To everyone who played along with Notes From The Avalon, THANK YOU!! You made it all worthwhile. I’d also like to thank the cast and crew of Fifteen, as well as the entire nation of Canada for a bottomless supply of inspiration. Although this officially marks the end of my run as a blogger, I do not intend to remove NFTA from the internet or sully its purity by utilizing it for writing aboot other topics– it is nothing less than my gift to humanity and my online legacy.
For anyone coming late to the party, below is a handy-dandy chronological guide to all of the episode posts. Long live Fifteen!
Now that I know the precise location and function of Jesse’s duodenum, I think it’s time to start filling the gaps between online lessons with the first draft of my Fifteen reunion show script. Alright, it’s a bit of a misnomer for me to call what’s to follow a “script” because I’ve decided to present it in more of a narrative form for easier reading because this is a blog (<– the dumbest non-word I’ve ever had to begrudgingly add to my vocabulary). However, should the need arise (Why won’t you return my phone calls, Ryan?), I’m prepared to rework it into a script format at a moment’s notice. Or someone else can do it for me. I don’t know how these things work and the odds of this story finding a reason to work are slim to none, but I’m approaching it with every bit of optimism available in my paltry and ever-dwindling reserve thereof because I want this to be fun…
…but maybe not too fun? Here’s where you can have some input, my friends, though my mind is all but made up aboot the uncharacteristically darker vibe this reunion story will take on. Should I adjust the dialogue to reflect the times or is everything still tragic in the lives of the Hillside High Class of 93? Less camp, more realism? Or fuck realism, you can’t get enough of the glorious cheese? An equal measure of both would be challenging, but I think I’m up to the task if that be the consensus. Feel free to leave any ideas you may have aboot possible scenarios involving your favorite Hillside alumni. I’ll do my best to work any plots you’d like to see into the larger story.
Also…how would you ideally like to see this if it were an actual production? Feature film? Made for TV movie? Miniseries? This will give me an idea of whether or not I can pepper the dialogue with F bombs, as you all know I’m wont to do, but if the consensus is for family-friendly, that’s cool. Believe it or not, I can work with that.
For now, all I can give you is this very short teaser of the opening scene I’ve envisioned. If suggestions start to fill up the comments section, I’ll consider those before going any further. Otherwise, I’ll be back in aboot a week or so to serve up the first full installment of Fifty: The Reunion!
Atrium Theater, Luxor Casino
Las Vegas, NV
December 24, 2021
“Do we have a pulse?”
“Yeah. Blood pressure 180 over 110 and rising. Prepare the defibrillator and try to find a contact while I stabilize him for transport and wipe this shit off his face.”
“Does he have a phone?”
“Yeah, here. Call it into General, too. Dylan Blackwell, 45-year-old male Caucasian, possible narcotic overdose resulting in cardiac arrest. Judging from the marquee, he probably did the audience a favor. Who the hell does a Hendrix tribute in blackface, for Christ’s sake?”
If you’ll indulge me, my friends, I’d like to break the fourth wall one more time here at Notes From The Avalon for a quick year end wrap-up.
What a fucking relief it is to relegate 2019 to the rear-view. As the country in which I live descended further into the quagmire of racism, fascism and xenophobia, I knew that withoot a reliable diversion, I might very well have thrown in the towel and succumbed to despair. (Fifteen to the rescue!) In retrospect, such a decision would have been downright tragic.
If there is one single lesson that I hope my humble web page imparted, it’s this: no matter how bleak and frightening reality may become, you can always take refuge at The Avalon, where everyone is always welcome.
A few odds & ends to close oot the year:
Coming Soon: Fifty – The Reunion
The only planned future addition to this page that may will appear in the upcoming year is a script I’m fixing to write for the upcoming Fifteen reunion show that (currently) exists purely in my imagination. There’s no strict timeline for this as I’ll be spending much of the first half of the year getting certified as a veterinary tech, but it will be complete and online before 2020 fades into the long march of history.
Robyn & Randy
You are nothing short of royalty ‘round these parts. As a former online purveyor of philosophical pontification, I’m sure it comes as no surprise to hear that my sudden decision to devote all my writing in 2019 to the analysis of Fifteen was met by considerable confusion from my former readers. The fact that you both recently acknowledged and complimented this little project is nothing short of a total vindication, but that’s not the real reason for my enormous appreciation of your kind words. In case this wasn’t apparent through my chosen comedic style (i.e. an incessant barrage of vulgar mockery), the truth is that I was and still am a HUGE fan of the show of which you both were such an integral part. It means everything to me that you loved my tribute to your show. I love you back…
One Good Turn Deserves Another
…and that’s not all. Everybody knows what Ryan Reynolds has been up to for the past quarter of a century, but perhaps you’re unaware of the fact that Robyn Ross is a phenomenal actor. (If I’m not mistaken, we don’t say “actress” anymore, right? I wouldn’t want to be politically incorrect, lest people think I’m a fucking retard). If you met that claim with even a scintilla of skepticism, go watch a 2014 independent film called “Suck It Up, Buttercup”. It’s not for the squeamish, but this gritty and honest depiction of the insidiousness of addiction left me nearly speechless, and Robyn’s stellar performance was the indisputable heart of the film. Just brilliant.
