Season 3, Episode 04: New Kid on the Block

Writer: Steven Roth & Deanne Roth
Director: Fred K. Keller
Original air date: April 27, 1990

30-01-Danny-girlsIn the cold open, Danny asks the girls if they’ve seen his hat. They haven’t.

30-02-Ernst-BuddyMr. Ernst and Buddy come over, arguing. Buddy says “he’ll” never fit in here. Mr. Ernst understands. Mr. Ernst is suspicious of the teens’ attention. Brad has to remind him that he called this meeting. Mr. Ernst explains his nephew (his sister Wilma’s son, Buddy’s cousin, and “everybody’s problem”), Jake Decker, will be arriving from California sometime today – to be a new staff member on a trial basis. Wilma believes Jake needs hard work to learn responsibility. Buddy mentions all that Jake cares about is playing his “stupid drums”, but Mr. Ernst says there will be no disruptions.

Brad asks Mr. Ernst if he’s seen the Breakfast Ride sign-up sign from the main lodge; it’s missing. Brad had eight horses saddled up this morning, but no one showed up to ride. Maybe, before she did all of that work, Brad should have checked the damn sign-up sheet to see if anyone had signed up. Hell, she’s holding the sign-up sheet while she’s talking about it! Also, do none of the guests remember seeing the sign earlier in the week? And doesn’t the Bar None have a calendar of events or brochures? I find it hard to believe no one would show up, particularly if, assuming they were interested in riding horses, they could have asked at the front desk.

Danny muses, although Ted never did anything around here, now that he’s gone, everything seems to be falling apart. Mr. Ernst disagrees, but then…

30-03-falling-apart 30-04-GalkinDuring the opening credits, Ted is out, and Jake is in. Jonathan Galkin has had an interesting career. “Hey Dude” was his first of only two acting gigs (the second being a short-lived 1991 pre-teen sketch-comedy TV series called “Way Cool”). He attended NYU from 1991 to 1994. From 1994 to 2001, he worked as a special events producer, talent buyer, and manager at NYC firm, Empire Entertainment. In 2001, he co-founded DFA Records and continues to head the label. He’s married and has three children, and he seems to be doing well.

After the credits, the teens help Mr. Ernst to his feet. Mr. Ernst is feeling tense over Jake’s impending arrival, and Buddy calls him “Jake the Flake”. Apparently, Wilma talked him into taking Jake, because she has “power-marketing meetings” to attend or host, and having Jake around would somehow interfere with that. Yeah, I would have told her to fuck off. Danny suggests they fix the ramada before somebody gets hurt. Mr. Ernst goes to get some tools but doesn’t know where they’re kept. Really?

30-05-Buddy-shoesMr. Ernst asks Buddy what happened to his shoelaces, and I love how Melody playfully kicks Buddy’s sneaker to call visual attention to it. Mr. Ernst is upset that it makes it look like he can’t afford to dress Buddy, but Buddy says somebody took his shoelaces.

30-06-Danny-ramadaDanny inspects the ramada and discovers the screws have been removed – like somebody meant for this to happen. Melody guesses it’s the same “somebody” that took her lifeguard whistle. Brad adds her silver picture frame from her dresser is gone. Why didn’t the girls bring this stuff up when Danny was asking about his hat earlier?

Buddy’s upset over Jake coming to “[his] ranch”. The girls ask about it. Buddy says Jake’s weird. Things that Melody finds weird include wearing dress shoes with shorts and not knowing the entire Brady Bunch cast. I understand the first one, but how is it “weird” to not know all of the actors and/or characters on a long-cancelled sitcom? I used to watch “The Brady Bunch” when I was younger, and…it does sound like something that Melody would obsess over. Personally, I don’t think I could stand watching an episode today. I liked the first two movies, though, because they poked fun at the Bradys. Anyway, insert obvious “prediction” joke here.

Buddy explains Jake has a lack of practical knowledge but knows a lot of trivia. Melody asks if Jake is at all like Ted. Buddy seems to indicate he isn’t. Danny asks if Jake’s flexible. Apparently, Danny and Ted had this system: Danny put his hat on the lamp, which meant he wanted to be alone. Remember this detail. Brad is worried Mr. Ernst will make Jake senior staff. Melody says he won’t, because it wouldn’t be fair. Brad isn’t sure and says “Whatever family wants, family gets.” Yeah, I imagine that’s common up in the Pointe.

