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September 1, 2014

John from Cincinnati: His Visit: Day Five

by Julia Ward, posted Jul 16th 2007 2:29AM
John from Cincinnati DAY FIVE

(S01E06)
Wow. Wow. Wow. That's it. That's the review. Wow. I think my brain blew a fuse. Last week's interminable bridge episode was totally worth it for this. The pay-off. Love it, or hate it. This is the show to be watching right now.

Let me apologize in advance. This review isn't going to be terribly long. We like to get our reviews up within a few hours after the show airs. That means I don't have much time to process what the hell just happened. Milch drove us straight into crazy town tonight, and I have no idea where to start. I suppose John's first out-of-body monologue is as good a place as any. From John to Cissy with love. A limited time offer. I felt for Cissy this week. All that self-loathing and pain, and now, we know why. We also know that John can astral project or float on the radio waves or manifest himself in case of emergency. John got around in this episode. He channeled Bill's dead wife. He said things Joe was only thinking in his head. He got Cissy to baptize a gun and staged some sort of divine Beckett play complete with spiral staircase and sax solo. Oh, and Room 24 certainly did bring out its dead. I'm still waiting for Meyer to get the world-rocking blowjob John predicted in the first episode, but otherwise, all of John's ramblings have come to fruition.

Poor Meyer. We met his fiance Daphne this week. He's afraid of her, which is sad. I'm getting a tiny bit overwhelmed by meeting all these new characters. I don't know what to make of the internet cafe folks or the recurring Vato, but you know, what are you going to do? The past is converging in this beachside bordertown, and we're all connected, and we all might just heal each other, and you know, whatever else John's "father" has in store.

I was blown away by a couple of performances this week. Brian Van Holt in his scene on the phone with Tina, and Paul Ben-Victor as Palaka. That scene between Butchie and Tina could have been gut-wrenchingly awful. It was melodramatic to an extreme, but Van Holt pulled it off - switching between rage and confusion and compassion. And, poor Palaka, got a little TLC. That was a nice scene. The doctor extended a hand, but it took Freddy to get him to accept it.

In other weirdness, Cass was inexplicably hungry, Linc got pulled back into the drama and Barry would apparently take Cissy as a mother over none at all. The biggest weirdness of all, however, was definitely the final set piece - what a massive mind f@ck. Cass' camera and John's "father's eyes" seem to know a version of the world with far less pain and recrimination. The past and the future slip and slide all over the place in John's mutterings, and the hell if I know what's going on. Anyone have any guesses on all that business about the line and the circle and the word on the wall and the stick and the mud and their hugeness?

This show has way more reference points for me in theater and dance than it does in conventional television. It's more like abstract art. No one answer. Open to interpretation. I don't find myself searching for spoilers on the show. I do, however, find myself pulling out old philosophy texts and thinking about the human condition. I guess that's something of an accomplishment for a TV show. Now that the "end is near" and the joker in the deck is starting to play his own cards, what are you making of John from Cincinnati?

Who is John's father?
God479 (78.4%)
David Milch and Kem Nunn27 (4.4%)
The Mothership23 (3.8%)
None of the Above82 (13.4%)

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HoldenOversoul

Someone mentioned Biblical references.

Numbers 9: 11-14
"[11] They are to celebrate it on the fourteenth day of the second month at twilight. They are to eat the lamb, together with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. [12] They must not leave any of it till morning or break any of its bones. When they celebrate the Passover, they must follow all the regulations. [13] But if a man who is ceremonially clean and not on a journey fails to celebrate the Passover, that person must be cut off from his people because he did not present the Lord's offering at the appointed time. That man will bear the concequences of his sin. [14] 'An alien living amoung you who wants to celebrate the Lord's Passover must do so in accordance with its rules and regulations. You must have the same regulations for the alien and the native born.'"

July 27 2007 at 4:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Johnny D

Mr. Rollins is the dead guy. He's the guy that raped Barry.

Not-Aleman is apparently the guy that Vietnam Joe left behind in Nam.

Not sure if there's a connection or not, but the real Winchell's Dozen is actually 14 doughnuts. It's their claim to fame. Buy the dozen, get 14. Does it have something to do with the 14 in 9-11-14?

Does anyone know any FBI cryptologists? ;-)

July 26 2007 at 6:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mike

TravisH said:

"In the future, Not-Aleman will meet his fate."

I think Not-Aleman is Link Stark, since he has not been mentioned much lately, except when JFC told him it is time for him to "get back in the game".

Something tells me, he is the anti-JFC. He seems like a liar. He definitely has not been portrayed in a favorable light, as have all the other major players.

July 18 2007 at 9:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Curious Winter

Is it possible that 9-11-14 is instead - Chapter 9 somewhere in the Bible and the verse is 11-14?

July 18 2007 at 4:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sonburn

@ TravisH

Wow man, nice summary. Very interesting points. Thanks :)

July 18 2007 at 1:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
TravisH

I found John’s speech transcribed here:

http://www.hbo.com/johnfromcincinnati/inside/?ntrack_para1=insidehbo2_image

I’m going to take a shot at deciphering it.