…The Professor and MaryAnne
Just in case anyone else of direct significance should stumble upon my little Hillside-centric corner of the internet, all my love to the rest of the cast, too, of course — even (especially) you, Sarah (Douglas) and Lisa (Warner). Sometimes immature little boys don’t know how to express feelings of affection, so we resort to relentless ridicule. The fact is, Fifteen and by extension, this blog would have been nothing withoot you.
Reading Iz Fundamental
Speaking of exciting creative ventures emanating from the Great White North, loyal Avalon friend Suzanne of MyDangBlog! published her second book this year, entitled The Dome. Buy it. Read it. You’re welcome.
Happy New Year!
Friends of The Avalon, one and all: Jesse and I wish you a motherfucking awesome year to come, because you truly deserve nothing less.
Happy Boxing Day Eve, Hillside Fans! First-rate blogger and long-time Avalon denizen Tom of TomBeingTom.com has chosen me, among others, to be an honored recipient of a non-existent award aptly entitled The Blogger Recognition Award, necessitating this temporary, set-to-self-destruct post recognizing Tom’s humbling recognition of the web’s indisputable premier destination.
Apparently, we’re to tell our blogging origin story as part of this online acceptance speech, so I’ll keep mine as succinct as possible. Notes From The Avalon was not my first blog, but it is the only one worth mentioning since it is the only one still in existence. Earlier this year, while wasting time on YouTube for the better part of an afternoon, it became apparent that the “Information Superhighway” contains precious little information aboot the greatest television program that ever aired. “Somebody should do something aboot this,” thought I, and thus Notes From The Avalon was born. If you were hoping for something a bit more detailed regarding my relationship with Fifteen, I elucidated much of that in this post from back in June, along with the only picture of my ugly mug to appear on this page: Breaking The Band.
Thank you, Tom! And to all of my friends north and south of the border: I wish you all a blessed and joyous Boxing Day and a prosperous 2020.
I completed the final Notes From The Avalon post over three months ago. To say that it’s a pleasant and humbling surprise to see so many people still reading my Hillside summaries each day would be one hell of an understatement. While most readers choose to remain anonymous, one emerged from the shadows and identified himself as Randy – the one and only “original Filth Pig”. Short of a direct endorsement from Ryan Reynolds as part of a Golden Globes acceptance speech, Randy’s message to me represented the pinnacle of this page’s possible achievements.
As soon as I realized that I was communicating directly with a cast member from the show, I put up a temporary post here entitled “Big News From The Avalon” but, as is the unwritten rule here at NFTA, I removed it after a week or two because the Episode Guide should be the first thing people see when they visit the blog. However, I need to rise above my techno-fear and figure oot how the fuck to keep this as a permanent post on the site while retaining the Episode Guide at the top position. In other words, your intrepid “webmaster” is aboot as computer savvy as your average tapeworm.
For those who missed it, here is Randy’s initial message via the Contact page:
I am the original, one and only, season one “filth pig”, there were other Avalon workers, but I was the original one with the dirty rag and apron. If you want to know anything about the show when it was filmed in Canada, feel free to ask away, I recently found call sheets from the show that have all the names of everyone on it very cool pieces and I would say very rare, anyway, love what you did here, take care.
Of course, I enthusiastically “asked away” and this guy is so fucking cool that not only did he answer my silly questions, he sent me an email full of awesome reminiscences of the audition process along with a ton of other fantastic Fifteen insider info.
Here are some of the more interesting takeaways from Randy’s generous trip down Memory Lane:
Although Randy has now hilariously taken to calling himself “Filth Pig” in our correspondence, everyone’s favorite hygiene-impaired waiter had a name: Jerry. Now, Randy was not the same actor who played the much older and larger Jerry in Season 2, mind you – but in the Hillside universe, it’s a near certainty that mute/Filth Pig Jerry and non-mute/band-auditioning Jerry are one and the same character, sort of like the two Darrin’s on Bewitched or the two Becky’s on Roseanne.
