Discussion for Episode 14: On the Wagon

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
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Natasha (candygirl)
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Discussion for Episode 14: On the Wagon

Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Apr 14th 2003, 4:59 am

Welcome to our fourteenth MSCL.com episode discussion!

If you haven't already done so, please read the info about the weekly discussions here.

I highly recommend reading theAngela's World essay that pertains to this episode.

Other threads related to On the Wagon that may be of interest are:
Jordan - On the Wagon
the contradiction that we call Rayanne
Amber: good or bad mother?
Patty and Graham suck
Angela, Rayanne, & Rickie
Shane


Some threads about recurring themes:
hair as a metaphor
food
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Apr 14th 2003, 5:12 am

First the info for anyone who hasn't already perused the music section of the MSCL encyclopedia, the song that Between Names plays at Vertigo is "I Wanna Be Sedated" by the Ramones.

Also of note - Jeff Perry (Mr. Katimski) directed this episode.

Although this isn't a love it/hate it episode that polarizes fans (like Halloween and So-Called Angels), it does mark the show's departure from its usual Angela/Jordan drama. Instead, we see the relationship between Rayanne and Angela take a turn (but not in the 90210-esque "you slept with Dylan!" mode - yet). We have seen other relationships change and grow (Brian and Rickie, Sharon and Rayanne, Patty and Graham, etc) but the friendship between Angela and Rayanne which was so central to the series, indeed the impetus for Angela's new life, is no longer as rosy as it once was. The dynamics of their relationship have changed slowly and even though it wasn't screamingly obvious, once you get to On the Wagon, the lightbulb over the head goes off and you realize that Angela and Rayanne really haven't been the same since Rayanne's birthday party.

Unfortunately, I got started on this week's episode a little later than expected so I will add some more thoughts during the daylight hours :D

A few more quick things:

the name patch on Jordan's blue shirt says "Witkowski" :lol:

the mysterious "not Shane" drummer is named Joey and the bass player is named Ralph (Coleman? Pullman? I couldn't really hear his last name and it wasn't in the subtitles)
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Post by lithiumkat » Apr 14th 2003, 7:06 am

Okay, I must start out by saying that this is one of my favorites if not my very favorite of all the mscl episodes. Granted part of it probably has to do with the fact that Jordan is someone I would've/could've and still would easily become obsessed with like in real life and what not and I love the part where he sings. (I tend to replay that part many times lol)

But it is not just that, I can relate to Rayanne with the whole your best friend who you still totally need and have like this freaky desire to like spend time with all the time (like when you are 15 your best friend IS your life) I mean, I've never been in a serious relationship and my best friend has been going out with this guy even lived with him for a long time but like shes been going out with him for a couple years now or so...maybe a little longer even...But it's like before they were together we spent like EVERY free minute together doing stuff, watching tv, listening to music just anything and everything and now it's like...suddenly she's..gone.

she has no time for me anymore, I mean I know i'm 19 and shouldnt be so needy anymore and I mean sometimes I do really enjoy having more just me time. But I miss her, and I miss us just being together like so much and just hanging out everyday and it's like now she has hardly any time for me. All she has time for is like him. And he always bitches if we do stuff together like how long are you gonna be over there, when are you coming home blah blah and it's like that really upsets me. He's one of my friends too but it's like, I feel like we compete over her attention. Kinda like Rayanne and Jordan over Angela.

I miss us like talking to each other and having these huge discussions over every little thing in our life and making plans together and getting all these crazy ideas. Now she just has all her huge discussions and plan making and crazy ideas with him...and it makes me think of Rayanne, as I said I totally relate because her and Angela were together like ALL the time and discussed everything and got all these wild spontaneous ideas and were just together like all the time. Now Angela is spending most of her time with Jordan.

It's cool that Jordan FINALLY starts like having actual conversations with Angela now and talking to her about things that are important to him, but after awhile I start to get really annoyed with his CONSTANT complaining about Tino quitting frozen embryos. It is a rather refreshing change though to see him actually devoted to something and actually care about something since he doesnt seem to care so much when it comes to school with the band he is like actually...commited to or whatever.

And it cracks me up how Angela talks to Jordan under the bleachers she like makes herself sound so dramatized when she says "so he quit, tino quit frozen embryos!" But the sad thing is that people really do, do that too, I mean, I've done that. Try to sound like something is such a big deal when it's really not so much.

It's strange how like Rayanne and Angelas relationship has like done a total roundabout almost. Because Sharon is almost right when she says when the two first started hanging out about "rayanne is like god to you and you do anything she says" but now it's like you just get the impression that Angela is just almost annoyed by Rayanne now. Like anytime she comes up to talk to Angela you get the feeling that Angela is kinda like...what now..?

