Again I throw out my punny title suggestion of “Miranda Rights!”
Miranda and Lizzie complain about a book report and dread going to PE and showering in front of all the other girls. Miranda says she really doesn’t feel like going to PE that day and decides to tell the teacher that she’s sick to get out of it.
Lizzie and Gordo are mildly scandalized by this, but I feel for Miranda here. I hated PE always, especially in middle school, and Miranda seems way more upset than Lizzie in this scene. In fact, she’s extremely moody this entire episode.
I think she has her period. I once had a very emotional crying meltdown in the girls’ locker room when I was 13 and on my period and having to deal with such tribulations as getting picked last for baseball (like I was for every sport, every day), hearing my team captain loudly complain about having me on his team and beg me to “try not to suck as much as I usually did,” and getting mocked in front of the entire class by my PE teacher for being so unathletic, although admittedly I was also coping with extenuating circumstances like my parents leaving the country that morning and it being my birthday. My point is I blame hormones for Miranda’s very strange actions this week, and I wish that middle school girls would be allowed to skip PE on days when they are dealing with the worst aspect of puberty.
Unsurprisingly, because at this point I suspect Mr. Dig of systematically murdering every teacher at Hill Ridge Junior High, there is a substitute in PE and it’s (probable serial killer) Mr. Dig. He says they’re going to learn dance even though he admits it’s pretty crazy to learn dance in PE. Not at this school! They learned square dancing just last year.
Gordo says there’s no way Mr. Dig is good at dancing and then Mr. Dig is good at dancing.
If this got anyone else’s theatre senses tingling, I looked it up and, yes, this actor does have a theatre background and was even in the movie version of Newsies as a youth.
If you don’t have theater senses, shut UP, okay? Not everyone can be good at baseball!!
The class starts with trust falls and Lizzie and Miranda partner up because they trust each other. Remember that. It’s very important. Gordo partners with a super tall girl, for reasons Lizzie and Miranda can’t deduce.
Matt and Lanny stage a fake interview with Jo to practice for Matt’s new online talk show. Jo isn’t as afraid of her kids using the internet as my mom was in 2002 and has no qualms with her son, a minor, broadcasting his face and home to the world.
Lizzie, Gordo, and Miranda go to the mall after school because Jo is similarly lax about her daughter going on unsupervised jaunts around town. Miranda sees some free candy samples and shovels a whole bunch of them into her purse, again shocking Lizzie and Gordo. Let the girl have some chocolate this week! I think she needs it.
Miranda checks out the lipstick display but knocks it over, alerting a security guard. She replaces the lipsticks on the display and tells Lizzie they need to get out of there. When Lizzie objects, Miranda bolts out the door. That’s honestly extremely sketchy, so if feminine problems aren’t her excuse, I cannot explain this.
Miranda’s stopped by the security guard and refuses to have her bag searched, so the guard takes it from her and finds a brand new lipstick inside. Miranda said she bought it the week before and hadn’t used it yet. She asks Lizzie to back her up but Lizzie says she can’t confirm that. She doesn’t trust Miranda, see? Miranda protests that Lizzie was with her on the trip to the mall, though not when she was in the store to buy the lipstick, but security takes her away for questioning.
Matt’s show tanks when he interviews his friend Jackson Myers, son of Mike Myers, only to find out that his dad isn’t the Mike Myers. But ratings pick up when Sam walks into the frame and ends up getting covered in grease, water, and dirt through a series of wacky accidents. I guess the nation was that starved for content pre-YouTube.
Gordo and Lizzie hang out in her room without Miranda again, although this time it’s justified. Miranda calls Lizzie to say that her parents got her out of a fine, but Lizzie should have believed her. We get a lot of Lalaine’s Serious Acting as she accuses Lizzie of being a bad friend. I always call out Lalaine’s Serious Acting because it’s just so serious. She always hits these moments really, really hard.
In PE the next day, Lizzie frets about Miranda to Gordo, whose many attempts at comfort only make things worse. In a nice touch, Lizzie apologizes to Gordo for snapping at him so much, realizing that she’s just emotional about her fight with Miranda. This is what I’ve wanted from the many, many scenes of Gordo and Lizzie just hurling sneers at each other. Miranda arrives and refuses to work with Lizzie. Lizzie has to partner with Ethan instead, but he drops her during their trust fall. I wonder how many concussions Lizzie has had. She gets put into scenarios that make her fall every week at this point.
Matt’s show takes off when he works in more pratfalls and gross-out humor, and the much more principled Lanny quits the show in protest. “I know you think we’re going for the cheap laughs, Lanny, but this stuff sells!” Matt says. Holy shit, is this a meta commentary on all of the jokes about Lizzie falling?
In the next PE class, we get the payoff for Gordo’s random dance partner: she’s a trained ballerina, so she does all the real dancing while Gordo gesticulates creatively. It is unfortunately extremely similar to an audition I had to do for a very alternative MFA program where I was asked to choreograph and perform an interpretive dance on the spot.
Miranda and Lizzie have to dance together but instead have an all-out girl fight. I’m starting to think this relationship isn’t built on trust at all.
Lizzie overhears Matt get a call from Lanny who somehow “says” that his school project was destroyed and he needs Matt’s help fixing it. Matt sets aside their fight to go help him, making Lizzie realize she’s been a bad friend. That didn’t sink in when she was trying to claw her bestie’s eyes out?
Miranda’s English teacher, who has yet to be murdered by Mr. Dig but who is undoubtedly a target, pulls Miranda aside the next day to accuse her of plagiarism. Lizzie happens to overhear this when she walks past and gives one of those speeches that have a lot of dramatic weight for the episode but can’t mean anything to the random character stuck observing it. She says Miranda is her friend and doesn’t steal or lie or cheat and she apologizes for being such a bad friend to her. Miranda thanks Lizzie but says she did plagiarize. You know what? I take back all of my defenses of Miranda this episode. I bet she stole the lipstick too.
They have an emotional trust fall as sappy music plays. I hate learning lessons about friendship from these jerks!
Notable fashion moments: Miranda wears an American flag shirt with an American flag headband and red, white and blue jacket….
….with a British flag purse.
If you’re wondering what happened to the outfit touches that paid tribute to her Mexican heritage, the answer is….her teacher stole them.
That’s one of Miranda’s necklaces from season 1!
Other interesting tidbits: In the cold open, Lizzie bumps into Gordo and we get a very quick sound effect. I think that Hilary Duff just accidentally bumped into him in the scene and they didn’t cut, because there’s no reason that that small misstep would be in the script. It’s under lines. It’s funny that the editors would add in a zany sound effect to justify a stumble in filming.
In the bloopers, Hilary Duff, struggling to find the word “woodchuck,” accidentally calls it a “chipchug,” which made me laugh.
Gordo is pretty much a good-natured goofball all the time now. It’s so weird comparing his performance this season to the Gordo of season 1.