John Doe
Manifest Destiny

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Let's Get "Real"

John Doe HQ. Ah, life above The Sea, while living in Seacouver -- could anything be more idyllic? Sappy "I'm searching for myself" music plays as John folds a t-shirt. Karen comes in, notices he's packing a bag, and says, "Hey boss man, taking a vacation?" From what? The fact that he has no job? Or that he's ridiculously rich? Yeah, the pressure of being rich, handsome, and intelligent must really be getting to John Doe. Bah. Any. Way. He puts the t-shirt in his bag, and then he responds to Karen: "I don't know." She steps into the room. "You know, um, airplanes, claustrophobia -- not a good mix. You worried about freaking out a little." She sits on the bed. He sits on the bed. I would like to take a nap on that bed. Karen says, "So you really don't know where you're going to go?" John replies, "I might just throw a dart…" He looks poignantly off into space. "See where it takes me." Wait for the factoid: "1,710 steps to the top of the Eiffel Tower. I think I'll go climb them." Okay. John doesn't know his identity, which would mean he has no identification, which would mean he has no passport. How the heck can he get on a plane to Paris without any identification? Does he have a driver's license (well, he must, because he drives his Doemobile around all the time), passport, and health card stating that his name is John Doe and his birthday is TBD? Honestly? A little continuity here, people. At least make me work for the ridicule. Karen smiles at the whimsy of climbing all 1,710 steps of the Eiffel Tower. Oh, the true reason for John's trip: he wants to see what "something real" feels like for a change. Something that is more "real" to him than solving crimes and trying to figure out his identity. What on earth does he mean by that? Oh, right -- it's a set-up. Karen opens up her bag and gives him a going-away present. John opens it to find a Magic 8-Ball. Karen: "You want answers? You got answers. Give it a whirl." He smiles patiently and jiggles the ball. He asks, "Is badminton my favourite sport?" The ball replies, "Don't count on it." John smiles and thanks Karen for the gift. Karen says, "Don't be gone too long, okay? I mean, I know you're looking for home, but maybe it's right here?" He half-smiles and contemplates his half-packed bag for a moment. Fade out to a pan across Seacouver at dusk.

The Airplane. A stewardess shuts the door and then locks the big red handle into place. I guess whatever magical identification John owns was enough to get him on board. John grips a seat and starts to pant. Happy travelers find their seats. John gets pushed aside by said happy travelers as they make their way down the airplane. The stewardess notices John's distress. She asks if everything is all right. He replies, "Claustrophobia." She says, "I'm sure it'll pass, now if you can take your seat, sir." John whines, "Maybe travel isn't such a good idea after all." Then, instead of taking his seat like she asks, he blathers on about the wingspan, length, and other inane facts about the airplane. The stewardess looks inquisitive. She sure is patient; I couldn't sit there with a vehicle full of whiny people all wanting something and wait quietly while some egghead rambles on about the wingspan. John replies, "Mental exercise I do to get my mind off my problems." The stewardess quips, "It's not working so well, is it?" Another passenger interrupts John and the stewardess asking for water so he can take his airsickness pills. Apparently, he's an aeronautical engineer, and there's some irony in the fact that he can't convince himself the plane won't just fall out of the air. The stewardess asks the fellow passenger to find his seat, and she'll get him some water. This gives her a good opportunity to leave John behind, mumbling about fuel capacity and wondering if he should take some medication to help calm down.

Then some Russian weightlifters come down the row. One of them picks up John and gives him Russian kisses as he says a Russian hello. Their coach explains that they've just won the World Weight-Lifting Championship. Ah, no intercontinental flight would be complete without Russian weightlifters, now would it? John starts speaking Russian, and makes the coach happy when he identifies the World Champion as Pavel Kovarik. The two converse in Russian for a bit, make a joke about John's lack of "air" legs, and then the coach invites Doe to come back for a drink after takeoff. Then Pavel's daughter comes barreling down the aisle and slams right into Doe's midsection. Ouch. She totally hit him where men in closed spaces should not be hit. He falls to the ground, makes the Russians laugh heartily, and then picks up the child's walkie-talkie that fell to the ground. As John tries to catch his breath, a snotty English man says, "Can we move it along please?" Doe gets up, and the guy continues, "Yes. There we go." We must be in first class, because there's a supermodel on the flight sitting with her photographer. A stewardess compliments the woman on her "spread in Vogue." The model attributes her beauty to "Dave" because "he takes the pictures."

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John Doe

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