Monday, June 30, 2008

Season 3, Episode 6: Smells Like Desperado

Episode 6: Smells Like Desperado

Celeste met Bert Caponé outside the hotel. They exchanged some pleasant chit-chat about “Power for Living” before Bert asked about his son Cecil, and how things were going at the hotel. When Bert learned that Cecil had refused to give a $20 raise to the blind woman, he was outraged. Bert started ranting about his son’s many failings, and Celeste pointed out that Cecil’s gay as well.

Alderman Snuff had Ebenezer under house arrest for shooting at him, Cecil, and Dr. Weeds (who was mysteriously absent) at the end of episode 5. Alderman asked some questions about the Caponés and Shaky’s mysterious “fishing trip,” but didn’t get much in the way of answers. (“Ebenezer sees all…Ebenezer knows all…Ebenezer FORGETS all!”) When Alderman ordered Ebenezer to come with him, Ebenezer hinted ominously about what might happen if he left the hotel.

Tillie gave Vladimir a clown nose and asked him to do his old Moscow Circus act. Much to Tillie’s horror, he did. Vlad confessed that he ran up a huge bill on the hotel’s account while he was surfing the net. He lamented about his demanding, unappreciated duties, then asked Tillie if she’d ever seen snuff videos of old men dying. Tillie offered to start Vladimir on a new career, using her connections in the porn industry. Vladimir, on the other hand, offered to get Tillie AWAY from her porn connections.

Mad Dog and Doris/ShiShi paid a visit to Cecil, whose face was completely bandaged since his shooting. Mad Dog suggested that Cecil see Vladimir, whom Mad Dog believed to be the Messenger of God ever since last episode’s “miracle of the coins.” Bert entered, and Cecil screamed.

Mad Dog and Tillie went out to a restaurant. Mad Dog suggested that Tillie meet the new Savior Vladimir.

Cecil and Bert had a heart-to-heart talk while standing out in the rain on the roof. Bert asked Cecil who had shot him, but Cecil couldn’t answer. Bert suggested that his wife’s plastic surgeon, Dr. Horowitz, might be able to fix Cecil’s face. Bert admitted his love for his son, while simultaneously lambasting him for his many failures. Bert finally confronted Cecil about his homosexuality. Bert remembered an old lady who might have “turned” Cecil gay—Tillie almost entered during this speech, but didn’t.

Alderman Snuff led Ebenezer to the doorway. They talked about several topics, primarily love.

In the lounge, Doris sang “Smells Like Teen Spirit” while Vladimir talked on the phone.

Cecil called Celeste to his office and questioned her about the shooting. She didn’t know anything about it, so he changed the subject to the raise she asked for a while back. Celeste told him not to worry about it, since his dad was helping her out. However, she did ask Cecil to order some more cleaning supplies. Cecil offered to hire more cleaning staff to give her a break. Celeste was visibly upset, so Cecil appeased her by giving her an empty basket and telling her it was the supplies she wanted. Bert entered, saw the trick Cecil was pulling, and furiously tore into his son. Cecil broke down crying.

Mad Dog knelt and prayed before Vladimir. Vladimir offered a Russian parable to explain that “the miracle of the coins” was just a magic trick from his circus act. A devastated Mad Dog cried out to God.

Doris closed out her act with another performance of “Desperado,” then sat down with Ebenezer and talked about love. Ebenezer was trying to find love for Alderman Snuff after their discussion on the subject. When Doris realized who Ebenezer was talking about, she told Eb how Alderman had led her on, used her for information, then dumped her. Ebenezer was shocked to learn that Alderman had wronged her so cruelly, and launched into a melodramatic vow of vengeance.

Cecil and Alderman met in the bar and commiserated over their respective failures—Cecil’s perpetually disappointing his father, and Alderman’s letting Ebenezer escape. Alderman showed Cecil “Old Muskie,” Ebenezer’s heirloom blunderbuss, and told Cecil that Ebenezer had been the shooter. Alderman offered to get Cecil into the witness protection program. Cecil’s response was to pick up Old Muskie and aim it at Alderman.

Bert and Celeste had dinner at a hot dog stand outside the hotel. They were getting along great, when Cecil dragged an unconscious or dead Alderman Snuff out as a present for his dad. Bert scolded Cecil for bringing their “dirty laundy” out in public, but praised him for finally proving himself a real Caponé. Celeste remained blissfully unaware of what was going on.

Mad Dog lamented and railed against God.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Season 3, Episode 5: Of Musk and Muskie

Episode 5: Of Musk and Muskie

Cecil and Ebenezer met for the first time since Cecil’s arrival at the hotel. Ebenezer complained about the unreliable delivery of his prunes, then told Cecil he lived on the 13th floor (amusing Cecil, who remained unconvinced of the floor’s existence). Cecil asked Ebenezer whether he had told anything to Alderman Snuff, but Ebenezer couldn’t recall, since both he and Alderman were hopped-up on pills at the time. The desperate Cecil threatened Ebenezer. In response, Ebenezer pulled out his old blunderbuss “Muskie.” They came to an agreement to keep each other’s secrets:

Ebenezer: “I won’t tell anyone you’re a sissypants, and you won’t tell anyone about the 13th floor.”

