Recap: Molly is showing Mrs. Garrett how her fancy new camera works...and for some reason she's taking "natural" photos of Blair, who has just fluffed up her long hair and is holding a red rose in one hand, 'cause yeah, that's real natural looking. Mr. Bradley bursts in and starts gabbling about how the State Track Meet Committee has ruled that Eastland can keep its hideous silver trophy if one of its runners wins this year's state competition. He asks Mrs. Garrett where Sue Ann is, and she tells him that she and Cindy are out on the track doing practice runs. Mr. Bradley asks Molly to take a photo of him holding the hideous trophy, and then gives a pretend acceptance speech. Mrs. Garrett wryly reminds him that he did absolutely nothing to win the trophy, but he argues (like, not jokingly) that he was integral in inspiring Sue Ann to win it two years in a row. He caresses the trophy and calls it a nice tool with which Eastland can attract future students. Mrs. Garrett says she always thought academics were the most important part of school, and he chuckles condescendingly and tells her that a winning sports program attracts the best, the brightest, and most athletic...as well as the all-important endowments. He then heads over to the kitchen to polish up the trophy.
Sue Ann and Cindy burst into the dorm donning their bright yellow gym clothes. Sue Ann raves about Cindy's awesome potential as Eastland's next great runner, and Cindy raves about Sue Ann's awesomeness as a running coach. Mrs. Garrett takes the camera from Molly and says she'd like to capture this precious moment in time, and will title the photo Buddies Forever. Sue Ann puts her arm around Cindy and gushes, "Pals to the end!" and Cindy nods happily and grins at Sue Ann with shining admiration. After that over-the-top display of their BFFness, Molly takes a photo of Cindy as she performs a superfluous back handspring.
Mr. Bradley returns from polishing the trophy and tells Sue Ann he hopes she's been training hard for the upcoming track meet. He tells her she'll likely have stiff competition from some girl from Schenectady, but Sue Ann says, "Don't worry about her, Mr. Bradley. She's going to get beat bad!" then adds, "Not by me" and tells him that Cindy has decided to take up track this year. Mr. Bradley's all, "Wha-a?!" and points out that Cindy has never run in a competition before. Sue Ann just kind of shrugs and tells him she's done with track and no longer wants to train four hours a day. She explains, "I've got a bigger load this year" and Blair glares at her backside and snidely quips, "That's obvious." That was weird - didn't the show already resolve Sue Ann's non-existent weight problem during the Dieting episode? Sue Ann ignores Blair's insult to her derriere and specifies that the bigger load is her studies...but Mr. Bradley doesn't seem to give a rat's ass 'bout that and reminds her how exciting, thrilling, and exhilarating it can be to compete in a race. Sue Ann shakes her head and tells him she's just not into the whole running thing anymore.
Mrs. Garrett enters the room and is surprised to hear that Sue Ann has quit the track team. Sue Ann explains that she's too busy with school this year for running to be the only thing in her life...so she's passing the torch onto Cindy, to whom she's been teaching everything she knows. Mr. Bradley can't let it go and tells her she has to compete, then questions the robustness of her school spirit. Mrs. Garrett points out that Sue Ann is, in fact, demonstrating good school spirit by putting her schoolwork first and helping Cindy with her running in order to give her a shot at winning the trophy. Mr. Bradley snarks, "Butt out, Garrett" and bitchily reminds her that the trophy means a lot to Eastland...and by Eastland, he means himself - which, considering he's a grown man, is pathetic and sad. Mrs. Garrett says she's sure Cindy will deliver the goods...then implies with her body language that even if Cindy doesn't actually deliver the goods, no one should be giving too much of a crap about keeping an ugly tin trophy. Mr. Bradley insists to Sue Ann that she's making a big mistake by quitting track, and then says if she wins, she can take the trophy home with her all summer. Mrs. Garrett tells him to let it go already, since Sue Ann has already made her decision, and that they all need to get behind Cindy. Natalie and Tootie lead the chant, "Cin-dy! Cin-dy!" and soon everyone - including a reluctant Mr. Bradley - joins in and clumps together into one big group hug.
