Smallville
Hothead

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Omar G: B- | Grade It Now!
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I'm Your Firestarter!

Locker room. I pause, and my Closed Captioning reads "Whoo" four times across the screen at once as the players rush in. Helmets are banged. One of the "Whoo"s is replaced with a "Yeah!" Coach interrupts the reverie to say, "There is another team eating crow tonight, gentlemen!" Ew. So the other team is eating them? What kind of sick, twisted, cannibalistic Midwest jargon is this? Coach begins to say how important next week's game is, but Jocko interrupts and lets everyone know, by way of dramatic exposition, that it's going to put them in the state championship and will be Wonder Coach's 200th win. Jocko Whitney has a perfect, neat clot of dirt on his cheek. When he was in a truck wreck, he had a slim, neat cut across his cheek. Jocko is all about having his cheeks properly accessorized. We get a ceiling-shot of the Smallville Crows logo on the floor -- a red circle with a black crow. How inspired. All the players put in their fists and chant, "Coach Walt!"

The Creepy Music of Impending X-Files-isms plays as we pan across Wonder Coach's office and then to a sauna with a sign that says "Sauna." A plaque next to the "Sauna" reads, "Walt's Private Sweat Box. From the alumni association in recognition of twenty years of dedicated service." Inside, a hand ladles water over a bunch of nasty, porous-looking rocks. They steam up a nasty green cloud, which JUST. ISN'T. HEALTHY. How can he not notice that? Instead, Wonder Coach leans in and takes a deep breath, as if he's in the Halls of Medicine. The fat, bloated, puffy, rotty, corpulent body that is Wonder Coach takes a seat, with yellow towels blessedly wrapped around his neck and his genitalia. As he sighs repeatedly, we zoom in on the creepy rocks. So much so that we go, Fight Club-style, into the rocks to see the glowing kryptonite within. Is there kryptonite in the house? Then I think we'll have this week's mutated villain soon. There's a knock on the door. Wonder Coach invites in whomever it is. A youngish, snappily dressed man of the Asian persuasion steps through the sauna door. "Principal Kwan," Wonder Coach introduces. I can't decide if I should make a joke about Michelle Kwan, the figure skater, or about how "kwan" meant "coin" in Jerry Maguire. What do you, the readers at home, think? Feel free to make up your own joke for this space. Coach asks what brings the principal to the Sweat Box. I really wish he wouldn't call it that. "We've got a problem, coach," Principal Smooth says, and he reminds me of B.D. Wong from Oz. His suit even has a white collar that makes him look a little like a priest.

Principal's office. Ooh, you in trouble! Football players have been cheating. Shocking! Seven players, Principal Smooth reveals, cheated on a math midterm. Smooth says that the players will be ineligible to play in the next game. Coach suggests they keep it quiet for a few weeks and deal with it in the off-season. But Principal Smooth is also Principal Principled. He won't let an academic infraction get swept under the rug. I see now that he's wearing a sweater over his shirt and tie, and I lost about a third of a percentage point of respect for the man. It is at this point that Wonder Coach begins to lord over his domain. He says he's been there twenty-five years -- unlike the principal, who's only been around for six months. "We're not just talking about a game; we're talking about my legacy," Coach says. Smooth responds, smoothly, "I don't care about your legacy. I'm here to educate young people." Okay, he got the percentage back. Coach really loses it here and starts yelling about how many young men he's educated who've gone on to get great jobs as used-car salesmen and real-estate agents. Here's how smooth Principal Smooth is: "I know most people think you walk on water, Coach. But I think you're dangerous." A principal with balls. Who knew? Coach grimaces mightily. As he walks out, Principal Smooth says he's suspending the players on Monday, end of story. Wonder Coach -- who's wearing a symbolic red terrycloth robe -- gets mad and throws his towel on his desk. WHOOSH! A plume of flame spreads across the desk. The camera pans back to reveal Wonder Coach looking at the fire in horror, all, Did I do that? A miniature set of football players is engulfed (how many times you wanna bet I use the word "engulfed" in this recap?) by flames. The Coach reacts in horror at seeing a huge poster of himself on the wall equally eaten up by the fire. We black out on Wonder Coach, horrified at his own firebugness.

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