Written by Mandy
Rick opens the episode, walking up to Degrassi with a smile on his face and wearing an interesting choice of hats: a beret. It works for me, but I can smell trouble from a mile away – and wearing a beret to Degrassi is a bad move. Sure enough, Spinner’s Lovemobile creeps up behind him.
Spinner and Jimmy are both in the car, and Spinner is honking the horn. It is important to note his new haircut, which looks sort of like he got his head caught in a buzz saw – there’s a lot of shaved head, topped with chin-length bangs. Spin yells from his window – “Yo, Richard” – and he pulls up next to him. Rick’s smile disappears as Spinner continues on with, “Hey, buddy. Hey, man, I said hi. It’s rude not to say hi back.” Spinner pulls his car to where Rick can’t walk any further and gets out to head Rick off. Jimmy gets out of the car and walks around behind Rick as Spinner begins what has become the game of the year, Pick On Rick.
Spinner points to the beret and says, “Seriously, what’s that? I mean…” Rick cuts him off with the “hi” that he originally requested. Spinner is momentarily caught off guard, and Rick points out his hair disaster with a smirk. Jimmy yanks Rick’s hat off his head, and then practices his limited French. “New chapeau? Oh man, this is nice.” Spinner starts to mess with Rick’s hair – fixing it for him, if you will. As if Spinner, with his range of Flock of Seagulls haircuts, has the right to “fix” anyone else’s hair. Hello, someone get this boy a mirror and a clue.
Jimmy throws the hat over Rick’s head to Spinner, who starts playing with it. “Hey, this is nice, so soft. Where’d you get it?” Jimmy grabs Rick by the shoulders as Spinner cracks a little joke, “Well, I know where you can find it.” The hat flies into a nearby dumpster. Jimmy pretends to be all broken up about the beret, and Spinner offers to help Rick get it back. Rick jumps up on the edge of the dumpster, and is leaning forward when Spinner points and says, “Oh there,” and Jimmy adds “Is that it?” As Rick leans farther forward, they push him over the edge into the dumpster face first.
The mean boys laugh, and Jimmy tells Rick that he might want to grab a snack while he’s down there. Spinner cackles and implies that tomorrow they’ll torture Rick some more. Rick lays there in the trash, his head thrown back in frustration and anger. He’s obviously trying to stay calm, but one can only wonder how much more he’s going to take.
And on that note, here comes the crappy theme song remix, so aptly titled by willa.
Spinner pulls up to park his still-damaged Lovemobile and the class bell rings. He takes off running to class as Rick sneaks up from behind another vehicle. He takes a can of spray paint out of his bag and shakes it up. Looking around, Rick paints a big black X across the driver’s side window of the Lovemobile. Could this car get any uglier?
Rick takes off for class, constantly looking back over his shoulder. As he turns a corner in the hallway, he runs into Jimmy head on. Jimmy grabs his own arm, telling Rick he might want to watch where he’s going. He calls Rick a loser. Apparently feeling a rush from getting back at Spinner, Rick gets mighty brave and tells Jimmy to “watch where you’re going, Neanderthal.” Rick starts to walk off but Jimmy stops him and is tough right back. “What did you just say?” Before this can go on, the two are interrupted by Snake, who upon careful rewinding can be seen watching the whole thing transpire.
Jimmy smiles and holds up a hall pass in order to avoid getting in any trouble. Archie “Triviameister” Simpson asks Jimmy to name the world’s three longest rivers in order. Jimmy answers correctly with the Nile, Amazon, and the Yangtze. Snake shoots another question at him – most NBA championships. Jimmy answers, “Boston Celtics, why?” Snake says that they have geography and sports covered, and announces that Rick and Jimmy will now be partners for the trivia team. Rick is shocked, SHOCKED.
Snake tells them that the ever-elusive Heather Sinclair has come down with mono. “Her loss is Jimmy’s gain. Welcome to Whack Your Brain.” As Snake walks off, Rick and Jimmy exchange glances that express anything but happiness to be in the same hallway, on the same team, or even the same planet.
Over at the Jeremiah household, there’s a woman (with a passion for pink business wear circa 1989) talking about an open house. She is addressing someone off screen saying, “The day after tomorrow is the open house. You’ll have to clean.” The camera pans to Joey, all dressed up for work. He wants to know what else he needs to do. She starts in about little things, like dusting and vacuuming, perhaps sweeping the floors. Joey interrupts her to stress that he has to sell his home, so she needs to give him more to do than just “spit and shine.”
