Season 2, Episode 11
It dawned on me this morning that writing these ridiculous analytical synopses of Fifteen episodes is the closest thing to a job I’ve had in over six months. But if anyone is considering embarking upon a similarly random and pointless venture, I’d advise against it. The pay sucks and carpal tunnel syndrome hurts like a motherfucker.
Walking through the locker vestibule, Courtney is expressing her disappointment in Janice while Arseman reminds her that they don’t really know her that well. So much for innocent until proven guilty. Apparently, the fact that Janice remained tight-lipped in the face of Brooke’s accusations is all the proof Headband needs. Since these two dummies opted to conduct this conversation two lockers down from Brooke’s, her inevitable antagonistic intrusion into it should come as no surprise, but they feign offense at her ham-fisted attempts to sound sympathetic at the loss of Courtney’s “family heirloom” just the same. Apparently forgetting her own words of approximately three seconds ago, Courtney responds, “Brooke, I don’t even know if she stole it, and anyway, we haven’t seen her today.”
Dylan and Ashley are commiserating aboot the difficulties of relating to their parents over milkshakes at The Avalon. We’ve heard this sad-cool John Bender routine from Leather Jacket before, so there’s no need to rehash, but I will add that aside from Dylan’s bet with Chris aboot who can get a date with Arseman first, all signs are pointing to the fact that Matt was astoundingly accurate in the “creepy” accusations he leveled at Pinky-Dinks a few episodes ago. Chris struts up to their booth and greets them as “Mister Dylan! Miss Ash Blonde Ashley!” effectively demolishing the last ounce of respect I had for this fictional dirt bag. Dylan excuses himself to get something at the counter, so Chris takes his seat across from Ashley and asks, “Parent troubles?” even though there’s no way he could have heard the content of their conversation that occurred before he walked through the door. Regardless, I’m glad he was able to psychically glean their thoughts because it leads to this beauty of a philosophical lecture:
Chris: Well, let me recommend the Chris MacDonald Philosophy of Life.
Ashley: do i want to hear this?
Chris: It’s clean and simple. The MacDonald Philosophy says: Live your life the way you want to and don’t waste time worrying aboot what anybody else thinks. Anybody!
Ashley: even parents?
Chris: Especially parents! Parents above all.
Ashley: kinda like what dylan said.
Chris: Oh? Well, even so, it’s still good advice.
Ashley: well, it sounds great but i’m not sure i have the guts…or the ability not to care.
Chris: Yeah, that’s the thing with you. You probably care too much.
I know, my mind is utterly blown, too. I’ll give you a few seconds to recover from Chris’ complicated ontological discourse before moving on.
Chris segues into an apology for perhaps having come on a little strong when they first met and Ashley graciously accepts it because she’s too fucking dense to recognize his manufactured regret as a less than subtle attempt to get into her pink denim jeans. Dylan comes back to the booth to see them giggling like a couple of Teenagers In Love and pointedly asks, “Am I interrupting something?”
In the student lounge, Arseman is still entertaining the possibility that the necklace was just misplaced, not stolen, but Headband seems to have made up her mind that it was purloined by Janice. Before this conversation even has a chance to start pissing me off, we hear Chris shouting at the top of his lungs from the other end of the lounge, “Only four suggestions?! AND THEY’RE ALL DUMB!!”
Dylan and Chris are digging into the suggestion box, reading off the submitted band names:
Chris: The Morons.
Dylan: Old Kids On The Block.
Chris: Total Lack Of Talent.
Dylan: The Rolling Stones?
Despite the fact that all of those potential band names are better than the ones they considered while brainstorming at The Avalon in the last episode, a highly annoyed Chris bellows across the lounge, “Alright, you guys, let’s get moving on this…come on, we need a name!”
