December 14, 2019

My So-Called Life 16, Resolutions: New Year, Same Problems

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 1:22 pm by Jenn

I want to hug him even more now

Summary: It’s 11:58 on New Year’s Eve, and Angela’s thinking about resolutions. She’d like to stop getting so caught up in her own thoughts. In her own voiceover, Sharon resolves to not have sex with Kyle or anyone else unless she really loves them. This resolution is made while naked on a couch with Kyle. His resolution is to spend more time with his dog…and Sharon. Nice save, Kyle’s voiceover. Mr. K decides to give up coffee, which he thinks will be easy. Brian resolves to stop obsessing over Angela. Good luck, Krakow. Danielle wants to get Patty to let her wear makeup. Rickie wants to feel like he belongs.

Angela wonders if not thinking will turn her into a shallow person. She’ll have to rethink overthinking. Rayanne wants to stop drinking, for real this time. Patty resolves to be less judgmental and suspicious, and more supportive. Graham resolves to make it clear to Hallie that he’s not going into business with her. He’ll also try to stop having long talks with her. Jordan, alone in his car, is just now realizing it’s New Year’s Eve. Angela decides she can still be introspective, so her real resolution is to stop doing Jordan’s homework. Dick Clark counts down to midnight, and Angela, Rayanne, and Rickie give each other celebratory kisses.

A couple days later, Rickie makes pancakes for the Chases and tells Danielle where her missing sweater is. He’s a better parent than Patty and Graham. They’re thrilled with what a great house guest he is, but they’re concerned that they haven’t heard from his aunt and uncle, who are supposedly going to take him in. Rickie hears them talking about how he can’t stay with them forever.

At school, Mr. K has a classroom full of apathetic students. His last few hours without coffee have left him a little agitated. The students are reading The Odyssey, so Mr. K asks Rickie what Odysseus wants. Rickie can’t answer. Mr. K tells the students to write two pages answering that question.

Elsewhere, Angela breaks her resolution by doing Jordan’s homework in his car while he just lies around, doing nothing. He notes that this is wrong; he’s taking advantage of her. Somehow, it would be different if they were still together, but since they’re just friends, it has to stop. Angela calls this a victory in sticking to a resolution.

Sharon avoids Kyle in a hallway, accidentally interrupting Rayanne during a makeout session. Kyle comes looking for her and confronts her in front of Rayanne (her makeout partner flees). Kyle announces that he loves Sharon and doesn’t care who knows it. After a cooking class, Graham tries to keep his resolution by telling Hallie he won’t start a restaurant with her. She’s not shocked by this news, but she also won’t drop the subject. She thinks he can still give his opinion even if he’s not involved. She’s found a location and wants to know if he likes it.

Danielle fails to convince Patty to let her wear makeup, even if she doesn’t leave the Chases’ property with it on. Graham comes home and tells Patty he let Hallie know he’s not working with her. Patty wants to make sure he’s bowing out because he wants to, not just because she wants him to. Rickie packs up his things and tells the Chases he’s off to move in with his family. His new resolution will have to be finding a place to live.

All of Mr. K’s students hand in their Odysseus essays except Rickie, who fell asleep in class. He claims he couldn’t write his paper because he stayed at the Chase’s last night and had to take Danielle to the emergency room with a headache. When Angela comes in, she almost blows his lie. She urges Rickie to tell Rayanne that everything’s okay, since she thinks Patty kicked him out of the Chases’ house.

After Rickie leaves, Mr. K follows up on his story, but Angela says he’s back with his family now. She hopes everything has calmed down at his house. Angela then starts to ask what a person who’s smart but struggling in school can do for help. He tells her about a peer tutoring program and she signs Jordan up.

Rayanne successfully climbs a rope in gym class while Sharon struggles to do sit-ups. Rayanne teases her about Kyle’s declaration of love, which must mean Sharon’s fulfilled. Sharon says they broke up, but then he called on New Year’s Eve and she got weak. Rayanne says Sharon should be more like her; she was with that guy she was making out with (Sharon has to tell her his name) but they’re not in love.

