Writer: Stephen Land
Director: Fred K. Keller
Original air date: August 23, 1991
A few notes before I get into the actual episode:
This episode has a 1991 copyright.
This episode runs one minute shorter than the “standard” running time (24:21 versus 25:21). I’m not sure why it’s shorter, but it makes it closer to the running time of an early episode.
The writer of this episode, Stephen Land, was a producer on this series (his first work), credited here as “senior producer”. Indeed, he has been an “executive producer” on a shit-ton of stuff over the years, continuing to the present day. However, this particular episode was the only thing that he ever wrote (that made it to the screen, anyway), and dear Goddess does it show. But we’ll get to that.
In the cold open, Melody and Buddy come over and find Jake “advertising” his new services on the windmill. Apparently, people are “always” asking Jake questions (Melody and Buddy are unaware of this), so he’s decided to profit off it. People are gonna have to pay up for his “pearls of wisdom” (he gives $5 as a price, but it’s unclear if this is his universal price). So I guess Jake is the new Answer Man. After some banter, Melody reveals she met a cute guy and wants to know if anything will happen (translation: she craves cock). Jake claims he’s psychic. Melody immediately calls him out on his bullshit. Jake tells both of them to think of something without telling him what it is. They agree. Jake correctly guesses Melody’s guy is blonde, he works at “The Pork Rind Hut” at the mall, and his name is Dirk. Melody is excited (she should be scared, because it proves Jake was watching her at the mall), but Jake tells her to forget about him, because he escaped from jail last week. Jake correctly guesses Buddy was hoping Jake would answer his question that they were bantering about earlier. Jake proclaims he’s psychic and can see the future:
Jake claims he knew this would happen. Suuure.
After the credits, Lucy, Kyle, Brad, and Ted return from a rodeo.
Mr. Ernst, Melody, and Danny excitedly come out. Mr. Ernst asks how it went, and Danny asks who won.
Lucy says it was “a proud night for the Bar None”, because they’ve got two champions. Kyle licks Brad to orgasm, and Lucy and Brad suck Kyle’s cock. All of this orgasmic bliss sickens Ted, who goes off to hurl. Melody is concerned. Lucy and Kyle explain Ted’s saddle came loose, and he fell into a big pile of shit – in front of all of the girls from the Double O (I think) Ranch.
Melody asks Brad about the cute guys from the “Pantano Academy”. There’s an East Tucson Charter School Campus of Tucson International Academy. It’s located at 450 North Pantano Road. It’s a K-12 school. I guess Melody’s familiar with them. Anyway, Melody’s upset that Brad got gangbanged while Melody was cleaning bathrooms and also gets jelly and/or sick of Brad’s luxe life.
Mr. Ernst tries to make him, Buddy, and Melody playing Old Maid sound like a win over Brad’s riding win and orgy, which doesn’t help matters.
Mr. Ernst wants to whip up a batch of his tuna and marshmallow s’mores (we now know where Buddy gets his unusual tastes from), which no one else wants. Lucy says they all ate at the rodeo, and Melody says she’s on “that all-lemonade diet”. Kyle wants to go and get his new CD player (he has to show up Ted, I guess), and they all start to run away, but Mr. Ernst suddenly thinks to show them slides (more than three trays’ worth) from his accounting class 15-year reunion. He says the Beaver was there, and he had snappy comebacks and balanced cheese doodles on his nose. The others quickly leave.
Before we move on to the next scene, let’s look at some clues in this scene that Mr. Senior Producer doesn’t know shit about the characters:
1) Brad is now excitedly participating in rodeos alongside Kyle, whereas she had been staunchly opposed to rodeos when Kyle was first introduced.
2) Kyle compliments Brad on her riding.
The next day (I guess), Jake is handing out fliers for his business, because Mr. Ernst made him take down his sign.
Ted comes by and learns about Jake’s new business. Not wanting Jake to think he needs advice about girls, Ted (very poorly) bullshits a story about his “friend”. His “Asian pen pal” (“Ted-wusaki” of Tokyo) likes a girl (“Brad-wong”), and everything’s going great until a new guy (“Kyle-chang”) comes to work with them. Everything changes. Brad-wong and Kyle-chang start hanging out, doing things together, and “flirting every second”. Jake guesses Ted’s “friend” wants to get back in control. Ted confirms. Jake quotes Tennyson and “Absence makes the heart grow fonder“, which irritates Ted and makes me wonder how Jake can get away with charging people for this bullshit. Jake finally suggests using jealousy. Ted thanks Jake and stiffs him on the bill.