Sue Ann is leading an exercise session for everyone in the school's gym. Natalie and Tootie look out of shape and huff and puff, while Blair just strolls around casually and refuses to break a sweat. Mrs. Garrett finishes her workout with a brisk jog, and Sue Ann praises her efforts and says, "Take care of your body, and your body will take care of you." Blair corrects her and says, "It's 'take care of your body, and someone else will take care of you'." (Gloria Steinem, she definitely ain't.) Mr. Bradley and Cindy enter the gym, and he gushes about what a great runner she is and lays it on thick about her being "the new champ" - implying that Sue Ann is yesterday's news. Cindy says she likes the sound of "champ", and Sue Ann suddenly gets prickly and advises her not to get over-confident. Mrs. Bradley says that Cindy has every reason to be confident since she's already broken her (Sue Ann's) winning race time from last year. Sue Ann's all, "Wha-a?!" and then snarks, "You've got to be kidding." Mr. Bradley smugly tells her that everything's working out great, and that he predicts Cindy will also beat the school record for the 880 yard run. Sue Ann looks put out and wails, "My 880?!" then warns Cindy that that time will be hard to beat. Molly chimes in and says that records were made to be broken, but Sue Ann quickly rejoins, "Not that one." Blair asks her why she even cares [like...really, Sue Ann] and Tootie blurts out one of her trademark insulting one-liners: "You'll always be a champ to me, even though some people think of you as a has-been." Mr. Bradley asks Molly to take a photo of Cindy as she's crossing the finish line so he can publish a photo of his favorite champ in the yearbook. This proves to be too much for Sue Ann, who impulsively announces that she's entering the race after all. Mrs. Garrett reminds her that she wanted to devote more time to her schoolwork, but Sue Ann insists she can do her schoolwork and run for the track team. Cindy pouts and tells Sue Ann she thought she was going to coach her on how to win the race, and Sue Ann swivels her head - the way she does whenever she's feelin' particularly feisty - and smarmily asks her if she's afraid of a little competition. Everyone's all, "Ooooh! It is sooo on!" as Mr. Bradley smiles at the warring girls in smug satisfaction. Mrs. Garrett shoots him the stink-eye, clearly aware of what he's up to.
The next day, Mrs. Garrett tells Mr. Bradley that Cindy and Sue Ann are at the track running, then describes the workout as "a grudge match". She also remarks that she's noticed Cindy doesn't seem to be beating Sue Ann's running times, then comes right out and asks him if he's manipulating the girls into being overly competitive with each other. Mr. Bradley looks fake innocent and asks, "Why would I do that?" and she snarkishly retorts, "I don't know...to win a race, a trophy, a little glory for yourself?" Mr. Bradley tells her that his high school coach did the same dickish thing to him - and in his annoyingly condescending manner calls it motivation. Mrs. Garrett says that all Sue Ann and Cindy seem to care about is winning, and he's like, "Well, d'yuh" and declares that winning is everything, and that it's not possible to care too much about winning. He gets giddy at the thought of Sue Ann and Cindy placing first and second at the track meet, but Mrs. Garrett warns him that this rivalry could cause a couple of nervous breakdowns. She tells him that Sue Ann and Cindy are on the track every morning at 6am...and that they're falling asleep while doing their homework at night. Mr. Bradley's like, "Whatever" and breezily says they're bright girls and can handle it. Mrs. Garrett sternly reminds him that Sue Ann and Cindy used to be the best of friends but now don't even speak to each other...and he's just like, "Oh butt out." I'm soo looking forward to this idiot man-child getting his ass steel-toed out of Eastland after Season 1.
Cindy and Sue Ann return to the dorm, arguing bitterly. Sue Ann accuses Cindy of tripping her and knocking her off her stride, Cindy denies it, and the two get into a light shoving match. Mrs. Garrett and Mr. Bradley step in and forcibly restrain them, and for some reason Sue Ann starts flailing her arms and fists around uncontrollably and accidentally punches Blair in the face. [LOL - that probably shouldn't have amused me as much as it did.] Mrs. Garrett glares at Mr. Bradley and snaps, "How do you like your friendly competition now?!"
Nancy's on the phone with Roger, telling him the horrifying details of the kitten fight she just witnessed between Sue Ann and Cindy. She describes for him how the girls were all sweaty and had their arms and legs all tangled up together (not really an accurate description of what actually happened, but whatevs). Suddenly, Nancy's eyes bug out and she snaps into the phone, "What do you mean it sounds sexy?!" She calls her boyfriend "sick and depraved"...and then a few seconds later confirms that they're definitely still on for Saturday night. From what we've been able to glean about Roger, he seems to have a kinky edge to him...so it kind of makes me wonder what he sees in a prudish cheesecake like Nancy.
