Once and Again
The Second Time Around

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The Second Time Around

Wow, so here it is. Last one of the season. I don't know if it's that weddings get to me, or that I miss the show already, but I'm having a hard time dialing up the sarcasm this week. Bear with me, okay?

The show opens with a shadowy figure floating behind a white nylon sheet that looks like a giant, translucent butterfly wing. It flutters and then flaps out of the way, and we see the figure clearly from behind, walking along a grass aisle past row after row of empty white chairs. She's in a summery gown with a veil of white netting perched on her dark hair. The camera cuts to show us that the figure is Lily, looking anxious and a little ashen as she approaches one flap of nylon. Pushing it back, she finds Judy and Will Gluck in an airtight liplock. They stop sucking face and turn to look at her, expressionless. She retreats. We fade to her lifting another section of the sheeting to find the kids decked out in sophisticated black evening wear and heavy makeup, savoring martinis poured by an exorbitantly pregnant Tiffany. Everyone turns and looks at Lily with disdain. Again, she retreats. She's confronted by her mother, Barbara. We switch to some kind of fishbowl lens, so that both women are just slightly distorted in an Alice in Wonderland sort of way. Babs chastises, "Lily, if you're going to serve the kids martinis, they should at least be on the rocks." Lily backs away, back up the aisle, followed by Babs in her funereal black outfit, still nagging, "And you shouldn't wear a nightgown to your own wedding. It's very bad luck." Lily makes a panicked call over her shoulder for Rick. And then wakes with a start next to him in bed. Lily recounts the horror of her dream wedding, saying that no one came. "Just the kids," she sighs. "And my mother. And Will Gluck was there." Rick makes a groggy quip or two, and Lily throws back the covers, muttering that she needs a drink of water.

As she turns from the bathroom sink, Lily stops, stunned. "Daddy," she whispers. The camera pans across to reveal Phil, smiling and nodding that it's him. Lily asks why he's there and then quickly adds, "Is it because of the Hebrew? Because I tried to explain to him that it's part of my heritage, and that there wasn't any spoken at my first wedding, and how much I'd regretted that. But he just sort of got this look on his face, so I dropped it." Phil nods distractedly and glances around the bathroom, inspecting it. Lily begs him to reassure her that she's not making a mistake. Holding back tears, she confesses, "Sometimes, when I look at him, I think, 'What am I doing?'" Apparently, one of the benefits of being dead is being able to tune out the living with no apologies. Phil examines a tube of toothpaste, and asks her about its cleaning powers. Lily admits she just likes the taste. He shares his otherworldly wisdom: "You have to take care of your teeth. It's one of the few things they tell you that's true." He solemnly hands Lily the tube. She looks at him for a few seconds, brimming, and says she's missed him so much. She asks about the dream she just had, if there's something she needs to know. "Ask Jake" is Phil's cryptic response. She repeats it, confused. "Lil?" Rick says sleepily from the doorway, scratching his head. She glances from him to Ghost Dad, who adds, "Ask Jake what has been lost." Oooh. Thanks, man, That clears up everything. Why can't the dead ever just shoot straight is what I want to know. Rick asks Lily if she's okay. She snaps to attention, and looks at the spot where her father just was. He's gone, but she's still holding the toothpaste in her hand. Cue the organ and Vincent Price.

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Once and Again




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