'Vice Principals' Season 2 Episode 4 "Think Change" Recap


Neal Gamby is a man who has shown his true character by moving forward. Originally being drawn in by the allure of the principal job, he joined forces with Lee Russell to do anything he could to get that promotion. After accomplishing his goals, he's realizing a job isn't what is going to fulfill him and there has been a very real change in the way he treats people. By moving forward, we're seeing the true Neal Gamby who has a lot more compassion than the man from season one. For Lee Russell, as we see in tonight's episode, "Think Change", it takes looking back to get a glimpse at the real man behind the frosted tips.


"Think Change" begins with Russell hiring a team known as "Sweat Dogs" to put the teachers in a physically strenuous boot camp. It's presented as a moral building exercise, but really it's just torture. Russell then gets the news that has father has passed away. While he's away to attend the funeral, Russell leaves Gamby in charge as principal for the day. So now we have our arc for the episode, as one man is given more power yet continues his redemption while another man must go back home to face past traumas.

At the school, the teachers are fed up with the Sweat Dogs and are looking to Gamby to be their hero. Superintendent Haas even stops by to alert Gamby that the Sweat Dogs weren't approved by the district and Russell's methods were being questioned. After first caving in to Russell's orders from afar, Gamby eventually stands up for the teachers and sends the Sweat Dogs away. The teachers have Gamby's back and for the first time, he actually finds acceptance from the rest of the staff. He is even given a warm look from Snodgrass. A sign of a future reconciliation?

For Lee Russell, attending his father's funeral meant facing what made him the man he is today. He has an ailing mother and two sisters who got all of the love and respect from their father that he always wanted. Russell's sisters clearly share his genes, as they mock just as savagely as he does. It all culminates in the eulogy Russell gives at the funeral, where he tells the story of always seeking his father's respect and being pushed to be the very best. It's a lesson he took to heart, as we've seen him go to wild extremes under this philosophy. This backstory helps fully round out Russell and explain his actions, although it certainly doesn't absolve them.

And if you thought that the emotional speech Russell gave was a sign of his changing heart, think again. After a nice hug goodbye to his sisters, we see that he actually trashed his father's belongings in a fit of anger. He drives away from his family home, smug and happy. He managed to get the upper hand on his family and find a renewed self confidence. He's ready to return to school and his principal title, but with the teachers finally rallying around Gamby, will it be a title he can hold onto?

I thought this was a standout episode of Vice Principals, bolstered by the great dramatic work Walton Goggins is known for. Let us know what you thought in the comments below!