Writer: Lisa Melamed
Director: Fred K. Keller
Original air date: August 2, 1991
This episode has a 1990 copyright.
This is the second episode in what I call the “Brad trilogy” – a series of three female-written episodes that focus on Brad, whether in the main plot or in a subplot.
In the cold open, Brad is training a new staff member, Megan, about working with horses. Ooh, a new female staff member? This could potentially be interesting – or it would be if this 1990-taped episode hadn’t aired so late that we know we’ll never see Megan again. What is it with this series adding more male characters, but they can’t add a new female character or two to balance things out? And Betty, Jodie, and Lauri don’t count. Neither does Amy.
Megan is worried about Ted showing up. She’s been around him enough already to know he likes himself a lot. Brad has Megan fill up the trough.
Megan is played by Elizabeth Greenberg. “Hey Dude” was her second of six acting gigs in a very sporadic acting career that lasted from 1984 to 2004. Of those, she was notably in “The Babe”, “The Incredibles”, and “National Treasure”. She received thanks for “Finding Nemo”, and she’s gotten some production work in, but the last one was in 2011.
Ted’s running late, much to Brad’s annoyance, but he finally shows up. He had a hair emergency. Brad goes off on him for his vanity (which had never been a thing with him before, but whatever). He was supposed to help her train Megan. Ted goes off on Brad about her vanity (which, again, had never been a thing with her before). Ted challenges Brad to a…non-vanity contest (for lack of a better term). Brad accepts.
She takes Ted’s comb and asks him to help Megan. He calls out to her.
Ted tries to get his comb back, but Brad teases him and keeps it out of reach. Megan’s probably left wondering what the fuck kind of ranch hired her.
After the credits, Ted is having Brad surrender all of her vanity-related material, which he’s going to keep in a shoe box until the bet is over. Brad points out that she could just borrow Melody’s shit.
Speaking of Melody, she’s depressed after “another famous rotten date”. She’s making it sound like this is a common occurrence with Melody, but I recall only one bad date. I guess the theme of this episode is “out-of-the-ass character traits”.
Before Ted leaves, Brad has him surrender his corded hair dryer, which he keeps in a holster like a gun. This is the first that we’ve seen of Ted doing this, despite the dryer supposedly being an “old friend”. What’s the point, anyway? It’s not like he could blow his hair wherever, whenever. He has to plug it in.
Ted doesn’t let go of the hair dryer easily. As he’s about to leave, Brad asks to borrow Melody’s sweater. Ted decides he’s gonna pick out all of Brad’s clothes until the bet is over, and Brad dittos. She adds Ted can’t bathe. He reluctantly agrees and puts the same restriction on her. Melody says they’re nuts. They’re allowed to brush their teeth, and Brad negotiates when flossing is permitted (corn on the cob or ribs).
There’s a very abrupt cut to the next scene (even a sound that belongs in the latter scene bleeds into the former).
Mr. Ernst’s latest crazy scheme is a ranch beautification project. Smooth out the gravel. Trim the cacti. Add flowers. Danny and Jake protest, but Mr. Ernst won’t have it.
Melody comes out and thinks somebody died. Jake sets her mind at ease.
Mr. Ernst shows her the blurb in the travel section of the newspaper (The Daily News?): “The Bar None: a rough and ragged place.” This is why Mr. Ernst wants to “fix this place up”. This is our second subplot for the episode, I guess. Mr. Ernst wanted Danny to vacuum the ranch (they don’t have a long enough cord), and he’s considering hideous wallpaper for the main lodge.
Melody asks for Jake and Danny’s opinions of her as a girl. Jake makes a joke, and Danny thinks of her as “Melody” instead of “a girl”. Melody says, every time that she goes out on a date, she feels like she could be on “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” The guys are unsympathetic and make fun of her, and Melody is upset at them. Jake picks a flower, gives it to her, and tells her to cheer up. He and Danny leave her alone. Wow, what assholes.
Buddy comes by and checks up on Melody, because he thought she’d “fainted or something”.
Buddy gives Melody “special candy, guaranteed to cheer you up” but quickly admits he made it up. Melody thanks him. Buddy and Melody talk about Melody’s sucky feeling. Melody heaps compliments on him and throws away Jake’s stupid flower. Melody goes to teach the “kiddies” to swim, and she thanks Buddy for cheering her up.
Buddy picks up the flower and concludes Melody wants his cock in her.
On another day, Buddy is following Melody around as she serves the guests. He finally leaves her alone.
Melody comes by Ted, who’s inspecting the dishes.
He tosses the imperfect ones into the lake.