And then Angela doesn't even show up when she invites Rayanne over. And you can tell that Ray envies the actual "family" life that the Chases have and then she realizes she doesn't quite fit and I think that is partly why she leaves. She wants to be part of it so badly, but realizes she doesn't belong and feels awkward.

It is very irritating how Amber just seems like she doesn't even want to hear or address Ray's problems, she tries to just push them aside moving the topic to the appetizers. And I agree that was some stupid half wit advice her mother gave her about telling her to hang out with Angela when shes with Jordan. It would have been the time when MOST mothers would just explain to their daughter that you know when a girl gets a boyfriend or whatever they sometimes tend to do that, adn that if you just kinda give them their time or whatever they will come around some. But trying to butt in and stuff is generally not a good idea. I mean uninvited in particular. You can tell that Jordan AND Angela are both completely annoyed and irritated that Rayanne just busts up in the car with them out of nowhere, when Angela and him were kinda having a private moment. And you can tell that Angela is a little mad that Jordan basically then kicks the both of them out of the car pretty much because of Rayanne.

Rayanne does not seem to realize that Angela is uncomfortable with the idea of asking Jordan something like having Rayanne join the band. It is amusing how Danielle wants to be like Angela so badly like when the boy calls her and she acts like Angela about taking it upstairs and making sure someone hangs up and the keeping it loose. It's rather cute really. And poor Patty when she finally is starting to lose her hold on Danielle when she can't get her to talk about what's going on before school she just blows her off and leaves.

You can tell Jordan HATES the idea of Rayanne being in the band when Angela mentions it and everyone tries to let her down gently to let her know that she is basically not wanted but she is so caught up in her ideas of being in the band, Angela tries to tell her its not a great idea, Rickie pretty much even outright says it, he says "and if they don't want you...I just don't think they're looking for a girl singer or something" and then he goes on about talking to Angela about it, I get the impression that Angela basically told Rickie that Jordan thought it was a horrible idea. but Both of them feel too bad to just outright tell Rayanne.

Sharon and Rayanne are definitely starting to grow closer even though they still pretty much fake hating each other and totally deny being friends. Rayanne finally admits indirectly to Sharon how she notices that Angela really doesn't WANT to try and talk to Jordan or like try and get Rayanne into the band. And even Sharon kind of fails Rayanne here because instead of offering some sort of supportive words really after Rayanne proposes her problem or even like offer agreement she just simply says "this is angela right?"

Back to the eating thing you notice at the band practice the one guy talks about eating then the other guy yells about all he ever does is eat and stuff. You can tell Jordan is ticked that Rayanne is at the rehearsal and just SHOWED UP without being invited. And thinks that Angela had something to do with it or something, and Angela obviously feels uneasy about the fact that Jordan is upset about the thing with Rayanne.

CLASSIC MOMENT when Patty listens in on the phone and Graham catches her and says "Patricia...!" I see where Patty is coming from about how it SHOULDN'T be such a big issue to just express concern about someones child. I also love where Graham says "no, i'm not right, you have to be awake to be right." But Patty does not have bad intent with the wanting to talk to Ray's mom, she is not trying to say that Amber is a bad mother, or trying to cause trouble, she just pretty much is worried and just wants to let Amber know-hey, i'm worried about Rayanne...is everything okay? you might keep an eye on her.

But in the same sense I can see what Graham is saying, nobody takes that kind of thing well, everone gets defensive about it and feels like someone is accusing them of something, but people shouldn't get that way I mean it's not like parenting comes with a manual...I also love when Graham tells Patty to Shut-UP. lol, that cracks me up.

You can also tell that Angela is less than thrilled that Rayanne actually gets in the band, she is surprised but not really in a good way. And you can see how DESPERATE Rayanne is for Angelas approval, excitement, attention, and support. As aforementioned about her being the only person Ray wants to deal with kinda like with Sharon when her dad has a heart attack.

I would be pissed too if I was Amber and got woke up like that. But what surprised me was, even though you can tell that Amber was not happy about being awaken she was seemingly wanting to start a happy casual conversation starting off with the dream and just simply asking whats up. But the thing about Ray being on the wagon and no fun...even if she was joking that was uncalled for. I mean that's not really something to joke about. And Patty just pretty much ruined her relationship with Amber which was not actually going that badly.

Rayanne shows concern even before the scene with Amber because she tells Jordan that they are not ready and it was rather insensitive of him to simply just suggest she wear something tight. You can tell that the smile and idle chitchat between Ang and Ray is mostly put on when Ang smiles and the "gotcha" scene with the whiskey, my personal opinion is Ray was indeed going to drink it because it is/was just her natural reaction to being scared like that but then she realized what she was doing and was like oh crap and stopped.

