Recap: Doris goes on the offensive with Dwight Mendenhall, the School of the Arts' new hall monitor and resident dork, and demands to see his hall permit. Dwight gets flustered and digs around in his pocket, muttering that he has his membership card for the Student Council Hallway Patrol in there somewhere. (With credentials like that, this kid must be actively seeking a daily ass-kicking.) When he pulls it out, Doris impatiently snaps her fingers and barks, "Fork it over!" He hands her the card, and after she pretends to carefully scrutinize it to ensure its authenticity, she announces, "I'm off to check the third floor now. Carry on." Dwight finally gets a clue and asks Doris for her hall pass, and she breaks into a run and flees down the hall in her weird, flail-y way.
Doris interrupts Miss Sherwood's English class to say she needs Bruno. Miss Sherwood asks her why, so she tells her a fantastical tale about how Mr. Shorofsky broke one of the synthesizers, and it suddenly began to sizzle/smoke. Miss Sherwood looks unconvinced, but also like she doesn't give a hoot if Bruno's in class or not - so she excuses him. Out in the hall, Doris admits to Bruno that she wasn't being entirely truthful to Miss Sherwood, and Bruno's like, "No shit" and says that Mr. Shorofsky would never even go near a synthesizer. Doris then breaks the exciting news: the faculty selected his musical for the school to perform as its next show! Bruno looks mildly pleased for a few seconds, then scrunches his face concernedly and asks her how she found out...so she confesses to eavesdropping on the faculty.
Mr. Shorofsky, Ms. Grant, and the hot new drama teacher, Mr. Reardon, are debating whether or not they should make Bruno a member of the production team for the upcoming show. [Sad note: the actor who played Mr. Crandall in Season 1 died of cancer a few weeks after the finale was filmed. RIP, Michael Thoma.] Mr. Reardon argues that in the real world, the composer would be part of the production team, but Mr. Shorofsky gruffly tells him that that kind of sensible logic isn't going to fly at the School of the Arts. Heh. When Mr. Reardon stares pleadingly at Ms. Grant, she sassily retorts, "Uh uh...I am not getting in the middle of that argument." Bruno and Doris burst into the teacher's lounge, and Bruno thanks them for choosing his musical. Ms. Grant asks him what he knows about casting or staging, and he stares back at her blankly and goes, "Not much" so she dismisses him from her orbit and tells Mr. Reardon and Mr. Shorofsky that it's probably not a good idea for Bruno to be part of the behind-the-scenes production. Mr. Reardon calls that chicken-hearted and gutless, and insists they allow him to do what a composer in the real world would be expected to do. Ms. Grant mulls that over, and a few seconds later she rushes out into the hall, waves at Bruno and barks, "About face, baby."
Over in the cafeteria, everyone is happily jigging and gyrating...while Dwight irritably lumbers his way through the crowd. I wonder what his performing arts talent could possibly be (I'm going to rule out dancing...and any kind of stage work that requires charisma). Doris hides from him behind a newspaper, and is then joined at her table by the rest of the Fame kids. Bruno tells everyone that the faculty is letting him be part of the audition process for his show, and Danny's excited that he's finally friends with someone important. He hints that he wants a lead role, then tries to suck up by offering to buy Bruno chocolate milk.
Bruno and Mr. Reardon are in the theater, ready to begin the auditions. Bruno remarks that the other kids may get bothered by the amount of power he's been given, but Mr. Reardon urges him not to cop out, 'cause he'll look like a jerk after pushing so hard to get him included. He explains that he's trying to loosen things up at the School of the Arts.
Over in the office, Mrs. Berg is explaining football betting to Mr. Shorofsky when Miss Sherwood stumbles in. She wants to know how much sick time she's entitled to, then complains to Mr. Shorofsky that she's tired, burned out, and fed up with this dump. Mrs. Berg informs her that she has ten sick days left, and Miss Sherwood contemplates that, then takes one of Mrs. Berg's football betting cards on her way out.
Auditions are underway, and the first girl/guy pair is pretty bad. Bruno tells Mr. Reardon that the guy's name is Norman, he's super nice, and is obviously very courageous to attempt acting when he's a music major. Reardon's just like, "Whatever. I don't give a shit." Norman gives a sucky audition, so Bruno allows him to have a redo, and offers some helpful pointers. As Mr. Reardon looks on in annoyance, Ms. Grant enters the theater and remarks that the auditions are running late...and that Norman is one of Shorofsky's people, not a drama major. Mr. Reardon tries to save face by insisting that Norman deserves a chance to audition.
