Undeclared
The Perfect Date

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The Perfect Date

Steven turns to Hal for advice. I know, I know, he probably shouldn't bother. But Steven never listens to our warnings. "Your mom and I still fight," Hal says. "Hell, we even get it on every once in a while!" Steven nods uncomfortably. He knows it's true. It happened in his bed. He had to burn the sheets. Then he burned the replacement sheets for good measure. Steven, of course, also isn't heartened to hear stories of a dysfunctional yet neverending relationship. Hal cottons to this and tries to reassure Steven that he's got to be a better boyfriend than Eric. "Hell, you've got the Karp ass!" he bubbles. Like that's ever helped anyone. But Steven blushes because he's proud of his mildly fleshy ass bones. Steven laments that Eric's more manly -- taller, and experienced. All Steven has is Carmen Smithly, Maryland's answer to Florence Nightingale, except Flo actually existed. "I'm a geek, Dad!" Steven whimpers. "I'm such a geek." Hal calmly advises his son to simply one-up Eric at everything, but Steven protests that he can't make Lizzie 3-D graphics and harness an entire copy shop's resources to silkscreen unflattering images of himself onto Lizzie's bedding. He says that like it's a detriment. "I mean, like, he was really romantic," Steven laments. Hal tells Steven to punch up the romance and put Lizzie on an even higher pedestal. Steven wants ideas from Hal -- things Steven's mom always wanted Hal to do, but that he never did. "Learn to read minds," Hal states plainly. Steven, finally spotting Futility after it donned a chartreuse loincloth and spanked him with a palm frond just to get his attention, invents a class and rushes off to not attend it.

Lizzie admires an invitation to "a perfect night of love" at 8 PM. Rachel coos over it. Lizzie remembers when Eric filled his ex-stepdad's hot tub with pink champagne and they bathed in it. "That sounds nice," Rachel beams. Lizzie shrugs. "We got urinary-tract infections," she admits. "But it was...nice." Larice asks point-blank whether Lizzie plans to get back together with Eric. "No," she says immediately. "I mean, I don't think so." Rachel and Larice swap mildly concerned expressions.

Later, the girls corral Steven and giggle about his planned night of love. He's glowing with the glory of his cunning plan, which is to make Lizzie chicken parmigiana and watch The Last Boy Scout. I love that they've subtly made Steven a movie geek. He and Perry bonded over Total Recall; last week he likened his mussed sheets to Basic Instinct; and he and Theo quote The Matrix. It's an interesting touch, and I wonder how much of it's been accidental. "Damon Wayans is such a bad-ass," Steven sighs dreamily. Larice snorts. "Do you like dating Lizzie?" she asks. "Do you want to keep dating Lizzie? Because she's been combing her hair a lot lately." Steven is apoplectic at Larice's implication. Rachel bitchily says she's been telling "everyone" that they're headed for disaster. "Well, you never said it to me!" squeaks Steven. Rachel and Larice offer to help because, they admit, they hate Eric and desperately want him to piss off in a major way. "Neo," a voice booms from down the hall. "There is no spoon." It's Theo, and he proceeds to reenact what I assume is a funky matter-manipulation scene from The Matrix. Rachel and Larice's jaws hit the floor so hard that they crack into the third circle of hell. They run. Steven shakes his head with a gentle cringe, all, "Ohhhhh," like a figure-skating commentator when someone flubs a jump and ass-plants on the ice.

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Undeclared

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