The Harbor School. Dylan McKay puts up a banner for the Kickoff Carnival. Marissa uncomfortably enters a classroom and looks over to see a cackling Holly gossiping about Marissa's Vicodin overdose with a group of girls.
The bell rings, and we get a shot of a herd of people full-on running through the hallway. Maybe it's the Kickoff 5K? Random.
Meanwhile, Ryan has entered a different classroom to find Luke already there. He awkwardly sits down. They look at each other.
The Dean's Den. We join the conversation as Dr. Kim insists that Marissa is not quitting her post as social chair! She was elected by the students and has held the post for two years! Marissa explains that she knows all of this, but that things changed during the summer. Dr. Kim sympathizes, but insists that Marissa is a leader at the school and that doesn't have to change. She claims that Marissa is a "wonderful example" to her fellow students (what with all the cigarette-stealing and all) who look up to her. "Not anymore, they don't," Marissa responds. Dr. Kim puts aside the issue of how giving up extracurricular responsibilities will affect Marissa's college transcript and gets to the life lesson: "People are always going to talk. May as well give 'em sumpin' good to talk about." And would a Dean really say "sumpin'"? Marissa smells the fart as Dean Kim insists that she can't disappear, because this is her school, her life, and her future.
Outside, Anna and Seth approach a reading Ryan, who complains that they never told him about summer reading. Seth asks who does summer reading, and Ryan responds, "Apparently everyone in my class." Seth's all, "Oh. Yeah. Sorry about that one." He reveals that Anna has convinced him to join The Plank, the school's literary magazine. She explains that she needs an extracurricular activity, "and apparently you don't have to wear a sports bra to be on the lit mag." Seth adds, "See? It's appealing on many levels." And also, he feels he has "a few limericks that are ready to be shared with the world." Ryan explains that he's going to hang out with Marissa. As they leave, Seth suggests that school might not suck this year, after all.
Marissa shows up and announces that she's changed her mind and decided to plan the "carnival thing." Ryan looks confused as she explains that, since talking to the Dean, she thinks getting re-involved in school might not be a bad idea. She knows it sounds lame, and Ryan sweetly says it's cool. Marissa asks if they can reschedule, and suggests the carnival, promising to save him a ride on the ferris wheel. He quickly responds, "No ferris wheels. I don't....I don't do...heights." He says they'll figure something out. Marissa starts to ask if he's sure it's okay, and he cuts her off to say that he's got a lot of reading to do, "like five hundred years of it." After Marissa leaves, promising to see him soon, Ryan looks at the ground, then at a bunch of students milling around, then at a girl in desperate need of a trim (and might as well throw in a hot-oil treatment while she's at the salon) cramming her tongue down a random boy's throat. Commercial. Weird.