And She Was Gone is the seventeenth episode (37th overall) of the second season which was broadcast on June 16, 2002.
The Meaning of Life Lesson
"You don't have to be afraid of your feelings. Ever. No matter what they are and no one knows you more better than you know yourself. So don't let people try to convince you that your someone your not, even if they do have PhD."- Lois Foutley.
Ginger writes a poem for a competition called "And She Was Gone", about a girl that wants to disappear. When Ms. Zorski reads it, she becomes concerned with the strong feelings put into it and forces Ginger to visit the school psychologist out of worry. It's only a matter of time before the student body becomes convinced she's depressed. Meanwhile, Carl tests his disappearing potion on Noelle Sussman, who he thinks is a nobody. But when Noelle really does disappear, Carl deeply regrets it.
The episode opens with a raven's orange eye opening as it takes flight, flying over trees and into a grey town with a black haired girl walking beside some stores. She looks up at the raven as it continues through the suburban neighborhood and straight to the middle school, overshadowing the roof. Down into the window we see Ginger listening to her homeroom teacher, Ms. Zorski as she stares out the window. Ms. Zorski is reading from a book to the class, and Ginger raises her hand, asking her to repeat the rules for this year's competition. She informs everyone that the entry applications are on her desk and that the winner's work will be published. The bell rings and Ginger immediately takes a sheet.
Ginger walks down the hallway with Dodie and Macie, reading off the sheet aloud to them. The competition is for stories and poems, and Dodie tells Ginger to relax and asks what she'll write about, saying it should be about her but Ginger tells her it's supposed to be fiction. Dodie persists, saying it should still be about her but Ginger has her own idea. They leave school and head home and Ginger later puts on a pot of tea and sets to work on her poem. "Talk to me, I'm listening." She smiles, and her typewriter turns into strings attached to a girl with black hair draping over her right eye, the same girl we saw in the beginning. The girl is seen stumbling and hopping over mounds of letters. She runs as Ginger narrates and the ground tears apart in front of the girl, the teapot whistling interrupts Ginger and she tends to it, continuing the poem. She asks the teapot what it thinks so far and her mother answers behind her, joking about her speaking to the teapot and pretending to talk to the freezer.
Later, Ginger finishes the poem, saying she thinks it might actually be good. The next day Ms. Zorski reads the poem and she tells Ginger it was a little troubling. Ginger says she knows and she practically had tears welling in her eyes as she wrote it, before noticing Ms. Zorski's writing down what she says. She tells Ginger she wants to show it to the school psychologist and tells Ginger to see her tomorrow. Ginger is dejected by this and has trouble eating her lunch. She tells her friends what's bothering her and reads it to them. We see the girl slip off the letter g and fall, a droplet of water dilutes the pupil of her eye as she stares into a puddle of water. Light washes over her and she spreads her arms wide, the strings falling off as she disappears. A group is standing behind Ginger and Courtney and Miranda assume that she must be depressed. Dodie disbands the crowd and tells Ginger that they hope if she ever felt like the girl in her poem does that she would tell them. This upsets Ginger and she is next seen laying on the couch. She tells her mom what's happening, saying she's not crazy.
Ginger slides the poem under her mother's door later and she reads it, transitioning to the school psychiatrist reading it. She questions Ginger and Ginger jokes around. In the next seen Ginger sees a poster for a rap group and Courtney is dressed as a goth, fauxing being depressed. Courtney smiles when Ginger asks her what's wrong and she's says Ginger's not the only one who's depressed. She dramatically sighs and says she's doing it for extra attention, telling Ginger not to yell at her before running away crying. Ginger opens the fridge door and her mom tells her she really liked her poem. Ginger asks if she's worried about her like everyone else is and her mother tells her she knows exactly what's going on, that's she's a bright young woman who understands her feelings, which is why she can write about them so beautifully. They hug and her mom tells her that she doesn't have to be afraid of her feelings and that no one knows her better than she knows herself and to not let people try to convince her that she's someone she's not. Ginger thanks her mom for making her feel normal again and they hug in the reflection of the window before they notice that her brother is acting odd outside.
As Ginger enters a group with the psychiatrist, Courtney is dramatically weeping about someone borrowing her makeup without asking first and the psychiatrist asks if they should talk about her perpetual need to be the center of attention instead, which Courtney acts surprised to hear, peaking up from her tissue. It is next night and Ginger is seen writing in her diary in the dark and begins to tell us about her week while during her talking her character is seen walking in a glass reflection and heading towards to a bookstore. "Now that the whole group therapy thing is over, I guess it wasn't that bad, I'm kinda glad I stuck with it. I mean talking about your feelings is a pretty good to way pass the time, you know. I think the reason my poem struck a nerve was because everyone related to the main character, including me, 'cause maybe us writers do put ourselves onto every page and maybe I didn't write that story for the contest. Maybe I had something to say, but no matter what happens in the competition I already got more out of it then I meant to. Because somehow in writing that poem, I got a chance to know myself a little better, to see myself a little more clearly and I kinda like what I saw. So even if I don't get published, I guess in someways...I already feel like I won." We see the character opening the the door to the shop and she disappears, papers of Ginger's poem are seen being published into a book and at the same time we can hear a woman's voice singing "And She was Gone...".
- Ginger Foutley
- Carl Foutley
- Courtney Gripling
- Macie Lightfoot
- Hoodsey Bishop
- Dodie Bishop
- Lois Foutley
- Miranda Killgallen
- Brandon Higsby
- Mrs. Gordon
- Ms. Zorski
- Chet Zipper
- Dr. Leventhal
- Noelle Sussman
Dodie: Relax, Ginger. You work well under pressure. Macie: Then don't relax.
Miranda: (talking to Ginger) Man, if I had known you were, like, clinically depressed, I might have gone a little easier on you.
Miranda: I mean, there were days I really wished you would disappear, but I had no idea you felt that way too! Ginger: I don't.
Ginger: Everyone, just everyone has lost it, and they actually think there's something wrong with me..!
Dr. Leventhal: As heartwrenching as this story is, maybe we could discuss something else like, perhaps, your perpetual need to be the center of attention? Courtney: Hmm?
- This episode was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (Less Than One Hour) in 2003. It ended up losing to The Simpsons.
- Darren is absent in this episode.
- Noelle Sussman is introduced as part of the main cast in this episode. In previous episodes, Noelle can be seen occasionally in the background whenever Carl and Hoodsey are in the classroom, in the hallway or outside the school and sometimes during recess. She is voiced by the creator of the series and the writer of this episode, Emily Kapnek.
- Ginger's Character makes a cameo appearance in "A Lesson in Tightropes"
- The original name of this episode was "And Then She Was Gone" but was changed due to a book with the same title was released.