Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Season 3, Episode 10: I Love the Smell of Brunswick in the Morning

Guest-starring Mary Kraft as Sandra Seaver.

Episode 10: I Love the Smell of Brunswick in the Morning

Mad Dog returned from his long absence to find many changes…the first of which was Vladimir’s new hair. To express his grief over Bitsy Caponé’s stabbing, Vladimir grew his hair out and started a heavy-metal band, “Gulag.” Mad Dog liked the idea, and asked to join as the band’s drummer. Mad Dog revealed where he’d been these past few weeks: he was in his room the whole time.

Wrongfully imprisoned for stabbing Bitsy, Celeste got a surprise visit from her deaf, Southern Baptist sister Sandra Seaver. The two had an emotional discussion in their special, personal sign language.

An excitable Ebenezer showed Tillie the severed gorilla’s head he found in his bed, but was disappointed when Tillie told him it was just a Halloween mask. They discussed the big Jewish conference coming to the hotel. Tillie asked Ebenezer what “Jewish” meant to him, and the elderly spectre cheerfully rattled off a list of stereotypes.

Dr. Weeds and Bert Caponé met in the garden. Bert was still in shock over his wife’s stabbing and Celeste’s arrest. Dr. Weeds (the true culprit, in case you missed episode 9) said that he had seen Celeste do it with his own eye. Bert was also disappointed that Cecil had done nothing to either stand up for himself or avenge the attack on his mother. Dr. Weeds promised Bert: “In 24 hours, if Cecil isn’t on our side or dead, I’ll make sure he’s dead.”

ShiShi anxiously tried to tell Cecil that she had nothing to do with Bitsy’s stabbing. Cecil assured her that he knew she was innocent, though his reassurance was undermined by the fact that he accidentally called her “Celeste.” A shaken ShiShi said she had enough identity problems already. She told him her real name and talked about her past, growing up in Brunswick. Cecil confessed that he loved the smell of Brunswick.

Bert visited Celeste in her cell and asked if she stabbed his wife. Celeste was hurt that Bert could even think of asking her that question. She assured him she couldn’t hurt a fly, and Bert replied “I know. That’s why I love you. I never said that to anyone before. Well, I told my son once, but he was asleep, so that doesn’t count.” Celeste asked Bert to take her cats to PetSmart and get their picture taken with the Easter Bunny.

Sandra Seaver tried to check into the hotel. Vladimir initially booked her as “Nanra Neamer,” but eventually straightened everything out. The phone rang, and Vladimir talked with a guy named Randy about booking his band.

ShiShi sang “Crazy” to Mad Dog in the lounge. They were both distraught over the recent developments and the hotel’s impending closing. Declaring himself a “pro-active drunk,” Mad Dog resolved to take action.

Tillie met Sandra at the ice machine in the hallway. After learning that Sandra was deaf, Tillie said that she’d been taking sign-language lessons on-line. However, since Sandra only understood the private sign-language she and Celeste worked out, they still couldn’t communicate. Tillie brought Sandra to her room and showed her the closed-captioning on the TV set. After all this, they finally got around to introducing themselves.

Vladimir strummed and tuned his guitar until a string broke.

Ebenezer was practicing his ghostly powers by floating around the hallway (albeit a very low-flying float). He ran into Cecil, and was surprised by Cecil’s new look. Then Ebenezer remembered that he had sworn vengeance on the entire Caponé family. He leapt upon Cecil and unleashed his undead fury, to no apparent effect. Cecil assured Ebenezer that he wasn’t like the rest of his family, and that Bert is their real enemy.

Vladimir continued practicing his guitar until Bert came in to complain about the noise. After they argued about the guitar, Bert admitted his conflicted feelings about Celeste. Vladimir showed Bert a paper he found…a note, supposedly from Celeste, filled with murderous, enraged ranting about Bitsy. Vladimir thought this “confession” could make a good song for Gulag.

