Season 5, Episode 09: Crush

Writer: Lisa Melamed
Director: Fred K. Keller
Original air date: August 2, 1991

This episode has a 1990 copyright.

This is the second episode in what I call the “Brad trilogy” – a series of three female-written episodes that focus on Brad, whether in the main plot or in a subplot.

61-01-Megan-BradIn the cold open, Brad is training a new staff member, Megan, about working with horses. Ooh, a new female staff member? This could potentially be interesting – or it would be if this 1990-taped episode hadn’t aired so late that we know we’ll never see Megan again. What is it with this series adding more male characters, but they can’t add a new female character or two to balance things out? And Betty, Jodie, and Lauri don’t count. Neither does Amy.

61-02-Megan-Brad-2Megan is worried about Ted showing up. She’s been around him enough already to know he likes himself a lot. Brad has Megan fill up the trough.

Megan is played by Elizabeth Greenberg. “Hey Dude” was her second of six acting gigs in a very sporadic acting career that lasted from 1984 to 2004. Of those, she was notably in “The Babe”, “The Incredibles”, and “National Treasure”. She received thanks for “Finding Nemo”, and she’s gotten some production work in, but the last one was in 2011.

61-03-Ted-hairTed’s running late, much to Brad’s annoyance, but he finally shows up. He had a hair emergency. Brad goes off on him for his vanity (which had never been a thing with him before, but whatever). He was supposed to help her train Megan. Ted goes off on Brad about her vanity (which, again, had never been a thing with her before). Ted challenges Brad to a…non-vanity contest (for lack of a better term). Brad accepts.

61-04-Brad-combShe takes Ted’s comb and asks him to help Megan. He calls out to her.

61-05-Megan-hoses-TedHehehehe.

61-06-Brad-comb-2Ted tries to get his comb back, but Brad teases him and keeps it out of reach. Megan’s probably left wondering what the fuck kind of ranch hired her.

61-07-Brad-Ted-boxAfter the credits, Ted is having Brad surrender all of her vanity-related material, which he’s going to keep in a shoe box until the bet is over. Brad points out that she could just borrow Melody’s shit.

61-08-Melody-depressedSpeaking of Melody, she’s depressed after “another famous rotten date”. She’s making it sound like this is a common occurrence with Melody, but I recall only one bad date. I guess the theme of this episode is “out-of-the-ass character traits”.

61-09-Ted-hair-dryer-1Before Ted leaves, Brad has him surrender his corded hair dryer, which he keeps in a holster like a gun. This is the first that we’ve seen of Ted doing this, despite the dryer supposedly being an “old friend”. What’s the point, anyway? It’s not like he could blow his hair wherever, whenever. He has to plug it in.

61-10-Ted-hair-dryer-2Ted doesn’t let go of the hair dryer easily. As he’s about to leave, Brad asks to borrow Melody’s sweater. Ted decides he’s gonna pick out all of Brad’s clothes until the bet is over, and Brad dittos. She adds Ted can’t bathe. He reluctantly agrees and puts the same restriction on her. Melody says they’re nuts. They’re allowed to brush their teeth, and Brad negotiates when flossing is permitted (corn on the cob or ribs).

There’s a very abrupt cut to the next scene (even a sound that belongs in the latter scene bleeds into the former).

61-11-workMr. Ernst’s latest crazy scheme is a ranch beautification project. Smooth out the gravel. Trim the cacti. Add flowers. Danny and Jake protest, but Mr. Ernst won’t have it.

61-12-Melody-flowersMelody comes out and thinks somebody died. Jake sets her mind at ease.

61-13-Ernst-paperMr. Ernst shows her the blurb in the travel section of the newspaper (The Daily News?): “The Bar None: a rough and ragged place.” This is why Mr. Ernst wants to “fix this place up”. This is our second subplot for the episode, I guess. Mr. Ernst wanted Danny to vacuum the ranch (they don’t have a long enough cord), and he’s considering hideous wallpaper for the main lodge.

Melody asks for Jake and Danny’s opinions of her as a girl. Jake makes a joke, and Danny thinks of her as “Melody” instead of “a girl”. Melody says, every time that she goes out on a date, she feels like she could be on “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” The guys are unsympathetic and make fun of her, and Melody is upset at them. Jake picks a flower, gives it to her, and tells her to cheer up. He and Danny leave her alone. Wow, what assholes.

61-14-Melody-flower61-15-Buddy-MelodyBuddy comes by and checks up on Melody, because he thought she’d “fainted or something”.

Buddy gives Melody “special candy, guaranteed to cheer you up” but quickly admits he made it up. Melody thanks him. Buddy and Melody talk about Melody’s sucky feeling. Melody heaps compliments on him and throws away Jake’s stupid flower. Melody goes to teach the “kiddies” to swim, and she thanks Buddy for cheering her up.

61-16-Melody-kisses-BuddyBuddy picks up the flower and concludes Melody wants his cock in her.

61-17-Buddy-MelodyOn another day, Buddy is following Melody around as she serves the guests. He finally leaves her alone.

61-18-Ted-inspectsMelody comes by Ted, who’s inspecting the dishes.

61-19-splashHe tosses the imperfect ones into the lake.

Ted is upset at Melody’s staring and asks if she’s going to propose. Melody tells him to get over himself and asks what the fuck he’s doing. He’s creatively interpreting the task that Mr. Ernst gave him to get rid of imperfect dishes. Seriously, why is he doing this? Despite Melody asking, he never gives an answer. WHY IS HE THROWING DISHES IN THE LAKE?! Also, Melody asks about Ted’s clothing, and he asks for her honest opinion. She says it’s horrendous. People have been looking at him funny all morning, and it’s driving him crazy.

61-20-Brad-pinkBut he tries to act all “Whatever” (and does a pretty poor job) when Brad comes by. She actually has the opposite reaction and thanks Ted for freeing her from fashion and bathing worry. She read a book, wrote some postcards, and felt “so liberated”. She’s looking forward to the outfit that he has picked out for her for tomorrow, and he’s surprised she wants to continue but pretends to be fine with it. Brad leaves. Ted is incredulous that Brad has lasted so long. He checks his reflection in a spatula, but Brad comes by and confiscates it. Brad suggests Melody let Ted pick out her clothes, but Melody opposes it. As the girls walk off, Brad continues to try to convince Melody to do it, because it’s “so convenient”. Ted checks his reflection in the dishes and continues throwing them into the lake.

61-21-Ernst-dustFor fuck’s sake…

61-22-Ernst-LucyOh, hey, Lucy. Where you been for the past four episodes? Not gonna say? Okay.

Lucy puts in her second appearance this season to do…not much, honestly. She tries to convince Mr. Ernst that he’s going overboard with this – to no avail.

We learn Mr. Ernst’s middle initial is J, but we don’t learn what it stands for. Also, the ranch now has wild pigs, which it didn’t last summer.

61-23-Buddy-ErnstBuddy comes by and asks Mr. Ernst about love, which shocks him. Lucy gets uncomfortable and leaves – over Mr. Ernst’s protest. Mr. Ernst talks to Buddy about love, relating a story from when he and Buddy’s mother were first dating. They had gone to a restaurant one night, and he’d gotten food poisoning (bad clams). He was “sick as a dog”. Sara (he doesn’t name her) got him back to her apartment and fed him tea and chicken broth with little crackers. That’s when he fell in love with her – in between puking his guts out. He talks about love some more, and Buddy thanks him and leaves.

61-24-Megan-Buddy61-25-Megan-Buddy-2Megan comes by, happy to see Buddy. She asks him what he’s thinking about (which is weird) and doesn’t like it when he keeps it to himself. She’s finished working and asks if Buddy wants to do something with her. Buddy should say yes, of course, but he’s “just kind of getting involved with somebody”, so he blows her off, probably not realizing it could have been the other way around. She says she just wants to play horseshoes, but he declines that as well.

61-26-Megan-disappointedMegan gets a sassy comeback in and leaves his sorry ass. Buddy calls her “such a kid”. Dude, you’re 13 fucking years old.

61-27-Megan-lustsAs Buddy heads to the girls’ bunk house with a note, Megan comes back and lusts after him, but then she shakes her head, so…she’s over him, I guess.

61-28-Danny-JakeAt the lake, Danny is fishing, and Jake is drumming and chanting “Feesh, bite” repeatedly. It kinda sounds like he’s going for a stereotypical Native American chant. Either way, Danny should kick his ass.

61-29-Danny-Jake-BuddyBuddy comes by for girl advice (as opposed to dispensing the usual gross trivia), because he’s planning a picnic with a mystery girl, who Jake believes is Megan, despite Buddy’s repeated denials. We learn Jake was seven when he first kissed a girl (he was an “early bloomer”), which surprises Danny and Buddy. Danny says just concentrate on having fun.

61-30-guys-walkTed comes by, and the guys recreate the “Abbey Road” cover along the lake’s shore. Danny ribs Ted about his bet, and they fill Ted in on what’s going on with Buddy.

I like how they just have a guest sitting by the lake, getting ready to fish. It shows someone on the production staff remembered the ranch is supposed to be doing business.

Ted proceeds to give horrible dating advice to Buddy (over Jake’s objection), because it worked out so well last time. Ted doesn’t know it yet, but he’s giving Buddy advice on how to treat the very girl that he’d given advice to last summer. Ted assumes the girl is Megan. When Buddy denies it again, Danny and Jake ask who it is.

61-31-Buddy-MelodyMelody comes by with Buddy’s note and asks about the “surprise”.

61-32-guys-shocked61-33-picnicAfter the commercial break, Buddy and Melody are on their picnic. Buddy made kabobs with marshmallows, green peppers, Swiss cheese, and chocolate-covered radishes.

61-34-Buddy-slurpsMelody declines Buddy’s offer to share a soda (or whatever it is). She gets on his case about his slurping. Buddy apologizes, calling it “a bad habit from when [he] was a kid”. You are a kid, you idiot!

The camera shakes a bit as Buddy sets down his drink.

Buddy wants to change himself for Melody and devote himself to her entirely, and Melody is about to try to let Buddy down gently.

61-35-Lucy-arrivesBut then Lucy shows up, because Mr. Ernst wants Buddy to help him wipe down all of the light bulbs in the lodge. Buddy grudgingly excuses himself to take care of his “responsibilities”. It’s pathetic cute how Buddy keeps trying to make himself sound like an adult.

Before Buddy leaves, Melody tries to talk to him again, but Buddy interrupts her to take a “mental picture” to remember this moment.

61-36-awkwardWow, Melody so doesn’t want to be here right now.

Buddy exclaims this is the best time that he’s had all summer, and he leaves. Lucy asks Melody about the “date”, and Melody just shakes her head and throws up her hands.

So, for those of you that are keeping track, Lucy’s functions in this episode so far have been to 1) be the ineffectual voice of reason against Mr. Ernst and 2) draw out the “Buddy lusts Melody” plot, which would have been a subplot if not for Lucy.

The next day (I guess), we get Lucy’s third function of the episode: complimenting Brad on her stupid subplot. Brad says her friends back home would have a field day if they got a hold of some pictures of her (perhaps thinking of previous incriminating pictures). Ah, the days before smartphones.

61-37-girlsMelody comes by, worried because Buddy gave her a stuffed monkey and has been sending her notes doused in aftershave and little stuffed animals. She finds them cute but asks Lucy for advice. C’mon, Lucy! Make yourself useful! You can do it! “Stop dating him.” Wow, thanks. Brad and Lucy talk to Melody for a bit – to no effect.

61-38-Melody-noteMelody reads a heart-shaped note that came with the monkey: “If ever you’re feeling sad and cruddy, remember you always have me, your Buddy.” Brad and Lucy find it adorable.

Oh, and Ted has slowly been approaching them from behind. He informs Melody that he saw her “boyfriend” carving “BE + MH Forever” on a tree. Melody is upset, but Brad finds it amusing. Ted and Brad compliment each other on their looks. Melody wants to leave Tucson. Ted suggests Melody say she met somebody else, but Melody says lying – much like murder – is not the answer. Ted clandestinely goes over to a watering trough to check his reflection, but Brad catches him, nearly bumping him into the trough.

Brad suggests Melody pretend to be awful, so Buddy will stop liking her, but Melody says that’s too mean. Honestly, though, considering the real-life stories that I’ve read of girls being murdered by boys (and even girls) over breaks-ups or just plain rejection, making the other person not want to be with you is actually the safer option.

Lucy advises Melody to tell Buddy the truth, but Melody says that’d be too traumatic for him, despite the fact that Melody was trying to do just that before Lucy showed up at the picnic, so Lucy isn’t giving her a new idea. It takes Ted bringing up the possibility of Melody being legally related to Mr. Ernst for Melody to decide to tell Buddy the truth. Right after Ted says it, it sounds like Melody’s saying “Nooooo” in a horrified tone, but she’s not on the screen, so it’s likely some poor ADR, because we then see Melody silently saying “Nooooo”.

Later, Mr. Ernst and Buddy debate giving the horses perms. Who’s on which side of the argument? Place your bets now!

61-39-girls-Ernst-BuddyMr. Ernst wants to talk to Brad privately. Buddy walks away with Melody. As Mr. Ernst tries to delicately bring up the subject of Brad’s appearance, we learn Brad is subscribed to multiple fashion magazines. Ah, the days before the World Wide Web (according to production, not my in-universe timeline).

61-40-Brad-Ernst61-41-Brad-Ernst-2Mr. Ernst is shocked to learn Brad’s appearance is deliberate. Brad brings up the bet. Mr. Ernst has a “lucky guess” that it’s with Ted and asks Brad for an explanation. She lays it out. He hopes it’ll end soon, because the new staff uniforms will soon arrive. Not this again. Brad is surprised and sets Mr. Ernst straight (in a heartwarming way). I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Brad truly cares about Mr. Ernst and the Bar None. She supports him, but she can also show him when he’s wrong and get him back on the right track. She fulfills Lucy’s role much better than Lucy does.

Mr. Ernst thanks Brad and goes to cancel the uniforms and the full-sized spa.

61-42-Brad-second-thoughts“Damn it. So close yet still but a dream.”

61-43-Buddy-MelodyBuddy got Melody tickets to the symphony on Friday night – without really knowing what it is. When and where did he purchase them? Also, does Melody like the symphony? Maybe, but that doesn’t mean she’ll like whichever one that Buddy happened to buy tickets to. Melody gets on Buddy’s case about kicking sand on her. He apologizes. Melody tries to get out of the date but wusses out. Sensing Melody’s unhappy, Buddy invites Melody to come down to the lake and catch frogs with him (the camera shakes while he says this), which grosses Melody out. Disappointed, Buddy has to go and “shave again”. You have no facial hair, you idiot.

61-44-Melody-MeganMelody throws up her hands again, maybe having her sole interaction with Megan (but that’s a stretch), and runs away.

61-45-Megan-sad61-46-Buddy-JeepLater, Buddy’s driving the Jeep…somehow. How did he get his dad’s keys? You’d think, after he was falsely accused of doing stupid shit earlier this summer, he wouldn’t pull shit like this.

61-47-Buddy-MeganMegan says she can’t wait to get her license, which means she’s at least a couple years younger than most of the gang. Buddy says he’s taking the Jeep on Friday night, and Megan immediately calls him out on his bullshit. We learn Buddy is Megan’s age (at least, according to Megan), which would make Megan 13 (Elizabeth Greenberg’s age is unknown). Megan talks Buddy out of taking the Jeep by bringing up his death at the hands of his father. Megan gets him to discuss his “relationship”, and he hates it, because he’s not being himself. He’d spent his entire month’s allowance on the tickets.

61-48-Megan-BuddyMegan tries her best to get Buddy to realize she wants his cock – without outright telling him.

61-49-Megan-smilesFinally, she makes her desire known. She invites him to “a big miniature golf tournament in town on Friday”. Is that an actual thing? It sounds like fun to Buddy, but his “big date” with Melody is in the way. Megan goes back to the corral. Both of them are disappointed.
61-50-Buddy-upset
61-51-Melody-upsetSo’s Melody. In fact, she’s so upset that she’s changed her clothes.

61-52-Jake-spraysJake says Brad and Ted are really starting to smell. Melody regrets not telling Buddy the truth already. Danny repeats a common point that Melody is too nice for her own good. Jake reminds her of her “a sap no more” vow. Upset, Melody asks him what he did when he first got dumped by a girl (she assumes it’s happened). Jake reveals he gave himself a mohawk. Amused, Melody says she could picture it. He’d done it on Halloween. That year, he went treat-or-treating as “shrubbery”. Danny says, when he first got dumped, he (the “much better adjusted” person) locked himself in his room for a week to a week-and-a-half. Melody takes these examples as reasons why she can’t tell Buddy the truth. Jake says it’s just a fact of life that dumped people feel bad, and you have to minimize the pain. Danny and Jake proceed to gross Melody out, because they’re guys. Jake says she just has to tell Buddy, and she knows.

61-53-Melody-BuddyBuddy arrives, and the guys leave over Melody’s invitation to stay. She doesn’t want to be alone for this. However, Buddy insists on going first, and he breaks up with her. She calls him brave and expresses her appreciation. Buddy had sold back the concert tickets. Again, how? Melody offers Buddy back the monkey, but Buddy lets her keep it. Yay, Melody has a new humping toy. Melody hopes someday she’ll end up with a guy as nice as him (Buddy, not the monkey). Buddy starts to leave but then asks what Melody wanted to tell him. She’s at a loss for words, but he figures it out, and she silently admits it. He thanks her for letting him speak first. She calls him “really something”. He returns the compliment and leaves.
61-54-Melody-monkey61-55-Melody-Jake-shhh
61-56-crawlingThe pre-credits scene at the end, on another day, has the gang preparing for an attack.

61-57-Ernst-attackedWrong target. How’d they mistake Mr. Ernst’s voice for their intended targets? Fortunately, Mr. Ernst doesn’t get wet.

61-58-planThey’re planning a “surprise shower” for Brad and Ted. Mr. Ernst loves the idea. He also shares some “great news”: the newspaper blurb had a typo; they meant to write “rugged” instead of “ragged”; they love the Bar None. So ends the subplot of the ranch beautification project. Lucy spots Brad and Ted and has everyone hide.

61-59-Brad-TedRaggedy Ass and Second-Rate Gilligan enter the corral and are weirded out by there being no one here.

61-60-Melody-explainsMelody pops up and declares their bet a tie.

61-61-shower-161-62-shower-261-63-shower-3Poor Megan doesn’t get in on the action, perhaps a subtle way of showing the audience that she’s nothing more than a glorified extra.

So ends another day at the Bar None.

This episode was pretty good. Buddy was realistically smitten and delusional for a teen in love. Melody felt too indecisive after initially wanted to tell Buddy the truth, though. I guess she doesn’t have much experience in this area, considering she hardly dates, despite the episode’s insistence to the contrary.

The episode felt crowded, too. With two subplots taking up the time (and “pretty up the ranch” and “bet with no stakes” are such thrilling subplots), the main plot felt more like a third subplot than an actual main plot, taking up less than fifteen minutes of story time.

Also, I wish Megan had been made a main character in order to balance things out. I don’t know what the point was of introducing her and then not using her again. We don’t even learn if she ends up going out with Buddy or not. She didn’t even get a bed of her own in the girls’ bunk house. Even Amy got a bed for the brief time that she worked the ranch, but maybe Melody pulled some strings in that case, or maybe it was because the ranch was busy and perhaps therefore full. Since we now know there’s no more to the girls’ bunk house than what we see (and, despite Melody’s claim, no one lives there but her and Brad), I’m guessing the extras (Betty, Jodie, Lauri, Steve, etc.) are assigned to guest rooms free of charge. I guess that’s where Megan stays, too. Maybe she’ll show up in the background in the remaining episodes, but I doubt it. Seriously, what the fuck?

It’s the final countdown!: 4

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Season 5, Episode 08: Presumed Stupid

A few notes before I get into this episode:

My computer has been acting wonky again recently. Last Wednesday, while I was finishing up the previous review, it did that thing where the screen would become slightly pixelated, and everything froze. It might or might not occur after rebooting, and the length of time until it happened varied. On Thursday, there was no problem at all. On Friday, it started happening again, and there were times when I couldn’t even get the computer started at all (not even the Gateway logo would come up). It’s been fine since Saturday. I have no idea what’s going on nor why this seemingly random problem shows up every so often (“every so often” meaning “completely randomly”). Just be aware that my comp could theoretically give out at any time, but it might not.

On Friday, my job at work changed. It wasn’t my idea. It came from on high (meaning a visitor to the store that didn’t like me on Wednesday). Instead of my old job (taking care of the self-checkout area), I’m now stocking “consumables” (dry grocery, pet, pharmacy), and my hours have changed. This will require me going to sleep earlier on some nights, but I hope this won’t interfere with this blog. Also, I have no idea how well that I’ll do in my job. Just keep in mind that I’m living in “uncertain times” now.

Finally, I’ve reached a big milestone with this blog: I’m on the final disc of the DVD set. The end is literally in sight. This makes me kind of sad. I do have an idea for what I want to do next, but I’m gonna wait to share it.

On to this week’s episode:

Writer: Judy Spencer
Director: Ross K. Bagwell, Jr.
Original air date: July 26, 1991

This episode has a 1991 copyright.

This is the first episode in what I call the “Brad trilogy” – a series of three female-written episodes that focus on Brad, whether in the main plot or in a subplot.

60-01-Ernst-worksIn the cold open, Mr. Ernst is arguing with various parts as he pulls them out of the Jeep in a poorly-considered attempt to fix it himself in order to save some cash.

60-02-Ernst-TedTed comes by, asking for an advance on his pay, which is apparently a regular habit for him despite the fact that it’s never been seen nor mentioned before.

This time, it’s for something really important, though: a super-awesome “cassette player” (that also plays CDs, so…boombox?) that’s on sale for this week only. Mr. Ernst says he’s trying to tighten the Bar None budget, so he can afford to keep making improvements on the ranch. He says this while continuing to suck ass at fixing the Jeep.

60-03-Ted-rolls-eyesTed and Mr. Ernst debate this for a bit. Mr. Ernst starts the Jeep and believes he’s proved his point, but…

60-04-Ernst-JeepYeah, the Jeep takes off on its own (somehow), prompting laughter from Ted.

60-05-breakfastAfter the credits, on the next day (I guess), Ted is out of it at breakfast or lunch (could be either).

60-06-Buddy-examinesJake and Buddy are on a Sherlock Holmes kick (as were all teens in the 1990s) in this episode. This is their subplot, I guess, if you could call it a subplot. Brad doesn’t mind, because it’s “better than Danny’s Three Stooges kick” (which Danny takes offense to).

Brad and Danny ask Ted what’s bothering him. This was probably his intent, because he instantly whips out a sales ad and shows off the “cassette player”, which Brad finds merely “nice”.

60-07-Brad-amazedTed proceeds to blow Brad’s mind (not really, but her reaction is perfect) with details about “this fine piece of machinery”.

60-08-Melody-lecturedMelody comes by with mail for Danny, Brad, and Jake. She finds the “cassette player” “nice” (I hear someone else talking while she says this, but it’s unclear who), so Ted sets her straight.

Ted asks for a loan, but Melody, Jake, and Danny are “broke”.

60-09-Brad-moneyBrad, however, got $50 in “birthday” money from her well-meaning grandmother that never remembers when her birthday is. As it turns out, this is the exact amount that Ted needs to have enough money for his “cassette player”. Ted is relentless, and Brad quickly heads to the corral, where Young Buckaroos are waiting for her. Ted forcefully trades jobs with Danny, so he can work in the corral and be near Brad. Brad runs away, and Ted gives chase.

Melody has a bad feeling about this. Jake guesses Brad might break down and loan Ted the money, but Melody knows better than that.

60-10-kids-ropeAt the corral, some kids are learning how to rope.

60-11-Ted-Brad-destinyBrad makes it clear to Ted that she’s not lending him her birthday money. This “jump to conclusions” “shocks” and “insults” Ted. But then Ted gets all metaphysical, claiming “some strange force” is pulling them together, and “this cassette player is [their] destiny”.

Brad says she’s seen problems when one friend lends another friend money. Wait, wait, wait. Brad’s seen this happen? Where? At her preppy all-girls school in Grosse Pointe (that bastion of poverty)?

60-12-Brad-StacyStacy is ready for her lesson, which pleases Brad.

Stacy informs Ted that Tuesday is her birthday. She’s gonna have a big party with balloons, some cake, and a “real birthday fairy”.

Ted and Brad get into it some more regarding the money. Basically, Ted McGriff never gives up, and Bradley Taylor never gives in.

60-13-Ted-StacyStacy invites Ted to her party. He seems amused but then seems to actually consider it.

Stacy is played by Stacy Linn Ramsower in her final of four appearances on “Hey Dude”. She first played the character of Stacy in “Our Little Champion” (season 2, episode 03):

16-08-rescueI suppose she’s reprising that role here (or, at least, she might as well be).

She next played Noelle in “Bar None Babysitter” (season 2, episode 11):

24-28-Ted-cleans-NoelleShe had much more to do as that character, and I wish she’d reprised her role as Noelle here (particularly due to the Ted connection).

She next played an unnamed character (which could be either Stacy or Noelle) in “Ex-Static” (season 3, episode 08):
34-02-Brad-guests
60-14-gang-MonopolyThat evening, most of the gang is getting ready to play Monopoly in the main lodge. Jake invites Brad to join (after Brad is assured Ted isn’t here). Brad’s favorite token seems to be the racing car. Buddy’s upset, because he’s always the shoe.

60-15-girlsBrad is looking forward to a “nice, relaxing game of Monopoly” after the day that she’s had. Melody is surprised Brad’s still carrying around her birthday money and tells her to put it away before she loses it. So Brad took the money out riding with her? Anyway, Brad hasn’t had time, because she’s been avoiding Ted all day. Really? She couldn’t just shove it in her pocket? Or ask Mr. Ernst to put it in the safe or something?

60-16-Brad-TedTed comes by, and Brad tells him to go away. Ted claims he will not bother her about the money anymore but then tries to use reverse psychology on her. Melody wants to play and has Brad be the bank.

60-17-Ted-kisses-ad60-18-Ernst-lampAfter some more arguing, the lamps go on the fritz. Melody blames Mr. Ernst, who was “fixing” it. Mr. Ernst adds he fixed it twice and personally rewired every lamp in the lodge. He blames Ted. Mr. Ernst fiddles with one of the lamps, and all of them go out. He says he’ll have it fixed “in a second” (he doesn’t). Buddy starts a fight with Brad over the race car. Ted holds up the Monopoly box for everyone to put the game away.

60-19-Ernst-lanternMr. Ernst sets a lantern down for the teens and goes to check the fuse box.

Ted suggests calling it a night. Danny objects, but Melody agrees. Jake suggests telling ghost stories, but no one wants to do it (and are pretty adamant about it, which surprises Jake).

Brad realizes her money is gone, and Melody admonishes her for not putting it away. Brad blames Ted for following her around all day. Ted goes off on Brad. Buddy suggests the money’s stolen, and Melody rolls her eyes at this. Brad doesn’t buy it either. Ted suggests calling it a night (again), saying they won’t find anything now, and he’ll get up at “the crack of dawn” to help them search for the money. He quickly leaves. Brad agrees. Everyone leaves, Melody assuring Brad.

60-20-Brad-searchesDespite agreeing with Ted to call it a night, Brad stays behind and searches.

60-21-girlsThe next day, neither Brad nor Melody have found Brad’s missing money, but Melody hasn’t given up. Brad has, because they’ve “looked everywhere”. She says it wasn’t in the lodge this morning, and, since then, they’ve “been over every square-inch of the ranch”. Really? That seems a bit excessive. It obviously went missing in the main lodge. Melody has to take towels to the pool but promises to help Brad look later. Brad thanks her.

Suddenly, Brad turns around and notices something:

60-22-Ted-boomboxTed has bought his dream “cassette player” and is showing off the features (outside, where it’s exposed to the elements) to Jake and Buddy. He blares the royalty-free rock muzak.

60-23-Ted-BradBrad comes by. Ted asks her about her money and then is like “Tough shit.” Brad shuts off the muzak and questions Ted about where he got the money for the “cassette player”. Ted is evasive. Brad all but accuses him of stealing her money. Ted is upset. Jake tries to stop this, but Ted calls Brad out on her accusation, and she can’t say anything, because he’s right.

60-24-Ted-offended-160-25-Ted-offended-2After the commercial break, there’s a bit of a continuity error. Before the break, Ted had taken off his left glove and thrown it to the ground. He then started taking off his right glove. After the break, his left glove is still off, but he’s holding it in his hand again, and then he puts it back on – the exact opposite situation of what he was doing before the break. I guess you could say there are a few seconds that we didn’t see during the break, during which Ted thought “Hmmm, do I really wanna take off both gloves? Nah, I think I’ve adequately shown my anger.” So then he picked up the first glove to put it back on.

Anyway, Brad makes her case, which is circumstantial. Jake seems to take Brad’s side. Buddy tries to take Ted’s side but fails to come up with an alternate explanation.

Brad and Ted continue to argue, but Ted refuses to divulge the source of his money. Both of them question their friendship, and Brad angrily leaves.

Ted goes off on Brad, but Jake urges calm – to no avail. Jake and Buddy argue over it, Buddy being on Ted’s side and Jake seemingly being on Brad’s side. Ted is upset at Jake, but Jake says he knows Ted didn’t do it. Both Ted and Buddy are surprised. Jake explains it to “Watson”: Ted lacks the cunning, ingenuity, and careful planning required to steal Brad’s money. Ted’s offended. Jake tells Buddy that they have to figure out where Ted’s money came from and why it’s such a big secret (this aspect of the investigation is never mentioned again). Surprisingly (for this series), Ted overhears this and says it’s none of his business. Buddy guesses Ted did take Brad’s money. Ted surprisingly overhears this as well.

Jake takes Buddy aside and tells him that “the game is afoot”. Buddy’s confused, and Jake struggles to explain what it means. It seems Jake’s the one that got Buddy into Sherlock Holmes. For those of you that are curious, the specific case that Jake refers to is “The Adventure of the Abbey Grange“.

Jake tells Buddy to get his magnifying glass, because weak cosplay they’re going to work. After they leave, Ted blares the muzak, which goes into the next scene for a bit, acting as musical score.

60-26-Brad-questionedJake and Buddy go to question Brad, who claims she doesn’t think Ted took her money, saying Ted just made her lose her temper, and she said some “stupid things”. Brad is still puzzled by Ted’s secrecy regarding the source of his money.

60-27-Melody-bucketThis doesn’t bother Melody, because, according to her, Ted’s always behaving nonsensibly.

The girls agree to answer questions. “Holmes” is upset that “Watson” questions the girls. Anyway, Buddy had asked the girls where they were on Thursday evening (so this is Friday). This means this scene occurs 8 days after the previous episode, so the teens have only 10 days left at the ranch for the summer. I think some of the upcoming episodes might have to be squeezed into the one-week gap between this episode and the previous one. Either that or move last week’s episode down toward the end of the series.

After a bit of questioning from Jake, it’s established Ted sat next to Brad during the Monopoly game, which Brad somehow hadn’t remembered, despite Ted pestering her. Motive and opportunity being established, Jake cautions Brad against concluding Ted took her money. Melody says, if Ted had done it, he wouldn’t have helped to search the lodge this morning, because he’s “just not that devious”. Buddy points out that Ted wasn’t there (which Melody had somehow forgotten); he left the bunk in a big hurry this morning and wouldn’t say where he was going. So Buddy’s still sleeping in the boys’ bunk house? He doesn’t say that, and it’s possible that he saw Ted leaving from the outside, but I just thought I’d bring it up.

Anyway, Brad concludes “that little rat” went to spend her money. Melody, in shock, exclaims “I don’t believe this! Ted did do it!” Brad doesn’t believe she was even thinking of apologizing to him, and she says he’s lucky if she ever talks to him again. Melody seconds that. The girls leave.

Really, though, all that they have so far is a bunch of circumstantial evidence.

Jake tells them to calm down. Buddy gets sarcastic about Ted’s innocence, but Jake wants to go and talk to Danny. He believes Buddy influenced the girls, so he wants to do all of the talking, saying it’s always best to not lead people to any conclusions.

60-28-Danny-questionedCue Jake laying out all of the circumstantial evidence and then telling Danny to ignore it. Ha.

Jake decides to “examine a criminal’s psychological profile, which will prove Ted’s innocence”. A bit of music comes on while Jake does this. I don’t think it’s musical score; it’s way too short. Anyway, Jake convinces himself that Ted did it.

60-29-Ted-abandonedTed comes by, having changed his pants, and the other guys abandon him.

60-30-gossipThe next day (Saturday), the gang’s gossiping about Ted while getting ready to paint a boat.

60-31-Ernst-paintMr. Ernst comes by with a can of paint called Fluorescent Flamingo. Brad suggests it’s a bit loud for the boat, but Mr. Ernst wants just the trim of the boats and canoes painted, which should take them a couple of hours. And just who, exactly, is doing their regular work (he didn’t pull them off their free time, did he?) while they’re toiling away on yet another one of his stupid ideas? Betty, Jodie, Lauri, and Steve?

Mr. Ernst tells them to get started and leaves to get more paint. Melody suggests telling Mr. Ernst, so he can talk to Ted, but Jake and Brad don’t think it’ll do any good.

60-32-Ted-ignoredTed comes by, apologizing for being late. He asks for the work assignment, but everyone gives him the silent treatment.

60-33-Ted-paintsTed blasts the rock muzak on his boombox and starts painting the boat “this stupid shade of pink”. Melody tries to warn Ted, but Brad stops her.

60-34-Ernst-TedMr. Ernst comes by and is upset at Ted for painting the entire boat. He tries to shut off the muzak, and Ted does it. Mr. Ernst explains he wanted just the trim painted. Ted reveals nobody told him, because they’re not speaking to him. Mr. Ernst demands an explanation, but nobody says anything. Mr. Ernst decides it’s up to them to solve the problem. Why isn’t Ted speaking up?

60-35-Brad-Ernst-stareBrad finally reveals they don’t trust Ted. Mr. Ernst says he’d have to let Ted go in that case (anyone wanna clue me in on the legality of this?), unless Ted wants Mr. Ernst to get involved. Ted doesn’t. Mr. Ernst leaves the decision to the rest of the teens, which I’m pretty fucking sure is illegal. He wants the decision by the end of the day. He tells them to get the boat cleaned up and get the trim painted, and he leaves.

60-36-Ted-BradTed tries to talk to Brad, but she doesn’t wanna hear it.

60-37-meetingLater, Ted’s jury convenes in the main lodge, and the debate gets heated. Brad demands they fire Ted.

60-38-Melody-not-sureMelody isn’t sure. Danny and Buddy believe Brad’s being “a little drastic”. Brad counters by saying Ted’s next step will be to murder them in their sleep. What the fuck? Is she for real?

Jake decides on a secret vote – to not influence each other nor know each other’s vote – and sends Buddy to get pencils and paper. Brad makes her vote known loud and clear – twice more.

60-39-Ted-defends-1Ted comes by, greets his “judge and jury”, and says he’ll be in the bunk. Melody asks him to say something in his defense.

60-40-Ted-defends-2Ted gives a speech about friendship and trust, which is actually pretty good. Look for Melody to very slightly nod in agreement as he speaks. Nice touch. He tells them to have their vote, and he’ll accept their decision, because he doesn’t want to be here if they don’t trust him.

Before we get to that, though, who’s that blonde girl working the front desk? It’s not Betty. Did they add yet minor female staff member?

60-41-votingThe jury votes (include Buddy, who’s not an employee, but whatever), and they pass the votes down to Buddy.

Ted is unanimously declared not guilty.

60-42-Brad-found-outWell, Brad wrote “Not guilty by reason of extreme stupidity.” Ted thanks her. Brad tries to claim “it coulda been anyone”, which nobody buys. Danny apologizes. Melody agrees with what Ted said without technically apologizing, but she does ask him if he accepts the apology. He does. Buddy claims he never doubted Ted for a second, but Jake calls him out on his bullshit.

60-43-Ted-BradBrad awkwardly tries to apologize, but Ted helps her out by saying “I know.”

Danny wants to finish up the Monopoly game, and almost everyone agrees, but Ted quickly excuses himself to go to an “appointment”. Brad starts to ask about it but then just wishes him a great time. Melody says it’s a “gorgeous day” and suggests taking the game outside. The others agree. Buddy calls dibs on the race car.

60-44-gang-MonopolyLater, the gang’s deep in an exciting game of Monopoly.

60-45-Stacy-fairyStacy and some Young Buckaroos come back from Stacy’s birthday party and head into the main lodge. Stacy says goodbye to the “birthday fairy”, who gave her the “best party” that she “ever had”.

K. C. Yasmer, Beah Williams, Katherine Hansen, and Treye Konrath reprise their roles as Young Buckaroos (four of the seven, actually) from “Lost in the Desert” (season 4, episode 07):

46-06-Brad-kids60-46-Ted-fairyYeah, Ted’s the birthday fairy. This was his “appointment”. The gang has a good laugh at him. Brad demands Ted come over to them right fucking now.

60-47-Ted-BradTed explains Stacy’s mother hired him to perform at her birthday party (paying him in advance to ensure he showed up). Wait. Stacy mentioned the birthday fairy to Ted and then invited him to the party. Did her mother not have anyone set to fill this role yet? Wow, she sure is lucky that Ted just happened to be told of this party and was desperate enough for money to take this job. Otherwise, Stacy would have been very sad, and her mother would have had some serious explaining to do. You could say being the birthday fairy was Ted’s destiny.

Ted refers to himself as “the first birthday fairy to have her wings clipped or something”.

Brad realizes this is where Ted got the $50. *headdesk* Don’t Brad and the others remember Ted doing odd jobs for the guests when he desperately wanted John Wayne’s saddle last summer? Why didn’t they conclude he did something similar this time? Ted shares part of the blame, though. He should have simply said “I did an odd job for a guest” instead of being needlessly evasive. Also, why was he in such a hurry to call off the search for the money last night? Was it simply bad timing? Or maybe he wanted to get to bed early, so he could have enough sleep to wake up early and head to the store before work.

Danny and Brad make fun of Ted, and the gang ensures him that he’ll never hear the end of this. He wants to go to change, but Buddy has him stay and be his “partner”, because he’s so far ahead in Monopoly. Buddy’s statement makes no sense. If he’s so far ahead, why does he need a partner? For that matter, since when can players in Monopoly have partners? I understand sometimes players team up to take down a tougher opponent, but that isn’t an issue here. Also, Ted can’t just jump into the middle of a game.

60-48-Melody-moneyDanny gives Melody $200 for passing Go. Guess what Melody finds (and Danny didn’t see). Jake guesses Brad shuffled the real money into the Monopoly money during the blackout, which makes no fucking sense whatsoever, because they had stopped playing when the lights went out, and Brad had stayed behind and searched the table via lantern light.

60-49-Brad-moneyBrad offers Ted an “Oops” instead of an “I’m sorry” (not that she, in any universe, could have shuffled a real $50 bill into the Monopoly $50 bills, but whatever).

60-50-Ted-offendedTed is offended. Brad says “I mean ‘Oops, Mr. Birthday Fairy’.”

60-51-Ted-chases-BradTed chases Brad. The others cheer.

60-52-Ernst-JeepThe pre-credits scene at the end, on another day, has Mr. Ernst finishing his latest attempt to fix the Jeep. I had actually completely forgotten about this “subplot” since I started writing this review.

Ted cautions Melody to stand back. Mr. Ernst is insulted, sits down on the front bumper, declares the Jeep is fixed, and hits the hood twice.

60-53-Melody-Ted-chase-JeepThe Jeep starts (somehow) and moves on its own again – backwards this time. Melody and Ted give chase. Mr. Ernst declares the Jeep is alive.

So ends another day at the Bar None.

This episode was okay. It was nicely acted, but there were too many plot problems. Also, the title is a fucking lie. Ted was presumed guilty. Brad found him not guilty by reason of extreme stupidity.

Despite all of this, Brown and Lascher give great performances, making the most of what they’re given.

It’s the final countdown!: 5

Season 5, Episode 07: Amnesia

Writer: Paul Budra
Director: Fred K. Keller
Original air date: July 19, 1991

This episode has a 1990 copyright.

59-01-girls-TedIn the cold open, the girls come over to visit the guys, who are fixing the bell in the bell tower, but Ted informs them that the others are taking a break.

It seems Brad is also considering Stanford for her possible higher education. Leland Stanford Junior University is a private research university in Stanford, California. It’s also one of the world’s most prestigious institutions. It sounds like a place that Brad would attend. If she does, she and Jake can easily visit each other.

The girls brought the guys some more paint, but Ted says they already have enough. Brad says this is “special paint”.

59-02-girls-Ted-2The girls start a water balloon fight, but…

59-03-Jake-balloon…Ted has reinforcements in the bell tower: Jake and Danny.

59-04-Ernst-pissedMr. Ernst comes by, pissed.

59-05-huhWhat’s that that comes into frame from the left? Is that a boom mic?

Mr. Ernst is tense, because he just heard an inspector from the “Juvenile Employment Agency” is going around, making surprise inspections. According to Mr. Ernst, this agency grants licenses to employers like himself that employ teenagers. While there might be such an agency in existence (hell, it makes sense that there would be), I can’t find any evidence of one with that particular name.

Anyway, this is the episode that I’d been talking about that would cause timeline problems (although, as it turned out, last week’s episode already did that). This simply can’t be another summer, because then the teens would be legal adults, and this wouldn’t be an issue. Therefore, seasons 3-5 are officially the same summer.

Anyway, Mr. Ernst chews them out for their reckless behavior. Suddenly:
59-06-Jake-Danny59-07-Ernst-disoriented
59-08-Ernst-forgetsThis hit on the head with a paint can gives Mr. Ernst amnesia. He doesn’t recognize the ranch or the teens. Danny climbs down. The girls and Ted help Mr. Ernst to his feet.

59-09-Ernst-helpedAfter the credits, the girls help Mr. Ernst over and sit him down. Brad and Ted question him, but he’s clueless. He references “Gunsmoke“, which confuses Brad, so Ted has to explain it to her. The reference worries him, so he asks Mr. Ernst for the date. Mr. Ernst says it’s Thursday, August 14, 1969. That is an accurate date (in fact, coincidentally or not, it’s the day before the beginning of Woodstock). However, before Mr. Ernst gets to the year, Ted confirms both the day of the week and the month/day. This makes the timeline really take it in the ass, because it places this episode (and thus the latter three seasons of the series) in 1997. Way to go, writer. Oh, and fuck the “Tuesday the 13th” bullshit. Just ignore it. So, yeah, 1997. I so totally buy that.

59-10-meetingThe other guys come by, Jake interrupting Ted before he can reveal anything to Mr. Ernst. In a private meeting, Jake ascertains Mr. Ernst’s age in 1969 from Buddy: 17. That actually was David Brisbin‘s age on the date in question. Jake sends Brad (because she has “the nicest smile”, which satisfies her) to ask Mr. Ernst for his age. Before he answers, he insists on being called “T-bone” (like the steak). T-bone says he’s “old enough to rock and roll”, but Brad has him be specific. Of course, he’s “17”. Brad excuses herself and reports back to the group. According to Jake’s psychology book, Mr. Ernst is suffering from partial amnesia. He’s forgotten “over twenty years”. They have to wait for him to remember and also play along, so he won’t be shocked into total amnesia. I have no idea if any of this is accurate or not (particularly Jake’s suggestion that another hit on the head might cure Mr. Ernst), but that’s what they’re going with, so they divide into shifts to protect “T-bone” from seeing anything that wasn’t around in 1969. Yeah, good luck with that.

Jake explains to T-bone that he’s got amnesia but doesn’t go into detail. T-bone thinks he’s at a summer camp, so they go with that – for all of a few seconds, after which it won’t be mentioned for the rest of the episode. Jake introduces everyone to T-bone.

59-11-T-bonerMr. Ernst gets a T-boner for Brad, which is all kinds of uncomfortable for her, but she has to play along.

59-12-Melody-T-boneMr. Ernst wants to stick his T-bone in Melody’s porterhouse, and she doesn’t seem particularly bothered by it.

Jake has Buddy give T-bone a tour of the “ranch”. See?

59-13-Buddy-T-boneLater (there’s no scene transition, just a standard cut), Buddy brings T-bone to the boys’ bunk house and quickly removes the (completely different than usual) calendar from the wall. It looks like a 1991 calendar, which contradicts the “Thursday, August 14” bit from earlier.

Buddy also covers a mirror and reveals his dad, Mr. Ernst, runs this place, which blow’s T-bone’s mind. There’s a bit where T-bone can’t figure out a Walkman. T-bone asks about “this Melody chick”, because he doesn’t want to “mow somebody else’s lawn”. Okay, I’m not up on all of the hip teen lingo of 1969, but is Mr. Ernst saying he wants to go down on Melody?

Regardless, it makes Buddy sick. Buddy feels the need to claim he and Melody are together instead of pairing her with anyone else. It’s not clear why, but it doesn’t seem like Buddy’s being opportunistic.

Buddy wants to show T-bone the ranch (they didn’t already do so?), but T-bone wants to change, so Buddy randomly gives him a shirt from a laundry basket, which likely means it’s dirty (either that or the guys didn’t put away their laundry yet). Buddy quickly leaves.

Buddy goes and updates Melody, who’s kinda-sorta working on the bell tower. Melody asks Buddy is he’s been taking steroids, that substance known for its hallucinogenic properties. Claiming he doesn’t like it either, Buddy lets her know the alternative.

59-14-Buddy-MelodyT-bone arrives with a bucket full of water balloons, and Melody pretends she’s going steady with Buddy. To his credit, Buddy doesn’t take advantage of the situation.

Melody leaves, and T-bone shows Buddy the water balloons. Buddy says they have balloons stashes all over the ranch, because they’ve been having an ongoing war with the girls. For an “ongoing” war, this is the first that we’ve heard of it. It’s particularly glaring when you realize these episodes must occur much closer together than a week apart.

There’s a bit of ironic banter before the scene ends.

59-15-Ernst-treeLater, during lunch, T-bone stalks his prey from a tree.

59-16-Buddy-JakeMeanwhile, Jake talks with that official-looking guy in the background and then asks Buddy where T-bone is. Buddy doesn’t know.

59-17-Jake-hitAfter some ironic foreshadowing by Jake, T-bone starts a water balloon fight.

59-18-Ted-noTed tries to discourage Mr. Ernst, but…
59-19-girls
59-20-Carmichael-hit59-21-T-bone-chased59-22-Carmichael-hit-2T-bone gets away. The official guy – a stuffy, proper British gentleman – demands to know who that “maniac” is. Brad says a guest, and Melody bullshits a story about him recovering from a “medical problem” here.

The pissed guy lightly shoves Brad out of the way to get his things. He addresses the “young lady” (seemingly both girls), telling them to tell their boss that a Mr. Thomas Carmichael wants to see him right fucking now. Melody guesses he’s the juvenile employment inspector, but he doesn’t want them to tell Mr. Ernst that, because he enjoys the look on employers’ faces when they realize life as they know it is over. Yeah, this guy’s a heartless asshole that enjoys watching other people suffer. Perhaps worse, he’s eager to revoke the Bar None’s juvenile license over a bad incident with a supposedly mentally disturbed guest, which is not the fault of the teenage staff. That is unless he has other, unspecified, unseen reasons for revoking the license, but the episode doesn’t indicate that – at least not right away.

Anyway, Carmichael takes pleasure in explaining what this means for the girls (why does he need to explain this?), and he suggests they write up their resumes, because they’ll be out of their jobs within the hour. Seriously, all that’s missing is the evil laugh.

Mr. Tom Carmichael is played by Bruce G. Bradley (credited on IMDb as Bruce C. Bradley). “Hey Dude” was his sole acting gig.

59-23-meetingAfter the commercial break (which comes a bit early in this episode), the teens have a meeting in the boys’ bunk house. Ted mentions it being too “late in the summer” to find another job, which is true. In 1997 (or any year in which August 14 falls on a Thursday), Labor Day fell on September 1, which means the teens have 18 more days to work at the ranch – but they’re gonna fight for those 18 days, damn it!

Ted makes some jokes regarding possible jobs that he could get. He also has an “old buddy” named Roscoe, “the local overachiever”, that works at a bait shop. I can’t tell if that’s a joke or not. Also, I’m not sure which locale that Ted’s referring to, here or…wherever he lives. Melody tells Ted that at least Mr. Ernst isn’t trying to date him. That would have made for an interesting episode. Buddy envies them for having “real parents” and thinks it’s “gross” for Mr. Ernst to think of himself as Buddy’s equal. Melody points out that T-bone’s coming.

59-24-preventionBuddy tries to bludgeon his father to death cure his father’s amnesia, but Ted prevents him, and Jake gets T-bone out of the way.

59-25-T-bone-WalkmanJake has fixed the “transistor radio”, so T-bone can listen to “the new Beach Boys tape”. There wasn’t really a new Beach Boys album near August 14, 1969, but Jake might have put in the most recent one (“20/20”) or the next one (“Sunflower”). Also, if you wanna get technical, the first Beach Boys album to be released on audio cassette was “Holland” in 1973, although it’s possible that T-bone thinks he’s listening to a homemade tape copy of an earlier record.

While T-bone’s occupied, the teens have a meeting. Buddy’s upset at Jake for stopping him, and Melody’s upset at Danny for believing it’s worth the risk of killing Mr. Ernst.

Jake says someone has to play Mr. Ernst at a meeting with Mr. Carmichael. Melody points out that he’s seen all of them, but Brad guesses (with no real proof) he didn’t get a good look at Mr. Ernst and suggests Mr. Ernst play Mr. Ernst.

59-26-girls-make-upLater, the girls “make up” T-bone to look like Mr. Ernst. T-bone questions them about the “fat cat”, and they say he’s nice, but Jake calls him a “megalomaniac, scatter-brain, power-tripping dictator in a ten-gallon hat”. I wonder if this is how Jake really sees his uncle. Melody shakes her head at Jake in disapproval. Brad claims she and Melody do theatrical make-up. Maybe at school? Anyway, T-bone’s impressed and makes an ironic joke.

59-27-gangDanny and Ted arrive. Danny warns them that Mr. Carmichael is coming. Ted chews T-bone out for acting up.

59-28-gang-CarmichaelThe teens leave and return with Mr. Carmichael. Seriously, all of them (except Buddy, who isn’t here) leave the office and come back into the office – for no other reason except to see this:

59-29-T-bone-pencils59-30-gang-noFrom left to right: Jake: “Okay, how do I explain this?” Melody: “What the fuck?!” Mr. Carmichael: “Huh.” Danny: “…” Brad: “Sweet Goddess, steady my hands, lest I strangle this fucktard.”

Anyway, Melody bullshits something about sinuses.

59-31-T-bone-barksMr. Ernst excuses the girls and makes known that he wants to have his way with them, but it’ll have to wait until this cockblocker leaves.

Just what the guy from the juvenile employment inspector needs to hear, right?

The teens leave.

59-32-Carmichael-T-boneBefore Mr. Carmichael can mention the “rather disturbing” things that he’s “uncovered”, T-bone offers him booze, guessing he “hits the bottle” (even though T-bone totally doesn’t). Mr. Ernst lusts over that “fox”, Melody. Just what the juvenile employment inspector needs to hear, right? T-bone also offers to put in a good word for him with that “tomato”, Brad. T-bone adds it’s a “stupid name for a girl”. Really, though, I kinda like it.

T-bone makes some more banter and then fists himself:

59-33-T-bone-fistMr. Carmichael leaves (even angrily saying “Good day, sir”), and T-bone gets in a parting “zinger”.

59-34-eavesdroppingHa.

59-35-gang-pissedThe gang’s pissed, but T-bone doesn’t see a problem.

59-36-gang-pissed-2The gang catches up with Mr. Carmichael, who wants to save them from this “morally reprehensible” situation. Jake tells him the truth, but he doesn’t buy it and leaves. Ted asks if he bought it, and Melody lightly slaps him on the arm.

59-37-gangBrad wishes Mr. Ernst was back. Buddy says nice things about his dad. Melody goes off about T-bone, and Ted piles on. However:

59-38-T-bone-hurtT-bone runs away, hurt, by going upstairs. Characters sometimes enter or leave the main lodge via this staircase, but it’s never explained how. We know Mr. Ernst’s unseen bedroom and bathroom are up there, but is there also some staircase that leads down to a back exit?

Brad prompts, and Buddy volunteers to go after T-bone. The rest of the gang wonders what to do. Ted seems to be the only one that hasn’t given up hope and rallies the troops. Jake suggests doing “something desperate”.

59-39-guys-yeahWhatever it is, it’s on!

The girls are unconvinced.

59-40-Buddy-ladderBuddy searches for T-bone and finds him in the bell tower.

59-41-Buddy-T-boneBuddy and T-bone have a heart-to-heart talk. Buddy says the ranch will probably be closed, because…drama? Seriously, the ranch employs more than just teenagers. They talk about ranch life and Mr. Ernst, who’s “out of town”. T-bone wants to grow up to be just like Mr. Ernst. Buddy predicts he will be – as well as a “very successful accountant”, which T-bone laughs at. T-bone wants to live out here on a ranch.

59-42-Buddy-T-bone-259-43-Carmichael-wheelbarrowSo the gang’s plan is to…kidnap Mr. Carmichael and…make off with him in a wheelbarrow? What the fuck? What do they hope to accomplish?

59-44-T-bone-actsT-bone pretends to be a very stern Mr. Ernst. He admonishes his staff.

T-bone comes down from the bell tower, gives the teens some tasks to do, and then bullshits a story (which confuses even Jake, Brad, and Danny) about how he thinks Mr. Carmichael is an applicant for the “assistant manager” position, and they were just “testing” him. He’s “shocked” to learn who Mr. Carmichael really is, because his staff didn’t tell him (which Mr. Carmichael accepts the blame for).

59-45-Carmichael-happyMr. Carmichael is flattered, and this “revelation” makes him reevaluate everything. He goes off to write up his report. Ted asks him about them losing their jobs, and he assures the “dear boy” that their jobs are safe.

The teens seem to think Mr. Ernst has regained his memory, but he was just faking (a little too well, I think, although he could have been basing his performance on his father, who has a similar personality), much to the teens’ disappointment.

T-bone seems to call Ted “Dan” and shakes him, which also shakes the ladder. A paint can falls from the bell tower, and we’re momentarily led to believe it’ll hit Mr. Ernst on the head, and he’ll regain his memory.

59-46-T-bone-paint-canBut, no, he catches it. Brad says something that I can’t understand. T-bone compares himself to Willie Mays. Then:

59-47-rake59-48-T-bone-raked59-49-T-bone-wallYeah, T-bone telling Jake to rake the area was just an excuse for the rake to be left on the ground, so T-bone could step on it, which would then startle him into walking head-first into the wall, which makes him regain his memory. Okay.

59-50-gang-happyThe gang is happy, but Mr. Ernst is very confused.

59-51-gang-ErnstThe pre-credits scene at the end, taking place soon after, has Mr. Ernst recovering. Ted asks Mr. Ernst for the year, but Mr. Ernst makes a joke about Ted being behind on his chores instead of answering him, which is just as well, because that might have fucked up the timeline even further. Mr. Ernst relates “the strangest dream” to the gang. He gets a funny feeling about Buddy and Melody and questions them about it.

59-52-Melody-BuddyMelody dicks with him, claiming they’re getting married. Mr. Ernst freaks out, but Melody admits she’s just kidding, much to Mr. Ernst’s relief.

Mr. Ernst starts to remember something else, and…

59-53-Ernst-balloons59-54-Ernst-throws-balloonMr. Ernst lifts the ban on water balloon fights for fifteen minutes.

59-55-Ernst-throws-balloon-259-56-gang-arms59-57-fight59-58-fight-2So ends another day at the Bar None.

This episode runs a bit shorter than normal as far as story time is concerned – about 17 seconds shorter than the previous episode, for example.

This episode was pretty funny, but it also has some heart to it. The father/son dynamic was explored again. David Brisbin got to act really crazy, and it looked like he was enjoying himself.

I find it hard to believe that Mr. Ernst was a poon-hounding hippie named T-bone, though. It doesn’t really fit in with what we’ve already learned of his childhood, which is basically “neeeeeerd!!!” Maybe he was a wannabe hippie and got his ass kicked by a lot of girls.

It’s the final countdown!: 6

Season 5, Episode 06: Jealous Guy

Writer: Graham Yost
Director: Ross K. Bagwell, Jr.
Original air date: July 12, 1991

This episode has a 1991 copyright.

58-01-girlsIn the cold open, Brad is recounting her date with a guy named Roger to Melody. They had gone to the movies. When it was over, the parking lot was flooded from the rain, so Roger picked her up and carried her to the car. Melody is amazed. Brad says chivalry “can be really annoying sometimes”, but it was somehow okay when Roger did it. She guesses there’s a difference between chivalry and being “macho and stupid”.

Speaking of which, Kyle and Ted argue over carrying hay.

58-02-gangWe learn Ted once dropped Brad’s watch in the lake and, rather than get it out for her, offered to hold her feet while she got it out. Kyle contrasts folks that were brought up “out here” against Ted. It seems, despite what Ted implied in “Suspicion” (season 1, episode 11), he didn’t grow up out here.

Oh, and there’s a running gag throughout this episode of Kyle mistakenly saying “chilavarous” instead of “chivalrous”. It really makes no sense.

Ted insists on being chivalrous by helping Brad mount her horse, but…

58-03-Ted-Brad58-04-Kyle-BradMelody yells at Ted. Brad thanks Kyle but has to tell him to put her down.

58-05-Kyle-Brad-2Kyle tries to prove he’s “chilavarous”.

Brad, unharmed, complains and corrects Kyle on how to say “chivalrous”.

58-06-Brad-horseAfter the credits, Brad mounts her horse and chews Ted out on his “stupid stunt”, even though it was Kyle that most recently threw her. Ted claims it was a “joke” instead of, y’know, an accident. Kyle offers to get Brad’s watch out of the lake, but she’s tired of him, too. Brad will tell Melody about the rest of her date with Roger later.

58-07-Melody-guysThis gets the guys’ attention, and they ask Melody about it. She does this weird thing where she downplays it but also makes them worried and jealous, so I dunno what her deal is.

Oh, and Ted tries to get Kyle to say “chivalrous” correctly, because that joke is just so funny.

58-08-Ted-shoves-Kyle.jpgKyle goes to clean the water trough, but Ted just blatantly shoves him to the ground and then feigns innocence – and then loudly admits it was intentional to Melody while Kyle is still in the shot. Melody chews Ted out. Ted calls Kyle “Sir Pantsalot”, which is…funny? Melody calls Ted a jerk. Ted sarcastically says Kyle has a crush on him. He claims to not care who Kyle or Brad have a crush on. He’s bothered that he went away from the ranch “for a little while”, then he “come[s] back, and everything’s changed”. He makes it sound recent, which seems to indicate this season takes place during the same summer as seasons 3-4. Melody makes a depreciating joke about what Brad thinks of Ted and Kyle. Ted doesn’t find her funny. Melody tries to assure Ted that Kyle hasn’t taken his place. Really, considering how infrequently that he appears, he truly hasn’t taken Ted’s place. Melody leaves.

58-09-Ernst-TedMr. Ernst arrives. He pitches his latest money-making idea, having a rodeo right here at the Bar None and is glad to know Ted likes it. Mr. Ernst makes a surprisingly self-aware comment regarding his ideas. Ted is glad that Mr. Ernst came to him, but Mr. Ernst really wants to know where Kyle is and run his idea by him. Ted is hurt but sends Mr. Ernst to him.

58-10-Ernst-KyleKyle thinks the rodeo is a great idea but scares Mr. Ernst with the costs.

58-11-Ted-spiesTed sneaks by and spies on them. Kyle suggests scaling the rodeo back. He volunteers to calculate the costs and get the figures to Mr. Ernst after lunch. Mr. Ernst is happy. Kyle says he’s just happy to help out.

58-12-Ted-faceMr. Ernst asks, and Kyle is happy to ride in the rodeo, adding he worked as a rodeo clown, which Ted finds totally appropriate. Interesting detail. Maybe it’s why Buddy briefly wanted to be one. Kyle has to remind Mr. Ernst what a rodeo clown does. Kyle also talks about literal bullshit (bull shit, I guess), which Ted finds so ludricrous that he almost gets caught.

After Mr. Ernst leaves, Kyle resumes cleaning the water trough, and Ted has to crawl around to hide from him.

58-13-Brad-WTFBut then Brad rides by and is all like “What the fuck are you doing, Ted?”

58-14-Kyle-BradKyle gets all butthurt, because he thinks Brad got his name wrong, because Brad constantly thinks about Ted, and Brad has to point Ted out to the dumbass. Ted bullshits about looking for his lost keys.

Kyle tells Brad about Mr. Ernst’s rodeo idea and suggests teaming up on calf roping. Ted’s like “Yeah, me, too!” Brad and Kyle find that amusing. Ted says he’s serious. Brad says she’d team up with someone that “knew how to ride”. Ted is offended. Brad isn’t sure about accepting Kyle’s offer. Why is she even considering it at all? Isn’t she opposed to rodeos? Then again, she did organize her own rodeo, even if it was for old people, which probably amounted to “Let’s ride the horsies, whee!”

58-15-Ted-shoves-KyleTed excuses himself and blatantly shoves Kyle into the water trough. He then feigns innocence and apologizes. Brad calls Ted out on his bullshit. Kyle claims to accept Ted’s explanation but then makes a point about going to change. Brad chews Ted out and lightly slaps him on the back.

58-16-Ted-water“Take that, water! I hate you! Roooaaarrr!!!”

58-17-workAt lunch, Betty is doing random tasks, Danny is working the grill, and Chef Jake is…drumming on the glasses.

58-18-MelodyMelody comes by and offers to be a female vocalist for Jake’s band. Jake agrees. Well, we know Melody can sing.

58-19-Jake-complainsDanny wants Jake to help him with the ribs, but Jake doesn’t like the heat. He suggests the ranch cut down to serving the guests one simple, cold, uncooked meal per day. I can’t tell if he’s serious or not. Danny gives a joking tagline for it.

58-20-Kyle-wetKyle comes by, apparently having decided to skip changing clothes (real men go wet!). There’s some banter, and Kyle explains what happened. Kyle says Ted’s friends will believe Ted over “the new guy” (not to mention “the barely here guy”). Yep, this is definitely the same summer as seasons 3-4.

58-21-Ted-questionedTed comes by, and Danny questions him about the trough incident. Ted doesn’t exactly deny it and goes off about Kyle. Danny says Kyle said it was an accident, which surprises Ted. Ted excuses himself to set tables.

Let’s pause in the story for a bit and contemplate the guy in the background. He keeps walking around, mingling with Betty and Jodie, and he’s obviously meant to be a male staff member. What’s his story? When did he get hired? Where does he sleep? What kind of direction do the extras playing the minor staff members get? Does it amount to “Look busy but don’t interfere?” These are the questions that keep me up at night.

Melody quickly warns Kyle to look out.

58-22-Ted-trips-KyleToo late.

58-23-arguing-158-24-arguing-2Kyle and Ted start arguing.

58-25-Kyle-pushes-Ted58-26-fightAw, man, it looks like they’re gonna have it out for real.

58-27-fight-2But they gotta take a commercial break first.

Side note: Jodie seems to be enjoying the fight.

58-28-Jake-breaks-up-fightAfter the commercial break (which comes very early in this episode), Jake breaks up the fight (which wasn’t even much of a fight). Betty and Jodie have switched places, and Danny is suddenly there (granted, they might have moved around, assuming there are some seconds between acts that we didn’t see). Ted takes off Jake’s chef’s hat and throws it on the ground. Jake actually goes to retrieve it.

58-29-Melody-in-the-middleThis leaves poor Melody as the only person keeping Kyle and Ted from killing each other.

Betty, Jodie, and the random guy eventually get bored with the fight and blend back into the background go back to doing their jobs.

Kyle and Ted argue some more and start fighting again. Melody breaks it up, insisting, much like murder, “fighting is not the answer”. Ted declares the winner gets Brad. Kyle agrees. Even Melody finds this stupid idea “kinda romantic”.

58-30-girlsHowever, one dirty look from Brad changes her mind.

There’s a weird bit where Kyle almost says “chivalrous” correctly but then “corrects” himself to “chilavarous”.

Brad sarcastically says “Any girl’d give her right teeth to have these two fighting over her.” What kind of expression is that?

58-31-Brad-shoves-KyleBrad suddenly gets all badass and declares the winner gets to fight her, although she’s not even waiting for the results of their fight and seems to be taking both of them on right now.

58-32-Brad-attacks-TedShe adds they’re both gonna wanna lose.

58-33-Brad-attacks-Ted-2She also adds whoever’s left standing is not gonna be left standing for long. Seriously, Brad is fucking pissed (like, more than I’ve ever seen her), but she doesn’t go so far as to punch either of them…yet.

To placate Brad, Ted decides to change the stakes. After a bit, Kyle says the winner gets to stay, which shocks Brad. Ted needlessly adds the loser has to leave. They get into trash talk.

58-34-ErnstMr. Ernst comes by and tells all of them to set the fucking tables before the guests arrive. Looks like Betty and Jodie are the only ones getting ribbons this week.

Oh, apparently, the Bar None’s guest occupancy is thirty today. Is that normal for a dude ranch?

Mr. Ernst points out the glasses that Ted had made Kyle drop. Kyle says he tripped (which is true). Mr. Ernst has Ted help Kyle pick them up (but says nothing about cleaning them).

Before she leaves, Melody seems to tell Ted and Kyle (seemingly in a bit of ADR) to stop it. Not following her advice, Ted and Kyle splash each other with water.

Mr. Ernst needs one of them to go up and check “the north road”. Vic Vleck told him that “the Catalina Wash” overflowed again last night. There was a low-rated car wash in Tucson called Catalina Car Wash, but I doubt that’s what he’s referring to. There’s also Sutherland Wash in Catalina State Park. There’s also the usually dry Tanque Verde Wash that crosses Sabino Canyon Road. I’m really not sure what Mr. Ernst is referring to.

Anyway, both guys volunteer and argue over it, so Mr. Ernst says they both can go, and they argue over the keys.

As the fuckheads argue in the background, Jake and Danny caution Mr. Ernst. He checks on the fuckheads, and…

58-35-Kyle-Ted-grinYeah, they’re guilty as fuck. Mr. Ernst wants them to work side by side and have a “bonding experience”, though, to work out their tension. Danny and Jake are skeptical. Mr. Ernst asks what could possibly go wrong.

58-36-overheatedHa.

58-37-injuredKyle had looked into the overheated radiator after he’d taken the cap off and gotten blasted in the eyes with steam, so Ted had to bandage his eyes. Ted had sprained his left ankle after getting out of the Jeep, so Kyle had to bandage his ankle. The two idiots give each other a hard time over it, but, really, Kyle’s the bigger idiot – “just stupid” as Ted says.

58-38-fightThe two fuckheads start arguing and get into a fight, while injured, in the desert. Are you fucking kidding me?

Ted checks the radiator and says they should get back to the ranch. He adds someone should take a look at Kyle’s eyes. Kyle says they’ll be fine in a couple days, and Ted learns, much to his amusement, this has happened to Kyle before (a few years ago).

Kyle says the radiator is cold, and it should be fine if they take it slow. Ted wants Kyle to give him the keys, but Kyle points out that the Jeep has a clutch, so he needs two feet to drive. Ted points out that Kyle can’t see. Kyle says he’ll walk. After some trash talk from each of them, Kyle leaves (without giving Ted the keys), and Ted closes the hood.

58-39-Kyle-cactusSo Kyle’s walking along, singing “Home on the Range” (I guess Melody inspired him), and walks right into a cactus (which conveniently goes off-screen before the collision).

Ted gets in the Jeep, puts the windshield down, and has a bit of trouble starting the engine, but it eventually starts (I guess Kyle left the key in the ignition). He “gently” puts his foot on the clutch.

58-40-Ted-pain58-41-Kyle-TedKyle comes back with what are supposedly cactus needles in him. Ted gives him a hard time.

58-42-Kyle-Ted-2After some discussion, Ted decides they’ll work together. Kyle protests.

58-43-Ted-steersKyle has a problem with Ted’s steering. Ted blames Kyle’s constant braking. Somehow, they manage to go off the road, despite not going very fast and a bit of advance warning from Ted.

They argue. Kyle wants to fight right here and now. They get out of the Jeep, and…

58-44-Ted-sprains-ankleTed sprains his right ankle, much to Kyle’s amusement.

58-45-Ted-sands-KyleTed throws sand at Kyle and then crawls away.

58-46-Ted-trips-KyleHe then trips Kyle.

Kyle tries to go after the “little weasal”, but Ted crawls and waits on the other side of the Jeep. He lets Kyle walk right into the Jeep and fall over. Ted crawls over to Kyle, who doesn’t respond, which concerns Ted, but Kyle was just faking and tackles Ted.

58-47-Ted-Kyle-fightPlace yer bets! Place yer bets! It’s the fight of the century! A real knock-down, drag-out fight! Place yer bets right now!

*pockets your money* Actually, Ted proposes they help each other get back to the ranch, rest up for a couple days, get healthy, and then pummel the everliving shit out of each other. Kyle agrees.

58-48-Kyle-carries-TedTed sings “Home on the Range”, which annoys Kyle, but Ted’s deliberately singing in an annoying way. He’s actually not bad, which makes me wonder why it seems his song in “Datenite” (season 3, episode 03) was dubbed by someone else.

58-49-Kyle-carries-Ted-2Even the background score gets in on it, turning into an instrumental version of “Home on the Range”. That’s cute.

58-50-sunsetTed makes Kyle pause and turn, so Ted can look at the beautiful sunset – and rub Kyle’s face in the fact that he can’t see it. Kyle tells “Lardo” to go on a diet. Ted tells Kyle to “Giddy up!”

58-51-Ted-pulls-earThey arrive back at the ranch. Ted has resorted to pulling Kyle’s ear, because he won’t respond to voice commands.

58-52-Brad-rolls-eyesThey’re just in time for Ted to witness Brad coming back from a bad date with the “jerk”, “the amazing Roger”.

Roger wants “Bradley” to get back in the car. She doesn’t want to and makes him let go of her arm.

58-53-chivalryTed and Kyle confront Roger. Roger makes fun of the “bozos”.

Roger is played by Mario Guzman. “Hey Dude” was his first acting gig. He then took a 17-year break(!), only to re-emerge and rack up an additional 17(!) roles from 2008 to 2015! Talk about making a comeback. He also has production credits for two of the things that he was in. He has an impressive resume.

58-54-chivalry-2Ted and Kyle (with instructions from Ted) keep Roger from reaching Brad. Brad is clearly enjoying this.

58-55-chivalry-3Roger threatens them – to their amusement. However, Brad thinks they’ve gone too far and seems to want them to stand down, perhaps for their own safety.

58-56-Ted-attacks-Roger-158-57-Ted-attacks-Roger-2Ted and Kyle insult Roger for a bit, and then Ted pulls on Roger’s ear and nose.

58-58-hit-the-roadFortunately for them, Roger leaves instead of beating the shit out of them, and Kyle and Ted quote “Hit the Road Jack“.

58-59-Roger-leavesA bit more trash talk between Roger and Ted and Kyle ensues as Roger gets back in his car. Brad says something that I can’t understand. According to one of Kyle’s comments, it seems the Bar None has a gate. Where, exactly?

Oh, and Kyle finally says “chivalrous” right, and Ted gives him a congratulatory pat on the shoulder. So ends that thrilling subplot.

58-60-Brad-upsetBrad’s upset at them for their interference and claims she could have handled Roger. Honestly, considering her earlier behavior, I believe her. She says this isn’t chivalry but chauvinism. She apparently doesn’t see “what the big deal is with this chivalry stuff”. She leaves them, rhetorically asking if they’ll never learn.

Okay, you do remember Brad grinning while they defended her, right? If not, scroll back up and look at the screencaps.

I’m guessing her problem is they resorted to picking a fight, something that she would never, ever do.

Okay, no, I don’t know what her deal is. I’m guessing she just hates them.

58-61-Kyle-TedTed decides Kyle can stay at the ranch, and Kyle says the same about Ted. Ted wants Kyle to have Brad, but Kyle declines. So it looks like they’re both totally over her.

Yeah, right.

58-62-Ernst-Kyle-TedThe pre-credits scene at the end, on another day, has Kyle and Ted on the mend.

Mr. Ernst wanted Kyle to take a look at a “tryout” for his new plan – a rodeo without horses (in other words, something cheap and easy):

58-63-rodeo-158-64-rodeo-2Yeah. Well, it allows Buddy to get a quick, non-speaking cameo in at the end. Kyle and Ted are amused.

So ends another day at the Bar None.

This episode was pretty good. It mostly focused on the Ted/Brad/Kyle love triangle (such as it is) and the Ted/Kyle rivalry. Melody got pushed out of the story around the halfway point, and the other guys didn’t show up again until the end.

The fighting was enjoyable to watch, even if it was totally stupid. Who’s the “jealous guy”? Well, Ted’s jealousy is given the greatest amount of screen time. Only some lines from Kyle indicate he’s jealous of Brad’s seeming (off-screen) fixation with Ted. Overall, though, I think Ted was the better of the two characters in this episode, because he doesn’t make as many stupid decisions as Kyle, he shows (unjustified) concern for Kyle’s well-being at one moment, he’s the one to stop the fight, and he’s the one that decides they’re gonna work together to get home (twice).

My one complaint is the lack of build-up. The episode suffers from the fact that this is only Ted and Kyle’s fifth episode together, and there hadn’t been much of a rivalry between them until now. Not helping matters is the fact that Kyle disappears for long stretches at a time, and the others behave like he doesn’t even exist. That makes their blow-up here seem to come out of nowhere.

What could have been done instead? Ted and Jake fighting over Ted’s feeling that Jake has replaced him (most notably as Danny’s friend)? Well, again, there’s a lack of a build-up. There simply should have been more tension between Ted and Kyle in their previous interactions.

It’s the final countdown!: 7

Season 5, Episode 05: Baby

Writer: Clifford Fagin
Director: Fred K. Keller
Original air date: July 5, 1991

This episode has a 1991 copyright. Yeah, I’m gonna make note of the copyright from now on.

57-01-guys-workIn the cold open, Ted just cleaned the toilet (or “John” as he calls it) in the girls’ restroom, and Jake and Buddy are working on the fountain. Whoa, whoa, whoa, back the fuck up. Girls’ restroom? Well, I guess that solves that mystery. There are male and female restrooms located by the guest rooms, and that’s where everyone has to go in order to go. It is their duty to make this trek in order to do their doody. The discovery of the restrooms is of tremendous importance, even if I was the only one that gave a shit. Okay, I’ll stop. Anyway, mystery solved.

After some time-wasting between Jake and Ted over the girls’ toilet being named “John”, Buddy wants to give up on fixing the fountain. Apparently, Jake has finished “Jake’s Guide to Life” and left it under Buddy’s pillow. Is this a manuscript or the final, published version? Anyway, Buddy hasn’t read it, because he’s “waitin’ for the movie”. Jake cites Chapter 7, which states “When skill fails you, try luck.” A skeptical Ted and Buddy step aside. Jake takes out a coin (a lucky penny, perhaps?), kisses it, wishes for the fountain to work, spins around counter-clockwise once, and tosses the coin into the fountain.

57-02-fountain-worksTed is impressed and wants a coin, because he could use some luck. Jake doesn’t have one, but he sees a “wishbone”:

57-03-wishboneBuddy is frightened and begs them to not drop him. They set him down. Jake calls him a “baby”. Buddy says, ever since he was a kid, he’s had a fear of being dropped. Ted hears crying and assumes it’s Buddy, even though it’s very clearly a baby. Ted traces it to room 202 (even though Jake tells him that there are no guests in there), and Ted does the sitcom trope where he sees something (in this case, a baby), initially thinks nothing of it, and then has a delayed reaction of shock.

57-04-Baby-Fleeman57-05-gangAfter the credits, everyone’s fascinated with the baby. Mr. Ernst comes over and informs them that the baby is “temporarily misplaced”. Ted asks how you misplace a baby, but it’s actually done with alarming frequency. Parents can be critically absent-minded. Hell, there’s a sign outside my store reminding customers to not forget their babies in the car.

Anyway, Mr. Ernst explains the child’s mother, Mrs. Fleeman, has twins, and he tries to rationalize forgetting one, but Brad points out that it’s “pretty unusual”. Jake suggests the mother had déjà vu and thought she took both of them, which is pretty stupid. Mrs. Fleeman phoned from the plane(!) (talk about absent-minded; on top of that, she wasn’t quite sure where she was going) and said she’ll be back in a day or two. The baby starts crying, and Mr. Ernst leaves, because his ears “are very sensitive to high-pitched sounds” (this is the first that we’ve heard of this). After some banter, Mr. Ernst wants Jake to call the child welfare office and find out what their hours are. He wants to send the baby there.

57-06-Brad-babyBrad objects, arguing it’s not good for his welfare. Ha. She also makes the argument that the baby is “so comfortable here” – while the baby’s crying. Buddy seconds the baby staying here.

57-07-Brad-baby-2Mr. Ernst agrees, but he doesn’t want anyone neglecting their chores. Brad offers to let Mr. Ernst hold the baby, but he declines in a panic. He then tries to downplay his initial reaction and says he’s not very good with little babies. He then says he needs to get back to the office to wait for a call from the cable guy, because they’re “strict” about that. Right. The teens don’t seem to buy it. More importantly, though: cable guy? “Crash Landing” (season 2, episode 05) established they don’t have television at the ranch. Has it changed since then? Or is it about to change?

Well, whatever. The girls continue to adore the baby.

Baby Fleeman is played by Nicholas P. Penta. He doesn’t have an IMDb page, but I’m willing to bet this was his sole “acting” gig. Just consider for a moment that they credited the fucking baby, but they haven’t credited a bunch of other people on this series.

57-08-gangLater, in the girls’ bunk house, they suggest temporary names to call the baby…for some reason. Danny suggests Godzilla. Melody doesn’t like it. Brad suggests Leslie (or Lesley), which was her grandfather’s name. Ted doesn’t like it and believes her “boy’s name” and her grandfather’s “girl’s name” disqualifies her from the discussion. Ted believes this baby is a “guy’s guy” and should be named Rex, Max, or Tex. Ted also slaps Buddy for no apparent reason (I guess just demonstrating machoness). Jake seconds Ted’s suggestions. Buddy suggests Buddy. Jake makes a “Bud and Bud Light” joke, which is kind of surprising for a children’s series. Melody suggests Jeremy.

57-09-Jake-HarleyJake gets a sudden burst of testosterone and wants to name the baby Harley. The baby starts crying, and Brad blames the guys in general.

57-10-Ted-Brad-babyTed figures out that the baby has a pissy and/or shitty diaper, but Brad wants to handle it, so Ted passes the baby along to “Mother”. However, the girls fumble over what to do, so Ted has “Mother Goose” give him the baby.

57-11-Ted-diaperTed knows what to do, because, as it turns out, he has (or had) a baby sister. The baby’s mostly out of frame, so I don’t think David Lascher is actually changing his diaper. Anyway, Ted has Buddy run the dirty diaper out to the dumpster, and then he improvises with a “freshly laundered towel”. Ted then quickly sniffs it to make sure that it really is fresh, so I think he was bullshitting. He calls his achievement a “work of art” (we don’t see it) and gets applause from Danny and Jake. The girls have the guys leave, because the baby “needs a quiet, peaceful environment” in which to rest, and the guys offer “too much maleness”. Ted is offended. Regardless, they’re forced to leave, but Danny gets another name suggestion (Elvis) in first.

57-12-girls-babyLater, the girls are playfully “fighting” over who gets to dance with the baby. There’s nice, peaceful music playing on the radio during this moment. After Brad tells the baby to focus, Melody says something that I can’t understand. Brad gets Melody to promise to let her dance with the baby if any Phil Collins songs come on. Um, okay, no chance of that happening (on screen), but apparently Phil Collins was a big deal back then. Well, we learned a bit about Brad’s musical tastes. I wonder if she’s into Genesis, too.

57-13-Melody-babyAnyway, Melody starts talking to “Baby Fleeman” about dancing, and he burps. Brad calls Melody over to help her fix the weed trimmer, so Melody shuts off the radio, sets the baby down in a carriage, tells him to not go anywhere, and walks away.

57-14-kidnappingBad idea.

One funny thing that we learn during this is Brad doesn’t whack a lot of weeds in Grosse Pointe. Brad also humorously suggests turning the busted trimmer into a dental floss dispenser.

They come back up to the girls’ bunk house, and Melody freaks out over the baby’s disappearance.

57-15-Melody-trimmerAfter some discussion, they hear loud, generic rock muzak coming from the boys’ bunk house. Taking this as a clue, Melody takes the weed trimmer from Brad, and the two of them head off to confront the guys. What’s Melody planning to do? Look threatening? Beat them with it?

57-16-guys-ballThe guys have done some redecorating. They’ve got a mini basketball hoop attached to the closest top bunk. They’ve also…hung two cables from the ceiling and are using them to…suspend the baby carriage a bit off the floor. What the fuck?

57-17-girls-interruptThe girls come in, and Melody immediately sets the weed trimmer down (why’d she bring it in here?) and shuts off the radio. Brad and Ted get into an argument, and Melody checks on the baby. She calls them out on the cables. They believe it’s safe, because they’d tested it on Buddy earlier. Melody and Ted get into an argument.

57-18-Ernst-WTF57-19-Buddy-floorMr. Ernst comes in and is like “What the fuck?” He compares it to a Vleck family reunion (cute) and WrestleMania.

Mr. Ernst has Jake, Danny, and Buddy leave. He has the girls pack up the baby’s things. He has Ted drive the baby to the child welfare office. Brad protests, but Mr. Ernst won’t have it. Brad further protests and then insults Ted. Melody wants Mr. Ernst to hold the baby, but he again declines.

57-20-Ted-fingers-babyTed smiles and touches the baby. It’s a cute moment, and I think David Lascher was improvising.

57-21-Ted-BradBrad insists on going with Ted. Ted admits he thinks “babies are cool”. Brad agrees and says she wants lots of kids. Ted readily agrees, and Brad playfully elbows him. Brad agrees to let Ted come with her.

57-22-Melody-kisses-babyMelody hands them the baby and kisses the baby on the head before leaving in sadness.

57-23-Ted-fingers-baby-257-24-Ernst-trimmerLater, Mr. Ernst is working on fixing the weed trimmer (I guess this is a subplot), much to a passing guest’s interest, when Ted and Brad arrive back at the ranch in one of their many Jeeps.

57-25-Brad-sunglasses57-26-Ted-Brad-ErnstTed and Brad apparently decided their clothes were too ranchy for the child welfare office, because they decided to completely change before leaving. Also, in a nice bit of realistic detail, they wear sunglasses in the Jeep but take them off when they get out.

Ted takes a brief look at the weed trimmer, and Mr. Ernst asks a question that’s vague enough that Ted and Brad can answer without lying. Mr. Ernst talks for a while longer, and then he goes to get Buddy to cut him out of the trimmer line.

57-27-Ted-Brad-sunglassesHaving succeeded in their deception, Brad and Ted put their sunglasses back on to show they’re such badasses.

57-28-baby-trunkOh, and Brad opens the trunk, so the baby can get some air.

57-29-Melody-excitedAfter the commercial break, Melody is excited to see the baby.

57-30-guys-excitedDanny, Jake, and Buddy conveniently come into the girls’ bunk house, and they’re excited to see the baby as well.

Brad insists Mr. Ernst isn’t going to find out and chastises Danny, Jake, and Buddy for being afraid of “a little scolding from Mr. Ernst”. Well, aren’t you a badass? Jake brings up the possibility of getting fired, which is a legit real-world concern, but I’m not sure what it would take at this point for Mr. Ernst to fire any of them.

More banter ensues. Jake gets a legit funny joke in, asking if this ranch has ever functioned in tip-top condition.

57-31-photoHey, look on Brad’s night stand. It’s her photo of herself and Melody from way back in “Bunkmate Battle” (season 2, episode 04):

17-23-girls-pictureHas it always been sitting there?

Anyway, with encouragement from Brad, Melody, and Ted (plus doses of baby cuteness and guilt), they’re each gonna do their share to take care of Baby Fleeman, do their chores, and keep the baby a secret from Mr. Ernst.

Jake says something weird: “I mean how hard could it be to keep something this small from Uncle Ben? Uh, no offense, Buddy.” That doesn’t make sense. Is Buddy known for unsuccessfully trying to hide small things from his dad? Is Jake known for unsuccessfully trying to hide Buddy from Mr. Ernst when Buddy was a baby? Anyone know what Jake’s talking about?

57-32-Brad-horrifiedThe baby starts crying, and Brad is horrified as the realization hits her that babies can, in fact, cry all night. I wonder if she’s reconsidering her position on having kids.

57-33-gang-exhaustedThe next morning, we learn the baby did indeed keep them up all night. The gang is exhausted.

57-34-Ernst-chipperMr. Ernst comes by, chipper, and criticizes “the staff of the living dead”.

Mr. Ernst notices what seems to be milk (or maybe baby drool) on Ted’s left arm (we learn Ted also has freckles there), but Ted says it’s a new insect repellent.

57-35-Brad-towelAn exhausted Brad comes by, and Mr. Ernst asks about the baby’s spit towel, but he merely asks “What’s that?” Buddy has a hilarious answer: “That’s Brad, Dad.”

57-36-Brad-towel-2Brad bullshits it’s her towel and wipes her face with it. That’s fucking disgusting, but keep in mind that this is the same girl that had previously gotten on a saddle that a girl had just pissed on.

57-37-Jake-grossedMy reaction exactly.

57-38-no-coffeeMr. Ernst threatens them with additional chores to exhaust them during the day, so they can sleep better at night. For some reason, Ted says it’s a great idea. Most of them excuse themselves to do their chores, and Jake pulls Brad away, denying her her morning coffee.

57-39-Ernst-MelodyMr. Ernst inquires a silent Melody about her sleep.

57-40-Melody-sleepy57-41-Melody-cereal57-42-Ernst-handles-Melody57-43-Ernst-pets-Melody57-44-Ernst-pacifierUh-oh…

57-45-Ernst-bunk-houseUH-OH.

57-46-gang-quietSo, instead of going to do their chores, they all went to the girls’ bunk house to…hide out? Take care of the baby at the same time? It’s not clear why they all went here. It would just arouse suspicion.

Mr. Ernst threatens to fire them unless they let him in. Everyone except Ted, Brad, and the baby leave, Buddy being afraid of being dropped as he crawls out the window. Then crawl out yourself. You’ve done it before:

24-37-Buddy-windowBrad passes off the baby’s crying as Ted’s. She then stomps on his foot to make him actually give out cries of pain in addition to the baby’s cries. Um, what?

Brad hands the baby out the window to Danny and Jake, but Mr. Ernst circles around the back of the girls’ bunk house, so Brad has Ted help everyone back in.

57-47-Ted-ErnstUH-OH!

57-48-Ernst-pissedMr. Ernst is pissed and makes this stunt out as the worst one that they’ve ever pulled, which, no, it isn’t. At all. Brad apologizes and says Ted was crying when they got to the child welfare office, so she couldn’t drop the baby off. She also says they couldn’t have the baby be left somewhere for a second time. Brad baby-guilts Mr. Ernst and suggests he hold him, but Mr. Ernst declines. Danny references Mr. Ernst holding a bullsnake, which happened way back in “Cowboy Ernst” (season 2, episode 12).

Buddy asks his dad why he’s scared of a baby. Mr. Ernst admits he’s terrified.

57-49-Buddy-ErnstMr. Ernst reveals, when Buddy was a baby, his mother asked Mr. Ernst to hold him, and Mr. Ernst dropped him. Everyone’s shocked. Mr. Ernst says he doesn’t know how it happened; Buddy just kind of slipped out of his arms. He added Buddy “kind of bounced”. He thought he’d killed Buddy. As it turned out, Buddy was fine, and there was no permanent damage. Danny makes an dickish comment, and Jake rebukes him. Ted links this incident to Buddy’s fear of being dropped, which Jake dubs “dropaphobia” (as far as I know, there’s no actual name for this). Brad puts the baby in the carriage. Mr. Ernst apologizes to Buddy. Following Brad’s lead, everyone excuses themselves to do tasks.

57-50-Ernst-rabbitThe baby starts crying, and Mr. Ernst realizes he’s alone with him. He panics for a bit and tries to entertain the baby (even as a kid, I found Mr. Ernst to be uneducated when he referred to Buster Bunny as “Mr. Rabbit”).

It’s no use. The baby keeps crying.

57-51-Ted-BradMr. Ernst starts singing one of his “favorites”: “99 Bottles of Beer“.

57-52-Ted-Brad-2The baby keeps crying. Mr. Ernst praises the baby’s lack of desire for beer.

Finally:

57-53-Ernst-babyThe teens applaud, but Mr. Ernst shushes them to not disturb the baby.

Suddenly:

57-54-Ernst-trips-1Brad warns Mr. Ernst.

57-55-Ernst-trips-2Fortunately, Mr. Ernst doesn’t drop the baby.

57-56-Ernst-relieved57-57-Ernst-grinsDid you notice Melody was completely absent from this, the climactic scene?

57-58-send-offThe pre-credits scene at the end, on another day, has Mrs. Fleeman picking up her forgotten son. Mrs. Fleeman is played by Laura Innes, David Brisbin’s wife. This is her second of two appearances on “Hey Dude”, the first being as Miss Andrews, Ted’s English teacher, in “Teacher’s Pest” (season 2, episode 07):

20-08-AndrewsShe mentions other things that she’d previously forgotten: her keys, where she parked the car, and a little Dalmatian puppy in Amarillo.

57-59-Brad-WTFThis is Brad contemplating whether they really wanna hand the baby over to this flake.

Mrs. Fleeman isn’t sure where her husband is, and Brad immediately stops playing with the baby in Mrs. Fleeman’s arms. I like to think Brad is seriously considering snatching the two babies away.

It turns out that the forgotten baby’s name is Max, and his brother’s name is Rex.

57-60-Ted-wins57-61-Brad-losesBrad invites Mrs. Fleeman back to the Bar None.

57-62-Ernst-babyMr. Ernst puts Max in the car seat.

Brad, Jake, and Mr. Ernst put the hood of the car up.

57-63-giftsDanny and Melody present gifts of toys for the twins.

57-64-byeEveryone says goodbye as Mrs. Fleeman leaves with the babies. They’re not concerned about her admission that she’s not sure where she’s going.

Mr. Ernst is disappointed, thinking they’ll never see them again.

57-65-Jake-purseHowever, Jake reveals Mrs. Fleeman “forgot” her purse, which he had been holding onto.

Buddy says his dad doesn’t need a baby when he still has him.

57-66-Ernst-holds-BuddyLooks like Buddy’s over his “dropaphobia”.

So ends another day at the Bar None.

This episode was pretty funny and also had some nice moments. We got backstory on Buddy and Mr. Ernst, and we even learned a bit about Brad.

There’s also some nice Ted/Brad moments. They seem almost like a loving couple – with the expected amount of bickering, of course.

It’s the final countdown!: 8

Season 5, Episode 04: Rest in Pieces

Writer: David Brisbin & Laura Innes
Director: Ross K. Bagwell, Jr.
Original air date: June 28, 1991

A few interesting notes about this episode before I get into the review:

1) It’s written by David Brisbin and his wife, Laura Innes (Ted’s English teacher, Miss Andrews). This was the only thing that David Brisbin wrote. It’s also the first of only two things that Laura Innes wrote, the second being a 2015 short called “One Smart Fellow”, which she cowrote and starred in with three other people. Really odd.

2) It has a 1990 copyright. I’m starting to think the episodes were copyrighted according to when they were taped, and then they were aired out of order in mid-1991 (but still all taped in the season 5 batch).

3) This episode is on the DVD after the next episode, “Baby”, in regard to how the files are ordered, but it’s listed in the correct order in the menu. What this means is, if you select Play All, you’ll be seeing “Baby” before this episode.

4) The episode runs around twenty seconds shorter than normal once you remove the closing credits (which are around a minute long).

56-01-gangIn the cold open, Ted expresses disgust at tomato juice (the very concept of it), Jake doesn’t feel good, and Brad isn’t looking forward to mucking out eight stalls. Brad calls Jake gross for attempting to eat one of Mr. Ernst’s homemade bran muffins. Buddy then grosses everyone out by comparing his porridge or whatever to vomit.

56-02-Melody-chipperA chipper Melody comes by with French toast for her fellow “campers”. Everyone digs in. Ted tells “Goldilocks” to shut the fuck up. Brad pisses Melody off by saying they “have to live with” Melody’s morning sweetness (which, if you haven’t noticed, was never even a thing before this very episode). Buddy calls her a sap, which is possibly a reference to “No More Mr. Nice Guy” (season 3, episode 09), even though Melody was supposed to be “a sap no more” by the end of that episode. After Jake says Melody can’t be mean, Melody claims she “can be just as slimy, insulting, pig-headed, and repulsive as the rest of” them. Wow, what a bitch. Regardless, Brad finds it amusing. Ted offers to make it a bet. If Melody can stop being nice until midnight, they’ll make her breakfast for a whole week; if she is nice once, she has to make their breakfast (all month, Danny adds). Brad likes it. Melody accepts. Ted fakes a leg injury, and Melody rushes off to get him some ice. Ted yucks it up. Brad finds it funny, too. Melody says the bet is on and then struggles to call them “jerks”, which they’re “shocked” by. Jake asks Melody to get him a side order of bacon.

56-03-listening-inAfter the credits, Ted, Jake, and Buddy rest while working and overhear Lucy, who’s on the phone…in the tack room. Odd place to have a phone line. Did you know this is the first time that Ted and Lucy have been in the same scene since “Take Me to Your Leader” (season 2, episode 13)? No joke. Anyway, Lucy’s on the phone with a Doctor Johnston, and the guys automatically assume she’s talking about Mr. Ernst having a possibly fatal condition. Lucy leaves her notes sitting around for anyone to read instead of taking them with her. Jake doesn’t want Buddy and Ted to read it, but Buddy does.

56-04-Ernst-illMr. Ernst comes by, feeling not so hot. We learn he put jalapeños in his bran muffins. Y’know what? Fuck the risk of discomfort. I wanna try that shit.

Anyway, Mr. Ernst’s been feeling tired lately, goes to take “some of that pink stuff”, and wants to know if anyone hears from Doctor Johnson, because he’s expecting the test results from his physical today.

See the problem? Well, our heroes don’t.

Jake grabs Lucy’s pad, and Ted calls him out on his hypocrisy. Jake is shocked. Ted grabs it back. According to Lucy’s notes “from the doctor”, Mr. Ernst has “gastrothrombosis”, which doesn’t seem to be an actual condition as far as I can tell. If it is real, it would seem to have something to do with the formation of blood clots in blood vessels in the stomach. Anyway, it could be fatal unless the following “precautions” are followed precisely for the next 24 hours: keep warm; feed only mashed carrots; hose down if agitation, biting, and kicking occur; keep on feet; don’t let sleep. After some discussion, Jake decides they’ll do whatever they have to do.

56-05-Danny-TedLater, they hold a meeting. Danny, who is skeptical, is on blanket detail. Brad is going to boil carrots in the kitchen. Jake and Buddy will keep Mr. Ernst awake. Ted will organize “the hose-and-bucket patrol”. Danny is further skeptical over the whole “kicking and biting” possibility, but Ted puts him in his place. Brad, all too sincerely, suggests investing in hard hats and gloves, because, y’know, there are absolutely none to be found on a dude ranch.

14-31-Ernst-works-208-12-Brad-hay08-31-Ted-LucyBuddy is in disbelief, because Mr. Ernst has “always been healthy as a horse”.

56-06-Melody-smarterMelody comes by and asks about it, having overheard them talking. Jake tries to break the news to her, but Melody believes they’re setting her up to lose the bet, so she’s a complete bitch regarding the news of Mr. Ernst’s illness and also insults her friends. Oh, she also says Mr. Ernst always said they wouldn’t appreciate him until he was dead and gone, but we’ve never heard this before. “Mean Melody Hanson” also volunteers to drown Buddy in the swimming pool. Look for Jake to pat Buddy, his cousin, on the shoulder in support. Nice touch.

56-07-Melody-laughsMelody laughs at the “suckers” and leaves. Danny guesses they created a monster.

Mr. Ernst opens his office window and tells them to shut the fuck up, because he’s not feeling well and wants to take a nap. He tells them to keep an eye on the front desk. The gang springs into action.

56-08-Brad-tickles-ErnstUp first is a lengthy scene in which Brad secretly enters Mr. Ernst’s office and tickles his nose with a feather to prevent him from falling asleep. Also, the guys whisper instructions to Brad (she finally just closes the window), which doesn’t wake Mr. Ernst up.

What does wake him up, though, is a sneeze. Brad is forced to bullshit a “dusting” explanation (cleaning seems to be her go-to excuse), which Mr. Ernst is too tired to argue about. Really, what was her plan? Just keep Mr. Ernst barely conscious with the feather?

56-09-Brad-loitersBrad hangs around for a while after being told to leave. The guys mime to her through the window, and she abruptly leaves. Mr. Ernst decides to not even think about it and tries to go to sleep.

56-10-Ernst-jolted-awake56-11-drummers-156-12-drummers-2Jake and Ted take over, marching around Mr. Ernst’s office and drumming loudly (this was totally Jake’s idea) under the pretense that they’re “practicing for the Young Buckaroo Parade tomorrow” (which Ted made up). They leave, still drumming. Mr. Ernst decides to go and do the grocery shopping.

56-13-gang-watches56-14-Ernst-groceriesLater, the gang’s secretly observing as Mr. Ernst arrives back at the ranch with the groceries. He’s agitated over everything that’s occurred today, including the grocery store running out of pork rinds, the door to the Jeep not closing (he kicks it closed), his heartburn, and a candy wrapper stuck to his boot. He drops his groceries and bites onto a bag of snacks. Having seen all of the signs, the gang springs into action after Jake blows a whistle.

56-15-Ernst-hosedAfter ordering his assault, Jake tries to get his uncle to calm down and congratulates his co-conspirators.

56-16-Ernst-towelAfter the commercial break, they go into the main lodge, and Mr. Ernst demands to know what the fuck is going on.

After some stumbling for words, Ted just has Mr. Ernst read the pad, which they should have brought to him in the first place. Mr. Ernst is shocked. He decides to call Doctor Johnson and starts looking through the phone book, but Jake shows him the phone number on Lucy’s pad.

56-17-Ernst-phoneThe doctor is gone for the weekend, but the woman on the phone checks the file. Mr. Ernst thinks it’s a filing error (and seems to have experience with it, but he’s interrupted before he can get into it), but the test result was positive for gastrothrombosis. Mr. Ernst freaks out. The woman says “Don’t worry. Sometimes, it’s for the best.” One of the teens gasps when Mr. Ernst repeats this, but I can’t tell who it is. Mr. Ernst gets pissed and slams the phone down.

56-18-Brad-comforts-ErnstMr. Ernst goes into his office “to be alone for a few minutes”. He tries to comfort Buddy and says he won’t take this lying down.

56-19-Ernst-officeInstead of going in for just a few minutes, Mr. Ernst holes up in his office with a bowl of mashed carrots (there’s no scene transition, by the way; it’s an abrupt cut). He’s decorated his office with a ton of candles and blocked peering eyes out with a bunch of drapes, completely isolating himself. There’s some kind of silly New-Agey musical score going on, though I can’t tell if he’s meant to actually be listening to it or not (it stops around the time that he hits Record on his recorder).

Anyway, Mr. Ernst dictates a message for Buddy on a portable audio cassette recorder (did he borrow it from Jake?). Mr. Ernst makes a reference to masturbation or sex (I can’t tell which; maybe both). He talks for a while.

Melody knocks on the door, scaring Mr. Ernst. As he tries to shut off his recorder, there’s a voice that I guess comes from it, but I can’t tell what it’s supposed to be. Mr. Ernst lets Melody come in.

Melody had brought Mr. Ernst some receipts but then is all “What the fuck?” when she sees the candles. She’s initially concerned but then starts getting suspicious and wants him to spit it out. He tells her.

56-20-Melody-laughsMelody thinks it’s a real knee-slapper (literally).

56-21-Melody-haMelody’s a total bitch to her boss (my favorite line is “you better sue your brains for non-support!”), but she at least provides a hint that she believes this is a set-up over a bet.

56-22-Melody-honks-ErnstMelody honks his noise, and there’s even a “Honk, honk!” voice, but I can’t tell who’s supposed to be saying it.

Melody continues insulting Mr. Ernst and then just flat-out calls him stupid. Mr. Ernst feels himself getting agitated and tells her to leave for her own safety.

56-23-Melody-ha-2“Mean Mel” laughs evilly as she leaves. Mr. Ernst starts biting air and quickly eats mashed carrots and splashes himself with water.

56-24-damageTape damage or an encoding error.

56-25-jokesThat night, they’re hanging out in the main lodge, laughing and telling jokes.

56-26-Ted-denseTed doesn’t get one of Jake’s (obvious) jokes, so Danny and Jake explain it to him, but he’s still clueless.

56-27-pillowsTime to break out the pillows. Ted claims he’s just kidding.

56-28-Brad-bowlBrad doesn’t let Mr. Ernst have popcorn (look for Buddy to swipe some before she takes it away), giving him the bowl of mashed carrots instead. She’s kind of being a mother to him in this scene.

Mr. Ernst praises them and then asks them if they’ve seen Melody. Brad thinks she went to bed. He brings up Melody’s strange behavior, and the look on Brad’s face lets us know she immediately knows what he’s talking about. He worries if Melody caught what he has, but Jake says no. Mr. Ernst feels great and thinks the worst is over.

56-29-Ernst-loses-itA while later, the worst is at hand.

Hey, it’s nice to see Mr. Ernst’s Sylvester slippers from “Dan the Man” (season 2, episode 09) again. That episode also involved fears for Mr. Ernst’s health and the gang monitoring his activities. I wonder if Brisbin watched that episode prior to writing this one and threw in the slippers as a bit of continuity.
22-13-Ernst-sneaks
56-30-Ernst-chows-downMr. Ernst cries out for his “Carrots!”, so Brad helps shovel them into his mouth. My dad, who was an old-fashioned guy that grew up in Poland during World War II, liked this series, but he absolutely hated this scene – especially Mr. Ernst pigging out on the carrots. He found it disgusting.

Mr. Ernst says it’s getting dark, and he wants to lie down, so Ted and Jake pull him to his feet to walk him. Ted suddenly wonders if “this gastro thing” is contagious, despite the fact that Mr. Ernst brought up the possibility earlier. They drop him. Buddy says it doesn’t matter, because they all would’ve been exposed anyway. He wants them to keep walking his dad. Ted and Jake lift Mr. Ernst to his feet. Brad cries “You can’t give up now!” She really does care about her boss – a lot. Danny suggests fresh air, so they all go outside.

56-31-Melody-pissedMelody comes out of the girls’ bunk house, informing them that it’s after midnight, and she’s won the bet. Brad hits her with the cold, hard truth, and Melody realizes what a total fucking bitch that she’s been. As Mr. Ernst goes under, Melody takes charge of the fight to save him.

56-32-Lucy-WTFLucy comes by and demands to know why the fuck they’re making Mr. Ernst skip around and force-feeding him carrots after midnight. They let her know. Brad demands to know where the fuck Lucy has been and why the fuck she hasn’t been helping them save Mr. Ernst.

Lucy informs them that she’s been down in the “lower corral” (I think), taking care of a sick horse. Uncle Albert came down with gastrothrombosis, not Mr. Ernst. Uncle Albert is the same horse that got sick in “Dan the Man”:

22-22-Danny-AlbertThat settles it. Brisbin definitely watched that episode for “inspiration”. It makes this episode feel like a sequel to “Dan the Man”.

Anyway, Lucy reminds them that gastrothrombosis is very common among horses of Uncle Albert’s age. If any readers know anything about horses, would you please let me know if this is an actual horse affliction?

Anyway, Lucy brings up an interesting point. How did no one realize gastrothrombosis is a horse condition? Especially Brad and Danny.

Lucy remembered the instructions that Doctor Johnston had given her, even though she’d (inexplicably) left them in the tack room. Jake realizes they got the doctor’s name wrong. Danny calls Ted stupid, but Ted shifts the blame to Jake. Really, they’re all at fault. I get them mishearing the doctor’s name, but how is it that Lucy wrote down the vet’s phone number but (presumably) didn’t write down the vet’s name? Also, the receptionist conveniently didn’t mention the name of the business and left out the patient’s name while giving Mr. Ernst the test results.

Lucy smiles and shakes her heads like “You silly kids”. The gang argues. Brad insists she tried to tell Ted (we saw no evidence of this; it was Danny that was the skeptical one), but Ted says she didn’t. Everyone walks off without apologizing to Mr. Ernst.

56-33-Ernst-aloneMr. Ernst is left all alone – well, except for the sounds of wildlife in the background.

56-34-breakfastThe pre-credits scene at the end, in the morning, has the gang eating breakfast. Jake and Ted claim they were suspicious from the start. Danny doesn’t buy it.

56-35-BradBrad comes by and asks what’s for breakfast. She decides to pass on the raw carrots, carrot omelettes, carrot muffins, and carrot juice to wash it down.

56-36-Melody-pancakesA chipper Melody comes by with “real food” (pancakes), and the guys dig in, but Brad is cautious, asking if she’s “the Melody from Satanville”. I guess she can’t say “Hell”, but “Satanville” is awkward (at least, Mr. Ernst’s “What the Devil?” was okay). Also, the lack of cursing was really apparent during Mean Melody’s insults.

Melody assures her that the bet is over. We learn Mr. Ernst is fine (I guess it really was just heartburn, but that doesn’t explain his other “symptoms”), Uncle Albert’s fine, and “there is only one Melody”. Ted questions why Melody made breakfast for them if she won the bet, and Brad seconds this. Melody says she just felt like it, and that’s all of the convincing that the gang needs. They chow down.

56-37-Brad-hot56-38-Melody-peppersThe “one Melody” is the practical joker. She cooked hot peppers into the pancakes. Y’know what? I wanna try that.

56-39-Melody-poursMelody’s then an asshole by pouring a bunch of extra crushed red peppers all over their otherwise edible food.

So ends another day at the Bar None.

This episode was pretty ludicrous. It relied on a constant and all-too-convenient lack of communication.

There were some funny moments. I enjoyed seeing Ted and Jake team up. Mean Melody was loads of fun.

However, this is basically a rehash of “Dan the Man” – with some reheated “No More Mr. Nice Guy” tossed in. I don’t want to knock Brisbin and Innes, but this episode wasn’t needed.

It’s the final countdown!: 9

Season 5, Episode 03: Incredible Shrinking Ted

Damn it, I forgot to make a note of something at the end of the previous episode. “The Legend of Jed” (season 5, episode 02) is the first episode with a 1991 copyright:

54-62-1991-copyrightI have three theories as to why:

1) It was the first episode taped in 1991, meaning season 5 was taped roughly in winter-spring.

2) They forgot to update the year on the copyright notice for “Miss Tucson” (season 5, episode 01).

3) “Miss Tucson” was taped in the season 4 batch but held over until season 5.

Anyone know for sure?

Anyway, on to the current episode:

Writer: Patrick Maguire
Director: Ross K. Bagwell, Jr.
Original air date: June 21, 1991

55-01-Buddy-ErnstIn the cold open, Mr. Ernst initially appears to be working at his computer, but he’s quickly revealed to be reading a mystery novel, “The Necktie Murders”. Buddy comes in, unintentionally(?) scaring his dad, who throws his book away in fright. After some banter and Mr. Ernst talking about the novel, Buddy brings up an advance on his allowance, eventually admitting he lost the money that Mr. Ernst had given him on Tuesday. Mr. Ernst keeps a computer file of all of the things that Buddy has lost, which include skateboard (yeah, it’s been a while since we’ve seen it), wallet, dental retainer, one sneaker, and, now, this week’s allowance. Mr. Ernst refuses to bail Buddy out, saying he has to learn financial responsibility. Mr. Ernst tries to return to his novel, realizes it went out the window, and awkwardly excuses himself. Buddy hacks into his dad’s computer and alters the file to say his dad owes him money – and then calls out his dad on his “mistake”, basically announcing his hack. Does he seriously expect this deception to work?!

Anyway, he gets carried away with modifying the file, and…

55-02-computer-burns-outYeah, bullshit. At most, he might freeze up the program, which would require a reboot. Rest assured, though, that the “burned out” computer is never referenced again, and Buddy seemingly never faces the consequences. Hurray.

55-03-Jake-readsAfter the credits, Jake is reading the novel, and…Hagatha Mistie? Seriously? I know they can’t use a real novel (for a reason that will become clear near the end of the episode), but couldn’t they have come up with a fake author name that wasn’t so obviously fake?

55-04-gangMelody, Brad, and Danny come by for dinner. Melody scares Jake. Jake explains about the book, which he’s really into. Apparently, the book hit him as he was walking outside Mr. Ernst’s office, despite the fact that we didn’t see him outside the window in the cold open, nor is it clear that the book went out the window.

Danny brings up that Ted volunteered to set the table. He and Brad are suspicious, but Melody (momentarily) gives Ted the benefit of the doubt.

55-05-Ted-poursTed comes by, “deeply hurt”, and pours grape juice for them. He seemingly doesn’t want anything from them. He claims to have gotten his own date for this weekend. Melody is shocked, and Brad is surprised but also…disappointed, maybe? Or maybe not. It’s hard to tell. After more insults, Ted leaves in frustration. Melody feels bad for Ted. The gang, after a warning from Brad, cautiously start in on their meal, not knowing what to expect. However, their forks, drinks, and plates are glued to the table. Ted comes by and yucks it up. Brad makes a point of trying to lift her glass, but…

55-06-Brad-drinkBrad’s glass wasn’t glued to the table.

This prank makes no sense. Basically, Ted assumed the following:

1) Absolutely no one would touch their food or drinks until the right time.

2) Brad would sit at that very spot.

3) Brad would not attempt to lift her glass until the others had tried lifting their own glasses.

4) Brad would make a show of attempting to lift a glass that she “knows” is glued to the table.

Anyway, Brad and Melody are pissed. Brad is upset that her brand-new shirt is ruined. No one thinks it’s funny. After some discussion with Brad, Ted insists he’d find a practical joke played on him funny, because he has a sense of humor. Ted leaves, conspicuously telling them to not bother getting up. Brad has a “great idea” for revenge, but then she and the others realize Ted glued their asses to the benches. Ted comes back and yucks it up. As the scene ends, Jake (seemingly in a bit of ADR) insists “I gotta get my book! My book!” What’s that about? If he’s referring to the novel, it’s right in front of him on the table. If not that, then what? A book on how to unglue your ass from a bench?

55-07-Ted-scaleThe next day, Jake leaves the boys’ bunk house. Ted puts on cologne for his date and then weighs himself. He’s surprised he’s lost four pounds since yesterday, but Danny dismisses it. Ted worriedly asks Danny about the prank last night, but Danny insists everything’s cool. Ted’s surprised his shoes feel too big for him.

55-08-Ted-fallsThe Calendar of Hell is still on the wall, but there’s a notable difference: no month and no blacked-out year. Did someone finally notice the problem? This isn’t exactly fixing it. What kind of calendar doesn’t label its months? It’d have been better if they’d just removed the calendar.

Danny waits a whole second after Ted goes out the door before inviting the girls in through the same door. Ted didn’t notice them waiting outside?

55-09-Operation-TedAnyway, this is part of Operation: Ted. Brad and Melody stayed up late, picking out Ted’s new wardrobe. Brad replaces Ted’s clothes with larger clothes (including “identical” pants three inches longer than Ted’s). Danny will raise all of the pictures on the walls and readjust the scale.

55-10-Operation-Ted-2Melody also gives everyone (including Jake, who suddenly came back in) lifts for their shoes to make them look taller to Ted. Jake questions the effectiveness of all of this, but the others insist it’ll work.

But let’s look at this prank closely. First, Brad chose a difficult one: convincing Ted that he’s shrinking. Second, they do things that anyone should see through. Scales typically need to be re-adjusted to 0 prior to each weigh. They were counting on Ted not doing this nor noticing it was at -4. Shoes have the size marked on them. Other clothes do, too. They raise the pictures, but the heights of the bunks, the dresser, and other objects remain the same. They look taller to Ted, but Mr. Ernst doesn’t.

55-11-Buddy-ErnstOn another day, Buddy insists Mr. Ernst never gave him his allowance. Mr. Ernst asks Buddy if he’s seen his mystery book, and Buddy gives him a hard time about it – even jokingly asking for hush money to keep it a secret.

55-12-Ernst-JakeSooo close!

Buddy agrees to help his dad look for the book, because Mr. Ernst has to know how it ends.

55-13-Jake-TedTed tries to sit on the swing, but he can’t, presumably because of the big pants. He actually put those on and kept wearing them? If my shoes, pants, and shirt turned out to be too big, the first thing that I’d do would be to check the sizes.

Anyway, Jake gives Ted a hard time.

55-14-Ted-swingAlso, it goes unsaid, but it seems maybe the swing was raised a bit. Ted says “This is weird!” to himself.

55-15-Danny-cardsLater, in the boys’ bunk house, Danny and Jake are playing cards. Ted has explained his worries to them, but they’re dismissive.

55-16-Jake-sticksI like how Jake’s so into drumming that he just likes to hold his sticks, even during a fucking card game.

55-17-guysTed cites the “evidence” of his larger clothes as well as everything being higher. Not everything. The windows, the top of the door, and the ceiling, for example. Anyway, Danny and Jake are skeptical, so Ted weighs himself to convince them. He’s lost eight pounds in the last few hours. Jake suggests it’s a change in Ted’s diet and asks Ted what he’s eaten today. This is what Ted lists: pancakes, scrambled eggs, cheeseburgers, a milkshake, a bowl of chili, corn on the cob, baked beans, and a piece of cherry pie. Yeah, if Ted’s eating like this, he should be gaining weight, not losing it. Also, Danny says it’s only 10:00 AM, but I would have guessed twilight based on the light (compared to the previous scene).

55-18-girlsAnyway, they discuss Ted’s shrinking problem for a bit, Ted trips again, and the girls come in. Brad jokingly calls Ted “Fred Astaire”. She continues insulting him as they discuss his problem. I love Brad.

55-19-Danny-measuresMelody “just happen[s] to have” a tape measure, which isn’t suspicious at all. Danny measures Ted at 5’7″, which Ted says he hasn’t been since he was twelve years old. David Lascher is 5’10”.

Incidentally, while looking up that info, I discovered Christine Taylor is 5’6.5″, slightly taller than Melody’s 5’5″.

Anyway, everyone leaves Ted alone, barely able to hold in their laughter, which Ted must have heard.

55-20-Ted-DannyAfter the commercial break, on another day, Danny is attempting to stretch Ted in a contraption while theorizing what’s causing the shrinking (mosquito bite or hormonal imbalance). We learn Ted (and presumably Danny) has seen the old film, “The Incredible Shrinking Man“, which is the direct inspiration for this episode.

55-21-Jake-DannyJake comes by and asks about the “medieval torture chamber”. Danny claims it’s “Uncle Ivan Running Bear’s stretch-o-matic”, which he supposedly used to get into the army when the draft board said he was too small. It didn’t work. All of the blood rushed to his head, and he thought he was Napoleon. Ted’s upset at the mention of “another little person”, but Napoleon Bonaparte (the most famous Napoleon) was 5’6″, which was an average height for a man of his time.

55-22-Melody-lunchMelody brings by lunch for Ted. She claims the only stuff that they had in the kitchen were shrimp salad, tiny tot potatoes, and strawberry shortcake with miniature marshmallows. Ted insists Melody’s doing this on purpose. Perhaps the fact that she emphasizes the “little” words tipped him off. Melody feigns innocence.

55-23-Brad-readsBrad comes by with info from a medical journal. According to her, Ted has “Microshrinkophemia” (spelling uncertain), a rare disease that affects one in a million teenage boys of Irish descent that live in the desert. If Brad was hoping to blow this entire prank, she couldn’t have done a better job.

Anyway, we learn Ted is (presumably) Irish instead of Scottish (he doesn’t correct her, but maybe he just wanted to play along).

Brad teases a bad ending to the case mentioned in the book. Melody, Jake, and Danny tease Ted. Brad, Melody, and Jake leave, and Ted has Danny measure him again. He shrunk another 1.5″. Danny doesn’t care and leaves Ted by himself.

55-24-Ted-readsUnfortunately, Brad left the medical journal for Ted to read.

55-25-Ted-writesOn another day, Melody finds Ted writing his memoirs as comfort for shrunken people. They talk for a bit. Melody feels guilty and wants to tell Ted the truth, but Ted asks her to be his caretaker (apparently, he likes Twinkies) and accompany him while he does “the talk show circuit”. Overcome with emotion, Melody agrees. Ted then claims he asked Brad first, but she doesn’t like short guys. After he leaves (why wait?), Melody wishes the “little creep” will “disappear”.

55-26-ridingLater, Danny, Jake, and Brad are leading some guests on a ride (I think). Jake declares it “beats surfing in Lake Benjamin”, which totally sounds like something that Jake would try. Danny declares Brad would win a hypothetical Nobel Prize for practical jokes. No, she wouldn’t. This prank has way too many holes in it. Regardless, Danny and Brad get Brad off. Jake worries about causing Ted serious psychological damage and wants to stop Operation: Ted, but Brad and Danny inform him of some of Ted’s practical jokes that he hasn’t been here for: whoopee cushions, itching powder, squirting ketchup bottle, and putting glue on the toilet seats. After more debate, Brad agrees they’ll tell Ted tonight.

55-27-doctorHowever, Melody comes by and informs them of a vacationing doctor that Ted called for an emergency exam. Fearing they’ll get stuck with the bill and doing the explaining, they rush over to…the corral, I guess, to park their horses, leaving Melody to run to the boys’ bunk house. We learn Jake’s riding a horse named Elmer.

55-28-examAnyway, the others eventually join Melody in the boys’ bunk house, where the “doctor” is conducting an “exam”. Yeah, this is just Mr. Ernst doing a stereotypical German accent (appropriately enough, since “Ernst” is a German, Dutch, and Scandinavian surname), but no one sees through it. To the others’ shock, the doctor diagnoses Ted with Microshrinkophemia, which makes Brad think he’s a quack. The doctor says there’s a cure.

55-29-Ted-moneyTed pulls out his “savings” ($1,000) and hands it to the doctor in exchange for some pills. This should be a big clue that this is staged, because Ted previously blew all of his savings in “Mr. Moneybags” (season 4, episode 12). Ted’s “friends” don’t immediately blurt out the truth. The doctor leaves, no one making an attempt to stop him.

After some insistence (and a hit) from Melody, Brad confesses. Ted acts surprised and gives them a hard time. He looks out the door and says the doctor is “gone” (never mind searching for him, I guess). Ted had written down the doctor’s name, which he says he can’t pronounce, so he spells it out: E-R-N-S-T.

55-30-gotchaHere’s where things get a bit confusing. Brad asks “You knew all along?” Ted says “Of course, I knew, Brad.” He seems to answer her in the affirmative, but he doesn’t say he knew “all along”. He then brings up “Microshrinkophemia”, seemingly implying that’s what tipped him off. Unless he was keeping up his act even when by himself, the episode suggests he was fooled until Brad pulled that fake condition out of her ass. Personally, I would have liked it better if Ted hadn’t been fooled for a second, because, really, no one would be.

55-31-pillow-fightAnyway, Danny starts up another instance in this series’ tradition of using pillows as weapons.

55-32-confusionThe pre-credits scene at the end has Mr. Ernst seemingly just now getting dressed up as a doctor. He gets confused when the gang comes into his office and congratulates him on his performance. Melody’s upset that Ted always gets them, but Brad tries to get her to admit it was funny. It’s nice that Brad appreciates Ted’s pranks – in certain situations (meaning when her clothes aren’t ruined).

In a nice bit of continuity with the cold open, Mr. Ernst now has a new computer on his desk. We’ll see if it sticks.

Anyway, Mr. Ernst had lent Ted the $1,000. Mr. Ernst informs them that he hadn’t left his office in three hours and was just on his way over to the boys’ bunk house. Apparently, Buddy had called a “doctor” when he heard Ted was sick, and it turns out that he was a crook. Buddy observes the “crook” is driving away in a taxi. Mr. Ernst calls out for his money, and the teens (sans Buddy) rush outside.

55-33-fiveNo sooner than they leave the office does Mr. Ernst share a congratulatory five with Buddy and reveal they pranked them. This seems to be a recurring thing on this series: characters reveal the truth that they’d hidden from other characters while those same characters are still within earshot.

Anyway, Buddy had used the name of the doctor character from “The Necktie Murders” (who Mr. Ernst had mentioned in the cold open) as the name of the crook, which is why a real novel couldn’t be used (someone else’s character). Considering Jake’s been reading this novel throughout the entire episode (or at least carrying the book around, including in this final scene, when he puts the book down on Mr. Ernst’s desk, finally returning it to him), you’d think Jake would have realized Buddy was bullshitting them.

Mr. Ernst guesses the teens will be playing no more practical jokes around here. Buddy doesn’t exactly agree; he just says “You bet.”

55-34-teensIt’s nice that the teens run past Mr. Ernst’s office window. It reminds me of how Ted and Melody didn’t walk past the open front door of the girls’ bunk house prior to arriving outside the window in “Murder, He Wrote” (season 4, episode 13).

55-35-confusion-2Anyway, Mr. Ernst is excited to see his book and wonders where it came from. He’s eager to finish reading it. He thanks Buddy for holding onto the money for him and wants it back, so he can put it back in the safe before the teens come back. Say what? Why did he give Buddy the money? He certainly had enough time to put it back in the safe himself. Or he could have put it in his desk drawer. Why was Buddy holding on to $1,000?

Anyway, Buddy is “confused”, because he thought he was supposed to give the money to the “real doctor”. Apparently, Buddy had “just” given it to the guy that’s driving away in the taxi. When would this have been? Was Buddy out of Mr. Ernst’s sight for a while after Mr. Ernst handed him the money? Also, who’s in the taxi that Buddy had the gang chase after? Anyway, Mr. Ernst rushes out.

55-36-Buddy-winsBuddy returns the money to the (unlocked) safe and repeats his dad’s proclamation that they’re “so incredibly gullible”.

So ends another day at the Bar None.

This episode was kind of funny, but it makes absolutely no sense and wouldn’t work in the real world. Hmm, I feel like I’ve said that before. Oh, yeah, last week. We’ve now had two episodes in a row featuring dubious deceptions that anyone can see through. I hope this doesn’t become a theme this season.