Boston Public
Chapter Eighteen

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Finkel on his students: "I think Marla's done something with them."

In the hallway, in the light of dawn, Scott and Steven arrive for another day at school. Scott is telling Steven that the press is asking is they ever gave Christine any physicals. "Did we?" Scott says not to his knowledge. "But we don't give any of our athletes physicals if they don't have any symptoms." Steven points out that Christine was almost 300 pounds, and had no prior conditioning. Gee, when put like that, it sounds almost criminally negligent. Steven suggests that they talk to ex-Coach Kevin and see if he did clear her to wrestle in some way. Pause. Scott looks sheepish. Then he tells Steven that he fired Darren Scofield again. "What?" Scott hides behind metaphor: "He brandished an olive branch only to swat me with it! He has no intention…" Steven is, what's the word, incredulous that Scott would fire him a second time, and seems ready to crush Scott between his giant hands, but then Marla calls out to Steven from behind, and Scott escapes during the distraction. Steven turns to deal with Marla. "What is it? And what are you doing here on a Saturday?" It's a Saturday? What are Scott and Steven doing there on a Saturday? And why did she come here to find him? Reasonable questions about gaping plot holes aside, Marla says, "I think it's time for me to go. I'm resigning." Steven invites her to his office, and she says she doesn't want to go: "All you're gonna do is say, 'Teacher shortage,' and grab your big bald head." Heh. "Just because there's a shortage doesn't mean that unqualified people should be in that room." Good theory, Marla, except that we know Steven doesn't ascribe to it at all. The shortage, for example, is the only reason he didn't fire Harry Senate, and hasn't fired Harvey Lipschultz. So, there you go: keep teachin', Marla, janitor hatred or no janitor hatred. But Steven just tells her to meet him in his office in ten minutes, where he will no doubt simply grab his big bald head. He turns back around, only to find Ms. Roening on his other side. How does everybody know to find him here, in the hallway, on a Saturday? Doesn't he have a home? "I talked to my daughter again," says the Bus Lady. "She and her friends think it's…possible that you were being genuine." Did he seem not genuine to anyone in that scene? Bumbling and awkward, certainly, but he didn't seem at all sarcastic to me. Anyhow, she goes on, "With that possibility in mind, I came here to apologize for my reaction, which shouldn't be confused with my forgiving you for your abusive tirade." Oh, yeah, they're gonna get it on. This might as well be courtship in a Mae West film. Steven says he accepts her apology, and, for reasons I still can't quite fathom (his tone upon seeing her?) she says, "I didn't apologize yet. And I've decided not to, after all." She walks away.

In the hospital, Kevin, Marilyn, and Mr. Banks wait nervously. But there are no drums, so we know the doctors are done working on Christine. The doctor emerges, with kind of a crass and tasteless bloodstain down the front of his gown. He says, "Mr. Banks. I'm sorry. Her aorta ruptured. There was nothing we could do." Then he walks away, instead of staying to comfort more like Mark Greene would. Jerk.

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Boston Public

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