Friday, 20 December 2013

Strange Paradise Episode 9

It's time once again to delve into the madness that is Strange Paradise. I know you're as excited as I am.

Last time, Dan Forrest was offered a day trip to the past but on realising it was only metaphorical time travel he fucked it off and went home; Doc Carr accused Jean-Paul of murder, changed her mind and decided he was possessed instead, then changed her mind again and just looked confused; and we got hints of major, Tarot based, destinies for all involved. T'were a thrillride and a half and no mistake. But what next?

We open, as last time, on Jean-Paul dictating a little message to his dead...sorry, cryogenically preserved, wife about what's going on. It's a handy way to get everyone up to speed in a way that absolutely isn't a rip off of the Vicky W opening voiceovers on Dark Shadows. No Sir, not at all. Here is todays...

And so another day has passed, my darling Erica. Another day without you. The storm we've been sitting through has subsided, and I'm going over to the main island to commission the young man your sister recommended, to do an oil of you. Until the day your loveliness returns from the beyond, to reality, your portrait and I will share the hours.

So we know what the main storyline of this episode is going to be, and we get a re-affirmation of Jean-Paul's creepy obsession with his CryoWife. Job done.

Our first proper scene is with Reverend Ted McGinley, who is stopping in to visit that noted harridan, Hollys Mum. Because he likes being accused of stalkery pervert status I guess.

Wow, there really was nothing more to the scene than that. Ok. Moving on.

To a shot of some stairs!

Ok, place your bets, who is gonna come down them? I'm hoping for Raxl; given her absence from the entirety of the last episode she has lots of stair walking to make up.

Raxl! Raxl! Raxl!
Bugger, it's Jean-Paul. And he's looking a wee bit perturbed. Not sure why. Perhaps he's having one of those days were you hear a constant buzzing noise but you search and you search and you just can't see the fly. It's possible, right? I mean, I'm just spitballing here.

Quinto is here to take his mind off things though, by showing him the documents Forrest has sent over to have resigned, on account of he signed them as Jacques, back when he was possessed that time in the cafe. You remember. He basically tells Quinto he aint got time for that shit though, because he needs to find Raxl. Aaah, that's why he was all perturbed. See, I knew there was something.

Why is he so desperate to find her though? I can't imagine he wants to take her with him to the mainland. That'd just be embarrassing. Oh, he wants her to monitor the gauges on Cryo-Wife's casket. He couldn't possibly leave the house with her unattended, and Doc Carr can't help because she thinks the whole thing is utter fucking lunacy.

He doesn't say that last part.

The only logical thing to do in this situation is of course to...

Just a little drinky poo
Yes, that's right, get sloshed. Good thinking there old son. You'll go far.

It's at this point that the talking portrait of Bill Compton starts mocking him and if I've learned anything from the year it's taken me to watch 9 episodes it's that this show is always better when Watercolour Bill is talking. I'm not sure Jean-Paul agrees though.

Why do you drive to make me believe that you and I are one? Well perhaps I am one with you...or perhaps I am a devil, as Raxl says you are. Whatever your strange power is, that forces me to lose control over myself, and commit inadvertent actions, I beg of you please, PLEASE, do not place in jeopardy the cryonics process or the ultimate return of my darling Erica to these arms where she rightfully belongs.

That's what Jean-Paul says to Watercolour Bill. And if that doesn't convince you that this show is insane then nothing will. I mean come on, he's being forced to commit INADVERTENT ACTIONS for fucks sake.

There's a bit more back and forth, with Jean-Paul threatening to cut up the painting, and Watercolour Bil basically telling him to bring it on, and then we cut to Reverend Ted McGinley. For more blatant filler.

'This scene is pointless.' 'OMG I no rite?'

Oh, now they're discussing whether Hollys dad being dead might have affected her behaviour. Can't imagine why it would.

Over at Cafe Le DayGlo, what a coincidence, Tarot Lady and Painter Dude are talking about Holly too. They're joking about Painter Dude possibly wanting to shag her. Between him and Reverend Ted, she sure does attract some skeevy older guys. Poor lass.

Painter Dude. Check him out.
The jocularity doesn't stick around for long, because true to form that noted party pooper Tarot Lady is soon making dread pronouncements about how Holly is about to go through shit. She never predicts romance and lottery wins, this one.

