Season 1, Episode 9
“You think Ryan Reynolds got this far on his superior acting talent?” – Wade Winston Wilson
If you, like the students of Hillside, had a choice between bringing a bag lunch to school and eating it in the student lounge or grabbing a bite at The Avalon, which would you choose? If you answered, “both”, congratulations! You have something in common with Hollywood powerhouse Ryan Reynolds aside from being a carbon-based lifeform.
Deadpool and Betsy Ross are sitting at a booth in The Avalon. Courtney has schoolwork spread oot in front of her as Billy opens the bag lunch that his dad packed for him and informs his sister that it contains two sandwiches, a slice of cold pizza, a drumstick, an apple, cookies and a donut, a smorgasbord he finds ludicrously excessive. Switching gears, Billy asks Courtney if she’s still upset aboot Dylan, but she’d rather not talk aboot it. Deadpool spills the results of his fact-finding mission anyway and tells Courtney that “Dylan likes you…as a friend.” While stuffing his seven-course lunch back into the bag, Billy tells his sister aboot his conflicted feelings regarding Olaf. For now, Billy still considers him a friend, but since no one else seems to feel that way aboot Olaf, he’s wondering how others will view their friendship and whether he’ll be deemed “geeky” by the rest of his horrible schoolmates. Gathering her things, Courtney offers an uninspired, “You can be friends with whoever you want”, leaving her tween brother to work oot this moral dilemma on his own.
Brooke and Kelly enter the school as Brooke makes a typically stentorian announcement that she’s decided she’ll never write a paper again since she can just continue to pay Kelly’s sister to do it for her. Dutch Boy is conveniently situated for maximum eavesdropping potential as her sister informs Kelly that the last product of her sister’s handiwork resulted in an A+. Theresa approaches them and sarcastically congratulates Brooke for making the honor roll, “…and it only cost you $10”. Hitting her sarcasm crescendo, Dutch Boy proclaims that Brooke may as well run for Student Council President. While Kelly duly notes the sarcasm, Brooke dreamily ponders her sister’s mock idea with serious interest, prompting the most over-pronounced eye-roll we’ve yet seen from Kelly, who I already considered the undisputed master of this time-honored facial expression.
Ashley and Jake are sitting on a bench whining aboot the general trials and tribulations of being alive. Ashley doesn’t get much sleep, Jake can’t get no action, nothing new to see here. This dialogue is so god-awful that I cannot morally reproduce it here for fear its effects upon my (ever-dwindling) readership will be the digital equivalent of electroconvulsive therapy. So all I’ll say aboot the rest of this scene is to note that Jake’s shirt is a more pronounced shade of pink than Ashley’s denim jacket.
Cindy and Olaf march towards a table in the lounge occupied by a dorky hermaphrodite listening to music on a Walkman and a mullet-sporting kid that I happen to know, with the benefit of hindsight, is named Dave. Starting next season, Dave will become a major cast member and temporary Jake replacement even though the character and the actor himself are the very embodiment of terminal boredom. Cindy slaps a clipboard onto the table between them and barks, “Okay, guys. Start signing,” before even explaining what her stupid petition is aboot. Only after her two cornered victims question her motives does she explain that it’s a petition to demand that the principal install recycle bins in the school. As Dave the Dork picks up a pen to sign the petition, Matt and the Jock Squad approach and start mocking Cindy’s never-ending crusade in such a contrived and moronic way that I can no longer decide who the fuck I’m supposed to hate more, the screeching hippie or the hassled boozehound. As Geddy Lee once crooned, “if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice”. In that spirit, I’ll simply reaffirm my fondness for Olaf and move on.
Dave’s signature acquired, Cindy and Olaf walk on and run into Brooke, who expresses interest in the fact that they’re circulating a petition which is something she seems to feel should be of interest to a potential Student Council President no matter what issue it may address. When Cindy explains what it’s all aboot, Brooke flamboyantly feigns support and grabs the clipboard to add her signature. With a flourish, she then approaches the table where Dave and the hermaphrodite are still sitting and declares, “Environmental issues are something we should really be concerned aboot – and that’s why I try to take a leadership role!” before walking away, leaving Cindy and Olaf to wonder how they should feel aboot Brooke’s blatant co-opting of their pet issue.
Ashley is still sitting on the bench where we last saw her, but Jake is gone, leaving this prime piece of Hillside real estate open for Brooke to park her ass and harass her favorite pink target. But this time, she’s not here to harass but to see what the activity-obsessed little prude might know aboot other potential candidates for the Student Council President position. Con una voce bassa, Ashley replies that she hasn’t heard anything but since the election’s still three weeks away, she expects that someone will eventually throw their hat in the ring. Brooke brags that “a lot of people” have been encouraging her to run while drifting into another dream sequence fantasy involving her standing at a campaign podium dressed in a man’s suit, regaling her adoring constituents with the most narcissistic decree of humility ever televised.
