Red Wedding

good guys

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:
farm
He blowed up reeeal good!

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?

Matt:  Yeah.

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?

Jake:  Confused.

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!

Brooke:  Thanks!

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.

matt rejected

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.

ash fantasy

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.

billy garage

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!

Roxanne:  So?

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.

plastic ono band
Walking through the front door, 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.

dance

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:

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.

ash infatuated

Deadpool walks in and finds himself face to face with Arseman.

Arseman:  So, how’s it going?

Billy:  Hi!

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!

rox peace

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.

dylan smiles

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 jake

Brooke:  Naturally, I won’t be studying all the time, so I’ll be able to see all the sights in Paris!

Jake:  Right.

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!

jake embrace

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?

Ashley:  yeah.

last 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.

Yoko

yoko

Season 3, Episode 12

Christ, you know it ain’t easy.  You know how hard it can be.  The way things are going, they’re gonna crucify me. – The Beatles

At the risk of committing musical blasphemy, I’m gonna let you in on a little secret: “Let It Be” is a shitty album.  Sure, it has moments of brilliance, but since the Fab Four were barely on speaking terms at this late stage of their existence, each of The Beatles recorded their parts separately and then cobbled them together in the studio.  To my ears, the end result reflects this schism within the band.  Had they soldiered on as a group for much longer, I’m guessing that their original magic would have continued to diminish with each new album, effectively sullying the glory days of the most popular rock band of all time.  Why do I say this?  One word: Wings.  Sir Paul’s post-Beatles career has been one of consistent mediocrity, and that’s when he’s at the top of his game (when he isn’t, we get shit like “Silly Love Songs”).  So to anyone who still harbors bitterness towards Yoko Ono for her alleged role in the demise of The Beatles, ask yourself: did she perhaps do us a favor?  Similarly, what aboot Chris’s accusation that Roxanne was responsible for the break-up of Teenagers In Love?

John and Yoko are at The Avalon trashing Dylan for his decision to drop oot of school and pursue a career in music.  After thoroughly exhausting this topic at the top of their lungs, Chris reminds Roxanne that they still need to find a guitarist and drummer for their band.

Roxanne:  Don’t worry.  I’ve taken care of it.

Chris:  You found a couple of guys?

Roxanne:  They’re not from Hillside.  They’re sort of…social acquaintances.

Chris:  How do you mean?

Roxanne:  Why don’t you wait and see?

While Chris and Roxanne are eviscerating Dylan from afar, Ashley’s back at the garage doing it up close and personal.  I mean, of fucking course she is.  This whispering hemorrhoid has been trying to nag her way into Dylan’s pants ever since she got back from private school.

Ashley:  dylan, this is crazy!  you can’t drop oot of school!

Dylan:  I already have.

Ashley:  then go talk to the principal!  tell him you changed your mind!

Dylan:  But I haven’t changed my mind and I’m not going to, either.

Ashley:  you just can’t do this – come on!  i mean, what do your parents think?!

Dylan:  They’re not too happy…but then again, they’re not too happy that I’m their kid in the first place.

Ashley:  that’s not true.  maybe you don’t always get along, but they still care aboot you.

Dylan:  Hey, what makes you an expert on my parents all of a sudden?

Ashley:  dylan, your mom and dad care aboot you a lot.

Dylan:  They’ve got a funny way of showing it.

Ashley:  maybe that’s true, but—

Dylan:  Besides, I don’t care what they think!  Dropping oot was my decision.  If they wanna freak oot aboot it, fine!  I’ll just move oot…find my own place.

She continues to badger him aboot the fact that he’s only fifteen years old (for the third year running) and that the odds of him forging a successful music career are slim to none, but Dylan counters that he already found an agent and he’s meeting with her this afternoon.  I can’t confirm the veracity of that last claim, but he’s speaking the truth when he says he’s going to move oot.  Since this is the penultimate episode of Season 3, they’re already starting to set things up for the next one and Dylan’s homeless odyssey is one of the few things of interest in that 26-episode shit smorgasbord.

ashley nag

At The Avalon, Dave and Arseman are rehearsing their lines.  Apparently, the performance is in just four hours, but if anything else of significance is discussed over their pastries and milk, I can’t tell you what it is because hitting fast-forward on these two causes relief to wash over me like someone having a nice cup of tea after enduring an afternoon of non-stop waterboarding.  Oh shit!  Rewind, rewind.  I knew we’d meet these guys in this episode since Roxanne already mentioned them in the opening scene, but I didn’t realize it would happen so soon.  As Dave continues to mangle his lines, two guys approach their booth from the pinball room.  Despite the fact that one of them has hair redder than a baboon’s ass, their attire and the way they carry themselves indicate that they represent the “bad element” in Roxanne’s heretofore unexplored life ootside of Hillside.

guys

Dirt Bag 1:  You guys seen Roxanne?

Dave:  Roxanne?

Dirt Bag 1:  Is there an echo in here?!

Arseman:  No…we haven’t seen her.  She’s probably at school.

Dirt Bag 2:  Well, if you do see her, tell her Tony and Ben are looking for her.  We’ll be back later.

Incidentally, the words “HAVE A BAD DAY” are scrawled in magic marker on the back of Tony’s denim vest.

Matt’s doing homework in the student lounge when Courtney nervously approaches his table wearing the “sexy” Cosby sweater/mini-skirt ootfit that Ashley Frankensteined onto her a few episodes ago.  She sits down and starts to explain herself when Matt cuts her off.

Matt:  Actually, there’s something I’d kinda like to say to you.  Look, I don’t have a clue what happened between you and me.  I don’t really want an explanation, either.  I just want you to know that I’m getting really sick and tired of you jerking me around!!

Courtney:  I know – and I feel really lousy.

Matt:  You feel lousy?  Courtney, this is the second time you’ve done this to me! (actually, it’s the third) You tell me you want us to go oot together, then all of a sudden, you turn around and tell me to get lost!

Courtney:  Look, I did not mean it to sound that way.

Matt:  Then how did you mean it to sound??

Courtney:  If you want to know what really happened, just ask Ashley!

Keep on passing the buck, Headband.  Even though you’ve only got another episode and a half before you start your merciful 30 year retreat into our distant memories, I have faith that you can manage to destroy every last friendship you ever had in that brief time frame with your stubborn refusal to take responsibility for your own abject shittiness.  Now go check up on your brother, Asshole.

matt yells

In a case of unfortunate timing, Brooke and Arseman run into each other at their adjacent lockers and immediately the sparks begin to fly over the Catherine character in Courtney’s play.  In a case of fortunate timing, they’re interrupted by Chris and Roxanne before I have a chance to throw my laptop against the wall.  Roxanne wishes Arseman luck before walking off, and I honestly can’t tell whether she was being sarcastic or sincere, but it does serve as an opening for some possible common ground between Brooke and Sassy Pants.

Brooke:  She really thinks she’s something, doesn’t she?

Arseman:  Roxanne?

Brooke:  Ugh – she’s so proud of herself just because she has Chris tagging along after her.

Arseman:  As far as I’m concerned, she’s welcome to him.

Brooke:  I really think someone should put Roxanne in her place.  Maybe – maybe someone a little more attractive should take Chris off her hands…and then dump him, just to prove a point.

Arseman:  I’m not exactly sure Roxanne’s a person you want to play games with.

Brooke:  Oh, I don’t play games, Arseman.  I never play games.  I just do what I like.

