'Vice Principals' Season 2 Episode 5 "A Compassionate Man" Recap

It's Lee Russell's birthday, and if you thought that wouldn't entail a massive blowout party that ends in a massive blowup then you don't know Lee Russell. The entire school staff, including Superintendent Haas, have converged at the Russell household for an evening of forced enjoyment that can only end one way. But let's back up a bit.

Early on in "A Compassionate Man", Russell and his wife Christine have a run-in with Christine's college boyfriend, Kevin. It turns out, Christine and Kevin broke up due to rumors that Kevin was gay. It sent him into therapy. It sent her into the arms of Lee Russell. That Russell would manipulate his own wife into being with him shouldn't come as too much of a shock based off of our prior knowledge, but it certainly surprised me. Everything we've seen of their relationship has been twisted, but oddly sweet. That Russell would stoop so low, so close to home seems to prove that he really doesn't have many lines he's unwilling to cross.

Knowing that Amanda Snodgrass was going to bring her boyfriend, Brian, to Russell's party, Neal Gamby devises a plan to make her jealous. Instead of trying to bring a date, he decides to bring Robin Shandrell (Conner McVicker, giving the best performance on TV). By bringing Shandrell, Gamby hopes to show Amanda that he's a more charitable and better volunteer than Brian. All it manages to accomplish is a lot of confusion over a student being invited to a party with a lot of drunk teachers. While he doesn't manage to win back Amanda with his master plan, he does reconnect with Ms. Abbott. The two share a surprisingly sweet moment before Gamby takes her home for the night.

Meanwhile, Christine, armed with the knowledge of her husband's manipulations, takes a klonopin and proceeds to throw back glasses of wine the entire night. This culminates in her trashing their bedroom, defecating on a picture of Russell's face, confronting him in front of the entire faculty, and taking a baseball bat to his new BMW.

Short of being fired as principal, it's hard to imagine a harder rock bottom than the one Lee Russell hit in "A Compassionate Man". The true question is, will he learn from his past transgressions like Neal Gamby, or will he double down on his behavior and expect different results?