Deadpool walks into the Avalon where Dave is sitting at the counter, another clear sign that the producers are priming this mulleted insomnia cure for a starring role next season. Olaf is sitting at a nearby table. He stands up and greets Billy enthusiastically, something Deadpool clearly hadn’t anticipated since he reacts by backing away from Olaf as if he had bubonic plague. Over the course of 65 fucking episodes, it doesn’t dawn on any of these colossal dullards that if you go to The Avalon, you WILL run into someone you don’t want to see. No, instead, they just keep treating it as a private haven for confidential conversations despite daily overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Olaf has heard aboot the party. He tells Billy, “Back home in Finland, I was famous for my partying!”, which is probably the first truly ridiculous thing he’s said thus far, unless the Finnish translation of “partying” is “playing chess by yourself”. While this is going on, Cindy can be seen listening to their conversation from a stool at the counter right next to Dave and his mullet. Deadpool improvs a hasty excuse aboot it being a small party, “because it’s a small apartment”, especially since his sister has already invited numerous friends. Olaf understands this to be the blow-off that it is as Cindy comes over and touches his arm affectionately. Before they have a chance to speak, Kelly bursts into The Avalon and announces to everyone present that the principal just called off Dylan’s concert because he neglected to turn in a math assignment. Billy nervously digs into his backpack and dejectedly pulls oot Dylan’s math homework. Deadpool, you are fucking up royally today.
Matt and Jake are alone in the boys’ locker room again because it’s been firmly established at this point that Matt and Jake are the only students that ever utilize the boys’ locker room, or maybe it’s a separate locker room constructed just for them, similar to their convenient stand-alone hallway lockers. Jake is moping melodramatically enough for his tosspot of a friend to notice and ask what’s wrong. Matt incorrectly guesses that Jake is still upset aboot their last contentious conversation, of course getting himself riled up again in the process and capitalizing on yet another opportunity to point oot his distaste for being hassled. His friend reluctant to tell him what’s on his mind, Matt sits down and reminds Jake that they’ve been friends since they were five years old, adding this touching illustrative anecdote: “I’m the guy who stuffed you head-first into the garbage dumpster in the third grade. If you can’t talk to me, who can you talk to?”. I know that’s the kind of thing I always demand of my closest confidantes. Why the fuck would I divulge my deeply personal issues to someone who hasn’t proven their merit by throwing me in a dumpster? Anyway, Jake finally tells Matt aboot his feelings for Courtney. While Matt attempts to give Jake some friendly advice, one of the jocks bursts in through a door I hadn’t noticed before and announces the news that “Dylan’s concert just went down the toilet!” Who needs Reuters when you have the students of Hillside? Jake and Matt can barely conceal their glee.
“Just like that? They just turn around and cancel the concert?” At their lockers, Billy and Courtney literally pick up the conservation where Jake and Matt just left off, as if these kids all share a hive mind that connects their words and actions in a grand web of interpersonal knowledge aboot the fact that Dylan’s concert got canceled. Deadpool tells her that it’s all his fault and castigates himself for forgetting to turn in Dylan’s homework assignment. Courtney is dressed like a turn-of-the-century steno pool clerk as she expresses satisfaction at Dylan’s bad karma despite her brother’s obvious distress over his part in it. Deadpool chastises her for not understanding why this is a big deal, slams his locker (which bounces back open) and runs away.
Brooke and Kelly are at The Avalon discussing the same fucking thing that everyone else in British Columbia is talking aboot – Dylan’s canceled concert. In front of Brooke is a juice box and a cookie on a plate, while Kelly appears to just be drinking a Coke. They note that Dylan hasn’t been in school today and wonder if he’s even aware of what happened (as if it wasn’t already the banner headline of the morning edition of The Vancouver Sun). They try to anticipate how he might react while Brooke picks at her cookie one chocolate chip at a time. Kelly asks Brooke how she feels aboot all this, “since you’re Dylan’s girlfriend,” prompting Brooke to categorically deny such a relationship…that is, until eventually, Kelly successfully convinces Brooke to be mortified by the sheer optics of dating a guy who can’t even pull off a free lunch hour concert in the gym. Brooke exclaims, “He comes oot of this looking like a total loser and people think I’m going oot with him!! So how does this make ME look?” Kelly is a fucking ninja when it comes to pushing Brooke’s buttons.