Blair stares in the mirror at her black eye and wails, "What am I gonna doooo?!" Tootie uselessly suggests that she could either make her eye white to match the rest of her face, or make her face black to match her eye (um...Blair in blackface would probably not be such a good idea), and then Molly tells Blair she'd look funnier if she had two black eyes. Blair poutishly declares that Sue Ann should be arrested for vandalism, then puts on a jewelled eye patch to cover her bruise and wonders aloud if people will notice. Molly tells her that a black eye is far less important than the hostility that currently exists between Cindy and Sue Ann. Suddenly, Sue Ann stumbles into the room with all of her luggage and asks the person she just punched in the face if she can move in with her for awhile. Apparently she no longer wants to room with Cindy, the "glory hungry backstabber". Molly reminds her that they used to be best friends and wonders how it's possible for them to hate each other's guts so much. Sue Ann's like, "That's easy. Cindy was gloating and taunting me, after all the time I spent coaching her!" Egads! Blair invokes Sue Ann's non-existent weight problem again and snidely suggests that maybe the extra pounds slowed her down...but the joke/line/whatever the writers were going for by trying to resurrect the fat/dieting storyline falls flat when Sue Ann ignores the jab and says that clearly Cindy was just using her to train for the upcoming race and was never her friend. Blair's like, "Yeah, whatever" and continues to wail about her black eye.
Natalie and Nancy drop by the gym to see how Cindy's doing, and they find her angrily jumping rope. Natalie wryly explains to Nancy that Cindy always jumps rope when she's mad. Cindy grumbles about what a horrible excuse for a human being Sue Ann is, and says she was happy with her pre-track life of baseball and tennis. She also no longer wants to room with Sue Ann, who she derisively describes as "a spoiled brat". Nancy irrelevantly passes along the advice that Roger always gives her: "Let's sleep on it" and Natalie reacts to that by hunching over and looking as though she's on the verge of throwing up. Hee! Cindy petulantly declares that she never wants to talk to Sue Ann ever again (like ever!), and plans on telling her that she should drop out of the race. So there!
Mr. Bradley is polishing the hideous trophy when Mrs. Garrett enters the room carrying a large print of the photo she took earlier of Sue Ann and Cindy. She shows it to him and reminds him that it was taken back when the two girls were friends...as in, a day or two ago. However, now they're ex-besties - thanks to his "killer instinct". Mr. Bradley chuckles and tells her that yeah, things may have gotten slightly out of hand, but it's just a case of the girls being "high spirited". Mrs. Garrett reminds him that Blair got her lights punched out and demands that he pull both girls out of the race, but he staunchly refuses to "deny Eastland's place in the sun" because he's a sad little man-child who's in desperate need of a real life, as opposed to the one he's living vicariously through the athletic accomplishments of two teenage girls.
Molly and Tootie come downstairs to announce that they've negotiated peace between Sue Ann and Cindy. To be clear, the two girls still hate the sight of each other - however, they both agree that Mr. Bradley should flip a coin to determine which of them will drop out of the race, 'cause neither wants to run if the other is running. Sue Ann and Cindy scramble down the stairs, bickering back and forth, and Mr. Bradley tells them he's starting to get impatient with this tedious storyline - then orders them shake hands, but they refuse. Mrs. Garrett shows them the giant photo she took of them when they were friends, and Sue Ann scrunches her face in annoyance and tells her to please not play the role of peacemaker. Mrs. Garrett asks if either of them wants the photo, but neither does...so she glares over at Mr. Bradley and asks, "That's your idea of friendly competition?" He explains that it's good for competitors to get angry with each other 'cause it turns them into winners, and Mrs. Garrett admonishes him for being willing to ruin a perfectly good friendship for the sake of a race, and "a lousy tin cup". Haha! Mr. Bradley looks insulted and haughtily clarifies, "It's silver" then gives her one of his dicked up lectures about how the world is made up of winners and losers - and how badly he wants their girls to be winners. Mrs. Garrett responds by abruptly ripping the photo in half and says she's changing the title of it from Buddies Forever to Two Winners, then hands each girl half of the photo so that "neither has to stand beside someone they hate". Cindy suddenly looks somber and says, "I never said I hated her" and Mrs. Garrett accusingly retorts that they've certainly been acting like it...and Sue Ann shamefully nods. Cindy says, "I guess I've been acting pretty dumb, huh?" so then Sue Ann admits that she's the one who started this whole thing when she felt jealous about Cindy beating her fastest running time. Cindy accepts her apology and says she almost wishes she'd never broken her record. Mr. Bradley sheepishly interjects and admits that the entire rivalry over race times was something he contrived, 'cause Cindy never actually beat Sue Ann's winning time. Mrs. Garrett smiles over at him and calls him beautiful...which was definitely not the reaction I was expecting.
Mrs. Garrett gets a hold of Molly's camera again and says she wants to take another photo of the two girls, but this time she'll title it Two Champs. Mr. Bradley says, "How about Three Champs?" and motions for her to get into the frame as well. The three pose happily as he snaps the photo, and suddenly Blair appears at the top of the staircase and covers her face as though the camera is directed at her, and dramatically protests, "Please! No pictures!" and the laugh track roars. It remains unclear, however, if Cindy and/or Sue Ann will compete (or not) in the upcoming track meet.