Title: My So-Called Life S1.E14 “On the Wagon”
Released: 1994

Drinking Game Tally: 17 drinks, 1 shot, 1 chug
‘90s Fashion Award: Rickie
My So-Called Winner: Rickie
My So-Called Loser: Jordan
Brian Krakow vs. Jordan Catalano: Brian

I’m so excited about this next episode! Because I think it’s where Angela and friends get to play Oregon Trail!!!! Imagine Jordan Catalano trying to lean on the side of a wagon! LOL! I bet he’d still be hot… until he died of dysentery.

Okay, okay, so I don’t think this episode is really about that. But wouldn’t it be so super awesome if it was? Can you tell I’ve already had about 10 Christmas cookies this morning?!!!! Anyway, I have a feeling it’s about Rayanne, and her Drinking Problem. Speaking of, don’t forget to play our drinking game as you watch this episode…

What Happened

Rayanne has been sober for 33 days! That’s more than a month, for those of us who can’t do math. And even though they’ve pretty much broken up, Jordan opens Angela’s locker for her. Because he still knows the combination. Because they KNOW those deep, intense things about each other. Like locker combinations.

Jordan is really upset because (he wants, no he needs Angela) Tino quit Frozen Embryos. And Angela is his sounding board. Probably because she’s there. But since Angela is caught up in the tornado of being her ex-boyfriend’s friend, she hasn’t really been keeping up with being a friend to Rayanne, which Rayanne feels keenly, but pretends not to.

Later that afternoon, Graham teaches Rayanne how to separate the yolk from the white while she waits for Angela to come home and hang out with her, but instead watches the Chases with their oft overlooked younger daughter, and feels nostalgic for a real home. Then she goes home to her mother’s liquid dinner and frozen appetizers. Rayanne is sick of frozen appetizers! Her mom asks what’s really wrong, and Rayanne tells her about her distance from Angela. I personally would stick with the frozen appetizers and Rayanne’s mother’s other shortcomings, but that’s just me. Rayanne’s mom offers her own bit of bottle-blonde wisdom: just take over Angela’s life! I mean, if Angela is spending so much time with Jordan and his band, and you want to spend time with Angela, inserting yourself into Jordan’s band/life is the smartest thing to do, right?

Jordan is still obsessing about how much it sucks that Tino quit, JUST when the band got a gig at an open mic night. Jordan honey, your id is showing. (Dumb/Douche Point -1) So Rayanne hatches the idea to join the band to save the day and her friendship with Angela.

Patty and Graham are really cute in their attempt to parent both their daughters before school, but their daughters seem to be impervious to their parental advances.

Inside Red, Jordan still won’t shut up about his stupid band, and I get it. I do. You’re in love with him, Angela, and even more than you’re in love with him, you want him to be in love with you. But you’re not being his friend, you’re being his verbal vomit recptical. And then he treats you like you’re an idiot for suggesting Rayanne sing for the band, which is totes not cool.

Rayanne acts a little bit obsessive about Frozen Embryos not being interested in having her sing for them, and this worries Rickie. Rightly. But then she just sings in the bathroom, and has a kind of fakey fight with Sharon, who tells her that she has a really nice voice. I’d really like for Sharon and Rayanne to have their own show where they go off to the same college and through many hijinks and adventures realize they really love each other and spend the rest of their lives in an awesome townhouse in San Francisco with their 3 adopted kids and scraggly dog.

Rayanne shows up at Frozen Embryos’ practice, and the guys are just tearing each other apart without Tino! They’re not even Frozen Embryos anymore! Jordan calls Angela to complain about Rayanne being there, because since Angela has wormed her way so far up his butt, he figures he can hold her accountable for her (sometimes annoying) friend. (Dumb/Douche Point -2) Also, Patty listens in on the phone call, which causes her to be worried that Rayanne might be drinking again. But what can she do? She can’t talk to Rayanne’s mom, can she? And why can’t she have some honest discourse with Rayanne’s mom about her daughter? Because nobody wants to hear it, that’s why. At least, that’s Graham’s argument. This conversation takes the rest of the evening and into the night, and leads to sex. Score for Graham!