30-07-Ernst-toolboxMr. Ernst returns with the toolbox but is clueless about the “neat tool thingies”. Suddenly, they hear drumming in the distance.

30-08-Jake-arrivesJake ushers in the Jake Era through a loud drum solo. I love how Jake’s arrival somewhat mirrors Ted’s arrival in the series premiere.

01-01-first-shotThe others stare in surprise and confusion (and a random extra walks by in the background; weird).

30-09-Brad-Ernst 30-10-truck-brakes 30-11-Jake-falls 30-12-drum-rollsThen disaster strikes as the driver hits the brakes hard (for no fucking reason), knocking Jake over and sending his drums flying…and rolling.

30-13-Jake-HomerJake brings up the braking to the truck’s driver, Homer.

30-14-HomerBut all that Homer can do is insult Jake’s “gosh darn hippie music”, which Jake takes as Homer being knowledgeable about that piece being based on “tribal poly rhythms from Woodstock”. Well, ain’t Jake just a totally radical, tubular California dude? Like, totally.

Homer is played by Sarge McGraw. “Hey Dude” was his first acting gig. This is his first of two appearances, each time playing (perhaps) the same character. He had roles in two movies after this (one in 1994 and the other in 1998). That’s it.

Mr. Ernst comes over and demands to know the meaning of this, so Jake explains “centrifecal force” to him, which isn’t a thing. I think Jake might referring to either centrifugal force or centripetal force, or maybe he’s just being a smartass. I really can’t tell.

Jake explains he missed his flight, so he accepted a ride with a busload of nuns, who didn’t have common musical interests with him (except for Gregorian chants), so, around Yuma, he transferred to a crop duster, but he was getting nowhere, so he chose to ride on the back of Homer’s hay truck. Mr. Ernst asks why Jake didn’t just take the next flight, which hadn’t occurred to him.

30-15-Jake-BuddyBuddy doesn’t want Jake bunking with him and wants Mr. Ernst to call Aunt Wilma. Mr. Ernst puts it off. Oh, yeah, Jake calls his drums “tubs”, because of course he fucking does. Yes, it’s legit drumming slang, but it still sounds stupid.

Mr. Ernst asks the girls and Danny if they should be fixing the ramada.

30-16-Melody-no“Mmm-mmm.” I love this. Melody just casually disregards work in front of her boss, because…she prefers witnessing the chaos that Jake brings? I dunno.

Mr. Ernst sends them off to do it, and Melody is disappointed. Mr. Ernst has Buddy gather up all of Jake’s belongings and show him to his bunk. After Mr. Ernst leaves, Buddy argues with Jake over his decision to come here, but Jake doesn’t want to be here either. Since Mr. Ernst is giving Jake only one week to prove himself, Buddy comes up with the idea of Jake screwing up and being sent home.

30-17-dealJake likes it, the two of them will work together on it.

30-18-Jake-horse-1 30-19-Jake-horse-2The next day (I guess), at the corral, Jake is outfitting a horse with scuba gear.

30-20-Brad-JakeBrad comes over and demands to know what the fuck Jake is doing to “[her] horses”. Jake says he had an idea for “the ultimate experience”: underwater horseback riding. Brad argues with him over it and brings up the consequences if Mr. Ernst sees it. Rather than fill Brad in on his plan, he’s all casual about it.

30-21-guestsMr. Ernst and Buddy arrive with two guests just after Brad covers the scuba gear.

30-22-Brad-bullshitsBrad bullshits about how their horses “were specially cross-bred with camels to ensure safe desert crossings”. Jake adds they’re amphibious. Brad says this requires extra prep time and asks the guests to come back in fifteen minutes. Mr. Ernst argues with her, so Brad asks for five minutes. Mr. Ernst, somehow buying all of this, warns her to not let this happen again and takes the guests to his office to see a map of the trail. After they leave, Brad angrily tells Jake that she’ll resaddle her own horses. After she leaves, Buddy says this could be harder than they thought. Just fill the rest of the gang in on your plan, you idiots!

30-23-Danny-girlsLater, Danny and the girls are…still fixing the ramada. Why’s it taking so long?

30-24-girlsBrad says Jake’s just not like them. Melody says they should give Jake a break, since it’s his first week.

30-25-fixing-ramadaDanny says Jake needs a lesson in water conservation. This morning, he found Jake in the shower, reading a book, and he didn’t even notice it was overflowing. Um, first, how can a shower overflow? Second, back in “Rainmen” (season 1, episode 09), we saw the showers are outside, and the walls and door don’t reach the bottom.

