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The Scholar - Episode 2 Summary

'Weíve Got Spirit, Yes We Do! Weíve Got Ratings . . . No, We Donít' By Cygnus X1
Original Airdate: June 13, 2005

Due to some violent content in this summary, viewer discretion is advised. (Oh, sorry, that was from the beginning of ďThe RingĒ from last week.)

Previously on The Scholar: Ten of Americaís brightest and best students arrived at USC. But since they werenít part of this show, ten hormone-crazed high school seniors showed up instead. They meet and run around the USC campus doing pointless tasks, then get interrogated by the Scholarship Overlords who demand to see their papers. In the end, three of them compete for a $50K scholarship, including the pompous Davis, who was voted Most Likely To Receive A Boot To The Head. But he went down in flames during the Admissions Hoedown, won by Melissa. And I busted many ancient Bell and Howell filmstrip projectors. So thanks to a grant from the Emerson, Lake, and Palmer Foundation, this is a more contemporary summary.

And so, we begin back at the Scholar House, which I mistakenly said in my last summary was in Euclid, OH. Actually, itís in Akron. We find Melissa and Milana bonding. They are becoming Soul Mates. (Not THAT kind, Knockers.) Scot, who was pretty much absent last week, adds that Davis and Liz have been getting pretty chummy, as have Alyssa and Max. If youíve forgotten who these people are, please refer to my previous summary. Not that Iíd blame you if you forgot. But Scot says heís pretty much a loner who prefers to concentrate on his studies. Working 80 hours a week doesnít leave much time for girls, true. But at least he didnít have to spend much money on proms.

Speaking of money, Scot starts asking his housemates about their family incomes. Davis admits his folks have a combined income of over $140K, but they apparently spend it as fast as they get it. Mmmmm . . . debt. Jeremy says his folks donít make enough to pay his way, but too much to get much aid. If Max were to win the $50K, he says that would be more than his dad makes in a year. Scot says feh, thatís more than his dad makes in THREE years! What does he do, work in radio?

So we visit Scotís (and Bystanderís) hometown of New Freedom, PA . . . sort of. Several of these shots are actually of nearby York (nice try, Tom Werner!), home of a Harley factory, the Weightlifting Hall of Fame, and the occasional white supremacist rally. Scotís dad looks Dick Smothers without the mustache; he says Scot taught himself algebra. We see Scot practicing Tae Kwon Do and walking into a library that is definitely in York and not New Freedom.

Anyhoo, itís time for Part One of our shew, the Captainís Mess Quiz. The Scholars meet our host Rob Nelson, J.D. (Just Dull). The theme: Art in the Dark. Scot thinks he has an advantage, Max not so much. Off they go, matching artists to their works of art, e.g. Van Gogh to ďThe Starry Night.Ē Conspicuous by its absence:

Oh, by the way . . . is anyone else irritated by the too-loud Blue Man Group music throughout this show? (Actually, sorry, thatís an insult to BMG.)

Just Dull tells us that only one student got a perfect score on this quiz. And it was the collie on the left. No, weíll find out after . . . Commercials.

And weíre back, and this person also had the fastest time . . . Melissa. She is rocking this competition! Scot had the second fastest time, but Liz had more answers right. She didnít think sheíd do well with Art, but then again, she hadnít met him. (Hope she doesnít tell Davis!) So Melissa and Liz are the captains for the team challenge this week.

Now since Melissa is already in the finals, if her team wins its challenge, she will have to nominate someone from her team to move on to the Academic Hoedown. The Senate can then filibuster that nominee (didnít read that part of the deal, did you?). Melissa says she doesnít want to relax, even though sheís already in the finals. Sheís already learning the importance of being a DAW.

After a jump-cut sequence put together by some sixth-graders, weíre at the USC Heritage Hall gymnasium, so named because it predates the missionaries. There we meet Lori, the coach and adviser to the USC Song, Yell, and Whine Team. She will be judging the competition. What competition? Thank you for asking! Our Future will have to get as many apathetic USC students out for a menís volleyball game (must be a West Coast thing; out here, only women play volleyball in college) as they can. On top of that, theyíll have to come up with a 3-minute pre-game routine. Each team will have a $500 campus card for purchasing supplies for the evening.

Alyssa figures this is right up her alley, since sheís a singer and dancer. Scot . . . not so much. Homeschooling isnít awash in extracurriculars (for the most part, but definitely not in Scotís case). Gerald likes it; heís his schoolís mascot. We find out, however, that Gerald is one of only two students in his AP classes in Commerce, TX, and one of his teachers pushed him to the back of the room when he wanted to sit in the front. Oh, and his mom chides Gerald for saying a quick prayer before eating.

And now, time for the Weekly Kickball Flashback: choosing up sides. Melissa takes Milana (pause for *thud*s), Scot, Alyssa, and Max for her Red Team. For the Gold Team, Liz picks Gerald, Davis, Amari, and last and least, Jeremy. He sure feels like itís least, anyway.

ObProductPlacement: Each winning team member gets a $2K gift certificate from Wal-Mart, the Official Discount Store of SBOT . . . almost.

And theyíre off!

Scot says to remember to get the pennants handed out, not to get 10 million people to come. But how many sporting events has he ever been to? Jeremy gets over his inferiority complex long enough to suggest the idea of a raffle involving the pennants, awarding a gift card to whoever has the randomly numbered pennant.

Once in the bookstore, the teams go to work. Gold Teamer Davis figures heíll get attention by wearing a cheerleader skirt . . . and he does. I canít make stuff like this up. The rest of his team decides to split up to get stuff and work on the choreography. Overlord Easy Reader (Morgan Freeman) wonders how theyíll communicate with each other. Maybe Davis has a secret communication device hidden up his skirt? (And no, I do NOT want to know whether he was wearing anything underneath it!)

The Red Team works on its routine. Credit Max with the Understatement of the Year so far, noting that Scot ďdidnít have too much rhythm.Ē He needs much help in the dancing department. Maybe they should have had him do some Tae Kwon Do moves? Just a thought.

Melissa then asserts herself because too many cooks are trying to run things (she has Chef Ramsey on speed-dial just in case). Milana is trying to accomplish too much with the choreo, Alyssa isnít helping much, and poor Scot is just flailing about in the middle of it all, like a white boy from South Central PA.

They decide itís more important to just give out their flags. So the Red Team tries to browbeat talk to all who will listen encourage people to come to this game. Eventually, they figure it might be better to go to where the people are (well, duh!). Max figures itís better to hit up the people that ARE coming to the game (well, that wasnít really the point of the exercise, but you gotta do what you gotta do) and get them the flags. He goes off to charm some girls into doing just this. Donít flatter yourself, bud.

Scot then decides what he lacks in dance moves, heíll make up for in . . . body paint! He paints his visible features (most of them, anyway) red, because thatís what crazy people at sports competitions do (so he says). We really must get you to an Eagles game sometime, dood. Once finished, he lets out a Howard Dean-esque scream.

The Gold Team is playing up the idea of the $100 campus card that someone can win, which they figure is their Trump card (and he had to get his name in this summary somewhere). Until Davis announces that he misplaced the card. Fortunately, he has a commercial break in which to look for it.

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