Season 2, Episode 04: Bunkmate Battle

Writer: Alan Goodman
Director: Fred K. Keller
Original air date: November 3, 1989

17-01-Ted-typesIn the cold open, Ted is typing up a historical presentation that he’ll do for the guests on a rainy day when there’s nothing better to do, and Danny is doing…some Native American thing, I guess (sorry, I don’t know). Also, the background music at the beginning of this scene is unusually loud – and then just abruptly cuts off. Weird.

Basically, Ted’s presentation is the typical Western movie nonsense of brave white guys versus savage Indians, which pisses Danny off, and he does…this:

17-02-Danny-pissedDanny argues against what Ted is doing and bets he can’t go one week without things that originated with the Indians. Ted accepts.

17-03-Danny-chocolate 17-04-Danny-chocolate-2Danny swipes Ted’s chocolate bar.

17-05-Melody-searches17-06-Melody-searches-2After the credits, Melody is searching for her sneakers in order to exercise, making a mess in the process and nearing hitting Brad.

17-07-Melody-sneakerBrad put them in Melody’s drawer, because Melody always leaves them in the middle of the floor. Melody gets upset when Brad points this out to her.

17-08-Melody-exercisesBrad sits on her bed to read, but she can’t, because Melody’s counting is so obnoxiously loud. Seriously, does she yell for the sole purpose of pissing Brad off?

Brad finally gets pissed, takes off Melody’s headphones, and yells at her, which completely dumbfounds Melody. Can anyone be this stupid? Brad asks her to do this someplace else, but Melody asks her to read someplace else. Brad says, if she went outside, Lucy would find something for her to do. That’s actually pretty smart. Melody says, if she went outside, the boys would stare and make fun of her. Well, yeah, you do look like an airhead when you’re doing that, Melody. The girls start to argue but stop in order to not escalate the situation – and then do so anyway (Brad starts it). After insulting each other for a while, they go back to their activities, and Melody tries to keep her voice down.

17-09-guys-rideThe guys are taking some guests on a ride and stop by the lake to rest.

17-10-Danny-trail-mixTed offers Danny some trail mix, and Danny pockets the entire bag. When Ted confronts Danny about it, Danny reveals the food in trail mix originated in the New World: pumpkin seeds, pecans, peanuts, sunflower seeds, pineapple, and papaya. Ted says he’s starving. Danny says don’t eat the cactus; the Indians found out long ago that it bites back. So would that make it “killer cacti”?

17-11-Brad-chartOn another day, at the girls’ bunkhouse, Brad has created a schedule using one of Mr. Ernst’s blank work assignment charts. She’s scheduled Melody’s “blaring music hour” during morning chores and “Melody’s deranged workout” during meal times.

17-12-Melody-fist 17-13-room-dividedMelody’s solution is to divide the room in two.

17-14-Melody-radioBy Melody’s logic, each girl is in her own “private bunk” and can’t hear the other, so she blares her fucking radio and plays with her stuffed animals.

17-15-Brad-plugThis is one of the times that Brad doesn’t like listening to loud music, so she unplugs the radio from the outlet, which is in her “private bunk”.

17-16-Melody-dumbfoundedThis completely dumbfounds Melody.

After some arguing, Brad gives up and goes for a walk, and Melody chases after her.

At the lunch line (or dinner line; I’m not sure; the first that we see of it), Ted tries to scare people out of line by mentioning gross-sounding meals. Based on a comment by Danny, Ted always does this, and it never works. Melody comes up to Brad to talk, but Brad tells “Little Miss Peacemaker” that she intends to stay mad. Brad leaves, and Melody chases after her. Ted is happy to be closer to the food but hates seeing the girls fight.

17-17-Ted-whacksDanny shoots down everything that Ted orders as originating in the New World (barbecue, potato chips, hot sauce (tomatoes), corn on the cob, chili (red beans and hot peppers), soda (dubious)) and orders extra ribs for himself. I get Ted’s frustration, but…why is he putting up with this? Just to prove he can do it? There are no stakes. Just concede defeat and enjoy the food, Ted.

Later, Mr. Ernst is on the phone with a potential guest. Just as he mentions the friendliness of the staff, the teens come in and start yelling at each other, making Mr. Ernst panic. Melody suggests Brad moves out, and Brad considers it. They express their hatred of each other. Danny is following Ted around and watching his every move (including when he gets his mail). Mr. Ernst awkwardly offers to give the caller phone numbers to other ranches in the area.

17-18-guests-leaveAfter the commercial break, the teens have returned to the main lodge and continued their arguing, driving the guests away. This is funny, but it’s awkward from a logical standpoint. They come into the main lodge arguing, leave arguing, and come back arguing. Why not just stay there?

17-19-No!Mr. Ernst climbs partially onto the front desk and tells them to shut the fuck up. He listens to their problems one at a time, which leads to some funny moments for him. Instead of imposing a forced compromise on them, he wants them to solve their problems themselves. They don’t feel any better. He tells them to settle their differences, mentions his open-door policy, goes into his office, and slams the door (heh).

