There is so much going on in this episode that I had to keep pausing the DVD in order to take notes. Before I get started, YES, we know that there is a goof with the sweaters in this episode and the Buffalo Tom song when Angela and Jordan hold hands at the end of the episode is called "Late at Night."
I like the look that passes between Angela and Jordan in the hallway (while she is talking to Miss Lerner about going to geometry review) - they were just making out a few minutes ago and now they're glancing at each other in the hallway.
The conversation between Miss Chavatal and Miss Lerner about Mr. Katimski harkens back to Angela's comments about teachers having dignity and being human (in the Substitute).
Why does Rickie hate Mr. Katimsky so intently? It can't just be that Mr. Katmiski called him Enrique in class. Immediately after his first class with Mr. Katimski, Rickie tells Rayanne that he's transferring to another class, then goes on to say, "He acts like he's this really nice guy, when OBVIOUSLY he's not." What makes Rickie think that Mr. Katimski is anything but nice? I would hate to think that BF used this as an opportunity to turn Rickie into a total drama queen for the benefit of the "join drama club" plot, but the fact that Rickie later laments to Brian, "He's driving me stark, raving mad!" with a dramatic flourish leads me to believe that shy sweet Rickie abruptly became a drama queen in this episode.
I find it very disloyal that Rayanne runs off with a "see ya!" every time that Mr. Katimski approaches Rickie (three times in all). I understand that it doesn't involve her and she doesn't want to get in trouble when they are supposed to be at lunch, but it seems like she's hanging Rickie out to dry. Conversely, she is very loyal to Angela in this episode. She goes to Pike Street with her and then confronts Jordan about the way he has been treating Angela after she sees the way he hurt her.
How does Rickie know where Angela is? Did Angela tell him before she told Rayanne? The way he asks Rayanne, "So...guess where Angela is!" makes me think that she confided in him and no one else knows at that point.
Danielle's stellar moment in this episode is when she asks Graham what mediocrity is, then rolls her eyes when he tells her to look it up. That was always my mom's answer so I quit bothering to ask after a while.
In the discussion for Why Jordan Can't Read, we talked about the way Angela made a bigger deal out of her "relationship" with Jordan than anything we had seen of it. She does this again when she says, "We barely talked, and when we did, it came out sounding really meaningful." At least in this instance she says that it sounds
really meaningful, rather than it is
really meaningful. I suppose that's a baby step forward, but how meaningful is it when she tells Jordan, "There's a tiny leaf in your hair"? Like they say, you see what you want to see. She wants to see sentences like that when they come up for air as serious conversation.
The way he refers to her as "nobody" and "nothing" when Shane questions him is her first clue that he isn't exactly her boyfriend, but what a hurtful way to find out. I totally sympathize with her because there was a guy that I made out with in high school - we never went to a dance together or even to the movies. We just made out. A lot. Granted, we went to different high schools and neither of us had a car so the social possibilities were pretty limited, but it made me feel like crap. Years later we talked about it and he admitted that he had liked me but didn't know how to express himself except through his hormones (yup, words are hard when you're a teenager!) so he didn't know how to deal with the situation. Not a great answer, but at least he recognized how immature he had been.
Contrast this with Angela's opinion that "boys are less afraid of being wrong." While that applies to classroom situations (yes, there have been numerous studies on this!), I think it's less applicable to social situations. Jordan is afraid of admitting his feelings for Angela. He is also afraid of admitting to his friends that he is involved with someone outside of their social circle. Most of all, I think that he is afraid of putting himself in a situation where Angela can hurt him. So far he hasn't made himself vulnerable enough for her to do any damage, but this episode seems to be the turning point in their relationship (or the beginning of it - despite Angela learning about his reading disability in Why Jordan Can't Read, what occurred in that episode was Angela's perception of their relationship - Jordan, however, did not seem to view their relationship as different, meaning she was still in the category of Girls I Have Kissed in My Car). Jordan is afraid to make an outright choice by being with Angela because it might be viewed as "wrong" by his peers. Thankfully Rayanne's warning and his revelation in English class help him to realize his feelings for Angela and admit them in full view of the school.
