16: “Broadway Magic”
Synopsis: “When the Holograms and the Misfits are in New York auditioning for roles in a Broadway show, Eric announces a cash reward to anyone who can publicly reveal Jem’s secret identity.”
Summary: Episode 16, written by Marv Wolfman. We open at the production office of Bob Merrit, who’s struggling to find a new musical act to spice up his Broadway show. Outside his office, window cleaners are listening to Jem and the Holograms. When Merrit overhears this, he slams the window shut on one of the cleaner’s foot, which causes him to fall over the railing. As the cleaner is dangling, Merrit comes to the realization that music is the key to all of his problems. He then opens the window and begins talking to the cleaner, completely oblivious to the fact that he caused the poor man harm. It turns out that his office was on the second floor, and the cleaner we thought was in danger wasn’t really at all (how anticlimactic).
Bob Merrit: All along I’ve been doing a musical without music!
Elsewhere, Jem and the Holograms are playing a game of volleyball at the beach. Rio watches from the sidelines and engages in a conversation with a friend of his. He admits to still having it bad for Jerrica, but sometimes it’s like they’re so close, but then suddenly they’re strangers. Rio wonders if Jerrica is hiding something. Rio picks up the Showbiz Daily newspaper and gets excited when he reads the headline on the front page: “Merrit Seeks Top Rock Stars for New Broadway Musical.”
The Misfits and Eric Raymond are having a workout session. Eric picks up the Showbiz Daily and mentions Bob Merrit’s Broadway musical as the ticket to the Misfit’s stardom. Raymond suggests the band grabs the part before the Holograms. Surprisingly, the Misfits seem confident with their current level of success and don’t bark at the chance to out perform them for a change.
Roxy: Who cares about Jem and the jerks.
Pizzazz: Ya, we’re the best.
Stormer: But Jem is good. You know, I wonder where she came from. I never heard of her before she joined the Holograms.
Roxy: Maybe little miss perfect is a crook.
Stormer: why don’t anyone know her real name?
Pizzazz: Ya, who does she think she is?
Cut to Misfits music video: “Who Is She, Anyway”.
After the video we cut to a broadcast being played on all the TVs at a local department store. It’s Eric Raymond and the Misfits, asking the question of Jem’s true identify. Raymond even suggest that perhaps the reason for the double identify is because Jem is wanted by the FBI. A reward of $100,000 is offered to anyone who can expose Jem’s real identity. The large sum of money being offered creates a huge problem for Jem, when suddenly the public and the media bombard her with invasive questions, including insinuating that she might be a spy.
Jem, the Holograms, and Rio push through the reporters and escape in a cab. At this point they have no idea why people are harassing them, until the taxi cab driver tells them Eric Raymond is offering “like a billion bux, or something” to reveal Jem’s identify.
The Holograms arrive for their audition to Bob Merrit’s Broadway musical. As they enter, the Misfits have just finished a successful performance which Bob says is one of the best he’s seen, although he has to let the last group perform as well. Jerrica apologizes for being late as they had trouble at the airport. Eric takes the opportunity to call out their tardiness and says the Misfits are clearly the more professional group. He also notices that Jem is absent and inquires where their lead singer is. Jerrica quickly makes an excuse that Jem is already back stage, preparing for the audition, she makes her way to check on her.
Roxy decides to sabotage Jem by messing with the controls at the sound booth. Just as Jerrica says “show time, synergy,” Roxy happens to turn around at the last moment and fails to notice the change. But Roxy’s plan to mute Jem’s audio goes awry when she hits the wrong switch, causing a loud piercing noise that puts Bob Merrit in a foul mood. Back stage, Jem goes to investigate and solve the problem, after discovering Roxy is to blame. Roxy tries to put the blame on Jem, but Merrit forgives her and allows her to continue with the audition.
Cut to Jem and the Holograms music video: “Can’t Get My Love Together”.
After a successful audition, Bob Merrit says the Hologram’s performance was: “Beautiful. Wonderful. The greatest!” Pizzazz, visibly upset, tells Merrit that this is the exact same thing he said about the Misfits performance. This is a perfect example of completely unreasonable and unfair treatment towards the Misfits, who performed admirably and could have just as easily won the audition.
Cut to the Lin-Z show, Bob Merrit makes an appearance to announce audition winner for his upcoming musical. Unsurprisingly, Jem and the Holograms have stole the show, once again. Pizzazz is understandably frustrated and makes her way over to the emergency fire house box and tries to hose down everyone on set. Jem manages to avoid the water and crawl over to the fire house and shut it off. Merritt admits to liking the Misfits and their audition and allows them to be the understudy of the Holograms. Should anything happen to the Holograms, the Misfits will be the stars of his musical.
Backstage at the show, a man claiming to be from the obviously fake “Zillionaire sweepstakes” tries to get Jem to sign her real name in order to collect the money. Fortunately Jem doesn’t get a chance to sign it because she’s then interrupted by gypsy Mama Pama Bama, tries to get her to divulge her real name by hypnotizing her with a crystal ball. Bob Merrit drops by and gives Jem a stern warning that she needs to get rid of the constant distractions, or else she’ll be replaced.
Jerrica heads to her hotel and calls on Synergy for advice. Jerrica asks Synergy whether or not she should reveal her true identify to the public, but Synergy advises against it. In the wrong hands, Synergy’s holograms could be used for evil, innocent people could be hurt, and she should not reveal that Jem/Jerrica are one and the same person. Rio shows up at Jerrica’s hotel room and Jerrica, but before Rio gets a chance to explain his reason for seeing her, she immediately calls Rio out on spying on her, for the purpose of revealing Jem’s identity.
Backstage at the Broadway Magic, Bob Merrit asks where the star of the show is. Rio says both Jem and Jerrica are gone and it’s his fault, so Rio and the Holograms decide to go after Jem and Jerrica in Central Park.
Rio bumps into Jerrica at Central Park when she confronts him about the reason for spying on her. Rio tells her that he thought things would be better if he knew the truth about Jem if it came directly from Jerrica. And here we get a moment of clarity where Rio says the entire situation makes no sense, unless Jerrica and Jem are the same person. Jerrica has the perfect opening here to admit the truth, which would put an end to all of the tension in the love triangle between Rio, Jerrica, and Jem. Instead, Jerrica calls on Synergy to generate a hologram of Jem in the park to prove that they’re different people.
Rio: I’m sorry, Jerrica. I guess I was wrong.
Meanwhile, the Misfits are brainstorming on how they can prevent Jem from showing up at the musical.
Roxy: I don’t know where Jem and her bean poles went, but they’ll be back.
Pizzazz: We gotta make sure she doesn’t show up for tonight’s show.
Roxy: Wait a minute. Jem cares for Rio, huh? Let’s see how much she cares.
Pizzazz: Star typing, Stormer.
Stormer: Type what?
Pizzazz: My darling Jem… I’m so sorry for everything I said. I want to tell you how much I care for you. Let’s meet at the crown of the Statue of Liberty. I love you, Rio.
Naturally, Jem falls for the bait laid out by the Misfits, and Pizzazz locks her in the crown of the Statue of Liberty, causing Jem to miss her boat ride.
Jem begins to panic, when she sees some workers below who could help her. She hurtles one of the Jem star earrings (which seems like an unusually long distance) out the window towards the workers. Synergy creates a hologram of Jem who asks them for help, but runs away towards to the Statue of Liberty. The two workers chase after Jem when they remember the $100,000 award for revealing Jem’s true identity. Confused at finding Jem (the real one) locked in the crown, she asks them for a ride in their boat back to Manhattan. She promises to reveal her secret in exchange for the boat ride, when one of the workers pushes his colleague overboard.
When the boat arrives at the pier, Jem pulls one of the creepiest holographic illusions we’ve ever seen. She pulls off her face, revealing a copy of the worker’s own face and says “So, what are you going to do with all the loot?” The worker freaks out, yelling: “She’s me! She looks like me!” and falls into the ocean. Jem charitably tosses him a life preserver.
Jem flags down a taxi and requests heading to 53rd and Broadway, which miraculously happens to be with the same red head who drive her previously. What are the chances that Jem would end up in the same cab again? Just when we think Jem is out of danger, a parade blocks the taxi from getting through. With little time to spare, Jem leaps from the cab and borrows a skateboard from some kids and promises to get them tickets to her show. When did Jem learn how to expertly skateboard?
Making her way towards the subway, we see Jem skate down a long flight of stairs and then leap over turnstiles, which is beyond ridiculous because she’s wearing high heels. Just as the subway is about to pull away from the station, she manages to make it. Things get even more preposterous as Jem runs by a “Hang Glider Convention” sign, and heads for the elevator to the observation deck, all while being chased by people trying to figure out who she really is. Jem grabs a hand glider from a man on the rooftop, even though she has no experience with how to do it. She leaps off the rooftop and makes her way towards the theater rooftop and not only lands unharmed, but uses Synergy to quickly change into her Broadway Magic outfit.
Cut to Jem and the Holograms music video: “Broadway Magic”.
We wrap with not only a successful performance of Merrit’s Broadway Magic musical, but a little heart to heart between Jerrica and Rio. Rio tells Jerrica: “Jerrica, I wanted to tell you. It doesn’t matter to me who Jem is, you’re what’s important.” Lin-Z also interviews Jem because everyone wants to know “her big secret,” but Jem says there’s never been a big secret—she just wants to keep her private life, private. What really matters, Jem’s real name, or the songs that she sings?
- When Eric Raymond televises his offer, one of the televisions in the store window show D’Compose from the show “Inhumanoids” which along with Jem were produced by Sunbow Productions.
- Notice as Eric Raymond is giving his reward speech that there is an album of “CATS – The Musical” on the wall beside the reporters.
- The writer of this episode Marv Wolfman, who is also the comic book writer behind “The New Teen Titans”, actually included a mention of Jem referring to this episode in an issue of the comic. One of the stories include a theater in the background that reads “Broadway Magic starring Jerrica Benton”. Apparently a joke on the fact that Jem is really Jerrica Benton.
- This is one of two episodes that centered around finding Jem’s true identity. The other one is The Fan in season two. Both episodes used the Misfits song “Who Is She, anyway?”.
Present: Alex, Aleen, Tempest.
- Episode 16: “Broadway Magic”
- “Who Is She, Anyway”
- “Can’t Get My Love Together”
- “Broadway Magic”
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- Jem is My Name: 2013 remix (during the trivia) is sampled from Sam Silk
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Download: Episode 16: “Broadway Magic”