Stories of domiciles possessed by the spiritual realm are nothing new and have been regaled to the listener since time immemorial. Hauntings, poltergeists, or paranormal visitants are all synonymous with the same thing: a really shitty night. Cinema such as the eponymous Poltergeist, House, or Crimson Peak exemplifies the terror that overtakes us in the four walls that are supposed to make us feel the most comfortable. However, when dealing with technology, the fourth episode of Birdgirl [Adult Swim] titled “We Got the Internet” may have more in common with Colussus: The Forbin Project than Demon Seed, a house trying to impregnate its own inhabitant (oh, it’s for real-real.)
We open in on two Nuns outside the offices of Sebben & Sebben as people flee from the tower itself. The sky is dark and stormy. One of them claims the building is alive as she proceeds to vomit.
Unaware of the impending chaos outside, Judy (Paget Brewster) cranks out company-wide memos to the office through their gargantuan EZ-DUPE as Meredith (Negin Farsad) kicks back. With a thousand more copies to go informing them of the new interwebs, Mer suggests saving it for Monday… WHEN THEY CAN EMAIL IT! What ensues is Birdcat playing some synth pyche-up music, resulting in a silly 80s music video (with old-school color grading) of Judy and Mer in full throwback regalia and all that jazz. It’s interrupted by Mer blowing a whistle, snapping them back to reality. Quittin’ time!
Staring outside of the window at Brian (Rob Delany) trying to find his vehicle, Judy admits that he’s kind of hot from a quarter-mile away and asks Mer if she would ever hit it, which doesn’t take much prodding from either to admit they both would. After some cogitation, they admit that they wouldn’t.
With all copies pressed, Judy needs them to be handed out. She calls both Paul (Tony Hale) and Charlie (Lorelei Ramirez) to her office and though Mer’s headed out the door, it shuts on its own as the ceiling falls. Judy is convinced that the office needs modernizing and getting the memo’s out is the first step.
Judy suddenly hears the faint sound of bagpipes.
Trying to suss the source of the cacophony, she frighteningly runs into Paul, Charlie, and Dog With a Bucket Hat (John Doman) in the dark. When the lights turn on, we see that Paul’s pissed himself. Judy claims she doesn’t scare easily, though Charlie asserts that fear is a very useful survival response. Paul claims the only thing that truly terrifies him is people not listening to him.
Finishes his story, all three fuck with Paul by not responding to him, and from a grate above, a pair of eyes leers, claiming to be watching them.
As one of the union electricians looks over the floor plans, she questions why there’s only a floor plan for two floors. The thing is Phil Ken Sebben added eighty-seven more, mostly without a permit. When the electrician says the wiring and phone systems all have to go, the building rumbles and knocks down a floor to eighty-six.
Outside of the building, the Nun senses a presence in the building. She calls the building not to awaken it, however, Judy hears naught but static. As cannot get through, she hilariously exclaims “fucking AT&T.”
At Meredith’s apartment, a knock is heard. She opens to find “the super”, which is Brian in his maintenance man digs. The problem is, hot as he looks, he’s not really nailing the script, even with Meredith lobbing out sexual innuendo. When push comes to shove, Meredith just pulls him in and slams the door.
Back in the building, the gang goes to find the telephone exchange, but when Charlie tells them to take a right, a brick wall summarily crashes down, preventing passage. One of the union electricians tugs on the phone line in order to follow it to the exchange, but this only causes the building to make Glenda disappear. This time Paul wasn’t afraid to admit he “clammed his pants.” Glenda’s partner ain’t accepting her demise tugs on the phone line, causing the rest of them to dart as the building says “NO.”
Meredith wants Brian to hang a “painting” (stock photo of a smiling dentist with her face crudely tape plastered on as his patient). This signifies the cheating fantasy, as her affianced dentist is out of the house, but she’s throwing all of her lines of seduction before throwing a match to Brian’s shirt in order for him to take it off. This failing on all levels is hilarious… not to mention- screaming man on fire. Once Brian takes it of, revealing his chiseled physique, Mer thinks she’s cooking with gas (though I’d never trust her to in reality to it).
The walls of Sebben & Sebben are literally closing in on the gang. Charlie headbutts a hole and is met with the set of glowing eyes, consuming her into the void whilst attached by a spool of ethernet wire.
Post-coitus, Brian is happy and wants to tell everyone at work. Meredith panics and mindtakes him, but not before “forcing” his hand to accept the terms of her agreement.
With the wire running out, Judy gets a psychic call from Meredith, confessing to boning Brian repeatedly. As one spool runs out, Dog shouts to “bring by the lee,” which in nautical terms means to incline so rapidly to go in the direction of the wind. In this case, it means rapidly changing to another spool. Paul notifies that with 3000 feet already reached, they might have reached a second portal to hell. Judy makes sure her bestie got his consent, but as Mer puts it, there’s an asterisk affixed.
Asking them to “man the backstays” (nautical term) Judy grabs the cable, crashing her into the wall. Dog claims they’re no way near Hell. With that, the building swipes down Judy, swipes up Paul with a door opening serenading a mesmerized Dog with jazz.
In Charlie’s cell, she’s shown her private collection of evil deeds done for Sebben & Sebben, including chopping down the world’s largest redwood, skinning baby seals through their patented Insta-Skinner, and just straight homicide. Not initially phased for what she’s done in the name of capitalism, she grows increasingly silent as more and more slides of her atrocities are shown via slide projector.
