Coffeehouse. Tobey's friends hail him from a table; Tobey waves back, then tells Jack to "pick [his] poison -- regular or decaf," but Jack is shooting a look of obvious dismay over Tobey's shoulder at the friends, and he asks Tobey, "Can I talk to you?" Uh oh -- does anyone else smell smoke? Jack pulls Tobey aside and grunts that Tobey didn't tell him they "were meeting another couple." How he knows it's a couple, I have no idea, but whatever -- Tobey stammers that he "didn't think it was important." Jack says that "it kind of is," that it's late on Saturday night and Tobey wants him to meet his friends: "I'm beginning to think this is more than just coffee to you. Is it?" Tobey looks like he might cry, then recovers to say that he'd really "like it if it were." Jack stifles a bitter laugh before asking if Tobey started "the tutoring thing" because of him. Tobey grudgingly admits that possibly it's "part of the reason" and he thought that "it was something we could do together." Jack sourly confirms that Tobey's whole friendship line "was just a set-up to be with me." Oh, lighten up, Jack. Tobey makes the mistake of admitting that Jen told him to pursue the friendship angle, and Jack says that friendship is "fine," but he wants to make it clear "that there's not gonna be anything more, ever." Then Bart frame-by-frames through the shot and we see Ralph Wiggums's heart breaking apart in his chest. Then Tobey asks in a stricken tone, "Why not?" Jack says, not quite believing that Tobey doesn't get it, that they "don't click," and even if Tobey wanted to change that, he can't. Tobey hopes desperately for a hole to open up and swallow him. Jack sees this, grimaces in sympathy, and says he knows it won't make Tobey feel better, but he really does "wish [they] had something." Ouch. As the flames rise higher, Jack thinks aloud that maybe it's not such a great idea for them both to keep on with the tutoring; Tobey tells Jack that he's "great at it," and he should keep going, so Tobey will "find something else." Then Jack retracts the statement and tells Tobey to forget he said that -- there's no reason they can't both continue tutoring, as long as Tobey doesn't have a problem with them staying just friends. "I'm fine," Tobey lies valiantly, the frames of his glasses beginning to melt. "That's fine." Jack says he'll see him next Saturday, and leaves. Tobey collapses in a pile of ash.
Episode Report CardSars: C+ | 399 USERS: B-
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