Boston Public
Chapter Eighteen

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

Back in Steven's office, Steven and Marla are finishing the conversation that was interrupted so rudely by Christine's death two days earlier. He tells her that if he thought she couldn't teach, he'd be the first one to pull her out. Which is so not true at this school, as we've seen time and time again, but he has to say something to make her feel better, because she's crazy. She says, "You're always the first one to give me another chance, Steven. Plus, with this teacher shortage and everything, my quitting now wouldn't look good. If that's what this is about…" Steven cuts her off, and gives her a little pep talk about instilling kids with the passion she has for education. She doubts that will happen. "Marla, a higher percentage of your kids will want to teach. You wait and see. And as for me, when I need my pilot light re-lit, who do you think I look to? I need you. In that room." I don't know what he's talking about. I've never seen him inspired by her before. But: whatever. He could give the exact same speech to Milton tomorrow, and we've have to just go with it.

The dungeon stairwell. Po'-lita and My-Fair-lita, side by side. "I can't believe he told you!" says Dana, opening the scene with a pinch of incredulity for seasoning. Lisa corrects her, "I told Harry. Kevin Martin ditched last week, and saw you." Dana thus deduces that some kids know, and Lisa confirms this. "Look," says the Shakespeare scholar, "I'm not big on advice. I don't like taking it, and giving it seems weird. But when I was caught with Milton, I heard what kids were saying about me. And Cheryl Holt's cartoons. It all hurt. The way I got through it, I knew what I was." Lisa has obviously not thought this through, because stripping for money is not quite the same as carrying on a relationship with a man you love when both of you are consenting adults. Po'-lita may be po', but she's not dumb, and she points this out: "What I'm doing, it's probably every bit as bad as they'll make it out to be." She says "out" like a Canadian. I'm just saying. Lisa, who has obviously picked up a rhetorical trick or two from Harry Senate, corners Dana: "Well, if you know that, then you know you have to stop." You know, it really doesn't seem like Lisa feels so weird giving advice.

You know what's weird about these two having a scene together? Because Dana and Harry were clearly supposed to be a bigger deal, in the pilot, but got downgraded to just-having-smooched after the show went to series, and then DEK brought in Lisa to have a real affair with Milton. So these two characters are kind of the same person, which makes it very unsettling in some fundamental way to actually have them talk to each other. Moving on.

Sanctum Anthonyhealdum. With rising incredulity, Kevin is saying, "I'm gonna be the fall guy here?" Scott says, no, no one is, it's just that the press is doggin' them, and they need to know if there were "any attempts to ascertain her health status?" No. "Did you see any signs of illness?" No. "Any indications she was not fit?" No. Okay, Kev, slow down with the "no"s right there. Indications that she wasn't fit? You mean, apart from weighing nearly 300 pounds? Other than that, no, she was fine. Kevin says, "If you'll excuse me, her funeral starts in an hour." An hour, eh? Well, I guess that's how long he'll need to get there, what with the lobotomy and all. On his way out, Kevin passes Steven in the doorway (there's a lot of passing in doorways on this show), and they exchange a curt, cold greeting. Steven asks Scott if he's going to the service, and Scott says, "Steven, um, I'm sorry about the cruise thing. It was silly." Steven says it wasn't silly. Scott says something about just wanting to get away, and Steven says, "Me and boats," and makes a "don't mix" gesture. Then he pins a mourning ribbon onto Scott's jacket for him. Wow, who's Steven going to end up with -- the Bus Lady or Scott? Steven tells Scott that Darren and Marla are both going to stay. Scott says, "Excellent."

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Boston Public

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