Season 1 Episode 11

Pap Smeared

Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM Mar 13, 2007 on FX
out of 10
User Rating
121 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

Lucy's stalker embarrasses her at work with pictures of her and Holt's intimacy. Meanwhile, a young photographer under Don's guidance gets hurt due to Don's commitment to Lucy.

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  • Lucy's stalker takes things up a notch at the office, and poor Don seems headed straight for a breakdown!

    As "Dirt" nears the end of its first (and, hopefully, not its last) season, the writers are setting up a situation in which Lucy's stalker is finally revealed and what looks to be a real crisis for Don.

    Lucy shows Holt the pictures of the two of them left by stalker; he finds it hard to believe that she doesn't know who left them and is skeptical that this is yet another one of her little schemes. Her stalker is becoming more brazen; he (or she) puts up photos of Lucy in various stages of undress on the computer screens at the office.

    The majority of the episode focused on Don, which thrilled me because he's my favorite character and I think Ian Hart steals the show. Don is mugged while trying to get photos of two silly celebutantes, Tuesday and Lulu, who are both sleeping with the same guy. I don't remember who's boyfriend he's supposed to be. The muggers are gangbangers-turned-paparazzi who warn him to leave the story to them. A young photographer helps Don the second time he meets the gang members, and Lucy hires him. We got more insight into Don's troubled childhood; we learn he has a younger brother, Jason, who was probably sexually abused by their stepmother after Don left for college. As Don teaches Marqui about the ins and outs of shooting the stars, it seemed to me that he started seeing Marqui as his younger brother. The climax of the show takes place when Marqui is brutually attacked by the gangbangers and Don is torn between trying to help Marqui and getting the shot for Lucy. He chooses to take the pictures. We see his guilt over Marqui and his own brother, whom he did not protect from their stepmother.

    Obviously, we'll be learning more about Lucy's stalker in the next episode (her brother, Leo, returns) and what must be a breakdown for Don.

    The final speech by Don as he watches Marqui in the hospital room is very moving. Once again, Ian Hart proves that he's one of the best actors around. I'm looking forward to the final two episodes of the season!moreless
  • Going after the latest gossip for the new DirtNow cover, Don is being hurt and threatened by a new force in town...

    For the first time, we see that Don's job is really dangerous. Not only because he's insane and does stuff like cutting off his own finger for a story. But there are so many photographers waiting for the same shot, no wonder some of them aren't playing fair.

    It was hard enough to see Don getting beaten up, but it was even worse when that kid got hurt. And Don had a really tough time chosing between getting the shot and helping him. But I guess he couldn't have helped him anyway.

    Oh, and Willa finally broke up with Brent, but I guess it'll only be temporarily. At least, he's showing some real emotions. Considering that he's taping his sexual conquests, I didn't really think he'd get engaged in the whole thing that much. And his "heart to heart" with Lucy was funny.moreless
  • Picture This

    So far, Dirt has very much been Lucy Spiller's show. Whilst her photographer Don got a lot to do, we never really got any true insight into how the paparazzi work, their techniques, their rivals, or the dangers of their job. That is until Pap Smeared, where Don takes center stage, and shows a protégé his world.

    I really loved Lukas Haas' guest spot as Marqui. He was a sad character, and it was unfortunate that he ended up in a hospital bed come the end of the episode. The closing moments were really depressing, and the scene where Don had to choose between getting the photo or saving Marqui was one of the most tense moments the show has produced so far.

    Don's hallucinations were also used well here. You can see how messed up his abusive childhood has made him, and it's heartbreaking to see his evil mother constantly haunt him to this day. Ian Hart is by far the best actor on Dirt, and he has given so much personality to a character that would obviously be difficult to play.

    Meanwhile, something happened that I didn't expect, and that was Julia actually getting interesting. She's still not great, but I did love her scene with the assistant-turned-agent played by the disturbing Amy Acker-lookalike. I found it hilarious when Julia said she doesn't want people to think of her as a "victim on CSI", to only have the agent reply "but nobody's thinking of you at all". It's actually interesting to watch a big-name star fall from grace, especially as it's something happening in the real world right now with a certain Miss Spears.

    Lucy's stalker continues to get more awesome, with surveillance photos of Lucy undressing being sent to all the computer screens at DirtNow. This latest development hints that the stalker must be somebody who has enough access to the main computer system to plaster photos all over the screens. Who could it be??

    An excellent episode which proves a showcase for Don, his personal life and his job, and features a moving performance from Ian Hart.

    Director: Chris Long

    Writer: Albert Kim

    Rating: Amoreless
  • Gang-banger paparazzi beat the snot out of Don repeatedly while he's stalking 'the shot' for the DirtNow story about Hilton/Richie look alikes, Lulu & Tuesday. Does Don get the shot? I thought I told you, baby. Don *always* gets the shot!moreless

    Gang-banger paparazzi beat the snot out of Don repeatedly while he's stalking 'the shot' for the DirtNow story about Hilton/Richie wannabees Lulu & Tuesday. Does Don get the shot? I thought I told you, baby. Don *always* gets the shot. Even while he's haunted by guilt and visions of his little brother, Jason.

