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

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Riches: This Is Your Brain On Drugs

The fallout from the dinner party in "Cinderella" hit this week, and it made for one crazy ride. This is also the episode that switched my thinking from "Eddie Izzard, the comic, is doing a great job as Wayne" to, "Eddie Izzard is an actor." The writers heaped a heavy load on his back this week and he answered with what was an amazing performance.

Things got off to a great start with Wayne and Dahlia's fight over the drugs that Chunky left behind. It's interesting that he walked in on her before she could decide which way she was going. I think that she would have flushed the stuff eventually, but I'll never know for sure. The chaotic argument after Wayne snorted a handful of the crank was fantastic. Dahlia's reaction, "Of all the assholic things you have done, this is the most assholic." summed it up nicely. That was such a crazy thing to do that it warranted brand new words to describe it.

While it was probably the worst intervention ever, you can see where Wayne is coming from. Clearly he places Dahlia on a pedestal, and the idea of her being an addict is a personal failure to him. They hit on it again later in the episode when Dahlia tells him that everybody knew she was taking the pills, he just wouldn't see it. It's part of the force driving him to make their life as the Riches work. If he can just make it perfect for her, she won't have these problems.

And from there, things really took off. Watching a manic Wayne panic over the realization of just how expensive this new life is was a treat. The fact that the dinner party left his status with Panco up in the air just added to the pressure on his clouded mind. His sudden desperate job search was funny, while also bringing out just how uncomfortable Wayne still is in Doug's skin. The scene with the receptionist at Hayden-Javitz & Associates was particularly good as Doug prattled on and on, making little sense. She was so annoyed with it. It paid off nicely when the managing partner turned out to be Stewart Peel. Wayne was suddenly so elated that he thought he had an answer, and then so crushed as Stewart dropped the hammer.

Meanwhile, with Wayne off on his crank induced adventure, Dahlia was left to hold down the fort at Panco. One thing I was a little disappointed in was the decision to not have Hugh hovering around the office. It would have raised the pressure just a little more as he questioned Doug's whereabouts. I could have even gone for a Doug/Hugh phone call. Despite that missing bit, Dahlia did well covering for Wayne. She showed how much the two of them have in common as she strung them along until she got her opening.

The situation with Cherien's mother came out of the blue and it makes me wonder where they are going with that. As the Malloy's become more and more a buffer family, the money becomes more and more of an issue. Would it be worth the $4300 a month to take in "Grandma" and have her live with them? Dahlia and Di Di both seemed to warm up to her rather quickly. That story also brought up the line of the night as a frustrated Wayne told Marvin O'Keefe that he is causing the supply of Doug Rich to greatly exceed the demand for Doug Rich.

As all of that was going down, lurking in the shadows was Dale. I think I have known since day one that Dale would eventually find his way to Eden Falls. The big question is what is he going to do now that he knows all about Doug and Panco? He couldn't have been luckier than to stumble across Hartley Underwood. Their scenes together were very good, as each of them felt the other out, trying to gauge whether they were on the same page. It also provided one of the creepiest flirting scenes I have ever seen as Dale admired and caressed Hartley's prosthetic arm.

Not much to do for the kids this week, but they did reinforce the differing paths of Di Di and Cael. As the family worried over Wayne's gig with Panco, Di Di made it perfectly clear that she didn't want to leave this life and go back to the motor home. It's understandable. She's a smart girl, and she is flourishing in this new environment. She recognizes that she has an opportunity here.

In the end, while it probably wasn't the road anyone would have advised for Wayne and Dahlia, this whole adventure was ultimately good for them. It forced them to work out some of their issues, and I think it was the final push that Dahlia needed to actually get straight. They'll be just fine, and their relationship is once again as strong as it ever was. Which is good, because more tough times are on the way.

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