"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Sunday, June 3, 2007

The Riches: Been There, Done That

I'm really looking forward to seeing Dale come knocking on the Riches front door, hopefully looking like Nicholson in The Shining, but I know I'm going to have to wait for that. That's fine though, because there are plenty of other tales to tell.

Jolinda, for instance. This was good, although I was pretty sure that she was going to show up to meet Doug in person. And almost convinced of it when Hugh pointed out to Wayne that ex-wives always find you. Having Wayne and Dahlia head that one off at the pass actually worked out even better though.

The con aspect of the story was good, and well crafted. Not only was Dwayne able to solve the Jolinda problem, he also managed to ingratiate himself with Jim by unloading his bum alpaca. And by my calculations, he even managed to make 20 grand in the process. As good a result as they could have hoped for.

What sold me on the whole caper though, was the phone call.Wayne and Dahlia have an unconventional relationship. The vast majority of us manage to make it through without having to worry about meth addictions, traveler families bent on revenge, or the threat of someone discovering we are living in a dead guys house. That's a lot of extra baggage to stack on top of the normal relationship trials. It's asking for drama.

I thought they handled it beautifully here when Wayne called Dahlia, making the fake phone call to Doug. There's a moment in there where the conversation turns, and they aren't talking about Doug and Jolinda anymore. They are finally having a long overdue conversation about Wayne and Dahlia. It's never going to be easy for them, it's just not who they are. The revelations about just what kind of a person the real Doug was were also interesting. That could certainly lead to more surprises popping up.

I really like Dahlia with Nina. She is just such a crazy character. Her little rundown of the neighbors and their obsessions was the funniest scene of the night. I was left a little confused by the scene with Hugh feeling up Dahlia in the bathroom. A little creepy, and kind of came out of nowhere. There has to be more coming from that later.

The one scene that I felt didn't work was Wayne at work. Doug meeting with Homeowners against Panco certainly had its moments. "We're completely against anyone blowing up... we take those grenades and we turn them into lemonade." There was just no end to it. Why would that make an angry mob of homeowners just leave? It's a case of things being a little too easy for the fake Doug. Wayne should have had to struggle more with that one.

Meanwhile, DiDi is off blending in. I suspect that we are going to see more of Eric as time goes by. For now, I think her time with him, as well as seeing her excel in the classroom, continue to hint that DiDi is warming up to the buffer life much quicker than her brother or her mother. She is her father's daughter.

Cael, on the other hand, isn't really conforming to this new life. He did manage to make a couple friends, but doing so by reverting back to what he knows, says as much about him as the classroom scene says about where DiDi is headed. We also got some resolution on those Tammy phone calls. I really liked that scene. They did a nice job of making Tammy suspicious without making it obvious, so Cael's reaction was just right. He also showed that he has been paying attention to his father. The call to the police was a nice call back to Wayne explaining that cops are the buffer's friends.

And finally, a great ending. Cael managed to thwart Dale's attempt to flush them out, but they've now set up the next chapter of the ongoing story because the family knows where they are. I'm looking forward to see where this goes next.

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