It’s The Feel Good Episode of the Summer.
For all the grim uncertainty surrounding the cliffhanger ending to last week’s Celebrity Rehab, this week took a quick turn to the postitve as we were finally allowed to see the sweet, caring side of our celebrities which, it turns out, is more sickening to watch than vomit splaying detox scenes.
It starts out with the much anticipated Mindy McCready seizure which is covered with relentless completeness. In fact, after seeing her go spare and slide off the bed twitching at least 8-15 times in the show’s first 5 minutes I felt my own brain start to lock up and my vision turn all white at edges. Enough already. Of course, while McKenzie Phillips, after a few minutes giggling at McCready realizes what’s going on, starts screaming and running for help, the camera man closes in for some really juicy close ups of the convultions, the spitting and drooling and animalistic grunting. It’s awe inspiring, for sure.
In the end, the trusty man boob sporting resident tech Will comes in to cushion her head and calms things down for everyone. Eventually McCready is taken out on a gurney to the hospital, sobbing, and someone wakes up Dennis Rodman (who has slept through the entire episode) who heroically rushes out to the ambulance to comfort her and tell her “We’ll pray for you.” Touching, I know.
But that’s just the beginning of the love we get to see in this one, folks. Mindy returns to the Rehab Center in the wee hours of the same night, seizure fre ebut with a dislocated shoulder, to be embraced by Phillips who welcomes her back to the room they share. It’s tender and loving but you can see the terrified look on McKenzie’s face is like, “Christ, are we going to have a spastic episode every other night in this peace hole now?” McCready tells us how moved she is by Rodman’s show of tenderness.
Then, it’s Friends and Family night as each resident gets a visit from someone close to them, except for Heidi Fleiss who, we learn, is only really close to birds, not people. She lives in the desert with over 20 parrots and toucans and what not, remember? Apparently they couldn’t catch a flight for this one. The highlight, then, is Mike Starr, no longer a greasy bag of hatred and angst, who shows us all how he has the mind of an 11 year old boy as his “friend” (who looks like he might be the moderator of an online Mike Starr fan forum) brings Mike a bag of his old picks from his Alice in Chains days and Starr goes around to the other folks in childlike glee handing them out, like anyone cares. “Have a Mike Starr pick. Mike Starr, AIC.” People humor him the way they would a 4 year old distributing bits of construction paper the kid had cut up.
This all ends fairly well, though. And from then on it’s the Tom Sizemore Sweat Show.
The man can sweat, folks. We see only a teasing preview of things to come in this episode as, whenever the questions become a little difficult, Tom turns on the Head Faucets. This is not a well person, people. Days, weeks, years, of constant meth abuse have turned him into a rambling, shambling mess. He wanders into the program, disjointed, confused, shaky and manic. He looks like pure living hell and yet he carries a recent newspaper and likes to discuss how the press is “crucifying” him again. Hrm. Gee, Tom, whatever sort of negative stuff would they have to report on?
The interesting part of his arrival is how, even there amongst the sticky residue at the bottom of the Hollywood barrel, there remains a heirarchy. Sizemore comes in and spots Dennis Rodman, runs over to him like an autograph hound, pressing the flesh, chatting excitedly, looking up like a true fan. Rodman feeds off the vibe, looking distracted and annoyed, treating him like another shmuck he met outside Chicago Stadium back in the day.
Then, up runs little boy Mike Starr for his own fan moment, hopping about as if to say, “Tom Sizemore’s here! Tom Sizemore’s here!” Now Tom has his chance to turn the tables as he inquires who Starr is and gives him the looking-down-from-above vibe that he’d just received from Rodman. It’s good to see that the system remains in place even at this disfunctional level so a person always knows their place.
In this case the order being: 1. Has-Been Former NBA Star 2. Drugged Out Failed Film Actor 3. Washed Up Ex-Rock Bassist.
Know. Your. Role.
The episode wraps up with Heidi Fleiss, the woman Sizemore was sentenced to a 16 month prison term for abusing, rushing to embrace her former smack-down paramour upon his arrival, calling him, “Doggy, Doggy.” Watching them embrace is stomach churning to say the least. The queasiness is short lived as Tom decides he’s not hanging out and rides off into the sunset for parts unknown. The fact that he showed up with a carry-on bag full of drugs maybe should have been the first clue that he wasn’t at the program for the long haul. Off into the night he rolls. Cue some pensive, philosophical Dr. Drew morality narration.
Next week: Some no-name ex-MTV reality show minor character goes apeshit. Can’t wait.