Ted is upset at Melody’s staring and asks if she’s going to propose. Melody tells him to get over himself and asks what the fuck he’s doing. He’s creatively interpreting the task that Mr. Ernst gave him to get rid of imperfect dishes. Seriously, why is he doing this? Despite Melody asking, he never gives an answer. WHY IS HE THROWING DISHES IN THE LAKE?! Also, Melody asks about Ted’s clothing, and he asks for her honest opinion. She says it’s horrendous. People have been looking at him funny all morning, and it’s driving him crazy.
But he tries to act all “Whatever” (and does a pretty poor job) when Brad comes by. She actually has the opposite reaction and thanks Ted for freeing her from fashion and bathing worry. She read a book, wrote some postcards, and felt “so liberated”. She’s looking forward to the outfit that he has picked out for her for tomorrow, and he’s surprised she wants to continue but pretends to be fine with it. Brad leaves. Ted is incredulous that Brad has lasted so long. He checks his reflection in a spatula, but Brad comes by and confiscates it. Brad suggests Melody let Ted pick out her clothes, but Melody opposes it. As the girls walk off, Brad continues to try to convince Melody to do it, because it’s “so convenient”. Ted checks his reflection in the dishes and continues throwing them into the lake.
For fuck’s sake…
Oh, hey, Lucy. Where you been for the past four episodes? Not gonna say? Okay.
Lucy puts in her second appearance this season to do…not much, honestly. She tries to convince Mr. Ernst that he’s going overboard with this – to no avail.
We learn Mr. Ernst’s middle initial is J, but we don’t learn what it stands for. Also, the ranch now has wild pigs, which it didn’t last summer.
Buddy comes by and asks Mr. Ernst about love, which shocks him. Lucy gets uncomfortable and leaves – over Mr. Ernst’s protest. Mr. Ernst talks to Buddy about love, relating a story from when he and Buddy’s mother were first dating. They had gone to a restaurant one night, and he’d gotten food poisoning (bad clams). He was “sick as a dog”. Sara (he doesn’t name her) got him back to her apartment and fed him tea and chicken broth with little crackers. That’s when he fell in love with her – in between puking his guts out. He talks about love some more, and Buddy thanks him and leaves.
Megan comes by, happy to see Buddy. She asks him what he’s thinking about (which is weird) and doesn’t like it when he keeps it to himself. She’s finished working and asks if Buddy wants to do something with her. Buddy should say yes, of course, but he’s “just kind of getting involved with somebody”, so he blows her off, probably not realizing it could have been the other way around. She says she just wants to play horseshoes, but he declines that as well.
Megan gets a sassy comeback in and leaves his sorry ass. Buddy calls her “such a kid”. Dude, you’re 13 fucking years old.
As Buddy heads to the girls’ bunk house with a note, Megan comes back and lusts after him, but then she shakes her head, so…she’s over him, I guess.
At the lake, Danny is fishing, and Jake is drumming and chanting “Feesh, bite” repeatedly. It kinda sounds like he’s going for a stereotypical Native American chant. Either way, Danny should kick his ass.
Buddy comes by for girl advice (as opposed to dispensing the usual gross trivia), because he’s planning a picnic with a mystery girl, who Jake believes is Megan, despite Buddy’s repeated denials. We learn Jake was seven when he first kissed a girl (he was an “early bloomer”), which surprises Danny and Buddy. Danny says just concentrate on having fun.
Ted comes by, and the guys recreate the “Abbey Road” cover along the lake’s shore. Danny ribs Ted about his bet, and they fill Ted in on what’s going on with Buddy.
I like how they just have a guest sitting by the lake, getting ready to fish. It shows someone on the production staff remembered the ranch is supposed to be doing business.
Ted proceeds to give horrible dating advice to Buddy (over Jake’s objection), because it worked out so well last time. Ted doesn’t know it yet, but he’s giving Buddy advice on how to treat the very girl that he’d given advice to last summer. Ted assumes the girl is Megan. When Buddy denies it again, Danny and Jake ask who it is.
Melody comes by with Buddy’s note and asks about the “surprise”.
After the commercial break, Buddy and Melody are on their picnic. Buddy made kabobs with marshmallows, green peppers, Swiss cheese, and chocolate-covered radishes.
Melody declines Buddy’s offer to share a soda (or whatever it is). She gets on his case about his slurping. Buddy apologizes, calling it “a bad habit from when [he] was a kid”. You are a kid, you idiot!
The camera shakes a bit as Buddy sets down his drink.
Buddy wants to change himself for Melody and devote himself to her entirely, and Melody is about to try to let Buddy down gently.
