Miscellaneous one-off gags. Sunday, Jim delivers his “Ursa” joke with an alternate punchline.
Pete and Darin in another sepia-toned flashback to “Batom Comics back in the day.”
The WHS senior class sells popcorn to raise funds for a trip to Washington, D.C.
An errant “My-Tunes” playlist suggestion precipitates a weeklong dialogue about “sortware”.
Jessica vacates the coveted apartment above Montoni’s (nearly leaving her toddler behind), and Wally moves in, with the help of his fellow wounded warriors.
The Westview seniors order their class rings; Cody and Owen bust the salesman’s balls. Sunday, Crazy and John lament the closing of Nick the Geek’s Black Hole Comic Shop.
The makers of the Starbuck Jones movie cast “Marianne Winters” in the role of Jupiter Moon. This triggers yet another Batom Comics flashback for Pete, and he and Darin mull the “tragic” fate of Superman’s creators.
The casting of Marianne Winters stirs up Cindy’s insecurities.
Cody and Owen are tasked with selecting the freshmen who will replace them on Westview High’s closed circuit TV channel.
February 29-March 13
Emily and Amelia, twins from Centerville, transfer to Westview High School and are given the tour by Nate and Linda.
March 14-April 17
The Cliff Anger Story Arc
In Hollywood, the studio has greenlighted a Starbuck Jones sequel, to be shot concurrently with the movie already in preproduction. This triggers whining from Pete and Darin as well as another Batom Comics flashback. Mason, Cindy. Pete, and Darin fly back to Ohio (where some scenes of SJ’s earthly origins will be filmed) to watch an old Starbuck Jones movie serial at the Valentine Theater in Centerville.
Afterwards, over pizza, Mason hatches a plot to feature the serial’s leading man, Cliff Anger, if he’s even still living, in a cameo role in the SJ movie. Using the web (not Google, Wikipedia or IMDb, but “Fleabay”) they track down a person in New York selling SJ memorabilia who of course turns out to be their guy. Mason, Cindy, and Pete basically invade the man’s humble NYC walkup, offering him the role as well as getting the producers to pick up his rent tab for a year. Pete buys a decoder ring online from Cliff.
Tony Montoni shows up at his former pizzeria to brainstorm Starbuck Jones-inspired menu items. Mason arranges for Montoni’s to provide pizza to the movie’s Cleveland location.
The WHS seniors receive their class rings; Wedgeman’s ring is the largest of them all.
Mason and Holly will be staying at the Winkerbeans’ during the Starbuck Jones Cleveland shoot, and Cindy is “on assignment” covering the Cliff Anger story for Buddyblog (the better to keep tabs on Mason and his sexy SJ costar).
Jim Kablichnick’s class goes on a field trip to the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland. Hilarity ensues when the bus (driven by Andy from Crankshaft) takes a detour that puts them in the middle of the Starbuck Jones location shoot.
Another class trip: this time the Senior Class prepares to visit Washington, D.C. Les spends the week haranguing their parents in a meeting.
Mason and his director visit Westview High School, and Mason agrees to be the commencement speaker in exchange for permission to film the ceremony for a scene in Starbuck Jones. The director requests the high schools unused, sentient computer as a prop in the movie.
May 30-June 19
In another Crankshaft crossover, Crankshaft’s son-in-law Jeff uses his SJ secret decoder ring to translate a word puzzle he finds in the newspaper: said puzzle turns out to be an invitation to a “meet and greet” at the Silver Grill with the original Starbuck Jones actor, Cliff Anger. The “Junior Spacemen of America” turn out en masse to get autographs and to tell their idol how profoundly he affected each of their lives. Cliff is reunited with his costar, Vera Nash a.k.a. Jupiter Moon.
Mason considers appending an “e” to his last name.
June 27-July 4
With the Westview Community Band taking part in a national competition, Becky asks Dinkle and the Bedside Manor Orchestra to play the July 4th concert in the gazebo. Octogenarian Mort Winkerbean entertains his fantasies of being a rock star.
The ageless, physically fit Les dominates his out of shape former tormentor Bull at tennis. Sunday, Becky accompanies twins Amelia and Emily door to door to serenade citizens and raise band money.
