Episode 5: My Funny Valentine
Up on the roof, Miller was gazing at his precious ring, trying to resist the temptation to put it on (“or those freaky fucked-up dudes with the sunken faces will come”). Owen Tasker arrived and demanded that Miller turn over the ring, or else Miller would meet the same unspecified fate as the ring’s previous owner, Miller’s uncle Oral Hanks.
Ms. Munsen-Meyer was trying to sell Valentine’s Day flowers, but nobody was interested.
Assistant Coach Damon was practicing his dodgeball moves when Junior ROTC officer Tad Poonowl came back to school. Damon asked if Tad could do anything about the military helicopters circling the school, but Tad claimed to know nothing about General Rip Schrader’s operations.
Mr. Huggins met Todd Schrader in the cafeteria to discuss the issue of Todd’s sexuality. To break through Todd’s barriers, Huggins sang him a tender Valentine’s ballad.
In AP English class (taught by Assistant Coach Damon, due to budget cuts), Sterling Schremerhorn was complaining about the cheapness of all the carnations she’d been given. Gwen launched into a profanity-laced rant about Sterling’s ingratitude and Valentine’s Day in general. Damon warned Gwen that her rebellious attitude would get her nowhere, but Sterling sprang to her defense. Trying to spread the spirit to the less fortunate, Sterling gave her candy and flowers to Damon and Gwen.
Tad Poonowl arrived in Ms. Munsen-Meyer’s office, and she congratulated him on his career track with the US government (“the finest corporation on Earth”). She told Tad how much she wished the other students were like him, kneeling by his feet as she envisioned a school full of Tads.
Mr. Huggins held an intervention for Miller regarding his dependence on the ring. (“What does the Hugginses want?”) Miller attacked Huggins and began wrestling him to the ground. As they writhed around wildly, Owen Tasker secretly filmed them from the closet.
Depressed over Sterling rejecting him, Owen asked the school mascot, the Fighting Panhandler, for romantic advice. Communicating in pantomime, the Panhandler suggested getting down on one knee to propose…then spanking her.
In the locker room, Tad Poonowl told Todd Schrader how disappointed Todd’s father, General Rip Schrader, was in him. In fact, Tad revealed, the General had ordered Tad to eliminate Todd with extreme prejudice.
Gwen was cleaning up at the Crash Pad when Sterling entered. Sterling explained that she’d had an epiphany. Having realized that life wasn’t as wonderful for everybody as it is for her, she wanted make Gwen’s life better. Gwen pointed out that, while Sterling’s intentions might be good, her condescending attitude wasn’t helping. Gwen suggested that Sterling try being nice to people, but doubted that she could do it.
STERLING: “You don’t think I can be nice? I’ll show you! Oh, shoot, I’m already not being nice. This is hard! My head hurts!”
Assistant Coach Damon and Ms. Munsen-Meyer were trying to help Miller give up the ring. When Damon offered Miller a package of pastel crayons, Miller immediately forgot about the ring and eagerly traded it. Holding the ring, Damon realized that its power could make him a full-fledged teacher.
Mr. Huggins was at home watching videos and waiting for the plumber, when Gwen came to see him for help. Huggins told Gwen that he admired her artistic streak, which she expressed through her punk aesthetic. Gwen was amazed that Huggins actually understood her. As they conversed, the Fighting Panhandler came by and fixed Huggins’ sink.
As Sterling and Owen prepared the Valentine’s Day dance, Sterling reflected on the irony of her not having a date, what with Todd turning gay and Lewis being in the hospital. Seeing his opportunity, Owen was about to ask her out when Miller suddenly arrived and gave Sterling some chocolates and a card. Touched, Sterling agreed to be Miller’s date. Owen warned Miller that he had just bought himself eight more years of high school.
A stealth helicopter lowered General Rip Schrader onto the roof of the school for a secret meeting with Tad Poonowl. Schrader congratulated Tad on his disguise as a Junior ROTC officer, when he’s actually an elite assassin with a half-machine brain, programmed to kill the General’s son. As the General went to take a leak, Todd Schrader arrived on the roof. Tad used a leg-sweep to knock Todd off the roof, but Todd managed to crawl back up.
Under the influence of the ring, Assistant Coach Damon was gradually becoming Irish. Regaining his will and accent long enough to remove the ring from around his neck, Damon confronted Ms. Munsen-Meyer about their affair a few weeks back. Munsen-Meyer explained that it could never work out between them, since he was only a lowly assistant coach and she was an Ivy League-educated counselor. Damon resolved to use the ring to make himself a powerful man. They kissed.
At the Valentine’s Day dance, Mr. Huggins introduced the couples competing for the title of Valentine’s King and Queen: Miller and Sterling, Owen and Gwen, and Todd and Tad. Huggins then announced the winners: Ms. Munsen-Meyer and Assistant Coach Damon, whom he had seen making out.
NEXT WEEK: Damon and Munsen-Meyer must make their decision.