But then Lucy shows up, because Mr. Ernst wants Buddy to help him wipe down all of the light bulbs in the lodge. Buddy grudgingly excuses himself to take care of his “responsibilities”. It’s
pathetic cute how Buddy keeps trying to make himself sound like an adult.
Before Buddy leaves, Melody tries to talk to him again, but Buddy interrupts her to take a “mental picture” to remember this moment.
Wow, Melody so doesn’t want to be here right now.
Buddy exclaims this is the best time that he’s had all summer, and he leaves. Lucy asks Melody about the “date”, and Melody just shakes her head and throws up her hands.
So, for those of you that are keeping track, Lucy’s functions in this episode so far have been to 1) be the ineffectual voice of reason against Mr. Ernst and 2) draw out the “Buddy lusts Melody” plot, which would have been a subplot if not for Lucy.
The next day (I guess), we get Lucy’s third function of the episode: complimenting Brad on her stupid subplot. Brad says her friends back home would have a field day if they got a hold of some pictures of her (perhaps thinking of previous incriminating pictures). Ah, the days before smartphones.
Melody comes by, worried because Buddy gave her a stuffed monkey and has been sending her notes doused in aftershave and little stuffed animals. She finds them cute but asks Lucy for advice. C’mon, Lucy! Make yourself useful! You can do it! “Stop dating him.” Wow, thanks. Brad and Lucy talk to Melody for a bit – to no effect.
Melody reads a heart-shaped note that came with the monkey: “If ever you’re feeling sad and cruddy, remember you always have me, your Buddy.” Brad and Lucy find it adorable.
Oh, and Ted has slowly been approaching them from behind. He informs Melody that he saw her “boyfriend” carving “BE + MH Forever” on a tree. Melody is upset, but Brad finds it amusing. Ted and Brad compliment each other on their looks. Melody wants to leave Tucson. Ted suggests Melody say she met somebody else, but Melody says lying – much like murder – is not the answer. Ted clandestinely goes over to a watering trough to check his reflection, but Brad catches him, nearly bumping him into the trough.
Brad suggests Melody pretend to be awful, so Buddy will stop liking her, but Melody says that’s too mean. Honestly, though, considering the real-life stories that I’ve read of girls being murdered by boys (and even girls) over breaks-ups or just plain rejection, making the other person not want to be with you is actually the safer option.
Lucy advises Melody to tell Buddy the truth, but Melody says that’d be too traumatic for him, despite the fact that Melody was trying to do just that before Lucy showed up at the picnic, so Lucy isn’t giving her a new idea. It takes Ted bringing up the possibility of Melody being legally related to Mr. Ernst for Melody to decide to tell Buddy the truth. Right after Ted says it, it sounds like Melody’s saying “Nooooo” in a horrified tone, but she’s not on the screen, so it’s likely some poor ADR, because we then see Melody silently saying “Nooooo”.
Later, Mr. Ernst and Buddy debate giving the horses perms. Who’s on which side of the argument? Place your bets now!
Mr. Ernst wants to talk to Brad privately. Buddy walks away with Melody. As Mr. Ernst tries to delicately bring up the subject of Brad’s appearance, we learn Brad is subscribed to multiple fashion magazines. Ah, the days before the World Wide Web (according to production, not my in-universe timeline).
Mr. Ernst is shocked to learn Brad’s appearance is deliberate. Brad brings up the bet. Mr. Ernst has a “lucky guess” that it’s with Ted and asks Brad for an explanation. She lays it out. He hopes it’ll end soon, because the new staff uniforms will soon arrive. Not this again. Brad is surprised and sets Mr. Ernst straight (in a heartwarming way). I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Brad truly cares about Mr. Ernst and the Bar None. She supports him, but she can also show him when he’s wrong and get him back on the right track. She fulfills Lucy’s role much better than Lucy does.
Mr. Ernst thanks Brad and goes to cancel the uniforms and the full-sized spa.
“Damn it. So close yet still but a dream.”
Buddy got Melody tickets to the symphony on Friday night – without really knowing what it is. When and where did he purchase them? Also, does Melody like the symphony? Maybe, but that doesn’t mean she’ll like whichever one that Buddy happened to buy tickets to. Melody gets on Buddy’s case about kicking sand on her. He apologizes. Melody tries to get out of the date but wusses out. Sensing Melody’s unhappy, Buddy invites Melody to come down to the lake and catch frogs with him (the camera shakes while he says this), which grosses Melody out. Disappointed, Buddy has to go and “shave again”. You have no facial hair, you idiot.
Melody throws up her hands again, maybe having her sole interaction with Megan (but that’s a stretch), and runs away.