In geometry, Miss Lerner says, "I'm not happy" to Angela and then tells Abyssinia, "Good job!" Maybe my school district had a different policy on student privacy, but teachers were not allowed to post grades with our names next to them. If they wanted to post grades, they had to come up with an alternate system (like giving us each a number). Similarly, they were not allowed to announce our grades to the class. Our teachers would not have been permitted to say obvious things like "Angela Chase, how do you expect to pass your midterm?" in front of the entire class.
I like the way that Angela still has her name spelled out on her bedroom mirror (I like that she has a visible vestige of childhood without having a bedroom like Sharon's), but what I really love is the way the N sticker is falling off and hanging at an angle.
When Angela says, "Hey, Ray, don't tell anyone, okay?" Rayanne replies, "That rhymed! Tell anyone what?" She either doesn't think that making out in the boiler room is a private thing OR doesn't think it's a big enough deal to tell anyone. I could almost see her thinking both even though they contradict each other. It's also possible that Rayanne didn't pick up on the connection between Angela talking about her frosted used lips and Angela's segueway to "don't tell anyone." When Angela clarifies what she's talking about, Rayanne immediately recognizes what is going on. Rayanne is very astute and sees what kind of position Angela has been put in. Very interesting that Rayanne sneaks out the backdoor, avoiding Patty and Chuck at the front door.
A carpentry question - what DO you do for a squeaky floorboard?
When Chuck asks where Graham is, Patty rolls her eyes and prepares for him to attack. Interesting that Patty assumes they need a marriage counselor to repair their relationship while Chuck's interest is monetary - Graham should be bringing home money even if he isn't the primary breadwinner in the family. Chuck's conclusion is this episode's theme: "You deserve better."
Ahhh, our introduction to Hallie. Notice that she immediately mentions (casually) that she has a fiance. Although we learn that she is just a Chatty Cathy who never shuts up, this interesting tidbit of information about being engaged seems like a sort of self-disclosure defense mechanism. Is she mentioning it as a "back off, I'm taken" kind of warning? Or a "I'm engaged which means someone loves me so I have worth" kind of thing? Hallie's brashness is a cover for her deep insecurity so I tend to think it's #2.
Graham comes home from his first cooking class and starts looking for the spicy mustard - hee! Rayanne's assessment rearing its head once again.
Patty does assume the worst about Graham's cooking class (similar to the Rosenfeld situation), but in all fairness Graham encourages her negativity with his evasiveness. If he had simply told her what happened (as he does later in bed), she wouldn't have made all kinds of pessimistic assumptions.
What does Jordan tap into his mouth (right before Shane talks to him about Buffalo Tom)? At first I thought they were breath mints, but he made such a terrible face - the kind little kids make when they are forced to take medicine - that it made me wonder.
When Angela asks Jordan about going to Buffalo Tom, as much as I want to hate him for being a jerk, he seems genuinely clueless about why she is asking. The expression on his face reminds me of when Rayanne tells him that Angela is French. He doesn't seem to be deliberately evasive - I think he really doesn't see that Angela wants to go with him.
In the hair thread, I wondered how Rayanne had time for her elaborate braids and hairdos and in this episode, we learn the answer - she ditches class and stays in the bathroom messing with her hair!
In previous episodes, we have seen Rayanne and Patty apply their lip balm. In this episode, we finally see Angela apply her much needed lip balm to her dry chapped overly kissed lips
Sharon says that the connection between Angela making out with Jordan and Rayanne's overdose is self-respect. Rayanne concurs with a high five - does this mean that Rayanne sees her drug habit as a result of her own low self esteem? If so, Miss Kryzanowski has done wonders with Rayanne in just a few short weeks of counseling!
I love the exchange between Rayanne and Sharon about hands as an errogenous zone!
Rayanne ends the scene by pulling Angela out of the bathroom saying, "I have to talk to you." Since they just discussed the most pressing matter - Jordan - what was so important? Did Rayanne just want to get away from Sharon?
Mr. Katimski seems more than just absent minded when he asks Rickie to join drama club then asks, "Did I talk to you? What did you say?" I guess he was distracted by all of the discussion about Rickie's name and his grandmother.