Season 1, Episode 2
I have had recurring nightmares, though I don’t ever recall having a nightmare one night, waking up and living through the day, going back to bed and picking up on last night’s nightmare right where it had left off. Have you ever wondered how that might feel?
Scenes from last week, theme music, exterior shot of The Avalon (Chinese Foods) and then – holy fuck – COURTNEY IS STILL WHINING TO JAKE ABOOT HER PARENTS!! At first, I wasn’t sure if this was the exact same conversation from last week because for at least the first 30 seconds, we’re assaulted by an extreme closeup of Courtney in her cow milking-best, quiver-lipping her way through an explanation of the “Dad-sized hole” in her household since he moved oot. Finally, when they pan oot to show us the whole booth, we see that it’s still Jake being bombarded by this torrent of unsolicited self-pity and he’s still wearing the same shirt we last saw him in. This pathetic soliloquy eats up the first three and a half minutes of the episode before Courtney finally decides that the “bright side” to all of this is that it will give her writing material. So now we know that Courtney fancies herself a writer. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Now Matt is back at Attila The Hun. This time, we can hear pinball sounds but the flippers don’t respond to Matt’s fingers. What kind of fucked up prop is this? Couldn’t these morons just buy a goddamned pinball machine and plug it in? They must have purchased this thing from the same discount prop store that provided the Hillside lockers. Kelly coolly eases her way into the pinball room and starts asking Matt some very specific questions aboot his weekend plans and whether he’ll be spending time with Ashley. This is an information gathering mission, of course. Matt tells her that Ashley is bogged down with homework but they might spend time together tomorrow. Mission accomplished, Kelly takes her leave and Matt looks puzzled. No one ever seems to be suspicious of Brooke and Kelly when they are so clearly in the process of trying to destroy lives – just puzzled at the interactions. It’s as though none of these kids have ever met each other before – or they’re all having a recurring group nightmare that doesn’t ever pick up where it left off.
Now we’re back at Hillside where Ashley is studying. She’s wearing Matt’s letterman jacket over her usual pink attire and before I even have time to process how ridiculous she looks, here comes Courtney down the stairs looking like an FLDS sister-wife. Ashley bolts oot of her seat to apologize for not calling Courtney last night, Courtney says it’s fine and that she’s fine, which is the cue for her best friend to remind her that she’s not fine, no one’s fine, nobody in the history of ever has ever been fine, Courtney! “Come on…maybe you’re coping, but you CAN’T be fine.” Jesus Christ, Brooke, let’s get cracking on destroying this asshole, please.
While I’m trying to fashion a noose oot of some old bedsheets, Ashley’s blathering on aboot how she’s certain she failed today’s English test as Brooke approaches the table, says some Brookey things and soaks up Courtney’s sycophantic flattery. Matt approaches and sits down next to Ashley. Brooke, who is still hovering behind everyone at the table, tells Matt that it was great talking to him on the phone last night which elicits a stunned “What?!” from Ashley. Aside from the look of shock on Ashley’s face, this is all very boring and it turns oot Brooke called Matt aboot a homework assignment or some shit, but since this is all clearly part of Brooke’s evil plan, I put the noose aside and resign myself to finish watching the scene. This was a mistake on my part, because after Matt leaves the table with Brooke tagging after him, Courtney turns to Ashley and says, “Brooke really dresses beautifully, doesn’t she? In fact, Brooke is beautiful.” Forget it, Courtney. She’s oot of your league. But I understand Jake is single.
Now we see Matt and Jake at their bizarre stand-alone pair of lockers. Matt tells Jake that he’ll catch up with him later because he “got a note from Coach Williams” who wants to see him at noon. This is a high school basketball coach who communicates with his team by passing notes. Jake ascends the stairs in a paroxysm of Matt adoration that ends with a completely unironic, “Catch ya later, Ace!”
