You’ll remember that last week, Aunt Donna chose to rescue her husband, Uncle Michael, and send her son Anthony and Cousin Mike before the Secret Board of Trustees. Oh, how she must wish that her son could have been sent back to Jersey when the Board chose to eliminate him from contention. Instead, he’s still here – with questions like “Mom, when it was just me and Mike in the boat, if you found out they were going to kill us, would you have felt bad about your decision?” Keep it up Anthony, a few more questions like that and she’ll kill you herself.
Anthony tells us “ I’ve shown people here that I want it the most and that I’d go the furthest to get it. The Board is obviously looking for something different.” Social Secretary Ringo informs us “Frankly, the Trust was grateful to have Anthony in front of us. He’s ill-mannered (we’re shown Anthony smoking and passing gas), hormonal, out of control, and he needed to be put out of the game.” I was thinking he needed to be put out of my misery, but then contrary to what some of you may think, I have no control over the show. If I did, Dawn Marie would have drowned last week.
Continuing the Anthony love-fest, Stylist Jill points out that she doesn’t think Anthony has the ability to deal at an emotional, humane level compared to Cousin Mike. To illustrate the point, we see Jill dressing Mike (as a stylist, it’s part of her job, you pervs.)
Jill: “You don’t have any girlfriends?” Translation: “Have I got a shot?”
Mike: “No, no more.” Translation: “I’m all yours.”
Jill: “Better that way, right?” Translation: “Are you a pig?”
Mike: “No… you need somebody to cuddle with.” Translation: “Chicks dig it when guys act sensitive. Are you buying this?”
Jill: “That’s true. That’s so sweet. How endearing of you.” Translation: “If you win the money I’m taking you home to meet my parents.”
Mike then tells us “I’m not trying to put on an act like everyone else is kinda sorta doing.” You don’t have to tell us, Mike. Unlike the act the rest of the family is putting on, yours is good.
On the estate grounds, Mike and Cousin Robert take a stroll to discuss strategy. Robert assures Mike that he has no strategy, but that Cousin Edward and Uncle Michael need to go before the Board. I mention this only because you’ll want to keep it in mind when we get to the part where they decide who goes before the board. File it away in your back pocket and carry on.
The Sport of Kings
Ringo tells us that he thought it would be a good idea to teach the family about the Sport of Kings, which we all know is horse racing. Personally, I think a few members of the family might be on a first name basis with the ticket agents at Saratoga, or at least their bookies are. Imagine my confusion when Dawn Marie answered the door to find, in her words “Zorro and Junior Zorro” standing on the front porch. They were there to teach the family to fence. It turns out that fencing is also “The Sport of Kings”, though I’m guessing they had guys that actually did the fencing for them. Which means that basically, the Sport of Kings is neither horse racing or fencing, but rather, sitting on a throne watching other guys kill each other. Which sounds like it will be right up this family’s alley.
The family members get dressed in their white protective fencing outfits. Anthony comments “Mine fit okay, the girls, a different story. They looked like a cross between marshmallow men, the Michelin Man, and Crash Test Dummies.” Damn you kid, you just took all the good descriptions.
Uncle Michael confesses “This is an Italian-American family whose origin is Brooklyn, New York. There’s not a lot of fencing going on in Brooklyn, I can tell you that right now.” I believe him. I mean, the key members of his “family” are in Palm Beach; they aren’t going to be moving any merchandise that “fell off a truck” until they get back home.
The actual fencing wasn’t terribly exciting. The only match of any interest was when Aunt Donna went up against Cousin Mike. In fencing, the first one to score five “touches” wins. Aunt Donna scored the first touch, which prompted Rob to comment to Mike “You’re going to get beat by a girl.” Personally, I think Rob bandied about the term “girl” a little too loosely, but if Harpies and Medusas were girls, then I guess we’ll him off the hook for now. Mike buckled down, and rallied from a 2-1 deficit to defeat Aunt Donna 5-3. “If she would have seen blood, that would have made her happy.” Truer words were never spoken, Mike.
