| The Big Game |
Season 1: A New Start, Episode 5
|Air date||September 5, 2012|
|Written by||SHS Team|
|Season 1: A New Start guide [v]|
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Season 2: Howard's Return
The Big Game is the fifth and final episode of the first season of the A New Start era following the September 2012 reboot. The episode was released on September 5, 2012, along with all other episodes in the season.
Everybody at school compliments Zoe on her great party. Paige runs into her and tells her that one successful party won’t be enough. In the cafeteria, Zoe learns that Owen has gone missing. Nate claims that he didn’t show up to football practice. Zoe asks about what they talked about and Nate was holding the previous night, and Nate says it was the playbook and that they were talking about football. Zoe decides to leave to find Nate, and Ben follows her. He believes that Nate is hiding something and asks if the notebook had a squirrel on it. Zoe knows it didn’t.
They head to the yearbook club to talk to Nick. Zoe remembers that it had a bobcat on the cover, and Nick finds the yearbook for Pinecrest High. Looking in it, Zoe finds Owen – Owen Harris. Zoe and Ben rush to Pinecrest High, which is two hours away, because they want to try to make it back by the big game. At Pinecrest High, they head to the football field and meet Dan and Jake, football players. They knew Owen and say he simply disappeared one day months ago. Jake explains that it happened soon after a football accident that involved Owen. Zoe asks where to find the other person involved, and Jake gives her an address. Ben and Zoe head there and find Owen sitting outside.
Owen explains what happened. It was a big game. Coach Harris was yelling at the players because it was halftime and they were losing badly, 24-0. If they didn’t win the game, they wouldn’t make it to the playoffs. The teams get energized and runs out of the locker room. On the way out, Coach Harris calls Owen “son.” Zoe interrupts, shocked, and Owen explains that his dad was a former professional football player who blew out his knee. They moved to get him the coaching job, and if they didn’t win the game, his dad could lose his job and even his house. Owen continues his story. The game was almost over, and the teams were tied. Coach Harris whispered to Owen that he couldn’t let the quarterback score another touchdown. He had to be removed from the game. Owen replied that he didn’t think that was right, but Coach Harris slapped the back of his helmet and told him to stop thinking. During the next play, Owen rushed the quarterback. Even after the play ended, Owen continued toward Ken, the quarterback, and tackled him. There was a crunching noise as his leg shattered.
Owen tells Zoe how Ken might need a wheelchair for the rest of his life. All Owen could think about was that play, so he quit the football team and changed school. He explains that his dad disowned him because of it. Zoe tells him that it wasn’t his fault, and that his dad made him do it, but Owen says that he knew what he was doing and did it anyways. Zoe replies that he’s a different person now. Owen reveals that he keeps trying to talk to Ken but can’t muster the courage to do it. Zoe offers to go with him, and the two go knock on the door.
Inside, Owen tells Ken that he’s sorry. He explains that Ken deserves the apology even if he, Owen, doesn’t deserve to have it accepted. Ken tells Owen how angry he was but that he had to get over the anger to focus on rehabilitation. He says that learning about how Owen’s dad pushed him also helped him get over the anger. When Ken learns that Owen has quit playing, Ken says that he’s never going to play again but Owen can. He tells Owen that if he wants to do right by him, he’ll play football.
As they leave, they run into a young boy who Owen remembers as a fan that was present at the accident. He recognizes the voice as the voice of the person who smashed his mailbox. That’s when Owen realizes that the boy must be Ken’s younger brother. They talk, and Owen explains how he and Ken just talked. Owen apologizes again and asks that the boy stop harassing him. In return, he won’t tell anyone about it. The boy didn’t realize that he had scared Owen’s grandmother, accepts the apology, and agrees to stop. He tells Owen that what made him the most angry was that Owen never came to apologize.
Zoe, Ben, and Owen rush back and make it in time for the big game. Zoe kisses Owen’s cheek, and Owen runs to join the football players. Nate reminds Owen of their deal, but Owen says that he doesn’t care and that Zoe already knows. The game begins, and Owen plays as a defensive lineman. Near the end of the game, Nate’s getting tired, and the teammates note that Nate, their quarterback, can’t take another his. Owen offers to enter and protect him. Nate thinks Owen might be trying to hurt him, but Owen says that he wants to win and will keep him from getting hit. Not only does Owen block well, but when Nate loses control of the ball, Owen catches it, runs, and makes a touchdown to win the game. The fans are overjoyed, picking him up and chanting his name. However, Owen says it was all thanks to Zoe. He reminds everyone to remember that when voting for Social Chair. Nate tells him it was a nice play for a linebacker and playfully punches him. Grandma Betty reveals that she was watching and asks for a quick kiss before leaving.
Owen approaches Zoe and asks to hang out with her. She says she’d love to but gets interrupted as she sees Howard, her ex-boyfriend.
Later that night, most people are at Paige’s party. It’s a great party, although Zoe’s friends don’t know if it will be enough to allow Paige to beat Zoe. Wes talks to Nate about how things didn’t go how he wanted. Nate says that they won and that he respects Owen but that he doesn’t like him personally. Wes points out that now Owen isn’t the main competition for Zoe; it’s Howard. In Paige’s room, Paige talks to her Monarch Prep friends, Prissy and Penelope about how people might like her party but they like Zoe the person. She declares that if she can’t beat Zoe, she might have to destroy her.
On the porch, Owen sits alone. Ben approaches, and they talk about Zoe. Ben explains that Zoe and Howard were the perfect couple. When Howard left, Zoe was a mess. Ben says that Zoe was the happiest he’d seen her in a long time this past week.