The Slow and the Even-Tempered is the 3rd episode of the series. It aired on November 28, 2004 in Canada on Teletoon and on April 9, 2009 in the United States on Cartoon Network.
Jen has a driving test coming up, but she finds herself unable to deal with the stress brought on not just by the test but by her memories of being involved in a crash. Meanwhile, Wyatt tries to prepare for an audition without the help of his lucky jacket, and Jonesy takes a job as a mall cop.
Jen's driving test is coming up. Unfortunately for her, she can't help but keep remembering the incident that caused her to have to get a job at the Big Squeeze the previous year: she left the parking brake off in a school bus, and it slid backwards into an equipment shed, causing damage to both the bus and the shed. As a result, her nerves are frayed, and despite studying her driver's manual intensely she can't get up the self confidence that she needs to know that she'll pass.
When she visits Stick It, though, Jude guesses at her problem and then offers to teach her. Although Jen is initially skeptical, when she learns that Jude has a driver's license she takes him up on his offer. Jude then tells Jen the conditions of him teaching her: she needs to accept everything he does and follow his instructions to the letter.
When Jen accepts these conditions, Jude asks to see her driver's manual. After flipping through it, Jude tosses it in the trash and then informs Jen that she has to get off book; so saying, he leads her to the arcade. There, he sets Jen up in a driving video game and has her go drive. Jen does so, but does horribly at the game by obeying all the rules of the road except the one about wanting to go faster than a one-legged woman with a walker.
Jude is not happy with Jen's performance, and when Jen protests that she was just trying to be safe, Jude reveals the real reason they're there: driving is inherently unsafe, so practicing unsafe driving in a simulator will make Jen a better driver overall because she'll be better prepared to drive in unsafe conditions. The logic of this makes sense to Jen, and soon she starts playing the game in the manner it's intended to be played. Eventually, Jen gets a high score on the game, proving her mastery to Jude.
At this point, Jonesy arrives and uses his authority as a mall cop to clear the arcade. After he does this, he plops down and takes Jen's place on the game, pushing her out. However, while he's concentrating Jude asks him some questions about his keys, and when Jonesy confirms that he has keys to a car on display in the mall, Jude asks for the keys and receives them from his distracted friend.
With keys in hand, Jude leads Jen to the car, where he has her take the wheel and get ready to drive. When Jen shifts into gear and stomps on the accelerator, however, the car goes backwards, as Jen had shifted into reverse. The car flies off its pedestal and into the fountain, only avoiding Wyatt because Wyatt happened to drop his portable CD player into the fountain and had bent down to get it.
Jude and Jen get out of the car, and Jude hands the keys back to Jonesy. Jen, however, has learned her lesson: no driving with Jude. When she meets with her friends at Grind Me, Jen has taken her driver's manual back, and is hard at work studying it. Jude didn't come out a loser, however, as he entered a raffle where the grand prize was the (now-drowned) car and won second prize: a scooter. Ron doesn't like to see Jude tooling around the mall, though, and soon he confiscates the scooter from Jude on the grounds that Jude was speeding–a surprisingly appropriate charge given Jude's teaching methods.
Sub-Plot One: Wyatt's Jacket
When Wyatt, walks up to the Big Squeeze, he is clad in an ugly old brown aviator's jacket. Naturally, his friends make fun of him for his choice of outerwear, and Caitlin offers to take Wyatt shopping for a nicer jacket. Wyatt declines this offer, though, as he likes his jacket and believes that it will bring him luck–which he desperately needs, as he has an audition that night.
Caitlin disapproves of Wyatt's unstylish choice, however, and when Wyatt accidentally leaves his jacket behind she can't help but take it so that she can hide it and prove that Wyatt doesn't need it. When Wyatt comes back in search of his jacket, she misleads Wyatt by stating that she hasn't seen it, and after he leaves she takes it out to reassure herself that she's doing the right thing. She does this just as Nikki arrives, though, and when Nikki questions her Caitlin reveals her reasoning for taking the jacket. While Nikki does not think that Caitlin's theft was a good idea, she accepts it, as she wants to see how things will play out.
Wyatt, meanwhile, suffers through a string of bad luck. First, he is assigned to run two departments at Spin This, as Serena has just fired one of his coworkers. This leaves him with no time to rehearse, and Wyatt starts to create a vicious spiral of worry for himself where he can't concentrate without his jacket. This convinces Caitlin, after some contemplation, to give Wyatt his jacket back, but when she goes to Spin This to give it to him she finds that Wyatt never came back to work.
Caitlin and Nikki begin to search for him, and find Wyatt tossing coins into the fountain. As Caitlin watches, Wyatt drops his Discman in the fountain. When he bends down to pick it up, however, a car piloted by Jen and Jude sails backwards over his head into the fountain. Caitlin runs up to Wyatt just after the wave hits him, and while Wyatt is initially angry about all that's happened to him–a broken CD player, soaking wet, and twenty minutes until he plays–until Caitlin points out how lucky he was to have avoided getting hit by the car. This helps convince Wyatt that he doesn't need his jacket, but he takes the returned jacket anyway and then happily goes off to his audition.
Sub-Plot Two: Mall Cop Jonesy
Once again, Jonesy needs a new job, so Jen suggests that he take the job Ron has posted for an assistant. Although Jonesy is reluctant to do so, he does need the money, and soon he applies. There, Ron runs him through several tests, and when Jonesy passes, Ron gives him the uniform; Jonesy initially protests against the costume, but Ron puts his foot down, and soon Jonesy is dressed as a member of Mall Security.
As a member of mall security, Jonesy soon realizes that there are perks to the job, such as the attentions of Yummy Mummy and his ability to extort freebies from businesses. Once he realizes this, Jonesy begins living the high life. Unfortunately for him, his generosity towards Jude proves to be his undoing, as after the car crashes Ron kicks him off of the force and takes his uniform, leaving Jonesy jobless and naked.
Jude: I didn't know you could drive so slowly in this game! You really suck at this! Jen: What do you want? That old man with the walker just cut me off! Jude: Just try to relax. The game is not just about driving, it's also about killing things.
Game: Mission failed! Mission failed! Jen: Hey look! I tied my high score! Jude: Dude, that was pathetic! Jen: Hey! I got four points! Jude: The game's high score is 75,000! One-legged moms with strollers were passing you! Jen: I was just trying to be safe.
Jude:(to Jen) That was reverse...
Ron: That's it. You're fired. Jonesy: Fired? What for! Ron: There's a car in the fountain. Jonesy: So? What's that got to do with me? Jude: Here's the keys back, dude. Sweet ride. Reverse is a little jumpy, though. You might want to look into that.
Jonesy: C'mon, tell the truth! You were into me in that uniform! Nikki:(sarcastically) Yes, Jonesy, I was SO turned on, I could barely contain myself! Pass the chips.
Jonesy's job: assistant mall security officer. Reason for firing: let Jude have his keys to a display car, which resulted in Jude and Jen crashing it into the fountain.
Strangely, this episode is not included in the Take This Job and Squeeze It DVD. It is the only one of the first four episodes that is left out. It later appeared on the Deck the Mall DVD and 6teen:The Complete First Season (which, despite its name, was only the first half of the first season).
Coach Halder tells Jen not to get anything spicy for lunch. This is a tip-off early on in Dude of the Living Dead, as Coach Halder instantly accepts Jude's challenge of eating something spicy.
This is the first episode in which Caitlin doesn't cry. She had cried in the first two episodes for various reasons.