You can tell Rayanne probably feels kinda bad when Amber asks if Angela was excited and Ray says yeah but she knows it's not really the truth, which I think only makes her even more nervous because there is some sort of power in having your best friend just BE THERE when you are doing something risky or exciting or whatever and the fact that Angela pretty much beat around the bush about going and pretty much gave off the impression even then that she wasnt going. She practically RUNS back up to her room after finally getting the whole thing with Rayanne and the concert thing off her chest to Patty and Graham and Patty almost has a heart attack. lol.

I think Brian was hoping people were actually trying to include him like as a friend and when Rickie just says he started inviting everyone I think Brian realizes that it was just a random thing and feels bad, he even voices this in a somewhat sarcastic manner when he responds to rickies "i just started inviting anyone" with "oh that makes me feel wonderful"

I wanna punch that stupid lady that introduced the band she says I'm sorry like fifty times and it really irritates me. I get the feeling that Jordan was thinking of Rayanne as a slut when he made the comment "this is rayannes first time........singing i mean." that was kind of uncalled for. But I don't think he really meant to be mean or malicious, thats just Jordan.

You can almost feel the whole world crashing when people boo and say lets go and get up and leave. Rayanne's face just totally falls and you can tell she is just wanting to sink into the floor. you can also tell that she feels like she has just confirmed her inner feeling that she feels like Rickie and Angela think she is a failure.

I love love love, when Jordan sings. which I've already explained why, I wish they would've showed more of that. You can tell how scared Rickie is thinking something truly awful is going to happen to Rayanne, and Brian tries to comfort him but Rickie has dealt with Rayanne enough in the past he thinks she is going to slide right back into the same habits and end up like the night she was rushed to the hospital, at least he calls Angelas house which shows some maturity since he is seriously worried.

I can see where Amber would get annoyed with Pattys constantly reintroducing herself everytime they talk. that would bug me too. anyone else notice the tattoo on Ambers back in this episode. anyone know what the tattoo is of. I feel bad for Patty since she is just genuinely worried and she ends up choking on that foot of hers. She just feels concern for Rayanne. And she had all the more reason to worry after Rickies hysterical call.

Another little thing I notice is earlier in the episode Patty complains to Graham about how Rayanne never thanked her for saving her life. And after the somewhat tender moment between Patty and Rayanne, when she gets ready to run off to school she does, finally thank Patty. I feel like Rayanne almost talks about her problems and worries and issues more with Patty in those few minutes than she is able to with her mom in the same living space. You feel like Patty has finally REALLY accepted Rayanne after she tells Ray to call her Patty and after Rayanne thanks her for saving her life.

I can understand why Rickie is so mad, since her seriously thought Rayanne was going to seriously hurt herself and she didn't even have the decency to call him or get ahold of him to let her know that everything is ok.

Angela seems to be somewhat insensitive talking to Rayanne on the fire escape (or wherever they are) Rayanne feels like Angela and Rickie think that she is just some hopeless pathetic person. And their lack of support makes her feel like she is worthless. They all hug and sort of make up at the end. But you can tell that things still don't feel quite right between them.

The end of this episode makes me cry and just absolutely breaks my heart. It's like just when you think hey, Rayanne is finally going to be okay, she's getting over her drinking problem, things are working out. It's so cute when they talk about sesame street and it's great when Ray starts singing the song, but then she takes that one drink and its like. all that hard work, gone in one second. and you can tell that Rickie and Angela are absolutely CRUSHED, Rickie in particular since as has already been stated that he tries to basically be a protector to Rayanne. oor Rickie sees it first and he just looks like hes going to break down in tears. and even the music score right there really gets me.

It is a very um i cant think of a word to describe what i mean...disenheartening maybe...episode at the end. but it is still one of my absolute favorites, i don't know why exactly. cuz it's not JUST because of Jordan singing.
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Post by starbug » Apr 14th 2003, 8:03 am

That was a great post!

This episode is also one of my favourites, if not the favourite. I think it's because it's so well done. You'd have to be pretty heartless not to feel deep sympathy for Rayanne and her totally dysfunctional life. She's trying so hard to get out of it but in the face of Angela basically disappearing and a dreadful mother she's fighting all the odds.

I cried at the end of this episode the first time I watched it. It's one of those my dad taped over the VHS on so I've only seen it two or three times. Going to go home and watch my DVD again tonight and then I'll be able to join in the discussion.

Try as I might, I just cannot forgive Angela for how she starts treating Rayanne from the beginning of this episode. Angela herself admits that something changed for her on the night Rayanne almost OD'd, and I can't get out of my head the thought that Angela is really being what my parents always called a 'fairweather friend' ie someone who you're friends with when it suits you and there's nothing hard about it but the minute the going gets a little tough for whatever reason, you bail on the friendship. Not a true friend at all.

Poor Rayanne :( . Angela could really have made a difference to her by sticking with her and supporting her. Instead she is self-consumed by following Jordan about.

I have to admit I really started to dislike Angela at this stage. I'll have to go back and review the episode before I can really back this up but I remember thinking she was being a terrible friend.

