Brain Kray-cow? Are you … Brain?

My So-Called Life – Resolutions
Everybody makes New Years resolutions they can’t keep. Rickie’s home situation puts him on his own odyssey, Brian and Jordan do some mutual tutoring, and Graham considers Hallie’s proposition.

We open with a little montage of everyone thinking about their New Years’ resolutions:

Angela: To stop getting caught up in my own thoughts. I’m way too introspective … I think.
Sharon: To never again have sex with Kyle, or anyone, unless I love and respect them.
Brian: To stop obsessing over Angela Chase.
Rickie: To find someplace where I really belong.
Angela: I’d better rethink this becoming less introspective thing.
Rayanne: To stop drinking. But this time, like, really stop.
Patty: To be less judgmental, less critical, more supportive.
Graham: To tell Hallie that I’m not going into the restaurant business.
Jordan: Wait a second. Isn’t tonight New Years Eve?
Angela: I’ll stay introspective. But I resolve to stop doing Jordan Catalano’s homework.

Rickie has moved in with the Chase family and the parents love him – he cooks, he cleans, he’s the perfect guest. After the kids go to school, Graham and Patty talk about how terrific Rickie is and how they wish they could adopt him. Rickie comes back in and overhears them … but only the part when Patty says he can’t stay with them forever. Not wanting to cause trouble, he lies and says he’s going home. Unfortunately, he then learns that his aunt & uncle have moved without leaving a forwarding address. I wonder if The OC took any inspiration from this?

Mr. Katimski is concerned about Rickie, who finally admits that he’s homeless. Katimski takes Rickie to the guidance counselor, who thinks she can get him into a group home. They don’t get their first choice, so she is forced to place Rickie in a less than desirable facility. Katimski goes home and talks to his partner about how he feels like should be doing more to help. This is the first time we see that Katimski is gay, and the brief but loaded scene shows that his attempts to help Rickie come with all sorts of baggage that would not necessarily burden a heterosexual teacher in the same position. Hating the group home, Rickie runs away and shows up in the middle of the night on Katimski’s doorstep.

Angela immediately breaks her resolution to stop doing Jordan’s homework, but then on his own initiative he tells her that he can't take advantage of her anymore. Angela signs Jordan up for peer tutoring, and he gets paired with Brian. During their first session, Jordan gets a girl’s phone number for Brian. Brian cannot get over the fact that Jordan so casually asked a girl for her number, so in exchange for Brian’s scholastic help Jordan offers to “tutor” him as well.

Although Graham and Hallie share a growing attraction, Graham finally admits to Patty that he wants to open the restaurant. When he goes to tell Hallie, she is inconsolable because her fiancé has just broken their engagement. It’s a well-done scene, with a nice subtle moment in which Graham takes a tiny step backward and folds his arms as Hallie breaks the news. Having said that, I think the will-they-won’t-they storyline is pretty weak. MSCL already established in the pilot that Graham was this close to cheating and decided against it. To throw the plot point in again with another woman just seems cheap.

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