Quick hop back to Hollys Mums house.

She's threatening Reverend Ted again. Blah blah, she's too young for you, blah blah, she's going to be rich when the will comes through, blah blah, she's manipulating you you big perv, blah blah blah. Seen it all before, moving on.

Jean-Paul is ready to leave now. Turns out Raxl was down in the Cryo Dungeon the whole time. Silly Jean-Paul! We still don't see her though, was the actress on holiday?

Cafe Le DayGlo now, and Holly has arrived! Yay! Now maybe everyone will stop talking about her. She sees the Tarot cards on the table and asks Tarot Lady to tell her future. Tarot Lady jumps up screaming YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW GIRL! YOU GON' DIEEEE. DIE REAL BAAAADD, and runs out of the room. Or she might as well have. Seriously, she aint hanging about.

Holly wants to know why Tarot Lady is so unwilling to talk to her but Painter Dude tells her to shut her damn mouth and sit her pretty ass down so he can schmooze her. Again, not really, but as good as. For someone who is being positioned as a major player, Holly sure is being written pretty weak.

Painter Dude manages to rein in his rampant chauvinism long enough for them to have a nice chat about how he isn't a junkie, he just has a shitload of debt, and how she's on the run from her Mum who wants to lock her in the loony bin for the crime of wanting to keep her inheritance. It's all very Mills&Boon.

Jean-Paul arrives. Painter Dude almost creams his pants, because he never thought the commission would actually happen. And it almost doesn't, because fucking Tarot Lady over here is all, 'can I have a word Jean-Paul?' and 'death stalks you and yours Jean-Paul' and 'you must leave the island at once Jean-Paul or everyone and everything in your life will turn to a big old pile of steaming shite.' And so on.

Jean-Paul listens to just about as much as he can stomach before telling her to step off. Aint no way he's leaving that island! That there is his very own tropical paradise. Even if it is a slightly strange one. (Eh? Eh? Oh suit yourself) Luckily he isn't pissed off enough to just walk out and never look back, and Painter Dude gets his meeting after all.

Of course, it's not entirely clear how he expects to get Painter Dude to paint his wife, since his wife is locked up in her Cryofuckery coffin. He obviously has a plan though.

That's his Plan Face

The meeting takes all of about 30 seconds and Jean-Paul just cold hands over seven and a half grand in cash. Cos that's just how he rolls. Then he wanders off to buy some Buds and the latest Playboy, leaving Holly and Painter Dude to their budding romance. I hate to think what's going to happen when Reverend Ted arrives on the scene. Him and Painter Dude are gonna kick off, I guarantee it.

After a little bit of banter, Painter Dude gets up and leaves to use that thick wad of cash to pay off the mafia hitmen who are hounding his every move. I swear he's not offscreen more than 10 seconds when Tarot Lady wanders in and says 'Oh Holly, Painter Dude has put in a word for you and I'm giving you a job.' Oh yes, Tarot Lady? When exactly?

Horrible bit of directing, that. Stands out a mile. If I wasn't so forgiving a soul I might have turned off the show and thrown my laptop out the window, bellowing with rage.

Holly gets all excited and as she gets up to leave; don't ask me where she's going cos I haven't got a clue; she bumps into...

Of all the Day Glo Cafe's in all the world...
It's only fucking Reverend Ted McGinley! Where the hell did he come from, he was talking to her Mum not five minutes ago. What the hell is happening to the passage of time here! I'm GETTING ANNOYED at this WANTON DISREGARD for logical story structure!!

Ahem, anyway, Holly isn't pleased to see him, and screams at him to leave her alone and get out out. I'm sure he'll respectfully abide by her clearly heartfelt request. Yeah. Definitely.

Jean-Paul is back. It seems he and Painter Dude can't go over to the island because Quinto had to take the boat with an urgent message for Raxl. Hmm. Rum.

We scoot on back to the house, where Quinto has already arrived, because TIME IS  MEANINGLESS NOW, and he... walks across the hall towards the cellar door.

There's a flash of lightning.

Look at him there. Al big and Quinto-ey
He pauses to ponder the lightning for a second. Then he walks through the cellar door.

The end.


Next episode best be fucking epic, that's all I'm saying.

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