Mark Watches ‘Dead Like Me’: S02E06 – In Escrow

In the sixth episode of the second season of Dead Like Me, George’s indecision over who to place at a company has disastrous effects on her and someone else. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to watch Dead Like Me.

Sweet babies 🙁

  • My heart. MY HEART.
  • Okay, let’s start off with some fun before we get into eternal sadness. As promised, I wanted to talk about the HILARITY I experienced as a store manager at Hot Topic. I had to interview applicants and screen them to whittle down the group to a more manageable size, and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I tried to be, generally speaking, a far less intimidating interviewer than was expected. I wanted people to be able to feel comfortable so I could get a sense for who they were and whether I saw a good fit for our store in the applicant.
  • This did absolutely nothing to stem the tide of PURE ABSURDITY that I was subjected to through this. For weeks, I spent most of my shift talking to people who were… mystifying? That’s the only way I know how to describe it. I just didn’t know people like this existed.
  • Okay, so, I want to point out that at the time I did this (I was 21), I hated job interviews. I still do. Like, I can’t imagine a situation that triggers my social anxiety worse than this. Wait, I take that back. I’m already imagining worse ones. THAT’S NOT THE POINT. The point is: I didn’t want to be shitty and make my interviews these horrible, traumatizing, anxiety-inducing events. Perhaps this is why so many people felt the need to be so weird with me, but you also have to remember that when you work a retail job, you meet some of the weirdest fucking people in the world.
  • I swear, I am not exaggerating about these stories.
  • One was a mother in her mid-30s who was slightly under-qualified and wasn’t knowledgable about anything we sold, but she had this infectious energy about her, so I gave her a second interview to go more in depth. She was a mother of three young kids. Then, two minutes later, she had one kid. Then she was taking care of her nephews. Then they were cousins. Then she wanted to have kids, so the job was really important to her so she could have kids. Then she said she wanted or had none of the above, and she really just had forty goats she needed to pay for. Then she took out her wallet to show me pictures of the goats, who were named after the dwarves in Snow White. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Mark, but she had forty goats and there are only seven dwarves.” She had that covered, y’all. She would name the goats (in order!) with the same name until she got to the eighth one, who would be “Sleepy the Second,” and then go through all the names right back to “Sleepy the Third” and so on, and then she told me I’d be killing her goats if I didn’t give her a job.
  • One guy, in the middle of the interview, reached into his backpack, pulled out a can of Miller Lite (EW WHAT THE FUCK DUDE, I HAD BEEN SOBER FOR FOUR YEARS AT THAT POINT AND EVEN I KNEW THAT MILLER LITE WAS DISGUSTING AND SHOULD NEVER BE WILLINGLY DRUNK), offered it to me, and when I refused, he said, “You don’t mind if I relax during this interview, do you?” He was escorted out of the mall about 45 seconds later.
  • One young girl baked the entire staff brownies. It was honestly super nice of her to do so, but we didn’t necessarily trust a stranger’s plate of brownies. She asked me as we sat down for the interview if I’d had one of her brownies, and I told her that I was vegan and couldn’t eat them. She burst into tears and then said, “So you care more about animals than you do my broken heart?” I sincerely wish I was joking.
  • The winner, though? A frequent customer of the store who we all suspected of being a shoplifter applied for a job, and surprisingly, he had good references and a decent amount of experience. My boss thought it was worth a shot to at least see what he was like. He was personable and kind, and he had fantastic knowledge of what Hot Topic sold. I kind of liked him, despite that I went into the interview not wanting to like him.
  • I finally asked him what he thought he’d bring to our store if we hired him. He smiled confidently, leaned forward, and said that it would be totally worth it for us to hire him because then he could stop stealing from us. Confused (but slightly curious), I did my best not to react much to what he’d just said, so I asked him what he meant by that. And he told me that if he got a job at our store, he’d take advantage of the employee discount so he wouldn’t feel so bad about spending money at the store. “You know,” he said, “so I don’t go broke buying stuff there.” When I asked for clarification about what exactly he would buy, he opened his backpack to show me a collection of t-shirts and Lord of the Rings merchandise that he had stolen just before his interview, and he explained that we’d make so much more money from him if we just hired him.
  • I excitedly told him that this seemed like a great idea and excused myself, telling him that I would go get my other manager to interview him right then, as he clearly was the right candidate for us. So, as he sat there, smug and pleased with his chances, I walked straight to mall security, explained what was going on, and then the Downey police showed up, and he got arrested in the food court, and the guy didn’t say a single word to me.
