After class — Though: shortest class ever, right? Didn’t the bell just ring like 90 seconds ago for them to go to class? — homesick Thomas is homesick. He plays some instruments and Panda finds him when she comes back to get her tail.
Panda takes Thomas to visit her crazy aunt who, I’m pretty sure, lives in the house Elizabeth Bennet and every other Austen heroine grew up in. It’s like a miniature Chatsworth House, is what it is (Derby shout-out!), and all those saturated, rolling hills are just perfect for a turn about the garden after a nice brew and some biscuits.
Unless, of course, your tea is made from marijuana. In which case: Cheetos, like I warned you. And a quick kip.
Panda’s aunt had a Jamaican gardener who grew her a whole garden full of "tea plants," and Thomas gets all entrepreneur up in the greenhouse, like, "I can sell this tea in tiny bags for a spectacular profit." He and Panda take the "tea plants" back to "his place" and he explains about how it’s not really tea at all, and then they make out. Well, Panda kisses him and says, "So, that’s kissing." And then he kisses her back and goes, "No, this is kissing." Which is kind of Bridget Jones-y ("Nice guys don’t kiss like that." "Oh yes, they f-cking do.") But it’s cute. They’re cute together.
Afterward, Panda and Thomas interrupt an awkward Stonem family dinner to get some advice from Effy.
Panda: Guess what? We’ve been snogging!
Panda: Yeah! And we need some advice.
Panda: [loud whisper] Yeah, we got a shitload of weed!
Effy: Let’s take this upstairs, shall we?
Oh, Lisa Backwell, so underused.
Effy has rounded up the Three Musketeers and the Two Twins for your basic drug dealing night on Bristol. There’s some inane chit-chat — no one’s talking about tea, I’ll tell you that — when Naomi gay!walks up and waves at everyone.
Katie: Oh, Christ. Not again. Who phoned her?
Emily: Please, Katie — don’t.
Naomi: Hi, sorry; couldn’t find a bus. Someone needed a hand?
Katie: Yeah, you like giving hand; don’t you, Naomi?
Naomi: See ya.
And hang on, kids, ’cause here we go!
Last week we talked about propaganda. And we said Cook is shouting a version of his story at top volume, and Naomi is shouting a version of her story at top volume, but what we didn’t talk about is that no one is as dialed into the propaganda machine as Katie Fitch.
I mean, it’s like she studied the art of it with Herman and Chomsky. Appealing to fear? (You’re not as good as me.) Check. Appealing to prejudice? (Gays proselytize their queerness.) Check. Black-and-white fallacy? (You’re either with me or you’re a minger.) Check. Cognitive Dissonance? (My boyfriend plays for the Bristol Rovers.) Check. Demonize the enemy? ("Great, it’s the lesbian, come to gay us up.") Check. Ad hominem? ("Lezzer bitch.") Check. Ad nauseam? ("It’s cool, isn’t it?") Check. Glittering generalities, scape-goating, oversimplification, obfuscation, stereotyping? Check, check, check, check, check and I’ve hired a plane to scatter-bomb these photos of my breasts over Roundview’s campus because when you’ve got tits like mine, you’ve got to flash them a little bit, haven’t you?
And what makes Katie singularly astounding is that she’s not only mass-producing her own propaganda, she’s creating Emily’s as well, because — and this is the key to the haunted hallway that protects the door of the land-mined room that houses the the wardrobe that is secured by magic to conceal the Narnia that is the heart of Katie F-cking Fitch — her very definition is contingent upon the root word of Emily. Katie’s thematic vowels are attached to the stem of Emily’s consistency — and Emily knows it.