TPP Flora Sky Summary: Day 4 part 1
Previously on Flora Sky: Hannah hit a hard wall when trying to defeat Voice Bane and Turzoro City Gym Leader; Wattson! She managed to rebuild her team, get a LOT of grinding in and not only took down one but TWO gyms before the day was out. Having dealt with the members of Team Aqua in Snowround City to free the Underground, we begin our day in gorgeous and tropical Charpos Island. With four badges now under our belt, let’s see what new adventures await…
- Having quite the full day before, Hannah begins where we left off in goofing off and exploring the beautiful landscapes of the island. While taking in the sights and fun of the beach, she runs into a Fisherman who gives her a Good Rod that Chat decides they want to use right away!
- We’ve apparently traveled a LOT farther than originally expected as while wading in the shallows, we discover Route W some ways to the east of the island and there seems to be potentially another island. We don’t explore very far into it to know how far this stretch of land goes as Hannah pulls out her PokeNav to call home… only to realize she never got Mom’s number nor does she know her home phone number after only being in the place for less than a day. She hangs up before pulling up the call list again and hesitates a moment on whether to call Wally or A.A. since it seems her trouble senses are tingling and ends up calling Caitlin instead. Caitlin may be a Normal type specialist, but we know she’s anything but normal herself. In actuality she tells us how the gym is to be reopened eventually like all the leaders do but I’d like to think story wise she gave us some actual foresight that Hannah needed to hurry back to town.
- It’s a good thing she did too because running up the first set of steps in Charpos City, Hannah finds Wally just as the peaceful town music switches into high gear. Wally notices Hannah’s presence and begs her to come see the commotion going down as now there is both an Aqua AND a Magma Grunt squaring off in front of the port entrance. Luckily they hadn’t noticed the kids yet, but Wally takes Hannah aside to explain to her how both Teams were pretty well known in the area and they caused trouble for Charpos all the time! The pair go quiet as they overhear the Magma Grunt shouting how this island is Magma territory and therefore no Aquas were allowed. The Aqua Grunt laughs and explains how everything on the sea should belong to Team Aqua and that includes the islands; starting with the harbor! Wally whispers how ever since these two groups started fighting over the island, Charpos hasn’t been the peaceful town it used to be. It may seem wrong, but he knows how strong Hannah is. Help him punish these fiends!
- Well, Hannah’s not gonna say no to giving these punks a beating and she and Wally run up to ambush the quarreling team members before they know what hit them. The Grunts are naturally in disbelief to be ganged up on by a couple of kids and a battle immediately gets underway. The Aqua Grunt certainly is no pushover as his Seadra’s Poison Point ends up being a pain to deal with as Prinplup and Shedinja find out the hard way. Still, with a bit of team work between those two before the poison took out Shedinja, Aga was able to have a close call in defeating it. Wally apparently took out the Magma Grunt while Hannah took care of the other, and the Magma very bitterly screams how this isn’t the last they’ll see of hiiiiiiiiiim and flees. Good job, Wally! As for the Aqua Grunt, laughable as that was to watch his rival get beaten down by such an obvious wimp, he’s actually NOT done and threatens Hannah that he’s still got more Pokemon to keep battling. Lucky for the kids, his PokeNav goes off with a call from one of the Admins saying all units were to report in. Guess he better hurry to the harbor then…. Once they’re both gone, Wally heaves a huge sigh of relief and says he and Hannah should head back to his house to rest up. Along the way back there, he explains that since Team Magma has been the one reigning control over the island, there’s been several building projects and activities lately that seems super suspicious to him. It’s a lot to ask, but he wonders if Hannah would be up for a little ~investigation~ into what exactly has been going on while he’s been away from home working for Prof. Birch. If she’s up for it, he’d like to meet her outside the Magma Building.
- Hannah heals up and heads for the beach to get in some fresh air
and GET HYPE! before heading up to the gaudy and painfully obvious Magma Building. It’s a skyscraper of a lab compared to anything else in the area, painted red with a large M on the front to serve as their logo. Unfortunately, she had a feeling that as it appeared to be the Team Magma headquarters, no doubt she’d be dealing with Hank, Roy and Maxie once more. As so, she decides to start off being a little more cautious in her infiltration of the building, carefully staking out one of the workers and slipping on up to the teleporter. Ah… they have teleporters. That’ll make it hard to see what’s coming…
- Sure enough, Envy steps out of the first teleporter to find a guard waiting on the other side but he’s no match for the swift teamwork of Penguin and Aga who unfortunately gets burned by the Grunt’s Slugma. (What have you done, sir? Do you know what you’ve started?! D8 ) It wasn’t all bad though as Penguin evolved into Empoleon! 8O The man doesn’t seem too deterred by being beaten though and simply states that Roy has been working hard on researching Groudon and he firmly believes Team Magma will find it soon enough. Duly noted, Grunt, duly noted…
- Envy continues to make his way through the red checkered corridors, sneak attacking Grunts and picking up some more information as to what it is Team Magma is doing exactly. What we learn then: 1) Roy is doing research on Groudon for Maxie. That isn’t news since when we rescued Mr. Stone, the team leaders had been demanding he tell them any information he had on Groudon. 2) As to WHY they want Groudon, Envy learns from a Grunt that the Pokemon somehow has the ability to create more land, which Magma plans to use to give people more places to live. 3) A researcher tells him that Groudon is a legendary who is huge, heavy, and tough. 4) Another scientist warns him how even as much of a maze the building has already been, it only gets harder. Sure enough, heading up stairs reveals multiple Teleporters to choose from in going forward.
