‘Looking For Alaska’ Season One, Episode Five Recap: “I’ll Show You That It Won’t Shoot”
The beginning of the end is here, but not without one final, masterful prank. After an unforgivable act of revenge against Alaska, The Colonel and Takumi put aside their differences with Alaska to help her get the Weekday Warriors back. But will Miles be able to forgive Alaska’s rejection? And what happens when one group member reveals an awful secret? Read on to find out what happens in “I’ll Show You That It Won’t Shoot”.
Miles, Takumi, and The Colonel are studying in the library. The Colonel is restless, tapping his pencil and looking miserable. Miles asks him what’s wrong, and Takumi chimes in that he’s suffering from nicotine withdrawal. He used to get his cigarettes from Alaska, but since he refuses to speak to her, he hasn’t had any. Miles, still hurt by Alaska’s rejection, refuses to go to her on The Colonel’s behalf. We see a hilariously unhinged Colonel rustling through Miles’ drawers looking for a hidden stash before he apologizes. He proposes that the boys use Takumi’s ID to go to the liquor store themselves and buy cigarettes. Takumi is skeptical, and Miles suggest Lara might have an ID. Takumi points out that Lara doesn’t have a very high opinion of Miles right now.
The boys approach the liquor store, and Alaska is sitting on the picnic table outside. They refuse to acknowledge her. Their attempt to use the fake ID fails, with the clerk even saying that it’s so bad it’s depressing. They leave and notice Alaska left a box of The Colonel’s favorite cigarettes for him. The Colonel rationalizes taking them by saying that there’s no reason not to benefit from her remorse. Just then, Longwell and another Weekday Warrior approach. Longwell warns that he is planning to exact revenge on Alaska, and the three should stay away from her. They walk away, and Miles, Takumi, and The Colonel seem uneasy despite their feelings about Alaska.
Alaska walks into the gym alone with earbuds in, trying to ignore the taunts of the Weekday Warriors as Miles, Takumi, and The Colonel look on. They seem to feel bad for her, and The Colonel suggests that maybe they can tip her off about the threat from Longwell. Miles, still angry, says that they should let her take care of herself. The Colonel notices that Sara is now dating Longwell. The Eagle approaches the podium and starts the assembly to dead silence, despite his enthusiasm. He mentions that college applications are due in the next week. Holly, a Weekday Warrior, announces that the theme for the winter dance is ugly Christmas sweaters.
Miles suggests he ask Lara to the dance as they leave. Takumi urges caution knowing that Lara will just be a rebound from Alaska, but Miles pushes on anyway. Lara turns him down, but Miles says he will convince her by the night of the dance. Lara seems slightly convinced, but not fully ready to commit to Miles after what happened.
Alaska approaches Hyde who is sitting by lake. Alaska starts to confide in Hyde, saying that he’s all she has left. He says that the reason he is drawn to Buddhism is because it represents the idea that as painful as the present may be, it will change. This seems to resonate with Alaska, who goes home to her Life’s Library to finally start reading the books she has put aside.
Back in Miles’ room, The Colonel is restless. He feels guilty about not telling Alaska about the prank, and he leaves to “get some air.” Instead, he heads to the quad, intending to keep watch outside of Alaska’s room. However, he misses the hose that is placed in Alaska’s window when he falls asleep, and it floods her Life’s Library as she sleeps. When her alarm wakes her in the morning, Alaska’s whole room is totally flooded. Her library, including her book about the labyrinth, is destroyed. The Colonel wakes on hearing Alaska’s scream. He heads to her room, bringing Takumi and Miles to see. He believes it’s gone too far and that they need to avenge her loss. Miles refuses to participate. Alaska, Takumi, and The Colonel start planning their epic prank.
Miles, still on a quest to win over Lara, makes her a “study starter pack” for her upcoming midterms. He waits for her outside class with the package. He says he planned on cooking her a romantic meal, but he doesn’t have a kitchen. Instead, he produces a bufriedo, with a note asking her to the dance. She happily accepts.
The Colonel, Takumi, and Alaska approach The Eagle, claiming that he’s taking Takumi and Alaska home with him for the weekend. The Eagle calls The Colonel’s mother to confirm and she plays along. The Eagle, convinced, says it’s a shame they’ll be missing the dance. He’s even attending this time as he is alone for the first time since his wife left him. They all stand in awkward silence until the three students make a move to leave.
Alaska thinks the plan is ruined since The Eagle is attending the dance, but The Colonel thinks it will make it easier since everyone they are worried about will be under one roof. The Colonel asks Miles if he will be the lookout, but Miles doesn’t want to, thinking it will ruin his date with Lara. The Colonel says he’d be doing it for him, not Alaska, and that it won’t require him to be involved. Miles reluctantly agrees.
The night of the dance arrives and everyone is dressed in appropriately ugly sweaters. The Eagle and Madame O’Malley are standing together, overseeing the crowd. Miles brings Lara an enormous tray of cookies, obviously nervous and a bit too eager to impress. Lara asks Miles to dance, but he says no, citing his poor dance moves. Lara is disappointed, especially after all the effort he put into asking her.
Meanwhile, Alaska and The Colonel break into Longwell’s room with the Weekday Warrior’s passwords, intending to change their college application essay answers. They are successful, and they share a moment that indicates their friendship might be back on track. At the dance, Miles has challenged Lara to see how many cookies they can fit in their mouths to try to distract from the fact that he isn’t dancing with her. She humors him, but that’s when Miles spots The Eagle leaving the gym. He runs from a confused Lara to signal Takumi. It’s a false alarm as The Eagle visits the DJ booth to request the Macarena in a bid to get Madame O’Malley to dance with him. Lara catches up to Miles, who quickly lies and says he was going to request a song…until he remembered that he didn’t want to dance. Every teen clears the dance floor when the Macarena starts, but Lara is enthused. She asks him to Macarena with her since it’s a fairly simple dance. He agrees, seeing no way out.
