Writer: Lisa Melamed
Director: Ross K. Bagwell, Jr.
Original air date: May 4, 1990
In the cold open, Brad gets some fruit cocktail for breakfast from Danny. He asks about her riding lesson from yesterday. It went okay, but she’s nervous about an upcoming competition. Melody comes by, yawns, and stretches. Jake asks if she’s secretly got a great nightlife. Melody wishes, but she simply didn’t get much sleep last night. Brad says Melody was tossing like a fish on land. Melody has been having a recurring dream: Mick Jagger jumps into the pool with his guitar. Melody tries to stop him, but she can’t think of the word “electrocuted”. He jumps. She feels really dumb and wakes up. Yeah. So, if you were hoping for an insight into Melody’s subconscious, I hope you’re satisfied.
Lucy returns to the series by bringing the gang mail. Brad gets something for the horse show this week.
Melody and Danny also get stuff. Melody’s mail is a postcard that reads “Dear Melody, Ready or not. Love, Amy” (props to whoever actually wrote it out, although I wish we could see the address clearly), which confuses Melody. Amy is Melody’s friend from home, but Melody doesn’t know what to expect.
Lucy informs us that Mr. Ernst won’t be showing up this week. With Brad getting ready for her competition (and thus being excused from work), things could get busy, so Lucy asks the gang to keep the craziness to a minimum. Melody agrees on everyone’s behalf. Lucy takes Brad away from breakfast (so much for her fruit cocktail) for some extra practice. Jake (who’s apparently already met Lucy off-screen) and Danny believe Lucy worries too much.
What the fuck…?
After the credits, Danny demands to know pretty much that, and Buddy demands to be called “Bud”. It’s his new image, meant to counteract everybody’s perception of him as a “cute, little kid”. Buddy wants to be tough and cool.
After some banter between Jake and Buddy (Jake suggests being a surfer) and Melody and Buddy (dumbass Buddy wrote his fake “MOM” tattoo upside-down, so it looks like “WOW”), Melody shares her saliva with Buddy:
Buddy demands Melody get the fuck out of here. Melody is glad that Mr. Ernst isn’t around to see this. Buddy insists he’s getting a Harley. Yeah, this new “image” of Buddy is our subplot for this episode.
Buddy asks the guys for their opinions. Danny asks why mess with perfection and leaves. Jake pulls the “baby thug” over to inspect his rolled-up sleeve, suspecting a pack of cigarettes.
It turns out to be a bunch of baseball cards, which Jake keeps.
Later, Brad checks a guest in and helps her with her bags. Huh, I guess Brad is doing some work this week.
Melody arrives, and the guest recognizes her. Yep, this is Amy.
Amy is played by Robyn Lynne Raab. “Hey Dude” was her first acting gig, where she’s credited as Robyn Raab. Her second (and final) acting gig was a role in the 1997 film, “Orgazmo”, where she’s credited as Robyn Lynne.
The girls are happy to see each other.
Amy almost didn’t recognize Melody, because they’re not wearing the same clothes. Melody asks Amy what she’s doing here. We learn Melody was the freeze tag champion in the fourth grade. Melody realizes “Ready or not” is followed by “here I come”. Amy’s parents had a conference to go to in Scottsdale, so Amy convinced them to let her visit Melody instead – for an undetermined length of time.
Heh, check out the random, unnamed female staff member working the switchboard behind the desk. Like the others that have come before her, she isn’t credited. The Bar None sure has a lot of female staff members that, presumably, interact with the main gang on a regular basis, yet they (named or, most likely, not) are black slates. We literally know nothing about their relationships with the main characters or each other.
Amy was so bored at home and going crazy, because she missed Melody so much. Melody excuses herself, because she has a pool full of kids that she has to teach junior lifesaving to.
Brad carries Amy’s bags up the stairs and has Amy follow her, although Amy just awkwardly stands around, barely visible in the shot, while Brad has a conversation with Lucy. I like this. It’s realistic to have Amy just stand around while Brad and Lucy talk, because that kind of stuff happens all of the time in real life.
Anyway, Lucy gets on Brad about practicing her jumps, but Brad says she needs someone to cover for her, because it’s nuts here this week. What about that random extra behind the desk? Lucy wishes Mr. Ernst was here to see it this busy. Brad needs someone to spot her for a couple of hours here and there, and Lucy decides to play around with the schedule again to try to help her. Brad thanks her.
However, Amy then makes a proposal.
Later, Melody is using a blowdryer. Nice touch; she would use one after showering, which she would have done after getting out of the pool.
