Season 2, Episode 05: Crash Landing

Writer: Graham Yost
Director: Ross K. Bagwell, Jr.
Original air date: November 10, 1989

18-01-Brad-rideIn the cold open, Brad is taking two guests on a breakfast ride.

18-02-instructionsMr. Ernst is hopelessly lost in trying to install a new automatic sprinkler system. He dismisses Ted’s (and the instructions’) notice that professional installation is required as a racket between the plumbers and manufacturers.

18-03-Ernst-waterAfter a dumb spitting gag, Mr. Ernst tries to dig a trench and believes he’s discovered a natural spring. He starts having visions of success and wealth.

18-04-angry-guestNah, he just destroyed the hot-water line, which pisses off showering guests. Heh.

18-05-JohnsonAfter the credits, Mr. Johnson of Johnson Plumbing leaves, having fixed the main hot-water line for the entire ranch, which Mr. Ernst had severed, at the cost of $200.

18-06-plane-approaches18-07-plane-overhead 18-08-plane-fallingMr. Ernst goes on a tirade about his manufacturer-plumber racket theory, but Ted cuts him off when he hears – and then sees – a low-flying plane that’s about to crash. This is some impressive production for a children’s/teen series.

18-09-Ernst-Ted-planeMr. Ernst sends Buddy to call for help and has Ted grab a fire extinguisher. They don’t approach the wreck out of fear of an explosion. Buddy comes over and says he couldn’t get through to EMS.

18-10-Ernst-pilotTed seemingly puts out a fire in the engine (we don’t see it), and Mr. Ernst goes to check on the pilot. The guy wakes up and is instantly worried about where his bag is. Mr. Ernst suggests they get away from the plane, but the guy says he crashed, because he ran out of gas. Mr. Ernst suggests getting him medical attention. The guy says he’s fine and gets a funny line in, and then he falls to the ground. Ted and Mr. Ernst talk for a bit about whether it’s safe to move accident victims or not.

18-11-pilot-fallsMeanwhile, the pilot got up, found his bag near the mine shaft, bent over to pick it up, and fell backwards. Buddy alerts his dad to it.

18-12-helping-pilot 18-13-mining-signAs Mr. Ernst and Ted help the pilot back to the ranch, Mr. Ernst mentions the mine shaft is thirty feet deep, and he keeps meaning to have it covered over. They seem to be insinuating this is the same mine shaft that Melody fell into in “The Competition” (season 1, episode 05), which was also written by Graham Yost, but there are differences:

05-18-Danger 05-22-Melody-screams 05-25-Melody-climbs-downThe (different) danger sign was originally in the background, and the lantern is new. Also, all of the extra wood wasn’t there before.

Anyway, the pilot is played by Mark Lang in his first or second acting gig. I really can’t tell. He voiced Ryoko’s father in an English dub of “Area 88: The Blue Skies of Betrayal”, but IMDb lists anime titles in a person’s filmography by original release year, regardless of who voiced what when. Anyway, this is his first of two appearances on “Hey Dude”, each time playing (presumably) different characters. He didn’t have much of a career. He played four different characters from 1990 to 1991 on “The Young Riders”, and he was in a 1991 direct-to-video movie called “The Black Crystal”. Oddly, he was a production driver for a 2009 movie called “Wild About Harry”.

18-14-couchThey take the pilot into the main lodge and put him on the couch. Mr. Ernst has Ted watch him (and keep him awake) and goes to call an ambulance.

18-15-Buddy-discoversMeanwhile, Buddy digs through the pilot’s bag and finds a ton of fake money. He calls Ted over to show him.

18-16-pilot-pointsThe pilot puts his hand in his pocket and makes a pointing motion, insinuating he has a gun, and has Buddy put the money back in the bag. At no point during the entire episode do we see this alleged gun.

Also, there’s a gag where Mr. Ernst is having trouble getting through to anyone on the phone, and he’s oblivious to what’s going on until…

18-17-Ted-headlock 18-18-pilot-Ted-headlock 18-19-pilot-ErnstThe pilot’s reasoning for not showing them the alleged gun is to not have to take hostage anyone that sees it. Well, isn’t he courteous?

