Re-Reads Test of Time
Part Two - "I want to get off Season One's Wild Ride"
You've must've been waiting for this bit, my salty tears should be delicious.
Fortunately Part 2 is shorter than 1. Small mercies.
"I've just spoken with Mr Clements. He told me that you pushed Chloe Johnston off her chair, stabbed her with a fork and then pushed her against him. Then you threw a chair at some girls in your class and pushed Mr Clements away when he tried to stop you. And then you insulted him. I'm disappointed Jessie, you have a good record of good behaviour. What made you do it?" the headmaster said.
"But Firera, wasn't it a knife?" Marill's voice asked.
A reader discovers a mistake. I go in and think "should I fix it?" NAH! Then instead make a fourth wall joke about it.
Wait. No I still do this. Correction.
Something's never change, except for the how I do it anyway.
The writers argue about it, it's boring as it always is. Then the episode continues. It would've been funnier if I changed nothing.
"Typical isn't it," Jessie muttered.
"What is?" the headmaster asked.
"Ever since Infants, James and I have been insulted, he was beaten up, and when I get my own back, I'm the one who gets told off," Jessie muttered.
Firstly; yes Jessie, it is bloody typical. Even today you've got bullied kids being sent to other schools because of tossers picking on them. Teachers only interfering when the bullied defends themselves (that s$$$ always gets filmed). My friend was teased mercilessly without any help at all, for years, and when she finally snapped like Jessie, she poked him in the hand with scissors (yes poked, there was barely even a scratch) and well, you can guess there what happened. Other than inspiring Jessie's breakdown in part 1.
Secondly; "James was beaten up,"
I nearly spat my coffee out when I read this. Yeah I had James and Jessie's backstory, MOSTLY figured out but I actually didn't think this part was back then. I think it's only mentioned in again Season Four, Tough Love I believe. Earlier actually when a few people are quizzing Angela on her brief friendship with James before she erm... well turned into Edwardina the Second. Though a more apt name with this Twilight theme is Jacobia or Jacobina.
Even when James is reunited with a couple of the people responsible for this (mid Season Four's Stephen, and later two nameless guys in Season Five), we barely get any details other than the former slicing him in the back and what James did to the latter, BEFORE said beat up. Which is bad enough yep. Still had more info revealed than the Jill/Edwardina incident.
So yeah, "nice" surprise there. Continuity ftw.
"Nobody has ever reported this, why didn't you?" the headmaster asked.
I DON'T BELIEVE YOU. HAVE SOME VICTIM BLAMING.
"Ever heard of grassers?" Jessie asked. "Anyway, my sister always defended me if he didn't."
"Jessie, do you realise that what you've done will cause you to be expelled from this school, permanently?" the headmaster asked.
1) Kid Jessie probably wouldn't want to report this, true, for fear of reprisal. James on the otherhand? Hahahaha! Season One James told people immediately who caused his bruises, while Season Two+ modern day James wouldn't give a s$$$. I'm not saying he'd tell them in a "he started it miss," kinda way, but more of a "yeah give me detention if you want, but throwing a sex pest into a wall will stay with me forever, no regrets."
2) I dunno, this Alison being Jessie's bodyguard stinks of made up on the spot getting out of-ness. How did Jessie not snap until she was seventeen? Oh I know, deus ex Alison to the rescue... oh and the other guy I guess.
3) BUT it mentions James sticking up for her, which is a nice sign considering the age of the episode. You know apart from giving Craig a few concussions, and a few rescues in Holo Q, James hasn't done much to give the readers this impression whatsoever.
4) Expelled means kicked out of permanently. Excluded usually is the temporary kind.
"So, at least I'll get away from those b******," Jessie said.
"Watch your language," the headmaster said.
"I can't see it so how can I watch it?" Jessie asked.
THAT'S WHERE SASHA GOT THAT FROM. NICE CALL BACK "SOMETHING NEW"
"I've just contacted your mother and I've told her what happened. She wasn't too happy about it," the headmaster said.
