Freaks and Geeks/The Little Things
The Little Things is the seventeenth episode of the first season of Freaks and Geeks. Sam realizes that being with Cindy isn't as much fun as he'd imagined. Lindsay wrestles over having to ask Vice President George Bush the opening question when he visits their school. Ken learns something about Amy that makes him doubt their relationship, and his own sexuality.
Guest Stars: Natasha Melnick (Cindy Sanders), Jessica Campbell (Amy), Dave (Gruber) Allen (Jeff Rosso), Sarah Hagan (Millie Kentner), Joanna Garcia (Vicki), Stephen Lea Sheppard (Harris), Jerry Messing (Gordon Crisp), Riley Smith (Todd Schellinger), Trace Beaulieu (Mr. Lacovara), Matthew McKane (Mike Stevens), Steve Bannos (Mr. Kowchevski), Ben Stiller (Secret Service Agent)
The Weir family have Cindy over for dinner, where she reveals that U.S. Vice President George Bush will be arriving at their school as part of a tour. The next day, Secret Service agents prowl the school to secure it for Bush's arrival. Jeff convinces Lindsay to be the person that gets to ask the first question during Bush's Q&A session. During lunch, Sam eats at Cindy's table with the cheerleaders and jocks, to the Geeks' dismay. He doesn't enjoy it though, and he confesses to Bill and Neal that he finds her to be boring. He resolves to take her out and do something that he likes for a change.
Ken and Amy appear to have a perfect relationship together. Amy makes a startling revelation about herself - she was born with both male and female sex organs, and had surgery as a baby to become fully female. Ken struggles to deal with this news, but hides the fact from Amy. Lindsay ponders over what to ask Bush. Sam seeks the counsel of his fellow Geeks about where to take Cindy before finally telling her he has a date planned out for her. Ken becomes distant while around Amy, and she confronts him about it, leaving him to think about the future of their relationship. He later speaks to Daniel and Nick, telling them he's considering breaking up with her. Mrs. Weir gives Sam a family heirloom necklace to give to Cindy.
Following his conversation with the other Freaks, Ken speaks to Jeff Rosso, believing himself to be gay because of how he feels about Amy. The question Lindsay settles on is rejected and she is given a stock question to ask Bush instead, to both her and Jeff's indignation. When she tells her parents about it, they convince her to go along with the question and to also promote the family business, which is facing hard times. Ken and Amy meet up with the Freaks, but when Daniel innocently says 'hey guys', Ken misinterprets it as a joke about Amy and punches him. Amy, believing Ken has revealed her secret to everyone, runs off and refuses to speak to Ken. Sam takes Cindy to see 'The Jerk', but Cindy trashes the movie and appears lukewarm about Sam's gift. He speaks to Lindsay about it, and she advises him not to be with Cindy if he doesn't really want to.
When Sam informs the Geeks that he's going to break up with Cindy, they try to dissuade him, saying he would be mad to do so. Ken, while thinking about his situation with Amy, bumps into Sam as he prepares to break up with Cindy. Talking to Sam makes Ken realize that his relationship with Amy is something worthwhile, and he immediately apologizes to her. Sam breaks up with Cindy, and her icy reaction makes the Geeks realize that he was right to do so. Lindsay decides to go along with the stock question and promote her parents' store, but when Jeff is detained by the Secret Service because of things from his past, she resolves to do something about it.
- Previously On: The start of this episode featured, for only the second time in the show's run, a brief 'previously on' segment.
- "When The Saints Go Marching In" performed by McKinely High Marching Band
- "If My Friends Could See Me Now" by Linda Clifford
- "Hail To The Chief" performed by McKinley High Marching Band
- "Fashion" by David Bowie
- "The Road" by Jackson Browne
- Sam and Cindy: Sam breaks up with Cindy when he realizes it's not working out.
- Ken and Amy: They overcome a hurdle in their relationship.
- Sam: Realizes that Cindy doesn't quite live up to his expectations. He manages to go beyond superficial reasoning and arrives at a rational decision.
- Ken: Overcomes both his ambivalence about Amy and doubts about his own sexuality.
- Lindsay: Takes another big step towards being liberal and non-conformist when she asks the Vice President her question.
- Closet Encounter: Bill tells a disbelieving Neal that he made out with Vicki Appleby, an incident that happened in the previous episode, Smooching and Mooching.
- Mascot: The school's Viking mascot is glimpsed briefly - the mascot was featured heavily in the episode We've Got Spirit.
Behind the Scenes
Allusions and References
The Blues Brothers (1980): Ken likens the Secret Service agents to the Blues Brothers, the eponymous duo from the 1980 film who always wear dark suits.
George Bush: George H. W. Bush, who visits the school in this episode, became the U.S. Vice President in 1981 and went on to become U.S. President in 1989.
Yoda: Harris quotes a line spoken by Yoda in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in reference to Sam hanging out with the jocks - "...once you start down that dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny".
Intersexual: Amy is an intersexual, "one who is born with genitalia and/or secondary sex characteristics determined as neither exclusively male nor female, or which combine features of the male and female sexes".
Iran Hostage Crisis: Lindsay mentions that she'd heard Reagan had Iran delay release of the hostages till he won the Presidency. This was in reference to the 'Iran Hostage Crisis', in which American citizens were held hostage in the U.S. embassy in Iran for a period of 444 days. They were released immediately after Ronald Reagan became president. A conspiracy theory came into being which suggested that Reagan had prevented the hostages from being released earlier in order to damage rival Jimmy Carter's chances of winning the presidency.
Roswell UFO Incident: Kim tells Lindsay to ask about the aliens at Roswell, referring to the popular conspiracy theory about an alien space ship crashing in Roswell, New Mexico.
The Jerk (1979): Sam takes Cindy to see the 1979 comedy 'The Jerk' starring Steve Martin. The film was also mentioned in the previous episode.
- Amy's confession.
- Ken slugs Daniel.
- Cindy rips 'The Jerk' apart, stunning Sam completely.
- Ken and Sam have an illuminating conversation.