Happy Victoria Day to all of my friends north of the border! I tip a virtual Molson to the following exceptional Canucks who have consistently gone above and beyond the meticulous standards of the RCMP in providing us with ootstanding entertainment: Suzanne at My Dang Blog!, Tanya at The Incurable Dreamer, Ryan Reynolds, Laura Harris, Todd Talbot, Robyn Ross, Sarah Douglas, Ken Angel, Corky Martin, John Binkley, Andrew Baskin, Arseman Yohannes, Aubrey Nealon, Enuka Okuma, Rekha Shah, Ahnee Boyce, David Wight, Lisa Warner, Claire Langlois, Roxane Alexander, Janine Cox, Erin Inglis and everyone else involved in the creation of the greatest television show since the invention of the cathode ray tube!
Here’s a little Victoria Day primer from Rush for any curiously xenophobic American ignoramuses that may have stumbled upon this page. Take off, you hosers.
…and I find it kind of funny. I find it kind of sad. The dreams in which I’m dying are the best I’ve ever had. – Tears For Fears
In my recent Season 2 infographic post, I introduced the character of Erin Walker thusly: “Apparently, Matt has a little sister”, adding no further information aboot this extraneous new addition to the cast. Episode 2.2 opens at The Avalon, where Matt is trying to calm Erin’s jitters aboot her first year at Hillside over two perfectly rectangular slabs of coffee cake. I assume Matt didn’t indulge in any hair of the dog this morning, because his demeanor towards his anxious little sister is gentle and sympathetic. Erin decries her lack of friends until her brother tells her that she’ll make plenty of them before she knows it, just as Dylan swaggers through the door. He greets Matt: “Good morning, Walker,” then spotting the cute little girl sitting across the table, adds the fucking creepy observation: “Boy, you sure move fast, don’t you?” Matt growls, “She’s my sister,” before Dylan walks back towards the pinball machine. Matt informs his confused little sibling that Dylan’s “just the resident jerk,” and advises her to ignore him.
Brooke is studying in the student lounge as Janice creeps up from behind and stares over her shoulder at the open textbook on the table. Somehow Brooke fails to notice the bright yellow gawker even though she’s nearly on top of her until she fumes under her breath, “This just doesn’t make sense,” prompting the as-yet-undetected intruder to blurt oot, “Actually, it does! I’m Janice!” Withoot looking up, Brooke deadpans, “I know who you are,” but Janice completely ignores this bitterly cold recognition and takes a seat. She grabs Brooke’s pen from oot of her hand and begins to vomit rapid-fire instructions on how to solve the math problem until Brooke snatches her pen back and slams the book shut, setting Janice off on an involuntary paroxysm of uncomfortable apologies. Janice is a social retard. A more politically correct term to adequately describe her intrinsic essence simply doesn’t exist. But in an early 90s world that had already treated us to the likes of Screech Powers and Patty Greene, Janice leaves the rest of those comparatively subtle teen ootcasts coughing in her dust.
Brooke disencumbers herself from this gnat-like annoyance and saunters over to Dylan’s locker to demand an apology for publicly insulting her at Ashley’s depressing little going away bash. Dylan responds by asking her if she really thinks anyone still buys her act, adding, “Everyone knows you. We can all see right through you. I mean, most of us aren’t totally stupid,” the “most of us” qualifier inserted as an afterthought to take Courtney into account, I assume.
Courtney and Deadpool are sitting at a booth in the Avalon’s pinball room as Thrift Store Trudy attempts to make up for an entire season’s worth of lost time by trying to get her brother to open up aboot how he’s been feeling since the divorce.
Back at Hillside, we get our first glimpse of Chris as he tries to punch a soda oot of the vending machine. The denim-vested juvenile delinquent then walks over to Dylan and starts to harass him aboot the fact that he’s doing homework, a decidedly uncool way for any self-respecting rebel to spend his time: “Man, are you turning into a wuss on me or something? A guy starts doing homework, you’ve gotta worry aboot what comes next.” (Crystal meth?) He deems the studious spectacle “tragic” before confirming their scheduled after school band practice.
Chris continues to make his rounds, encountering Arseman at her locker. He greets her with the words, “Hi, Sunshine!”, thereby opening himself up to a world of sass from this puzzlingly prideful loudmouth who prefers to go by her ridiculous given name instead of Chris’ far more aesthetically appealing moniker. Chris initially seems to acknowledge the inherent sexism of his opening salutation, then proceeds to call her “Buttercup” as he bids her adieu. Arseman turns from her locker to find Brooke standing in Chris’ place, warning that, “That guy is bad news,” putting herself right in the line of fire of Arseman’s infinite sassiness.
Courtney enters the student lounge and sits down on a bench next to Matt. She apologizes for not informing him aboot Ashley’s enrollment in the private school, a situation of which we were made aware last season by none other than the drunkard to whom she’s apologizing. I know this isn’t the first time I’ve pointed that oot, but it’s not my fault that Ian Weir keeps making it mandatory for me to do so. Matt graciously rebuffs her expressions of regret, adding, “Besides, today’s my lucky day! I finally saved up enough money to buy that new Rod Stewart tape. I mean, what more could a guy possibly want? See you around.”
I’ll give you a minute to let that last bit of dialogue sink in.
Deadpool enters The Avalon and says hi to Amanda who is sitting at the counter. As he begins to nervously flirt with the new addition to the Morgan family, Brooke can be seen talking on the payphone directly behind them. Deadpool takes his leave and Brooke starts to tease her little sister before Amanda cuts her off by declaring that “Billy’s a doofus”. Brooke ignores Amanda’s protests and tells her that she’ll be sure to spread the word aboot her budding romance with everyone’s favorite Toon Blast spokesman.
The next scene opens on Matt and Erin in the student lounge talking aboot egg salad sandwiches. Matt offers to buy her lunch at The Avalon with the $12 he had previously earmarked for the new Rod Stewart tape, valiantly sacrificing his “lucky day” so that his sister can dine on something more palatable than eggs and mayonnaise. This perfectly illustrates why I felt Erin rated a mere sentence fragment of an introduction.
Next, Deadpool is whining aboot his parents to Dylan who’s pretending to play pinball at The Avalon, conveniently eating up a full minute and a half of airtime.
At Arseman’s locker, Courtney expresses worry aboot Matt’s emotional state in an obvious attempt to spin her newest pathetic infatuation into something more respectable. If you’re wondering how I jumped to this conclusion in the seeming absence of circumstantial evidence, remember that whenever Courtney is talking aboot any guy besides Jake, there is a 100% chance that she wants to get in his pants. She feigns concern that he may be drinking again, then asks Arseman what she should do. Sassy Afro clearly isn’t as pragmatically blunt as she likes to think, because rather than shouting, “NOTHING, YOU FUCKING SHAMELESS WHORE! HE JUST BROKE UP WITH YOUR BEST FRIEND LAST WEEK!!”, she instead advises Shit Drapes to talk to him.