Melody admits, yesterday, Jake tried save Mr. Everett, “the former Olympian”, in the pool. Danny asks if any human being back be that flaky and says it’s almost like Jake wants to get into trouble. Oh, the hilarity of a lack of communication.

Brad asks if they can keep bailing him out. Melody doesn’t have an answer. Danny says they are a bit short-handed with Ted at summer school (he doesn’t mention Lucy’s fourth consecutive non-appearance). Melody wants them to give Jake a break, because they were new once, too. Brad isn’t sure. Melody asks what more Jake can screw up.

30-26-Jake-skiingAs if on cue, Jake is teaching a cross-country skiing class. The girls chew Jake out, and Brad says they’re saving his butt for the last time. Danny calls out “Ernst Alert”, so…

30-27-hide-skis…they “hide” the skis. They is so stupid, and they don’t even do a good job of it. Melody hides Jake’s ski pole behind her back.

Mr. Ernst and Buddy arrive. Mr. Ernst asks about the guests standing in a straight line, and Danny bullshits about them being military.

30-28-Melody-poleMelody tries to excuse herself to go to the pool, but Mr. Ernst gets the ski pole from her and questions her about it. He doesn’t know what it is. Incredulous, Jake’s about to tell him, but then Danny jumps in, saying it’s a “metal walking stick”. Melody and Danny invite him to try it out, and he walks off, liking it.

Buddy asks them to stop interfering. He explains “Jake is trying to get kicked out of here – on purpose”. I thank you ever so kindly very much for that explanatory explanation, Mr. Superfluousness.

Melody is upset that they’ve been covering for Jake for nothing. Brad says they’ll get Jake out of here if he wants it. Melody and Danny nod along in agreement, but then Melody starts shaking her head before the fade to commercial. Weird.

30-29-planningAfter the commercial break, Danny and the girls exit the girls’ bunk house. Danny has the idea of setting off a series of explosions and blaming it on Jake’s “nuclear fusion experiments”. While this sounds like a Jake thing, it’s highly dangerous. Danny had been hanging out with Ted way too long. Brad points out the riskiness, but she says they’ll save it for their “strong possibility category”. Seriously?

Melody shushes them, because…Jake’s arriving, and he proceeds to listen to their ideas anyway, so…what the fuck?

Oh, and the girls are washing the outside of the windows of their bunk house. This is a nice example of a plot occurring around the work that needs to be done.

Brad suggests setting Jake’s drums on fire (what is it with Brad this week? Little Miss Arsonist), but Jake immediately declares “the tubs” off-limits. Danny says Ted would know what to do. Brad says Ted was the expert on getting into trouble. Melody brings up the events of “Ted and Brad Get Handcuffed” (season 1, episode 10), and Brad brings up her coyote-like urge. Brad calls Ted a jerk. Melody agrees but calls him “a pretty great jerk”. Jake says it sounds like they all miss him. Brad tries to dispute it but soon agrees. Melody says they’d do this if any of them left. I believe she’s referring to their talking about Ted, not about their plan to send Jake home.

30-30-familyJake marvels at their closeness. Danny says they’re like family – and playfully calls the girls his “ugly stepsisters”.

Brad says they’d expect Jake to do the same for them, except she can’t imagine ever wanting to leave. Danny agrees. Melody asks Jake why he wants to go. He lives alone most of the time (his parents are never around). Brad asks if it gets kind of lonely. Jake says he can come and go as he pleases, and he’s got “the tubs”. Jake expresses his appreciation of what they’re doing.

30-31-Jake-BuddyThe next day (I guess), Buddy finds Jake after looking everywhere for him. Jake had been out, searching for a portable recorder that he’d lost on the ride in. Why’d he wait so long to look for it? It’s his work in progress called “Jake’s Guide to Life”. He records everything that’s important to him. He just started a new chapter. Buddy asks to see it…for some reason, and Jake lets him. After a bit of banter (Buddy doesn’t like oysters after ordering it once), Jake reveals he wants to stay. Buddy says it’s too late, because everything’s about to begin. After some prodding from Jake, Buddy reveals Jake always had to be better than him. Jake says Buddy always had attention when he was growing up, but Jake had to fight for it. Jake says Buddy’s father will do anything for him, but his father can’t wait until he turns 18, so he’s out of the house. Jake admits he envies Buddy, but he can’t think of any specific examples. I think the contrast being their two dads is reason enough. Buddy says it’s hard to admire someone as different as Jake, and it makes him wish he was a little weird, too. Buddy says he’s “plain, ordinary normal”; it’s who he is. Jake says [being different] is who he is. Buddy says Jake can stay if he stays out of his way.