Strange. I thought she'd be throwing a party by now. Parents, huh! Can't predict what they'll do.
"Oh great, do you realise what you've done? My sister got thrown out of the house because she got expelled by you and now the same thing is going to happen to me," Jessie said.
I warned you in Hunters and I'll warn you again. STRAP IN FOLKS! IT'S ABOUT TO GET LAUGHABLY BAD AND UNREAL.
But first, to give you time to do so, Jessie's foster mum does get quite a bad rap. Undeservedly so. I mean yeah she forces her insecurities onto her kids. I recently reread some of Sundown, and her blase "oh yeah, one daughter's married and darn didn't get to stop her. The single one, so proud!" attitude. Calling Jessie a whore at one point.
Ok, maybe some rap is deserved.
But we're only hearing Jessie's side here regarding the "kicking Alison and I out" story. Their foster mother would be judged harshly if her kids kept getting almost or actually expelled. People would assume you're doing something wrong. If Sundown has the right time frames, Alison and their mum fell out at the same time Jessie was expelled. Considering the 6 year age gap and the fact Jessie was in her last year, they were fine for years after Alison's said "kicking out".
Hmm. Think Jessie's being a little overdramatic here. The rift begun for some other reason. I wish I could remember this Alison story to be sure. It's one of the few bits of Jessie and James' backstory that eludes my memory. I have a feeling they fell out over her treatment of Jessie herself, but Alison had definitely moved out years before this.
WOW. That went on longer than I thought. Anything to avoid this next bit I suppose.
"I do care. I knew what happened to Allison when she was your age. I don't want that to happen to you. So, have you got anywhere to go?" the headmaster asked.
"Manchester," Jessie muttered.
"Why Manchester?" the headmaster asked.
"My only friend lives there, I want to go and see him. I haven't been able to contact him since mid 2374," Jessie said.
"I understand, I'll take you there if you want," the headmaster said.
"I was treated the same way as you when I was in school. I got close to losing my temper just like you did ten minutes ago. Just tell me where to go and I'll take you there," the headmaster said.
The headmaster's shuttle landed in the town centre.
"Do you have any idea where he lives?" the headmaster asked.
"No, I just know he lives in Salford. The last time I spoke with him he said he always gotten lost in this place," Jessie said.
"What's his father's surname?" the headmaster asked.
"The computer has no idea where he lives, what are we going to do now?" the headmaster asked.
"Search the city, I hope you don't mind," Jessie muttered.
"No, of course not," the headmaster replied.
Yep. That happened. Yep.
Jessie's Sin Points: +1 She told this story to everyone as if it were what really happened. I will never forgive her... ok that's a lie, I'll never forgive Season One Jessie. I hope that sin point stings like a nettle.
This'll probably be the longest review ever. This episode deserves no more giant paragraphs. Its existence is a crime.
I mean, really. WTF is this??
"James was always dragged out shopping every night, his mother loved old but posh shopping centres, that's why she used to go to the Metro Centre all the time," Jessie said.
"I take it you didn't see him," the headmaster said. Jessie shook her head. "Never mind, we'll try tomorrow," the headmaster said. They both stopped when they heard a familiar voice near by.
No, don't look away. READ IT.
"Well, I'd better get back to the school, good luck Jessie," the headmaster said and he went back to his shuttle.
"Yes, two extremely large bedrooms, I'm sure she won't mind staying in the same room," John said. Susy sulked. The shuttle landed again. The headmaster came back out with Jessie's bags.
"You forgot something," he said and he went back into the shuttle. It took off.
"He's strange," John muttered.
LET IT CONSUME YOUR SOUL LIKE IT HAS MINE!!!!!!!
"You didn't make anymore friends either, I take it," Jessie asked.
"Nope, I spend most of my time in the house, I still get lost," James said. John laughed.
