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/2011-02-22 14:46:39

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Episode Five Point One Surround Sound

And welcome back for the fifth installment of Baccano!, the only show ever produced by the Baccano! Production Committee. I'm your host, Solidus "Snake" /! We begin this time with a few corrections. First, the Adepts of Sir Huey Laforet do actually have a name. They're called the Lemures, as I would have known if I had bothered to read my own liveblog. Second, I did actually mention VGC during the boarding sequence, and I even posted a picture of her. Third, the original version of this article reported that the video for "Buried Alive" was recorded in Hanoi. It was actually created by the band Hanoi Rocks. The editors apologize for these errors.

And now, we return to our regularly scheduled programming.

It's 1931, where Jacuzzi Splot is crying while backed against a wall in some factory complex, with three men in black pointing guns at him. Jacuzzi would like to settle things peacefully and without violence, but as we all know, that sort of thing only works if you're the one with the weapons. See: global diplomacy, truth of, the. One MIB is a bit miffed by this entire situation, but the wanted poster his colleague is holding doesn't lie... except for the part where its faces don't have liters of tears streaming down them.

But what do you expect from an episode called "Jacuzzi Splot Cries and Is Scared  *


We once again return to the Flying Pussyfoot, already in progress. Jacuzzi stumbles upon the dead bodies of two conductors in the back of the train, just as he did a couple of episodes ago, because this is the exact same scene that was portrayed then. Well, as they say, repetition is the key to learning. This is a lesson that Jacuzzi has clearly taken to heart, as he says, "It's here! It's too late! It's already caught up!" in the finest tradition of redundant expositors the world over.

Nice and Donny have caught up with Jacuzzi in the meantime, which garners another repetitive expression of relief from the latter. Unfortunately, Nick has been grabbed by the Adept Lemures, whom Nice supposes are train robbers. Really, girl, you're going to just assume the worst of them? They only grabbed Nick out of the hallway as he was yelling in panic—that's no reason to believe they're robbers. They might just have been fed up with the noise, you know? It's not like the conductors are in any position to take care of complaints, what with their being dead and all.

Jacuzzi returns to his panic about Rail Tracer, until gunshots ring out from the front of the train, triggering an outflow of questions about their origin. I'm sure it's just an NRA social.

A side trip to the factory complex informs us that Jacuzzi was the leader of a gang of delinquents. Is? Tense is so annoying. Was so annoying. Will be so annoying? Oh, whatever. Eight of his friends have been killed, and so he's taken on the Russo family in retaliation.

By "take on", of course, I mean "let them hit him with the butt of a pistol and then kick him as he lies on the ground with drool running from his mouth." Such admirable qualities in a leader.

Back on the train, Jacuzzi lists off the names of everyone he's met while on board, and convinces himself that he can't run away, or they'll be done in. So instead he decides to take on the Lemures and Rail Tracer. This sounds admirable until you realize that, given his track record of picking feasible targets, things don't look so good for him. Given his track record of being a tear-filled underdog with a sympathetic mission, though...

There's another shot of a train, but this time it's passing through the railyard in the factory complex, where Jacuzzi continues to be cornered against a wall. He yells for the three men in black to put their guns down, as he doesn't want to kill them. The MIBs understandably attempt to sit him down for a language lesson on the difference between passive and active voice. "Okay, so the subject of the sentence is you, Jacuzzi, but since the actor isn't—it's us—you need to use the passive voice here. See what happens when you diagram the sentence on the blackboard here? The structure's completely different."

Unfortunately, their attempts at education are cut short when Donny and friends show up to kill them and save Jacuzzi. Teachers are really underappreciated in American society, aren't they? After incapacitating the thugs, Nice tosses in a small bomb, giving us some nice fireworks. Jacuzzi, for his part, just tells all of his friends to run away. Again.

Hello from 1930! Mr. Barnes, having just reformed his body from a brutal savaging at the hands of those street toughs, wakes up on a couch in Master Quates' secret underground lair. Somewhat bizarrely, the conversation turns to how the Master and his followers can kill a man who has just demonstrated a remarkable immunity to being killed. Quates questions Ennis about why she, a mere homunculus of his creation, defied his orders to kill him, something to which she has no satisfactory answer. Prior to breaking out the torches and pitchforks, though, Quates interrogates Barnes about the warehouse fire and what happened to the Cure-All Elixir, by which I mean absorbs Barnes' body through his hand and commandeers his memories for himself. I have a feeling this isn't investigative SOP.

Quates sends Ennis after the four men who took the potion, but not before telling her that there's a different man looking for her. The flashbacks she gets seem remarkably like those of a distressed damsel being saved by her prince. It's romantic, but they're actually Barnes' memories. I'll leave you to work out the implications of that by yourself. On her way up the stairs, Ennis finally notices that her suit sleeve is missing a button.

A telephone ring announces the arrival of 1931. You see, during the Great Depression, nobody could afford to pull off extravagant Times Square ball drops, so this is what they had to resort to. Of course, Dick Clark was hosting the proceedings even then. He really is that old.

The head of the Runorata clan is on the phone with Senator Beriam, who is furious that there's been no good information on the whereabouts of Dallas Genoard. The boss pins fault for this on his underlings, whose inability to give $500 to the Wikimedia Foundation the Daily Days meant that there wasn't enough funding for the addition of geolocation capabilities. The boss decides to go to the Days himself, supposing that he'll have better luck than mere lackeys. Too bad you're still non-notable.

Senator Beriam jumps to a meeting with some guy whose name I don't know, asking how exactly Dallas Genoard got his hands on the immortality concoction. Mystery Fellow notes that Dallas' version was incomplete, as it doesn't defend against aging, and that Sir Huey Laforet is in jail, giving the Senator an opportunity to take the upper hand.

Tch. Lobbyists.

Firo, in an underground chamber, is being initiated as a Camorrista: a member of the Camorra, founded in an Italian prison. The firm now has 4,700 outlets in all 50 states and 27 countries, selling pizza renowned for quality and—

Oh, sorry, no, the initiator is in fact informing Firo that he might end up in prison too, or dead at the hands of someone he once called a friend. "Right foot in prison, left foot in the grave," he says. Man, for all the repute of the Camorra brand, these guys don't seem very good at marketing. You're in New York—I'm sure you can find an advertising company that'll give you a fresh new image. I hear Facebook's great for reaching out to young people.

"Right hand for glory, left hand for suicide."

These men don't let any appendages go to waste, do they? I bet they make the monkey members use their tails for janitorial work.

"Firo, if your father killed our allies, would you be willing to turn your hand against him and kill him in return?"


"... You know, you can still turn back now!"

Seriously, guys, hire a firm.

That's all for this time, readers. Next time: Does Firo decide to join an organization with a critical recruitment problem? The answer may surprise you.


Feb 22nd 2011 at 4:44:22 PM
Okay by this point I'm positive that this is an elaborate prank at my expense. Over three times as many comments as installments, seriously?
Feb 23rd 2011 at 4:45:28 PM
At first, I didn't like Jacuzzi much, but he really grew on me (a bit like Isaac & Miria, although they grew somewhat faster) It's actually quite amazing how many characters there are, most of who that's likeable characters. Even Ladd :P
Feb 26th 2011 at 1:18:05 AM
Ladd's the sort of guy who's a lot of fun to watch from a safe distance.

The other side of the fiction/reality divide is probably far enough.