After visiting a friend in prison, Dr. Weeds happened to pass Celeste’s cell. When she proclaimed her innocence, Weeds again claimed to have seen her stab Bitsy. Celeste raised the possibility of a look-alike, “’cause I sure don’t remember doing it!” Cecil arrived with a flower for Celeste. Celeste urged Dr. Weeds to tell Cecil about her look-alike theory, but instead, Weeds taunted Cecil by describing his mother’s stabbing in graphic detail. Enraged, Cecil pulled out his gun. Dr. Weeds took the barrel in his mouth.

Sandra Seaver came into the bar to order a Shirley Temple. Mad Dog mistook her for a “def” rapper and forced her to drink hard liquor to fit her “hardcore gangsta” image.

ShiShi was sitting in the garden, pondering the way things were and the way they might be. Dennis the vulture crowed to her, and ShiShi realized she could understand him. She had a tender conversation with Dennis (“Don’t you remember what it was to want to sing instead of caw?”), touching the vulture’s little heart. She asked Dennis for advice, and he crowed out a “downright diabolical” plan.

Bert ran into Cecil outside the prison. Cecil told his father that he had just splattered Dr. Weeds all over the walls because Weeds had stabbed Bitsy. Bert told Cecil about the note from Celeste, then backed up: “Wait a minute, you killed Dr. Weeds?” Cecil shrugged.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Season 3, Episode 9: Meet Bitsy

Guest-starring Carrie Ragsdale as Bitsy Caponé.

Episode 9: Meet Bitsy

Cecil and Bert were still in the middle of their Tarantino/John Woo-style stand-off, when Bitsy Caponé (Bert’s wife and Cecil’s mom) entered. Bert and Cecil put their guns away for the unexpected family reunion. Bitsy pulled her own gun on Bert, but put it away so she could give Cecil a surprise—his beloved childhood toy “Mr. Bun.” Cecil suggested that the whole family—plus Celeste—should get together for lunch.

ShiShi was in Bert’s office, waiting to find out whether she still had a job. Vladimir entered and told ShiShi (after a brief struggle with the language barrier) that there had been several messages for her from a Mr. Brannigan at Virgin Records. Stunned and thrilled, ShiShi urged Vladimir to find those messages. Then they went to Dave & Buster’s.

Tillie met Dr. Weeds in the garden. She told him that, before the hotel closed, she wanted to book one last big Jewish conference. Seeing the convention as a good opportunity to find victims, Dr. Weeds agreed. They kissed.

Celeste met Ebenezer out on the stoop. Ebenezer revealed that he was a ghost, and suggested that they dig up his physical body and take out his eyes so that Celeste could see. Celeste did not take him up on his bizarre offer. Ebenezer mentioned that his escape attempt with Tillie was unsuccessful…as soon as he got out of her K-Car, he rematerialized on the 13th floor. Celeste confided about her romantic problems with Bert, though Ebenezer initially thought she was talking about Dr. Weeds. They laughed over this little misunderstanding, and made fun of Weeds’ faggy scarf. Off in the distance, Dr. Weeds shouted “Nobody makes fun of the scarf!”

Bert arrived in his office and told ShiShi that her Kenny Rogers number didn’t do the trick—he was still firing her. He then revealed that he had “taken care” of the messages from Brannigan at Virgin Records. However, he might just consider letting her contact the record label…if she’d do a favor for him in return.

Vladimir was meditating in the garden when Dr. Weeds entered. They discussed the upcoming closing of the hotel. Vladimir thought they could keep it open, using the attractions of a real ghost and the musical mega-star ShiShi. Weeds insisted that the Gregorio WOULD close, but hinted to Vladimir that they might keep him around. Dr. Weeds warned Vladimir that if Cecil kept trying to keep the hotel open, either Bert, Weeds, or Dennis the vulture would eliminate Cecil.

Cecil and Bitsy took a walk through Inman Park. Bitsy assured Cecil that she’d keep the hotel open, since she always gets the last word with Bert. Cecil confessed that he’d been thinking about shooting his father, and Bitsy agreed that she’d often felt that way herself. They played rock-paper-scissors to decide which of them would get to kill Bert; Cecil won.

