The September 12 episode “Elliot” follows a transgender student by that name (Elise Shak) who is, like nearly every trans character on TV, bullied for being trans. This story makes sure to remind us of that, from the students openly calling Elliot a freak, to the teachers misgendering their trans student, to even the principal bullying her/him for using the boys’ restroom. In fact, Principal Meyers (David Lewis) is probably the worst example in the entire episode.
Elliot: Principal Meyers.
Principal Meyers: Oh dear, this is the men’s room.
Elliot: I’m a boy.
Principal Meyers: A-ah. You either got the equipment or you don’t.
Elliot: It’s not that simple.
Principal Meyers: Oh, well maybe in the city this kind of thing flies. But around here, the policy is no boys in the girl’s room, and no girls in the boy’s room. Sounds pretty simple to me. But you know, I’m just here to enforce the rules. Hell, maybe there’s something you’re not telling me. So please, feel free to uh, use the urinal if you got what it takes.
Following that scene, a witch offers Elliot the chance to get back at his tormentors through a magical instrument that causes pain to whoever hears it. He eventually uses it on Principal Meyer before realizing how much harm he’s causing people. That benefit of the doubt does not extend to the principal, however, who takes this opportunity to nearly attack Elliot, yelling, “I knew you were unnatural the first time I saw you.” It goes to show us who the real monsters are supposed to be in this story.
For some reason, the writers believe a small-town school is one step away from being a lynch mob to the trans community. I realize this is supposed to be fictional, but the show could stand to have characters behave like human beings. Like boogeymen or witches, it’s hard to be afraid of something that just doesn’t exist.
This show was sponsored by commercials from T-Mobile, Charmin, and Geico.