04x11 - O Captain! My Captain!

Ah, the teachers of our youth.

They pushed us, inspired our minds, and made us who we are today.

And when those great teachers got sick, my mom stepped in to be a sub.

Bonjour, my little French fries.

By the time I'm done with you, you're going to be eating snails, not taking baths, and enjoying the silent art of mime.

(Laughs) Like most substitute teachers, she didn't know very much.

They're a weird people, hmm?

Then one day, everything changed.

My Mom saw the movie "Dead Poets Society."

O Captain! My Captain!

O Captain! My Captain!

When Robin Williams inspired those stuffy rich kids to stand on their desks, my mom saw her true calling.

Who knew Mork from Ork had such a serious side?

This movie proves that a sub is the most important person in a child's life.

Come Monday, that's just what I'm gonna do... inspire my kids.

You mean your students or your actual kids?

Both. It's a win-win.

I'm sure they'll see it that way.

Hey, shut up!

You shut up!

Good morning, class.

Uh, before we get started, does anyone need to make?

Hmm? Anyone?

There's gonna be a lot of learning today, so if you got to make, do it now.

Anyone got to make poo-poos?


No one has to make!

Moving on.

All right, according to this memo from Principal Ball, Mr. Gluckman has been checked into a rehab facility to address his relationship with cocaine.

"Please tell the students he has the flu."

Okay. Mr. Gluckman has the flu.


I'll be your sub for the next 30 days.


A sub!

We get to waste a whole month of critical learning that'll put us behind for years to come!

No, JTP! History has proven my mom turns awesome things to garbage!

Aw, who's that handsome fella?

Is he single?

This is a nightmare.

Question, Who here is familiar with the film "Dead Poets Society?"

Chill, dude.

Your mom's gonna show us a movie.

It's a classic sub move.

Oh, we're not watching it.

We're living it!

Oh, no.

Barry's right.

In fact, I need a volunteer chosen completely at random to come stand on my desk and view the world from a new perspective.

Oh, No!

She wants us to learn by standing on furniture?

Standing on a desk was how Robin Williams inspired his students.

Unfortunately, not everyone liked to see things from a different angle.

Whoa, whoa!

There's no climbing in school! Unless it's on a rope hung dangerously from the rafters of the gymnasium.

Dude, the hot sub told us to do it.

Are you crazy?

What do you think you're doing?

(Laughing) Ho! Look, everyone!

It's the stuffy administration coming to clip my wings!

No! For the past 30 years, Mr. Gluckman has sloshed corrosive chemicals all over that old desk. It's falling apart.

I fear nothing.

Like any great teacher, I encourage my students to seize the day! (Creaking)


♪ I'm twisted up inside ♪
♪ But nonetheless, I feel the need to say ♪
♪ I don't know the future ♪
♪ But the past keeps getting clearer every day ♪

It was January 4, 1980-something, the day a single text message rocked my world.


Get this note to Goldnerd for me.

Yep, back in the '80s, this was our version of sending a text.

You'd have to pass a note the old-fashioned way, by hand.

Only problem was, your messages weren't password-protected.

Mr. Goldberg, since that little paper is more important than life-saving CPR, maybe you'd like to stand and share it with the rest of us.


To be clear...

I did not write this.

"Dude, when did Emmy Mirsky get so dang foxy?

I mean, holy boobs, Batman! (Scattered laughter)

Look at those sweatshirt puppies."

Again, I did not write this.

Oh, that sucked.

My intention was to teach you a lesson about note-passing, but instead, I just made us all feel wildly uncomfortable.

(Chuckles) Let's just move on to Chapter 6, okay?

Female reproductive... Nope.

Class dismissed.

Next time you get caught with a note, just do what a normal person does and eat it.

Dude, you can't eat paper.

My mom says it plugs up your bottom.

Small price to pay to avoid total humiliation.

I know, right?

I had to stand up in front of everyone and talk about my best friend's, you know, stuff.


You thought that note was embarrassing for you?

Well, who else would it embarrass?



The note said you were hot.

You should be happy about it.

Are you serious right now?


Boy, you really know your way around relationships with human beings.

