Season 4, Episode 01: They’re Back

Writer: Mark Cerulli
Director: Ross K. Bagwell, Jr.
Original air date: September 7, 1990

Welcome to season 4! I’d say more about it if we hadn’t already started season 4 during the season 3 finale. Seriously, there’s no change here, despite the fact that they took a break after each season (the cast got cheap “wrap gifts” – clothing with “Hey Dude” branded on it). I wonder what this was like for Geoffrey Coy. He joins the cast, tapes one episode, and then breaks until the new season is ready to be taped. Anyway, if the original air dates are to be believed, this episode aired a little over two months after “Stick Around” (pretty much the same distance as between the season 2 finale and the season 3 premiere). Also, this episode originally aired less than four months after “Dueling Ranches”. That episode was also written by Mark Cerulli, and this episode functions as a sort of sequel to that one.

40-01-groupIn the cold open, while the gang’s eating breakfast (I think), Melody regales them with a tale of two kid guests that were having a chlorinated pool water-drinking contest. The weird shit that goes on at this ranch…

Oh, and Kyle rides his horse over. Remember, he’s the “real cowboy”.

40-02-beef-loafJake brings over some Bar None Beef Loaf, which brings some comments of disgust, but Melody and Buddy help themselves.

40-03-smellLucy and Danny smell something foul. Danny makes a joke about a dead horse, which Lucy doesn’t find funny, but Brad is the one that’s hurt by the joke. Lucy guesses it’s coming from the Vlecks’ ranch next door. Kyle says some shit about the bits of food that get stuck between your teeth. Danny badmouthes the Vlecks.

40-04-Buddy-loafBuddy loves the Bar None Beef Loaf, which offends the others.

40-05-ErnstMr. Ernst comes by. He was just on the phone with Vic Vleck and fills the others in. Vic and his sons accidentally dug up the county sewer line. Brad, Danny, and Jake insult the Vlecks. Mr. Ernst feels sorry for the Vlecks for getting kicked off their ranch by the county health department. Melody (the “nice” one) enthusiastically asks “Forever and ever?!” It’s just until they fix the sewer line. Mr. Ernst decides they’re going to follow the “Code of the West” and prove they’re good neighbors. Yeah, he invited the Vlecks to stay at the Bar None, which upsets everyone else. Buddy suddenly asks if they smell something, and they throw napkins at him. Brad tells him to eat his meatloaf.

40-06-Vlecks-drivingAfter the credits, there’s a very short scene of the Vlecks on their way to the Bar None.

Back at the ranch, Mr. Ernst has to convince the others to come out and help him greet the Vlecks. He brings up Melody and Bradley marrying Karl and Lonnie as part of a joke, but he pauses after “marry”, which made me think of Melody and Brad marrying each other. Anyway, Brad says she’d “rather die” than marry a Vleck.

40-07-signMr. Ernst isn’t pleased with a sign that Jake and Brad made for the Vlecks.

The Vlecks arrive, and Mr. Ernst resists pressure from the others to spout some bullshit and send the Vlecks away.

40-08-Vic-ErnstVic is excited to see Mr. Ernst again. He says he hasn’t had a bath in about a week because of the problem at his ranch. Wait, didn’t this problem just happen? Or was the digging being done to try to fix an earlier problem?

Anyway, Vic apologizes for “that odor problem”, and we learn “Old Granny” farts. Classy.

40-09-Ernst-VlecksPaul Secrest is back in his third appearance overall and his second of three appearances as Vic Vleck. Don Wyllie and Paul D. Olmer are back in their second and final appearances as Karl and Lonnie Vleck, respectively.

Vic had passed on the town’s overnight rate repair to fix the sewer drain (to avoid paying double overtime). He and his family will be at the Bar None for 4-5 days.

