Season 3, Episode 9
We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable. – A.A. Preamble
Matt, you poor sucker. If you thought navigating the halls of Hillside High was a hassle before, just wait until you try it sober. I’ve never heard you discuss your conception of a Higher Power, but I’m sure it’s not up to the torturous and terrifying task that lies before you. Unless, of course, your Higher Power is Deadpool. That could work.
We open at The Avalon where Brooke is treating my two favorite nameless cheerleaders to an emotive self-promotional announcement of her bid for the head cheerleader position.
She then makes her way over to the booth where Courtney is studying and strikes a somber tone, advising Headband that she just heard “the terrible news”. When Courtney croaks oot, “What terrible news?”, Brooke assumes that she’s too choked up to talk, but it turns oot she just has laryngitis. It would be awesome if this were a chronic ailment, but alas, it’s just a small and temporary blessing. Anyhow, the “terrible news” to which Brooke is referring is the fact that Jake and Courtney broke up, but Headband’s unshakeable good cheer throughoot the inquisition isn’t quite the reaction for which she’d been hoping. Still skeptical, she takes a seat just as Jake enters the café and sits down next to Courtney, effectively ending Brooke’s ill-conceived reconnaissance mission. He announces that it’s “the big day” when Matt will be coming home from the treatment center. As if verifying her increasing irrelevance, Brooke makes one final and unsuccessful attempt to wrap her mind around the spectacle of a former couple hanging oot as friends. (Spoiler alert: none of the people involved in this scene will appear in the final season.)
Q: What do you call a conversation between a girl with laryngitis and a girl who never speaks above a whisper?
A: Something Curmudgeon refuses to fucking acknowledge.
Don’t worry, I didn’t abdicate my responsibility there. Everything they said was just a rehashing of shit that’s already been rehashed so many times that it’s making every episode start to feel like a rerun of the previous one. Oh, and Courtney’s stupid English teacher is letting her cast, produce and direct her stupid play for a public performance, so we’ve got that to look forward to.
At Who Farted’s locker, Brooke is pretending to be disappointed that she’s running unopposed for the head cheerleader position while Who Farted pretends that she’s not planning to run against her. Eventually, the charade comes to an end.
Brooke: …so, it looks as though I’m the new head cheerleader!
WF: Not quite.
Brooke: What do you mean?
WF: I decided to run.
Brooke: You what?
WF: I just thought that there should be some competition – you said so yourself.
Brooke: Well, yeah, but not from your friends. Besides, you didn’t even tell me!
WF: I just…sort of decided and…I’m telling you now.
Brooke: Isn’t this interesting. May the best person win. And Stacy – don’t get your hopes up too high. I’d hate to see you disappointed.
Alright, now Courtney’s irritated esophagus is croaking at Arseman aboot her dumb play and if ever a scene could be deemed unwatchable, this is it, but I’m going to briefly transcribe Headband’s plot synopsis so that you can understand what’s going on here. Quite simply, this dialogue is from a script aboot a script that’s aboot the very script of which it is a part. Got that? No? Here, take a look:
Courtney: See, this sister is just so self-absorbed, you know? She’s really wrapped up in herself. She doesn’t even realize when her brother needs someone.
If I can stray off topic for just a moment, I know many of you must be wondering what my next venture will be when I finally finish this interminable ode to Fifteen. I was thinking of writing a play. It will be aboot a guy in his late 40s inspired by terminal boredom to create a blog page, the content of which is an interminable ode to an early 90s Canadian teen soap opera. My working title is “Notes From Notes From The Avalon”. It’s gonna be fucking brilliant, so don’t miss it. Anyway, Courtney recruits an annoyingly reluctant Arseman for the role of the sister before dramatically sighing that she still needs to find someone to play the part of the younger brother. (For fuck’s sake, Courtney, your younger brother is Hollywood royalty, you clueless twit.)
Dylan is moping at a booth in The Avalon when Ashley approaches and asks him what’s wrong. He tells her that he was just hauled down to the principal’s office because his teachers have been reporting him for truancy and failure to turn in homework assignments and that he might have to repeat the grade if he doesn’t get his act together. Ashley tries to inspire him to buckle down, finding his retort of “maybe I just won’t worry aboot it” too exasperating to accept. Christ, this whispering little twat would fucking hate me: “Hey, Paul, have you found a job yet?” “Nope.” “What are you gonna do?” “Maybe I just won’t worry aboot it.” (Spoiler Alert: Dylan refrains from worrying aboot it for so long that eventually he just drops oot of school and gets a dead-end job busing tables at the shitty mall café.)
By the lockers, Headband is trying to recruit Jake for the role of the brother in her play, but he’s wise enough to understand the benefits of being romantically unencumbered, and so respectfully declines. If only there were someone who could play the part of a troubled younger brother…
Deadpool swaggers through the rear door of The Avalon where John is playing pinball. With an evil grin, he puts his arm around Dumbo’s shoulder and commences to antagonize his prey.
Billy: So, John, how’s it going?
John: Uh…fine, I guess.
Billy: You here for lunch? Me, too…but the problem is, I just don’t seem to have any money. So, uh, you think you can help me oot?
John: I, uh, don’t have that much myself.
Billy: Then why don’t you just give me what you have?
John: Well, then I wouldn’t have enough for myself.
Billy: John, you’re missing the point. Give me the money!
John: Come on, Billy, leave me alone.
Billy: Hey, Kid – the money!
John tries to flee, but Deadpool grabs him by the sleeve and drags him back into the pinball room. In desperation, Alfred E. Newman bellows “It’s not fair!” as he hands over his paltry cash supply.
Billy: That’s life, Kid. Get used to it. And, uh, I’ll probably need some money for lunch tomorrow, too. So bring some!