Anthony summed up the evenings festivities perfectly. “We got to kill each other, which we pretty much wanted to do since we got here.” Scratch that Mike; Anthony just spoke truer words.
As we go to commercial, Voiceover Man asks “Can George Hamilton survive Aunt Donna’s road rage?” It’s finally time for the clip we’ve been eagerly awaiting since they showed it on the first episode.
Back from commercial, the family is gathered outside the mansion as George Hamilton, our host with the most…time in the sun, drives up in a beautiful convertible sports car. Anthony mutters “It’s Miami Vice.” Sorry A, but that was a Ferarri, and this is clearly a Maserati. And you call yourself a man.
George steps out of the car. “Real beauty, isn’t she? What if I told you this little bauble (price tag $90,000) is the prize for today’s Fantasy Contest?” He laughs casually as the family murmurs excitedly, then continues. “That’s right, one of you is going to win a one year lease of this 2003 Maserati Spyder with Formula One transmission. This car is so exclusive only a select few will be imported into the United States.” He goes on to reveal that the winner will also receive a five day trip to Italy to attend the Master GT Maserati driving class. This is quite a prize. I shudder at the thought of Dawn Marie driving this magnificent automobile into the parking lot at Walmart.
The family is divided into fives teams of two. Each team has a driver and a navigator. Teams will take turns maneuvering a golf cart through a marked course, and the fastest team would be declared the winners. Knocking over a wall or flag on the course results in a twenty-second time penalty. The catch? The drivers will be blindfolded and forced to rely on the navigator’s directions.
First up is Ed, with Melinda at the wheel. They make it through the course quickly, but pick up several time penalties along the way. After finishing the course, the two of them linger at the finish line, where George is perched atop a large, white lifeguard chair from which he waves the checkered flag.
The next team was Jill and Maria. Jill’s strategy is to have Maria drive slow and steady, avoiding any time penalties. They achieve their goal, but drive so slowly that Cousin Ed accurately points out that it was like watching chess. For those of you in Chess Club, it was like watching paint dry.
Cousin Mike has the misfortune of being guided by Dawn Marie. She gives such marvelously imprecise commands as “No wait… turn” confirming my suspicion that the Drama Queen of New York doesn’t know right from left. Mike later tells us that Dawn Marie admitted that she didn’t realize it was a timed event. They never had a chance.
Robert and Uncle Michael sail through the course very smoothly, and it is clear that they did very well. How well, we’ll have to wait and see.
Last up is the team of Anthony and Aunt Donna. You’ll recall that Aunt Donna is a bus driver, but what you may not know is that she also teaches school bus driving. From the moment she floored it out off the starting line, she was out of control. George laughs uncontrollably, exclaiming “She’s totally out of her mind the way she drives, this is incredible!” Everyone laughs, and he adds “If she starts coming towards us, I’m bailing.” He fails to take his own advice. After hitting numerous flags and careening through several of the cloth walls on the course, Anthony yells “Hard left!” to direct Aunt Donna through the final gate and over the finish line. He also neglects to tell her to straighten out. He tells us later “Before I had time to say “Oh my God, I’m dead” or “Turn” she’s through the wall.” The family scatters from around Hamilton’s chair as the cart rams directly into it, nearly sending jovial George flying. Anthony tells his blindfolded mom “You just killed George Hamilton.” Discussing the situation later, Ed tells us “I mean, wouldn’t you say “stop, hold it, you’re about to kill the host”? Nothing, I didn’t hear (Anthony) say a word.” As the camera panned back over the devastated course, we hear Anthony tell us that “It looked like a small Kentucky town that a tornado just tore through.”
Head Housekeeper Linda commenting on Anthony and Aunt Donna’s performance holds nothing back. “He can’t give orders. She can’t take orders. You put these two together, you don’t even have one good jerk.”