Brad decides to move some of her stuff into the main lodge over Melody’s objection. Melody goes after her. Danny excuses himself and goes to work at the corral.

17-20-Buddy-popcornBuddy (who showed up during the whole thing) pesters Ted into having the rest of his popcorn – and then says he can’t have any. Ted threatens Buddy with death and chases after him.

17-21-Melody-privacyOn another day (or night; exterior shot is day; interior shot is night), Melody has the bunk to herself but finds she doesn’t like blaring her radio or exercising loudly when Brad isn’t there to be annoyed.

17-22-Melody-tosses-clothesSo Melody decides to redecorate by taking down Brad’s painting and tossing Brad’s clothes on the floor.

17-23-girls-pictureMelody’s gleeful debradification comes to a halt when she learns Brad has a picture of her. Um, why wouldn’t she already be aware of this? I mean I know Brad had it blocked from view with a stupid decorative picture of a cat or something (which is bitchy in its own way), but Brad and Melody posed for this picture together.

17-24-girls-talkBrad knocks and asks to come in, and Melody lets her. It turns out the main lodge is “too quiet” for Brad. Melody gets on Brad’s nerves but also makes her laugh. Melody admits being crazy is no fun without annoying Brad. It seems to me that Brad is the nicer of the two girls. At least, I can relate to her wanting peace and quiet but also sometimes wanting to laugh (this was way before we had YouTube). Melody apologizes. Brad says they have to realize they’re gonna fight sometimes over stupid stuff; she considers them to be best friends. This makes Melody happy.

17-25-girls-hugThe girls hug and make up after each confesses occasionally having homicidal thoughts for the other.

17-26-looking-in-bunkThe girls playfully fight while cleaning up, and we get a nice shot from outside the girls’ bunk house, looking in.

17-27-over-to-boys-bunkThe camera then moves left to show Ted entering the boys’ bunk house after taking a shower. This is some damn impressive camera work for a children’s/teen series.

17-28-Ted-towelJust because someone will want it, here’s a screen cap of a young David Lascher in a towel. You’re welcome.

17-29-guys-talkDanny is glad that Ted isn’t holding a grudge. Ted admits Danny was right, and he was wrong. Ted has a cavity. He has to go into town tomorrow and get it filled. Danny tells Ted to tell the dentist to not use any Novocain (according to him, the Indians discovered natural painkillers, although I’ve found no evidence of this). Ted wants to go for a walk, but Danny advises against wearing sneakers (the Indians discovered rubber plants) and jeans and underwear (cotton). Okay, up until this point, Danny has been right (or at least not blatantly wrong), but the cotton thing is bullshit.

Ted believes Danny is making this stuff up, so Danny lists maple syrup, doughnuts (bullshit), corn flakes, pizza (tomato sauce), potato chips, french fries, gum (very dubious).

Danny also claims there would be no Constitution and no United States of America, because “the American forefathers studied Indian government”, and “the whole idea of the United States could be based on the way different Indian tribes govern themselves, like states do, but they met together to discuss larger issues – just like the U.S. Congress”. Despite Danny’s insistence that “every word of it” is “true”, I can’t find any specific evidence of Native American influence. The United States Constitution seems to be based mostly on English law (including the Magna Carta) and colonial constitutions.

Danny makes Ted realize not too many Indians write history books or make movies, and Ted feels like a jerk. Danny says certain clothing dyes – including a very deep shade of red that the British used (bullshit) – came from Indian sources. Ted nervously gets the fuck out of there, leaving Danny satisfied.

17-30-Ernst-phoneOn another day, Mr. Ernst is on the phone with another potential guest. He tries to be vague in answering questions about the staff.

17-31-girls-happyHowever, the girls have made up and are looking through a magazine for redecoration ideas. They also have a little joke at Mr. Ernst’s expense as Brad picks up her mail. Brad wants to exercise, and Melody wants to hit a bookstore on their day off.

17-32-guys-happyThe guys come by. Ted borrows a notepad from Mr. Ernst, because Danny is going to help Ted plan the whole presentation.

17-33-Ernst-happyMr. Ernst happily tells the caller that the staff is “the best reason there is to come to the Bar None”.

The pre-credits scene at the end has Mr. Ernst looking over Ted’s presentation. He’s very impressed by it, and Ted is willing to let Mr. Ernst give him all of the credit – much to Danny’s disapproval. Danny is eating a vanilla ice cream cone. Ted successfully guesses the New World origin of vanilla and confesses Danny’s overwhelming involvement in the presentation. Mr. Ernst is surprised, despite presumably overhearing Ted discussing Danny’s help in the previous scene (and Danny has previously been shown to give Native American talks). Ted desperately begs Danny for some of the ice cream, and Danny lets him have it.

17-34-Ted-ice-cream 17-35-Ted-ice-cream-falls 17-36-Ted-sadSadly, though, it was not meant to be.

So ends another day at the Bar None.

This episode was nice. It’s odd that Danny was the one person to not learn anything, though.

Also, Brad wasn’t in the wrong either, really, aside from not appreciating Melody’s company when she’s not being a loud, annoying bitch.

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