Courtney and Jake are discussing Dylan’s decision to drop oot of school while they finish preparing the student lounge for the play.  Headband changes the subject to her discussion with Matt aboot why she really broke up with him when Dave and Arseman appear.  Courtney greets them with an enthusiastic, “Hey, the costumes look great!” even though they’re pretty much wearing the same shit they always do.

Arseman:  Time to go!  Let’s get the show on the road!

Dave:  Good idea.  Let’s get it on the road…then run over it with a truck.

Jake:  Come on, you’re going to do just fine.  Believe it!

Brooke enters The Avalon and Who Farted hesitantly approaches her.  She tells her former mentor that she’s going back to school to watch the play, but Brooke indicates that she has better things to do with her time as she abandons Who Farted and sidles up to Chris at the counter.

chris sips

Brooke:  Well, hi, Chris!  And how’s every little thing?

Chris:  Uh…fine, I guess.

Brooke:  So where’s Roxanne?

Chris:  I think she’s still at school.

Brooke:  Well, we can’t have you sitting all alone now, can we?  So I guess you’ve heard aboot Dylan?

Chris:  Yeah, the guy thinks he’s gonna be a rock and roll superstar.

Brooke:  I know, that’s what’s so tragic aboot it – I mean, he doesn’t even have a chance!

Chris:  That’s kinda the way I see it, too.

Brooke:  Dylan isn’t a bad musician…still, he doesn’t have your talent.

Chris:  Yeah?

Brooke:  Absolutely!  You were the heart and soul of the band!  I mean, hey, you even look the way a guitarist is supposed to.

Chris:  How’s that?

Brooke:  You know – easy on the eyes.

As Who Farted looks on, the coy smile on Chris’ face seems to indicate that Brooke’s flirtatious display was a resounding success.

Over a shot of the Hillside exterior, we can hear Dave in mid-performance: “When…I…was…a…little…kid…I…used…to…pretend…I…was…invisible.”  I can’t fucking sit through this.  Stare at the picture below and imagine Dave delivering his lines like someone who just ate a fistful of Quaaludes while I go make myself a sandwich.

performance

Okay, I’m back.  How was Courtney’s play?  Was it everything you’d dreamed it would be?  Good.  Glad to hear it.  As the audience disperses, Matt follows Ashley into the hallway.

Matt:  Hey!  So what’d you think?

Ashley:  good play.  courtney’s really got something, doesn’t she?  i mean…as a writer.

Matt:  Yeah.  Ashley, listen, there’s something I wanted to ask you.

Ashley:  actually, i’m kind of in a hurry.

Matt:  It’s aboot…well, it’s aboot Courtney, actually.  This morning I was talking to her and she said something that, well, kinda blew me away.  She said that—

Ashley:  look, i’m sorry.  i’ve really gotta run.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!  Why in the living fuck does anybody even attempt to speak to this melodramatic little tampon, for Christ’s sake??  FUCK!!!

FUUUUUUUUCK!!!

*Phew* Alright, I’m all better now.  I lost my cool there for a second and that was terribly unprofessional of me.  Please accept my apologies.  Who Farted sees Dave still milling aboot in the student lounge and congratulates him on his performance, adding, I shit you not, “I mean…wow!”  Mercifully, Dave takes his leave, greatly reducing the heaping pile of awkward in the room, so Who Farted turns to her friend with the oversized glasses and gushes, “He was really good, wasn’t he?  Absolutely – he was just…you know, I think he’s a really great guy!”

infatuated

Arseman and Dave are chatting at the soda machine when Deadpool descends the stairs.

Arseman:  Hi, Billy!

Billy:  Hey, I saw the play – you weren’t bad at all!

Arseman:  Thanks!

Billy: (addressing Dave) And, uh, you weren’t so bad yourself!

Dave:  Yeah?

Billy:  Yeah, you were really convincing – playing a geek, which only makes sense, since it was typecasting.

Billy walks away as Arseman turns her spigot of sass on full blast, prying the truth oot of her horrible co-star aboot Deadpool’s new habit of picking on geeks.  Sassy Pants makes it clear that she’s going to take the matter into her own hands.

chat

Who Farted sees Roxanne at her locker and says hi.  She asks if “those guys, Tony and Ben or something” ever found her, adding, “They looked…a little heavy duty.”  Unsure how to handle the ensuing silence, Who Farted changes the subject and asks how things are going with Chris, prompting Roxanne to threateningly inquire whether that’s any of her business.

WF:  Well, no, it’s just…I thought you and Chris were supposed to be going oot, and in that case—

Roxanne:  In that case, what?!

WF:  Well, in that case, what’s going on between Chris and Brooke?  I mean, why is Brooke chasing after him all of a sudden?

Roxanne:  Brooke’s chasing after Chris?

WF:  Look, I probably shouldn’t have said anything.  I mean, I don’t really know for sure, and like you said, it’s none—

Roxanne:  Hey, thanks for the information!

rox pissed

Dylan’s playing pinball at The Avalon when Arseman walks in and asks, “How’s the life of the rock and roll star?”  Leather Jacket doesn’t seem in the mood for small talk, or even large talk when she changes the topic to his decision to drop oot of school, so Sassy Pants dispenses with the formalities and gets to the point.

Arseman:  There’s something else…Billy.

Dylan:  What aboot him?

Arseman:  Apparently, he’s turned into this world-class jerk, hassling David and shoving little kids around.

Dylan:  Since when?

Arseman:  Since he’s been having problems at home, I guess, but that’s no excuse for turning into a bully.  So anyway, you guys used to be pretty close and I’d talk to him myself, but I thought he’d listen a little better if it came from you.

Dylan:  Where is he?

Arseman:  The last time I saw him, he was still at school.

Dylan:  Right.

He leaves Arseman at the pinball machine to pay an unexpected visit to Hillside.

Roxanne takes what looks like an enormous bowl full of whipped cream from The Avalon counter to her table just as Brooke enters the café.

Roxanne:  Brooke!  Just the person I wanted to see.  Come here a sec.

Brooke:  So what do you want?

Roxanne:  Well, it’s just like this – I’ve been hearing these stories aboot you chasing after Chris…

Brooke:  I beg your pardon?

Roxanne:  …so I said to myself, “Gee, it just isn’t like Brooke to do something like that!”

Brooke:  Absolutely!  If you want to know the truth, Roxanne, it’s Chris who’s been chasing after me.

Roxanne:  Really.

Brooke:  It’s getting totally boring!  I mean, every time I turn around—

Roxanne:  Well, it really doesn’t matter one way or the other.  I’d just like to make one brief statement.

She grabs Brooke by the hair and smashes her face into the bowl of whipped cream, adding, “Stay oot of my face!”

brooke cream

Good shit, right?  Hell, this is an ootstanding episode all around, because here comes some more.  Dylan stares through the glass door into the locker vestibule and steels himself for the upcoming confrontation with Deadpool who’s getting books from his locker.

Billy:  What are you doing here?  I thought you dropped oot of school.

Dylan:  Yeah, well, I decided to drop back…just for five minutes.

Billy:  Hey, good luck with the rest of your life.  You’ll probably need it.

As Billy turns to leave, Dylan grabs him by the arm and drags him back, pinning him against the lockers.

dyl bill2

Billy:  Get your hands off!!

Dylan:  We need to have a little talk, ‘cause I’ve been hearing these really unfortunate stories, you know, aboot you pushing little kids around.

