Boston Public
Chapter Thirteen

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Fyvush Finkel's only damn line: "I don't go to Doyle's much."

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.

The next morning. Snow around the school. In the teacher's lounge, Tina, coach of Winslow High's sexy cheer-litas, is chatting with another young female teacher we've never seen before. I mean, we've never seen her before, have we? Did I miss it? The way she's written into this episode suggests that we're supposed to know who she is already, but I don't remember her, and I've been paying fairly close attention. Anyway, they're talking about Kevin getting fired, and how ridiculous it is, given all the people who have been guilty of far more egregious transgressions thus far this season and still have their jobs. Such as Harry Senate. But, oops, Lauren comes into the lounge just in time to overhear this random new woman saying, "You know, Harry Senate shoots off a gun and he stays. Kevin Riley keeps the confidence of a friend and they show him the door. What I want to know is who did Harry's parole officer go down on here to get him special treatment." Lauren, head in the fridge, nevertheless catches this last part, and perks up a bit. "What are you talking about?" Random New Woman Teacher is all, "Oh, the usual. Just how the school is going to hell because the idiots in administration are the dumber kind of idiots." But Lauren wants to know what they were saying about Harry, and when she gets persistent, New Woman says, "With all due respect to your relationship with Harry, I can criticize him if I choose to." This is true pretty much irrespective of any other mitigating factors; this woman, whoever she is, can criticize whomever she wants to criticize. But Lauren's all, "Oh? And why is that?" So that Random New Woman Teacher can say, "'Cause I been there." And walk out. I'm guessing she doesn't mean that she's been criticized, which is what, grammatically, her reply actually suggests. I'm assuming she means that she's been there, in Harry's bed, having sexual intercourse with him. Tina turns to Lauren, semi-apologetically: "She's a bitch. I admit it. But she's good company."

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Boston Public

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