Day 31 in Bonanza City and production brings the focus back to Taylor. We complained a few weeks ago about all of the airtime devoted to the bratty little beauty queen. Ah, but how boring it was getting with her in the background! Drama is essential for
me to stay awakean exciting show. Production must realize how short my attention span iswhat fans want and they have delivered.
Insane Chicken Posse
Taylor and her crew are hanging out in the chicken coop where she announces that she only likes the brown chickens. She thinks the others are ugly and all ugly chickens should die. “Ugly people can put on makeup and make them pretty,” she declares, “chickens can’t do that.” I’m thinking poultry rights activists might have a problem with that. Meanwhile, Sophia approaches Greg and Blaine and asks them to kill some chickens for a huge feast. It’s been a few weeks since they’ve had fresh meat. They agree to kill ten so everyone can eat. The boys head on over to the coop to start rounding up the birds. Emilie sees them taking some of the pretty brown ones and runs to tell Taylor, Kelsey, and Leila. The girls run over to stop them but Greg tells them he’s picking the ones that would be good to eat. Taylor thinks he’s being bossy like he’s “the president of the world.” She and Emilie try to open the cages to let the chickens go. When that doesn’t work, they physically try to pull Blaine away from the cage. Emilie even takes a swipe at him. Sophia recognizes that as crazy as it sounds, they were fighting because Taylor’s posse had formed friendships with the chickens. She suggests letting the insane chicken posse choose the 10 chickens. Taylor agrees and tells them to leave the pretty red and brown ones and take the ugly fluffy-headed ones. Taylor hugs her brown chicken as Greg decapitates the ones he took. She tells her feathered friend that she’ll be eating her ugly brothers and sisters. She strolls through town shouting, “Ugly chickens deserve to die. We need some animal makeup.” Now might be a good time for this kid to see the on call shrink.
No More Teachers, No More Books
Anjay, Jared, and Alex discuss the numbers of pi, not rounded. Anjay ventures a guess and Alex quickly spouts the correct answer…3.141592653589. Now for the heck of it, I googled and got something much, much longer but hey, that’s still impressive. Alex thinks it’s fun talking about pi. I’d agree if he meant the kind of pie that’s baked in a crust and topped with whipped cream. Jared kills the trivia session and gets strange looks from Anjay when he informs them that there was once extra-terrestrial life in our solar system. Heck, I believe him. I’m starting to think he descended from them.
The town council pays a visit to the chapel to read the journal. It points out that they’ve not had schoolwork while there. Coincidentally (or not), the
producerstown’s original pioneers left behind four books on the history of Bonanza City. How exciting (or not)! DK points out that showdowns usually have something to do with the journal entries. The others agree and decide they should take the books back to the bunkhouses for each district to study. Blaine fears opposition from his district members. He warns them not to come looking for him if he doesn’t come out of his bunk after this.
They announce the news of the study groups to the town and it turns out that Blaine’s concerns were legitimate. Taylor protests learning the history of the town proclaiming that she hates school and she hates reading. Sophie reminds them all that most of the time the showdowns are based on the journal’s suggestions. Sounds like the kids are finally picking up on the scripted themes. Taylor thinks it will be boring.
Districts meet in their bunkhouses to read and study. Alex, the boy genius, reads for the blue district so speedy quick that no one understands him. They have to ask him to do it again and slow down. In the red bunkhouse, Nathan reads while Jared ensures that everyone is paying attention. Sophia helps her green district by suggesting they act out the stories in the book. She learned in school that acting it out helps you remember more and it seems to be working for her group. Rather than join the yellow district, Taylor and Leila hide out in the chicken coop with their chicken friends. Taylor repeats that she doesn’t like school or learning. Leila chimes in that she doesn’t mind school but she just likes the recess part. And it shows. Taylor firmly states that if she doesn’t want to do something, they can’t make her do it. The council tracks them down in the coop and tries to talk them into joining the study group. Taylor defiantly refuses so they threaten to withhold the reward this time. It’s enough to convince Leila and she returns to her bunkhouse. Taylor still refuses saying that she won’t be bossed around by anyone. See, there in the chicken coop, the beauty queen is at the top of the pecking order. The boys assure her that should they win reward, she will have no part of it.
Pop, Pop, Pop
Just as expected, the kids arrive at the showdown and learn they’ll be having a pop quiz based on questions from the history books. Jonathan will ask them a question and three balloons will pop up with answers on them. Using slingshots, the kids must pop all of the incorrect balloons, leaving the correct one. The order in which they answer all three questions determines their status. They must conserve ammo; however, because after each team has correctly answered three questions, the remaining ammo will be placed in a jar. If it is full, they’ll win reward.
Thanks to Sophia’s acting exercise and some sharp shooting, the green district wins upper class. Greg and Migle secure the merchant class for blue. The yellow district finishes next making them the cooks. Red brings up the rear as laborers. Mike used up quite a bit of ammo in the process and everyone is concerned they won’t have enough to fill the jar. In turn, they dump their ammo into the jar and it is full! They win reward. The choices are a town library filled with books or a free arcade filled with video games, air hockey, and a pool table. Taylor hopes they’ll choose the books since she hates reading and can’t participate. Michael pushes for the library but he’s outvoted and they choose the arcade. The kids are over the top. All except Taylor who won’t be allowed to participate. Greg tells her that if she picks up her work, they may reconsider.
Sophia declares that she’s a “30 year old trapped in the body of a 14 year old.” She’s not into the arcade. She feels it’s a rowdy, distracting place so while the rest of her district plays, she builds a library. She purchases the remaining books from the General Store and constructs a teepee as a library to house them. Marian, the librarian, would be proud.
All I Wanna Do Is Have Some Fun
As upper class, the green district has immediate access to the arcade. Others must finish their daily chores before they’re allowed to play. The kids are having a hard time working when the arcade is so close by. DK encourages his red district to just suck it up and get the work done. When he isn’t looking, Mike and Jared slip away and sneak into the arcade. DK pleads with them to return to the job but they ignore him. He finally gives up and leaves them to their games.
Although he’s upper class, Hunter isn’t in the arcade with the others. He’s hauling water and helping out with the chores wherever he can. He carries a picture of his family with him as encouragement. He’s inspired by his father who has instilled in him a good work ethic.
Zach seeks out Taylor in the chicken coop where she’s hanging with her feathered homies. He respectfully requests her help with the dishes that are piling up in the kitchen. Whereas Greg and Blaine’s harsh threats have failed, he thought a softer approach might work. It does and Taylor
with help from the production crew behind the sceneswashes hundreds of dirty dishes that have been stacking up. Her motivation for working is the arcade. She really wants access so she scrubbed the dishes “as hard as she scrubs her hair.” However, I doubt she’d wash her hair in that filthy tub of water. When the council sees the work she’s done, Greg tells her she can enter the arcade if she pinkie swears to keep up the hard work. She liespromises that she will and Greg carries her off to join the fun.
Trouble with a capital ‘T’
Sophia wakes up to find the entire yellow district in the arcade. She isn’t responsible for cooking but is stuck making breakfast for everyone. Frustrated, she marches into the arcade to confront Blaine. He’s right in the middle of a game of pool with Greg. He refuses to join her in the kitchen because he has money on the game. Gambling? I’d say they have trouble. Right there in Bonanza City. With a capital 'T' and that rhymes with 'P' and that stands for 'pool.' And why not? Producers have already condoned drowning sorrows with alcohol and all night
kegrootbeer keg parties. A little gambling can't hurt.
DK shares Sophia’s frustrations with his arcade obsessed townspeople. At the Town Hall meeting, they voice those concerns. DK feels the arcade should be padlocked. Eric suggests the council set up a system to ensure the work is finished before kids are allowed in the arcade. The council agrees. They’ll padlock the doors of the arcade until all of the work is done. In addition, they appoint Sophia as the new town sheriff. Her job is to enforce the new no work-no play policy. She proudly accepts the position declaring, “Clint Eastwood, eat your heart out.”
Time for some golden bling. The council awards the $20,000 gold star to Hunter. He shares with the kids that his dad lost his job last year so he’ll give most of the money to him. His dad is the one who inspires him to do his best and never give up. On the phone with his family, Hunter gives them the good news. Dad jokes that his rent will go up now that his son is banking.
Jared realizes the council has yet to padlock the arcade. He sneaks in for a few games and no one is the wiser. Taylor and Leila are back in the chicken coop as Taylor cuddles a chicken. Leila looks disgusted as she says the chicken stinks. Taylor denies it and Leila responds with probably the funniest line of the season…“Either it’s your breath or it’s that chicken.” I didn’t know Leila had a sense of humor.
Next week, tune in to see what happens with Sheriff Sophia in charge.
PM me if you know which musical I referenced. It’s one of my favorites!