Everything hinges on what it means to “hear John’s Father.” If we can figure that out, then we’ve got the whole thing. I’m not sure “John’s Father” should be taken literally. I think to know or hear “John’s Father” is to achieve a great spiritual understanding of some sort.

JFC: "If my words are yours, can you hear my Father? Can Bill know my Father, keeping his eye on me? Can I bone Kai and Butchie know my Father instead?"

John only uses words he gets from others. So he is saying, “Using only your own words repeated back to you, can I communicate the message I am here to deliver to you? Can you read through what I am saying and get to the heart of why I am here?”

When he says, “Can Bill know my Father, keeping his eye on me?” The action “keeping his eye on me” is a descriptor, not a clue. It's like a native American name - Bill Keeping His Eye On Me. He’s just asking, “Can Bill achieve spiritual understanding?”

Can Kai, aka “I Bone Kai”, become enlightened?

Butchie Instead – Instead is a state of Butchie. Butchie in stead. Butchie keeping steady. Can Butchie achieve enlightenment keeping his current state of being? I don’t know Butchie Instead.

I don’t think John From Cincinnati is Jesus (although I do think the initials JFC are intentional) or a second coming, but I do think he’s a savior. I think he wants to bring people together and help them heal each other. Somehow in every episode, a large portion of the cast congregates in the motel parking lot at some point.

JFC: "My Father's shy doing his business. Kai helps my Father dump out. Bill takes a shot. Shaunie is much improved."

The path to understanding is not always clear. Kai helped “John’s Father” by helping John. Or, Kai helped John’s Father by telling Cissy to let Shaun see Tina (his mother) instead of keeping them apart. “John’s Father” wants these people to work it out and be together.

Bill took a shot - Bill was the first to take a leap of faith and believe in a mystical, spiritual higher power that he did not understand by taking Zippy to the hospital to kiss (and cure) Shaun. It worked - Shaunie is much improved.

About Tina – when her character was introduced in the previous episode, I empathized with Cissy and did not want her to get to Shaun. However, every character on the show has some fucked-up past that either haunts them internally or dogs them externally, and in this episode we saw that Tina is human and wants to get beyond her past like the rest of them, and we saw that Cissy is not in a position to throw stones herself, having molested Butchie.

JFC: "Joe is a Doubting Thomas. Joe will save Not-Aleman. Joe will bring his buddies home. This is how Freddy relaxes. Cup-o'joe, and Winchell's variety dozen."

Apparently, John can see events in the future. I’m not sure who “Not Aleman” is. Is it the Mexican that stabbed John? I think the Winchell's variety dozen is this eclectic, diverse group of people that John wants to bring together.

JFC: "Mitch catches a good wave. Mitch wipes out. Mitch wipes out Cissy. Cissy shows Butchie how to do that. Cissy wipes Butchie out. Butchie hurts Barry's head. Mister Rollins comes in Barry's face. My Father runs the Mega-Millions."

Mitch was lucky to have gained success with his surfing career early in life, but he was injured, and he let it ruin his marriage with Cissy because he could never get over it and became a different person.

When Cissy molested Butchie, obviously that drove Butchie to abuse drugs.

Butchie became a bully and beat up Barry when they were teenagers (Barry mentions this in episode one).

I guess Mr. Rollins is the guy who sexually abused Barry in room 24.

This is clearly the cycle of hurt, passing from one person to another. You hurt, so you hurt others, then they hurt and hurt others, etc.

JFC: "Fur is big. Mud is big. The stick is big. The word is big. Fire is huge. The wheel is huge. The line and circle are big. On the wall, the line and circle are huge. On the wall, the man at the wall makes a man from the circle and line. The man at the wall makes a Word on the wall from the circle and line. The Word on the wall hears my Father."

This appears to be about technology, language, literacy and enlightenment. When

July 17 2007 at 8:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Howard

D.C. - The dead guy on the toilet was the man that molested the lottery winner.

John was drawing a stick figure with no arms, not a peace sign. There are pics floating around with cast members wearing hats and t-shirts with the armless figures on them.

Cissy is my step mother, without the incest, but the character is her.

My personal take is that mankind is at a crossroads and this family/group was chosen to represent mankind. Each one of them is an archtype and, with the help of John from Cincinatti, will either show the good in mankind, or failing, unleash the end of days. JFC is either an angel or the second coming.

Just my take.

July 17 2007 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jayson Billington

It's not a piece sign that john is tracing. It is more like a stick figure with no arms. O-< The -< are not inside the circle he traces.

July 17 2007 at 12:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ben

John makes the peace sign with his foot in the dirt - watch it again, that's what it is....

July 17 2007 at 9:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Det. Cincinatti

Who is Mr. Rawlings? Who was the dead guy on the toilet?

July 17 2007 at 2:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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