While the realtor blathers on that the home will be snapped up at the current asking price, Craig slumps down the stairs. Joey excuses himself to ask Craig why he isn’t dressed for school. Craig is coughing and doesn’t look so good. Sniffling, he tells Joey that he has clammy palms and a scratchy throat. Joey lays down the law – if he doesn’t see a fever, Craig is out the door in 10 minutes. Craig grabs Joey’s hand and puts it on his head. Ah, this boy is really sick, unlike the time Spinner faked it.
Joey buys his story, but tells Craig that he can’t watch TV or talk on the phone; he has to rest. Joey informs the realtor (Helen) that he’s sorry, but the meeting has gone on longer than expected. She says they still have things to discuss, but Joey explains that he has a business to get to or he’s finished. As he heads to the door, he tells Helen to please just sell his house.
Toby and Rick are roaming the Degrassi halls when Emma runs up. She tells them that she made flashcards for the trivia team. Should she sort them by category, or just shuffle? Rick informs them that he’s quitting. But the finals are tomorrow! Rick tries to explain to Emma. “We have a new teammate, Jimmy Brooks, AKA my daily tormentor.” Toby tells Rick to ask Snake to rethink his decision, but Rick’s smart and knows that if Jimmy is booted now, he’ll guess it was Rick who made it happen.
Emma thinks that Jimmy and gang give Rick a hard time because they don’t know him. (Good thing Emma stopped to get to know him before she tried to get him kicked out of school, huh?) Rick isn’t impressed with her explanation, but she keeps going. She points out that he came back to Degrassi to prove to people that he had changed. If he works with Jimmy on the team, he can show him that he’s not the guy Jimmy thinks he is.
They turn a corner and Rick points to his locker. It’s covered with signs and letters, one blatantly saying “GO HOME FREAK.” He tells Emma, “You think they want to know who I am? They want to torture me.” Emma walks up and rips off all the signs and throws them on the ground. Littering is a brave move for Miss Environment. Smiling flirtatiously, Emma tells him that they need him on the team. Rick smiles and adds the moment to his “crush on Emma” file.
Rick knocks on Mr. Raditch’s window. Without really getting his attention, Rick tells Raditch that he needs to talk about one of the members of the trivia team. Raditch isn’t interested. “Do I look like I have time for a chat, Richard? Your point?” Rick tries to explain that another student has been expressing his negative personal feelings for Rick through harassment.
“So are you asking me to order this student to like you?” Raditch asks. “Do you really that will resolve matters? Richard, I’ve told you time and time again that it takes two to tango.” Rick tries to say something, but all he gets in is a, “But sir,” before Raditch cuts him off again. “You don’t like him and he doesn’t like you. So I suggest you try harder to get along. Come back if anything serious happens.” Raditch dismisses him with a “That is all,” and a defeated Rick walks out of the office.
Crazy Jay drives up next to Spinner, who is whining to Sean that his Lovemobile must be cursed. Sean yells out, “You, too?” Ah yes, Jay’s car – different than the car he hadlast year – has also been tagged. Jay jumps out of his car all tough and says that someone picked the wrong guys to mess with. “That someone is named Rick Murray,” Alex says. Sean advises them to get the spray paint off the clear coat before it ruins their paint jobs completely. Spinner, who obviously is not the brains of the group, says that he’s going to Raditch instead. Sean mocks him and says that Raditch will want to know why Rick was after them. Jay agrees that they need to keep Raditch out of it. Spinner says that Rick is “going down. He’s toast.”
Toby is getting a drink from a water fountain when Spinner, with Jay and Alex, shows up to ask him where Rick is. As if Toby would tell them. Crazy Jay says, “Hey, wiener, he asked you a question,” and slams Toby’s head down on the water fountain, causing his face to hit the metal mouthpiece. Toby pulls his head back and puts his hand to his lip; he’s bleeding and his glasses have been knocked off. “I thought you were smarter than this,” Spinner says. The three amigos walk off.
Toby walks into trivia practice holding a paper towel to his lip. “Our high tech genius has arrived,” Snake says. “And he’s bleeding.” Toby says it was a skateboard accident. He’s fine. Snake still goes to get him some ice and Toby drops his bag to sit down next to Rick. Jimmy tells Toby to fess up about who smashed his face. “Wish you hit him, Jimmy?” Rick asks. “Miss out on all the fun?”