  • I cannot make this shit up, y’all. I can’t.
  • Largely, what I saw in “In Escrow” is barely a joke. I HAVE MET PEOPLE LIKE THIS AND EVEN WEIRDER WHILE CONDUCTING INTERVIEWS. That is also why it’s kind of irritating to me that the writers use bodily humor for the first guy (which was funny enough), then make it about poking fun at someone with a genuine illness? Why couldn’t the farts just be farts? Why did the writers suddenly have to go, “Hehe, IBS is really funny“? What a distracting and jarring moment. I don’t understand why they had to make this the focus of the joke aside from the fact that… I don’t know? If you’re planning on writing a book or writing for a show, could you not make illness or disorders the butt of your jokes? THANKS, THIS IS APPRECIATED GREATLY BY ALL PARTIES INVOLVED.
  • Anyway, “In Escrow” takes an unexpected turn as the writers show us what it’s like for various characters to exist in a state of the unknown. George is frozen with indecision as she struggles to choose which applicant to give a job. That I appreciated! It’s not an easy thing to hold that kind of power, and in George’s case, it’s not like any of the three applicants doesn’t deserve the job. All three are qualified, and all three need it. George’s inactivity has multiple ramifications. In the immediate sense, the company doesn’t get the temp they need on the day they requested it, and you can tell that Delores is disappointed in George. In a horrible twist of irony, though, she discovers that the man she did choose – the immigrant doctor – is sent to his death. Granted, it’s not George’s fault that the man dies, but holy shit, IT’S SO FUCKED UP.
  • I found the Lass’s storyline just as fascinating and devastating. As Joy’s house goes into escrow, she flirts with the idea of another life. This is a great follow-up to “The Shallow End,” in that Joy realizes that there might be hope for happiness in her post-divorce existence. It’s nice to see her discover that she’s still an attractive woman, that people value her time, and that she has sex appeal. Angelo represents more than just a super hot guy pining for her attention; he is the gatekeeper for this whole urban life that Joy hasn’t had in a long time. (If ever!) Even Reggie finds the loft that they look at quite enticing. At the same time, Reggie has a traumatizing experience after her babysitter (OH MY GOD IT’S CALLY) leaves her alone at the house. It’s frustrating that this happens because it serves as this painful reminder of the difficulties of being a single parent. And how long has Joy been single? A few days at most? And now she’s going to have CPS visiting her, questioning her competence as a parent. Ugh, could this end well? Please? That would be great. Because mostly, I feel really sad for what Joy is going through.
  • Mason! Mason. God, he’s growing on me. I have, generally speaking, enjoyed him as a character, flaws and all. He’s entertaining, though I have pointed out that I feel like the writers have made him the butt of the joke more often than not. However, like Daisy, I’m enjoying the chance to see him mature. Granted, it’s a slow growth, but he keeps doing these really sweet, respectful things for the people he reaps. Ever since he gave his house to Daisy and George, we’ve seen him continue to open up to other people. In this case, Mason reaps the soul of a man he idolized, and it’s a frightening flashback to how Mason died all those years ago. Well, maybe not so much for Mason, and that’s what I enjoyed here. Mason’s excitement to meet his rock god idol never wanes. It’s really flattering? Mason doesn’t care how this man turned out. He still respects and worships him for what he did, so much so that he’s willing to break the rules to help the man out after he’s died. At the same time, there’s that fascinating moment afterwards where Mason plays the record of the infamous concert he attended, and it sounds… well, horrible. In this case, Mason’s memory of that day is more pure than actual reality. But it doesn’t seem to bring him down, and you know… I respect that.
  • The episodes I’ve watched this week are damn good, y’all, and I’m really stoked about season two of Dead Like Me.

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Mark Links Stuff

– I have been nominated for a Hugo in the Fan Writer category! If you’d like more information or to direct friends/family to vote for me, I have a very informational post about what I do that you can pass along and link folks to!
I have announced what the next books I am reading on Mark Reads will be, as well as updated y’all on the events, cons, tour dates, GOING TO EUROPE OH MY GOD, and general shenaniganry going on in my life. I have a similar post up on Mark Watches, detailing the next two shows I’m doing as well as the return of Double Features, and I finally explain what happened with my Vimeo account. Check these posts out!
- Mark Reads Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is now published and available for purchase! It’s available in ebook AND physical book format, and you can also get a discount for buying the ENTIRE SET of digital books: $25 for 7 BOOKS!!!
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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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