Matt and Jake’s Dave’s locker room. Dave is carrying a laundry basket full of dirty skivvies while Matt finishes getting changed. Laundry Boy kisses Matt’s ass for a spell, telling him that he wishes Coach Williams would have a change of heart because withoot a “pure shooter” like Matt on the team, they don’t have a chance of defeating Valley View.
Janice skips down the stairs and calls oot to Courtney, who initially greets her like an actual human being rather than a cooties-infected locust. Janice can barely contain her excitement at the fact Courtney remembered her name, so she launches into an impersonation of their English teacher that falls utterly flat since Courtney thinks Mr. Davis is a good teacher. Janice immediately agrees with this assessment, causing Courtney to point oot that she just called him a geek no less than 10 seconds ago. Janice tries to recover from this misstep by babbling incoherently for several minutes before asking Courtney if she’d like to join her at The Avalon. Courtney indicates that she’s busy, so Janice tries to sweeten the deal by shouting, “I’ll buy!” but Shit Drapes just says, “See ya,” and walks away.
Matt comes down the stairs and greets Courtney while Janice is still lurking behind the lockers. Matt asks who that was and Courtney replies, “Janice. She’s in my English class. I mean, I’m sure she means well but boy, is she irritating!” Just as these words escape her lips, she turns to see Janice in the immediate vicinity and follows up her faux pas with a flippantly Brookian “Oh, well!” as Janice runs away in humiliation. Courtney gives Matt’s slender form an indiscreet once-over before inviting herself to accompany him to the mall for his purchase of the new Rod Stewart tape. Matt tells her that he spent the $12 he had saved for the tape, adding, “What the heck? Let’s go down to the mall anyway. I can’t afford to buy the tape, but we can just look at it admiringly.”
Band practice at Dylan’s garage. Deadpool hasn’t gotten any better on the drums, but Chris merely tickles spastically at the strings of his bass guitar in the worst display of fake musicianship I’ve ever witnessed. As the final notes fade oot, Billy enthuses that they sounded really good, while Chris counters that they “sounded like a cat fight in the alley”. He accuses Billy of speeding on the drums and shouts at him to “GET WITH IT!”, prompting Dylan to jump to the defense of his rhythmically challenged Mini-Me.
Erin is alone at a table in the student lounge as Janice cautiously approaches. She sits down next to Matt’s little sister and tells her that it must be kind of lonely staying after school by herself to finish her homework. In the brief conversation that ensues, Erin tells her that she’s new at this school which is precisely the opening Janice was hoping for: “You, too, huh? Same with me! I just transferred here last week. I really miss my old school. I had lots of friends there. Here it’s…I don’t know…it’s really different. I wish I could figure it oot.” Erin’s obvious indifference to Janice and her psychotic stream-of-consciousness finally causes the lonely lunatic to get up and walk away. Strike four, Janice.
Dylan and Chris are discussing important band matters in The Avalon pinball room. Chris is eating a Hostess cupcake with a fork while he tries to make Dylan understand that the band has no potential as long as Billy’s the drummer. Dylan defends Deadpool by saying, “He’s a friend of mine,” and Chris counters, “So what do you want, a friendship society or a real band?”, a question that will soon grow into an ultimatum. In the meantime, Dylan reminds Chris that this is his band and Billy is his drummer.
At the Morgan Mansion, Brooke is laboring over a pile of homework when Amanda bursts through the door demanding to know who she told aboot Billy’s crush on her. This leads to a shouting match whose only discernible purpose is to show how much more aggressive Amanda is willing to get with Brooke than her former mousey little sister, punctuated by a bold, sneering announcement that Brooke doesn’t have any friends, and “everybody hates you!” Brooke takes offense and declares that she has “lots of friends” so Amanda dares her to name three. Following a long silence, she continues, “Okay, then name ONE!”, another stumper for her elder sibling. As Amanda storms oot of the room, Brooke picks up her textbooks and hurls them at the door, shouting, “That’s not true!” before breaking down in tears for the poignant closing shot of the episode. Fuck me sideways, Amanda! I wish you’d materialized in this frosty purgatory a whole lot sooner. You put Dutch Boy to shame.
It’s a brand new season and appropriately, there’s a brand new intro to launch us into the next 13 episode installment of our favorite teen soap of all time! Matt Ender’s sublime theme music remains intact and unchanged, because you just don’t mess with perfection. However, the cast is no longer introduced by name, so we’re treated instead to a montage of scenes, most of which are lifted directly from the episodes to come, including a shoving match on the stairs between Dylan and Chris, Brooke attempting to de-uglify Who Farted at The Avalon counter, Courtney in one of her stupid new headbands trying to console the ever-inconsolable Ashley, and Deadpool holding John upside down by the ankles as he shakes the loose change oot of his pockets (something that doesn’t occur until Season 3, which probably means that they filmed both seasons at the same time). This new introduction isn’t available anywhere online, so let’s waste no further time on such trivialities and jump right into the action, eh?
We open on the exterior of an unfamiliar suburban home. In the basement, Ashley is grief-hugging an oversized pillow on the couch and Courtney is sitting on an adjacent love seat watching TV with her emotionally fragile and flagrantly truant friend. The program ends and Courtney gets up to leave. On her way up the stairs, she pauses to ask Ashley if she thinks she might come to school tomorrow but receives not even a whisper of a reply from the exaggeratedly anguished attention whore. Ashley continues to mope inside of her oversized purple sweatshirt – a wardrobe choice designed to indicate that Hillside’s former star pupil has officially given up hope – as Courtney tries another approach and tells her that she received a letter from Jake today. Though Ashley couldn’t possibly exude more indifference aboot this, Courtney proceeds to summarize the letter just the same, informing her that Jake misses everyone and “he misses me,” our first allusion to the fact that Courtney and Jake have embarked upon a long-distance romance now that he’s in China and thus incapable of spontaneous lip attacks and painfully awkward proposals. Honestly, I’ve been paying only slightly more attention to her words than Ashley has, but even so, I couldn’t help but notice that Courtney indicated Jake will be in China with his mom for six weeks – which means that this entire 13 episode season must take place within that very brief time frame. Courtney returns to the topic of Ashley’s prolonged absence from school and Melancholy Mauve coldly advises her that she won’t be coming back to Hillside because she’s enrolling at a private school the day after tomorrow.
Matt is alone at The Avalon when a completely new Jock Squad enters the café for some post-game soda pops. The slender souse asks them how the game went and they inform him that they won – their fifth straight victory since Matt was kicked off the team. They tell Matt that it’s great to see him and one of them gives him an affectionate punch on the shoulder as he sulks back to his table of solitude.
Brooke enters the locker vestibule sporting a drastically shorter haircut and wearing an uncharacteristically awful top that looks like an official NFL referee’s uniform. Her new sister Amanda calls oot to her, but Brooke is clearly giving her the silent treatment. Amanda pleads with her sister to hear her oot and the conversation that ensues explains the animosity between Brooke and this as-of-yet total stranger to even the most avid of Fifteen aficionados. Apparently, Brooke has transferred her anger at Theresa onto Amanda because her new sister told their dad aboot the whole geography paper scandal even though she promised she wouldn’t. Alright…a couple of things: 1) What the fuck happened to Dutch Boy?; 2) What the fuck happened to Kelly?; 3) Considering Brooke was put on academic probation, how would this have escaped her father’s notice even if Amanda had kept her mouth shut?; 4) Why wasn’t Amanda even mentioned in passing last season?; 5) What the fuck happened to Dutch Boy? (I know that’s the same question as the first, but it bears repeating). Brooke tells Amanda to go ootside and stand in the bus lane until she gets run over, seeming to indicate that no matter what sister she’s addressing, the common theme is that she always wishes they’d drop dead.
Matt’s playing pinball at The Avalon, and just like in last season’s premiere episode, the machine is fully functioning, with moving flippers, a visible ball, and sound effects. Apparently, the budget only allows for the machine to be plugged in exactly once per season. Deadpool enters through the rear door and interrupts Matt’s game with what is either a friendly greeting or a full body check. He asks Matt how he’s doing, then how Ashley’s doing, so the somber sot tells Billy that he hasn’t seen her in a week, adding, “If you happen to see her, say hi for me, okay?”
Dylan, whose new haircut makes me wonder if he goes to the same lesbian barber as Brooke, is studying in the lounge as Courtney walks by, dressed in a black rubber hazmat apron over a pink turtleneck.
Courtney: Oh. Hi, Dylan.
Courtney: Something wrong?
Dylan: Just the temperature. It just dropped aboot 40 degrees.
Courtney: Must be a problem with the heating system, then.
It’s nice to see that Ian Weir hasn’t lost his flair for realistic teen dialogue during the season break. As Courtney starts to walk away, Dylan gets up from the table and asks her if she’s seen Ashley. Courtney confirms that she saw her this morning, but opts to ignore his follow-up questions aboot whether she’ll be returning to school.
Courtney pivots away from Elvis and greets Arseman, who is sitting at a nearby table. The writers don’t even bother to explain who this person is – they apparently expect us to just act like the rest of the cast who all treat her like someone that’s been a part of their clique of Hillside A-listers all along. I refuse to accept this. Who the fuck is this chick and why do they keep springing new characters on us withoot bothering to give us even a kernel of backstory? I found your contact information online, Binkley, you fucking lunatic. Expect to be inundated with endless questions and complaints in the very near future.
Anyhow, in lieu of a greeting, Arseman tells Courtney to relax, noting that every time she’s within 10 feet of Dylan, her whole body goes rigid. Great, another fucking eavesdropper – just what we needed. Courtney responds, “Do yourself a favor…don’t ever, ever get involved with a guy,” to which our new afro-sporting friend replies, “I wasn’t planning to,” which is fucking bullshit because this asswipe will be trying to get into Dylan’s pants faster than you can say, “Did I just miss something here?”. Arseman changes the subject and asks how Ashley’s doing, because she “couldn’t help overhearing” Dylan’s inquiries. Courtney proceeds to tell the thrice-told tale of the tragic little thespian, while Arseman has the audacity to nod her head knowingly even though she just materialized in this dark matter Universe precisely 45 seconds ago. They toy with the idea of throwing her a going away party, then settle on getting a group of people together at The Avalon to ambush the mopey little shit with unsolicited and almost certainly unwanted attention. I’ve got to admit, on this one, I feel you, Ashley. Moping in peace is something that humanity just refuses to afford a person, and it only gets worse the older you get.
Brooke comes down the stairs just in time to hear the whole private school discussion. She feigns shock before inviting herself to the get-together at The Avalon, while Arseman rolls her eyes as if she’s been privy to Brooke’s shit for years as opposed to just the last 10 seconds. Rising from the table, Courtney admonishes Brooke not to tell anyone aboot what she just overheard and Brooke agrees to keep mum so repetitively that she might as well have said, “Fuck that, you disgusting cow, I’m gonna tell everyone in the school and you goddamn know it, so why bother telling me to do otherwise?”
Back in Ashley’s basement, Pink Misery is packing clothes into a suitcase as Courtney comes down the stairs and launches into a futile pep talk aboot how no one at school views her any differently since the cheating incident. Ashley reiterates that she just wants to be left alone, but Courtney presses her to meet up at The Avalon later for “one last slice of pizza” and Depression Fog reluctantly agrees, based on Courtney’s bald-faced lie that it will be “just the two of us”.
Brooke enters The Avalon and walks over to the table where Matt is studying. She sits down and Matt asks, “So how’s Theresa?”, to which Brooke replies, “Oh, my little sister Theresa? She’s fine. Off at that school for the arts having a wonderful time. She’s very talented. My other sister’s very talented, too, in different ways, of course. In Amanda’s case, it’s more of a talent for…well, getting her sweet and charming little way,” effectively filling two glaring plot holes with one big mound of shit. Unfortunately, Matt fails to ask her aboot Kelly, whose rotting corpse is probably laying somewhere beneath the floorboards of the Morgan Estate. Brooke then expresses her condolences to Matt for getting kicked off the team because of his drinking and this of course brings oot the hassle-averse Matt we all know and love for the first time this season. She continues running her mouth until she “inadvertently” spills the beans aboot the fact Ashley’s going to private school and Matt reacts with shock, which makes no fucking sense because he was the one who broke that news to Jake in last season’s final episode. Brooke continues to douse Matt’s wounds in sodium chloride until he gets up and flees The Avalon.
And now we’re at The Avalon again, where Billy is table drumming as Dylan approaches his booth from behind and says, “Hey, rock on!” They engage in some insufferably stupid conversation for a few minutes, none of which is worth repeating here, other than the fact that Dylan casually name-drops Chris like we’re already supposed to know who the hell that is. Jesus, this is a sloppy season transition. “How should we introduce the new cast members, John?” “Fuck, I don’t know, Ian, just act like they’ve been major characters all along. I’m sure nobody will notice.”
Arseman comes down the stairs and calls oot to Courtney in the lounge. These two geniuses still think it’s a good idea to kamikaze their morbidly depressed friend with a fucking surprise party at The Avalon, so they start to plan the guest list. Courtney, check. Arseman, check. Deadpool, check. Brooke…she already knows aboot it, so whatever. Matt? They wonder aloud whether he even knows aboot Ashley’s imminent departure just as the lanky lush materializes in the background. Before they can speak, Matt asks them, “Is this for real?”, which takes them by surprise until he divulges that Brooke told him all aboot it. Matt gives Courtney some shit for not telling him sooner and fucking busybody Arseman butts in to admonish him: “She’s telling you now, Matt”. They tell him aboot the get-together at The Avalon, but Matt astutely guesses that Ashley wouldn’t want to see him, though I’m sure it’s not as personal as he’s making it oot to be. If these two assholes had any self-awareness, they’d understand that she doesn’t want to see them, either. Courtney tries to comfort Matt by telling him that she knows Ashley still cares aboot him, but he brushes it off by saying that she’s got a funny way of showing it before taking his leave.
