Wet Hot American Summer recap: Electro/City
“As the stars start to twinkle, those of you who dig a little drama with your tunes should head over to the theater,” our good man Arty (alias: the Beekeeper) tells us. He’s right: It’s 7:30 p.m., time for Electro/City. This might be one of the best episodes of the season, so let’s jump right into it.
The Cabin in the Woods: After getting her boob touched by J.J, Lindsay goes back to Eric’s cabin to get closer to her subject. Too close, one might say. (Also she said it.) Sure, she helps him unlock the tormented musician’s pent-up creative juices and guides him to finishing the song of a lifetime — but at what cost? The chemistry between them is heating up, and she knows she has to cut him loose. It’s all in the name of journalism.
So she runs, runs from the cabin — from Eric — and back to Camp Firewood.
The Love Triangles: We’ve got at least two love triangles on our hands coming together now to form a steamy Star of David of passion. They, in fact, are parallel to each other.
First there’s Coop-Donna-Yaron. Coop, who’s dressed like if Slash shopped at Bonobos, is still trying to squeeze in between Yaron and Donna. The thing is, Yaron doesn’t mind. He wants them all to squeeze together. The triangle, after all, is the strongest shape.
Down in the little leagues, there’s the Kevin-Amy-Drew situation. Like Coop, Kevin gets stuck sitting with both of them at the musical.
Electro/City: As a friend of mine texted me, “Electro/City might be one of the best musicals… ever?” Indeed! The opening song-and-dance number is dazzling, Andy is phenomenal as the doomed country-bumpkin protagonist, John Early’s meta-theater kid lays it own delightfully thick, and Katie’s chemistry with her co-lead is apparent to everyone.
Also great is Andy’s closing number: “Yes I am dead / Yes I am a ghost / But I still got the one thing I wanted the most / It’s youuuuuuuuu,” which leads to the Big Leap — and it is as glorious as promised. Furthermore, it brings the two of them closer together. Their bond is so strong, the kids can all the way across the lake at Camp Tigerclaw can feel it. (More on that later.)
McKinley and Ben and Susie: Electro/City‘s other stars are the zoot suit boys, Ben and McKinley. “In my mind, you look so cute / Wrapped up with your arms around my zoot suit / Zoot, zoot / Suit.” The song is brilliant, clearly, but more importantly, it leads to Ben and McKinley’s first kiss.
So now both Ben and Susie have stepped out on each other, and they both feel guilty about it. So they confess, in unison. Like most Wet Hot break-ups, the end of Susie and Ben’s relationship happens amicably and is more or less completely forgotten within seconds.
Gail and Jeff and Gene: Speaking of which: During intermission, Gail and Jeff run into Gene outside. They catch-up on each other’s lives, make sure everyone’s been doing okay since the wedding (which was a couple of hours ago). All of this makes Gail realize that only fools rush in—and she comes to the conclusion that she and Jeff should get a divorce. Jeff doesn’t mind at all.
Camp Tigerclaw: Over across the lake, the Tigerclaw Formal is in full swing. But Blake and his boys are still glued to their binoculars, spying on Camp Firewood as they snack on their s’mores hors d’oeuvres. (Regular s’mores are for peasants, of course.) As they watch Electro/City unfold, it dawns on them that Katie won’t be coming after all. She’s chosen that Firewood scum Andy over her own kind.
This means war.
Xenstar: Beth and Greg’s young lawyer Jim Stansel might be better than expected. During a heated negotiation with Xenstar’s army of lawyers, he stands his ground firmly, rejecting their offer of $5 million. So the case goes to trial, tonight.
Which sounds great, until Stansel has a breakdown very early into the trial. He can’t do it — he doesn’t have the confidence. But thanks to some reassurance from Beth (not to mention undeniably compelling evidence from Steve), he works up the courage to march into the courtroom and win the trial in spectacular fashion.
During his victorious press conference, Stansel soaks up the spotlight and horses around with the admiring reporters. Beth and Greg look on proud. Everything is coming up Firewood.
Two seconds later, both Jim and Greg are dead on the floor with bullets in their heads. It was the work of the Falcon.
This means war.
Best Lines (You Know, From Before):
Lindsay: Did he still play music, or does his music haunt him? How does he get groceries?
Claude Dumay: I could eat a whole sheet cake!
Andy: Katie, remember when I farted on you and you fell in love with me? Remember that? Remember how you smiled?
Andy: You know what we had for dinner at my house? Nothing. And sometimes chicken.
Susie: Places! Places! Places!
McKinley: Technically, we’re in a place.
Beth and Greg: Yes?
Judge: I meant Mr. Stansel.
Gail: It’s our first date as a married couple.
Jeff: Also ever.
Eric: [pretty much every single thing he said, who knew Chris Pine was this funny??]
Ben: Sorry, Susie, I had no idea until I stepped into the zoot suit.
Jim Stansel: We’ll see you later, tonight, in court.
Graham: I warned you what happens when you digging in the trash, Blake. You get trash all over your hands. And arms.
Courtney: Oh my God… Electro/City is such a cruel place to live!
Andy: You’ve got a boyfriend, and I’m just some guy who farts in your face and makes you smile.
Katie: I guess that’s what actors do. They play the part, right?
Jim Stansel: The case today wasn’t about the big guy versus little guy, or right versus wrong. It was about believing in yourself.
Greg: Beth, you saved the camp… now, save the can.