Season 1, Episode 10
Oh party, party, party! I wanna have a party! I need to have a party! You better have a party! – Andrew WK
Before I even get into the blow by blow of this episode’s opening scene, I need to get a quick description of Theresa’s attire oot of the way. It’s typical Dutch Boy fare (overalls with short bottoms over a long-sleeved turtleneck) but this time, the turtleneck is a kind of forest green and her overalls sport bright green polka dots on a white background with prominent clasps connecting the shoulder straps to the spotted bib. Got that? Right, let’s move on.
Brooke enters the school quietly fuming and marches over to the bench where Dutch Boy is sitting. She glares at her sister until she finally looks up from her book and asks, “Did you wanna say something?” to which Brooke curtly replies that she was wondering the same thing aboot Theresa, specifically in reference to an apology Brooke clearly feels she deserves for enduring last night’s bold polemic from her little sister. Brooke tells her that what she said was “totally untrue and vicious”, but to Dutch Boy’s credit and Brooke’s surprise, Theresa stands by what she said. Aside from a priceless look she must have learned from watching Kelly in action, Dutch Boy’s only response is to ask Brooke if she’s talked to Dylan lately. Brooke warns Theresa not to talk to her aboot Dylan or the way she broke up with him, working herself into a rage in the process, but Dutch Boy simply replies that she meant what she said and has nothing for which to apologize. Astounded at this sudden manifestation of cajones in her fashion-impaired little sibling, Brooke loudly tells her to drop dead before storming off. Dang, Dutch Boy! If you keep this up and maybe ask your obviously wealthy parents to buy you a wardrobe that I can view withoot the aid of a pinhole projector, I might just start liking you as much as I do Kelly.
Matt and Jake’s private locker room. Matt is wearing a polo shirt that’s an oversized hodgepodge patchwork of greens, purples, whites, yellows and blues. He has one sneaker on as the other sits on the floor by his other foot that’s currently just clad in a sock. As the scene opens, Jake is finishing the task of buttoning his shirt all the way up to the neck. Matt declares that this afternoon, after school, he’s gonna have it oot with Coach Williams. Jake once again advises Matt that this might not be a good idea, but Matt claims it’s his duty as team captain to advise the coach when he’s jeopardizing the team’s success and rather than cop to the fact that he’s still pissed off aboot being benched halfway through the last game, he claims that he just wants to advise the coach that “switching to a balanced offense won’t work because we’re not that kind of a team”, which might sound like some technical basketball shit, but really it’s just another way of saying that he’s still pissed off aboot being benched halfway through the last game. Oot of nowhere, Jake abruptly loses interest in this conversation in favor of exaggerated moping. Matt asks, “You’re not still feeling all tragic aboot Courtney, are you?” Jake’s body language confirms Matt’s suspicions and after some redundant whining from Jake, Matt completely contradicts the sound advice he gave when the issue was raised as a hypothetical, telling Jake that he needs to come right oot and tell Courtney how he feels, no matter the ootcome. Jake continues to moan aboot possibly risking his friendship with Aunt Bea if he divulges his feelings, causing Matt to bellow, “Look, do you have some kind of martyr complex or something? Do you like keeping all this bottled up and feeling tragic?” That’s two “tragics” in less than 30 seconds for those who aren’t keeping track (and why would you? That’s my job). Jake seems to accept Matt’s advice and resolves to talk to Courtney, as if he hadn’t been right on the precipice of doing so yesterday before she cut him off and fled The Avalon like it was on fire.
Olaf and Cindy are eating lunch together in the lounge as Olaf explains his unsubstantiated theory that Bart Simpson is Finnish, substituting the word “altitude” for “attitude” in the process to remind us of Ian Weir’s unsubstantiated theory that Olaf is Finnish. Their asinine conversation is interrupted by Brooke who asks them how their “recycling program” is going. Olaf tells her that they showed the petition to the principal and he agreed to install recycle bins in the school and an emotively delighted Brooke proclaims that “it’s good to know that we succeeded!” When Cindy questions her use of the collective “we”, Brooke claims to have been talking up the cause to anyone who will listen and offers to help in any way she can. Olaf says that they could use her help because Zimmerman agreed to install the bins, but first Olaf and Cindy have to build them. I understand that this silly recycling subplot is boring and devoid of a point, and I also completely understand if your eyes are glazing over from reading my tenth fucking detailed episode summary, so let me explain how ridiculous this is. First, Cindy dug through the school’s garbage cans, retrieved every piece of paper from within, and used these visual aids to shame her fellow students for not recycling. We now know that at that time, there were no fucking recycle bins in the school, so Cindy was essentially chewing oot her classmates for not ditching school in search of the nearest recycling center every time they had a piece of paper to discard. Then she circulates a petition in the hopes that it will convince “Old Zimmerman” to install the bins. He is so impressed with the fact that they acquired a whopping 48 signatures that he agrees to “install” the bins – after Cindy and Olaf build them. Got it? Good. Cindy tells Brooke that they’ll be having a “work party” after school and asks if she’ll be there. Brooke exuberantly accepts the invitation before pretending to remember that she can’t make it because she promised her mom she’d help her paint the kitchen this afternoon. As Brooke walks off, Olaf takes a long swig from his juice box and sarcastically asks Cindy, “What would we do withoot Brooke?”