I agree I'm flawed, but I honestly have no idea what I said wrong here.

Okay, I'm gonna shed some light on what it's like to be a freshman girl, and it ain't gonna be pretty.

The seniors called me "Frizzica Spazzberg."

Every 9th-grade girl, no matter how she looks, feels uncomfortable in her own skin.

There's a hunk of lettuce in your braces.

How did you not feel it?

I was going through a salad phase!

My point is, Emmy just needs a friend who understands how she feels.

Seriously, though, there's like a whole head of romaine in there.

I am gonna give you one second to walk away.


As I was learning how to be a better friend, my mom was teaching Barry how to be a better student.

I don't understand!

This is my house, not my school.

Now that I have the teaching tools I learned in a movie, I will not rest until you get an "A" in this class.

Okay, now, the atomic symbol "C" stands for what?



It stands for Carbon.

But it also stands for chemistry, so half a point?

Okay. Name three types of inert gases.

Easy. There's regular, unleaded, and... farts?



The answer is not farts!

How is fart not a gas?!

Science makes no sense, and I don't need it!

Especially 'cause I'm gonna marry Kathy Ireland.


Supermodel Kathy Ireland.

I'm gonna be her lazy mooch of a husband who lives in her mansion in Ireland!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go brush up on my Irish culture and (bad Irish accent) find me gold at the end of the rainbow, mon.

Well, that accent was definitely Jamaican.

Boopie, don't give up!

Mama believes in you!

Question... Why?

You're a substitute teacher.

Just give the boy a damn "A" already.

You want me to cheat?

Of course I do.

We got to get that moron into some sort of college.

Can you believe this, Dad?

He thinks Barry can't do it.

His answer was "farts."

Okay, you really want him to buckle down?

Let me go upstairs and get his ass in gear.

By yelling at him and calling him a moron?

No way. That doesn't work.

Barry needs inspiration.

All I need to do is unlock his potential, and then the sky's the limit.

His many limits are the limit.

His answer was "farts."

That day, I was also on a mission to prove to Emmy I felt her pain.

All right, hormonal disasters!

It's time to pick teams!

Shirts, Skins, Shirts, Skins, Okay, so why exactly did we cut math to sit in on some random gym class?

What you're witnessing is a barbaric practice known as "Shirts vs. Skins."

Nothing is worse than having to awkwardly disrobe in front of your bros.

You got to be kidding me.

I know!

I mean, why not shorts vs. pants? or red shirts vs. blue shirts?

Sure, it would take some planning the night before, but I could get a phone tree going.

I mean, we are not the same.

Do you wear thick, baggy-ass clothes when it's 90 degrees out to hide your body?

I thought you wear that 'cause you love Epcot.

I've never even been there! Why would I love it?

'Cause it's like taking a trip around the world without leaving the safe confines of Orlando?

Being a Skin in gym is nothing compared to being stared at all day.

Well, if you think about it, my thing's actually way worse 'cause at least you get to cover up with bulky fabrics.

I get no fabrics! None!

You're a douche lord!

(Music Playing)

Hey, Bar, how's studying with Mom going?

Rad as all get-out. Only took two minutes to finish all of my homework.

She's really teaching you science stuff?

Let's just say Mom is gonna be very pleased with my answers.

(Chuckles) Pops, give us a taste.

Question 1.

"What is the chemical symbol for sodium?"

And my answer?

"My mommy is the best mommy ever of all mommies on Planet Mommy."

Nailed it!

What the hell are you doing, you moron?

Just giving the lady the answers she always wanted to hear.

Pops, what's the atomic weight of chloride?

"Wittle Barry-wary like Mummy's snuggy-wuggies."

Okay, this is just nonsense.

And with that, my dad knew it was time to inspire Barry in his own way.

Look, I hate to tell you this, but your mom is looking for any excuse to fail you.

What? Why?

Mom telling you to study is just a trick, because she knows you never do what she says.

I do don't do that!

She really wants you to fail so you don't graduate.

And no college means you live here forever.

And that means she picks out your clothes for the rest of your life.

But I want Kathy Ireland to pick out my clothes for the rest of my life.