Randy initially auditioned for the role of Olaf. Perhaps you think that Aubrey Nealon came oot on top in this situation, but did he really? Was Olaf’s picture the first visual aid on the very first episode post on this page? No, it wasn’t. It was Filth Pig’s picture that ushered in our extended visit to Hillside over nine long months ago.
The audition process was open to any kids within a certain age range, regardless of whether they had any acting experience. Commercials were run on BCTV inviting anyone interested to show up at the studios on a certain date and time with a bag lunch. When Randy arrived, there were literally hundreds of kids lined up to audition, so a guy named Garth Lewis began bringing in aboot 30 at a time where he instructed them to form a circle and deliver a pre-written line, one by one. Those who displayed the requisite enthusiasm in the delivery of the line were asked to step forward, so Randy belted it oot with as much gusto as he could muster and was therefore given a script of Olaf dialogue to take home and memorize. Of course, Aubrey Nealon ultimately landed the role of Olaf, but I take issue with Randy’s assessment of Jerry the Waiter as an “extra”: as far as I’m concerned, Filth Pig was just as essential to the show as anyone else, setting the entire tone of the next 65 episodes with his very first on-screen appearance. For all of my tongue-in-cheek mockery of show creator John Binkley, I’ve gotta admit: opening auditions to any interested kids, regardless of experience, is pretty fucking cool.
Those fucked up sets? That nauseating apron and dishrag? Randy’s elucidation of these conundrums is priceless, so rather than continue to paraphrase, I’ll let him take it from here: “Try imagining a massive gymnasium, now imagine in that gymnasium all the sets you see on the show. They were all literally built side by side, one leading to another; the Avalon to the garage, the bedroom to the lounge area, locker room to the stairs hallway area, stairs led to no where, just behind plywood walls; there were several of these at this studio. Next to us was a talk show, there was a news room, a cafeteria, offices, etc. It was massive. The soda machine wasn’t plugged in and I remember hearing the actor put in change and it making the noise it makes when it goes straight to the coin return slot, and a soda can was just placed there to be picked up by the actor. I was told to make the apron look like it was a bit dirty but all I had to work with back there that I could find was some ketchup and mustard so that’s what they got, filth pig was born!”
As if all that wasn’t cool enough, Randy also found some old call back sheets that were given to the actors each morning on the set and sent me JPEG copies of these instructions from September of 1990, which is beyond fucking awesome. I’ve appended these priceless artifacts to the bottom of this post.
I’d like to extend my sincere gratitude to Randy for taking the time to send all of those great stories and for having an excellent sense of humor.
Now how aboot a reunion show? If someone can get Ryan Reynolds on board, I’ll write the script, free of charge.
Even though very few readers of Notes From The Avalon have any recollection whatsoever of Fifteen’s existence, it must have gotten fairly good ratings for the first three seasons. I can’t think of any other reason why Nickelodeon would have made the decision to shell oot a bunch more cash in order to double the size of the cast and the number of episodes for the show’s final season. Know what they got for all that cash? A steaming pile of dog shit. Now, you may be wondering how I can differentiate between good and bad when we’re talking aboot the most poorly produced and abysmally acted TV show of all time, but there are two distinct types of “bad” when it comes to productions of this nature: the type that lends itself to endless mockery and which we end up finding hopelessly endearing for this very reason, and the type that’s so bad that it doesn’t even deserve to be mocked. Fifteen’s unfortunate fourth season is of the latter variety. Even though over 5 years elapsed between the final episode of Fifteen and the premiere of Two Guys, A Girl and A Pizza Place, it still boggles the mind that Ryan Reynolds managed to eke oot such a successful Hollywood career after having had such a ubiquitous presence in the 26-episode mess to which this post is dedicated.
As you know, Brooke is no longer in the show and neither is Courtney. At least they went to the trouble of writing Brooke oot of the script properly. For Headband, they use the exact same lazy explanation that was employed for Theresa’s sudden disappearance at the start of Season 2: “she’s off at that school for the arts”. I don’t have a clue what the fuck happened to Jake and Erin.