THIS IS MY SELF HARM. THESE WORDS ARE A KNIFE. MY EYES AND BRAIN ARE MY WRISTS
Ok, I need to take a breather.
All right, I'm back. I'm calmer now.
"Do you understand why you have to pass on my family line?" John asked.
"Why is it so important to pass on your family line, I'm not your proper son," James said.
"Not the point, I don't have a son of my own. You're as close as I can get with a son," John said.
You're as close as I can get... with... a son.
WTF, JESSIE CALL THE POLICE
"Carry on your own family line, I'll play a game," James said and he unpaused the game.
"That extra life is mine," Jessie said.
"Fine, as long as I can have the next one," James said. John paused the game again.
High five James.
Jessie please, that life is mine. You took my previous one away with that headmaster tale of bulls$$$
"James, listen to me. You have to marry another girl to pass on the family line," John said.
"No!" James snapped.
"Yes!" John yelled.
"No! My life, leave me alone!" James yelled back.
"Yes! My family line!" John yelled.
"No! Your family line, go away!" James yelled.
I'm done. James and Dannielle meet, OMG Jessie's twin sister. I need to get out of this fast. I know, let's get drunk and fancy kebabs, this isn't a Red Dwarf joke at all. OMG it worked, bye Jess. Few years later, James does a Jessie goes to Manchester, but far less stupid but still stupid and joins the Marquis. Story ends and TWISTER TIME. THE END.
I'll... come back later.
"Sorry, but it's too late, you're getting engaged to Dannielle tomorrow," John said.
"No!" James grumbled.
"Yes!" John exclaimed.
"Who's Dannielle?" Jessie asked.
"Yeah, I don't know anybody called Dannielle," James said.
"She's the only daughter of the Annet family," John said.
Damn it, why didn't I save a facepalm picture?
Wait. When does Jessie start using the Annet part of her name? I'm pretty sure I decided on her always having it, then her foster mum adds Rex to it with a hyphen. She does not flinch at either of these names. Dannielle sure, but Annet nothing WTF?
"You're getting married to her because your mother wants you to, and that's final," John said.
I THOUGHT IT WAS YOU WHO WANTED IT YOU D$$$! I'M GLAD A VAMPIRE EATS YOU
"But I thought you wanted me to get married," James said.
"I do, I agree with you, it is your decision, but your mum doesn't seem to care. She says the girl is very nice," John said.
THEN WTF WERE YOU SHOUTING AT HIM FOR THIS WHOLE TIME? I need a lie down. I've been doing that more often lately. Can't be a coincidence.
"I do, I agree with you, it is your decision, but your mum doesn't seem to care. She says the girl is very nice," John said.
"So she's already met her," James asked.
"No, she spoke with her mother the other day," John said.
IT'S LOVE. IT'S WRITTEN IN THE STARS
"I don't know, throw a tantrum when you meet her. Show your parents up," Jessie said.
"Good idea, but that won't change my mum's mind," James moaned.
THEN IT'S NOT A GOOD IDEA, HOLY CRAP
"I tell you what, to cheer you up, we'll go to this pub I know about tomorrow night," Jessie said.
"Jess, I don't drink," James said.
LIES AND SLANDER
"And you are, how old?" Jessie asked.
HEY, I'M 31 AND I DON'T DRINK EITHER. SHUT UP
"You've got very strange parents. Just tell them that I'm taking you to the cinema or out shopping," Jessie said.
"Mum'll know if we aren't shopping, remember. She goes to the Trafford every night," James said.
"Fine, just tell them you're going to the cinema with me," Jessie said.
This is still in the 24th century, right? There was a money comment earlier. Cinema's now, I imagine Holodeck complexes would replace them. Oh who cares.
"Dannielle's mum will not know that and secondly, Jessie's a bad example to James, I don't want her around," Susy said.
"Will it be okay if she waited near the balcony, at least she'll be able to see," John said.
"This isn't a show, John, but okay," Susy said. James and Jessie walked downstairs.