30-32-deal-2Buddy spots Mr. Ernst and says it’s too late. Jake has Buddy come with him.

Jake crawls through a window into Mr. Ernst’s office, where the gang had set up his drum set. Jake throws a cymbal out the window and seemingly hits Buddy, despite the cymbal clearly not hitting him.

30-33-Jake-bustedMr. Ernst catches Jake, who is forced to “admit” he’s “donating the tubs to the Bar None” but will give “benefit concerts”.

30-34-Jake-lessonsJake doesn’t get too far into demonstrating (by the way, a random extra passes by outside the office and looks inside, and check out that random female employee in the background, sorting the mail) before Mr. Ernst makes him stop, so Jake offers to give him lessons. Mr. Ernst has the idea to turn the drums into feed buckets – portable feed troughs for the horses. Mr. Ernst thanks Jake for his generosity.

30-35-Brad-thumbs-upBrad pokes her head through the window and calls Mr. Ernst’s attention over to the corral. She gives Jake a thumbs-up, much to Jake’s distress. Jake runs out, and Brad blames Jake for what’s going on, grinning psychotically after Mr. Ernst leaves.

30-36-Brad-grins 30-37-spaDanny has turned the horses’ feeding trough into “Jake’s Spa”. Hmm, it seems like Brad’s dream of a spa in “Cowboy Ernst” (season 2, episode 12) came true.

30-38-spa-2It’s funny how the horse stops drinking right after Danny turns the pump on.

Danny takes the horse away. Jake and Buddy come by and get rid of the beach stuff.

30-39-guestsUnfortunately, two guests, who have somehow gotten word of this “spa”, show up. Jake tries to get them out of there by saying the water isn’t ready, and then Buddy mentions the horse goobers floating in it. Jake has Buddy take the guests to the pool. Despite both guests having lines, the actors aren’t credited.

Jake can’t shut the pump off. Mr. Ernst finally arrives (what took him so long?) and catches Jake. Jake claims he was treating the horses to sparkling water, adding it adds a touch of glass to the Bar None. He says the water is so clean that even Mr. Ernst could drink it. Mr. Ernst wants to test it, but Jake volunteers. He notices horse goobers floating in the cup (the two drinking cups being in the scene are awfully convenient) but drinks it anyway.

30-40-Jake-disgusted 30-41-Jake-tosses-waterMr. Ernst brands it “Bar None Sparkling Horse Water” and hopes it’ll draw in “that equestrian crowd from Scottsdale“. He tells Jake to carry on, and Jake coughs repeatedly after he leaves.

30-42-Danny-paintLater, Danny has finished the latest plan to get Jake in trouble. The girls and Danny are somewhat sad that Jake will be leaving.

30-43-Jake-recorder“Invention: rotary nose-hair trimmer modeled after the weed-whacker.”

30-44-girl-excitedThe girls are very giddy and excited to share the latest mischievous plan with Jake. It seems they’d been hanging out with Ted way too long, too.

Jake runs away. Melody asks what’s going on. Buddy fills them in. Brad asks Buddy why he didn’t tell them. That was what Jake and Buddy should have done from the start. Of course, if they had, Jake would be gone now, and the episode would be over. This time, the argument could be made that the gang sprung all of their plans in close succession, leaving Jake and Buddy no time to tell them.

Melody admits they like Jake, surprising Buddy. Mr. Ernst screams whoever did “this” is fired, and the gang runs up the stairs behind the front desk. Y’know, it’s never been shown exactly where this leads, but it seems to be an exit – only it’s above floor level, so…weird.

30-45-bannerInsert Bon Jovi joke here. Yeah, this was totally the girls’ idea.

I’d like to think Joe Torres painted this, since he does have artistic ability, but I can’t confirm it.

30-46-gangMr. Ernst demands to know who did it, and everyone except Jake takes the blame, but then Jake takes the blame, but then Brad, Danny, and Melody individually take the blame. Jake explains and mentions his change of heart. Mr. Ernst is about to send Jake home, but the others stick up for Jake and want him to stay (Jake said he’d give Danny lessons on “the tubs”), so Mr. Ernst agrees, but he’ll extend Jake’s probationary period by one week.

30-47-gang-2The gang is happy. Mr. Ernst has them take the banner down.

