Episode 15: Old West Enchantment Under Under the Sea
Owen Tasker and Sterling Schremerhorn were making last-minute preparations for the prom, reflecting on how much they’d grown as people over the past year (as demonstrated by their compromise on the prom theme). Owen gave her a long-stemmed rose and confessed how nervous he was about their date, revealing that he was still a virgin. Sterling was touched by this show of vulnerability, finding it a striking contrast to his usual manipulative asshole self.
Mr. Cook was preparing for his job as prom photographer when Principal Spoon staggered in, strung out and on the lam after his run-in with Joe Luderman. Cook had a plan to help him out.
Prom chaperones Joe Luderman and Ms. Munsen-Meyer were going over the plans for the prom. (“Nobody’s gonna have sex, nobody’s gonna drink, nobody’s gonna do drugs, nobody’s gonna have fun.”) Munsen-Meyer proposed a series of whistle signals for various situations. As they talked, Joe confessed that he’d seen this undercover assignment as a chance to relive his high school days and do it right this time, only to discover that high school life still sucks. Joe and Munsen-Meyer started dancing, but she blew her whistle in his ear when he got too close.
Mr. Huggins was by himself, overseeing the prom. He went out into the crowd and asked a woman named Tammy to dance. After a bit of small talk, Huggins excused himself to ask Assistant Coach Damon for some romantic tips. (Damon’s advice: “Lead with the groin and always make eye contact.”)
Off in the corner, Todd showed Gwen a drawing he’d made of the two of them in a helicopter firing on the prom. She pinned the drawing to her dress as a corsage. Todd told her that he had a plan to ruin the prom, involving a bucket of Bavarian pig’s blood. In turn, Gwen revealed that she’d put some delayed-reaction, voice-activated itching powder down Sterling’s dress; when Principal Spoon names Sterling as Prom Queen, she’ll start itching uncontrollably, and hopefully brush against some candles and catch fire. Then they could make their getaway in Todd’s dad’s military helicopter.
Joe Luderman was patrolling the prom when he found the strung-out Principal Spoon lying under a table. He dragged Spoon over to the lounge, then returned to the prom. He asked Todd for some punch, in a strangely distorted voice. Joe explained that Ms. Munsen-Meyer had deafened him when she blew her whistle in his ear, causing him to speak like Marlee Matlin.
Owen Tasker asked Ms. Munsen-Meyer about her responsibilities counting the ballots for Prom King & Queen. Owen demanded that she name him Prom King, warning her that there’d be consequences if he wasn’t elected.
As Principal Spoon regained consciousness, Assistant Coach Damon told him that he needed to straighten out for the sake of the school. Spoon agreed, and handed over his last syringe of heroin as a show of his dedication.
Mr. Huggins took Sterling aside to offer some advice regarding her date with Owen. Much to Sterling’s surprise, he urged her to have sex with Owen and enjoy every second of it. She remarked that this was the best advice any teacher had ever given her.
The time came for Principal Spoon to name the Prom King and Queen. As soon as he announced Owen Tasker’s name, Todd Schrader implemented his plan to sabotage the prom, smashing vases and generally creating chaos before running off to his helicopter. After order was restored, Spoon announced the Prom Queen: Gwendolyn Pinchot! Sterling angrily tried to imitate Todd’s disruption by throwing down a vase, but it didn’t break. Owen and Gwen paired off for the King-and-Queen Dance, to “Arthur’s Theme.”
After the prom, Mr. Cook began cleaning up the trashed cafeteria, when he found Sterling sobbing hysterically. He consoled her about her public humiliation, reminiscing about his own high school days (“I was bald then, too.”). As they conversed, Cook’s voice activated the itching powder in Sterling’s dress.
Owen Tasker went to a convenience store to buy condoms, but the clerk refused to sell unless Owen proved that he knew how to use one by placing one on a French bread. Mr. Huggins walked in on the demonstration and immediately left in embarrassment.
Ms. Munsen-Meyer was wracked with guilt over deafening Joe, on top of everything else that had gone wrong on her watch. Joe assured her that he still loved her, and we saw a musical montage of their lovemaking. However, afterwards, Munsen-Meyer sensed that something was still amiss. (“What is it, Joe? Is it my penis?”)
Mr. Huggins brought Principal Spoon home from rehab, then put him to bed and told him a bedtime story. In his delirium, Spoon saw his students acting out the bizarre tale (involving a quest for a fabulous gem concealed in the crotch of a chimpanzee).
In the aftermath of the prom, Mr. Cook and Assistant Coach Damon were discussing the school’s future. Cook had heard rumors that the school would be torn down to build the Jimmy Carter Library. Damon was so disgusted by the recent carnage that he couldn’t care less; in any case, he was resigning to pursue his dream of auditioning for the Harlem Dodgeballers.
Owen brought the itchy, drunk and exhausted Sterling to a hotel room for sex, but found himself plagued with doubt…when he’d dreamed of this moment, he’d envisioned her as being sober and falling in love with him. Sterling confessed that she’d already lost her virginity during the prom…to Dustin Pollack. Owen began choking, so Sterling performed the Heimlich Maneuver…which turned into sex.
Gwen was standing by the helipad when Todd brought the helicopter in for a landing. Todd confessed how hurt he had been to see her dancing with Owen, but she assured him that that was just a formality and that she had no feelings for Owen…her heart belonged to Todd. Todd realized that Gwen was too special for this town. He told her that there was $50,000 in the copter…enough for them to get married and start a new life in Tonga. Todd carried Gwen across the threshold of the helicopter.
NEXT WEEK: The final episode: Mr. Cook reveals his deepest, darkest secret.