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Series Recap

54-48-Ernst-canoeWelcome to the series recap of “Hey Dude”. Here, I’m going to give my thoughts on the series as a whole and the characters, give an update on the cast and crew, and rank the episodes from worst to best.

Before that, though, let it be known that the WordPress editor sucks ass, and it’s the reason (seriously, I tried two computers and three browsers) that this is tardy #5.

So now, before we ride off into the sunset, let’s check in with our friends one last time…

Videos

I scoured YouTube while preparing this recap. Here are a bunch of videos that I’ve rounded up for you:

This is a commercial about Ted that most of the cast did (this particular airing is from 1994):

Here’s the first outtakes video, courtesy of Geoffrey Darby:

Here’s the second and final outtakes video, courtesy of Geoffrey Darby:

Here’s a Nickelodeon “O-Zone” promo, featuring “Mork & Mindy” and “Hey Dude”, from 1991:

Here’s “The Wild Bunch”, a western-themed promo from 1993 (this is the ad that I referred to in my “Magnum Ernst” review):

Here’s “the entire Nickelodeon afternoon experience from start till end” (from autumn of 1993, around 1-2 years after my first time watching the series) – basically a collection of commercials and bumpers from the “No More Mr. Nice Guy” episode:

Here’s a small collection of “Hey Dude” ads and commercial bumpers from 1993:

Here are the commercials from between acts 1 and 2 of a 1993 airing of “Jealous Guy” (season 5, episode 06):

Here are the commercials from between acts 1 and 2 of a 1993 airing of “Incredible Shrinking Ted” (season 5, episode 03):

Here are the commercials from between acts 1 and 2 of a 1993 airing of “Doghouse Blues” (season 4, episode 10):

Here are the commercials from between acts 1 and 2 of a 1993 airing of “Baby” (season 5, episode 05):

Here are the commercials from between acts 1 and 2 of a 1993 airing of “Amnesia” (season 5, episode 07):

Here are the closing credits from a 1993 airing of “Jealous Guy” (season 5, episode 06) with an announcer voice-over:

Here’s a promo for “Muppet Babies” and “Hey Dude” from 1993:

Probably also from 1993, these are the commercials from the first half of an airing of “Presumed Stupid” (season 5, episode 08):

This is from an undated “Hey-Dude-a-thon”, which included an airing of “Return of Ted” (season 4, episode 08), with narration by David Lascher, in character as Ted, previewing the next episode (“Some Like It Hot” (season 4, episode 11)) over the closing credits. This is followed by video of David Lascher and Christine Taylor, in character as Ted and Melody, introducing the episode in a generic way:

From the same “Hey-Dude-a-thon”, which included an airing of “Some Like It Hot” (season 4, episode 11), with narration by Christine Taylor, in character as Melody, previewing the next episode (“Cowboy Ernst” (season 2, episode 12)) over the closing credits. This is followed by video of David Lascher, in character as Ted, introducing “Mr. Moneybags” (season 4, episode 12):

From the same “Hey-Dude-a-thon”, David Lascher and Christine Taylor talk over the closing credits of “Mr. Moneybags” (season 4, episode 12), in character as Ted and Melody, previewing the next episode (“Murder, He Wrote” (season 4, episode 13)):

Here’s a parody “tribute” video (that somehow manages to insult the series). According to a post on IMDb, it was shot on the Backbone Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains, just north of Malibu, California:

Here’s a 2014 tour of the abandoned set, which is still standing – and wasting away – to this day:

Here’s an impromptu mini-interview with some of the cast at the ATX Television Festival (June, 2014), before the panel:

This is the 25th anniversary reunion panel from ATX Television Festival (June, 2014):

Here’s part of an interview with Jonathan Galkin (the “Hey Dude” portion) on “Running Late with Scott Rogowsky” (June 25, 2014):

Here’s a cast reunion spot on The Splat (featuring a clip of Christine Taylor and Kelly Brown at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, which seems to be the April 22, 1991, edition):

Here’s a modern airing of a vintage commercial that the cast did, slightly altered for The Splat:

“Dude of Terror”, a hilarious horror-themed promo, on The Splat:

“Hey Dude” theme song fan tribute on The Splat:

Here are a series of “Hey Dude” 25th anniversary commercial spots featuring most of the cast (sans David Brisbin, Joe Torres, and Geoffrey Coy); unfortunately, they’re recorded by someone pointing a camera at the screen, but better this than nothing:

The Directors

Frederick King Keller directed 31 of the episodes. He’s had a long career of directing and producing (and even some writing), stretching from 1981 to 2014.

Ross K. Bagwell, Jr., directed 34 of the episodes. He had a short career of producing and directing, stretching from 1988 to 1999, working on only three other things besides “Hey Dude”. He died in October of 2008. Read this article.

The Actors

IMDb-Brisbin

David Brisbin (Mr. Ernst) is still working, racking up 69 acting credits as of this writing. His recent credits include parts in/on “Twin Peaks: The Missing Pieces” (2014), “Justified” (2015), and “Idiotsitter” (2016). See David Brisbin on Hey Dude Wiki.

Brown-boutique

Kelly Brown (Brad) quit acting after “Hey Dude” (see Kelly Brown on Hey Dude Wiki). However, she owns a successful women’s clothing store (for seven years running as of this post), Kelly B Boutique, in Montauk, New York. You can check it out on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Or, if you’re in Montauk, stop in and say hi. Tell her that the crazy “Hey Dude” blogger sent you. I guarantee she’ll have no idea what the fuck you’re talking about.

Coy-modern

Geoffrey Coy (Kyle) quit acting after “Hey Dude”. He currently works as a director of marketing. See Geoffrey Coy on Hey Dude Wiki.

Galkin-modernJonathan Galkin (Jake) was on a sketch comedy series called “Way Cool” in 1991 – just after “Hey Dude” ended. Then he quit acting. He currently heads DFA Records (cofounded in 2001). See Jonathan Galkin on Hey Dude Wiki.

IMDb-Kalman

Debrah Kalman (Lucy) has been in more things than I realized when I started this blog (and it’s not even all listed across her three IMDb pages; check out her resume). While she took a break to open restaurants and teach, she has now returned to acting. Her recent credits include parts in “Caretaker” and “Vengeance: A Love Story” (2017). See Debrah Kalman on Hey Dude Wiki.

IMDb-Lascher

David Scott Lascher (Ted) is still working, racking up 34 acting credits as of this writing. His recent credits include parts in/on “Melissa & Joey” (2014) and “The Boat Builder” (2015). See David Lascher on Hey Dude Wiki.

Taylor-modern

Christine Joan Taylor (Melody) is still working, racking up 56 acting credits as of this writing. Her recent credits include parts in/on “Arrested Development” (2005-2013), “Burning Love” (2012-2013, in which she played a character named Symphony *wink, wink*), “Sharing” (2015), “Zoolander 2” (2016), “Little Boxes” (2016), and “Zoolander: Super Model” (2016). See Christine Taylor on Hey Dude Wiki.

Danny

Joe Torres (Danny) quit acting after “Hey Dude” (see Joe Torres on Hey Dude Wiki). No one knows what happened to him, not even the cast and crew, who lost touch with him after the series wrapped. Rumors persist that he’s a car salesman in New Jersey, a pool shark at The Golden Nugget (a local dive bar in Tucson), or dead (of kidney failure while living on a reservation in Utah). However, a blogger posted this photo, supposedly of himself and Joe, in 2012.

Tygiel-modern

Josh Tygiel (Buddy) made the decision in college to not pursue acting. He currently works for a private investigation firm in Portland. See Josh Tygiel on Hey Dude Wiki.

The Episodes

Okay, here is my authoritative (to myself, anyway, and only until I change my mind, which will probably be immediately after I post this) list of all “Hey Dude” episodes, ranked from worst to best (trust me, it wasn’t easy). Please keep in mind that this is more subjective than usual, because I’m trying to judge 65 episodes instead of just 13. Also, “worst” and “best” episodes are not indicative of what any of us might feel like watching at any particular moment, which largely depends on what we’re in the mood for. No descriptions this time (what more can I say?) and no links (see the separate page that I’m creating for all of the links), just the final word (see previous disclaimers earlier in this sentence):

#65: S3E12: The Bad Seed
#64: S4E03: Magnum Ernst
#63: S1E02: Battle of the Sexes
#62: S4E11: Some Like It Hot
#61: S1E07: Perfect Father
#60: S3E13: Stick Around
#59: S5E12: Double Date
#58: S5E03: Incredible Shrinking Ted
#57: S2E12: Cowboy Ernst
#56: S3E07: Dueling Ranches
#55: S4E06: Secret Admirer
#54: S3E09: No More Mr. Nice Guy
#53: S2E13: Take Me to Your Leader
#52: S5E02: The Legend of Jed
#51: S3E01: Inmates Run the Asylum
#50: S5E07: Amnesia
#49: S2E08: Treasure Teens
#48: S3E10: Killer Ernst
#47: S4E05: Fear
#46: S4E07: Lost in the Desert
#45: S5E04: Rest in Pieces
#44: S3E02: Hey Cinderella
#43: S3E06: Superstition
#42: S5E11: Jake’s Fight
#41: S4E13: Murder, He Wrote
#40: S4E04: Dudesbury
#39: S5E05: Baby
#38: S5E08: Presumed Stupid
#37: S3E04: New Kid on the Block
#36: S4E12: Mr. Moneybags
#35: S4E10: Doghouse Blues
#34: S5E06: Jealous Guy
#33: S5E13: War
#32: S4E01: They’re Back
#31: S2E06: Ghost Stories
#30: S2E03: Our Little Champion
#29: S1E08: The Good, the Bad, & the Obnoxious
#28: S1E13: Pain in the Neck
#27: S1E04: Ted’s Saddle
#26: S2E02: Battle of a Hundred Bucks
#25: S1E11: Suspicion
#24: S2E01: Loose Lips
#23: S2E05: Crash Landing
#22: S1E06: Rehearsal for Romance
#21: S2E07: Teacher’s Pest
#20: S2E04: Bunkmate Battle
#19: S2E11: Bar None Babysitter
#18: S2E10: Superstar
#17: S1E09: Rainmen
#16: S4E09: Do the Right Thing
#15: S2E09: Dan the Man
#14: S5E09: Crush
#13: S4E08: Return of Ted
#12: S1E01: Day One at the Bar None
#11: S1E12: Employee of the Week
#10: S5E10: Low Budget Brad
#9: S5E01: Miss Tucson
#8: S1E10: Ted and Brad Get Handcuffed
#7: S1E05: The Competition
#6: S3E05: Sewn at the Hip
#5: S3E08: Ex-Static
#4: S1E03: Goldilocks
#3: S4E02: Ride, She Said
#2: S3E03: Datenite
#1: S3E11: Melody’s Brother

Halloween Marathon

Wanna watch some “Hey Dude” for Halloween? Here’s my recommended order:

54-54-gang-WTF-2Season 5, Episode 02 – The Legend of Jed
Just a tiny bit of spookiness toward the end of the episode to start things off.

