Season 3, Episode 10
The part of Brooke was played by a lovely Canadian actress named Robyn Ross. Unbeknownst to me (prior to a few days ago), I’d been in possession of another of her performances for over a decade. If you check her IMDB profile, you’ll notice that she was in the movie Juno, credited as “Vanessa’s Friend #2”. Though I’ve seen Juno many times, I watched it again after learning that she was in it, only to find that she is on screen for literally 3 seconds and doesn’t speak a single word (nor does “Vanessa’s Friend #1”, for what it’s worth). During the mall scene where Jennifer Garner runs into Ellen Page while she’s oot shopping with friends, Vanessa’s Friends #1 and 2 appear, giving her an excuse to cut the conversation short. If you blink, you’ll miss it, so briefly refrain from snapping your eyelids and gaze upon a grown-up Brooke doing what she can to pay the bills:
Matt and Dave trudge into the boys’ locker room. Slender Loris is uncharacteristically winded after playing one-on-one with Laundry Boy, so Dave tells him not to get down on himself, especially considering how long it’s been since he’s played basketball. In my last episode summary, I kind of glossed over the scene where Dave first sees Matt in the student lounge after his return from the treatment center and thus neglected to note that Matt indicated he frequently played basketball with his fellow drunks during his self-imposed incarceration. Thus, a rare lack of continuity from your humble narrator nearly got John Binkley and Ian Weir off the hook for another example of their perpetual lack thereof. Anyway, Dave counsels Matt to talk to Coach Williams aboot getting back on the team, but Drinky Crow doesn’t seem too keen on the idea.
Exiting the locker room, Matt sees Ashley studying in the student lounge and approaches her table. I know, I know – but you knew this was inevitable, so we might as well just rip off this fucking Band-Aid now.
Ashley: so how are things? you know, things in general?
Matt: Oh, pretty good.
Ashley: must feel kind of different.
Matt: You mean…being sober?
Ashley: no. no, i just meant being back.
Matt: Oh, right. Well, being sober’s quite a change, too. You find oot how far behind you are. Anyway, guess I’ll see you around.
Ashley: matt? a few things have changed for me, too. i guess you probably heard…i’m…well…single again.
Matt: Yeah, I heard Chris turned into sort of a…jerk.
Ashley: not quite. he turned into a major jerk.
Matt: Yeah, well, I guess that happens sometimes.
Ashley: i guess. sometimes i like it a lot, you know…being on my own. other times, i’m not quite so sure.
Matt: You get used to it.
Forget it, Whisper Bitch. The first thing those 12 Step zombies drill into newcomers is the importance of refraining from new relationships within the first year of sobriety. Everyone hates a drunk until he gets sober, then they regret not having taken sufficient advantage of him while they had the chance. I speak from experience on this one, so you’d be wise to just continue on your current course of quiet martyrdom, Ash Blonde Ashley.
Okay, normally, when a scene opens on Dave and John waxing moronic at their lockers, I start whining aboot the task that lays before me right here in the first sentence of the paragraph. But this time, I have a feeling that if I’m patient, Deadpool will home in on them like a Great White catching the scent of distant prey. Let’s see (Da-dum)…they’re talking aboot math homework (Da-dum da-dum)…still talking aboot math homework (Da-dum Da-dum Da-dum Da-Dum)…oh, fuck me Agnes, Deadpool didn’t sniff them oot, but Who Farted did. (Pausing to shake my fist at the heavens.) Sorry, my friends, but if I have to suffer through this, so do you.
Dave: Uh, hi.
Dave: So…how are things?
WF: Oh…thing-ish. How aboot you?
Dave: Yeah, same here…really thing-ish. So…how’s cheerleading?
WF: Oh, you know…fine. Good.
WF: Guess I better run.
Jesus Tapdancing Christ!!! Who Farted scurries off to class and John asks Dave what that was all aboot, prompting Dave to ponder how it would feel to be at least “slightly more impressive”. He daydreams of basketball stardom and an adoring Gorgon cheering just for him.
Dave breaks oot of his reverie just in time to hear Big Ears remark that he looks like he’s “having a gas attack or something,” which is a surprisingly accurate description of what I just witnessed.
How much more drama do you think Whisperina and Headband can endure before finally dispensing of the ludicrous charade that they’re somehow “best friends”? Let’s find oot. Eating lunch in the student lounge, they’re discussing Dylan’s gig at The Avalon tonight. Courtney still has a touch of laryngitis, but obviously Sarah Douglas was a trooper who refused to be written oot of a single episode due to such a minor ailment. Next, they cover the topic of Dylan’s frequent truancy just to keep that fresh in our minds, then Ashley gets up to leave as Deadpool appears behind them in the locker vestibule. Courtney calls Ashley back to the table.