Danny visits and notices something strange. Melody reveals it took her a minute to notice the extra bed. No one has said anything to her about a new bunkmate. While Melody brushes her hair, Danny reveals he met Amy earlier and says she’s kind of cute. Melody says he should tell Amy, because she usually doesn’t think so. Danny is nervous. Melody asks for Danny’s advice, because it seems she has grown apart from Amy (her “habit”) and might not even like her if she met her today.
Before Danny can respond, Lucy and Amy arrive. I believe this is the first time that we’ve seen Lucy without her hat (the brief moment where it gets knocked off in “Ted and Brad Get Handcuffed” notwithstanding), and I like how she looks. Amy is the newest member of the Bar None staff. She says the “Bobbsey Twins” are together again at last, which offers some insight into their childhood reading material. Lucy thanks Amy and leaves. Amy makes her bed. Melody introduces Amy to Danny, who’s a bit nervous but jokes with her (“Why did the cactus cross the road?” “Because it was stuck to the chicken?”). Amy would rather just do her work and then hang out with Melody instead of doing any exploring. Danny nervously excuses himself to go and do some work.
Amy and Melody sit on Amy’s bed to “gab” (Amy’s term). Melody asks what’s going on at home. Amy says it’s “dull as dirt”, because almost everybody’s away. Janet wrote and is having a blast in Italy. Amy heard from “the triplets”, who are fine. It’s nice that we’re getting some details about Melody’s home life and acquaintances, even if it’s not much.
Brad arrives and says Melody and Amy look like “Cathy and Patty”, a reference to “The Patty Duke Show“, which was rerunning on Nick at Nite at the time. Amy thinks it’s great that they dress alike, but Melody tries to bury it in the past. Amy praises Melody’s figure and compares herself to a “glow-in-the-dark Butterball turkey”. Melody disputes it. Brad thanks Amy for covering her shifts. Amy reveals she and Melody have known each other “forever” and calls themselves “Tweedledee and Tweedledum”. If I was Melody, I’d feel a bit insulted. Amy brings up her and Melody’s supposed similarities, which makes Melody uncomfortable. Amy reveals, last year, for the school show, their class (I guess she means Drama class, since this is high school) did “Fiddler on the Roof“, and the two of them got to play sisters, which Amy loved. There was an “obnoxious” (Melody’s term) girl playing the lead, the older sister. She took a prop that they were supposed to use and replaced it with a stuffed pig. Brad guesses they’re the stars of their school, but Amy disputes it and says she did the play solely because Melody did. She says she and Melody are “not big joiners”. She says there are the jocks, nerds, and rich kids, but they don’t need “that group stuff” when they’ve got a “best friend”. Brad always thought of Melody as “president of the class, captain of the team, always involved”. Melody says she is, but Amy quickly tells Brad that Brad just doesn’t know them, and then the “trouble/danger” music comes on, almost like parody of a suspense film. Brad goes back to the corral, and Amy calls her a snob after she leaves, which surprises Melody. Amy calls Brad a “rich snob” and says they “hate that type”. Melody tells Amy that she’s wrong. After a moment, Amy laughs and gets off the bed just as the scene ends.
Later, at the corral, Jake is interviewing Brad’s horse. Yeah.
We learn from Brad that, last time, her horse (it’s a girl) made it over the fence, but Brad landed “elsewhere”. She indicates her left arm/shoulder while she says this. I was hoping she’d indicate her butt. It would have been funnier.
They banter for a bit. Danny asks if “Melody’s friend” is coming out to watch Brad tomorrow. Jake is suddenly interested in Amy. They banter for a bit. Danny is shyly vague about his interest in Amy. Brad is indecisive over whether she likes Amy or not. Danny leaves.
At dinner, Melody brings a guest his steak, and he gets on her case that he’d changed his order. He apologizes when he realizes she’s not Amy.
The guest is played by Dean C. DePew. “Hey Dude” was his sole acting gig. This is his first of two appearances, each time playing (perhaps) the same character.
Melody takes his steak away and keeps a lookout for Amy. I love Melody’s face here. Also, check out that random, unnamed female staff member in the background. Same girl from earlier? I dunno.
Melody comes across Amy and asks her to wear something different, and Amy gets all offended and shit. Melody walks away in frustration.
Amy brings a basket of rolls to two guests and asks them about a “hypothetical” situation that’s exactly like what’s going on between herself and Melody, and Melody overhears this.
Melody brings by a pitcher that she claims Amy forgot. One of the women mistakes Melody for Amy. Melody asks if two people being so alike is weird, but they, in unison, declare it isn’t.
