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Welcome back, gang, and welcome to our next installment of Still Life. As mentioned previously, this one is somewhat Jensen-light, but what is there is worth the effort.

At this point, I'll briefly recap the dramatis personae for this ep:

Ben Morgan = Dad, cop
Charlotte = Mom, running for mayor
Jake = eldest brother, deceased, killed on first day of job as cop, acts as narrator for the show
Max = only remaining son of the family, photographer, looking for work, formerly dated Maggie Jones
Emily = eldest sister, great cook, just quit job as a (legitimate) hostess at a high-end strip club called Marlo's
Daisy = youngest Morgan child, still in high school
Maggie = Jake's fiancée, Max's ex-girlfriend, owns art gallery
Gideon = former college acquaintance of Emily, and Emily's current flame
Stack = chef at Marlo's, friend of Emily
Jonathan = Charlotte's campaign advisor (played by an actor who was on Firefly . . . the ep where someone has his body shipped to Mal and Zoe. The soldier who remembered the "If you can't run, then you crawl, and if you can't crawl, you find someone to carry you." Oh! "The Message"? Was that the ep title? Anyway . . . yeah, him.)

So let's get right to it, shall we?

First, the previouslies.

Em meets Stack in a café. Stack is all apologetic about horning in on her date (see previouslies), and she says forget it. He asks what was the deal with Gideon skipping out, and she sort of brushes over the subject. Gideon is a good guy. Stack is not so sure. But that's not what she wants to talk to him about anyway.

She thinks he's wasting his time working at Marlo's and wants to start a catering business with him. He's all for it, but has no start-up money. She's okay with that, because she's got her savings from Marlo's. Besides, she's already booked his first gig, her mom's upcoming fundraiser.

As she's leaving, Gideon pulls up in a car and tells her to "Get in!" She's a little freaked by this, but she does, asking what's up and why did he leave so suddenly a week (?) ago, and why was his apartment trashed. Gideon owes his business partner, Derrick, money. The business they went in together was an under-the-table bar venture. Derrick got involved with questionable types, Gideon took his half of the money and split, and now Derrick is after him to get the money back. Emily and Gideon take off when they notice someone following them.

Daisy and a friend pull the fire alarm at school, which sets off the sprinkler system. When they try to get out, though, the door is locked. They turn around, and the principal is standing there. They scold him for the safety violation of the locked door, but they are so busted.

Max is going job hunting, shopping his photography portfolio around. Before he leaves the house, he asks Dad if the information on Eddie Marble has opened any new leads. Dad says that it's new info, and it will take a while to follow up. In the meantime, Max needs to back off and take care of himself. Max says that's what he's doing, going to go look for work.

He takes his portfolio to Maggie's gallery to show her, and she's very supportive. She also thanks him for not taking advantage of her the other night (see previouslies) when she'd had too much to drink. Max doesn't have much of a reply (or I was too distracted by all the hubbub going on around me at this point to hear it clearly). In walks Maggie's boss, a very polished British man who it is obvious is way above Max in social stature and skills. Maggie introduces the two, and Boss (I'll catch his actual name on my 2nd go-around, but it's very "classy" and starts with a G, I think) says oh, he's heard a lot about Max. Really? Oh, yes, Maggie and Jake, Maggie and Max . . .

While Charlotte and her consultant, Jonathan, are planning the fundraiser, a call comes from the school asking for Daisy's parents to come to the school, Daisy has been suspended. Ben says he'll go. Charlotte is very apologetic that she can't go, but she really needs to stay and plan the event.

Emily goes back to a different apartment with Gideon. He says he's staying there now while he waits for money from a friend. Conversation about the danger and Gideon not wanting Emily to get hurt (blah, blah, blah). Emily doesn't want to go home and spends the night with Gideon.

In the morning, Gideon gets a call from his friend telling him the loan fell through. Gideon can't stay here. Emily insists he'll be safe at her house with her family. Her dad is a cop, her mom is running for mayor, so there's all sorts of security, and she convinces him to come home with her.

When they get to the house, she tells Gideon to let her do the talking. The family is having breakfast, and on her way out the door, Charlotte asks Em, "How's Maggie?" Em is perplexed by this question, but Max mouths that he told the fam that Em was at Maggie's. (This is one of those split-second things, but I ♥ the way Jensen plays it.)