Billy:  Will you let go?!

Dylan:  You know, I’ve gotta be honest…I can’t stand bullies.  Know why?  Because bullies – they do things like this!

He slams Billy violently against the lockers.

Billy:  Hey!

Dylan:  See what I mean?

Deadpool makes another attempt to flee, but Dylan pulls him right back.

Billy:  CUT IT OOT!!

Dylan:  Bullies are cowards.  They pick on people who are smaller than they are.  See how it feels?

He shoves Billy so hard into the lockers that he falls to the floor.  Dylan looms over him and balls his hand into a fist.

Billy:  DON’T!!!

dyl bill3

Bending down to meet him face to face, Leather Jacket delivers his final warning.

Dylan:  You’re lucky I don’t kick your butt from here to downtown, ‘cause THAT’S what you deserve.  Take my point?

dyl bill 4

Damn.  Wait, what the fuck, there’s still three minutes left?  How the hell do they think they’re gonna top that shit?

Chris walks into The Avalon and sees Roxanne sitting at a booth with Tony and Ben.  After she chides him for being ten minutes late, she introduces him to her friends.  Chris extends his hand and says, “How’s it going?” but neither of Roxanne’s mysterious thugs can be bothered to acknowledge the greeting.  This is the dirt bag food chain, y’all.  Chris takes a seat next to Roxanne.

Chris:  So, how do you guys know each other?  You don’t go to this school or anything.

Tony:  We belong to a kind of…club.

Ben:  Yeah, that’s what it is.

Roxanne:  And they’re also just excellent musicians!  So, hey – this is our new band.

ben tony

Dylan’s playing guitar in the garage when Ashley enters withoot bothering to knock.  She asks him how it went with the agent, causing Leather Jacket to sigh and explain that 15 year old musicians apparently aren’t in high demand.  Clearly relieved, Ashley tells him that he gave it a shot, but since it didn’t work oot, now he can come back to school.  To her shock, Dylan makes it clear that he has no intention of returning to school.

Ashley:  so what are you gonna do?

Dylan:  Wanna know the truth?  I don’t have a clue.

That makes two of us, Dylan.  But at least you got a chance to oot-Deadpool Deadpool, which is more than I can say.

Joe Superstar

superstar

Season 3, Episode 11

Fall is fast approaching and if I’m to capitalize on the invigorating chill in the air and maybe, I don’t know, find a job or something, then I need to finish this project upon which I so impetuously embarked way back in April.  That means three more episode summaries to finish up Season 3 and a brief synopsis of the major events that occur in the god-awful, shark-jumping fourth season.  We’re in the homestretch now, so let’s waste no further time (and wipe that grin off yer face, Mole, you know damn well you’re gonna miss these comfortingly apolitical visits to Hillside High).

We open at The Avalon where things get weird right oot of the gate, as Who Farted approaches Jake who’s busy studying at a booth.  To my recollection, these two haven’t exchanged a single word up to this point, so let’s see what the fuck this is all aboot.

WF:  Hi, Jake.

Jake:  Oh, hi.

WF:  Homework for breakfast?

Jake:  Right.  Eat your biology, it’s good for you.  I should have finished yesterday but I kinda ran oot of weekend.  If only there wasn’t so much other stuff to do — you know, watching ball games, hanging oot at the mall.  Anyways, I’ve still got 15 minutes.

I guess now we know why they hadn’t exchanged a single word up to this point.  It turns oot that Who Farted is trying to pry some verbalized jealousy oot of Jake aboot Matt and Courtney’s PDA at Dylan’s concert, a rare solo gossip-gathering mission.  Brooke’s friendship may be a thing of the past, but I guess old habits die hard.  Of course, this attempt to shake some drama from Hillside’s resident Zen master is a bust, right down to having to weather a mild scolding for acting like “Catherine”, a character in Courtney’s stupid play that apparently bears striking similarities to Brooke.  I wonder if John Binkley ever considered suing Jerry Seinfeld for the blatant theft of his intellectual property when the most celebrated sitcom of the 90s introduced the plot of a TV show that was nearly identical to the TV show it inhabited.  Anyway, the fact that Headband created a character based on Brooke seems to excite Who Farted just as much as if Jake had broken down crying over Courtney’s new relationship with Matt.

excited

Good Lord.  In the student lounge, Dave is practicing his lines with Courtney.  Imagine the most wooden, emotionless actor on earth performing a scene wherein he needs to somehow act like a significantly more wooden and emotionless actor, and you’ll have some idea of why I am at this moment cursing cruel fate for the fact that I have an electric oven.  After delivering the same line several times with all the emotive gusto of Stephen Hawking, he throws up his hands and sighs, “I can’t do this!” while Headband compliments and encourages him, incredibly managing to keep a straight face.  She tells him that “nobody expects you to be Mel Gibson or anything,” and now I’m starting to wonder who on Fifteen’s writing staff was so obsessed with Australia’s aging anti-Semitic hunk.  For a show that makes relatively few pop cultural references, they sure do name drop Mel an awful lot.

Emerging from the girls’ locker room, Brooke walks past the table of two kids that are gushing aboot how great Dylan’s concert was.  Naturally, she can’t resist nosing into their conversation and tendering her less than flattering opinion of his performance, but the girls just ignore her as they get up to go to class.  Of course, this little display of public humiliation causes the dreaded Roxanne to just fucking materialize oot of thin air carrying a rucksack of insult to add to Brooke’s injury.

Roxanne:  Was it something you said?

Brooke:  Beg pardon?

Roxanne:  Don’t worry – they’ll all start paying more attention once they find oot you’re a star.

Brooke:  Roxanne, you’re making even less sense than usual.

Roxanne:  Haven’t you heard?  You’re gonna be famous!

Brooke:  What are you babbling aboot?

Roxanne:  Courtney’s play.  Apparently, there’s this character – her name’s Catherine.

Brooke:  Why should I care?

Roxanne: ‘Cause the character’s patterned after you!

Brooke:  What?

Roxanne:  That’s what I hear.  A hypocritical, mean spirited witch.  Should be lots of fun!

Okay, so in the last episode, Matt told Courtney he thought Dave would be good for the part of the brother since the character is shy.  Now we find oot that Roxanne also has significant advance knowledge of Headband’s theatrical debut.  What the fuck?  Did Courtney post the fucking script on the bulletin board next to Arseman’s vivisection poster?  And even if she did, don’t these little douchebags have anything better to talk aboot?  I’m starting to gain enormous respect for Deadpool’s terroristic approach to these insufferable retards.

Ah, finally something into which we can satisfyingly sink our teeth.  Courtney is at her locker when Ashley breezes by, trying to avoid eye contact.

Courtney:  Hey!  I’ve been looking all over for you!

Ashley:  courtney.  hi.

Courtney:  Where have you been?

Ashley:  oh, i just had…something to do this morning.

Courtney:  And all weekend?  I called you a few times.  I even left messages, but you never called me back.

Ashley:  i was pretty tied up…down at the public library, studying.

Courtney:  Well, why didn’t you let me know?  I would have come with you.

Ashley:  i didn’t want you to.  i mean…it was all really boring.  i just figured you had better things to do.

Courtney:  Listen, um, aboot Friday night…the concert.  Look, I’m really sorry if I didn’t get much of a chance to talk to you – I guess I was just sort of wrapped up in, you know, the excitement, the music—

Ashley:  —matt.  yeah, the concert was great.  i’ll see you later.

