Season 3, Episode 13
Show them how it feels to lose what they love. – Catelyn Stark
This is it. The final episode of the third season of Fifteen. It’s been quite a ride, eh? Although I will post an overview of what happens to the remaining veteran characters in the otherwise unwatchable fourth season, this is the last of the grand episode summaries covering what I consider to be the classic seasons of the show. Before we get down to business, here are a few thoughts aboot the last episode that I neglected to include in its synopsis:
- Dave’s performance in Courtney’s play is the first and only time I have ever witnessed an actor put effort into overacting the act of underacting.
- When Chris asks Tony and Ben how they know Roxanne, Tony answers that they belong to “a kind of club”, causing Ben to react with a sinister laugh and sarcastically remark, “Yeah, that’s what it is”. I can only think of two possible things for which “a club” might be a euphemism in this case: 1) they belong to a gang, perhaps of the white supremacist variety; 2) they cook meth. I knew Roxanne was a badass, but this kinda takes things to a whole new level.
- Suzanne, the mind behind MyDangBlog!, has an eye for detail, as she noticed some striking similarities between Roxanne’s extra-curricular acquaintances and another renowned Canadian TV duo. Extrapolating from her observation, let’s do a little predictive time-lapse to get an idea of what Tony and Ben might look like today:
We open in the student lounge on a curiously extended shot of Jake’s brooding face. It lingers on screen long enough for me to briefly wonder if the DVR froze up until we finally hear Matt continue the somber conversation in progress.
Matt: Okay, I guess I could feel a little better. I mean…if things weren’t quite so, well, confusing.
Jake: “Things” meaning Ashley?
Jake: Yeah, that’s kind of what I was wondering aboot.
Matt: Courtney says she broke up with me because she couldn’t handle hurting Ashley’s feelings. As far as I can see, Ashley doesn’t care one way or the other! So where does that leave me?
Matt: Bingo. Ah, look, I don’t even want to think aboot it. I’d just wreck a perfectly good day. I’ll see ya around.
Who Farted walks into The Avalon and spots Roxanne sitting at the counter. She asks her newest girl-crush if she heard the news aboot Brooke, then elaborates that she found oot Brooke is going to be leaving Hillside to spend a year in Paris, adding something aboot Brooke’s father belonging to a “service club” that facilitates exchange student programs or some such shit that I admittedly just kinda tuned oot. As Roxanne reacts to the news, Brooke breezes into the café.
Brooke: Bon jour!
Roxanne: Give me a break.
Brooke: Guess what?
Roxanne: We know. Paris.
Brooke: Oh, it’s wonderful! Tres wonderful! N’est-ce pas?
Roxanne: Oh yeah, it’s terrific!
Roxanne: Because it means we won’t have to see you for 12 whole months!
Brooke: Exactly. Which means I won’t have to see you people for a whole year, either, which is the best part of all!
Brooke walks off as Roxanne turns to Who Farted.
Roxanne: You tell me you’re gonna miss her, I’ll stuff your head in the sink.
WF: Hey, would I say something like that?
Matt sees Dave at his locker and compliments him on his performance in the play, causing Dave to marvel at his newfound popularity, explaining that even girls are talking to him so there’s a chance he might even be able to convince some of them to dance with him tonight. Aside from a hand-printed sign just visible through the small window of the door into the locker vestibule in the last episode that read “Dance – Friday – Gym”, this is our first official notice that there will be a dance at the Hillside gym tonight. Spotting Ashley standing by the bulletin board on the other side of the lounge, Matt stops paying attention to Dave and strolls over for another round of masochistic miscommunication with his old flame. They both confirm that they’re going to the dance alone, but before Matt gets a chance to ask if she’d like to go with him, she once again vaguely indicates that she has to run and cuts him off before he can deliver the dreaded invite.
Later at The Avalon, Jake is miraculously managing to make Ashley ever-so-hesitantly own up to the fact that she still has feelings for Matt. He tells her that “it’s pretty obvious” and admonishes that since this is the case, she’s got to talk to him aboot it, sending her into a low budget daydream of reignited love.
A day late and a dollar short, Courtney approaches Deadpool at the soda machine and reams him oot for his recent spate of bullying. Dylan may have put an end to Billy’s reign of terror, but he still clearly harbors an assload of justified animosity towards his horrible sister. Billy splits as Matt comes down the stairs to get himself a soda. Courtney says hi, he says hi back and then the fucking scene just ends right there. I re-watched this 5 second clip a few times before moving on just to make sure I didn’t miss any subtle looks or mannerisms that might have served to infuse this exchange with some discernible purpose, but nope, that was it.
