Author: Stormkpr PM
A look at the events during the episode 'Roxy Rumbles', from Pizzazz's point of view. COMPLETERated: Fiction K+ - English - Words: 2,790 - Reviews: 8 - Favs: 3 - Published: 10-26-05 - Status: Complete - id: 2635320
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I'd like to thank Denisia for her ever-insightful and helpful beta-testing.
Phyllis can hardly wait. The make-up artists have done their best with her aristocratic, sharp features and she's wearing one of her favorite dresses, specially selected to bring out the green in her hair and eyes. The world will soon have their eyes glued to her (and her band) – maybe Phyllis's Dad will somehow even find out about this triumph (unlikely, but she can hope). Whatever the case, this victory is tantalizingly near and Phyllis nearly salivates. She's already planning the celebratory party they will have tonight, can already feel the envious eyes on her as she is toasted at the city's swankiest bars. Her blood races at the thrill.
Shoved towards the back of her mind is the knowledge that, sure, Jem and the Holograms were guest hosts on Video Madness not once, but twice before. Sure, the producers had told Raymond they didn't want the unpredictable Misfits on the show. Sure, Phyllis knows that Eric has had to muster the best of his wheeling and dealing to get the Misfits this spot and that, combined with the success of "Free and Easy", has done the trick. She ignores these facts tonight.
The rest of the band is fussing around her but Phyllis tunes them out. They have earned this moment, they have experienced so many flops and failures – that's all behind them and this show is theirs. Tonight is all about victory. At times like these, she truly feels on top of the world and in command.
At last it's time for the show to begin. The cameras begin rolling. Phyllis sees her cue and begins, "Hang on to your fake ponytails, boys and girls. Tonight's guest hosts on Video Madness are The Misfits!"
Stormer says her line, full of enthusiasm and Jetta vigorously belts out her words. Then it all goes downhill. Roxy's normal armor is gone and all she, obviously flustered, manages to announce the wrong band.
"Hey," Phyllis says, her voice not far above a whisper, "you announced the wrong group!" Maybe the situation can still be salvaged.
But Jetta takes a torch and dumps it on a pile of oily rags. She loudly reprimands an embarrassed Roxy, telling her that she botched the entire show.
Phyllis has been set off. Jetta's right! Her moment in the sun is vanquished, her taste of victory has been wrenched from her lips again. The omnipresent anger surges inside of Phyllis, filling her up and throwing everything else to the side. How dare Roxy ruin this evening! "Oh can't you do anything right!" she barks at Roxy.
Roxy spars back, giving some command to blow something out someone's ears, and the fight begins. The band members push and shove each other, someone has grabbed a handful of Phyllis's hair and yanked it – hard. Stormer tries to separate Roxy and Jetta and the melee continues until the producer shouts at the band, reminding them that they are on the air.
Phyllis faces the camera, feeling nothing but anger and shame. She muddles through another line and the crew cuts quickly to a video.
Video Madness' staff didn't want them to do any more host segments for the remainder of tonight's show. Instead the station played a constant string of videos, omitting all of the planned host spots. After some sweet talk from Phyllis, the Misfits were allowed to – as scheduled – do their live performance of "Free and Easy". It was one of their most tepid performances, and Jetta's hair was still mussed from the brawl; no one told her to fix it and she didn't consult a mirror. Stormer hit a wrong note, an unheard-of occurrence. Video Madness ended about seven minutes early due to the lack of host segments. A disaster.
Phyllis has enough control to keep from trashing the dressing room. In fact, the entire band is sullen and deflated. Phyllis is inexplicably tired. She's always known that Roxy wasn't much of a reader but had no idea how much of an understatement that was until tonight. Now she knows why, when they dine out, Roxy always either orders the specials or whatever another bandmate orders and Stormer sometimes talks through half the menu options aloud. Roxy never reads newspaper and magazine articles about the group; apparently she wasn't lacking the interest, just the ability.
Stormer is informing them that they have been permanently banned from Video Madness. The Misfits have blown it again.
On the way back to the mansion (no revelry at bars tonight), the band's failures loop themselves around Phyllis's mind like a warped tape. Before the disaster on the show tonight, she was a queen in her palace but now she's back in the dungeon, her mind's usual spot. She never does stay in the throne room for too long; every victory she's had has been a transient one, shattered like the Best New Group trophy.
Depression gradually turns to anger and disgust during the van ride home. The band could not have been more aptly named, Phyllis knows. A bunch of stupid rejects who can't handle a simple assignment without having a – mortifying! – fight on live TV. They can't sink too much lower than this (though the time they stood in the mud at the end of the tug-of-war competition in Hawaii could give this a run for the money.) It will take forever to live this one down, and Cool Trash and its counterparts will have a field day. Once again the Misfits are the laughingstock of the music world.
Phyllis mentally points a finger. She always does it when she needs to set her fury and disgust somewhere. Since Jem and the Holograms can't conceivably – even by her logic – be blamed, she looks elsewhere. Stupid, school-drop-out Roxy (actually, Phyllis never finished high school either), nasty pugnacious Jetta (though she kind of admires those traits too, they are among the few traits she can respect), and fluffy wimpy Stormer (Phyllis is glad to have the least in common with her, she's probably going to cry tonight and Phyllis is long since done with tears). They all suck. Screw them, screw them all. She'd tell them this tonight, scream it at them, invent new cuss words after using all of the existing ones, but a tiny voice inside -- to which she occasionally listens, such as one night in Morvania -- cautions her not to.
