You can’t really call the first four episodes of Clone High tame, but for me, the show begins to truly show its weirder shades to follow in later episodes of the series (like the rock opera episode, or the one about the evils of littering) in ‘Sleep of Faith’, splitting up most of its characters to simultaneously take on the high school tropes of SAT’s and taking drugs, all while doing little origin stories about Mr. Butlertron and Joan…. and of course, Ghandi’s adventure, easily the weirdest of them all.
It’s time for the PXJT’s at Clone High, which means its time for the clones to cram the test preparation textbook into their brains (sound familiar?), because failure on the test obviously means failure in life. And the PXJT is really the crux of the episode, drawing every story line from that central thread of the test, but keeping them so wildly different they didn’t feel like different sides of the same coin – plus keeping the show’s overall narrative moving forward, the most important thing.
For Abe, ‘Sleep of Faith’ marks the first time Cleo really appears to be serious about being with Abe – although she’s still willing to let their love be decided by a drag race, so it’s not a complete emotional revolution or anything. The last few episodes have shown her warming up to the idea of being with him, and in ‘Faith’, she even suggests that her attraction to him might be more than convenient manipulation. But she’s still her narcissistic self, and Abe’s more than willing to indulge her, pulling all-nighter after all-nighter to help prepare her ignorant ass for the exam.
It ends up with him exhausted and delusional, forcing Joan to step in and make a confession. It’s not the one she wants to make, but the one she needs to: Abe’s sleep deprivation was something she went through herself, and that’s why she spent her whole last summer at “camp” (you know you need help when you cut class to go outside and stay awake). It’s a genius shift from the ‘stress of exams’ story to a parallel to “very special episodes about drugs” made famous on any comedy or drama with a teenage in the last forty years, although it does end with a bit of a dud when Abe pulls over to take a nap and wins the drag race, all because the pesky Kennedy tragic streak strikes on him, flipping his car and leaving him buried underneath it while Abe rested on Dead Man’s Slick Mountain Cliff Road.
Even Principal Scudworth and Mr. Butlertron are involved with what’s going on with the PXJT’s, revealing the evil plan of the Shadowy Board to power Scangrade, an arrogant bot whose feud with Mr. Butlertron brought out the episode’s funniest lines, usually in the form of Scudworth’s reactions to Butlertron’s underhanded comments (“Mr. B!… language!!!). It turns out PXJT is consuming the scanned tests to power himself, to serve the ultimate goal of ruling the world, something Mr. B knows is supposed to belong to him and Scudworth, not some robot fuckwad who can only handle one form of pencil lead. This one also kind of ends in a dull thud with a telegraphed conclusion of Butlertron poisoning Scangrade with #3 pencils, but everything leading up to it was hilarious, especially Scudworth’s misguided beliefs about the evil plan behind the #2 pencil.
Finally, there’s Ghandi, whose entire plot line is a Fight Club-esque adventure with himself, struggling with the idea of passing a test to move forward in life, rather than just letting life (and strange women) come to him as he plans to make the transition from high school student to truck driver. His scenes were all hilarious, but kind of bounced around the whole ‘existential’ problem, instead giving us a plot twist ending without a whole lot of umph surrounding it thematically.
‘Sleep of Faith’ is definitely one of the looser episodes of Clone High, playing off a lot of what we already know about these characters, and letting them be wacky for 21 minutes. Not every episode needs to be tight-plotted and all-encompassing, and ‘Leap of Faith’ is a quick breather between high-concept episodes like ‘Film Fest’ and next week’s ‘Homecoming’, and a perfectly enjoyable one.
- there isn’t a whole lot to talk about except the funny stuff in this episode, so instead of detialed, thought-out jokes, let’s sell out and jut quote some hilarious lines.
- Joan: “I have something personal to tell you. It happened to me… personally.”
- Ghandi: “You mean, there’s nothing on this truck but a stinkin’ metaphor? I expected more veracity from such a sedacious hauler of commodities.”
- JFK: “Let’s go swimming in my pool! And by pool, I mean bathtub, and by swimming… I mean sex!” and a close second place: “I can stay UP all night LONG… notice the words I emphasized thea-ruh!”
- Ghandi having a Jewish family brings us this great line from his mother: “I’m going to hang myself… I’m getting out the good noose!”
- don’t we all need wake up calls about needing to sleep?
Hope you enjoyed the recap… feel free to leave your thoughts/comments below, and stop back next week, when Joan wears a mustache, and Scudworth combs his hair and grabs a clipboard.