A lesson in fighting fire with fire
Picking up shortly where the Pilot left off, episode 2 of Vice Principals gives us our first look at just what the new unholy alliance of Neal and Lee can accomplish, and suffice to say it certainly blazes the trail of what we can expect from them throughout the series. Their actions in this episode make the previous one seem tame in comparison and escalates both characters from rude and behaviorally challenged to pure sociopath status.
For those in need of a quick refresher, the last episode left us with Neal and Lee partnering up to take down the new principal, Mrs. Brown, or “Dr. Brown” as she makes very clear to her coworkers. How they were planning to do that wasn’t discussed, but this episode proves that it’s by any means necessary, no matter how harsh. I was personally expecting it to involve simple things at school, like making her look bad in front of her peers or other mundane and likely less comical scenarios. But no, they go straight to dialing it up to 11 by bringing the fight literally to her doorstep, and into her living room and then the rest of the house too.One thing I did expect based on the interactions from the previous episode though was that the partnership wasn’t exactly going to be buddy-buddy, and no more than 30 seconds into the episode do we see that both leads still hate each other as much as before. But now, thanks to their mutual goal, both are forced to spend more time together than either would prefer. The back and forth shout matches between McBride and Goggins are even funnier this time, with plenty of lighting fast, foul mouthed retorts almost anytime they share screen time, which is fortunately most of the episode.
With that said, we do get some time with side characters this episode, including more of Neal’s Ex-Wife, (Busy Philipps) daughter and the step dad. (Shea Whigham) The scenes are minimal but they give some decent insight into Neal’s life and how he’s just as irresponsible in his home life as he is during work, but which one’s he’s more of a screw-up at is yet to be fully revealed. On the flip side, we also get to see what Lee’s personal life is like, and it comes as no surprise that it’s just as off the wall as Neal’s, possibly more so. I’d have to say that apart from the home invasion segment, meeting Lee’s wife and mother in law made for some of the funniest scenes in the episode.
By the end of the episode, both partners in crime come to realize they have far more in common than they expected, and seem to be warming up to the idea that they may find a way to settle their differences. However, since this is only episode 2, it’s pretty much guaranteed that they’ll find plenty to hate about each soon enough. And that’s a good thing because it’s easily the most entertaining aspect. It’s still far too early to tell if there will really be enough material to last 2 seasons, but as I mentioned in the previous review, the whole series has been filmed so hopefully it can keep up the quality throughout its entire run. The real burning question is though, what the hell are our vindictive Vice Principals going to do to top this episodes insanity, and how long can they possibly get away with it.