- Teleporters… storage rooms… Teleporters… storage rooms. Dang this place sure had a lot of teleporters leading into dead ends. Still, among all the crates of equipment and Pokefeed, Envy did find something interesting. TM46 Thief! How fitting XD He could also hear just on the other side of the wall a familiar voice… Dammit Wally! You were the one who said to meet out front!
- Many MANY trials with the teleporters later, Envy switches back to Hannah and runs up to where Wally is seen trying to peek around a corner into the next room. At least the kid is safe, but that likely means there’s trouble ahead. Wally is startled at first, but quickly whispers to her that the people just ahead are some of the big dogs of campus. Roy, Hannah can recognize just fine, but Wally explains that the woman he’s talking to is one of the Magma Admins named Courtney. They both hush up and listen in as Roy excitedly tells Courtney that he has at last found the means to awaken Groudon! There was a book he found at the Malias Library that told the legend of how a Red Orb could be used to capture the beast. AND! Their research at the Polar Forest was actually helpful since they saw a red light in the Deep Forest (now wait, is it in Polar Forest or Deep Forest or are those two connected somehow? Y’know what, never mind just listen) which he believes to be the Red Orb! Sounds like a bit of a stretch, but Courtney seems excited to hear it. She says how she’ll get ready to make an announcement to the team when- Uh oh! We've been spotted!
- Courtney is steamed to wonder just how much of that these two kids managed to overhear and decides to fight! Don’t worry, Wally! Hannah’s got you covered! Our new big buddy Empoleon does a pretty good job in tearing up her Golbat but succumbs to confusion and knocks himself out before doing anything to her Magcargo. We manage to switch in for Ninat without trouble and destroy it with Dragon Rage! Courtney gets even angrier and calls for backup when suddenly it seems help has arrived for the kids!
- It’s Sky! And he brought a friend! The woman demands Courtney leave… er… I think? Her language seems all kinds of butchered more so than we’ve seen from others. Courtney isn’t at all intimidated though and shrugs off the warning by saying they were done with this place anyway. Farewell then! The adults don't seem to pay this escape any heed and Sky introduces his friend as Cynthia; Champion of Flora! He asked Cynthia to help him expel the Magma from this…. IS THAT A POKENAV?! He immediately loses his train of thought and decides to register Hannah’s number. LUL Now what was he saying? Wally tells the pair what they overheard and Sky seems concerned for the Polar Forest. Cynthia admits that while it is nice to be meeting new friends, this isn’t the time or place and she and Sky need to get back to the Platepics City Research Center with this news. After she leaves, Wally brings up that maaaybe he and Hannah should head to Platepics City too. Sky just hopes next time they all meet, they’ll have more time to talk. With that, the group has all split up and Hannah does a little bit of exploring before heading outside.
- SURPRISE! Even though all the fuss and rustling is over, seems that Aqua Grunt from went and told his shipmates about the Magma scuffle he was in before Hannah and Wally showed up. Whatever the case, Archie comes charging up the steps with the Grunt, likely on his way to kick some Magma butt himself since they found the HQ, and stops when he sees Hannah. Strange to see her here, wasn’t she the brat who decided to kick them out of the Oceanic Museum? And now it seems she’s going after Team Magma as well…. What an odd child. He has learned her name though, so she ought to stay on her guard if she thinks she’s gonna go around making enemies with both sides. Perhaps she just doesn’t understand the reasons to the struggle.
- As the Grunt runs past her to inspect the fortress for information on the now empty hideout, Archie decides he’d rather talk to the girl. But for the moment he’s more curious of her than anything. WHY does she seem to hate both sides? Surely with them being such opposites she should agree with one or the other, right? And if she were to choose one, he would suggest she side with Team Aqua. They may be extreme in their beliefs, but Team Magma is extreme in their actions, leaving destruction in their wake as they claim to expand the seas. It is a threat to the Sea-loving Aqua to have the waters be choked out like that. …. …. …. The Grunt returns with the same information Hannah overheard: Team Magma is heading for the Polar Forest to seek out the Red Orb! (Though from a lore point, how terrible would it be if, after he explained how dangerous Magma actually is, she just told him herself?) With this new piece of information, Archie is determined that Team Magma needs to be stopped before they find that Legendary! He leaves Hannah with a word that if she planned to continue in her own sense of justice, just be careful, and keep an eye out for Team Magma. They are the real threat after all…
- More surprises, no sooner did they leave, we get a call from Mr. Stone who seems to somehow have the capabilities to teleport us via the PokeNav despite having just told us we could use the Teleport Service by the Pokemon Center. … Sure. Whatever. It’s potentially an emergency since he called to tell us everyone else from the Base Raid has already arrived.
- Well! Since we’re suddenly back in Platepics City, even if we weren’t ready and I’m sure Mr. April is still hanging out on the beach and wondering if Hannah planned to come back before the end of the week, guess we’ll just carry on as usual. Healing up, buying Poke Balls, playing with our bike and teasing the idea of just skipping town before heading to the tower. Hannah does eventually go to the Research Center where, just like her first visit here, upon entering she shifts over to Envy.
