MO’ MENACE, MO’ PROBLEMS
<<The really _odd_ thing about human sex, though, was the way it went on even
when people were fully clothed and sitting on opposite sides of a fire. It was
in the things they said and did not say, they way they looked at one another and
-- Excerpt from “The Fifth Elephant”, by Terry Pratchett
Welcome back to the subtext in episode 2, which has been titled… well… Mo’
Menace, Mo’ Problems, which is more of a part 2 of a 2-part pilot than a real
‘episode 2’. Also, this episode features the infamous opening credits that will
stay with the show during its entire existence. You know, the one that opens
with a shot of Sam and Brooke gazing at each other. Anyway, as before, I’ll be
focusing mainly on Sam/Brooke. This means that this is not an accurate review of
the entire episode, since some parts will just be edited out. Before we continue
however, a quick update on what happened in episode 1.
Josh made it to the lead role in the musical. Carmen did not make it to the cheerleading squad. Sam and Brooke fell desperately and hopelessly in love with each other. Unfortunately, Brooke freaked and took refuge in the closet.
Now then, how will this situation develop? Let’s watch.
Sam, for some reason, thinks that Carmen not getting on the cheerleading squad was all her fault. There is no logical reason to think this, but there it is anyway. So, Sam is feeling very guilty and has tried to contact Carmen several times.
At school, Sam talks to Lily about how she didn’t get a chance to apologise to Carmen. Lily gets mad at Sam for no good reason. She too thinks that it’s all Sam’s fault.
Fortunately, the rest of the school isn’t as dumb. They all think that the blame falls squarely on Brooke and Nicole. Which makes much more sense, since it’s the truth. Anyway, Brooke and Nicole (well, just Nicole really) talk about a plan to make Josh drop out of the musical and go back to being Brooke’s boyfriend. Brooke’s enthusiasm about this plan does not exist. As we all know, she doesn’t care about Josh coming back to her. She wants Sam. So don’t expect her to contribute to ANYTHING that might make Josh come back to her.
The boys locker room of Kennedy High. Sugar Daddy too has found out that Josh is
going to star in the musical. He then makes the tactful comment:
“Dude, are you gay?”
This is a rather foolish comment since, as Angelina already noted in her review of this ep, EVERYBODY on Kennedy High is gay. Josh and Sugar Daddy get into a lover’s quarrel, I mean, they have a fight. It concerns SD’s popularity and somewhere during the fight SD says:
“Everybody loves me, ‘cause I’m with you!”
Do I need to say more?
I thought not.
Biology class arrives. Sam and Brooke are both wallowing in guilt and therefore
seem unable to notice anything except Carmen’s empty chair. Oh, did I already
mention that Carmen didn’t show up at school today? Well, she didn’t, so now you
Anyway Lily goes on a rant about how she’s not going to cut up a dead frog. Whatever. After Lily’s rant is over, Miss Roberta Glass notices that Brooke is not paying any attention whatsoever. So Glass makes sure Brooke pays attention by sort of yelling at her without raising her voice. After Brooke snaps out of it, and Glass turns away again, the first thing the blonde does is look at Sam. Sam looks back. It’s the kind of look that makes you wonder how long it’ll take for them to start kissing.
Harrison has apparently edited the taped interviews that had been shot in the
previous ep and he confronts Sam with, wouldn’t you know it, Carmen’s interview.
Apparently Harrison also thinks that Sam has played a pivotal role in the
downfall of Carmen. And this is the guy who was actually there when Sam managed
to lure the promise from Brooke that cheerleaders are selected on ability, not
on looks! He knows that Sam gave it her best shot! And he’s still mad at her!?
God, I hate Harrison.
But anyway, Sam looks at the tape of Carmen, where Carmen tells about why she wanted to be a cheerleader. Apparently, Carmen wants to be cheerleader because when she was eight years old some other cheerleader smiled at her, making Carmen realise that she was, indeed, gay. So Carmen now wants to be a cheerleader as well so that she can help all those confused eight-year-olds in accepting their sexuality.
Sam gets all teary-eyed. She is probably silently agreeing with the fact that yes, everybody should know that he or she is gay as soon as possible.
Now then, remember in the last review where I said that Mr. Grant, the
Journalism teacher, is nothing more than a plot device to get Sam and Brooke
together? Well, I was right.
Sam and Mr. Grant are sitting in his office. Unlike last time, Sam is not swooning over him. In fact, she isn’t even paying any attention to him whatsoever. She’s probably thinking about how to make up with Carmen. That or she’s pondering about how she’s going to get into Brooke’s pants ASAP.
