Mr. Senate enters the dungeon. Now, thus far, this show has been riddled with vaguely implausible events and decisions. But this scene, or at least its aftermath, will go down in history as the least realistic series of events ever depicted on television, including the Sci-Fi Network and Murder, She Wrote. The students are misbehaving, but they all sit down and shut up when Mr. Senate takes off his jacket to reveal that he's packing heat. Wow, is he some kind of cracker? I hope he doesn't get exalted for this, and realizes there's a virtue to not carrying firearms. Anyway, he's all, "What's up? Wow, everyone got really quiet. What's the deal? It's not this is it? What? This you respect? Mr. Scott, tell me why'd you get quiet for this?" A slow pan across the students reveals the least threatening bunch of teenagers I have ever seen. Mr. Scott, by the way, knows that brevity is the soul of wit: "'Cause that can kill me." Bwa ha ha! Anyway, Mr. Senate must now deliver a really dumb speech: "You respect that. And we like seeing people get popped, don't we. My favorite movie, The Godfather, even the good guys go around shooting each other in the head. Same thing with The Sopranos. 'Hey Tony, yeah, pop.' That's entertainment, it brings us pleasure. Even the word, 'gun.' It's got a pretty good sound to it, doesn't it? I mean, phonetically it sounds tight, doesn't it?" I could do something really ribald with that remark, and my theory as to why Mr. Senate relishes it so much, but I won't. He goes on, "Gun, pop, boom, dead. Best words got one syllable, and it works out well for you, 'cause that's about all you guys can spell. I tell you what, let's sound it out. Everybody say 'gun.' All together." He exhorts the kids until they are chanting the word gun over and over and over, louder and louder. At the height of their frenzy, he -- oh god, I can't even recap this stupid crap -- he FIRES the GUN at the wall several times. The kids cower under their desks, weeping. Mr. Senate has, I guess, made some kind of point, or something. Oh, here it is: "Aren't these things cool? You can use them to kill a fellow classmate, or you could even shoot a teacher. You guys really know what to respect. I want you to stay on the ground until I tell you to get up."
Commercial break, during which we will discuss some of what's wrong with that last scene. Let's place aside the obvious: that no teacher would ever bring a real gun to his classroom, or use it to terrorize his students, just to make a point. (The fact that he does not get fired, let alone arrested, for this, we'll also choose to ignore, at least for now.) And, furthermore, let's place aside that he's making this point to kids whose behavior doesn't suggest that they need it, as the worst we've seen them do is blatantly not pay attention, and the worst we've heard of them doing is throwing spitballs. I mean, if these are the worst kids at the school, then this show is beyond cowardly, too afraid to show any student as truly dangerous or actually beyond hope, because my God does it ever get that bad in real classrooms. Unless this really does take place in the fifties. Does it? But let's place all of that aside and concentrate on the actual message that Mr. Senate is trying to get across. If these are, as the show seems to want us to believe, "desegs" being bussed in from a dangerous urban area, then theirs is not a fascination with violence born of media portrayals that make it look cool. Violence is a reality of their daily lives. They respect guns not because they get a kick out of The Sopranos, but more likely because they've seen friends get shot. That's why they cower and weep when you fire the thing, idiot. That's why they don't cheer at how cool you are instead. And, by the way, moron, make up your mind. Are you chastising them for finding guns entertaining, or taking them to task for only respecting the threat of violence? Because those messages contradict each other: people who respect guns don't think they're cool, and people who think guns are cool aren't really respecting them. You can't accuse people of both at the same time. And, frankly, what's wrong with respecting guns because they can kill you? So, quite apart from the Herculean suspension of disbelief required to buy his actions, nothing Mr. Senate says makes any sense either. Basically, Mr. Senate, shut up. ("David, I'm wearing that lingerie you like. Just have him fire the gun, and talk about The Godfather." "You're a genius, dear. Give me those handcuffs.")