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August 20, 2014

John from Cincinnati: His Visit: Day Seven

by Julia Ward, posted Jul 30th 2007 2:32AM
JC Episode 8

(S01E08)
Zippy, Zippy, Zippy, can we talk? I'm hoping you can telepathically help me out here. You're the great "cruise director" after all. We've got two episodes left, and we're heading towards something big. Shaun is going to be "gone," Barry (and his buddy Teddy) are building a theater while David Milch yells mean things at them over "The Tennessee Waltz," Bill and Freddie have teamed up and John has gone all cosmic internet stalker with the help of a trance-like Cass. Help a sister out, Zip. What the hell is going on here?

John has turned from harmless to threatening, and not just because he bares his teeth at Tiki statues. We don't know if John's father means well. This is pretty firmly in keeping with both the Book of Revelations and stories like Mark Twain's Mysterious Stranger where the nature of good and evil are relatively complicated affairs. I find it interesting that everyone has just plain accepted that John is superhuman in some way, but I guess seeing a guy commit hara-kiri and suffer no wounds will convince even the skeptics.

Let's do a quick count. Who's not having visions now? Or, if not visions, telepathic conversations, levitating spells or one shot resurrections? We can add Barry and Freddy to the visionary list. Poor Barry even seemed to pull Shaunie into his sad nightmare in an abstract, Twin Peaks-y kinda way. Hearing the things we can assume the man who molested Barry said to him when he was young was heartbreaking. I'd probably still be talking to my teddy, too, if I had experienced that barrage of messed-up insults.

There was just too much going on in this episode that made zero sense so I'll just say that I felt for our girl Kai, so unappreciated and now avoiding her own "sometimes you just need to stick around" advice. I'm also glad to see that Cissy booted Mitch, and that Butchie hit the waves. The surfing sequence that opened the show was great. When they do bother to ride the waves on this show, they capture the experience in an especially naturalistic way.

And, the symbol. Yes, the symbol. Most folks on the John from Cincinnati boards at HBO think of it as the "Monad" symbol. I've also heard stick symbol, binary code for "zeroes and ones" and, from one of our commenters last week, an antenna. Hell. Dessert topping? Floor wax? You're both right.

Here's hoping we get some sweet elucidation over the next two episodes. I don't need concrete answers. I'm comfortable with the other shoe dropping several navel-gazing conversations and a bottle of wine later, but I wouldn't mind knowing if John's father's words are intended to help or hurt us.

Does John's father mean well?
Yes146 (77.7%)
No42 (22.3%)

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foot

!. Ed O'Neil won the Emmy by the third episode. Any other nominees in his category should be embarassed and ask to have their names withdrawn.
2. TV has yet to write / produce a decent, believable junkie. Sorry Butchie... (they probably hired Jerry Stahl, or some other SoCal wannabe as their "consultant"; if you want authentic doper cool, you need a true NYC junkie)
3. Luis is getting rather large, but he's the second strongest actor in a cast with several good actors, and one or two greats.
4. Willie G. (Dickstein) seems to be reprising the same character he played on Stargate (only without the space travel and alien upbringing.) But can he play anything other than "the most pathetic / annoying man in the room"?
5. How many viewers were driven away by Cissy?
6. How many shows that only lasted 10 episodes are responsible for at least three new phrases that dominate pop culture? ( and that are being heard absolutely everywhere this summer - Bill's triple Jesus rant, Bill's "I got my eye on you" and, yes, Bill's "No more parrot talk")
7. Whoever makes the renew / cancel decisions at HBO is this year's biggest fucktard! (that's fucking retard for anyone from Texas...)
8. did the writers really need to mention Cissy's handjob on 13 year old Butchie almost every episode? Like we needed another reason to hate that ultra-bitch character?
8. I cancelled both Showtime AND Hobo on Tuesday.

August 15 2007 at 10:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mick

10. The figure seems to be from a game of "hangman".

August 06 2007 at 6:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mick

The figure seems to be from a game of "hangman".

August 03 2007 at 12:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
David

Wow, I really disagree with the comments about poor acting skill. Other than Grayson Fletcher (who clearly cannot act), the rest of the troupe is doing a fantastic job performing REALLY DIFFICULT characters. From Barrie the Fairy to Butchie to Bill, this cast is handling unique, troubled, erratic character sketches. I've written before, and continue to believe, that both Brian Van Holt (Butchie) and Ed O'Neil (Bill) are giving Emmy-worthy performances. Even Rebecca De Morney, whose character so many of us despise, is doing a wonderful acting job. You think it's easy to be that angry that often? I don't.

This show is weird in a not-so-good way, and I'm actually relieved that it's coming to an end soon. I do not think HBO will renew it, so I'm just hoping we get a satisfactory ending.

August 02 2007 at 8:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dkny

I am begining to think John is a messenger and Shawn is the second comming of Jesus - John is more of an angel. I can't imagin Jesus being so lost after all he was quite a comunicator back in the day.

As for the symbol - it's a stick figure of a person not anything to crazy but I guess (or at least I hope) we'll find out soon

August 01 2007 at 2:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ted

The symbol looks like a peace symbol that has been taken apart. When the pieces are put back together it could mean that "Man" is at peace...

July 30 2007 at 8:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dan

Okay few thoughts from southern cali...

1. I do not know why I watch this show. It makes the frustration I have from watching LOST seem trivial. I sit and watch and when it was over I thought " what am I watching ?" I have no clue, but yet it strangely makes me watch week after week.

2. Ed O'Neil deserves an award for this show. I think his acting is superb. Just hearing him scream "jesus christ, jesus christ, jesus christ .... " somehow is amusing in a way that he is so far removed from the character ingrained in our minds of Al Bundy. He is just captivating to watch ... well my opinion at least.

3. Sissy Yost - hmm - I never pay attention to people's acting abilities - but there seems to be lack thereof here ... there is a 'cheese' factor which seem unexplicable when she is on screen that annoys me.

4. I bet these people wish they were on an Island and we're 'lost'. at least - they would have a clear goal in sight. Here, in Imperial Beach...phewww they are beyond "lost" in all its meanings..no pun intended.

That's it from southern cali... Dan
surfandsand2007@yahoo.com

July 30 2007 at 4:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Quint Jaws

John from Cincinatti is supposed to be the second coming of Jesus Christ. JC? Got it? His father is God and when he speaks of his father that is who he is talking about. Since his arrival, everyone has healed in some way or another.

July 30 2007 at 1:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andrew

This show has finally lost me. Not only is the acting skill dramatically lacking in some of the main characters. The characters don't talk to each other. They talk in this cryptic shorthand thats getting real annoying. This worked in a show like Deadwood because there was actually something going on. This show has had zero payoff so far. I don't care one bit if any of these losers "see god." I'm out!

July 30 2007 at 10:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steve

I just don't get how Cissy, who had that powerful conversation with John just a day or so ago in show-time, can suddenly think John is there to harm Shaun. The man showed up, and since then Butchie is clean and surfing again, Shaun was able to heal instantly from a fatal injury, and then the guy saved her life and talked some good honest sense into her.

Of course, we do not remember his father's words, so does that mean Cissy doesn't remember their conversations at the kitchen window?

July 30 2007 at 9:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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