Hey folks, apologies for the late review, but I was traveling for a wedding all weekend so I had no chance to watch this episode until tonight. That said, I’ll try to keep it on the brief side so you can get to all that discussion. Anyway:
Jack comes in right away with a Miles Mission that’s absurdly audacious: “We’re gonna make him a deadbeat dad.” Miles is giving a TED Talk in Detroit, so Jack intends to send a student up to pose as the love child of an old fling / mutual acquaintance with Miles. (Of course, he wants the student to break the news right before Miles’ talk, to devastate him and ruin him for it.) He auditions the students, most of whom are ill-suited to the job, but only Devin really captures the necessary attitude. It’s a Devin episode!
Needless to say, this backfires and Miles completely embraces the idea of having a son. Indeed, Miles shows up in Toledo to try to connect further with his son. Jack: “What kind of a twisted sicko just shows up to see his abandoned son? So pathetic.” Devin, however, keys in on something crucial about Miles showing up– that it reveals that Miles is desperate for love– and so they hatch a new plan for Devin to string Miles along for the day and then break his heart at the end. (“And then we can see if old Miles can float.” “Too far, Prince of D.”)
The plan involves a montage of father-son activities in the Toledo area, accompanied by the constant eating of hot dogs, followed by a Toledo Walleyes minor league hockey game. (Dan suggests it, as he has season tickets and always takes his little brother. Devin can’t bring himself to fire the bullet into Miles’ heart, though, so Jack decides he’ll concoct an excuse to get him to stay around another day.
Miles shows up at the AP Bio classroom, hoping to meet Devin, who finally can’t go through with it anymore and tells Miles he’s not really his son. Miles pukes in the trash can, calls Devin a monster, and leaves. Jack comes in and celebrates, literally popping a bottle of champagne, but none of the other students are happy. Devin asks what may be the fundamental question of the series: “He’s a good guy and we broke him. For what?”
After some hilarious and pretty spot-on impressions of the class (particularly Victor and Sarika), Jack says he’s going to take a piss, but then actually tries to make things right with Miles. He confesses he’s been teaching here and Devin’s one of his students… and then, Miles’ ego does the rest: “You talked about my cushy job at Stanford, my many awards, my numerous celebrity lovers, and Devin became obsessed with me!” Sure, let’s go with that. Miles leaves Jack with one more thought: “Jack, you know, maybe the question is the answer.” Jack doesn’t know what that means, and I’m not sure I do either.
Devin acknowledges that Jack set things right and that neither of them really care about it, in standard fashion for both of them.
The next morning, Miles calls Jack. The experience has made him realize he wants more out of life and is going to leave his position at Stanford– and will recommend Jack to replace him as head of the Philosophy department, if he wants it. Will Jack take it? Have the kids gotten to him enough to make him think about staying? It is all a prank? I’m guessing we’re getting 13 episodes this season, so most of these questions should be answered in the finale.
The B-plot was slight this week, probably for the best. Stef, Mary, and Michelle approach Durbin to get approval for their 80s theme for the Sadie Hawkins dance. Durbin suggests the movie Congo. They’re reluctant, for obvious reasons, until they confess that they haven’t seen it. Durbin asks them to at least watch it first. They do– and Michelle seems into it, really, but Stef and Mary shut it down. This bums out Durbin, who is, after all, coming out of a marriage where his wife also hated all of his ideas. So after some reconsideration, they realize that the only people who care are themselves.
MARY: The kids don’t pay attention to the decorations. They just see them as something to hide behind so they can grab up on a butt.
STEF: Mm-hmm, yeah, It makes no difference whether they’re honking on each other’s little [bleep] behind a jungle in the Congo, or a big 80s Rubik’s cube.
DURBIN: These dances are a full-on dog park.
MICHELLE: In every way. I found two poops last year. *whispers* Human.
- Jack gets Devin on board once Devin expresses his disdain for Miles pushing a shallow, phony philosophy book. (He was one of the students most interested in Jack’s book, after all.)
- Jack has to confiscate Devin’s knife– he has been getting too loose managing the class- but will allow him to finish carving his anarchy symbol first.
- “Congo as a dance theme is the worst idea I’ve ever heard. It’s worse than Fish Week!”
- Miles’ anecdote about the Archduke of Slovenia is really something– it goes something like, “And then the Archduke of Slovenia said, ‘Well, if you won’t have my daughter, at least accept these antique dueling pistols.”
- At the Walleyes game, the Jumbotron puts Dan’s brother Jeffy on its dance cam. Jack, trying to remain incognito in a jean jacket and shades, slinks away and tells Dan to make Jeffy stop dancing. Dan tells him to do it: “Half these people come to the games just to see Jeffy dance!” Cut back up to the Jumbotron, and the dance-cam is actually called “Jeffy Cam.”
- “Hello, Jack-o.” “Miles-o!”
- “That is smarter than a seaman’s cleats!” “That can’t be an actual British expression.” I found myself expressing similar sentiments to Jack throughout the episode.
- Even Miles shushes Marcus.
- Miles isn’t just Oprah’s Book Club of the Month pick, he gets to ride on her private jet. And he can’t leave it waiting. again.
- Previews of next week suggest the Congo-themed dance will factor in significantly to the season finale.
Only one line after being the star of the show last week, but she kills that line. Auditioning for the role of Jack’s long-lost child: “Well, hey there, big daddy.” Jack: “Nope, mm-mm, wrong tone.” Apparently Heather is still in catfishing mode. (Dan noticed, too.)