Well, I hope she enjoys sharing a family bathroom.

No! She likes sushi and smoothies and Malibu!

I don't know what to tell you.

Mom will not control me.

I will learn all chemistry...

No, all science!

Mom says you won't.

Oh, I will.

Time for me to tear off this plastic shrink-wrap and get to learning.

But the year is half-over.

And that, my friend, is how you truly inspire a kid.

All you did was use his mother as a weapon to rile him up.

I do it all the time.

It's how I got Erica to learn piano, Adam to ice skate.

I just tell them that their mom is holding them back.

You do know that if Bev finds out about this, she'll never forgive you.

No doubt.

Aw, screw it. You did what you had to do.

It had been days since Emmy talked to me, so I decided to recruit someone who spoke her language.

Okay, before you throw a hard object at me and say "Get out"...

Get out!

I have a big favor to ask and will pay a huge sum of money to do it.

I'm listening.

I need you to give this note to Emmy and make her read it.

She's still not talking to you, huh?

Honestly, she's being crazy and irrational, but as you can see in this note, I'm the bigger man and still willing to apologize.

"Dear Emmy, you're being crazy and irrational.

Let me explain the many reasons why your super-silly female body issues are all in your head." No.

Fine! Then... Then you fix it.

Exactly how much money are we talking here?


Which is what this Megatron will be worth on the black market in 30 years.

I'll do it for 20 bucks.

5 bucks and a Skeletor?

I'll do it if you just go away now.

And so my sister would help me, but not by going to Emmy.

Hey, Coach. Got a minute?

Kind of busy, female Goldberg.

I'm inventing a new hybrid sport.

Either, uh, baseball fencing or water-polo squash.

You can't play squash under water.

People need to breathe.

Need to breathe.

(Sighs) That makes sense.

"Need... to... breathe".


So, my brother's been a bad friend to Emmy Mirsky.

Ah, stabbed in the back by her best amigo.

That is a crime worse than all the murders in the world.

I don't think that's right, but sure.

So, could you help her by blatantly abusing your authority?

You want old Coach to exact sweet revenge, huh?

No problem.

You're an amazing teacher.

I'm sure of it.

While Erica was looking to teach me a lesson, Barry was ready to learn.



I need you to teach me everything about chemistry so I can get an "A."

Are you sure you want to join us, bro?

Yeah, you tend to just sort of peter out, insult us, and then leave us high and dry.

Not this time, my tiny friend I can fit in my pocket!

I have enough anger in me to last for at least three days. Let's do this!

What are you doing?

Taking photographs with my mind.

You mean memorizing?

Done! Quiz me.

Fire away.

Dude. (Chuckles)

It takes more than just glancing at our note cards to know what elements are in Group Four of the Periodic Table.

Titanium, Zirconium, Hafnium, and Rutherfordium.

Whoa. When you've got hate in your heart, you're, like, crazy-smart.

Also, it totally proves you were never living up to your potential.

Indeed, Geoffrey.

And I will use that potential to stop my mom's evil plan.

And he did.

Barry was so psyched to teach my mom a lesson, he couldn't stop teaching himself.

Well, look at you guys studying.

Just tutoring my boys.

They're having a hard time keeping up.

Keeping up... with you?

Turns out science just kind of clicks when I try.

Barry's even read four chapters ahead for fun.

That's right. He knows stuff we can't even begin to comprehend.

Until we read that far into the book.

Thanks to you telling me about Mom's awful plan to keep me here to love me forever.

You're really showing her.

Uh, just maybe you keep your rage-learning between us.

But what's the point of knowledge if you don't use it to destroy your mother?

You know what would really stick it to her?

If you tell her after you got into college.

(Laughs) Yeah.

Imagine how miserable she'll be when I go off to Harvard.

You'll destroy her for sure.

But until then, let's just keep it our secret.

Our wonderful secret.

As my dad was trying to keep Barry quiet, I was just trying to keep my shirt on.

Shirt. Skin.

Shirt, Skin, Shirt, Skin, Shirt, Skin, Shirt.

Yes! I'm golden.




Whoa. Hey, hang on!

This better be important, Goldfarb!

It is. You double-skin.

