Writer: Judy Spencer
Director: Fred K. Keller
Original air date: June 1, 1990
For the second time in the series, Mr. Ernst doesn’t appear in an episode (or third time if you don’t count his voiceover cameo in “Datenite” as an appearance). Lucy misses her second episode in a row, but what else is new? This leaves today’s episode entirely to the kids.
In the cold open, Buddy is trying to hypnotize Danny – to no avail.
“Chef Boyarjake” takes a break (from serving breakfast, I guess) and comes to the table to eat. The three of them debate hypnosis for a while. Danny leaves to get to work.
Buddy seemingly is able to hypnotize Jake and commands him to dump his bowl of cereal over his head upon hearing a certain word (which, in a nice bit of continuity, is the name of the planet from the comic book mentioned in “Take Me to Your Leader”).
Jake, having been commanded to remember none of this, blames Buddy for wasting his cereal and goes to get more.
After the credits, in the main lodge, the guys argue about the incident. There’s a bit where Buddy refuses to speak the trigger word and instead writes it down for Danny, who keeps mispronouncing it, so Buddy eventually just blurts it out.
Ha. Anyway, Jake blames Buddy again. Buddy believes Jake’s faking, but Danny suggests Buddy really did hypnotize him. Buddy suddenly feels powerful. Danny tells Buddy to deprogram Jake, but Buddy says he can’t (has he even tried?). Danny is worried about a guest accidentally saying the trigger word near him (which, c’mon, is highly unlikely). Buddy will try deprogramming Jake first thing in the morning but will watch him like a hawk until then.
Melody questions Danny about the cereal on Buddy’s head, but Danny’s more interested in buttering up Melody (not in the sexual way) in order to get her to take the rest of his shift, because he promised a guest that he’d take her on a nature hike, and right now is the only time that she has free.
Brad comes by and asks how her “favorite little bunky” is doing this morning.
She offers Melody an apple, which Melody declines. Brad asks Melody to do her housekeeping shift – for no apparent reason except “it’s such a tiny little favor”. Sheesh, at least Danny had the excuse of wanting to fuck some girl in the sand. Danny objects to Brad’s intrusion, but Brad claims first dibs on account of Melody being her bunkmate. Melody, not wishing Danny and Brad to fight over her, agrees to help them both out. Brad wants her and Danny to flip a coin next time. Danny insists on using his coin. Brad calls it childish, and, yeah, it is, but it’s also a dickish move to sweet-talk your friend into taking your shift just because. What’s Brad gonna do? Does she have a gangbang scheduled in the girls’ bunk house during that time?
Two guests come to check in, and Melody has to bring their bags in, because Danny’s no longer around.
Later, Melody is carrying all of their luggage to their room, and they’re not helping at all. Instead, they’re talking her ears off about themselves (they both worked for the telephone company but are now retired). Melody asks one of them to open the door for her. The women argue over who has the key (the grey-haired woman seems to be named Tilly). The brown-haired woman hands Melody the key instead of unlocking the door. Melody is a lot more cordial in this situation than I would be.
Brad comes by and gets Melody to agree to do her laundry for her, because she has a riding lesson this afternoon and “nothing clean to wear”. Well, whose fault is that? And what the fuck’s wrong with the clothes that you’re wearing right now? I’m guessing this is one of Brad’s snobby moments.
Danny comes by with his laundry, presumably on his way to do it himself, overhears Melody agreeing to do Brad’s laundry, and gets Melody to do his laundry as well.
Tilly and the other woman call Melody a sap and her friends completely inconsiderate. Good points. Melody claims she doesn’t mind doing their chores.
The oldies get Melody all excited about getting a reward, which turns out to be a quarter for her college education. Y’know what? Fuck these women. Let them carry their own luggage into their room.
The next day, Melody is busy waiting on the guests.
The actors playing three of the four guests that address Melody (the ones that appear on the screen) are, surprisingly, credited. Dean DePew, Victoria Henning, and Steve Pearce. “Hey Dude” was their sole acting gig. Dean DePew previously showed up as a guest in “Sewn at the Hip” (the guy that mistook Melody for Amy). Steve Pearce will show up later in the series in “Dudesbury”.
Melody, feeling the pressure, goes over to Sam to check on her orders, which are done. Sam is, seemingly, the Bar None chef (probably the one that Mr. Ernst directed the ranch critic to back in “Superstar”).
Sam is played by Robert Barlow Ramsden, who you might remember as the real estate agent in “Cowboy Ernst” (season 2, episode 12):
Since Brad and Danny are no-shows, Melody wants to press Buddy into unpaid child labor, but he’s looking for Jake to do his hypnosis crap. He relays a message from Danny: he can’t make it and wants Melody to cover for him.
The female guest shows up, upset, and Melody gives her her order and apologizes.
Just as Melody expresses confidence in Brad, a random female staff member comes by and informs Melody that Brad just told her to tell Melody that she can’t make it, and Brad wants Melody to cover for her.
This seems to be the same girl that played on the Bar None’s baseball team in “Dueling Ranches” (season 3, episode 07). This would make the actor either Jodi Hurley or Lauri Johnson. She’s not credited in this episode, because it makes far more sense to credit random guests seated at the tables.
The old cronies come by, and Tilly calls Melody a sap again, which further upsets Melody.
Everyone’s been served, so Sam asks Melody to take the barbecue sauce back to the kitchen.
I like how we don’t see the end result of Melody tripping. Instead, it cleverly cuts to this in the next scene:
Brad just rode with a guest that “knows what she’s doing”, which pleases Brad. Brad is concerned that Melody might be mad that Brad “played hooky” today. Apparently, Brad had bailed on lunch duty in order to “take” the riding lesson (doesn’t she mean “give”?), and she assumed Danny was helping Melody out at lunch.
Nope, Danny was with Linda, apparently a Trekkie. I wonder if Danny “boldly went”. Y’know, this is a bit of a callback to “Take Me to Your Leader” (season 2, episode 13):
Suddenly, Brad smells barbecue sauce.
Brad’s first guess is Melody had a fight with Sam, who can get “touchy”. Melody goes off on them, but Brad casts all of the blame on Danny. Melody tells her to shut up and puts an end to extra shifts and special favors. She declares “No more Mr. Nice Guy.” Danny takes issue with her title, and she tells him to shut up. She declares “Melody Hanson is on strike!” In what I’m certain is an unscripted moment, when Melody claps her hands, a bit of barbecue sauce flies off and hits Kelly Brown in the right eye. You can see her blinking a bit before the shot changes, and then she wipes the sauce away.
Oh, and there’s a weird breathing sound after the music cuts out but before the scene fully fades out.
After the commercial break (which comes unusually early in this episode), on another day, Danny is entertaining kids at a Buckaroo Breakfast.
Brad shows up late, and Danny is upset. Melody didn’t wake Brad like she usually does, and she overslept. Brad is more concerned about her hair, which the kids make fun of. Apparently, Melody has been covering waiting tables for Brad for about a month. Seriously?! Anyway, this little throwaway comment, coupled with a throwaway comment by Melody at the beginning of “Superstition” (season 3, episode 06), means about a month has passed since that episode, meaning it’s now around mid-August, and therefore fuck it.
Melody spies on them to see how badly that they do without her. It’s not as if Melody’s skipping out on her own duties, so this doesn’t exactly prove anything. Anyway, she gets upset that they bad-mouth her. In her defense, Brad and Danny really don’t have a clue that they were being assholes to Melody. Danny and Brad argue, and then…
A food fight erupts among the kids, and Melody leaves, content.
Later, oh, great, the fucking subplot.
Instead of deprogramming Jake, Buddy decides to give him another post-hypnotic suggestion. Using some faulty reasoning regarding the use of the word “your” (but not the word “you”), Buddy tries to modify the cereal command.
Melody comes by, in a good mood after having witnessed Brad and Danny’s misfortune and their supposed uselessness without her.
Melody is in orgasmic bliss over the “chaos” and decides to continue not helping them out.
Buddy tries to get Melody to tell Jake the trigger word, but she keeps getting it wrong. Finally, she gets it right, but Jake appears “stuck” on what to do, so Buddy “helps” him out, and…
Melody decides they’re “too weird” and goes to see what Brad and Danny are doing. Buddy decides to try again.
Danny and Brad are cleaning a guest room.
Melody spies on them, hoping to be entertained. Somehow, they don’t notice Melody outside the window.
Brad and Danny argue over Danny and Brad’s bed-making and Brad’s dusting (interesting, considering Brad harped on Ted about his dusting in “Employee of the Week”). Danny also gets on Brad’s case about her waitressing.
What is it with the teens on this series and pillow fights? Seriously, this is Brad’s second pillow fight. Anyway, Melody is pleased, but she leaves before the fight really breaks out.
Which it doesn’t, because Brad is the sensible one and appeals to reason. In trying to come up with a way for them to work together, she realizes they never do work together; they do different tasks, so they don’t get in each other’s way. It’s interesting that this is the solution. Brad’s basically admitting she and Danny can’t work together, so they won’t.
And, no, I’m not going to check back through the previous thirty-four episodes to see if they’ve ever worked together.
On another day, fuck, the subplot again. Buddy seemingly deprograms Jake.
Danny and Brad come by and spell out to Jake what I’d already figured out from the previous scene: they admit they’re both stubborn and opinionated, and so they don’t even try to work together; they just divide the work area in half and try to stay out of each other’s way; if they absolutely have to work together, they just decide beforehand who does what and stick to it. Jake is surprised that this works.
Melody runs over and informs Danny and Brad that lunch is in five minutes (they haven’t set the tables yet). They’re not concerned. Melody arrogantly decides to help them, but they turn down her offer, say they won’t be asking her for anymore favors, and start setting the tables on their own. Melody is initially happy but then becomes disappointed at being unneeded. She claims, strangely, that they’re now taking her for granted. No, that was before. Now, they’ve decided they don’t need her smug ass. Melody claims “nobody appreciates nice guys”.
Ever since he met her, Jake’s been curious why she’s so nice. Melody says she was just brought up that way and always thought it was just common courtesy. Besides, it makes her feel good. Jake discusses it with Melody, and he introduces a new chapter in “Jake’s Guide to Life” (Chapter 6: “A Sap No More”). Yeah, Jake’s just pulling the chapter numbers and titles out of his ass.
Later, Jake takes over the main lodge and puts together a role-playing exercise for Melody.
Buddy is selling Girl, er, Boy Scout cookies to Danny. After a bit of arguing, they begin.
Danny is assertive in his refusal, and Buddy backs off.
Melody offers to buy two boxes of mint chocolate cookies (which she apparently loves).
Jake is disappointed. Danny asks Jake if he can go, because he left Brad with the laundry. Jake thanks Danny and sends him off. Melody feels it’s hopeless and looks forward to her long life of sappery. Jake decides this calls for emergency measures:
He pulls out “Mr. Bear” from behind the counter. Stephanie Tanner would beg to differ. Anyway, Jake wants Melody to tell Mr. Bear how she feels when her friends take advantage of her.
Melody ends up choking Mr. Bear.
Jake tells Melody that she’s got to tell her friends how she feels and not let her resentment build up inside her. Melody didn’t realize how upset that she was and thanks Jake.
Danny and Brad come by, arguing over Brad’s laundry mishap. Danny finally storms off in frustration.
Brad begs Melody to do her shift in the kitchen, so Brad can get cleaned up and send her stuff out to the cleaners. Jake tries to dissuade Melody, but Melody agrees. However, Melody won’t have time to do her garbage detail, so she brings up the idea of Brad doing it for her. Brad agrees. Jake is disappointed in Melody, but Melody likes helping her friends and being nice. However, Melody has learned to get something in return.
“A sap no more.”
Jake feels guilty, apologizes, and admits to Buddy that he was faking all along about being hypnotized. Buddy admits he knew and apologizes for another post-hypnotic suggestion that he threw in just in case he was really faking, just so he could get even with Jake. Um, what? How could throwing in another post-hypnotic suggestion accomplish anything if Jake was faking?
Anyway, Jake doesn’t know what the fuck Buddy is talking about. When Buddy says “snare drum”, Jake howls:
Buddy does this four times, Jake seemingly not recalling it after it happens.
Okay, when the fuck did Buddy program this in? It certainly wasn’t during the cereal deprogramming in the previous scene. Did it happen off-camera after one of the earlier scenes? If so, how does this seemingly work when the cereal thing didn’t? I think Jake’s just dicking with Buddy again.
The (very short) pre-credits scene at the end has Buddy and Jake saying good night to each other. Buddy says “snare drum”, and Jake howls.
The girls, for some reason, feel the need to turn on the light. They complain to Buddy, even though it was clearly Jake howling.
Wait. Why is Buddy bunking with Jake and Danny?
Anyway, Danny complains as well. Buddy apologizes and then promptly does it again, “causing” Jake to unleash another howl as a comet streaks across the sky. Danny and the girls yell at Buddy again.
In an interesting twist on the closing credits, the coyote howl is replaced by audio of Buddy saying “snare drum”, Jake howling, and the girls complaining (as in the final scene, though I’m not sure if it’s the same audio).
So ends another day at the Bar None.
This episode was okay, but I don’t like that Brad and Danny were turned into inconsiderate assholes in order for Melody to become more assertive, and the subplot was kind of lame.
Countdown to the Second Coming of Ted: 11