Okay, first we get a montage sequence of all the cheerleaders shot individually from the waist up, warming up and "dancing." Obviously, some editor thinks that if he makes a lot of quick cuts and inserts a shot of Nicole saying "five, six, seven, eight" really authoritatively, no one will notice that none of these girls is really dancing -- just waving their arms around to Madonna's Lucky Star. This sequence is scaring me for some reason. Maybe it's Brooke in her sports bra, smiling like someone's got a gun to her head. Maybe it's the way Mary Cherry is aggressively pursing her lips. Maybe it's just supposed to be intentionally irritating. Who knows? There's Carmen in the Novak, zipping up her Glamazons tracksuit and getting ready to join the rest of the girls and fulfill her life's destiny. She thanks someone off camera for supporting her all the way and promises not to sell out now that she's "got the dream." Looks like Carmen is moving up in the world because, for once, she is not delivering her monologue to a serving of snack food. She's actually talking to a couple of human beings. Sam and Lily are listening to her, perched on the circular thing in the middle of the Novak, leaning together lifelessly like Shields and Yarnell doing that marionette thing. "How do I look?" asked Carmen. "Sassy and sexy," says Lily. Webster's defines "sassy" as "marked by contemptuous or cocky boldness or disregard of others." Yeah, that's Carmen. Actually, I think that Lily just heard Roseanne and Nell Carter described as "sassy" so often that she just figured sassy is what you call a fat girl when she asks for a compliment, no matter how little "cocky boldness" that fat girl may have. Carmen is all excited about being able to say that she's "late for practice" and runs out. Lily asks Sam if it's too late to do an intervention. Interventions = late eighties/early nineties reference number 1. Carmen takes her place among the Glamazons. Carmen, rent Hairspray with Ricki Lake and let her show you how it's really done. You have no sense of rhythm whatsoever.
Credits. Why the hell are those parents still appearing in the opening credits while none of the Chess Club gets a nod?
Josh Ford's dining room. Josh's mother is lovingly gazing at photos of her sons in their football uniforms. Josh comes up behind her, and they start practically making out because they've got so much mother/son love going on. Josh and his mother discuss the play that Josh is in. Oh yeah, the play! "You can't hide the play from Dad forever," she says. Oh yeah? They've hidden the play from us, the viewers, for most of the season, so I say, why not? Josh's dad, now played by a totally different actor than earlier in the season, enters and tells his wife to get him his coffee, thus demonstrating what a bad, bad sexist man he is. Mr. Ford tells Josh that he has a friend who is a coach at Michigan who's having a recruitment dinner on Friday, and Josh had better be there. Josh and Mrs. Ford look at each other in barely contained horror, because Friday is the night of the play. Josh tries a myriad of excuses to get out of it, but Mr. Ford isn't having any of it. "Jean," says Mr. Ford gruffly. "Get me my breakfast." Okay, the woman who plays Mrs. Ford is a good enough actress, but I'm just not buying her for a second as the Allison Janney character in American Beauty, i.e. the long-suffering wife of a stuck-in-the-fifties, controlling sexist pig. Jean Ford looks like the kind of woman who, if you told her to get you breakfast, would just blithely ring for Consuela to fix it while she ran upstairs to change into a pair of jodhpurs for the fox hunt. Furthermore, for the household of a domineering testosterone-laden ex-football player, this house is looking way girly with all this ornate paneling and pseudo-Louis Quinze furniture.
Hallways of Kennedy High. Carmen is explaining to Sam what the best part of being a cheerleader is. "The all-you-can-eat buffet?" guesses Sam. Carmen sassily stuffs Sam into a locker. Oh wait, I was dreaming. In reality, Carmen just lets the insult slide and explains to Sam that getting to be a cheerleader is a self-esteem boost, like "natural Prozac." Carmen, try real Prozac. April Tuna, who is breaking my heart with her circa-1939 female drill-sergeant haircut and her aqua schoolteacher's blouse that ties in a bow at her collarbone, appears. She tells Sam that she's wanted in Principal Hall's office. Sam runs off to see what Principal Hall wants and April Tuna stars nervously chatting up Carmen. "What's your favorite color?" asks April, tingling with young love. "Green," answers Carmen. "Mine too!" says April. Carmen is kinda freaked out by April's crush on her and walks off to her next class. May Tuna appears at April's side like a feral beast and asks April what Carmen smelled like. "Teen Spirit!" answers April longingly. Smells Like Teen Spirit: late eighties/early nineties reference number 2.