Oh, how about that?

I did double-Skin.

But you can't double-Skin.

It's Shirt, Skin, Shirt, Skin.

I can Skin-Skin anytime I like.

If you Skin-Skin, there's no rules! It's chaos!

Maybe now you'll know what it feels like to be a young girl coming of age!

Wait, is this about Emmy?

The best teachers never reveal if it's about Emmy.

So it is about Emmy!

You should have just eaten the note.

Everybody eats the note!

Why do people think eating paper is a viable option?!

Just for the back-talk, you're a skin for the rest of the week!


Now you're a Skin for the rest of the year!

You keep it up, you'll be a Skin for life!

You can't do that.

Trust me, On your wedding day, you will walk down the aisle shirtless.

No respectable venue would allow that!

It'll be a beach wedding!

(Groans) That sounds wonderful... and like my worst nightmare.

That was when I realized the person I'd enlisted to help me only made it worse.

You did this!

You said you wanted my help, so I'm helping you.

I meant talk to her and make everything better for me.

Instead, you got Mellor all riled up!

You know he riles easily!

I wasn't just gonna bail you out.

You'd never learn if I did that.

Learn what?

Do you know how hard it was for me to be Frizzica?

I used to eat lunch in the bathroom stalls.

I'd take the back hallways to avoid boys.

I even spent Saturday nights at home watching the news with Dad.

He yells so much at the news.

It's like he thinks they can hear him!

But you want to know the worst part?

Is I had no one to talk to about any of it.

But Emmy does. She has you.

But you're only thinking about yourself instead of being there for her.

(Whistle blows)

All right. Enough lesson-learning.

Shirt off. Get in the game.

You'll have to catch me first!

I'm athletic when determined.


(Groans) I'm a Skin.

(Backgroud Music playing)

Boom! Read it and weep.

Read it to me. It hurts when I look down.

It's Barry's chemistry test, and guess what?

He aced it!

Or should I say, I aced him!

Guess you did, huh?

No, you said I couldn't "Captain" him, but you were wrong, sucka!

You showed me.

Attention, people in the room.

I have a huge announcement about my future that I need to rub in my mother's face.

No, no, no. We said we were gonna be rubbing at a much later date.

I'm sorry, Dad.

I couldn't wait for Harvard to beg me to join their ranks.

This is too good. It must be rubbed.

Wait, did I hear "Harvard"?

I think I heard "Harvard."

Oh, you heard it.

Thanks to my newfound love of sciences, I've officially decided what to do with my life.

I shall be a doctor.


I give you the JTP.


Not the Jenkintown Posse.

I'm talkin' about the Jenkintown Practice, an all-in-one medical facility where I'll be C.E.O. and lead surgeon.

I'm the in-house ophthalmologist.

I'm the foot doc, y'all!

And I'ma play drums in the waiting room.

I cannot believe what I'm hearing!

Tell me more!

No. Let's not.

Sorry, Mom. You lose.

We've heard enough.

I will succeed in life just to spite you.


What'chu have to say about that?

This is the happiest f*cking day of my f*cking life!

What?! Why is this good news?

'Cause I inspired you to learn!

Now, get up on that table and "O Captain! My Captain!" me.

But I thought you secretly wanted me to fail.

Of course not.

Uh, who would give you such a nasty idea?

(Dog yelps)

Maybe we should go.

What the hell's happening here?

Ooh, I'd like to stay and quietly watch.

I may have slightly motivated the kid using you as a springboard for his hate.

Yeah, you get it.


My mom genuinely wants me to thrive?

This is horrible!

No, it's great!

You love science now. We all win.

It's all built on lies!

I fully reject science and all learning!

(Sighs) I'm sorry, JTP.

We're no longer the JTP.

We're just the JTP.

(Sadly) JTP.

Bevy, I only wanted to help the kid succeed.

Well, your way worked. Congrats.

Wait... Where you going?

To quit.

I'm no teacher.

And the worst part is, the only thing I inspired in my son is resentment.


I had messed up with Emmy, and it would take a miracle to fix our friendship... or a couple of jerks.


Fresh hottie, 9:00.