Let’s take a quick look at the horrible new Season 4 characters who, taken collectively, form the primary reason that I cannot re-watch these 26 god-awful episodes for individual analysis. First, there’s Pepper, Dave’s repulsive little sister. This rubber-faced, ginger-haired parasite serves no discernible purpose, but she gets more screen time than almost anyone else even though the only plot revolving around her is an ultimately successful bid to get on the boys’ soccer team. I used to wonder how she achieved such an undeserved starring role until I found oot that the actress’ full name is Pepper Binkley. Coincidence? Next, there’s Jennifer, an obvious but woefully inadequate Brooke replacement. Sure, she’s kind of a manipulative bitch, but she manages to be completely unentertaining in the process and the actress playing her possesses none of Robyn Ross’ unearthly emotive qualities. She has a brainy little brother named Jason who doesn’t piss me off nearly as much as the rest of the incoming cast, but he’s never involved in anything exciting. Micah is a kid on Pepper’s soccer team. Liz is… Liz. Characters don’t come more nondescript than this top-heavy anthropomorphic Valium pill. Loyal, who is introduced in the last few episodes of the series, is Billy’s new stepbrother. I’ll put as much effort into my critique of this character as the writers employed in the process of crafting him: he sucks. Russ is the only new addition to the Hillside student body that doesn’t piss me off. He was the nameless accordion player in round 2 of last season’s talent contest and even though he usually kicks around with the boring new characters I’ve already mentioned, I can tell that he would have fit in nicely had he been introduced sooner in the series and he also plays a pivotal role in the curious transformation of Chris towards the end of the season. Finally, there’s Brittany, a new arrival whose alleged sexiness I personally find to be very overstated. Regardless, all the guys at Hillside go absolutely ga-ga over this vapid, self-absorbed American dick tease, especially Deadpool who makes a first-class ass of himself in the desperate pursuit of her affections.
Now the good stuff. I’ll dedicate the rest of this post to a character-by-character summary of the Season 4 story arcs for each of Hillside’s veteran students – Dylan, Matt, Ashley, Billy, Arseman, Roxanne, Chris, Dave and Who Farted.
For the first few episodes, everyone’s favorite dropoot just sort of treads water in his self-imposed exile. Occasionally, Arseman drops by the garage to offer moral support and seek comfort after the death of her grandmother, leading to an inevitable and ill-advised romance between Leather Jacket and Sassy Pants. Eventually, Dylan lands a job at the 3-table café attached to the only clothing store in the mall that these little shits ever patronize. His uniform consists of an apron over a humbling bright pink shirt, but the worst part of all this is his frequent utterance of the word café, which for some reason, Corky Martin pronounces “c’fé”. Near the middle of the season, Dylan’s parents kick him oot, rendering him homeless. After spending a night sleeping in the park, Matt rallies to his aid and lets him move in and sleep on a couch in his basement. So now Hillside’s former mortal enemies have become roommates, something aboot which they both marvel aloud with such frequency that I honestly believe there is no limit to their oot-sized incredulity. While living on Matt’s couch and ostensibly dating Arseman, Dylan starts getting so cozy with Ashley – often right in front of Matt’s face – that I often expect them to just undress and start boinking right in his basement. Understandably (and far later than you’d expect), both Matt and Arseman reach the ends of their respective ropes aboot the shameless public treachery of their significant others. Arseman is so hurt at the sight of seeing her best friend and her boyfriend feeling each other up that she buggers off to Mexico and sits oot the last 5 episodes of the season. Matt, however, after briefly venting his justified ootrage at this turn of events, decides to forgive everyone involved and suffer in silent martyrdom, even continuing to let Dylan crash in his basement. Dylan, of course, starts dating Ashley and with her encouragement, enrolls in an “alternative school” to complete the remaining credits needed for his high school diploma. At one point, he punches the cool right oot of Chris at the mall café, but I’ll save the details of that plot for Chris’ overview. Finally, towards the tail end of the series, while still dating Ashley, Billy drops by the café and sees him hanging around with some hot chick he met at the alternative school. The series ends before we get the full story here, but the clear implication is that Dylan the Scamp is incapable of romantic fidelity.
St. Matthew of Hillside High. The writers take such pains to turn Matt into the quintessential “stand-up guy” that he nearly morphs into Dostoyevsky’s Idiot. For the first half of the season, he and Ashley are so in love that it seems nothing could possibly come between them. Then all the betrayal ootlined in the previous paragraph goes down, but our former eternally hassled drunk develops the ability to meet all adversity with Zen-like acceptance. Towards the end of the season, Matt finds oot that his father is being transferred, so the entire family will be moving clear across the country in the very near future. In the meantime, he continues to let Dylan crash on his sofa and molest his ex-girlfriend in plain sight. For his selfless actions throughoot the season, Dylan has a trophy made to memorialize Matt as an ootstanding role model or some shit, to be permanently displayed in Hillside’s trophy case.
I guess I kind of already covered Ashley’s story in the process of talking aboot Dylan and Matt, so I’ll simply add that my only regret at the conclusion of the series is the fact that we never get to see her reaction to Dylan’s infidelity. For some reason, though Ashley is still mentioned often, Laura Harris fails to appear in the last five episodes of the series.
