Where was I? Oh yes, Grace is pontificating to her class. She lists a long string of bad things caused by religious extremism, and asks them to consider the question, "Would we be better off if [religion] had simply never existed? Okay, we're going to talk more about this next time." Hmm, I think that "we" should read "I," and that "talk" should read "harangue." As the students all get up to leave, a young woman in a head scarf approaches Grace. The student starts by telling Grace how much she enjoyed the lecture, and then suggests to Grace that perhaps the presentation was a bit one-sided. Grace takes affront at the notion that she has any kind of bias in her teaching, but tells the student (whose name may have been Hebba or Heppa or Hibba -- I'll stick with Hebba, I think) that she has raised an interesting point, and that Grace will address it in the next class. Through this entire discussion, Bradley Cooper looks on with interest. After Hebba leaves, he tells Grace that he's impressed by her flexibility. She demonstrates more of that flexibility by suggesting that anyone who believes in God is crazy.
Commercials. Does anyone really need to hear Clay Aiken sing a song that wasn't good enough to be included in the original release of Aladdin? (That one's not a joke, but still, save your emails.)
High-school classroom. Jack's Chemistry teacher is handing back the mid-terms, reminding everyone that it makes up forty percent of their grade. Shouldn't a mid-term be happening, I don't know, in the middle of the year? Coltney is proud of her A-, while Jack shows off his C+. Jack tells Coltney that Marcus will have aced the test, but as the teacher hands it back to him, we can see that he got a D-, and she tells him he needs to have his parents sign it. Pressed for an explanation by Jack, Marcus tells him that it was just one of those things. As the class is dismissed, Jack tells Coltney that he's worried about Marcus. She reminds Jack that he said earlier that Marcus was all right, and observes that Jack should maybe work on his "perceptiveness." "Yeah, thanks for the tip." And by "tip," Jack means "insult." (I'm just here to translate, folks.) This time it's Jack's turn to stomp off, as Coltney just stands there. In an empty classroom.
University lecture hall. Grace is telling the class that she wants to address a concern raised by a student, and then she identifies Hebba as that student. Grace basically blows off Hebba's concern, claiming (with the help of an ass-kissing ass kisser named, not improbably, "Bryce") that she is entitled to a presumption of objectivity because she's their teacher. Grace equates religion with fascism (yes, seriously), and then addresses Hebba directly as she tells her that because she's a student, she should be questioning all of her long-held beliefs. Grace basically tells her that until she opens her mind to the idea that her religion is false (if not outright evil), she will not be a worthwhile scholar. I have to say, Christine Lahti is generally a fine actress. But when she delivers these long lectures, she sounds like a high-school kid reading a speech at the Voice of Democracy competition. (And not the kid who came in first place. The kid who got an honorable mention.) She overenunciates certain words, and puts stress on the weirdest places. Hebba is understandably upset at being singled out, and she walks out of the classroom. Grace piles on even more, as she tells the rest of the class that "this is not a polemic, people, this is a dialectic. To participate, you gotta stay in the room." She would be a little more believable if we ever saw her engaging in dialogue with her students instead of just lecturing at them.