Billy sees Dave studying at a booth in The Avalon. He strikes a contrite tone and nearly apologizes for having been such a douchebag before losing his nerve and saying, “Just forget it,” as he turns and flees the café.
In the student lounge, Courtney and Arseman are flapping their gums aboot the difficulty of getting through to Billy lately before Headband changes the subject and tells Sassy Pants that she finally had a big talk with Matt wherein they both apologized to each other for how everything went down. Arseman cheerily remarks that now they can go back to being friends again.
Courtney: Absolutely. Sure. That’s just what I wanted. To get back to being friends again.
Arseman: Hang on. If that’s what you wanted, then why aren’t you looking a little more cheerful? Courtney?
Courtney: Because it’s NOT what I want!
Arseman: You don’t want to be friends with Matt? (holy fuck, you’re retarded, Arseman)
Courtney: I wanna be more than friends with him! A lot more! I have wanted that for ages, but every time it almost happens, I find another way to screw it up!
That’s right. Will this brief moment of self-awareness extend to a realization that it’s now officially too fucking late for you to try again, or are you gonna go for round four to maximize Matt’s alcoholic relapse potential? The timer on my media player indicates that your remaining time at Hillside High is precisely 14 and a half minutes. Better make up your mind fast, Headband. Your entire legacy is at stake.
Dylan’s strumming his guitar in the garage when Billy enters. He thanks Leather Jacket for setting him straight and for exercising restraint in the process, and just like that, Dylan and Deadpool are friends again. After filling him in on how things are going at home, Billy tells Dylan that he’s heading over to the dance and asks if he wants to come.
Dylan: Are you kidding? I don’t go to Hillside School anymore. I’m a dropoot. Dropoots don’t get to go to school dances. Have a good time.
Meanwhile, Chris and Roxanne are venting their mutual animosity at The Avalon counter.
Chris: Are you gonna finish that?
Roxanne: I’m working on it.
Chris: (checking his watch) God, it’s 25 after 7:00!
Chris: The dance starts at 7:30.
Roxanne: What’s your hurry? I thought you really didn’t want to go in the first place!
Chris: I don’t! School dances are totally boring. But if we’re gonna go, we might as well do it.
Roxanne: We’ll go just as soon as Tony and Ben get here.
Chris: Tony and Ben?
Roxanne: Yeah. I invited them to come along.
Chris: But the school dance is supposed to be for Hillside students only. Tony and Ben don’t go to Hillside.
Roxanne: What is your point?
Chris: Well, how are they supposed to get in?
Roxanne: By walking through the front door, obviously. Same as everyone else.
In the student lounge, bunches of bright red balloons cast a reddish hue across the walls and confetti litters the floor. Did you notice I said “student lounge”? This is not the gym. At this point, I view Hillside’s mythical gymnasium the same way I do the Chupacabra. We can debate “what ifs” all day long, but it won’t lend any further credence to either of these legendary entities.
Courtney approaches Jake and asks him to dance, but he declines on the basis of his abysmal lack of coordination and offers to get them both a drink instead. As he departs for the refreshment table, Brooke swoops in with a voluminous “Bon Jour!” and makes sure that Headband is all caught up on her impending yearlong Parisian odyssey.
The Aryan Nation swaggers through the door into the locker vestibule and encounters Dave standing alone on the stairs.
Ben: What are you starin’ at?!
Dave: Nothing! (to Chris and Roxanne) Who are those guys?
Chris: What’s it to you?
Dave: Well, they don’t go to Hillside, right? So they’re not exactly supposed to be here.
Roxanne: Why don’t you go kick them oot, then?
Dave: Look, all I’m saying is—
Chris: Why don’t you mind your own business? They’re friends of ours. We invited them.
Matt approaches Ashley near a large ice sculpture in the shape of the word Hillside. Yeah. A school that can’t afford workable lockers splurged for a fucking ice sculpture:
He tells her that she looks really nice, then averts the otherwise inevitable awkward silence to follow his compliment by saying that he has to go find Jake. Ashley bites her lip and stares after him as he fades into the crowd.
Deadpool walks in and finds himself face to face with Arseman.
Arseman: So, how’s it going?
Arseman: Planning to have a good time tonight?
Billy: I guess.
Arseman: Planning to let everyone else have a good time, too?
Billy: Don’t worry. I was just over at Dylan’s place.
Arseman: You guys had a talk?
Billy: Sort of. I asked him if he’s coming tonight. He said dropoots aren’t invited.
Arseman: Well, unfortunately, he’s right.
Billy: You know something? I’m really worried aboot him. You know what he’s like. Dylan hides his feelings pretty well, but it looks to me like he’s really depressed.
