colin and Nick.

Next week: The more I see the scenes for next week, the more they tell me *nothing*. The shooter's back , people are getting knocked around by random explosions, Max gets his hand stuck to a table by the Green Alien Crap of Unknown Origin, and we once again get to see Farmer Michael. Ooh. Goody.