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Post by Guest » Apr 14th 2003, 5:21 pm

First off...THANK YOU, I'm glad you liked my post, I'm still new here so I wasn't sure if it was an alright post for the discussion or not but that makes me feel better thank YOU.

Second off, I will agree, Angela is being a pretty bad friend in this episode but I don't necissarily believe she's a "fairweather friend" and yeah, I use that term too. I think a lot of it has more to do with the fact that, Angela is not used to having friends with serious major problems like that, or bad homelives. You have to take into consideration that her best friend before she started hanging out with Rayanne and Rickie was Sharon....who has ALMOST a perfect life...either way she has a good home life like Angela and so on. So it's almost like Rayanne and Rickie have SOMEWHAT replaced Sharon and Brian in Angelas life, and while Brian may not have the ideal homelife what with his parents being gone all the time and being like loony psyciatrist on him. He still doesn't have many MAJOR problems (ie: drug addiction, alcohol abuse, being beaten by his guardians.)

Anyway, what I'm trying to say...I am getting to a point here it just takes me awhile lol, Is I don't think Angela is trying to neglect Rayanne or whatever, I think she just feels awkward because she has never had to deal with a problem of that manner or of that extremity with any of her friends before, I don't think she really knows what to do or how to handle it, and I think she is scared in a strange way, of Rayanne after she almost died, that was a big shock to Angela.

I'm not excusing her behaviour towards Rayanne in her time of need, BUT I am just thinking of at least in my opinion what seems to be some of the reasons WHY Angela started to act the way she did. I think Angela just plain and simple doesn't know what to do or how to act she feels weird because of what happened to Rayanne but she doesn't know how to fix it. And she is scared that something bad will happen to Ray again and I don't think she knows how to deal. Rayanne obviously needs some support during this time and I don't think Angela quite knows how to give it to her.

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Post by lithiumkat » Apr 14th 2003, 5:39 pm

*sighs and rolls eyes* that above post by "guest" was me, i'm a dumbass, i'm used to always being automatically logged in, and even though i checked the little box it didnt automatically log me in and so hence the anonymous post there. just thought i'd let you guys know that it was me...i couldn't figure out how to fix it or how to like delete it and just copy paste it again under my name, but i wanted everyone to know that it was my post.
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Post by Nothingman » Apr 14th 2003, 6:35 pm

Not only does Angela not know how to deal with the Rayanne's situation because of lack of experience, she also doesn't know how to deal with her and Jordon. She is spending more time with him now that are just "friends", than she did when there were together. They are finally getting to know each other now that the "Pressure" is off, something they should have been doing all along. Again, the lack of experience comes into play. She says that her and Jordon are just friends, but it is obvious that she still wants to be more than that, and is hanging around him constantly to try and fill that need for his attention. This desire for Jordon's attention, puts her relationship with Rayanne in the back seat.

I have to go back and watch the episode again before I post more.

On a side note, I really enjoy Frozen Embryos' version of "I wanna be sedated". I like how Jordon's(Jared's) voice sounds. It's a bit rough, but still good, I think his voice conveys emotion well. I recently had a chance to see 30 Seconds to Mars this last fall when they were opening for Incubus. Not to offend any 30STM fans, but I found myself wishing they sounded a bit more like Frozen Embryos. I was getting this "I'm angry because my hair keeps falling in my face, and I have a stain on my white pants" vibe. But perhaps I just need more time to absorb their music. I don't want don't want to make this thread into a 30STM discussion, it's not the place, but I just found the contrast to the music in this episode interesting. If you're a 30STM fan, please don't take this personally.
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Post by TomSpeed » Apr 14th 2003, 10:14 pm

Great post lithiumkat. :D

I was so swamped at work today. :hammer1: I'm glad tomorrow is April 15th. Things should return to normal with tax season over. I barely got a chance to read the forum today.

I don't really have that much to say about "On the Wagon" that already hasn't been said. Nothingman makes a good point in his post. Angela and Jordan really did put the cart before the horse in earlier episodes. Their relationship really didn't have a foundation to add sex into the mix. Now, since they have "pretty much broken up" (Angela), they are taking time to get to know each other.

I love the fact that Jordan knows Angela's locker combination. Rayanne knows Rickie's combination number, too. I remember sharing lockers with friends and girl friends in high school. Sharing lockers is a sign of intimacy. Also, strategically placed lockers help get you to class on time. I think at one time I kept books in five lockers.

Angela's line about being so low, she "will find any reason to touch" Jordan rings so true. She wants to be closer to Jordan. She reaches out to him. Her touching is a great deal different from Hallie Lowenthal's touching. Hallie always seems to be grabbing, shoving, etc. She seems very clingy. I just don't like people who touch me all of the time. Once in awhile is OK. She doesn't even know Graham when they meet in the cooking class for the first time. She just gives me the willies.