Courtney: Just a second…I was just wondering, um…have you seen Matt, I mean, since he’s been back?
Ashley: yeah, this morning. it was good to see him.
Courtney: So you guys had a chance to talk?
Ashley: well, sort of…i mean, we didn’t exactly say a lot. it’s kind of hard talking to him after everything that’s happened.
Courtney: Ashley…do you figure there’s any chance you’ll ever, you know, get back together?
Ashley: me and matt? i don’t think so. no. there’s not a chance in the world.
Clearly frustrated at having to address this issue, Ashley grabs her lunch bag and splits as Deadpool saunters over and gives Headband a well-deserved guilt trip for being the douchebag that she is. As Courtney hems and haws, Billy gets more specific and mentions that he heard she asked every guy in school to play the part of the younger brother in her play, “except for me, of course”.
Billy: No big deal, of course. I was just sort of wondering how come you asked aboot 300 other guys but you haven’t said a word to me.
Courtney: I don’t believe it! Why didn’t I think of you? You’d be great! I mean, you’d be perfect!
Billy: So, uh…does this mean you’re offering me the part?
Courtney: Absolutely! I would love to have you in the play!
Billy: Well, forget it! I wouldn’t be caught dead in your play! I was just kinda wondering how come you didn’t even bother to ask.
At the garage, Dylan’s noodling on his guitar when Ashley enters and tenders a cheery greeting of, “hey, rock on!” She lets him vent his nervous energy aboot tonight’s show for a bit before embarking upon the redundant unsolicited lecture she came to deliver. Jesus, this girl is a dolt. The pragmatic tough love of Ashley Fraser already sent one guy to rehab, but I guess she won’t be satisfied until she nags Dylan so persistently that he drops oot of school just to spite her. I know I would.
Whenever I’m fixing to fuck over a friend, I prefer doing it right away so unnecessary concerns like guilt and shame don’t have time to start clouding my lack of judgment. Apparently, Courtney agrees. Spotting Matt at the soda machine, she descends upon him like a succubus. As Headband endlessly dances around the periphery of libidinous betrayal, Matt interrupts and tells her that he heard she’s looking for someone to play the part of the brother in her play and suggests that she ask Dave. Unprepared for this rapid change of subject, she stammers that she hadn’t thought aboot asking Dave because he’s so shy, but Matt retorts that the character is, too, so he might be perfect for it. Withoot waiting for a response, Matt walks away leaving Headband to wallow in frustration.
Ready for some more bullying action from Deadpool? Fuck yeah, you are. John is doing homework at a booth in The Avalon when Billy strolls up from behind.
Billy: Hey, just the guy I was looking for! Gee, you look a little tense. You must be working too hard.
John: What do you want?
Billy: Well, let’s put it this way: it’s lunchtime, right? And I’m starved. So, uh, I really hope you brought some money.
John: Just leave me alone.
Billy: Hey, John – is that any way to treat a friend?
John bolts oot of his seat and tries to flee, but he’s no match for Deadpool’s lightning fast reflexes. He grabs John roughly by the shoulders as Dave walks into the café and observes the interaction.
Billy: I asked you for money! I asked you nicely! So you better hand it over, or else I’ll have to kick your—
Dave: Or else you’ll have to what?
Billy: Mind. Your. Own. Business. What are you staring at?!
Dave: I’m not staring at anything. I just don’t think I like what’s going on here.
Billy: Yeah? Well, hey, maybe you’d like to do something aboot it. We’ll get together again real soon – and that’s a promise!
Later on, Dave spots Courtney in the student lounge and takes a seat next to her. He tells her that he was “just talking to Billy at The Avalon” and wants to know if he’s okay. Headband asks him what he means but rather than divulging that her brother is a ruthless bully, he simply adds, “he just sort of seemed…uptight or something.” Courtney briefly explains that Billy’s not in the best mood today before giving Dave an obvious once-over and asking, “How’d you like to be a star?” She spends the next three and a half fucking minutes convincing him to take the part before abruptly leaving the table, still oblivious to her brother’s ongoing reign of terror.
Chris and Roxanne bluster into The Avalon complaining aboot the sheer injustice of Dylan being offered a solo gig. It’s hard to know whose side Roxanne is on in these exchanges because her voice is just as antagonistic in response to Chris’ whining as it is to the infuriating topic at hand. Backpedaling on the excoriation of his former band mate, Chris proceeds to accuse Roxanne of making him break up the band. They spend the next few minutes yelling and sneering and making one hell of a public scene that somehow none of the café patrons seem to notice (except for Brooke, who’s talking on the payphone nearby). Roxanne gets in a few more digs before storming off, as Brooke saunters over to Chris and asks, “Trouble in paradise?” She patiently endures his venomous response before strategically batting her eyelids and coquettishly noting, “Surely a guy like you can find someone better than her!”
