To summarize where we are now, after Lara No tried to leave her criminal past behind her, her apartment burned down. Now homeless, Lara has moved into her brother Leon’s dorm at the exclusive “Academy.” Unfortunately, to crash with Leon (and his roommates Jason and Isaac), Lara has to pretend to both be an Academy student and the girlfriend of “elite” student Takashi.
Because of reasons.
This has made Lara an enemy in the eyes of Teela, an elite student who had her eyes set on Takashi herself. Teela has employed the talents of the “Shadow Order” to take down Lara — although it seems to consist of some guy named Cyrus who likes to shuffle cards alone in hallways.
Filling out the rest of the world are Alba (an old friend from Lara’s criminal past) and Moe (an old friend from Lara’s boring past). Oh, and Martin (the RA) and his Assistant Janet are there. Martin’s the best one.
I think that should cover it…
Episode 4: Jason Jettison
The episode opens with Leon trying to help Lara brainstorm ideas on where to look for work. Because Lara is broke and would like to eat. Eating is generally considered a good thing.
If you ever doubted this show was Canadian, count the number of times Lara says “eh?” in this scene.
The discussion about applying for Call Center jobs is interrupted though, as Jason walks in and does the most frustrated-slash-embarrassed-yet-trying-to-look-cool water pour in the history of Britta filter pitchers.
It’s like he’s both angry at the water and angry at himself
Jason, who points out how great he is (which to be fair is pretty great), is really into Maron. You may remember Maron as the guy that Jason ran away and hid from back in episode 2. Well, Jason’s been having a hard time asking out Maron.
Of course, Teela had heard about Jason’s affections too, and we’re treated to a brief scene of Teela having an insane tea party with Molly Anne discussing it.
Teela talks to dolls. Teela is f**king nuts
Anyway, back from that brief aside with the crazy lady, we return to Jason telling Lara and Leon about his complete inability to ask Maron out.
Maron had spoken to him briefly in the locker room following a swim (was it a class? Was it the swim team? Does it matter? Probably not?), but Jason completely freaked out and went into a humiliating nervous spiral. Thankfully Maron seems oblivious.
I TOO SPEAK WORDS WHICH HAPPEN TO BE IN ENGLISH!
Jason is, of course, depressed that he can’t seem to get the courage to ask out Maron (specifically to the Academy Ball), and Isaac quietly mocks him from the corner.
Because Isaac has apparently been in the room the whole time.
We then cut to Teela and Molly Anne walking through campus, as bitter-self centered Teela has decided that Jason cannot go out with Maron. Teela also makes Molly Anne feel bad. Teela, Molly Anne appears to be your only friend. Stop being mean to Molly Anne.
Maron is apparently currently at “Fencing” with Takashi. I don’t know if this is a club or a class, just because no one seems to teach and/or work at this school, but we then cut to some minor sword play.
When you’re elite, you don’t need safety equipment. Or eyes.
While Teela heads off to find the fencers, we return to the dorm room, where the “help Jason’s love life” conference has now expanded to include Alba and Moe… because seriously, what else would they be doing right now?
Moe decides she is going to find the ideal “asking out” teacher for Jason. First Alba and Lara try to volunteer Leon.
Leon is trying to find the page which explains the best way to kill your sister and her friend with a fountain pen
After that, Moe asks Lara if she’s the most experienced at asking people out. Lara explains that she hasn’t asked that many guys or girls out, but tells Jason he should just be straight with Maron. This is, frankly, good advice. Lara also tells Jason he should ask out Maron in private, but is quickly interrupted by Isaac.
Isaac, taking a much colder approach, says that Jason should ask Maron out publicly so that Maron will say yes to prevent the situation from being embarrassing. You know, the guilt trip method.
Isaac is also a sociopath I’m guessing.
Of course, since Isaac never dates, he mostly just gets mocked. We’ll see who’s mocking who when they dig up the back of the quad and find what’s buried there…
…I’m just saying.
The focus switches back to Leon, who pretty much admits that he mostly just chickens out and never asks anyone out ever. Moe then explains her strategy: be super cute and hug people. This strategy really only works for a few people though. Moe demonstrates by hugging Jason.
This shot also probably ate up half of this episode’s budget alone
Alba finally says something, telling the group that the strategy for dating is to act completely disinterested. When questioned by Jason as to whether this strategy actually works, Alba gets a pinch flustered — which tips off Leon and Lara to the fact that Alba’s been dating.
