From the desk of Alynda Wheat:
I had a point. I did, and it was a valid one, as I recall. Something about Laurel being a shining ray of magnificence, standing up to the arbitrary dictates of The Journal and refusing to shake up her beloved, quadruple gold-star winning green district. Then it ventured into how self-possessed she was to take on the council — indeed the entire town — to keep her team intact. There was stuff in there, too, about loyalty, and fighting for what’s yours no matter what some kidsploitation reality show manual says. Kelis’ “Bossy” played somewhere… perhaps it was in my mind.
And then Michael, who heretofore seemed as heaven-sent as his archangel namesake, blew that loyalty s— straight to hell. Because when Hostwassisname manip — er, distracted everyone from the fact that a second Bonanza Citizen packed it in (Bye, Randi!) by calling for elections, Michael raised his hand to oppose Laurel. So now maybe my point is that sticking your neck out only makes it easier for them to nick you in the jugular.
Politics and ambition can blacken the purest soul, mein PopWatchers. Macbeth was a decent soldier until ambition turned him into a regicidal creep with a crazy wife. Hitler was just a sour vegetarian until he started getting ideas about how Germany would be ever so pretty if no one looked like him. I’ve even heard tell that Cheney was nice… once. Michael, I trust that you have good intentions and an even better heart. But you disappointed me, man. I’m hurt.
… And now we’re getting over it. Because there are mysteries tosolve, people, and we do like a good whydunnit. Why, fer instance, nineweeks in, did we just meet Georgia preacherman Hunter? They’ve hadplenty of time not just to introduce all the kids, but to let us get toknow them. The fact that we’re still exchanging business cards withsome of them is inexcusable, as if CBS filmed the whole thing, pickedwhom they liked, and were caught off guard when their un-favoritessuddenly became integral to the plot. (“Quick, edit so-and-so in! Wethought he was just as an extra!”)
Also, why did the producers cut whatever it was that Sophia said toput the beat-down on Guylan? Sure, sure, I get the wholeprotect-the-kid’s-dignity argument. But are we seriously suggestingthey’ve been as kind to Anjay? To Mike? Heck, even to our favoritePageant Princess? Other kids have had unspeakable things said and/ordone to them — hell, Greg’s cussed out half the town — and we’ve seenand heard plenty of it. So why keep this from us?
Finally, why didn’t I listen to you, PopWatchers? You told me Nathanhas some… preoccupations with cleanliness. I didn’t see it until lastnight. You said that Anjay and Olivia should get on with and just swapspit, already (and I don’t mean through pre-chewed gumballs). It didn’tregister until now. And why didn’t I pounce immediately when it seemedlike leading was something Guylan maybe shouldn’t do? You were alwaysright, my Yodas, and I will forevermore stand beside you.
Until, that is, one of you upstarts challenges my seat on this council — then it’s on.