Here we are: the final episode of “Hey Dude”. When I first started this blog, I had doubts about being able to finish it. It had taken me almost six years to review 34 episodes and 26 comic stories of “Captain N: The Game Master” – on my own Captain N site. It had taken me nearly six months to review the 13-episode “The Legend of Zelda” animated series. I managed to review two episodes of “Neon Genesis Evangelion” before losing interest. What I’m getting at is I didn’t exactly have a good track record with reviewing stuff. I decided to take on the challenge of reviewing “Hey Dude” for two reasons: 1) to get in on the Reviewed blog trend and 2) to revisit a favorite series from childhood. Now, that journey is nearly at an end, and I can truthfully say I’ve kept to a weekly schedule. Only three episode review releases were delayed to Thursday: “Dueling Ranches” (season 3, episode 07). “Secret Admirer” (season 4, episode 06), and “Mr. Moneybags” (season 4, episode 12).
Let’s check in with the gang one more time and see what they’re up to.
Writer: Graham Yost
Director: Fred K. Keller
Original air date: August 30, 1991
A couple notes about the episode before the review:
This episode has a 1991 copyright.
This episode runs the “standard” running time (25:21).
In the cold open, Mr. Ernst is sleepwalking.
Buddy, Jake, and Melody follow him into the main lodge.
Jake teaches us the word “somnambulist“, which Buddy takes to be some kind of horrible insult. Cute.
Melody tries to keep Mr. Ernst from bumping into things.
Melody insists they gotta stop him. Buddy, grabbing the money, asks “What’s the rush?!” Melody admonishes him and, via a sound effect that’s placed a bit too early, rings the bell on the desk. This wakes up Mr. Ernst. He’s confused, and the second thing that he sees is this:
Buddy tosses the money and runs upstairs, leaving his dad more confused.
After the credits, at breakfast in the following morning, Jake informs Kyle of what happened. Apparently, Mr. Ernst careened off the wall in the lodge, which I guess is something that he did before initially leaving the lodge, since we didn’t see it. Either that, or Jake’s exaggerating.
The girls arrives. Danny hears bells.
Jake points and excitedly exclaims Santa’s here. Melody informs him that it’s just Mr. Ernst wearing a bell. Mr. Ernst comes over and mentions his “somnambulistic escapades”. Kyle is confused, because all that he heard about was the sleepwalking.
Melody asks Mr. Ernst how he’s feeling. He’s fine except for a knuckle burn (from bumping into a wall). Danny asks about the box of bells.
Mr. Ernst brought bells for everyone to ring if they think he’s sleepwalking, because it seems to be the only thing that wakes him up. He wants them to make sure that “each member of the staff” has one of these.
Ted comes by with a box containing pieces of red and blue paper and…
…the Smelt Trophy!
The what, you ask? Why, only the most coveted never-before-mentioned object among the three longest-serving teen staff members! As Ted explains, it’s named after the previous owner of the Bar None, Mr. Smelt. Wow, they actually established the previous owner’s last name. On the trophy is written: “The Smelt Trophy – awarded annually to the Bar None Champion Capture the Flag Team”. Last year’s winner is also written on the trophy: the Red Team.
Danny and Melody go into a little cheer: “We are the Red Team!”
“They are the dead team!”
Ted explains they play a version where each team hides their flag sometime after dark, and they have until dawn to find the other team’s flag and hoist it up the flagpole. Brad would rather sleep than stay up all night.
Melody is really into it, though (especially the spy aspect), and tries to talk Brad into it. Brad wishes there was more at stake. Ted explains it’s “an old Bar None tradition” that the captain of the winning team becomes senior staff. That’s how he got the job. Brad had figured his parents bribed Mr. Ernst. Okay, so Ted is still “senior staff” (whatever that means), even though he had gone away and come back? Okay, whatever.
