An average episode I suppose. Certainly nothing to write home about. But a few recent trends stick out to the observant viewer.
For example, Hilary (Lizzie) and Lalaine (Miranda) don’t share a scene alone together—but yet again Hilary and Adam (Gordo) do (multiple times). Perhaps more subtle proof of backstage turmoil?
And while on that, Gordo and Miranda play a very small part in this episode. Mostly they are used as “props” to which Lizzie can pour out her feelings as opposed to offering opinions of their own.
As for the plot, it would appear unanimous: Jo’s considered a great cook! This despite her near legendary failure at preparing Beef Stroganoff and Chicken Noodle Casserole.
Mr. Dig, being a bachelor, obvious knows not how to cook. Thus, to ensure his survival he lives on fast food (what, he can’t afford to eat at a sit down restaurant?). Someone get this guy a table at the Olive Garden! *LOL*
Feeling sorry for him, Lizzie inadvertently invites him over to her house for dinner (Mmmmm, meatloaf). Though in doing so she thinks a valid point that *all* students have thought throughout the history of public education: That students should never see teachers outside of school! The invisible wall that separates one’s home life with one’s school life is sacrosanct, and should never be pierced. But alas, for Lizzie, it will be.
Though, to be fair, one has to wonder why Lizzie sees Mr. Dig every day at school. As this episode points out, he’s “just” a *substitute* teacher! Teaching at Hillridge Junior High must be a hazardous job—they are always in need of a sub to fill in for one teacher or another! What do these people do, moonlight as extreme sports stars?!? ;-)
While not necessarily putting their best foot forward, the McGuire’s hit it off with Mr. Dig (whose first name is used for perhaps only the second time in this series). In fact, Mr. Dig and Sam find they share the same taste in music, and a bond is formed. And thus Lizzie’s “problems” begin. The idea of seeing her (substitute) teacher over at her house, hanging out with her dad, is too much for her.
But Jo (doing what she does best) makes Lizzie realize (in an oh-so-backhand manner) that her father is allowed to have friends as well, just like she does, and they have the right to come over, just like hers do.
This little bit of parenting by Jo is so much a part of what makes this series as a whole great that it just can’t go without mentioning. Jo is the quintessential television mom. Heck, she’s the quintessential mom period!
As for the subplot, it ends up merging with the main one this time out.
Ms. Chapman, Matt’s teacher, has suddenly gone rigid and uptight. As Matt makes a point to say, she used to not be like that, but now she runs the class like a dictator. Everyone is suffering. It’s so bad that Melina, the original hard case, little Miss Trouble, is shaking in her shorts, fearful of what her teacher will do next! Never have we seen her so scared! The mighty Melina shaken… Unbelievable.
Taking a page from Lizzie’s book, Matt decides to invite Ms. Chapman over for dinner; in the hopes that she and Jo will strike up a friendship, and thus lighten up in class. Unfortunately, Ms. Chapman’s a hard case. She doesn’t eat meat. She doesn’t eat carbohydrates. She eats her salads without dressing. Things look to be going badly until Mr. Dig shows up.
Who knew that he and Ms. Chapman know each other from school? Or that he was her inspiration to become a teacher in the first place?
Get a load of how she “digs” Mr. Dig! Cranky attitude? Frustrated over little details? Why, classic symptoms; all she needed was a man! A dangerous buildup of certain, ah, shall we say “urges” that only a man could help, er, “relieve” as it were. ;-)
Anyway one slices it, Matt got his wish: Ms. Chapman *instantly* mellowed out.
A “filler” episode at its heart, and an okay one at that. Though in retrospect one does start to wonder at Lalaine’s (Miranda’s) constant “estrangement” from the rest of the cast visually.
But, other than that, an average episode, if not a bit light on plot.