It's difficult for television shows to follow up a great pilot, not necessarily because the following episode is bad but because the first episode is so good that it's hard to top it. I wouldn't say that "Freaks and Geeks" has a second episode that tops the first one.. but then again, I'm not sure. I liked the Pilot more, but this episode takes everything we came to learn about the characters in the first episode and improves on it in every possible way.
Once again, we get two seperate plots that we jump back and forth to. Lindsey's parents are leaving for the weekend, which leaves the house open for a party, something that Daniel suggests and the rest of the "freaks" quickly agree with. As Lindsey prepares for the party, Sam grows worried that he's going to get in trouble for not letting his parents know that there's a party going on. To avoid his house being trashed by a bunch of drunk high school students, him, Neil and Bill buy a keg of non-alcoholic beer to replace the real beer with. It's a clever idea that takes the concept of a high school house party, something that's been done to death in high school movies, and flips it on its head.
By the time we get halfway through the episode, the party has started and a half-dozen different plots and characters begin intertwining in ways that most television shows can't pull off in less complex situations. There's the hidden lust that Neil has for Lindsey and his attempts to make her happy throughout the party, Lindsey's yearning for Daniel, Daniel and Kim's very gross and disturbing love game on Lindsey's bed, Lindsey and Nick's understated friendship that appears to be slowly blossoming into something more (Jason Segal's character in this show is very similar to the character he played in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.. he's just a likeable guy, and even when he makes a mistake, he has a way of still making you like him), Bill's love for Dallas (okay, that's a joke, but still.. there's just so many great things going on!).
The party is easily the best part of the episode, and in a way, can seen as "Pilot Part 2," if only because it continues to establish the things happening in Episode 1. Watching Bill drink the real beer while everybody else thinking they're drunk was a very clever move by writers Judd Apatow, and although Seth Rogen doesn't get much to do here, his reaction to learning that the beer was non-alcoholic was comedy gold and further evidence that he's good at deadpan. My friend told me that the relationship between Lindsey and Nick was always one of her favorites on the show and on television in general, and I must say, the two actors who play them do such a great job.. and the show also has those great recurring characters that appear here and there and have just as much of an impact as the lead characters (whether it's that long-haired guy, I think his name is Harris, or Lindsey's smart friend who plays that awkward Jesus song.
Now that I think about it, I think this episode is my favorite out of the first three episodes. It's perfect in the way it combines the tragic moments of the script with the ridiculous ones. It's disappointing coming into the show with the knowledge that it was cancelled after one season, but the least I can do is chronicle my experience throughout the show and focus on how great each episode is in itself.