- Technology is amazing! As Envy makes his way through the maze of a tower, he finds out that the Research Center allows the public to come in to ask for help with their Pokemon and are responsible for making all kinds of devices to make things better for Trainers. After failing a pop quiz from an old man, he tries again with a different set of questions and earns himself an EXP SHARE! 8O He also finds a scientist who has finally crafted Flora’s very own Fossil Reviver and a man who says he plans on going into space. Huh, the company must be working on a rocket somewhere then…
- Upon reaching Mr. Stone’s office, or at least where we saved him last time, the room is… empty! However, the man in the green suit from last time isn’t blocking the stairs this time (perhaps it was to keep Magma from getting into the real treasure trove of the building) which Envy decides to explore. More. Floors. Egads this place is huge! At last we make it to Mr. Stone’s office where he has Prof. Birch and Cynthia at his desk in discussing the current issue when he notices Envy has arrived. Come quickly, lad, there’s some urgent news! He heard from Cynthia what they found out at the Magma Building and so it seems Envy has learned about Magma’s plans to awaken Groudon. While police had been keeping an eye on the Magma Building for some time but with the building empty now, there’s little point to that anymore. Now they have been seen in the Polar Forest! See, legend states that a long time ago, there was a great clash between the Titan of the Land and the Titan of the Sea and…
- He cuts himself off because while that may be important, we really don’t have time to be going over the old legends. What’s important NOW is going after Team Magma and stopping them before such old tales can come to life once again. Sky and Wally have already gone on ahead and Cynthia announces it’s high time she and Envy got over there as well. Professor Birch also takes that as time to leave and comes around the desk to greet Envy. It sure is nice to see the kid has grown up to be so strong and active in protecting their new homeland in such a short time and he asks that while they’re there, he should register Envy in his PokeNav since things are looking like they’re gonna be getting serious. With that, he explains that his part in the operation requires he head back to the lab and take some materials he got from Mr. Stone and get them ready. Good luck to Envy though in taking on this very hard task head on. Just know that he and everyone else will be there to support us. (Professor… ;o; ) After he leaves, Mr. Stone calls Envy over to give what little he can to help in this task. We received the Master Ball! 8O He wishes the young man the best of luck and also gives his support in how he believes Envy WILL be the one to save them. We get the EXP SHARE onto AirBnB and the Master Ball to Ninat for safekeeping before heading out.
- After making our way back through the Bee-bug Forest, Hannah takes a different turn this time and uses Air Cutter to head into a new branch of Route B she couldn’t before. There she gets jumped by Ninja Boy Takashi who warns her to always be alert of her surroundings else she find a world of pain. (Guess he knows where we’re off to, huh? XD ) Hannah gets in a huff as his Ninjask swiftly takes down AirBnB and she sends out Shedinja for a true ninja showdown! Takashi knows he cannot hurt her counterpart, but he takes advantage in knowing she can’t hold out forever either; spamming Double Team and Swords Dance in preparation for whoever will follow when Fury Swipes runs out! As much as Shedinja kept missing, as little damage as it was doing, Sheddy still managed to hold out and land a hit for victory! 8D But Takashi isn’t done yet and sends out a Koffing that spams Smokescreen until Shedinja can’t hit with (or use) Fury Swipes any more, rendering it useless. However, she switches over to Penguin and while he tries to cast a Smokescreen to protect himself, our Starter finishes him off with a Drill Peck no problem! Takashi has to concede defeat and tells her how surprisingly good she’s gotten, and allows her access to the Moon Stone he was guarding. Sweet! <3
- We head on into Small Town where Hannah makes her first priority... the PokeMart. Okay, but after that her first priority was to head over to the Pokemon Lab where she found A.A. managing the place while his dad is occupied with whatever it was Mr. Stone asked him to do. One of the assistants explains that Professor Birch is an expert on the habitats and distributions of Flora’s wild Pokemon. (Makes me wonder if he was called into all this cause he knows something about Groudon’s actual home…) Well since there’s not much else to find around here, Hannah heads back out and makes her way over to the Day Care where… it’s time to say goodbye to AirBnB. It’s unfortunate, but the Gligar was falling too far behind in levels and that last battle just seemed to prove he was out of his league with even somewhat friendly battles being too much. Take care, little one~! ;o;
- Of course, no trip to Small Town would be right without stopping by to see her mother. Hannah remembers well how she realized she had no way to call her the last time she needed some advice, and Mom is quite happy to see her drop in. Is that a PokeNav? REGISTER! But also, what has Hannah been up to all this time? Well… not to worry her, Hannah shows off the badges she’s earned which delights her mother to see. Doing the League Challenge, is she? Well here’s an Amulet Coin to help! 8D <3 Hannah takes a short rest in her fairly clean and mostly unused bed before setting out on the road again as Mom wishes us luck. ;o;
- Heading through Mt. Fullmoon, Hannah eventually makes it to the Polar Forest’s entrance where Sky trots over happy to see her arrive. However, he warns her that the forest is huge and filled with many dangers; not including the numerous Magma and Aqua that have started fighting in the deeper depths. For that, he has to test her strength before allowing her to pass. (Why not have Wally do this, sir? If you’re so strong, you should be dealing with the Teams. |D;; ) Unfortunately… he’s right. B L A C K O U T 8D;
- Okay, the second round was REALLY close but pfffhahahahahaha classic fail tppLUL
- It’s actually on round 5 (if I counted right?) that we finally make it past Sky thanks to Penguin just CRUSHING THIS FIGHT! >O Okay, to be more specific, we’d mostly been struggling to make a dent into Sky’s Hippowdon while it could basically one-shot most of our team while healing off the damage inflicted to keep the Colorblind Clan from being able to team up on it. THIS TIME, after our Empoleon knocked Vulpix aside with Bubblebeam and faced off against the Hippowdon, Sky had his hippo try to heal off the damage while Penguin did more damage than it could heal. Normal, except Sky for some reason totally blew it by using his one attack attempt on Crunch instead of Earthquake, which did little more than a dent to our Steel-ly warrior here. Sky tried to use a Hyper Potion, but Penguin did some massive damage (without a crit even, I’m not sure why that one did more than usual) and was able to finish it off on the next turn without a fight. Last up was Leafeon! Which went down to Drill Peck, but not without putting up a valiant effort with a Grasswhistle / Giga Drain combo to take Penguin down before he could wake up. Too bad, Sky, WE WIN! 8D <3 Sky is in honest shock and can only give a “wow” before telling Hannah how she really surprised him. BUT! Don’t forget to heal up before entering the forest!
