Welcome to the recap of the second episode, in which Sam suffers from severe sinus congestion, and snits are had by all.
The first scene opens with Sam making a phone call from a pay phone at school. A caption floats prettily across the screen: "Thursday." One day (in TV time) has elapsed since last we saw our loving friends at Kennedy High. Sam is speaking pleadingly into the phone, "Are you there? If you’re there, pick up, okay?" After a minute or two of this, she hangs up, gives a loose approximation of looking worried, and flounces off down the hall.
Cut to a scary close-up of Freddie Gong saying almost gleefully, "I heard she dropped out because she couldn’t bear the sheer humiliation after the skank ho cheerleaders bagged her ass." Ew! Did he actually spray when he was talking? A random girl interjects that she heard that Josh and Brooke broke up because he tried out for the school musical. With a disdainful "this school is trippin’" (um, thanks for that, Walter Cronkite), she sweeps out of the scene, leaving Freddie alone with his shiny-ass forehead and excess of saliva.
Cut to Sam and Little Big Head walking down the hall. Sam is talking about how worried she is that Carmen isn’t responding to her (very annoying) phone messages. Little Big Head turns her sad clown eyes towards Sam and says, "Pain is pain, Sam, and there’s no worse feeling than being invisible." Sam rambles on about how guilty she feels about Carmen’s not making the team. She wonders aloud if things might have been different if she had put aside her journalistic objectivity and actually spoken up to Brooke on C’s behalf. Little Big Head says, "Yeah, well, I guess you’ll never know, will you?" Ouch! I didn’t know a person that small could look that smug. LBH snits off, leaving Sam standing in the middle of the hall with her mouth gaping like a dead fish. It is here that I notice that Sam is wearing enough lip gloss to patch a tire.
Cut to Brooke and Smug Bitch walking up the stairs. All the other students give them the royal stink-eye, and we overhear someone say "I can’t believe what they did to Carmen" as SB tries to engage Brooke in yet another inane conversation about fingernail polish. Brooke, to her credit, looks utterly uncomfortable, and has a hard time concentrating on her nitwit friend. Oh, yeah - as they walk, Smug Bitch keeps snapping at random passersby like an ill-tempered dog. After several unsuccessful attempts at engaging Brooke in manicure talk, SB decides that it’s time to stick her big ol’ nose into Brooke’s sex life again, with a very tactful (not), "So, was this fight pre- or post-sexual healing?" Brooke stammers that the fight occurred "post-sexual healing," and goes on to whine about how shocked she is that Josh tried out for the musical in secret. As if any inhabitant of this hellish world with half a whit of sense would broadcast the news that he was about to lay waste to the accepted social order. Smug Bitch declares that "he’s bringing our rep down," and advises Brooke to "withhold feminine favor" until he quits the musical. Brooke continues to look miserable, as well she should, since she and Josh are really more chaste than a pair of nuns on Sunday. SB spies a hapless fashion victim lounging by a locker and leaps on her like Gary Oldman on speed, shouting, "Listen up, mouth breather! You run and tell all your little Ross Dress For Less friends that acid wash isn’t coming back!" A significant percentage of my wardrobe is straight off the Ross Dress For Less bargain rack -- just another reason to hope that Smug Bitch gets kidnapped by the circus and forced to wear the Hooker Clown costume while stuffed into the trunk of the clown car. Brooke calls SB off of the mouth breather. SB snits off down the hall with a horrified Brooke in her wake. Why is anyone friends with this demented freak? Smug Bitch smoothes her pencil-drawn eyebrow and says, "What is up with people today?" Oh, I don’t know, SB; maybe they’ve all switched to decaf and realized what a total psycho you are. Brooke says that it’s because of Carmen, then says she’s canceling her party. Smug Bitch gets a disturbingly coy look on her face, and tells Brooke that having the party is the best way to smooth things over with Josh. Brooke, of course, buys this line of crapola hook, line, and sinker.
And cut to an ad for Glamour Shots - I mean, the credits. All the actors are dressed up in fashion clothes, with piles of makeup (yes, even the boys), and smiling like candidates for political office. There’s even one of those big fans going, blowing their hair around, plus a backdrop of shiny blue cloth that shimmers around in the hurricane fan. I could wax intellectual here and make a lot of statements about the postmodern nature of the credits sequence, the way that the show acknowledges its own artifice, the relationship between the viewer and the actor, etc. But I’d much rather eat another corn dog and try to figure out whether the show’s lip gloss budget is higher than my rent. I think that it is.