Pete and Darin return to Hollywood. Darin flies into a tizzy upon learning that his “favorite pens” are out of stock, due to a dock workers’ strike. He and Pete borrow Mason Jarr’s boat to intercept the cargo ship carrying his pens. As they board the vessel, Darin is shot by a crew member and falls to the deck, before waking up at his drawing table to learn the whole episode was a dream.
Tony’s latest useless gimmick: using drones to deliver pizzas…to the Komix Korner, upstairs.
Rachel brings Wally to the Monsters of Metal concert as “sort of a final exam for his PTSD.”
Becky and Dinkle at band camp discuss hazing.
August 15-September 4
Funky and Les discuss the Scapegoats’ upcoming football season and Bull’s harsh treatment of his players. Bull is seen post-practice dropping a drinking glass and angrily flinging his cellphone across the room before going out to his truck and peeling out of the faculty lot. Les encounters Bull’s wife Linda standing outside the high school: Bull has not arrived to pick her up and she can’t get him on the phone. Les gives Linda a ride home, during which she expresses concerns about Bull’s recent angry and forgetful spells.
Wally and Buddy get the hang of attending community college.
Dead Skunk Head John posts online a plot synopsis of the upcoming Starbucks Jones movie, gleaned from stills that he has downloaded from the web. Instead of threatening (groundless) legal action, the studio offers John an unpaid position as “part-time research assistant” and two tickets to Comic-Con.
September 26-October 16
Aging, terminally self-conscious Cindy continues to fret about her looks, despite Mason’s reassurances. She shows up on the movie set and meets (and is immediately snotty) to Mason’s sexy costar, Marianne Winters. Darin’s no-good “bio-dad” Frankie and his sidekick Lenny turn up on the movie set, working undercover for a gossip site, and Frankie approaches Darin in an unsuccessful bid to get some Hollywood dirt.
October 16-November 6
After another angry outburst on the sidelines, Bull visits a neurologist whose diagnosis is “chronic tramatic [sic] encephalopathy” (which in real life can only be assessed post-mortem). Bull decides to hasten his retirement, and at his last game as coach is honored by having the stadium re-named after him. Following the game, Bull explains to Linda that the late Coach Stropp had asked Bull to scatter his ashes in Westview’s end zone. Bull retrieves the urn (it’s been sitting on top of the Scapegoats’ lockers all these years), carries it towards the end zone but trips over a discarded Big Walnut Tech pennant, dropping and breaking the urn just short of the goal line.
Somehow Frankie has been allowed to hang around the Starbuck Jones set and continue to try and dig up some gossip, but his boss at “DMZ” demands something juicier than an apparent romance between octogenarians Cliff and Vera. Also hanging around the studio is Cindy, ostensibly to get her interview with Cliff Anger but also fuming over Mason’s onscreen relationship with his costar Marianne Winters. Marianne brings Mason to meet her mother, and Frankie tags along, shooting video with his cellphone, capturing an innocent kiss which he will no doubt present as something more than it is.
November 21-December 4
Cindy interviews original Starbuck Jones serial stars Cliff and Vera. We learn (and Cindy does too, because she’s done zero research) that Cliff was called to testify before Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s Committee on Government Operations, and when he refused to name names, was sentenced to six months in prison, ending his acting career.
The gossip website “DMZ” breaks the (false) story of an offscreen romance between Mason and Marianne Winters. Cindy’s expected jealous outburst is quickly squelched as Mason explains that it was completely innocent; however, Marianne is horrified to see the rumor reported online, as well as the mean things said by fans on “the message boards.” Before anyone can reach out to her, she drives to the Hollywood sign to attempt suicide by jumping off the “H”. Mason and Cindy rush to the scene to discover Marianne has changed her mind.
Recently retired Coach Bushka sits in his basement catching up on 20 years of Law and Order episodes he’d taped but was too busy to watch. Harry Dinkle shows up with a tape of Bull’s last game as a Scapegoat player: an alternate angle shows that Westview actually did get the ball across the goal line and should have won.