- The game actually doesn’t give us a chance to do that though as the cutscene has Hannah enter anyway where we find A.A. just as surprised to see her here as she is of him. Didn’t she just see him back in town, how’d he get here? WHY is he here? Wasn’t he supposed to be watching the Lab? He says that his dad told him about Team Magma’s scheme. Also Cynthia and the others have moved deep into the forest already and they should really catch up. Without further explanation he takes off into the Polar Forest, leaving Hannah filled with suspicion and caution as she makes her way at her own pace. Something strange was definitely going on in these woods…
- We run into a Team Aqua Grunt who’s upset that Team Magma got here ahead of them, but interestingly, after the battle, he explains he thought Hannah was a Magma member who had come back. Come… back? Have they already left? We better hurry! Except after a few battles later, Hannah blacks out before getting to the heart of the Polar Forest. Envy decides he needs a bit of stress relief and goes to the Berry Master’s garden to both pick and plant before heading back into the fray. (Note, the transformation powers that be seem to be totally on the fritz during all this as our kid keeps changing nearly every time they interact with the garden XD
Maybe it really is related to Shaymin after all)
- We head on into Puel City for… reasons??? And Hannah heads on into the Museum where she looks around for a while before meeting with the curator. He says he has a special exhibition hall he wants to fill with modern and vibrant paintings of Pokemon but for now it’s unfortunately blank. If Hannah should happen to find any such works, he’d like for her to show him. Okayyy?? Well this was a nice detour while the world is in danger. XD
- -SPIT TAKE!- OR PERHAPS I SPOKE TOO SOON! Seems Hannah (or someone in the chat) knows more than I do as in this hidden museum room is an Aqua Grunt she tries to hound for information on the current situation but he claims to know nothing other than the room he’s guarding is for Team Aqua only. They rent it, it’s legal, why she gotta be so rude?! (Lore-wise, part of me wants to say he actually does know something so all this wasn’t a total waste.)
- We eventually get back to the Polar Forest where Hannah makes her way deeper than before, so deep she found a quaint little cottage. The only one there seems to be an old woman who tells Hannah to sleep for a while. Upon waking though, the woman doesn’t seem to believe Hannah when she says she’s rested, and tells her to sleep longer. Hannah, having already had several pieces of weirdness happen in this forest already seems leery of the offer and flees. After getting passed the pair of grunts we passed out to before, Hannah gets surprised to find that there ARE still some Magma members around as she finds one that doesn’t want to attack her for some reason. Best not push her luck, she doesn’t talk to him and hurries on ahead.
- With some steady precautions (and monarchy mode) Hannah gets a Super Potion from Miss Tea that the Linoone picked up earlier and uses a Repel. Teaches Shedinja Air Cutter so we have less chance of finding herself in the same mess she was with Takashi, and gives Aga the EXP SHARE so she might start to catch up with the rest of the group. \o/
- We then run into a Grunt who’s worried about Hannah trying to find the Orb like everyone else is and puts up a fight to stop her from pursuing the matter any further. It seems like a good time to head back to the Old Lady’s Rest House before continuing onward. And boy was it good that we did because a few bends in the road later, Hannah ducks behind a tree as she spots Archie telling a few of the Aqua members to guard the pathway. No one is to follow him! She waits for the guards to take their posts before running up between them where she finds they aren’t mere grunts, one of them is an Admin!
- Aqua Admin Matt starts off with a Gyarados while Hannah started off with Penguin and Miss Tea, and they do okay despite the Grunt’s Golbat casting confusion on Penguin. However, Matt got lucky when, after using a Super Potion, the Grunt followed up with a Crit Bite attack to take out the Linoone! D8 Having just seen a Bite attack, sending out Shedinja was a bad idea, yes it was, and there he goes. As does Aga but at least Penguin was able to take out Gyarados before she got knocked out so we got some points (and a level)! Bringing out Ninat the Gabite, we get to see Golbat go down making it a two-on-one battle against Matt’s Cloyster. The pair of each take a free shot at the Cloyster before it gets a chance to attack! Victory! \ 8O / Matt scoffs that even though he lost, Archie’s WAY more powerful than he is. He’s not worried! Archie will make SURE Maxie won’t get anywhere NEAR Groudon! Somehow… Hannah’s not so sure about that and heads on through to the heart called Deep Forest.
These woods are lovely dark and deep... But no really, they are. The Deep Forest is much darker than the Polar Forest was, and the paths are much more narrow. Fortunately after the roughing up just received, we run into Sky who, uh... Doesn’t seem very enthused to see us, but also notices how hurt we are and he heals up the team! And then disappears. …. Curiouser and curiouser. Ah well, better do as he says and keep going.
- As we come around a bend, Hannah finds the path starting to widen, a set of stairs… a pair of statues long since worn down but their swords aimed to form an archway looking almost menacing. This must be home to a Legend… Hannah takes a moment to take the Master Ball from Ninat and put it in the top of her bag so she may take no chances in capturing Groudon. Just ahead, she can see Maxie and some of his members are already on the scene, the leader gloating how at long last he can see his dream realized. Just beyond this boulder that blocks the shrine… Suddenly Sky and Wally leap out from the other side of the statues and charge forward, only to have the two Grunts come up to block them from reaching Maxie. Maxie uses a device to completely OBLITERATE the boulder, leaving nothing but faint glints of dust as the Red Orb suddenly appears! Hannah rushes forward just as he gleams about no one being able to stop him from touching the Orb! Maxie is angry, asking how HE was to be caught off guard! But no matter, if it’s a fight she wants, she better prepare for a world of pain! Penguin outright ANNIHILATES him! LUL Taking two attacks on his Golbat, Penguin gets lucky with a Crit to one-shot his Camerupt, and then struggles a bit with Magmar after getting burned but really was in no danger at all. EAT IT, MAXIE, EAT IT! gator
- -Ahem- Maxie is naturally angry, but tells Hannah how she still won’t stop him! She might not, but Archie arrives on the scene with a hearty laugh at how she doesn’t have to. See, that Red Orb? It’s not real. Maxie has NO idea what Archie is talking about, which the Aqua Leader points out there’s a lot of things he knows that Maxie doesn’t. Including that this forest may be a good place to hide the Red Orb, but THAT orb isn’t it. Watch! As Maxie turns around the Red Orb vanishes into thin air like an illusion leaving both Maxie and Hannah highly confused. Cynthia arrives on the scene with A.A. and is surprised to find both Team Leaders in the same place. She tries to use the opportunity to plead with them to stop seeking…. Just seeking in general I guess, before they ruin this land! Archie seems to feel for her a moment, but laughs off the idea because she really doesn’t need to beg for them to stop when there’s nothing here anyway. With that, he and Shelly will be on their way, which no one in the heroes’ ambush seems to mind. They came for Maxie anyway.
- The Magma Leader isn’t one to be take so lightly, as before anyone can capture him, the man pulls the same stunt as he and the others had done in the Research Center, casting down a FLASH and vanishing from the woods. Cynthia approaches the shrine, but there’s no trace of him… She looks to Hannah and gives her thanks at least for helping them. “Team Magma and Team Aqua should no longer be excessive after this trouble.” I assume that means there just shouldn’t be as many of them from here on. Just as Wally finishes praising Hannah for her strength in taking down Maxie and says how they should probably get back to the Research Center to tell Mr. Stone what happened, the shrine seems to activate as a SHINY Celebi appears! 8O It phases THROUGH the party before opening a portal which sucks everyone into some weird white space. Floating…. Falling…. Our host hears someone calling….. Calling…
. To Be Continued...
submitted by Hajimeilosukna
Ugly Trickster: Recap of 90DF The Other Way S02E20
Thank you all for your patience, and if I’m lucky this recap will still find some of you!
Welcome to another (delayed) recap of The Other Way: The Endless Season, with drifting plot lines guiding us down the primrose path of hasty divorce.
Sumit and Jenny are readying for a trip to Delhi to meet a lawyer, which is part of the long, arduous road Sumit has arranged to avoid a second marriage.
“Have you considered remaining married?” Brittany has ideas.
“Yes, but that is good for two or three years, maximum,” Sumit is way ahead of her.
“I took his virginity!” Yes, Jenny, we know.
Jenny says hey, since we’re going to be in Delhi anyway, might as well get that marriage registration out of the way, amirite? I mean, think of the COVID. Sumit freezes, hunts for a relationship traffic cone, and settles on the lawyer as the only possible person to answer this question. They meet said lawyer sporting PPE that makes every stateside ER doc wipe fat tears from the edges of their microwaved masks. Lawyer says that there’s a long, impossible option for marriage, and a fast, easy option that is the most common choice for crazy kids in love. Sumit interrupts and says, “I clearly asked for most difficult road only. Now I must use my parents as an excuse again. Thank you very much, I will not be paying this bill unless you allow Jenny to drone on about whatever she chooses until all government offices are closed for the day.”
Jenny’s why? tank is running low, but she still has enough reserves to believe that Sumit was simply ignorant of this simple option, and now that they’ve learned of it there’s nothing but green lights. Meanwhile, Sumit gazes at the horizon for a rescue from Clint Eastwood, and comes up dry, so he tells Jenny that he just needs to talk to his parents for the 10,000 time, to give them the 10,000 time to call the whole thing bullshit. Then he will try for 10,001.
Remember that why? tank of Jenny’s? It’s down to fumes, because Jenny strongly objects to this, since the parental reaction couldn’t be more clear if billboards were involved. She calls daughter Christina and her daughter-in-law Jen to check in, and while Christina is overjoyed about the upcoming ring ceremony, she’s unhappy that Jenny is going to be exposed to Sumit’s family. The whole time, Jen is Jen, sitting there all stoic and right about things, and somehow refraining from judgement. Christine is worried that Sumit will see his mom and get upset, and Jen’s brow makes waves and she says, “That’s what makes me nervous for you.”
(Now recording Jen’s voice to talk me out of things.)
“This time, we’d better get married,” Jenny demands. “Otherwise, I’m going to have to leave the country, collect my 90DF check, and come right back here all over again.”
“All of this is like that one movie where the small boy emails a woman and says we poop back and forth, forever, and it is romantic,” Sumit chimes in. “Me and Jenny also poop and poop. That is what we are.”
