‘The New Normal’: ‘About a Boy Scout’ brings painful realization for David and Bryan

David in "About a Boy Scout."

David in “About a Boy Scout.”

On the day that Proposition 8 gets its day in the Supreme Court, The New Normal brings us an episode that deals with the Boy Scouts of America’s policies in dealing with homosexuality in “About a Boy Scout.”

In this episode, David gets involved with a local Boy Scouts troop.  A former Boy Scout and Eagle Scout, David wants his future son to be a part of Boy Scouts too. Bryan, on the other hand, objects on the principle that the Boy Scouts organization discriminates against homosexuals. This puts the two at odds and forces us into a dilemma, as I’ve personally known quite a few Eagle Scouts who are some of the best people I’ve ever met, but like Bryan, I can’t say that I agree much (or at all) with the organization’s policies on homosexual members.

David insists that Boy Scouts aren’t like that, really, and becomes a scoutmaster for a local troop. He is very much in his element, and the boys in the troop quickly learn to look up to him. However, David does not let the boys in the troop (or their parents) know that he is gay.

Eventually, Bryan challenges David to hold a scout meeting at their house. David agrees and, with slight trepidation, introduces Bryan to the troop as his life partner and fiancé during the meeting. To their surprise and pleasure, the troop, and the involved fathers are very supportive and accepting.  This was such a heart-warming scene, and I had to say I was surprised – I was definitely expecting a falling out with the troop at this point.

David thinks all is well until, in an exceptionally painful scene, he receives a letter from the Boy Scouts that outright states that he is no longer an Eagle Scout or a member of the organization due to his sexuality. To make matters worse, Bryan is initially the one to read the letter, and it’s easy to see how he wishes he could spare David the pain this causes him. Later this pain turns poignant when David goes to see the troop to explain to them that he can no longer be involved; one of the boys asks him why he’s not going to be a Scoutmaster, as David loves the Boy Scouts, and David replies, “I do [love the Boy Scouts], but they don’t respect the way that I love.”

Meanwhile, Rocky has been attending “Love-aholics” meetings to get over her most recent relationship. She sees Brice at the meetings, and begins to become suspicious of his motives in regards to Goldie, who admits that Brice has been coming over often because she keeps inventing reasons for him to come.  Concerned, Rocky tells Goldie that she needs to make sure she is focusing on herself and her family and not on a man. I always enjoy the interaction between Goldie and Rocky, and this episode really shows how much they care about and respect each other.

The episode then returns to David and Bryan’s house, where one of the fathers from the Boy Scout troop comes to talk to David and explains that his son quit Boy Scouts because of the way the organization treated David.  David is touched by this, but then the father then goes on to admits that he is the one who reported David to the organization.

It is here that the episode cements itself as one of the most emotional episodes yet.  It’s heartbreaking to watch David’s eyes as the other man explains that he’s an absolutely wonderful role model, but not for his son, because he wants his son to be normal. The episode leaves the audience feeling the sting of discrimination keenly, but the last words of the episode, spoken by David, are incredibly poignant, especially considering recent events: “Be prepared, because change is coming.”

What do you think?  Was it right for the father to tell David the truth, or did it do more harm than good?  Was anyone surprised by the reactions of the troop?  Will Goldie actually direct her focus away from Brice?  What’s next for the characters?  Let us know in the comments!

Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.