40-10-Valerie-VleckVic introduces Mr. Ernst to his “lady”, Valerie Temperance Vleck. Mrs. Vleck is played by Mary F. Glenn. “Hey Dude” was her second of two acting gigs, the first being a payroll cashier in the 1987 movie, “Raising Arizona”. I was initially a bit confused. Mrs. Vleck shows up in another episode later this season, but IMDb credits a Mary Secrest as playing her. In a break with protocol, I peeked ahead. It’s the same actor playing her. That means, sometime between taping this episode and the next Vlecks episode, Vic and Valerie Vleck got married in real life. Aaawww… šŸ™‚

Valerie enthusiastically shakes Mr. Ernst’s hand. Vic has his boys get the luggage out of the truck (a Chevrolet). Redneck hilarity ensues. We learn Lonnie has a booger collection, which I totally believe.

33-45-Lonnie-Melody40-11-Valerie-boysValerie tries to break up her boys’ fight, which apparently their parole officer had told them to refrain from.

Mr. Ernst calls his staff over to help. They learn there are no room openings, so the Vlecks will be staying with them, assigned by sex. They protest. Jake calls Mr. Ernst out on not mentioning this before, but Mr. Ernst claims it completely slipped his mind, not even trying to sound sincere. The staff sucks it up. Karl goes off with his mom, because he follows her everywhere. Mr. Ernst goes after him.

40-12-Lonnie-treeLater, Lonnie is pretending to be Tarzan (seriously). Karl says Lonnie looks like a monkey. I think. Don Wyllie’s diction is horrible. Anyway, Karl and Lonnie make fun of a guest, and Brad gets on their case to help out with serving lunch. Um, why are they being pressed into service? Was that part of the arrangement? Doesn’t seem very neighborly. Anyway, this ill-conceived idea goes about as well as you’d expect:

40-13-Lonnie-water40-14-Lonnie-drinks40-15-Karl-disgusting40-16-Lonnie-Karl-fight40-17-Lonnie-bumpsLonnie wants to show his football scars to a poor guest. He claims, last year, he “played the whole championship game without a helmet” and invites her to feel his bumps.

40-18-Lonnie-scarKarl gets Lonnie to show her his appendix scar.

40-19-Melody-guestThe disgusted guest tells Melody that she doesn’t want to see this meal on her bill. Melody agrees and adds in a personal appearance and apology by Mr. Ernst.

40-20-food-fightKarl and Lonnie get into a food fight, because Lonnie insulted Mom’s mashed potatoes (she doesn’t use milk) and other cooking (roadkill).

40-21-Brad-pieBrad wants to “serve” banana cream pie, but Melody reminds her of the Code of the West. Melody suggests the boys leave, but they want the pie. Melody threatens to give it to them if they don’t get the fuck out of here, so they leave to do…something. Seriously, Don Wyllie’s diction is horrible.

40-22-Vic-ErnstAt the front desk, Vic’s being a slob, and he’s surprised Mr. Ernst sorts the guests’ mail. At the Snake Eyes Ranch, Vic just dumps it in a shoe box and lets them figure it out. He tries to read a piece of mail through the envelope and asks if they have a pool. Mr. Ernst says they have a pool and a lake (the latter of which he recommends to Vic). Mr. Ernst asks about the Snake Eyes’ facilities. They’ve got a swamp for swimming, and they’ve got aerobics like brick-laying and ditch-digging. They’re even putting in a “state-of-the-art tattoo parlor” next month. They had one horse, but they had to eat it when times got tough (it was pretty good). Wait, Lucy is friends with their head wrangler. What do they need a wrangler for without horses? Anyway, how the fuck is the Snake Eyes Ranch still in business? Vic makes Mr. Ernst nervous about Valerie cooking supper tonight.

