JEMcast

17: “In Search of the Stolen Album”

Synopsis: “As Jem and the Holograms prepare to release their debut album, Eric hires Zipper to steal it, so the Misfits can use the material for themselves. Pizzazz sends the Holograms anonymous letters with clues that will supposedly lead them to the stolen album, but instead they lead them into dangerous situations. In the end, Pizzazz becomes angry at Eric since they got a French lessons album instead of the debut album.”

Summary: Episode 17, written by Rick Merwin. We open at Starlight recording studios, where Jem and the Holograms are rehearsing “There’s A Melody Playin'”, but Jem stops mid way and accuses someone of playing flat.

Jem: Sommebody’s playing a little flat.

Aja: Nah, couldn’t be me, must be the mic or something.

Shana: Maybe you’re wearing the wrong shoes.

Aja: Nah, my shoes aren’t flat, they’re sharp, don’t ya think?

Cut to the Misfits entering, what appears to be an abandoned building in a rough neighbourhood. Eric Raymond, looking quite unkept, is fast asleep at his desk (the desk itself is old and sparse, as if it were left by previous tenants). Stormer slams the door, waking Eric up. He asks the Misfits why they’re dressed the way they are, and Pizzazz answers “when we didn’t want anyone to see us come into a dump like this.”

Eric promptly places blame on Pizzazz’s father for their current situation, as he banished them from Misfits Music. But there’s a chance they can get back on top. The key is to get back into Mr. Gabor’s good graces, by making him some money, Pizzazz claims. Money is all Pizzazz’s father understands, and she has a plan on how to do it. The plan, is for Eric to find a way to prevent Jem and the Holograms from releasing their debut album. Somehow, he must get his grubby hands on the master tape.

At Starlight Music, the Holograms spend some time making phone calls to make sure the preparations for the release of their album are being done on time. After a short montage of the Jerrica, Shana, Aja, and Kimber speaking with various people, Kimber stretches out on the couch, yawns, and says “it’s hard work, being famous.”

Later, at Starlight Recording Studios, the Holograms record their new single, “There’s A Melody Playin'”.

Cue Jem and the Holograms music video: “There’s A Melody Playin'”

At the dilapidated temporary offices of Eric Raymond, where once again we see him napping, Zipper stealthily climbs in through the window (why didn’t he just use the front door?). Eric offers a bonus if Zipper is able to steal the master tape for the Holograms’ debut album.

Cut to the Gabor estate, where a disheveled looking Eric Raymond knocks and the door. Matilda, the house keeper, answers and says “we don’t want any bums here”. Pizzazz allows Eric in, where he announces to the Misfits that they’re leaving town immediately. Something unfortunate is about to happen to Jem and the Holograms’ master tape, and it’s best if they’re not in town when it happens.

Later that night, Zipper breaks into Starlight Recording Studios and completes his mission: stealing the Holograms’ master tape. When the Holograms discover the bad news from Tim, their producer, he says “it was a real pro job. I can’t even tell how the burglar got in.”

Elsewhere, the Misfits are relocated to a resort in an undisclosed location and are enjoying their time away. Pizzazz comes up with a scheme to make things even more difficult for Jem and the Holograms. Since Jem is going to be searching for the master tape, they decide to create a treasure hunt, with “cryptic clues.” Meanwhile, at Starlight Music, the band is confident the Misfits are behind the stolen tape, but they can’t prove it. Concern is growing as they have limited time before they must meet their release deadline, and because they’ve exhausted a great deal of money producing and promoting the album.

Cut to Flash Recording Studio, we see the Misfits laying their own vocal tracks over top of the music from the Holograms’ master tape.

Cut to Misfits video: “There Ain’t Nobody Better”

Jem and the Holograms receive their first treasure hunt clue from the Misfits, and it reads:

For really good tunes—the very best yet—check out the Storehouse and talk to Chubette.

It turns out, the Storehouse is a club in a rough part of town, but they decide to go anyway in the Rockin’ Roadster. Just when the Holograms think they’re lost, they drive by a run down building which appears to be the Storehouse. Inside, it looks like an unsanctioned rave is happening, with some rather unsavoury looking characters. The girls are unable to get anyone to answer their simple question of where they can find Chubette, but a man in the back points to a soda vending machine and insists that’s Chubette (the affectionate nick name they’ve given it). Frustrated, Aja kicks the machine and another clue from the Misfits pops out.

The note reads:

If it’s not in the Storehouse, it’s at the garage. That dent in your fender is not a mirage.

When Jem and the Holograms try to make their home, two motorcycle hooligans from the club follow them, thinking they have money. The Holograms are corned and are surrounded by not one, but two motorcycle chain gangs. Jerrica uses Synergy to create a hologram of a spontaneous fire, causing the gangs to disperse. The Holograms go home and Shana apologizes to Jerrica for stating that not even Synergy would be able to get them out that situation.

At Flash Recording Studios, the Misfits are celebrating at the completion of their album. Eric gives the good news that four major record companies want to hear their album the next morning.

The Holograms search for the meaning of “Mirage Garage” in the Misfits’ cryptic letter. After some searching, they discover it’s a real garage, some distance away from town. In fact, the Mirage Garage seems like it’s in the middle of nowhere, just off the highway in the middle of the desert. After pulling up to the garage, the girls are greeted by “Bubba,” the garage attendant, he apparently is mechanically inclined, as he says he can fix their dented fender.

Jerrica notices an unusually tall pile of tires next to the garage and comments on it. She says that Bubba must be really proud of the tire pile. A note can be seen, lodged between a few tires, but when Aja climbs the tower of tires to retrieve it, she weakens the structure and it all comes tumbling down. Feeling bad for ruining the tower of tires, Jerrica offers to pay Bubba for the disaster, but he refuses. The Holograms make their way back to town and Jerrica reads the next clue.

Surf and sun sound good to me. Riding blue waves is the place to be.

Jem and the Holograms head to the beach to find answers to the clues in the latest Misfits note. They stumble upon “Blue Waves Surf Shop,” which is referenced in the note. Kimber finds yet another clue in the surf shop, and it reads:

Go thirty paces. Cast your net and don’t despair. Flashy music will soon fill the air.

Thirty paces from the surf shop, Jerrica starts digging in the sand. Miraculously, their master tape makes an appearance, but is it? At Starlight House, the Holograms discover the tape is blank, so they enlist Synergy’s help to decipher some of the clues left behind by the Misfits. It turns out, the Storehouse was once a Misfits concert venue, the Mirage Garage is near a resort owned by Harvey Gabor, and the Blue Waves Surf Shop recently had a charge card purchase from a Phyllis Gabor. But what about the final “flashy music” reference? Well, Flash Music Studios is partly owned by Mr. Gabor.

Jerrica, Shana, and Kimber, decide to infiltrate the Flash Recording Studio by disguising themselves as Pizzazz, Roxy, and Stormer (Aja drives off in the Rockin’ Roadster). When the three of them enter the building and are greeted by the Janitor, Jerrica does a spot on accurate impression of Pizzazz’s voice. Eventually finding the storage room containing many taps, Jerrica, Shana, and Kimber rifle through the catalogue and find their original master tape, clearly marked: “Starlight.” They grab the tape and make off with it.

As this episode wraps at the grand unveiling of the Misfits new album, we see Eric Raymond next to a reel to reel tape deck. After making a speech about how this is the album everyone has been waiting for, disaster strikes when he Eric hits play. Instead of the Misfits music, we hear an educational recording on how to learn French. Furious, Pizzazz rips the reel to reel tape apart and blames Eric for ruining everything.

At Starlight Music, Jem and the Holograms celebrate after reading in Music Biz magazine that their debut album has reached number one in the charts.

Trivia:

  • Jem, Shana and Kimber pose as Pizzazz, Roxy and Stormer to get their master tapes back.
  • For some reason, all the song titles in this episode are capitalized.
  • After Jerrica and Aja see the dent in the Rockin Roadster, Jerrica’s words are coming out of Aja’s mouth.
  • When Jerrica and the Holograms find the first note, it reads “In Search of Good Times…”, but when Jerrica reads it, she says “In search of good tunes…”.
  • There are only two featured songs in this episode, instead of the usual three.

Duration: 49:41:00

Present: Alex, Aleen, Tempest.


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Download: Episode 17: “In Search of the Stolen Album”

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