Too right. A show would have a coherent plot.
"She thinks that Dannielle's mother might think of you the wrong way," John said.
"Oh fine," Jessie muttered and she walked back upstairs.
Nah, I'm sure Dannielle's mother will be totally fine with this. Nothing bad will come out of this.
"So, mum, if I don't like her, I don't have to get married to her right?" James asked.
"No, you'll still get married to her," Susy replied.
"Tough," Susy said. There was a knock on the door. Susy answered it. Everyone nearly had a heart failure. Dannielle walked in and she looked exactly like Jessie.
"Maybe this won't be as bad as you think, huh, James," John muttered.
This is the part where the studio audience coughs instead of laughs. If they haven't walked out already.
"How come she looks exactly like me and why is she here? Is she James' girlfriend?" Dannielle asked.
"Huh? The cheek of it!" Jessie exclaimed.
"Did you adopt her or something?" Dannielle's mother asked.
"It sometimes seems that way," Susy muttered.
I can't even be bothered to copy that Tidus laugh. It's not worth it.
"It's just, she must be Dannielle's twin sister, I put her up for adoption because I couldn't handle twins. I think she was a baby when I put her in the children's home," Dannielle's mum said.
Not the brightest of them all, is she? She must be the twin, that's a possible explanation. I THINK she was a baby. Maybe, maybe you should check, just in case.
"Ohno. Kill me, I think she's right," Jessie said.
"Why's that?" John asked.
"I was adopted when I was three," Jessie muttered.
YOU'VE ONLY JUST REMEMBERED THIS?
"You mean your fiancee is your best friend's twin sister. Now that's confusing," John said.
"She's not my fiancee cos I'm not getting married, I'm leaving!" James yelled and he stormed out of the room. Jessie and John went after him.
I feel ya James, that was me a little while ago. Eventually you'll reach the exhausted almost acceptance part, wishing it was over.
"You showed us up, how could you do it?" Susy asked angrily.
"You shouldn't of planned my own life, it's my choice whether I want to get married or not," James said.
"How is this family suppose to be carried on with such a stubborn son," Susy moaned.
Um gee, I dunno. Maybe if you do s$$$ like this you deserve to have your family line end here.
Just a thought. Consider it.
"Why is she acting like this, I don't want to get married to that girl. Plus she looks too much like Jessie, and it'll be very confusing to have to live with twins," James said.
LOL James thinks if he's married to Dannielle that Jessie will be allowed to stay too. PFFFTTTHAHAHAHA
"Yeah, and she does look like a posh snob," Jessie said.
"She looks exactly like you," James said.
"You can tell by what she wears, only posh snobs wear stuff like that," Jessie said.
This line is suspect. I'm beginning to think this story Jessie or James is telling is made up. It's been so convincing so far.
"That was fun, we'll have to do that again sometime," Jessie said, sounding a little drunk.
"Yeah, why don't we play a game on the computer," James said, also sounding drunk.
Darn, so close to another breathless moment.
"You know, that Dannielle lass dresses like an absolute tart. I'm so glad I was adopted," Jessie said.
"Speaking of tarts, I fancy something to eat," James said.
Oh hey, where's my sexist counter? It feels like so long ago.
Sexist Crap Count: 4
"James! What have I told you? You're drunk!" Susy yelled.
"Drunk, Mrs Taylor. No, of course not," Jessie said.
There's little point in quoting this. If you saw the Red Dwarf episode where Rimmer and Lister are caught with booze in prison, you'll already have "seen" what happens next.
"Before she moved in, James wasn't this bad. I want her out of this house tomorrow," Susy snapped.
"But you can't, she doesn't have anywhere to go," John said.
"She can live in a cardboard box for all I care," Susy said and she stormed off, making Jessie almost fall over. She woke up.
After what she's done to part 2, I feel ya Sus.
"You've got that right. I'm sorry Jessie, here take this money, you can buy an apartment somewhere with this," John said.