40-23-Frank-SpittleA guest, Frank Spittle from room 114, comes in and tells Mr. Ernst that their air conditioner is on the fritz. Vic accuses him of being “one of them sissy boys” and tells the “greenhorn” to take a trip to Iceland. Mr. Ernst interrupts Vic, tells Frank that he’ll send someone to fix the air conditioner, and says he’ll bring him a free fruit basket. Frank thanks him. Vic tells the “shrimp” to go back to his condo in Connecticut. Frank runs away. Vic is convinced of his way to “handle” the guests. Mr. Ernst yells at him. Vic says he doesn’t have any air conditioning in his rooms (there’s a weird audio clicking sound when he says this), his “sauna suite effect”. He claims none of his guests have ever complained. Mr. Ernst believes him.

The guests were played by Ronald D. Mumford, Charles Michael Morse, Judith C. Corcoran, Barbara Lamm, and Daniel C. Jacobs, Jr.. I assume they’re credited in appearance order, but I can’t confirm that. “Hey Dude” was their sole acting gig. Corcoran and Lamm will each show up one more time in different episodes.

IMDb credits Henry W. Laster as playing an uncredited guest in this episode. This is his third of three supposed appearances.

40-24-girls-ErnstThe girls come by, and Brad tells Mr. Ernst that ten guests ran off during lunch, thanks to Karl and Lonnie. Vic is proud of his boys and predicts Lonnie will go into public relations if he ever gets out of high school. Mr. Ernst reminds the girls of the Code of the West and asks for the boys’ current location. Melody clarifies what Karl had said earlier: they went to “pound some pellets”. Vic explains they’re gonna shoot some skeet. Mr. Ernst says they don’t have any guns here. Vic says they brought a few of their own.

40-25-boys-ErnstJake and Danny come by. Jake wants Karl and Lonnie stopped. Mr. Ernst urges calm until Jake informs him that the dumbasses are shooting indoors. He runs off, and Vic goes to make his boys stop – but first touts his family as future saviors when “them Rooskies invade”. Ah, nothing like redneck Cold War humor. Brad then openly makes fun of Vic, imitating his redneck western drawl, while his shadow is still in the shot. I love Brad so fucking much.

Jake mentions the dumbasses blew a huge hole in the roof of the boys’ bunk house. Brad jokes about a “skylight”, and Melody jokes about “indoor skeet shooting”. Danny informs the girls that the dumbasses started in the girls’ room. The girls rush off in panic.

40-26-moonBlessed Moon Goddess, known throughout the ages as Phoebe, Selene, Luna, Artemis, and Diana, shine your blessings down upon the staff of the Bar None Dude Ranch and smite the dumbass motherfuckers that have invaded their land. Blessed be.

But seriously, show, tape the moon at a different phase than full.

40-27-Lonnie-MelodyAs the gang sits down to dinner by the campfire, Lonnie continues to show an interest in Melody (no nose-picking this time).

40-28-Valerie-stewValerie serves up “sizzlin’ snake eyes stew”. Lucy “just” remembers she’s vegetarian.

40-29-Ernst-hotIt’s hot. Valerie always tosses in “a couple o’ handfuls of them crushed chili peppez”.

40-30-Valerie-jizzesValerie notices Brad doesn’t have “enough” seasoning, so she proceeds to jizz liquid lard into Brad’s stew (“gives it that creamy, down-home flavor”).

40-31-Brad-sharesBrad immediately passes the “down-home flavor” along to her bestie.

Valerie frightens teases them with dessert to follow.

40-32-Ernst-sharesMr. Ernst inquires about the ingredients. Valerie flirts with Mr. Ernst in front of her husband and reveals the secret ingredient, which Mr. Ernst fails to grasp until Vic lets out a belch (disgusting the Bar None staff) and spells out the horrifying truth: they’re eating actual snake eyes. Mr. Ernst suddenly cites the late hour. Valerie says they’ll have the cake tomorrow for breakfast.

40-33-no-watch04-39-Ted-no-watchJake nervously pulls a Ted, pointing to his non-existent watch and saying it’s 9:00 PM already.