So she retreats to her room silently, without another word to the rest of the band.
Of course Roxy does walk out of Eric's office, disgusted and angry and saying that she quits. Phyllis blows it off. Stormer petitions Phyllis to go after Roxy, but she ignores her too. Any idiot can tell that Phyllis was just joking, just as Roxy was joking about quitting. Stormer takes everything so seriously.
"Oh, she'll be back. We're the only friends she's got."
Brushing off people is fun. Not needing people is fun. No it's not fun at all, it's just a way to survive, to keep from utter devastation after another catastrophe like the one that happened when Phyllis was a kid.
She feels slightly ill the rest of the day but muffles it. She heads for a nightclub and runs into several adoring fans and hot guys. She feels better.
So she berates Stormer and Jetta. "Nobody's got any sense of responsibility!" she bellows, unfairly. Her voice is very loud as if she wants the whole universe to hear how she's been slighted.
Jetta is defensive and Stormer actually raises her voice at Phyllis, saying she hasn't seen Roxy for days, saying Phyllis should have done more to stop her from leaving. A nagging demon inside warns Phyllis that Stormer may have been right, and Phyllis has to expend a lot of energy squelching it.
And then Roxy is there, standing in the doorway! Phyllis's insides lurch a bit, maybe from happiness, maybe from the realization of the fact that the actions of this person can make her insides lurch. Last time that happened, last time Phyllis had cared about someone, the result was all bad. It was hideous.
Roxy, inimical, tells them that they will be happy to know she's leaving the band permanently.
"Knock it off, Roxy. We've got work to do!" Why isn't Roxy obeying her orders?
Roxy tells Phyllis to forget it. She looks obstinate, defiant, and a bit happy. Almost like she's on a natural high of some sort. She tells Phyllis that she won't have Roxanne Pelligrini to kick around anymore.
The situation is heading down the toilet and Phyllis has a hornet's nest inside her gut now. "You'll be back!" she yells. "Nobody leaves the Misfits!"
Roxy snorts and slams the door.
Phyllis stands there, shocked. "Nobody!" she repeats. And then is horrified, as Stormer and Jetta are standing there and have watched the whole thing. Phyllis sees stars. She is either going to throw up or faint. "Outta my way!" she yells, shoving her two remaining bandmates aside, hoping the shove hurt them, and heading into the rehearsal room.
A security guard approaches and then quickly leaves. It's the owner's daughter, there's nothing he can do. She's a howling banshee, she looks like she'd gouge his eyes out.
Phyllis's hands hurt. There's blood on them. She can't scream anymore, her powerful throat is sore and she's out of energy. She rolls over and pounds a fist against the floor. Now her fist is numb, a condition she likes much better than pain. She lays on the floor and shakes instead of cries. She has no idea how long she's lain there.
Eventually she manages to get back to the mansion. She takes a cab because – even in this condition – she knows it's not a good time for her to drive. When she gets home, Stormer and Jetta are there and look like they've been waiting for her. Stormer starts to approach but Jetta takes one look at Phyllis and taps Stormer on the shoulder. The duo back off, allowing the singer to return to her room.
"I don't believe it. I was sure Roxy'd come back," she pouts, still stunned and licking her wounds. She's barely eaten during the last day.
Eric tells her to face facts, the Misfits aren't the same without Roxy. Stormer goes on to say how the songs don't work without her. Even Jetta says Stormer has a point. This is good. This is very good. They are letting Phyllis save face.
"Well, I guess we gotta do something!" Phyllis says. Her plan is to, "Catch the next plane to Philadelphia and make Roxy return."
Eric even has a contingency plan if Roxy refuses. Gotta love sleazy managers and their creativity, or at least their knowledge of loopholes.
Whatever Eric has in mind, Phyllis doesn't care. She looks forward to seeing Roxy again. She has a few things planned too. Roxy is going to feel dumber than ever for leaving her.
Phyllis's world is returned to normal and it has to be obvious to everyone that she is in command and control. Just like always.
Phyllis sees Roxy ambling down the hall. The Misfits have a rescheduled rehearsal session (inside a room other than the one Phyllis trashed) and this time they will drive together as a group.
Phyllis wants to tell Roxy that, in a way, she's glad that Roxy's back. It's nice to have her 'right hand woman' here again. So she catches up to Roxy and makes eye contact with her. Phyllis opens her mouth and words tumble forth. "You're back," she says; this time it is Phyllis's turn to completely flub a line.
Roxy scowls and mutters something about a goddamn contract. She brushes past Phyllis and heads for the van. Phyllis stands there for a second, feeling like the smashed Best New Group trophy, before she turns towards the van.
I wanted to briefly comment on the time span of this fic. For whatever reason, the Misfits are featured wearing the exact same outfits for the first half of this episode. However, I don't think it's possible that all the scenes, from the mess-up on live TV to the scene where Roxy walks out in the studio, could have taken place during one day. In fact, we know they do not as Stormer even says in the studio that she hasn't seen Roxy "for days". Why the illustrators chose to show the band all wearing the exact same outfits for "days" is beyond me.
I do love to receive feedback so please let me know what you think of this fic.