Episode Report Card
Sobell: C | Grade It Now!
Not even home-schooling would help

The Vegas skyline! It's so pretty and shiny and rich-looking! And isn't it spiffy how the lights turn into a pixilated pattern and then into the weave of a black tie? We're going from macro to micro there. And then we're going back up to macro again as we pull back from the tie to see that Gil's bungling the knotting of said accessory. He's in a dinner jacket, and he's not looking too bad in it. The tuxedo truly is the Little Black Dress for the masculine set.

Catherine comes up behind Gil and asks what he's doing. He whips out a bowtie-tying diagram that would be slightly more helpful if it were perhaps printed in Cantonese or Finnish, and tells Catherine dolefully, "I'm going insane. I don't understand this diagram." Catherine sighs before telling him, "You don't need a diagram. You need a woman." What, to act as his tie caddy? Catherine sidles behind Gil and ties his tie for him. He's got a look like, Well, I'll be darned. Maybe I do need a woman. Tie caddy, you say? So long as she never touches me and never comes between me and my bugs, this could work. Gil's looks are very voluble. As Catherine ties said tie, she mentions how she's looking forward to Gil's speech. If it's as eloquent as his eye-roll, we're in for something that would make any toastmaster cry with appreciation.

Cut to a formal dinner setting. Sheriff Dander Berkeley's busy making with the kind of fake-jovial office-speak that has the more surly and contentious types mentally updating their résumés and vowing to work anywhere that doesn't inflict affairs like these on them. As Sheriff Dander blathers on, Gil is busy tapping his forehead with a pen and thinking, "I had no problem generating mellifluous bullshit on demand when I was Senator Foghorn Leghorn in The Skulls. Ah, me!" Anyway, Sheriff Dander eventually gets around to toasting Ecklie. The man of the evening has been watching Gil write on his napkin with a nasty little smile, but he remembers his manners enough to smile at Sheriff Dander. And then, demonstrating how thinly tethered to reality the higher-ups in any dreary organization seem to be, Sheriff Dander begins to introduce Gil as Ecklie's "good friend." Fortunately, Gil is saved from the Hobson's choice of playing along or contradicting Sheriff Dander by his beeper. Catherine's head is swiveling like she's watching a tennis match; you can tell she totally thinks Gil needs to drop his pager in a glass of water and just give the damn speech already. She realizes he's not getting up to give the speech, as he's expected to, and says nervously, "Gil." He looks up from the beeper and says, "I got a 419." She tells him not to even think about it, and Gil protests that the swing shift's tapped out. I bet -- being willed into creation for subsequent plot contrivances can take a lot out of a crew. Ecklie's looking both smug and pissed at the delay. Gil hands Catherine the napkin and says, "Here. You give my speech."

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