Saturday, June 11, 2011

FIFTEEN: The Most Amazing Show Ever - Episode XIII Recap - SEASON FINALE!!

(Thy Kingdom Come, Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Hillside.)

And so, all so-bad-it's-good things must come to an end. It's the end of the season, an end of an era, and the end of me recapping a show that was on the air 20 years ago. I am pleased that I stayed the course and finished the whole 13 episode arc. Stick-to-it-iveness is the mantra for 2011 around here. If anyone out there has been reading these recaps and enjoying them, I appreciate you staying with me. It's been quite a journey and I'm glad we took it together. Now, for one last time, let's get down to the angsty business at hand.

Last time, on FIFTEEN. Well, before we get to that, let's review the whole effing season. This happened, and then this. Followed by this. And this. This. This. Then This. This. This. Who could forget this? Then this. And then most recently: Ashley was caught cheating on a test to the delight of Brooke and Courtney. Jake tried to kiss Courtney and it was a disaster because she is a total disaster. Brooke and Kelly finally drove Ashley to a total psychotic break. Kelly assured a mysterious caller that Brooke was finally about to get taken down!

Episode 13: The Worm Turns. I honestly wasn't very familiar with this expression, so I turned to the internets to edumacate me. tells us "The worm turns" is a term used to describe when a person or group of people who have been treated badly for a long time suddenly become forceful and stop accepting a difficult situation. Ooooh, watch out Brooke! Comeuppance is just around the corner!!

(caring, sharing, every heinous thing that they are wearing...)

Brooke's Gigantor Bedroom. Brooke lounges around reading the geography paper she purchased that is filled with Olaf's Notes. Theresa comes in without saying anything and just stares at her. Finally Brooke tells her to stop spying. Theresa's like "not me! I'm not a spy! Just perhaps an accomplice to your impending demise!" Brooke calls her out on always lurking, and since Theresa is totally a lurker and has been all season, she has no defense. Brooke also tells her to keep her mouth shut about the purchased geography paper and Theresa grouses that she always does. Brooke shares with Lil Sis that today is the day that she officially announces her bid for Student Council President. Theresa wishes her good luck, but Brooke calls her out on being a total fake about it. Theresa guesses being a total fake is just a habit she picked up from Brooke, and then stomps out of the room. Oooh! Burned by Theresa! That's pretty bad. Brooke rightfully feels embarrassed that her sister scored a point on her so easily.

(Jake could use a drink but he'd lose the moral high ground on Drunk Matt.)

Avalon - Counter of Counterproductive Attitudes. Olaf and Cindy come over to talk to Jake, who looks troubled and exhausted. And then it's like five minutes of boring exposition. I don't know why they give so much exposition to Jake when he just can't make it interesting. Basically we learn Ashley isn't going to school after cheating on her test. And she's going nuts at her house. Also, Olaf still hasn't found his notes, so he has to hope his teacher is understanding that he has no assignment to turn in. Now let's get back to the Shakespearean Tragedy that is Brooke.

(Election time! May the best man, woman or scheming maniacal bitch win!)

Hillside - Main Hall. Brooke is standing around a bunch of extras alongside Kelly declaring her candidacy for Student Council President. They pepper her with all the usual questions: who else is running (no one - so far!) will she organize more school dances (absolutely!) will she reduce homework (read my lips: I'm not making any promises!) She's handling everyone like the slick politician she was born to be. Dylan comes down the stairs and Kelly wanders over to him. They share a laugh over Brooke's boundless ambition.

(Dylan & Kelly will sadly not be Hillside's next power couple. Sorry "Kylan"Shippers!)

Then Kelly kinda throws herself at him out of nowhere. She invites herself over to his place to hear him play. He laughs in her face. She's all WTF is your problem? Dylan just wanders away. Kelly grimaces in the wake of such rejection. It's such a weird exchange. I guess they just want to show you that Kelly's not gonna be able to manipulate everyone so easily? I don't know. Kelly still rules!