The “grandmothers” are played by Joan Sharp Henning and Bobby Joyce Smith. For both actors, “Hey Dude” was their sole acting gig, and this is their first of two appearances, each time playing (perhaps) the same characters. IMDb fails to credit Bobby Joyce Smith for her appearance in this episode.
Melody leaves, unsatisfied, and almost collides with Amy, who’s still pissed at her.
“Bud”, witnessing this, comes by, helps himself to a chip, and declares “Bad vibes.” Since when do “tough” guys talk like New Agers / Wiccans?
The next day, in the main lodge, Danny informs two guests that he’ll soon be starting his lecture on the western pioneers. The actors aren’t credited.
Melody is on the phone with (an unheard) Mr. Ernst, informing him of things and assuring him that Brad’s horse’s blanket will have “Bar None Ranch” on it, but Brad probably won’t be wearing the room rates on herself (but she’ll check anyway). Melody is vague about Buddy.
Buddy comes by, sits on the counter (the random female staffer completely ignores him), and asks if that was his “old man”. Melody is leaving it to Buddy to reveal the new him to his father. Buddy is pleased that some off-screen people “respect” him. Melody says it’s fear. She also tells him to take a hike – or a bath. Something off-screen gets Melody’s attention, and she walks off. Buddy is the only person to acknowledge the random female staffer’s existence when he asks her opinion on his appearance. She non-reacts to it.
Danny says it’s a little-known fact that the Bar None was a stagecoach stopping point on the trek westward.
Amy arrives and asks Melody for peace, which Melody agrees to. Amy apologizes and admits she was jealous. Apparently, Amy has a video tape of Melody singing “The Way We Were” with Silly Putty on her nose.
Amy admits she’s feeling scared about stuff: school next year, boys, everything. Her parents are on her case like crazy. She needs one of their “ten-hour bull sessions”. Melody agrees. Amy says, after they get off work, she’ll find a huge bag of cookies, and they’ll lock themselves in the bunk, talk, and get crumbs on everything. Melody says they’re all going to Brad’s competition later. Amy protests. Melody suggests Amy come along. Amy says she needs Melody here. Melody already promised Brad that she’ll go, and she really wants to. Amy says she’ll be here only one more day (I guess she got a call from her parents). Amy throws a fit and storms off.
Danny abruptly leaves his group and nervously offers Amy a tour of the ranch, but she says she – and everybody – is busy. Amy leaves.
Melody and Danny are left to bond over their shared membership in the Amy Hates Us Club.
After the commercial break, that evening (why is this competition so late?), Brad is getting ready, and Melody is excited for her and jealous of her appearance. Melody says, when she’s in a swim meet, she ends up looking like a California Raisin. Um, Melody is comparing Brad’s before to her own after. Anyway, apparently, Melody decided to compete in swim meets after dropping out of her would-be first one in “Our Little Champion”. It’s nice to know this is going on “behind the scenes”, but I wish they’d brought it up earlier instead of revealing this whole aspect of Melody’s life in a throwaway comment.
Melody refers to Brad’s appearance as elegant. Brad’s hands are shaking from nervousness, so Melody takes the brush and lovingly brushes Brad’s hair. She gives Brad a pep talk, but Brad is really scared that she’ll fall off again. Melody tries to cheer Brad up.
Meanwhile, Amy is hella jelly, pigging out on cookies and planning on having her own private “bull session”.
Brad says bye to Amy. Amy says bye to her. Brad goes outside. Neither Melody nor Amy have changed their minds.
Jake pokes his head in through the window and tells Melody to come on. Melody gets her jacket. Jake calls Amy along, too, but Amy passes. Jake offers to buy Amy a horse-like pencil sharpener as a souvenir, which makes Amy laugh briefly, but she still declines. Jake and Melody leave, Amy getting in a shot at Melody.
Later, Amy is sitting outside as Team Brad (the gang plus whatever extras that they could round up) arrives back at the ranch, victorious.
Brad brings up an incident involving “Bud” (“Buddy”, he corrects her). A cute girl had rejected him, because her mom thought he’s too dangerous-looking. Ha. So ends that thrilling subplot.
Jake brings up a humorous incident involving the girl that rode before Brad (he’s wished her and her horse luck before the show, and he told the horse to break a leg, which made the girl nervous). Brad is surprised but finds it amusing. We don’t find out if the horse actually broke a leg or not, though.
Lucy gets them to quiet down, so they won’t wake the guests. She wants to keep the celebration going with a small party in the main lodge. She goes to round up some food.
There’s a nice moment where Jake lets “Superstar” walk in front of him, and Brad says “Bow when you say that”, so Jake bows. Cute!