Doris (a.k.a. ShiShi) and Tillie were drinking in the lounge.

Doris: “It feels like I’ve been drinking for days—probably ’cause I’ve been drinking for days.”

Tillie chided Doris for overusing her new cologne (Vanilla Fields™ from Coty®), then offered her some advice about love, drawing on her many years’ experience as a washed-up porn star/widow 8 times over/philanthropist.

Celeste was cleaning in the garden when Dr. Weeds arrived. Dr. Weeds questioned her about her blindness, suggesting that he could use his laser to perform radial keratotomy on her. She explained that that wouldn’t help—the only problem with her eyes is that she doesn’t have any. After a long digression in which Celeste related the history of her adoptive family, Dr. Weeds returned to the subject of restoring her vision. If she would arrange a meeting between Cecil and Alderman Snuff, Weeds explained, he could give her the eyes of someone in the hotel “who won’t be using them anymore.”

In the bar, the new Cyber-Vladimir was explaining his electronic parts and connections (including the keyboard port in his rectum) to Mad Dog. Mad Dog indignantly condemned the internet as a “pipeline for porn,” but Vladimir demonstrated his power by hacking into the US Treasury and transferring cash directly into Mad Dog’s pockets.

Alderman Snuff confronted Cecil about the body in the meat locker, and told Cecil he was taking him in. Cecil not-too-subtly implied that if that happened, something bad, like an explosion, might happen to the car—but only the front part, not the back seat where Cecil would be sitting, of course. Since the threat of prison didn’t seem to intimidate Cecil, Alderman revealed that he had some compromising photos he could show to Cecil’s dad.

Alderman visited Tillie in her room to ask her some questions. She explained that she lived at the Gregorio because she’d been kicked out of every nursing home her kids put her in, “because I’m fucking crazy!” Alderman’s questions took on a distinctly sexual implication, but then Doris came in, and he dropped Tillie like a hot potato.

Vladimir began literally surfing the internet, but quickly disconnected after realizing that Mad Dog was right about it being nothing but porn.

Cecil was panicking in his office when Celeste came in to clean. After a little game of “follow the bell” and a brief discussion of his cologne (a mixture of CK One™ and Drakkar Noir™), Cecil told Celeste how worried he was. She asked if he was afraid people would find out he’s gay, but that wasn’t the problem—in fact, Cecil had never thought of that as being especially secret. He explained his real dilemma: He really wants to run the hotel as a legitimate business, but he knows that his father won’t let him go straight, and that Alderman will just keep pouring on the pressure. Suddenly realizing that Cecil has mob connections, Celeste ran out of the office as quickly as she could, blurting out “Gotta clean the rooms! Please don’t kill me!”

Mad Dog was polishing up the bar and inhaling the fumes from the spray cleaner. Ebenezer snuck up behind him, wielding Old Muskie, and demanded “all the hooch you’ve got and the special keys to Man Night!” However, since “all the hooch” consisted of a single bottle, and the only “key to Man Night” was just to be a man, it was a pretty lame robbery. Ebenezer laughed at his little prank.

Dr. Weeds waited in Cecil’s room, passing the time by trying to call “Blind Date.” When Cecil arrived, he offered Weeds a deal. If Weeds disposes of Alderman, Cecil will put up the funding for Dr. Weeds’ laser—all $200,000 of it.

Vladimir bid furiously for some unknown item on eBay, but didn’t get it.

Doris showed Alderman to her room. As they exchanged some tender sweet talk, Alderman steered the conversation to the stories and secrets she could tell. Doris realized what he was trying to do.

Doris: “You think you can stick your tongue down my throat and I’ll just tell you everything about everybody?…You’re right!”

Doris promised she’d tell him all the dark secrets of the hotel, “the pedophilia, the necrophilia, the herbophilia.” These topics were a bit of a turn-off for Alderman, but he kissed her anyway.

Ebenezer and Mad Dog were drinking and huffing away in the bar. After Mad Dog said that huffing fumes was his one great vice, Ebenezer pointed out another one:

Ebenezer: “I know that the owner of this hotel is a pansy, and you’re a pedophile!”
Mad Dog: “I never rode a bike in my life!”

A panicked Vladimir sought out Dr. Weeds to share some important news he found on the internet: “Cokie Roberts says the NEA won’t be funded!” Dr. Weeds was visibly upset.

Tillie and Celeste had some ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s. After Tillie asserted that Ben & Jerry are Jewish, Celeste agreed: “This tastes so good, they gotta be Jewish!” Tillie got upset (“Tell me, how does ‘Jewish’ taste?”), but Celeste explained she was just trying to go along with Tillie’s perpetual Jewish-pride observations. Celeste then led the other patrons in a toast to Judaism.

