(Special thanks to Alex for helping write this!)
How in the world would Kenny Freeman and Randall Schwartz somehow start talking about Communism?
Life can be strange. And these things can start so innocently. But not when there’s Russian’s involved. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s start small, shall we?
A pin of the Former Soviet Union in front of a brown backdrop.
The pin is actually placed on the front of a brown hat.
Which is actually a military peaked cap.
Which is resting upon the head of, you guessed it: Alexei Ruslan.
The perfidious Russian strolls backstage at ReVival 26 and speaks energetically to an unseen individual. Elsewhere, Ned Reform and Abe Lipschitz are wrestling in the ring. But despite not being there when Ivan Stanislav demolished Lindsay Troy’s office, Alexei has been having a good time elsewhere with his unseen guest.
Still, it’s hard to imagine who, other than a Russian over seven feet tall, would listen to Ruslan for such an extended period of time.
Even stranger is the fact that we can only see him from the chest up and he’s pushing something, “It truly is glorious thing, when you think about it. If capitalism is overthrown, then there will be no unemployment. Let us think about, for example, the tag team division in PRIME! If Ivan Stanislav was controlling PRIME, or let us say if Ivan Stanislav had become the Universal Champion, at very least, he could have exerted his influence to save the division. Then some of those members would not be out of job, yes?” He smirks to himself as he rounds a corner.
He continues, “I know your extended stay in Cuba must have helped open your eyes to the truth. Far from western influence and propaganda. And is Cuba not a nice place? For example: the weather is second-to-none. If you enjoy warm weather.”
Alexei doesn’t. But he doesn’t seem to show it. Instead, he proclaims, “All thanks to glorious communism!!”
Alexei isn’t pushing something. He’s pushing… someone. Still, we don’t know who he’s pushing, but we do know who he sees approaching from afar.
Stanislav still rides his high from his joyful discussion with Jared Sykes. His voice booms, “There you are! Alexei! I have great idea! Eh.. but what are you doing with him? Do you know who this moron’s friend is?”
Finally, we see the unseen individual who’s been listening to Alexei Ruslan. It all begins to make sense now. Or… does it make things more confusing?
Randall Schwartz. In his wheelchair. And Alexei Ruslan is his captive audience. Stanislav looks down curiously at Schwartz, who sits there while Alexei holds the handles of his wheelchair. Ruslan beams up at Ivan, “I have fantastic idea as well, Praporshchik!”
Randall, like the meat of a sandwich, sits trapped between the two communist buns. There’s a visual. Ivan clearly doesn’t seem to understand what in the world Ruslan would have in mind, but he rubs the back of his neck. “Does it involve him?”
Ruslan nods from behind Schwartz and does a so-so motion with his hand, “Kind of, sort of. I am just filling minds with the glories of communism. Mr. Schwartz here took extended stay abroad, after all. “
There is an awkward silence as Stanislav considers all of this. He looks unconvinced and unimpressed while he stares down at the wheelchair bound Schwartz. Schwartz stares up in the shadow of the Russian Bear. Ruslan looks at Schwartz. Then at Ivan. Ivan looks at Ruslan and finally he snaps himself out of his thoughts, “You tell me your idea later, eh? You will not believe who I ran into earlier…”
Stanislav is already walking around Schwartz and Ruslan as he speaks rapidly in Russian, to no one in particular. Ruslan winks at Schwartz and leans down to whisper in his ear, “We talk later, eh? I can tell you how Soviet Union developed far superior wheelchair!”
Ivan is already walking as Ruslan leaves Randall alone and rushes to catch up to his larger friend. As the pair leave the room, we’re left with a clearly befuddled Randall, counting things out on his hands as he does the mental gymnastics of understanding the Communist life. Just as he seems to hit a breakthrough, Randall’s mind palace is broken into by none other than Kenny Freeman, a frown on his face.”Right, there you are! I’m heading home, you ready?”
Randall takes a moment to think this over, and it’s a moment too long as Kenny pulls up behind him, grabbing the handles of the wheelchair and pushes the Entertainer further down the hallway.