Doris is studying in the library when Dwight finally tracks her down. He hands her a stack of summonses for various infractions: not having a hall permit, disobeying a hall monitor, and creating a disturbance. He orders her to sign each one, so she does it with exaggerated flare, as if she's giving a fan her autograph. She asks him if there's an actual punishment to these silly summonses, and he decrees, "No performance experience for a month, and extra homework from your adviser." Doris goes, "Ooooh, Dwight" then pauses and smirkingly asks, "Is that really your name?" then pleads with him to not penalize her so harshly, 'cause she really really wants to try out for Bruno's musical. She's pretty sure she has a good shot of getting a lead role, since she and Bruno are such good friends. Dwight perks up at that and asks her if she can get his friend, Norman, in the show...and she contemplatively mulls that over.
After Ms. Grant dismisses her dance class, Bruno rushes into the dance gym, self-importantly carrying a clipboard. Coco asks him how it's going, and he snaps, "Narrowing down the list" and bitches about how everyone keeps asking him how it's going. Meow. He then complains to Ms. Grant about how everyone wants to see the list of people who made the cut...and Ms. Grant looks over the list, makes a face, and says that some of his choices are questionable. For example, Danny got a major role, which entails a dance number...and it's common knowledge that Danny can't dance worth a shit. She abruptly stops talking and dismissively says, "Never mind. I'll talk to Mr. Reardon" but when Bruno reminds her that he's supposed to be treated as an equal on this production, Ms. Grant candidly says, "Casting Danny in that role is flat out dumb. And it doesn't serve the needs of the show." I don't think casting Danny in any role would serve the needs of any show. Ever.
Doris is backstage, eavesdropping on Bruno and Mr. Reardon as they bicker about casting. Mr. Reardon tells Bruno they need to make some tough choices, but Bruno whines about how he feels used and is making enemies. He wails, "Everybody's out for something: a favor, a role, an inside tip." From her hiding spot, Doris suddenly looks sheepish and goes back to where Dwight is waiting for word about Norman getting a role. She tells him she couldn't get him into the show, then dramatically shrieks, "Turn me in!"
Bruno and Mr. Reardon go over the cast list and realize that the lead role, Christopher, hasn't been cast. Bruno says that no one who auditioned even came close, and that the character is shy and sensitive with an off-the-wall sense of humor. Hmm... Mr. Reardon says, "He's you" (of course he is - he wrote the dumb thing) and urges him to cast himself in the lead role. Bruno protests, "But I'm not an actor!" so Mr. Reardon points out that won't actually have to act, since he'd just be playing himself. Bruno mulls that over and decides that casting himself in the lead role of his own play is an awesome idea, 'cause what could go wrong with that?
Out in the hall, Dwight bellows to no one in particular, "It's outrageous! It's a disgrace!" A few seconds later, everyone rushes over to the cast list, which has just been posted. Danny yells, "I'll kill him! That was my part!" and Doris watches the chaos from the staircase and says, "Let the games begin."
Ms. Grant tells Mr. Reardon that the kids are really ticked off about the cast list, but he says it'll blow over in a couple of days. Ms. Grant says that's not how things roll at the School of the Arts, so Mr. Reardon explains that he and Bruno brainstormed very very hard over the cast list, and that the success of the show is more important than anyone's hurt feelings. Ms. Grant points out that the kids have hurt feelings because they don't feel like they got a fair shot at the roles, then warns, "This will blow up in your faces."
A substitute teacher shows up to teach Miss Sherwood's English class. When Leroy asks whassup with Miss Sherwood, she's like, "I dunno. I only know she's absent." Leroy scrunches his face with displeasure.
Doris and Bruno are in biology class, trying to dissect a frog. Bruno grumbles that frog dissection isn't an important life skill, and Doris stares at him concernedly and says, "Talk to me." He mumbles about how he alienated everybody 'cause he cast himself in the lead role of his own show - shocker - and asks her if she's available later, 'cause he needs someone to talk to about all this. He says she's the ideal person for him to turn to 'cause she didn't audition for the show and therefore doesn't want any favors from him (well, anymore). Doris looks flattered at being Mopey's sounding board of choice and says she'll be over at his place at around 7pm.