46-33-scaredSeason 4, Episode 07 – Lost in the Desert
Next up: Buddy thinks the staff of the Bar None are pod people! ARE THEY?!?!?!?!?! No.

26-45-Danny-aliensSeason 2, Episode 13 – Take Me to Your Leader
When the ranch is “invaded” by “aliens”, the gang must fend off the attack at all costs!

19-33-killer-ErnstSeason 2, Episode 06 – Ghost Stories
Save the best for last! Is the ranch haunted?! Will Ted survive the night?! No and yes.

The Characters

Here are the characters, ranked from my least favorite to my favorite:

39-40-KyleKyle Chandler appeared in 14 of the 65 episodes – just over one season’s worth of episodes (or just over 1/5th of the series) – and 14 of the 27 episodes of the “Kyle Era” (just over half). He came off mostly as a sexist asshole. There’s little redeeming about him, and he did absolutely nothing to improve the series.

09-24-Cassie-upsetCassie appeared in 12 of the 65 episodes. She’s still better than Kyle, but, then again, I love animals.

01-53-Lucy-pissedLucy appeared in 27 of the 65 episodes (just over two seasons’ worth of episodes or just over 2/5ths of the series) and was mentioned in 3 others. In terms of main characters that have been around since the beginning, she was the most useless. She was supposed to be an authority figure on the “ground level” (Mr. Ernst is often in his office) that could keep/set the kids straight, but there were plenty of episodes that called for that, yet she was nowhere to be seen. I really don’t understand why they wasted her. They didn’t even establish her last name.

06-38-Danny-hat-headDanny Lightfoot appeared in 64 of the 65 episodes. I like him just fine, but he’s the least developed of the longer-serving teens. He got some good character development, but it wasn’t often enough, so the series kind of gave the impression that he was just there most of the time.

26-03-Buddy-shockedBenjamin “Buddy” Ernst, Jr., appeared in 63 of the 65 episodes and was mentioned in 1 other, which means only 1 episode went by without his presence being felt. He was the kid character that the target audience could relate to. Overall, I like him, but he didn’t get many plots to himself. When he did, though, they were pretty good.

03-35-Ernst-worriedMr. Benjamin J. Ernst appeared in 59 of the 65 episodes, had an additional voice cameo in 1 other, and was mentioned in 2 others, which means only 3 episodes went by without his presence being felt. He’s the funny, bumbling authority figure (kind of like Mr. Belding on “Saved by the Bell” or – and this is getting obscure – Gerald on “Boogies Diner”). Despite his occasional buffoonishness and crazy schemes, he genuinely cares for the kids and the ranch.

55-16-Jake-sticksJake Decker appeared in 36 of the 65 episodes. For a character that started as a replacement for Ted, he certainly became an enjoyable character in his own right. He wasn’t Ted. He wasn’t better than Ted (in my opinion). But he was funny and likable.

52-43-Ted-plansTheodore “Ted” Aloysius McGriff appeared in 44 of the 65 episodes and was mentioned (and seen in a photo) in 1 other. How can you not love Ted? He’s goofy. He’s charming. He fancies himself to be a ladies man. He was Zack Morris before Zack Morris was Zack Morris (at least, the “Saved by the Bell” version) – but more tolerable. Lascher’s brief departure from the series meant Ted wasn’t as omnipresent as he should could have been, but he did come back, so it’s all good.

12-38-Melody-delightedMelody Hanson appeared in all 65 episodes. Overall, I love her, occasional mental lapses aside. She’s sweet, perky, and fun. I like that in characters – but not so much in people that I hang out with in real life.

53-82-Brad-smilesBradley “Brad” Taylor appeared in all 65 episodes. She’s my favorite character, bar none. Sure, she’s rich and kind of snobby – but only kind of. What I love about her is her dedication to her friends and her boss and her…grounded ordinariness. Limited exceptions aside, Brad was generally calm and didn’t buy into the bullshit. Her favorite pastime was reading. She loved nothing more than to sit down with a good book, a bowl of popcorn, and perhaps a vibrator. She wasn’t particularly outstanding, but she had a quiet warmth about her that I love.

DVD Set Review

k2-_7b8037dd-9ade-420b-bd5d-f1fb0fcde671.v1

Ah, the DVD set from The Shout! Factory. I was so happy when I saw it. Overall, it’s a good set, and it has a bonus feature (an interview with Christine Taylor), which is one more bonus feature than I expected. That said, I wish Shout! could have dug up all of the publicity photos and made a gallery or something. Or tried to get the commercials that aired on Nickelodeon.

There are some video and audio glitches, and I can’t tell if they’re due to tape damage or encoding errors.

Speaking of encoding, Shout! did not make use of the discs’ full capacity. Here are some examples:

On season 1, disc 2, the episodes were encoded at a constant bitrate of 5,000 kbps. The Christine Taylor interview, by contrast, was encoded at a variable bitrate of 7,100 kbps (meaning it topped out at 7,100 but went lower if the content didn’t necessitate as much). I loaded the DVD files into a dual-layer DVD project in Nero (my DVD burning software). What I discovered was, with or without the interview, Shout! could have fit two more episodes onto the disc. That’s how much space that they left unused! Imagine if they’d bumped up the bitrates on those episodes. They would have looked a bit better – maybe a lot better.

They seemed to gradually get better as the seasons went on (the seasons were each originally released separately). Season 2, disc 1, was 5,300 (constant). Season 3, disc 1, was 5,500 (constant); even then, one more episode could have fit. Season 3, disc 2, was 6,000 (constant); again, one more episode could have fit. Season 4, disc 1, was encoded at a variable bitrate of 8,500 kbps. Even then, one more episode could have fit.

The thing is they didn’t even need to fit extra episodes on the discs, because two discs per season makes sense. What doesn’t make sense is all of that unused disc space going to waste.

I have one more complaint about the DVD set. It’s nice that they included an episode guide, but did they have to print it on the reverse of the cover? You can’t read it!

Final Thoughts

“Hey Dude” was the right series at the right time. It had an interesting setting (a dude ranch, not just summer camp). It had a mix of characters from different backgrounds and of different ages. It was funny, goofy, heartfelt, serious, absurd, and, yes, even dumb at times. It was a little wild and a little strange. But it captured our attention. And it’s still remembered today – as Christine Taylor can attest.

It’s been an interesting journey, going back to a childhood favorite and reviewing it an episode at a time. I’m glad that I went back to the Bar None. I got to hang out with some of my childhood friends. That said, I would never actually want to work at a dude ranch. I’m not a manual-labor person, I despise yardwork, I don’t like being out in the sun, and I clean only when I have to. Working at the Bar None wouldn’t be any fun for me. It would be interesting to stay at a dude ranch on a vacation, but that’s not a priority for me.

I can’t guarantee this blog will ever be updated again. That said, stay subscribed. It’s always possible that I might find some obscure video or photo to share – or even get a hold of the original pilot taped at the Tanque Verde Guest Ranch with a different Lucy (that’s what Christine Taylor refers to in her interview on the DVD set, not “Day One at the Bar None“), but I’m not holding my breath on that one.

Also, feel free to continue posting comments. Discuss the episodes and the series in general. Share any information that you find. If you were an extra or guest star or someone else involved in the production, please share your experiences. I want this community to continue.

An Ending…and a New Beginning

So here we are. I’m a bit amazed that I was able to complete this journey. Thank you to all of the readers (whether you’ve commented or not) that have come along with me.

I’ve decided to start up another episode-review blog. I had thought long and hard about what I wanted to review next, from “Clarissa Explains It All” (which I recall watching back in the day, but nowhere near as much as “Hey Dude”, so it’s not particularly nostalgic to me) to “Bubblegum Crisis” (I own the entire franchise on DVD, but I lack the albums, and the music is a big part of the series) to “NASCAR Racers” (a pretty cool series that aired on FOX Kids back in the day) to “W.I.T.C.H.” (another cool series, but there’s a lack of English translations of the extensive Italian comics, the original source material, so comparisons would be lacking) to “Cybersix” (ditto, except Argentinian instead of Italian) to the Mario cartoons (there would have been issues with getting a hold of certain episodes that weren’t released on DVD) to “Sailor Moon” (as much as I love the franchise, it’s much too complex for me to handle) to various Sunbow cartoons (there are issues with episode variants and the DVDs not matching what aired back in the 1980s) to the motherfucking Bible (that seriously needs to be done by someone) – as well as a bunch of other possibilities that came and went very quickly.

Then the answer suddenly hit me one day. I will be tackling the new series, “Riverdale”, which will be airing on The CW starting around January or February of 2017 (according to Wikipedia). It’s based on Archie Comics, and it is, in fact, the first live-action adaptation of the primary Archie characters to make it to series. In short, this is something that many longtime Archie fans – myself included (fan since 1990, one or two years before I discovered “Hey Dude”) – have hoped and waited for, and it’s finally coming. However, you don’t have to wait! The blog is already up, and I will not be reviewing just “Riverdale”, because that would be a sporadic blog! I will also be reviewing other television adaptations of Archie Comics – and even the sole theatrical film so far. In addition to “Riverdale”, the blog will also primarily focus on “The New Archies” (1987) and “Archie’s Weird Mysteries” (1999-2000), usually alternating between the two. In addition, I will review at least one episode each of each of the other Archie Comics adaptations – as well as some other stuff like comics and novels – as a sort of guided tour / sampling of Archie’s history, which will give context for the three primary series. If the blog happens to last long enough (Goddess willing), I might upgrade another series to primary status once I finish one. The Wednesday schedule will continue for now, because that’s comfortable and familiar (just like the characters that I’ll be spending time with) – but also because it’s unknown when “Riverdale” will air at this point. I might have to adjust the review schedule down the road if I need more time to review a “Riverdale” episode, but we’ll get there when we get there.

So now we bid farewell to the characters that we’ve spent sixteen months with, mount our horses, leave the Bar None, and head…to a little town called Riverdale.

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Novel: Showdown at the Bar None

Showdown at the Bar None.jpg

Writer: Bonnie Worth
Cover Photo: Chip Simon
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap
Imprint: Nickelodeon Books
Editorial Services: Parachute Press
Original release date: January 29, 1992

A while ago, as I was approaching the end of the series, I decided to search for “Hey Dude” novels and comics, my reasoning being “Well, ‘Saved by the Bell’ had them.” Imagine my pleasant surprise when I came across this on Amazon. I ordered it immediately, of course, and I read it in early July (finishing it on the morning of July 4, when I woke up earlier than usual).

So what is it? It’s essentially a novelization of “Inmates Run the Asylum” (season 3, episode 01) from Brad’s perspective (but written in the third person) with a brief flashback to “Day One at the Bar None” (season 1, episode 01) and a bit of original material thrown in. No completely new story, sorry.

The story portion of the book is 89 pages long, and it’s divided into 13 chapters. It originally retailed for $2.95 ($3.95 Canadian). I got it for one penny plus shipping.

In this review, I won’t summarize the entire plot; instead, I’ll be comparing the novelization to the aired episode, pointing out the differences as I go.

First, though, here’s the blurb from the back cover:

“Hey dude:
showdown at the bar none

Ted in charge? What could be worse! He turns into Attila the Hun with a cowboy hat! Can Brad stop him? And if she does, will she be in charge? Will there be an all-out war at the Bar None Ranch?

Now the only kid cowboy TV comedy is a book! All the wisecracks and adventures of Nickelodeon’s HEY DUDE are here in SHOWDOWN AT THE BAR NONE-with no commercial interruptions! You won’t want to miss it!”

Chapter 1: Emergency Meeting (novel pages 7-16, story pages 1-10)

This is a new scene. Mr. Ernst wakes the entire teen staff up for an “emergency staff meeting” at 5:00 AM. This annoys Brad. Melody is already wide awake and perky, though. We learn Melody has been working at the Bar None since she was thirteen years old, and “there’s never been an emergency”. Melody wakes up early every morning to swim laps in the pool. She gets out of bed and “pull[s] on her bathing suit” (I guess she sleeps naked). She brushes her hair and urges Brad to come the fuck on.

Brad reluctantly drags herself out of bed and puts on her jodhpurs and riding boots. So is Brad wearing anything up top (like a pajama shirt), or does she go to the meeting with her boobs on full display? (I bet the entire “staff” would “perk up” then!)

We learn Brad’s had horses of her own ever since she could walk and is an expert show jumper. She’s never worked before, so this takes getting used to. Yep, the writer’s treating the series (or at least up until “Inmates Run the Asylum”) as one summer.

Brad thinks about her home life versus the Bar None and doesn’t regret coming here for the summer. At home, she’d be lounging around the pool at her parents’ country club every day, treated like a pampered princess by everybody, and coming home at 5:00 AM after a night of hot fucking.

They meet up with Ted and Danny on their way to the main lodge. Ted ribs Brad about her appearance, but Brad has no tolerance for his bullshit. Ted continues yapping. Brad thinks about the “senior staff” thing and how no one knows what it means. She does find Ted cute.

Brad takes in the desert scenery and atmosphere and wonders about the emergency, but no one knows what it’s about. She admires Danny for his skill with horses but doesn’t understand his tolerance of Ted.

Ted and Danny talk about two of Mr. Ernst crazy schemes (which we’ve never seen before): selling replicas of the ranch inside little plastic snowdomes and throwing a “Come as Your Favorite Cactus” theme party for the guests. Melody remarks Mr. Ernst “has some of the dippiest ideas”. Brad likes Mr. Ernst but agrees he’s dippy. Buddy is specifically stated to be 12, and it seems like it’s saying that was his age (not 11) at the time that he and his dad moved out here “from New York”. It seems the horn on Mr. Ernst’s “jeep” (the novel uses the word generically) plays “Home on the Range” instead of the series’ theme music (as in the series premiere).

When they enter the main lodge, Brad stifles a laugh at Mr. Ernst’s outfit. She observes Buddy is also nerdy and guesses he doesn’t mind his father all that much.

Mr. Ernst thanks them for coming and gets to the point. The scene then conveys the same information about Mr. Ernst’s trip to Reddington as in the scene immediately following the opening theme in the episode. However, here, it’s explicitly stated to be an auction, whereas I had assumed from the episode that it was just a regular sale. Also, it’s next Saturday, which means the novel starts the plot way earlier than the episode.

Anyway, the teens don’t give a shit, and Brad expresses concern about Mr. Ernst’s horse-buying ability as in the episode. Brad doesn’t get to suggest one of them going with him, because Mr. Ernst talks right away about Lucy helping out. We learn Lucy is “chief of staff” and “head wrangler” on the ranch.

Other changes include Mr. Ernst and Lucy planning to stay overnight in Reddington (as opposed to Mr. Ernst having to, because he ran out of gas) and Mr. Ernst having the idea of placing one of them in charge (as opposed to being talked into it). Again, why not pick an adult?

Ted volunteers, and the other teens burst out laughing. Ted claims he’s “worked here longer than any of [them]” and is “a real pro on horseback”. Mr. Ernst agrees, but Brad protests, and then Ted counters. They don’t fight over the keys (obviously), and the dialogue isn’t the same. Mr. Ernst doesn’t even suggest putting Danny in charge.

Ted tries to claim Brad doesn’t know the first thing about ranching and brings up how everyone thought she was a guest when she first arrived. Brad disputes it and lies, so Ted gets Melody to admit even she thought so, which annoys Brad.

As Ted keeps talking, Brad thinks back to the first episode her arrival…

Chapter 2: Brad’s First Day (novel pages 17-25, story pages 11-19)

01-02-Brad-Ted-meetThis is a very condensed flashback to the series premiere. It’s told from Brad’s point of view. She arrives at the ranch. Ted and Brad introduce themselves using their full names (unlike in the episode). Ted mentions he’s senior staff, but there’s no discussion of what that is. Ted doesn’t mention riding, and Brad doesn’t react to it. Ted wants to help her with her luggage, but she refuses, not liking it when guys treat her as if she needs their help all of the time. It’s even worse when they get obnoxious about it. Ted doesn’t fall into the watering trough.

Later, Brad is standing by a window in the main lodge and witnesses Ted and Danny meeting up, which occurs on the porch instead of in the boys’ bunk house. There’s no banter or discussion of fry bread, but the handshake is included. Brad listens in as Ted talks about her. He calls her a tenderfoot and tries to think of a way to impress her. The guys don’t notice her.

Suddenly, they hear a wild neigh coming from the “main corral”. Lucy is the one trying to lead Rocket, who’s referred to as a stallion, into the corral. Ted starts to get an idea, and he and Danny argue over it as they head to the corral.

In the next scene, all of the teens gather in the corral with Lucy – even Brad, dressed in her riding clothes. The continuity of the episode is further altered: Brad had already met Lucy in the main lodge and Melody in the girls’ bunk house. Here, this was before Ted and Danny met up. Melody’s meet-up with the guys isn’t described here. In the episode, Brad and Lucy don’t share any screen time until near the end.

Brad likes both Lucy and Melody, but she doesn’t have much in common with either of them. Lucy is described as being “ten years or so” older than them.

Brad admires Rocket. An “old nag” named Pansy is also here, a good-natured old horse used mostly for children’s pony rides. There’s a conversation between Ted and Danny, which Brad shouldn’t be aware of, because Ted is whispering. Lucy warns Ted against riding Rocket, but here it’s because she overhears Ted discussing riding to impress Brad, not just a general feeling that she has. She heads to the main lodge.

01-25-Danny-Brad-meetTed swaggers over to Brad and wants to give her a riding demonstration. Danny introduces himself to Brad using his full name. Brad doesn’t like being typed as a princess by Ted. Ted wants to take up his own “challenge” of riding Pansy, and the others laugh at him. Ted then switches to Rocket on his own instead of Brad challenging him. Melody and Danny protest, but Ted goes through with it.

As in the episode, Rocket throws him off, and he lands in a “mud puddle”.

01-31-Brad-shoosDanny and Brad rush in and save his ass.

01-46-Brad-Rocket-4Brad rides Rocket, but here she does it to calm him down, not to show off.

01-52-Ted-Brad-groundBrad introduces herself as the new riding instructor. She “kind of” likes Ted “in spite of herself”. Ted asks for her help and then pulls her into the puddle.

As you can tell, the novel combines all three corral scenes into one, it cuts out Brad’s meeting with Melody, and there’s no mention of Mr. Ernst or even the fact that the ranch has a new owner. Also, Lucy doesn’t bust them.

Chapter 3: The Original Bar None Allergy Cure (novel pages 26-31, story pages 20-25)

The smell of coffee drifting through the open windows brings Brad back to the present. Ted’s still talking. Brad knows breakfast is about to begin, and the meeting will have to end.

Brad and Ted argue again, and it devolves into insults. Mr. Ernst breaks it up and says he has a week to decide. You’ve gotta be shitting me. He called an “emergency meeting” to discuss a relatively minor situation that wouldn’t be an issue for another week? Anyway, he tells them to get to work and please the guests.

The teens leave the main lodge, Brad and Ted upset. Melody and Danny decide to skip breakfast in order to avoid the “battle zone”. Danny invites Melody to hang out in the main lodge (which they’d just walked out of), and the scene abruptly ends (that was odd), but it’s the end of the page, so you don’t know the next page starts a new scene until you start reading it.

Ted and Brad manage to avoid each other at breakfast. Brad goes to the corral to organize the morning ride, and Ted goes to the main lodge to check the duty roster. Danny and Melody are killing time until their (unspecified) activities start in another hour. There’s no one else here except the staff, because all of the guests are busy with activities.

The rest of the chapter is basically the “clumsy Buddy” bit from the cold open of the episode – but moved indoors. Buddy trips down the stairs. Melody helps Buddy to his feet and asks him if he okay (she doesn’t do either in the episode). Brad (who’s not present) doesn’t say “Get a life” to the guys. Melody, not Brad, asks Buddy what’s wrong. Comparing the novel to the episode made me realize I was wrong in my review of “War” (season 5, episode 13). There’s actually one more reference to the “Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise. That makes a total of four, I believe.

Anyway, Buddy is explicitly stated to be wearing a Yankees baseball cap. I guess Bonnie Worth confused his Mets cap (which he doesn’t wear in the episode) for a Yankees cap, but I don’t blame her, because I did the same thing.

Melody, not Brad, asks “What little things?” The novel has the others be silent when they believe Buddy has a point. Melody then comes “to the rescue”. In the episode, Brad just immediately starts talking. Mr. Ernst trips and falls down the stairs, not from the porch. Instead of heading to the Jeep to go on the trip, he just wants Buddy to come along with him, because he wants to tell him about his idea for “a new way to fold newspapers”. Yeah…

Interestingly, they head toward “Lucy’s bunkhouse”. Lucy has her own bunk house? “Ted and Brad Get Handcuffed” (season 1, episode 10) seems to indicate she sleeps in the main lodge, but maybe she was there just to make sure that Brad and Ted didn’t fuck like crazed weasels kill each other.

Buddy laments not inheriting Arnold Schwarzenegger’s genes.

Chapter 4: The Trail Ride (novel pages 32-42, story pages 26-36)

This chapter is entirely new material.

On Sunday morning, early riser Melody comes back from her morning swim. Brad gets out of bed and gets dressed. Melody informs Brad that today’s duty roster has Brad and Ted on an Evening Trail Ride tonight with some horses and about fifteen guests. Brad wants Melody to switch with her, but Melody has to lifeguard at the poolside barbecue (which those fifteen guests aren’t attending, I guess) tonight. Brad wants to find a way out of it. She and Ted still aren’t on speaking terms. Melody gets all romantic about Brad/Ted, and Brad, somehow, doesn’t believe Ted likes her. Where has she been this whole time? Anyway, Melody finally gets Brad to admit Ted is “maybe just a little bit lovable”, but Brad denies liking Ted. Melody doesn’t believe it but doesn’t want to argue.

Brad teaches the children’s riding class all morning long and then goes to Mr. Ernst’s office to try to get out of the trail ride. Mr. Ernst puts her on the spot (we learn she usually does less than her share of chores), so Brad bullshits some horse-related duties that she has to see to. Mr. Ernst tells her that she and Ted are the only ones available for the trail ride, so tough shit.

Brad arrives at the corral in the evening, ignores Ted (who makes a show of praising her in front of the guests), goes to the stable, readies her favorite palomino (Duchess), and joins the others. After a bit in which they answer some questions (which Brad tells them to ask, even though she privately knows she’s not an expert), during which Ted bullshits, they head out during sunset.

As the sun sets, the hot, dry air cools quickly. Night is coming.

Brad bullshits her way through a cactus question, Ted tells a tall tale about Desert Pirates and a haunted cavern, and Brad bullshits about the government performing experiments on aliens in a nearby secret facility. A guest reminds them of dinner (seemingly the one that Melody was too busy lifeguarding to take over on the trail ride for Brad, despite the fact that the guests expect to be back from the trail ride in time for dinner), so Brad wants to head back to the ranch but realizes they’re lost.

Chapter 5: Time to Panic (novel pages 43-49, story pages 37-43)

Brad and Ted bullshit some interesting sights while trying to find the trail – to no avail. It’s getting dark, the guests grumble, and Brad starts to panic. Ted and Brad each accept responsibility for getting them lost, and Brad admits she can’t let anyone outdo her in anything. Suddenly, Ted hears a horse approach. Danny arrives, saying they missed dinner, but Ted plays it cool. Danny leads them back to the ranch, and some of the guests ask him questions. Brad and Ted argue with each other and stop speaking to each other again.

When Brad gets back to the girls’ bunk house, Melody is reading in bed. I wonder if it’s erotica. Anyway, Melody gets all wet thinking about some hot Brad/Ted action, but Brad’s fucking pissed and just strips right in front of Melody. Seriously. She even throws her clothes on the floor, such is her anger. She “stomps” her way into her pajamas, flops onto her bed, and covers herself with her pillow. Melody tries to get her to talk, and Brad tells her about how Ted “nearly” got them lost in the desert. No, Brad, there’s no “nearly” about it, and both of you were to blame. Melody makes a Brad/Ted crack, and Brad throws her pillow at her and tells her to shut the fuck up.

Chapter 6: Who’s in Charge? (novel pages 50-54, story pages 44-48)

This is basically the rest of the scene after the theme song from the episode – but with the change of it being another emergency meeting at 5:00 AM. Also, Lucy is present, and Buddy isn’t. Other than Mr. Ernst, the only ones that are wide awake are Melody, Brad, and Ted. Brad and Ted fight over seats and suck up to Mr. Ernst. There’s no arguing; Mr. Ernst just decides to flip the coin, which doesn’t go under the Jeep. Mr. Ernst gives Ted the master keys, and then Mr. Ernst and Lucy drive off. The rest of the chapter plays out pretty much like the scene in the episode.

Chapter 7: The New System (novel pages 55-62, story pages 49-56)

27-09-meetingThis is the meeting in “Ted’s” office. Changes include Ted talking to himself about the “big responsibility” of his job, moving the furniture around, and somehow having time to create a “Mr. McGriff” nameplate (instead of a badge).

After the others arrive, Buddy sets up the easel and pad of paper (it was already set up in the episode). Danny nods as a signal to start the humming. Ted’s four-star task isn’t as funny in the novel as in the episode:

27-12-gold-starsMelody doesn’t say Mr. Ernst will be back in a few hours (obviously). Also, we learn Melody is “so used to following the rules” that she can’t even break a “stupid one” and doesn’t want a demerit, which I guess somewhat explains her shock upon receiving one in the scene in the episode.

Chapter 8: Into the Lake (novel pages 63-67, story pages 57-61)

After breakfast, Brad gives her morning riding lesson, despite not being in the mood. As it turns out, the lesson calms her down a bit. One of the children, an eight-year-old girl named Melissa, manages her first jump.

After the lesson, Brad goes to the girls’ bunk house to change out of her riding clothes and into shorts and sandals. She heads toward the ramada for a snack.

On the way, she sees Danny slumped on a wooden bench in the shade of a mesquite tree, and she sits down next to him. The novel then goes through the scene between them at the hay shack in the episode – but moved to this new location. The dialogue is pretty much the same. The major difference is the removal of Buddy and his eye exam (and thus part of his subplot), so Brad gets Ted’s location from Danny. They head to the lake.

“Brad’s jaw was set, her fists were clenched, and her blue eyes flashed.”

27-20-Melody-rips-citationWe then get the lake scene. I just noticed, in the episode, there’s a bit of an audio glitch when Melody says “Ted, this is boring”, so it sounds like she says “Ted, this is whoring”. Hehehe.

Anyway, the write-and-rip routine is condensed a bit in the novel, and Melody’s cute “parade” comment is removed, but the novel still describes it as a parade in the narration. Ted tries to use a forceful tone. Melody’s line about Mr. Ernst’s return is updated to tomorrow morning, and her reason for stepping in is her duty as a lifeguard, because it’s against the rules to throw people off the dock. Brad says it’s her “personal belief that a dousing in cold water cures some forms of insanity”. Danny adds his grandmother always says it; it’s “an old Hopi remedy”. Buddy doesn’t interrupt to give an update on his dad’s return (obviously). Notably, Brad and Danny blatantly throw Ted into the lake, whereas he just fell off the dock when they and Melody ganged up on him in the episode. Melody doesn’t steal Ted’s citation pad. Ted doesn’t call them traitors.

Chapter 9: The Creature From the Black Lagoon (novel pages 68-73, story pages 62-67)

Melody, Danny, and Brad pass the boathouse on their way back up to the main lodge. Buddy is surrounded by guests that want to rent boats for the afternoon. This really doesn’t have anything to do with the story – except maybe hinting at Buddy taking responsibility for the ranch.

27-24-gang-worksThe rest of the chapter is the beginning of the scene in the main lodge from the episode. There are minor – and inconsequential – differences regarding the teens serving the guests (such as the old couple that Danny talks to in the episode being young honeymooners from New York City in the novel and getting a lot of detail).

27-25-Ted-confrontsWhen Ted comes in, Brad teasingly calls him the Creature From the Black Lagoon (which has been mentioned twice on the series, including Brad comparing Ted to it once). Brad stage-whispers the part about Ted being kicked in the head by a horse instead of just saying it out loud. Ted seizes the register book from the front desk. He doesn’t converse with the guests. He yells “I’m not moving!” at Danny, who imitates a mental health orderly, instead of Melody. Melody, not Brad, is the one that suggests going into Mr. Ernst’s office to come up with a “fair solution”. Brad follows Ted into the office, grabs the master keys from his pocket, and darts back outside instead of remaining outside as in the episode. This still doesn’t explain how (and I admit I didn’t think of it while reviewing the episode) Ted can be locked in the office.

Oh, and Brad has the stupid habit of calling Ted “Teddykins”. What the fuck? That sounds like something that Veronica Lodge would do.

Chapter 10: Brad Takes Over (novel pages 74-81, story pages 68-75)

27-28-girlsThis is the rest of the lodge scene from the episode.

Changes include Brad going back to the front desk (and putting the keys on it, which actually makes it easier for Buddy to swipe them) and interacting with a postcard-buying female guest instead of remaining by the office door, the female guest being the one to say she’ll call the police instead of the male guest on the couch, and the deletion of Buddy’s carrot bit (and thus more of his subplot). Melody mentally compares Ted and Brad to the dictators that they learned about in history class. When Ted calls, we hear what Ted asks her, so she doesn’t repeat it. Brad, not Danny, asks Ted what’s going on.

Oddly, Mr. Ernst’s office is described as being surrounded by the porch, whereas we know from the series that this isn’t the case:

56-11-drummers-156-12-drummers-2We learn Brad plans to lock Ted in the broom closet for the night. Also, hearing a jingling sound, Brad runs out on the porch and sees Ted dangling the keys through a gap in the boards over the window. She then storms back inside the lodge after learning of Buddy’s role. Ted taunts Brad a bit more in the novel, and it makes it sound like there’s no window right next to the office door. Melody says Danny’s one line in addition to her own. Ted calls Brad “Braddikins”. What’s with the stupid nicknames? Buddy letting Ted out of the office (and their banter) is cut, because Brad isn’t present to witness it.

Chapter 11: Revenge! (novel pages 82-88, story pages 76-82)

First, we get the girls’ bunk house scene from the episode. We get a bit of desert atmosphere at the beginning (including a full moon, which actually is not shown in the episode).

27-32-Ted-Buddy-spyIt’s mentioned Ted cut off the power to the girls’ bunk house, because him actually doing it was cut from the previous scene. Melody, Danny, and Brad use a flashlight instead of a lantern. Ted and Buddy’s antics (including the continuation of Buddy’s subplot) when they sneak up are cut, but the novel breaks perspective to let us know they’re outside.

Brad’s opening speech, the banter, and the discussion of details are all cut. Brad directly states her plan. The spies don’t attract Brad’s attention until Buddy laughs at the insult that Danny makes in response to Brad’s “liberty” speech (which she still makes, even though it doesn’t work without the lantern). Ted and Buddy duck down low instead of going off to the side, yet they still somehow avoid detection. Brad sees a jackrabbit outside. Backtracking a bit (in the novel), regarding Melody and Brad’s argument, Melody adds she’s getting sleepy, and Brad humorously thinks Melody’s being stubborn by always insisting everything make sense. Before saying they attack at dawn, Brad admits she’s feeling a little jumpy and suggests they get some sleep. Danny leaves for the boys’ bunk house. Brad doesn’t insist they go over the plan one more time.

27-36-Brad-gun27-37-assaultNext, we get the attack scene from the next day. The talking is cut, but some of Brad’s lines are moved to her thoughts. Ted’s “suspiciously loud” snoring is heard. Brad actually climbs into the office. Ted really is on the couch, and he had the garden hose hidden under the (Navajo) blanket…somehow. Buddy turns on the water full force, and Ted gets Brad, Danny, and Melody wet immediately instead of delaying. Brad has to order Melody and Danny (who have retreated) to come back and attack, and they end up turning on Brad and holding her directly in the line of fire.

After Brad chastises Ted, she silently thinks this never would have happened if she’d been in charge. Melody and Danny’s lines are swapped. She comes up with the plan of action, and he assigns the tasks. Danny doesn’t join Melody in yelling at Brad and Ted. Buddy doesn’t say “Those kids…”, which means less of his subplot.

Brad goes after Duchess first and puts her back in her stable. Ted calls Brad to help him with Rocket. The two of them team up and manage to calm Rocket down and lead him into the corral. (Neither horse was specifically mentioned in the episode, but Rocket’s inclusion here is meant to more fully tie the events of the first episode into this story.) Then they catch the other horses. Ted thanks Brad and says, once in a while, they’re a pretty good team. Brad agrees.

Chapter 12: Now Who’s in Charge? (novel pages 89-91, story pages 83-85)

27-42-gang-doneBrad and Ted, not Danny, get the last horse back into the corral. The guests are just coming to “the mess hall” (something that’s never been mentioned in the series, unless it’s the same thing as the never-seen dining room) for breakfast. During her apology, Brad pats Duchess and feeds her a lump of sugar (despite putting her in her stable earlier). Brad and Ted silently admit the shit that they’d caused had been kind of fun. Brad doesn’t suggest, next time, they vote on who’s in charge.

In the main lodge, Buddy is described as wearing one of his father’s Stetson hats.

After the gang comes by, Melody has a new line: she softly admits Buddy’s a lot more responsible than any of them. There’s no discussion of pocket protectors, Danny doesn’t put the hat on Buddy (obviously), and Buddy doesn’t order them back to work.

Chapter 13: Back to Normal-Sort Of (novel pages 92-95, story pages 86-89)

This is the pre-credits scene at the end of the episode. Mr. Ernst’s “jeep” is the red one from the series premiere, not the yellow one from the episode that this novel is based on:

01-20-skateboard27-01-JeepThey got one new horse instead of a few. Mr. Ernst doesn’t ask about Buddy’s appearance. Brad and Melody don’t join Ted in trying to dissuade Mr. Ernst from hearing about what went on while he was gone. Instead, he says he’s not too busy this morning and suggests they come into his office and tell him about it. Then he immediately heads to his office, so they have no choice but to follow him, nervous.

In the office, Brad sees Ted’s photo still on the desk and cringes. Melody and Danny rush over to the still-damp wall and stand in front of it while Buddy tries to dry it off with the damp Navajo blanket. Ted discreetly moves the furniture back to their original places. The phone rings, and Mr. Ernst is soon caught up in his work. He smiles and waves the kids away, forgetting what he asked them in here for.

Brad thinks “Saved by the bell” and, while Mr. Ernst is distracted, swipes Ted’s picture from the desk. Brad decides Mr. Ernst will never know about the showdown at the Bar None Ranch, and that’s okay, because what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him.

Final Thoughts

This is an okay novel. It’s nothing great, though. I’m not sure why the author didn’t just write a wholly original story (unless she was mandated to write a novelization), which seems like what she wanted to do.

The new material is okay. The changes to the episode(s), for the most part, are unneeded (and sometimes even nonsensical, such as the garden hose being in Mr. Ernst’s office) and seem to be changes just for the sake of changes. The only change for the better is Brad putting the keys on the desk, because how the fuck did Buddy get them off her in the episode?

Buddy’s subplot was cut down so much (and replaced with a brief new moment that merely hints at his subplot – and only in retrospect at that) that it might as well have been cut entirely if the author didn’t feel like devoting space to it.

I appreciate the novel being from Brad’s perspective, even if that perspective is broken on three separate occasions for no real reason (Brad remembering someone else’s private conversation in a flashback; Brad being absent from a scene that she was present for in the episode, simply because she and Ted are avoiding each other in the novel; and Ted and Buddy outside the window).

As it is, this novel is non-canon, but it’s still undeniably “Hey Dude”. I was hoping for a brand-new canon story, but this is all that we get. It’s worth checking out, and it’s a quick read. Bonnie Worth has also written other books.

Tune in next Wednesday as I take a look back at “Hey Dude” as a whole – and reveal what’s coming up next.

Season 3, Episode 06: Superstition

Writer: Graham Yost
Director: Fred K. Keller
Original air date: May 11, 1990

32-01-girls-relaxIn the cold open, Melody joins Brad for some sunbathing by the lake after hard work (at least, on Brad’s part).

32-02-girls-attackedAfter some banter, they realize they’re not alone.

32-03-guys-attackThe guys are attacking them with water balloons from the dock.

32-04-girls-run32-05-Buddy-DannyAfter the credits, Buddy is trying to tell Danny something, but Danny is too busy air-guitaring to “I am a Viking“, which I’d never heard of outside this episode, but…what an interesting thing to reference.

Buddy shuts Danny’s portable cassette player off and informs him that the newspaper says “Brainbusters”, the (made-up) national TV game show, is coming to Tucson to look for contestants. This is the first mention of Tucson on the series. After some humorous arguing, Buddy gives Danny two test questions to determine if he could be a contestant, both of which he doesn’t know the answer to. Danny says his knowledge is mostly limited to local nature. We learn the host of “Brainbusters” is Wink Wellman, and there’s also a woman named Tawny Dawn, who Buddy has a crush on. They’ll be giving out autographed pictures of Tawny at the tryouts.

32-06-Jake-sodaJake arrives with snacks and sodas. He’s unfamiliar with “Brainbusters”, so Buddy explains it. He asks Jake the same two questions, both of which Jake answers correctly. Danny and Buddy want to train Jake for the tryouts next week, but Jake doesn’t want to do it. He spots a heads-up penny and takes it as a sign of good luck, so he agrees to train for “Brainbusters”.

32-07-lightning-roundLater, in the boys’ bunk house, Buddy and Danny are quizzing Jake in a “lightning round”.

32-08-calendarWe get the clearest view yet of the Calendar of Hell.

Buddy reminds Jake that Buddy gets Jake’s autographed picture of Tawny, whose “really important” job is to read the numbers (pertaining to the question that Wink then asks) off ping-pong balls.

32-09-guys-wallIt seems Jake has replaced what was apparently Ted’s Jose Canseco poster with a world map, which fits in nicely with Jake’s love of trivia. I’m not sure who owns the hockey mask, though.

Jake get superstitious about a hat being on a bed being bad luck. He says the same thing about speaking Spanish on Tuesday the 13th, which is Spain’s equivalent of Friday the 13th. Danny makes a funny joke about it.

Okay, so it’s Tuesday the 13th, according to Buddy. According to the Calendar of Hell, the 13th fell on Monday in August of Whenever. So the calendar means precisely shit. It’s probably just something that the guys (or maybe just Danny) keep around for the artwork or something. For what it’s worth, June 13, 1989, and August 13, 1991, were Tuesdays, neither of which make much sense. The next candidate is July 13, 1993. Fine, I’ll take it.

Anyway, Danny is surprised to learn Jake is superstitious, but Jake says he’s “not really”. The break’s over, and Jake advises Buddy to not say “penguin” in months without the letter “r” in them, and, fuck, is this seriously our main plot this week?

Jake doesn’t want to talk about his superstition and has Buddy move on to the next category: aardvarks.

32-10-Buddy-countdownOn another day, Mr. Ernst apparently closes off the main lodge to guests (we never see anyone besides the main characters (sans Lucy) in this episode), so they can do a simulated “Brainbusters” episode.

32-11-BrainbustersThe production crew has a bit of fun in this scene, making it feel like an actual, cheesy game show. What I’m wondering is if this is strictly meta or if some unseen characters are taping this, playing the music, and controlling the spotlight. Maybe the unnamed, random female staff members from previous episodes were pressed into service for this.

As the “contestants” enter the “studio”, we learn some facts about them:

32-12-DannyFrom Tucson, Arizona: Danny Lightfoot.

32-13-MelodyFrom Allentown, Pennsylvania: Melody Hanson. Christine Taylor is from Allentown in real life.

32-14-JakeFrom Los Angeles, California: “returning champion” Jake Decker. Jonathan Galkin is from Providence, Rhode Island.

32-15-ErnstMr. Ernst is playing Wink Wellman and also doing the voice of the announcer, who Danny earlier, perhaps jokingly, referred to as “Jim”.

32-16-BradBrad is, unwillingly, playing Tawny Dawn.

Oh, and Buddy’s also the “judges”.

32-17-contestantsSo how do the contestants do? Danny believes burp gas is responsible for the depletion of the ozone layer. Melody believes cheese causes air pollution. Jake’s the only one to answer the questions correctly. Brad is too stupid to realize the lines under the numbers 6 and 9 indicate which number is which, which allows Buddy to play up Tawny’s supposed importance to the game show. Oh, Buddy wrote the numbers on golf balls instead of ping-pong balls, because fuck me for summarizing this shit.

32-18-commercialAnyway, “Wink” calls for a commercial break, Buddy gives the clear, and Mr. Ernst runs off to find a mirror to check his hair. Are they just really into pretending, or is the Blank Slate Brigade really taping this?

Brad asks about Jake’s lucky penny, which he’s tossing. Danny and Melody make fun of each other for their stupid answers. Brad, trying to ignore the stupidity, checks to see if she has any mail. That reminds Mr. Ernst to ask Jake what was in the letter that he got, because that’s totally Mr. Ernst’s business. Jake doesn’t know about the letter. It turns out that Mr. Ernst gave it to Melody, who gave it to Brad, who gave it to Danny, who gave it to Buddy, who gave it back to his dad, who put it in his back pocket and forgot about it.

32-19-Jake-letterJake is really upset at the contents of the letter and blames all of them. He leaves.

32-20-Melody-letterMelody discovers it’s a chain letter, and its deadline of Monday the 12th (yesterday) has passed. She’s the only one besides Jake to take it seriously, which proves she’s an idiot.

32-21-envelopeAfter the commercial break, Melody is reading the chain letter, and, look, we get an address for the Bar None Ranch! It’s located at 10000 [illegible] Speedway, Tucson Arizona, 85701. Okay, props to whoever wrote it. 85701 is a legit Tucson ZIP code. Speedway Boulevard is a legit Tucson highway. There’s even a 10000 East Speedway Boulevard; however, its ZIP code is 85748. The difference between this address and the 85701 ZIP code is 12.7-15.5 miles and 29-32 minutes, depending on the route. So they fudged a little to not have a real mailing address displayed in the episode, so some business wouldn’t receive mail addressed to fictional characters. Interestingly, Tanque Verde Guest Ranch is located on East Speedway Boulevard as well; it’s 18.0 miles and 37-43 minutes from 85701 and 5.3-7.3 miles and 9-15 minutes from 10000 East Speedway Boulevard. The actual Bar None sets are located on the property of Tanque Verde Guest Ranch, around a mile from the main area.

32-22-Melody-letterAnyway, Melody’s freaking out over the letter, because she’s a dumbass. Danny tries to talk some sense into her.

32-23-Ernst-ladderSo does Mr. Ernst, who’s setting up a demonstration to disprove superstition to Jake. Mr. Ernst lectures Melody about superstition, but she counters him. Mr. Ernst, pretty humorously, forces Jake to come out of the boys’ bunk house, where he’s been holed up. He comes out with his stupid lucky penny.

32-24-Ernst-saltMr. Ernst deliberately spills salt and then blows it toward Jake instead of throwing some over his shoulder.

32-25-Ernst-mirrorHe also breaks a mirror with a hammer.

32-26-Ernst-catMr. Ernst has a black cat on loan from the pet shop in town.

32-27-Ernst-ladderHe carries the cat under the ladder…

32-28-Ernst-cat-path…and makes the cat cross his path three times.

32-29-cat-attacksThen the cat attacks Mr. Ernst.

32-30-Danny-ladderDanny knocks over the ladder (which makes me think of “Pain in the Neck” (season 1, episode 13)) on his way to get the cat off Mr. Ernst.

32-31-Ernst-ladderThis bit of coincidence makes Jake more convinced than ever of superstition, and he retreats into the boys’ bunk house. The rest of the gang gets the ladder off Mr. Ernst.

32-32-meetingThe next day (I guess), Danny has called a meeting at the dock. After Melody and Danny insult each other over their stupid answers again, Danny reveals he switched Jake’s lucky penny with a regular penny (while Jake was asleep, Buddy reveals). Melody wants the stupid penny. Brad is confused over why Danny did this, and Melody playfully hits her (this seems to be a thing with Melody). It’s to help Jake get over superstition and try out for “Brainbusters”. He wants to let Jake go a week before telling him. Isn’t that cutting it a little close? The tryouts are next week.

32-33-Ernst-spots-catThe gang spots Mr. Ernst across the lake, still trying to catch the cat. Oh. I guess this is a subplot.

32-34-Ernst-misses-catAfter the gang has a laugh, Danny (pretty needlessly) explains the rest of the plan, which was obvious. Brad warns against things going wrong making things worse, but Danny doesn’t believe they will.

32-35-Jake-ErnstAt lunch or whenever, Jake is walking backwards while carrying a tray of drinks and trips over Mr. Ernst, who’s crawling around while looking for the cat. There is so much wrong with this scenario. The gang warns Jake.

32-36-Jake-Ernst-collideDumbasses.

32-37-dockLater, back at the dock, Danny insists to Melody that it was just an accident. They argue for a bit over it.

32-38-Brad-firesAnyway, they’re here so Brad can learn to fire water balloons (oh, look, the cold open was relevant), which I guess is suddenly one of her ambitions. Danny suggests aiming it across the lake, because there’s nobody there.

32-39-Jake-wetThis coincidence causes Melody to hit Danny.

32-40-papers-flying32-41-Ernst-chasesLater, in the main lodge, Mr. Ernst is chasing the cat behind the desk and up the stairs.

32-42-dismantleThe gang gives up hope of Jake trying out for “Brainbusters” and starts taking down the “set” from the (unsupervised) front desk. Where are the no-name female staff members when you need them? Oh, wait, we don’t need them, because there are no guests in sight. This silently explains why almost no one has been seen doing any work in this episode.

Buddy laments his missed opportunity to get masturbation material. He and Danny argue over the power of the penny, and Brad is starting to believe in it. Oh, Brad, how could you?!

32-43-Danny-taps-MelodyDuring his argument with Buddy, Danny sarcastically brings up “Belinda the Good Witch” while tapping Melody on the head. Christine Taylor (completely unironically) had a poster of Glinda the Good Witch of the North in her hotel room during the taping of the series. Now, I have an image in my head of Belinda Carlisle dressed as a witch, which is awesome.

Danny lectures the others about superstitions and gives the penny to Melody when asked for it. Buddy asks for Danny’s toenail clippings but quickly changes his mind. Buddy accidentally spills the golf balls on the floor, and…

32-44-Jake-trips32-45-Jake-demandsJake demands to know what the fuck is going on.

32-46-Danny-snatchesA convinced Danny unsuccessfully tries to snatch the penny from Melody.

32-47-two-penniesDanny tries to explain what he did to Jake, but Jake knew (how? wasn’t he asleep?), so he switched the pennies before Danny left the bunk (how?!). Seriously, this explanation makes no sense. It would have been more believable if Jake had set up a decoy penny for Danny to steal.

32-48-Jake-tosses-pennyJake tosses away his penny, convinced it isn’t lucky after the “week” that he had. Week? How many days have passed since he started carrying it?

Jake has realized he’s not this superstitious all of the time – just when he has something important coming up, like a test. He says it’s just his way of getting nervous, and he admits “Brainbusters” made him nervous. Wait. Is he saying nervousness leads to superstition? Because it sounds like he’s saying both superstition and “Brainbusters” independently lead to nervousness.

Jake doesn’t want them to take the set down, because he wants to try out and has less than 24 hours. Oh, I guess it is the following week already.

32-49-Ernst-crawlsMr. Ernst crawls across the floor, angrily looking for the cat, and the gang has a laugh over it.

32-50-Ernst-catThe next day, a bandaged Mr. Ernst has finally caught the cat, so he calls up Eddie’s Pet World and Auto Parts to inform them that he won’t be keeping her. The phone call is pretty funny, but it’s always bothered me that David Brisbin doesn’t leave enough time for the unheard other person to speak.

32-51-Melody-ErnstMr. Ernst is about to return “Terror Kitty” to the store when Melody arrives. Jake aced the tryouts, but, since he’s not 18, he’s not eligible. However, they entered him for the teen tournament this spring (shouldn’t it be “next spring”?), which makes Mr. Ernst happy.

32-52-Tawny-DawnMelody explains this seems to have been a big promotional tour for “Brainbusters”, and they neglected to mention Tawny Dawn would be there in person.

32-53-Buddy-frozenBuddy is frozen in orgasmic bliss and making uncomfortable sounds after shaking Tawny’s hand. Apparently, Buddy wouldn’t let go of Tawny’s hand, so, after about twenty minutes or so, they called in the emergency squad, which involved the fire department. Buddy should be back to normal in a few days.

32-54-Buddy-frozen-2Danny asks Mr. Ernst where he wants Buddy, so Mr. Ernst suggests the window in order to give Buddy a good view. Danny points out the irony of Buddy saying Danny has the brains of a sea sponge. Melody gives the picture of Tawny to Mr. Ernst to hold up for Buddy (another “good view”, I guess), and then they leave father and son alone.

32-55-guys-relaxThe pre-credits scene at the end has the guys relaxing by the lake as deliberate tempting targets for the girls. Oh, I guess this was a “subplot”, and maybe Brad was thought to use the sling as a build-up to this. Danny expresses doubt of Jake’s plan. Jake asks Buddy about the Tawny incident. Buddy doesn’t remember the “death grip”, which Danny claims they needed the Jaws of Life for.

32-56-brokeBrad tries readying the sling, but the guys “broke the rubber” (Brad’s term). Jake calls the girls predictable and asks Brad where Melody is.

32-57-Brad-innocent32-58-Melody-splashesThe shot freezes as Melody splashes the guys. This is only the second time that an episode has ended on a freeze frame (the first being when Ted left). However, that’s not what’s weird about it.

32-59-Brad32-60-MelodyThe first two stills during the closing credits are not of moments from earlier in the episode (as is usually the case) but reactions from the girls immediately following the splash. This is definitely atypical and a little weird, but it makes for a nice change of pace. How many times have you seen something like this happen? I wonder what the production reason for this was. Did the scene run long, but they still wanted to show the girls’ reactions? Also, the music of the scene runs into the credits, and then it fades to the closing theme music already in progress. Weird.

So ends another day at the Bar None.

This episode was pretty good. I enjoyed the cat subplot more than the main plot, though. Superstition is real. I’ve encountered it from customers at work. Don’t pick up the penny unless it’s heads. Buy something extra if the total comes to $6.66. It’s stupid, but it’s real.

Countdown to the Second Coming of Ted: 14

Season 3, Episode 05: Sewn at the Hip

Writer: Lisa Melamed
Director: Ross K. Bagwell, Jr.
Original air date: May 4, 1990

31-01-Melody-stretchesIn the cold open, Brad gets some fruit cocktail for breakfast from Danny. He asks about her riding lesson from yesterday. It went okay, but she’s nervous about an upcoming competition. Melody comes by, yawns, and stretches. Jake asks if she’s secretly got a great nightlife. Melody wishes, but she simply didn’t get much sleep last night. Brad says Melody was tossing like a fish on land. Melody has been having a recurring dream: Mick Jagger jumps into the pool with his guitar. Melody tries to stop him, but she can’t think of the word “electrocuted”. He jumps. She feels really dumb and wakes up. Yeah. So, if you were hoping for an insight into Melody’s subconscious, I hope you’re satisfied.

31-02-Lucy-BradLucy returns to the series by bringing the gang mail. Brad gets something for the horse show this week.

31-03-Melody-postcardMelody and Danny also get stuff. Melody’s mail is a postcard that reads “Dear Melody, Ready or not. Love, Amy” (props to whoever actually wrote it out, although I wish we could see the address clearly), which confuses Melody. Amy is Melody’s friend from home, but Melody doesn’t know what to expect.

Lucy informs us that Mr. Ernst won’t be showing up this week. With Brad getting ready for her competition (and thus being excused from work), things could get busy, so Lucy asks the gang to keep the craziness to a minimum. Melody agrees on everyone’s behalf. Lucy takes Brad away from breakfast (so much for her fruit cocktail) for some extra practice. Jake (who’s apparently already met Lucy off-screen) and Danny believe Lucy worries too much.

31-04-Buddy-131-05-Buddy-231-06-Buddy-3What the fuck…?

After the credits, Danny demands to know pretty much that, and Buddy demands to be called “Bud”. It’s his new image, meant to counteract everybody’s perception of him as a “cute, little kid”. Buddy wants to be tough and cool.

31-07-Buddy-431-08-Buddy-531-09-Buddy-6After some banter between Jake and Buddy (Jake suggests being a surfer) and Melody and Buddy (dumbass Buddy wrote his fake “MOM” tattoo upside-down, so it looks like “WOW”), Melody shares her saliva with Buddy:

31-10-Melody-licks31-11-Melody-rubsBuddy demands Melody get the fuck out of here. Melody is glad that Mr. Ernst isn’t around to see this. Buddy insists he’s getting a Harley. Yeah, this new “image” of Buddy is our subplot for this episode.

31-12-Jake-inspectsBuddy asks the guys for their opinions. Danny asks why mess with perfection and leaves. Jake pulls the “baby thug” over to inspect his rolled-up sleeve, suspecting a pack of cigarettes.

31-13-Jake-cardsIt turns out to be a bunch of baseball cards, which Jake keeps.

31-14-Brad-AmyLater, Brad checks a guest in and helps her with her bags. Huh, I guess Brad is doing some work this week.

31-15-AmyMelody arrives, and the guest recognizes her. Yep, this is Amy.

Amy is played by Robyn Lynne Raab. “Hey Dude” was her first acting gig, where she’s credited as Robyn Raab. Her second (and final) acting gig was a role in the 1997 film, “Orgazmo”, where she’s credited as Robyn Lynne.

31-16-Melody-happy31-17-Amy-Melody31-18-Amy-Melody-2The girls are happy to see each other.

Amy almost didn’t recognize Melody, because they’re not wearing the same clothes. Melody asks Amy what she’s doing here. We learn Melody was the freeze tag champion in the fourth grade. Melody realizes “Ready or not” is followed by “here I come”. Amy’s parents had a conference to go to in Scottsdale, so Amy convinced them to let her visit Melody instead – for an undetermined length of time.

31-19-extraHeh, check out the random, unnamed female staff member working the switchboard behind the desk. Like the others that have come before her, she isn’t credited. The Bar None sure has a lot of female staff members that, presumably, interact with the main gang on a regular basis, yet they (named or, most likely, not) are black slates. We literally know nothing about their relationships with the main characters or each other.

Amy was so bored at home and going crazy, because she missed Melody so much. Melody excuses herself, because she has a pool full of kids that she has to teach junior lifesaving to.

31-20-Brad-LucyBrad carries Amy’s bags up the stairs and has Amy follow her, although Amy just awkwardly stands around, barely visible in the shot, while Brad has a conversation with Lucy. I like this. It’s realistic to have Amy just stand around while Brad and Lucy talk, because that kind of stuff happens all of the time in real life.

Anyway, Lucy gets on Brad about practicing her jumps, but Brad says she needs someone to cover for her, because it’s nuts here this week. What about that random extra behind the desk? Lucy wishes Mr. Ernst was here to see it this busy. Brad needs someone to spot her for a couple of hours here and there, and Lucy decides to play around with the schedule again to try to help her. Brad thanks her.

31-21-Amy-volunteersHowever, Amy then makes a proposal.

31-22-Melody-blowdryerLater, Melody is using a blowdryer. Nice touch; she would use one after showering, which she would have done after getting out of the pool.

31-23-Melody-DannyDanny visits and notices something strange. Melody reveals it took her a minute to notice the extra bed. No one has said anything to her about a new bunkmate. While Melody brushes her hair, Danny reveals he met Amy earlier and says she’s kind of cute. Melody says he should tell Amy, because she usually doesn’t think so. Danny is nervous. Melody asks for Danny’s advice, because it seems she has grown apart from Amy (her “habit”) and might not even like her if she met her today.

31-24-Lucy-AmyBefore Danny can respond, Lucy and Amy arrive. I believe this is the first time that we’ve seen Lucy without her hat (the brief moment where it gets knocked off in “Ted and Brad Get Handcuffed” notwithstanding), and I like how she looks. Amy is the newest member of the Bar None staff. She says the “Bobbsey Twins” are together again at last, which offers some insight into their childhood reading material. Lucy thanks Amy and leaves. Amy makes her bed. Melody introduces Amy to Danny, who’s a bit nervous but jokes with her (“Why did the cactus cross the road?” “Because it was stuck to the chicken?”). Amy would rather just do her work and then hang out with Melody instead of doing any exploring. Danny nervously excuses himself to go and do some work.

31-25-Melody-Amy-gabAmy and Melody sit on Amy’s bed to “gab” (Amy’s term). Melody asks what’s going on at home. Amy says it’s “dull as dirt”, because almost everybody’s away. Janet wrote and is having a blast in Italy. Amy heard from “the triplets”, who are fine. It’s nice that we’re getting some details about Melody’s home life and acquaintances, even if it’s not much.

31-26-Brad-comes-inBrad arrives and says Melody and Amy look like “Cathy and Patty”, a reference to “The Patty Duke Show“, which was rerunning on Nick at Nite at the time. Amy thinks it’s great that they dress alike, but Melody tries to bury it in the past. Amy praises Melody’s figure and compares herself to a “glow-in-the-dark Butterball turkey”. Melody disputes it. Brad thanks Amy for covering her shifts. Amy reveals she and Melody have known each other “forever” and calls themselves “Tweedledee and Tweedledum”. If I was Melody, I’d feel a bit insulted. Amy brings up her and Melody’s supposed similarities, which makes Melody uncomfortable. Amy reveals, last year, for the school show, their class (I guess she means Drama class, since this is high school) did “Fiddler on the Roof“, and the two of them got to play sisters, which Amy loved. There was an “obnoxious” (Melody’s term) girl playing the lead, the older sister. She took a prop that they were supposed to use and replaced it with a stuffed pig. Brad guesses they’re the stars of their school, but Amy disputes it and says she did the play solely because Melody did. She says she and Melody are “not big joiners”. She says there are the jocks, nerds, and rich kids, but they don’t need “that group stuff” when they’ve got a “best friend”. Brad always thought of Melody as “president of the class, captain of the team, always involved”. Melody says she is, but Amy quickly tells Brad that Brad just doesn’t know them, and then the “trouble/danger” music comes on, almost like parody of a suspense film. Brad goes back to the corral, and Amy calls her a snob after she leaves, which surprises Melody. Amy calls Brad a “rich snob” and says they “hate that type”. Melody tells Amy that she’s wrong. After a moment, Amy laughs and gets off the bed just as the scene ends.

31-27-gang-corralLater, at the corral, Jake is interviewing Brad’s horse. Yeah.

We learn from Brad that, last time, her horse (it’s a girl) made it over the fence, but Brad landed “elsewhere”. She indicates her left arm/shoulder while she says this. I was hoping she’d indicate her butt. It would have been funnier.

They banter for a bit. Danny asks if “Melody’s friend” is coming out to watch Brad tomorrow. Jake is suddenly interested in Amy. They banter for a bit. Danny is shyly vague about his interest in Amy. Brad is indecisive over whether she likes Amy or not. Danny leaves.

31-28-Melody-guestAt dinner, Melody brings a guest his steak, and he gets on her case that he’d changed his order. He apologizes when he realizes she’s not Amy.

The guest is played by Dean C. DePew. “Hey Dude” was his sole acting gig. This is his first of two appearances, each time playing (perhaps) the same character.

31-29-Melody-lookoutMelody takes his steak away and keeps a lookout for Amy. I love Melody’s face here. Also, check out that random, unnamed female staff member in the background. Same girl from earlier? I dunno.

31-30-Melody-AmyMelody comes across Amy and asks her to wear something different, and Amy gets all offended and shit. Melody walks away in frustration.

31-31-Amy-grandmothersAmy brings a basket of rolls to two guests and asks them about a “hypothetical” situation that’s exactly like what’s going on between herself and Melody, and Melody overhears this.

Melody brings by a pitcher that she claims Amy forgot. One of the women mistakes Melody for Amy. Melody asks if two people being so alike is weird, but they, in unison, declare it isn’t.

31-32-grandmothersThe “grandmothers” are played by Joan Sharp Henning and Bobby Joyce Smith. For both actors, “Hey Dude” was their sole acting gig, and this is their first of two appearances, each time playing (perhaps) the same characters. IMDb fails to credit Bobby Joyce Smith for her appearance in this episode.

Melody leaves, unsatisfied, and almost collides with Amy, who’s still pissed at her.

31-33-Buddy-Melody“Bud”, witnessing this, comes by, helps himself to a chip, and declares “Bad vibes.” Since when do “tough” guys talk like New Agers / Wiccans?

31-34-Danny-guestsThe next day, in the main lodge, Danny informs two guests that he’ll soon be starting his lecture on the western pioneers. The actors aren’t credited.

31-35-Melody-phone31-36-Melody-extra31-37-Melody-extra-2Melody is on the phone with (an unheard) Mr. Ernst, informing him of things and assuring him that Brad’s horse’s blanket will have “Bar None Ranch” on it, but Brad probably won’t be wearing the room rates on herself (but she’ll check anyway). Melody is vague about Buddy.

31-38-Melody-BuddyBuddy comes by, sits on the counter (the random female staffer completely ignores him), and asks if that was his “old man”. Melody is leaving it to Buddy to reveal the new him to his father. Buddy is pleased that some off-screen people “respect” him. Melody says it’s fear. She also tells him to take a hike – or a bath. Something off-screen gets Melody’s attention, and she walks off. Buddy is the only person to acknowledge the random female staffer’s existence when he asks her opinion on his appearance. She non-reacts to it.

Danny says it’s a little-known fact that the Bar None was a stagecoach stopping point on the trek westward.

31-39-Amy-MelodyAmy arrives and asks Melody for peace, which Melody agrees to. Amy apologizes and admits she was jealous. Apparently, Amy has a video tape of Melody singing “The Way We Were” with Silly Putty on her nose.

31-40-Amy-Melody-2Amy admits she’s feeling scared about stuff: school next year, boys, everything. Her parents are on her case like crazy. She needs one of their “ten-hour bull sessions”. Melody agrees. Amy says, after they get off work, she’ll find a huge bag of cookies, and they’ll lock themselves in the bunk, talk, and get crumbs on everything. Melody says they’re all going to Brad’s competition later. Amy protests. Melody suggests Amy come along. Amy says she needs Melody here. Melody already promised Brad that she’ll go, and she really wants to. Amy says she’ll be here only one more day (I guess she got a call from her parents). Amy throws a fit and storms off.

31-41-Amy-DannyDanny abruptly leaves his group and nervously offers Amy a tour of the ranch, but she says she – and everybody – is busy. Amy leaves.

31-42-Melody-DannyMelody and Danny are left to bond over their shared membership in the Amy Hates Us Club.

31-43-Brad-MelodyAfter the commercial break, that evening (why is this competition so late?), Brad is getting ready, and Melody is excited for her and jealous of her appearance. Melody says, when she’s in a swim meet, she ends up looking like a California Raisin. Um, Melody is comparing Brad’s before to her own after. Anyway, apparently, Melody decided to compete in swim meets after dropping out of her would-be first one in “Our Little Champion”. It’s nice to know this is going on “behind the scenes”, but I wish they’d brought it up earlier instead of revealing this whole aspect of Melody’s life in a throwaway comment.

31-44-Melody-BradMelody refers to Brad’s appearance as elegant. Brad’s hands are shaking from nervousness, so Melody takes the brush and lovingly brushes Brad’s hair. She gives Brad a pep talk, but Brad is really scared that she’ll fall off again. Melody tries to cheer Brad up.

31-45-Amy-upsetMeanwhile, Amy is hella jelly, pigging out on cookies and planning on having her own private “bull session”.

Brad says bye to Amy. Amy says bye to her. Brad goes outside. Neither Melody nor Amy have changed their minds.

31-46-Jake-girlsJake pokes his head in through the window and tells Melody to come on. Melody gets her jacket. Jake calls Amy along, too, but Amy passes. Jake offers to buy Amy a horse-like pencil sharpener as a souvenir, which makes Amy laugh briefly, but she still declines. Jake and Melody leave, Amy getting in a shot at Melody.

31-47-Amy-outside31-48-victoryLater, Amy is sitting outside as Team Brad (the gang plus whatever extras that they could round up) arrives back at the ranch, victorious.

31-49-Brad-BuddyBrad brings up an incident involving “Bud” (“Buddy”, he corrects her). A cute girl had rejected him, because her mom thought he’s too dangerous-looking. Ha. So ends that thrilling subplot.

31-50-Jake-BradJake brings up a humorous incident involving the girl that rode before Brad (he’s wished her and her horse luck before the show, and he told the horse to break a leg, which made the girl nervous). Brad is surprised but finds it amusing. We don’t find out if the horse actually broke a leg or not, though.

31-51-Jake-LucyLucy gets them to quiet down, so they won’t wake the guests. She wants to keep the celebration going with a small party in the main lodge. She goes to round up some food.

31-52-Jake-Brad-2There’s a nice moment where Jake lets “Superstar” walk in front of him, and Brad says “Bow when you say that”, so Jake bows. Cute!

Melody and Danny go to check on Amy, but Jake warns Danny about Amy. Believing Jake is upset over Amy not falling for him, Danny tells Jake to mind his own business. Jake wishes Danny good luck. This is so odd. I feel like we’re missing something – as if a scene had been cut. The episode is the normal running time, though.

31-53-Amy-MelodyMelody and Amy make uncomfortable small talk before Danny breaks in, inviting Amy to the celebration. Melody tells him that she and Amy really need to talk. Amy suddenly accepts Danny’s offer. Melody, upset, goes inside the girls’ bunk house.

31-54-Danny-AmyDanny asks Amy if this is a spite date. Amy says she doesn’t know why she’s here and doesn’t want to spoil Danny’s time. Danny has a better idea than going to the party.

31-55-Amy-Danny-boatOn the lake, Danny says he and Melody are sorry that Amy didn’t come to the horse show. Amy doesn’t believe him about Melody. She asks Danny why things have to change. Danny says it’d be pretty boring if they didn’t. Amy laughs but says that’s not a good enough reason.

31-56-Danny-lakeDanny says she and Melody can still be friends despite their differences.

31-57-Amy-lakeAmy says she doesn’t know who she is without Melody. I absolutely love this shot, especially the way in which the light moves along Amy’s hair.

Danny says sometimes he’ll go along with or act like somebody, because it’s easier than being himself (is he talking about Ted, maybe?), and he’s not even sure who he is.

Amy says, when they were little, she and Melody made up a contract that said they were honorary twins. Amy still has it. She says, if there’s somebody else just like you, then you can’t be that weird. Danny understands. He says, sometimes, it’s good to have stuff in common with your friends, but he likes somebody for differences and wouldn’t want a whole lot of friends exactly like himself. Amy says she’d want a whole lot of friends like Danny.

Amy says coming to the ranch and trying to barge into Melody’s life here was a mistake. Danny says, if she hadn’t, then they never would have met. Amy is glad that she came. Danny, perhaps not understanding what she meant (she is vague about it), says it’s nice out here, and Amy says it’s a really nice night.

31-58-Amy-Danny-MelodyLater, as Danny and Amy return from their date, Melody is waiting outside, pigging out on cookies, and offers them some. They accept. Danny wants to put his cookie under his pillow in hopes of sweet dreams. Amy brings up the possibility of ants. Danny wishes them good night as he nearly trips while walking backwards. The girls wish him good night.

31-59-Melody-AmyMelody invites Amy to sit. She says, outside her family, Amy is the person that she’s known the longest. She would trust Amy with her deepest, darkest secrets and do almost anything for her, but she won’t give up other friends for her; it’s wrong for Melody to do it, and it’s wrong for Amy to want it. Melody also won’t pretend things are exactly the same. They had met when Melody started second grade in the new school, and the teacher had Amy walk her home, so she wouldn’t get lost. I wish we’d learn the reason behind Melody changing schools. Melody calls it the luckiest day of her life. Recently, Amy’s been afraid that Melody wouldn’t want to be her friend anymore. Melody is surprised and says she always wants them to be friends, but it does have to change – not less, just different. Amy reveals Danny kissed her. Melody is surprised and asks for details.

31-60-breakfastThe pre-credits scene at the end has Melody and Amy showing up for breakfast on the next day. For some reason, Brad isn’t present.

31-61-Danny-AmyDanny and Amy withhold knowledge of their relationship from a curious Jake.

Melody reveals she and Amy had “a full-blown pig-out” last night. Amy is sick of cookies.

31-62-Danny-Amy-2Danny gives Amy a half-cookie from under his pillow (he had sweet dreams and hungry dreams). Melody says “we” better get Amy to the bus station. Is someone else going besides them? Jake, Danny, and Amy say bye, but there’s no goodbye kiss. Melody pulls Amy away. Jake wants details from Danny, but Danny refuses.

Amy suddenly wants to say goodbye to “that little greaser kid”.

31-63-girls-BuddyOh, great, the subplot. Yeah, Buddy’s a nerd now, because of course he fucking is. Jake calls him “a baby Uncle Ernst”. This is kind of similar to Buddy’s “transformation” in “Inmates Run the Asylum” (season 3, episode 01). For some reason, Melody seems to not initially recognize Buddy.

31-64-gang-teases-BuddySo ends another day at the Bar None.

This episode was a really nice. We got a lot of background info on Melody.

Most of the episode almost seems like an introduction for another new character, but Amy’s just a one-off, which is a shame, because I like her.

Finally, I wish to make it known to all that WordPress’ new composer sucks ass. The interface is different. Images appear in a random order after upload, which makes it a nightmare to locate the one that I need to insert. The script stops running, which causes the images to be unselectable, so I have to close the tab, open a new one, go back to WordPress, go into the Drafts, and pick up where I left off (thank Goddess for the drafts, at least); this happened multiple times. It took me nearly two hours to prepare this post after I finished writing the review.

Countdown to the Second Coming of Ted: 15