Jesus, Ryan. How in the fuck did you manage to fight your way through the painfully ridiculous plots Ian Weir relentlessly threw at you in this season? To be as succinct as possible, since Billy’s bullying phase has come to an end, he now has plenty of time to dedicate to the development and fine-tuning of the qualities and skills required of a shameless whore. Deadpool works his way, respectively, through Who Farted (this is mercifully brief, but no less unforgivable for being so), Roxanne and Brittany. Believe it or not, it’s actually Billy that shit-cans Roxanne when his libido decides that newcomer Brittany is far more worthy of his attention. Brittany’s effect on Deadpool is to turn him into a blithering idiot of transcontinental proportions. Since she seems to have a thing for jocks, he joins the football team in an effort to impress her. Then he scores tickets to a Salt ‘N Pepa concert, neglects to invite Roxanne who he’s still ostensibly dating in the hopes that he can woo Brittany with an invitation, and ultimately has the whole thing blow up in his face, leaving him through a convoluted series of events to end up taking Jennifer’s geeky little brother Jason to the show. I am 100% convinced that Ryan Reynolds was giving a sly nod to his largely unknown participation in Fifteen when he made “Shoop” by Salt N’ Pepa such a centerpiece of the first Deadpool film. Oh, and then for a few episodes towards the end of the season, Billy also has to pretend that his stepbrother Loyal is anything but an unnecessary leap on water skis over a caged Great White.
Her grandmother dies and the writers spend at least the first half a dozen episodes of the season trying to make us care aboot the demise of an unseen character who’d never even been mentioned before she fucking croaked. Regardless, her habit of commiserating with Dylan over the loss leads to an unplanned kiss that leads to a relationship marked by betrayal and neglect. As I already said, Arseman’s reaction to Dylan publicly cavorting with Ashley is to take a trip to Mexico with her family (sans Grandma) and sit oot the last 5 episodes.
Roxanne mellows a bit this season, even treating Who Farted like a friend as opposed to the gnat-like annoyance she is. Early on, she counsels Who Farted to change her look, prompting her new tagalong to show up at Hillside dressed in black leather and chains, inspiring the justified mockery of her peers. At the onset, she’s still dating Chris, but when the already precarious couple gets their turn to perform a concert at The Avalon, it’s such an utter disaster that Roxanne breaks up with her perpetually antagonistic boyfriend right on stage in front of the entire student body. Shortly thereafter, she starts dating Billy until he fucks her over in favor of new arrival Brittany. Towards the end of the season, a short-lived plot develops wherein Roxanne hesitantly admits that her father hit her – once – and then apologized for it immediately thereafter. This hardly rises to the level of high drama, but they treat it with all the implied intensity of an After School Special. Finally, when she sees Chris develop a new compassionate streak in his budding friendship with leukemia-stricken Russ, she agrees to explore the possibilities of romantically reuniting with him, but only after they take some time to get to know each other better.
After being publicly kicked to the curb by Roxanne, Hillside’s resident dirt bag just sort of drifts along being a pain in everyone’s ass until he decides to show up at the mall café and provoke Dylan into a fight. Averse to jeopardizing his job, Dylan suggests that they meet up behind The Avalon the following day to duke it oot. When Chris and a crowd of gawkers arrive at The Avalon to find that Dylan failed to show up, they head to the mall to confront him. After several attempts to defuse the situation, Dylan finally knocks the swagger right oot of him with a single punch to the gut. Chris is never the same after this public humiliation. Shortly thereafter, he scrapes past Russ in The Avalon and is confused to see that such a slight bump causes Russ some pretty severe distress. After several episodes of Russ going to doctors and getting tested, he finally divulges to Chris that he has leukemia. From this point on, Chris starts wearing Matt-style polo shirts and showing up at Russ’ house to drop off homework and offer oddly antagonistic-sounding moral support to his new little terminally ill friend.
Believe it or not, Dave actually manages to adopt several more shades of boring for the fourth and final season. He essentially spends all 26 episodes getting repeatedly fucked over by Who Farted while simultaneously realizing that there’s not a chance in hell that he’ll ever win the affections of someone better. Also, since the hideous Pepper is his little sister, her frequent presence at his side transforms David O’Brien from inconsequential to utterly unwatchable.
I saved the worst for last. As bad as she’s been all along, in Season 4, Who Farted takes intolerable to a whole new level. She starts pseudo-dating Dave, then accepts Deadpool’s invitation to a party being thrown in Matt’s basement and claims that she had every right to do so since Dave never bothered to “officially” invite her. Whenever someone, especially Dave, dares to call her oot on her general shittiness and self-absorption, she reacts by confronting the individual with that ever-increasing motorized groan that prefaces her every word and in the snottiest of tones, sneering shit like, “I suppose you’re all mad at me now!” as if this somehow turns the tables and exonerates her for being a hideous douche canoe. Fuck you, Who Farted. Just fuck you.