Celeste met Bert outside his office. They went inside, and Celeste poured out her heart about all her doubts and fears about their relationship, even though they were still just at a platonic stage. Bert kissed her.

Vladimir and Cecil were drinking at the Euclid Yacht Club. Vladimir warned Cecil about the threat to his life. Cecil revealed that murder was an old family tradition, and that Bert had killed his own father, Chester Caponé. (Vladimir: “So in a way, he’s looking forward to you killing him.”)

Bitsy met Dr. Weeds. Weeds told her that he found her very attractive, but warned her that if she interfered with his plans, he’d have to kill her. Bitsy pulled out her gun and stuck it in Weeds’ mouth. This was a big turn-on for both of them.

Ebenezer discovered the hotel’s library and started doing research about spooks. Celeste entered, and they discussed love and happiness using an extended train metaphor. Celeste tried to gently inform Ebenezer that he’s loud and obnoxious. Ebenezer was depressed by the revelation, but decided he must seem that way because of the blind woman’s extraordinary hearing.

Tillie was waiting in Dr. Weeds’ room when Weeds and Bitsy entered. Tillie took Weeds aside and asked him what he was doing with the shameless redhead. When Bitsy objected, Tillie insisted “This is a conference call, you’re not hearing this.”

ShiShi sang an impromptu number about her dilemma. Cecil entered, and ShiShi informed him about the “favor” Bert had demanded from her: “He wants me to maim your mama!” ShiShi couldn’t bring herself to harm anybody, but feared being thrown out on the street. Cecil assured her that she wouldn’t have to kill Bitsy. He had a destiny of his own to fulfill with Bert.

ShiShi: “Destiny? But what about free will?”
Cecil: “I’ve tried free will, and it isn’t really working out.”

Bitsy invited Vladimir to join her against Bert, and Vladimir told her he was already on her side. Vladimir showed her the many silver bullets he had been preparing, inscribing each one with a different part of Bert’s anatomy. Bitsy again tried rock-paper-scissors to determine which of them would do the honors, but Vladimir beat them all with a missile (“Welcome to international diplomacy!”).

Ebenezer tried using his newfound ghostly powers to terrorize Bert, but Bert was not impressed. Bert revealed that his great-grandfather, Chestoricus Caponé, was the person who killed Ebenezer in the first place. Ebenezer swore revenge on the entire Caponé family.

ShiShi and Tillie were drinking in the lounge. ShiShi confided all her problems, and Tillie gave her a gun.

Celeste was cleaning the lobby when Bitsy Caponé entered and introduced herself. Bitsy revealed that she knew all about Celeste’s relationship with her husband, and warned Celeste that Bert would break her heart. Celeste showed Bitsy the gift Bert had given her to prove his love—a gun. (Celeste had no idea what the gift really was, but it’s the thought that counts.) Dr. Weeds entered and tricked Celeste into leaving. Once they were alone, Weeds flirtatiously told Bitsy that he had a message for Bert.

And with that, Dr. Weeds stabbed Bitsy.


Monday, July 14, 2008

Season 3, Episode 8: Meet the New Cecil

Introducing Christian Danley as the post-reconstructive-surgery Cecil!

Episode 8: Meet the New Cecil

Bert arrived at Celeste’s home for their date. As a special treat, Celeste was preparing her own unique lasagna recipe, substituting rice for pasta. They talked a little bit about their lives, and bonded over the discussion of Celeste’s 17 cats and Bert’s 15 siblings.

Dr. Weeds removed Cecil’s bandages and revealed the results of his facial-reconstruction surgery.

Ebenezer staggered down the hall, Dr. Weeds’ knife still sticking in his chest. Vladimir eased his suffering by doing his bear-dance, then took the knife out. There was no wound on Ebenezer’s body. Ebenezer remembered a time many years ago, when he was floating down a tunnel of light lined with dancing bears, then woke up on the 13th floor. Both Vladimir and Ebenezer suddenly realized that Ebenezer was indeed a ghost.

