“South of Nowhere” Recaps: Episode 2.4 “Rules of Engagement”

King High School Parking Lot — Madison spies Kyla moping around and presses her for information. The normally level-headed Kyla opens up to Madison about her big sex dilemma with Aiden. Madison “helps” with some good old fashioned fear mongering, telling Kyla that if she won’t take care of Aiden’s “needs” then someone else surely will.

Kyla buys into it and beats feet to Aiden’s gym, where he is busy flirting with Denise Richards Jr. Kyla tries to un-break their date and Aiden gently blows her off.

KHS Lockers — Ashley surprises Spencer with a teddy bear and — much to Spencer’s delight — carries her books for her. These gallant little gestures make Spencer all flirty and girly, and for the first time this week they look like a couple!

But they haven’t ridden that wave for more than a few footsteps when they encounter a major buzz-kill. The gay guy who was attacked calls out to Spencer, and let’s just say that his wounds required more than a dainty little butterfly bandage on the forehead.

He’s propped up on a crutch, his arm in a cast and his face purple and swollen. Yet he’s in surprisingly good spirits, and eager to capitalize on the incident as a wake-up call for the school. He invites Spencer to a “strategy meeting,” but Ashley jumps in and questions his motives.

Ashley: Strategy for what?
Injured Gay Guy: For moving forward! This whole thing upped our visibility by 100%. You’ve gotta come. You’re one of the victims. This will be a great opportunity.

I’ve heard the old saying that there’s "no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary” but considering the fact that this incident nearly instigated his own obituary, he is a tad overzealous.

Ashley is livid, telling him, “Are you kidding? My girlfriend has a concussion and now you want her to be your spokesmodel? This is your fault that she’s hurt at all, so why don’t you just leave us alone. Go on with your little strategy party, but just stay out of our faces.”

Still in high school, but already engaged in grassroots community-building!

Now, Spencer is pissed. She tells Ashley, “What is wrong with you? You sound just like that guy who beat him up. And Glen. I don’t even know what to say to you.”

Spencer stomps away more enlightened than ever.

King High Parking Lot — Kyla watches helplessly as Denise Richards Jr. pick ups Aiden at school. Madison cozies up to her like a concerned friend who wants to help. She does that by sharing her considerable expertise on the subject of Aiden. She seems genuine, but the fact that she then offers to treat Kyla to some retail therapy with stolen money undermines the gesture.

Café Carlin — Arthur is in the kitchen, once again blathering on about his own culinary prowess, while Glen mindlessly plays video games in the other room. I’m just glad that I don’t have to live with these guys.

Paula whips through the door in a funnel cloud of negativity, barking “Did you see the paper today?”

Arthur answers back with a disinterested “No,” then continues on with his "Børk! Børk! Børk!" Swedish Chef routine. Arthur’s version is in French, but no less annoying.

Paula says she’s glad that Spencer’s name wasn’t in the paper, and Arthur ignores her and asks about the crossword puzzle. They somehow avoid a smackdown and end up comforting one another. For now.

Chelsea’s Art Studio — Spencer is hanging out with the one person in her group of friends with any damn sense, and they are rapping about oppression.

Chelsea: Don’t get me wrong, I love having you here. But who are you hiding from?
Everybody. I’ve just been a little overwhelmed lately. I don’t see why everyone is so freaked out. It’s not like we’re hurting anybody.

Chelsea: It’s just ignorance. People are afraid of difference. Believe me, I get it too. Half the world doesn’t know I exist because I’m black, the other half want to give me special treatment because I’m black and the rest are terrified of me because—gasp—I’m black!
Spencer: People can be so awful!
Chelsea: It’s just fear. You’ve got to live your own life. Don’t worry about people calling you names.
Spencer: Like “queer” or “dyke.”

Chelsea: Or “nigger.”
Spencer: Yeah…

I’m going to spoil the moment and dumb it down a notch by noting how funny is it to hear Spencer say the word “dyke.” It’s like listening to your proper old grandma sing along with Peaches. Scandalous!

Carlin Home — Glen is still sitting around playing video games—which is what he’d be doing even if he weren’t injured—when Clay comes home.

After what happened between them at the hospital, they need to have a serious talk.

Glen: Why didn’t you rat me out to mom and dad?

Clay: You want to deal with this right now? Ok fine. I have no idea what is going on with you. Nobody even knows you anymore.
Glen: This isn’t my fault, it’s Spencer’s!
Clay: Stop blaming everybody else. You’re the one who’s acting like an ass. That thing you said to me at the hospital
Glen: About that —

Clay: The bottom line is this: even though you apparently don’t think I’m your brother, I still know that you’re mine. And that’s why I didn’t rat you out.

Chelsea’s Studio — Ashley shows up at Chelsea’s pad with what Patti LaBelle would call a "new attitude." She tells Spencer, “You’re upset and hurt. And I’m sorry. I know you think I was wrong, Spencer, and maybe I was. But here’s the thing: I was protecting you. And when it comes down to having the choice of being right or protecting you, I’ll be wrong every single time. Because it’s just who I am.”

It’s a good speech, and you’d think it would get Ashley some sugar. But alas, it only warrants a hand on her knee and a dreamy— and possibly delirious—gaze.

Next Week — Spencer wears Ashley’s clothes, goes back to the future with a Seven of Nine hairdo, and gets an unexpected visit from an old BFF who is now just an ASS.

Pages: 1 2 3 4