Finally free of Deadpool’s iron grasp, John runs past Courtney as he flees The Avalon. Oblivious to what just transpired, she asks Billy if he’d like to get together later, after she and her friends welcome Matt back from the treatment center.
Billy: Oh, right, Matt’s back from that drunk place!
Courtney: The treatment center.
Billy: Okay…the treatment center.
Courtney: Hey, I’m really looking forward to seeing him. Aren’t you?
Billy: Well, yeah, it’ll be good to see Old Matt again. Maybe I can buy him a beer!
Courtney: What is wrong with you?
Billy: What’s wrong with you? Can’t you take a joke? And, uh, hey, aboot that brother-sister thing after school…I think I’m busy.
Dylan is tenderly stroking his guitar on a sofa in the student lounge when Chris spots him and assesses this as a perfect opportunity for maximum harassment potential. He sarcastically asks if Dylan wants to wish him luck at his Avalon gig, then goes on to inform him that he and Roxanne decided they’re going to play as a duo, dispensing of the complications brought on by a full band. Clearly disappointed in Dylan’s laissez-faire response to the news, he instructs his former band mate, “Friday night. The Avalon. Be there,” before taking his leave.
The next scene opens at the stairwell where Leather Jacket and Laryngitis are discussing Billy’s increasingly worrisome behavior. Moving along…
Oh, fuck, here’s what I get for trying to rush things along – Jake and Dave eating lunch in the student lounge while Who Farted lingers in the background. This is worse than being locked in a 4 x 4 cage at Guantanamo while bombarded by JoJo Siwa songs on infinite repeat. Dull and Duller are in the midst of discussing what goes on in treatment centers when Who Farted awkwardly approaches their table and vomits her best attempt at flirtation all over Dave’s letterman jacket. She walks away and Jake, quick to pick up on the vibe, advises Dave to ask her oot, to which he replies, “Who do you think I am, Tom Cruise or something?” Hmm…nah. Trop facile. I’ll just let you insert your own jokes here, dear readers.
Brooke sees Arseman at her locker and announces that the votes are currently being counted for the head cheerleader position, but Sassy Pants counters that the votes have already been counted, so she should ask Miss Leddingham for the results. Brooke continues to arrogantly surmise that it must have been a landslide, so Arseman confirms that it was – 8 to 2, in fact, in Who Farted’s favor.
Brooke: You mean…I lost?
Arseman: Well, basically…yeah. But, well…better luck next time.
Matt’s sitting in the student lounge waiting to be noticed, but the best he’s gonna get right now is Dave, whose always questionable relevance severely dissipated once Jake returned from China. The ensuing conversation is as tedious as you’d imagine.
At The Avalon, my two favorite cheerleaders are showering Who Farted with praise and congratulations for her easy victory. Just as Who Farted tells them, “I really feel sorry for Brooke,” Miss Morgan enters the café and gives their table a wide berth on her way to the counter. Who Farted gets up and tells Brooke that she feels awful, but her former mentor accuses her of having set the whole thing up, “campaigning behind my back!” and refuses to listen to Who Farted’s conciliatory explanation. When Brooke’s accusations become too much to bear, Who Farted divulges that she actually voted for Brooke, which is what brought her vote tally to two. “I didn’t want you to be totally humiliated – so I voted for you!” Brooke continues to assault Who Farted with sneering derision and accuses her of trying to make a fool of her, leading to Who Farted’s boldest proclamation yet: “Nobody ever does that, Brooke! Nobody ever makes a fool of you!! YOU’RE THE ONE WHO MAKES A FOOL OF YOURSELF!!!”
Okay, let’s pause and take stock of where we stand. Courtney and Jake split up? Check. Ashley and Chris split up? Check. Dylan and Chris? Check. Brooke and Who Farted? Check. What the fuck is left? That was a rhetorical question. Four more soul-crushing episodes, that’s what’s left, whether or not there are any remaining plots worth a shit.
Student lounge. Matt, surrounded by Jake, Dave, Arseman and Courtney, recounts his experience at the treatment center in the vaguest of terms. I’m guessing that not one of these dummies owns a TV because they don’t seem to know the difference between rehab and a Siberian gulag. Regardless, Matt seems to appreciate the warm welcome, though he doesn’t seem to notice Headband’s shameless laryngitic flirtation. Maybe he’s too hungover.
Dylan walks into the Avalon pinball room and sees Chris moping over a soda at the booth. Leather Jacket immediately starts antagonizing him, accurately guessing that the audition for Richard (now exclusively referred to as Dick) didn’t go so well. He pumps some coins into the pinball machine and informs Chris that he spoke to Dick, so he already knows that they bombed. It seems that Black Jerry stopped by the garage and told Dylan that White Jerry thought he was the best thing aboot the band, so Dick offered him a solo gig next Friday night, no audition required. Karma’s a bitch, Chris. And so are you.
Some time later, Matt and the gang are drinking sodas at The Avalon. As Matt gets up to leave, Courtney grabs his sleeve and with stars in her eyes declares, “Matt, it’s really good to see you again. It really is!” For fuck’s sake, Headband, just flash him your goddamn tits already and spare us any more of your disgusting hoarse coquetry, you shameless whore. Matt and Jake split, leaving Courtney free to gush to Arseman aboot how great Matt looks and basically make it as obvious as possible that she’s pining to get into his pants. Arseman smiles her approval of the impending romance.
If it seemed like I just kinda phoned this one in, that’s because I did. What do you want from me? Do you realize this was the 35th fucking episode of this shit-show that I’ve summarized in less than 6 months? I still don’t have a job, you know. I feel like someone should be paying me for this. Someone with a vested interest and a buttload of money like, say, Ryan Reynolds. I’d hate to have to shake him down for his lunch money, but you know…times are tough.