Crow's Feet

Episode Report Card
Sobell: C- | Grade It Now!
It is necessary to suffer to be beautiful.

Cut to the dynamic duo entering Malaga's office complex; it also doubles as a spa. And, evidently, as the set for the repertory revival of Logan's Run, if the number of youthful beauties milling around aimlessly is anything to go by. Nicky introduces himself to the receptionist at the Sagebrush Spa, because Catherine's too busy having a nervous breakdown to say anything. After the receptionist wanders off to find the good doctor, Nicky picks up a menu of services and reads, "Botox injections: $500. Restylane: $500. Looking like one of the puppets in Team America :P riceless." Maybe he doesn't actually get to that part because Catherine -- who is now wearing more makeup than she did in the prior three episodes combined -- gloomily interjects that these cosmetic procedures cost roughly the equivalent of her monthly car payment. Oh, don't you hate it when you're forced to apply opportunity costs to your budgetary items? Reliable transportation…a face that never moves again…reliable transportation…a face that looks weirdly blank and featureless…it's so hard to choose! Nicky asks, "You don't actually think you need this stuff, do you?" Catherine pauses, mid-nervous breakdown, to check out the array of generically attractive women getting spa-like things done. Then she replies, "This is Las Vegas, Nicky. Everybody needs it." Nicky assures her, "You don't. But I'm picking up price lists for Brass and Gil." Or something like that.

Now that we've had another tedious exchange establishing that Catherine's STILL ATTRACTIVE, we find out that Dr. Malaga's pushing one of those 15 urine therapy books Catherine found earlier, and he's all about the Dorian Spray, which he personally formulated. Nicky asks him, "Doctor, you are aware that arsenic is a poison, right?" The good doctor quacks, "So is Botox, but 2.2 million people had injections last year. And foxglove is a deadly plant that also doubles as a cardiac medication…well, arsenic, in extremely small doses, fights premature aging by improving skin elasticity. Even if Ms. Loakes and Ms. Stern drank a whole case of that spray, the arsenic contents wouldn't be lethal." Know what would be helpful here? A CSI explaining exactly how much arsenic has to accumulate in your system before the Mees' lines begin to show up, and whether or not that amount would be lethal. Nicky checks out the medical diploma on Dr. Malaga's wall -- from Western Las Vegas University, natch -- and asks, "They teach you about arsenic in medical school?" Heh. As Malaga launches into all the reasons he's fine with making a living prescribing pee-drinking, he takes a photo of Catherine with some Web cam he must have hidden somewhere, then blows it up in the medical version of Photoshop and begins using the assorted tools to "improve" her face. He reasons, "HMOs don't recognize aging as a disease, so I'm free to charge what the market will bear." For some reason, this hits close to home for Catherine. Maybe she's been reading too many chick mags that do act like aging is a pathological condition, instead of shrugging and saying, "Given the alternative, I'll take a few fine lines." Catherine's all, "You consider aging a disease?" Malaga quacks, "With a 100% mortality rate. Aging wreaks havoc with every one of our systems -- respiratory, cardiovascular, nervous, muscular-skeletal, and immune." And Malaga may have actually learned about one or two of them during his time at WLVU. Catherine points out, "You're not treating the body. You're battling crow's feet." Malaga can't refute the argument so he tries for an indirect ad hominem number: "Righteous indignation. That's one step before acceptance." Of what? Aging? No -- what Malaga does, apparently. While Malaga more or less says, "Don't you judge me! All I'm doing is preying on your own insecurities about the way age is affecting your appearance. Now tell me about your fine lines. I'll tell you what to do," Catherine has a big ol' silent freak-out.

You might ask yourself, "What is Nicky doing during all this?" The answer: getting distracted by shiny objects on a coffee table. I am not kidding. He surfaces from his inspection of the knickknacks to sarcastically comment, "What Ponce de Leon couldn't find, you did -- the fountain of youth. Snake oil in a fancy bottle." Malaga quacks that "medicine is about hope." Silly me -- all my life, I've been going to medical professionals expecting a diagnosis and treatments. Nicky rebuts, "Medicine is about healing. Hope is about prayer. That should be free." His words puncture Catherine's self-pity cocoon long enough to remind her that she actually came here to hand over a court order for Ms. Loakes's and Ms. Stern's medical records.

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