Before we move on to the next scene, let’s look at more clues that the wannabe writer has no fucking clue about the characters:
3) When have Brad and Kyle done anything together when they weren’t both assigned to it?
4) When have Brad and Kyle ever flirted, much less “every second”?
Later, Melody is cleaning out the “toxic waste fill”. Ted comes by. Melody informs him that they (she and Brad, I guess) found half of a pizza that Ted left in here last summer. Ted lets her keep it, and she sarcastically thanks him. This indicates the girls are massive slobs (just like the guys), because they haven’t cleaned their bunk house since last summer!
Melody informs Ted that Brad is in the lodge on phone duty. Ted actually came to see her. She says she hasn’t cashed her check yet and doesn’t even have any money for herself.
WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?
Ted brought Melody a gift: the new CD by the Fine Young Cannibals, a band that Melody really likes. The band has released only two studio albums, the second of which was released in the U.S. over two years before this episode aired. A remix album had been released in late 1990, containing only two non-album tracks (interestingly, one of the remixers shares my name). A compilation album was released in late 1996, which is still a bit too old (even by my timeline for the series) to be considered a new album. Nice job, writer.
Anyway, Melody thinks it’s a joke and threatens to murder Ted if she’s on “one of those funny home video shows“. Ted acts all innocent. Melody points out that her birthday is not until July, and…what?!?!?! This does not work for two reasons:
1) It’s a fucking lie. Melody’s birthday is in September.
We could shift the 1991-taped episodes into the following summer (1998 according to my timeline), which would make the teens legal adults, and that’d be fine. It still doesn’t fix Melody’s birthday statement, though. Clue #5 that the writer doesn’t know the characters. It’s as if this entire episode takes place in an alternate universe.
Anyway, Melody guesses Ted wants her to clean his socks “again”, but Ted assures her that he has money and clean laundry. We learn Ted and Melody have known each other “for a long time”. Ted eventually gets around to asking Melody out on a date on Saturday night. Melody finds it “really weird” and accuses Ted of doing this to make Brad jealous. Ted denies it and says he and Brad are “through”. Melody admits she likes Ted “a lot” but “never really thought about” going out with him. She claims Ted and Brad were always “the thing”.
Melody is unsure. Ted suggests a movie or dinner. He’ll even pay (for dinner; he doesn’t commit to paying for the movie). Melody wants to see “that new scary movie about those miniature lizard people who attack that cute college basketball team”. Y’know, that sounds like something that Buddy would enjoy. Why’d you let him dump you, Melody?
Ted claims he wants to see the movie, too. Melody wants him to promise this has nothing to do with Brad. Ted claims Brad and Kyle can “live happily ever after”. Melody agrees to the date on Saturday night. Ted leaves. Melody sniffs the pizza box and takes it outside.
Brad comes by with a flower box and tells Melody of her intention to murder Kyle. We learn Kyle’s last name is Chandler. Nothing like waiting until the next-to-last episode to establish a main character’s surname. Well, at least they’ve established it, unlike some other series.
Anyway, Brad explains she just got her pictures back from the rodeo, and Kyle took it upon himself to draw ugly faces on all of the pictures of guys (except for his) while she was helping some guests in the lodge. Brad calls Kyle immature and believes he’s possibly worse than Ted. Melody guesses it’s because Kyle likes Brad a lot and doesn’t know how to act around her. We learn Kyle drew diapers and a pacifier on Ted’s picture. Melody guesses Kyle doesn’t really know how Brad feels about Ted anymore, and she thinks “a lot of people are wondering about that right now”. Is the episode going meta? I bet, in 1991, there were viewers that wondered about Brad/Ted, too, particularly since it had been six weeks since he had pursued her. Brad seems to think of Ted as a friend but doesn’t want a serious boyfriend right now – “at least not until college”. *stares at episode* You gonna behave? Not gonna rape the timeline? Anyway, I suppose this could be the summer between graduating high school and starting college. Still doesn’t explain Melody’s birthday, though, and, yes, it still pisses me off.