Sharon pretty much admits that Kyle loves her but she was just using him because she got hot while watching Brad Pitt in A River Runs Through It. The post-breakup sex was better than it was when they were together. Sharon decides she needs to tell Kyle the truth. She repeats her resolution to abstain from sex until she’s in love with her desired partner.

Graham and Hallie meet up at the space she wants for the restaurant. She tells him that Brad thinks Graham is secretly desperate to open the restaurant with Hallie. She really wants to know what Graham thinks about the space, and when he says he loves it, she thinks he’s agreeing to work with him. Brad’s other theory is that Graham will cave in at the last minute.

Neil’s over at the Chases’ again, and Patty brings up the restaurant. Graham hasn’t said anything about it to his brother. Neil hasn’t heard about Hallie, either, though he tries to pretend Graham has mentioned her. When Graham gets home, Patty dismisses herself and lets the brothers talk about Graham’s recent activities.

At school, Angela tells Jordan that she signed him up for tutoring. Brian has been matched with him. Jordan is surprisingly okay with all this. Rickie ducks out of Mr. K’s class, where, for some reason, he’s having two groups of students yell at each other. He tries to call his aunt and uncle but learns that they’ve moved away and haven’t left a new number. Mr. K finds him getting upset but doesn’t follow when Rickie walks off.

Rickie comes in early the next day, asking to speak to Mr. K about The Odyssey. Mr. K gives him a donut, not seeing the point in eating it now that he’s no longer drinking coffee. Rickie asks for an extension on his essay about what Odysseus wants. He promises he read the book and gets it. He admits that he doesn’t have a place to live right now, but he’ll be okay. Rickie lies that he’s still staying with the Chases’, though being with such a happy, normal family makes him feel lonelier. He worries that that makes him feel ungrateful.

Rickie continues that he was living with his aunt and uncle. Once his story is out, Mr. K takes him to Mrs. K so they can discuss his options now that his aunt and uncle have moved. Mrs. K knows of a place called Pride House that could take him in. Mr. K is pleased with the idea, though Rickie won’t get his hopes up yet. After he leaves, Mrs. K tells Mr. K that Pride House has a waiting list, and they don’t even know if Rickie is qualified to live there. He’ll have to find a place to stay for at least a few weeks.

Brian tries to make some cheerful conversation with Sharon, even asking how Delia’s doing. He wants Sharon to switch with him in the tutoring program so he doesn’t have to tutor Jordan. Brian spots Kyle and asks Sharon if they’re back together. She says she can’t discuss it. When she asks why he can’t tutor Jordan, Brian says he can’t discuss it, either. It makes him feel like a hypocrite. Sharon knows how he feels.

Brian says he doesn’t respect Jordan, so wouldn’t tutoring him be like using him? Sharon’s distracted by a bear Kyle gave her and babbles that using someone is wrong, but she won’t let Brian back out like a coward. He needs to tell Jordan the truth – he made a mistake and doesn’t want to use him anymore, but also doesn’t want to hurt him. “I’m supposed to say all that to Jordan Catalano?” Brian asks, confused.

He winds up with the bear, which he takes to the tutoring session. He tells Jordan he’s not the right person to tutor him, so Jordan should find someone else. When Jordan asks about the bear, Brian says a girl gave it to him (technically true). Jordan watches him interact with a girl who asks for a pencil and tells Brian that the girl would totally sleep with him. He urges Brian to get her number. Brian finds the idea laughable, so Jordan does it for him. Maybe while Brian’s tutoring Jordan in English, Jordan can tutor Brian in dating.

Angela comes in and interrupts the guys as they’re actually getting along. While Brian gives them a moment together, Angela offers to tutor Jordan if it’s too weird for him to be with Brian. Jordan says he’s okay with it. He’d accept sex from Angela, though. She laughs loudly, which Jordan will take as a no. It’s definitely the best laugh Angela has had since 1995 began.

