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The News Of My Death Has Been Greatly Exaggerated

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Gustave: B | Grade It Now!
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Tuna 69

Hallway. The camera sweeps past Calamity's sign-up sheet, which says "Good Grief!" at the top of it, and lands on Lily and Josh, who are having a heated discussion about Josh's haircut. "Face the music, Billy Ray Cyrus," says Lily. "You have a mullet!" Josh denies this and stomps off. Then there's this parody of an eighties hair-band anthem playing in the background called, "It's My Hair!" Hee! I cannot tell you how much more tolerable I find Lily when she's acting like a normal bitchy teenage girl and not doing her pious teen schtick.

Back in the Novak, Sam is doing a web search on her Powerbook for Nicole. Apparently, Sam is so smart that she's the only Kennedy student who knows how to surf the internet. In return, Nicole has promised to deliver April Tuna's eulogy at her memorial. While Sam waits for some information to "download," she tells Nicole that she's in denial. Nicole points out that there was no death certificate filed in Fontana for her mother, and explains that the heart-shaped brooch that the lunch lady wears is identical to the one pinned her diaper when she was abandoned in the Fontana greasy spoon. "I think she's wearing the mate as a signal. She's identifying herself and waiting for me to make the first move." Okay, did it occur to the writers to plant the story about the brooch in a previous episode during one of those discussions between Nicole and her mother so it didn't seem so abruptly tacked on? Now that the information has "downloaded," Sam concludes that there is no death certificate for a Shaggy Louise Grout in the entire state of California, and "it is possible" that she changed her name to Mary Lou Parker. What kind of a website tells you that it's "possible" that someone changed their name? Either they do or they don't, right? The fuck? Unfortunately, there is no Mary Lou Parker listed anywhere, so they can't check any further. "But I know she's my mother," whines Nicole.

And, hey, while we're delivering unlikely online scenarios, here's another. Somehow, three emails that Harrison sent while he was in the hospital ended up in Sam's inbox. One is for Sam. One is for his mother. The third is for Nicole. Don't ask. The one to Sam is a love letter that he wrote thinking he was going to die. Harrison thought he was going to die? When was this? I have no recollection of that plot line. None whatsoever. Leukemia? What's that? The lights dim as Sam reads the email and Spandau Ballet's "True" comes over the soundtrack. "I wish I could hold you when life is hard and no one seems to understand," says Harrison over the Spandau Ballet tune -- which I guess is a shout-out to my favorite nineties pop song, PM Dawn's "You Send Me," which features rapping against a Spandau Ballet sample. "I love you. I love you," he continues. "I don't want to go to my grave without telling you how I feel. I love you, Sam. I know this much is true." There's more, but I'm trying to keep my dinner down. Sam is devastated. "Okay," says Nicole. "What did he say about me?" I love Nicole!

After the commercial break, Nicole is in the hallway, blown away by the email that Harrison didn't send. Sam enters and tries to comfort Nicole, because apparently the email to her was pretty nasty -- obviously it was written before Nicole donated her bone marrow to save Harrison's life. Nicole is upset and tries to brush Sam off. "How does it feel to never lose, Sam? To always come out on top?" says Nicole bitterly, bringing it all back to Sam. As if Sam ever needs help bringing it all back to her. "I am not happy about what he said about me," says Sam, bringing it even further back to her. She vows to talk to him. As if Nicole cares about any of this? Why approach her to tell her this? Nicole vows to have a talk with him, too. She stomps off. Fat-girl-with-bad-skin placard walks by with a t-shirt that says, "Anger."

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