22: “Intrigue at the Indy 500”

Synopsis: “Eric Raymond panics when he finds out that Starlight Music is sponsoring the world’s best driver for the Indy 500, Martino Grandzetti. The gamblers he’s dealing with will take their displeasure out on him if their driver doesn’t win the race.”

Summary: Episode 22, is written by Roger Slifer, who famously went on to co-create the character Lobo for DC Comics and tragically died earlier this year.

We open with Pizzazz throwing darts at a headshot of Eric Raymond.

Pizzazz: I. Want. To. Go (throws darts).

Roxy: You missed the bullseye (speaking with mouth full of food).

Pizzazz: I’m sick of looking at his ugly mug anyway.

Pizzazz reaches towards a carton of eggs, grabs an egg, and hurls it across the room. Instead of hitting the bullseye, the door opens at the least opportune moment and the egg collides with Eric’s face.

Eric: Pizzazz!

Pizzazz: Stormer says you’re going to a big party tonight for all the race car drivers, but that we’re not going.

Eric: That’s right, Pizazz, it’s by invitation only. And you’re not invited.

Eric tells the Misfits that he has some important negotiations to conclude, and that he can’t afford any distractions. The Misfits remind Eric that he promised the band would perform at the Indy 500 victory celebration. Eric reassures them they will, but he has to do things his way. Pizzazz insists on going to the party.

We cut to a private dinner meeting where Eric is being introduced to a rather burly man, named Vice. Vice is a handyman who cleans up when things, or people, get sloppy. Martin Grandzetti–the world’s greatest race car driver–is the primary concern as he never loses a race. It turns out that Eric has bribed Grandzetti’s sponsor to pull out from the race. Eric has entered his own driver into the race, with a specially modified non-regulation engine to give him an edge. Receiving an undisclosed large sum of money, Eric places a bet on car 007, expecting that he’ll be able to collect the winnings since he has rigged the race. A man in a terrible yellow suite drops Eric’s table to pick up the briefcase (who clearly seems to be voiced by Charlie Adler).

Shortly after Eric’s nefarious transaction takes place, an announcer notifies the entire dining hall that Grandzetti’s sponsor has unfortunately dropped out, however, Starlight Music has generously offered to take its place. This is a setback that Eric certainly did not expect. I suppose we are to assume that Starlight Music is in a financially comfortable area at this point in Jem and the Holograms’ career.

When the announcement is made, music cues and a giant star shaped stage dramatically descends.

Cut to Jem and the Holograms music video: “I’m Coming From Behind”.

Outside the auto club, the Misfits try to figure out a way to get inside. Pizzazz decides suggests they steal the Rockin’ Roadster and crash it, right into the club.

Inside the club, Grandzetti thanks Jem, Holograms, and Jerrica for their support, as without them, he wouldn’t be racing in the Indy 500. When Grandzetti asks where Jerrica is–she earlier told him she would be there, Jem says Jerrica must be around somewhere. As Jem and Grandzetti are talking, the Misfits crash through the front doors of the club in the Rockin’ Roadster (did Jem leave the keys in the car, or do the Misfits know how to hot wire a car?). The Misfits take the Roadster for a joy ride, colliding into tables and nearly hitting a few patrons.

Pizzazz: That will teach you not to invite the Misfits to your party!

Grandzetti quickly reacts, jumps into one of the cars propped onto a stage, stars the engine, and races after the Misfits. Whilst all of this is happening, my question is: how large is this club? At the speed that it looks like they’re going, it seems like the chase lasts for an unusually long period of time. The Misfits launch off a table acting as a ramp and crash into the kitchen. The kitchen staff apprehend the Misfits and they are ejected from the club, along with Eric Raymond, after they admitted their involvement with him.

Pizzazz: Let go, pizza brain!

The gambler involved with Eric is unsure of how well he has the situation under control, so he enlists Vice to sabotage Grandzetti’s vehicle (we see Vice tearing apart the car, by hand, including destroying the break callipers. His strength is inhuman!).

Cut to the start of the Indy 500 qualifier, Grandzetti sets off in the “Starlight Special.” During the qualifier, Grandzetti loses control of the car and crashes, knocking down the podium that Rio was on (he was trying to snap some photos).

After the accident, Jerrica shows up at the hospital to visit Rio, but she’s surprised to see Grandzetti in a full body cast (she thought it was Rio’s room). On the other side of the room, we see Rio, in a leg cast. Jerrica embraces Rio and they kiss.

Rio: Mmmmm, remind me to be in a car crash every week.

Jerrica: Oh, you.

Jerrica apologizes to Martino for asking him to race and feels partly responsible. Jerrica is furious. The police have said the car was tampered with. Jerrica angrily throws a bouquet of flowers to the ground and blames Eric for the accident, but Rio questions this and says it’s not Eric’s style (but is it really beyond what Eric would be willing to do? Let’s examine his past behaviour). Rio asks Jerrica what she’s going to do now that the car is wrecked and that Grandzetti is out of the race. Jerrica is unsure what to do, but she knows she isn’t going to give up. She then hands Rio the broken bouquet of flowers.

We cut to the garage at the race track, where Jerrica and the Holograms have gathered to rebuild the Starlight Special. Jerrica calls for Synergy’s help and requests the blueprints for the car, before it went through the accident. The Holograms begin the rebuild.

Cut to a Jem and the Holograms music video: “Back In Shape”.

After the video, Rio drops by the garage and is really impressed, as he did not expect the Holograms to finish the rebuild of the Starlight Special before the race. Rio asks the band who is going to drive the car in the Indy 500, since Grandzetti is in the hospital and Rio’s leg is still in a cast.

Cut to the start of the Indy 500, we see Eric checking on the car he earlier placed a bid on: 007.

Eric: There’s my man, car number 007.

Pizzazz: What’s that empty space next to him?

Eric: That’s the pole position, where Martino was supposed to be, before his unfortunate accident.

Pizzazz: Don’t look now Eric, but Martino’s car is back in the race.

Roxy: And Jem’s drive it.

The flag is done, with the pace car leading the way around the fist lap of the oval track. The pace car pulls away, the green flag is out, and the race is on. The Starlight Special and car 007 are already neck and neck, fighting for the lead position.

As the race goes begins, Eric asks the Misfits if they want any refreshments. Pizzazz requests a hotdog with mustard. As Eric heads for the hotdog stand, we see a hotdog vendor giving away a hotdog on the house, to what looks like an underage blonde girl. The vendor then proceeds to bend over the counter and stare at her whilst she walks away.

Hotdog vendor: It’s on the house, sweetheart.


Eric rushes towards Harry, the hotdog vendor, and asks if he can place a bet on Jem’s car. Harry agrees, since he takes a commission from every bet anyways. Eric hands Harry a wad of bills, but I find this peculiar. Eric seems to think he’s in the clear now, but at the beginning of this episode, we saw Eric hand an entire briefcase of cash to place a bet on car 007. Even with large bills, that handful of bills Eric gave to Harry could never be equal to the sum of money in the briefcase (which presumably was hundreds of thousands of dollars).

Eric heads back to the bleachers where the Misfits are, with a hotdog in one hand and a song in his heart. Pizzazz asks what he’s so happy about, since Jem is in the lead. Eric reassures Pizzazz that everything is fine, but then Pizzazz calls him a jerk for forgetting her hotdog. Pizzazz is fed up and refuses to let “little miss perfect” win the victory celebration performance, so she takes off and Eric chases after her.

Back at the race, an announcer informs the crowd that the leaders are pulling in for their first pitstop.

Jem: The race isn’t over yet. Tank me up fast so I can get back out there.

007 driver: That Jem dame is killing me.

Pizzazz: What’s wrong with you? Don’t you know how to drive? Get out of there!

Fed up with car 007 and its driver, Pizzazz forces him out of the car. She puts his helmet on and takes over, pulling away and yelling at the other drivers, tell them to get out of her way.

Pizzazz: Out of the way, you morons!

Pizzazz drives recklessly, causing mayhem and the many of the other competing cars to crash.

Announcer: Due to some very daring maneuvers, 007 is now in the lead. Of course there are now a lot less cars in the race. The yellow caution light is on ladies an gentlemen, while the track is cleared of the cars 007 left in its wake.

Cut to Eric, who is watching the race from the side lines and is clearly afraid for his life. We can see Vice in the bleachers, gesturing at Eric that he’s going to hurt him.

The track is now cleared of the wreckage and the race continues as the green flag is waved. Car 007 is in the lead, with the Starlight Special tailing close behind in position second position. Jem performs a dangerous move as she attempts to pass Pizzazz on her right. Pizzazz rams Jem’s front left wheel, causing her to lose control of the vehicle and crash into another, losing her spot at number two. It looks like Jem is out of the race.

From the bleachers, Eric is astonished at the events that have unfolded in front of his eyes. It looks like Pizzazz may in fact win the race. Eric rushes over to Harry and pleads him to change his bet back to car 007.

Jem desperately tries to dislodge another tire that’s stuck to her car, and successfully manages to do so, but limps back to the pit. She gets out of the car and embraces Rio.

The race goes on with Pizzazz in the lead, but it doesn’t look like much of a race anymore with so few cars on the track.

Cut to a Misfits music video: “Ahead Of The Game”.

After a quick pitstop, Jem re-enters the race in the Starlight Special and attempts to regain her position, whilst hopefully besting Pizzazz in car 007. Miraculously, Jem manages to regain her number two position, but Pizzazz is still leading at number one by more than a lap. It’s looking rather hopeless for a victory by Jem at this point, or is it?

Jem pulls up to Pizzazz and calls upon Synergy to create a distraction. We see a hologram of a tiny Pizzazz, floating in front of Pizzazz’s face. Tiny Pizzazz is supposed to be her conscience, or inner voice, if you will. Her conscience asks Pizzazz: “Don’t you think it’s time you started playing fair?” When the figure floating in front of her admits to being her conscience, Pizzazz claims she doesn’t have one, and tells it to scram. As she waves away the figure, she loses sight of the race and falls behind.

Jem pulls ahead, but the green flag is out, indicating that there’s only one lap left. How is Jem going to make up for an entire lap lost?

Eric runs over to Harry and begs Harry to once again change his bet. This time, Harry refuses and says it’s too late. Eric gives Harry his entire wallet to Harry, at which point he is handed a hotdog, although Eric believes it’s a receipt of his bet change.

Eric: Oh no, it’s a hotdog!

Jem appears to be breaking all previous Indy speed records as she dogs Pizzazz, but she is still five seconds behind the leader. As this announcement is made, the rear right tire on the Starlight Special comes loose. Jem floors it and loses control as the rear tire flies off. But fortunately for Jem, when her car loses control, she slides into first place and closes the finish line. A group of people run to the scene of the crash, pull an unconscious Jem from the wreckage, and make it to safety before the Starlight Special explodes.

After the race, in car 007’s garage, Eric Raymond is met by Vice and the gambler. It looks like Eric is going to have what’s coming to him, as Vice grabs a crowbar and bends it around his neck. Before things can go wrong, Pizzazz drives into the garage and corners Eric. Pizzazz begins berating Eric and his failed efforts, so the gambler and Vice decide to walk away, leaving Eric in Pizzazz’s capable hands.

We conclude with Jem accepting the trophy for the number one position in the Indy 500. The crowd is cheering for her and she accepts the award on behalf of Martino Grandzetti. Rio walks over to the front of the podium, still in crutches, to congratulate Jem.

Rio: Do I get to kiss the victor?

Jem: You bet!

Duration: 01:09:15

Present: Alex, Aleen, Tempest.

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Download: Episode 22: “Intrigue at the Indy 500”

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