Mr. K tries to give Rickie some news, but Rickie first thanks him for taking him to Mrs. K so he can get some help. Calling him Rickie instead of Enrique, Mr. K tells him he’s on the waiting list at Pride House, which is good, but not what Rickie wanted. Until he can get in, he’ll stay in a “facility.” Rickie is understandably concerned about what that means. Mr. K says he’s confident that things will work out, but he doesn’t seem that confident.

Patty comes home to find Graham on the phone with Hallie, also having what’s probably his best laugh so far in 1995. Patty asks if Graham is or isn’t considering going into business with Hallie. Graham says he’s not. She asks what his New Year’s resolution was. Graham lies that it’s to exercise more. Patty lies that that was hers, too.

Rickie’s “facility” appears to an overcrowded group home for foster kids. He sneaks out in the middle of the night. The next day, Mr. K goes to the Chases’, thinking Rickie went there. Patty offers him coffee, which makes him more upset. He can’t believe the Chases just let Rickie leave without confirming that he had a place to go.

Patty starts crying, and Mr. K realizes he’s come on too strong. Graham doesn’t even know who he is. Patty admits that she’s felt horrible about the situation since Rickie left. Mr. K apologizes for taking out his anger on the Chases. He tells them that Angela’s a good student but doesn’t work to her full potential. When Patty offers coffee again, Mr. K accepts.

At school, Sharon tells Rayanne that she needs to tell Kyle the whole truth. She doesn’t want to end up like Rayanne. Kyle returns the bear to Sharon, having found it in the boys’ bathroom, and invites her to watch Thelma and Louise with him. Sharon tries to turn him down, but guess who’s in the movie? Brad Pitt. She can’t resist him (or Kyle).

After Mr. K leaves, Graham and Patty lament Rickie’s situation but aren’t going to do anything proactive to help him. Graham decides this is a good time to come clean about wanting to open the restaurant with Hallie. He missed Angela’s birth because he was stuck in an airport. He missed college and Woodstock. He doesn’t want to miss this. Patty promises to be completely supportive. Graham wonders what she was steeling herself to hear from him. Brian is still thinking about how impressive Jordan was in just approaching the girl and getting her number for him. Jordan tells him they’ll start with the basics, then move on to asking girls for their numbers.

Rickie calls Mr. K from a pay phone to let him know he’s okay. Mr. K says he talked to the Chases’, and Rickie can go back and stay with them. Rickie insists he’s fine and found a place to live, though he won’t give any details. Mr. K isn’t surprised that he doesn’t feel like he can go back to the “facility.” He believes Rickie when he says he has a place to spend the night.

Hey, so guess who’s gay? Mr. K! His partner, Ted, has clearly heard all about Rickie and knows Mr. K has been worried about him. Mr. K is sure Rickie will end up fine, but it’s these few weeks before he can get into Pride House that won’t be fine for him. Ted knows Mr. K would like to invite Rickie to stay with them, but Mr. K is worried that news of his sexuality would get out and he would lose his job. He doesn’t want to think of himself as the solution to Rickie’s problems; that’s egotistical.

Graham meets up with Hallie at the restaurant space and tells her Patty’s totally on board with their plans. Hallie hopes that she hasn’t pressured Graham into this. She wants to make sure he’s only there because he wants to be. She says that Brad has another theory (does this guy do anything other than theorize?). Then she reveals that the two of them broke up. The new year has made them both take stock of their lives and come to some realizations. Graham asks for Brad’s third theory, but Hallie won’t share it.

Rickie shows up at Mr. K’s door while he and Ted are having dinner. “It just got so hard to be alone,” he tells Mr. K, crying. Mr. K hugs him, then welcomes Rickie into his home.

Thoughts: I’m surprised Rickie hasn’t moved in with Rayanne. Amber probably wouldn’t even notice.

So Mr. K is the only teacher in the school who actually cares, huh? No wonder everyone gets away with skipping so many classes.

Kyle’s a joke, but resolving to spend more time with your dog is pretty nice.