ShiShi was drowning her sorrows with Tillie, who decided to take ShiShi for a drive. Tillie handed ShiShi a gun and told her they were going on a Thelma-and-Louise journey of empowerment.

Bert and Celeste finished dinner, and Celeste prepared to bring out dessert—teramisou made from Twinkies & Nestle Morsels. Bert told her he hadn’t enjoyed himself so much in a long time, then promised her she’d never have to clean toilets again.

Vladimir was perplexed and disturbed by Cecil’s new face. Vladimir told Cecil that Bert was planning to close the hotel. Cecil was upset by this news, not to mention the fact that his father hadn’t even bothered to come to his “unveiling.” Cecil and Vladimir plotted to take over the hotel from Bert.

Ebenezer attempted to leave the hotel, encountering a mysterious gummy resistance the closer he got to the edge of the premises.

ShiShi & Tillie were on the road, getting empowered. They put in a Billy Joel tape and had an “aerodynamic moment” by sticking their hands out the windows and “flying.”

Dr. Weeds was on the 13th floor, when Ebenezer suddenly appeared out of nowhere, surprising them both. Ebenezer explained that he was already dead, so the stabbing didn’t work.

Vladimir chastised Celeste for coming in 25 minutes late, especially since they’ve booked the Tattoo & Piercing convention and the hotel is very busy. Celeste copped an attitude, since Bert promised her she wouldn’t have to work anymore.

ShiShi was startled by Cecil’s new appearance, but thrilled to see him again. They commiserated over Bert’s mistreatment of them both.

ShiShi: “Did you know your daddy’s a rat bastard?”
Cecil: “Since I was born!”

Bert met Dr. Weeds in the garden. Dr. Weeds revealed that he had completed his laser by stealing parts from the one at Stone Mountain. As soon as they close the hotel, they’ll be ready to use it as a headquarters and hold the world for ransom. Their sole remaining obstacle was Cecil’s insistence on keeping the hotel open. Bert met (and shot at) Dr. Weeds’ pet vulture Dennis.

Ebenezer went to Tillie’s room and apologized for not believing her when she told him he was a ghost. Tillie clarified, explaining that Ebenezer was NOT a ghost, but an apparition (“that’s a bigger word”). Ebenezer needed help accepting his undead status so that he could leave the premises. Tillie helped him by driving him out of the hotel in her K-Car. (Ebenezer: “God bless Chrysler!”)

Celeste went up to Cecil’s office. Cecil confronted her about her relationship with his father, and warned her that Bert would just wind up hurting her. Celeste was unconvinced (“If he’s a rotten bastard, then give me more of that!”).

Bert told Vladimir that he was closing the hotel. Vladimir tried to change Bert’s mind by putting on his sad-clown face and doing his mime-in-a-box routine. When that didn’t work, Vladimir told Bert that the Gregorio had something no other hotel does… “I see dead people!”

Dr. Weeds visited ShiShi before her big number. She resolved that she WOULD make Bert cry and save her job. (“You’re not the only one with diabolical plans, mister!”)

Celeste pondered Cecil’s warning. And pondered…and pondered…

Finally, the moment of truth came…ShiShi’s big, career-saving number…a powerful rendition of Kenny Rogers’ “The Gambler.” It was a huge success, with the entire audience, even Dennis the vulture, joining in.

Cecil and Bert confronted each other in the office. Cecil was angry that Bert was taking away the Gregorio, Cecil’s only opportunity to make his own way in life. Bert was adamant about closing it, explaining “You served a purpose. That purpose is over.” Bert and Cecil both drew guns on each other.


Monday, July 7, 2008

Season 3, Episode 7: Bert's the Boss

Episode 7: Bert’s the Boss

While Cecil was away, Bert Caponé was going over the hotel’s operations. Ebenezer came along, and Bert greeted him with a hearty “Who the fuck are you?” Ebenezer administered his traditional profanity-scolding slap. Bert administered his traditional severe beating.