Paul is dropped in a room padded with noise-canceling foam and his joy of being alive turns to sheer terror as his voice is completely muffled, with the exception of his flatulence, which is a Grade-A fucking funny! And now in a hall where she sees a warped figure in black, Judy’s reminded of charlie saying fear can be a useful survival response before she faints.
Judy crawls away before it emerges from the dark. It’s but a young girl playing bagpipes. Her folks make her practice in the building for the sheer sound of the bagpipes. Judy is taken aback for a moment. Her folks are human and not hellspawn? This little girl is Evie (Sonia Denis) who used her mom’s ID to practice on the weekends on the ledges of the building, wander around, stare at people through vents, especially Judy.
The building is still not happy though, and Evie claims the building is saying “two will live, two will die; you decide which.” Clearly, Evie has a bond with this edifice, including being able to physically control aspects of it by clasping her hands together, accidentally squishing Judy… again.
At Mer’s, a knock is once again heard, the door is once again answered, and Brian once does the same claiming to have deja vu. Meredith reveals all, claiming though consensual, it was his idea in the first place to keep things fresh. He caught feelings, wanting to tell colleagues, and she double-erased it. The super identity was his idea as well since her fantasy is founded more in the reality of someone smarter.
Mer is conflicted and wants to come clean, so she can break up with a good conscience. The problem is Brian wants to be mindtaken one last time because knowing he had something special but can’t have it anymore is torture, making Meredith feel horribly guilty. She does anyway, only with one last picture to be hung…
Turns out Evie’s been talking to the building for the while. The building does mainly just the listening. Judy’s convinced the building isn’t alive, it’s just old, but then they approach Taylor, strung up and grotesquely hogtied by ethernet wires being asphyxiated.
Thinking Taylor did this to herself, Judy cuts her free, and the sheer configuration from the cords lop Tay-Tay’s head off. With one down, we see Glenda, stretched out with cords from rotary phones over water. Just as Judy tries to kick one off the wall, Glenda falls in the water as the floor closes in on her. That’s two.
Because two were claimed, two need to be saved. Judy hears Charlie through the vents, but her calls to her go unnoticed, so Evie captures her yell, lobbing through the vents.
Swearing to give up Paul or Judy so that those pictures never see the light of day, Charlie hears Judy’s voice, lamenting to even thinking it, and blaming the company for turning her into a psychopath.
Evie and Judy crash Charlie’s reckoning and even Evie’s scared of Charlie. Just then, Paul’s heard singing “The Lady’s Who Lunch”. They approach him cowering in the corner. Snapping him out of it, Charlie claims in her room, she lost 9 pounds, and those 9 pounds are her little boy, she thinks. Fun but dark stuff.
-just then, the floor drops on Judy and she’s now in a long hallway. She proceeds onward.
In the afterglow of sex, Brian admits he remembers all. Meredith tries to mindtake him again only to find it a barren field. Turns out he has no mind to take, which makes him her kryptonite, besotting her, especially since he remembered but didn’t tell anyone at work.
Judy’s hallway leads her to a control room, showing monitors of her as a child. Turns out, the building’s been watching everyone, as all the four walls are her family.
A hole is sawed through the wall. Glenda lives and taking her saw to Mother, the building splits apart, taking Paul and Charlie as well as Evie, who is now one with the building as its database. Judy wants to fight the building, so it offers up her Birdgirl suit and shoots her out.
Mer arrives in a cab and already knows the score, including that there are two girls in the building (another with an accordion). As Charlie and Paul are being flung around, the building downloads its memories a la Evie, starting from 1968.
Meredith on her back, Birdgirl takes flight with her rocket-powered boots so she can get into Evie’s head. Though she usually goes it alone on this, she makes an exception, and despite this psychic-slingshot of sorts costing Judy four months of her life, Birdgirl’s down to clown as she enters the mainframe.
Judy tells the immutable Evie to let the fuck go. Judy also used to be friends with the building too, and perhaps forgot about it in adulthood. The CEO wants Evie to entrust her reasoning that the building will retain its memories, citing Charlie’s advice of fear being a useful survival response to the motherboard, nigh calming down a wild horse… before Glenda pulls the plug, causing the building to die along with its dispatcher.
Evie takes possession of the modem, connecting the old with the new, prompting a blackout.
All arrive in a modern control room. The monitors boot up, and they now have e-mail! Charlie gets a chance to delete her files before anyone can see her monitor, Judy exclaims they got the internet, Paul asks if they will prevail against it, and Mer is shocked they haven’t done “mailman” yet. Where’s Dog?
He’s fucking chilling with a cigar and mid-tempo jazz in Hell, living la dolce vita.
Thus far, this was the motion action-packed yet and deals with a few interesting concepts. The B-Plot of Meredith and Brian was interesting because it did deal with the concept of consent and though you can do something doesn’t mean it’s permissible. Meredith isn’t a bad person. It’s just a matter of how to handle her fear of emotional investment. With Evie, we as people keep flash drives to preserve memories, but what if those were wiped out. Would we go ape-shit? The best memories are the ones that are inside our collective memories, lived on by the ones we shared them will.
Overall, I loved this one, as it might be my favorite one yet.