He and Danny want to go and turn in, but Melody reminds them of the holes in the roofs of their bunk houses. She asks where they’re going to sleep, and Lonnie tries to get (and I’m speaking strictly metaphorically) fresh with her again. Mr. Ernst says they’ll fix the holes tomorrow. Tonight, they’ll all sleep under the stars in their rooms, because it’s “not like it’s gonna rain or anything”.

40-34-rainSon of a cock. Yeah, Mr. Ernst, henceforth, just assume it’s gonna fucking rain. Because it does indeed rain out here.

40-35-Lonnie-eatsAfter the commercial break (which comes unusually late in this episode), they take shelter in the main lodge.

40-36-Lonnie-deerLonnie makes a dumb “deer hunters” joke, which Karl yucks up.

40-37-blackjackThe guys are playing blackjack, which Lonnie fucks up, because he’s an asshole. Karl suggests having a “spittin’ contest”, which gets Lonnie excited, but Danny shoots the idea down. I think Karl wishes they’d gotten a cold (Don Wyllie’s diction is fucking horrible), and Lonnie suggests they go and catch one. Jake informally ushers in bedtime.

40-38-dumbasses-girlsThe dumbasses cuddle up to the girls, who are sick. We learn the dumbasses have caught rates, mice, snakes, lizards, and jackrabbits. Karl caught the mumps once. The girls shoo the dumbasses off.

40-39-Vic-ErnstMr. Ernst cites his “special mattress” for his “bad back” as the reason why Vic and Valerie can’t stay in his room. It might be the truth, because Mr. Ernst hurt his back in “Killer Ernst” (season 3, episode 10), which was also written by Mark Cerulli. Vic accepts it. We learn Vic and Valerie lived with her parents for nine years in a one-room shack in Texarkana.

40-40-Valerie-spanks-LonnieValerie wishes her boys good night and playfully slaps her grown son’s ass. I’d make a redneck incest joke, but that would be an insult to non-redneck practitioners of incest.

40-41-Ernst-pissedMr. Ernst is hella pissed that Valerie accidentally left the bathtub running. He starts to lay into her, but then Lucy informs him that they’ve got a “major flood” on their hands, and he’s gonna have to sleep down here. He’s not thrilled and has Buddy get his sleeping bag and the alarm clock.

40-42-Vic-clockVic has his own alarm clock, though, set for sunrise.

40-43-Brad-LucyBrad desperately tries to get Lucy to act as a human barrier between the dumbasses and the girls. Lucy tells Brad to fuck off. Lucy decides to sleep outside, saying she likes the rain.

40-44-Lucy-rainAnd…Lucy does indeed run out to sleep in the rain like a dumbass. Why not just sleep under the roof just outside the main lodge? Or behind the front desk for that matter?

We then get a mildly funny Waltons parody.

Lonnie can’t sleep and demands a bedtime story. Jake starts to tell a story as a roundabout way of telling the Vlecks to fuck off, but Mr. Ernst reminds him of the Code of the West.

40-45-story-timeVic tells them a “fightin’ man’s story” about his great-uncle (Hoss Vleck, Jr.) “a-roughin’ it way out on the range”…

40-46-story-time-240-47-story-time-3…and stays up until the fucking cock crows, excitedly talking about how Hoss killed a rattlesnake and picked a fight with Wyatt Earp.

Then Vic’s alarm clock goes off, which sound like sirens, and everyone wakes up in a panic. Melody is subjected to Karl’s morning breath.

40-48-holeUnfortunately(?), Lonnie’s gone sleepwalking (they usually keep him tied up). Last time, they found him in Tijuana, speaking Spanish. Vic tells Mr. Ernst to get a pot of coffee going, and then he goes to fire up the truck.

40-49-barricadeImmediately after the Vlecks leave, the gang starts to barricade the hole, but Mr. Ernst says they have to come back, because…

40-50-bill…he has to give them their bill. Yeah, he accidentally lets slip that he’s charging the Vlecks for their stay here (he actually feigns ignorance about it). The gang gives him fucking hell about preaching “Code of the West” and all of the shit that they had to put up with. Mr. Ernst struggles to explain, but the gang leaves, having lost all respect for their boss.