(Coughing) Nice rack.


Allergies. (Chuckles)

In that moment, I finally saw how hard it was for Emmy, and I knew just what I had to do, even if it killed me.

Excuse me. Hi, I'm Adam F. Goldberg.

Not be confused with the other Adam Goldberg.

The artsy dude?

Actually, we both have an appreciation for the arts.

He's more of a multi-hyphenate.

I've been focusing on the written word.

What the hell is your problem, dorknard?

I just heard you talking about my friend here.

Dude! Go away, it's fine.

No, it's not!

I mean, how would you feel if every time you walked through school, the girls talked about your body?

I'd nod and say, "This saddle seats one.

Unless you're a twin, then it seats two."

Point is, maybe we should just be more sensitive.

It's hard enough to be a freshman hoping you can fit in.

I'm hoping you can fit in that trash can.

Exactly. W... Wait, what?

Oh! Oh, God!

(Panting) Not the trash!

That's where Nurse Steve dumps all the old Band-Aids.

Ow! Ow, ow, ow!

Hands off the dork.

Or what?

I sit behind you in Spanish.

Next siesta you take in class, snip-snip, you lose the ponytail.

But that's where my soul resides.

Come on, man.

She's turning the tables on us, and I don't like it.

Dude! That was badass.

Well, you're a tough girl.

It may take you a few years, but you'll get there.

Trust me.

Are you crazy?

You almost got trashed!

I just figured I should be there for you, no matter how hard it gets.


Thanks a lot. (Sniffles)

Now I'm crying at school 'cause you're such a dumb, great friend.

The dumbest. (Both chuckle)

Yep, growing up is an awkward adventure, but with a little understanding, we can help each other get through the rough spots.


Please don't make a big deal out of this.

Wow. I get a hug even though I made you a Skin for life?

You also just saved it.

I'm your big sis. That's what I'm here for.

I'm gonna hug you again.

Do it and you die.

No, I...

Sometimes, we're so consumed with our own problems, we can't see what other people are going through until we open our eyes and our hearts.


Knock first!

What'd you put under the mattress?


Dirty kind with lady parts.




Look, I love science.

I'm good at it, and I feel ashamed.

Well, don't.

I'm proud of you.

You are?

Look, it was wrong to use your mother against you, but now we know how much you can do if you actually try.

Yeah. Who knew?

I'll tell you who knew... Beverly Goldberg.

She believed in you the whole time.

I guess she is a good teacher.

And she's also a damn-good mother.

And maybe it wouldn't hurt if you let her know.

(Indistinct conversations)

(Whistle blows)

All right! Quiet down!

I'm your substitute sub, which means study hall for a month!

Sorry to interrupt. I just came to get my mug.



(Music Playing)

O Captain! My Captain!

Sit down, Mr. Goldberg!

On behalf of me and the rest of the Jenkintown Practice, thank you for believing in us.

And in me.

I said sit down, Mr. Goldberg!

O Captain! My Captain!

O Captain! My Captain!

O Captain! My Captain!

What'd I say about standing on the desks?

Everybody down!

Dude, they're sticking it to Mellor by standing on school property!

I'm king of whatever class this is!

This school sucks!

Screw you, Dad!

Rush rules!

I will never die!

Turns out, Beverly Goldberg was way more than just a substitute teacher.

She was permanent inspiration.

My baby's gonna be a doctor.

Eh, I'll believe that when I see it.




Dad, say something. How do you feel?

I am so proud and happy.

Now that he's gonna be going to medical school, I cried like a baby.

Because that means for another four years, he'll still be out of the house and we can keep the room neat.

And that is how you perform CPR on a man.

Whoa, Mr. Goldberg, what is that you have there?

Is that another note?

What? You just...

You know the rule. If you get caught with a note, you have to stand up and read it out loud so that everybody can hear it.

"Hey, Adam. Who's your favorite teacher?

I know mine's old Glascott.

He's hip like us. Dude just gets it.

Did you know he's in a funk fusion band called Funk and Games?

I heard he's playing at the farmer's market this weekend."

I can't read any more. I'm just gonna eat it.

You can't eat paper! It'll plug you up!