This is probably the greatest – and most frightening – moment in the show so far, if you place it in the right perspective. Jack is despondent, having screwed himself out of his ideal life situation due to his ridiculously petty need for revenge. Maybe he could learn his lesson then, maybe he can find true wisdom and change his life for the better.
But Heather doesn’t allow that to happen. She sees that her Boss is ready to give up and she would have none of that. She tries to offer him more revenge as a kind of pick-me-up, but he no longer responds to such offers. So instead, Heather decides to take matters in her own hand and become the Jack she needs. The first symbolic gesture is the apple she throws in the trash, then she takes to drawing diagrams on the chalkboard as she lays out a rather elaborate – but true to Jack Griffin thinking – revenge scheme on Miles. Again, keep in mind that the class met Miles in person the previous episode and many felt a strong sympathy for how the most recent revenge scheme had devastated him emotionally.
Even more interesting is that Dan Decker helps Heather along: he mentions that Miles got his own show on Oprah’s channel to stoke Jack’s sense of rivalry, then offers python eggs as the necessary ingredient to help Heather’s weird deportation revenge plan. Was this the true reason Heather sought him out this season? Did she need an accomplice more than a boyfrend?
Is this all getting a bit too nefarious, too much a long-term elaborate scheme to keep Jack in Toledo and planning revenge schemes in his classroom until Heather no longer requires his presence? Yes, yes, I’m being very conspiracy-minded but think about how Heather’s catfishing goes back to the very first episode and has had unusual repercussions until now – the fight with Lisa Loeb, the lock of hair for DNA evidence, the abortive attempt to meet with “big daddy”, and finally the reversal of the reversal of fortune just as Jack was about to move on to a happier, AP Bio-less life.
If anything, this proves to me that Heather is even better at plotting out schemes and having her goals met than Jack ever was. If she was the one who catfished Miles and then exposed her connection to him so that Jack would remain in the classroom as her mentor and inspiration, then truly the student has bested the master at his own game. Dallas was just collateral damage – and for that matter, so was Miles himself. And the scariest thing about it is that by the end of the episode – by the end of the very season – it works. Jack symbolically takes back his chalk, yes, but that is what dangerous and edgy Heather wants to happen – not what she needs to happen, as she clearly has evolved into a much more effective and ruthless schemer.
And once again, kudos to Allisyn Ashley Arm for not only doing such a wonderful job with this particular scene, but also for creating such a vivid and hilarious character over the first season. The second season should be even better.
Long versions of GIFs found here, here, and here.
Right-click to save the GIF. I most certainly do not claim copyright to the material being GIF’d, I’m just doing this as a fan.