Miles notices Longwell and Sara leaving the dance floor and signals Takumi, who follows them. Sara doesn’t want to get caught like Paul and Marya did, so she suggests leaving the dorm. Shockingly, more teens have joined the dance floor as Miles reenters the gym. Lara sits alone on the bleachers. She wants to know why he even invited her if he keeps running away. She thinks she was just a cover for the prank. He says he really did want to go with her but also agreed to help Takumi. He says it’s over now, and a dejected Lara asks him to just tell her the truth next time. Coldplay’s “Fix You” begins to play, and Miles asks Lara to dance. Despite Miles’ worries, he is a perfectly adequate dancer and Lara forgives him.
Madame O’Malley and The Eagle are also dancing together. He notices Sara and Longwell’s absence, but Madame O’Malley asks him to just let them have their fun. Timothy Simons as The Eagle delivers a great comeback, “Brigid, I’ve gone two years in this job without a teenage pregnancy and it’s not because I let them ‘have their fun’.” He leaves Madame O’Malley to find them.
Miles, just about to kiss Lara, sees this and drags Lara from the dance floor, desperately trying to signal Takumi to no avail. He heads for Longwell’s room, hoping to warn them in time. Alaska and The Colonel are busy writing essays about their earlier laxative prank to submit on behalf of the Weekday Warriors when Takumi enters, saying that Sara and Longwell are down by the campfire pit. Alaska remembers that this is where Sara and The Colonel used to go to have sex. The Colonel is incensed and goes to confront them, leaving Takumi and Alaska. Miles and Lara burst in to warn them that The Eagle is coming. Takumi asks Miles to help serve as a diversion with him while Lara and Alaska continue writing the essays. Miles reluctantly agrees.
Meanwhile, The Eagle is continuing to hunt for Longwell and Sara with Madame O’Malley struggling to keep up. She decides to head back to the dance, exasperated, and The Eagle says he’s putting the job before everything else yet again. He seems frustrated with himself, but Madame O’Malley saves the moment by telling him she’s heading back because the dance needs a chaperone. She thanks him for the Macarena dance and he seems pleased his gamble succeeded.
Miles and Takumi get to the bridge where Takumi has fireworks set up. He puts on a fox hat, and when Miles asks why, Takumi delivers one of the book’s most iconic lines, “Because no one can catch the motherf**cking fox.” He sets off the fireworks and runs away just as The Eagle is about to open Longwell’s door and expose Lara and Alaska. The Eagle runs to investigate as Alaska and Lara continue their work. They finish and go to leave, and Alaska asks Lara about the dance. She says it was lame, but she thinks Miles really likes her and she likes him. Alaska doesn’t say anything, but it’s clear she’s disappointed. Takumi and Miles have lost The Eagle and are ready to head back, but they’ve forgotten one crucial element: the evil swan by the lake. It spots them and attacks Miles.
Back at the barn, the agreed upon meeting place, The Colonel is telling Lara and Alaska about how he scared Longwell off by pretending to be The Eagle. Longwell ran off, abandoning Sara. Just then, Takumi arrives dragging an injured Miles behind him. Takumi happens to have a first aid kit, and that in combination with Alaska’s alcohol seems to do the trick. Lara and Miles sit together which seems to bother Alaska. She announces that they are going to play “Best Day/Worst Day,” with the winner being the one with the best story. Miles starts, saying that today was his best day. Alaska jumps in, describing a trip to the zoo with her mom when she was eight. Lara’s is when she won the sixth grade spelling bee after having just moved to America. Takumi says it was when he lost his virginity, but refuses to divulge any details. The Colonel says his hasn’t happened yet, but it will be when he buys his mother a house. Alaska declares The Colonel the winner of that round, then tells him to move on to worst day.
The Colonel says his worst day was when his dad left without saying goodbye. Miles, after an awkward silence, says his was when his mom made him play soccer even though he was awful. The coach finally put him in a game, but he accidentally scored a goal for the opposing team. The group laughs at how tame Miles’ day is compared to the rest of them. Takumi says his was when his grandmother died in a car accident in Japan just before he was going to see her for the first time. Lara says her worst was the day she left Romania, because she couldn’t bring her beloved dog she had for six years.
Finally it’s Alaska’s turn. She says the day after her mom took her to the zoo, her mom had an aneurysm in the kitchen. Frozen, Alaska didn’t call 911, and her mother died in front of her. Her father arrived home and blamed Alaska for failing to call 911 or help her. Takumi expresses disbelief that her father would hold a grudge, but Alaska blames herself. The Colonel is shocked and asks why she never told him. She says it never came up, and goes to get some air. Miles, wanting to be her savior again, follows her and leaves Lara.
Alaska is crying by the lake when Miles finds her. She says that now he knows why she can’t go home and why she ratted. She says she was afraid of what Miles would think of her if he knew, but that somehow he’s still there. She wants to know why. Miles says that he’s her friend. Alaska, obviously wishing for something more than that, is disappointed. She goes back to the barn to sleep as Miles follows. He goes to lie next to Lara, who is glad to see him. He asks to kiss her and she says yes, and Alaska is seen listening. The title card flashes “7 Days Before” as Alaska turns over and tries to block it out.
“I’ll Show You That It Won’t Shoot” Mixtape:
“The Way We Get By” by Spoon
“Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson
“Macarena” by Los Del Rio
“Fix You” by Coldplay
“An Honest Mistake” by Mating Ritual and Lizzy Land
Looking for Alaska is available to stream now on Hulu.