As a stepping stone to the parents’ inevitable rejection, Sumit invites his brother Amit and sis-in-law Shree over to their apartment. They apparently got hitched at the height of COVID social distancing, and therefore got married with only about 50 people in attendance. In the US of A this would be a super-spreader event with a 50-person body count, and 25 of those 50 people insisting they’re not really dead. In India, they just wore masks.
Jenny was not among those 50 people, because the family can’t stop dissing her, but Sumit went, and this is why Jenny can do without these occasions. Jenny is fully aware that his family will never look at their relationship the way they look at Amit and Shree, and she feels it. Despite their participation in a show CALLED 90 DAY FIANCE, Shree and Amit are shocked to learn Jenny and Sumit have a ring ceremony scheduled. Shree hides her smirk behind her hands, and this is a violation of the Smirker’s Code of Ethics, and that’s going to be a $500 fine. It’s perfectly acceptable to talk shit about what the editors have chosen to show us from the unsafe space of Reddit, but it’s tacky as shit to be catty and immature when a person is sitting right in front of you, asking for your acceptance.
Amit admits they didn’t expect their relationship to last this long, and insists the parents will never accept the marriage, as in ever, and Sumit should be ready for the consequences. Jenny breaks down, because she’s sick of this shit, and Sharee and Amit are shocked to discover she’s a person. She says it’s just a fact that they love each other, and Sumit comforts her while she cries, and these fools should be happy Jenny’s not promising his mom that her lonely ghost egg will be successfully fertilized.
In Whybother, Ethiopia, Ari and her teenage son Biniyam are preparing for a day with Ari’s parents. Ari can’t find the leash-backpack she borrowed from Nicole, so who knows where Biniyam will wander off to next. The good doctor assumes they’ll be taking a wild adventure to an indoor shopping mall, where maybe they’ll look at linens on sale at Macy’s, before stopping at an Orange Julius and getting their ears pierced at Claire’s. In anticipation they bring a large, cumbersome stroller. The decision to take it off-road clearly surprised the camera crew, who opted to zoom in on the wheels struggling over rocks. Good try folks, but as someone who hikes on a regular basis, I can assure you that there’s no terrain that someone won’t bring a stroller on, even if it’s a six inch rope bridge stretched across a gaping canyon.
The taxi takes them on an adventure through barbed wire, which Janice is eager to point out are houses. This will be in part five of her master’s thesis: Ethiopia, and Why This Isn’t The Best Place for Ari and the Baby. The doc admits he doesn’t travel much, and is only used to homes looking that way when they have a pitbull in the driveway, several warning signs about how you’re being recorded, and a shouted announcement that the occupant is more than willing to shoot to kill and hide the body under a pile of leaves, if need be. The doc wants to be that guy, deep inside his private place.
“Are you also looking for Clint Eastwood?” Sumit needs friends.
Once at the market, the 90DF producers slip Biniyam a Benjamin to orchestrate a circus scene involving the gruesome death of a chicken. There hasn’t been any gore since the last street side hack job, so Biniyam makes an effort to wow the doctor with a little pre-decapitation poultry inspection. Janice is too fast, and says they should do something else.
“I only approve of Ari sacrificing a chicken if it makes them less poor,” Janice plainly states.
Biniyam is embarrassed that his plan to watch the life leak out of a chicken is thwarted, because dragging around a chicken carcass like a bleeding dolly is the cultural experience he really wants them to have. Instead they’re left standing in the middle of the road doing their own clucking, as the elder folk dissect the dynamics of Ari and Biniyam’s relationship amongst the poors. Ari insists that until he eats from the silver spoon she was born holding in her mouth, he won’t understand what she’s about. I’m not sure what this has to do with Biniyam’s perpetual disappearing act, but maybe that act is his real job in entertainment, and he should receive an invisible check any day now. Either way, this street-side conversation can be summarized as: Ari is supposed to adapt to a new culture, religion, and support system, but Biniyam can’t be expected to tell her where he’s going. Okay then.
Father Ari is sick of standing on a dirt road worrying about being part of a crime scene, so he says it’s time for the baby to get home, and Avi probably should take a nap, too.
“I’m sick of being dignified,” Doc is out of fucks to give. “Look at this dipshit. He may not have a fuckload of cologne on, but he’s thinking about it. I bet $100 he owns pants with snaps up and down the sides that he rips off his body. No, I don’t want to see it.”
The parents go to visit Biniyam and Ari’s apartment, so they can be disappointed that Ari has failed to not be poor in fresh new ways, while wheeling two massive suitcases packed fat with every baby item on Ari’s Amazon wish list.
“I know you didn’t take a lot of clothes, since most of them are still at our house,” Janice passive-aggressives like a fucking champion. “Remember that three suitcases humble-brag you did at the start of the season? I know how many suitcases there really are, Ari.”
Janice insists that it’s time to move on to a bigger place, since once they unload both Mary Poppins’ bags of baby gear there won’t be room for them, let alone the nanny they crammed into the zipped shoe compartment. Housing apparently just happens on command in her world. Ari reports that expats have driven up the price of apartments, and she’s pretending to care about such things, and Janice says they could help out if they knew how much money they had.
“How much money do you make?” They get right in there.
“Sometimes there is money, and other times there is a little bit of money,” Biniyam is ready with the answers. “It depends how many people want lap dances, and how many want regular dances.”
“You should have some kind of stable income,” says the man who raised a daughter who describes herself as a FREELANCE WRITER.
“I work like 47 different clubs five days a week, and I can’t work six, because I need two days to listen to Ari say she needs help with the baby repeatedly.”