Dylan spots Courtney and Arseman across the lounge and abandons Chris at the Name The Band kiosk to continue his idiotic pursuit of Arseman. After he delivers a few over-the-top decrees of adoration, Arseman cups her hand as if trying to be discrete and informs Courtney in a clearly audible voice, “This is what I was telling you aboot.” I’m starting to get the impression that Canadians don’t quite understand the point of the cup-handed whisper. Regardless, Dylan persists until Sassy Afro finally has her fill and leaves the table. As Dylan starts to pursue her, Courtney stops him and advises, “Dylan, give it a rest, whatever it is.”
Turning the corner, Arseman runs into Chris who embarks upon his next bumbling attempt at romantic flattery only to catch a big fucking sass pie in the face. Incidentally, for this entire multi-faceted lounge scene, Roxanne can be seen walking in and oot of the shot which can only mean that we’ll be meeting this bad-ass cast addition in the very near future.
Courtney sits down next to Deadpool on the stairs and reminds him that he’s supposed to have dinner with her and mom. Billy moans aboot the fact that his dad gives him a hard time whenever he goes to his mother’s place. She tells him that Dad has no right to make him take sides, but Billy softens up on his father a little bit and informs Courtney that at least he promised to come to his gig at The Avalon. As I’ve already indicated, we don’t ever meet a single adult for the entire run of the series, therefore if you feel so inclined, shed a tear for Billy now and get it the hell oot of the way. They talk aboot the missing necklace for a few seconds and Courtney gets up to leave, then turns to ask her brother if he knows what’s going on with Dylan and Chris chasing after Arseman. Young Deadpool reacts with the worst poker face he can muster, so Headband warns that if he doesn’t spill the beans, she’ll tickle it oot of him. Sarah Douglas must relish this brief opportunity to molest People Magazine’s three-time Sexiest Man Alive, but it’s short-lived. Billy blurts oot, “Alright! It’s a bet…loser buys winner a deluxe pizza with drink…the bet’s on who gets a date with Arseman first.”
Extricating himself from this nauseating tickle fight, Deadpool runs into Ashley and immediately starts nervous-stuttering something aboot the “private conversation” they were having the other day when they were “so rudely interrupted” (that school bell sure has some fucking nerve), then switches gears and asks her where she’s sitting. Ashley replies, “over there. you can come join me if you stop being so weird,” before turning to get a soda from the machine. While she’s thus occupied, Deadpool sneaks over to her table, removes the gift from his backpack, places it on top of her books and bolts like his fucking head’s on fire. You’re definitely not mercenary material yet, Wade Wilson.
At The Avalon, Amanda is gloating to the three nameless girls sitting across the booth, “So Janice isn’t in school today — afraid to show her face after stealing that necklace, right? But then, the principal phoned her at home and told her she was accused of theft…she denied the whole thing, said she didn’t know anything aboot it and did not have the necklace.” One of the girls asks where she heard this and Amanda replies, “She told me herself. I saw her in the hall. She was leaving the school again, crying.” Brooke is wandering aimlessly around The Avalon when she hears her sister’s story in progress, so she cuts in to express her disappointment aboot the fact that Janice probably won’t be held accountable unless she confesses or the cops search her house and find the necklace. She concludes that “it’s a terrible situation, but I always knew that Janice was that sort of person.”
Back in the lounge, Ashley is inspecting her new scarf as Courtney reads the anonymous card that was attached to the box: “To Ashley with deep sincerity, from a Secret Admirer”. Chris walks by and greets Ashley, “Hey, Kid. Nice scarf!” before sauntering off, causing Ashley to wonder if he was the source of the gift, but Courtney tells her that it’s unlikely since “he’s concentrating on Arseman”. Ashley bites her lip and asks, “yeah? you mean a romance?” but Courtney counters that it’s “not a really romantic one, according to Billy”. A hundred fucking days late and dollars short, Headband finally has an epiphany that maybe it was Billy that gave her the scarf. Ashley doubts it, saying that “Billy can get carried away sometimes, but not that carried away.” She throws the scarf around her neck and walks to her locker where Deadpool is just standing around like an idiot.
Ashley: oh, hi.
Billy: Hi! That scar loo’s nii.
Billy: I said that…well…that scarf looks good on you!
Ashley: i got it from a secret admirer, with ‘deep sincerity’.