Billy goes to mingle as Arseman high-tails it oot the door. In short order, Deadpool finds himself surrounded by Chris and The Plastic Ono Band.
Tony: Is this the guy you’re talking aboot?
Chris: Yeah, this is him – the one that thinks he’s so tough.
Billy: Come on!
Chris: Hey, don’t be modest, Bill! I hear you’ve been acting like you’re real tough, lately.
Billy: Don’t be stupid!
Tony: (grabbing Billy by the sleeve) You callin’ my friend stupid?!
Ben: That’s the word he used, alright. You better learn some respect!
Ben shoves Billy, knocking him back a few feet as Matt and Jake approach the melee.
Matt: What’s going on?
Chris: Mind your own business!
Jake: How aboot answering the question?
Chris: Oh, I’m shaking in my boots!
Matt: Just knock it off! No one wants any trouble.
Chris: Well, too bad, ‘cause you’re just aboot to get some!
Before the brewing rumble has a chance to get off the ground, Roxanne rushes in between the rapidly forming battle lines.
Roxanne: Don’t be stupid! Not at a school dance!
Chris: The guy’s trying to throw his weight around!
Roxanne: Come on! We’re leaving – now!
Arseman enters Dylan’s garage to find him sitting on a stool by the door, holding his guitar.
Dylan: …so, what are you doing here? What, did Billy tell you I was feeling all tragic or something?
Arseman: Well, he didn’t use those words, exactly…but more or less.
Dylan: Well, he’s wrong. I’m fine.
Arseman: Are you?
Dylan: No. Are you kidding? Go ahead, say it.
Arseman: Say what?
Dylan: I’ve blown it, totally. I made the world’s stupidest mistake and now I’m stuck, right?
Arseman: Well, I can’t exactly disagree with you, can I? I’m not exactly gonna tell you to look on the bright side, either.
Dylan: Because there isn’t one.
Arseman: Well, not that you’d notice…but just remember, you’ve still got friends! People care aboot you and that’s something!
Dylan: You mean it?
Arseman: Hey, I never say things I don’t mean.
Back at the dance, Billy sees Dave and this time, he gives him a proper sincere apology for having been such a shithead over the course of the past few weeks. To Deadpool’s pleasant surprise, Dave accepts his apology, just like that.
Elsewhere at the dance, Brooke is chewing Jake’s ear off aboot her upcoming year in Paris.
Brooke: Naturally, I won’t be studying all the time, so I’ll be able to see all the sights in Paris!
Brooke: The Eiffel Tower, St. Peter’s Basilica…
Jake: Actually, St. Peter’s Basilica’s in Rome.
Brooke: Right, of course it is. Well, I should be able to visit Rome on the weekends.
As Brooke continues her last big self-promotional display, her voice becomes noticeably shaky and more than a little choked up.
Brooke: Living in Paris for a whole year…halfway around the world…thousands of miles from everyone here…I mean…
Brooke’s lip begins to quiver and her eyes well up with tears.
Jake: Hey, are you okay?
Brooke: (sobbing) Jake…I don’t want to go.
Jake: What are you talking aboot?
Brooke: All my friends are here…everyone I care aboot. I don’t want to lose all my friends!
Who Farted approaches Dave at the punch bowl and almost asks him to dance. This is good practice for the upcoming season, wherein they spend all 26 episodes almost dating since neither possess the requisite mental or motor skills to move beyond this awkward and endless mating ritual.
Ashley’s kicking it on the dance floor with some kid that looks like he was ripped from a Hitler Youth propaganda film while Matt looks on. The music stops and Matt approaches.
Ashley: so, how’s it going?
Matt: Oh, not bad. Kinda different, though. First time in quite a while I’ve been to a school dance sober! It’s also the first time I’ve been to a school dance when I wasn’t here with you. Listen, if I’m way oot of line here, just tell me, but I’ve gotta ask you…Ashley, do you think there’s any chance for you and me to try again?
Ashley: so many things have changed…even the thought of getting back together. how could we make it work?
Matt: I don’t know.
Ashley: we still care aboot each other, don’t we? so if you wanna try…i mean, if you really wanna try…then i’d like to try, too.
Matt: You wanna dance?
That just warms the heart, doesn’t it? Savor it while you can, because you know goddamn well that Drinky Crow and Whisperina won’t be able to maintain this romantic Kismet for long. I’ll be back shortly to put a small Season 4 cherry on the otherwise complete Hillside sundae. Now go blow your nose and fix your makeup before you find yourself at a loss to explain to someone why you’ve been crying. Come on, now, chin up. There you go.