    Willa finally dumps Brent Barrow, because: Pointless. Yea! And to show just what a 'bottom' he really is, he thinks that shaving his facial hair will actually appease Willa and make her take him back. So embarrassing! Willa is developing into a layered and interesting character.

    Julia doesn't get *another* job, and finds herself being downgraded to meeting with her agent's *assistant*! She decides, wisely, to change agents, but as a result of her inability to deal with reality, she starts cutting herself. She is truly a sad and doomed character.

    Don gets himself a little mentee in the person of 'Marqui', who just wants to learn the business from the guy who gets the covers. Marqui is hired by DirtNow as Don's gofer, and as they stake out 'the shot', Don teaches him what qualities make him so successful at getting the shot and the story. (I don't think he mentions the part about being able to hear/see dead people and talk to bottled heads. Just as well…)

    Working with Marqui seems to bring up little brother guilt issues for Don, as he begins to hallucinate about his brother Jason, and what his stepmonster Lynnette may or may not have done to him. And how Don feels he abandoned Jason to the wicked witch.

    The scenes where Don is torn between trying to get the shot or going to the aid of Marqui, who's being pummeled by the Gangsta boys; or staying with Marqui or handing in the shots to DirtNow before deadline are both excruciating and awesome to watch. There's got to be an award for Ian Hart in the near future. But Don, now fully immersed in his guilt, and seemingly off-out by Lucy's callousness about the seriousness of what happened to Marqui, visits Marqui at the hospital. There he pours out more of his worldly knowledge to the unconscious Marqui. Amazing.

    Now, remember, kids: Luck: not one of the 3 "P's".moreless
Lukas Haas

Lukas Haas

Marqui Jackson

Guest Star

Richmond Arquette

Richmond Arquette

Collin De Quisto

Guest Star

Shauna Stoddart

Shauna Stoddart


Guest Star

Alex Breckenridge

Alex Breckenridge

Willa McPherson

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (9)

    • Lucy: We're down to the wire. Do what you have to do. Anything short of murder is fine with me.
      Don: Okay. (turns to walk away)
      Lucy: Uh, Don? I'm just kidding. Just get the shot.

    • Marqui: Isn't this illegal?
      Don: No. Private businesses handling deliveries are not covered by federal statutes. You know, it's just against company policy. It is illegal to damage mailboxes and pennies, though.

    • Marqui: I have a brother. He's in jail.
      Don: No, Jason's in Oregon. It's like jail, but with trees.

    • Lucy: (describing Marqui's new duties as Don's assistant) Okay, you do food runs, carry his bags, you drive him around. He wants you to warm his kitty, you warm his kitty. You work for Dirt...don't screw up.

    • Don: (talking to an unconscious Marqui in the hospital) Use film, not digital. You can trust film. No one will remember them. Who they were fighting with...what drugs they were taking...who they were screwing. 'Cause tomorrow there'll be another story. Nobody stays-nothing stays-just this. (puts a film canister on the table and walks out)

    • Brent: (regarding Willa) Will you lay off her?
      Lucy: I can't have my staff thinking that a Barrow blow-job is a hall pass.
      Brent: She dumped me. Does she get points for that?
      Lucy: (surprised) Yeah, a few.
      Brent: Yeah.
      Lucy: (sarcastically) Well, I'm sorry for your loss. You want me to warm up a teapot and have a heart-to-heart?
      Brent: We'd be one heart short.
      Lucy: Grow 'em back, Brent. Your balls, I mean. You'll feel better.

    • Marqui: You ever take drugs to stay awake?
      Don: To stay sane.

    • Don: Patience, persistence, point of view. Three P's, like the three R's, but they're P's.

    • Holt: Do you know why I'm the only guy who can make you cum? (Lucy shakes her head) 'Cause I'm the only one that hates you as much as you do.
      Lucy: Really? Or do you just hate the fact that I'm the only one you can be yourself with?

  • NOTES (4)

    • International Airdates:
      The Netherlands: March 4, 2008 on Net 5
      Sweden: March 18, 2008 on TV400

    • Music in this Episode:
      Darkest Things by The Submarines Played when Holt and Julia destroy the sex tapes
      Switchback by Celldweller Plays when Marqui is being beaten up
      Welcome to the End by Celldweller Plays when Don talks to unconscious Marqui at the end

    • Guest star Lukas Haas, who played Don's protegee Marqui, co-starred with producer David Arquette in the film Johns (1996) about young male hustlers.

    • Richmond Arquette, the vicious paparazzo, is the brother of producer David Arquette.


    • The two girls portrayed in the beginning of this episode is obviously an allusion to Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie.

    • Don: Patience, persistence, point of view. Three P's, like the three R's, but they're P's.

      The three R's is the motto for conservation, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

      This could also be an allusion to the three 'R's of education: Reading, Writing and Arithmetic. They are known as 'the three 'Rs' not due to the spellings of each word (obviously), but because each word has a strong 'R' sound at the beginning.

    • Lucy: Okay, this is our cover, fly my little monkeys.

      This is an allusion to The Wizard of Oz, the Wicked Witch (Lucy) and her minions, the flying monkeys' (the reporters).