I love transitions or guideposts that give a story direction (I use them all of the time in my own writing) -- Rayanne tells Mrs. K that Angela is totally there for her but she is busy with Jordan, then Rayanne asks Rickie where Angela is. I'm not so sure I agree with people who have said that Angela hasn't been a good friend to Rayanne. Yes, she has been spending time with Jordan, but Rayanne isn't totally up front with Angela. Rayanne, to make Angela feel better, tells Angela that she Angela too much. And Rayanne just tells Angela that she "might" show up at her house. I guess Rayanne might have to swallow some pride and admit weakness if she's honest with Angela, but if Angela and Rayanne are friends, she should be honest with her. Plus, it is natural for people to shy away from someone who does something destructive or self-destructive. Rayanne did almost kill herself. Angela doesn't really know how to react to what happened to Rayanne. Her pulling away fromt the unknown is understandable. Finally, Angela is starting to make decisions on her own. She doesn't need Rayanne to give her direction. Part of their closeness came from Angela's willingness to be lead.

I'm going to gather more thoughts and post more later.
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Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Apr 14th 2003, 11:02 pm

Although we see a lot more of Jordan in this episode than in some earlier episodes, very little of the plot is about him. Instead, we hear four separate conversations between him and Angela about Tino quitting Frozen Embryos. It seems that his obsession with the band parallels Angela's obsession with him. He says, "That's what's so...frustrating. Can you imagine what that's like? To have to, like, sit around, trying to figure out what someone else is, like thinking," mirroring Angela's previous thoughts on Jordan: "I have nothing else on my mind. How come I have to be the one sitting around analyzing him in like microscopic detail, and he gets to be the one with other things on his mind."

Rickie sums it up accurately when he said, "It is, like, the weirdest break-up in history," a feeling that Patty and Rayanne echo when Rayanne offers her roller coaster analogy. While Angela imagines that Jordan's frustration is due to his need to confess, "You need me. You must have me as your own. You can't live another second knowing others could possess me," Jordan shows no outward signs of wanting to resume their previous relationship. Strangely, he seems more at ease with her now that they definitely "don't mean anything to each other" (as he characterized their relationship in Guns & Gossip). However, the fact that he absent-mindedly opens her locker for her, seeks her out to complain about Tino, later calls her at home (for the first time!), and picks her up for school show that he does feel a level of trust and friendship with her. I do love that Angela admits, "I'm just really, like, low. I'll just find any excuse to touch him." I like that she instead of throwing herself at him, she touches him in what could be construed as platonic comforting ways (which she undoubtedly had a lot of, growing up with Patty and Graham as parents, but that Jordan probably hasn't had a lot of) that convey intimacy but not sexuality.

Despite the fact that Rayanne tells Rickie that Miss "Crazy-nowski" is a "wimpette" and "sensitive wears thin," Rayanne has clearly opened up to her during their counseling sessions. Miss K knows about the distance between Rayanne and Angela, and correctly interprets that Rayanne may not have a support system in place to help her once she ceases attending her counseling. Given this knowledge, it seems likely that Rayanne was telling the truth in "Life of Brian" when she tells Rickie that she broke down and cried when Miss K asked if she was going to the dance (as well as later in the episode when she says, "Well, I just don't think I'm ready to go to an event like that. I mean, I talked to the counsellor, and she said she doesn't think I'd be able to."). It would be even better if Rayanne felt she could communicate more honestly with Rickie and Angela (and admit that she needs them instead of pretending that she's okay and doesn't need Miss K's AA propaganda), but at least she had a supportive, nonjudgemental adult in her life, albeit briefly.

This brings us to Patty-cakes, who "hated [Rayanne] on sight" and doesn't think that Rayanne is "the right friend for [Angela]" - she looks at Rayanne even more suspiciously now, and who can really blame her? When she comes into the kitchen, the first thing she sees is Rayanne reading the alcohol (brandy?) bottle that Graham left out for the chocolate sauce, then she "overhears" Jordan telling Angela that Rayanne is at rehearsal "acting like she's high" while everyone is "just sitting around the loft drinking beer." All circumstantial evidence, but Patty prefers to err on the side of caution (as she has demonstrated with Graham).

Amber, on the other hand, knows that she can't monitor Rayanne every second of the day and is content to let her be. It might be a strong statement to say that she trusts Rayanne, but she is letting Rayanne make her own decisions. Although she can be extremely insensitive (Amber ignores Rayanne's confession, "I might just send that money back to dad - I don't want it," continues to drink margaritas in front of her recovering alcoholic daughter, doesn't pay enough attention to remember that Rayanne sees her counselor on Tuesdays, and blames Rayanne for making Angela mad at her), Amber knows Rayanne. Following Rayanne's outburst about dinner, Amber recognizes that Rayanne is not upset about dinner. The smile on Rayanne's face as Amber feeds her butterfly shrimp further illustrates that Amber does know how to make Rayanne feel better. She later spends the evening at home (instead of out with Rusty, the "low life boyfriend") eating raw chocolate chip cookie dough after Rayanne bombs at Vertigo and offers to let her stay home from school. I am not saying that Amber is the perfect mother (I laughed at her self-righteousness when she asks Patty, "Well where else would she be?" Uhhh, down at the house on Cloverdale? Drinking in the loft with the band? Scoring ecstasy with Tino? The list goes on and on), but neither is Patty.

