Plot: This episode explores the backstory of how Ingrid and Fillmore became partners in the Safety Patrol. Fillmore, having just lost his best friend and previous partner, Wayne, after he moved to Tennessee, tries to go solo on a case to clear the new kid, Ingrid, of a crime she didn’t commit.
Breakdown: As much as I hate to say this, this was a massively disappointing episode.
I’ve been really looking forward to rewatching the backstory episode because I didn’t remember it, and now I know why I didn’t remember it.
I feel like this episode needed to be a two-parter because it required more time to do the following.
– Flesh out Wayne.
We know he was very important to Fillmore and, maybe, the Safety Patroller who saved Fillmore from his troublemaking ways, but that’s about it. In order to really feel for their connection or care that he’s gone, we needed more time to learn about him and connect with him. He seems like a really nice guy, so it’s a shame he barely misses getting glossed over.
– A little more development on Ingrid and Fillmore’s meeting and relationship.
For someone who supposedly is super pissed that his BFF left and is gunning for the ‘lone wolf’ cop lifestyle, he sure takes a shine to Ingrid quickly and vice versa.
Ingrid was set on writing off this whole school from one day, even admitting to a crime she didn’t commit for the sake of getting expelled, but just knowing that Fillmore had a piece of irrefutable evidence that convinced him that she didn’t do it is enough to make them friends.
Both of them had very bull-headed attitudes that were extinguished way too easily. I liked how they started working together to clear Ingrid’s name, especially utilizing her skills in ‘forensics,’ but they needed more time to work on their relationship from the starting point. Maybe have Fillmore be skeptical purely because he’s salty about Wayne leaving, and then have him be kinda cold to her in interrogation or something, but then slowly realize she’s innocent and make amends.
– Make the case more complex.
The case was WAY too easy. I knew from the second I saw Parnassus that he was the culprit, and the instant someone said he was the smartest kid in school, I knew the motive. It was way too easy, even for a kid’s show. Fillmore!’s usually more clever than this. I was looking for them to subvert my expectations because it’s usually not the first suspect, but they didn’t include any other suspect and he was constantly coming up with new evidence and pointing at Ingrid as a criminal.
We know it’s not Ingrid, because this is a flashback so of course she’s not, and we’ve never seen Parnassus in the previous episodes, so all signs point to him. The insanely bright neon signs…..set on fire….with sirens blaring ‘PARNASSUS DID IT.’
Another odd thing about this episode was the incredibly bad light they put X middle school in. I have stated in the past that X is such a batshit crazy yet awesome school that I would’ve loved to have gone there when I was a kid, but this episode makes it look terrible.
It especially makes Fulsom look like a total bitch. New kid in school? Have a big assembly to not only introduce her, but also embarrass her by proclaiming she’s the smartest kid in school.
Think she’s blissfully unaware of the position this puts Ingrid in? No. This assembly is called for another reason. She knows that new kids are always the targets of abuse just because they’re new and different, so, just to get all the abuse out of the way, she allows the students to pelt the new kid with foam balls for two minutes.
What the fuck? So, instead of stopping the abuse, the school just has it’s own kid version of The Purge by letting them abuse the new kid by throwing balls at them? And the faculty AND Safety Patrol just sit there? They’re ‘harmless foam rubber balls’ but who cares? That’s still terrible.
Who’s to say this even works? The kid is still new and strange to them, they’ll still either ignore or pick on them either way.
I didn’t much like that Ingrid also has a sordid past. Come on, that’s Fillmore’s thing. They can’t both be the reformed criminal. That’s just lazy. And why is this just coming up now? Why has Fillmore been called out for his ‘criminal’ past a few times before but everyone ignores Ingrid’s troublemaking days? Just because she didn’t go to the same school when that stuff happened?
Minor thing, but I also didn’t like that Lemmy, Parnassus’ ‘friend,’ took the heat for Parnassus’ crimes. He seems like a nice guy overall. After Ingrid helped save him in the tire fort, he grabbed her and saved her from the stink bomb in return. Fillmore and Ingrid have plenty of evidence to clear his name but Fulsom won’t hear of it because Parnassus is a massive suck-up.
They actually failed for a change, and that’s just depressing. I know Lemmy helped Parnassus in the crimes, but he just seems like he does everything Parnassus tells him to, seeing him as his only friend.
He didn’t just throw him under the bus, either. He convinces him to make a full, taped confession right in the principal’s office with Parnassus standing right beside him. What a prick.
There were a couple of decent jokes like the cardboard boxes Fillmore runs into when he’s chasing ‘Ingrid’ have the words ‘Cliche Box co.’ on them, and the Safety Patrol in Tennessee not only uses horses, but their stable is in the Safety Patrol room. That does not, in any way, help this episode, though.
Such a shame. The potential of a backstory episode is so vast yet this is what we get. I hope we see more of Wayne and even Parnassus in the future, but as it stands, this episode was incredibly disappointing and just flatout not good.
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