Later, Buddy’s driving the Jeep…somehow. How did he get his dad’s keys? You’d think, after he was falsely accused of doing stupid shit earlier this summer, he wouldn’t pull shit like this.
Megan says she can’t wait to get her license, which means she’s at least a couple years younger than most of the gang. Buddy says he’s taking the Jeep on Friday night, and Megan immediately calls him out on his bullshit. We learn Buddy is Megan’s age (at least, according to Megan), which would make Megan 13 (Elizabeth Greenberg’s age is unknown). Megan talks Buddy out of taking the Jeep by bringing up his death at the hands of his father. Megan gets him to discuss his “relationship”, and he hates it, because he’s not being himself. He’d spent his entire month’s allowance on the tickets.
Megan tries her best to get Buddy to realize she wants his cock – without outright telling him.
Finally, she makes her desire known. She invites him to “a big miniature golf tournament in town on Friday”. Is that an actual thing? It sounds like fun to Buddy, but his “big date” with Melody is in the way. Megan goes back to the corral. Both of them are disappointed.
So’s Melody. In fact, she’s so upset that she’s changed her clothes.
Jake says Brad and Ted are really starting to smell. Melody regrets not telling Buddy the truth already. Danny repeats a common point that Melody is too nice for her own good. Jake reminds her of her “a sap no more” vow. Upset, Melody asks him what he did when he first got dumped by a girl (she assumes it’s happened). Jake reveals he gave himself a mohawk. Amused, Melody says she could picture it. He’d done it on Halloween. That year, he went treat-or-treating as “shrubbery”. Danny says, when he first got dumped, he (the “much better adjusted” person) locked himself in his room for a week to a week-and-a-half. Melody takes these examples as reasons why she can’t tell Buddy the truth. Jake says it’s just a fact of life that dumped people feel bad, and you have to minimize the pain. Danny and Jake proceed to gross Melody out, because they’re guys. Jake says she just has to tell Buddy, and she knows.
Buddy arrives, and the guys leave over Melody’s invitation to stay. She doesn’t want to be alone for this. However, Buddy insists on going first, and he breaks up with her. She calls him brave and expresses her appreciation. Buddy had sold back the concert tickets. Again, how? Melody offers Buddy back the monkey, but Buddy lets her keep it. Yay, Melody has a new humping toy. Melody hopes someday she’ll end up with a guy as nice as him (Buddy, not the monkey). Buddy starts to leave but then asks what Melody wanted to tell him. She’s at a loss for words, but he figures it out, and she silently admits it. He thanks her for letting him speak first. She calls him “really something”. He returns the compliment and leaves.
The pre-credits scene at the end, on another day, has the gang preparing for an attack.
Wrong target. How’d they mistake Mr. Ernst’s voice for their intended targets? Fortunately, Mr. Ernst doesn’t get wet.
They’re planning a “surprise shower” for Brad and Ted. Mr. Ernst loves the idea. He also shares some “great news”: the newspaper blurb had a typo; they meant to write “rugged” instead of “ragged”; they love the Bar None. So ends the subplot of the ranch beautification project. Lucy spots Brad and Ted and has everyone hide.
Raggedy Ass and Second-Rate Gilligan enter the corral and are weirded out by there being no one here.
Melody pops up and declares their bet a tie.
Poor Megan doesn’t get in on the action, perhaps a subtle way of showing the audience that she’s nothing more than a glorified extra.
So ends another day at the Bar None.
This episode was pretty good. Buddy was realistically smitten and delusional for a teen in love. Melody felt too indecisive after initially wanted to tell Buddy the truth, though. I guess she doesn’t have much experience in this area, considering she hardly dates, despite the episode’s insistence to the contrary.
The episode felt crowded, too. With two subplots taking up the time (and “pretty up the ranch” and “bet with no stakes” are such thrilling subplots), the main plot felt more like a third subplot than an actual main plot, taking up less than fifteen minutes of story time.
Also, I wish Megan had been made a main character in order to balance things out. I don’t know what the point was of introducing her and then not using her again. We don’t even learn if she ends up going out with Buddy or not. She didn’t even get a bed of her own in the girls’ bunk house. Even Amy got a bed for the brief time that she worked the ranch, but maybe Melody pulled some strings in that case, or maybe it was because the ranch was busy and perhaps therefore full. Since we now know there’s no more to the girls’ bunk house than what we see (and, despite Melody’s claim, no one lives there but her and Brad), I’m guessing the extras (Betty, Jodie, Lauri, Steve, etc.) are assigned to guest rooms free of charge. I guess that’s where Megan stays, too. Maybe she’ll show up in the background in the remaining episodes, but I doubt it. Seriously, what the fuck?
It’s the final countdown!: 4