Jimmy tells Rick to back off, but Rick offers Jimmy a little insight. “I’ve been suffering for weeks. I’m just a big joke to you and your friends. I should just stop it. Toby doesn’t deserve this. Nobody does.” Jimmy looks genuinely concerned about Toby. He might even be considering what Rick just said and thinking about his own participation in the harassment. He leans back in his chair and looks away. He doesn’t look proud to be Jimmy right now.
Poor sick Craig is at home breaking all the rules. He’s on the couch with a remote in his hand, covered with blankets and watching the weather, when Joey comes home. Joey begins to lecture him on the “no TV” rule when Sydney walks in from the kitchen to say hello. Joey drops his briefcase and looks confused while Sydney explains that Craig called her at work. She hands Sick Boy some tea, and Craig asks her how she feels about younger men.
Joey tells Sydney that she looks good, and she says that she’s been good before she cuts to the chase by chastising him for not calling her when he wanted to sell the house. He thought she only sold department stores and banks. Despite the fact that he totally dumped her for Caitlin, Sydney expresses concern that his business is doing so poorly. Joey looks at Craig, who looks up at Joey with the puppy eyes that say “please don’t kill me adoptive dad” (but will have all the fan girls squealing).
Joey wonders how bad Craig made it sound for her to show up after what happened between them. “After that whole viciously-dumping-me-for-Caitlin thing? Come on Joey, we’re not 18.” Sydney looks at Craig and says that her coming was a mistake. As she starts to walk out, Craig tells Joey, “She’s not desperate for the job, let her help.” She tells Joey that it was good to see him and walks right out the door. Craig looks upset and Joey walks off a little angrily.
Snake is standing in front of the Degrassi C.S. Panthers Banner and asks someone to name which poem ends with the line “and miles to go before I sleep”? Rick rings a bell and answers correctly: “Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening” by Robert Frost. A table is set up for a practice run through for the Whack Your Brain competition, each player’s name on a card in front of them. Jimmy looks at Rick as Snake asks the next question. Which element represented by T-e has also been known to cause garlic breath? Rick rings the bell and again answers correctly: Tellurium.
Jimmy looks over at him approvingly and Snake gives one last question, from the world of sports. Rick hovers his hand over the bell, but lets Jimmy ring in. He answers with a bit of uncertainty. Good old Snake, in true Who Wants To Be A Millionaire type drama, makes them all wait a second before saying, “Four time losers, no wins.” Rick says, “Utility perfected,” as he looks at Jimmy. Jimmy half smiles and shakes his head.
On a definite high from practice, the four team members walk out into the hallway. Rick compliments Jimmy on his amazing trivia skills. Jimmy tells Rick that he was pretty good, too. Sadly, the good times are too good to last, and up walk Spinner and Jay. Spinner greets Jimmy and then addresses Rick, “Hey, dog meat, you’ve got something on your shirt.” Rick falls for the oldest trick in the book and looks down. Silly, silly Rick. Spinner swipes upwards with his finger to hit Rick’s nose. Jimmy tells Spinner and the rest of the clown posse to grow up.
Alex appears from apparently nowhere to throw a jab in at Jimmy by saying. “Oh, Ricky found a friend.” Jimmy, unthreatened, walks by her and says that they should give it a rest, they’re getting boring. The rest of the trivia team walks by the three bullies, who take a page from the bully handbook on how to appear more menacing and group together. Rick decides to let them know what they already know. He turns around and holds his arms up in an X formation, so even someone as clueless as Spinner can figure out it was him who put the X’s on their cars. They seem amazed that he would admit it and exchange shocked looks. Crazy Jay tells him that was a bad move.
A woman is hemming the bottom of someone’s dress slacks. If the woman looks familiar, it’s because she’s Rick’s mom, whom we haven’t seen since the day she dropped him off for school in “Mercy Street”. She’s making sure his suit looks just right for his big day. As she adjusts his clothes she tells him that a year from now, he’ll be the same size as his father. Rick tugs at the collar of his dress shirt and he tells her, “I don’t want a sales job. I never want any job.” The doorbell rings once and she explains that his dad doesn’t like being sent out of town. She calls him “Ricky.” The doorbell rings again and Rick uses it as an excuse to end the conversation.
It’s Toby. Rick lets him in and goes to get his suit jacket. “Hey Toby, are you as excited as Ricky?” Mom asks. “The lights, the cameras, the thrill of performance?” Toby kind of laughs and shrugs a little as Rick’s mother continues. “Ricky tells me that you and your new friends–” Rick interrupts, smiling a really big smile, to clarify the names of his new friends: “Jimmy and Emma.” Rick’s mother says that Rick has told her that they’ve all become inseparable at school. Toby looks confused and questions the inclusion of Jimmy in that list. Rick smiles at Toby and nods while Rick’s mother says that she can’t believe she worried about transferring Rick to another school.