Max is highly suspicious of Gideon and doesn't hide it. There's a bit of confrontation as Max gives Gideon the evil eye and asks a few pointed questions about Gid's sudden week-long departure and his trashed apartment. Emily follows Max into the front hall. She chews him out about giving Gid the 3rd degree and asks what's wrong with him. Max tells Em about Maggie's boss, how Boss has always had a crush on her, and how Max was going to ask Mag to the fundraiser, but now he's not sure. Emily tells him, very encouragingly, that he should do what he wants. If he wants to ask her, he should.

Jonathan asks if the family has a cam-corder so Charlotte can practice her speech. Ben goes to look for it. Can't find it in the closet, sees it on Daisy's bed. When he turns it on, her most recent tape starts playing. It's Daisy making a list of all the things she wants to do before she dies--pull a prank at school, smoke pot, have sex with an older man, wants him to be her first, maybe Jonathan. Ben is obviously not a happy camper and goes in search of Daisy. As he storms past, Emily asks if Gideon can stay in the guest room. She takes her dad's non-answer as a yes.

At the art gallery, Max tells Maggie that he's been turned down by five studios, but he'll keep trying. As he's inviting Maggie to the fundraiser (and almost breaking out of his shell and becoming animated), Boss interrupts, asking "What sounds like fun?" Maggie explains the invitation, and Boss reminds Maggie that she's got an opening of an exhibit that night. Maggie completely forgot. Boss offers to call the people and explain, but Maggie declines; she works with these people all the time, and she can't blow them off. Max is obviously disappointed (and closes up again), but says he understands.

Dad confronts Daisy about the tape. She's furious at the invasion of privacy. He says the tape just started playing, and that's not the point. He grounds her.

In the kitchen, Jonathan and Charlotte are back at the planning. Charlotte inquires as to Max's success in the job hunt, and he tells her about the five rejections. Jonathan states that they don't have a photog for the fundraiser. Jon asks Max if he's any good. I believe the exchange went something like this (will get it right on the transcription):

Jon: Do you suck?
Max: No, I'm good.
Jon: You're hired.

(Of course, I'm thinkin', "He's got his portfolio right there, dude. Take a look." But that would have killed the humor of the exchange. And yes, it's refreshingly delightful to see Max express confidence in something--his photography.)

Charlotte is delighted, thinks this is a great idea.

(Btw, Max/Jensen playing photog? Oh, yeah . . . )

Boss invites Maggie to the fundraiser. She pushes him off, suspecting where this is going. A little persuasion, and they agree to go as friends.

Gideon tells Em that he can't find anyone to loan him the money to pay off Derrick. He can't stay here and put her and her family in danger. She doesn't want him to go, so she gives him the money she's been saving from Marlo's. (I'm thinking, "Wait, isn't that the money you promised Stack as start-up for the catering biz?")

Daisy is sulking in her room (4:00pm, and she's still in her p.js). Dad comes in to have a heart to heart, mentions that Mom would like it if she joined the family for the fundraiser. They talk. Daisy, being a typical teenager, thinks life is passing her by and there's so much she wants to do. And her prank with the fire alarm failed spectacularly. Dad insists that she doesn't have to do everything RIGHT NOW. She used to talk to him about her problems. She stopped coming to him about a year ago, when Jake died. She says that well, yeah, he (Dad) had a lot to deal with, and her problems were just normal, ordinary ones. "You were protecting me?" he asks. Yeah, I guess, she says.

At The Fundraiser . . . What a busy night that turns out to be . . .

The wait staff that Stack has hired arrives. Emily is mortified to see that they're all strippers from Marlo's. Max and Jonathan are intrigued. As the girls file past in their tight white tops and black pants, Jonathan and Max stand side by side, appraising the procession with interest:

Jonathan: That's the wait staff?
Max: Nice.

(Jensen is very deadpan with the delivery. Whereas Dean would give it a long, drawn out drawl . . . Niiiiiiice . . . or at least one of his trademark "leers," Max gives it a more low-key seal of approval. It's quite amusing.)

Max is taking pictures of the guests as they arrive and is surprised to see Maggie walk in with Boss. They chat a bit, and Boss points out some very wealthy art buyers across the room, indicating that Maggie should go chat them up. She leaves the scene.

(I will probably transcribe the following conversation in my next go-around. It's kind of important in the development of Max and Maggie's relationship, and does more to portray Boss's presentation than I'm going to do here:)

Boss offers to put Max in contact with some people he knows. Max thanks him. Boss suggests that Max should "give Maggie permission" to see other people. Max has been gone a year--and Boss doesn't hold that against him--but Boss has been taking care of Maggie for that year, and Maggie values Max's opinion.

When Maggie seeks Max out later, as he's changing the film in his camera, they talk a little, and Max tells Maggie that it's good she's seeing other people. It's good for her to get out more. They both should.

Later, Em finds Max nursing a glass of champaign. "Drinking on the job?" she teases. He asks where's Gideon? Nowhere to be found. Together they share the glass of bubbly and their dating woes.

Charlotte assures Stack that his food and his catering has been a great success. (I'll point out here that it's rather cute the way Stack tells the waitresses, "Why don't you button just one more button, okay? Um, maybe one more" before sending them out among the guests.)

Derrick shows up at the front door. When Jonathan protests that he doesn't think this burly guy is on the guest list, Em shows up and says she'll take care of it, and dismisses Jonathan. When Derrick (and dang I wish I could place the actor; he looks so familiar) starts getting confrontational with Em, Max shows up, saying that they're gonna take this outside. (For all Max's insecurities and subdued-ness, you really don't want to mess with his people. Heck . . . we've got proof, iirc, that he'll throw the first punch if you do.)

Outside, Derrick tells Em and Max that Gideon is a con artist. Derrick guesses that Emily gave Gideon money, and now he's skipped out. Max defends Emily's judgement to Derrick, but you can tell that he's concerned by this turn of events. Having warned them, Derrick leaves.

Max chews out Em for trusting Gideon, especially when she tells him that yeah, she gave Gideon her savings. Em chews out Max for taking off for a year ("when I needed you" is implied).

Daisy is trying to flirt with Jonathan, but Dad interrupts, wants to talk to her. They go to the school and release a skunk in the principal's office. One thing checked off Daisy's life list.

Em goes up to her room and finds the envelope of money she gave to Gideon lying on her bed. It includes an apology/good-bye note. Max comes to check on her, sits on the bed with her, puts his arm around her, comforts her.

In the limo, Maggie accepts Boss's offer for a late dinner.

Tune in next week for the continuing saga of the Morgan clan . . .


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 18th, 2008 04:31 pm (UTC)
Darn, this sounds so interesting. Great summary.
Jul. 18th, 2008 11:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks. I think I notice a pattern of my getting more detailed with each summary. It's the same reason my book reports went on forever when I was a kid . . . everything is important and affects everything else. Can't leave anything out. :-)

Glad you're enjoying them. And thank you for letting me know you're enjoying them. I appreciate it.
Jul. 19th, 2008 12:49 am (UTC)
DANG!!! WHy can't they release these! It's not fair. I like Jensen as Max!
Jul. 19th, 2008 01:16 pm (UTC)
I like Jensen as Max!

As well you should. :-)

Yeah, I really wish the rest of you all could see these. He looks adorable (with the "Sam" hair), and it really is a different role than what I'm used to seeing him in.

I miss his smile, though.
Jul. 22nd, 2008 02:11 am (UTC)
Thanks for this newest recap. If I can't see the eps, your recaps are the next best thing - thanks for being so detailed.

I have a question, and from watching the Pilot I was never sure - is Emily older than Max or Max older than Emily?

Also, can anyone watch these eps at the Library of Congress, or do you need to know someone to get access to them? I'm not planning on showing up at the door of the LoC, I'm just curious. :-)
Jul. 22nd, 2008 02:44 am (UTC)
Re: Emily's and Max's places in the sibling order . . . you know? I've been wondering that myself. I guess I'm of the impression that Emily is older than Max, so the birth order would be Jake, Emily, Max, Daisy. But I can't really come up with any concrete evidence of that. And now that I think about it . . . the Pilot states that Emily was a freshman in college when Jake died. So unless Max never finished high school, he and Em are either the same age (again, absolutely no indication whatsoever that they're twins) or he's slightly older. I'm keeping my eyes and ears open for clues, so as soon as I find out anything definite, I'll let you know.

Re: seeing these through the Library of Congress . . . the LoC isn't like a regular lending library. Their moving image materials are only available to researchers. So, no, you don't have to know anyone, but you do have to have some sort of research-related reason.

If one wanted to view these videos, one would need to arrange viewing with the reference librarians in the Moving Image department in Washington, DC. You would view them in the reading room of the Madison Building (not the Jefferson Building, which is the big, pretty library that includes the Rotunda). You'd have to explain your need to see the videos (research for a book or doctoral thesis or whatever). You'd schedule a viewing time, and the NAVCC would ship the tape(s) to DC for you to view.

You can probably find out on their website the process a researcher needs to go through to gain access to the material.
Jul. 22nd, 2008 02:58 am (UTC)
Thanks for the information about the Moving Image Department.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )


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