"How can people live in this much denial?!"
Two characters' lives undergo serious changes in this storyline, set at a dance party. Rich's and Penny's eyes meet on the dance floor, several months after their breakup; however, his date (nicknamed by fans "Drunk Girl" and much later named Yolanda) cheerfully lays claim to him, spoiling the moment. Meanwhile, Katy-Ann asks a bashful, but interested, Jack to dance.
Sara, having been unsuccessful in getting Penny to act on her supposed attraction to Aggie, tries doing so with the latter. In contrast to Penny in previous arcs, the notion merely amuses Aggie, and Sara walks away in frustration, leading Lisa to wonder just who's in denial about her sexuality.
After requesting the "Linus and Lucy
" theme so she and her friends can do the "Snoopy dance," Lisa notices Sara off by herself, still tense and unhappy. She walks over to her, kisses her finger, and touches it flirtatiously to Sara's nose, eliciting cries of "I've been kiss-raped!" As the band plays Lisa's next request—the theme from the lesbian Sitcom Exes and Ohs
—Sara's friends take her into the hall to console her. Disregarding Penny's offer of revenge, Sara tearfully says there's someone she must talk to, whom Penny won't like. Meanwhile, Aggie chides Lisa for humiliating Sara, the only one of the "Pennies" Aggie respects. Lisa says all she did was touch her nose; it was Sara who made a big deal of it. As they debate whether Sara is in fact gay, Lisa brings up Sara's theory about Penny and Aggie once again, and admits she herself has "toyed with" it. Aggie is not pleased.
As the Pennies call it a night, Rich watches them go and says he hopes Sara's okay, because although she dislikes him, he's always respected her for being up front about her attitude toward him, like (in Rich's view) a guy, rather than going behind his back like a girl. At that very moment, Gary, whom Rich beat up in Uptown Girl
, attacks him. Rich knocks him out, not realizing, until Stan points it out, that he has a knife in his chest and is bleeding profusely. He passes out. As Stan looks on stunned and worried, Jack calmly calls 911. Sara and Stan both take a day off school, while Michelle learns the news about Rich from Jack and tells her friends. Whereas Michelle, Brandi and Katy-Ann show concern, Penny's face is an unreadable mask.
In the archives, for scheduling reasons, this arc is followed by part two of The First Man I Ever Loved
, treated together with the first part in this Recap section.