I refuse to panic just because she's happy.

My So-Called Life – Self Esteem
Angela doubts herself when Jordan won’t acknowledge their relationship. Graham wonders if he can measure up in cooking class, and a new teacher reaches out to Rickie. In my humble opinion, this is probably the best MSCL episode.

Jordan and Angela are making out daily in the boiler room [“the room where certain people go for only one reason”]. In Angela's words, “My whole life was divided into kissing, and not kissing.” She seems to think they are sort of dating, though in reality the situation is purely physical. She’s also skipping geometry review sessions to make out, even though she really needs the help. After they are almost discovered by one of Jordan’s friends, Jordan tells Angela to keep their trysts a secret and she starts to get unsettled.

Meanwhile, new English teacher Mr. Katimski takes an interest in Rickie, who is irritated. After catching Rickie imitating him, Katimski asks him to join drama club. Rickie is reticent, but in the end he finally concedes. In parent world, Graham goes to cooking class and the teacher shows up drunk – when he manages to show up at all. Graham meets an outspoken young woman named Hallie, who ends up convincing him that he should teach the class.

Rayanne tells Angela that she’s letting Jordan control her. Sharon and Rayanne bond about the issue in the girls’ bathroom, and when Angela catches them they attempt to convince her that Jordan kind of sucks. Feeling defensive, Angela tells them that Jordan asked her to meet him at the Buffalo Tom show. After having just watched the Once & Again episode that featured Rilo Kiley -- where they barely mentioned the band’s name -- it is amusing how many times they say “Buffalo Tom” during the course of this episode. Also in the fun facts department, Jordan’s friend is played by Jared Leto’s brother. Angela asks Brian to tutor her in Geometry, and he gets all huffy about how selfish she is but naturally shows up at her house anyway. Alas, Angela has gone to see Buffalo Tom. Burn!

At the show, Jordan is beyond rude to Angela when she tries to talk to him. And we’re not talking about too-cool guy behavior; he is actively unkind. After Angela leaves in tears, Rayanne tells Jordan that he knows he likes her, that he’s being a jerk, and that Angela isn’t going to wait around for him forever. The next school day, Jordan leaves a note in Angela’s locker asking her to meet him in the boiler room. He tries to kiss her, but she pushes him away and they have the exact same conversation they had last episode, only the roles are reversed and it is awful rather than sweet:

A: [angry] Why are you like this?
J: [also angry] Like what?
A: Like how you are!
J: So … leave.

Angela, to her credit, doesn’t just walk out. She tells Jordan that he can’t treat her one way in front of his friends and another way in private … or at least, he can’t expect her to put up with it. Jordan just looks after her as she walks away. It’s clear he wants to say something, but he doesn’t.

In English class, Mr. Katimski read the students a Shakespearean sonnet about a woman who is not beautiful, but who the poet loves regardless. Both Brian and Jordan take part in the class discussion, and both realize how they truly feel about Angela. In the end, as Buffalo Tom’s “Late At Night” drowns out the ambient noise, Jordan’s friend encourages him to talk to Angela, so he approaches her in the hallway and asks if they can go somewhere. She agrees, and as they walk down the hall together Jordan takes her hand in front of everyone!!! It’s a huge moment for these two.

And Brian watches sadly from the sidelines.

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