Billy: Well, uh, that’s…you know, how I feel.
Ashley: then it was you! i don’t believe it! ha ha ha!
Deadpool flees in humiliation as Asshole Ashley continues laughing hysterically.
The next scene opens on Deadpool and Dylan at a booth in The Avalon, but before I go any further, let me provide you with a visual aid of the most common exterior shot of the establishment. I can’t believe we’re 24 episodes in and I’ve thus far neglected to do so:
Dylan tells Billy that he should have come to him first before doing something so impetuous and Deadpool reminds him that he did and it was his advice that caused this embarrassing situation. Dylan clarifies, “No, I mean you should have told me who she was, then I could’ve told you not to waste your time…it’s nothing personal but someone like Ashley’s just a little bit oot of your league.” I wonder if Corky Martin or Laura Harris still feel that way now. Anyway, he advises his young friend to tell him the next time before he makes a move on a woman and Billy counters that there won’t be a next time because, “I’m not getting involved with any more women!” That’s a little ironic coming from you, Billy…
Back at Hillside, Courtney is filling Arseman in on Chris and Dylan’s bet. Arseman sqeaks, “A pizza??” in disbelief more times than is remotely reasonable for ten seconds of scripted dialogue before finally declaring, “Well, I think it’s just aboot time to fix a couple of little red wagons.” In case you’re wondering, I don’t have a fucking clue what that meant, either.
In the lounge, Dylan, Chris and Billy are going through the next batch of band name suggestions that they dumped oot of the box onto a table.
Billy: The Buttheads?
Chris: Four Conceited Jerks Who Can’t Carry A Tune But Think They’re Hot Stuff ‘Cause Their Parents Bought Them Some Cheap Equipment?
Dylan snatches the scrap of paper from Chris’ hand in disbelief and notes, “They didn’t even sign this. Cowards.” Personally, I thought all of those names were first-rate, but what do I know? Chris splits just as Arseman shows up and asks Billy if she can have a word with Dylan in private. Once they’re alone, she initiates phase one of Operation Little Red Wagon Fix: “Look, we’re gonna be working together, so I want to be straight with you. All this stuff, you know, aboot the way I light up your life…I wish you wouldn’t say that…in front of Chris. Look, I know how you feel aboot me and you must know how I feel aboot you, so there’s no point in rubbing Chris’ nose in it. Let’s just get to the point – it’s Friday night. Why don’t you meet me at The Avalon…at aboot 7:00? And let’s just keep this to ourselves, okay?” Arseman walks away just as Deadpool returns and Dylan triumphantly declares to his confused little friend, “Billy! Remind me to tell Chris – no anchovies!”
At The Avalon, Dylan is excitedly telling Jerry that the band’s “really coming together” as The Artist Formerly Known As Filth Pig seems to be experiencing great difficulty in staying awake. Leather Jacket tells him that there’s just one more detail to work oot and Jerry correctly guesses that they need a name before volunteering a suggestion: “Dylan and the Dipsticks?”
Turning from the counter, Dylan comes face to face with Matt.
Matt: I just want to ask you something.
Dylan: Well, ask it fast, I’ve got a rehearsal at 4:00.
Matt: I just wanna know what’s going on between you and Ashley.
Dylan: Oh, come on!
Matt: Do you think I’m blind or something?!
Dylan: No, I just think you’re being a jerk and so does Ashley.
Dylan: You already asked Ashley and she told you there’s nothing going on, right?
Matt: Yeah, that’s what she says.
Dylan: So you think she’s a liar?
Matt: I just wanna know the truth!
Dylan: And she told you the truth. There’s nothing going on between us, have you got that?! So get off her case and while you’re at it, get oot of my way. I’m late for rehearsal.