Melody and Danny go to check on Amy, but Jake warns Danny about Amy. Believing Jake is upset over Amy not falling for him, Danny tells Jake to mind his own business. Jake wishes Danny good luck. This is so odd. I feel like we’re missing something – as if a scene had been cut. The episode is the normal running time, though.
Melody and Amy make uncomfortable small talk before Danny breaks in, inviting Amy to the celebration. Melody tells him that she and Amy really need to talk. Amy suddenly accepts Danny’s offer. Melody, upset, goes inside the girls’ bunk house.
Danny asks Amy if this is a spite date. Amy says she doesn’t know why she’s here and doesn’t want to spoil Danny’s time. Danny has a better idea than going to the party.
On the lake, Danny says he and Melody are sorry that Amy didn’t come to the horse show. Amy doesn’t believe him about Melody. She asks Danny why things have to change. Danny says it’d be pretty boring if they didn’t. Amy laughs but says that’s not a good enough reason.
Danny says she and Melody can still be friends despite their differences.
Amy says she doesn’t know who she is without Melody. I absolutely love this shot, especially the way in which the light moves along Amy’s hair.
Danny says sometimes he’ll go along with or act like somebody, because it’s easier than being himself (is he talking about Ted, maybe?), and he’s not even sure who he is.
Amy says, when they were little, she and Melody made up a contract that said they were honorary twins. Amy still has it. She says, if there’s somebody else just like you, then you can’t be that weird. Danny understands. He says, sometimes, it’s good to have stuff in common with your friends, but he likes somebody for differences and wouldn’t want a whole lot of friends exactly like himself. Amy says she’d want a whole lot of friends like Danny.
Amy says coming to the ranch and trying to barge into Melody’s life here was a mistake. Danny says, if she hadn’t, then they never would have met. Amy is glad that she came. Danny, perhaps not understanding what she meant (she is vague about it), says it’s nice out here, and Amy says it’s a really nice night.
Later, as Danny and Amy return from their date, Melody is waiting outside, pigging out on cookies, and offers them some. They accept. Danny wants to put his cookie under his pillow in hopes of sweet dreams. Amy brings up the possibility of ants. Danny wishes them good night as he nearly trips while walking backwards. The girls wish him good night.
Melody invites Amy to sit. She says, outside her family, Amy is the person that she’s known the longest. She would trust Amy with her deepest, darkest secrets and do almost anything for her, but she won’t give up other friends for her; it’s wrong for Melody to do it, and it’s wrong for Amy to want it. Melody also won’t pretend things are exactly the same. They had met when Melody started second grade in the new school, and the teacher had Amy walk her home, so she wouldn’t get lost. I wish we’d learn the reason behind Melody changing schools. Melody calls it the luckiest day of her life. Recently, Amy’s been afraid that Melody wouldn’t want to be her friend anymore. Melody is surprised and says she always wants them to be friends, but it does have to change – not less, just different. Amy reveals Danny kissed her. Melody is surprised and asks for details.
The pre-credits scene at the end has Melody and Amy showing up for breakfast on the next day. For some reason, Brad isn’t present.
Danny and Amy withhold knowledge of their relationship from a curious Jake.
Melody reveals she and Amy had “a full-blown pig-out” last night. Amy is sick of cookies.
Danny gives Amy a half-cookie from under his pillow (he had sweet dreams and hungry dreams). Melody says “we” better get Amy to the bus station. Is someone else going besides them? Jake, Danny, and Amy say bye, but there’s no goodbye kiss. Melody pulls Amy away. Jake wants details from Danny, but Danny refuses.
Amy suddenly wants to say goodbye to “that little greaser kid”.
Oh, great, the subplot. Yeah, Buddy’s a nerd now, because of course he fucking is. Jake calls him “a baby Uncle Ernst”. This is kind of similar to Buddy’s “transformation” in “Inmates Run the Asylum” (season 3, episode 01). For some reason, Melody seems to not initially recognize Buddy.
So ends another day at the Bar None.
This episode was a really nice. We got a lot of background info on Melody.
Most of the episode almost seems like an introduction for another new character, but Amy’s just a one-off, which is a shame, because I like her.
Finally, I wish to make it known to all that WordPress’ new composer sucks ass. The interface is different. Images appear in a random order after upload, which makes it a nightmare to locate the one that I need to insert. The script stops running, which causes the images to be unselectable, so I have to close the tab, open a new one, go back to WordPress, go into the Drafts, and pick up where I left off (thank Goddess for the drafts, at least); this happened multiple times. It took me nearly two hours to prepare this post after I finished writing the review.
Countdown to the Second Coming of Ted: 15