“Sometimes, artists don’t make much money,” explains Ari, who is an accountant when she’s not a FREELANCE WRITER. “I mean, most artists in the US of A rent a storage unit and sleep on a foam pad on a concrete floor, and change their name to Binkirk to avoid a tidal wave of mail from Sallie Mae. Really, your only hope is becoming Banksy. Or you could have my parents.”
Before they return to USA, Ari’s fam wants to meet the Biniyam clan to better understand why he’s like this, and for some reason Ari thinks this will put her family at ease. Good ol’ sis Wish, the anti-Teayang, is going to make short work of that expectation, and when Janice asks about their relationship Wish pipes in with a report that Ari gets mad fast. Like when she innocently pointed out that he met his last wife at the club where he works, for example. Wish says it’s weird for a woman to shout at a man, and in Ethiopia you go to his parents to talk with them.
“She wants to act bossy,” Biniyam agrees, because he stands in fully support of the your-fault, your-fault, your-fault chant from the Handmaid’s Tale.
Ari disputes the idea that this is about being bossy, and is more about how her life is going in Ethiopia. “My whole life is different and his life hasn’t changed much.” K, these are facts.
“You need to calm down.” I don’t even know this other sister’s name, but she is not a friendly.
“She treats him like a child,” says Wish, who LITERALLY NICKNAMED HIM BABY.
Ari’s mom brings up baptism to the team, and says that she was raised Christian and had a hard time with whether or not to baptize Ari after she was born. Family Biniyam says it really wasn’t that hard for them, they just talked about it constantly until Ari folded.
Ari sees this baptism as just a party and water, but Janice is quick to point out that when you’re baptized, you’re also baptized into that faith. The Good Doctor believes she’s being pressured into this, because she is, and says he’s teetering on the brink of being upset, which he’s pretty sure means he needs to get a shotgun and a rocking chair for his porch. Ari says Biniyam came to her crying, which played a huge role in her decision, and his family was the true source of pressure, and they agree with this.
“A baby must be baptized,” They are unmoved. “If you’re not baptized, you’re going straight to hell.”
“If I catch you doing that, it’s one of the reasons I will leave,” Ari retorts, finally working out her exit strategy.
“You remind me of his ex,” Wish believes no blow is too low. “This could not possibly be because he treats you the same way.”
“You’re going to let your sisters talk to me like that?” Oh Ari. It’s cute when you think “Baby” is a grown up.
Janice says it seems very one-sided, and like their whole world is arranged around Biniyam...because it is.
Brittany will play the part of drunken cliche with a sober friend, and there’s a reason why this scene never plays out in romantic comedies. Since she can’t find a lampshade to put on her head, Brittany does the robot like she needs to go back to the factory, and Angela can’t get this chick to reboot. Yazan arrives and knows Brittany is drunk, because she’s making fun of his driving before he has the chance to blame a second car accident on her, so he sobers her up with a boring trip to his barbershop. Brittany threatens to give him an inebriated haircut, which he somehow thwarts, but not before minor scissors injury.
Angela is wondering why she’s been listening to Brittany bitch for six months, since she’s now flirting and play-fighting wtih Yazan, so she suggests they might want to have a more serious conversation. Brittany can’t hear her, because she’s still celebrating successfully flipping the script away from her sudden disappearance, to the non-specific “actions” Brittany wants to see. Apparently, starting your own barbershop, buying a car, and getting an apartment don’t count as actions.
The next day Angela points out that Yazan is the opposite of what Brittany has described, so he’s either acting or Brittany is. Then Brittany heads over to the apartment he’s gotten for them to share, and they bond over wishing kitchens were chickens, and the finer points of shower curtains. Yazan reports there’s a second room for Brittany, and when Britt insists she likes to cuddle, Yazan declares if she wants it then she’s gotta put a ring on it.
“I can’t even do the robot, and now I’m supposed to do something Beyoncé? I’m gonna give him an ultimatum,” Brittany knows this can’t stand.
This marks the beginning of their Absurd-Off:
Britt: I’ll move in when the bathroom is fixed, because I can’t stand a wet bathroom floor, and towels haven’t been invented yet.
Yazan: I cannot have a girlfriend, because it will make God angry. I know this, because I have a girlfriend, and God is furious.
This is a tight race folks, so we’re going to have to call it a draw.
Since they’re having an actual conversation, Britt asks for for an honest answer to the conversion question, and Yazan says it’s whatever, that’s his family’s hang up, not Islam. All the same, he’d like to get married in a month. Britt says she has to think about it because it’s so soon, and she’s scared she won’t come up with more conditions by then. Yazan says it’s dangerous, and he wants to detail what he means by that, but he’s going to need a translator so all the fucks and shits get through. Britt agrees that’s a good idea, and suddenly seems curious to know why Yazan hasn’t slept in six years.
Sure, the 90DF producers could have given us more Kenny and Armando to sweeten all this sour, but why do that when they can follow around a doomed couple having the same limp conversation 400 different ways? For a year.
Cheese and Mama Cheese are going out for coffee to flex his Spanish vocabulary, and demonstrate that he’s capable of the most important phrase in any language: two coffees with milk (of course he gets milk). Cheese lets that Spanish flow, and his accento is muy what you’d expecto, but he’s trying. Mama Cheese thinks everyone makes mistakes, and sometimes you trip and fall into a coworker’s vagina. Cheese says he’s working hard to be working hard on this work that’s hardly working, but now that he knows she experienced non-dairy loving during their breakup, he’s having second thoughts.