18-20-pilot-newspaperThere’s a funny bit where the pilot gets frustrated that they don’t know who he is or what he’s done, because they don’t have a television, don’t listen to the radio, and don’t read the newspaper. Basically, yesterday, at 2:47 PM, in Flagstaff, he landed his plane on Main Street in the midst of traffic and robbed the First State Bank of $80,000. He took off in his plane before police arrived. He holed up overnight, got the morning paper, and set out for Mexico. Mr. Ernst and Ted aren’t impressed, and the pilot makes fun of the ranch. Mr. Ernst says everyone should be back for lunch at noon, so the pilot has to figure out where to put them until he can get clear of here. Mr. Ernst suggests the tack room, but Ted stupidly says Brad will find them when she gets back from her morning ride, which is what Mr. Ernst had been counting on.

18-21-Ernst-disappointedMy reaction exactly.

18-22-Ted-ashamedThe pilot puts his bag behind the front desk for the time being (why?) and requires thirty feet of rope.

18-23-pilot-canteen 18-24-guys-shaftThe pilot has Mr. Ernst, Ted, and Buddy climb down into the mine shaft. He drops down a canteen of water for them and leaves. Buddy immediately starts calling for help. Mr. Ernst says they’re “in the middle of the desert”. Maybe so, but the plane didn’t seem to go down more than maybe a few yards from the ranch area (at least, judging by the way that the crash sequence was edited).

18-25-cow-skullTed finds an animal skull, and Buddy freaks them out by saying they could end up like “Mr. Cow”.

Yeah, even the interior of the mine shaft is different. For one thing, it’s a lot more cramped. See for yourself:

05-29-Melody-despair18-26-girlsAfter the commercial break, Melody leaves the girls’ bunk house, goes over to the corral, and asks if she’s seen Ted. She hasn’t. Apparently, Ted was supposed to ride herd with a bunch of Young Buckaroos. Brad asks Melody if she’s seen Mr. Ernst. She hasn’t. He was supposed to meet her at the tack room to pick out new saddles for the riding school. Melody says Mr. Ernst is always on time.

18-27-girls-DannyDanny arrives and asks if the girls have seen Buddy. They haven’t. Buddy owes Danny a chore and was supposed to meet him at the garbage bins. Danny wonders if the three missing guys are all someplace together, but the girls are skeptical due to a perceived lack of common interests. So? They could be doing something work-related. Melody guesses they’re in Mr. Ernst’s air-conditioned office, sipping tall, cold glasses of lemonade, and this line effectively plays over the scene fade to this:

18-28-Ernst-rationsMr. Ernst is rationing the water (a cap every six hours), but Ted wants to save his rations in order to have a really big gulp a day and a half from now, which is a bad idea. Mr. Ernst starts talking about the effects of dehydration and drives himself crazy until…

18-29-Ernst-waterTed takes the canteen away from Mr. Ernst, who apologizes. Mr. Ernst asks Buddy how long that they’ve been down here, and Buddy replies sixteen minutes. Ted tries to formulate an escape plan.

18-30-girls-Danny-lodgeThe girls and Danny arrive in the main lodge and head for Mr. Ernst’s office.

18-31-pilot-caughtBrad catches the pilot, who apparently has not yet retrieved his bag sixteen minutes after leaving the guys, digging around behind the front desk.

18-32-Brad-questionsBrad questions the pilot, asking if he’s a guest.

18-33-Melody-bagUpon “learning” he is, Melody enthusiastically wants to carry his bag for him. Danny doesn’t recognize him, and the pilot says he kept mostly to his room. Melody talks about the various things to do at the ranch, but “Harry Jones” claims he’s checking out, thanks them, grabs the bag away from Melody (again), and thanks her. Brad brings up settling his bill, which some guests “forget” to do. Melody gently chastises Brad for talking to a “guest” that way. Melody, shut the fuck up. The pilot says he settled up with Mr. Ernst, which is enough to convince Melody, because it’s not like the guy could have gotten the name from anywhere (like his office door). The pilot tries to leave, but Danny asks if Mr. Ernst was alone. Melody gets upset and tries to tell them to stop. The pilot says Mr. Ernst’s “kids”/”boys” were with him and confirms the names once Danny brings them up. He tries to leave again, but Brad asks if he has any idea where they went. Melody gets pissed again. The pilot says they’re feeding the pigs. He finally leaves, and Brad and Danny aren’t exactly cheerful in their goodbyes, but guess who is.