When George reveals the final times, it comes down to being between Ed & Melinda and Robert and Uncle Michael. E&M’s time was 3:38, which included three penalties totaling a minute. Rob and Uncle Michael’s time, with no penalties was 2:46, making them the winners. By now it may have dawned on you that there are two winners, but only one car. George tells them that the blindfolded driver, in this case Uncle Michael, must chose one of two keys. The correct key will start the car, and determine the winner. The senior family member selects a key, inserts it into the ignition… and it fails to turn. Robert wins.
Robert quickly takes the driver’s seat, and George tells him “Check out that leather, is that soft? Is that beautiful? Just like my skin.” George, your skin has many qualities in common with leather, but I’d stake good money on “softness” not being one of the similarities. You know, a lot of celebrities have some pretty bizarre wishes written into their wills. Rumor has it that George wants to be made into a nice leather recliner.
As Rob is checking out his new car, Melinda shows us she’s an expert at bad timing. She walks up to Uncle Michael, who just had the rug pulled out from under him, and says “If e didn’t have penalties, we would have beat you.” Her irritated uncle fired back “You want to shut the (bleep) up, please.”
Later, over dinner at the kitchen table, Melinda and Aunt Donna ended up in a heated argument over Uncle Michael’s comment. Melinda to Aunt Donna “I think (his comment was) inconsiderate, unselfish – inselfish – selfish.” That a girl, Melinda, third time’s a charm. But I think the word you were looking for was “rude”. And remember, he did say “please.” Rob calmly tells us that he was the voice of reason in the situation. “I did my best to interject and let them know “you are sitting here yelling about nothing.” We’re then shown footage of him interjecting with “Oh, shut the (bleep) up! Shut up! Shut up! Really, it’s over.” To Melinda, “Shut up!” To Aunt Donna, “Shut up!” To both, “Over.” It seems that being the voice of reason in this family requires dropping the f-bomb. Good to know.
The unarmed battle of wits between Melinda and Uncle Inselfish’s wife reached such a crescendo that Andrew the butler made an appearance, letting them know that the rest of the family had asked him to inform them to keep it down.
Aunt Donna lets us know that Melinda “was blown away that (Uncle Michael) would speak to her that way, But Melinda being who Melinda is, it’s understandable.” If anyone understands what that means, drop me an email.
After dinner, Uncle Michael approached Melinda on the couch, said “I’m sorry I yelled” and kissed her on the forehead. Five minutes later, while the family was smoking on the back porch, Robert playfully wrestled Melinda to the ground. Melinda let out a shriek, and Uncle Michael wise-cracked “Melinda, shut the (bleep) up.” A good laugh was had by all. Except Melinda, who went into sulk-mode again.
Andrew: “The staff is in agreement that the whole family sort of lives in fear of Uncle Michael.” D’ya think?
Robert tells us that he almost feels a leadership role, being the first loser and all. He has no idea how he’s going to get back in the game. I mention this only because you’ll want to keep it in mind when we get to the part where they decide who goes before the board. File it away in your back pocket and carry on. Sort of a déjà vu moment for you there, eh?
With Friends Like This…
Once again the time has come to determine who will go before the Trustees this week. George meets with the five remaining family members who are still eligible to win the million dollar prize. He instructs each of them to take one of the five metal briefcases on the table before them, but not to open them. Ten thousand dollars has been distributed unevenly in the five cases. In turn, each person must enter a room where the ousted family members will try to persuade the bearer of the briefcase to give them the case. The family member that ends up with the most money will get to keep the money, and will decide which two people should go before the Board.
First to run the gauntlet is Uncle Michael. Anthony and Aunt Donna were the most vocal in trying to persuade him to give up his briefcase.
Anthony: “I’m your semen, I am your everything!”
Aunt D to Anthony: “I’m his soul-mate!”
