A Lesson in Tightropes is the fourteenth episode (54th overall) of the third season which was broadcast on October 23, 2016 on The Splat (now renamed NickSplat).
The Meaning of Life Lesson
"Have you ever been struck by the feeling that something is...wrong? Nothing in particular mind you. Nothing what you could quite put your finger on.
Just an overwhelming sense that things in your universe have...well... shifted and even if the answer is right there staring you straight in the eye. Somehow you still don't see it."
- Ginger Foutley
Darren finally decides to tell Ginger the truth, and he breaks up with her. She returns home where her friends try to comfort her, until she eventually cries herself to sleep. When Lois comes to check on her, she finds her daughter unconscious with a fever. This all turns out that Ginger is having an acute appendicitis attack and she is rushed to the hospital, where Dr. Dave saves her life by performing an emergency operation. As she is recovering, many of her friends and family come to visit, including her father, Jonas. Carl becomes worried that their father's appearance will rekindle Lois's feelings for him and ruin her relationship with Dr. Dave. Meanwhile, Ginger reflects on her relationship with Darren and Orion comes to reveal his true feelings for her.
It's mid morning, Ginger is seen walking down the hallway of the high school and starts telling the audience about the changes in your own universe at the same time she is looking around the school's hallway. Then she see's a figure and stares at it suspiciously and as it get closer it's Simone.
Ginger still speaks as both girls are walking towards each other and both said hi but not in a good way, Ginger stays in one spot while Simone keeps on walking, as the school bell rings, all the students are walking by and an ominous music cane be heard. Mean while in the boy's bathroom, Darren can be heard talking to himself about how to tell Ginger the truth and can't keep misleading her this way, Darren sheds tears and crumbles a paper that says "My Ginger".
At Ginger's garage Orion and his band came to practice and Ginger is sitting on the floor writing lyrics for her new song. Orion brings her lunch and Ginger asked him to start playing her new song. Ginger and the band begin to play her new song but the band stop when Darren came and that they needed to talk.
Ginger is seen happy and responded to that she is happy that Darren wanted to have a talk. Darren tries to tell something to Ginger but she keeps interrupting him. Ginger is hoping that both of them will work harder on their relationship.
Darren finally tells Ginger that it's over. Ginger stops turns around and responded to him, ''What?'', Darren explains it again and Ginger says "Simone'' making both of them lowering their heads down. As Darren was about out leave, Ginger tries to stop him and claims that she will try harder by being there for him while playing football but Darren stops her and tells her that she'll be miserable, both of them will and telling her that is not whom she is. Ginger replies 'What am I?'. Darren responds "You're Ginger Foutley and you're opinionated and head strong and wonderful and you think football is stupid and you're probably right. And we fight all the time and things with Simone are just...well easier. Sorry, Ginger. Really sorry and I hope one day you can forgive me for this." Ginger responds "But I won't Darren...the thing is...I never will'' she covers her face and ran home crying.
Next we hear Hoodsey reading one of his mother's romance novel and Carl can be seen being bored. The door bell ring and Hoodsey goes to answer it and it's Darren whom tells him that he needed to talk to Dodie. Dodie id seen in her room talking to one of her unicorns and pretending to a boy whom she has feelings for and Darren burst right into her room. And tells Dodie that he told her and Dodie asks 'told who?',Darren responds 'Ginger', Dodie shocked and asked if he told her about Simone and then Darren says yes and sheds a tear. Darren asks Dodie 'now what', then she explains about the seven stages, however Darren has doubts about Ginger looking okay.
Dodie and Macie visit Ginger and Dodie picks up a shattered picture frame of both pre-teen Ginger and Darren, Ginger is seen on her bed and claims that her insides just exploded. Both girls left Ginger alone and turn off the lamp.
Later the evening turn to night, then Lois enters the room, but Ginger is still in the same position that her friends left her at that time. Lois tells her that her friends told her what happened and ask if wants to talk about it. She turns on the lights and notices that Ginger has not woken up and begins to realize something is wrong. Lois feels Ginger's forehead and finds that her daughter has a fever and calls Dave to come in. Dave comes in to see Ginger's condition, and he calls the hospital and says they need an ambulance dispatched immediately.
- Ginger Foutley
- Carl Foutley
- Nurse Betty
- Macie Lightfoot
- Hoodsey Bishop
- Darren Patterson
- Dodie Bishop
- Lois Foutley
- Old Lady
- Ms. Zorski
- Dr. Dave
- Joann Bishop
- Jonas Foutley
- Cleaning Lady
(Animatic uncut version)
Ginger: And this wrong it's...it's, so huge, so tangible, but it's plainly obvious to everyone but me.
Dodie and Macie: (whispering)
Ginger: What's wrong?
Ginger: That's it, that's all he wrote. . . Why didn't he finished it?
"Dear Ginger, I feel so helpless right now. More than anything I want to be there for you - but I don't how. In spite of everything that's happened between us, I just want you to know that..."
- While Ginger Foutley is dreaming with the song "Splinter In My Heart" playing while in the hospital, you can see the character in Ginger's poem from the episode "And She Was Gone"
- Darren Patterson wrote Ginger Foutley a letter while she was in the hospital but decided not to give it to her. It said "Dear Ginger, I feel so helpless right now. More than anything I want to be there for you, but I don't know how. In spite of everything that's happened between us, I just want you to know that . . . "
- After Ginger Foutley finds the letter Darren Patterson wrote to her in the nurses trash can, she wonders why he didn't finish it. The nurse then says "But he did finish it. It just doesn't have an ending." This is most likely hinting towards things not being permanently over for the two.
- This is the second time that a boy breaks Ginger's heart.
- Courtney and Miranda do not appear in this episode.
- This episode reveals that Carl is an atheist. This was revealed by Lois.
- When Carl responds to Hoodsey about his mother's romance novel, he says "Isn't Clifford the name of a dog?" A reference to Clifford the Big Red Dog.
- The title of the episode is named after a lyric from the Rufus Wainwright song "Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk"
- There were a few scenes in the uncut animatic that were removed:
- In the uncut version of the episode, in a deleted scene which takes place in the cafeteria Ginger still talks about the troubling universe. We see Dodie and Macie talking about Darren's secret relationship with Simone but stopped as Ginger walks to the table that they're sitting on, making Ginger a little mad and confused asking both girls "what's wrong?" both denied of anything wrong. Ginger is not buying it and becomes suspicious as Macie turns her head facing Ginger after getting a glimpse of the person who they were talking about. Ginger sees this and looks around and sees that person. Then Ginger looks around, sees her rival, staring at her in a suspicious look and says "Simone".
- During the song "Splinter In My Heart" half of the song is sung by Orion.
- In the uncut video both Ginger and her mother were supposed to shed a lot of tears.
- After the surgery, in her hospital room when Ginger is beginning to open her eyes sees Lois and Dr. Dave standing at the foot of her bed talking to each other, Ginger sees a flash of Dr.Dave looking like Darren for few seconds.
- After the operation Ginger's room is already full of balloons, "Get Well" cards and flowers.
- During bed resting Ginger's hair becomes wavy.