18-34-Melody-enthusiasticShut the fuck up, Melody.

Brad says something doesn’t feel right, and Danny agrees. Melody chastises them for their treatment of the “guest”. Shut the fuck up, Melody. The so-called “guest” was getting something from behind the front desk. Even if he was a guest, it was suspicious behavior. And your punctual boss, his son, and a fellow staff member are missing.

Melody dismisses the “brothers” thing and the “pigs” (they don’t have any) thing as honest mistakes. Oh, they don’t have sheep either (Melody momentarily thinks they do). Goddess, this episode is giving Melody a dangerous case of the stupids.

18-35-Brad-registryBrad checks the guest registry for a Mr. Jones, and Melody bitches about it. Shut the fuck up, Melody.

18-36-Brad-phoneBrad doesn’t find a Mr. Jones registered this week and goes to the switchboard to call the police, and Melody bitches about it. Shut the fuck up, Melody!

18-37-pilot-points-MelodyThere’s some arguing about it. The pilot overhears it and returns, pointing through his pocket at Melody. Melody tries to explain things to “Mr. Jones”, and they go through the whole bit where the pilot answers Danny’s question of the hand-in-pocket thing by mentioning his gun, and Melody has a delayed reaction to it, and SHUT THE FUCK UP, YOU MORONIC CUNT!

18-38-Melody-horror“Oh, the horror! I totally did not see this coming! I feel so shocked and betrayed! What is this world coming to when you can’t trust a stranger snooping around in a private area?! I must question my entire life!”

The pilot finally lets Melody carry his bag as he has them go out to the mine shaft.

18-39-Buddy-climbs18-40-Ted-dirtBack in the shaft, Buddy climbs up the Dad-Ted ladder to try to reach the surface but can’t quite reach it until…

18-41-Ernst-sneezes 18-42-dirt 18-43-Buddy-shaftYeah, they seem to be implying the dirt that fell on Mr. Ernst’s face caused him to sneeze, which was just enough force to propel Buddy up. I think. Honestly, I don’t know what the point of it was. Mr. Ernst and Ted fall down, but Buddy hangs on and climbs out.

18-44-Buddy-ropeOh, and the pilot left the rope. Well, isn’t he courteous?

18-45-hostages-shaftLater, Melody freaks out when she learns the pilot’s going to put them down “the mine shaft”, which pretty much confirms this is meant to be the same shaft that Melody was in.

18-46-pilot-callsThe pilot takes his bag from Melody and calls down the shaft, not paying attention to what’s behind him.

18-47-guys-chargeCharge!

18-48-guys-charge-2 18-49-pilot-falls 18-50-Ernst-handThe pilot holds on with one hand while holding his bag with the other. He claims to have the others covered, but Mr. Ernst points out that he totally doesn’t. Mr. Ernst tells the pilot to drop his bag and grab his hand. The pilot refuses. Mr. Ernst pleads with him. The pilot, dumbass that he is, lets go of his hold on the ground and tries to grab Mr. Ernst’s hand but falls down the shaft. He’s not okay, much to Mr. Ernst’s delight.

18-51-Ernst-phoneThe pre-credits scene at the end, on the next day, has Mr. Ernst on the phone with the police department, which is issuing all of them a special commendation. Mr. Ernst personally congratulates Brad, Danny, and Melody for figuring things out.

18-52-Melody-liesMelody lies her ass off, claiming she figured it out. This does lead to a funny exchange between Ted and Buddy regarding the “brothers” thing.

Mr. Ernst’s watch alarm goes off. While the kids were doing their chores this morning, Mr. Ernst installed that automatic sprinkler system. Oh, I’d forgotten about that “subplot”.

18-53-Ernst-wet 18-54-Ernst-wet-2So ends another day at the Bar None.

This episode was mostly nice and had some good production values. Unfortunately, Ted was an idiot at the wrong moment, and Melody…Goddess, do I even need to bring that up again? This episode did so much damage to her character.

It’s interesting how the first act was left to Mr. Ernst, Ted, and Buddy, and the girls and Danny didn’t show up until the second act (aside from Brad’s quick cameo in the cold open).

But where was Lucy while all of this was going down?

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