Thursday, March 5, 2009

Season 11, Episode 1: Big House, Big Trouble

Yet another new season and new setting...this time around, SCANDAL! goes to jail.

Episode 1: Big House, Big Trouble

Warden Barker began a typical day at Little Five Points Penitentiary by making the morning announcements, concluding on a personal note by informing the prisoners that today was his 24th wedding anniversary to his lovely wife Candice.

In the prison kennels, Bruce Brüce was on dog duty, with Corrections Officer Hoss Hardacre overseeing. Taking Bruce aside, Hoss asked if Bruce could use his connections with the Rainbow Mafia to do him a favor. Hoss explained that his wife’s birthday was coming up, and he’d like to get her a special surprise gift…like maybe death.

Raymond Milk, the cellblock black marketeer, was sitting in his cell when Aryan supremacist Arman Redder came by to pick up some Crest WhiteStrips (to make himself even whiter). Arman marveled at Raymond’s luxuriously furnished cell, complete with NASA-designed Thermapedic mattress. When Arman asked where Raymond gets all his stuff, Raymond slapped him for being so nosy.

Prison librarian Dexter Dewey was getting a book for the ancient convict Rusty Trombonz, while Rusty reminisced about the old days before libraries. Searching for his library card, Rusty found a deck of playing cards instead, so he proceeded to teach Dexter the basics of poker (without much success).

The deranged clown Wayne Bo Casey was making a telephone call to his bookie when Warden Barker walked by; Casey immediately pretended to be talking to his mother. After Casey hung up, the warden informed him that his electrocution would be delayed due to a malfunction in the chair. Casey angrily complained that he needed those electric shocks to treat his tics. Barker admitted that he had other problems on his mind: They’d ranked dead last as the worst prison in the country. To improve their rating, everyone in the prison needs to bring up their SAT scores immediately.

Bruce Brüce repaired the electric chair with a MacGyver-like procedure using toilet paper, a turtle, and a tin of Altoids, while Raymond offered to dedicate the new chair by reading aloud from either the Bible or an issue of Hustler featuring Jenna Jameson. At the conclusion of the ceremony, they tested the chair, giving Raymond the shock of his life.

Rusty Trombonz was eagerly anticipating his upcoming release, after serving a 63-year sentence. Hoss Hardacre warned Rusty that his enemies would be gunning for him, but offered him protection…in return for a cut of the hidden fortune from Rusty’s great train robbery.

Wayne Bo Casey asked Warden Barker for some more soap, explaining that he’d eaten his ration to stop the aliens from homing in on its transmitting device. Barker pointed out that, if Casey had pled insanity at his trial, he could have been sent to a cushy mental facility instead. Offended by Barker’s implication that he’s crazy, Casey attacked. Hoss Hardacre rushed in and broke up the fight. When the Warden apologetically explained that it was his own fault for calling Wayne crazy, Hoss took them both into the hole.

Afterwards, Hoss consulted with Dexter Dewey regarding the prison’s terrible SAT scores. Hoss explained that he was terrible at standardized tests…but since the testers had never seen him, he could switch uniforms with Dewey and have Dewey take the test in his place.

Warden Barker (having been released from the hole) called Arman Redder into his office to discuss the SAT problem. Arman explained that he had no experience with the outside world, having lived in prison his whole life (sentenced for a crime his parents committed while he was in the womb). He also believed that math tests were a conspiracy controlled by the Italians, trying to put the country under the Pope’s control. However, he agreed to help out by bringing in a bunch of his genius buddies from Texas to take the tests.

After Bruce complained about the prison food, Raymond offered to bring in some Omaha Steaks…for $2,000. Raymond confided that he knew Bruce could afford that much for food, since he was secretly a leader of the Rainbow Mafia. In the course of their conversation, Raymond finally made one innuendo too many, and Bruce attacked him with a spoon.

In his cell, Wayne Bo Casey read a letter from a pen-pal, then launched into a monologue about his dreams of freedom.

Having switched uniforms with Hoss, Dewey got carried away with the role and started barking and bellowing at everyone in his path, then began beating “prisoner” Hoss with his nightstick. The warden passed by and complimented the “guard” on the good work.

To help boost the SAT scores, Rusty Trombonz was teaching the other inmates about the 32nd President, Woodrow Wilson (telling them that Wilson was only in office for thirty seconds). Bruce asked Rusty a history question about Rusty’s great train robbery, then realized that Rusty had hidden the gold in the grave of Woodrow Wilson.

Warden Barker checked in on Dewey’s cell, where Hoss was disguised in a convict’s uniform. When Barker greeted “Dewey,” Hoss asked the warden just how stupid he really was.

While Wayne and Arman were cleaning the Warden’s office, Wayne picked up the intercom and made a prank announcement promising the convicts a field trip to Six Flags. We heard the noise of countless prisoners rushing into the yard and being gunned down by guards.

Bruce asked Rusty if he could get a gun to somebody on the outside and take out Martha Hardacre. Rusty agreed, if Bruce didn’t tell anyone about his hidden dublooms. When Bruce corrected his pronunciation, Rusty explained that these weren’t doubloons, but the even rarer Portuguese gold dublooms.

Warden Barker lamented to Arman about the riot sparked by the false announcement, complaining that everything was going wrong…and what’s worse, the country-fried steak had been taken off the menu.

Hoss was sitting in Dewey’s cell when Wayne came by to say goodnight. Hoss confessed that, having been on the receiving end of a beating, he now felt conflicted about his use of force. As Wayne expressed his sympathy, Hoss asked a favor. He explained that his son’s 7th birthday was coming up soon, and asked Wayne to perform at the party (as long as he doesn’t kill anyone). Wayne was enraged at being called a clown, insisting that he was actually an undercover FBI agent. However, he agreed to swallow his pride as a favor to Hoss.


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