Oct 6, 2008

Fear the insecure teen with green hair!

Season 1, Episode 2: Stray, Part 2
Aired: March 11, 2000

We're bouncing back to season one in this installment, mainly because I don't care to watch them in order, it's not really necessary to watch them in order, and my television makes it impossible to deduce any semblance of order. So here we are, back at the beginning, more or less. Stray is a three-part episode, and we've landed in the middle of it, pretty much right when Caitlin arrives in Montana.

We start out with the bus ride. Caitlin is having flashbacks to when her life was all fantastic and such. Her mom was alive and constantly read to her from a book about a horse called Bandit and everything is so great it gives Caitlin a chance to get all emo in present time. Naturally an Angela Lansbury look alike is sitting next to her, eager for spoil Caitlin rotten and listen to all of her problems. Caitlin is reticent to do this, but eventually she gets over it and before you know it Angela Lansbury is succeeding in buying her film for Caitlin's manual camera. Caitlin takes a moment to reflect about life, yadda yadda yadda. Meanwhile, Griffen is annoyed that his parents are taking on this cousin of his. I guess as it turns out they're first cousins once removed? Maybe? Anyway, Brett and Eric are intrigued by the new addition and ask Griffen about her. Griffen doesn't want to talk about it and doesn't care what she looks like, even when Brett exclaims, "But she's a girl!" Brett, obviously Griffen would not be interested in Caitlin's appearance. Besides being related to her, he is gay. It is so screamingly obvious by this point.

So Griffen and his parents jump in their massive Jeep and go get Caitlin at the bus stop. Immediately Caitlin and Griffen establish some rules, mainly consisting of staying out of each other's way, and when they get there they are immediately ambushed by Brett and Eric, who are just so excited they cannot contain themselves any longer. They have to get a look. This results in Eric wiggling his butt at her as he rides his bike. Griffen apologizes for Eric's inane behavior, just warning Caitlin to watch out for that one. Caitlin ominously declares that Eric will have to watch out for her, you guys. Caitlin is so bad ass.

At the ranch, Caitlin is all forlorn that Montana is not like Philadelphia in that there is nothing in Montana. Then she's all wary of Dori giving her a whole room to herself. How dare people be nice and expect nothing in return.

Meanwhile, these two guys are trying to illegally round up a band of very tame mustangs, of which Bandit is the stallion. I should mention that one of them is Andy Dick. The other one is Dave Thomas. I have no idea why they are in this. None at all. Dave Thomas is the slightly competent rustler who rides a four wheeler and Andy Dick is the totally incompetent rustler on a horse. Andy Dick also has a rope he calls Wilbur. And he seems to not know what it does while being able to chase Bandit down with it and rope him with it. I say he doesn't really know what the rope is, or how to use it, because he spends a good portion of the time messing around with it and looking at it as if it might bite him. Then he falls off the horse and manages to get rope burn on his hands despite wearing gloves.


That said, let's move on. Andy Dick ropes Bandit, Bandit gets away, and proceeds to get caught in the woods. Cue Caitlin, who's off roaming the Montana wilderness because she feels like it, okay? She's bad ass and she'll do what she damn well wants, OKAY? There's also a rabid wolf running around. Have I set the scene properly? OKAY.

Caitlin stumbles across Bandit after Bandit has already kicked the rabid wolf in the side. She frees Bandit, only to have the wolf come back. She throws a rock at the wolf and it runs away. Again. This was all very anticlimactic. Bandit runs away, having done not much to save his future special person. This leads us back to the rustlers, whose new plan is to tempt the herd of non-wild horses using salt blocks. Andy Dick talks about Moby Dick a lot, and gets very confused because, you know, he's incompetent.

After this, it's first day of school time, kids. Caitlin spends extra time primping and comes up with this ensemble:

That picture doesn't even show the bindi and the hair glitter. She's like a walking, sacrilegious glow stick. Caitlin is basically Melanie of Thoroughbred if Mel had been slightly more stereotypical. So Griffen tries to clue Caitlin in on how things work at the school, such as which tables in the cafeteria are cool and which aren't. Caitlin just shuts him down here and now, telling him that she knows, you guys. She hasn't even been to this school before and she knows it as if she's been there her whole life. Like that guy there? (Eric.) He's the asshole (obviously, Caitlin, you met him already.) That guy? (Brett) He's the guy everyone wants to be and every girl wants to have sex with. This girl? (Taylor) She's the girl everyone wants to be and every guy wants to have sex with. (Awesomely enough, Taylor perks up here. Taylor beats Caitlin every time in terms of being awesome.) This guy? (Poor nameless soul.) He's the guy no one wants to talk to. YOU? (Griffen.) You're the guy who's worried about cool lunch tables. You SUCK, Griffen. Caitlin has just told you everything you need to know about EVERYTHING simply by judging people by their outward appearance. Nicely done, Caitlin. That wasn't totally shallow and emotionally immature or anything. Then, to ram the point home that Caitlin is awesome and knows all, she already knows that the principal's office is down the hall and to the right. She knows the plan of the school because she is that super amazing.

Griffen is not thrilled, pegging her an egotistical bitch. Well, those are my words. But you know that's what he wants to say. So Caitlin gets her schedule and comes back to her English class, where, of course, EVERYONE important to the story is located. Eric immediately labels her a freak in front of the class. Taylor gives her that "I'm better than you" look. Griffen tries to not appear interested. Brett, of course, is very interested because he is the polar opposite of Griffen. The teacher tells Eric to shut it and swiftly hands down punishment for being an ass hat -- a ten page research paper. Seriously, this is the same guy that made Caitlin and Griffen clean the boy's bathroom as punishment for spraying soda. This guy is the most creative high school teacher ever.

Anyway, he tells Caitlin to introduce herself. She comes up with: "Well, I never really wanted to come here. I don't expect you to like me, and I don't expect to like you! So stay out of my face and no one gets hurt!"

Yeah, that's right. The girl with the green streaks in her hair and the bindi and the glitter is going to KICK YOUR ASS. Suitably, no one is impressed and Caitlin is left looking like a deflated, glittery moron as she stomps to the back of the classroom and takes a seat.

And that concludes Stray, Part 2. Ironically, I much prefer Season Two Caitlin, the girl that desperately wants to be all bad ass, but is very obviously trying desperately for popularity and acceptance and a life of living by the rules. Season Two Caitlin is uncool and nonthreatening and much more hilarious because this makes her that much more petulant. Season One Caitlin just gets on my nerves. Green hair? We already got Melanie's reason for green hair: insecurity and low self-esteem. This is boring, and hits Caitlin right on the mark. Perhaps we'll be back with Season Two Caitlin next time.

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