Fame - Season 2, Episode 3
Recap: Leroy is anxiously racing through a crowded sidewalk to get to the School of Arts for a rehearsal. Over in the dance gym, Ms. Grant is bellowing at the class about how being late for rehearsal is like a capital crime in the professional dancing world, then barks, "You are breaking the moment!" Leroy arrives and stands in the doorway until Ms. Grant yells at him to get his ass in the room. He tries to explain why he's late, but she cuts him off...and he grumbles about how uptight she always is. She snaps, "Shut up and start gyrating!" and the rehearsal officially begins.
Julie's in one of the private music rooms, playing her cello. Mr. Shorofsky enters the room and asks her why she's torturing herself by playing the same chord over and over again, 'cause it's already perfect. She glumly asks, "If it's perfect, why didn't I win the competition?" so he explains that while technique can be executed perfectly, music has an intangible, subjective quality that makes it virtually impossible to attain perfection. He urges her to put all of her emotions, whether they be good or bad, into her music. Doris suddenly bursts into the room to tell Julie that her dad is on the phone in the office...and for some reason, Julie doesn't react and just mutely stares into space.
At Mr. Shorofsky's urging, Julie finally lumbers over to the office to take the call. Her dad tells her he's going to be in New York this week and wants to know if she's free for lunch on Wednesday. He says he has something very important to tell her and wants to do it face-to-face. Ho hum.
Ms. Grant gets fed up when Leroy is late for yet another rehearsal and abruptly announces that some flunky named Michael will now be the lead dancer in the show. Michael's like, "Wuh?" and nervously asks, "What about Leroy?" and Ms. Grant snaps, "I don't see a Leroy." Michael suggests waiting a few more minutes for Leroy to saunter in, but Ms. Grant refuses...and when Michael warns her that Leroy is going to be plenty steamed when he finds out he's been replaced, Ms. Grant sassily retorts, "You'd better make up your mind who you're more afraid of: Leroy or me." Michael looks like he's probably equally frightened of them both, but since Ms. Grant is the one who's currently hovering over him with a pissed off expression on her face, he obediently gets into his ready position. Before he can begin leaping and twirling, however, Leroy bursts in exclaiming, "I got it! Let's go!" - but Ms. Grant orders him to sit down, then informs him that Michael is now the lead dancer. Leroy asks why, so Ms. Grant snaps, "Because Michael was here" and the two bicker back and forth, blah blah. Leroy snarls about her many rules, and that he doesn't feel much like dancing no mo', so Ms. Grant barks, "You are finished!" He shoots back, "Ain't that the truth!" and she orders him to get the hell out. Coco gets in on that action and chimes in from behind the group of dancers by snarking, "You chump! You'd better come here and work and not make us look bad!" and Leroy grunts at her in his usual grunty, scowly way and storms out of the room.
Doris barges into the music room where Julie is playing her cello and asks how her phone conversation with her dad went yesterday. Damn she's nosy. Julie says she's scared 'cause last time her dad had something important to tell her, it was that he and her mom were getting divorced. Doris says, "Maybe they're getting back together!" and Julie perks up as she mulls over this unlikely possibility and chirps, "I didn't think of that!" She's suddenly in a much happier mood, thanks Doris, and kisses her cello. There's no way this isn't a major letdown just waiting to happen.
Coco tells Danny that she saw Leroy walking on 28th Street - and when he spotted her trailing after him, he took off running. She says she hopes he's not into any gang activity - but if he is, they need to find out for sure. Danny tells her it's too dangerous for her to walk around that neighborhood by herself and agrees to accompany her on her next spy mission.
Leroy bounds up the subway stairs and prances across the street - and he does that while wearing a tank top, short shorts, and socks pulled up to his knees. Yikes, '80s. Coco and Danny are in close pursuit, and we get to watch them run after Leroy in a cat and mouse chase for what seems like a looooong time - but eventually they lose track of him on a busy sidewalk.
Coco asks Miss Sherwood what she's going to do about Leroy's incomplete essay assignment, and Miss Sherwood says she's not discussing any disciplinary action that she may or may not be taking against another student. Coco begs her to not come down too hard on Leroy 'cause she suspects that he's gone back to "street life". Miss Sherwood scrunches her face in concern as she contemplates Leroy's return to the street and says she'll consider this conversation as a friend being concerned about a friend.
Julie and her dad are having lunch at a fancy restaurant. He starts nattering about how children often view their parents as perfect, and that part of growing up is discovering that it's not necessarily true 'cause dads can fuck up just like everyone else. He then admits that he messed up his marriage and that "grownups get confused", but that they can also start fresh and rebuild. He asks Julie if she's able to follow the nonsensical blather that's coming out of his mouth, and she smiles and says, "Oh, I hope so!" Uh oh. Sounds like an easily avoidable misunderstanding in the making.
Doris nosily asks Julie what happened during her lunch with her father and Julie glumly tells her that he's getting remarried - to a woman who's not her mother. Doris looks shocked and is all, "Wha-a?"
In music class, Julie looks morose as she plays her cello, and Mr. Shorofsky watches her concernedly. After class, Julie confides in him about her dad's plans to remarry. Mr. Shorofsky's like, "That sucks" then tells her that composers often redirect their personal pain into their music. Julie wails, "I'm scared there's no music left inside of me!" but he assures her that that could never happen. I think it probably could, but then I'm a recapper not a musician...and don't care about this lame storyline.
Coco is waiting by the exit of the building on scary 28th Street, in which she spotted Leroy enter during her latest spy mission. A bunch of people suddenly stream out of the building, and Leroy is among them. He looks surprised to see Coco and asks her whassup, and she motions at the group of people he just exited the building with and says, "That's the strangest gang I've ever seen." Leroy laughs and says they're a dance troupe called Fast Flow. Haha! That sounds like a brand name for maxi-pads. He explains that they rented this dump to rehearse in until their next show starts, then tells her that this is where he's been hanging out all week. He describes the experience as, "No rules, no bells. Just moves and grooves" and tells Coco that the troupe is looking to add one male dancer to the group, and that auditions are next week. Godspeed, Leroy.
Back at the School of the Arts, Leroy enters the dance gym after being summoned by Ms. Grant. She cuts right to the chase and says she'd like him to coach Michael, who's not quite up to snuff in portraying the "three dimensional person" the lead dancer's role requires. She admits that while it would mean being an important part of the show, he still wouldn't actually be in it. Leroy says he wouldn't mind doing it, but doesn't think he'll be here. Ms. Grant's all, "Wha-a?" so Leroy tells her that something's come up and that he may be able to leave this dump of a school for a chance at a better life. Ms. Grant looks indignant and snaps, "You can't do that!" and Leroy snaps back, "I can do whatever I want!" then says he's tired of being told what he can and cannot do, and then storms out of the room.
Ms. Grant is sitting at the piano, looking mournful, when Mr. Shorofsky enters the room. She wryly tells him, "Every note I hit is out of tune" and then wonders if any of it even matters. Mr. Shorofsky tells her about his recent success with a student - we'll call her Julie - who told him she feared she had no music left in her anymore...however, after a comforting chat with the cuddly old bear, she realized she still has music inside of her. He then produces some music sheets and says it's Bruno's latest song...and starts playing it on the piano and singing. Ms. Grant sings along and looks thoroughly cheered up by the end of the performance.
On 28th Street, Coco tells Leroy she's going to miss him soooo much when he drops out of school to become a paid gyrater. She solemnly says, "Break a leg, man" and Leroy scampers off to audition for Fast Flow - the dance troupe that offers absorbent protection you can rely on.