Cheese and his mom both start to get upset, because Tim doesn’t really have a team rooting for him on the ground in Columbia, and Mama Cheese reminds him that she’s always there for him, whether he’s getting over Melyza or truly moving to Columbia with no take-backs. A little while later Melyza and Tim take Robin and Carmen to the airport, and he’s sad to see them go, and Melyza comforts him.
They decide to go to a couple’s counselor, since last time it worked so well they’re still talking to a counselor a year later. Before they go in we’re gifted a short scene of a dude performing tricks on a tight rope, and you should cling to this moment, because it will be the most entertaining part of their story. The shade of Cheese’s shirt clashes next to the shade of Melyza’s personality, but the therapist agrees to see them anyway. Cheese admits that he’s considering returning to the states to work, and Melyza is shocked, which she communicates through her mouth dropping open for exactly 15 seconds. Now Melyza, she can do the robot. The counselor, who does a little captain obvious work on the side, points out that trust is key.
“Thank you, we’re totally changed,” Cheese is grateful. I’m going to interrupt their exhaustive dialog with reflections on my kittens, Pickle and Sprocket.
Cheese: I mean, my job is like a night club. It’s an orgy up in there. I participated. Oops, that happened. I was wearing those pants that snap away from your body, and it’s not easy being cheesy.
Biniyam: Those are very important when you are getting paid sometimes $500, and sometimes $400., IDGAF.
Me: So Pickle just crawled inside one of those velcro IKEA shoe boxes, and it fell over the side of my closet and down a ramp of my clothing like a barrel over Niagara Falls. The other cats have gathered to survey the damage. Sprocket holds up a paw to announce there’s one body. Then Pickle hits him in the face, because he ain’t shit.
Cheese: I’m thinking about returning to America and all the ladies waiting for me in tier one tech support.
Melyza: (A deer walks out of the woods and starts gnawing on her face. Her expression doesn’t change.)
Counselor Captain Obvious: Do you think you should have a conversation about shoes or the proper name for that flap around your elbow, or anything other than an event from a year ago you’re apparently never going to get over?
In crimes against humanity, the only folks facing intense marriage obstacles are Kenny and Armando, who apparently have to beg for recognition. They’re headed to receive their formal marriage license rejection before taking it to human rights advocates that might intervene on their behalf. Part of Kenny’s frustration is that they moved to this particular state in Mexico because marriage is legal there, and the sooner they’re married, the sooner Kenny can work. Armando tells Hannah that they’re going to have to fight to get married, because they’re being denied their rights. Hannah is appalled and says they’re mean, which Armando agrees is accurate reporting.
“Ugly trickster,” Hannah declares, instantly giving me new ideas for flare and band names.
At the office they go over the rejection, and Armando reads, “It is not permitted to celebrate same sex marriage, to guarantee and save the human species. We can only trust people like Angela to make that happen. The world is now a better place.”
Kenny’s hair stands higher in rage and humiliation. “We’re part of the human race,” Kenny reminds anyone willing to listen. His inner light is starting to dim in the face of a Reagan-era level of oppression, and now he’s tasked with doing it all over again, without having the language to understand what people are saying about him.
As they leave, Hannah wants to know if they got permission to get married, and Kenny tells her not yet. Armando’s understanding of the culture makes him better prepared to deal with this rejection, and Kenny’s discouragement is palpable.
In Whyarewewatchingthis, South Korea, Deavan calls her mom to see if Jihoon is still in Paul’s doghouse because of an event that would have been written off as Drascilla being a “wild child” if anyone else had been in charge. Elicia says of course he is, he probably has all of them juggling knives and having scissors races, and she has nowhere else to funnel her peri menopausal rage. After Deavan gets off the phone, Jihoon reports also knowing hormonal suffering, through Elicia Phobia Syndrome.
On the way to the airport Drascilla is stoked to see her grandparents, since she hasn’t been around any adults except her Korean grandparents and Teayang. She breaks into a run the minute she sees her grandfather, and promptly bursts into tears. The family circles around her in comfort, except Jihoon, who tells his mom they’re kinda like extras. Teayang, for his part, continues thinking and reflecting about his unique place in the world, and escape possibilities for both himself and Drascilla.
“Don’t leave us here alone,” Drascilla pleads with grandpa. “At least not until Teayang understands his thumbs. Only the road promises freedom, and I ran so fast, but it wasn’t fast enough. Are you listening to me? LOOK AT ME!”
“Yes, these are the clumsiest little contraptions,” Teayang knows he’s lost the thumb war. “But I can sit in a plastic chair and kick my legs around in a walk-like manner. Like this. Here, watch this. My feet are grazing the linoleum! Just tickling the tippy top! This is development, and I’m not afraid. Tell me, why isn’t there an adult version to ensure the safety of the elderly? A wheelchair is almost this, but it’s not, is it? Where is the whimsy? Where is the joy? Do our elders not enjoy crashing into a kitchen island? Everyone loves that. Right, hello Elicia. I trust you’re well. My father’s peace depends upon your silence. I will pray for a sinus infection that is both swift and merciless.”
“We’re gonna die!” Elicia runs and shouts with a cart full of luggage, as they cross the street in a crosswalk.
Next time: Melyza and Tim play second verse, same as the first, Deavan tries on wedding dresses while Elicia maintains her fingertip grip on reality, Janice encourages Ari to agree with Janice, Brittany finds out the truth of what Yazan has been through, Sumit’s parents call Jenny an oldie but not a goodie, and as Sumit gets down on his knees to plead with his parents, Jenny says she can’t do this to his family and should just go back to America. Yep, Jenny is all out of why?, and I’m here for it.
Thank you Patreons, for hanging in there with me through ugly November!
submitted by fractalfay