Friday, December 27, 2013

Season 1, Episode 22: Vaudeville Vicki

One of my other favorite shows in the 80s was Mama’s Family.  That means I was really excited for the episode of Mama’s Family that Dick Christie was in, but I was super freaking excited for the episode of Small Wonder with Ken Berry.  This is the Ken Berry episode.  Also, two more episodes after this one before I get to the better seasons!

This episode starts with Vicki’s panel flickering and making noises like she drank another milkshake, only more static-y.  Ted looks worried as he stabs at her with a screwdriver.  Joan says that she needs Vicki, but Ted says he’s fixing her because she’s receiving interference on her voice circuits.  Also, Vicki is in her old pinafore.  Just worth noting.  Anyway, Ted tells Vicki to talk and he’ll adjust while she’s doing that, and you know we’re in for fun with the soundboard.  Vicki’s voice goes low and high until it evens out.  It was semi-entertaining.  Joan then immediately asks Vicki to polish the coffee table.  Then Joan asks if Ted fixed the end table, and he says he and Vicki did it together and it’s solid as a rock and hits the table.  He asks for confirmation from Vicki, and guys… this is the most horrible set up I have ever seen.  Look at this.

You can see the areas where the table is already ready to break.  That is like cartoon crap where you can see where characters are about to interact with the scenery because it’s a different color than everything else.  Sure enough, the table falls right apart when Vicki hits it.  Joan wants to know why Ted made Vicki so strong, and he stutters before asking Vicki to take the pieces into the kitchen.  Jamie comes home, sees the broken table, and knows Vicki did it.  Then he complains about school – the school is putting on a show for new gym equipment, and he got cast as Romeo in Romeo and Juliet, and Harriet is Juliet.

Bonnie and Harriet come over and Jamie tries to slam the door in their face, but Joan actually manages to catch it this time.  I love how much Jamie hates Harriet.  It’s how I know he really loves her.  Bonnie wants to take a picture of the kids to put in the newspaper, hoping the publicity will really help the show.  Bonnie is an active mom in the community – why are the Brindles so vilified again?  Oh, yeah, that Brindle Swindle.  While Jamie and Harriet are posing, Vicki looks on curiously, as if she’s wondering why she’s not special.  Poor Vicki.  Anyway, she accidentally photobombs them.

Later, in the kitchen, Jamie and Harriet are rehearsing and Vicki is looking at the script, so obviously she’s helping them.  Vicki mouths the words as Harriet says them, and I think poor Vicki wants to play along.  Joan enters the kitchen from outside and offers to make the kids a snack.  Ted comes home to show the kids their picture in the newspaper and Harriet runs off to show the paper to her mother.  Jamie decides to borrow Vicki and practice in his room while Harriet is gone, preferring Vicki as Juliet.  I know she’s only his adopted sister, and a robot, but dude.  Once the kids are out of the room, Ted makes a sex joke.  Because of course he does.  The doorbell chooses that moment to ring because Ted and Joan always get interrupted.  Laws of Small Wonder.

Buddy O’Connor is the guy ringing the doorbell, and he turns out to be important because he thinks Vicki is his daughter.  He has a picture that looks like Vicki at a younger age, and the Lawsons try to explain how they know Vicki isn’t his daughter Mary without revealing she’s a robot.  They’re not very successful.  His ex-wife put his daughter up for adoption a year prior and he just wants to see her before he goes to Hong Kong for a gig.  Ted and Joan go into the kitchen to discuss what to do, and Ted reveals he used a picture from a modeling agency to make up Vicki’s appearance, and it might have been Mary.  Ted is more afraid that it’ll come out Vicki is a robot and they forged documents to get through her adoption, so he decides to just let the guy see her.  Oh, now you realize forging documents is illegal whether it’s for a human or a robot.  Because you seemed pretty well convinced it wasn’t when you were doing it!

Ted and Joan tell Buddy he can see Vicki and they call her into the room and introduce the two.  Vicki nearly crushes Buddy’s hand in a handshake, and when he asks about her voice, Ted says she has laryngitis.  Laryngitis is an acceptable go to.  No, I won’t get ahead of myself.  You’ll see in two episodes.  Anyway, we learn that Vicki can tap dance.

Bonnie comes over to show off the newspaper that Ted bought in the first place, and they introduce Bonnie and Buddy O’Connor.  Bonnie reveals that one of the acts have canceled, and Buddy reveals he’s in show business.  Bonnie uses the Brindle Swindle, and it actually fails.  But when Buddy learns that an agent will be in the audience, he changes his mind.  Buddy wants to put Vicki in the act, and while reluctant, the Lawsons accidentally agree.

They show Vicki and Buddy rehearsing their bit and they’re adorable, but Buddy isn’t funny.  After rehearsal, they kick Jamie and Vicki out of the room.  Buddy reveals that he wants Vicki to be part of the act and that since he never agreed to any adoption he will make trouble if they won’t let her.  Ted decides the really easy fix is to program Vicki to sabotage Buddy’s act, and it’s the smartest thing Ted has ever come up with.

At the show, Jamie and Harriet do the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, and they both take a bunch of creative liberties with Shakespeare.  Immediately after is Buddy and Vicki because of course it is.  Vicki looks adorable in her red striped uniform.  Vicki steals all the punch lines, just like Ted programmed her to, and Buddy is upset by it.  The agent likes Vicki, but the Lawsons don’t want Vicki in show business.  Buddy tries to override the Lawsons’ decision, but the agent reveals he only wants Vicki, not Buddy, so Buddy lets the whole thing drop.  Before leaving forever, though, he does ask them to take care of the kid, so even though he was selfish he does care somewhat.  The whole thing ends with Harriet Brindle Swindling a kiss from Jamie!  It’s pretty awesome.

Firsts: Vicki’s identity is mistaken, Jamie kisses Harriet

Friday, December 20, 2013

Season 1, Episode 21: The Reluctant Halfback

Jamie hates football this week.  That’s really all the pre-show thing I have to say.  I mean, there was an entire episode already dedicated to how much he loves football, but there’s also episodes where Ted and Vicki are nice to each other.  Syndicated sitcoms have no rules.

This episode starts as many episodes do, with Vicki and Joan cooking in the kitchen.  I really can’t wait until season 2.  Hot damn, only three more episodes to go after this one!  Joan asks Vicki to see if the water is boiling, and Vicki uses her finger and whistles like a teapot.  I mean, I get that Vicki is short, being 10 and all, but tiptoes and looking into the pot for bubbles would have told her the same thing.  You don’t need fancy tools to see if water is boiling.  It tells you.  Anyway, Joan asks Vicki to throw out the garbage, and passive aggressive Vicki literally throws the garbage can outside.  When Joan admits she made a mistake in the request and asks Vicki to clean it up, Vicki is all like, “Women!  They can’t make up their mind!”  That one is a real, direct quote.  Misogyny is still strong with this show.  Joan wants to know where Vicki learned that and she’s like, “The alpha male.”  Fucking Ted.

Jamie and Ted enter the kitchen and Jamie announces that he’ll be home late from school because he’s going to the tryouts for the Pee Wee league football team.  Ted is immediately proud because alpha males play football and he starts to regale Jamie with tales of his own days.  I would hate to burst Ted’s bubble here (no I wouldn’t), but I used to be my cousin’s favorite football player, and I’m a girl.  I’m a kicker, though.  Ted wants to know if Jamie will be a quarterback like him, and Jamie says he’ll be a spectator like his mom – he just wants to be supportive of Reggie, who’s trying out.  Dammit, sometimes Jamie really is a good friend.  Joan is happy that Jamie isn’t going to play because of how violent the sport is, and the mention of violence brings out sociopath Ted for a second.  Ted swears football isn’t that bad, and when Joan wants to know one good thing, he mentions the short skirts on the cheerleaders.  Um, we were talking about little kid football, right?  Like, that’s disturbing.

Ted wants to know why Jamie isn’t trying out, and Jamie says he isn’t into football this week.  Ted emotionally blackmails Jamie into trying out.  I wish that was an exaggeration.  He literally basically says Jamie will try out, or he doesn’t love Ted anymore.  Jamie obviously agrees.

Joan and Vicki are watching soap operas, and when Joan decides that soap operas are a waste of time, she comments it might be better to get rid of the TV set.  So, Vicki decides to help her out and literally throws out the TV set.  Ted comes home and wants to know what happened, and Vicki says Joan has to watch what she says in front of her.  Ted shrugs it off and is like, “We should get a new one anyway.”  Then Ted gives Vicki a football… this will end well.  He tells her how to grip it and tells her to make like she’s throwing it.  In his defense, he didn’t tell her to throw it.  Vicki throws it through the window anyway.  Joan quips they needed a new one anyway.  Hey, Joan, I hate to side with Ted, but he didn’t actually tell her to throw it – you did say it would be better to get rid of the TV set.  One of you is more wrong and it’s sadly not the alpha male.

Jamie comes home with the football and TV antennae, confused, and he gets a one word explanation: “Vicki.”  He accepts this.  Life with a robot must become monotonous after nearly a year.  Ted asks Jamie how try outs went and Jamie starts off with how he can’t throw for shit.  That’s a great way to start.  Ted’s like, “Whatever, you’ll get over it, let’s practice.”  Jamie’s like, “Dude, I don’t even want to try out” and Ted’s like, “We’re practicing, let’s go.”

Ted sets up a tire for Jamie to practice throwing the football through, but Ted can’t even do it.  Ted says his throw is rusty because it’s been 10 or 12 years since he was a quarterback in high school, and Vicki immediately calls him out on the mathematical impossibility of that claim.  Jamie’s like, “I might not be quarterback material” and Ted’s like, “I didn’t raise a loser, just get better.”  Then Harriet comes over in a cheerleading uniform – she was inspired to become one after she heard Jamie was trying out for the football team.  Harriet made up a cheer for Jamie, but it’s about Jamie’s name.  She only has the “give me a J” part, though, because she doesn’t know how to spell Jamie.  That would be more valid if he was a girl, but, whatever.

Jamie doesn’t make the team, and the Coach tries to give him a pep talk.  Reggie makes the team, expresses pity for Jamie not making the team, and then brags about his touchdown victory dance.  Jamie’s afraid to go home because he doesn’t want to tell Ted he didn’t make the football team.  Reggie actually is a good friend and tries to comfort Jamie.

Ted and Vicki are playing football and Ted still sucks.  Vicki calls him out on it, and Ted says when he wants Vicki’s opinion, he’ll give her one.  He actually said that.  Then he tells Vicki to show him she can do better, and she does and breaks the garage door.  Taking a cue from her parents, she decides they needed a new one anyway.  Pointless running gags are pointless.  Jamie comes home and wants to know what happened to the garage door and Ted takes credit, claiming he forgot his own strength.  Vicki calls him out on the bullshit but doesn’t correct him in front of Jamie.  Ted somehow jumps to the conclusion that Jamie made the team as a first string quarterback, and Jamie doesn’t correct him.  But Jamie does tell Vicki the truth, but asks her not to tell.  She agrees.

Harriet comes back over and says she worked on Jamie’s cheer and she can spell his whole name now, and oh, yeah, she knows he got cut from the football team.  Jamie wants to know how she found out, and Harriet says she went to cheer for him and they told her.  Harriet is upset that she learned a cheer that she can’t use, but realizes her problem is nothing compared to the fact Jamie hasn’t told Ted yet.  Jamie wants to know how Harriet knows that, and she’s like, “Really?  Did we just meet yesterday?”  Harriet is so self-aware.  Jamie realizes Harriet overheard it, and Harriet blackmails Jamie into taking her on a movie date.

Joan asks Vicki to separate the laundry into two piles so Vicki starts ripping it in half.  Joan gets frustrated with herself, but I’m concerned she has a brain tumor.  How long has she been living with a robot and she’s made this many mistakes?  Joan asks Jamie about football practice, and he honestly says they never lay a hand on him.  Then he walks past Ted, who’s coming up with plays for Jamie.  Ted’s more excited about the football game on Saturday, and Jamie tries to convince Ted to not go to the game.  Ted’s too excited and proves he doesn’t actually care about Jamie’s feelings.

After Friday practice, Reggie asks Jamie what he’s going to do when his dad finds out that he’s not going to play, and Jamie says he’s going to fake a sprained ankle.  As he practices it, Reggie reminds him it’s more convincing to limp on the same foot.  This scene feels like filler because it was super short.

Back home, Joan asks Vicki to dust some things in her room.  She’s actually kind of specific in her wording this time.  Vicki complies, and Joan says that having a robot in the family makes things easier.  Vicki says “Easier for you, not for me,” and my heart breaks.  Joan is slowly becoming one of the slave drivers, and poor Vicki knows it.  Don’t mistreat your robot children, y’all.  If they’re programmed to be a ten year old, they kind of know ten year olds aren’t supposed to be slaves.  Ted comes home with a newspaper and notices that Jamie’s name isn’t on the roster and he decides he’s going to go to the school to have a chat with the coach.  Jamie comes home with his fake limp, but upon finding out Ted went to talk to the coach, he runs to try to catch up to him.  Joan calls out Jamie on his limp being gone, and he’s all, “It’s a miracle!”

Probably because he owns a car, Ted clearly makes it to the school before Jamie.  He asks the coach why Jamie wasn’t on the roster, and the coach is like, “He’s not on the team, dude.”  That’s when Jamie gets to the school, which makes him one hella fast runner.  He should be on the track team.  Ted tells Jamie it’s okay he didn’t make the team, and Ted admits he’s ashamed with himself and that he was trying to live vicariously through Jamie.  Ted wasn’t on the football team in high school and he only played for two minutes in one game.  Jamie says that actually makes him feel better because like father, like son.  The end.

Firsts: Jamie hates football, Jamie agrees to go on a date with Harriet

Friday, December 13, 2013

Season 1, Episode 20: Ted's Lay Off

Okay, this one is another really clearly mislabeled episode.  It has the name of the episode where the healthy person Ted knew died from a heart attack, but this one is about a corporate takeover.  This is why I use a different list for the episode names.  It has to be somewhat more accurate.  Oh, and good news everybody!  This is episode 20!  The first season has 24 episodes… that means we are so, so close to when I give myself a slight break between seasons and post the rules to the Small Wonder drinking game.  Get those livers ready!

Jamie comes downstairs wearing bizarre fake ears and what looks like those X-ray specs you get from the back of comic books?  Anyway, he makes Vicki come down and then tells her to wear Groucho Marx glasses.  They’re going to play some prank on his parents or something?  Jamie is bad at pranks, noted.  The kids go into the kitchen for breakfast, and upon seeing the kids, Joan puts on some glasses with the eyes that bug out on springs.  She wears those in the theme song after this season for… forever.

Anyway, the kids have a laugh as Ted enters the kitchen and tells the kids they look weird, and then compliments Joan.  Ted talks about how a soft drink company wants to buy United Robotronics, and Joan asks what we’re all thinking – why?  Ted says something that involves the words “diversification”, “bankrupt”, “government loan”, and “make a fortune,” and guys, I think he was explaining our current economic crisis.  Queue Joan’s catchphrase: “That makes sense.”  Jamie asks if Ted’s job will be affected, and Ted’s like, “I don’t think so.”  Of course, Jamie’s Jamie and that wasn’t his actual concern – he wanted to con a bike out of his dad.  He’s told to earn the money the old fashioned way.

Jamie decides to have a garage sale to buy the bike, and Joan donates a lot of things for the cause.  Ted comes home and tries to convince Joan to save a brown sweater of his – probably to fill precious seconds of time.  Brandon comes over soon after and says it’s great that they’re having a garage sale because he forgot to tell Ted at work, but Ted’s fired.  The takeover is going to cut down Ted’s department, and since Brandon is in charge, he’s throwing Ted to the dogs.  Brandon’s a great friend.  Ted isn’t actually that worried about losing his job.

They cut to the garage sale and the kids aren’t having luck selling anything.  Crazy thing: Vicki talks in a human voice for one line when she isn’t mimicking anyone.  Small taste of Vanessa.  Jamie wants to give the money to his dad instead of buying the bike, and he’s concerned that his dad will be a homeless wino without a job.  Jamie didn’t follow that logic train all the way back to the station and realize they’d all be homeless, but I digress.  And seriously, why was there always concern about what would happen if Ted lost his job?  He invented Vicki.  I’m sure he could have had an early tech start up in the Silicon Valley and been fine.

Harriet comes over and Jamie tries to sell her skates for $8.  Harriet bargains down to $2, and Harriet points out Jamie’s charging too much and that’s why nothing is selling.  When Jamie reminds Harriet he has reason to be concerned about money, Harriet tells Jamie she’s going to help him save Ted’s job.  Harriet is a saint, sometimes.  Except her plan is for Jamie to marry her, and Jamie says he’d rather kill himself.  Sometimes this show is too wacky for its own good.  Jamie decides to actually get a job.  Jamie says someone in town has to be looking for a bright, energetic 11-year-old, and Vicki takes the opportunity to bust his chops.  I love my snarky robot.

Brandon comes over while Joan is alone in the kitchen to pity the Lawsons and show off his new expensive suit.  He’s just the greatest friend in the world.  He also mentions that the store in the mall where he bought his “expensive” suit is hiring.  Dude, that suit is stupid cheap.  It’s not even tailor made!  Brandon thought Joan would like to know so she could apply and bring some money into the household, and Joan so very nearly cold clocks him in the back of the head.  I normally have feelings for Brandon, but he’s super laying on the sleaze this episode.

Ted comes home and he… he is wearing a nice suit.  Take lessons, Brindle.  It’s not tailor made, either, but it’s not gaudy!  Basic black is where it’s at.  Anyway, Ted is just beaming with happiness, so you know this is going to be good.  Brandon accuses Ted of being drunk, but Ted decides he’s going to trump Brandon in the good friend wars and says that the president of the company informed him that Ted’s not losing his job, and he’s going to be in charge of the department.  He then threatens Brandon’s job in the kitchen, but Brandon bolts before Ted can even say anything.  Ted says he’s not going to really fire Brandon, but he wants to leave him dangling.

Well, nobody told Jamie the good news and he’s out looking for a job with Vicki.  They go to a car lot, and the salesman automatically assumes they’re trying to buy and while it’s illegal to sell to minors, he can be convinced by how good their fake ID looks.  I’m not even making this up.  Whoever wrote this episode must associate with pure sleazeballs because… just so much sleaze in one episode.  Sidebar: even the creepy car salesman dresses better than Brandon Brindle.  Jamie reveals he just wants to wash the cars, and the guy agrees to hire them at $0.50 a car.  While they’re washing the cars, a guy comes to buy a car and Vicki tries to help out and ends up breaking a Beetle.  The kids try to take off before they get caught.  I mean, they do get caught, but there’s nothing the guy can do about it.

At dinner, Harriet comes over in dirty rags so she can sell her dolls in the Lawson’s garage sale.  Harriet sells the sob story, and mid-way through it she borrows Bonnie’s catchphrase.  We also notice that Brandon scripted Harriet’s sob story.  I just love that he’s trying to Brindle Swindle his way out of being fired when he was just such a heartless asshole when the shoe was on the other foot.  Ted reveals Brandon isn’t fired yet, and Brandon starts groveling.  That’s a weird reaction to not being fired yet.  Joan ruins the punchline, and Brandon is grateful that Ted isn’t going to fire him.  Brandon is so happy that he says he’s taking the Lawsons out to dinner – and he’s actually going to pay.  Unfortunately, the takeover falls through, and status quo is restored.  He still agrees to go out to dinner, but uses the Brindle Swindle to make the Lawsons pay while he picks up parking.

Jamie comes home and reveals he went to get a job, and Ted is like, “I didn’t lose my job.”  Vicki’s just happy that the family won’t be laying in the gutter with winos.  They actually do that for an episode.  It’s awesome.  Anyway, episode over.  It didn’t feel cohesive, like scenes were added just for the sake of being added and the whole thing could have been a 5 minute minisode.  If Fox ever gets in the business of doing minisodes, they should start with this episode.

Firsts: Brandon offers to pay for something

Friday, December 6, 2013

Season 1, Episode 19: The Birds, the Bees, and Robots

(Because of mis-labeling, I originally thought this episode was The Company Takeover, which you need to know for the first paragraph to make sense.)

I am so confused right now.  So the 19th produced episode is a half hour sex joke – but it’s not the next episode.  Or the one after that.  They hid it somewhere.  This one is about some company takeover, and is the 20th episode produced.  Anyway, whatever, let’s get to this out of order episode that’s confusing me.

Vicki, Reggie, and Jamie are waiting for the other club members to show up at the clubhouse.  Jamie asks if Reggie told the others, and he said he stuck a note in their lockers that said 4 o’clock sharp.  Then Jamie asks if Reggie specified that day, and Reggie facepalms and is like, “I knew I forgot something!”  Look, unless Reggie specifically said next Thursday or something like that, the other club members are pretty stupid if they couldn’t infer he meant that day.  Jamie has Vicki read the minutes and now I’m confused about an episode ago when Harriet became the only girl member for painting the clubhouse, but then I remembered Vicki beat up a bully and continuity on this show sucks.  Vicki reads the minutes of the last meeting, which was cut short by everyone running away when they didn’t want to pay their dues.  You know, I would start using Vicki as muscle because not paying agreed upon dues is bullshit.

Reggie has to leave early and reveals his mother is pregnant, and you know what, I was right the first time.  This is the half hour sex joke episode.  Why the hell are they titled wrong?  This is why I haven’t been using videos to tell me episode titles.  Anyway, Vicki tells Jamie she knows how babies are made and she comes up with this story that involves bees and a stork.  It would be adorable if it weren’t a blatant misuse of technology.  It turns out Ted told Vicki that, and Jamie and Reggie are afraid that Ted really believes it and Jamie figures he should give his dad the talk.  Um, Jamie, you’re not an adopted android.  I think he figured it out.

Harriet comes over and the boys take off, leaving Harriet and Vicki.  Vicki and Harriet start talking about babies, and women’s lib Harriet isn’t allowed to say pregnant.  What the fuck fucked up morals are they teaching at the Brindles household?  They have some things right.  Fucked up things can happen to kids and it’s better to investigate and be wrong.  Women have rights.  But not being able to say pregnant?  It’s 1986, not 1956.  Anyway, Vicki assures Harriet you can’t get pregnant from talking and then proceeds to tell her the bee and stork story.  I’m aware it’s a birds and bees story, but I don’t want to say it.  Harriet likes Vicki’s story better than the one where the girl at school told her you get pregnant from kissing.  Vicki points out Joan and Ted kiss all the time and Joan isn’t pregnant.  Joan and Ted have sex all the time and Joan isn’t pregnant.  Birth control, people.

I’m taking a sidebar.  I can’t ever remember not knowing where babies come from.  I’m less than three years older than my youngest brother.  In fact, my mom had just had one baby just weeks before the series came out, and was pregnant at the time this episode came out.   I didn’t know about sex, but I knew the stork was bullshit and that mom and dad were both involved.  I even knew about birth control pretty young, as I told my kindergarten class that my mom took a pill because she didn’t want any more babies.  I was four and a half and precious.  Anyway, back to the episode.

Joan teaches Vicki to knit in the kitchen.  I’m sure there’s a reason, but I don’t know what it is.  Ted comes home and kisses Joan and Vicki immediately says, “You can’t get pregnant that way.”  Ted questions if Vicki has been watching Dr. Ruth.  God, please, yes.  If you can’t be honest with your kids, let them watch Dr. Ruth.  Dr. Ruth was in my sex ed video when I was 11 and I love her.  I’m digressing.  Ted reveals he wants to move because Brandon is an insufferable boss.  Then he randomly licks from a pot, and it turns out Joan is dying clothes in there.  He deserves that.  Joan asks Ted why he doesn’t find a way to stand up to Brandon, and Vicki pretty much calls Ted a dumbass.  Then Ted sends Vicki to her cabinet and she seriously says, “Go to my cabinet, go to my cabinet, that’s what you always say when you can’t think of something better.”  Holy shit, my smartass Vicki is back!  I missed her, y’all.  Once Vicki’s out of the room, Ted thinks it’s time to spank Vicki.  Good luck not breaking your hand.

Brandon comes over to bitch about Vicki telling Harriet about where babies come from, and it’s clear he’s super repressed.  He has to spell out the word sex.  Like, fuck, how did he have Harriet?  Brandon does say he’s going to do the responsible thing and tell Harriet about sex, but he’s super upset that he has to have this talk while she’s 8.  Again, I knew about birth control when I was 4 and a half, and you can’t pull different times bullshit because it was still the 80s.  When Brandon leaves, Joan is concerned about where Vicki learned bad sex lessons from, and Ted has to own up about it being him.  Joan is like, “How did you even have Jamie?” and Ted clarified that as a ten year old kid, Vicki should know something, so he programmed her with what he thought when he was ten.  When you think of it that way, it’s not so bad… but dammit, you still have to tell her the truth at some point.

Jamie enters and tells Ted that they have to talk and they go into the living room.  Jamie puts his dad on the spot and asks him where babies come from, and Ted freaks out and goes with the bee and stork story.  Oh, Jamie, please.  Please tell your father where babies really come from.  He deserves it at this point.  Ted rushes off, and Jamie even wonders how the hell they had Jamie.  Ted confesses to Joan he told Jamie the same thing he told Vicki and Joan was like, “stop it.”  Then she told him to go pick up a book from the library so that he can tell the kids about sex and keep it age appropriate.

Jamie and Reggie are talking in the clubhouse, and Jamie informs Reggie that Ted really is an idiot.  Reggie comforts Jamie by saying that Ted is probably so old he simply forgot where babies come from.  Reggie is a true friend.  Jamie’s worried that Ted won’t believe an 11 year old when he tells him the truth.  Reggie says he has books about this kind of thing, and Jamie guesses Playboy and Penthouse.  Oh, I laughed, but my soul died with that joke.  I knew about where babies came from when I was little, but I was so ignorant about porn when I was 11.  Reggie was like, “No, I have good parents.”  It turns out Reggie has an older brother that told him how it all works anyway.  Then Jamie comes up with a plan to program Vicki with the truth so she can tell Ted, but he’s an idiot and actually uses the word program.  Multiple times.  In front of Reggie.  Reggie asks about it, and Jamie uses the whole “Vicki’s into computer stuff” excuse.  That excuse is super lame to begin with, but it’s worse when she’s not even there.  Either way, Reggie supports Jamie’s decision.

Ted comes home and is super pissed at Brandon, who moved him from a nice office to one smaller than a closet.  Then they discuss the books from the library, and Ted is still amazed.  One of the books was a pop-up book and it surprised him, so he screamed and they kicked him out of the library.  Pop-up sex book for kids.  Please, I want this to be real.  Then Ted decides to write an angry letter to Brandon.  Sidebar: what grown up adult person writes a letter to someone else in pencil?  Ink that shit up.

Vicki is knitting socks that are for Ted, but the one Vicki finished is super large.  Ted comes home from work and says he mailed the letter to Brandon, but wishes he could take it back because they’re re-decorating his real office as a fifth anniversary surprise.  There wasn’t enough wackiness with the half hour sex joke, they had to throw this in, too?  A lot of episodes have nothing in them, and this one is jam packed full of stupid.  Ted wants to get the letter out of the box, but fast, and Vicki, trying to be a good daughter for once, steals the mailbox.  The letter was already picked up.

Jamie frees Vicki from her cabinet and says they have a lot of work to do, but Jamie starts off by demanding Vicki clean his room and pick up his clothes.  Vicki says no, and Jamie is like, “Robot bitch, do we have to have this slave master talk again?” and Vicki is like, “Mom loves me so she told me to tell you to fuck off.”  I super love Joan.  Jamie gives up on that and teaches Vicki where babies come from so that she can tell Ted the truth.

The mail comes, and Ted figures that Brandon got the letter.  Brandon did get the letter, but Ted forgot to sign it, so while Brandon is super pissed, he doesn’t know it’s from Ted.  Brandon asks Ted if he knows who wrote the letter, and Ted blows him off and rips up the letter.  Ted got really lucky, and that bullshit storyline is tied up nicely.

Vicki tells Ted she has to have talk and she drags him into the living room.  Vicki says he has to learn where babies come from and she whispers it into his ear.  Ted threatens to erase it from Vicki’s memory banks, and Ted knows she learned it from Jamie.  Ted knows he doesn’t have a talk with Jamie after that.  Harriet comes over to tell Vicki the real facts of life, but Vicki is like, “I’m set for life.”  Then the end freeze frame is just so super creepy.  Like, you have to see for yourself.  I don’t understand who makes that kind of a decision.

Firsts: everyone learns the facts of life