Episode 4: Up to Snuff
The action began even before the introductions were finished, as Dr. Weeds was confronted by a detective investigating the mysterious disappearances at the hotel. But no sooner had the snoop started asking questions than Weeds silenced him—permanently.
Vladimir was installing the hotel’s new computer when Ebenezer stopped by the front desk. After Vladimir attempted to explain the wondrous device to the technologically-challenged old man, Ebenezer invited Vlad to the garden (as Dr. Weeds had requested last episode).
Ebenezer: “Have you ever been…to the GARDEN?”
Vladimir: “This is a metaphor, yes?”
Ebenezer: “I feel dirty for some reason now.”
Tillie and Mad Dog were in bed together, making passionate love. (Fortunately for the audience, the lights were down.) Afterwards, Mad Dog declared the depths of his passion, though he wondered whether it cast doubts on his manliness.
Celeste was cleaning up in the lobby when undercover FBI investigator Alderman Snuff entered. They summoned Vladimir to check Alderman in. As his cover, Alderman claimed to be a rubber-band salesman, but Vladimir saw through him—mainly because he signed the register “Det. Alderman Snuff.” (“Uh, that’s right, I work for the Det Rubber Band company.”) Vladimir knowingly nodded at Alderman, and they exchanged a few words in Russian. Vladimir inadvertently blurted out Alderman’s secret to Celeste.
Dr. Weeds paid a visit to Shi Shi’s room.
Dr. Weeds: “I brought you some flowers.”
Shi Shi: “But I thought you hated flowers.”
Dr. Weeds: “Well, they’ll die soon.”
Dr. Weeds revealed that he recently visited Shi Shi’s family in Brunswick, and got to know her father Trevor (a.k.a. Bubba) well. He made some veiled threats, and offered to provide protection for her family if she’ll do him a favor. He informed her that a “bad man” will be in the garden soon, and handed her a knife.
Ebenezer led Vladimir out to the garden (after some shenanigans with the hotel’s revolving door). Vladimir was profoundly moved and mellowed by the wonders of nature. He decided to take part in the gardening process by doing some digging and planting of his own. No sooner had he started digging than he made a grisly discovery—a severed arm, with a green thumb.
Alderman Snuff stopped by the bar. In response to Alderman’s request for “anything non-alcoholic,” Mad Dog served him up some Chivas Regal. 6 ½ hours later, the completely blotto Alderman started asking questions about the disappearance of the Birdman of Little Five Points. Mad Dog’s sinister, enigmatic reply: “There’s a lot of evil here.” Alderman fell off his stool.
Being in charge of the Hotel Gregorio while Cecil is away, Vladimir held a staff meeting, asking the hotel crew to brainstorm some ways to drum up business. Celeste volunteered to wear a G-shaped costume and be the hotel’s mascot. Vladimir asked if anyone could fold napkins into fun, decorative shapes (Celeste: “Is square fun?”). Shi Shi mentioned her upcoming benefit concert (to replace the Trans Am her cousin lost in the tornado), and Celeste cajoled her into singing “Windy.” Mad Dog was completely exasperated by the chaos and unmanliness of it all.
Still drunk, Alderman Snuff found his way to the 13th floor and met Ebenezer. Alderman explained his inebriation by showing Ebenezer his medication. Ebenezer poured the bottle out onto the table, and the two of them raced to gobble down all the pills. By this time, Alderman could no longer keep his cover story straight, claiming to be a veterinarian. (Ebenezer: “What war?”) Alderman soon abandoned the pretense and revealed he’s an FBI agent investigating the disappearance of the Birdman and the three guys from Man Night—all of whom were FBI operatives themselves. Ebenezer suggested that Alderman meet Dr. Weeds. At the mention of Weeds' name, Alderman immediately sobered up.
In the bar, Tillie was showing Celeste how to fold napkins. A quick study, Celeste soon produced a masterful “bird of paradise.” Tillie reminisced about her wild days with F. Scott Fitzgerald and her career in vintage porno loops. Celeste said that she’d never felt comfortable enough about her body to do anything like that, but Tillie reassured her that she’s a very attractive woman. Celeste revealed that she and a friend (who happens to be deaf) were auditioning for a local community theater production of “Our Town,” and she treated Tillie to a brief recitation.
Vladimir was digging up the garden, discovering more body parts. Dr. Weeds arrived. Vladimir explained his theory that the hotel must have been built on top of a cemetery:
Vladimir: “They moved the headstones, but they left the bodies!”
Dr. Weeds: “Yes, we all saw the movie.”
Dr. Weeds asked Vladimir how it felt to be in charge of the hotel at the staff meeting, then told him he could be in charge permanently. Vladimir wanted to be called “czar.”
In the lounge, Shi Shi began her benefit concert with an original composition of her own. Tillie and Celeste arrived and requested “Wind Beneath My Wings.” Shi Shi saw no way of getting out of singing it (even locking the doors so nobody else could get in), but luckily for her, the scene ended.
After the concert, Tillie remained in the lounge, still waiting for the song. Mad Dog worried that the FBI agent was there to investigate their illicit affair. Outside, some eager patrons pounded on the locked doors to get in for Man Night.
Ebenezer led Alderman Snuff into the garden (repeating the revolving-door antics on the way). There was no sign of the bodies, but Alderman asked Ebenezer about the Caponés (even though he never got the name right). Ebenezer remembered the hotel’s former manager Shaky, and his mysterious “fishing trip.” Mad Dog entered and asked Alderman what he was investigating. Mad Dog was relieved to learn it was just murder and not his affair with Tillie. Mad Dog accidentally spilled the beans about the Caponés’ mob ties, then launched into a lengthy, semi-coherent rant about the FBI and the War Powers Act.
Vladimir and Shi Shi tallied up the benefit’s receipts using the Gregorio’s new computer, concluding that the hotel was now “in the pink.” While counting, Vladimir began dismantling the computer. As he attached some wires to his head, he declared “Now I will have all the power I need…when I plug myself into internet.”
Alderman Snuff awoke in the garden, still puzzled by Mad Dog’s ravings. Dr. Weeds entered (avoiding the revolving door). Weeds and Alderman confronted each other, going from threatening to reminiscing to flirting. Alderman remembered Dr. Weeds’ late wife Bianca Weeds, horticulturist to the stars. (“How fitting that you would take up her name and her interests!”) Dr. Weeds led Alderman through a secret passage to room 43, the Caponés’ headquarters. Weeds attempted to lure Alderman into the meat locker, but Alderman insisted that Weeds go in first. Inside the meat locker, Weeds showed Alderman where the bodies (well, one body, anyway) were hidden.