Opening credits. I was hoping they'd splice in The Practice credits, and mix the two together, but no such luck. Mainly, I just wanted different music, but again, no such luck. Instead, we keep the "tune" that has helped make these opening credits into my recurring nightmarish fever dream. Hooray.
The school at night. The vice-office. Scott "Anthony Heald" Guber is here, listening to classical music (I'm pretty sure it's Mozart's "The Magic Flute") and going over some paperwork. Steven sticks his head in and tells Scott it's time to go home. "I want to be prepared. Susan says the judge may ask me questions. I need to be clear on what Mr. Riley knew and when he knew it." Good for you, except what stack of paper is going to contain that kind of information? Steven's about to go, but hesitates: "Well. I understand the decision to terminate Kevin Riley, and I agree with it, but I think you should have conferred with me, first." Scott asks if this has been bothering Steven. No, Scott, it hasn't, that's why he's in your office at midnight bringing it up. Anyway, Scott explains that "I never meant to usurp your authority, Steven, but I know that Kevin Riley was a friend, and I think that I felt I was sparing you from an awkward encounter." This is obviously a lie, and so I'm a little gratified when Steven starts to leave again, and then sticks his head back in and says, "Scott, you know, that just isn't true, it isn't. You fired him ten seconds after you found out he knew about Milton and the girl, you didn't have time to consider my friendship with him." Scott says, "This feels accusatory," which is the understatement of the year, because they're both about to start yelling. Steven notes that Scott also went around him when he tried to fire Harvey Lipschultz, which Scott denies, at which point Steven yells, "I am the principal of this school Scott! Don't you forget it!" Then he tries to walk away, but even though Anthony Heald is one third of Chi McBride's size, and Scott Guber strikes me as a physical coward, he levels his voice and says, to Steven's retreating back, "I only step in when you forget it." Screech. Turn. "I beg your pardon? Do you have something to say?" Scott, it turns out, does have something to say: "You would have found a way to keep Milton Buttle, you never would have fired Kevin Riley, you don't like making hard decisions, Steven, especially when it involves your friends." Yes, Steven is so different from the rest of us, who love making hard decisions, particularly ones having to do with our friends' jobs. Steven says, "I am capable of firing anybody, Scott. Trust me." Which is a threat. "Is that a threat?" says Scott. Steven says that it's information. Potato, po-tah-to. Scott says that, yes, Steven will stand up for himself, but "where the hell were you to stand up for Dana Poole and Lisa Greer. I only throw myself into these situations to save you the time it takes to page me. I do your dirty work. And we both know it." Wow. Good scene. And they fight for the rest of the episode, too.