25: “Culture Clash”

Synopsis: “An eccentric artist, Fitzgerald Beck, is the art director for Jem and The Holograms’ new video. His art dealer is using his sculptures to smuggle stolen diamonds. The Misfits discover this and plan to rig the sculptures to explode onstage while Jem and the Holograms are filming a music video. The police blame Jem and the Holograms for the diamond theft. Will the band be able to find evidence to clear their name?”

Summary: Episode 25 is written by David Wise.

We open with Jem and the Holograms arriving in New York City. As the band makes an attempt to leave the airport, they’re mobbed by the press, who ask them questions regarding the length of their stay and what they’ll be doing. Kimber answers a reporter by asking him if he reads the paper, because apparently they made an announcement that they’ll be shooting their new music video. The Misfits are close by, watching the Holograms get all of the attention. Stormer and Roxy are not happy about how Eric dropped the ball, but Pizzazz actually promises to make sure their stay in New York is a disaster.

In the limo ride to the hotel, Anthony Julian and Video join the Holograms to tell them about the new art director for the music video: Fitzgerald Beck. But when Julian mentions Beck’s name, the Holograms admit they haven’t heard of him.

Video: He’s only the hottest conceptual artist in America.

Anthony: These are some of his performance works. You’ll understand more at this party he’s throwing.

Cut to Fitzgerald’s party as the Holograms walk in and are greeted by a collection of very peculiar robot art pieces.

Aja: I guess sometimes more is less.

A man takes the stage and stands in front of a glossy black grand piano, with mallet in hand. Kimber asks a lady standing next to her what he’s about to do, and she tells Kimber that he’s about to perform Fitzgerald Beck’s piano sonata. The man immediately starts to smash the piano with the mallet. Moments later, we see a chainsaw come down on the piano, tearing it to shreds. Kimber asks what the performer is doing, and the lady explains he’s now entering the second movement.

On the set of the new Jem and the Holograms music video, Jem impatiently remarks at Fitzgerald’s Beck’s tardiness.

Jem: Does this guy bother to show up for anything?

Clearly, Jem is remarking at the fact that Fitzgerald didn’t both to show up at his own party. But just as Jem complains about him not showing up to set, suddenly the Holograms are splashed with a rainbow of paint from above. We see Fitzgerald repelling down on a rope to meet the band.

Julian: He’s coming down. You don’t want to hurt his feelings. You know how sensitive artists are. Jem, meet Fitzgerald Beck.

Fitzgerald: You know, you fascinate me.

Jem: Oh ya? You sure have a funny way of showing it.

Wouldn’t the Holograms’ expensive equipment be damaged by the paint? This stunt seems very poorly thought out on Beck’s part.

Elsewhere, Jem and the Holograms continue to a different location to shoot another scene for their music video–this time, it’s on a boat which is hauling heaps of putrid garbage.

Kimber: So much for our glamorous image.

Aja: I think we lost that the day Fitzgerald Beck walked into our lives.

Whilst Julian is explaining how the shoot will work, on the garbage boat, we see Pizzazz sabotaging the motor and/or possibly the electrical system, with the Misfits watching behind her.

Julian calls “action” on the camera boat, but as Fitzgerald fiddles with the remote control system, he realizes it’s broken. The garbage boat begins speeding out of control and the Holograms begin to lose sight of the camera boat. Danger is fast approaching as the Holograms get close to crossing paths with a large cruise ship. Jem heads to the control room to try and get a handle on the situation. Jem tells the Holograms they have to find the manual controls. Aja does and just barely manages to maneuver the boat and avoid the collision. Unfortunately an unintended consequence of the drastic change in direction causes Kimber to fall out of an open window and almost fall into the ocean. Fortunately Kimber manages to grab hold of the railing at the last moment. Shana and Aja try to help Kimber aboard.

After arriving wet and a little worse for wear, Jem and the Holograms let off a little steam and confront Fitzgerald about his questionable artistic sensibilities–not knowing of course that the accident was created by the Misfits.

Fitzgerald: Great art doesn’t happen without suffering.

Jem: I honestly think you mean well, but I also think you’re a menace.

The Holograms try to persuade Julian to fire Fitzgerald, and although he agrees, he claims it’s too risky as they’ll lose credibility.

At Castello Studios, Maria Castello pleads Fitzgerald to give up his performance art. His sculptures are what’s in demand. For Fitzgerald, the Jem and the Holograms music video is an important creative project, but Maria threatens him if he’s not completed her demands by the end of the week.

The Misfits meet with Eric Raymond and express their concerns about the publicity Jem and the Holograms are receiving now that Fitzgerald Beck is the artistic director behind their music video. Eric was not previously aware that he was working on the Holograms’s video and begins to profess his love for Beck’s sculptures. Eric was only able to afford one of his smaller pieces, but one their backers, Alex Falk, is letting him keep a few other pieces while he’s away in Europe. Pizzazz questions Eric about who’s career he’s really managing: Beck’s, or the Misfits. Eric completely glosses over Pizzazz’s question and walks out the door as he remembers he has an appointment to meet with Falk at the Castello gallery. The Misfits decide to follow Eric.