30-48-Ernst-spiesHe then spies on the gang and smiles in approval as they get along and comment on the banner and how it looks like him.

30-49-Jake-drumsThe pre-credits scene at the end has Jake showing Buddy how to drum on his knees.

30-50-packageDanny brings by a package addressed to everybody and asks who wants to open it. Melody excitedly volunteers, saying it’s just like Christmas.

30-51-stuffThe gang finds their stuff: Melody’s lifeguard whistle, Danny’s hat (see? he can’t want to be alone without it), and the Breakfast Ride sign-up sign.

30-52-Melody-noteMelody reads a note:

“If you don’t miss me, I knew you’d at least miss your stuff. Love, Ted.”

30-53-Ted-pictureJake says something about Ted that I can’t understand, but Brad replies by showing a picture of Ted put into her silver picture frame. Somewhat contrary to the end of last week’s episode, Brad finds it hilarious.

Buddy finds his shoelaces, and Danny finds the screws to the ramada. Mr. Ernst comes outside, greets them, and is about to sit down to read. Jake finds another set of screws in the box and wonders what they’re to. Danny has a suspicion and warns Mr. Ernst.

30-54-Ernst-falls 30-55-gang-amusedMr. Ernst blames Jake, who’s surprised at being blamed. The rest of the gang is amused, though.

30-56-gang-helps-ErnstAs the gang helps Mr. Ernst to his feet, Jake explains it was Ted (but Brad, weirdly, then says she doesn’t know). Mr. Ernst accepts it.

So ends another day at the Bar None.

This episode was a good introduction to a new character. I like Jake. He’s got the right stuff, he got to me step by step, and he’s just hangin’ tough.

I wonder if the constant mentioning of Ted was meant to smooth the transition to Jake, or maybe they were hoping Lascher would come back. I have no way of proving it, but maybe this episode was taped during Lascher’s audition, and they were hoping he wouldn’t get the role and would come back (which would explain Brad’s words in the previous episode). Heck, the restaurant being named “Joe’s” might have been an in-joke. I found this 1990 article last Friday that has an interview with Lascher. It seems all nine episodes of “A Family for Joe” had been filmed by end of April. Network officials and audience ratings were then to determine the fate of the series. Considering only six of the episodes aired from March 24 to May 5, and then three months went by before the remaining three episodes aired, I’m guessing it wasn’t long after this April 22 article that the series’ fate was decided. By then, Nickelodeon audiences had seen Ted’s departure and Jake’s arrival. I wonder when Lascher made the decision to return.

As a final thought, I wonder how the fuck Ted managed to steal all of that shit, considering it was Danny that brought his bag out to him.

Countdown to the Second Coming of Ted: 16

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3 responses to “Season 3, Episode 04: New Kid on the Block

  1. Ooh, good catch about “Joe”! I am going off of memory here, but I THINK Jake says, “I like this ‘Ted’!” At any rate, I love the addition of Jake. He fit in really well. Its not the same without Ted, but when Ted eventually does return, I think both characters felt like they belonged and one wasn’t a reiteration of the other. Love your countdown to the second coming of Ted.

    In case you couldn’t tell, I’m a little bit obsessed with Ted. I enjoyed the other episodes, but I remember as a kid (ok, as an adult too) always wishing Ted was there.

    Anyway. Love Jake. Love your reviews!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I believe Happily is right, I think Jake says “I like this ‘Ted'”. And I always remember how Brad seemed to keep staring at Ted’s picture, I thought it was nice consistency that she did actually still miss him. My head canon for how in the world Ted had time to steal all this stuff without them knowing is he did it prior to telling Brad/everyone he was leaving. I know that still doesn’t really explain it but it makes maybe a tad more sense.

    I didn’t really know the order of these episodes when I was younger but obviously you could tell this followed “date night”. I always liked Jake. His acting was fine or as good as most everyone else. He had good chemistry with everyone (I always thought he worked best with Buddy). And he did comedy well. I loved that in this episode he wanted to leave and everyone was covering for him. We get another spin sort of that with that “Jed” episode and they covering for Jake again.

    I love the Ted countdown.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. One reason why I think the show could have done without Kyle is that there were a disproportionate amount of guys to the amount of girls when the series ended. If they HAD to introduce another new kid after Jake, why not a girl? Especially one that could’ve been a contrast to Brad and Melody, and possibly even have been a love interest for Jake. He’s the only one who doesn’t get some kind of action on the ranch, poor guy…

    Liked by 1 person

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