Speechless – F-I-First S-E-Second F-First Day
By: Taylor Gates
The DiMeos scramble to get ready for the first day of a new school year. Jimmy (John Ross Bowie) wants everyone to hurry out of the house so he can take an uninterrupted shower. Ray (Mason Cook) is also eager to get to school so he can brag about having a girlfriend. To anticipate nobody believing him, Taylor (Sedona James) has sent him a video he can show people proving she exists.
Dr. Miller (Marin Hinkle) excitedly leads Maya, JJ (Micah Fowler) and Kenneth (Cedric Yarbrough) inside a room filled with about a dozen parents. They were all inspired to transfer once Maya gave a glowing endorsement of Lafayette High’s special ed program. Maya is so thrilled that they’re thirsty for more of her wisdom, but Ray, Kenneth, and JJ are horrified that people are validating her.
Maya goes to Dr. Miller’s office, thanking her for bringing her all of those families—she feels like she’s passing on the knowledge she learned from raising JJ and helping people. Dr. Miller is thrilled that Maya and her are getting along, but it all quickly changes when she breaks the news all the families’ requests have been denied by the district. Maya is furious, saying she promised those parents a better life for their kids. She threatens to go straight to the district, and Dr. Miller encourages her to do so in order to continue fighting for the kids.
Maya marches in to one of their meetings, commanding they give everyone the same benefits JJ gets. However, it backfires when they look at the funding he currently receives and realizes it’s 15% more than what they budgeted. Maya lies, pretending she’s from the overage detection agency and that her barging in was all a simulation.
Maya calls an emergency meeting with all the parents at her house. She encourages them all to withdraw their aid requests and ask for something smaller in order to send a confusing message to the school. The parents get suspicious and nervous that following her to Lafayette was a bad idea, but Maya promises she’s going to figure it out a solution.
JJ is trying to pick what foreign language he wants to take. Although he initially leans towards German, once he sees Kenneth awkwardly flirting with the Spanish teacher Ms. Moreno (Ursula Taherian), he signs up for that one so he can be his wingman. JJ feels bad that Kenneth finds romance difficult since he’s an aid, wanting to help him start dating again. Later when Kenneth is in the bathroom, JJ and Ray see someone labelled “Katie Hot Tub” in his phone calling. They look through his pictures and see Kenneth with a bunch of different women wearing the same swimsuit in his hot tub. JJ is upset Kenneth lied to him about not dating.
Kenneth is helping JJ shower after swim class when JJ brings up Kenneth’s lie. Kenneth says they’re allowed to have boundaries and not tell each other about every part of their lives, but JJ gestures to the vulnerable position he’s in and says that’s not true on his end.
Mr. Powers (Jonathan Slavin) asks Dylan (Kyla Kenedy) to show new student Leah (Alina Foley) around since she was in the same boat last year. Dylan starts out doing a terrible job, not knowing where the library is or that the school doesn’t have a basement. Mr. Powers is hesitant to let her give Leah a tour, but Dylan promises she knows the place.
It turns out she doesn’t, explaining to Leah that she moves schools a lot and doesn’t get to know places very well. Once Leah brings up the topic of Dylan probably wanting to eat lunch with her friends, Dylan decides to go home.
Jimmy goes on a long run and gets as dirty as possible in order to maximize the quality of this shower. When he finally selects a shampoo and steps in, the water turns off within seconds. He looks outside and sees Dylan playing in the sprinkler and immediately drives her back to school. Later, she spies Dylan at the mall while he’s picking out new body wash.
The next day, Jimmy sees Dylan laying in bed pretending to be sick. She then vows to go to school but goes to a Catholic one she’s not enrolled in instead. Jimmy drives her to Lafayette High, asking her what’s wrong with it—it has her track team, her favorite teachers, and her friends. Dylan says she doesn’t have any real friends, as she hasn’t bothered to get to know any of the people. It didn’t bother her until she tried to give Leah a tour and didn’t know anything. She’s used to not knowing anything but not sticking around so long she should. Dylan makes Jimmy promise they’ll stick around at this school before she agrees to try and let people in.
The next morning, Maya comes in the kitchen with a brochure about a new school. She says if they transfer, they can keep Kenneth to themselves full time and new families can get everything they need at Lafayette High: it’s a win-win. Jimmy tells her that the kids deserve stability and they need to make it work at Lafayette. He suggests one last thing Maya could try…but she’s not going to like it.
Maya goes to Dr. Miller’s office, telling her the dilemma. Although she wants JJ to have the best, she can’t shortchange the other families. Dr. Miller says she can’t find any room in the budget to hire anyone else, as they already pay so many employees who do nothing. Maya has the brilliant idea to train all the lazy loser employees and make them full-time aids.
Kenneth apologizes to JJ for putting up walls when JJ can’t do the same. He says he’s proud of who he is as an aid but less proud of his love life situation. He and JJ go into the Spanish room and Kenneth confesses he has feelings for Mrs. Moreno. When she gently says she doesn’t reciprocate, Kenneth and JJ lie and say Kenneth was reading for JJ the whole time. JJ pretends to be crushed about her rejection.
At lunch, Dylan goes up to Leah and a group of kids, giving them the advice that, when you’re new, you need to try and let people in. The other kids at the table reveal they’ve been going to Lafayette for around five years, and Dylan asks them to show her around.
Jimmy goes back to the store, laying out all his hopes and fears to a confused employee. He’s afraid he’s either going to be extremely disappointed by the shower or it’s going to be so good he’ll constantly be searching for that feeling again to no avail.