(It's the last awkward fight in the boys locker room of the season! While never addressed on the show, we can assume at least one of these fights led to great make up sex for these two.)

Hillside - Boys Locker Room. Drunk Matt approaches Jake and asks if there's anything Jake wants to take back from their argument the other day. Jake truly does not. Drunk Matt seems to feel bad about ruining Ashley's life so thoroughly. He tells Jake he tried to make amends but Ashley won't talk to him. Jake suggests to Drunk Matt that he sober up and try to figure out another way to make things right. And then he storms out. I enjoy Jake most when he's calling Matt on all his bullshit. These two dudes should not be friends.

(Kelly is about to turn Brooke's posters rightside up, and Brooke's life upside down!)

Hillside - Main Hall. Brooke and Kelly walk down the hall discussing Ashley's current condition. Kelly gleefully suggests that Ashley's so far gone that she'll drop out of school. Brooke expresses almost a pang of remorse for all the bad shit they did to her over the past twelve episodes of the show. Kelly is shocked. Brooke tells her it's a momentary thing and it will pass - especially since Ashley cheated on the test all on her own, and doesn't deserve any sympathy. Speaking of cheating, Kelly asks if Brooke turned in the geography paper yet. THE ONE SHE PAID FOR! Brooke tries to get Kelly to drop the subject since she doesn't want to talk about things in school that could result in a political scandal. She asks to see the campaign posters and Kelly displays them - upside down. Brooke has her flip them around and they look plain but professionally made. Brooke guesses they will be okay and orders Kelly to start putting them up all over school. Kelly agrees with minimum fuss since she's about to destroy Brooke anyway. Brooke registers Kelly's strange attitude but doesn't pursue it. Too bad for you, Brooke.

Hillside - Olaf's Corner. Olaf and Jake eat lunch and talk about the geography paper and Olaf's misunderstanding the difference between the words expansion/extension, but the visual gem of this scene is that while they are talking, Brooke covers up an environmental issues poster that has a picture of the Earth with Brooke's campaign poster so that it reads "It's the only one we've got - BROOKE FOR PRESIDENT. I appreciate this moment a lot because that stupid poster of the Earth has been hanging on the side of the soda machine for the whole season, so it's not like they just put it there this episode to create the visual gag. Someone in the art department was thinking ahead!

(Conspiracy theorists! The secrets of Olaf'sNotesGate revealed!!)

Anyway, Kelly inserts herself into their conversation and brings up several potential conspiracy theories regarding Olaf'sNotesGate. The idea that someone in his class stole his notes would almost make sense except that the thief would run an extreme risk of getting caught. Still Kelly insists something is fishy. Olaf and Jake begin to get suspicious of what she knows and Kelly backs off, leaving them to ponder what she's said. These guys are nice, but they are not smart enough to piece together that Kelly stole his notes or is somehow involved in what happened to them. Oh, boys.

(Courtney is so excited at the the idea of hanging out with Jake she's gone all the way around back to total disinterest.)

Hillside, Olaf's Corner Sans Olaf. It's later, and Jake is by himself. Courtney comes over and she seems to have a not-totally-stank attitude which is nice. They discuss Ashley's deteriorating mental condition. Have we even seen Ashley yet this episode? She has to show up at some point, no? Courtney has some good news in the midst of all the darkness. She's been asked to write a play for submission to an Arts Festival. Jake is happy for her! Courtney tells him it will probably be about a stupid girl who treated the guy she's friends with really horribly for no reason just because he liked her. It will be titled "Why Am I So Heinous?: The Courtney Simpson Story." Jake tries to apologize for the awkward kiss attempt, but Courtney rightfully says it was all her fault and she has no idea why she reacted that way. She was just upset about other things and was surprised and handled it badly. This is a very mature assessment of the situation for Courtney! She asks if they can still be friends. Jake says sure and then asks her out on a date to see Shakespeare in the Park. Wait, what? Courtney accepts. But are they going as friends? Is it a romantic date? Oh, Jake! You are right back where you started! SPECIFY YOUR INTENTIONS!!!