She is oddly attracted to guys who shuffle cards alone in hallways though. Maybe she should try someone like that instead.
Alba doesn’t want to talk about it though. And when Alba doesn’t want to talk about something, she doesn’t talk about it.
We then cut to later, outside.
Jason is shy right now. Jason doesn’t like being shy.
Lara and Moe are trying to get Jason to ask out Maron, but Jason is freaking out. Also, Alba is here too for some reason. She’s says it’s because she’s invested now.
Also there’s not a lot else to do in this town apparently
Alba says that if Maron says no, she’ll pop him one for Jason. Jason requests that Alba avoid Maron’s face. His pretty, pretty face.
The plan here is to ask Maron out after he’s done with Fencing — because yes, that’s still happening right now. We cut to Takashi and Maron still fencing without any safety gear (someone buy some facemasks for this school dagnabbit!), and Teela and Molly Anne walk in.
That’s right, it took crazy lady and Molly Anne this long to reach the fencers. Did they stop to have ice cream on the way or something?
IT’S A TRAP! SHE’S GOING TO PUT YOUR SOUL INTO ONE OF HER TEA PARTY DOLLS!
We all figured out what’s going to happen now, right?
Anyway, after Teela talks to Maron in private, Maron and Takashi walk outside onto the campus. When they approach Jason and his gaggle, Lara subtly waves Takashi off.
Of course, by “subtle” I mean “devoid of sound effects.” Many of Lara’s gestures come with sound effects.
That surprisingly worked, considering these two never actually speak. WORST. COVER. RELATIONSHIP. EVER.
Jason is about to actually ask Maron out, when Teela decides to swoop in from out of nowhere, because ruining genuine moments is her second most favorite hobby.
Her most favorite hobby is laughing at the poor.
Excuse me, but have I explained how I’m better than you today?
Teela starts asking about gown colors and other things which should really clue anyone in that she’s already asked Maron out. Molly Anne sits there in uncomfortable support, I hope seriously reconsidering the choices she’s made in life.
Lara decides to “help” Jason though, by kicking him in the back of the leg, sending him falling into Maron. As this series has established, falling on people is the only language Lara No understands.
Jason is either shocked from the fall, or amazed by Maron’s amazing hair
Jason finally gets up the courage to ask is Maron will dance with him at the Academy Ball, to which Maron says yes — but reveals that Teela is already his date.
Because of course she is.
Alba walks in, punches Maron, calls him an idiot, and the episode ends.
In that moment, we were all Alba
Episode 5: Alice
This is Alba’s mid-nineties Album cover
Episode five starts with Alba staring at the city. We cut to more scenes of Alba, with a voice over of the character pondering if she’ll last the year. Not going to lie, this is kind of dark. We see Alba’s guitar fall to the floor before getting the heck away from serious introspection, and back to wacky hijinks.
I mean, if you consider a desperate person looking for help “wacky hijinks”
Meet Alice (Christie Trinh). Alice has come to the gang for help, because after a Professor (holy crap! Professors exist!) pointed out how well Alice’s first draft for an assignment was in front of the class, she got home to find her dorm room trashed — and the chief suspect? Teela Tether!
Because Teela is a viscous jackass who doesn’t like other people succeeding — and Alice’s paper would have earned a better grade than Teela’s paper.
When Alice went to tell someone though, she found herself pursued by the Shadow Order.
Oh no! It’s Cyrus the Hallway Card Shuffler, and he brought a friend!
Alice managed to get away, but ended up running into Jason (literally). Which is how she ended up with our group of rag-tag heroes.
Alba asks if this kind of thing is normal at The Academy, to which Alice says yes – the “Elite” students really are this powerful. Lara has decided she’s had enough though, and that the buck stops here.
Lara cares a lot about the social order at a school she is only pretending to attend
Then Moe bursts in and tries to give them a cool group name, only to be shot down by Alba. And then Jason tries to give the same speech about stopping Teela that Lara gave five minutes ago.
…Everyone wants to replace Lara as the leader, except Leon. Leon’s just reading his book.
As Jason charges off with determination, Alice laments how nice Jason is, and how Jason’s “girlfriend” must love him.
Isaac, who has been sitting next to Alice, spits out his coffee at this.
In that moment, we were all Isaac.
Isaac points out that Jason most definitely does not have a girlfriend. Alice seems delighted by this… but probably because she didn’t understand the subtext.