The camera pans toward the door as Matt and Ashley stroll into The Avalon talking aboot – fuck, you know what they’re talking aboot, ferchrissakes. Ashley feels sorry for Dylan and Matt doesn’t, but more importantly, Dave and his mullet are still sitting on the same stool at the counter. Ashley continues to whisper her empathy as Matt shouts his lack thereof. Finally, and to absolutely nobody’s surprise, Matt accuses her of having a crush on Dylan. Ashley tells Matt he’s a self-centered jerk and he backs off a bit, but not before adding, “but don’t expect me to feel all tragic aboot poor old Dylan, either”, just as James Dean himself swaggers through the door. He approaches their booth and addressing Matt as “Hot Shot”, asks him how it’s going. Matt says “okay” while Dylan just stands there running his hand back and forth over the table before dropping his voice to a strangely low pitch and enunciating with confusing intensity, “Good to hear. Things are going alright for old Matt Walker. That makes my day.” Finally, Ashley breaks the uncomfortable silence that follows by offering Dylan her condolences, which he coolly brushes off as unnecessary. Matt refrains from showing his delight and even offers a heartfelt, “Too bad, man” to the guy who had the audacity to touch his raiment, so Dylan turns and walks towards the table where Brooke and Kelly are sitting, perhaps in the hopes that his presence will court more controversy there. He’s just kind of aimlessly staggering around The Avalon like a drunk in an unfamiliar house, with no agenda other than to pointlessly engage with whoever he may bump into. Kelly says hi as Brooke hides behind a menu and offers a curt, “Afternoon.” The hermaphrodite with the earphones is sitting at an adjacent table. Dylan asks Brooke if she wants to go to the mall with him and she snottily declines. He asks if she wants to go somewhere else then and receives the same response. This fucking café is such an inescapable hellscape of funhouse doors that I can’t even confine myself to describing this conversation in the foreground withoot alerting you to the fact that in the background, Dutch Boy walks into The Avalon in the middle of all this and just stands there by the door through which she came in, not even trying to hide the fact that she’s listening in. Dylan can take a hint, apparently, and forces Brooke to say what’s on her mind. As voluminously as possible, she tells Dylan that she can’t date someone she doesn’t respect and right now, she doesn’t respect him at all and before he can even respond, goddamn Dutch Boy runs over and starts apologizing to Dylan on her sister’s behalf. In an effort to dodge Theresa, Dylan flees towards the door by the payphone only to run into Billy and Courtney on their way in. Billy starts to apologize profusely while Dylan finally extricates himself from this claustrophobic triangle of insufferable acquaintances and makes his way oot the door. If you watch this whole scene carefully from the beginning, you’ll notice that Dylan slow-motion ricocheted off of every single table in the establishment, even though the balls in the Avalon pinball machine don’t ricochet off of anything because it’s never plugged in.
Finally, we get a merciful change of pace and the next scene opens on Olaf and Cindy in the lounge. Olaf tells her that they have 49 signatures on the petition, which he deems not too bad. Cindy corrects him and points oot that there are really only 48 names, because one student signed “Sylvester Stallone”. Ever the optimist, Olaf opines that this still isn’t so bad, but Cindy begs to differ, seeing as how there are “over 200 kids in this school” (I assume all but aboot 15 of them are locked up in the basement). She points oot that there’s no time to get more signatures because “Old Zimmerman wants to meet us at 4:15”. Cindy notices that Olaf looks sad and asks what’s wrong. He begins by saying, “I honestly thought Billy was my friend,” and Cindy interjects that Billy’s just a kid and doesn’t know what he’s doing before offering Olaf her friendship which I thought had already been established, but what the fuck do I know. Suddenly, Dylan trudges by and Cindy jumps up to offer him her condolences even though a friendship between Cindy and Dylan has never been established. They talk for a few seconds, which is just long enough for Cindy to shoehorn in another reference to “Old Zimmerman” before Dylan sulks oot the door. Walking back to Olaf’s side, she says, “There’s a guy who’s carrying around a lot of pain. One of these days, he’s just gonna let loose…and then, watch oot!” Before you get excited, this seemingly prophetic line presages nothing at all, so don’t start imagining that Dylan will come back and firebomb the school or anything awesome like that. Shit, who do you think he is, Deadpool?
Brooke is sitting on her bed reading a magazine when Dutch Boy appears in the doorway and glares silently. Finally, she walks in and freaks the fuck oot on Brooke, which is something I didn’t think she had in her, but it still doesn’t come close to compensating for what she’s wearing. She shouts at Brooke for leading Dylan on. When Brooke tries to blow her off, Dutch Boy treats her to this shit: “I always tried to look up to you, Brooke. I really did. Because you’re my big sister. But I can’t do that anymore because I KEEP SEEING WHAT YOU’RE REALLY LIKE! You’re TOTALLY SHALLOW, you’re TOTALLY SELFISH, and you’re TOTALLY EGOTISTICAL. You don’t really care aboot anyone. You just USE people! One of these days, you’re gonna get what you deserve! You just wait. One of these days, somebody’s gonna get you back!” For once, Dutch Boy’s words carry weight. The episode ends with Brooke looking shocked, trying to process her sister’s biting words, as I finally decide on an unmentioned option #3: I would buy my lunch at The Avalon, then carry it to school and eat it in the lounge.
Only 4 episodes left in this season, y’all. Strap yourselves in.