A.P. Bio stays on fire with season two’s second episode

Sorry to be so late with this. I started it the night of, got tired and didn’t finish, then spent most of the weekend doing other stuff. But I decided it was time to crank it out, now that I’m laid up and possibly sick (or perhaps just exhausted, in which case I will again not finish it. But if that were true, then you wouldn’t be reading this at all, so why am I writing it? Ah, I must be delirious).

A.P. Bio has another strong outing here in “Nuns,” an episode that both gets into wacky hijinks while digging into some more serious emotional territory and perhaps even prodding open new layers to Jack.

Jack wrecked his car and needs a new one, so he approaches Durbin for a $30,000 advance. Durbin can’t give him that, but he does offer him the open Driver’s Ed teacher spot (“ever since Linda disappeared”). It comes with the student-driver car, so he takes it. Then he finds a letter from St. Benedict’s Catholic Church thanking his mother for donating $12,000 upon her death; the church bought a statue of the Virgin Mary with the money. Rationalizing that they cheated her out of his inheritance somehow, and therefore that statue is rightly his, Jack hatches a plan to steal it.

None of the kids go along.

So, instead, he takes Anthony, Victor, and Heather on a driver’s ed lesson, where he almost immediately reveals they’re actually stealing the statue. Their success, however, is incautious: The Whitlock High driver’s ed car was spotted fleeing the scene, so the church is sending someone to interview the students. Jack takes it in stride until he spots… nuns.

A hilarious and complex scene follows as Jack starts working through his issues with nuns. Thirteen years of Sunday School have warped his brain. “(“Just stick to your story and don’t let them use their powers on you.” “…Do you think nuns have magic powers?”) He coaches the kids through their alibis, which isn’t tough because most of them weren’t involved anyway, but still leads to some hilarious scenes. Eduardo: “I was watching sports.” “What game?” “…It was porn. You guys are good.

In the middle of Victor’s interview (he decided to go with his original alibi of “date with a supermodel”), the nuns reveal they found evidence: a retainer was left at the scene of the crime. Horror shot of them approaching to forcibly try it on Victor.

This news is devastating: Anthony, who goes to the church with his grandmother and sings in the choir, is the owner of the missing retainer, which means they have him dead to rights. Rather than let anyone else go down with him, though, Anthony decides to take the fall. His deliberately slow “sad walk” out of the classroom gets to Jack, though, and he decides to go another route– he’ll have the kids return the statue while he stalls the nuns.

After enlisting Dan to take his place in the statue scheme, Jack goes and confronts his biggest fear. Perhaps not the nuns themselves– though he is wildly, hilariously irrational when it comes to them– but his feelings over his mother’s death, specifically his guilt for not being there while she was dying. They, of course, quickly connect that Jack Griffin is Rosemary Griffin’s son; Jack tries to play the card that they bilked her out of her money, but the nuns bore in on him: They were there for her at the end and she wasn’t.

The sequence is really effective and, for my money, adds a new layer of depth to the show: Jack isn’t just a callous grifter hustling his way through this job; he’s got real feelings he hasn’t dealt with, and he really needs to.  Jack breaks down in front of the nuns over his guilt… but stops short of confessing to the theft of the statue… and then a nun’s phone goes off. The statue has been returned to St. Benedict’s. Miraculous indeed.

“And I was here the whole time, so it couldn’t have been me.”


  • The episode is extremely AP Bio-centric; we get a bit of  Ralph and Helen, but we barely see the teachers. Ralph and Helen are pretty funny in the cold open where Jack asks for the advance, though. The teachers get a funny scene where they talk about self-defense at home (Stef: “I have a straight-up machete”) and reveal to Helen that her friend’s texts mean she is apparently about to murder her doctor husband for his money.
  • The teachers also meet the one younger, fun nun. (They do exist– even in my experience as a youth with a heavily Catholic family, there plenty of gentle and loving older nuns, as well.)
  • Victor is bad at driving– “I almost had a nervous movement“– and worse at parking, nearly ruining the return-the-statue plan because of his insistence on parallel parking properly.
  • The intro to the White Stripes’ “Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground” plays over the statue theft, which is pretty cool (or maybe I’m just showing my age).
  • Helen and Ralph have their own theories about which kid in Jack’s class might have stolen the statue. Ralph is sure it’s a middle child. Helen thinks one of them is a secret Juggalo.
  • “Without the makeup, Juggalos look like everyone else. It could be someone you work with every day.” Cue Helen and Ralph eyeing each other suspiciously as they exit the scene.
  • Great sight gag of Jack telling the nuns he didn’t steal the statue, followed by a bird flying directly into the window.
  • Having grown a little from his experience with the nuns, Jack tells Anthony, “I want you to know, I think it’s great that you spend time with your grandma.” Of course, Jack being Jack, he follows that up with “You’re gonna feel good about that when she’s dead.”


Awesome episode for our girl; she opens by describing Jack’s plan as “pretty metal,” and then gets some great GIFable moments.

Upon convincing Anthony to go ahead with the statue burglary:

(The captions don’t catch it, but I like the little “Yeah!” she throws in at the end.)

Jack coaching the kids on lying to the nuns: “Heather, I know you’ll come up with a great alibi!”

Heather’s exchange with the nuns isn’t quite as immediately GIFable, but it’s classic so I did it anyway:

Jack tells the driver’s ed kids to take Dan in his stead:

Just the “schwing”:

And finally, we get this classic cartoon moment of Heather posing over a fresco: