Four Corners

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Heathen: C | Grade It Now!
Four Corners

Zombie uneasily complies with Benton's eye exam. He explains they're going to x-ray her face to detect fractures, then plans an ultrasound to check her abdomen for internal bleeding. He's very methodical and mechanical with Zombie, who looks deeply traumatized; she springs to life when her mother gingerly enters the room. "Get out! Get out!" she screams frantically. "You tell me on TV?! You keep this from me, you let me date him, you knew we were having sex and you tell me on TV?!" It's hard for me to garner sympathy for someone who, in 2001, still thinks that being taken on a talk show can end happily. There's almost always a fetish, a sex scandal, or extra genitals involved. The mother is played by perennial guest-star Conchata Ferrell, who has been in everything ever made, but who is closest to my heart for playing Leona in Mystic Pizza. Leona begs her daughter to understand the pressure under which the producers put her, but Haleh, at Zombie's request, kicks out Leona before she can continue.

Trembling, Zombie watches Peter administer the Ultrasound and nervously wonders whether he can determine pregnancy. Peter peers at the screen, then sighs, "Looks like about ten weeks." Zombie chokes that she'd intended to keep her baby, but news of her unwitting incest shadows that decision. "This can't be happening," she wails. "This can't be true. I love him so much! It's so unfair." Hmm. Incest baby? Talk to Mark and Elizabeth. They made it work. Zombie's obviously crying out for some kind of reassurance, or even sympathy, but Benton's incapable of administering either and instead spits more jargon at her. Peter's bedside manner is, as ever, free of warmth and fuzz.

Outside Zombie's room, Benton is ordering a facial CT and a psych consult for Zombie when Malik sprints into the lobby and loudly whispers, "Weaver's here!" Dr. Dave is startled. Peter treats another transsexual from the talk-show battle, but it's quite boring, so I'm giving it a miss. This whole thing is turning into a choppy mess. Peter catches Greene on his way up to Romano's office and begs for answers about Cleo. Mark snaps that he isn't making time for this. "Is she having trouble with the triple cocktail?" Benton asks, worried. Mark tells him to check with Cleo. Benton barrages him with a few more questions until Mark turns and pointedly says, "You should talk to her, Peter," or as I heard it, "Me, me, me, me. Me!"

Upstairs, Benton trots off the elevator and is hailed by Joanie, who shouts, "Uncle Peter?" She wants to talk about her parents, Uncle Peter. They're having problems, Uncle Peter. Are we clear that he's her Uncle Peter? Joanie frets about her mother's deteriorating emotional state, wherein she appears fine one second and then locks herself in the bathroom the next. Benton calls this normal behavior. "No, it's not," she argues. "They fight all the time about her job, about Jesse's room. Dad washed a shirt that had his scent on it, and Mom went nuts!" Joanie implores Benton to confront her, but he insists there's nothing he can do and that time will fix the problem. "It's almost been a year," Joanie breathes tearfully. Benton looks extremely put-out, and practically shudders with relief when his beeper interrupts the conversation. I hope Joanie bills him for forty sets of brake pads.

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