Recap: A janitor watches/supervises as a blind man ambles around The School of the Arts, I'm assuming to familiarize himself with the place. After that, he watches the blind man throw wads of crumpled up paper at a garbage can. When he finally gets one in, the janitor says he needs to start mopping the lobby now, but the blind man bitchily orders him to sit the hell back down and snaps, "I'll tell you when we're done here!" The dismayed janitor sits back down as the rude turd continues to throw paper wads.
Ms. Grant is irked when she learns that six members of the school board's budget committee, headed by someone named David Collins, will be attending the school's trimester production. Ms. Grant says that Mr. Collins has never brought along board members to check out one of their shows before and wonders whassup. Mrs. Berg, who's engrossed in a paperback romance novel, says, "I imagine it's because we turned down his Debbie." Ms. Grant is all, "Wuh?" so Mrs. Berg explains that Debbie is Mr. Collins' niece, and that she auditioned for the school's dance program - but Ms. Grant didn't think her dancing was up to snuff so she rejected her. Ms. Grant asks her why she didn't tell her who Debbie's uncle was, so Mrs. Berg says she didn't want it to seem like she was getting special treatment, then says, "I know you're above that sort of thing." Heh.
Out in the hall, Miss Sherwood bumps into the blind man, which causes her to drop her papers. She snaps, "Why can't people watch where they're going?" and the blind man chortles and says, "We ran into each other, didn't we? I'll take half...you take the other half." When Miss Sherwood realizes he's blind, she sheepishly apologizes, and they both bend down to gather her papers. He introduces himself as Jim Landon and tells her he's substituting for [music teacher] Mr. Harper for a few weeks. Miss Sherwood offers to walk him to his classroom, so he asks, "Do I turn you on?" and she's all, "Wha-a?" so he snarks, "Well, that has to be the reason you would want to walk me to my classroom" then snappishly says he doesn't need extra help because of his blindness, if that was her real reason for offering. Or maybe she was just trying to be collegial, ya fuckwit. Jim salutes her and stomps off, and Miss Sherwood's like, "What a fucking weirdo" - or maybe that was me, projecting.
The Fame kids in Mr. Harper's music class are playing a mock baseball game with crumpled up paper wads when Jim enters the room. He quickly deduces what game they're playing, then makes a call as though he's an umpire, and this prompts Danny to protest and blurt out, "What are you? Blind or something?!" The room goes quiet when everyone realizes he is blind...and after the awkwardness, Jim introduces himself and says he'll be filling in for Mr. Harper for a few weeks. He tells everyone to sit down and warns them not to switch seats, and Doris says, "We'd never switch seats on someone like you" and Jim gets all prickly and asks her to explain that remark, so she just comes right out and says, "Because you're blind." Jim waves his hand in front of his face as if to test his non-existent eyesight, then quips, "Well I'll be damned!"
Ms. Grant is presiding over her dance class - but the dancers aren't able to perform very well 'cause they're too distracted from all the noise coming from Jim's music class, one floor up. For some reason, he's making everyone jump up and down while yelling, "Huh! Huh! Huh! Huh!" Ms. Grant snappishly tells her dance students that their concentration should be strong enough to shut out any distractions, then informs them that several members of the school board's budget committee will be attending their next show to find fault, and she doesn't want there to be any fault to find.
In the teacher's lounge, Ms. Grant bitches and moans to Miss Sherwood about the racket that's been coming from the music class the floor above the dance gym. She says she plans to tear into Jim Landon...and when Miss Sherwood tells her he's blind, she retorts, "So what? It doesn't give him the right to disrupt my classroom." Miss Sherwood winces and says, "He's very much his own man" which is a polite way of calling a douchewad a douchewad. A few seconds later, Jim enters the lounge carrying a tray of food, says hey to Miss Sherwood, and introduces himself to Ms. Grant. Ms. Grant scrunches her face in puzzlement and asks him how he knew Miss Sherwood was in the room, so he says he smelled her cologne, and it's the same kind his girlfriend wears. (Seriously? This abrasive turd has a girlfriend?) He asks Ms. Grant what she teaches, so she says dance, then tells him that the dance gym is located right underneath his music class. Jim irritably retorts, "Then we have to talk. The noise from your classroom is frankly intolerable, and I hope you're going to do something to tone it down." At first I figured he was just fucking with her...but when she stares at him, mouth agape with incredulity, and he bitchily snaps, "Do we understand each other?!" I had no choice but to accept that he was being totally serious and is morphing into a ruder, more gigantic douchewad with every scene.