Rick tells his mother that she worries too much, and optimistically says that he and Toby will be running the school soon. Toby looks just about as confused as most viewers are at this point, but he helps Rick out by saying that they’re the coolest. As an aside, this scene sets up Rick as a psychoanalyst’s dream – the mother/son relationship, lack of father, the household setting, and of his wacky perception of reality.
Back at the Jeremiah home, Joey yells for Craig to get up. Craig comes down the stairs and says, “I’m as sick as yesterday. Scratch that. Sicker.” Joey tells him that he has to stay home from work today, too, to get the house ready for the realtor. Craig is not thrilled at the thought of having Joey home with him. Joey flits nervously about the hallway and says, “I might step out briefly and when I get back I don’t want to find Tessa Campanelli sitting on my front doorstep, okay?”
(And, okay. Everyone probably needs a little back story here. Tessa Campanelli is the girl with whom Joey cheated on Caitlin in the “School’s Out” end to the original Degrassi series. In that episode, Caitlin uttered the words, “You were fucking Tessa Campanelli!” Caitlin was so cool that she dropped the f-bomb, way back in the day.)
Back on The Next Generation, Joey tells Craig that he shouldn’t have called Sydney. “How pathetic did you make me sound, huh? Did you tell her we were burning furniture for heat, sleeping on sewer grates, eating out of…” Craig comes down the stairs in changed clothes and grabs his coat. Joey is confused. Craig tells him that he’s going to school – that’s how badly he doesn’t want to be around Joey. Joey, who is overly dramatic, wants to know what Craig is going on about. Craig replies, with the honesty that Joey needs to hear since Caitlin hasn’t been around to give it to him: “Look, sorry if I’m the only one who cares about this place. Joey, you’d sell it for beads. Sydney won’t.” Craig, who really looks sick, walks out the door as Joey stares after him. So many wake-up calls in this episode, so little time.
Outside the school, Rick catches up to Emma. He calls out to her, and when she turns around he says, “My thoughts are on sale today. Two for a penny. You can pay me later.” Emma says okay, but not in a way that means she really wants to hear what he has to say. She’s kind of all about herself, these days. He thanks her for talking to him about Jimmy. “When you speak, I listen,” he says. “You’re my guide.” Emma, apparently oblivious about his crush, doesn’t notice the look Rick is giving her throughout the conversation. She smiles and tells him that she’s glad he made a new friend. He watches her walk away, a smitten look on his face.
Rick is pretty confident about the trivia competition and it’s showing. He walks up to Jimmy – who looks jittery – and the two exchange polite greetings. Rick asks him if he’s nervous and Jimmy lies that he’s not. Rick gives him a look that says he knows better, so Jimmy admits that he is, “a little bit.” Rick tells him that together they will lead the team to new heights of victory. Like Emma, Jimmy’s only response is to say “okay” and then he walks off.
Paige approaches Rick and holds out her open cell phone. She puts it in his hand and says, “Raditch, line one. He wants his suit back.” As much as she was hoping for two snaps and a twist for the little zinger she just threw out, Rick closes her phone with one hand and says, “Take a message,” before handing the phone back and walking off.
In the auditorium, the countdown to the live Whack Your Brain television show is beginning. Toby, Rick, Emma, and Jimmy are behind their podiums, ready to go. The announcer says, “Good morning folks and welcome to the world’s favorite quiz show. We are back to attack your cranium and–” The audience joins in at this point and says, “WHACK YOUR BRAIN!” Wow, world’s favorite, eh? That’s a mighty fine honor there. Way to go Degrassi!
The game begins. It’s Degrassi vs. Northern. Announcer Joe starts off with question one, which is, “In what Canadian city was the telephone invented?” Rick buzzes in first and answers, “That would be Brantford, Ontario.” Announcer Joe says, “You’re on the board!” Rick smiles and does a “Yes!” hand gesture as the audience claps for him. Announcer Joe moves on, “Culture. Name the spicy Spanish vegetable soup, usually served chilled.” Students are watching on the TVs in their classrooms. On one of the TVs, Toby rings in. He answers, “Uh, gazpacho?” Announcer Joe lets him know he’s correct by saying, “Good job.”