At school the next day, Angela apologizes profusely for Rayanne showing up at Frozen Embryos’ rehearsal, and really, really didn’t mean for Jordan Catalano to feel pressured into anything, and she really should just get on her knees by the way she’s enabling him in his already pretty enormous ambition of being a self-centered cock. Ugh! I want to smash their heads together. Oh, and then he tells her that Rayanne is in. Rayanne is boning the drummer (making sure she has enough experiences with the opposite sex so that when she and Sharon DO get together, she will not only be following her heart, but making an informed decision). And also he got her in the band.

Patty just can’t let it go and calls Rayanne’s mom, and Rayanne’s mom schools her in how to make a bitch shut up. I feel bad for Patty, here. I think she really does care about Rayanne. And let’s face it, good old Rayanne’s mom is way more concerned with herself than her daughter.

At rehearsal, Rayanne is being her spastic self, but the band has bigger problems. So without even one full rehearsal, the band will be playing at the coffee house. In front of people.

Angela drops in on Patty and Graham doing laundry, and tells them all about all of her problems with Rayanne and stuff, which makes Patty way happier than it should, but then Patty finds an empty scotch glass (that Rayanne had pretended to drink from earlier) and assumes the worst. I assume. Since the scene cuts away.

At the coffee house… ah, coffee houses. With bands and poetry slams and spoken word and zines. We thought were so, so cool in the ’90s. Brian Krakow shows up to support Rayanne and his friendship with Rickie, who is so nervous he’s got laryngitis. The band gets introduced as ‘Between Names’, and the microphone has really annoying feedback. And suddenly I’m nervous, you guys! Rayanne is choking! She missed her cue! Then she starts singing, and she really chokes! Oh NO! Her head is moving too much for the microphone to pick up her voice when she does remember the lyrics! She runs off the stage, and the band keeps going, so then Jordan Catalano picks up the mic, and OMG, of COURSE he is kind of awesome. Which, for some reason, kind of redeems him? That’s bad. I’m part of the problem.

Rickie calls Angela in hysterics, which causes Patty to go to Rayanne’s mom, telling her that Rayanne has been drinking again. And she’s basing her accusation on the empty scotch glass. Whoops, Patty. Not only is Rayanne not missing, but she’s been at home this whole time. Rayanne’s mom is all like, ‘See? I’m a good mother. We ate raw cookie dough’, which is really funny, if only because of the eggs.

Patty drives Rayanne to school, and they bond over how much they both care about Angela, and in a really sweet moment, Rayanne thanks Patty for saving her life. But then Rayanne has to deal with the fallout that she definitely deserved for not letting Rickie know she was alive.

Angela meets Rayanne on the fire escape outside the girls’ bathroom, and they start to have it out, but then they just smooth things over and hug it out. Not sure that’s going to be the best solution in the long run. But then Rickie joins them, and he hugs it out, too!

Then the three of them go out to a movie! And they have fun! And Rayanne sings a really white-girl-singing-the-blues-version of the Sesame Street theme song, and I’m really just concerned that she walks out into the street to do it. I am expecting a bus or a dump truck or something. Thanks, too many other movies/tv shows where that has happened recently.

But THEN some guys behind them gives Rayanne some beer, and she drinks it IN SLOW MOTION while Angela and Rickie’s happy faces slowly realize what’s going on!!!!! And it ends!!!! Oh no!!!

Drinking Game Tally: 17 drinks, 1 shot, 1 chug

’90s Fashion Award

Rickie for the navy blue handkerchief tied around his head, paired with the red, pink and white floral shirt.

Lessons I Learned About High School

Did you know that you can not only hang out in the girls’ bathroom, but on the fire escape outside the window to the girls’ bathroom? And, like, there aren’t any bars on the window to keep students from going out onto said fire escape?

My So-Called Winner

Rickie! Mostly because everybody else this episode either had a spell of jerkiness, or were completely wrong about something. And Rickie deserves the win for being such a true friend to not only Rayanne, but also Angela.

My So-Called Loser

Fucking Jordan. Man, did he piss me off this episode! I mean it’s not even all his fault, because Angela is totally allowing him to set the tone for their friendship.

Brian Krakow vs. Jordan Catalano:

This is kind of hard, you guys, because while Brian is definitely winning, points-wise, he also hasn’t been in the last couple of episodes very much. However, he tried to be a good friend to Rickie, and Jordan did have -2 Dumb/Douche points, so I have to give it to Brian.

Life Lessons Learned:

  • It doesn’t matter how good your intentions are, nobody wants to hear shit about their kids.

  • Sometimes, being a friend means putting others before yourself. And that’s nearly impossible for teenagers to do.

Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.