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"The Perfect Lecture" is the first episode of Season 2 and the eleventh episode of China, IL.
During the start of a new semester, Pony bumps into incoming freshman Matt and begins flirting with him. Later, in Sammy's class, Matt reveals to his friend, Flip Flop, that he got Pony's number but soon becomes confused when Flip Flop claims she's a senior and is old. Frank's teaching skills are not well-received by his students, though later on, he lies to Pony and Steve about how his students feel about him. As Baby Cakes enters, he gives them a proposal for a new snack, energy bars with seemingly nonsensical flavors.
As he leaves to have a vending machine vend his snacks, Pony reveals she will be on a date with Matt. Frank warns her that Matt dates several females in a short time but is unheeded. Entering the office, Sammy calls Pony out for help, and Frank confesses to Steve that his students dislike his teaching style and that he wants to give a perfect lecture. Steve tells him that such lectures are rare, then gives Frank the rest of the day off as Gwen greets him. Entering the office, she reveals she isn't into him but is ignored by Steve.
At Town Bar, Matt and Pony talk with each other. As Pony rubs her hair on his hand, Matt notices two girls nearby flirting with him, then claims he has practice to do as Pony notices signs of aging. As he makes his way out, Pony offers to meet later in the week but is rejected. The next day before class, Frank slams his head against a door, tired. Steve hands him a coffee, which later causes Frank to briefly levitate during his lecture and his students to applaud him as he proclaims that he gave a perfect lecture. Meanwhile, Pony helps Sammy and experiences back pain, then notices that she has more in common with Sammy than she thought and becomes frightened.
Frank tries to show off his perfect lecture to others, but is unable to. After faking it, with no reaction from the crowd, he insists to Steve that such a lecture happened while Pony tries to talk to an uninterested Matt. She experiences more back pain, and he calls off their relationship. Afterward, Pony, Frank and Steve gather at a table in Town Bar and are soon joined by Baby Cakes, who tells them that, despite his proposal failing, he'll continue to make his snack. On a nearby television, Matt is seen pitching at a baseball game. When the announcers claim he has a routine before every game, Frank gets an idea to repeat the steps he took that led to his levitation. Meanwhile, Pony discovers that she looks like Sammy did back when the latter was in college. Based on this and other signs of aging, Pony worries that she'll wind up like Sammy.
Frank continues retracing his steps as Baby Cakes empties a vending machine, replacing all the snacks with his energy bars. Following more retracing, Frank performs his perfect lecture in class as he expected. Despite his students no longer enjoying it, he insists on repeating this process daily. In doing so, he goes to extremes while Baby Cakes hands out his energy bars to students walking by. The next day, as Baby Cakes notices that his energy bars are gaining popularity, Frank repeats his levitation to the disdain of his students.
At a grocery store, as Baby Cakes shops for supplies for his snacks, Pony shops for beauty supplies. Returning home, she attempts to give herself a makeover but ends up making herself look even more like Sammy. Afterward, Baby Cakes restocks a vending machine but is stopped by the worker who's supposed to do the restocking. Baby Cakes asks to be taken to the one in charge of vending machines, and the following night, Frank's determination to repeatedly achieve the perfect lecture resumes.
At a headquarters for the campus vending machines, Baby Cakes converses with the executives regarding his energy bar idea. Over several days, Frank carries out his routine to levitate, and at a restaurant, Pony joins Sammy, who is surprised to see that she now resembles her. When Pony falsely notes that she should stop trying to hide signs of aging, she is told by Sammy that she still has 60 years until she'll look hike her, then tells Pony not to imitate her as Pony sees on a TV screen that Baby Cakes' energy bars are under a recall. Breaking away from his routine, Frank selects one of Baby Cakes' energy bars instead of a coffee. However, the energy bar he ate causes him to reverse the damage done due to levitating and barf everywhere.
- Chilibee's is a reference to and portmanteau of Chili's and Applebee's. Kim is shown to have a job here.
- The diner Sammy dines in is called Din Din's, a parody of Jin Jin in name and Denny's in logo.
- The store Bullseye is a reference to Target. Flip Flop is employed here.
- The flavor of the energy bar that Frank eats is "girl hair."
- Frank is left-handed as seen when he masturbates.
- Steve has a poster of Kenny Winker.
- Frank claims he's "killing [his students] oh so softly," a reference to the song "Killing Me Softly with His Song".
- Matt's iPhone only has three columns of apps. In actuality, a standard iPhone has four. Also, this episode starts on the third of an unknown month—likely September—according to Matt's phone.
- Matt and Flip Flop were seen in Sammy's class.
- Pemsy, Kim and Gwen were seen in Steve's class. Baby Cakes is also mentioned to be in his class.
