Fame - Season 2, Episode 22
Recap: Ms. Grant is presiding over her dance class as the students leap and twirl to Russian inspired music. Mr. Reardon enters the dance gym and asks Ms. Grant if she has a minute to talk, and she snaps, "No!" then apologizes and tells him she's too busy overseeing the rehearsal for the upcoming UN Week festivities. He tells her it can wait until lunch, then leans in and kisses her cheek and says he's looking forward to seeing her later. The students are all, "Mmm hmm.." and start tittering about the odd teacher-on-teacher PDA they just witnessed.
Mr. Cannon, a teacher from Edison High School, smugly tells Mr. Shorofsky that his students focus primarily on academics and do performing arts related stuff on the side - which is the polar opposite of how the School of the Arts flunkies spend their time. Mr. Shorofsky says that that's an insult to the Fame kids and manages to keep a straight face when he insists that they're all receiving an excellent, well-rounded education. Mrs. Berg pops into the office and announces that the Edison students are beginning to arrive.
The well dressed, smart looking Edison students stream inside the school in an orderly fashion. Mrs. Berg gives them an official welcome, then instructs them to head over to the cafeteria to receive their national assignments. Doris walks behind a group of Edison students and, like the moronic tool she is, mimics one of the girl's hand gestures...and the Edison girl flails her arm as she talks to her friend and accidentally smacks Danny. He sarcastically tells her he's super fascinated with her story about "yachting with papá", and she snaps back that he's probably just excited to listen to a young person who's capable of stringing several coherent sentences together. Haha! Coco gets in on that action and demands to know whassup with her sassy 'tude. Danny gets all in the sassy gal's face and says if she were a guy he'd deck her for ridiculing his brazen idiocy, and she smirkingly replies, "I bet you would have" then saunters off.
To kick off UN Week, all of the students pick country names out of a hat. Leroy gets Russia, Doris gets India, and Danny gets Italy. Danny's thrilled to represent his ancestral homeland - but is bummed when he learns that the other Italian delegate is Alicia, the girl he just snarked at in the hall.
Danny puffs up his little chest and proudly informs Alicia that his grandfather is Italian. She asks him if he's ever been to Italy or knows how to speak Italian...and when he's like, "No and no", she boasts that she spent the last three summers in Italy and can speak a bit of the language. She chides him for behaving, in general, like an insecure douchewad and says she heard that the School of the Arts kids are flakes who will likely act out 'cause of how intimated they'd be by an event like UN Week. Miss Sherwood suddenly interjects and informs the two that they've been assigned to act as co-chairs for the faux UN Assembly. Danny does not look thrilled.
Over in a diner, Mr. Reardon tells Ms. Grant he's auditioning for a musical...and that he's terrified about all the singing and dancing it's going to entail. Ms. Grant assures him he'll be fine, then takes that back when she realizes she's never actually seen him perform on stage and offers to teach him a few simple dance steps. Miss Sherwood appears and joins their table, and wryly tells them that UN Week is not going so well partly 'cause Mr. Shorofsky and Mr. Cannon are constantly at each other's throats. Cue Mr. Shorofsky, who lumbers over looking grim. When his colleagues ask him how things are going, he responds by mutely throwing several darts and getting them all in the bulls-eye part of the dart board...then quietly lumbers back out. Hee!
In the dance gym, Ms. Grant is helping Mr. Reardon rehearse lines for the audition. He holds her hand while he acts out what looks to be a tender love scene...and at that moment, Doris happens to walk by, peers at them through the window, and understandably misinterprets what she's looking at.
Dwight is playing the sousaphone in one of the music rooms when he notices a female version of himself - a She-Dwight from Edison High School - staring at him through the window. He likes what he sees and invites her in, and she flirtily compliments his sousaphoning. He tells her he's been tasked with providing the entertainment for the assembly recess, and she asks him if he'd like to do it as a duet with her, then says she also plays the sousaphone. Dwight is giddy with delight at the implausible coincidence, and eagerly gives her his music sheets so that the two of them can practice together.
Mrs. Berg gushes to Mr. Shorofsky about how there's always something wonderful and mature in the air during UN Week...but then, a few seconds later, they step into the cafeteria and find the students throwing paper airplanes at each other while Alicia desperate tries to restore order. Womp womp! Danny gives up on the chaos and stomps out of the room.
Coco and Julie are hanging in the dressing room, sharing their philosophies of taking on roles...blah blah. Danny bursts in and snarks that he doesn't want to talk about anything related to UN Week...but then a few seconds later, Alicia enters the room and explains that Bruno told her that this is where students like to hide when trying to avoid participating in pointless shit like UN Week. Danny says he has no desire to go back to the UN Assembly 'cause it's boring and harps on mind-numbing stuff like trade agreements. Alicia mulls that over and suggests that they bring up a quasi-interesting human rights issue - like, for example, the sad plight of Ilsa, the East German ballerina who's currently trying to defect to the United States. When no one points out that it's not actually part of the UN's mandate to weigh in on an individual's emigration situation, Coco perks up and says she'd loooove to play the part of Ilsa, then gaily scampers out of the room to seize the role for herself.
Mr. Reardon demonstrates for Ms. Grant the dance steps he's been practicing. Danny walks by the dance gym at that moment, sees him twirl Ms. Grant around, and - like Doris before him - understandably misinterprets what he's looking at.