As much as Rayanne watches the Chases enviously, she would not be thrilled with a curfew or two parents constantly micromanaging her. If anything, she craves Patty's acceptance (she already has Graham's) but does not wish that Patty was her mother.

Amber tells Rayanne, "Now, see, a lot of your friends come and go and most of them I could have cared less about. Angela, she's special." Does Rayanne feel pressured to please her mom by staying friends with Angela? Rayanne still wants to maintain her friendship with Angela (as evidenced by her earlier lament about showing up at Angela's house and not finding Angela there), but given that Amber does not set forth a lot of goals or expectations for Rayanne (get good grades, get voted Homecoming Queen, etc.) I think that "advice" like this would make Rayanne even more determined to stay friends with Angela. Amber has not spent a lot of time with Angela, so why does she think that she is special?

When Rayanne asks Angela to talk to Jordan about having Rayanne join the band, she says, "We would have such a time." She realizes that she and Angela are not as close as they used to be, and using this phrase evokes the Monday after they tried to get into Let's Bolt (in the Pilot). She hopes that by joining the band, she and Angela will be able to recapture the fun and closeness that they had then. In another parallel to the pilot, Rayanne borrows Angela's boots in this episode.

Angela tries to explain to Rayanne, "I just don't know if that sounds very realistic. I can't just tell Jordan Catalano something like that," but Rayanne counters, "I just spent a month stone cold sober, that doesn't sound realistic. Come on, he'll do it if you ask him." First she points out her sobriety. Although Patty congratulates her and Amber later tells Patty that she's very proud of Rayanne, neither Amber nor Miss K celebrate her 33 days. More importantly, neither do Angela and Rickie. By adding this remark to her plea, Rayanne is asking Angela to recognize her sobriety and reward her for it. Being sober is probably very difficult for Rayanne since Amber still drinks in her presence. In addition, it must cut into her social life a little - since Rayanne seemed to frequent a lot of parties with drugs and alcohol, it can't be fun for her to go and watch everyone else get drunk and high (or stay home when Rusty is around). Secondly, Rayanne's comment indicates that she believes Angela has enough influence with Jordan to convince him to let her into the band. I don't think we see evidence of Angela's power over Jordan in this episode, but we will later.

This brings us to the question: why is Angela so reluctant to ask Jordan if Rayanne can join the band? Perhaps she feels that she is treading on thin ice with him as it is, barely maintaining contact with him except when he wants to complain, and she doesn't want to jeopardize that. Maybe she thinks that if they find a new singer, he won't come to her to complain anymore. Or is it the conclusion that Rayanne comes to: Angela thinks that Rayanne will make a complete fool of herself? Another possibility is that Angela sees how clearly annoyed Jordan is whenever Rayanne is around (stalking off or asking them to leave his car). Whatever the reason, Angela presents the solution in a sabotaging manner ("This is probably a really stupid idea, but...") and then tells him, "Forget it." When Rayanne does get into the band, Angela looks less than thrilled at the prospect.

Angela makes a big deal about how she hopes that Jordan didn't feel pressured when she suggested using Rayanne as the new lead singer - oh, the irony!

Brian and Rickie now have a comfortable relationship. After Rayanne leaves, Brian approaches Rickie without his usual hesitant, "hi, I mean, hey," blathering and asks what's going on. Rickie echoes Miss K's assessment of Rayanne as "dangerous." Rickie later inadvertently insults Brian by asking, "What are you doing here [at Vertigo]?" then says, "I had this fear that...that there would be, like, no audience. So I just started asking anyone." Brian takes it in stride by joking, "Oh. Thank you. That-that really makes me feel wonderful." After Rayanne's meltdown, Rickie follows her, but Brian follows Rickie. I like to think that this is because he wants to make sure everything is okay, not because he's nosy.

Jordan says they have an "audition" at Vertigo (and earlier Angela said that they "finally got a spot" at Vertigo), but it's really just open mike night. Although coffeehouses were inundated with scores of musicians in the mid-90s, I have a feeling that they really could have rescheduled for another night (or another week) and given Rayanne more rehearsal time.

