This Vice Principals review contains spoilers.
Vice Principals, Season 1, Episode 6
It’s fitting that in this episode of Vice Principals students are seen reading and analyzing William Shakespeare’s Othello. Gamby and Russell’s designs on Dr. Brown’s job and the lengths that they’d go to sabotage the principal, right under her nose and watchful eye, isn’t too dissimilar to the treachery displayed by Othello’s villain, Iago. Iago, just like Gamby and Russell do in this episode, plays off the emotions and miscommunications between powerful people and manipulates situations to damage and expose others.
Gamby and Russell’s dastardly, Iago-like plan is to “misplace” 600 textbooks, making it appear as if the English teacher Ms. Leblanc, the teacher who signed for the order, stole them. Gamby and Russell pit Dr. Brown against the most stern, anti-administration, popular teacher in the high school, making Dr. Borwn’s false accusations seem like a slap in the face to Ms. Leblanc and the teachers at large, especially when Gamby and Russell return the books to their rightful place. Dr. Brown goes hard after Ms. Leblanc, but ends up not only looking like a fool in front of the board of education, but a villain to her school’s teachers. It’s small-stakes deception, but it’s the first competent, non-destructive plan that Gamby and Russell hatch, and it’s nice to see them gel as a team, even if they do have a funny forklift argument.
That plan aside, the episode succeeds similarly to last week’s episode because we really get a lot more character depth out of Gamby and surprisingly Ms. Snodgrass. Gamby’s struggle to stay connected with his daughter comes out in a way that makes the character more sympathetic than ever. It’s possible that The Circle is allowing Gamby to open up more and share his problems with Ms. Snodgrass, who’s going through her own issues.
In the cold open, we learn Snodgrass is sleeping with history teacher Mr. Hayden, but Hayden coldly tells Snodgrass that their fling is through, since Snodgrass has been assigned a new planning period and won’t be free to spontaneously fool around during seventh period. His rejection and condescension, like the way he calls her “kid,” makes Hayden a new despicable figure in the school, cemented even further when it’s revealed that he’s now hooking up with a new young teaching assistant.
It says a lot about Snodgrass’ security in herself that she would still pine after this guy and work so hard to regain his attention, but she tries to reclaim her old planning period by giving Neal pointers on popping a wheelie on his new dirt bike to impress his daughter. Inadvertently, these vulnerabilities bring Gamby and Snodgrass closer than ever. Their interactions would almost be sweet if they weren’t repeatedly ruined by a creepy Gamby attempt at flirting. Poor Ms. Snodgrass is surrounded by losers.
Unsurprisingly, even after Snodgrass’ lessons and a triumphant, successful run through, Gamby crashes his wheelie attempt in front of his daughter, further pushing her away from him. Gamby’s complete defeat in front of his family has one upside though, as it makes Snodgrass decide to comfort the broken down Gamby, maybe sensing a kinship. But Gamby’s exposure of his real self to Snodgrass isn’t the only shared reveal of the episode, because Russell mistakenly shows his true colors to Dr. Brown, when she shockingly finds him spitting into her coffee, exposing himself as the snake as he is. Between Gamby and Snodgrass and Russell and Dr. Brown, things are about to get interesting.