Courtney:  Sure.  Um, how aboot we meet at lunch or something?

Ashley:  actually, i’ve got a lot of homework to finish.

Courtney:  Well, what aboot after school, then?

Ashley:  i don’t know.  maybe.  see ya.

Jesus, for a girl who tries so hard to be inscrutable, Pinky sure does work oot of the exact same playbook every time she feels betrayed by Shit Drapes.  I feel like we’ve watched this scene before.  More than once.  Whisperina wafts off to class but when Courtney turns around, she finds herself face to face with a stone-faced Brooke who proceeds to rip her a new one for writing a familiarly one-dimensional bitch into her play.

Brooke:  This is slander with malicious intent!  I could sue you!

slander

Courtney reacts with the obligatory paraphrased disclaimer that any similarities between characters in her play and real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

In the boys’ locker room, Matt and Jake spend a few minutes illustrating why guys are infinitely better than gals at dealing with the fact that exes move on.  I’m not so sure this applies IRL, but as a TV trope, it’s unquestionable.  In keeping with this time-tested stereotype, Jake selflessly expresses concern aboot how Ashley might have felt upon witnessing their public smoochery at the concert, but Matt assures him that Ashley has no interest in him whatsoever.

In the student lounge, Courtney, Dave, Arseman, Jake and the as-yet-unnamed Russ are clearing furniture oot of the way to facilitate a rehearsal of Headband’s play.  As Courtney symbolically mounts the director’s chair, Arseman and Dave proceed to compete over who can deliver their ham-fisted dialogue more robotically.  It’s a stalemate.  I really don’t possess the requisite lexical aplomb to make you understand how torturously bad this is.  If John Binkley consciously set oot to find the most terrible actors in Vancouver to play the most terrible actors at the fictional Hillside High, then color me impressed.  Courtney yells “cut!” and directs Arseman to stop holding back and fully embrace her role as “a real witch” before instructing them to start again from the top.  For some fucking reason known only to Binkley and God, Arseman’s interpretation of this constructive criticism is to resume speaking her lines in an emotionless monotone, but this time with a British accent.  Luckily, she doesn’t get very far before Brooke storms into the lounge and threatens legal action over the inclusion of the slanderous Catherine character in Courtney’s play.  Oddly enough, she manages to do so quite viscerally withoot the slightest hint of a British accent.

rehearsal

Ashley enters The Avalon and sees Matt sitting alone at a table.  She stands in the middle of the café wringing her hands like an idiot until Matt finally calls oot to her.  Drinky Crow tries to make friendly small talk with his ex, but it’s immediately clear that she’s in full-on bitch mode.  Amazingly, Matt’s too stupid to put two and two together and ascertain the obvious source of the enormous stick up her petite derriere, but Ashley The Inscrutable certainly isn’t going to shed any light on what’s troubling her, at least not until she’s had her fill of being mysteriously moody for several more days.

Jake storms up to Brooke at her locker and reams her oot for the scene she made during the rehearsal.  They yell at each other for a spell, until Brooke’s lip begins to quiver as she looks Jake in the eye and asks with seeming sincerity, “What is it aboot me?!  What did I do to make you all think I’m so awful?  I’m not a horrible person, you know.”

jake puzzled

Dylan enters the school carrying his guitar and is immediately set upon by Arseman and a gaggle of unknown kids showering him with effusive praise for his shitty performance at The Avalon.  Some girl in glasses with ludicrously oversized frames tells him that he “looked like Bono”, to which Leather Jacket replies, “Sonny Bono?”  Hm.  Maybe Chris really did have a point aboot the need to drag his former band mate into the nineties.  Extricating himself from the crowd, Dylan walks over to a table with Arseman as Chris lingers behind them at the lockers.  He asks Sassy Pants for her honest opinion aboot his concert and she obliges with the vaguest musical critique ever tendered just as Chris strolls up to the table.

Chris:  Look at this – Joe Superstar.  Next stop, MTV.

Christ At The Cracker Barrel, somebody really needs to teach these morons how to talk trash.

Have you ever had a festering sore that you just couldn’t stop obsessively picking at, no matter how grotesque the ensuing wound might prove to be?  Courtney sees Ashley doing homework in the lounge and makes her second attempt at friendly conversation with her bestie that somehow goes off the rails even quicker than the first.

bitch ashley

Courtney:  Hey!  What are you doing here?

Ashley:  homework.  i just figured it would be a good place…you know, no interruptions.

Courtney:  Sorry.  Look, um, how aboot you tell me what’s wrong?

Ashley:  nothing’s wrong.

Courtney:  Well, then, how come you’ve been avoiding me ever since Friday night?

Ashley:  i’ve just been busy…and friday night has nothing to do with it.  (painfully pregnant pause)  alright.  it’s true.  i just couldn’t stand it.

Courtney:  What do you mean?

Ashley:  seeing you and matt together.

Courtney:  What?!  But you said that—

Ashley: –i know what i said.  i said i didn’t care aboot him anymore.  when i saw the two of you together, i just knew that wasn’t true.

Courtney:  Oh, no, don’t tell me this!

Ashley:  i know it isn’t fair.  i know i’ve got no right to feel this way…but i just can’t deal with it!

Wrong, Ashley.  You have every right to feel that way, you’re just a horrible shrew for making such a public display of it.  There’s a difference.

Courtney bounds down the stairs and finds Matt loitering at his locker.  As they greet one another, Matt affectionately caresses her shoulder causing her to shrink from his touch like he has leprosy.  Unfazed, he asks her if they’re still on for their planned trip to the mall to “admire the CD players and fantasize aboot having enough money to buy one”.  FOR THE THIRD FUCKING TIME THIS SEMESTER, Headband drops the unexpected bombshell on Drinky Crow that “This just isn’t gonna work.  Us.  You and me going oot together.”  By way of an explanation, she lies that it’s too soon after breaking up with Jake to start dating anyone else before tearing up and fleeing his presence.  Hey, Matt, remember this Big Book gem from your time in rehab? “If we were to live, we had to be free of anger.”  Should you experience a moment of clarity and realize that Bill W. was a charlatan withoot any logical approach to the problem of alcoholism whatsoever, I understand Deadpool’s eager to buy you a beer.  I heard him say so.  I’d take him up on it, if I were you.

Chris is playing pinball at The Avalon when Arseman approaches.  They proceed to snipe at each other for a while before Arseman turns to leave.

Chris:  Hang on.  When me and Roxanne get our band together, then you’ll hear some music.  We’re gonna blow Dylan right oot of the water!

Arseman:  I’ll tell him you said so.

Chris:  And you can tell him something else, while you’re at it.  Tell him to enjoy the glory while it lasts.

Arseman:  Meaning what?

Chris:  Well, we’re talking aboot Dylan, right?  He’ll find a way to mess it all up.  He always does.

chris pinball

Later at the Avalon counter, Matt is filling Jake in on having been dumped by Headband yet again. Although I get the impression that there’s some pretty priceless stuff in their dialogue, I can’t linger on this scene long enough to get the full gist of it because the dueling stripes on the shirts they’re wearing are literally giving me vertigo.

stripes

I know this has been a long one, but good things come to those who wait, my friends.  Dave is getting books from his locker when Deadpool rounds the corner.

billy threat

Billy:  There you are!  I figured you’d drop by after basketball practice, so I thought I’d drop by, too…just to say hi.

