'Blue Mountain State' Recap: 'Blackout' (3.05)
It's time for a big rivalry game on Blue Mountain State - at least until a blackout forces a postponement and some ill-advised off-the-field competition.
This allows Alex to confront the girl he lost his virginity to, who's now a cheerleader for the rival school, dating the captain of their football team. Thad, of course, vehemently dislikes his opposite number, and so it comes to pass that there's a beer pong challenge thrown down between the four of them. Unsurprisingly, the rules of the game change about every two minutes, depending on what seems like a good idea at the time. Everyone manages to get sloshed along the way, which is where the bulk of the episode's humor comes from.
It turns out that Thad and the rival captain actually get along pretty well, and realize that they're only enemies because that's what they're expected to be. Certainly any athlete, former athlete or even sports fan can identify with this one. I have many friends of mine that are fans of rival sports teams - and though we get along fine otherwise, there's always that little bit of taunting or teasing because we're on opposite sides of the athletic field. One of my favorite college professors was a Denver Broncos fan, and I learned a great deal from him, but that didn't stop me from taping the game where my San Diego Chargers decimated the Broncos and giving it to him as a gag gift for Christmas.
Meanwhile, Alex is determined to sleep with his ex and put the kibosh on an old stigma that he didn't actually sleep with her the first time. Yet once he gets what he wants, he realizes he doesn't need it and much to Sammy's relief, rebuffs her advances. He's learned to move on from the past. Good for him, too, as he finds out in the harsh light of day that she was going to spread another rumor about him after the fact had he gone through with it. Not that she needed to when an inebriated Thad decides the first one was hilarious and starts sharing it.
This is the second episode (following "The Peak") where Darin Brooks has had moments to show that there's more to Alex Moran than his drinking, womanizing and lack of other motivation - and again, he does very well with them. We're able to see that there's something more substantive to his character while he never breaks too far from the show's hilarious tone. We now know that Alex has actual ambitions beyond college (assuming he ever graduates), and that he's mature enough to make the right decision - maybe not always, but at least sometimes. Those extra details allow us to get a bigger picture of who Alex is, and that helps us to embrace him just a bit more. Kudos to Darin for finding the extra strokes of character in all the madness.
While that's going on, the coaching staffs are playing poker and exchanging insults. The game actually needs a referee. Coach Daniels decides to bet one of his championship rings to shut up Coach Fisher once and for all. Though he wins the bet, he, too, decides to show a little mercy. For a guy who wasn't originally an actor, Ed Marinaro has the cantankerous coach role down really well. Then again, in his NFL career I'm sure he saw plenty of them to inspire his performance.
"Blackout" takes full advantage of the not entirely unfounded belief that many college students simply go to school in order to drink and party (which is pretty much the entire premise of Blue Mountain State anyway). It almost seems like it's poking fun at itself in that sense, playing into the stereotype with a wink.Yet in case you forgot what show you were watching, the show continues its tradition of random humor, by revealing that Thad's real name is Kevin. Some things about Blue Mountain State will never change, but it doesn't matter. "Blackout" shows that the series knows exactly what it is - a late-night, sometimes incoherent, always uncensored college comedy - and is secure enough in that identity not to apologize for it.
(c)2011 Brittany Frederick/Digital Airwaves. All rights reserved. No reproduction permitted.