Hello again, gentle readers!
It’s Thanksgiving and Max and Caroline are getting into the spirit! (Or are they?) Let’s follow their adventures again, shall we?
We begin at the end of yet another grueling day at the diner. Max flirts a little with GARRETT MORRIS (we’ve established that I will not call him, “Earl”, right? Because he is GARRETT MORRIS). GARRETT deflects Max’s charms with the aplomb of a true gentleman of the world.
Max and Caroline then compare their night’s earnings. It seems they are accumulating great tips because of Thanksgiving, though Max warns that once Christmas comes, everyone turns into misers. The two girls exchange differing Autumn memories while Han enters dressed as a low budget version of the Scarecrow from Wizard of Oz. He explains that he wants to decorate the diner this year.
After a few jokes about the intersections of Jewish and Christian holidays and how those intersections confuse immigrants, Caroline suggests that Han feed the homeless for Thanksgiving. Our two destitute heroines offer to work for free for the day and Oleg even offers to pay for the turkeys with the money he made selling cigarettes to underage children. GARRETT MORRIS will bring pie. Han has no choice but to go along with his staff’s charitable streak. Also, GARRETT MORRIS should always bring pie. That should be a rule for life.
We cut to the horse. Caroline is apologizing for not being able to give the horse a fancy coat this year. She explains that used blankets are coming back into style. The horse knows this is a lie, because the horse knows everything. The horse even knows that Caroline’s Pollyanna act is a defense mechanism against having to face the cold reality that her life has been razed to the ground. The horse knows so much that the horse knows that Caroline doesn’t know this about herself yet. The horse remains silent. Caroline must learn for herself. The horse is truly wise.
Caroline enters the kitchen, perkily demanding that Max teaches her how to bake. Max questions Caroline’s holiday cheer in the face of sheer poverty. Caroline chirps that money isn’t what makes Thanksgiving and Christmas special. Max loosely quotes Nas for her Christmas Card. At this point, Caroline does admit to missing the gay men who used to decorate her tree. Everyone would miss them.
The concept of feelings come up. Caroline informs Max that she will be visiting her dad in jail. Instead of admitting that seeing your father shamed and imprisoned is a depressing thing, Caroline deflects reality by making jokes about cavity searches.
Max asks Caroline to pour milk into the mixer. Hijinks ensue and the mixer is destroyed.
They need to buy a new mixer in order to keep the cupcake business afloat. Caroline is stunned to discover that CuisineArt mixers cost lots of money. She says she never looked at price tags before. She just pointed, pouted and the thing was bought. Max mocks her for her naivete and explains that her method of shopping involves pointing and then shoplifting. Then, Max shows Caroline the one mixer they can afford: a wooden spoon. Caroline will not give into reality. She decides that they will go become Santa World elves. Max resists, but Caroline wins, explaining that with the extra money they make by spreading holiday cheer, they can buy an upscale mixer for their cupcake business.
We cut to the girls sitting in a hallway with a bunch of other potential elves. Max is surly. Caroline chastises her for telling the hiring officer that she wanted to work in Santa’s sex toy workshop. Max gleefully milks the joke. We meet a peppy girl in a beret who is eager to befriend Caroline. The two nerd out over their favorite Christmas themed kitsch. She introduces herself as Mary aka “Mary Christmas”. Caroline gets a call from her dad. Sadness clouds her face. She explains to Max that Mr. Channing can’t face having her see him in jail. Before Caroline can recoup, Mindy Sterling arrives to announce they are elves and need to report at 3am on Black Friday.
It’s a commercial break. A MARIA BAMFORD TARGET AD comes up on my television. I AM ELATED.
Do you understand who Maria Bamford is? She’s more than the crazy lady who does Holiday target commercials. She is the greatest female stand up alive and a WOMAN FOR ALL SEASONS.
Do you notice the background of her commerical? She gets TWO cuisinearts! Why? BECAUSE SHE’s MARIA BAMFORD.
We’re back from commercial break and we’re back at the diner. Everyone is cleaning up after the free Thanksgiving dinner for homeless. Han thanks Caroline for the experience of having a heart for one night. Caroline, however, is sad and pouty. Her dad isn’t around. It’s 2am, which means they have to be at Santa World in an hour. Max reveals that she has two 9 hour energy drinks. Caroline takes a shot, before Max explains that it’s better to sip them. Hijinks are about to ensue.
We cut to the elf locker room. Max emerges dresses as a “North Pole dancer” and Caroline is acting like me on a combination of green tea, Diet Coke and wine–which is actually a pretty typical cocktail combination for me, so it’s frightening to catch a glimpse of myself in the depths of my own personal madness. Caroline whines that she wants to join the carolers in period costume, but Max reminds her that they are in this together. Caroline complains that the elf who had her tights before had a little extra gift being given to her. Max makes a “period costume” joke, but Caroline is freaking out. She is a “Christmas crack monkey”.
At this point, Mindy Sterling enters to tell Max that she needs her to be Mrs. Claus instead. Max abandons Caroline in elf land for an extra two dollars an hour. They are split up. Things never go well when our plucky heroines are split up.
Caroline is alone in front of the entrance to Santa World. She is a sad, besmirched elf assigned with the ever annoying Mary Christmas. We watch as Caroline turns into Max. She snaps at Mary. Her mind is fogged over by a combination of sadness, exhaustion, and chemicals. She feels abandoned and wants to lash out at the universe. We know understand more about Max through Caroline’s unraveling. It is fascinating to watch, and small children are watching. Caroline, in turn, watches the children and sees an innocent version of herself. She is enraged by their innocence.
Max enters dressed as Mrs. Claus. She tries to calm Caroline down, but all Caroline can talk about are holes. Holes! HOLES! Mindy Sterling overhears and is aghast that Caroline is talking about holes in front of children. I don’t know what’s so inappropriate about Holes. Holes is a great book for children.
Caroline is disillusion incarnate. Mary can’t handle it. She snaps and pushes her into a wall.
The girls are fired. Christmas seems to be dead.
They’re back at their apartment. Max and Caroline lean on each other and try to lick their wounds. They laugh when they realize that Mary has been even more disillusioned by today than either of them are. Max confronts Caroline about her emotional unraveling. Max also explains that Caroline doesn’t have nothing. She still has her horse. The horse enters. The horse knows all. The horse is all. The horse represents hope and friendship and what Christmas is all about.
Caroline smirks and reveals that she stole a spoon. And so, Caroline Channing has gone from a silver spoon to a wooden one. She also gave two dollars of their cupcake fund to the Salvation Army (but it’s okay, because the girls have each other and their friendship is solidified. Right? Right.)
They end the episode at $621.25.
The journey continues!
Happy Thanksgiving, gentle readers! Until next time!