And Theme Song…
I should point out that the theme song was absent from Episode 4, and it turns out it’s because they were busy either remixing or rerecording it. The thing sounds ten times better here than it did in earlier episodes. Not perfect, but it no longer bothers me.
We return to the show, with Lara talking with Alba. Lara is, of course, mocking Alba for dating. Alba demands Lara tell no one.
If your friends can’t mock you mercilessly, then who can?
Lara laughs, reminding Alba of when they were kids in the orphanage – when Alba said she would never date anyone. Alba goes a little dark though, talking about how depressed she’s been and how she thought dating would help.
But let’s not dwell! Let’s look at the awful dates Alba has been on!
Alba’s expression is all the caption you should need for the awfulness of what this girl is saying
I cannot explain to you how wonderful this whole sequence is. It is amazing.
Anyway, after a touch of Alba saying another depressing thing, it’s time for the gang to go out and help Alice turn her paper in. I mean, sure, in the modern digital era you’d think that she could just email it to the Professor — but that wouldn’t look cool at all.
And looking cool is important.
We have officially failed at looking cool.
Our heroes are marching bravely across campus, but they aren’t alone.
…because here comes the Shadow Order.
I’m a tree-leaner now. I think it’s cool. I also forgot my cards. Would have given me something to do while I leaned on this tree all day.
Alba confronts Cyrus the Tree Leaner, asking him if he’s just a rich girl’s errand boy. Cyrus says some mumbo jumbo about the Shadow Order, but the short answer is “yes.”
Alba sees right through your bullsh*t
Alba almost gets Cyrus to admit that he doesn’t like his job being a professional douchcanoe, but changes the topic to how Alba is a “do gooder.” Alba says she’s not all that invested, and with that Cyrus bolts, does some sort of jump thing over Alice, and steals Alice’s backpack.
THINK ABOUT ALL THE DECKS OF CARDS I CAN CARRY IN THIS THING!
Lara and Jason both give chase, although Lara is much faster. Alice tries to follow as well, but as she’s wearing terrible footwear for this sort of thing, trips.
Jason catches her, of course.
Oh Alice… this will never work. You have a better shot with LITERALLY any other cast member.
Lara continues to chase Cyrus across the campus. Annoyingly, she loses him – but then runs straight into Takashi. As in she literally runs into him.
Oh, hello there Fake Boyfriend I never talk to.
Cyrus thinks he’s gotten away scott free, and is walking down an alley… when he encounters what should be a familiar situation: Alba Armada getting the drop on him.
How did you think this was gonna end, jackass?
We cut back to Lara and Takashi, mostly with Lara just being embarrassed. Their moment is cut short when Martin (followed by his dutiful assistant and the annoying Ms. Tether) demand to know where Lara No’s school uniform is as it’s required in certain buidlings.
Because that’s a thing apparently.
Y’know, for an RA he’s weirdly invested in things that happen outside his dormitory. I used to work for University Housing, and most of the RAs I worked with were far too apathetic for these kinds of shenanigans.
We then cut back to Alba, who manages to get the paper back from Cyrus. Her victory is short lived though, as Cyrus’s compatriot in the Shadow Order appears, lays a little smack down, and takes the paper back.
They’re like the Hot Topic version of Team Rocket.
Back to Lara, Takashi, Martin, and the rest — Takashi asks what building they’re supposedly in. Martin, with some prompting, has to admit they’re outside. Takashi claims that Lara left her uniform in the Boy’s dorm, and Lara runs off to “get it.”
This was probably Teela’s weakest plan.
I feel bad for Martin. He was probably really excited at the chance to do more yelling.
Back in the alley, Shadow Order girl notices that Cyrus is super into Alba. She declares Cyrus is boring, and tosses Alba the term paper.
Why? Because the Shadow Order is super bad at their jobs.
I mean, unless their actual job really is shadow puppetry like I proposed a couple episodes back. They might be really good at that.
Have back this thing I worked really hard to steal from you!
In the end, Alice got her paper turned in, and as she had a spare uniform, she gifted it to Lara to pay her back for helping. Also, Teela was super-pissed, which is always an added benefit.
And Alba? Well in her voiceover she seems to have found some hope.
Some apathetic hope.
Definitely the strongest two episodes of the season so far, although I could have done with a little more Martin. I mean, sure, it wouldn’t have made sense to include more Martin, but still.
The theme song has been cleaned up, which gets rid of my biggest complaint. I really have nothing bad to say about the show these last few weeks, and I just keep loving it more and more.
Next week we get the season finale though — and we’ll find out how this all ends up coming together.