OK, the level of pandering on FNL has gotten out of hand. Jean, Landry's bounce-back girl, is blatant nerd-bait. A quick run through all of the engineered qualities of a nerd's wet dream.
An abiding love for MST3K
Ironic taste in '70s movies
Check. (Wrath of Khan all the way, besides.)
She knew where to watch MST3K on Youtube; Check.
OK, so she miscategorized Mayhem, Napalm Death, the Keep, Cannibal Corpse, and Carcass as thrash -- they're really black or death metal (...with heavy thrash influences) -- but we'll let that slide because she's a girl. Check.
A girl metalhead is already a stretch, now you want me to believe she collects vinyl?
In a season of authorial heavy-handedness, Jean is unsubtle and unconcealed nerdbait and it totally works.
Landry, Tyra's plucky and has plenty of pa-dow, but bro, Jean was right, you totally made a mistake.
In case you ever need to determine if someone, fictional or not, is nerdbait, why, just consult this handy, very real, and very official NERDBAIT: A CHECKLIST checklist.
But seriously folx, this episode was probably the highlight of the season, mostly because of that final shot of Smash, alone in the locker room after exhorting his teammates to win without him. No less importantly, "Leave No One Behind" avoided the careening emotional apocalypses that have plagued this season: Julie and Mrs. Taylor's weekly faceoffs ran the gamut from shrill to caterwauling, and I was relieved when their showdown resolved into the low-key "lol, miscommunication (PS lol, parental negligence)."
Indie rating: Autechre - "rale"