Jake spots Debbie Wasserman-Schultz walking through the hall, gathers his courage and nervously calls oot to her. Although it would seem he’s had some time to think aboot how he’s going to word his decree of adoration since Matt convinced him to do so a few scenes ago, here’s the best Jake came up with:
“Listen. There’s something…I’m not quite sure how to start here. I mean…I’m really not sure how to start…”. (Hint: not like this, Idiot). “…but the fact is…well, basically…Courtney, look…” and right at this moment, the crab-apple-of-Jake’s-eye seriously fucking interrupts him again with, “Sometimes I still wonder if it can work oot between me and Dylan”, proving that she’s incapable of hearing any words spoken to her that don’t address her stupid unrequited crush. Jake begs her pardon, which is the same thing as saying, “Oh, please, do go on and on aboot Dylan for the next twenty minutes”, which, of course, she does. Courtney decides that Dylan could probably use a shoulder to cry on right aboot now and resolves to “give him one more chance” while Jake silently assesses the pros and cons of carbon monoxide asphyxiation.
In the girls’ locker room, Brooke is explaining to Kelly that she’s having second thoughts aboot running for Student Council President because it seems like a lot of work, but quickly decides that she’ll go through with it anyway since “so many people” want her to run. There isn’t much point to this interlude, but it’s been a while since we’ve seen Kelly and she’s at the top of her snarky game here, so it’s enjoyable just the same.
Matt and Ashley are sitting at The Avalon counter. There are two cookies under the grimy plastic of the cake stand and a creepy dude that looks like Dieter from Sprockets wiping down the counter. Matt is still bitching aboot Coach Williams as Ashley does her best to look interested. We’ve heard all of this before. I’m starting to suspect that the producers slyly insert scenes from prior episodes into the middle of the present episode in order to ensure a full 25 minute run time withoot having to pay the writers to come up with new plots.
Dylan is strutting through the halls when Jake comes down the stairs and asks if he’s got a minute. Jake opens by telling Dylan’s he’s sorry the concert got canceled and Dylan responds that this is old news. No shit, Jake, get with the program. Anyhow, Jake finally gets to the point and scolds Dylan for playing with Courtney’s feelings. Dylan patiently endures Jake’s laughable upbraiding, then looks him in the eye and says, “Wanna do me a favor, Jake? Wanna do yourself a favor? Keep your nose oot of my business!”, as he menacingly smacks the banister and stomps off, deliberately elbowing one of the nameless jocks on his way oot the door.
Kelly and Dutch Boy are at The Avalon knocking back some juice boxes. They’re discussing Brooke’s general awfulness and the absurdity of her student council bid. Kelly ominously declares that there are still a few weeks before the election, “plenty of time for something to go wrong”. Though neither of them state it ootright, this scene marks the official formation of an alliance to take Brooke down. Of course, Kelly is the Soviet Union to Theresa’s Bolivia, but it’s an alliance just the same.
Matt enters the lounge where Jake is waiting for him on a bench. He’s just had his talk with Coach Williams. Jake asks him how it went as Matt walks towards the soda machine. The Jock Squad walk by single file, one slapping Matt on the shoulder and saying, “See you at the game tomorrow night”, the other, “Counting on you, Big Guy! 20 points, at least!”. Incidentally, what I’ve dubbed “The Jock Squad” is always these same two guys. Jake asks him again how the meeting went with the coach and Matt details the encounter: “I laid things right on the line. I told Williams that he was making a total mistake and that I wasn’t gonna sit back and let him do it.” Jake, clearly impressed, asks, “You said that?” and Matt replies, “Those words exactly…and a whole lot more,” then following an extremely pregnant pause adds, almost as an afterthought, “He kicked me off the team.” (Insert sad trombone here)
The previous scene actually goes on for a few more painful minutes, but since I feel it would have been far more effective if they just ended it right after Matt’s stunning revelation, I’m going to pretend that’s how it went down, other than to say that Matt is now more riled up for tonight’s party than ever.