Aunt D to Uncle Michael: “I’m the only one that can give you pleasures none of them can.” Sorry, I forgot to provide you all with a TMI Alert there.
Anthony: “With that money I could buy better ones for you!”
Uncle Michael leaves the room to make his decision.
Next up is Cousin Ed. Maria points out that she saved him from the sinking boat last week. Anthony reminds Ed that he is Ed’s godson. Aunt Donna asks Ed “Who saves your mental life the most Ed?” It sure as hell isn’t one of these people, I’ll wager.
Ed leaves and Cousin Mike enters. This should be interesting, since nearly everyone has hung Mike out to dry at one point or another. The best Aunt Donna could manage was “Who’s known you the longest?” Weak. Maria hits home with “Who else knows how it feels to be an outsider?” Gee, I wonder who’s going to get his briefcase?
The comments that were made to try to persuade Dawn Marie were shameless. You’ll remember that last week, Anthony blasted DM for crying to get off the boat. This week he pulls an about-face with “”I’m always on your side, You know I always got your back.” Yeah, so you can stick a knife in it. Robert, who saved DM from the boat last week, already has the inside track, but he adds “I love you. I stick up for you. I’ve got your back all the time.”
Last up is Jill. Anthony attempts a feeble “We share a birthday.” If that works, I’m calling Monica Bellucci and asking a favor, because well, we share a birthday. Rob tells Jill “You’re my best friend.”
Their decisions made, everyone assembles for the great briefcase exchange.
Uncle Michael gives his case to his son Anthony because “I just got a sense that he was the most sincere.” Right, UM. We know the real reason; soul-mates come and go, but a son willing to buy his dad a hooker comes along once in a lifetime.
Aunt Donna is the lucky recipient of Ed’s case. Maria tells us “The fact that he didn’t give me the briefcase really pissed me off.” And there it is! You knew we couldn’t go an entire episode without someone using our favorite case phrase! Aren’t you glad you hung in this far?
Mike tries to easy Maria’s pissed-off-ed-ness, and gives her his case.
Dawn Marie and Jill, suckered by the “I love you” and “You’re my best friend” lines, both give their briefcases to Robert.
At long freakin’ last, they open the cases. Anthony’s contains $0 – bwahahahahaha. Sorry, I should try to stay more composed than that. Aunt Donna has $2,100. Maria gets $2,400, and Rob wins $5,500 and the right to name who goes before the board. He’s going to choose Ed and Uncle Michael. I mean, that’s who he told us needed to go before the board way back at the beginning of this interminable story, right? He tells us “My plan was Uncle Michael and Ed, but it was a tough decision.” He then decides “Ed and Jill.”
Later, Robert tries to explain his actions to Jill. “I’m trying to create two sides – my side and Uncle Michael’s side. If I put him in the kitchen I’m fearful he might counteract some of the things I’m working on to get back in the game.” Wait a minute – isn’t this the same Robert that said “I have no strategy” and “I have no idea how I’m going to get back in the game”? The only part of his statement to Jill that rings true is that he’s fearful of his Uncle. Rob further states that he didn’t want to win this decision. Oh, come on, just how stupid do you think Jill is? Oh, never mind. He digs the hole deeper by telling Jill “Trust me.”
George takes the names before the SBoT. Franck comments that Jill is not really in the game, and is always late. Ringo feels that she acts like she’s on vacation instead of in a competition. Jill Swid points out that Jill has complained the least. Ringo reveals that Ed has manipulated the Board. “He cornered me and asked how to garner favor with the staff.” Could it be that Cousin Mike isn’t the only one who has figured things out?
The family gathers before George to hear the results of the Board’s decision. The sixth member of the family to be denied access to the million dollar fortune is Jill, who glares viciously at her betrayer.
As we close this week, Jill makes it very clear to all that she no longer trusts Robert. “Rob will die slowly in his sleep tonight.” Watch out Robert, Jill is going to glare you to death.
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