Dave:  Hi.

Billy:  So, I hear you’re the big actor now.  Wanna be a star, Dave?

Dave:  Guess I’m giving it a shot.

Dave starts to walk away, but Billy blocks his path.

Dave:  Listen, you want something?

Billy:  Yeah.  I want you to disappear.  You get in my way!

Dave:  Give me a break!

Dave desperately tries to flee the scene, but Deadpool positions himself to prevent him from leaving each time.

Dave:  Knock it off, Billy, I don’t want any trouble!

Billy:  Yeah, well, you got it now!  You’ve got big trouble.  LET’S GO!!

Dave:  We don’t have anything to fight aboot.

Billy:  Yeah?  What aboot this?

He gives Dave a shove, knocking him back a few feet.

Billy:  Come on!  You chicken or something?

Dave:  What’s your problem?!

Deadpool slams him into the lockers and in a mocking baby voice asks, “You wanna run home to Mommy?”

Dave:  No!

Billy:  LET’S GO!!!

He pushes Dave hard enough for all the books to fall oot of his hands and puts up his fists.

Dave:  Go ahead, hit me!  Maybe that will make you feel like a really big man!

Deadpool kicks Dave’s textbooks across the floor and splits, leaving his quiver-lipped prey to stare after him in shock.

billy mad

At Dylan’s garage, Leather Jacket is suffering through another of Ashley’s “be cool, stay in school” lectures.  I’m guessing this one is a little less irritating to endure than the others, since after he waits it oot, he nonchalantly informs her that he dropped oot of school this afternoon.

Courtney is sitting alone at The Avalon when Jake storms up to her booth and demands to know what’s going on with Matt.  Apparently, Jake’s pretty pissed off that she used him as her excuse to kick Drinky Crow to the curb, so Headband admits that she lied and tells him that the real reason she broke up with Matt is Ashley.  Black Eye’s not having any of her shit today.

Jake:  So this is all aboot Ashley’s feelings and your feelings.  Well, let me ask you something – what aboot Matt’s feelings?  The guy gets oot of detox, he’s trying to put his life back together, and you jerk him around in circles to protect other people’s feelings?  Well, what aboot Matt’s feelings, Courtney?  Why not try thinking aboot him for a change?!

jake mad

Hell, yeah.  Sleep on that, Shit Drapes.  You know something?  Jake’s alright.  He may even have just risen as high in my esteem as Janice and she was the best thing that ever happened to Hillside.  I wonder how she’s doing.  I miss Janice.  If you’re waiting for a closing joke to tie that all together, I’m sorry to disappoint you but I’m too busy getting misty-eyed over Janice to engage in any further tomfoolery today.

Wild Sex In The Working Class

court matt sex

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:

Inkedjuno_LI

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.

ashley pensive

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.

WF:  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.

Dave:  Great.

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.

dream wf
Yay, Dave!  Yay, Dave!
wf huge
“You’re just great!”

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.

forget it

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 bully avalon

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!”

brooke flirts

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.

court kiss 1

***

court kiss 2

***

ash flees

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.

 

JoJo Siwa On Infinite Repeat

mean deadpool

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.

cheer girls

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.

whisperers

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.

arse court.JPG

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.)

Ryan Reynolds poses with his award during the 22nd Annual Critics' Choice Awards in Santa Monica
I’d like to thank my disgusting manatee of a sister for giving me my first big break…

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 swagger

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.

courtney aghast

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.

gaah
The Floating Head of Death

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.

brooke rejected

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!!!”

who farted mad

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.

matt and jake

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.

arseman smiles

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.

TV Party

rollins

Season 3, Episode 8

We’ve got nothing better to do than watch TV and have a couple of brews. – Black Flag

What the fuck, let’s get another one oot of the way.  It’s Sunday and it’s a hundred freaking degrees ootside, so it’s not like I’ve got anything better to do.

Dylan’s playin’ the blues all by his lonesome when Arseman knocks and enters the garage.  As I’m sure you can guess, she’s here to pay her condolences to Dylan for the stunning demise of his once mighty supergroup and to apologize for having called him a jerk when he fired Billy from the band.  She suggests that he get a fresh start with new musicians – “serious ones this time!” – but apparently he’s convinced that throwing in his lot with a rhythm-impaired pre-teen drummer and a short-fused dirt bag whose fingers never actually touch the strings of his bass represented his best and only lifetime shot at musical success.  He thanks her as she walks oot the door and I’m left to wonder why they wasted the first two and a half minutes of an episode on something so irrelevant unless it’s to foreshadow their Season 4 romantic involvement.  Regardless, while Arseman was droning on and on, I couldn’t help but notice the condition of the horizontal blinds on Dylan’s window:

blinds

Who Farted approaches Brooke at her locker and asks how her lunch went with Dylan.  Clearly unsatisfied with Brooke’s curt reply that “it went”, she continues to badger her with questions until Brooke finally screams at her to mind her own business.  Ashley and a couple of girls in cheerleader uniforms round the corner and start lavishing Who Farted with praise for her performance in the talent contest.  When Ashley expresses her amazement at Who Farted’s heretofore hidden “talent”, Brooke sneers under her breath that she has no talent, prompting our newly confident Whisperina to reply, “if i were you, i wouldn’t be talking”.  Brooke storms off, only to run into Roxanne at the water fountain in this labyrinthine Hell from which there is no escape.

Roxanne:  Hey, Brooke, aren’t you going to congratulate Stacy?

Brooke:  Well, she wasn’t that good.  I mean, okay, for someone who has little talent, she managed to pull it off, more or less.

Roxanne:  Yeah?

Brooke:  Of course, I was tutoring her…you know, giving her a few tips.

Roxanne:  Oh, sure.  Hey, here’s a tip for you, Brooke.

Brooke:  For me?

Roxanne:  Yeah.  A little tip for you.  On days like today, you should wear green.

Brooke:  No, but I find blue a lot more flatt-

Roxanne:  Green!  You know, to match your complexion.

Brooke:  Jealous?  You think I’m jealous of Stacy?  She’s the last person in the world that I’d be jealous of!

Roxanne walks off as Brooke furrows her brow, confirming the validity of the accusation.  But before you start thinking that Brooke deserves all the derision being leveled at her in this episode, I really need to stress yet again how awful Who Farted’s saxophone performance truly was.  The only people who come off like idiots in this scene are Ashley and Roxanne for treating Brooke’s little tone deaf protégé like she’s fucking Charlie Parker.

Oh, fuck me in the ass with a saguaro cactus, Headband and Black Eye are sitting in The Avalon, flapping their stupid gums in a futile attempt to pretend that their ill-conceived relationship hasn’t already gone belly-up.

Jake:  So, what do you want to do this weekend?

Courtney:  Dunno…what do you wanna do?

Jake:  We could see a movie, or we could get an old sixties video and laugh ourselves into oblivion.

Courtney:  Yeah, I guess that could be sorta fun.

Jake:  I know — you pick up some really disgusting junk food, I’ll get a really mindless movie and we’ll pig oot together!

Courtney:  Yeah.  Great.

Jake:  So, would you rather do something else?

Courtney:  Oh, no, no…really, that sounds like…fun.

Jake:  Hey, Courtney, what’s wrong?

Courtney:  Nothing!  Nothing’s wrong.