The dulcet tones of Dylan’s guitar emanate from the lounge where he is sitting on a table playing his electric guitar which is plugged into an amp that’s sitting on a coffee table that seems to have appeared in the lounge just to facilitate Dylan’s private jam session. Seriously. This butt nugget is hanging oot alone in the school lounge with an electric guitar and an amplifier, yet he acts surprised when Deadpool shows up and gushes aboot what a great guitar player he is, as if he hadn’t expected such an intrusion upon his private concert for one. Oot of nowhere, Dylan says to his little identically-dressed groupie, “Did you know Jimi Hendrix played left-handed?” as Matt approaches, makes a few “rock star” remarks to Dylan that I guess are supposed to be insults, and mocks Billy for his Dylanesque duds.
Back in the girls’ locker room, Brooke and Kelly remind any amnesiacs oot there in TV Land that they’re plotting to do something devious to Matt and Ashley.
Now we’re back in the strange locker vestibule and Courtney is tagging after an extremely disinterested Brooke talking animatedly aboot her writing. As if attempting to save her pathetic friend from further embarrassment, Ashley comes bounding down the stairs like a six year old that just ate a case of Pixie Stix and tells Courtney that she did okay on the test she’d been stressing aboot earlier. She asks Brooke how she did on the test and she curtly answers, “fine.” Dylan is listening as he comes down the stairs and he notices (because he has eyes) that Brooke’s test paper is sticking oot of her folder, so he snatches it and informs everyone in earshot that she got a 53 on the test. Brooke runs off, mortified.
What follows is the single greatest scene ever. Ashley, still wearing Matt’s letterman jacket, approaches Matt at his locker:
“jake said you had a meeting with your basketball coach. So how’d it go?”
Matt violently chucks some books into his locker, slams it closed, it swings back open (of course) and Ashley is once again left to wallow in devastated confusion.
The excitement is short-lived, because now Courtney and Deadpool are on the steps waxing catatonic aboot their parents again.
Back at The Avalon, Filth Pig serves up some sodas to Matt and Ashley’s booth. Matt’s explaining to Ashley that Coach Williams told him he’s lazy, despite the fact that he averages 19 points a game. Never one to engage in damage control, Ashley whispers another log onto the fire in Matt’s soul by seeming to side with Coach Williams:
“I don’t know. Maybe…”
“maybe he thinks you do need to work a little harder.”
“I scored 27 points!”
“maybe he thinks you can score even more.”
“OH, THIS IS GREAT! YOU’RE TAKING HIS SIDE!”
Ashley finally snaps oot of her masochistic episode and gets up to go to some meeting as Matt continues to grumble aboot having an absentee girlfriend while he’s “dealing with all this garbage from Williams”. As Ashley exits, we see that Kelly and a couple of unnamed girls are sitting at a nearby booth watching with amusement. But this here is a double-lurk situation, y’all, because if you look closely, you will see Theresa for the first time sitting on a stool at the counter eavesdropping on the table of eavesdroppers. Kelly is planting the seeds of a rumor aboot Matt having a crush on Brooke. I’m surprised they didn’t keep panning oot until eventually we saw God eavesdropping on Theresa eavesdropping on Kelly eavesdropping on Ashley and Matt. FUCK – I thought this goddamn scene was finally over. How foolish of me. Dutch Boy in Garanimals catches up to Kelly on her way oot and chastises her for spreading rumors. Kelly refrains from chastising Dutch Boy for not minding her own fucking business. It is nothing short of tragic that I’m unable to find a Google image of what Theresa is wearing in this scene.