Ms. Grant enters the dance gym and finds Leroy hanging with his schoolmates. She wryly says, "I thought you left to learn the ways of the world" and he says, "You knew, didn't you?" and tries to get her to admit that she knew he was auditioning for a dance troupe. Leroy then claims that the selection panel (or whoever) refused to allow him to audition him because of his age (apparently they don't want twenty year olds), then vaguely cites "labor laws, welfare rules, and who knows what else?" as the barriers for his audition. Michael looks relieved and says that Leroy can be in the show after all! Coco tells Ms. Grant that they've been rehearsing and think "it's pretty special", then exclaims, "We're talkin' heat!" Ms. Grant reminds them that Leroy has missed too many rehearsals, but Coco's like, "Blah blah blah.." and urges her to sit down and watch them perform. Leroy suddenly starts leaping about while thrusting his pelvis, dressed in a mesh shirt and his usual short shorts. Ms. Grant bobs her head and starts to get into it, and a group of passersby stand in the doorway of the dance gym and bob their heads approvingly. When they finally finish the number, Coco rushes over to Ms. Grant and stares at her expectantly and goes, "Well..?" and Ms. Grant nods and says in a flat voice, "It was hot. Great." The performers look thrilled with themselves, but then deflate when Ms. Grant refuses to reinstate Leroy as the lead dancer and insists that the role belongs to Michael. Michael's all, "Wha-a? I don't wannit!" and Leroy tells him it's OK for him to be the lead dancer - then offers to coach him. He orders him to come in at 7am, then barks, "And don't be late!" which makes everyone chuckle. Ms. Grant smiles at Leroy and says, "Welcome back" and invites him to share her sandwich, but he declines and sadly shuffles across the room. She asks him if he's OK, and he mumbles, "Not even close" and Ms. Grant cocks her head in confusion.
Everyone's in the theater, preparing for the show. Dwight is hanging up a poster when Ms. Grant goes over and tells the nitwit that there's no point in hanging the poster inside the theater, since people inside the theater have already bought a ticket. Dwight thinks hard and says, "Maybe I should put it up outside..?" and Ms. Grant condescendingly replies, "There you go!" Miss Sherwood arrives and asks Ms. Grant if she's nervous about the show, and the two talk about Michael - and not Leroy - being the lead dancer, blah blah. They decide that they probably shouldn't want give up on Leroy...or at least not want to give up on him at the same time, then promise to do their best to keep him in school. Oh joy.
On the night of the show, everyone's backstage - in costume - and doing last minute preparations. Mr. Shorofsky finds Julie practicing her cello and tells her that people are lined up for blocks (seriously?). She tells him she decided not to invite her father and says she's just not ready to hang with him...and Mr. Shorofsky says he can respect that. The curtain goes up, and Julie and Bruno take the stage to perform the opening number. Mr. Shorofsky watches Julie intensely, and it looks like she's pouring all of her emotions into her performance - just like he advised her to. Bravo, Mr. Shorofsky.
Ms. Grant finds Leroy in the dressing room, sitting in front of the mirror crying. Ms. Grant asks him whassup, and he snarls at her to leave him alone. She says she knows he's disappointed about the show, and he runs over to the wall, punches a gym mat and yells, "Leave me alooone!" A few seconds later, he admits that the selection panel for Fast Flow didn't tell him he was too young - they said he wasn't good enough...yet. He gives Ms. Grant an incredulous stare and says, "No one's never said that to me before." He says he knows he has to work hard at subjects like math and reading, but has always been able to "catch fire" while dancing. LOL. He sadly says that if he doesn't have dancing to cling onto, he doesn't have anything. Ms. Grant points out that the panel said he wasn't good enough yet - which is precisely why he's at the School of the Arts: so he can get good. That's a very pleasant way to sugarcoat Leroy's utter lack of technical skill. She promises to work with him if he agrees to give it all he has, but he just stares tearfully into space.
Julie is still performing on her cello, and it looks like she's really getting into the performance 'cause her eyes are closed and her head's kind of swaying with the music. When she finally finishes, the audience claps enthusiastically, and Mr. Shorofsky looks very impressed and gives her a giant bear hug. Now it's time for the big number, and (ugh) we get to watch it all over again - this time with Michael dancing the lead. As Ms. Grant grins and bobs her head, Mr. Shorofsky asks her if she was able to reach Leroy, and she replies, "I dunno. I hope so."
It looks like she was able to reach Leroy, 'cause over in the dance gym, Leroy is happily gyrating by himself, following Michael's dance moves as the music streams in from the nearby theater. I think that kid's going to be aw' right.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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