The classroom is cheering as the announcer moves on to science “What scientific instrument cuts very thin slices for examination by a microscope?” Mick, a team member for the competition, rings in first. He answers, “A microtone.” Announcer Joe points to Northern and says, “You’re on the board.” The next category is geography and the question is, “What is the geographical term for land between areas of permanent snow and the tree line in artic regions?” Emma and Jimmy look at one another trying to figure it out as another member from Northern rings in with the correct answer – tundra. Disappointment is clear on Rick’s face. The announcer moves on with, “Sports. In tennis, what term describes the ball touching the net and falling into the opponent’s court?” Jimmy rings in and answers, “Let.” The announcer says, “Good job. Degrassi has 30 points.” We see Raditch watching the game from his computer monitor, smiling in a self-congratulatory way.
The next questions move fairly fast, as most game show montages do. Announcer Joe says, “geography” and Rick rings in to give the answer of “Great Circle Route,” which is correct. Emma answers some unknown question with “Franz Ferdinand.” They could have been asked to “name one of the hottest bands of 2004,” but the world will never know. This is why montages suck. Northern rings in at least once because there has to be an impending close race. Mick from Northern is the chosen one who rings in with “Namibia.” Rick rings in one more time, and the round is over.
“Good job!” booms the announcer. “Northern – 180 points. Degrassi – right there with 170 points. Just a reminder, in case of a tie, each team will select one player to compete in the final lightening round. Hands on buzzers, teams. Your last category, sports. Name the first golfer to win the British and the US Open in the same year.” Both teams look back and forth at each other. Jimmy and Rick exchange looks. Rick mouths to Jimmy, “come on.” Jimmy doesn’t know it. No one on the Northern team knows it.
Rick rings in and answers, “Bobby Jones.”
Announcer Joe (his name really is Joe, by the way, we didn’t just make it up) points to Rick and says, “Tie game” and Northern is shocked. Rick pumps his hands in the universal “YEAH!” move and his team swoops in to congratulate him. Emma squeezes his hand. The crowd is clapping, even Crazy Jay. Jimmy and Rick are giving each other a high five as the announcer says, “A short break. When we come back, the final lightening round! Don’t go anywhere.” Jimmy asks Rick if he’s going to take the lightening round for the Degrassi team. Rick is very excited and agrees to do it. The camera pans to where Rick and Emma are still holding hands, and Emma doesn’t seem pleased about it. She pulls her hand back but Rick still looks at her, smiling.
In the boy’s room, Jimmy and Rick do some bonding. Jimmy asks him how he became an encyclopedia. Rick has a lot of time to himself, so he reads a lot. He asks Jimmy what happened with the last sports question, and Jimmy says that he had a brain cramp. Plus, golf is not a sport. They are both laughing when Crazy Jay and Spinner walk in. Spinner actually compliments Rick, saying, “Hey man, that was so sweet. I mean, you are a know-it-all trivia machine.” Jimmy, watching with some apprehension, says that the competition is money in the bank with “my boy right here.” Even Jay joins in on the Rick love. “Nice. Are you doing the lightening round, buddy?” Rick answers in the affirmative with a smile.
Jimmy jokes that it’s probably better that Rick does the round instead of him, and then he walks out of the restroom. Crazy Jay and Spinner block Rick’s way, but only briefly. Rick looks nervous, but Jay assures him, “We’re cool, man.” Rick smiles at them both and leaves the restroom. As the door closes, Jay starts mocking Jimmy and laughing, “Better him than me? Yeah. All right.” Spinner asks Jay if he’s sure Alex can set “this” up. Jay pulls a container from his bag and says that the best thing about dating a student council VP is nobody asks questions. He sets a gallon container on the counter and turns on the faucet.
Joey opens the door to his house and Sydney walks in. She’s sorry she’s late. Joey doesn’t care, he just appreciates that she came. Sydney turns around and says, “Say something else to make me stay.” Joey stumbles over his words. “Um, I need help. Badly. Craig was right. You were right. I should have come to you weeks ago.” She tells him that she could spend years coming up with reasons to hate him, but his family is in trouble. It wasn’t easy for her to come, but she’s willing to help. He sits in front of her and says, “Look, the way we finished, I’m not proud of that.” Sydney glances away and says, “My assistant will be here within an hour to put a sign up in your lawn. I’ll pop by after work, say 5:30?” Joey is surprised that they’re going forward with the open house.