When Julie and Doris complain to Bruno about what a weird, rude turd Jim Landon is, Bruno says he's probably just trying to shake them up a bit, and/or is trying to get them to think about things in a different way. Julie dismisses Jim as a show-off - but Doris argues that he's special, and that he's already taught them a valuable lesson: never give up.
The next day, Jim leads his class in a vocal exercise and launches into a song about vowels..and everyone snaps their fingers and bobs along to the beat. Jim then starts making shrieky noises, which everyone mimics - OMFG - and it's very horrific sounding and goes on waaay too long.
Downstairs in the dance gym, Ms. Grant is once again irked by the noise coming from Jim's class, so she abruptly orders Coco to take over, then storms upstairs. She encounters Dwight, who declares, "I need a hall permit", but when he sees the murderous look on Ms. Grant's face, he hastily says, "No, I don't." Why isn't this assclown ever in class?
Ms. Grant interrupts the music class and asks Jim if she could have a word with him in private, and once again he makes a snarky crack about all the racket coming from the dance gym. Ms. Grant tells him she doesn't think his students are going to be ready to perform in the trimester show - but Jim insists they will be, and sticks out his hand to shake on it. Ms. Grant ignores his outstretched hand, says, "I can't", and explains that the show will mostly be a showcase for the dance department. When he accuses her of wanting to hog the show 'cause she has a big ego, she angrily denies it and stalks off. Jim gets upset and mutters to himself, "Walk it off" and starts wandering around the halls.
Ms. Grant storms into the office to look up Mr. Harper's phone number so she can call him and find out how sick he actually is and when he's coming back. She start railing about the "officious egomaniac subbing for his class" then sees a strange man talking to Mrs. Berg. When she snaps, "Who are you?" Mrs. Berg tells her he's Mr. Belmont, and that he works for David Collins. Ms. Grant bitches about how Mr. Collins has taken a sudden interest in the school ever since his niece auditioned and was rejected, but Mr. Belmont tells her he knows nothing 'bout that and says he's only at the school to conduct a fire/safety test, as per Mr. Collins' order.
Jim, meanwhile, finds his way to the theater and sits down and looks sad and contemplative.
Dwight is aghast when he witnesses Mr. Belmont pull the lever to activate the fire alarm. Jim, meanwhile, hurries out of the theater and finds his way to the lobby, where Dwight is yelling, "Don't panic!" while looking very panicked, which is odd, since he knows first-hand this is just a drill. Jim heads over to the stairwell, but Doris stops him and says she made sure everyone made it downstairs OK. He insists, "I have to check for myself. They're my responsibility!" then shoves his way past Doris and snaps, "Out of the way, damn it!" LOL. Ms. Grant, who has witnessed the exchange, tells Doris she'll go upstairs after the idiot.
Jim is running down the hallway yelling, "Is anybody here?!" and then grabs onto a big pipe and looks totally wigged out. He runs across the hall into a classroom and once again yells, "Is anybody here?!" Obviously not, dickwad, otherwise they'd be answering you. Ms. Grant, who has followed him upstairs, watches his funny looking meltdown and looks sympathetic...but also kind of weirded out by the needlessly hysterical display. Jim emerges from the classroom and presses himself against the wall and starts crying, mutters, "No no...just a drill..." then kneels down and covers his face with his hands. Ms. Grant quietly tiptoes away, thinking to herself, "What a fucking weirdo" - oh wait...that was me, projecting again.
