Writer: Clifford Fagin
Director: Ross K. Bagwell, Jr.
Original air date: December 1, 1989
Before I get started, I want to make a quick note about Cassie. The last episode where she was mentioned in the closing credits was “Crash Landing” (season 2, episode 05). It seems the decision to stop using her was made after that episode was taped.
Also, assuming the original air dates are correct, the series took a week off, meaning two weeks passed between the previous episode and this one.
Anyway, Brad’s parents sent her a letter: they want her to join them in France for the rest of the summer. I guess her parents don’t value commitment, considering they want her to quit her job. Maybe they don’t consider her job to be “real work”, or maybe they think it’s “beneath” her. We’re left to guess. The only clue is Brad doesn’t consider them to be “all that horrible”.
Anyway, Melody is ready to send Brad off, but Brad is torn about leaving the ranch (her “home”) and her friends – even Ted, who she apparently once described as “a walking zit”.
As if on cue, Ted (and Danny) pulls this shit:
The girls catch Ted, who tries to cover his ass by claiming he’s reading this and The Sensational She-Hulk #10 (cover-dated January of 1990) to be in touch with Buddy’s interests, so he can give him advice, but he quickly blows his cover story by excitedly relating the She-Hulk plot (supposedly; does it involve a giant lobster?). He then sits down, leans back, and falls over backwards. Ha, ha. Anyway, Melody seems to be into comic books. She likes the She-Hulk one.
Deliberately or not, Ted calls the girls “wise guys” after Brad had likened Ted to the Three Stooges in the cold open.
Suddenly, a woman calls out for “Theodore”, which worries Ted but confuses Melody, because she’s a dumbass. Yes, this is 100% official confirmation, after “Pain in the Neck” (season 1, episode 13) first brought it up, that Ted’s real name is Theodore.
Miss Andrews is played by Laura Innes, who is David Brisbin’s real-life wife. They got married in 1988. This is her first of two appearances on “Hey Dude” (each time playing, presumably, different characters). She’s been acting since 1978 (although the early years are very sparse) and still acts to this day. She’s directed numerous TV episodes and even co-wrote an episode of “Hey Dude”, which we’ll get to later. Like her husband, she’s been a doctor on “ER” (albeit in many more episodes than him).
Anyway, Miss Andrews drones on about winning a church raffle (she seems to be either Catholic or Episcopalian) for a “holiday weekend” at the Bar None Ranch. Which holiday would this be? There are no apparent holidays in August. Don’t tell me that she means Labor Day, and we’re in September already. Ted would be back in school by then.
Miss Andrews drones on about ranch life and then asks about Mr. Ernst, who she has a lady-boner for.
Danny and Buddy are goofing off and throwing something, which goes right past Miss Andrews. When they come to the table, Ted makes the introductions. There’s some banter that leads into Miss Andrews singing “Home on the Range”, and let’s move on, shall we?
Ted passes Danny and Buddy off as his “junior staff”. For whatever reason, they don’t dispute it. Ted herds them out of there.
Later, outside the boys’ bunk house (which we can clearly see is labeled Bunkhouse 7), Ted complains to Danny and Buddy, who don’t give a shit. We learn Miss Andrews once made Ted write “I’ll never be tardy again” 1,000 times on the blackboard. We also learn Ted wasn’t on the baseball team. Ted likens Miss Andrews’ presence to his mother being here. It’s hard for him to be himself. He also mentions her attraction to Mr. Ernst, which Buddy, fearing a “new mom”, doesn’t take well.
Mr. Ernst comes over and is clumsy, which Miss Andrews likes, but Buddy believes she’s flirting with him, because his dad “isn’t funny”. The guys get back to pool work while Mr. Ernst entertains Miss Andrews with a lame joke.
After the commercial break (which, again, comes unusually early in this episode, though not as early as in the previous episode), on another day, Melody approaches Ted and Danny with the idea of writing letters to Brad’s parents in support of Brad staying at the ranch, which Melody will mail out. The guys agree, although Ted is egotistical and obnoxious about it. Also, for some reason, they’re just now hearing about Brad leaving. Danny ditches Ted when Melody asks Danny to help her with the pool chlorine.
Buddy shows up, looking for Miss Andrews, but Ted guesses Mr. Ernst took her on a trail ride. Buddy is upset that his dad is spending so much time with someone that’s not his mom, and Ted is confused over the blurring of lines between teachers/girls and parents/guys.
Later, as Mr. Ernst and Miss Andrews return from their ride, Buddy and Ted spy on them from a tree. We get some background info on Mr. Ernst. After he graduated from accounting school, he “had a little stint with Uncle Sam” (his father’s brother, Sam Ernst, owns a hardware store). Miss Andrews says she loves hardware.
Mr. Ernst pulls some flowers out of a pot and offers them to Miss Andrews. Y’know, I’ve seen this done before – on “Family Matters” and in Archie comics. The “Family Matters” one was particularly creepy: on the way over to Laura’s house, Steve Urkel stopped by the cemetery.
After his dad leaves (still wearing the pail), Buddy arrives and gets Miss Andrews to ask him about what he’s busy with. He’s going to break in his dad’s new cowboy boots (callback to the series premiere), which involves dunking them in lots of mud, boiling them in water for an hour, and laying them out in the sun all day. Miss Andrews takes the boots and insists on doing it herself in secret. Also, the corrective English teacher mistakenly uses “I” instead of “me”.
Later, a coworker named Vince (probably one of the crew or wranglers on the series) lets Brad into the corral, where she parks her horse. She encounters Miss Andrews (this is their only scene together, but they’ve already met) and discuss the trail ride. Miss Andrews brings up a location that Brad identifies as Indian Rock. Wait, wait, wait. Indian Rock is about five hours from Tucson by car. Mr. Ernst must have really gotten lost!
Anyway, Brad learns what Miss Andrews is about to do and that she got the idea from Buddy. As with Mr. Ernst in the series premiere, this genuine believing in the “breaking-in” process makes Miss Andrews look like an idiot.
Later, Ted and Buddy are summoned to Mr. Ernst’s office. Miss Andrews is also there. The two adults are pissed at the kids, who accept responsibility. Much like Ted does, I wonder how Mr. Ernst knew of Ted’s involvement. They certainly didn’t talk to either of them prior to this scene. Did Brad simply say “I bet Ted gave him the idea”? Ted explains his discomfort to Miss Andrews and apologizes. To his relief, Miss Andrews will call him “Ted” from now on. Buddy explains his discomfort to his dad. Mr. Ernst says Miss Andrews is “a new friend” (read: don’t expect to see her often, if ever again). Mr. Ernst and Buddy’s mom haven’t been together for quite a while, but he assures Buddy that she’ll always be his mom, and he’ll always love Buddy best.
Yeah, the boots on the desk were decoys. Mr. Ernst had found them in the barn. Nice way of tricking them, Mr. Ernst, but you’re lucky that they didn’t notice you wearing your boots while you briefly got up to walk around.
Ted learns a female coworker was involved in saving his job, and Mr. Ernst basically tells Ted to go down on her as thanks.
Later on, Ted comes by the corral. After a bit of playful flirting, he thanks Brad (sort of). Brad feigns ignorance. Ted gets down on his knees before the “superior one”, probably willing to give her head on command.
The pre-credits scene at the end, in the evening on whichever day, has Brad in a good mood, happily whistling. We learn Melody is a Guns N’ Roses fan (bit of a surprise, considering she’s a “nice” girl, but she also likes rap), and there’s a current or imminent tour. For what it’s worth, see here and here.
Brad lets Melody in on the good news (she can stay at the ranch) and thanks Melody. Melody claims it was all about keeping her “fashion source” around. Brad quotes part of what Ted had written: “And for a girl, she’s not a bad dude.” Oh, I don’t know. I bet she’s a bad enough dude to rescue the president.
So ends another day at the Bar None.
This episode was nice. It’s nice to see the on-screen chemistry between a real-life husband and wife. Also, Ted and Buddy’s worries felt realistic. Brad’s subplot was barely there, but it did add a bit to her character (in the way that the others think of her) and upbringing.