Mr. Ernst is pissed, because they failed his “test” (pretending to sleepwalk) by not ringing their bells. He tells them to stay alert. This is hardly authoritative, though, considering, foolish though it had made him seem, he had taken off his own bell. Brad asks Mr. Ernst why he made Ted senior staff. Mr. Ernst explains Mr. Smelt had recommended him for the job, saying Ted was a good, hard worker, and Mr. Ernst had believed him. After Brad presses the issue, Mr. Ernst remembers the “Capture the Flag” thing. He tells the teens to use their bells and leaves.
Brad’s in and asks when they start. Ted says they gotta pick teams and wants to break up “the old team”, because “it wouldn’t be fair” to Brad, Jake, and Kyle. Brad takes issue with this. Melody says they’ve played together and know the game. Danny adds they’re “a lean, mean flag-capturing machine”. Okay. Ted adds it’d be a “massacre” and had brought the paper, so they can choose teams fairly. Brad’s insulted and basically declares it’s the old versus the new. Ted agrees. The Blue Team does an impromptu cheer, which is just chanting “Blue!” repeatedly.
Oh, good, the scene’s over. Okay.
WHAT IN THE MOTHERFUCKING ASSSHIT IS THIS FUCKNESS?!?!?!?!
The writer of this episode (a writer for this series since season 1, mind you) is very clearly saying the entire series occurs during one summer (there’s no other way that Brad could not have known about the game, setting aside the question of where the trophy’s been this whole time). This is, of course, completely fucking impossible. It’s not just the fact that Brad remembers returning guests. It’s not just the fact that Buddy was 11 and then 13. It’s the fact that most episodes occur over multiple days. If each episode occurred over the course of one day (and avoided making problematic references), then, yes, you could fit 65 episodes into a single 90-day summer – with room to spare. However, one summer simply cannot hold all of the episodes as written and taped. I can’t believe they managed to rape the entire timeline in the final episode. For it to make any kind of sense, you have to do some serious rearranging of episodes. For starters, you have to put all of the key episodes (including this one) in the first summer (this also allows for the “fighting for senior staff” aspect of the episode to make sense, since there are plenty of episodes still to come). Then you have to spread the rest of the episodes out across the entire following summer (at minimum). Goddess, I’m getting a headache.
Later, the Red Team runs down to the dock, and Melody and Danny mock-salute Ted. Ted came up with a design for this year’s flag and, naturally, gives the other a bunch of sheets of paper, even though the design is presumably on just the top sheet.
Danny and Melody are pissed, because Ted drew “Timmy the Magic Shrimp in the clutches of the evil Lobster King”. Danny quits in protest. Melody follows suit. Ted’s like “What the fuck, assholes? That’s a motherfucking eagle clutching a lightning bolt like a fucking badass.” He also gets Timmy’s title wrong.
Danny corrects him. Ted asks what the big deal is. Danny will fix the flag design and brings up the show. Melody gets excited, because it was her favorite, airing on Saturday mornings at 9:00 AM (Danny silently agrees, which makes no fucking sense, because they’re from different time zones). Melody gets Danny to sing the theme song with her:
“Isn’t he just the cutest little imp? He’s Timmy!”
Ted turns their focus back toward the “mission”:
His “training program” was adapted from the Navy SEALs manual, including swimming a quarter-mile underwater with twenty-pound weights tied to their feet and jumping blindfolded off the bell tower. Melody says Ted’s gotten worse from last year. They argue over it. Melody says they’re playing Capture the Flag tonight, “not invading Sicily“. What an odd, outdated reference. Wouldn’t comparing it to invading Iraq be more current?
Danny says he wants to join the Blue Team.
Brad is leading her team in thrilling exercises, such as “turn the other cheek”.
This is followed by the Blue Team’s cheer.
For some reason, Buddy’s playing, even though he isn’t an employee.
When Brad sees “the evil Red Team” approach, she leads her team in making finger crosses against them. What’s with Brad’s Christian references suddenly? I mean, yeah, they’re flippant, but it still seems kind of odd.
Ted accuses them of spying, but Brad says they’re training and proceeds to lead her team in finger lifts. Ted says they’re “gonna lose big time”. Brad says they’ve “got a little something up [their] sleeve, so, even if [they] lose, [they] win”.
Melody gets Ted’s attention, but I can’t hear what she’s saying, and I don’t know why she’s doing it. It doesn’t go anywhere.
Anyway, Kyle, dumbass that he is, is about to spill the secret, but Brad and Jake shush him.
Ted says he’s “got a little something up [his] sleeve, too”. Danny insults Ted, which gets a laugh from the Blue Team. Ted informs Danny that he’s changed; he never used to be this mean. Danny blames Melody for being a “bad influence”. Melody hits Danny.
The Red Team starts to leave. Melody asks Ted what he meant. Ted says they have a “friend” on the Blue Team. Melody gets excited about the spy aspect, but Ted shushes her. Danny wants to know who it is. Ted says not here and has them follow him.
“Isn’t he just the cutest little imp? He’s Timmy! Oh, yes, he’s Timmy! Timmy, Timmy, Timmy, Tim the Maaagic Shriiimp!”
As the scene changes, you can hear Danny (I think) says “Hi, folks! I’m Timmy!”
At twilight, Mr. Ernst lowers the American flag in what we’re meant to assume is a daily ritual, despite never seeing it before. Why not just leave it up? It’s not like the teens couldn’t lower it when they play their game. Besides, what about the Arizona state flag that we also see on the flagpole in multiple episodes?
The gang comes by as Mr. Ernst folds the flag. When he finds out that they’re gonna play Capture the Flag, he’s concerned about them doing it at night in the dark and puts an end to their plans. They protest. He cites the danger of getting hurt and the effect on his insurance rates, which is a perfectly reasonable explanation. They continue protesting. He suggests playing tomorrow, when it’s light out. They protest again. Mr. Ernst apologizes but forbids them playing Capture the Flag. As he walks away, Brad whines about it.
Ted says the Blue Team is lucky, because they would have “lost bad”. Brad claims her team would have “creamed” the Red Team. Ted theorizes the Blue Team put Mr. Ernst up to cancelling the game. Despite the absurdity of this, Melody seems to agree with him. Brad disputes it and claims they would have beaten the Red Team even though their flag would have been “right under [their] nose the whole time”. Ted claims the Blue Team would have been able to see their flag but not do anything about it. Brad is still confident.
Ted proposes they play and thinks Brad is chicken. Brad agrees to play – for senior staff. Ted is unsure, so Brad accuses him of being chicken. Ted agrees to Brad’s terms.
The Blue Team walks away, doing their lame cheer, and Ted engages in some tough trash talk. Melody tells him to calm the fuck down.
Ted declares this is war.
After the commercial break (which comes very early in this episode),…for fuck’s sake, not this again.
Oh, well, at least Melody isn’t into it. She complains about the cold. Danny and Melody are bored and “couldn’t care less about” who becomes senior staff. Melody adds it’s not fun anymore.
Continuing a proud tradition on this series, Danny checks his non-existent watch (on both wrists!) before announcing dawn is about a half-hour from now and threatening to go to bed if they don’t try to get the Blue Team’s flag. Melody tiredly agrees. Ted says he “just made contact” with their spy, who informed him that the Blue Team’s flag is hidden in the girls’ bunk house under Brad’s pillow. Melody wants to know who the spy is, but this is a “need-to-know” operation. Melody wants to throw Ted in the lake. Ted explains the plan, but Melody deserts when she learns it involves her repelling off the roof. As Melody heads to the “hay shed” (it’s “hay shack”) for some sleep and sarcastically asks if she could get shot, Ted yells after her. Danny, for a reason that even he doesn’t know, is still with Ted. Ted modifies the plan.
Anyway, Buddy brings back some useless recon photos that he took from the bell tower.
This temporarily cost him his vision.
Neither team has been able to find the other’s flag yet, and Brad brainstorms.
Kyle and Jake come in with a “prisoner of war”.
To make her talk, they “torture” Melody with one of Mr. Ernst’s cassette tapes, featuring “Dave, master of the nose flute”.
More annoyed then anything, Melody reveals the location of the Red Team’s flag: in the lodge, above the fireplace, booby-trapped with alarms to wake up Mr. Ernst. Brad isn’t discouraged, though.
Okay, moving right along…
After going over the plan and some banter (during which there seems to be someone asking “Whaaat?”, but it doesn’t sound like Ted or Danny), they hear Brad insulting Ted. Ted’s ticked, and Danny gets in a small dig at him.
I’m pretty sure that this is highly illegal, and the entire motherfucking Blue Team would be arrested in real life.
Ted wonders where Brad is, and Melody reveals he fell for a recording (which actually very obviously sounded like a recording from outside).
Ted finds a note under Brad’s pillow: “Dear Former Senior Staff, Better luck next time. Your friends, The Blue Team”
Ted is pissed and plans to murder “Buddy, the weasel” (their spy). Ted calls him a “stinkin’ double agent”, but being a spy meant being a double agent; Buddy was actually loyal to his team.
Anyway, Melody hits Ted in frustration.
That doesn’t look anything like what Danny or Ted described. Jake still “recognizes” it as Timmy the Magic Shrimp, though, so I guess Danny did a total redesign. Jake loves the show, and Kyle agrees.
Note what seems to be a boom mic.
Kyle, dumbass that he is, rings the bells out of curiosity. Brad admonishes him.
After some arguing and banter (Jake and Kyle get a funny moment in, and Brad gets a cute moment in), Brad launches Buddy toward
his death the flag.
Three failed attempts and some banter later, Mr. Ernst sleepwalks downstairs.
Mr. Ernst walks repeatedly into his office door. The others want to just leave him and go for the flag, but Brad proves, one more time, how much that she cares for her boss by going over and turning him.
They fuck around for a bit with that, leaving Buddy in a precarious situation:
After Brad breathes a sigh of relief, dumbass Buddy takes out his bell and drops it, just because Jake happened to mention Mr. Ernst not wearing his bells – as a good thing. Seriously, how fucking stupid is Buddy?
Naturally, this wakes Mr. Ernst up, and he’s confused over what he sees:
Brad is so fucking adorable.
Mr. Ernst demands to know what the fuck is going on. Jake, the resident specialist in psychology, tells Mr. Ernst that he’s dreaming (which seems to make Brad a bit more nervous). Mr. Ernst disputes it.
Jake lists the “evidence”. By the way, I don’t know if it’s merely a nervous habit of Brad’s or Kelly Brown’s, but she seems to cross her legs while standing when she gets nervous – at least in this episode.
Mr. Ernst buys it (somehow).
Jake has Brad lead their “little dream warrior” upstairs. Brad does this trippy, “dreamlike” walk toward Mr. Ernst to aid in the deception.
By the way, this is the third reference to the “Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise in this series. Add in the reference to the “Halloween” franchise and various other horror films, and you could say it’s a “Hey Dude” tradition – much like pillow fights, hitting, eye-rolling, getting wet, and checking the time on non-existent watches.
Mr. Ernst pauses and asks Jake what the dream means, but Jake doesn’t even wanna guess.
Brad leads Mr. Ernst to the second set of stairs and lets him go the rest of the way himself (there’s a limit to her caring).
They have two minutes to get the flag, get it up the flagpole, and win the game. Buddy is reluctantly ready for another go, but Jake and Kyle go into the stupid “Blue!” cheer and lose control of the rope, sending Buddy to his doom.
This alerts the Red Team, so they brainstorm.
This leads to Melody and Danny stripping Ted – and tickling him. Somehow, they correctly guessed the flag was inside Ted’s jacket. Danny guesses Brad must have “snuck” (not a word) in earlier and hidden it. HOW THE FUCK DOES THAT WORK?! There’s no way that Ted wouldn’t have noticed – or felt – the flag.
Anyway, there’s just one problem:
The “dork” defies Brad’s expectations by vowing to fly the flag. This excites Melody and Danny.
It’s a real nail-biter of a race as the two teams race toward the flagpole with less than a minute to go.
