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On this "painfully special" episode of
Strangers With Candy

    A morning of helping Orlando practice martial arts, in front of the watchful eyes of a group of stoners, inadvertently leads Jerri to the edge of that slippery slope of drug abuse that she has tumbled down many times before. Despite Orlando's warnings, Jerri reverts back to her old ways and succumbs to temptation in an attempt to win the affection of Trish, a beautiful member of the stoner crowd. Jerri's trip back to society's seedy underbelly begins in the girls bathroom after Coach Wolf's gym class. Trish doesn't exactly have to twist Jerri's arm to get her to take a hit off a joint. After the first hit, when she closes her eyes Jerri sees a laughing skull surrounded by flames, but by her own admission this is "nothing unusual". The second hit makes her high and she sees "a carnival of colors: grays and browns and grays..."  Jerri's return to drugs causes her to bake Derrick's basketball and then attempt to toss the family dinner, a turkey, through the basketball hoop in the driveway. Jerri is obviously high when she interrupts the second meeting of Sara's MMAD group (Mad Mothers Against Drugs). Even failing her final exam in Noblet's class doesn't snap her out of her partying ways. But, because he doesn't want to have to teach Jerri again in the Fall, Noblet decides to give her a make-up exam at 7:00am the next morning. Just as this final class of the day is about to end, an undercover cop (Officer Savillion, the same policeman who made an anti-drug presentation to the Flatpoint students at the beginning of the school year in the first episode, "Old Habits, New Beginnings") enters in the guise of a transfer student. Noblet is incredulous that a transfer student would enter his class on the last day of school. Before he can delve into this line of questioning, Savillion looks at the blackboard and sees that someone has written the word "opium" on it. As Noblet starts to explain that he was discussing China's Opium War (1839-42), Savillion subdues him by spraying him in the eyes with mace. Of course, Noblet's shrieks of pain elicit a shoulder-jerking laugh from Jerri as Savillion dismisses the class. Orlando tries to help Jerri to study after school, but Trish comes by and invites her to a party. Jerri promises that she won't get high, but that promise is promptly broken. The next day Jerri fails Noblet's class because she is five hours late for her exam. Then she nearly slashes Orlando to death while trying to prove to him that she wasn't high. Jerri visits Orlando in the hospital room that he shares with the blinded Noblet. Orlando doesn't remember the incident that landed him in the hospital so Jerri starts to tell him a lie, but she ends up admitting that she was high and she slashed him. Officer Savillion overhears her confession and he arrests her. But before he drags Jerri away, Savillion maces Noblet's eyes again, just for good measure. Jerri ends up in the same cell as Mr. Jellineck, who has been arrested for his own "mari-HOO-ana" exploits. Jerri is confident that she'll be out in a couple of months because she plea bargained, but she's doomed to repeat her freshman year when the new season (I mean "semester") begins.

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Episode Title: "The Trip Back"

Tony's Rating:

Original Airdate: 7/19/99

Production Number: 1-10

Directed by: Peter Lauer

Writers: Paul Dinello, Amy Sedaris
Additional Writer: Matt Lappin

Regular Cast: AS, DR, GH, LS, MT, OP, PD, SC, ST

Guest Star:  Mitch Rouse (Officer Savillion)
Featuring:  Stephanie Sanditz (Trish)
With:  Marty Zentz (Stoner), John Hensley (Stoner), Marie Laine (MMAD Mother)

Flatpoint Lexicon:

carb hole (kärb' hōl) n. an opening in the side of a bong

MMAD (mŭ·măd') n. acronym for anti-drug group, Mad Mothers Against Drugs

Opium War (ō'·pē·ŭm wôr) n. (1839-1842) begun when Chinese tried to end British importation of opium from India. The 1842 Treaty of Nanking ceded Hong Kong to Great Britain

Additional Episode Information

Jerri tells Orlando that she's looking forward to spending time at Santa's Playland during the summer. She wants to derail the toddler train because she loves to watch the little kiddies spill.
· Officer Savillion's badge number is 856.
· Either Spencer's ("Jerri is Only Skin Deep") name is Tim in this episode, or it's his twin brother.
· This episode's title comes directly from the name of a 1970 documentary in which a 50-year-old former junkie prostitute named Florrie Fisher lectured a group of high school students about the perils of drug use.

Story Gaps/Holes:
Since Noblet was blinded by Officer Savillion and ended up in the hospital, it shouldn't have mattered that Jerri didn't keep her 7:00am make-up exam appointment with him because he wouldn't have even known that she missed it, therefor she shouldn't necessarily have had to repeat her freshman year. She could have rescheduled her make-up exam as soon as she was out of jail and Noblet regained his vision.
· We see Jellineck in jail at the end of the episode, but we never saw him commit a crime or get arrested. Perhaps Jerri turned him in for his past marijuana exploits as part of her plea bargain.

The Best Things In This Episode:
· A partial "Exit 57" reunion: The return of Mitch Rouse. Where's Jodi Lennon?
· Jerri takes a hit from Trish's spliff in the bathroom stall and she sees a laughing skull engulfed in flames. Trish asks her what she sees and she replies, "Nothing unusual."
· The Best of Jellineck:

"Yeah, I used to get high. I had just moved here, and my plugs weren't taking, my parents were brutally murdered, and I was fat. So I turned to pot. But the only thing pot fixed... was my life."

"You may know it by its ancient Dutch name, mari-hoo-ana. I know what the scientists say, that it's non-addictive with no side effects. But scientists don't smoke pot. We do. And that's the difference."

"If you're gonna smoke pot, be prepared to spend a lot of time laughing with your friends. Think about it."

Closing Credits Dance Sequence:  Trippy neon dancing.

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