At the Castello gallery, Eric meets with Alex Falk, who introduces him to owner, Maria. Falk asks Eric to take care of the sculptures while he’s away and Maria suggests that he invest in Fitzgerald’s work, as the dividends are “surprising.” As Maria walks Alex out, he mutters that he’ll be laying low from the cops. What is Eric getting himself into?

The Misfits wait for Alex, Maria, and Eric to leave. Pizzazz picks up a random piece from one of Fitzgerald’s sculptures and shakes it. She questions if there’s something hidden within them. Roxy listens to the rattling noise coming from the piece Pizzaz shook and says “they’re a girl’s best friend (why would she assume they’re diamonds?). Stormer makes note that the sculptures are going to be used in the Jem and the Holograms music video. Pizzazz formulates a plan to not only get the Holograms in trouble, but to also get payback for Eric’s neglectful management.

Pizzazz: Last time we almost sank her boat. This time we’re going to blow her out of the water!

Cue Misfits music video: “Surprise! Surprise!”.

The Misfits hire some goons to help move the sculptures to the set of the Holograms’ music video.

Jem and the Holograms begin their performance, but only a few seconds into it, the Misfits remotely explode Fitzgerald’s robotic sculptures, revealing the Rockwell jewels that were recently stolen. The police investigate and place the blame on the band and consider Fitzgerald Beck a prime suspect as well. The police officer running the case doesn’t allow the Holograms to leave the venue until they catch their prime suspect. Jem creates a diversion by knocking on the table, which shockingly works, because the officer opens the door. Synergy creates a hologram of Fitzgerald Beck who immediately runs away, creating the perfect diversion so that Jem and the Holograms can escape. The band tries to figure out where the most obvious place Fitzgerald would hide out in.

The Holograms find Fitzgerald and warn him that the police are looking for him and the he should leave immediately. They know he’s innocent, but it seems like bad advice to suggest a man with nothing to hide should run from the police. This is not a good message. Fitzgerald is down on himself and doesn’t care if he’s caught. He explains to the Holograms that know one likes his sculptures anymore, since they clearly were just being used to smuggle stolen jewels. Jem tries to lift his spirits by saying his sculptures are “kind of cute.” Fitzgerald has an epiphany: Maria Castello must be the one responsible for the stolen jewels. Maria is the proprietor of the art gallery, so logically she’s the obvious culprit. When the NYPD comes knocking on Fitzgerald’s door, he escapes down the fire escape with the Holograms.

After regrouping at a secure location, Jem questions Fitzgerald about Maria Castello being the jewel thief. Jem puts two and two together and says Maria can’t be responsible, because letting the sculptures explode to expose the stolen goods are clearly against her own best interest. Finally, the band concludes that the Misfits must be responsible as they’re practically made a career out of sabotaging the Holograms.

Jem and Fitzgerald head back to his loft to grab some of his sculptures for reinforcements, while Kimber, Shana, and Aja eaves drop on a conversation in the Misfits recording studio that proves they’re responsible for everything.

Fitzgerald and the Holograms regroup in front of Maria Castello’s apartment. Jem heads in alone and knocks on Maria’s door. When Maria answers, a hologram of Eric appears and tells her that Fitzgerald told the cops everything, including where she’s hiding the stolen jewels. Maria frantically leaves the building and leads the Holograms to their secret location, Maria’s own nightclub. One of Fitzgerald’s robotic creations captures Maria and throws handcuffs on her. When one of the club’s bouncers tries to attack Fitzgerald and the Holograms, another robot pummels the bouncer, sending him flying. Jem commands one of the officers to arrest Castello, but instead she gets the handcuffs. When trying to explain that she isn’t the real thief, one of Fitzgerald’s creations comes to the rescue and finds the stolen jewels. The police arrest Maria Castello.

We wrap with Fitzgerald admitting his affection for Jem (though this is implied and not seen). Jem explains it would never work out and says there’s someone else. Fitzgerald says he’ll have to quit the music video as working beside Jem would be agony.

Cue Jem and the Holograms music video: “I Believe In Happy Endings”.

Duration: 48:10:00

Present: Alex, Aleen, Tempest.

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Download: Episode 25: “Culture clash”

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Learn Me Something
Learn Me Something
Learn Me Something is a podcast that celebrates our ignorance as the beginning of the search for truth. Every week we select diverse subjects outside our neurosphere. The intent is to learn and teach something, for all of us. Recognizing the evolving world we live in, our goal is to teach critical thinking strategies to enable us to see past falsehoods.
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Synopsis: This week on “Learn Me Something,” Aaron and Rich delve into the history of yoga. The beginnings of Yoga were developed by the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India over 5,000 years ago.

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Duration: 38:16:00

Present: Aaron Stewart, Rich Plumb

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