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Friday, March 03, 2017

Jem Reviewed: Episode 50 - Britrock

The only thing I can say about last week's Jem Reviewed was that it was more enjoyable than I thought even though the plot made no sense.

This week's episode is such that it introduces us to a TON of new well as one old one.  And it is the third episode so far to take place in Jolly Old England!

I suppose that's why this is Episode 50: Britrock.  I know.  I've done fifty of these reviews.  Where has the time gone?

Now, you might think that because the title is superimposed over a Jem poster that we'll be starting with her.  Instead, we're starting with the Misfits, who happen to be using the poster as a dartboard.  And while the Misfits are playing darts, Jetta goes on and on about how she taught the Queen Mum how to play the game, and how she was hanging out with Charles and Diana, and Fergie (the Duchess of York, not the Black Eyed Pea).  It's to set up the fact that once again, Jetta claims to know the royal family.  And Pizzazz and Stormer seem to be hanging onto every word.

But not so much street smart Roxy.  Since the day they met, Roxy has been very suspicious of Jetta's claims that she really is of noble blood, and calls her out at every opportunity.  Jetta insists that she is, and that if they were in England right now, they would be treated like royalty.  This prompts Stormer to comment that her brother, Craig (who we met in Episode 27 along with Jetta) was performing with his new band in London and how she would love to visit with him again.

Pizzazz comes up with the idea to take Jetta up on her offer.  They have no upcoming concerts and plenty of free time, so they agree to spend the weekend in England.  Jetta is at first taken aback, but she goes into another room to place a call into the town of Kingston upon Hull, England.  Interestingly enough, I did some research on this town, and in the time that this episode was filmed, that town was experiencing major decline - particularly in the subjects of education and crime reduction.  I wonder if this will reveal anything about Jetta's background.

Ah, what a surprise.  Jetta's parents, Bertie and Flo are con artists living in a dumpy old flat.  We can see how Jetta turned out the way she did.  I'm actually more amused by the fact that Jetta's mom looks like Hyacinth Bucket from the British sitcom "Keeping Up Appearances".  She even kind of sounds like Mrs. "Bouquet".  Looks as if Jetta has taken after her dear old parents.  She plots a scheme with them to pretend that they are aristocrats to appease the Misfits and make them believe Jetta's tall tales.  She even suggests to her parents that they could use the opportunity to scam Pizzazz out of some cash.  Wow.  Just wow.  Jetta has officially surpassed Pizzazz in being a totally unlikable cow.  Well done, Jetta.  And yes, I say this sarcastically.

But there could still be a chance that Jetta's plans could be thwarted.  At the Rock Hard Cafe (yeah, I see what you did there, Christy Marx), Jem is meeting with a man who calls himself Sir Hugh Ridley (an obvious knockoff of Richard Branson, as far as I'm concerned).  Reporter Cindy Tucker is meeting with them to discuss the fact that Sir Hugh is opening up a new club in London and that he has invited Jem and the Holograms to perform there along with another up and coming band from Britain to take part in a benefit concert.  But Hugh ends the interview before we discover what the benefit is about.

Back in Wissex, England, we see Flo and Bertie enjoying a horse race - where they are happy that their horse has won the race (showering them with pound notes galore). 

The man up above in the skybox is looking less than happy.  We soon find out via a conversation between Jetta's parents and a random guy affiliated with them that the man is Lord Trevor Hawthorne of Wissex, and he is a regular fixture at the race tracks.  Unfortunately, his luck is terrible and he has lost nearly all of the fortune associated with the family estate in Wissex.  Add to the fact that creditors are knocking on his door every minute, and Flo and Bertie's wheels crank in their heads.

They approach Lord Trevor with their plan and how they can scam Pizzazz to pay off his debts, and Trevor is immediately in on the plan.  That seemed...too easy.  But for now, it seems as though Jetta's secret is safe.

The Misfits arrive at the airport, and sure enough there is a Rolls Royce waiting to take them all to the place where they will be staying.  But not all of the Misfits will be going.  Stormer takes off on her own to London because she'd rather spend time with her brother that loves her instead of three women who belittle her at every opportunity.  Sounds reasonable.  Jetta's disappointed (mainly because I get the feeling that Stormer would be the only one to forgive her if her secret got out).

The rest of the Misfits arrive at the estate where Jetta's parents rush out of the manor dressed in their finest clothes and calling her Sheila.  Wow, Sheila Burns.  How...common.  Oh, and Lord Trevor is playing along as the faithful butler of the manor.

But it seems as though Lord Trevor isn't who he claims to be either when he excuses himself to the servant's quarters and meets up with two men named Stoke and Fenton.  Seems as though there's something happening after 8:00pm tomorrow night and whatever this event is, it threatens to expose the real Earl of Wissex.  Stoke and Fenton are called to dispatch the supposed real Earl so that Trevor can keep his title.  Ah, so while Bertie and Flo are conning him, Trevor is conning them right back.  I feel I need a scorecard to keep up.

While all this is going on, Jem and the Holograms arrive in London with Sir Hugh, and Raya comments about how they're finally in England.  I guess she forgot about the fact that they were just there THREE EPISODES AGO!  Oh, well.  They haven't been to London yet.  

