Episode 9: Three-Alarm Three-Ring
Stoolts had accidentally set fire to the circus by rubbing his wooden stool-legs together during a passionate encounter with bearded lady Deb Henderson. Circus owner Reggie Bunkler rushed into his office, where he found roadie Truck Tarkenton putting out the flames by beating them with his wrench. Truck declared that he would save the circus, but first he wanted to be repaid for having detached the symbiotic baby-thing from Reggie’s body.
Meanwhile, Sealman Rushdie was trying to herd all the circus’ animals to safety, as Sasha cried that she couldn’t leave—if the circus was destroyed, she’d have nothing else to live for. Sealman told her to snap out if it, then told her about the time he survived the Great Antarctic Fire of ’06.
While putting some mementos in a fireproof safe, Gunther and Viktoria discussed their relationship. Viktoria worried that, despite her vow not to fall in love her first time, she may be becoming too attached to Gunther. Gunther confessed that it had been his first time as well—he’d never had sex before, because every woman assumed he was gay. Gunther looked deeply into Viktoria’s eyes and saw her experience and wisdom.
Panicked, Deb climbed to the top of the Big Top and screamed for an incredibly long time. Stoolts rushed (as much as he can “rush”) to her rescue. As he approached, Deb informed him that she was already pregnant from their encounter. (“It happens really fast in my family.”) Thrilled by the news, Stoolts was infused with the strength of ten men and easily saved Deb.
Reggie and Sealman addressed the audience, assuring them that everything was under control while also getting them to sign releases. They decided to make the evacuation part of the show by shooting all the audience members out of a cannon.
Sasha told Gunther that the danger of imminent death had made her realize how much Gunther meant to her. Gunther regretfully informed her that he had found somebody else. Breaking down, Sasha told him to leave her to die. Gunther declared that he wouldn’t let her die—he would teach her to jump through fire, just as he trained his tigers.
Deb rushed to her trailer to salvage her beard-brush, only to find Viktoria snooping through her things. Viktoria explained that, since becoming a woman, he’d developed an uncontrollable curiosity. Reading Deb’s diary, Viktoria had learned about her incredible fertility and her family’s history of giving children up for adoption.
Stoolts was heroically holding up the ceiling as the patrons escaped. Seeing the fire rising up Stoolts’ body, Truck “rescued” him by beating out the flames with his wrench.
While training Sasha to jump through the flames, Gunther admitted that his feelings for Viktoria had only been a temporary infatuation. Gunther explained his love for Sasha through a zombie metaphor, and Sasha agreed that they should let their passion rise from the grave.
Reggie was searching through the inferno for the baby-creature. Sealman suggested that it would be best to let the monstrous thing die, even though that goes against Sealman’s Catholic upbringing. Shocked, Reggie informed him that this was a Protestant circus. As they debated religion, the baby-thing emerged from the flames and leaped upon Reggie. Sealman pried the baby off of Reggie and declared “Goodnight Moon” in a vaguely disturbing manner.
Gunther and Sasha were in the throes of sex when they realized that Viktoria was listening from outside. Sasha feared that Viktoria would kill them both in a jealous rage, but Viktoria assured her that there was nothing to worry about…her encounter with Gunther meant as little to her as it had to him.
Stoolts asked Sealman for some salve to treat his burns. Sealman informed him that it would cost extra, now that Sealman has an evil baby to support. Stoolts attempted to bond with Sealman over fatherhood, but his efforts were blocked when Sealman started wondering what the big deal is about being a father.
Deb was sifting through the smoldering wreckage when Truck came to confront her about her pregnancy. He expressed concern for her safety, worrying that Stoolts might harm her or the baby—thus planting the seeds of doubt and making an opening for himself.
Viktoria was crying to herself when Reggie walked by. Having only known her as “Viktor” before, Reggie was stunned and disturbed by Viktoria’s new persona. Still, he reluctantly consoled her. Viktoria confessed that, despite her reassurance to Gunther that it meant nothing, she really HAD fallen in love with him. Reggie warned her that workplace romances never turn out well.
Fearing that Viktoria might kill her, Sasha went to Sealman for help. Sealman simply said that she had to deal with the consequences of her love for Gunther, telling her “You can’t harvest a field and not expect corn to grow.” Then he broke into an agricultural-based song about love and its results, including pregnancy.
As Reggie continued to console Viktoria, Gunther entered and declared his love for Sasha. He announced that he would rather quit the circus than give up Sasha, and Reggie was all too glad to accept his resignation. Just then, Sasha arrived and announced that she was quitting too…and that she’s pregnant. Stunned, Gunther informed Sasha that he had made sure long ago that he could never have children.
Stoolts walked in just as Truck kissed Deb.
Explaining that she had to get away and get her thoughts together, Sasha said goodbye to Gunther. Setting out on the road, she had brief flashbacks to her fondest memories of each of her circus friends.
Stung by Deb’s apparent betrayal, Stoolts contemplated drastic action. He pulled off his red nose and prepared to toss it in the air, declaring “Heads, everybody lives…tails, they die.” With that, he flipped his nose.
TO BE CONTINUED…