Once and Again
Edifice Wrecked

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Niki: B | 1 USERS: B
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Edifice Wrecked

We open with a Soliloquy Sequence this week, as Rick strolls on-screen, arms folded, and muses about success. He says that he always had a picture of what it would be like. We cut to a pan of the Atlantor model as Rick voice-overs, "And the closer I get, the picture keeps changing." We see Rick working alone at his desk in the dim office as his voice-over continues, "And I see how it isolates you, how it keeps you up at night. Success is a near-death experience." The voice-over pauses as we see Rick studying a newspaper article, a slightly sour look on his face. "And we who are about to die..." he concludes, and then laughs at his own pomposity. Thank god. At his desk, Rick's gaze travels to a small turtle figurine. Rick pushes himself out of his chair, and snatches the turtle as he walks away.

Cut to the building site, as on-screen text informs us that it's "Three Days Earlier." Heavy equipment plods in the background as Rick and some guy named Ralph confer on the lead time of some unintelligible aspect of the construction. Ralph claims "three weeks," and then, glancing around, warns, "He's coming back." He's referring to our favorite mini-monarch, Miles, who strides over purposefully and announces, "One last item: a copy of the site plan." Rick informs him that David has the plan, and that he's in the trailer. "Is he?" Miles asks, uninterested. Rick glances at Ralph, and then turns and starts toward the trailer while Miles observes, with just a touch of smart-assedness, "Isn't the advantage of a partnership that one can be in one location while one's partner is someplace else?" I do believe he's implying that he'd like David to be someplace else. Rick pauses, tries unconvincingly to look amused, and then continues toward the trailer.

Inside, he announces, "Now he wants to see his site plan," and starts rifling through a hanging file. David, in the background, asks whether Rick has seen the day's paper. "No -- let me guess: another article on how inhumane we are to change the skyline and actually do our jobs?" Rick mutters, barely interested. David slaps the paper down in front of him, saying that he did "go so far as to read it," and found out that one of the buildings slated for demolition -- a youth shelter called "A Better Place" -- was the first studio of "none other than Mr. Frank. Lloyd. Wright." Stunned, Rick turns to look at David, who dully says, "Uh-huh. It's what Karen's going to use to shut us down."

Miles chooses this moment to blow into the trailer, his trenchcoat billowing importantly behind him. "My site plan?" he asks, then adds, "Tempus fugit." Because saying "time flies" isn't pompous enough: he has to say it in Latin. "Sorry, Miles, we were just discussing Frank Lloyd Wright," David says, implying that they're dealing with more important matters. Miles lightly acknowledges that it's "a fascinating bit of trivia...if you believe what you read." David is taken aback at Miles's utter lack of concern. Mid-way through his reproach of Miles, the trailer door opens, and Ralph steps in. Miles turns abruptly and asks whether Ralph has seen his "turtle." I don't think I like where this is going. David trails off, realizing that no one is listening to him. He and Rick exchange a look as Ralph announces that he has not, in fact, seen Miles's turtle. He sounds appropriately anxious. But everyone can relax -- it turns out that Miles is actually referring to a little carved turtle, which he pulls out of his coat pocket and describes as a sixteenth-century Tibetan artifact. He explains that turtles were "thought to bestow longevity and to be indestructible." It was a gift from his niece, in case of you are in need of a gift for the egomaniac who has everything. The camera cuts in for a close-up of Miles's hands passing the turtle to Ralph's. The camera then cuts again, giving us another close shot of the turtle, this one revealing the very phallic shape of its head. Huh. Make of that what you will. Ralph admires the tiny amphibian while David, nonplussed, wrestles his jacket on. He shoots Rick a look and rolls his eyes as Miles declares, "We're all prone to a certain amount of fear." He doesn't sound convinced, however. It's more like he's trying to blend, and that he heard that these humans bond over a sense of shared emotion. Miles drones on, "But to spread fear. Deliberately. It's like coughing without covering your mouth." David finishes bundling up and shoves past Miles, heading for the door. Miles doesn't even turn his eyes toward the disturbance, but keeps his gaze fixed on some distant, philosophical point. Rick watches with a heavy expression as the door closes behind David. Miles turns to him and declares, "You are not frightened by what they print in the paper, are you Rick." Rick doesn't seem so sure.

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Once and Again

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