'Blue Mountain State' Review: 'The Peak' (3.03)
This week's Blue Mountain State teaches us a proper lesson in a tasteless way: popularity is fleeting.
For a guy who was in his own version of hell at the beginning of this season, Alex Moran has come a long way in a short time -- he's riding high this week, having thrown seven touchdowns in an upset of the top-ranked team in the country. And with victory, everyone suddenly wants to be your best friend. "Alex played awesome today, which means I care about him now," Thad tells his teammates, perfectly summing up college popularity in a nutshell.
Reveling in the attention, Alex believes he's reached "the peak" of his collegiate experience. Said peak takes on a bit of a sharp edge when the cops show up at the Goathouse, convinced the sudden-onset celebration will bring about another riot (like, uh, in the second-season finale episode "Riot"). This forces Alex and Sammy to make what isn't their first ("Drunk Tank") and certainly won't be their last escape from law enforcement. When Thad tries to follow them, he gets maced by the cops, and Alan Ritchson's hysterical screaming is funnier than it should be. I have to remind myself this is the same guy who played Aquaman in Smallville.
Having arrived at a sorority party being thrown in Alex's honor, Sammy has an unfortunate lightbulb moment: if this is the peak, then it's all downhill from here. (It's sad that he doesn't even realize it himself - he has to be clued in by one of the sorority girls.) This makes him freak out about Alex's rather low-level future ambition: to graduate and become a gym teacher. (Not that there's anything wrong with that; not every college QB becomes a successful pro. You could say Alex is just being a realist, and Darin Brooks plays that well, as opposed to making Alex look like a slacker - at least, any more than he already does look like one.) Sammy storms out of the party only to be hit in the groin and beaten by the riot cops waiting outside.
The coaches are having a party of their own, which involves going to the Goathouse and stealing the team's booze (and women). An inebriated Coach Daniels tears into his top assistant for leaving to take a head job someplace else. There's something strangely endearing about the idea that while they might be a second-rate football program, at least Coach Daniels obviously has an attachment to his staff. He's actually very complimentary when he's drunk.
Alex knows his successful game is a fluke. "I never thought of myself as capable of great things," he tells Sammy, aware that next week, everyone will have forgotten this week. He's left to watch as his teammates, who think they're mounting a rescue mission on his behalf, are all maced, Tasered and beaten by the overzealous riot cops who are still lurking around. Really, they have nothing better to do, or maybe they're just enjoying themselves too much.
Blue Mountain State didn't teach me anything I don't already know. In fact, I'm surprised that it had any sort of lesson in it at all. But while it will never be enlightening, it's still hilarious. As The Simpsons proved years ago, you can't go wrong with someone being hit in the groin.
(c)2011 Brittany Frederick/Digital Airwaves. All rights reserved.
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