Brad admits she just wants to have fun and lots of friends. Melody then takes a roundabout approach of trying to gauge Brad’s feelings of Ted dating someone else. Brad doesn’t care and adds Kyle asked her to a movie (which I guess she’s going with him to, despite currently wanting him dead). Melody wastes some more of the running time until finally admitting Ted asked her out, which Brad doesn’t believe and then tries to talk Melody out of. Melody goes off on Brad for guessing Ted’s trying to make Brad jealous, even though Melody had thought the exact same fucking thing. This makes Melody want to go out with Ted more than anything else. They argue about it a bit more, and Melody claims Brad is, “one by one”, “claiming them all”. Clue #6 that the writer doesn’t know shit about the characters. Brad hardly ever dates. When she does date, it always ends badly. When she wants to date, it might not even happen. How does that amount to Brad “claiming them all”?
Melody adds she’s no longer going to cover Brad’s chores, so Brad can practice riding. Brad tells Melody to go out with Ted. Melody is “glad” that she has Brad’s “blessing”. Brad suggests Melody go out with Ted on Saturday night, the same night that Brad’s going out with Kyle. Melody suggests making it a double date. Brad agrees and…
Yeah, really fucking mature.
Brad goes into the girl’s bunk house, and Melody immediately regrets suggesting a double date.
After the commercial break, on Saturday night, Kyle drives the Jeep over to the girls’ bunk house, checks his hair, picks up Brad, and gives her “a little something”.
Ted’s not to be outdone, of course. He even rags on Kyle about the “weeds”. Even the girls get into it over the size of their bouquets.
After more arguing (including where to go), Kyle mentions he has money, so Ted mentions he’s “loaded” and asks Melody to carry his wallet. Ted wants to drive, but Kyle points out that Mr. Ernst gave him the keys.
Brad’s having second thoughts, but Melody’s looking forward to it. The girls go off on their double date with their bouquets instead of putting them in water.
They end up going to Golf-n-Stuff (a.k.a. Golf N’ Stuff) in Tucson. This marks the first and last time in the series that part of an episode was taped “in town”, the second and last time that the characters were seen “in town” (I have a feeling that the restaurant scenes were taped at the Tanque Verde Guest Ranch), and the third and last time that the characters were in a populated area other than the Bar None (I’m counting T.R.O.T.).
Going here was Ted’s idea, and Melody compliments him on it. Ted reminds her that they get an employee discount, and what in the goddamn fuck? How could such a stupid line be written, story-edited, rehearsed, and taped without anyone noticing the inherent stupidity of it?
Anyway, Brad takes notice of Ted’s money-saving ways, and Ted tries to brush it off.
Kyle asks for the score.
Brad expresses confusion, and Kyle catches on to the fact that Ted’s been altering the scores. Ted admits to it, and they argue over technicalities.
Brad is up, and Ted does this thing where he suddenly moves sideways. It goes unaddressed, but I’m wondering if he was trying to scare her and ruin her shot.
Kyle gives Brad some advice, so Ted goes for the hands-on approach:
This annoys their respective dates.
Brad also gets sick of it and whacks Ted with her golf club.
Ted and Brad argue. Melody expresses concern for Ted. Brad hits her ball, which hits someone (uncredited) off screen. Ted and Brad continue arguing. Ted insists he’s always bailing her out. Brad disputes that and adds knowing Ted “has been one unending string of disasters”. Brad references the events of “Ted and Brad Get Handcuffed” (season 1, episode 10). Kyle laughs, and Melody playfully hits him. Kyle expresses surprise at the incident. He hasn’t been told about the infamous handcuffing incident yet, but he’s been told about the “mob guy” incident?
Brad and Ted continue arguing about the handcuffing incident as Ted tries to take his shot. You know what that means!
After some back-and-forth of this, Kyle and Melody break it up. Melody suggests going to the movies, so they don’t have to talk. Kyle actually hopes they won’t be charged for playing (they haven’t paid yet). Ted takes issue with this, because he’s “in the lead”. Ted takes his shot:
Ted is victorious.
