"Book Report"
Season 1, Episode 6
Airdate: November 23, 2010
Book report
Writer(s): Darin Morgan
Director: Peter DeLuise

"Book Report" is the sixth episode of season one of Tower Prep.

Ian discovers notes written in an old copy of The Odyssey that hint at a plan to escape from Tower Prep.


Literature hands out copies of The Odyssey and talks of how as in many ancient myths, the hero must travel, encounter various monsters, and undergo death and rebirth. He talks of the one-eyed Cyclops and other famous creatures, including the Sirens. Ian flips through the book and notices that there are scribbles and underlining, and asks for a new book. Literature tells him that it is registered in his name and he has to use it, and comments that heroes initially refuse their quest out of fear or immaturity.

Ian dozes off while reading his book, and then he and the others space off reading the books for their assignment. Two weeks later, Literature reminds them that the test is the next day. He confirms that if they fail the test, they'll fail the class. Ian claims that he's reading it slow to get every nuance, and asks for more time. Literature notes that Ian reminds him of Odysseus, since they are both cunning and have wandered off course. He tells him that he has to do the class, and Ian asks what happens if he doesn't take the test. The teacher informs him that he has to pass the class to get out of Tower Prep, and that he hopes Ian will not take 10 years to graduate from the school, referencing to how long it took Odysseus to return home.

The fringers meet and CJ explains that every year, the seniors just disappear without a graduation ceremony. They warn Ian that Whisper will block them if they try to download any study guides. However, Suki does download the audio book. However, they soon realize that it's too slow. Gabe suggests they go to a fellow student, Flash McNulty, who agreed to read The Odyssey for them. He's very... very... slow. However, Flash speed-reads the book and explains the ending. However, he breaks into tears when he realizes that Odysseus' dog dies, and is reminded of his dead turtle. Ian tries to reassure him and Flash agrees to tell them the ending. However, he can't recite it back to them any slower then he inputs the information.

As they go, Ian figures that they have no choice but to read the book. Gabe accuses him of trying to be a hero, but Ian insists that he's just rising to the challenge. The rest of them agree and Suki reads it using her uncle's noble voice. Ian returns with a sack, but refuses to tell them what's in it. He says that it could lead to all their deaths, but Gabe demands an answer. Ian finally agrees to tell them the story, but makes them promise to only give advice, because getting involved could get them killed.

As Ian reads the book, he notices small figures scribbled along the bottom. The author has also left notes about the role of the hero, including the fact that he's an Archer, and Ian realizes the author is writing to him.

Ian speculates that the book was written by someone who could see the future, and knew that Ian would read it. The notes say how to escape Tower Prep. However, Ian admits that some of the notes are vague and in code. He decided to try and find the author, and tracked down the previous readers. Ian admits that he met a number of strange creatures.

Ian goes to the first student, Hubert Kovalev, who knows that he's coming because he could smell him coming. Hubert says that he checked out the book but never opened it.

Next, Ian visits three beautiful female students with enticing voices, and asks for Tawny Dvorchek. Tawny and her two roomates smile at Ian and try to seduce him into doing their homework. They beckon him into their room and Ian is helpless to resist.

Ian claims that he was under some kind of spell, but CJ and Suki are skeptical.

Tawny and her roomates soon have Ian writing their essays, and he never wants to leave their room. However, he drops his book and sees a message saying to get out. The book breaks the spell and he quickly gets out, much to the dismay of the "Sirens".

Ian was convinced that the book was leading him on the right path.

The last student on the list is Penny, a girl with green hair curlers and a mud pack on her face. Shocked by her gorgon-like appearance, Ian couldn't bring himself to talk to her.

Stumped, Ian admits that he soon realized that three pages had dog-eared pages, indicating a combination lock.

Ian went to the locker room and tries to open the indicated door. The mascot, a bull, comes in and complains that Ian is in his locker. When Ian points out that school spirit at a private school with no rivals doesn't make sense, the bull mascot attacks him.

Gabe wonders if Ian is getting too much into the book. Ian insists that he isn't, and admits that he made a miscalculation.

As the mascot slams Ian into the floor, he realizes that one of the number sis upside down. Ian knocks out the mascot and goes to the correct locker, and finds something startling inside.

Ian reveals to the others the contents of his sack: the skull of, what looks like, a Cyclops. He figures the note writer left it there to indicate he's on the right path. However, he doesn't know where to go. The only other thing in the locker is an old set of gym clothes. The name on them is No Man, and Ian explains that it's a reference to The Odyssey. Suki suggests that CJ use her ability on the handwriting, but Ian insists that he has to do it on his own. He reveals a note saying that every member of Odysseus' crew dies, and that the hero must go it alone. CJ and the others insist that they're in it together, no matter the danger. Ian reluctantly agrees and CJ informs them that the writer is smart and heroic, but thinks that Ian might be. He wrote the notes to test Ian, and finding the skull was the final test. Now Ian has to go back and retrace his steps to move forward. He realizes that he's used to use someone he met to track down the writer.