Back at Hillside, Brooke kamikazes Matt in the hallway and tries to get him to admit that he and Ashley are having problems. Instead, he continues to vent aboot his problems with “the yo-yo that coaches the basketball team”. We get treated to the exact same diatribe he just unleashed on Ashley at The Avalon, but Brooke, of course, is far more sympathetic and flattering. Matt thanks her for her manufactured kindness and adds, “It’s nice to get a little support from someone.” Matt splits, Dylan wanders into view, and Brooke continues flirting shamelessly, as if it doesn’t matter one bit who she flirts with, as long as she’s flirting with someone. Brooke is fishing for Dylan to ask her to The Avalon later and he pretends to take the bait.: “It could be fun. Tell you what, forget Avalon’s. Let’s go to New York for the weekend.” Brooke calls him a pig and glares after him as he swaggers away, apparently too offended to point oot that the only place in town that any of these little Canadian shit stains ever patronize is called The Avalon.
Exterior shot of the plantation where Brooke and Dutch Boy live. Brooke’s bedroom is considerably larger than all the apartments in which I’ve ever lived combined. This is pre-Internet Age, of course, yet she has two computers. Brooke is putting clothes away when Theresa enters. The discussion to follow is ridiculous and dull, but of course, essential for the understanding of future events, so let’s see how fast I can explain this nonsense. Theresa reminds Brooke that she promised she would be home this coming Friday afternoon to answer a call that their mother is expecting. Yeah, I don’t fucking get it, either. Apparently, Mom is expecting an important call at 4:30 on Friday, but won’t be home to take it. Rather than, I don’t know, trust her answering machine, she instead insisted that one of her daughters stay home to answer this call. Theresa wants to go to Crystal’s birthday party that afternoon, so she’s reminding Brooke of her promise to be home for Mom’s telephone call. Then Theresa asks Brooke aboot the rumors she overheard Kelly discussing and attempts to advise Brooke not to get between Matt and Ashley. Harsh words are spoken. Animosity foments. The world keeps spinnin’.
Kelly and Brooke are at The Avalon, sitting at the counter. There are some hard-to-discern baked goods visible through the dingy plastic of the normally empty cake stand, perhaps hastily gathered together by Filth Pig when he noticed that two main characters were choosing to sit at the counter instead of their usual booth. No one else seems to be present, not even the staff. Yet, when Brooke tells Kelly that she has a plan to break up Ashley and Matt, they both lean in as close to each other as possible while Kelly cups her ear and Brooke pantomimes whispering a secret.
Attila The Hun room. Matt is pretending to play pinball, even though the machine is clearly unplugged, while Ashley and Jake hover over him. They’re still talking aboot Coach Williams hassling Matt. Ashley whispers something and Matt yells at her. Jake nervously chimes in and Matt yells at him. Matt – still yelling — changes the subject to weekend plans. The rest of this scene makes me giddy because it’s the first time that Matt’s drinking is mentioned. I’ll let the l’il Canucks speak for themselves:
Matt: There’s gotta be a party somewhere.
Jake: Sounds good to me!
Matt: Then that’s what we’ll do. You find oot where there’s a party happening and I’ll line up a case of beer.
Jake: Oh. Right.
Matt: Don’t sound so enthusiastic. C’mon. You can’t have a party withoot beer!
Ashley: well, actually, you can.
Matt: Oh, man, here we go! The ‘Just Say No To Beer’ lecture.
Ashley: I’m not lecturing.
Matt: Look — it’s not totally unusual for guys to have a few beers on Saturday night. So what’s the problem?
Jake: We’re not saying it’s a problem.
Ashley: but it’s not just Saturday nights, is it? I mean, you drink beer more than once a week.
Matt: LOOK – I’M SICK AND TIRED OF BEING HASSLED!! First, I have to put up with Williams and now this, AND I JUST DON’T NEED IT!
Matt storms oot of The Avalon as a sullen Ashley closes the episode with this foreboding summation: “he’s changing…and I’m really starting to worry aboot him.”
Trust me, Matt: there isn’t enough beer in the world to make this fucking little whispering douche pickle palatable. But I’ll bet you everything from a diddle-eyed Joe to a damned-if-I-know that Brooke can hold her liquor.
Next installment: THE DISLOCATED SWEDE!!