However, Kyle has a mischievous smile as he writes down the score. Don’t worry, though, it’s never brought up.
Later, they’re discussing their music tastes. Ted hates classical music and is a “rock and roll” guy. Brad (a Bon Jovi and Phil Collins fan and a blaster of loud rock muzak) disses rock as being for people six and under. Melody interjects she likes both classical and rock (she doesn’t mention her love of rap), but they don’t pay her any mind, because this is a Ted/Brad argument.
Ted says Brad is too old and makes a reference to “21 Jump Street“. Melody interjects she loves that show (translation: “We have so much in common, Ted! Please pay attention to me! I might reward you with a blowjob later!”), but Ted ignores her and asks for Brad’s age (he doesn’t know by now?), which she refuses to give. Kyle asks for the score, and Melody’s wondering about it, too.
Ted starts tickling Brad. After learning Kyle’s in the lead, Ted wants to “see” the score card. Melody holds onto the card, and Kyle thanks her. Ted and Brad would rather stand and argue than move on to the next hole. We learn, where Ted grew up, they played in the street. Ted and Brad completely ignore Melody and Kyle in favor of arguing. Ted gets in a funny, stereotypical, East Coast, upper-crust impression.
Kyle hates watching them fight, but Melody corrects him that it’s what Ted and Brad do instead of flirting. She guesses Ted is about to drive his club into Brad’s holes and informs Kyle that the two of them are being used. Melody wants to get even.
Ted and Brad are too busy arguing – and playing “What’s that on your shirt?” – to notice Melody and Kyle abandoning them without money or a ride home.
But it doesn’t stop there! Brad successfully counters with “Your shoelaces are untied” to tie the game!
Ted and Brad agree they’re equally clumsy and only then realize they’ve been abandoned. They blame each other, and then Brad suggests going to the manager and explaining the situation.
Ha. Well, at least the manager (or whoever) will drive them home when they’re done. Brad hits Ted and blames him. Ted blames Brad.
The (uncredited) manager (or whoever) yells from off screen for them to knock that shit off.
Brad says they both look “like a couple of idiots” and “really screwed up this time”, hurting two of their best friends. Ted doesn’t blame them for leaving. Brad is not looking forward to the “serious groveling” that they’re gonna have to do when they get back. Ted wonders why they fight so much. Brad doesn’t know, but it doesn’t really feel like fighting to her, and Ted agrees. Brad says she has to hit Ted or…do something else to him (which she stops herself from saying, leaving Ted curious). Brad avoids answering by pointing out “money” in the water. When Ted takes a closer look, Brad pushes him in.
As they resume their water fight, Ted makes clear his intention to murder Brad.
The pre-credits scene at the end, on the following day (Sunday), has Mr. Ernst using Jake’s service…for some reason. Jake signals time’s up, leaving Mr. Ernst without the answer of how long to grow the sideburns (thank Goddess we never see that). Jake gets him to come back later for another session.
Brad and Ted come by with “a really serious problem”, so Jake charges $20 (that’s with the employee discount), which Brad makes Ted pay.
Brad lays out the problem (without going into detail). Ted adds Kyle and Melody aren’t talking to them and asks Jake what to do. Jake suggests showing them that they’re sorry by going to Mr. Ernst and volunteering to clean all of the bathrooms for the rest of the summer – with a toothbrush (the way that he likes it). They refuse. Jake says, if they’re really sorry, they’ll do it, and Brad seems to agree. Ted still refuses. Jake lets them know “Jake has spoken”. Brad reminds Ted that this is all their fault, and she doesn’t want Kyle and Melody to be mad at them “all summer”. Brad gets a reluctant Ted to go to Mr. Ernst with her.
So ends another day at the Bar None.
This episode was pretty bad. It dicked with the timeline, it got Brad’s character wrong, it resurrected the Ted/Brad/Kyle love triangle after a seemingly definite end, it wanted us to assume a lot of build-up occurred off screen, and it made everyone except Kyle (of all people) seem really immature, despite these characters supposedly knowing each other for a long time already.
Oh, well, let’s see if the series can go out on a high note.
It’s the final countdown!: 1!