At the faux UN Assembly, Coco (who's playing the role of Ilsa) is being grilled by the UN delegates. Some accuse her of being unpatriotic or seeking to get rich in the West, while Bruno (The Netherlands) bloviates about how borders are meaningless to artists like Ilsa, and that she should be able to live wherever she wants. Well d'yuh, but then so should everyone living under a shitty, totalitarian regime. She-Dwight, who's supposed to be taking notes during the Assembly, has left a tape player on and ditched her post in order to practice the sousaphone for the upcoming duet. Dwight tells her she plays very well, and that she could totally get into the School of the Arts if she auditioned. Considering that Danny somehow got accepted, I'm sure he's right 'bout that. She-Dwight says she'd love to attend school with him, and the two dorks stare into each other's eyes and lean in and kiss...and then kiss again. Soak it up, Dwight.
Miss Sherwood bursts into the teachers' lounge and rails about how annoying Mr. Cannon is for constantly making fun of how badly the academics at the School of the Arts suck. When Mr. Reardon tells her to not be so insecure, she smugly tells him that Mr. Cannon also made a comment about him hitting the sheets with Ms. Grant. Mr. Reardon and Ms. Grant are all, "Wha-a?!" so Miss Sherwood says that tales of their togetherness are all over school. Ms. Grant explains that she's been helping Mr. Reardon prepare for a musical audition...and, I noticed, leaves out the part where he tenderly kissed her cheek in full view of Ms. Grant's dance class for no logical reason. Mr. Shorofsky advises them to have a fake fight to end their fake affair, and the two mull that over and decide that that idea might just be crazy enough to work!
Miss Sherwood asks her English class students what they think of UN Week so far. Julie says that running the world isn't as easy as it looks, and Coco says the UN is all about taking risks, which is probably something that will help her in her showbiz career after she graduates. Danny, however, grumbles that the dumb thing should be called off 'cause they're just [twenty-something] kids who shouldn't be burdened with adult problems. He also thinks that the Fame kids are way too inept to host an event like UN Week and suggests that the snooty brainiacs from Edison High School host it from now on. I second that. Miss Sherwood sternly retorts that she works just as hard at teaching English as any teacher from Edison, and that a passing grade in her class means something...and by something she means not a hell of a lot, 'cause based on the bits of her curriculum I've seen thus far, there's nothing about her English class that screams high standards.
Ms. Grant is dancing along with her students to some boring muzak when Mr. Reardon storms into the dance gym. He fake yells at her about how he's never been so humiliated, and she implores him to not air their dirty laundry in front of the class. The two idiots continue to bicker in front of the students, and Ms. Grant tries not to laugh as he "breaks up" with her via a dramatic goodbye. Well done, you two. Very convincing.
Danny tells Alicia that Coco (Ilsa) is taking a figurative beating from the fake UN delegates. Alicia breezily says, "She's fine" - but Danny disagrees and says that students at the School of the Arts care for each other, even while they're engaged in implausible UN type role playing.
Coco is weeping in the dressing room when Danny enters. He snaps, "That's it!" and says that for the sake of her mental health, she needs to stop portraying Ilsa. Coco sniffles, insists on carrying on, and says she's learning a lot from this faux role. Danny tells her she's paying too high a price, and sniffling far too much about her fictional plight...so much so that her friends are starting to worry about her. A defiant Coco responds by tying a scarf around her head (I'm guessing to look more East German, ballerina-like...or both) and slips back into character.
Mr. Reardon and Ms. Grant cackle to each other in the hall about how hilarious their inappropriate faux argument in front of the class was. She then informs him that he's been cast in the upcoming school production, and that the casting director he plans to audition for is welcome to stop by and get a feel for what he can do...'cause, yeah, that really sounds like the type of the thing a busy New York casting director would be interested in doing.
Mr. Reardon is on stage, performing some sort of period piece with backup dancers that goes on for a loooong fuuuuuuucking time. The casting director, who somehow found time in his busy schedule to attend, asks Mr. Reardon if the backup dancers are part of the package. He's like, "Uh. No" so then the casting director sternly replies, "We've got a problem" then leaves without explaining exactly what he meant by that.
Coco is mentally psyching herself up for her final statement to the fake UN Assembly. Mr. Shorofsky happens to pass by at that moment and advises her to think about what she wants, then stand up for herself by asking for it. She stares contemplatively into space as she mulls that over.
Kelly (China) argues that East Germany put in the time and resources to develop Ilsa into the superb ballerina she is today - but Coco (Ilsa) interjects and says she's not just an artist, she's a person. She argues that she shouldn't be forced to live where she doesn't want to, and shouldn't suffer because of a border on a map. After begging to be allowed to remain in the United States, the UN delegates solemnly cast their votes.
Ms. Grant and Mr. Reardon are hanging out at the diner again when Miss Sherwood arrives with Mr. Cannon. She explains that they declared a truce...then breaks the sad news that the real life Ilsa was sent back to East Germany this morning. [Chin up, Ilsa! Five years from now, East Germany will be absorbed into West Germany and you can do your ballerina-ing wherever you wish.] A few seconds later, Mr. Shorofsky arrives to deliver the faux UN decision on the matter: Coco (Ilsa) has been given asylum in the United States. Woo hoo! Miss Sherwood wryly says, "Too bad Ilsa didn't go to the School of the Arts" while Mr. Cannon haughtily says that the kids got it ass-backwards wrong. Mr. Shorofsky argues that they're just trying to run things a different way, i.e. caring about the world and each other. Miss Sherwood raises her class and toasts the empathy of the fake UN delegates.
And that's a wrap for Season 2! And an end to the recappable Fame episodes on DVD. :(
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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