Thus ends the greatest television show ever to grace a box of tubular cathode rays. On behalf of the entire Hillside student body and your humble narrator, thanks for watching.
Show them how it feels to lose what they love. – Catelyn Stark
This is it. The final episode of the third season of Fifteen. It’s been quite a ride, eh? Although I will post an overview of what happens to the remaining veteran characters in the otherwise unwatchable fourth season, this is the last of the grand episode summaries covering what I consider to be the classic seasons of the show. Before we get down to business, here are a few thoughts aboot the last episode that I neglected to include in its synopsis:
Dave’s performance in Courtney’s play is the first and only time I have ever witnessed an actor put effort into overacting the act of underacting.
When Chris asks Tony and Ben how they know Roxanne, Tony answers that they belong to “a kind of club”, causing Ben to react with a sinister laugh and sarcastically remark, “Yeah, that’s what it is”. I can only think of two possible things for which “a club” might be a euphemism in this case: 1) they belong to a gang, perhaps of the white supremacist variety; 2) they cook meth. I knew Roxanne was a badass, but this kinda takes things to a whole new level.
Suzanne, the mind behind MyDangBlog!, has an eye for detail, as she noticed some striking similarities between Roxanne’s extra-curricular acquaintances and another renowned Canadian TV duo. Extrapolating from her observation, let’s do a little predictive time-lapse to get an idea of what Tony and Ben might look like today:
We open in the student lounge on a curiously extended shot of Jake’s brooding face. It lingers on screen long enough for me to briefly wonder if the DVR froze up until we finally hear Matt continue the somber conversation in progress.
Matt: Okay, I guess I could feel a little better. I mean…if things weren’t quite so, well, confusing.
Jake: “Things” meaning Ashley?
Jake: Yeah, that’s kind of what I was wondering aboot.
Matt: Courtney says she broke up with me because she couldn’t handle hurting Ashley’s feelings. As far as I can see, Ashley doesn’t care one way or the other! So where does that leave me?
Matt: Bingo. Ah, look, I don’t even want to think aboot it. I’d just wreck a perfectly good day. I’ll see ya around.
Who Farted walks into The Avalon and spots Roxanne sitting at the counter. She asks her newest girl-crush if she heard the news aboot Brooke, then elaborates that she found oot Brooke is going to be leaving Hillside to spend a year in Paris, adding something aboot Brooke’s father belonging to a “service club” that facilitates exchange student programs or some such shit that I admittedly just kinda tuned oot. As Roxanne reacts to the news, Brooke breezes into the café.
Brooke: Bon jour!
Roxanne: Give me a break.
Brooke: Guess what?
Roxanne: We know. Paris.
Brooke: Oh, it’s wonderful! Tres wonderful! N’est-ce pas?
Roxanne: Oh yeah, it’s terrific!
Roxanne: Because it means we won’t have to see you for 12 whole months!
Brooke: Exactly. Which means I won’t have to see you people for a whole year, either, which is the best part of all!
Brooke walks off as Roxanne turns to Who Farted.
Roxanne: You tell me you’re gonna miss her, I’ll stuff your head in the sink.
WF: Hey, would I say something like that?
Matt sees Dave at his locker and compliments him on his performance in the play, causing Dave to marvel at his newfound popularity, explaining that even girls are talking to him so there’s a chance he might even be able to convince some of them to dance with him tonight. Aside from a hand-printed sign just visible through the small window of the door into the locker vestibule in the last episode that read “Dance – Friday – Gym”, this is our first official notice that there will be a dance at the Hillside gym tonight. Spotting Ashley standing by the bulletin board on the other side of the lounge, Matt stops paying attention to Dave and strolls over for another round of masochistic miscommunication with his old flame. They both confirm that they’re going to the dance alone, but before Matt gets a chance to ask if she’d like to go with him, she once again vaguely indicates that she has to run and cuts him off before he can deliver the dreaded invite.
Later at The Avalon, Jake is miraculously managing to make Ashley ever-so-hesitantly own up to the fact that she still has feelings for Matt. He tells her that “it’s pretty obvious” and admonishes that since this is the case, she’s got to talk to him aboot it, sending her into a low budget daydream of reignited love.
A day late and a dollar short, Courtney approaches Deadpool at the soda machine and reams him oot for his recent spate of bullying. Dylan may have put an end to Billy’s reign of terror, but he still clearly harbors an assload of justified animosity towards his horrible sister. Billy splits as Matt comes down the stairs to get himself a soda. Courtney says hi, he says hi back and then the fucking scene just ends right there. I re-watched this 5 second clip a few times before moving on just to make sure I didn’t miss any subtle looks or mannerisms that might have served to infuse this exchange with some discernible purpose, but nope, that was it.