Back at Hillside, Dylan’s just standing idly by his locker like an idiot when he’s approached by — JANICE! Holy shit, I fucking love Janice, and in short order, I promise you will, too. She nervously introduces herself and tells him that she sits near him in science class, then unleashes a torrent of verbal diarrhea aboot having just transferred here last week and not having any friends yet, until Deadpool just cuts right in between them and excitedly asks Dylan if he’s heard aboot Ashley. Before Billy can announce his news, Janice chimes in, “Ashley who? Hi! I’m Janice!” causing her new acquaintances to walk to a different part of the hallway in an effort to dodge her overbearing presence. Erroneously believing they’re oot of earshot, Billy asks Dylan, “Who’s that?” to which Leather Jacket replies, “I’m not sure. I’m not sure I wanna know, either,” prompting Janice to skulk away in shame.
At The Avalon, Courtney brings two slices of pizza to the table where Ashley is sitting like a lump of clinically depressed shit. Pinky McMope tells Courtney that she’s not very hungry and wishes that they’d gone somewhere else, obviously horrified at the prospect of running into anyone she knows. Beginning with Arseman, Ashley’s obnoxious friends confirm her suspicions by entering the establishment one by one and acting like they just dropped in because they happened to be in the neighborhood. For some reason, Ashley’s icy façade finally cracks at the appearance of Dylan and Deadpool, who advise her that no one thinks any less of her for cheating on the test. Her anger magically transformed into gratitude, she sits back down across from Courtney and Arseman to continue staring at her slice of pizza. Now Matt approaches and asks her how she’s doing. Her response of, “okay, I guess,” seems to satisfy him and he trudges back to the pinball machine. Rounding oot the parade of parasitic pals is Brooke, still in her referee ootfit, spewing her typical insincere condolences and advising Ashley that, “We all forgive you,” before Dylan comes to Pink Denim’s rescue and tells Brooke to do them all a favor and flush herself down a toilet. Arseman advises Ashley that her pizza’s getting cold, but instead she gets up to go talk to Matt in the pinball room.
Matt at his most contrite is surprisingly soft-spoken, and the fact that they’re both whispering at each other for the next few minutes necessitates that I turn the volume on my laptop up to 11. They whisper apologies at each other before Matt asks, “It’s an awful feeling, isn’t it…when something really great gets totally ruined?” I know it’s a common human tendency to romanticize past relationships, but isn’t the passage of a single week a bit too soon for even this drunken douchebag to have forgotten that their entire “romance” was nothing more than a one-sided shouting match? He continues: “I guess there’s no point even dreaming, is there…aboot getting back together? Will I ever see you again?” She whispers that she’ll be back next summer and they’ll probably run into each other before they tell each other to take care.
Matt slumps onto the pinball machine with sad dreams of Ashley and Alcohol dancing through his head as the episode ends with as little fanfare as it began:
It’s time to dive head first into Fifteen’s second season, so here’s a little infographic post to get us started. I apologize in advance for the lower quality photos that will have to accompany my posts from here on oot. As I’ve explained, Season 1 is readily available on YouTube, but for the rest of the series, I need to rely on screen grabs from the DVR set I acquired earlier this year, necessitating a disappointingly low-res experience from now on.
Each season will need one of these brief introductory posts to explain the character departures from the last season and new additions to the cast for the present season. First, the departures:
Kelly, Theresa, Olaf and Cindy are history.
Jake will also be absent for the entirety of Season 2 while he accompanies his mother on a trip to China, but he’ll make his triumphant return in Season 3.
In the meantime, say hello to the newest crop of depressing little Canadian shit stains to haunt the halls of Hillside High:
Brooke’s little sister. Yeah, I know. After suffering through 13 episodes of Dutch Boy, we now find oot that there was an additional Morgan sister that no one ever mentioned. The way the writers explain this while simultaneously trying to tie Amanda into some of last season’s plot lines is stupefyingly lazy and nonsensical, but I’ll explain all that when I get back into the episode summaries. Amanda wears a permanent sneer, something that makes her a bit more believable as a member of Brooke’s immediate family, and she has the greatest fucking hair I’ve ever seen. Therefore, she’s a marked improvement over her Garanimals-wearing predecessor.
I honestly don’t know where to start. Like it or not, we’re stuck with this awkward, groaning, hideous creature for the duration of the series. A still shot can’t do justice to her horrifyingly grotesque countenance. Stacy’s face is an amorphous, rubbery display of dynamic deformity causing her to appear like she’s constantly in close proximity to someone that just let oot an enormous cloud of flatulence, so I’ve taken to calling her “Who Farted?” Any words that escape her lips are prefaced by a strange guttural sound like someone trying to run an unplugged blender on the residual electricity from its last use. For this season, she’ll essentially serve as the extremely disappointing replacement for Kelly as Brooke’s sidekick.
This is Mullet Dave, who I impetuously identified when he was just an extra during several of last season’s posts even though the writers had yet to do so. As you can see, he’s ditched the mullet and the day-glo boyswear in favor of a bowl cut and a Hillside letterman jacket (he’s the basketball team’s towel boy). Since Jake is being held hostage in a Beijing hotel, Dave is here to temporarily take his place as Matt’s shy, athletically-impaired ass kisser that occasionally feels the need to nervously inform his short-fused friend that he might be an alcoholic. Sound familiar? It is, with one major exception: Dave is boring as fuck.
This is Arseman. She’s smart, sassy, ootspoken and squeakier than a shopping cart with four shitty wheels. We’ll be seeing so much of her in the episodes to come that there’s really no point in saying more aboot her here.
Fifteen’s — and perhaps Nickelodeon’s — first ever genuine dirt bag! The new bass player for Dylan’s band, Chris is hot-tempered, cynical, antagonistic and often just plain mean. Incredibly, Chris is a character that doesn’t require me to employ a suspension of disbelief whenever he appears on the screen because he’s nearly identical to every late-80’s / early 90’s class-skipping, fist-fighting, long-haired kid that would smoke cigarettes ootside the lunchroom between classes at every single high school in North America.
Apparently, Matt has a little sister.
Janice! This new transfer to Hillside High is hands-down the most amusingly psychotic character of the season. Everyone hates Janice, and her attempts to remedy this situation just make them hate her all the more. Janice is a fucking phenomenon, but I’ll save her sad/desperate/happy/suicidal story arc for the episode synopses.
