Bull and Buck spend New Year’s Day watching college football on Bull’s basement TV and reminiscing about how lousy the Scapegoats football team was.
The gang at Atomik Komix, in between inexplicable power failures, manage to introduce a new character, the “Scorch”.
Wally and Adeela prepare for graduation. Though Wally has a job at Montoni’s waiting for him, Adeela is unable to get hired because of her foreigner status. At the graduation pizza party, Tony welcomes Wally aboard (even though he was hired in the kitchen nine years ago) and Funky installs him as night manager; Wally in turn announces Adeela will be the pizzeria’s new day manager.
January 27-February 3
Becky and Dinkle attend the Ohio Music Educators Conference in Cleveland.
Bull is notified that he will be inducted into Westview’s Sports Hall of Fame. Linda invites Bull’s erstwhile rival Buck to give the induction speech.
At the high school, Linda shares with fellow teacher Les that she plans on retiring at the end of the school year, as Bull’s condition worsens.
February 25-March 2
Cayla takes Les shopping for new clothes to wear at book signings. Les infuriates Cayla by paying full price for the very first thing he tries on.
Bernie Silver organizes the students to “walk out” of school to protest gun violence on the first anniversary of March for Our Lives.
Holly informs Funky that her mom has decided not to return to Florida due to worries about climate change.
Bull has an angry episode involving a lost DVD; this prompts wife Linda to take him to a doctor in North Carolina for more tests.
March 18-April 7
Holly’s mom Melinda has officially moved in with her daughter and son in law, and Funky must go to Florida to ship back all of her belongings.
Cindy announces her latest project will be a documentary about disgraced silent film star Butter Brinkel. Naturally, this means she must fly back to Ohio, with Mason and Jessica, to do research, from Crazy Harry’s DVD collection.
April 15-May 5
Ahead of Free Comic Book Day Dead Skunk Head John visits Atomik Komix to enlist Darin, Pete, and Holtron for in-store appearances. Also present are Flash Freeman, Mason, Les, and Tom Batiuk stand-in”Batton Thomas.”
Les invites Cindy to visit the staff of The Bleat.
Summer, who has been in college for 7 years now, calls Les to tell him she’s thinking of changing her major.
The Westview faculty gather under a yellow sky for the Teachers’ Picnic.
May 27-June 16
Cindy and Cliff meet at the Brown Derby to talk about Butter Brinkel. Jessica, who initially expressed interest in working on Cindy’s new project, suddenly decides she misses her husband. Oh, and her young son Skyler, who is still being cared for by Darin’s mom, Ann. When Skyler falls and has to be taken to the ER, Jessica returns to Westview for a week.
Another, yes, another arc in which Darin is the youngest person using the post office.
June 23-July 20
Cindy and Jessica’s latest documentary tells the story of Butter Brinkel: from his beginnings as a 12-year-old runaway on the vaudeville circuit to his rise to stardom in the early 40’s. During a masquerade ball at Brinkel’s mansion, starlet Valerie Pond is found shot to death. Brinkel is indicted for her murder and refuses to testify on his own behalf in the “trial of the century.” Butter’s old “kemosabe” Cliff relates to Cindy how the author Dashiell Hammett that Butter took the fall to cover up for the real murderer. Anger also shares, decades later and for the first time, how Butter’s Scotch-drinking, cigar-smoking pet chimp Zanzibar pointed a prop raygun at him and spoke like a human.