Season 2, Episode 02: Battle of a Hundred Bucks

Writer: Michael B. Kaplan
Director: Fred K. Keller
Original air date: October 20, 1989

15-01-fire-drillIn 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”.

15-02-Ernst-BuddyMr. Ernst tells Buddy to turn on the water. Buddy tries to argue against it, but Mr. Ernst won’t have it.

15-03-Ernst-wet-1 15-04-Ernst-wet-2This could have been avoided if Buddy has simply yelled “It’s hooked up wrong!”

15-05-$100After 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.

15-06-Brad-pushes-DannyTed 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.

15-07-guys-thinkLater, 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.

15-08-lakeThe 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.

15-09-guys-raceThe 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.

15-10-girls-spyBack at the corral, the girls spy outside the fence and totally don’t hear the guys talking about noticing them.

Ted has a little extra fun:

15-11-Ted-tosses 15-12-Brad-dirtFive of these doesn’t let the girls onto the fact that the guys are dicking with them.

Neither does this:

15-13-Danny-hose 15-14-Ted-hose 15-15-Melody-wetThe “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.

15-16-Ernst-timesThe girls go to the bell tower as well. Mr. Ernst is unhappy with their time.

15-17-Ernst-questionsMr. Ernst questions Melody’s wetness and Brad’s dirtiness (callback to the series premiere?), and they bullshit a shower excuse. Ted and Danny have a silent laugh over it.

Mr. Ernst orders the hoses on. Buddy complies.

15-18-Melody-ideaAs the staff battles the fake fire, Melody has evil intentions in her eyes.

15-19-Melody-hits-Ernst-1 15-20-Melody-hits-Ernst-2 15-21-Melody-horrifiedFortunately, Ted sees what’s about to happen and alerts Danny, leaving the boys dry, Mr. Ernst wet, and Melody horrified.

15-22-Melody-runs 15-23-Melody-bouncesAfter the commercial break, on the next day, Melody excitedly enters the corral and announces Lucy’s impending arrival. After some teasing, Lucy arrives to judge their ideas.

15-24-guys-poseThe guys’ idea is to be immortalized in a painting.

15-25-girls-surprisedThe girls are surprised and angry, but Melody can’t raise a legit objection.

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.

15-26-guys-winLucy picks the guys as the winners. Brad tries to object on fairness grounds but can’t.

Lucy sends them back to work. Ted thanks her for her help. The girls argue with the guys, and they each reveal their spying.

15-27-Brad-chokesTed and Danny abandon their chores to look for an artist. Brad lets her homicidal urges be known to Melody.

15-28-callingThe guys have no luck finding an artist in their price range and start to worry.

15-29-Buddy-hardballBuddy 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?

15-30-Buddy-moneyBuddy also said the artists need to be paid in advance, and Ted stupidly gives it to him. Can you tell where this is going yet?

15-31-Ted-dressesAfter dinner, Ted and Danny are dressing to get painted. What is it with Ted and bandanas? Anyway, you can hear birds chirping in this scene, which is nice. Buddy comes by to fetch Ted and Danny.

15-32-guys-togasThey’ll be painted blindfolded in front of the bell tower while wearing togas. Can you tell where this is going yet?! You can? Good, because Ted and Danny sure can’t.

Ted and Danny are fine with the togas and blindfolds. Buddy gets the artists.

15-33-artistsThe “artists” allow Ted and Danny to say hi to them but refuse to return the greeting, wanting to “let their painting speak for itself”.

15-34-guys-posedBuddy poses Danny and Ted.

15-35-artist-Brad 15-36-artist-Melody 15-37-girls-paint-guys 15-38-guys-paintedTed’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.

15-39-hatsBesides, 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.

15-40-guys-chase-girlsThe guys chase after the girls with paint rollers.

Buddy tries to charge his “usual fee” of two candy bars for “helping negotiate a peace settlement”.

15-41-gang-chases-BuddyThe pre-credits scene at the end is the culmination of the “fire brigade” subplot.

15-42-Ernst-inventionMr. Ernst invented some dumbass thing to prevent getting wet.

15-43-staff-hosesI’m not sure exactly what happens.

15-44-Ernst-hose 15-45-water-stops 15-46-Ernst-hose-2 15-47-Ernst-wetOkay, 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.

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