Boston Public
Chapter Forty-One

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It's My Party, And I'll Bring A Twenty-Year-Old Former Student If I Want To

Moments later, at the table (it's hard to do a recap with no scene breaks, okay?), Steven ends up sitting next to Dana, where he makes an incidental reference to her running into Harry at Starbucks. "Is that what he said?" she says. "Is that what you said? It was our third date. I guess Harry doesn't want you to know that." Third date already? Wow, she's not Slow-lita anymore. Also, isn't this the magic date where sex is supposed to happen? Sars, isn't that, like, a law or something? ["My memory of dating/sex protocol is sadly faint at this late date, but yes, I believe De La Soul is correct in telling us that three is the magic number." -- Sars] Apparently, Ronnie knows this too, because she announces that the party is cancelled. For some reason, everyone objects, so she says, "Either shut up and eat, or the fun is over! Pass the food." Um…all of it, Ronnie?

A short while later, everyone appears to be eating. Dick Teachie says that the food is really good, and makes lame half-jokes about that being the reason that nobody's talking. Scott brings up Marla's name being on Steven's list for a replacement, Steven objects, and Scott says, "I don't want to discuss it." Then why did you bring it up, dude? Steven says, "Then why are you discussing it?" Yeah. Meredith notes that this is the way Scott addresses problems: with passive aggressiveness. Scott's all, "Maybe it's better to resort to old-fashioned aggressiveness, the kind used to beat students." Oh, yeah. Add "student beating" to the list of reasons Steven might want to leave Winslow. Lauren takes this moment to bring up her personality, which has been the subject of some criticism of late. Harvey asks, "Do you have one?" That sound you hear is a great cheer going up from the forums. Lauren asks the table point-blank: "Do I have a problem?" Everyone looks fastidiously away. "No. No, no, really, I would like to discuss this. We're all among friends here." Steven says, "I think your personality's fine. Scott?" Scott says, "Me? Oh, uh…I've always found you to be, um…" "Elegant," supplies Meredith. "Shut up." Steven says this conversation isn't going to get them anywhere, and Scott seizes on this as an excuse to make a running-when-things-get-tough dig. Steven leaves the table, and asks Scott to follow him. They go. The Exposition Fairy suggests that they not discuss school business, and Ronnie obliges: "So, Dana. What's it like to be twenty and dating? Is it hard to find good men, your own age?" Marilyn suggests they all get up and dance, mostly because she's barely said anything, not having a bizarre emotional history with anyone else at the table (though she may have a future with Dick Teachie…more on that later). Harvey objects because they haven't had cake yet, so Ronnie gets up, grabs the cake, sings a quick "Happy Birthday," and drops it heavily in front of Harry. I thought she was going to go for the old cake-in-the-lap, or maybe even the cake-in-the-face. But she, um…didn't.

On the Delineation Balcony, Scott and Steven are having it out. Scott notes that Steven called his application to Exeter the previous year a "betrayal," so how could he apply somewhere else without telling Scott? Steven points out that he hasn't formally applied. Also, he suggests -- rightly -- that Scott is mainly angry because of Marla being his choice to replace himself, though he tells Scott that he was on the list, too. "Oh, wonderful. I made the list. Yeah, I don't know why I'm so shocked. You made it perfectly clear last year that you don't consider me headmaster material." And if anyone still needs proof, by the way, that Anthony Heald is a fantastic actor, get a load of the incredibly quick take he does to the windows when he says this line, perfectly combining a clear desire to make this point with an equally strong desire to make sure that no one else at the party hears him say this. If you've got this on tape, check it out; it's masterful. Steven reminds Scott that what he really said is that he thought Scott would someday make a great headmaster, but that he wasn't there yet, and that this has not been his best year. He proceeds to make a list similar to the one I made above, except that it lists only Scott's recent follies. It's still pretty long, though ("…then you try to cancel the school play on account of it being too gay…" Hey, what ever happened to that play?), and it ends with an operatic account of the ridiculousness of Scott's relationship with Meredith, which includes the phrase "certifiable wacko" and the word "psychopath," and which, naturally, Meredith emerges onto the balcony to hear. Scott and Steven see her. Steven's all, "Oh, great." Scott leaves the balcony. Steven tries to follow, and Meredith says, "When I'm done getting even with Scott Guber, you can be sure I'm coming after you, Steven." Steven's all, "Hey lady. Bring it on." She's all, "It's already been broughten." Kidding. Hey, didn't they set up a whole bunch of mystery earlier in the season about the death of Jeremy's father? Oh, well -- guess DEK changed his mind about that arc.

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Boston Public

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