The fringers go to see Hubert, Hubert refuses, and Ian turns to Gabe to persuade him. The student follows the trail but they run into a Monitor after curfew. The Monitor's ability is that he's immune to persuasion. They're forced to retreat, and Hubert admits that they were close but Ian says that they're not done yet, claiming Hubert's not the only person that can help them.

Ian convinces Tawny and her friends to help. They easily entrance the Monitor and lead him away. As they go, Tawny seductively tells Ian that he owes her and unknowingly puts him under her spell again, making CJ and Suki jealous. Ian starts to follow the Sirens, but Gabe snaps him out of it, wondering why their form of hypersuasion woked while his didn't.

Hubert takes them to "Medusa's" (Penny's) room, and becomes frightened, stating that he can smell fear and runs off. Upon hearing this, Gabe figures that they're doomed, but CJ rolls her eyes and knocks on the door. Penny, now normal looking, comes out and says that the gym clothes Ian's holding belong to Norman. She admits that the book is hers, and Norman read it for her. He became obsessed with it before he strangely disappeared, thinking that there were parallels between The Odyssey and attending Tower Prep. Penny explains that Norman just knew things long before they happened, but he could never learn anything about Tower Prep; each question he answered about the school only led to more and more questions. Norman took the only photo of himself before he disappeared, but Ian examines the frame and finds a school directory. Penny starts to ask them to tell Norman something about the two of them, and then realizes he'd already know.

The fringers gather in the observatory, and realize they're no closer to either finding Norman or finishing the book. Ian realizes that the T in the center of the directory matches the compass in the book. When he overlays it on the map of Greece, Ian realizes it indicates a location in the woods near the perimeter wall. He insists on going on his own, but realizes that CJ and Suki aren't going to back down, much to Gabe's dissapointment.

The next morning, the fringers head out while Ian explains how the rest of the crew died. Ian notes that Odysseus had to travel to the Underworld to speak to a dead prophet to learn the way back home. They find a series of gravestones with Latin names, indicating biological classifications. Gabe gets freaked out at the possibility of the graves holding the bodies of former students and starts to run away. He steps on a shovel, hits himself in the head, and falls into an open grave. After helping Gabe out, Ian opens the grave's casket and finds the rest of the Cyclops' skeleton. He realizes that the end of the casket conceals a tunnel. They check the book and realize that the figures Norman scribbled in the margin, when the pages are flipped, show the tunnel is the escape route. Ian reads Norman's note that all of the crew will die and the hero must go alone, and says that he'll have to use the tunnel alone. He gives the book to Gabe, who notes that the last page is missing. Ian promises to come back for them and enters the tunnel.

Ian enters the tunnel and immediately finds a note. As he picks it up, he inadvertently sets off a trap, causing the tunnel to collapse on him. His friends manage to pull him out just in time. The paper is the last page from the book. It says that Norman's odyssey isn't Ian's, and that Ian is the one to solve the mysteries that Norman couldn't. There's also a picture of Norman, which he asks Ian to give it to his "first mate": Penny. They look at the picture and laugh, and then head back to literature class.

The fringers arrive and insist that they're ready for the test, having lived the story. Dr. Literature smiles and hands out the test. Afterward, they figure that they got by enough to pass. Ian realizes that his odyssey is to solve the mystery of Tower Prep, not to escape. He then goes to see Norman's "first mate," Penny, and gives her the photo. Ian admits Norman's appearance not quite what he expected, and explains that Norman didn't want her to follow in case she might get hurt. Penny assures Ian that he'll find out the things that Norman couldn't, tells him to be careful, and thanks him.

In her room, Penny puts the photo back in its frame: a photo of a geeky very non-heroic boy.


Guest starringEdit

Featured MusicEdit

  • "Where Was My Brain?" by Ted Leo And The Pharmacists
  • "I Fall Asleep" by Buva


  • This episode contains many parallels to The Odyssey and other tales of Greek mythology:
    • Norman's notes say "the hero is an archer" referring both to Ian's last name and to Odysseus, who won an archery contest by stringing a bow and shooting through a dozen axe heads (before also shooting his wife's suitors.)
    • Students in the story resemble various mythological monsters including the gorgon, minotaur, and sirens.
    • Norman's guidance and precognitive ability is similar to prophets and seers, such as Tiresias and Theoclymenus who appear in The Odyssey.
    • The cyclops makes a literal appearance, and reference is made to the story of it being attacked by "No man" or "Nobody" in many English translations.
    • Penny is analogous to Penelope in The Odyssey. Both are women waiting for a long-lost man who disappeared on a journey.
    • Ian visits the "underworld" and experiences a symbolic death when he crawls into the tunnel in the graveyard and is almost buried alive. Just as Odysseus travels to the underworld to receive guidance from the dead prophet Tiresias, Ian receives the final note from Norman in the tunnel.
  • A running joke in the episode is a series of references to the "romantic" vampires of the Twilight series.
    • In the episode, CJ is seen reading a book called The Vampire's Last Gleaming. Its title is a play on the line "What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming" from The Star-Spangled Banner, as well as the fact that vampires in Twilight literally "gleam," which means to shine or reflect flashes of light. The same play on words was recently used as a title of a story arc in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season Eight comic series.


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