Dr. Weeds casually ambushed Alderman Snuff in the hallway. Alderman tried to persuade Weeds to join the side of the law—after all, he did show him to the body in the meat locker. However, Weeds told Alderman that that evidence would disappear unless Alderman met his price—a price the Caponés could meet. Cecil arrived and predicted “Someone’s about to die!” Alderman pulled out his gun and agreed. Dr. Weeds objected: “I’m the killer in this show!” But from the wings, Ebenezer took careful aim with Old Muskie…and fired. But who did he hit?


Monday, June 16, 2008

Season 3, Episode 4: Up to Snuff

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.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Season 3, Episode 3: Man Night

Episode 3: Man Night

Cecil and Vladimir discussed the murder of the Birdman (and his birds, who were turned into a plate of hot wings). Then Vladimir revealed he'd raised $25,000 for the hotel last night.

Dr. Weeds paid a visit to Tillie. They had a heart-to-heart talk, and she got him to show his softer side. He confided his real name (Steven Croup) and how he got his facial scar (he fell off the teacup ride at DisneyWorld). He also revealed that he'd recently seen a woman who looked exactly like his late wife--teen singing sensation Christina Aguilera.

It was "Man Night" at the bar, with Mad Dog pouring out the drinks for Weeds, Ebenezer, Cecil, and three guys from the audience who just took it upon themselves to get up on the stage. ShiShi came out and started singing "Total Eclipse of the Heart."

Afterwards, ShiShi was talking to Celeste. Celeste told ShiShi how she and Vladimir tried selling themselves on the street last night, and how, even though she didn't get any offers on her body, the important thing was that she was willing to make that sacrifice.

Ebenezer was sitting in the lounge, waiting for Mad Dog to bring him his prunes. Dr. Weeds pulled up a chair and sat down with him. Weeds told Ebenezer that he was the one who grew the prunes, and that he can keep the prunes coming if Eb would do him a couple of favors. First, he wanted Ebenezer to bring Vladimir out to the garden. Second, he wanted Ebenezer to use his spiritual powers to summon up the spirit of his old friend Jun Denver (the Japanese John Denver impersonator). Ebenezer agreed, and was soon channeling a heavily-accented version of "Annie's Song."

After Dr. Weeds had left, ShiShi stopped by the lounge and chatted with Ebenezer about her performance and her problems. Ebenezer told her: "I don't understand you,'re a lovely young woman, but you drink like a sailor, you curse like a DRESS like a sailor once he's crossed the equator..."

Dr. Weeds called the three guys from Man Night back up on stage. He told them he could use some assistance in his laboratory...some young, strong bodies to help with his experiments. Then he slit their throats.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Season 3, Episode 2: Birds of a Feather

Episode 2: Birds of a Feather

Celeste tried to approach Cecil for a raise, but he told her the hotel was in the red, or was it the black? Anyway, whichever color was worse. (Of course, Celeste didn't know the difference.) Celeste offered to help raise money for the hotel by sewing sequins onto gloves and selling them.

ShiShi regained consciousness, and Dr. Weeds asked her to join him in his quest to destroy the sun. He explains that, since she brews homemade moonshine in her still, her knowledge of chemistry will come in handy.

Vladimir met a new guest who wanted to check in--Albert Ross, the Birdman of Little Five Points, a man with birds perched on his shoulders. The Birdman explained that he was raised by the birds as one of their own, and that now they walked with him wherever he goes.

Mad Dog offered some of his "sacramental wine" to Ebenezer. Mad Dog told Ebenezer all about his religious awakening. A long time ago, he was an actor, working in the chorus of an off-off-Broadway production of "La Cage Aux Folles." He changed his ways when he received a message from God, in the form of a severe beating from a Federal Express guy.

Cecil told Vladimir that the hotel needed to raise money fast. Vladimir remembered when he came to America, he had no money at all. Then, one day, he was standing on the street, and a man came up to him and asked if he wanted a good time. By the end of the night, Vlad had $25,000.

Ebenezer and the Birdman met up on the roof. The Birdman asked a little bit about Ebenezer, and we learned that the Weatherbottom family made a fortune in the copper business. The Birdman invited Ebenezer to join him in his plot to take over the hotel.

Vladimir was on the street, selling his body. Celeste came by hawking her "Sparkle Gloves." They talked about their respective ideas for raising money for the hotel, and when Celeste found out how much Vladimir was making, she changed her pitch to "Love for sale!"

The Birdman was alone with his birds in the penthouse suite when Dr. Weeds entered through a secret passage. Dr. Weeds informed the Birdman that his plans to take over the hotel would interfere with Weeds' own plans. Then Weeds pulled out a knife and stabbed the Birdman.