Billy sees Dave studying at a booth in The Avalon. He strikes a contrite tone and nearly apologizes for having been such a douchebag before losing his nerve and saying, “Just forget it,” as he turns and flees the café.
In the student lounge, Courtney and Arseman are flapping their gums aboot the difficulty of getting through to Billy lately before Headband changes the subject and tells Sassy Pants that she finally had a big talk with Matt wherein they both apologized to each other for how everything went down. Arseman cheerily remarks that now they can go back to being friends again.
Courtney: Absolutely. Sure. That’s just what I wanted. To get back to being friends again.
Arseman: Hang on. If that’s what you wanted, then why aren’t you looking a little more cheerful? Courtney?
Courtney: Because it’s NOT what I want!
Arseman: You don’t want to be friends with Matt? (holy fuck, you’re retarded, Arseman)
Courtney: I wanna be more than friends with him! A lot more! I have wanted that for ages, but every time it almost happens, I find another way to screw it up!
That’s right. Will this brief moment of self-awareness extend to a realization that it’s now officially too fucking late for you to try again, or are you gonna go for round four to maximize Matt’s alcoholic relapse potential? The timer on my media player indicates that your remaining time at Hillside High is precisely 14 and a half minutes. Better make up your mind fast, Headband. Your entire legacy is at stake.
Dylan’s strumming his guitar in the garage when Billy enters. He thanks Leather Jacket for setting him straight and for exercising restraint in the process, and just like that, Dylan and Deadpool are friends again. After filling him in on how things are going at home, Billy tells Dylan that he’s heading over to the dance and asks if he wants to come.
Dylan: Are you kidding? I don’t go to Hillside School anymore. I’m a dropoot. Dropoots don’t get to go to school dances. Have a good time.
Meanwhile, Chris and Roxanne are venting their mutual animosity at The Avalon counter.
Chris: Are you gonna finish that?
Roxanne: I’m working on it.
Chris: (checking his watch) God, it’s 25 after 7:00!
Chris: The dance starts at 7:30.
Roxanne: What’s your hurry? I thought you really didn’t want to go in the first place!
Chris: I don’t! School dances are totally boring. But if we’re gonna go, we might as well do it.
Roxanne: We’ll go just as soon as Tony and Ben get here.
Chris: Tony and Ben?
Roxanne: Yeah. I invited them to come along.
Chris: But the school dance is supposed to be for Hillside students only. Tony and Ben don’t go to Hillside.
Roxanne: What is your point?
Chris: Well, how are they supposed to get in?
Roxanne: By walking through the front door, obviously. Same as everyone else.
In the student lounge, bunches of bright red balloons cast a reddish hue across the walls and confetti litters the floor. Did you notice I said “student lounge”? This is not the gym. At this point, I view Hillside’s mythical gymnasium the same way I do the Chupacabra. We can debate “what ifs” all day long, but it won’t lend any further credence to either of these legendary entities.
Courtney approaches Jake and asks him to dance, but he declines on the basis of his abysmal lack of coordination and offers to get them both a drink instead. As he departs for the refreshment table, Brooke swoops in with a voluminous “Bon Jour!” and makes sure that Headband is all caught up on her impending yearlong Parisian odyssey.
The Aryan Nation swaggers through the door into the locker vestibule and encounters Dave standing alone on the stairs.
Ben: What are you starin’ at?!
Dave: Nothing! (to Chris and Roxanne) Who are those guys?
Chris: What’s it to you?
Dave: Well, they don’t go to Hillside, right? So they’re not exactly supposed to be here.
Roxanne: Why don’t you go kick them oot, then?
Dave: Look, all I’m saying is—
Chris: Why don’t you mind your own business? They’re friends of ours. We invited them.
Matt approaches Ashley near a large ice sculpture in the shape of the word Hillside. Yeah. A school that can’t afford workable lockers splurged for a fucking ice sculpture:
He tells her that she looks really nice, then averts the otherwise inevitable awkward silence to follow his compliment by saying that he has to go find Jake. Ashley bites her lip and stares after him as he fades into the crowd.
Deadpool walks in and finds himself face to face with Arseman.
Arseman: So, how’s it going?
Arseman: Planning to have a good time tonight?
Billy: I guess.
Arseman: Planning to let everyone else have a good time, too?
Billy: Don’t worry. I was just over at Dylan’s place.
Arseman: You guys had a talk?
Billy: Sort of. I asked him if he’s coming tonight. He said dropoots aren’t invited.
Arseman: Well, unfortunately, he’s right.