40-51-Lonnie-hoodLater, the Vlecks arrive back at the Bar None. They found Lonnie halfway to TombstoneĀ (Karl claims it’s “a new record”, but it totally isn’t; not even close). So…they’re saying Lonnie sleepwalked around 36 fucking miles, and no one fucking spotted him before his family did. And then they roped him to the hood of their truck and drove back to Tucson, and the police didn’t stop them. Okay.

40-52-Ernst-billMr. Ernst comes by with good news. Thanks to “a little encouragement” from his staff, he called the Department of Public Works and had an emergency crew sent right over to the Snake Eyes Ranch. Vic protests that he can’t afford it, but Mr. Ernst makes a show of tearing up the Vlecks’ bill (it seems they expected to be charged, so it’s a wonder that they didn’t let it slip before Mr. Ernst did). Vic starts to protest, but Mr. Ernst encourages him to take the money and fix his sewer. Vic wants to send his boys over to the Bar None to help with the chores, but Mr. Ernst declines. Vic wants to hang out here for a while and says Valerie makes “a mean desert tortoise omelette” (she takes the shell out and everything). Valerie has one somewhere in the truck. She’d found it along the road last week “just poopin’ along”. Mr. Ernst feigns disappointment at the missed breakfast opportunity while reminding Vic of his duty to supervise the work at the Snake Eyes. Vic wants Valerie to finish packing their stuff up, but…

40-53-packYeah, the staff can’t wait for these assholes to leave.

Wait, why is everyone still in their pajamas? The Vlecks had made a 72-mile round trip, and no one’s done anything.

Vic thanks them for their hospitality and says he won’t forget it.

40-54-Valerie-kisses-ErnstValerie gets a little too friendly with Mr. Ernst in front of her husband and invites them to stay with them if the need arises.

40-55-Karl-girlsKarl gets fresh with the girls, who shoo him off.

Valerie wants them over at the Snake Eyes Ranch for “a hog dinner with all the trimmings”.

Mr. Ernst feels bad and suddenly yells out an open invitation to the Vlecks.

40-56-shut-upMr. Ernst cites the Code of the West, and his staff walks off, disgusted.

40-57-mealThe (very short) pre-credits scene at the end has the gang sitting down to their “first meal in peace”.

40-58-mysteryMr. Ernst brings by a mystery thank-you gift that the Vlecks just dropped off. This raises speculation and fear. Jake suggests blowing it up. There seems to be a connection between Jake and explosives (see “New Kid on the Block” (season 3, episode 04)).

Why is Melody so…physical with Buddy?

40-59-Ernst-frightenedHoly shit! What could it be?!?!?!

40-60-shirtHehe, it’s a bunch of shirts. Mr. Ernst had one made up for every one of them.

So ends another day at the Bar None.

This episode was pretty funny. It’s an improvement over the previous Vlecks episode in that it’s not forced to feature a baseball game. The Vlecks are idiots, but they’re pretty funny.

I notice Kyle barely had anything to do. That might be due to the large number of guest stars, or maybe they’d already realized they didn’t know what to do with him.

Countdown to the Second Coming of Ted: 6

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2 responses to “Season 4, Episode 01: They’re Back

  1. Back in the day, when I would watch reruns of Hey Dude faithfully, I found the Vleck family totally annoying. But, reading thru the review of this episode, I found myself laughing at their antics. They have their own way of doing things and they stay true to themselves. That being said, I would never want to stay at the Snake Eyes Ranch. Thanks for the fun tip about the actors that played Vic and Valerie. It’s so cute that they got married in real life!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I too couldn’t stand this episode back in my early years. And what kind of guests do they actually get at their ranch. But your recap did make it seem funny. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

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