Monday, January 18, 2016

Season 2, Episode 14: Victor Vickitoria

Once again, I owe you screencaps. They're coming.

I have an insane soft spot for this episode and “Wham Bam Bodyslam.” Let’s get that piece of information out of the way. When Small Wonder stopped airing on affiliates, they were the only two episodes I had on VHS. I watched the heck out of them. And I’m risking childhood memories for your entertainment. That’s okay. I’ve seen the episodes so many times, that I’ve probably already snarked on them at least a little. Let’s do it. Let’s harden my soft spot.

We start with Vicki and Jamie on the couch, watching a baseball game. Jamie is tossing a ball into his mitt as he watches, and I mean, my brother is a hardcore Atlanta Braves fan and I have never in my life seen him watch a game like that. Sure, he’d make us play catch after or something, but during the game he was focused on the game. The pitcher in the game strikes someone out, and Jamie asks Vicki if she saw that. She’s sitting next to you. Of course she saw that. Vicki responds by saying she can throw a fastball like that, and without hesitation takes Jamie’s ball and throws it through the kitchen door. That wacky robot!

Jamie is sure Ted will kill them when Harriet rings the front door bell and announces herself. I have many questions. How does Harriet always know what room Jamie is in? Why is she announcing herself when she usually doesn’t? Is Harriet actually a robot? Wait, no, Brandon’s not that smart. Anyway, Jamie makes Vicki answer the door while he retrieves the ball. Harriet wants to know if Jamie can come out and play, but he says he’s busy, so Harriet decides to come in and play. Jamie does not seem satisfied with these results. Okay, I didn’t mention Jamie turned off the TV before because I didn’t think it was worth mentioning, but then he turns it back on when he comes back in from the kitchen. Why, Jamie? What was the point?

Jamie’s back to watching the game, and Harriet seems disappointed. Jamie points out he’s the catcher for his team, and since they start practice soon, he needs to watch the games for pointers. I’m sure how that works. I mean, Vicki totally nailed pitching from watching the game. But then again, she’s a robot. Harriet, ever the good future wife, decides she needs to take an interest in her man’s interests. Jamie asks Harriet to sit somwhere else, and she moves to the other side of him. Harriet is adorable. Harriet asks Jamie to teach her about baseball, and he gets an evil look on his face. Why do you resist your love, Jamie Lawson? Jamie turns off the TV again, and the kicks Harriet out of the house. Jamie is an awful future husband.

Ted and Joan come downstairs, and I don’t even want to question why it took them so long to come down. It’s Small Wonder. I know. Ted has bats and a mitt, and once they’re in the living room Ted tells Joan she looks like a pack of bubblegum. Didn’t you see what she was wearing upstairs? How is this the time to point it out? Also, dude, you know Joan hits. Joan tells Ted to chew on it. I love her. Ted asks if Jamie’s ready to practice, and Jamie couldn’t be any more excited. He says Reggie is going to meet them.

Joan notices the door, which actually takes a really long time for her to notice. It’s like she was looking everywhere but the door just long enough for Ted and Jamie to exchange dialog. Ted demands answers. Jamie says Vicki did it, but it’s just as much his fault. How, Jamie? All you did was ask her if she saw the strike out. All the rest was Vicki. Also, what have you done with Jamie Lawson? Joan and Ted forgive it pretty easily, with Ted reminding Jamie to be careful with what he tells Vicki. Oh my gosh, a fair punishment in the Lawson home. I’m in awe. Ted says that Vicki is going to go, too, so she can learn about baseball. Vicki says she knows about baseball and kicks Ted out the way Jamie did with Harriet. I love Vicki so much.

The Lawsons show up to the baseball field and Reggie is already there. Ted says if the boys play really hard, maybe their team will make it to the championships. Ted just pushed the exposition button. Apparently, the team is so bad, they came in last place and their sponsor quit on them - they don’t even have uniforms. Joan suggests Ted ask his company because United Robotronics sponsors lots of youth projects. Ted says that’s a good idea and then gets the boys practicing without even taking a breath. But it took Joan the better part of a minute to notice a hole in the door. Pacing, guys. Pacing.

Oh my gosh, Vicki and Ted have a stare down that Joan has to break up because Vicki called Ted out on doing a bad impersonation. I love these two. Joan decides she wants to play, and Ted conveniently has another glove for her. He tells her to go out into the outfield and she wonders if the glove goes on her hand. Come on, Joan. Nobody is that sport stupid. Ted tells Vicki to stand out of the way. Then he pitches to Reggie and throws his back out. Vicki makes fun of Ted. I love her. Joan takes Ted home and she tells the kids to be back by dinner time. Yep, that’s right, they left Vicki, too. This is going to be good. On the way out, Ted’s head bumps into the chainlink fence, and I actually laughed out loud at that. That was a fun gag.

Reggie asks what he and Jamie will do with no one to pitch to them, and Jamie suggests that Vicki can do it. Reggie doesn’t believe a girl can pitch, but Jamie doesn’t think they have anything to lose. Reggie thinks it’s a waste of time, but Jamie tells Vicki to repeat the pitch she saw on TV that morning. Vicki pitches so fast, Jamie is thrown back when he catches it. Then Jamie tells Vicki to throw a slow ball. It moves impossibly slow. Then Jamie asks for a curveball, and the ball swerves all over the place. Reggie keeps swinging to try to hit it, but the first time it was over his head. Dude, that’s clearly a ball and you have to let it go. Reggie is impressed with Vicki’s pitching skill.

Meanwhile, in the Lawson kitchen, Ted is in a lot of pain. Joan suggests that Ted’s involvement with Jamie’s baseball team should be limited to finding the team a sponsor. Ted agrees and decides to call his company’s president. Joan asks if that’s a good idea to do while he’s at home on a Sunday, but Ted says he’s in close with the guy. Oh, I’m going to say you’re not just because you’re not Brandon’s boss. They really overexaggerate how much pain Ted is in with his every movement and it really annoys me. If he’s in that much pain, go to the doctor. Ted makes the call, but the United Robotronics president makes Ted repeat that he will never, ever call him at home on a Sunday ever again. Joan calls Ted out on it, and Ted just has to accept he overinflated some things.

In the backyard, Jamie, Reggie, and Vicki are returning from the baseball field. Reggie is still impressed with Vicki’s skill. Reggie wishes that they had a pitcher like Vicki, and I can see this episode being set up nicely. Jamie decides Vicki should pitch for them, but Reggie points out Coach Simpson won’t let girls on the team. Jamie then says Coach Simpson doesn’t know Vicki is a girl. Reggie thinks that’s a dumb idea, but after Jamie points out that they don’t have a chance without her, Reggie wants to know how they’ll convince Coach that Vicki is a boy. Then we go to commercial break. They don’t even do that fake whisper plan thing. It’s awkward.

In the kitchen, Ted is going through the Yellow Pages, trying to find a sponsor for Jamie’s team. He’s down to Wally’s Delicatessen, who can’t sponsor the team but will donate a chop liver baseball and kosher pickle bat for opening day. I would say not bad, but really - chopped liver? There’s a knock at the backdoor, and it turns out to be Reggie. I seriously want to know how everyone knows which room the Lawsons happen to be in. Joan sends Reggie up to Jamie’s room.

Wow, it takes Reggie less than a second to get up to Jamie’s room. Did he teleport? Anyway, Jamie comes out of the bathroom right when Reggie materializes in Jamie’s room, so the timing is perfect. Reggie wants to know why Jamie called Reggie and told him to hurry over. I want to know how Jamie called Reggie. Ted’s on the phone looking for sponsors in the Yellow Pages and he’s down to the Ws. It’s 1986, so it’s not like Jamie texted Reggie. I need answers. Jamie has dressed Vicki up in his baseball clothes and I mean, she’s still obviously a girl, but okay, let’s go along with the episode. Reggie decides while Vicki is just standing their that they need to work on Vicki’s walk, but in teaching Vicki how to walk like a boy, Jamie and Reggie seem to forget themselves. Reggie then tries to teach Vicki how to talk like a jock, and then Reggie smacks Jamie on the butt. Vicki questions that, but Jamie’s like, “It’s a jock thing.” That has always been weird to me. What is the point of the butt smack? I know that’s not on Small Wonder, but it’s still on my list of important questions. Then they teach Vicki how to pick up girls, because I’m sure that’s going to come up in a game of baseball. Guys, how far are you trying to take this charade?

Harriet pops up in the window, and she somehow thinks Vicki is a cute boy. Then Vicki hits on Harriet, and Harriet tells Jamie that she’s going to leave him for “Victor.” That’s how femslash fiction gets started, guys. What is happening in this episode? Jamie closes the shade on Harriet, but Harriet makes sure to say bye to “Victor.” Jamie is pleased that Harriet is fooled, because they can fool anyone. Jamie makes sure he and Reggie is in this scam together, but as soon as Ted and Joan come up to Jamie’s room, Reggie bolts.

Ted demands to know why Vicki is dressed like a boy. Then Vicki hits on Joan. That’s your mother, Vicki. Jamie owns up to trying to use Vicki to help the team win the championship, but Joan and Ted are quick to point out that’s cheating. This was when, as a kid, I wondered how it was fair to try to raise a robot like a kid knowing that it couldn’t really do anything like a kid. No wonder Vicki’s always getting attitude with Ted. Jamie does not agree with his parents.

Jamie takes Vicki to tryouts anyway. Hey, it’s the same coach that cut Jamie from the football team! So I guess there’s only one coach in this town. Vicki smacks the coach on the butt. She’s a real jock now, I guess. But I guess the baseball team is so bad that coach says a pitcher only has to make the ball to home plate in one bounce or less. It’s good to have standards. Vicki throws a fastball so fast that it smokes. Then she throws another impossible curve ball. Coach decides that “Victor” can be on the team. But then Coach picks up Vicki and her hat falls off, so the jig is up. Coach decides Vicki can still be on the team.

Ted and Joan come down to the baseball field and see that Jamie brought Vicki to tryouts anyway. How did they not notice Vicki leaving a house dressed up like a boy? You know what, it’s Small Wonder - I know. Jamie starts to feel guilty about cheating, so he asks Vicki if she remembers the pitch where Ted threw his back out and then whispers in her ear. I mean, it’s super obvious he told her to throw out her back, right? That’s exactly what Vicki does, and it’s so realistic Joan worries about her. Ted reminds Joan that robots can’t get hurt and theorizes that Jamie’s conscious must have caught up with him. Jamie apologizes to the coach and the Lawsons walk onto the field. Jamie starts to explain, but Ted and Joan say that they saw everything and they’re proud of Jamie. Why? Doing the right thing to fix the wrong thing doesn’t change that he still did the wrong thing after you told him not to. Reggie comes up and asks if Vicki will be okay, and Jamie says she will but the team won’t and they’ll be last place again. Ted reveals that he got the team a sponsor - it’s a mortuary. Vicki says it’s perfect because without her the team will be dead and buried again.

The End. Actually, I was right - I’d seen this episode so many times I’m numb to all the dumbness. But I do wish I could unsee Vicki hitting on Joan. Also, no sex jokes! Because I assume they were doing and not talking in this episode. It’s the only way to explain some things.

1 comment:

  1. This was one of my favorites too, I think Vicki's delivery of the 'what's shakin with the little momma's bacon' line is funny, and the ending credits always stood out to me- with Vicki pitching the ball at the camera. That stare down to the mound is something else :D Neat review!!