Props holding steady for Sars and Kim. Props, also, to Omar, to whom I forgot to give props in the Survivor recap Glark and I wrote. Omar rules all!
The voice-over of Angela "Davis" Chase muses, "Maybe teachers have a hidden life." She continues over shots of various teachers going through various mundane, teacherly activities -- erasing a blackboard, putting quizzes into piles, struggling to pull down one of those rolled-up maps: "Where they're actually...like, human. Where they have, I don't know, dignity. Or maybe not."
Cut to a classroom full of kids goofing off. Three students walk in wielding a boom box, which is on and blasting some bass-heavy R&B-ish track. "The Voluptuous Horror of" Sharon Cherski giggles as some girl braids her hair. Others draw rude caricatures on the board or play cards. "King Hussein of" Jordan Catalano sleeps with his head on his desk, amid all the noise. Brian "Bumble" Krakow reads, bitterly. Presently the classroom door opens and in walks Robin Colcord, Rebecca's rich boyfriend on Cheers, with a toothpick inexplicably clamped in his teeth. Unless this is Film Appreciation class and he's about to give a lecture as the late Jimmy Cagney, there's no excuse for that. Anyway, no one pays him any attention. He drops his knapsack on the desk, and then sits on it (the desk, not the knapsack). He discards his first toothpick of the episode and takes a box out of his pocket to install another, but not before offering one to Angela and Brian, the only people in the room who appear to have noticed he's there. Reluctantly, the students start taking their seats. The owner of the boom box turns it off and exhorts Mr. Colcord to "speak up, bro!" Another student in a plaid jacket informs Boom Box that Mr. Colcord was offering toothpicks. "Toothpick!" repeats Boom Box, and cracks up. Wait, did I miss the moment in the opening montage when this student was shown with a bong? Or maybe I need one, because I fail to see the humour inherent in the word. As various students continue to fidget, Mr. Colcord strolls over to the window. Plaid Jacket (who brought Boom Box up to speed in re the proffered toothpick) asks Mr. Colcord, "So why are you here? You the new substitute?" "Why am I here? Good question," drawls Mr. Colcord. Oh, lord; he's one of those "challenging" teachers who's all fired up about treating students like adults -- or according to his impression of teenagers' impressions of adulthood. We've all seen Dead Poets Society, right? Well, slap about fifty pounds of hair on Robin Colcord's back and it's "O Captain, My Captain" time. He confirms, in some weird, flat, American accent -- Brooklyn by way of Cardiff, I guess -- that he is the new substitute (so this must be the infamous English Class of Rotating Instructors; so long, Mr. McSoulPatch!); that he is there "simply to get paid" (which earns him a round of rueful chuckles from the students); and that as long as they can all read (not so fast, Catalano!), he doesn't foresee any major problems. With that, he pulls a folded newspaper out of his knapsack and makes to read it, snotting at his students that they may "continue wasting [their] lives."