The Yard recap, episode 3: wherein a kid eats asparagus for four days in an effort to pee on school chums
This episode of The Yard is all about turf (such as it is on a dinky playground), as Frankie and his henchmen go to epic lengths to cling to their only piece of territory: the soccer pitch. Really? When you could be fighting over the monkey bars or the swings or the Jujimon tables? That’s pathetic. But just like in all classic gang stories—okay, the only one we’re really familiar with is West Side Story—the turf itself is much less important than the power it represents.
This week, a friendly group of North African kids tries to use the pitch for—wait for it—soccer, but when the bullies ban them from the field, these sports enthusiasts retaliate with a vengeance. After Johnny’s shart attack, we didn’t think The Yard could get any grosser, but somehow, with the help of some pungent golden showers, it manages to outdo itself this week.
With a dull plot, a shortage of one-liners, and terrible, terrible African accents, this is the weakest episode so far. Our favourite supporting kids, like J.J., Adam and Cory, barely get a flash of screen time, so we hope the schoolyard shenanigans pick up next week.
As usual, we take a look at the adolescent angst and antics after the jump.
The Setup: As we know, Nick is the boss of the yard, but, deferring to tradition, he cedes the soccer pitch to Frankie, whose brother and cousin Vlad (the donor of a very kid-appropriate bikini-themed playground bench) previously ruled the pitch. We were introduced to Bud and Yusef, two well-meaning immigrant kids who just want to play soccer (they even bring their family’s heirloom soccer ball, stained with their ancestors’ blood, no less), but Frankie will have none of it. Nick proves himself to be a xenophobe and homophobe when he not only denies the kids permission to use the field, but also makes inappropriate comments about “their” god being gay. Nice.
The Scheme: When Nick is unable to intervene, Bud and Yusef go guerilla. Their secret weapon is a kid called “The Bladder”—who has apparently been hiding for days in a dirty storeroom with one bald light bulb. “He has been eating nothing but asparagus for the past four days,” Bud explains, making everyone across Canada vomit. The kids make us even more ill when they attack Frankie’s crew with smelly pee–filled water guns and grenades, and when that does nothing except cover the boys with potent, asparagus-scented urine (really, though, what did they expect?) they challenge their oppressors to a soccer match.
The Upshot: After a three-day-long match, Bud and Yusef manage to win the game, but Frankie is not willing to give up his power that easily, so he does what any respectable street boss would do: tattles on his rivals (don’t worry—he reclaims his tough-guy cred when he makes fun of their dead father). But as one more bulging, amber-coloured piss grenade flies across the episode’s closing shot, we can tell this fight isn’t over.
Most Valuable Player: Even though Suzi calls her a “friggin’ nut muncher,” metal-mouth Mary proves her heart is in the right place when she helps Bud and Yusef beat her brother, Frankie. But what really impressed us was her refusal to take any of Nick’s dumb-boy nonsense (ignoring her and then trying to buy her forgiveness with a pizza). When she finally tells him off and flips her pigtails in his clueless face, we cheer (and then dance to some Destiny’s Child in her honour).