MONEY AGAIN!? WHAT YEAR IS THIS?
"Cool, my own room. I'll give you my address when I've got it, tell James I'll pop by tomorrow," Jessie said and she stumbled upstairs to pack her bags.
"But, Jessie," John muttered. She had closed the bedroom door.
But what? WHAT?
I'd say this was meant to be James, but he was the one I picked to fall face first onto the floor unconscious for the Red Dwarf theft scene.
"You did what!" James snapped, almost cringing at the sound of his own voice.
I do this all the time.
"Sorry Susy, I gave her money, she'll be able to buy an apartment. She said she'll pop by later," John said.
I missed this before but FLAT NOT APARTMENT
Oh and what language is this? "Sorry Susy", he's James, the step son. Susy's your wife. KEEP UP
"She's not coming anywhere near this house. As soon as I see her on the video cameras I'll chuck her out," Susy said.
"But she's my friend, you cant do that!" James yelled.
"You should have thought about that before you decided to lie to me," Susy said. She walked out of his room.
WELL YOU SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF WHAT WOULD HAPPEN WHEN YOU TRY TO MARRY YOUR KID OFF. I'D GET PISSED TOO AND I DON'T DRINK
Oh yeah about that...
January 2370 (two years later, several months before Caretaker):
John knocked on James' door. He walked into the room to find him staring out of the window.
Forget it! It's not important.
It's partly intentional. I don't want to write too much, I've been at this bloody thing for hours and my brain's fried. Neither James or Jessie will want to share how they managed to get this wedding called off. The drunk scene is meant to be an oh crap we mentioned the arranged marriage, how do we get out of telling them how you got out of it, quick make something up cop out. I'm not excusing Red Dwarf quotes, or money for "apartments". Just explaining why the general scene happened.
Basically, the plan to stop the wedding is what gets Jessie kicked out. James and Jessie won't tell that story, but they still need Jessie kicked out. One makes up something daft to explain that and somehow forgets they still need to cover the marriage bit. So yeah, PARTLY intentional. I seemed to forget this myself while writing it. Anyway...
"I've told you this loads of times, I just want my best friend back," James muttered.
"I'm sure if your mother was still alive I'm sure she would apologise," John said.
Oh yeah time skip to 2370 and James' mum's dead. That's a story we're definitely not telling yet. Nope.
Though once again I'm shocked that was planned in early too. I'm gonna assume the barebones version of it was.
"My friend that works in the Marquis said that he saw her on a ship patrolling the Bad Lands. He's offered us a place, if you're interested," John said.
"But don't the Marquis kill Cardassians?" James asked.
"Not..," John replied.
"I'm in, I'd do anything to see my friend again," James interrupted him.
Then again? Was my original plan quite simply Cardassians killed his mum, and that was that? Okay. It's the only barebones version of her death that I'll accept was true at this point in the series.
Oh and James... sheesh! I think even present day you would be like WTF?
"How long is this story going to take? I thought it was just going to be a story about why James wasn't at school to stop you from attacking people in your class?" Naomi's voice asked.
"It is, just one thing leads to another, if you know what I mean," Jessie's voice said.
I'm with Naomi on this one. Part 2 was for sod all. It was so painful. I actually missed the sleep over. That's how bad it was.
"Thank god that story is finished," Naomi muttered.
"Yeah, I was going to sleep," Kiara said.
"That story was great," Triah said.
NO, YOUR OPINION IS BAD AND YOU SHOULD FEEL BAD
"So what happened when you joined the Marquis?" Craig asked.
"I found Jessie working at a Engineering station so I managed to work with her," James said.
AND WE'VE BEEN GLUED TO THE HIP EVER SINCE
"More like the rest we know, most of them weren't around at the beginning," James said.
"Whatever," Jessie muttered.
JESUS CHRIST JAMES. DON'T ENCOURAGE FURTHER FLASHBACKS, I BEG OF YOU. JUST WAIT A FEW MONTHS, B4FV WILL SORT THAT OUT
Ten minutes later:
"Oh crap!" Triah cried as she fell over.