Ted and Brad collide and knock each other unconscious! What now?!
Oh, following Melody’s orders, Danny and Kyle “cover” them with the flags. That makes sense.
Mr. Ernst arrives, having fully woken up, gotten dressed, and walked outside in a little over two minutes.
Following Jake’s lead (though it was likely her idea in the first place), Melody lies her ass off about all of them sleeping outside last night under the stars. “Brad and Ted just haven’t woken up yet.” Riiight, and how is she going to explain herself if they end up being dead?
Mr. Ernst buys it, despite the fact that Ted and Brad, the loudest protesters of the cancellation of the Capture the Flag game, are “sleeping” by the flagpole with flags on top of themselves.
Mr. Ernst asks for a volunteer to raise the American flag up the flagpole, and Kyle volunteers.
Melody asks Mr. Ernst how he slept last night, and he says wonderful – except for “this very strange dream” that he had “just before” he woke up. See? It really was just over two minutes. Anyway, he proceeds to relate details of the “dream” until…
Buddy passes it off as the “latest style”, which Mr. Ernst accepts as proof of “getting old”. He tells Melody that he’s just glad that he “didn’t have another sleepwalking episode”, and I’m sure that she’s happy to let him believe that.
As Mr. Ernst looks up at the American flag, he says “Ah, and so begins another glorious day at the Bar None Ranch. You know, kids, I sure am glad I – I came here.”
So am I.
The teens agree.
Mr. Ernst asks them to wake up Ted and Brad before any guests see them and tells Danny to wash his face.
After Mr. Ernst leaves, the others help (a suddenly conscious) Ted and Brad to their feet.
As they walk away, each of them claim victory.
The pre-credits scene at the end, later that day, has Ted and Brad returning from a visit to the doctor, who couldn’t find any sign of concussion. They’re all clear. Danny insults Ted. Brad points out that Danny’s changed and gotten meaner, which Ted, of course, immediately agrees with, and so does Melody. Jake basically says they all engaged in “brainless behavior” last night. Buddy has red welts from the mouse traps. Brad and Ted admit they got “a little carried away”.
Danny had the trophy engraved while Ted and Brad were seeing the doctor: “The Purple Team” (combination of red and blue and also the color of their bruises).
Kyle asks what Ted and Brad decided about senior staff. Since it was a tie, Ted wants to keep it. Brad wants them to share it, and they argue about it. Melody interrupts the argument, leaving this particular plot point unresolved. Cliffhanger! Seriously, though, how could Brad make a case to Mr. Ernst for being made senior staff, considering it was the result of a game that he had forbidden? Also, we never learned just what being senior staff means – except more money.
Anyway, Melody thinks Mr. Ernst is sleepwalking, and she and the others call, run toward him, and ring their bells.
Nah, he’s just cleaning his hands or something.
The teen mob scares him, and…
I guess this kinda-sorta brings things “full circle”, because he had (partially) fallen into a trough in the series premiere:
Jake gets the last clear line of the series: “It’s just a dream!” This is followed by something that I can’t understand. Mr. Ernst doesn’t speak in the final scene, but I think he lets out a yell as he falls back into the trough right before the credits, technically getting the last “word”.
And that’s all.
As a normal episode, this episode was pretty good. It was funny and entertaining, albeit absurd and manic, which has certainly happened before. As a series finale, though, well, it really wasn’t (and I honestly don’t know if it was taped last or not). It’s just another day at the ranch. There’s no sense of closure. No going home for the fall. About the only thing in this episode that brings the series full circle (aside from revisiting the Ted/Danny dynamic and bringing together all of the ingredients for a good Melody sandwich) is Mr. Ernst’s little speech toward the end.
It’s nice that everybody got to participate, though. Yep. Absolutely everybody. They didn’t leave anybody out at all………………………
Fuck, they forgot to include Lucy!
LUCY MISSED THE SERIES FINALE! WHAT DOES THAT TELL YOU?!
And…I guess that’s all that I have to say about this episode.
Tune in next Wednesday for the review of season 5.