Tillie and Mad Dog watched some of Tillie’s old movies. Mad Dog was concerned about how he stacked up to her former screen partners, especially those with shaved scrotums (scrota?).

Scarfing down Marshmallow Peeps and guzzling Sublime, ShiShi wandered out to the garden and met Dr. Weeds. Dr. Weeds questioned her about the after-effects of the drug he gave her back in Episode 1 (“Ever get dizzy since then? Ever hear voices?”). Dr. Weeds suggested they had a future together, then licked the Peep dust from her fingers.

Celeste asked Vladimir for some tips on cooking foreign food, particularly Italian. Noticing Celeste’s new perfume and barrettes, Vladimir realized she wanted to cook for her new boyfriend. Vladimir revealed that he’d always wanted to get closer to her himself. “Now you tell me!” Celeste replied, “Get in line!”

Mad Dog found the badly-beaten Ebenezer in the dumpster, and revived him with prunes.

Tillie decided to quit keeping kosher. She called Bert at the front desk and ordered a cheeseburger and milkshake. After Bert’s typically Bert-like response (“What am I, fuckin’ McDonalds?”), Tillie insisted that the “fresh” Caponé bring her food up himself. Bert admired her nerve.

Vladimir offered Bert some ideas for sprucing up the hotel (like changing the bedsheets regularly). Vladimir asked Bert for a raise. Bert agreed, if Vladimir would prove his loyalty by doing an unspecified “something” for him.

Mad Dog nursed Ebenezer back to health with yet more prunes.

Since Bert never brought her her cheeseburger, Tillie invited Celeste to come with her to Wendy’s.

Dr. Weeds brought ShiShi up to his room and confessed “When I’m around you, I don’t feel so evil.” ShiShi insisted that Weeds was only attracted to her stage persona, not the real Doris underneath. Dr. Weeds demonstrated his sincerity by showing her “something no woman’s seen in 3 years” (get your mind out of the gutter, he meant his right eye). He explained that he started wearing his eyepatch after his wife’s death, but now he’s ready to look at life with both eyes again.

Vladimir and Mad Dog were discussing the hotel’s bleak-looking future. They tossed around a few ideas for increasing revenue, including serving good liquor, charging admission for Man Night, and hiring DJ Romeo Cologne, or his cousin Romeo Cologne.

Ebenezer met Tillie in the hallway and complimented her on her radiant appearance. Tillie attributed her glow to having just gotten laid. (Ebenezer: “You went to Hawaii?”) Tillie offered to show the confused old man what she meant with a demonstration, and the two of them went up to the 13th floor.

Bert called ShiShi in to fire her. ShiShi protested that she never drew a salary, working only for tips and her room and board. Bert still insisted on firing her, but offered her one last chance if she could bring a tear to his eye at her next performance.

Tillie and Ebenezer had sex—a rewarding experience for the speedy Ebenezer, a disappointment for Tillie.

The Wendy’s biggie fries weren’t agreeing with Celeste, who sat on the front stoop groaning. Dr. Weeds came by, asked if she’d seen Ebenezer lately, and immediately regretted his choice of words. He then led Celeste to his room.

ShiShi consulted Mad Dog for advice on how to improve her act, keep her job, and save Man Night from being taken over by “rave monkeys.” Mad Dog’s primary suggestion: “More boobs!” He had other ideas, but before he shared them, he asked her for a favor in return: “Shave my balls!”

Dr. Weeds visited Ebenezer’s room. He removed Ebenezer’s glasses and questioned the perplexed, squinting old man about the shooting in Episode 5. Weeds put his arm around Ebenezer’s shoulder, took out his knife, and talked about Ebenezer’s “long, full life.” (Ebenezer: “I’ve led SEVERAL lives!”) Though he could not see Weeds’ weapon, Ebenezer was disturbed by the conversation and by Weeds’ touching him.

Ebenezer: “The way you’re caressing me…it reminds me of a woman.”
Weeds: “And just like a woman, I’m going to do THIS.”

And with that, Weeds stabbed Ebenezer.