- Wendeloquence and Chinese Precious were seen in Frank's class.
- Flip Flop, Matt and Pemsy were seen in Crystal's class.
- The movie Frank watches is called Trap Willy: The Free Willy Prequel, a reference to the 1993 movie Free Willy.
- According to the sign on Tiananmen Cinema, said film is at most one hour long, as it airs hourly.
- Pony is told that she has 60 years before she'll resembles Sammy. At this, Pony claims it won't happen until she's 80, implying that she's 20. This is contradicted in "Surfer God", where Pony reveals that she's 22. The conversation in this episode might have used estimates and not exact figures. Brad Neely's Twitter confirms that Pony is 22.
- There are four plots in this episode: Pony worrying about aging, Steve and Gwen dating, Frank trying to levitate, and Baby Cakes promoting his energy bars. Flip Flop has some involvement in all but Steve and Gwen's plot.
- After leaving the history department in "Coming Out of the Casket", Crystal admits she still has some involvement with it, meaning that she teaches several subjects at once.
- The film Men in Black is mentioned by Baby Cakes when he questions Pemsy's skepticism toward his energy bars.
- This episode marks the official switch of Golden being a newscaster from Channel 3 News to Channel 8 News. In "Baby Boom" and "Prom Face/Off", he worked for Channel 3 News, and the channel he worked for in "Chinese New Year" wasn't revealed.
- While not helping Frank with his routine, Steve dates Gwen. This is the only episode wherein Steve and Gwen are a couple.
- The steps to Frank's pre-levitation routine:
- Eating a certain meal in accompaniment of four strawberry margaritas at Chilibee's, then vomiting.
- Defecating outside, in the presence of a Bullseye employee.
- Watching Trap Willy: The Free Willy Prequel and tearing up at Sandra Bullock's appearance.
- Getting mugged and robbed. Since there are no muggers present after Frank's first levitation, Steve assumes the role of slapping Frank and stealing from him.
- Stabbing his next door neighbor, Bobby, out of paranoia due to Bobby placing his hand on the paranoid professor.
- Masturbating continuously for five hours while never reaching an orgasm.
- Accepting the coffee Steve offers, then telling Steve, "You're the best," as he drinks it.
- This is the first of only two instances in which Sturd speaks, the last being "Surfer God".
- When Frank says, "Don't repress your desires, baby girl," he has six fingers on one hand.
- The Dean: Summer is dead!
- Flip Flop: I heard the Dean's a big ol' murder.
- Unnamed Student: I heard the teachers are criminals.
- Flip Flop: I heard God is, like—really mad at this place.
- Steve: Baby Cakes, you weren't in my class. You know you're enrolled, like for the twelfth time.
- Steve: That kid is really—just gonna stab us in our beds one night.
- Sammy: [Losing control of her wheelchair] Oh no, not another 9/11!
- Pony: Frank's doing something weird to students!
- Baby Cakes: [Handing out his energy bars] Put my stuff in your mouth. It tastes right.
- Baby Cakes: What are you? A Men in Black?
- Baby Cakes: Look at my supply being demanded.
- Baby Cakes: I know what students like. It takes one to know one.
- Sammy: [Seeing Pony's makeover] What on eastbound Earth?!
- Pony: [Learning that she has sixty years before she'll resemble Sammy] So this means I'll look good until I'm eighty.
- Sammy: Oh you got it backwards. I finally started looking good at eighty.
Characters Appearing Edit
- Baby Cakes
- Chinese Precious
- Flip Flop
- Gang Sang
- God (mentioned)
- Golden Bowl
- Kenny Winker (pictured)
- Stacy Megan
- Sweater Beard
- The Dean
- Trouble Bubble
|"Dean's List"||"Is College Worth It?"|
|Pilots||"China, IL: The Funeral" • Unaired Pilot|
|Season 1||"Rewind, Pause, Pay!" • "Dean vs. Mayor" • "Baby Boom" • "Coming Out of the Casket" • "Secret Society" • "Prom Face/Off" • "Frankensteve" • "Chinese New Year" • "Dream Reamer" • "Dean's List"|
|Season 2||"The Perfect Lecture" • "Is College Worth It?" • "Do You Know Who You Look Like?" • "The Diamond Castle" • "Kenny Winker Rules" • "China-Man Begins" • "Total Validation" • "Surfer God" • "Prank Week" • "Wild Hogs"|
|Season 3||"A Gentleman's Bet" • "Best Face Forward" • "Charlize" • "Crow College" • "Bi-Topping-Ality" • "Parent's Day" • "Displays of Manhood" • "Life Coaches" • "Gummie World" • "Magical Pet"|