Recap: A group of students are clumped around the front entrance of the school. Montgomery sees a cab pull up and yells, "Bruno!" then runs over. He starts gabbling about "a chick in biology", then abruptly stops when he realizes it isn't Bruno's father's cab. Two total uggos (a man and woman) climb out of the cab, and both are dressed in grey and have really bad hairdos. Montgomery apologizes and says he thought they were someone else, and the man shoots him the stink-eye and snarks, "Obviously." Someone from inside of the school calls out to the gruesome twosome and waves them over, and they rush past the gawking crowd of students and dart inside the building. Leroy sidles up to a bemused Montgomery and wryly says, "Those people are the man." Er...OK?
Miss Sherwood informs her students that there will be three observers roaming around the school for the next few weeks. They represent the State Board of Education and are there to check out how well (or not) things are functioning. Ms. Grant tells her dance class students that even though they're being evaluated, it's business as usual. She warns, "No showboating or clowning around." Incidentally, I notice that Leroy is still wearing short shorts to dance class, so I'm officially giving up hope that that Ms. Grant is ever going to convince him he should buy a decent pair of tights. Over in the music department, Mr. Shorofsky tells his class that certain students have been selected to answer the observers' questions...and when Bruno asks what he means by observers, Mr. Shorofsky bluntly replies, "We have three snoops." Hee!
Ms. Grant is bellowing at her class to dance harder! better! faster! The female snoop (I don't know her name, so I'll just call her Snoopette) is watching intently, and makes an oooh face when Ms. Grant gets fed up with her class and screeches, "You're hopeless!" She orders everyone to stop moving, then asks them if they have the Monday blahs and mockingly says they dance as though they're wearing hiking boots. Leroy retorts, "We ain't wearing no hiking boots, but we ain't got wings sprouting out our backs neither" and Coco chimes in and snarks, "It's legal for a dancer to have her feet on the floor once in awhile." Ms. Grant stares back at her with her usual oh no you diin't! expression, then contorts her voice as she says, "Oh...poor child. Is teacher being too hard on you, Coco baby?" Coco insists she can take it, and Ms. Grant snaps, "No you can't! None of you can!" Snoopette looks intrigued by the spectacle and takes copious notes.
One of the male snoops (he's bald so I'll call him Bald Snoop) is questioning Mr. Shorofsky's music curriculum, and Mr. Shorofsky gives him a bitchy retort 'cause he's too old and crotchety to take any shit from anybody.
Miss Sherwood's class is taking a test while the music class next door is being very noisy with their instruments. Bald Snoop asks Miss Sherwood if she doesn't think the noise is distracting for her students, and she breezily says, "They're used to it." Bald Snoop makes a face and says he doesn't know how anyone could ever get used to such a racket. He suggests ear plugs, but Miss Sherwood snippily informs him that she can't teach students who are wearing ear plugs. Well duh, Miss Sherwood. I think maybe he was suggesting they wear them while they're taking tests.
Over in dance class, we get to watch a lot of superfluous footage of extras performing ballet moves. After the bell rings, Snoopette asks Ms. Grant where the students go to shower, and she says, "The second floor." Snoopette is all, "Wuh?" and says it's unusual to have a gymnasium located on the second floor, so Ms. Grant explains that the school doesn't have a gymnasium. Snoopette scrunches her face in surprise/disapproval/sympathy and and jots that down in her notebook.
Bruno's hiding out in a dressing room, playing on his portable keyboard, while Danny sits in front of the mirror and cakes makeup on his face to try to make himself look like an old person (for what purpose, I have no idea.) Doris and Julie sneak into the room and tell the guys they're avoiding the snoops, who are currently snooping in the cafeteria. A few seconds later, they hear footsteps in the adjoining theater and head over to check it out...and they find a drunk man stumbling around. He asks them if somebody named Leroy Johnson goes to this school, then proudly announces that he's Leroy's brother, Willy.
Coco runs into Leroy in the hall and tells him she has her interview with one of the snoops in a few minutes, then tells him to wish her luck. He scowls at her and barks, "Wish yourself luck. I have problems of my own." Me-ow. He enters the theater, and Willy looks him over and says he's all grown up. He mockingly asks him if he's studying to be like Gene Kelly, and Leroy ignores the jab and brusquely asks him what he wants. Willy chastises him for using such a rude tone with family, and Leroy snarkishly retorts, "We ain't much of a family." He reminds Willy about the robbery he committed and his subsequent prison term, then says he doesn't understand how or why he'd do such a dumbass thing. Willy mumbles something about getting into booze and dope after being discharged from the army, and says that all that substance abuse takes its toll on a man and makes him desperate. He tells Leroy he needs a place to crash, then guilts him about how they only have each other in this world. Leroy lets out a deep sigh and reluctantly offers to let his brother bunk with him until he gets his hot mess of a life sorted out. Willy's all, "Yippee!" while Leroy stares over at him concernedly.