Jake:  Remember me, your boyfriend Jake?  I know when something’s bothering you.  Something’s definitely bothering you!

Courtney:  No, really…I’m okay.

Jake:  Come on, Courtney, I know you better than that!

Cutting her losses, Headband tells him that she’s worried aboot how Billy’s coping with the divorce and living with a new stepmom, knowing full well that Jake is clueless enough to buy this bullshit.  Cutting our losses, I’m just gonna go ahead and save us a lot of time by explaining how this whole stupid subplot resolves itself so that we never have to speak of it again.  Later in the episode, Jake tells Arseman that he only views Courtney as a friend but is afraid to tell her, fearing that it would crush her.  Later still, Ashley tells Arseman aboot Courtney’s lack of attraction to Jake.  Sassy Pants has a good laugh at the fact that they’re both unwittingly on the same page, Jake and Courtney go back to being friends, and Headband is now once again free to pursue her best friend’s ex-boyfriend (as soon as he gets oot of rehab, of course).

kiss
I know it was you, Fredo.  You broke my heart.

Deadpool sees Courtney at her locker and asks if she’s heard “the latest”: that Dad’s girlfriend already moved in even though their parents’ divorce hasn’t been finalized.  Headband inadvertently lets slip that Mom would like Billy to move back in with her and Courtney, but even though this might sound like a fairly major plot point, it isn’t and he doesn’t, so I don’t know why the fuck they even bothered to put it in the script.  Regardless, Deadpool manages to impressively eviscerate his sister for being so self-absorbed while he suffers through all this, so despite this scene’s lack of a discernible purpose, it’s still pretty satisfying to watch.

angry billy

At The Avalon, Who Farted is sitting at the counter, thumbing through a magazine.  It’s conspicuously open on a page containing an article with the headline “Who The Heck Is Henry Rollins?”  Roxanne approaches just as Who Farted flips the page to an advertisement for women’s boots, providing Roxanne with her opening greeting of “Wicked boots, huh?” and never have I been more disappointed in the timing of an idle page flip because I would have loved to hear Roxanne’s thoughts on My War and Slip It In.  Roxanne takes a seat and tells Who Farted that her performance at the talent contest “wasn’t too shabby”, but even better was Brooke’s jealous reaction to it.

Roxanne:  So do you really like her?  I mean…really?

WF:  I – I guess I don’t.  I sort of feel sorry for her, don’t you?

Roxanne:  No.

WF:  Well, I do.  You won’t tell Brooke I said this, will you?  I mean, it would really hurt her feelings.

Roxanne:  She has feelings?

WF:  Sure, everyone does…so just don’t tell her.

Courtney sees Dylan doing homework in the student lounge, so she walks over to his table and tells him that she’s worried aboot Billy and wishes he would have a talk with him.  He explains that Billy’s not exactly a fan of his anymore, so Headband changes tactics and tries to guilt him into it by exclaiming that she thought he was a decent guy, “but just forget it!”  As she starts to march away, he calls her back and tells her that he’ll “think aboot it”.  Courtney pivots to a nearby table where Ashley is sitting and catches some majorly judgmental shit from Pinky Dinks for failing to tell Jake that she just views him as a friend.

Speaking of which, I just now saved you from suffering through a full three-minute scene involving Jake and Arseman at The Avalon thanks to my economical summation of this otherwise interminable storyline.  So now Ashley knows that Courtney isn’t in love with Jake and Arseman knows that Jake isn’t in love with Courtney and all that’s left now is for everyone involved to get their fucking wires uncrossed, say what needs to be said and get the hell on with their stupid, depressing lives.

Dave enters the student lounge and sheepishly greets Who Farted near the bulletin board (which, incidentally, still has one of Cindy’s “If you love this planet…think!” flyers prominently displayed).  Apparently, these two dullards are in the same math class, but have never formally spoken prior to this moment.  He proceeds to gush aboot her stupid saxophone performance, of course, and Who Farted feigns humility while doing some weird gesture with her eyebrows that literally causes her entire head of hair to somehow recede several inches before rolling back into place like the first wave of a high tide.  I would probably describe their ensuing flirtation as the most painfully awkward exchange ever televised were it not for the benefit of hindsight.  When these idiots start dating in Season 4, they reach such an infuriating level of sustained retardation that it literally defies description – just one of the many reasons I’ve already decided that the entire final season will be summed up in a few posts as opposed to the episode by episode treatment I’ve thus far been providing.

Exit Dave, enter Brooke.  Who Farted informs her that Sally, the head cheerleader, is transferring to another school, so they’ll be holding tryoots for someone to take her place.  Of course, Brooke immediately decides that she’s the obvious choice for this prestigious position, but at least her emotive self-aggrandizing serves to drown oot the horrible guttural sound that Who Farted always makes with her throat whenever she’s unsure of how to respond to someone.

brooke and wf

Dutifully obeying Headband’s directive, Dylan approaches Billy at his locker and apologizes again for the way things turned oot, but Deadpool clearly isn’t in any more of a forgiving mood now than he was the first time Leather Jacket tried to smooth things over.  Billy mock-consoles Dylan for the band’s recent dissolution and starts to walk away as Dylan grabs him by the sleeve and pulls him back.  He asks Billy if he’d like to meet up at The Avalon some time to talk aboot the troubles he’s having at home, causing Deadpool to explode, bellowing “I don’t need you to talk to!  I don’t need you for anything!!”

dylan concerned

Who Farted and two nameless cheerleaders approach the lockers discussing the squad’s new vacancy.  One of the girls asks Who Farted if she’s planning to “run” for the head cheerleader position, but she tells them probably not, especially since Brooke indicated that she’s going to vie for the spot.  I don’t know who these girls are, but I like them already just based on their incredulous response to Who Farted’s revelation.  They remind Who Farted of how important it is to have a “strong head cheerleader” and urge her to consider running against her friend.

brooke girls
Brooke?!

Dylan’s sitting at a booth in The Avalon when a professionally dressed guy approaches and introduces himself as Jerry’s cousin, Richard.  I’m going to place a photo of these two chatting directly below this paragraph in lieu of explaining how utterly fucking ridiculous this is.  Anyway, he proceeds to rehash what Jerry told him aboot Teenagers In Love’s performance at The Avalon (“…it seems your drummer’s pretty weak, and the band couldn’t decide whether it was New Kids On The Block or Megadeth”).  Richard then tells Dylan that Jerry still thinks they have potential, so he’d like to book the band to play again on Friday night.  In the somberest of tones, Dylan replies, “What band?  We broke up right after that first gig.  There’s no band, Richard…there’s no band.”  Dylan gets up and exits the café as Chris, who was eavesdropping from the counter, saunters over and takes his seat across from Richard.  “So…you’re looking for a band, huh?

dylan and black jerry
Canadian Elvis and Black Jerry

Ashley and Arseman get some sodas from the machine while discussing the fact that Matt will be coming home from the treatment center soon.  For some reason, Ashley’s far more contrite in response to this topic than she has been for the entire season up to now, but she advises Arseman that she decided against calling him at the center the other night, assuming she’s probably the last person he’d want to hear from.  The topic changes to Courtney and Jake, so before this scene is done, at least these two meddlesome douchebags will have everything straight.  All that’s left now is for Headband and Black Eye to fucking dissolve their botched abortion of a relationship before I poke my own eyes oot with a salad fork.

Hey, here they are now, endlessly circling the drain at a booth in The Avalon.  THREE AND A HALF GODDAMNED MINUTES LATER (and three tentative swipes at my ocular region with the salad fork), their romance is finally, mercifully laid to rest.

jake smiles

Chris is retrieving his amp from Dylan’s garage when Leather Jacket walks in and makes a remark aboot needing new locks on the door of his depressing trash strewn shanty.  He tells Dylan to relax, then informs him that he’s just getting his amp because he’s in a new band that’s already a “great success” since Dick offered them a gig at The Avalon.  As Chris drags his amp oot the door, Dylan grabs a lawn chair and hurls it across the garage.

dylan chair
MY WAR!!! You’re one of them!

Christ.  My eyes are actually sweating.  If it weren’t for the clear warning against such a decision that this show has fortunately provided, I’d have spent my afternoon planning a move to Vancouver instead of fighting my way through another fucking episode of Fifteen in this relentless desert heat.

Blue Velvet

crowd 1

Season 3, Episode 7

A smattering of vaguely grotesque patrons sits in a drab cabaret, facing the small stage whose dim back-lighting transforms the curtain of party streamers into a hazy blur of shimmering trepidation.  The phantasmagoric performance begins with a guttural yelp from the twisted and quivering lips of an elderly Vaudevillian chanteuse that’s met by anxiously enthusiastic applause from the assembled gallery of freaks.  On each of the tables, next to the flickering hurricane lamps, rests a severed hand, gnarled and petrified from decades of ornamental use.

Did the previous paragraph sound more like a description of a scene from a David Lynch film or a reminder that round 2 of the Hillside Talent Contest is rapidly approaching?  Ideally, it should have been the latter, but that’s literally only due to the lack of severed hands present in the nightmare that’s aboot to commence.  John Binkley’s imagery may be a tad more subtle, but it’s no less disturbing than any of the subconscious dementia with which Twin Peaks and Eraserhead were indulgently replete.

We open on Ashley studying alone at The Avalon when Roxanne approaches her booth.  Ignoring Whisperina’s desperate pleas to be left alone, Roxanne takes a seat and insists that they need to talk.  Ashley reiterates that Roxanne can have Chris because he’s a jerk, to which our increasingly inscrutable resident biker chick replies, “Yeah, I know.  I think that’s what I like aboot him.  Nice guys are boring.”  Directly on the heels of her coolly laconic summation of the bad boy allure, Roxanne starts to loudly defend herself against unspoken accusations, claiming that up to this point, she and Chris haven’t been involved as anything more than friends.  Ashley doesn’t seem to understand why Roxanne initiated this chat and to tell you the truth, neither do I, but she clearly thinks it’s important to dispel the rumor that she’s the type of person who’d steal someone’s boyfriend.  Loath to let Roxanne get the last word, Ashley advises her that if she’s planning to get involved with Chris, she’d better be careful, since he’s been trying to rekindle their relationship.

Courtney and Jake are in the student lounge discussing Courtney’s stupid fucking play that she wrote for English class.  Her lunatic of a teacher gave her an A+, so Jake is attempting to shatter Headband’s false modesty by praising her like she’d just penned A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  He recaps his effluvium of flattery: “This could get to be a real problem for me – going oot with someone who’s gorgeous and talented!” but Courtney’s tight-lipped reaction signals that things aren’t as rosy in that fickle little brain of hers as Jake’s ear-to-ear smile would lead one to believe.  After a long, awkward silence, Jake strokes Courtney’s hair, causing her to cringe visibly, though she’s quick to allay this uncomfortable moment by claiming that his hand is cold.  As he gets up to go to class, he asks Courtney if she’d like to go with him to see a play this weekend.  Her nervous and non-committal reply to the invite speaks volumes, though Jake is far too dense to read between the lines and pick up on the glaring indications of imminent rejection with which he was just bombarded.

At The Avalon, Who Farted brings a couple of beverages to the booth she’s sharing with Brooke and resurrects the topic of Dylan’s curiously disinterested reaction to her on again/off again mentor’s advances.  This is one of those tedious plot lines that never seems to approach any point of closure, probably because Ian Weir is at a loss as to what else he can do with these two increasingly incompatible characters.  Regardless, the coffee cake sitting untouched on a plate in front of Who Farted looks fucking delicious.  Switching gears, Brooke brings up the talent contest in which Who Farted will be performing this afternoon, claiming that she thought aboot entering, then decided against it so as not to show up the other performers.  All the while, Roxanne’s been sitting at the counter with her back to them, but upon hearing Brooke’s arrogant explanation for why she’s not entering the contest, she gets up and storms over to the booth.

Roxanne:  You know why Brooke’s really avoiding the talent contest?  It’s because she doesn’t have any talent.  Kinda tragic, really.

Brooke tells Roxanne to drop dead and exits The Avalon in a huff.

Chris is at his locker wearing a phlegm-toned tie-dye when Dylan taps him on the shoulder and asks if he told Roxanne that she’s oot of the band.  He responds in the negative, so Dylan tells him to bring her by the garage after school so he can tell her himself.  Chris splits as Brooke approaches and starts in on her pathetic attempts at flirtation until Dylan finally cuts her short and asks if she’s trying to get him to ask her oot or something.  Brooke plays coy until Leather Jacket mockingly asks her to lunch at The Avalon in a tone so overtly sarcastic that only a retarded toddler — or the president of the United States — could mistake it for a sincere invitation.

brooke happy
A retarded toddler

Roxanne is at the soda machine when Chris swaggers down the stairwell.

Chris:  Hi, Gorgeous!

Roxanne:  Are you talking to me?

Chris:  Well, who else? (he puts his apparently cooties-infested arm around her shoulder) Listen, it looks like we’ve got a problem.  I was talking to Dylan this morning—

Roxanne:  (extricating herself from his embrace) So how are things with Ashley?

Chris:  Ashley?

Roxanne:  I was talking to her before school.  Interesting little chat.  So I understand that you’re trying to kiss and make up!

Chris:  What?!  Oh, come on…

Roxanne:  That’s what Ashley said.  Are you saying she’s lying?  Ashley has her faults but I don’t think she’s a liar.

Chris:  Okay, maybe the day after we broke up, I asked her if she was sure.  That’s all.  Really!

Roxanne:  You don’t have to get all panicky.  It just means you’re not sure you want to start going oot with me.

Chris:  That’s not true!

Roxanne:  Which is good because I’m not sure I want to start going oot with you!  So let’s just see what happens.

Chris:  Roxanne, just listen!

Roxanne:  Don’t whine, Chris!  I can’t stand whining.

chris denied

Courtney is moping on a bench in the student lounge when Ashley walks by and asks if she’s okay, adding that she looks like someone who just lost her best friend (which is something Headband seems to do every other fucking day, so how the hell can anyone tell the difference?).  Courtney sighs her silent assent, then quickly recovers and asks Ashley if she wants to meet up at The Avalon later.  Pinky Dinks advises that she’s supposed to meet Dylan there this afternoon, but Courtney is free to join them if she wishes.  When Courtney declines the invitation, Ashley sits down and demands that she spill her guts.

Courtney:  It’s Jake.

Ashley:  what’s happened?

Courtney:  Well, nothing’s happened.  Not exactly.  It’s just…I really like Jake.

Ashley:  yeah, that’s pretty obvious.

Courtney:  I think he’s just a great guy.

Ashley:  well, he is.