This little shit could literally take flight if his ears were capable of flapping. In the Season 2 opening montage, there’s a clip of Deadpool stuffing him into a locker, but this doesn’t actually happen until Season 3. John doesn’t serve any discernible purpose.
This dumpy manager of The Avalon is completely devoid of a personality. In fact, he might not even be the manager, but he’s the one who decides what bands will play at the cafe’s new Friday night open mic venue. He bears an astonishing resemblance to Filth Pig, but could he possibly have grown this much older and larger in just one year? I’d be interested to hear anyone’s thoughts aboot this.
Yooouuu don’t have to put on the red light! Though we won’t meet this leather-clad hard-ass until the last few episodes of Season 2, she will become indispensable to the show from that point forward. She’s the only person at Hillside High with the ability to intimidate Chris and for that reason alone, she kicks ass. She also smashes Brooke’s face into an enormous hot fudge sundae next season, but now I’m getting way ahead of myself.
That should suffice for the vital information required to embark upon Fifteen’s second glorious season, so withoot further ado — I’ll be back to get us started just as soon as I goddamn feel like it. Considering the sound-of-crickets reception my Season 1 posts generally received, I’m sure everyone will be completely nonplussed aboot any delay caused by my ever-increasing laziness. Might as well go for a soda.
Remember us – if at all – not as lost, violent souls, but only as the Hollow Men – TS Eliot
Despite the fact that Jake finally lip-raped Courtney and developed a temporary set of balls in the wake of that disastrous mouth ambush, the penultimate episode of Season 1 failed to deliver the punch we’ve come to expect from the students of Hillside. However, making the next to last installment a slow-burner is a common practice in the realm of soaps, as it retrospectively increases the potential excitement of the season’s coda. Let’s see how well this manufactured anticipation worked in the case of Fifteen’s inaugural season, shall we?
We open at the Morgan Mansion where Brooke is looking over what she believes is a geography project completed by Kelly’s sister, clearly impressed at the level of work that went into it and deeming it well worth the $20 price tag. Dutch Boy appears at her door wearing the original classic ootfit that inspired me to come up with her paint can-inspired nickname a dozen long episodes ago:
Theresa stands there staring at Brooke for a ridiculously long time until Brooke finally tells her to stop spying on her and say something, leading to a puzzling semantic argument aboot the subtle differences between spying and lurking. Finally, Dutch Boy makes a snide remark aboot the paper in Brooke’s hands having been written by Kelly’s sister, something I assume she already knows is untrue because I can’t imagine who else Kelly would have been talking to in the last couple of one-sided phone conversations she conducted at The Avalon. Brooke gets up from her bed and strolls around the room reminding Theresa that today is the day she’ll be officially announcing her candidacy for Student Council President. They trade a few more pointed barbs before Dutch Boy huffs from the room.
Cindy and Olaf enter The Avalon and approach Jake at the counter. Attila The Hippie takes a seat next to Jake, remarking that he “doesn’t look so hot” and asking him what’s wrong. For some fucking incomprehensible reason, Jake answers, “Oh, lots of things. The ozone layer is breaking down, the rainforests are disappearing…” and for once, Cindy seems momentarily disinterested in environmental issues and presses him for what’s really on his mind, to which he answers, “Ashley”. They discuss the fact that Pink Denim hasn’t been at school since she was caught cheating on her math test. Olaf walks back from the cash register and offers his friends some Mentos or Rolos or perhaps some obscure Canadian snack that comes in a tubular package. Jake asks him if he ever found his geography notes and Olaf responds in the negative, adding a few light-hearted quips to prove yet again that he is the only one among these terminal drama queens capable of meeting minor problems with something other than prolonged despair and self-pity.
With Kelly at her side, Brooke appears to be making the grand “official” announcement of her candidacy to a table in the lounge occupied by Mullet Dave (wearing a pink shirt over a powder blue turtleneck) and two unknown girls. It’s established that as of now, she’s running unopposed. One of the girls asks her whether she’ll push for more school dances if she’s elected as Dylan appears from behind. Kelly spots him leaning on the banister and walks over to him. They briefly mock Brooke’s presidential aspirations before Kelly discloses that she was sorry his concert got canceled because she was really looking forward to hearing him play. Kelly might be flirting here, but it’s difficult to say for sure since we’ve never really seen her flirt before. She is wearing a shirt with the logo of some clothing brand, the design of which appears to contain several dismembered floating penises in each of the corners, but I might be reading too much symbolism into her attire. What the fuck do I think I’m reviewing here, Twin Peaks? A moment later, her flirtation becomes apparent as she tries to obtain an invite to take in a private concert at Dylan’s garage, but her efforts are dismissed with a chuckle before he turns and walks away. What the hell is wrong with you, Leather Boy? You’re willing to get involved with an ugly parasite and a scheming inveigler, but you reject the coolest and arguably hottest girl at Hillside High even though she’s virtually throwing herself at your feet? I guess there’s no accounting for taste.
Matt and Jake’s locker room. Drinky Crow is menacingly interrogating Jake aboot whether he’d like to take back anything he said during his temporary testosteronal tirade at The Avalon yesterday. Jake sticks to his guns, then asks Matt if he’s had a chance to talk to Ashley. Matt tells him that he tried calling her last night, but she didn’t want to talk. Jake responds that he’s not surprised considering how torn up Ashley is, then asks Matt again if he even cares. Matt reluctantly concedes that he does, but he’s at a loss as to what do aboot it, at which point Jake stands up and faces him in yet another surprising display of machismo, shouting, “You’re an intelligent guy. Figure it oot!”
Brooke and Kelly stroll into the student lounge discussing Ashley’s prolonged absence from school. Kelly asks Brooke if she’s turned in her geography paper yet and Brooke confirms that she has before changing the subject to the campaign posters Kelly is carrying. Kelly grabs one from the pile and displays it to Brooke upside down so that it reads “⊥NƎᗡISƎᴚԀ ᴚOℲ ƎʞOOᴚq”, which is far more interesting than the pathetically pedestrian slogan it displays when she realizes her mistake and flips it over. Brooke sighs that it will have to do for now, then orders her frenemy to start putting them up around the school.
Jake and Olaf are eating their bag lunches together in the lounge, while Kelly is attempting to hang a campaign sign on the soda machine in the background. Olaf explains to Jake that he’s going to have a talk with his geography teacher and ask for an “expansion” to turn in his project. When Jake optimistically opines that the notes might still turn up, Kelly abandons her task at hand to plant the seed of an idea in their heads that perhaps the notes weren’t lost, but stolen. When Jake and Olaf question in unison who would do such a thing, Kelly responds that it would most likely be someone in Olaf’s class. Jake doesn’t buy this explanation, noting that if someone wrote a paper based on Olaf’s notes, “they’d get caught for sure”. Kelly concedes that Jake has a point, but reiterates that the whole situation seems “awfully fishy” before walking away.
