Over the course of five seasons, Schitt’s Creek has bestowed many gifts upon us: “Ew, David;” Catherine O’Hara as Moira Rose doing a Cockney accent to get a better deal on a car; either rendition of “The Best,” to name just a few. “The M.V.P” adds another item to the extensive list: David Rose in full uniform, participating in a team sport. Truly, what a time to be alive.
Only Patrick could ever convince David to join an activity that includes running, sweating, and devastating reminders of that time he played Little League and captured the record for “most times hit by a ball.” Scratch that. Only Patrick, desperate for a ninth player, with promises of post-game barbecue, could convince David to play. And so, with the anticipation of grilled meats, David says yes. Patrick may live to regret asking this favor.
David may look very cute in his baseball uniform — although there’s no way in hell he’ll be using a brown glove while wearing black tap shoes, excuse me, cleats — but when they head outside to have a catch, the truth as to what Patrick has just put into motion becomes clear. I mean, David’s terrible. More than that, he’s very uninterested. If the ball doesn’t land directly in his glove from where he is standing, he wants nothing to do with it. In short, he acts just as you’d assume David would act in this situation. David has agreed to be a body on the field, nothing more. To make matters worse (well, better for us), Johnny has wormed his way onto the opposing team — led by Ronnie and Roland — by regaling them with stories of his days on his Hebrew school’s team, the Flying Latkes (a truly inspired name), when his nickname was “Popeye.” Okay, so actually, Ronnie is also desperate for a ninth player and she’ll take what she can get.
There are so many wonderful things about this storyline — surely, David having to listen to everyone talk about how horrible he is while he hangs out in the outfield is toward the top of the list (no one does facial reactions like Dan Levy). But the most heartwarming is Johnny supporting his son. He might be on the other team, but he is David’s biggest cheerleader. He coaches him from the sidelines, he defends his honor when Ronnie and Roland start to make digs, and he seems genuinely enthused and proud to be out on the field with his son. When David steps up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning with bases loaded, two outs, and the game on the line, Johnny is the only one who has faith in him. He is so excited when David actually hits that ball that he forgets he’s supposed to be fielding. Sure, once he remembers, he accidentally throws the ball and hits David in the back, but David is still safe at home and Johnny has no regrets letting down his own team. It’s just one more example of Schitt’s Creek walking right up to that warm and fuzzy line, but never crossing into the cheesy territory. Plus, David gets to celebrate his big win with barbecue. Has a man ever been so happy?
The Rose ladies are showing a little bit of their softer sides as well, over at the first rehearsal for Cabaret. Only the Kit Kat Klub dancers (and Bob, who requested additional rehearsal time) are there for Moira’s debut rehearsal as a director, but things do not go as well as our fearless leader had hoped. Most of that has to do with the fact that Stevie is terrified and very much regrets agreeing to take the lead role. She voices her fears to Alexis, who with her tales from her two weeks of rehearsal with the Pussycat Dolls (they did hours of Kegel exercises and Alexis was let go because she was “too pretty”), is surprisingly helpful. I mean, she won’t take the Sally part off of Stevie’s hands because she’s read the script and can’t memorize that many lines, but after watching Stevie suffer through acting exercises, she does take Moira aside to have a chat.
It takes a little time, but eventually Alexis gets Moira to understand that some of these exercises might be a little intimidating for someone like Stevie. They are nowhere close to the first rehearsal Moira endured as Sally Bowles, which included mud runs and sob therapy, but Moira gets the idea. She finds Stevie, and in a truly heartfelt moment, reminds her lead actress that she’s never directed before, so really, they are in this thing together. She also reminds her that “it’s called a play, not a work” — it’s supposed to be fun. It’s enough to give Stevie the courage and confidence to try out some of the acting exercises. She’s not going to quit just yet. Although I could probably watch an entire season of Moira leading Cabaret rehearsals, I’m already counting down until we can see the first performance.
The Wig Wall
• Listen, I love Ronnie as much as the next gal, and I know there is some tension between her and Patrick after the bathroom debacle, but she says that Patrick “looks like a thumb” and honestly, HOW DARE SHE. Patrick is a special angel to be protected at all costs.
• David on seeing Patrick’s intense, competitive side come out on the field: “I don’t know who this is, but can we put him back in the box?”
• The best part of the acting exercises is when Moira joins Stevie in an improv game where two people create a sentence by each person saying one word at a time. Moira, “flowing with [Stevie’s] energy,” and Stevie come up with “Once upon a nightmare my captor was dismembering” before stopping. If you couldn’t guess, “nightmare,” “captor,” and “dismembering” all came from Moira.
• Was Moira’s brunette curly wig sitting halfway back on her natural blonde hair her most insane hair look to date? If I’m being honest, no.
• I’m still laughing over Moira’s “inspiring” introduction of Stevie as the lead in the musical: “You’ll all soon see what I hope I believe I may be seeing in you, Stevie.” Now that is some real confidence in your cast.
• Roland comes out even on his game day betting: He lost a bunch since his own team lost, but he also put a side bet on Johnny throwing the game to help David. Everyone knows Johnny’s heart, apparently.
• “I’d argue most baseball players are somebody’s son.”
• But maybe we should call a baseball championship game “the finale”?