Writer: Michael B. Kaplan
Director: Fred K. Keller
Original air date: October 20, 1989
In the cold open, Mr. Ernst rings the bell and summons the entire staff for, as it turns out after some “guesses” by the teen staff (I think they’re just dicking with him), a fire drill. There’s a cute moment where Mr. Ernst is clumsy on the ladder, and the four lead teens are silently amused by it. This is a recurring thing in this series, and I like it. They don’t laugh out loud; it’s just a quiet “Yeah, our boss is a dumbass” moment among them. I wonder how much of it is acting and how much is the cast’s genuine reactions.
Mr. Ernst wants to turn the Bar None staff into a “crack fire brigade”. I don’t know what laws are like in Arizona, but it sounds highly illegal for a business to expect its staff to fight a fire.
There’s an inaudible “cute” exchange here between Brad and Ted. I have no idea what was said. Again, I like this. It feels natural. In real life, not everything that people say is heard, especially if someone else is talking much louder. Heck, this moment might have been improvised.
Mr. Ernst demonstrates “the proper hosing-down techniques”.
After the credits, Lucy meets with the kids. Mr. Stessel, a guest that checked out this morning, left a $100 tip for two unnamed staff members that showed him a nice time this past week to have fun with. Yeah, a few problems. He doesn’t name the staff members, and he leaves one bill. On top of that, he didn’t leave a phone number or address. Would someone really be this absent-minded in real life? Anyway, the guys and girls argue in favor of themselves and their like-genitaled peers. Lucy breaks it up and suggests they divide the money four ways. They refuse. Melody is visibly disgusted at the idea (a bit odd for such a “nice” character). Ted and Brad argue over it. Kelly Brown stumbles over a line, but they just keep rolling. I like that. She didn’t totally fuck it up, and it’s natural that not all dialogue flows smoothly.
Ted suggests a competition. Whoever comes up with the most fun way to spend the money will get to keep it and spend it that way. Brad agrees. Melody nominates Lucy as the judge, and Lucy reluctantly agrees.
Later, at the corral, the guys try to come up with ideas. Danny wants to buy “great new cowboy hats” in town. Ted likes the hats but wants to come up with something more clever and original in order to win. Danny says they need something more fun. Ted suggests throwing a party but dismisses it when Danny brings up inviting Brad and Melody, their best friends, because 1) it would defeat the purpose of winning the money from them, and 2) a party would be no fun without them. Danny unknowingly gives Ted the idea of spying on the girls.
The guys sneak down to the lake, where Brad has the same idea to buy cowboy hats as Danny did. Melody likes it but asks for something more fun. Brad suggests a party but dismisses it when Melody brings up inviting Ted and Danny. Both of them are stumped, so Brad suggests spying on the guys.
The guys beat the girls back to the corral, Ted having the idea to fake them out. There’s a shot where Joe Torres seemingly runs directly at the camera (it cuts before anything happens) and another where he briefly removes his hat and then puts it back on. Odd.
Ted has a little extra fun:
Neither does this:
The “fire bell” rings, and Ted and Danny go off, Danny silently changing Ted’s direction (seemingly to not run into the girls). I really like when little moments like this are added. It makes things feel more natural.
Oh, yeah, the main point of the scene was for Ted to plant false information. The guys decide to do the “gentlemenly” thing and let the girls have the money, but they want to surprise them with it at the meeting with Lucy.
Mr. Ernst orders the hoses on. Buddy complies.
Lucy likes the idea. There’s a fun blooper where Ted hugs Danny, and Danny’s cowboy hat falls off. Fortunately, Joe Torres catches it, so the shot isn’t ruined. Stuff like this happens in real life, anyway. The girls struggle with their idea until Brad blurts out cowboy hats.
Lucy sends them back to work. Ted thanks her for her help. The girls argue with the guys, and they each reveal their spying.
Buddy arrives and, upon learning of their dilemma, mentions two reclusive artists staying at the ranch. Buddy plays hardball with them and talks them into giving him four candy bars in exchange for talking to the artists on their behalf. Can you tell where this is going?
Ted and Danny are fine with the togas and blindfolds. Buddy gets the artists.
Ted’s pissed, but Melody says it’s a water-based paint and will wash right off. Ted yells at Buddy. It turns out that Buddy got three candy bars from the girls and then four more from the guys. The girls refuse to give the money back. Brad says they’re artists and justifies it by pointing out the crap in museums. Hehe. Also, Melody says they “painted” them as they’d requested.
Besides, the girls spent the money on the cowboy hats. Ted declares they’ll take the hats in place of the money, and he and Danny actually try to take the hats from the girls. Buddy points out that, back home, he and his friends shared a lot of their stuff. Melody suggests the girls and guys each have the hats for half of the week. So the changeover will occur at high noon on Thursday? Ted, Brad, and Danny agree.
Buddy tries to charge his “usual fee” of two candy bars for “helping negotiate a peace settlement”.
Okay, so Mr. Ernst stepped on a hose and cut off the water supply. I get that. However, he then turns his foot to horizontally align with the hose, and water shoots up inside his portable protective thingy. WTF?
So ends another day at the Bar None.
This episode was okay, but it really shows how selfish that the teens can be when money comes into the picture. I’m surprised Lucy, of all people, went along with their silly contest idea.
Also, the girls are stupid for not realizing the guys are onto them, and the guys are stupid for blindly (ahem) going along with everything involving the artists.
It’s interesting that both Ted and Brad came up with the ideas of parties and spying. They’re more alike than they realize.