Coco is being interviewed by one of the male snoops, and for some reason he's sitting at the far end of the table and his entire face is obscured by a large shadow. Coco gushes about how much she loves attending the school, so he asks, "The academic part, or the fun part?" She chuckles and replies, "Dancin' ain't all fun." He asks her what she'd most like to change about the school, so she mulls that over for a few seconds and tells him that the showers don't always work.
Over in the teachers' lounge, the faculty is bitching about the snooping of the snoops. Ms. Grant derisively says, "It's like they came from Mars or someplace. They have no idea what we're doing" and Miss Sherwood says the snoops probably feel like they're the ones from Mars. Mr. Shorofsky says he just hates anyone who stifles freedom and creativity, then advises his colleagues to appear friendly and cooperative. Bald Snoop suddenly enters the lounge and says he has good news: they're recommending money for the school to build a gymnasium. Mr. Shorofsky snarks, "Of all things, you're recommending that?!" Ms. Grant asks Bald Snoop if the money for the gymnasium is coming out of their existing budget, and he shrugs sheepishly and goes, "Um. Probably." She tells him they don't need a gymnasium, and he argues that State Board regulations call for an hour of PE every day. Ms. Grant cockily assures him that her dance classes are a workout and a half, and that every student is required to take some kind of movement class. Bald Snoop doesn't believe that a dance class equates to an hour of PE, and Ms. Grant haughtily declares, "There isn't a football player in this city who could make it through one of my dance classes."
Julie is now being interviewed by Shadow Snoop. She tells him that at this school, students are preparing for life - whereas in podunk Michigan, high school students are merely preparing for college. Shadow Snoop asks her why she plays the cello, and she dreamily says, "It's a timeless instrument." He asks her if she'd like to talk about her home life, namely her divorced parents, and instead of telling him it's none of his damn business, she says it's been a big adjustment now that she and her mom are on their own. Shadow Snoop then asks her what she'd do if she couldn't play cello or perform, and she just scrunches her face, stares blankly into space, and offers no response.
Miss Sherwood finds Leroy moping on a bench in the hall with his headphones on. She asks him if the guy who was stumbling around drunk in the theater is his actual brother...as opposed to someone he's just affectionately referring to as bruthuh. Granted, that can be confusing. Leroy gets all snarky and tells her that Willard (aka Willy) - who is, indeed, his biological brother - had been drinking 'cause he was celebrating his prison release and seeing him again. She's like, "Well, if that's true, then why are you sitting here and avoiding going home?" Leroy glares at her with his usual glarey expression and snarls at her to leave him alone.
Leroy arrives at his tiny, run-down apartment and finds an audio message from Willy on his tape deck. He tells Leroy he's getting "re-established" with his old crew, and will try to get lucky tonight - so it's doubtful he'll return until morning. Leroy ambles across the room and surveys the pile of clothes his brother dumped there, then opens a drawer filled with his brother's stuff. He feels around the drawer and discovers a handgun, and stares down at it in shock. Egads!
It's Doris' turn to be be interviewed, and we finally learn that she's a drama major. I guess I can buy that. She tells Shadow Snoop that her mom was an actress before she got married...then needlessly elaborates about how her parents were recently separated, but are back together now. Shadow Snoop asks her how she knows she'll succeed in this fickle business, and she says, "When I do a scene well, or get a good part." He asks her how she'd prepare to play a pregnant woman, and she jokes, "I'd get pregnant" then quickly adds, "That's ridiculous." Having listened to a few interviews, I really don't get what these State Board inspectors hope to uncover with their nonsensical lines of questioning.
Coco and Leroy are in the dance gym, stretching. She asks him if he'd like some advice, and he snaps, "No!" and she ignores that and barks, "Throw him out!" She says his brother has only been out of prison a few days and already has a gun. Leroy says he's the only family Willy has, and that he doesn't want to see him get sent back to prison. Coco points out that Willy is ten years older than him, and that he was nine when he was incarcerated, so he barely knows the guy. Leroy snarks, "He's my blood!" and Coco retorts that Willy's not treating him like blood - more like dirt. She urges him to order Willy to get rid of the gun 'cause it'll cause him nothing but trouble, then storms off.
Some jocks from a regular high school have arrived, and Ms. Grant discreetly tells Coco to round up all the dancers so she can prove to Bald Snoop that her students are way more physically fit than a bunch of football players. Both sets of students - who, incidentally, all look like they're well into their 30s - eye each other warily as they stretch and warm up...and Leroy makes his presence known decked out in a blue mesh top and a teeny tiny pair of short shorts. Ms. Grant leads the exercise-off with calisthenics, and Coco tries to psych out the jocks by singing, Watch My Smoke. LOL. The football players are unable to keep up with the dancers - but then, they're clearly at an unfair disadvantage since they're not familiar with the pre-rehearsed dance routine Ms. Grant has probably been teaching her class for the past several months...nor would they have developed the specific type of physical training one needs in order to perform advanced level gymnastics and mid-air split leaps. Leroy does a series of back flips (which was pretty dicey considering his short shorts) and another dancer follows that with several cartwheels. Bald Snoop looks over at the demoralized football players and concedes to Ms. Grant that it doesn't look like the school needs a gymnasium after all.