They arrive outside of Sir Hugh's club, the Unicorn Club.  No offense, Hugh, but I can think of many better names for a rock club than the Unicorn Club.  But hey, it's not my club.  What do I know?  And since Jon Taffer is unavailable, we can't ask his opinion either.

Inside, we're going to meet the second band that will be performing at the benefit concert, the
Bluebloods!  Interesting name for a band.

The band is made up of four men.  Mason Hawthorne is the soon to be 21-year-old lead singer of the band who seems to be a nice guy who has a mysterious aura to him.  James and Alan are secondary members of the band who seem to only be there as filler characters.  They do seem charming enough.

And the token American of the group?  Welcome back, Craig Phillips!  Aja wastes no time getting reconnected with her long-distance love affair and it's good to see that Craig has found success with a new band after he gallantly walked away from the Battle of the Bands contest to allow Raya to join.

While the Holograms are getting reacquainted with Craig, over at Lord Trevor's place, Jetta's family is still keeping up appearances, so to speak and nobody is any wiser about their scheme.  Jetta's parents waste no time in selling practically everything within the manor to Pizzazz at ten times the price, including stainless steel dinnerware and candelabras.  Of course, to Pizzazz, these trinkets are nothing new, and she proceeds to throw one of the plates through a window.

The behaviour of Pizzazz and Roxy at dinner is too much for Lord Trevor, and he pulls Jetta aside and once again pressures her to make sure that if she sells any more things that she should do it before the clock strikes eight the next evening.  Jetta asks what the big deal is, but Trevor doesn't really reveal much about it.

But we do know that Trevor and his cohorts are up to no good.  In London (inside one of those awesome red phone booths that are simply iconic Britain landmarks), they reveal to Trevor that they have found the location of the real Earl of Wissex, and they plan on taking care of him permanently.  I don't know what that's about, but I've a feeling that whoever the Earl is, he must be with Jem and the Holograms, as they mention that he's out with a group of "American birds".  So, THAT'S where the Bluebloods name came from.  Question is, which one is it?  It'd be hilarious if it turned out to be Craig.

Well, for now, it's time for a good old-fashioned fox hunt with the Misfits.  It's also the first time we hear a song!  Wow, thirteen minutes before a song.  That must be a record.

Fortunately, it's a brand new Misfits song!  Seems like forever since we've heard one, huh?  While the song "I'm Gonna Hunt You Down" is probably not their best song, I admire the fact that the video is visually one of the better ones.  Though, I'm sure that Lord Trevor doesn't take kindly to the fact that they go on their fox hunt INSIDE the manor!

Night passes and a new day falls over London.  The Holograms are waiting to set up their equipment inside the Unicorn Club, and both bands are waiting to get started with the rehearsal. 

Unfortunately, what the Holograms and the Bluebloods don't realize is that Trevor's henchmen have decided to put on an explosive performance of their own.  They rig a bomb to go off in Craig's drum set in five minutes!  And with both bands about to enter the club, this isn't good news for either of them.

Most of the band members head on inside the club, but Craig keeps Aja back because he has a confession to make.  He's really in love with Shana.  No, that's not it.  It's something else.

Of course while Craig is keeping Aja in suspense, the rest of the Holograms are stunned to see Stormer inside.  Oh right, I forgot that they had no idea that Craig and Stormer were brother and sister.  At any rate, Kimber hasn't forgotten her friendship with Stormer, and is actually civil with her.  Jem is wondering if the other Misfits are with her, but Stormer says that it's just her.  I guess when it's just Stormer around, the Holograms can drop their guard.  And, heck, they'd probably do the same for Roxy too.  Not so much the other two though.

Now, Craig is actually intending to tell Aja that Stormer is his sister (which in his mind would be a big deal as the Holograms and Misfits can't stand each other most days).  But the way he introduces Aja to Stormer is so cringe-worthy.  For one, Craig uses Stormer's real name (Mary Phillips).  And since he introduces her to Aja as Mary, it gives anyone the allusion that Craig and Stormer are husband and wife!  But cool as a cucumber Aja would never respond to a rumour like...

...oooh snap!  She did.  I think this might be the first time that a Hologram has ever slapped someone!  Pizzazz and Eric Raymond slapped practically everyone in the first five episodes, but this is definitely a first!

As a broken-hearted Aja runs out of the club bawling, most of the other Holograms follow her outside.  Kimber stays behind to give Craig and Stormer a piece of her mind, but Kimber's forced to swallow humble pie when the Phillips siblings explain their real relationship to each other.  The remainder of the Bluebloods follow Kimber outside to help explain.

Did I mention that the bomb timer is still counting down while all of this is happening

Inside, Craig is furious that Aja would jump to conclusions about him being unfaithful to her, and surprisingly it is Stormer who acts as the voice of reason.  Stormer sees just how much Craig and Aja care for each other and urges Craig to find Aja and make things right.  See, when Stormer is away from the Misfits, she's a delightful woman!  And an intelligent one too.  Meanwhile, Kimber explains to Aja that Craig is NOT dating Stormer as it would be considered incestuous (which is something that can never be portrayed in this cartoon).  Aja realizes that she overreacted (you think) and rushes towards the club to make love...ahem, peace with Craig.

But that pesky bomb that was left behind has other plans, and just as Aja arrives at the front door, the bomb goes off, and apparently the blast is so huge that it sends Aja about a hundred feet into the air!  Miraculously, she survives.

But when Aja comes to and sees the Unicorn Club in complete shambles due to the fire and collapsing structure, she realizes that Craig and Stormer were still inside when the bomb went off!  The rest of the Bluebloods and Aja run inside the burning building to try and save them.

Stormer's more or less all right.  She just has a bum ankle.  But Craig is trapped underneath a fallen ceiling beam, and he can't move.  With help from Aja, James, Alan, and Sir Hugh, the group manages to carry Stormer and Craig out to safety.  But the club is a total loss, and Sir Hugh can only look on in sadness as his beloved Unicorn Club turns into a pile of ashes.

It's at this point that Mason becomes incredibly angry and he makes the stunning admission that the bombing of the Unicorn Club was his fault.  Jem presses Mason for more information and Mason reveals that at eight o'clock tonight, he will officially turn 21, and that he has an uncle who would not be happy to see him reach that milestone - and it's not because his uncle advocates a teetotaler lifestyle either.  Before Jem can ask what is going on, Mason reveals that if they want to find the reason, they need to follow him to Wissex. 

Ladies and gentlemen...I do believe we have our rightful Earl of Wissex.  And Kimber and Raya are accompanying Jem on the trip while Aja and Shana stay behind to look after Stormer and Craig.

Oh, and Craig and Aja get back together.  I guess getting blown up in a club naturally would bring two people closer together.

As Mason, Jem, Kimber, Raya, and Sir Hugh head off to Wissex, Trevor is getting incredibly antsy.  It's just fifteen minutes to eight o'clock, and he has just gotten word that the plan to kill the Earl backfired, so now he's panicking, desperate to come up with a solution.  After all, it's not as if he can sell any more stuff to Pizzazz.

But when he fills Jetta and her parents in on the problem, Jetta comes up with a solution.  Sell Pizzazz the entire estate before the clock strikes eight, and that way, there's nothing that can be done to stop it.  And if Pizzazz questions it, Jetta tells Trevor to make the claim that if she buys the estate, she gets the title of Lady of Wissex to go along with it.  That's...actually not a bad idea, I have to admit.  After all, Pizzazz's ego is the size of Alaska.  But still, Jetta also shows just how little she cares about friendship.  She'd better tread lightly or else she might find herself crawling back to the Tinkerbillies.

Of course, Pizzazz doesn't hesitate to take the deal, and Pizzazz is about to sign the contract that transfers the land ownership to Pizzazz...

...when Mason, Jem, Kimber, and Raya appear at the door - with Mason carrying the same fox that Pizzazz tried to kill during the fox hunt.  Mason proclaims that it is now eight o'clock, he's now twenty-one years old, and he is now the rightful heir to the Hawthorne Estate!  Of course, Lord Trevor protests, but Mason is in no mood to fight.  He orders his fox to snatch the contract away, leaving Jetta's parents to flee and Pizzazz and Roxy ready to turn Jetta into a serving of haggis.

Oh, wait.  Haggis is Scottish, not English.  My bad.

Naturally, Trevor and his henchmen try to get away as well, but Mason and Sir Hugh tackle them after Jem summons a hologram of a pack of angry dogs to scare them. 

Soon after, the police arrive and find Jetta's parents hiding in the stables, and there comes a funny moment in which everyone accuses everyone for the damage done to the estate, with Jetta's own father throwing her under the bus!  I'm sorry, but that moment was funny.

But for poor Mason, it seems as though he's in a lot of trouble now.  He's the rightful heir of Hawthorne Manor, but because of the spending and gambling that Trevor did, there's no money left to pay off the creditors.  The benefit concert that was meant to be held at the Unicorn Club was designed to raise money for that purpose so that when Mason became Earl, he wouldn't have to worry about losing the place.

Jem tells the new Earl to turn that frown upside down because they're still going to have the benefit concert - at the Manor itself.  As for the punishment for three-quarters of the Misfits, she's got something else in mind.

Before we see that punishment, we have one final song, and this one is called "Between Me and You", which I have to admit is not bad at all.  Oh, and Jem is thrilled to learn that the concert has raised enough money to rebuild the Unicorn Club, and to pay off the outstanding bills.

As for Pizzazz, Roxy, and Jetta, the three of them are on dish duty.  And despite the fact that Jetta's lies got them into this mess in the first place, she still brags about her fabulous life, which cause Pizzazz and Roxy to shove a knight mask over her head.  You know, I could grow to like Pizzazz and Roxy.  And just for the fact that Jetta got embarrassed, this is officially a great show!

Next week, a very emotional episode of the series...and one that features Jerrica, not Jem. 

Finally, some
Jem Trivia.  Jem was originally to be called "M", but because the toy company couldn't trademark a letter, they went with Jem.

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