Anyway, Mr. Grant thinks that Sam’s interviews were great. All of them. Except, of course, the interview with Brooke. Mr. Grant claims that this interview was not as good as the other ones. Conclusion: Sam has to go back to Brooke and declare her undying love. Sorry, I meant to say that Sam has to go back to Brooke and do the interview again. Preferably, of course, on that Friday when the party is being held.
Now then, everybody who has ever seen a movie about a boy and a girl falling in
love will notice that they often use one plot device to get the two lovers-to-be
talking. This is when one of them (usually the woman) drops whatever she is
holding, after which the dashing love interest can come to the rescue and pick
up her stuff.
Why am I saying all this? Well no reason, really. It’s just that in the next scene, Brooke is walking through the hallways of Kennedy High, carrying her books. Freddy Gong, one of the resident losers, is still mad at Brooke for not accepting Carmen so he walks up to her, knocks her books out of her hands and calls her ‘Satan’.
So now Brooke is faced with the daunting task of picking up her books.
Enter Sam, who nobly swoops into view and picks up Brooke’s books for her, then hands them back to her. Again, there is a lot of gazing into each other’s eyes and a lot of nervous, yet caring, smiles.
Now do see why I made that movie reference earlier?
Sam and Brooke talk for a while. It’s about Biology this time and about how Brooke fears that she may not get an A++. Sam graciously offers Brooke to help with her study. Brooke, naturally, eagerly accepts. She then invites Sam to the party on Friday.
Sam leaves, leaving Brooke staring at her longingly. It also leaves behind one pissed off Harrison and one pissed off Nicole.
It’s lunchtime. During the last episode it was clear that Nicole was totally
smitten by Mary Cherry. This has not changed yet, until Nicole realises that
Mary Cherry may be a few cards short of a full deck.
Trouble in paradise, so to speak.
Brooke and Josh talk. I suppose that if the writers were serious about the whole
Brooke/Josh thing, they’d make it… well… they’d make it seem like these two
actually have feelings for each other. But since they’re so not serious about
it, it’s just two people talking.
Anyway, Josh is upset since everybody is snapping at him and telling him how he should stop doing the musical. So, Josh tells Brooke that everything is going to go back to the way it was. He even goes to say that, in doing so, Brooke wins.
Brooke is understandably heavily upset this revelation. Like I said earlier, if everything goes back to the way it was, she’d have to be dating Josh again. And that would mean NO SAM!
Harrison is still mad at Sam. This time it’s because Sam got an invite to
Brooke’s party. An invite which he, by the way, so desperately wanted in the
previous episode. Sam tries to explain the reason behind the invitation by
“We became sort of friends in Bio.”
Now, I COULD enter an ironic/sarcastic ‘just friends’ comment here, but I won’t. I don’t really have to. Anyway, Harrison goes on an angry rant about how Sam “embraced” Brooke. He really isn’t as dense as we all thought. Last week he managed to notice Sam’s obsession over the blonde, remember? Harrison then informs Sam that Nicole has scratched Sam off the guest list, so that she isn’t allowed to go to the party any more. He keeps on ranting after that and goes so far as to say that Sam _says_ she’s different but really isn’t. Sam responds with:
“I am different.”
Now, I admit, the word ‘different’ can have a lot of different meanings, but in a show about sexually confused teenagers… well… do the math. Anyway, Harrison denies Sam’s differentness and says that she’s just like everybody else.
Sam gets mad. If Harrison thinks she’s just like everybody else, then she’ll damn well be like everybody else!
Sam is going straight!
She starts, of course, by inviting Mr. Grant to a dinner date. We’ll see the repercussions of this later.
Now there is a small, but, in a way, cute Brooke/Carmen scene. Here, the two girls talk about food. About how much Carmen is eating and how little Brooke is eating. There’s no real subtext here. I guess this scene was meant to show that Brooke has fallen for Sam and that Carmen’s attempted seduction of Brooke during the cheerleading try-outs has failed after all.
PARTY AT THE MCQUEEN RESIDENCE!!! It’s about time.
Anyway, Nicole is busy policing the door and keeping the unwanted out when, all of the sudden, Mary Cherry shows up with Sugar Daddy. Nicole immediately gets pissed off at Mary Cherry. We are lead to believe that this is because Mary Cherry is wearing the exact same outfit Nicole is wearing. The REAL reason, of course, is because Mary Cherry is cheating on her with SD.
Nicole and Brooke end up sitting on the chairs, having everything but a good
time. Nicole is jealous of Sugar Daddy, Brooke misses her Sammy. Of course,
Nicole thinks that Brooke misses Josh so she tries to cheer her up by saying
that he’ll be coming soon. The words Brooke say confirm Nicole’s suspicions, the
utter lack of enthusiasm with which she says them confirms ours.
Soon after this Nicole is sick of the display going on on the dance floor, shoves Mary Cherry away from SD and starts dancing with him in order to make Mary Cherry jealous.
We go to a beach, where Carmen is sitting by a fire, feeling sorry for herself.
Lily shows up and it is implied that Lily is schizophrenic when she talks about
“drowning all those thoughts in her head.” Anyway, I never really pay attention
during this scene because Lily starts spouting an entire stream of horrendous
clichés and I have the tendency to zone out whenever that happens. However,
reviewing this scene with the sound off has made me realise that there is
actually some Carmen/Lily subtext in this scene.
I guess Carmen is moving on from Brooke towards Lily.
Mr. Grant and Sam have their ‘date’. Sam has squeezed herself into a tight dress, to show everyone how straight she is. It is true that Sam looks pretty hot in that dress. It is also true that wearing that dress makes her look so incredibly un-Sam-like. Of course, the date is completely bogus. This is evident when Mr. Grant’s girlfriend shows up. Mr. Grant and the girlfriend kiss. At that moment Sam has a painful revelation when she realises that she’d rather be Mr. Grant right now and not Mr. Grant’s girlfriend. Sam breaks out in tears and confesses that this whole straight-girl act just isn’t her.
Back at the party. Sugar Daddy calls Josh. He proudly announces that there’re
two girls fighting over him. This is not true, of course, since they’re fighting
over each other, but that’s besides the point. Anyway, SD is trying to make Josh
jealous, but soon his true feelings shine through.
“I need you here, kid.”
Of course, the confession earlier that SD is with Josh might’ve already been a little too much and in order to throw the network executives of their scent, the writers quickly added:
“We all do.”
OK, back to the diner. A diner, anyway. Harrison, Carmen and Lily are here. Sam
shows up and she immediately launches into an apology. Somewhere during her
apology she says:
“I turned to the dark side.”
This can be interpreted in two ways. What Sam is trying to say with this is that she had a little flirt with heterosexuality and regrets it. The rest of the group believes that Sam means that she’s sorry about being so enormously in love with Brooke.
Anyway, Sam is forgiven and the group starts talking about how different their group is from Brooke’s group. Sam disagrees. She claims that both groups are actually completely the same. She claims that there is no difference.
Translated, this means: I’m gay, Brooke’s gay and there is no reason why I shouldn’t be making out with her right now.
Sam, having reached this conclusion, gets up and goes to the party, followed by the rest.
Back at the party, we briefly see Mary Cherry being mad at Sugar Daddy. We can’t
hear what she’s saying, but it’s probably something like this:
“What the HELL were you thinking? Dancing with Nicole Julian like you did!? The whole point was to make her jealous so she’d come back to me, REMEMBER?”
Of course, Mary Cherry would’ve said this in that wonderful accent of hers, but I’m not very good at that.
Sam storms in, her friends in tow, and heads straight for Brooke. Brooke says that she doesn’t want to talk right now. She is obviously fearing not being able to keep the closet door shut if she stays in Sam’s presence for too long. Sam responds:
“It can’t wait, Brooke, we’re talking about something RIGHT NOW.”
We all know that Sam was intending to follow this up by something like “I love you so much and no matter how much you hide in that damn closet of yours, I know you want me too, so let’s go out on a date.”
Unfortunately, Sam was too loud. The music stops and everybody stares at her. Despite the fact that Sam’s at peace with her sexuality, she still has some difficulty expressing it to such a large group. So instead of declaring their love for each other, Sam and Brooke start arguing. The argument goes somewhat out of control and for a few moments there, it seems as if Lily and Nicole are about to get physical. The fighting kind of physical, I mean.
Enter Jane and Mike. There is some confusion and the party is clearly over. Jane and Mike talk for a bit, during which time Sam and Brooke end up standing very close next to each other. Odd behaviour for sworn enemies, don’t you think? But of course, we all know that they’re not sworn enemies so the two of them standing very close to each other only makes sense.
The episode ends with Jane and Mike announcing their engagement.
There are a few shots of Sam’s face, Brooke’s face, Sam’s face, Brooke’s face, etc.
And so concludes this is episode. The stage is set, the pieces are in place.
Tune in next week to find out how Sam and Brooke will deal with the prospect of becoming siblings and the incest-issues that come with it.
|Section 3||Jos Mous||Popular||Main Index|