An exterior shot of a high-rise apartment building is followed by an interior shot of…Deadpool’s Dad’s apartment! 10 episodes in and this is the first scene that takes place somewhere other than the school, The Avalon or Dylan’s garage. Courtney, dressed in a 250-thread-count cotton percale queen fitted sheet, is strategically placing bowls of chips and Cheetos on various surfaces in the living room. She places a bowl of chips on a table behind the sofa, another one on an end table next to the rotary phone, then walks back behind the sofa, picks up the bowl of chips she just placed there and moves it to the coffee table. She moves on to fluffing the couch pillows when Deadpool walks in and asks her why she’s doing all this when the party doesn’t start for another three hours, saving me the trouble of shouting the same thing at my monitor. Billy tries to warn her that she should hide items like the TV and VCR so they don’t get destroyed by their wild bunch of nearly zombified friends, but Frau Farbissina would much rather talk aboot whether Deadpool thinks Dylan will show up. This sets Billy into a panic, as he’s afraid of the reception he’ll get from The Fonz after ruining his concert opportunity. Billy runs oot of the room and Courtney resumes shifting the bowls of chips around.
Back at The Avalon, Ashley is expressing her incredulity to Matt aboot his getting kicked off the team. She tells him she’s “really, really sorry” and Matt replies that it’s no big deal, setting up his pink storm cloud of a girlfriend to insist that it IS a big deal. Ashley suggests that they skip the party tonight, but Matt’s not hearing any of that shit. Ashley says okay and asks what time he wants to pick her up, but Matt tells her he has some things to do (glug glug glug), so he’ll just meet her at Deadpool’s place at around 8:30. Ashley says she would rather they go together, prompting Matt to look at his watch, rise from his seat and say, “I gotta go,” which is freaking awesome because it allows us to thoroughly enjoy another one of these:
And now IT’S MOTHERFUCKING PARTY TIME!! The scene opens on Brooke and Kelly wondering how Matt is taking being kicked off the team, even though Jake and Ashley are the only two people who have any possible way of knowing aboot it (hive mind). Kelly thinks it’s tragic and Brooke quietly agrees before they both burst oot laughing. Brooke thinks it’s just priceless that so much misfortune befell both Matt and Dylan this week until Kelly reminds her of their common bond, “they’re the two men in your life”. Keep pushing those buttons, Kel.
In a normal episode, there are usually two to three interchangeable extras utilized to make the school and The Avalon appear at least mildly populated beyond the 11 person cast, but for this party, they pulled oot all the stops. The awkward pantomimed background “partying” in which these extras are engaged would need a post unto itself if I wanted to do it proper justice, but one girl in particular just wanders around the living room, constantly cutting in between the main characters to create the illusion that the room is considerably more crowded than it really is.
Enter Ashley in a long, black trench coat over a pink top tucked into a conservative khaki skirt (party clothes!). Courtney greets her and asks where Matt is, and Ashley expresses (sus)sur(us)prise that he isn’t here yet, so it must be after 8:30. Brooke and Kelly interrupt to antagonize Pink Denim aboot Matt’s absence, successfully causing her to become more worried than she already was. Courtney takes Ashley’s coat as her tormentors continue to tail her around the living room no matter how hard she tries to dodge them.
Dylan makes his entrance through a different door that I thought led into the kitchen, but I guess much like The Avalon, this apartment – you know what? Fuck it, I don’t care. I could spend the rest of my life trying to dissect the locales these little assholes inhabit because the sets were designed by a fucking lunatic, period. He exchanges some brief words with Brooke and then goes to mingle.
Next, he’s accosted by Courtney. Come to think of it, why the hell did Dylan even show up at this menagerie of teasers and stalkers in the first place? While Courtney fawns all over Dylan, Deadpool is looking on nervously in the background. Dylan tries to flee, but Courtney pathetically clings to the arm of his leather jacket so tenaciously that he actually has to violently wrest his arm from her grip. Just when he thinks he’s got a clear exit plan, here comes Deadpool vomiting apologies all over his former mentor. Dylan tells Billy to forget aboot it and Courtney grabs his arm again, eliciting this ootburst from the object of her infatuation on his way oot the door: “Would you just leave me alone?! Just let go of my arm and stop bugging me! I don’t like being grabbed and I don’t wanna talk aboot anything! CAN’T YOU GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEAD I’M JUST NOT INTERESTED??” Great party, Courtney, good job.
Courtney turns around in tears only to walk into Brooke and Kelly who launch into their typical insincere apology schtick. Ashley walks over to Courtney’s side as her friend tells everyone to just leave her alone and runs towards the kitchen (?), just as Jake is entering from the same door in an obvious panic. Ashley starts to go after Courtney as Jake grabs her arm and says, “Ashley, wait!” She replies, “not now, jake, this is important” and Jake declares, “No, this is important! It’s Matt! He’s in trouble. He’s in really bad trouble and we don’t have time to talk! You’ve got to come with me…NOW!” They rush oot the door withoot retrieving their coats, which I assume are in a pile on the bed in the kitchen.
Soaps are all aboot the cliffhanger, my friends, so if you want to know what happens to Drinky McDrunkface, stay tuned, same Bat Time, same Bat Channel.