She wants him to create an atmosphere, play some music. Joey perks up at this idea, but Sydney cuts him off. He is not to play the demo tape he used to play all the time from his band. She flakes on the name. He is happy to supply it – The Zit Remedy. Poor Joey. Does he really think “Everybody Wants Something” still works on chicks? I mean, it might work on me, but I’m impressionable at times and if he bought me the right amount of drinks… “No zits, no remedies,” she says. “But a pie, something baking in the oven would be nice.” He says okay and she heads out.
Back to the competition at hand, Northern is competing in the Lightening Round. The announcer asks, “The deepest place on earth?” and Mick, the shining star from Northern team, answers, “The Mariana Trench.” The announcer calls, “Time! Northern with 40 points! Good job! Degrassi, who’s up?” Alex gets up from her seat in the audience and goes off to places unknown but not good. Rick walks to the front of the stage but as he passes Emma, he whispers, “This is all for you.” Ah, the cluelessness seems to be wearing off a bit for Emma now, even if it’s a little late.
Rick makes his way to the middle of the stage and the announcer points to the board and says, “There’s the score you have to beat. 30 seconds on the clock. Time begins now. The Confederation Bridge links Prince Edward Island with what Canadian province?” Rick answers, “New Brunswick.” Correct. The announcer asks, “A minimum of how many games does it take to win a set in tennis?” Rick answers, “7”. Incorrect. The announcer asks, “What was the original home video game console introduced in 1972?” Rick answers, “The Magnavox Odyssey?” Correct. The announcer asks, “Sauron reigned over what territory?” Rick answers with, “Mordor?” Correct. The next question is, “Who spent 27 years in prison before being elected president of South Africa?” Rick answers correctly, “Nelson Mandela.”
And in the final question, because time is running out and I know everyone’s heart is racing, the announcer asks, “In what Robert Bolt play does Sir Thomas Moor face a moral dilemma?” Rick answers, “A Man For All Seasons.” He is of course correct, and the announcer yells, “Time! That’s it! 50 points! Degrassi wins! Degrassi wins!” The crowd claps and yells. Rick’s teammates cheer and give each other high fives. Rick smiles, and it’s a perfect moment for a guy who said he wanted to prove he wasn’t what others thought he was.
As if such a moment can ever last in a place like Degrassi.
In the next moment comes a scene straight from Carrie, minus the pig’s blood. Yellow paint and feathers fall from the ceiling and cover Rick. His hair and shoulders are drenched in the mixture. People stop clapping. Alex sneaks back into her seat. Some people – like Spinner and Alex and Jay – are laughing. The adults in the audience are in shock, as are Rick’s teammates. The camera pans around him, capturing the reactions of the other people on stage, to show just how much paint they dumped on him. Rick looks down at his ruined suit, looking so hurt and embarrassed, especially considering how on cloud nine he was seconds earlier.
Rick is walking down the hall when Emma comes running. She tries to stop him from walking off, by saying that the prank only made the people who did it look juvenile. He tells her that they ruined it. “They ruined it, Emma. They’re life ruiners. Everyone was laughing.” Emma grabs his arm and says, “But nobody’s ever going to forget who won. Who’s the smartest guy in the school, in the whole city.” Rick grabs Emma and kisses her. She pushes him away and asks him what in the hell he thinks he’s doing. He thought she loved him. Emma, in what is probably the last blow his ego can handle, says, “I felt sorry for you. I pitied you.” She shoves the trophy into his hands and tells him to “get a clue.” She brushes off the paint and feathers that rubbed of on her as she runs off, leaving Rick standing in the hallway. He stands there, covered in paint and feathers, completely crushed in every possibly way, clutching his trophy before the camera fades to black.
There’s a for sale sign in front of the Jeremiah house. Joey is cleaning frantically when the doorbell rings. He opens the door and it’s Caitlin. She’s gone around the world in just over 180 days. He kisses her, and in between Caitlin says, “I’m on an emergency hiatus from the AIDS piece. Turmoil in Haiti. So I took the first flight home! Why is Sydney’s name on your lawn?” Joey looks a bit confused as he tries to find a way to explain the situation.
Rick opens his front door. He yells out, “Mother? Father?” No one answers and he waits to walk in. Where was his mother during his big moment at the school? His father was out of town, but where was she? Again, psychoanalyst’s dream. Rick clutches the trophy in his hand and leans against the wall by the door. He looks like he’s been crying. He goes to a tall cabinet in the living room and takes out a wooden box from one of the top shelves. Rick slowly opens the box and inside, cradled in green velvet padding, is a gun. Rick looks as if he is fighting back tears as he takes off his glasses and looks up at the camera.