Despite the budding friendship between Sharon and Rayanne, their conversation in the bathroom begins very antagonistically due to Rayanne's defensiveness ("I'm sorry, did I say you could listen?") but very quickly becomes a normal conversation between two friends asking for advice once Rayanne seeks Sharon's validation ("Look, so like, in your opinion I can sing halfway decent? Like, say, I can sing in front of people?"). Although Rayanne sets the tone, Sharon is very receptive.
Last edited by Natasha (candygirl) on Apr 14th 2003, 11:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by TomSpeed » Apr 14th 2003, 11:24 pm

Does anyone find else find it incredibly odd that Amber and Rayanne turn the phone off after the fiasco at Club Vertigo? For someone who seems to want closer contact with her friends, this seems like a way of shutting people out for Rayanne. Is Amber ducking calls from Rusty? I just don't understand why they would turn the phone off.

I know this is a small point, but I'm sleepy.
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Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Apr 14th 2003, 11:37 pm

When Jordan opens Angela's locker, we can see that, unlike the other main characters, her locker is not decorated. The only thing that could pass as decorative is the remnant of a yellow and red sticker, probably left over from the previous owner. Rickie's locker has a pair of red lips underneath the picture of the guy on a blue background - possibly RHPS lips? We also see that Rickie's locker is about seven or eight lockers away from Brian's. My school assigned lockers alphabetically, but apparently Liberty High has a mysterious mathematical formula to determine whose lockers are where!

Rayanne's appearance at the beginning of this episode is reminscent of a little girl, a metaphor for her mental state - she needs guidance and boundaries and support, but she isn't getting any. From her plastic little girl barrettes and her proud claim that she still watches Sesame Street every day to her box of raisins and her long straight hair with little mini pigtails on each side, she reminds me so much of a little girl. At the end of the episode, however, her looks says "bag lady chic" - I don't know if it's the gloves or the hat or the jacket or what, but every time I see her outside the movie theater, I think that she looks like a bag lady.

We see that Danielle has a hockey stick when she leaves for school. I'm not an expert on these things, but does was it an ice hockey stick or a field hockey stick? I love imagining her running down a field hacking at other girls' ankles with her stick. At least she has a way to release her pent-up frustration :D

Patty says, "Danielle, let's respect Angela's privacy," then proceeds to listen to her conversation with Jordan. The way she jumps when Graham comes up behind her is hilarious. Busted!

Angela says, "This is the first time you've ever called me - on the phone." Hee, this totally reminds me of when she says, "I'm always asking questions I already know the answers to" in Strangers in the House. Because he usually calls her on the tin can with a string?

When Patty begins talking to Graham about Rayanne's drinking, he groans, "It's like 12:15 [a.m.]" which amused me since he has no reason to get up early in the morning. He then turns on the light to talk to her, even though she was perfectly content to harass him in the dark. After he turns his light off, she turns hers on. Most ugh moment of the episode was Patty asking, "So...wanna make love?" right after Graham says, "I love you too - now please shut up!"

No one wants to talk about Rayanne's OD or even use the word "overdose" - they use euphemisms like "that night w-when you had to drive her to the hospital" or "that night in the hospital." Even Miss K refers to it as "the incident" until Rayanne plays dumb and asks, "What incident?" prompting Miss K to come right out and say, "I'm talking about the night you nearly died, the night that Angela's mother rushed you to the hospital."

One moment that annoyed me in this episode: at Vertigo, Rickie yells, "Rayanne, wait!" but lets her run off. Every time I see that happen on a tv show or in a movie, arghh. If she won't wait and you're that worried, RUN AFTER HER.

Why does Patty wait until the next morning to see Amber?

It's nice to see that Rayanne wears her seatbelt when Patty drives her to school - one safety precaution that she definitely takes.

Rayanne tells Angela, "You didn't miss much, just me making a fool out of myself, and you've seen that plenty. Right?" Honestly, I don't remember Rayanne making a fool of herself any time during the series. At most, she embarrassed herself at Vertigo and it was the first time I recall seeing Rayanne look embarrassed, but it seemed a bit much for Rayanne to characterize herself as making a fool of herself all the time.

Rayanne says that she is "too messed up to be [Angela's] friend anymore," but if anything she is LESS messed up now.

I like that Rayanne is wearing her Red Cross shirt while sitting on the fire escape - I love the symbolism on this show!

Rickie says, "Gawd, I worship this movie." I see this as another teeny step forward in his coming out since we are talking about a movie that stars Rock Hudson and Sal Mineo. Interestingly, Sal's character was named Angel and Wilson Cruz went on to play Angel in Rent. Also interesting - this was the second movie where James Dean appeared with Rock Hudson (the first was Has Anybody Seen My Gal?) and the second movie where James Dean appeared with Sal Mineo (the first was Rebel Without a Cause).

