Creed, OK

Episode Report Card
Strega: D+ | 2 USERS: A+
Because We Mustn't Blame The Writers, Right?

Previously: Iris burned things, Ben broke things, and Varlyn blew stuff up. Bunch of vandals.

Carnivàle. Night. Full moon. Ben wanders past the deserted grounds and stops to stare at the carousel. Everything is coated with black ash. Dream sequence! Ben reaches out, crumbles a bit of one of the carousel horses, and moves on.

Management's trailer. Everything's coated with dust and the place is a mess. Ben moves toward the puppet theater and calls, "Belyakov?" He pulls the curtains aside. Boo! Naked, tree-tattooed Brother Justin roars into the frame with his eyes all black.

Ben wakes up in the back of a truck in broad daylight. He jerks up and looks at the side of the road as they drive pass a little roadside display of crosses. The crosses are flared a little like the Cross Formée. Or something. An old doll is propped up at the bottom of one. Some carnies are playing cards in the truck bed as well; one asks Ben, "Bad dream?" Ben ignores him and lies back down. The trucks move on as we cut to a shot of the doll against the horizon, with its head blocking most of the sun. Make a note; we'll be getting a lot of eclipse imagery later on.

As Ben and the carnies work on the Ferris wheel, Stumpy starts chatting about the big fight tonight: Max Baer vs. Joe Louis. Which means it's suddenly September of 1935. I wonder if all the interesting stuff happens off-screen during the months that seem to be passing in between episodes. Osgood thinks Louis will win. Stumpy lectures Ben and Osgood: "When a white man gets in the ring with an eightball, the eightball's got no chance." Stumpy goes on with the casual racism for a while, in case we're slow to pick up on it. He explains that Louis will lose "because he can't think on his feet. It's his Achilles foot, so to speak." Heh. Eventually, Stumpy wanders off. Ben watches him leave, looking as bored by this subplot as I am.

Lila complains about the coffee to an uninterested Rita Sue. Ruthie is sitting with them, but she's not really listening because she's watching Sofie, who's seated nearby. More specifically, Ruthie is watching Apollonia, who's sitting across the table from Sofie. Sofie seems to be looking right at her mother. Rita Sue asks if Lila really believes that Samson killed Lodz. Lila does. Just like she did last week. Or last year. Whenever it was. Rita Sue sniffs, "Maybe he run off with Catalina." She explains that Catalina disappeared the same night Lodz did. So we can get answers to the trivial questions, just not to anything important, I guess. Swell. Rita Sue gets up from the table with a snide, "Probably just a coincidence," and leaves. Lila sneers to Ruthie, "Tragic, what happens when spirochetes eat your brain." Ruthie abruptly excuses herself and heads over to Sofie, who's now sitting alone. Ruthie quietly says, "Don't think I'm crazy, but I've seen her too." Sofie asks, "Who?" Ruthie sits down and answers, "Your mama." Sofie snaps, "My mother's dead," and stomps off in a huff.

Sofie hurries for her trailer, passing Ben on her way. Ben stops and asks her what's wrong. Sofie explains, "Ruthie said she's seen my mama." Ben looks around and then grunts, "I'll go set her straight," which is faintly ridiculous. Sofie pulls Ben back but he insists, "It ain't right." Given the number of odd things Ben and Sofie see all the time, I don't understand why they're so reluctant to believe that maybe other people could have similar experiences. It's almost like we're supposed to think they're both dopey egomaniacs. From a little distance away, Samson watches as Sofie kisses Ben on the cheek and then goes into her trailer.

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