We begin, as these things often do, with Simon practicing to be the Dark Rider he’ll eventually be. Handstands on ledges, tumbling on rooftops, bouncing off asphalt…
His skills are growing and so is his confidence in them… so much so that when he hears what sounds like a mugging taking place, he moves towards the danger.
Peter, a young man unburdened with size or strength, gets shoved against a wall by a considerably stronger Mugger demanding his money. Just as helpless Peter is about to surrender his belongings, the Dark Rider drops down from the roof.
To say this is attention-getting is a wee bit of an understatement.
“Who the f— are you?” the Mugger asks.
“Let him go!” the Dark Rider insists.
Instead of doing as told, however, the Mugger head-butts Dark Rider, beats him down to the ground and grinds his boot into the Rider’s hand. Just as it appears that the Rider is finished, the Mugger goes to remove the hero’s mask.
Suddenly, Dark Rider plants a kick that sends the Mugger reeling. Gaining the advantage, the Dark Rider delivers blow after blow until the Mugger runs off, defeated.
In the calm aftermath, Peter realizes what’s just happened.
“You’re a superhero,” Peter exclaims, awestruck. He asks the Rider for a photo, but by the time Peter retrieves his phone, the Rider is gone.
Some distance away, the Dark Rider pulls off his mark, revealing an invigorated and adrenalized Simon.
At the Loft, Alisha arrives home to find a blood trail. She follows it to Simon, clumsily attempting to bandage his hand.
“What happened?” she asks.
“Someone stomped my hand,” he replies. Only the dreamy smile on his face is that of a boy who’s just won a football game. Alisha bandages Simon’s hand.
“You could have been seriously hurt.” she replies.
“I have to take risks. If I don’t take risks, I’ll never learn. I’ll never be him.”
Alisha has had enough of this talk of Simon becoming Future Simon, although he’s pretty much Future Simon right now. Alisha knows what’s in store for Future Simon and she’s not enthused, considering that future Simon buys the farm. She tells him that since she’s already saved, Simon should drop the Dark Rider act and just stay in the present. Besides, Simon becoming the Rider means she’s essentially getting dumped.
“…and I don’t get dumped.” she states.
The next day, at the community center, Proby 3 has the newly re-installed ASBO 5 setting up chairs for an event… one they are all ordered to take part in. He walks in with a group of sad-faced youngsters.
“Who are they?” Alisha asks.
“Another bunch of f–k-ups.”
Simon recognizes one of them. It’s Peter, the lad he saved.
They’re participating in what’s called, “preventative intervention” or, as Proby 3 puts it, where “you f–k-ups tell these f–k-ups not to f— up or they’ll end up being as big a bunch of f–k-ups as the rest of you.”
Peter is picked first to tell the group what his offence was. In order to impress a girl (yeah, I’m buying that one) Peter stole her purse with plans to return it to her as the big hero.
The gang isn’t particularly helpful in this scared straight set-up. Nathan, oops, I mean Rudy is daydreaming of chickens, Curtis and Alisha can barely hold back their laughter, Simon’s busy trying to hide his bandaged hand and, when finally pressed to scare Peter straight, Kelly simply tells him not to steal handbags anymore.
Later, in the restroom, Peter and Simon are at the urinals doing what people do at urinals. Simon leans over and, in a burst of compassion, tells him that things won’t always be the way they are now.
In two seconds, Peter has it figured out.
“You’re the guy in the mask.”
A rattled Simon says, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Worst. Liar. Ever.
Peter recognizes Simon’s voice and that bandaged hand is a dead giveaway. Peter’s face lights up like its Christmas morning. He wants to know how Simon became a superhero and invites him out for a beer.
Simon tells him that it’s best that the pair forget they’ve ever met. Before a dejected Peter can protest, Rudy walks in and finds the pair facing each other, still unzipped and, um, hanging out. Assuming things not in evidence, he snickers and walks off.
Outside, Simon tries (and fails) to convince Rudy that they weren’t examining each other’s wangs. Nathan, I mean Rudy (I gotta stop doing that) makes a sex gesture with his hands and Simon walks off, exasperated.