At the garage, the band is actually playing something other than Mama Says Be Glad, but it’s the same shitty keyboard-heavy instrumental arena rock number that we heard them playing with Cindy on keyboards in the last scene of the last episode of last season. This is also the song that was playing during Courtney’s spaz-dancing fantasy sequence last year, so I have to assume that it’s something Matt Ender takes great pride in having composed. When they finish, Arseman asks Billy to give Dylan a hand with his equipment so that she can talk to Chris in private. From behind the keyboards, she makes the same confidential proposition that he meet her at The Avalon at 7:00, causing a triumphant smirk to spread across his face.
Amanda sees Janice at her locker and says hi, then asks her what she’s doing. Janice replies, “What does it look like?” as she loads books and folders into her backpack. Amanda notes that she seems to be cleaning oot her locker. Janice deadpans that she’s transferring to another school and Amanda reacts with what appears to be genuine shock.
Amanda: You’re changing schools because of a necklace?
Janice: No, I’m changing schools because everybody hates me!
Amanda: Come on…
Janice: I didn’t steal that necklace but nobody believes me, even Courtney. Courtney thinks I’m a liar and a thief just like everybody else does!
Amanda: Look, just give it time – people will forget all aboot it.
Janice: No, they won’t forget! I was just starting to make friends and now – now it’s all totally wrecked, so just leave me alone!
Curiously, Amanda seems more than a little upset by this exchange. If anyone reading this can’t guess why that might be, you owe me a fucking deluxe pizza.
At The Avalon, Chris is fixing his hair using the reflection from the metal napkin holder on the table. Dylan walks in wearing a button-down shirt tucked into his brand-new jeans and asks Chris what he’s doing here. In lieu of an answer, Chris asks Dylan the same question. After gloating for a bit, Dylan sits down and tells Chris that he’s meeting Arseman causing his bassist frenemy to declare, “But that’s impossible because Arseman asked me to meet her here at 7:00!” The two imbeciles seem just as confused as Matt and Jake were aboot the pathetically transparent and strikingly similar ruse that Brooke and Kelly pulled last semester until Arseman walks in from the pinball room. She sits down and unloads more unbridled sass upon her dumbstruck band mates than I feel ethically capable of reprinting here, but the general upshot is that they can stop dreaming that she’d ever go oot with either one of them, which is unmitigated bullshit, but you won’t find oot aboot that until the final season. Then she declares that they owe each other a large deluxe pizza and they’re going to eat them right now, causing Dylan to whine, “I just had this great big supper!” Arseman gets up to order the pizzas and adds that now they can “stop acting like teenage geeks in love”. She goes to the counter and Chris looks at Dylan and declares with deep sincerity (thanks, Deadpool): “Teenagers In Love! Hey, that’s not a bad name for a band!” It’s obvious from Dylan’s reaction that he enthusiastically agrees, and I am now convinced that both of Hillside’s resident dirt bags are the products of first-generation inbreeding.
At the only clothing store in the mall, Brooke is inspecting an ootfit when Amanda walks in. They snipe at each other in the usual fashion until Brooke puts the shirt on the counter and tells the girl behind the register that she’ll be paying cash. As the employee rings her up, Amanda informs her that Janice is transferring to another school. Brooke responds, “Good! One less thief at Hillside,” but Amanda explains that Janice kept insisting she didn’t steal the necklace. In a clear effort to convince herself that Janice is at least partly responsible, she adds, “…but she hasn’t even talked to Courtney aboot it, so if people still believe that Janice stole it, then it’s Janice’s own fault, right? So there’s no point in feeling sorry for her, is there?” Amanda sulks oot of the store prompting Brooke to turn to the girl behind the register and ask, “Are all little sisters this peculiar?”
Back at The Avalon, Arseman, Courtney and Ashley are standing around the booth watching Chris and Dylan choke down the last of their deluxe pizzas. Ashley remarks that “guys can be really entertaining sometimes, you have to hand it to them,” just as Matt enters and pulls her aside. He flatly tells her that he talked to Dylan and half-apologizes for jumping to conclusions, setting up Ashley for yet another classic closing shot:
Each time we have a quarrel, it almost breaks my heart
‘Cause I’m so afraid that we will have to part
Each night I ask the stars up above,
‘Why must I be a Teenager In Love?’