John and Dave exit the boys’ locker room discussing Billy’s new hobby of tormenting dorks like themselves. Dave is still trying to get to the bottom of what may have initiated all this, but Dumbo insists that nothing happened that could explain Deadpool’s sudden fondness for violent intimidation. John points oot that now it’s Dave’s problem, too, since Billy made it clear that he’s coming for him next.
John: So what are you going to do?
Dave: Same as you. Stay oot of his way.
John: And if that doesn’t work?
Dave: I guess we’ll find oot, huh? I don’t feel like fighting, but I don’t feel like running, either.
Good choice, Dave. If you don’t fight and don’t run, maybe Deadpool will have a chance to punch the boring right oot of you.
Spotting Matt by the stairwell, Courtney tells him that she took his advice and offered Dave the part in her play. He thanks Headband and affectionately touches her arm before turning to walk away.
Courtney: Listen, there’s actually…well, there’s something else I’ve been wanting to ask you. If I could just figure oot how to say this…
Matt: Is something wrong?
Courtney: Oh, no, nothing like that. It’s just…a while back – quite a while back – you asked me to go oot with you. Remember?
Matt: Uh, yeah. I seem to have vague memories. Of course, I remember. Why?
Courtney: Well, things didn’t exactly work oot because of…well, because of how complex everything was. But since things have changed and, you know, since things aren’t as complex anymore, I was just wondering…I mean, if you’re still interested.
Matt: Let me get this straight. Are you saying…I mean, are you asking me to go oot with you?
Courtney: No, I’m not exactly saying that, I’m just – well, I guess that is what I’m saying. So what do you think?
Matt: Well, listen, maybe…why don’t we go to Dylan’s concert together?
Courtney: Sounds great! Yeah, why don’t you come over to my place around 7:30? We’ll walk over together.
Matt: Sure, that’d be great! Just one more thing…just so we both have this straight. Are we going to this concert as, like, old friends, or are we going as, like, something else?
Courtney: Well, why don’t we start off as old friends and then just sort of see what happens from there?
Oh, fuck you, Headband. I hope Deadpool pummels your goddamn face until it turns to jelly.
Now it’s Dave’s turn to ask the object of his desire to Dylan’s concert, but Who Farted is either too conflicted, too stupid, or in too much of a hurry to acknowledge his nervously stammered invite. (Who do you think he is, Tom Cruise or something?)
Dylan comes down the stairs carrying his guitar and runs into Matt. They exchange a few antagonistic words until Matt sincerely wishes Leather Jacket good luck in his concert.
Dylan: Yeah? Look, I know I haven’t exactly had a chance to talk to you since you got back so, um, I just wanted to say, just, you know, I hope stuff’s going okay for you.
Matt: You know something? We better be careful. People are gonna start to think we don’t hate each other after all!
No, they don’t proceed to lock lips right there in the hallway, but if I had a nickel for every time that last sentence is spoken by both of these idiots in Season 4, long after they become clearly established friends…well, I guess I’d have at least ten nickels. Maybe I should have opted for a higher denomination there for maximum literary efficacy, but I’ll just let it stand. 50 cents is 50 cents.
A few tinny blues notes play over a shot of The Avalon exterior. Inside, Dylan’s “concert” is in full swing, with the entire Hillside student body gathered around the stage while Fonzie hesitantly plucks at his guitar. It turns oot that this is actually a song, not just a public display of guitar tuning, as evidenced by Who Farted’s enthusiastic “That was excellent!” that fills the ensuing silence. Standing behind her table, Dave considers saying something to her, then pussies oot and heads for the exit just as Deadpool is coming in.
Billy: Well, look who’s here! What I said earlier – I meant it. Sooner or later, I’m gonna catch you alone, and look oot!
Think that was dramatic? Dig this. Ashley is sitting at the counter behind the table that Courtney and Matt are sharing. Headband makes a few comments aboot Dylan’s performance before just throwing caution to the fucking wind. I think a few screen shots will do better than a description here, especially since you’ll be able to pinpoint the exact moment Ashley’s heart rips open like an overripe mango.
As Ashley flees the café, Courtney apologizes to Matt for being so impetuous, but he makes it clear that he didn’t mind at all.
The part of Courtney was played by a shitty Canadian actress named Sarah Douglas. If you check her IMDB profile, you’ll notice that the only other role to her credit is “Audience Member” in one episode of some TV show called Hollywood Off-Ramp. And after just three more episodes of Fifteen, you will never have to see her again. That’s a fucking promise.