Ms. Grant's dance students are looking very lackluster, and when she asks them whassup with their half-hearted leaps and twirls, they tell her they're really bummed out about Bruno casting himself in the lead role of the upcoming show. Get over it, kids. I'm sure there will be a fresh new show to audition for next week. Leroy has an additional, unrelated gripe: the sub for Miss Sherwood "got a bug up her bazooka". Ms. Grant sighs heavily and says, "Sounds like I've got a real morale problem on my hands" and says she refuses to let their spirits sag to shit. She declares that they all need a field trip - with the sun on their faces and the wind in their hair, and everyone really likes the sound of that. In the next scene, the Fame dancers have unleashed themselves onto the streets of Manhattan, joyously pirouetting and funkily grooving about. They sing "Body Language" and prance their way from the Central Park Zoo, to the Staten Island Ferry, then all the way back uptown in front of Lincoln Center. That's an impressive amount of ground to cover during one small segment of the show. Naturally, everyone who sees them along the way - including a mime (!) - can't help but enthusiastically jig along.
That evening, Doris arrives at Bruno's house and heads down to the basement and finds him mopishly playing his synthesizer. He says he needs to tell her stuff he can't talk about at school...then builds up her hopes by saying they're more than just friends 'cause she gets him and is sometimes the only person who understands his mopey brand of humor. He starts moaning about how mad everyone is at him, and Doris puts her arms around him and coos, "I'm here. I'm listening." Bruno turns to stare into her eyes, and as she puckers up in anticipation for some face sucking, he asks, "Can you teach me how to act?" Doris looks momentarily discombobulated and is all, "Wha-a?" but quickly masks her disappointment and says, "No problem."
Ms. Grant telephones Miss Sherwood - and when she gets no answer, she leaves a message on her machine, asking her if she needs anything. She says that everything at the school is crazy, as per usual, and that they miss her. Miss Sherwood, who's sitting on the couch and despondently staring into space, tears up and whispers, "I miss you too."
Doris tries to tutor Bruno in the art of acting, but there's no getting around how horrible he is at it. Doris visibly grimaces at his overacting and gently says, "Less is more" then tries to get a little something out of it for herself and slyly suggests they practice the love scene. Heh.
Mr. Reardon sheepishly tells Ms. Grant there's been no improvement in Bruno's acting, and Ms. Grant blurts out, "He's terrible." Mr. Reardon says in the real world he'd be fired, then tells Ms. Grant he's going to bite the bullet and cut him loose from the cast. She nods approvingly and applauds his cajones.
Leroy drops by Miss Sherwood's apartment to see whassup with her absence. She invites him in and sadly says, "I think I broke something" and complains that she's sick of apologizing for what she does, is tired of coaxing people to speak English properly (a-hem, Leroy), and doesn't want to always defend what she does at the school. She moans, "I'm sick and tired!" then tells him the real reason she's so mopey: her ex-husband died, but no one in his family bothered to tell her he even had cancer. Ouch. She feels like she doesn't matter to anyone, but Leroy soberly says, "You matter to me." He then tells her she has "white folks blues"...meaning that white folks save up everything for one bad time - instead of just accepting the fact that life generally sucks, the way black folks do. Miss Sherwood tears up and assures him she'll be fine...and Leroy attempts to cheer her up further by handing her an envelop and telling her she won $30 on her football bet. She lets out an involuntary chuckle.
Over in the theater, Doris continues to coach Bruno...then throws in the towel and breaks into song - "Beautiful Dreamer" - for several loooong, unnecessary minutes. After the song, she leans in for a smooch just as Mr. Reardon bursts into the theater and asks Bruno if they can speak privately. Bruno's like, "Sure!", thanks Doris (whose lips are still puckered and waiting) for coaching him, then rushes off. As soon as Bruno enters the teacher's lounge, he blurts out, "I want out!" and says he's well aware of how craptastic an actor he is. He admits they made a UGE mistake casting him in the lead, but wants to remedy the situation, like pronto. Mr. Reardon just stares back at him with a mixture of surprise and relief...and happily accepts his resignation from the show.
The students are happily gyrating in the hall as Ms. Grant and Mrs. Berg smile and nod at the spectacle. Bruno announces to Danny that he's giving him his role in the show, and Danny's thrilled...which is weird, 'cause didn't Ms. Grant point out that Danny is incapable of pulling off any kind of dance number? Miss Sherwood makes her grand return to the school, and Leroy looks delighted and gives her a big hug.
A dejected looking Doris is sitting alone in the theater, tapping on the piano keys. She mutters, "Life has a nice melody. The lyric leaves something to be desired." She picks up her bag, twirls in the middle of the stage, and the episode abruptly ends there. Weird.
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