Danny is now being interviewed by Shadow Snoop, and he earnestly tells him there's an art to making people laugh. He thinks it's something one is born with, and that he possesses this rare gift. (Bwahaha! The hell you do, Danny.) Shadow Snoop asks him where he's from, and he says the South Bronx, and Shadow Snoop asks him if there's anything to laugh about in the South Bronx, and Danny assures him that there's more to the borough than just crime and murders. Shadow Snoop asks him what he'd consider a big success, and Danny says he'd love to win the lottery and never have to actually work [heh...that too is a life goal of mine, Danny], then concedes that he probably won't win the lottery, so he's got to plan for some kind of career...and somehow he's gotten it into his head that he has the wit and skill to make a fruitful living as a comedian.
Leroy and Willy are hanging at a pool hall, and Leroy tells him he found his gun. Willy tells him he plans to sell it for some easy cash (that actually sounds like a sensible plan, considering his options), but Leroy orders him to get rid of it and insists he's just looking out for him. Willy snarks, "I don't need no tip-toe dancer looking out for me" and Leroy scrunches his face in irritation and tells him to "back off with that" and explains that he's got a nice life going for himself: a part time job at the pool hall, an apartment he can afford, and the School of the Arts. He says he refuses to blow his shot as a dancer for something as stupid as guns or drugs, then once again orders Willy to dispose of the gun. Willy fishes the gun out of his jacket pocket and slams it onto the pool table. Leroy's like, "The hell?!" and quickly hides it in the pocket of his hoodie, then glances around the pool hall shiftily.
Leroy enters a dark alley, ambles past a homeless man, and drops the gun into a dumpster. The homeless man, who's actually an undercover police officer, yells, "Hold it right there!" Leroy tries to make a break for it, but gets trapped at the other end of the alley by the cop's partner.
Ms. Grant, who apparently is Leroy's emergency contact person, points out to the undercover cop that Leroy hasn't been charged with anything. The cop informs her that if the gun Leroy tried to discard in the dumpster was used in a crime, they could charge Leroy. The cop tells her she needs her to ensure that Leroy will show up for the trial if they decide to press charges against him, and Ms. Grant promises to do her best.
It's Bruno's turn to be interviewed, and he grumps to Shadow Snoop about all the cliques that have been formed among the drama and dance majors, then complains that no one understands music majors. He tells Shadow Snoop that his dream is to write music that makes people feel good...and that his dad is supportive of his career as a musician, even though it may not be the most stable way of making a living.
Leroy is sitting in the dressing room, glumly staring at himself in the mirror. He picks up a tube of lipstick and writes a big X on the mirror in front of his face. Bruno interrupts his pity party and informs him that pretty much the entire school knows about his arrest. Some of the kids think it's cool he had a gun, others thought he was courageous for disposing of the gun - but, overwhelmingly, most of them don't think he should go to jail for a guy he barely knows.
Leroy mopishly strolls down the hallway and peeks into various classrooms, watching his classmates rehearse lines, play the piano, and dance. He continues his moping in Central Park and encounters a mime who does his best to cheer him up. After that, he lumbers back to his apartment and continues to mope there. Riveting TV. A few hours later, Willy arrives at the apartment, all happy 'cause he won $100 playing poker. Leroy informs him he's going to have to move out, then hands him enough money to find himself a place of his own. Willy goes, "That's cold, man. I'm your brother" but Leroy argues, "You're just my mother's other son. That isn't the same as being a brother." Willy chuckles bitterly and takes the money...then tosses Leroy his keys and says, "I'm dead to you, boy." Leroy explains that he has family besides him, but they all have different last names, and Willy's like, "Whatever, man" and stalks out.
Leroy shows up for his interview with Shadow Snoop, but finds Miss Sherwood filling in. Apparently, Shadow Snoop had a small accident. She tells him the police are dropping the gun investigation 'cause the writers had no interest in sustaining that dumb storyline, and he happily informs her that he finally got his deadbeat brother to move out. He says it was tough, and that Willy's not a bad person - it's just that he's never had a purpose in life beyond hustling. Leroy says that he, on the other hand, has a purpose at this school and says, "The working and the dancing - it's just something that I am." Miss Sherwood gives him an affectionate smile and tells him to get outta here, 'cause he just answered every question she was supposed to ask him.
After that, we're subjected to a superfluous dance performance with Ms. Grant enthusiastically leading the class...and Leroy is blissfully leaping and twirling about in his short shorts. OMFG, man - get some tights!