Courtney:  That’s exactly the problem, because there’s nothing more than that!

Ashley:  i think i’m missing something here.

Courtney:  I have been trying really hard to convince myself that I like him…you know, in the other way…because he wants me to.  But I just don’t!  Kissing Jake is like kissing my brother…because that’s what it is!  He’s like a brother to me.

deadpool-fireplace-700-700x305
I’m down for a little incest, Courtney

Courtney:  Ashley, getting involved in a relationship with him was a really terrible mistake.  So what am I supposed to do now?

Ashley:  oh, boy.

Brooke sees Who Farted at her locker and gloatingly tells her that Dylan asked her oot for a lunch date.  In a momentary display of piquant wit, Who Farted asks if she’s sure she understood him correctly, but Brooke insists that Dylan was sincere and suggests that perhaps Who Farted is just jealous.

Roxanne is playing pinball at The Avalon while Chris leans over the machine and tells her that Dylan wants to meet with both of them at the garage, but he’s hesitant to fulfill this request because he knows that Leather Jacket wants to kick Roxanne oot of the band. (Was she ever in the fucking band?)  Always the pragmatist, Roxanne tells Chris that Dylan deserves a chance to say what he needs to say.  Chris counters that it will almost surely lead to an unnecessary fight, but Roxanne opines that she doesn’t mind a good fight.  Finally, Chris asks what will happen if Dylan just kicks her oot of the band, to which she cryptically replies, “Oh, I’ve got one or two ideas.  Wanna hear them?” as the incongruously dramatic background score leads me to wonder if murder and dismemberment are among the things she’s been brainstorming for such an eventuality.

Dylan and Ashley enter The Avalon where Brooke is waiting impatiently at a table.  As they sit down at the counter, Brooke storms over and goes utterly apoplectic.

Dylan:  Is something wrong?

Brooke:  You invite me to lunch and then you leave me sitting here for twenty minutes!  Then you show up with her and you’re asking me if something is wrong?!

Dylan:  (to Ashley)  I don’t know what she’s talking aboot.

Brooke:  What?!  YOU INVITED ME TO LUNCH!!

Dylan:  I did not!  You started talking aboot lunch!

Brooke:  And you said it sounded like a great idea!

Dylan:  Just a second…you mean you took me seriously?!

Brooke:  Of course I did.

Dylan:  Well, how was I supposed to know that?

Brooke:  Oh great, and now you’re trying to weasel your way oot of it!

Dylan:  Look, why on Earth would you think I’d wanna go oot with you?  I mean, when you come right down to it, why on Earth would you even think I’d like you?

Taken aback by the unintended harshness of his own words, Dylan starts to backpedal, but the damage to Brooke’s increasingly fragile ego is done.

brooke rejected

Some time later, Ashley says hi to Brooke as she passes by her locker and tells her that she’s on her way to the gym for the second round of the talent contest, which is interesting, because it’s being held in the student lounge and we’re never once afforded a glimpse of this school’s alleged gymnasium.  So Courtney thinks the student lounge is a cafeteria and Ashley thinks it’s a gym and I think John Binkley is a fucking maniac.  Make of that what you will.  Anyway, Brooke accuses Ashley of being in on Dylan’s “prank” and making her look like a fool, punctuating her self-pitying jeremiad with a loud declaration that she doesn’t care and doesn’t need people to like her.

ashley amazed

Dispensing of Arseman’s opening stage banter, we’re dropped right into the Talent Contest in progress with Russ wearing a shit-eating grin as he grinds a duotone dirge from an accordion.  I assume that we jumped into Round 2 of the contest withoot the usual fanfare because Russ isn’t officially Russ yet, so Arseman would have been unable to introduce him by name.

russ
Russ, smiling like he doesn’t have leukemia a care in the world

Arseman:  Wow, that was…interesting.  It’s not every day somebody plays the accordion.  Um, our next act is gonna be Dylan Blackwell doing Hamlet.

dylan hamlet
To die, to sleep, to bomb

Arseman:  Yeah, uh…Dylan with Hamlet.  Anyway, our next act is gonna be a stand-up routine.  Little John DiMarco making us laugh!

big ears stand up
“A family walks into a talent agency…”

Arseman:  Yeah, that was a good job.  Now, we have something even more interesting.  A saxophone player – by our own Stacy Collins! (What are you looking at? I didn’t write this shit.  Take it up with Ian Weir.)

sax
She Farted

After a perplexing round of thunderous applause for Who Farted’s painfully off-key abortion of a sax solo, a mousy bespectacled girl runs to Arseman’s side and hands her a note.

Arseman:  A surprise late entry by Brooke Morgan doing a tap routine!

brooke dances

What follows is the most singularly bizarre and confusing scene in the history of children’s television.  Brooke emerges from backstage wearing a top hat and cane, unfolds a small square of tap-dancing floor and places it on the stage.  The mousy girl enters stage left, steps up to the microphone and takes oot a harmonica.   As Brooke begins her clumsy tap routine, the girl in glasses holds the harmonica up to her mouth and proceeds to inhale and exhale withoot moving it left or right, producing exactly two notes in repetition to serve as musical accompaniment.  For roughly 15 seconds, Brooke alternately dances and goes tumbling to the ground as the audience intermittently breaks oot in laughter.  After one final trip and fall, she finally folds up the square of tap floor and exits the stage.

There’s so much more that needs to be said aboot this scene, but my words just aren’t up to the task.  If only Sailor and Lula had been in attendance.

wild at heart
Sailor, Baby, that whole act was wild at heart and weird on top!

At the garage, Dylan is advising Roxanne that she’s not good enough to sing for his band.  In the most nonsensical expression of defiance ever spoken, Chris counters that Roxanne isn’t fired, Dylan is, leaving them free to seek oot a more accommodating guitarist for “their band”.  (Incidentally, I’m planning to start a band of my own soon.  I’ll need a singer, guitarist, bassist and drummer.  Interested parties should inquire in the Contact section – knowledge of the Grapes of Wrath’s back catalogue is preferred, but not required).

Almost as a merciful return to normalcy, we end the episode in The Avalon, where Ashley and Courtney are having the exact same conversation aboot Headband’s lack of libidinous feelings for Jake that they already conducted less than five minutes ago in the student lounge.  Ashley tells Courtney that she needs to tell Jake the truth and just as Headband begins to whine that she wouldn’t be able to live with herself, Jake walks into the café.  He bends down and kisses Courtney on the cheek.

Jake:  Hi, Ashley.  Hi, Gorgeous!  So how’s it going?

Courtney:  Oh, you know…good.

Jake:  I’m just gonna grab a milkshake.  Can I get you anything?

Courtney:  No, no, we’re just fine.

Jake:  I’ll be right back then.

Courtney:  (to Ashley)  See what I mean?

courtney finale

Yes, Courtney.  I see exactly what you mean and that’s precisely why I feel that you deserve to be tarred and feathered in the middle of Robson Square, you fucking twat.  Unlike the Hillside Talent Contest, that would be a show well worth the price of admission.

Until the next time.

Post-Script

I would be remiss if I failed to provide a word for word transcription of the final joke of John’s stand-up act.  Not only did this elicit a considerable laugh from his humor-impaired peers, but it nearly prompted a standing fucking ovation: “My 4th grade English teacher – wooh!  Now, get this – his name is William.  Yeah.  That’s kinda strange, isn’t it?”  No, John.  No, it isn’t.