"And Triah's out of there," Tani said.
"Wow I love this game, I get to be so close to the girls," Craig said.
"And Craig's out of there," Tani said.
"But I didn't fall," Craig moaned.
WHO LET CRAIG INTO THE GIRLS SLEEP OVER
Still laughed at Tani's response though.
"I know, you just opened your big gob," Tani said. Craig untangled himself from Morgan and Tani. Morgan fell over when he climbed out.
"Tani, you knew that would happen if you got rid of Craig," Morgan moaned.
"And Morgan's out of there," Tani said. There was only Tani, James and Jessie left in the match. Suddenly 'Double Trouble' came back on. James and Jessie jumped out of the match, Tani grinned.
"I wiiiinnn!" she squealed as she fell to the ground.
Hmm, conflicted. Hate the Team Rocket stuff but like what happens cos of it.
It should have ended there. The next four lines are pretty blah.
AND WE'RE OUT OF THERE
Well let's see how everything tallies up. Finally with my rereads up to Spirits, a total tally can be done. Let's take a look. Remember the red ones are new to this review.
Exclaimed Count: 7 (146)
Muttered Count: 58 (418) JESUS CHRIST I WONDER IF WE'LL GET 1000 BY THE END OF THE SEASON?
Motto Count: 1 (12)
Sexist Crap Count: 4 (18)
Jessie's Sin Points: 4 (11)
Morgan the Sue Count: 0 (2)
Marill's Rating: Can I give this a - out of 10. Does that even make sense? 0/10? Hang on, let me think about this.
The episode physically exhausted me. No lies or exaggerations here. I had to take one break to return to the episode's reboot, and I hadn't even gotten to the flashbacks part. When I decided to continue the review I had just reached the headmaster scene in the reboot, fixed it with no trouble at all (the new version is cute. IF YOU ARE NOT A JAMES/JESSIE SHIPPER YOU WILL BE AFTER IT. FACT) and thought I needed to type out my thoughts on these dreadful original scenes I had seen so far. Stuff like the really bad way they handled James' abuse scenes, the unfinished business stuff with Jill. By the time I got to the head teacher scene I was already worn out, physically and mentally.
So there you go. Test of Time drains your soul and/or energy. It felt like it did both to me. I didn't think it would take long to go through it, I was wrong. It took hours. Hours I could've used to decide whether or not to continue the flashbacks after the rebooted version of the headmaster scene, since like in the original, the flashbacks had already reached the intended conclusion. Or simply write more new scenes for the episode. I want my Wednesday back. It was sucked dry by this crap.
So many things were wrong with it, only made worse by it being done on purpose when the time came to write it DESPITE having better plans before. There were few good things about it, which I must consider before rating it.
1 point for the rare glimmers of present day James being developed in this. Slapping Craig around for being creepy, Jessie saying he stuck up for her against the bullies, his telling Craig to stop treating the girls like objects/future girlfriends.
1 point for actually following through with the story until the end AND despite it being bad actually adding more to it. A rare thing for Season One. Test of Time is one of Season One's biggest episodes for a reason. Actually showing that James suffered awful abuse from his father, I'm amazed I didn't chicken out.
So, that's 2. If I leave it as 2/10 it still gets beaten by Aggressions Part 2, and is as bad as Year of Hell. I think... I think I can live with that. Yeah I said Test of Time felt worse than Aggressions Part 2, and I said at least Aggressions had glimmer of its plot there but I was bitching about the sleep over at the time. Test of Time does what it sets out to do eventually and doesn't get distracted until it reaches the conclusion. That happens after lol. The writers barely get a look in, they comment once more I think after their sucked into space bit. So yeah, still follows its intended plot so it's better than Aggressions 2, but it's terrible at doing so like Year of Hell (eventually). Yeah that sounds about right.
Marill's Rating: 2/10