Twelve places at once, Kameelah turns up next in Syrus's room, with Syrus screaming something nonsensical about not giving a damn. She quite calmly demands, "First of all, I am not Montana. And you won't talk to me like you spoke to Montana." He offers the coldest of cold comfort in telling Kameelah that he was really starting to like her, and she smiles broadly and offers a fake-sincere, "Oh, really?" Because his teflon social cachet around the house is of the utmost importance to her these days. He expresses his feeling that he is "thoroughly upset," and we cut outside to Syrus finally telling it like he sees it, informing the unholy trinity of Bohunk, Claire, and Jane: "All my female roommates are bitches. Except for the blonde girl." Jane smiles. 'Cause curse words and being on TV are real funny, like.
Cut to the following morning in the kitchen of the firehouse where, under the harsh light of day, everything is, in effect, exactly the same. The central conflict having been resolved off camera for a change (Syrus: "I apologized to Kameelah this morning."), Syrus rather mildly apologizes to Montana and then calls her a bitch again in a confessional, and Montana accepts his apology and then tells us in a confessional that his apologies don't mean crap. So, now at the other end of this riveting conflict, Syrus awkwardly attempts to leap head first into small-talk, asking Montana, "Did you do something to your hair? Did you cut your hair? It looks different." And I know he didn't do it on purpose, but you've got to give Syrus credit for staring his Public Bitch #1 right in the face and pointing out, so inadvertently, that no matter how much his social reputation is being hitched to an ox cart and pulled though miles of shit during his perpetually deteriorating fifteen minutes, he will never, ever have spent five and a half months on nationally-televised cable television sporting those bangs.
Over the icy river and through the frost-encrusted woods, six subways, three buses and nine miles of uphill (both ways!) cross-country skiing through thick brush which only a native Sherpa can successfully navigate, to the CCC we go. Elka (who, astonishingly, disappears halfway through this scene) sits next to a young girl named "Pilar," both of whom sit across the table from Genesis, Elka, and a girl with glasses named "Jessica." Pilar observes, apropos of nothing but the producer's most immediate whims, that "Michael Jackson is gay." Excuse me, did someone just bring up a hot button issue? Could it be that a Very Special Real World has begun? Let the healing begin! Jessica invokes Ellen's unholy name, informing the crowd that she used to be a rather big fan of her sitcom, but she is not allowed to watch it anymore. "But we do watch Home Improvement!" Wait. I thought it was her mother's intent to AVOID gays on television. Meanwhile, somewhere in Santa Monica, JTT looks worriedly up at the television, only briefly taking his eyes off the Christmas present for Danny Pintauro he's wrapping in old copies of every tabloid newspaper the poor kid had already sued by the time he turned eighteen. But I'm saying, y'know, maybe Jessica's mom will be requiring a more comprehensive screening process from now on in. Again, I'm just sayin'.