Courtney approaches Jake who is sitting on a bench studying. They discuss Ashley for a few moments before Courtney tells him that she’s in a good mood because her drama teacher wants her to write a play for the “drama festival”, which serves as a subtle portentous trigger warning for those sensitive souls who’d be well-advised to tread lightly as they wade into the murky waters of Season 2. Jake asks her what it’s going to be aboot and Courtney responds, “Maybe it’ll be aboot some stupid girl who acted like a complete jerk to a really good friend for no reason at all,” which is 29 superfluous syllables longer than the simple yet effective phrase, “Sorry, Jake”. Regardless, they establish that they’re still friends. Jake asks if she’d like to go with him to Shakespeare in the Park this weekend and Courtney accepts his pleasingly platonic invitation.
The next scene opens on Deadpool studying at The Avalon while Dutch Boy, who is pretending to read at a nearby table, keeps stealing discrete glances at him over the rim of her book. A funky little synthesized ditty by maestro Matt Ender plays over this strangely random display of pre-adolescent puppy love before the weird interlude finally comes to an end when Dylan walks through the door and chuckles at the amusing little spectacle. He takes a seat at Billy’s table and teases him aboot Theresa’s awkward flirtation for a few seconds before changing the subject and informing Deadpool that he’s thinking of forming a band and hopes his little friend will agree to be the drummer, an offer that Billy wholeheartedly accepts.
Olaf enters the school and meets Cindy by the stairwell. In response to her inquiry aboot how his talk went with the geography teacher, Olaf gushes that “Mr. Henshaw is a wonderful man” for granting him a two week expansion extension to turn in his project. They discuss some other shit that I happen to know has no relevance to any future plotlines (especially considering that we’ll never see these two again once this episode is done) and then they move on to discussing the intimate details of Jake’s sexual frustration. If Hippie & The Finn had even an ounce of self-awareness between them, they’d realize how laughable is their concern for Jake since they’re both in the exact same boat. When’s the last time you got any action, Cindy? Hmm?
Kelly is in the girls’ locker room when Brooke breezes in holding a note from the principal (handed to her by Miss Leddingham) saying that he wants to see her in his office, proving that “Old Zimmerman” and Coach Williams share the unorthodox method of communicating with their students by passing notes. Incidentally, I just mentioned all four adults that have been referenced by name in this show in the course of two paragraphs, a season-ending special treat for those who are still scratching their heads at the perplexing absence of Hillside’s version of Mr. Belding. Kelly asks Brooke if she’s in some sort of trouble and Brooke cheerily replies that the principal probably just wants to congratulate her for her student council bid. As she exits the locker room, Kelly tells Brooke to “say hi to Mr. Zimmerman for me!”
Jake comes down the stairs as Matt hoarsely calls oot to him from the bench by the soda machine. He tells Jake that he went over to Ashley’s place and though she really didn’t feel like talking to him, he could tell that she’s not doing very well at all. As he continues to morosely fill Jake in on the details of their abbreviated chat, he reveals that Ashley’s parents are considering pulling her from Hillside and sending her to a private school. This whole time, I’ve been finding it hard to believe that Matt’s really on the verge of tears aboot the possible school transfer of someone he so recently claimed to despise, and the next thing he says to Jake confirms my suspicions:
“Turns oot you and Ashley weren’t the only ones who knew I was doing a little drinking. My parents found a bottle in my closet…and they’re freaking oot. It all blew up last night. They actually think I should spend some time in one of those centers – the ones for teenagers with substance abuse problems.” Don’t sweat it, Matt. You’ve got another whole season and a half of drinking before it actually comes to that, so party on!
Matt gets up and runs oot of the school with Jake trailing close behind, as Kelly enters from the same door. She tries to catch Jake’s attention, but he’s too distracted to listen, so she walks towards the table where Olaf is sitting. She blurts oot, “It’s incredible!” before informing Olaf that they found his geography notes. He’s puzzled by this assertion, so Kelly sits down to explain: “Well, someone phoned the principal – no one knows who, exactly – but whoever it was told him where the notes were hidden, so he went to look and there they were – in Brooke’s locker! And wait, it gets even better, ‘cause it turns oot Brooke’s geography paper was based on those notes.” Though we weren’t afforded a glance of Courtney eavesdropping somewhere in the vicinity, her sudden appearance at the table accompanied by the exclamation, “I can’t believe it!” makes it clear that she was engaged in some hardcore lurking. Kelly continues her tale: “Brooke got hauled down to the principal’s office and now she’s in major trouble. They’re threatening to suspend her from school. At the very least, she’s gonna be on academic probation for the rest of the year and that means no extracurricular activities, especially ones like running for Student Council President!” Brooke, of course, has been slowly making her way down the stairs ever since Courtney insinuated herself into the conversation and has therefore been listening to Kelly’s gleeful account. She takes slow, deliberate steps towards the table until she’s facing Kelly and hisses, “You did this to me,” but Kelly dismisses her accusation oot of hand. Next it’s Courtney’s turn to rub salt in the wound by chastising herself aloud for having ever looked up to Brooke, and somehow this expression of disappointment from Shit Drapes is too much for her to bear. With tears welling up in her eyes, Brooke turns and flees from the table of cruelly judgmental peers.
Cut to Jake at a booth in The Avalon drawing a somewhat competent but pathetically unimaginative mountain landscape in his sketch pad. As Jake conjures a happy little tree in the lower right-hand corner of the drawing, Cindy walks up from behind and tells him that it looks good. She sits down uninvited and tells Jake that he looks like he’s had a pretty lousy day, then attempts to remedy that situation by telling him that he’s “a pretty talented artist…and a pretty good friend, too…and for what it’s worth, I think you’re kinda cute.” If the writers were planning to spin this unsolicited pep talk into a romance between Jake and Cindy, then I might have excused its otherwise unnecessary inclusion in the final episode of the season. But in just four minutes’ time, we’ll have seen our last of Jake for an entire season and our last of Cindy forever, so I really don’t understand the fucking point of this.
Now we cut to Brooke in her bedroom delivering a tearful monologue to Theresa, the upshot of which can be summed up by the simple Latin phrase, “Et tu, Kelly?” She desperately implores her little sister to advise her what to do, but Dutch Boy just turns and exits the room.
Somehow, a full band consisting of Dylan, Deadpool, Cindy on keyboards, and an unknown bass player are jamming oot in the garage. Long after the final notes of their song fade oot, Billy continues hammering away on the drums before Cindy turns and glares at him until he finally takes the hint. Billy thinks they sound great but Cindy begs to differ. This is stupid. Dylan will indeed form a band next season, but Cindy and the unknown bassist won’t be a part of it so I’m not sure why Ian Weir is making us suffer through this cacophonous jam session.