The entire last scene is so great - Angela, Rayanne, and Rickie seem to have returned to their previous friendship. They are going to see a movie together, joking around, acting like normal teenagers. Rayanne redeems her failed attempt at public singing with her sexy rendition of the Sesame Street theme song, but the casual swig of beer that she takes without even thinking confirms Miss K's assessment that this is a dangerous time. Rayanne was able to get through a rough patch in her friendship with Angela as well as the humiliation of what happened at Vertigo without a drink, but she took a drink when she least expected it. The look on Rickie's face at the end of the episode is priceless and heartbreaking.
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Post by lithiumkat » Apr 15th 2003, 2:39 am

"The look on Rickie's face at the end of the episode is priceless and heartbreaking."

I completely agree, that look on his face just crushes me as well. That never fails to make me cry. (lol i know i'm such a loser...)

Back to Rickies locker being decorated, I have also noticed that in one episode (can't remember which) there is a painted picture (from a magazine-I know cuz I used to have same pic I used to be obsessed w/ MJ) of Michael Jackson. I always thought that was kind of cool. I will have to look to see if hte lips are from RHPS I'm a huge fan of that movie too!

I absolutely love the scene between Ray and Sharon in the girls bathroom.

"excuse me! did I say you could listen?"
"excuse me! I didn't know this was you're private recording studio"
"excuse me! It is"

Or something similar to that (I was just pulling those out of my head) But that was def another classic moment on mscl.

I think even though Brian took what Rickie said about inviting him in a goodmannered kidding way it probably really did hurt him. He always wants to be a part of things and tries so hard to be a part of things, that he was probably excited to actually be included and then only to realize that Rickie was just kind of randomly inviting anyone. It goes back to what I was told once that a lot of truth is told in jest.

'Angela says, "This is the first time you've ever called me - on the phone." Hee, this totally reminds me of when she says, "I'm always asking questions I already know the answers to" in Strangers in the House. Because he usually calls her on the tin can with a string?'

lol, I totally agree with that, Its like she could have left it with called me, ya know how else is he going to call her? as you said tin can? duck call? lol but havent we all said dumb things like that.

I personally think that the reason that Amber and Ray shut off the phone was because even though Ray knew people (Rickie in particular) were and would be worried, she was embarrrassed and upset and didn't want to deal with people calling asking if she was okay, trying to talk about it, she just wanted to FORGET about it altogether and be left alone for awhile, comeon everyone feels dumb sometimes and they don't particularly feel like dealing with people when they are embarrassed and thinking about all the things that everyone else must be thinking about them and whatever.

I also completely agree with the Angela/Jordan thing, lol been there done that. It's like you try to be in a "relationship" with someone when you barely know anything about them only that you are both attracted to each other, it is awkward. It is always better to get to know a person first, talk to each other, hang out...whatever. But you just JUMP into a "relationship" and it's just freaky for all people involved. And I defininitely think it is a good thing for Ang and Jordan that they are just hanging out now and kinda no pressure no expectations. It makes things more comfortable and casual and a lot easier I think for them both.

I also agree about Rayanne craving the type of Family life that Angela has but if she had it she would not be completely happy, I also think she would have problems dealing with the curfews the nosy mom thing and so on. But in the same sense I guess we can't help but wonder, would she still have problems trying to deal with nosy mom, curfews, micromanagement, if that had been how she was raised?? But since she wasnt raised that way it's almost just another barrier to her for ever having a "normal" and "happy" family life like Angela.

I think taht the Chases are almost like a fairytale for Ray, she doesn't see all the "bad" moments really...only the good and happy so she almost sees the family as just simply good and happy, but there is so much more to it. every family has problems, every family has fights and I think Rayanne sometimes doesnt let herself realize this about Angelas family.

Well, I'm sure I'll come up with more to say later, but I think that's all for now, I closed at work tonight and my brian is kind of fried right now.


*edit* hahaha, you can tell i'm in mscl mode. rofl, i meant my brain is kind of fried right now. however ^ if you look I typed Brian. I'm a 'tard.
"people always say how you should be yourself, like yourself is this definite thing...like a toaster or something, like you can know what it is even."

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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Apr 15th 2003, 2:56 am

lithiumkat wrote:Back to Rickies locker being decorated, I have also noticed that in one episode (can't remember which) there is a painted picture (from a magazine-I know cuz I used to have same pic I used to be obsessed w/ MJ) of Michael Jackson. I always thought that was kind of cool. I will have to look to see if hte lips are from RHPS I'm a huge fan of that movie too!
You can see both pictures in this episode - the lips are below the MJ picture.
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Post by lithiumkat » Apr 15th 2003, 5:43 am

ahh i've always been so amused by the mj pic i've never noticed...i'll have to go and look next time i watch. *lol* which probably wont be too long.
"people always say how you should be yourself, like yourself is this definite thing...like a toaster or something, like you can know what it is even."

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Post by Megs » Apr 15th 2003, 9:29 am

What is RHPS?
"I have all these dreams where I know exactly what to say. And you tell me, you know, that you forgive me."

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