1 Comment »

  1. Nick Rivers said,

    I don’t know why but my memory blended this episode with the previous one, so I was a little surprised Rickie hadn’t moved in with Mr. Katimsky in the last ep.

    Sharon’s dilemma was a little odd as she always seemed annoyed with Kyle anyway, plus the talk with Angela about sex made it seem like he was the one who was all over it all the time.

    At least Graham recognizes that his developing friendshipwhatever with Hallie is veering into dangerous territory. Going into business with her was a bad idea no matter how slam-dunk the business proposal might be. But… what if Hallie had proposed the idea to BOTH the Chase’s? I mean, why wasn’t Patty involved in any aspect of this, considering it was her investment as well? All she was in this was moral support, which is nice, but really out of character for Patty Chase, and frankly unrealistic in general for any married couple. If I was asked to go into business with some redheaded floopy (think Keith/Eric Stoltz in ‘Some Kind of Wonderful’ maybe), no way would I plow forward without getting input on a ton of different aspects of the business plan with my husband, who naturally shares the investment by virtue of marriage and shared finances. And let’s not even get into the wet-hair-moment in the twilight which was so fraught with sexual tension as to be painfully obvious that BAD IDEA JEANS were all over the place. And if Keith was standing there looking wistful and pained and confessed that his engagement had just ended, and given me a longing look… bye bye business partners. There’s just no way. But then again… I’m not married to Patty Chase, so maybe that’s the difference!

    I also think Brad’s third theory was that Hallie is in love with Graham, and possibly vice versa, and that’s why they broke up. I mean, if I heard my husband laughing that much on the phone with a woman he might be going into business with… nope.

    Kudos to Jordan for having a conscience about taking advantage of Angela’s kindness with regards to his homework.

    I already know the answer as to why she didn’t, but clearly Rayanne has some athletic ability so it’s too bad she never joined the gymnastics team or something. She would have done well with it, though maybe struggled with the training portion. And, uh, the alcoholism.

    The scene with Neil and Patty was strange. I honestly couldn’t tell if Neil was being cagey (and Graham had told him everything) or if he was truly clueless (which doesn’t seem right considering I think Graham told him about the other woman we saw in the Pilot). So either Neil’s a terrible liar, or Graham’s keeping the Hallie thing from him for some reason. Altogether Patty was clearly unsettled by it all, with good reason.

    Katimsky’s such a fucking hero in this episode. I love how hard he fights for Rickie and the inner struggle it causes for himself considering his own situation. Watching this 27 years later, it makes me wonder if we actually have come all that far, because I imagine there are still a lot of teachers in the closet who are afraid to come out because of how parents and school boards would react. It feels like we’ve come a long way, but in reality I don’t think we’re still there yet, which is super depressing.

    Unfortunately for Brian, you need to *look* like Jordan Catalano to be able to get a girl’s number that easily. I don’t know that she would have given it to Brian. Most girls in that school would have given it to Jordan.

    I liked the bit with Mr. K, Patty, and Graham, even though he made Patty cry. They all care about Rickie so much and it was very sweet once they all got on the same page about what was really going on. But Patty and Graham’s lackadaisical attitude about it all in the end was annoying because they were in a perfect position to really help this kid out and again they drop the ball. At least Mr. K came through. I guess Patty was too distracted by the possibility that Graham was having an affair with Hallie, yet she couldn’t bring herself to actually say anything to him about her concerns, which seems so unlike her. Then again, communication has never been their strong suit.

    The scene with Ted and Mr. K was well done. Ted did a lot of listening as Mr. K rambled on, but he already knew where Mr. K was eventually going with his rambles, yet he let him get there on his own without interjecting his recommendations on what to do about Rickie. Too bad we never really get an episode of their relationship as they seemed interesting.

    I think Rickie didn’t move in with Rayanne because Amber had her new boyfriend staying over a lot and if this boyfriend made Rayanne uncomfortable, I can only imagine how uncomfortable he’d make Rickie.

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