Billy: You know something? I’m really worried aboot him. You know what he’s like. Dylan hides his feelings pretty well, but it looks to me like he’s really depressed.
Billy goes to mingle as Arseman high-tails it oot the door. In short order, Deadpool finds himself surrounded by Chris and The Plastic Ono Band.
Tony: Is this the guy you’re talking aboot?
Chris: Yeah, this is him – the one that thinks he’s so tough.
Billy: Come on!
Chris: Hey, don’t be modest, Bill! I hear you’ve been acting like you’re real tough, lately.
Billy: Don’t be stupid!
Tony: (grabbing Billy by the sleeve) You callin’ my friend stupid?!
Ben: That’s the word he used, alright. You better learn some respect!
Ben shoves Billy, knocking him back a few feet as Matt and Jake approach the melee.
Matt: What’s going on?
Chris: Mind your own business!
Jake: How aboot answering the question?
Chris: Oh, I’m shaking in my boots!
Matt: Just knock it off! No one wants any trouble.
Chris: Well, too bad, ‘cause you’re just aboot to get some!
Before the brewing rumble has a chance to get off the ground, Roxanne rushes in between the rapidly forming battle lines.
Roxanne: Don’t be stupid! Not at a school dance!
Chris: The guy’s trying to throw his weight around!
Roxanne: Come on! We’re leaving – now!
Arseman enters Dylan’s garage to find him sitting on a stool by the door, holding his guitar.
Dylan: …so, what are you doing here? What, did Billy tell you I was feeling all tragic or something?
Arseman: Well, he didn’t use those words, exactly…but more or less.
Dylan: Well, he’s wrong. I’m fine.
Arseman: Are you?
Dylan: No. Are you kidding? Go ahead, say it.
Arseman: Say what?
Dylan: I’ve blown it, totally. I made the world’s stupidest mistake and now I’m stuck, right?
Arseman: Well, I can’t exactly disagree with you, can I? I’m not exactly gonna tell you to look on the bright side, either.
Dylan: Because there isn’t one.
Arseman: Well, not that you’d notice…but just remember, you’ve still got friends! People care aboot you and that’s something!
Dylan: You mean it?
Arseman: Hey, I never say things I don’t mean.
Back at the dance, Billy sees Dave and this time, he gives him a proper sincere apology for having been such a shithead over the course of the past few weeks. To Deadpool’s pleasant surprise, Dave accepts his apology, just like that.
Elsewhere at the dance, Brooke is chewing Jake’s ear off aboot her upcoming year in Paris.
Brooke: Naturally, I won’t be studying all the time, so I’ll be able to see all the sights in Paris!
Brooke: The Eiffel Tower, St. Peter’s Basilica…
Jake: Actually, St. Peter’s Basilica’s in Rome.
Brooke: Right, of course it is. Well, I should be able to visit Rome on the weekends.
As Brooke continues her last big self-promotional display, her voice becomes noticeably shaky and more than a little choked up.
Brooke: Living in Paris for a whole year…halfway around the world…thousands of miles from everyone here…I mean…
Brooke’s lip begins to quiver and her eyes well up with tears.
Jake: Hey, are you okay?
Brooke: (sobbing) Jake…I don’t want to go.
Jake: What are you talking aboot?
Brooke: All my friends are here…everyone I care aboot. I don’t want to lose all my friends!
Who Farted approaches Dave at the punch bowl and almost asks him to dance. This is good practice for the upcoming season, wherein they spend all 26 episodes almost dating since neither possess the requisite mental or motor skills to move beyond this awkward and endless mating ritual.
Ashley’s kicking it on the dance floor with some kid that looks like he was ripped from a Hitler Youth propaganda film while Matt looks on. The music stops and Matt approaches.
Ashley: so, how’s it going?
Matt: Oh, not bad. Kinda different, though. First time in quite a while I’ve been to a school dance sober! It’s also the first time I’ve been to a school dance when I wasn’t here with you. Listen, if I’m way oot of line here, just tell me, but I’ve gotta ask you…Ashley, do you think there’s any chance for you and me to try again?
Ashley: so many things have changed…even the thought of getting back together. how could we make it work?
Matt: I don’t know.
Ashley: we still care aboot each other, don’t we? so if you wanna try…i mean, if you really wanna try…then i’d like to try, too.
Matt: You wanna dance?
That just warms the heart, doesn’t it? Savor it while you can, because you know goddamn well that Drinky Crow and Whisperina won’t be able to maintain this romantic Kismet for long. I’ll be back shortly to put a small Season 4 cherry on the otherwise complete Hillside sundae. Now go blow your nose and fix your makeup before you find yourself at a loss to explain to someone why you’ve been crying. Come on, now, chin up. There you go.