In Mr. Reardon's class, the students are performing a scene from Oedipus the King - post eye-gouging. Doris tears up, then starts weeping...and later tells Mr. Reardon she feels dumb for making a fool of herself. As well she should. Mr. Reardon correctly guesses that she's crying because of her empathy for a blind person, and Doris nods and says, "Does the hurt go away? Do you grow out of it?" Mr. Reardon replies, "Not if you're lucky."
Mr. Reardon makes a beeline over to Jim's classroom and introduces himself. He then says he wanted to let him know that one of his students is developing a crush on him. Jim says he's well aware of the fact that Doris digs him and bitchily snaps, "You're not the first person to come running in here with advice I simply don't need!" As the two walk down the hall together, Jim chides Mr. Reardon for his parental, condescending attitude, then accidentally enters the ladies room. Mr. Reardon watches with amusement until Jim comes out and sheepishly says to him, "I suppose you're still here" and enters the correct bathroom. Haha!
Ms. Grant tells a disinterested Mrs. Berg that she thinks David Collins is out for revenge because his niece wasn't admitted to The School of the Arts. She then wonders what the budget committee members would think if the trimester show featured a dancing blind man. Hmm..
Jim laughs heartily at the idea and tells Ms. Grant he's the biggest klutz on the planet, but Ms. Grant assures him, "If you can walk, you can dance." Jim sanctimoniously snarks about all the amazing stuff he's able to do on his own, and Ms. Grant agrees, but says that while some of it has been great, some of it has been really shitty. She gets exasperated and calls him "a boneheaded jackass" 'cause of how he'd rather do something all alone and fail rather than accept help and get something good done. Plus, he's just generally an arrogant, obnoxious fuckwad. She gives up and ends the conversation and watches as Jim ambles into the hallway, and suddenly clumsily leaps into the air. She encouragingly says, "Hey - that's pretty good!" and Jim grins like an idiot and says, "Still a klutz." Ms. Grant mutters to herself, "Not for long."
Doris arrives at music class and smiles sweetly at Jim, who ignores her - but then, it's probably 'cause he can't see her. Jim informs Danny that he won't be able to perform in the trimester show because of an unplanned number that's just been scheduled, and Danny seems mildly bummed. I didn't think the music students were even allowed to perform in the show...but, whatever.
Ms. Grant and Jim are walking down the hall, hand in hand, so I guess they're suddenly friends now. They head over to the dance gym, and after he gabbles nonsense for awhile, she yells, "Shut up and dance!" LOL. He obediently starts twirling and nearly falls over, and Ms. Grant lets out a heavy sigh and says, "Honey, maybe you can't dance." Jim tells her she's giving up on him too soon, then shrieks (!) and leaps around in attempt to dance - but bumps into the piano and falls to the floor. Ms. Grant laughs at his clumsiness, but then tells him she saw him running toward the imaginary fire during the drill and says it must have taken a lot of guts for him to do that. She then has a sudden change of heart and agrees to give him another dance lesson.
Show time! David Collins, a humorless looking white man, arrives at the theater and grumpishly takes his seat. Miss Sherwood greets a pretty blonde woman, who identifies herself as Jim's girlfriend...and Doris, who has eavesdropped on the exchange, does not look pleased to see her there. Jealous cat.
For some reason, Ms. Grant is the lead dancer in the show, and Jim is the lead singer. Eventually, the students appear as backup dancers...and Jim performs a few wooden dance steps and lifts Ms. Grant as she twirls and flits about on the stage. When they finally, mercifully wrap up the number, the audience jumps up and gives the performance a standing ovation...and even Mr. Collins is smiling and clapping along. Jim excitedly whispers to Ms. Grant, "I can dance!" and she shushes him as everyone continues to clap. LOL.
Please get well soon, Mr. Harper!