Maximum geekosity — At Max’s job, a meeting is about to begin. Max is typing on his laptop and looking very professional and serious. The boss calls everyone to attention; they’ll start with an update on Space Gate.
Max launches into a presentation:
Max: The next step of the Space Gate project is the stabilizer module for the neovectors communication satellite. Our project goal is to increase the mean orbital altitude by 18 percent and the orbital velocity by 20 percent.
Whoa. As I say in the podcast (available late Wednesday), Max isn’t just a programmer: He’s an astronaut! I’m starting to think the writers of this show are doing this on purpose, because I can’t believe there isn’t at least one reasonably tech-savvy person on the staff. I mean, it’s not rocket science. Har har. Max has a background in "HTTP and TCP/IP," remember? So, like, pointing and clicking? Yeah, that’s the key to controlling the trajectories of satellites and colonizing distant planets. Are you going to build a "Death Star" next and populate it with "frickin’ sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their frickin’ heads"?
Before Max can reveal his grand theory of time travel, one of his co-workers (one of the douchier ones) interrupts. He says, "Sweeney. You’re not on the account anymore." This is news to Max. It seems Megan (the one Max defended when she was passed over for a promotion) has taken over, even though Max has been on the project for nine months.
Max’s boss: You went on a vacation during a critical time for them. They had a crisis while you were away. It was a near disaster.
Max: I went to my mother’s funeral.
Max’s boss just continues to praise Megan and ignore Max. So Max gets up and leaves.
Asking and telling — Tasha has been summoned Major Dixon, a stern, terse fellow. He says certain things have come to his attention, and they could have very serious consequences for Tasha.
Major Dixon: Now, your lifestyle is your lifestyle. But I don’t want to see it or hear about it ever again.
Your loss, Major D.: Tasha and Alice are a delight to the eyes and ears.
Tasha listens quietly and says "sir" at the right times. Major Dixon says he’s not going to submit her for review just yet, but if it happens again, he’ll be forced to take action. Tasha nods and leaves.
OK, fine. I give up. Send random careening cars after her. Have her drawn and quartered. Give her cancer, if you must. But whatever you do, don’t let her have a happy, sexy relationship and a long life as a character, because that would just be wrong. After all, we like her.
Forced to take action — Max is on the phone with Alice, who is at a boutique watching Helena shop for earrings. Max asks Alice what she can afford to pay him if he works for her full time. She says he made the business plan, so he should know. Uh-oh, Alice. There might be some holes in that business plan. Like wormholes and black holes and other flights of fancy.
Max: Yeah, I can manage. You know? I don’t need to make a lot of money. I just … I need to live a decent life.
That’s what I told myself when I became a full-time recapper and blogger, Max. Decency only goes so far: Call me in a few months when you’re ready to share war stories over very, very cheap drinks.
Alice thinks Max’s idea is very exciting and says they’ll work it out. She hangs up quickly because Shane has just arrived, and Shane’s hat demands attention. You know, attention in that "Look at me; I’ve just been to the thrift shop and I’m not worried about getting lice" sort of way.
Alice asks Shane to help her pick out a watch for Tasha. She’s worried that the one she has settled on is too femmy. Shane confirms that it is.
Helena, meanwhile, is looking for the femmiest pair of earrings.
Alice: [looking at the price tag on one of the earrings] I think you should underwrite a Third World country instead.
Or you could buy a radio station, Helena. You look like you’re tuning something in via your earlobes. Maybe you’re contacting one of Max’s space stations. But Helena isn’t worried: Her sugar mama, Catherine, is buying her bling today. Catherine’s in Geneva right now, but when she gets back, she and Helena are going to some sort of event. Shane feigns interest.
Helena: And, Alice, I am going to invest in OurChart just as soon as I win back the money that I lost at the races.
Alice says she’s not worried about it and really doesn’t expect anything from Helena. But Helena insists that she’s learned her lesson and will never do something so stupid again.
Shane: Wait, wait: I’m sorry. Did Catherine tell you that?
Helena: Yeah, but she’s right.
Alice: Oh, please. It was her tip on the horse.
Helena: Yeah, but I’m the one who should have known better.
Shane: Oh, please. That is a setup.
Shane, I’m not sure why you’re being so, well, bratty and beligerent at the moment. Maybe the personality of the former owner of that hat has seeped into your brain. But it doesn’t matter: You’re absolutely right about Catherine. I think I’ll start calling her Catherine wheel or Catherine the Not So Great.
Helena insists that Catherine is just trying to help her stand on her own two feet.
Alice: Really. Really. Your tiny little feet?
Alice notices that Shane is sniffing handbags. OK, so my theory about the personality transfer was right: That hat belonged to some homeless dude who went around sniffing things.
Alice wants to know if the purse is for Paige.
Shane: I don’t know, Nancy Drew. Figure it out.
Oh, my God. Can someone please cast Leisha Hailey in a Nancy Drew movie?
Helena: Shane, are you seeing someone else?
Shane: Jesus Christ, the Hardy girls. Figure it out.
OK, even better: Leisha Hailey and Rachel Shelley in a Hardy Girls movie! Who gets the Shaun Cassidy haircut? But don’t forget to invite Bette, too: She’s the one who knows how to unravel a case and ask "who" before she asks "what." Plus, she’d just intimidate the hell out of every petty crook.
Alice wonders whether Shane is up to her old tricks and says she feels very comforted by that somehow. I would be comforted too, Alice, if I could remember what anyone’s "old tricks" are at this point. Too many character inconsistencies make for one very confused recapper.
Helena’s cell phone rings; it’s the Catherine wheel. It seems Helena will have to pack her bags because a friend of Catherine’s is coming for a visit. Helena is at first polite on the phone, and then deferential and resigned, and then downright annoyed. After she hangs up, she tells Alice she’s been uprooted, so Alice invites her to stay at her place again.
Helena: I don’t want to get in yours and Tasha’s way.
That’s very considerate of you, Helena. But I do wonder about your people sometimes: You say tacko instead of tahco, and you’ve just done the same thing with Taaasha (like dash-a) instead of Tahhhsha. Very curious, that.
They all present their purchases to the cashier, and Helena presents Catherine’s credit card. Right, on Helena: It’s time to get your spine back. Now that would be comforting.