Kelly is sitting at a booth in The Avalon when Theresa enters and sits down across from her. Dutch Boy is having regrets aboot her part in Brooke’s demise, making me wonder exactly what her part was. As far as I could tell, the execution of the plot was something Kelly accomplished single-handedly. Anyway, Kelly of course informs Theresa that she has no regrets. As Dutch Boy continues to berate herself for her involvement in the nefarious scheme, Brooke approaches the booth from the pinball room and fixes her little sister’s gaze: “So that’s what happened, is it? You helped her plan the whole thing.” Theresa denies having any part in it, but admits to being in the know and neglecting to inform her sister of what was aboot to happen to her. Brooke continues: “You betrayed me. My little sister…and my best friend. Well…so now I know where things stand.” Theresa starts to defend herself but Brooke cuts her off: “Save your breath, Theresa!! I don’t discuss things with traitors. But don’t you worry aboot me. This won’t keep me down for long and let me tell you something else – I’ll pay you back. Whatever it takes, I’ll pay both of you back!”
And there we have it! The first season of the most incredible show ever televised is now complete. Will Brooke somehow get her revenge even though Kelly and Theresa will never be seen again? Does the fact that we never see them again tell us something aboot how far Brooke was willing to go in the pursuit of retribution? Will Jake ever know the touch of a woman (or a man)? Will Courtney ever learn how to dress herself? Will Ashley return to Hillside? Will Dylan manage to see his rock star dreams come to fruition? Will Matt succumb to the pressure of 12 step recovery or will he stick to his guns and eventually graduate to shooting dope?
There’s only one place to find the answers to these questions and more, my faithful readers, and that’s right here at Notes From The Avalon, so stay tuned! Anything else would be a downright tragic decision.
We open at The Avalon where Ashley, on the verge of tears, recounts for Jake Matt’s confusing accusation that she told everyone in the school aboot his alcoholism. As usual, neither of them has a clue how this information could have gotten oot (Kelly and Brooke?), with Jake going so far as to guess that someone must have seen them dragging Matt from the park, as there’s no other possible explanation (ahem – Kelly and Brooke?) since no one had any way of knowing what happened (except maybe KELLY AND BROOKE?!). Ashley is certain that she’ll fail an upcoming math test due to this upsetting and mysterious turn of events, but I think Pixie Dust has cried wolf aboot this exact same scenario so many times that even Jake must doubt its veracity. Regardless, Jake tries everything he can think of to calm Ashley down, but this just gets her more upset until she finally moans, “i can’t, jake. i can’t!”, rises from her seat and runs oot the door. Ashley’s already fragile psyche is beginning its rapid descent into madness.
Courtney approaches Deadpool who is sitting on the stairs reading a comic book. She asks if he’d like to accompany her to the mall after school but Billy tells her he has plans to hang oot with Olaf, prompting her to declare that “he sounds like an okay guy”. Correct, Queeftain Obvious. Now if you can just learn his name, you might be able to hold up your end of the conversation with your 12 year-old brother for a change.
Making the rounds, Olive Drab greets Ashley at her locker. Somehow, Ashley’s hair has become noticeably unkempt and greasy since we last saw her at The Avalon exactly three minutes ago. As this is the first time Courtney has emerged from her cocoon of all-encompassing Dylan infatuation in over two weeks, she’s trying to catch up on what she missed. She asks her friend if it’s true that she and Matt broke up, a question that seems to catch Ashley off guard because she still fails to grasp the epidemic level of gossip-inducing chemicals contaminating the Hillside water supply. Ashley reluctantly confirms the break-up, but refuses to address Courtney’s follow-up questions aboot Matt’s drinking, opting instead to feign a sudden mental breakdown and run away.
In the boys’ locker room, Jake is making another futile attempt to defend Ashley from Matt’s false accusation. Jake is wearing his maroon balloon and Matt is decked oot in an ensemble from the Fall catalog of L.L. Beanpole:
A highly hassled Matt hisses, “Look – there are only two people who could’ve spread stories aboot what happened on Friday night. One of them’s Ashley. The other one’s YOU.” They look like they’re on the verge of coming to blows as Matt tells Jake that he doesn’t need Ashley and he certainly doesn’t need friends who “hassle him every time he has a beer” before giving Jake an ultimatum to decide whether he’s his friend or not based upon the new criteria he just laid oot.
Ashley is at a table in the lounge scribbling notes – cheat notes, to be precise – when Brooke approaches and asks if she’s interrupting something. Ashley hastily closes her book and steels herself for another onslaught of insincere sympathy aboot her ongoing relationship troubles. Ashley quietly asks Brooke to please leave her alone, but Brooke keeps pressing until Pink Denim finally blows her top: “just leave me alone, okay? i’m busy and i don’t want to talk aboot it, so please just keep your nose oot of my life!!” Ashley flees the table as Brooke feigns shock at her reaction.
Brooke gets up and strolls over to the table where Olaf is doing homework. She needs to express her offense at Ashley’s harsh words to somebody and The Dislocated Swede just happens to be in the vicinity. Olaf’s surprise at hearing that Matt and Ashley broke up raises him another few notches in my esteem, but Brooke, of course, reacts by asking him what rock he’s been living under, and I must reluctantly admit that she has a point. Brooke patiently explains what’s been happening, prompting Olaf to muse, “I didn’t know Matt had a drinking problem”. She then grabs some paperwork oot from under Olaf’s nose and he tells her that he’s working on his geography project “for Mr. Henshaw”. He advises Brooke that she’s looking at two full weeks’ worth of research which he must now work into a paper. He jokes that every morning he wakes up hoping “the elves” will have written it for him, “but they never do”, to which Brooke replies, “maybe you’re not paying them enough”.
Shit Drapes traipses into The Avalon where Dylan is sitting alone at a table. He springs from his chair and nervously tells her that he has something to say, but asks if they can go somewhere more private, which is impressive because no one else seems capable of understanding that The Avalon is the worst possible spot for engaging in confidential conversation. She responds that if he has something to say, he can say it right here. Dylan begins by telling her that he’s not too proud of the way he handled things, but he leaves oot the part aboot having been fucking browbeaten into this undeserved apology by a psycho hippie chick. Courtney interrupts his slow-as-molasses display of contrition by telling him not to bother because, “I have a right to choose my friends, and let me tell you something – you’re not one of them!” before running oot the door.
Poor Olaf. Just when he thought he could get back to work, here comes Kelly with the next round of cryptic questions to interrupt his geography project. After he explains what he’s working on, Kelly says, “Oh, that’s right, you’re in Brooke’s class,” which she obviously already knew, considering she’s here talking to Olaf in the first place. They find some momentary common ground in the acknowledgment that knowing Brooke is “a real treat” as Olaf gathers his paperwork while Kelly watches closely and makes a mental note of what folder it’s in and exactly where he placed it in his bag.
