** Note: I said in the previous post that today I’d be covering ‘Tricks and Treats’ and ‘Tests and Breasts’, but I was looking at an inaccurate episode list – one that went in order of how the eps aired originally on NBC. There was an episode that was intended to air after the Halloween one – ‘Kim Kelly is my Friend’, so that’s the order we’re going in. So, the porn ep (and my high school porn watching story) will have to wait until next week.
Halloween time, my favorite holiday of the year. Costumes, scary movies, candy, roving the streets with your friends, what’s not to like? And sorry, but Halloween beats awkward family dinners at Christmas or Thanksgiving any day of the week. Plus, any chance I have to color my hair blue or incorporate copious amounts of glitter into my day is welcomed with open arms.
The Weir kids were both in transition – stuck in that weird place where you’re not sure if you should go trick or treating, hand out candy, or party with your friends. Sam and his friends decided to go for one more year of candy collection, cemented by the fact that their English teacher assigned ‘Crime and Punishment’ which seemed far too adult and boring for a bunch of kids.
I so remember that feeling – I’ve always been a voracious reader, but I’ve never been a huge fan of the ‘classics’ – Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Austen – anything from that broad category that I like to refer to as ‘olden times’. Who wanted to pick up a book with a picture of a depressed old man in earth tones on the cover where every character had a weird, long name? Gross. I remember once getting kicked out of class for not reading The Stone Angel, which was about an elderly woman dying from cancer. No thank you – I don’t need a push from the literary world towards depression – I can get there all by myself.
Lindsay turns down a double date with Nick, Daniel and Kim to fulfill her promise to hand out candy with her mom, but we all know it’s really because of Nick’s ‘bra before kiss’ fail the week before. Lindsay don’t play that. Of course, when she realizes that not only does her nerdy friend Millie have a boyfriend, but that she kept it a secret from Lindsay out of pity for her boyfriend-less ass, the date is on like Donkey Kong. Fuck Mom and her lovingly homemade pumpkin cookies. If even Millie is growing up, it’s time she did too.
So while Sam and his friends are desperately holding onto to the innocence of childhood by dressing in full costume (Bill as the Bionic Woman is by far my favorite – especially the montage of dialogue he does in the mirror while he’s primping), Lindsay is trying to move into a more grownup Halloween – you know, riding around with her friends, kicking in jack o’lanterns and egging trick or treaters. Stuff adults do.
By episode’s end, Sam has had his childhood memories kicked in and set on fire after getting his candy stolen by Alan the Bully and, worse, getting egged by his own sister. Lindsay realizes that growing up isn’t all it’s cracked up to be either – she feels like shit for egging Sam, and even worse when he doesn’t rat her out to their parents. The show ends with Sam putting away childish things and picking up ‘Crime and Punishment’ while Lindsay gets into costume to hang with her mom. Poignancy!
The next ep is interesting for a few reasons: it’s the first we see of Kim’s back story and learn why she’s such a raging bitch all the time, and it’s an ep that NBC refused to air in the original run because they thought it was too scary and dark. Sigh. This is why high school shows are so often unrealistic – high school IS scary and dark sometimes. And this episode was a perfect example of a very real situation that most people can relate to on some level.
Lindsay’s dinner at Kim’s house reminds me so much of those times when you’d go to a new friend’s house and instantly regret it because they lived in a way that was completely foreign to you and therefore scary. Like, in my family we kept things to ourselves and resorted to tactics like passive aggression or avoidance when things got tense (we were middle-class suburbanites and my parents had evolved from hippies into WASPs by the time I was a teenager). If something went down while I had friends over, I got pulled into another room – never yelled at in front of guests. Yelling and door slamming were reserved for those special occasions when someone fucked up so badly it was impossible to contain the rage. So, when I’d go to friend’s houses where yelling and screaming were just part of everyday communication, I wanted to get the hell out because it felt like sitting in the middle of the apocalypse.
This ep took things further than anything I ever experienced, with Kim’s mom and stepdad chasing the girls outside and scaring the fuck out of them while Kim peeled out of the driveway, but we’ve all been in the room when a friend got busted by their parents and it sucks. I was at a friend’s the night her mom left so we could have a party (like I said last week – this will never end well) and when she came home in the middle of the night there was a used condom in her bed. My friend got a slap across the face while I sat there wanting to die. And I was sleeping over.
On a search for Daniel, Kim spots him flirting with her friend Karen (RASHIDA JONES ALERT!), who at one point starts sucking on his finger, as people do. Kim sort of tries to run them down with her Gremlin before taking off, a terrified Lindsay in the passenger seat. You KNOW Lindsay’s diary is going to get an earful later that night – so much excitement!
Things got even more interesting at the Weir house where the girls sought refuge in the land of concerned parents, quiet and orderly meals and homemade veal picatta (a nice contrast to the bucket of chicken in the middle of a ramshackle Kelly kitchen). Kim starts spouting off at the mouth about taboo topics and immediately the parents want her gone for disrupting the carefully constructed homeostasis of the Weir household. Also, Sam hates her fucking guts and is clearly wishing her dead from the other side of the table.
Drama ensues when first Nick and then Daniel show up to talk to Kim and smooth over the finger-sucking situation. You see, it was all Karen, of course – Daniel loves Kim and would never, ever cheat on her. And because drama-addicts like Kim Kelly always make the wrong decision, she caves and they go from turning the Weir kitchen into the set of Jerry Springer to making it their own personal seedy motel room. Much to Lindsay’s parents’ dismay. As I was watching it, my jaw was dropping and my stomach was churning as though I was Lindsay and all of the crazy was happening in front of my parents. You just know this is all going to make her life hell, now that her parents know the kind of kids she’s been running around with.
At least Nick is making an effort to be nice and polite, but that’s more because he A) has a huge crush on Lindsay and clearly wants her parents to like him, B) he’s also stoned as hell so he’s overcompensating and C) he really, really wants to eat all of their Fruit Roll-Ups and doesn’t want to be rude about it. Instead, he walks out of the house like Edward Roll-Up Hands, asking ‘oh, hey, do you guys mind if I eat these?’. Oh Nick, never change.
So, hit the comments with your Halloween memories, nightmare dinners or sleepovers at friends houses and your thoughts on these episodes. Question of the day: what was your best and/or worst Halloween costume as a kid/teenager? Did you have a go-to every year or were you always trying to top yourself? Homemade or purchased? Group or solo? I want details!
Lastly, happy Canada Day to my fellow Canucks, and to the ‘Mericans, have an awesome 4th on Monday!!! This weekend, we shall all rejoice in patriotism, drunkenness and the joy of the long weekend. We’re really not that different after all, eh? One love!