The third episode of “Vice Principals” proved to be the best of the series by a mile, mostly because it scaled back some of the craziness and focused on what ultimately matters most: The characters themselves. These are people we want to at least relate to, even if we don’t always root for them the majority of the time.
Luckily, tonight’s episode largely continued that trend, even though we do still think that Russell sometimes is a little too much of a sociopath in order to be believable at his job. Take, for example, how far he was willing to tonight in order to jeopardize North Jackson’s ability to compete against Percival in their annual rivalry football game: Giving the players liquid LSD. In one of the more ridiculous exchanges Neal Gamby talked him out of it, but instead got the drug all over both him and Russell, leading to some ridiculous hallucinations that the two had over the course of the tail end of the half-hour.
We got to this point after the two guys spent the entirety of the episode trying to figure out how they could sabotage North Jackson to destroy their school spirit even more, and cause Belinda to resign from the position. They figured that eventually, all of the sabotage from both Percival and themselves, coupled with all of the horrible things that they had done to her house, would be enough to convince her to leave.
Instead, they created a martyr, as Lee said in the closing minutes. The school rallied behind their principal and used her motivation to win the game, which means suddenly they are further from the job than ever. This was a nice little turn, mostly because we didn’t exactly want to see these two guys come out on top after all they’ve done … at least not easily. We came to like Dr. Brown more after learning about her family, and also why she came to the town anyway to avoid living close to her ex.
While there were times tonight where the story was still more demented and funny, we do think the series is still on the right track after the episode 2 stumble. Grade: B+.
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