(Dylan laughs knowingly that Billy and Theresa will not be Hillside's new power couple. Sorry, Therilly Shippers!)

Avalon. Theresa and Billy are trying to look at each other from across the room without directly looking at each other. NO! They would be a horrible couple. Dylan comes in and teases him about Theresa and asks him to join a band Dylan is forming. Billy is excited. Hooray for mercifully shorts scenes!

(Olaf and Cindy ponder "The Jake Question.")

Hillside - Stairs of Sadness. Olaf and Cindy meet up. He got his extension/expansion for his paper. He is also going to organize a school debate on discrimination at the request of his geography teacher. This plot point isn't going anywhere in the future, just so you know. Then Olaf switches gears and tells Cindy how depressed Jake is because nobody sees him as more than a friend. "Girls?" Cindy clarifies. "Exactly! ... At least I think so..." replies Olaf. Cindy resolves to give Jake a little pep talk to get his groove back.

(Goodbye my lover. Goodbye my friend. You have been the one for me.)

Hillside - Girls Locker Room. Ahh, when frenemies turn into full-on enemies. Brooke says she just got a note from the teacher to go see the principal. Kelly is all, "Is SOMETHING WRONG??" Brooke is all, "no, he probably just wants to congratulate me on running for student council president." Kelly is relieved. For a second she feared Brooke was in some sort of... TROUBLE! Brooke is totally weirded out by Kelly's moustache-twirling attitude. Kelly gathers her things and tells Brooke to say hi to the principal for her as she bwahahahahaha's! her way out the door. Brooke can't figure out what is up with her devious scheming friend, Kelly. OMG, connect the dots Brooke. You are SCREWED!

(Matt worries about whether he's coming back for the second season. So many heads will roll!)

Hillside - Olaf's Corner Sans Olaf. Drunk Sad Matt is slumped on the bench. Jake comes over. They discuss Ashley. Matt's voice is all hoarse. I don't know what that's supposed to represent. Matt says Ashley is gonna be sent to private school. She doesn't wanna come back to Hillside. Jake doesn't know what they're gonna do. Matt might be heading out of town too. His parents found his hidden booze in his room and he is now in line to be sent to a substance abuse program. His whole life is falling apart. He is devastated. He runs away. Jake runs after him. Maybe we really DON'T see Ashley this episode... Weird, that she wouldn't be in the season finale.

As Jake runs after Matt, Kelly tries to stop him with awesome gossip. Jake has no time for this! Kelly instead finds Olaf who was sitting silently just a few feet away from Matt and Jake and most likely eavesdropping the whole time. Kelly has good news. They found his geography notes! Olaf'sNotesGates deepens, as apparently Deep Throat called the principal and told him the notes were in Brooke's locker. What's even better is that they checked, and Brooke's paper was based on those notes. Courtney overhears this and joins the conversation. Brooke got hauled into the Principal's office and was put on academic probation. That means no extra-curricular activities including Student Council President.

(Brooke betrayed! Brooke dismayed! Brooke's Overacting displayed!)

Brooke very appropriately descends the Stairs of Sadness in tears. Sad music plays. Brooke approaches Kelly. She accuses her of setting up the whole plot against her. Kelly plays dumb, but her inner-Iago comes through putting a nasty edge on all her denials. The thing is, Brooke has only been caught cheating on one paper. If she exposes Kelly, she exposes herself to all the papers she paid for and passed off as her own work. Brooke isn't going to do even more damage to her reputation than has already been done so she's trapped. Brooke knows it. Kelly knows it. And it's awesome. Courtney gives Brooke a dressing down, and shame from Courtney is too much for any person to bare. She runs from the group, while the rest of them give her hateful looks.

("SO, Jake... do you know Dorothy? Would you say you're a friend of hers?")

Avalon - Loser's Table. Jake is drawing a bad landscape with a river. Cindy comes over to him. She listens to him lament the sad state of affairs with Ashley and Matt. Then to cheer him up she tells him that people have a better opinion of him than he realizes. Cindy thinks he's a good artist and a good friend and she thinks he's kinda cute. This is like catnip for Jake who smiles a big goofy smile. Her mission accomplished, Cindy heads out to be awesome somewhere else.

("Um, yeah... wow, it's kinda awkward being here for you in your moment of need right now, since I totally helped set you a fall, and all? Maybe I should just go...")

Brooke's Gigantor Bedroom - Brooke is wringing her hands over Olaf'sNotesGate. She can't believe Kelly did this to her. Theresa just stands around silently watching her sister break down. Theresa lamely offers that maybe there's some explanation. The explanation, as Brooke rightfully screams, is that Kelly planned the whole thing! She then revisits all the steps that made Olaf'sNotesGate come to pass. Oh, the betrayal! Brooke is totally wrecked. Her reputation is ruined. She's a laughing stock at school. Her dreams of running the school have been crushed. She is alone and friendless. Theresa takes this moment to say she's gotta bounce. Brooke begs her to stay with her for a little while. "Sorry, no can do!" says Theresa and she gets the hell out of Dodge. Brooke cries and cries and hugs a pillow. She is very sad.

(Zack Attack they are not.)

Dylan's Garage Band. Terrible noise is being produced by the "band." Dylan's on lead guitar, Billy is on drums. Cindy is on keyboards. Some random dude is on bass. It sounds terrible. If they want to get to Carnegie Hall they are gonna have to practice, practice, practice!

Avalon - Winner's Table? Theresa joins Kelly and tells her Brooke is in horrible shape. Kelly is pleased. Theresa feels remorse. Oh, this is my favorite scene of the whole series and someone actually posted it to youtube, so I'll just let you watch.

Simply the best. Better than ALL the rest!

But the episode doesn't quite end there. Oh, no. We are treated to some Arena Rock from Dylan's Garage Band over the closing credits. And that, my friends, is that.

(The men you can hold responsible for this show being what it was, what it is, and what it will continue to be.)

EPILOGUE: Brooke got her revenge on Kelly and Theresa by kicking them off the show. Following the scene in the Avalon, Kelly is neither seen nor spoken of again. Theresa disappears too, but Brooke says later that Theresa transferred to a School for the Arts. Brooke gets a new younger sister named Amanda who proves very annoying, until she too is dispatched after 13 episodes. Olaf goes back to Finland and Cindy apparently runs away with him there and they are neither seen nor spoken of again. Jake gets sent on a secret mission to China with his Dad for a year but does come back in Season 3 to continue being a doormat for Matt and Courtney. Ashley eventually regains her sanity and returns to Hillside and lasts throughout the show's 4 season run, but never raises her voice above a whisper again. Brooke mostly remains friendless, gets a series of increasingly severe power lesbian haircuts, causes a lot more problems and at the end of Season 3, goes off to study in Paris. Courtney gains some fashion sense and self-confidence but continues to be very unlucky in love through season 3, after which her mom moves them out of the school district. Dylan remains pretty much the sensitive rebel musician through all 4 seasons of the show and somehow never gets kicked out of school. Matt goes in and out of rehab but eventually gets handle on his DRINKING problem. Several dozen other characters are introduced and jettisoned with little fanfare, but you haven't met any of them, so I won't bother you with there stories. As for Billy? He had a growth spurt, became the school bully, reformed, married Scarlet Johansson, became the Sexiest Man alive and joined the Green Lantern Corps. Which of them turned out the best, do you think?

Thanks again for reading. The Fifteen recaps are DONE! Sing us out, Taylor Swift!


Anonymous said...

These Fifteen recaps were hilarious. I read each one following the viewing of each episode. Thanks for the laughs!

Diana Lockaby-Cotter said...

Dylan dropped out of school for a short while and then planned on going back. Making Ashley very proud! LOL

To see all the episodes, follow this link so everyone can enjoy this series! Thanks for sharing.

JPR said...

I always thought that song Dylan always plays with his band reminded me a bit of "Don't Look Back" by Boston. It's even in the same key.