Rounding oot the triumvirate of uninvited guests to Olaf’s ill-conceived homework session is Deadpool dressed in a tie-dye. Billy is still upset aboot what happened with Dylan, so Olaf tenders some typically sage advice that seems to set his friend’s mind at ease a bit. This little interlude seems to have been inserted into the episode as mere filler, or maybe just to remind us that Olaf has more good qualities than living ootside of the gossip loop and being thorough in the completion of his geography assignments.
Some time later, Courtney is moping in the lounge as Jake approaches. When he asks what’s wrong, she tells him aboot Dylan’s attempted apology and that she “let him have it – both barrels, right between the eyes” but her obvious ambivalence aboot the confrontation seems to escape Jake’s notice. He sits down while Miss Beasley drifts into another fucking Dylanesque soliloquy that he endures with growing impatience for its typically self-deprecating conclusion that he’s hoping once again to utilize as an opportunity to win her affection. She doesn’t disappoint, even wondering aloud if her innate unlikability caused her parents’ divorce before standing up from the table.
Up to this point, I’ve found the exposition of this episode to be an atypically boring task, as this has been a very slow chapter in the ongoing drama of Hillside High. I even went back and inserted a couple of superfluous swear words in the hopes that they might keep my two or three readers from falling asleep before reaching its conclusion. But if you’ve stuck around this long in the hopes of a payoff, here it comes.
Jake stands up, touches Courtney’s arm and tells her that everything’s going to be okay. Standing dangerously close to her sexually frustrated pal, she reiterates her feelings of worthlessness as Jake moves even closer and puts his arm around her shoulder. He reminds her that “lots of people think you’re great, Courtney…like me,” as Courtney seems to realize what’s aboot to happen here and starts giving Jake some classic side-eye, like Princess Leia in the clammy embrace of Jabba The Hut. Her face distorts in disgust as the luckless lothario leans in and plants one on her lips. She violently withdraws from his embrace with a look of utter revulsion and shouts, “Why did you have to do that?! I thought we were friends! WHY DID YOU DO THAT?!” before fleeing the scene, leaving Jake speechless with unadulterated humiliation.
Olaf enters The Avalon and walks over to the booth where Jake is sitting by himself. Olaf notes that Jake appears to be deep in thought and invites himself to sit down. He makes a remark aboot Jake looking like “someone who just lost his best friend”, which is oddly prescient considering that Olaf wasn’t around to witness Jake’s impetuousness destroy his friendship with either Matt or Courtney, and it’s already been established that he’s impervious to the rumor mill. They commiserate aboot the fact that no one ever really seems to care how they feel or ask them aboot their problems despite their willingness to be reliable sounding boards for everyone else, but Olaf isn’t one to indulge in self-pity so he “hypothetically” tells Jake “Well, if this keeps happening to somebody, maybe he’s been trying too hard to pretend he doesn’t have any problems”. Jake asks rhetorically what could be wrong with him before referring to himself as “the world’s biggest doofus,” prompting the world’s biggest doofus sitting across the table to question the meaning of the word “doofus”. Jake continues to vent at Olaf for another minute or two, then gets up and leaves with a bit more spring in his step than he had at the commencement of this scene. Olaf the Therapist is on fucking fire today.
Alone, Olaf unclasps his tote bag, pulls oot the folder in which he’d placed his geography project and finds it empty. He continues digging through the bag until he realizes that somehow, all of his research work has disappeared.
Brooke is in the girls’ locker room when Kelly bursts in, obviously in possession of some particularly juicy gossip. Kelly is wearing a white top with the words “Almost Heaven” printed in a continuous unbroken top-to-bottom line like this: ALMOSTHEAVENALMOSTHEAVENALMOSTHEAVENALMOSTHEAVEN. She informs Brooke that Ashley just got caught cheating on her math test and Brooke finds it impossible to contain her delight.
Entering the locker vestibule, an inconsolable Ashley is telling Jake what happened. The teacher found her cheat sheet and held it up for the whole class to see before sending her to the principal’s office. Jake tries to get her to look on the bright side, but this is Ashley at her most disconsolate, a force of nature that can’t be constrained with mere words, even if they were spoken by someone more eloquent than Jake. Brooke and Kelly sidle up and inform Ashley that they’ve heard the news, adding for good measure, “everybody has”. The Dynamic Duo continue to harass and express their mock disappointment until Ashley reaches the end of her rope and runs away. Jake chases after her, but not before turning to Brooke and shouting, “You wanna know something? If you were a guy, I’d be tempted to bust you in the head!”
Dylan’s chilling in the garage playing his original Alex Lifeson guitar riff again when Deadpool comes a-knockin’. Billy apologizes once more for the homework mishap and this time, Dylan accepts the apology, patting his little friend on the shoulder and inviting him to take a seat behind the drum kit.
Jake enters The Avalon, marches to the booth where Matt is sitting by himself and just stands there for so long that Matt finally barks, “You gonna join me?!” Jake doesn’t answer and continues to stand there like he’s itching for a fight, finally asking Matt if he heard what happened to Ashley. He has, of course, and he seems to relish the opportunity this gives him to continually refer to his ex-girlfriend as “dumb”, but Jake’s not in the mood to indulge his man-crush’s shit at the moment.
Jake: Do you have any idea how torn up she is??
Matt: And how do you think I feel? The whole school thinks I’m some kind of alcoholic just ‘cause I had a few drinks on Friday night! I’ve got 300 kids whispering behind my back! How’d you like to put up with that?!
Jake: Oh, I see – I’m supposed to feel sorry for you, am I?
Matt: You can feel however you like!!
Jake: I’m just supposed to sit back and sigh while you tell me your troubles, huh?? Well, forget it! ‘Cause I’m sick of it! You…jerk!
Jake: Ashley tied herself in knots trying to help you and you turn around and dump her?! Now that she’s having a nervous breakdown, you want sympathy for your troubles? What sort of total jerk are you?!
Matt jumps up and approaches Jake with his hands balled into fists. Jake invites him to go ahead and hit him, “…what a great way to prove you’re a man!” and Matt warns him not to push it. Matt backs off as Jake questions whether he cares aboot anybody but himself before stomping oot the door. The camera pans to Kelly on the payphone telling someone (Dutch Boy?) aboot the epic shouting match she just witnessed before changing the subject to Brooke, ending the episode with the literally phoned-in declaration, “I’ve done it. It’s all set up. Just another couple of days and Brooke is finally going to get what she deserves!”
There’s only one more episode in this season, my faithful and long-suffering friends, so don’t bail oot now! Karmic justice is nigh.
Poor Jake. So blinded by unrequited love that he can’t even see the intrinsic ghastliness of his heart’s desire. This song by Canadian band The Headstones seems like the perfect antidote for all that ails you, Jake. Take it to heart, Brother: