S2E11: “The Jazz Player”

Synopsis: “Legendary trumpet player, Taps Tucker, is humiliated on the Lin-Z Pierce show when The Misfits crash his interview and harass him. Outraged, Jem and The Holograms visit Taps and offer to help him put his famous Taps Tucker Band back together.”

Summary: Episode 37 (S2E11) is written by Michael Reaves.

We open with legendary trumpet player, Taps Tucker, being interviewed on the Lin-Z show. The Holograms are huddled around the TV watching the interview. As Lin-Z reminisces about listening to Tucker’s album Night Train, which belonged to her grandfather, Kimber isn’t sure why Lin-Z is spending so much time interviewing Tucker. After all, who cares bout a Jazz band from the 40s? Jerrica informs Kimber that The Taps Tucker Band was one of the great Jazz quartets of that era.

Aja: You know Kimber. If it didn’t happen last week, she’s not interested.

The Misfits are the next guests due after Taps Tucker is to play a song. Tucker begins playing, but he’s cut off when the Misfits crash his session and tell him that no one wants to listen to “boring old stuff.”

Roll Misfits music video: “Jack, Take A Hike”.

Lin-Z only agreed to have the Misfits on her show if they promised not to pull any stunts. Isn’t it obvious that the Misfits just can’t be trusted? Certainly Lin-Z must have figured this out by now. The Misfits make an excuse, that according to them, warrants the belligerent behaviour.

Pizzazz: We’re doing you a favour. The kids want to hear a real “now” group, like the Misfits.

After watching the events of the Lin-Z show unfold, Aja remarks that it would be great if the Tucker quartet got back together again. Jerrica agrees that it’s a wonderful idea and says the Holograms are going to make it happen.

At O’Hare Airport, the Holograms land in their private jet. Shana mentions that Jazz is undergoing a big revival and that it’s only fitting that Taps Tucker be a part of it. The Holograms set off to find Taps Tucker.

Arriving at a run-down hotel, the Holograms find Taps Tucker. It appears that Tucker has lost touch with the rest of his band mates, as he’s not sure where they are. Jem is optimistic that she can help locate the rest of the quartet and mentions she has a friend that owns a Jazz recording label. Jem says her record label friend is likely going to be enthusiastic about having the famous Taps Tucker record a new album. Tucker agrees to go along with it.

Cut to Eric Raymond, who is in a meeting with Jem’s Jazz record label friend, Mark Rockwell. They’re discussing details about putting together a Jazz album portfolio, when suddenly the phone rings. Mark picks up the phone and listens to Jem’s proposal, after putting her on hold, he tells Eric he’s had another offer by her to put together the Taps Tucker Band. Rockwell doesn’t have the budget for both Jem and Eric’s album offer. Eric retaliates by telling Rockwell that he has other offers and doesn’t need him, besides, should Rockwell really take the risk on a band that hasn’t played together in 40 years? Rockwell decides to give Raymond 24 hours think it over. Rockwell speaks with Jem and asks her to get the Taps Tucker band together within 24 hours, otherwise he’ll have to side with Eric Raymond’s offer.

Elsewhere, Eric Raymond tells Pizzazz the truth about how he really needs this record deal to go through, and Rockwell is the only one who can make it happen. Eric doesn’t care what the Misfits have to do, but they have to ensure the Taps Tucker band doesn’t show up on time. Pizzazz hesitates and questions what’s in it for the Misfits. With only a portion of the profits from the Jazz deal with Rockwell, Eric can give the next Misfits album an unbelievable publicity blitz. Eric promises to plaster Pizzazz’s picture all over the country side (that’s one bold claim, but can Eric deliver?). Pizzazz bites and accepts the deal. Unsure of how to prevent Tucker from playing, Pizzazz mentions that his horn is the only one he can play, which alludes to the obvious: take away his instrument and there is no performance.

At Starlight Mansion, Synergy tells the Holograms she’s uplinked with the I.R.S. database in Washington and prints a copy of the whereabouts of the rest of the Tucker Band quartet. The band decides to split up to cover more ground. Shana will go to Duke’s Landing to find Ace O’Toole (the saxophone player). Aja will go to Seattle to find Joey London (the drummer). Kimber will go to Houston, Texas to find Dave Wilson (the bass player). Suddenly the phone rings and Ba Nee brings the phone to Jerrica. When Jerrica answers, she’s greeted with some unpleasant news. Tucker has informed Jerrica that someone has stolen his horn. Jerrica tells Shana, Aja, and Kimber to round up the rest of the band members while Jerrica and Raya try to find the missing instrument.

Eric Raymond enlists Techrat to hack into the airline to get the flight destinations for Jem and the Holograms. Since it wasn’t enough to just steal Tucker’s horn, the Misfits need to follow the Holograms to try and stop them from rounding up the rest of Tucker’s bandmates. Stormer follows Aja to Seattle and watchers Aja closely as she drops by Joey London’s home. London happily accepts Aja’s offer to play with the quartet again as he’s up to his ears in debt. Stormer sabotages Aja’s car by stealing a component from the engine bay. Before Aja and London can leave the apartment, a pair of loan sharks looking to collect on money that’s owed, stop them in their tracks. Aja and London make a run for it, but they find Aja’s tampered car and continue running away from the thugs. They head underground, hoping to lose them. Stormer follows them, but Aja and London are trapped.

Cut to Duke’s Landing, Shana makes her proposal to Ace O’Toole to make another record with the Taps Tucker Band. Unlike Joey London, O’Toole is perfectly happy with how his business is running. He even still plays the drums on Saturday nights, so the last thing he wishes to do is go back to Los Angeles. Roxy and Jetta eaves drop on the conversation and overhear O’Toole offer to Shana a free ride on his cruise ship.

Later, on Ace O’Toole’s cruise ship, we see Shana fishing. O’Toole looks at Shana and tells her that she probably went along for the ride because she still thinks there’s a chance he’ll change his mind and go back with her to Los Angeles. Shana concedes. Shana manages to catch a fish and O’Toole tells her to bring it in. A storm begins to brew on the horizon. O’Toole decides to turn the ship around before the ship gets caught in it, but the engine gives out. It looks like the ship has been tampered with, as the fuel reading shows the tank is empty. He knows for a fact he filled the tank up earlier that morning, but Shana notices a trail of gas in the water from the leaking tank. O’Toole attempts to call the coast guard for help, but the radio has also been cut. Roxy and Jetta are confident there’s no way O’Toole could make it back to Los Angeles, even if he decided to change his mind.

In Houston, Kimber meets with Dave Wilson, who appears to be not be enjoying retirement all that much as a custodian at a stadium. Wilson agrees to go back to Los Angels with Kimber, but when they attempt to leave, all the doors have been locked, no thanks for Techrat and Pizzazz.

Roll Misfits music video: “Trapped”.

Shana an Ace O’Toole are still caught in the storm. O’Toole falls off the boat and into the water. Shana goes after him to save him with a life preserver.

Back in Seattle, Stormer is following the loan sharks as well as Aja and Joey London. When Stormer realizes the loan sharks are playing for keeps, she decides to create a diversion to allow them to escape (she throws a brick into a window). Aja and London flag a cab and head straight for the airport. Stormer knows that Pizzazz and the rest of the Misfits aren’t going to be happy about the two of them escaping, but she doesn’t care. Stormer did the right thing.

Stormer: Oh, no. Aja and the old guy are gonna get hurt. I don’t want that.

In Houston, Kimber and Wilson need to find a way of escaping. Laser lights are going off and are distracting, but Wilson realizes he can cut the power by heading to the fuse box, so he does. Techrat seems surprised when the power goes out. Kimber and Wilson make it out of the Stadium.

Jem and Raya meet with Taps Tucker, who is beside himself about the stolen horn and has no idea who would want to steal it. Jem has a suspicion, so she calls Mark Rockwell and asks who made the other Jazz deal. When Rockwell explains that Eric Raymond made the other deal, Jem immediately realizes what’s happened: Raymond and the Misfits are responsible for stealing Tucker’s horn. After explaining to Tucker what’s transpired, Raya asks how they’re going to get his horn back. Jem thinks she has an idea that just might work.

At Misfits Music, Jem and Raya use Synergy’s holographic projection to disguise themselves as exterminators. They barge into Eric Raymond’s office, but he claims there are no bugs to exterminate. Jem tells Eric they plan on fumigating the room and that he should leave. While reluctant, Eric decides to comply. Jem and Raya begin searching the office for the stolen horn, going through closets and desk drawers. They finally discover the horn in a cabinet and attempt to put it in their bag, but Eric walks in and catches them in the act, treating to call the police for stealing it. Jem asks Synergy to create a hologram of the horn in the cabinet, so as to confuse and divert Eric’s attention to allow them to escape. It works and they leave. Eric realizes he’s been duped when the hologram dissipates, so he chases Jem and Raya down the corridor, not realizing the two of them are disguised as holographic plants. They both make it back to Tucker and present the horn to him. Wilson, London, and Tucker are reunited, but O’Tool and Shana are missing. They decide to leave and meet up with Mark Rockwell, hoping that Shana and O’Toole will make it on time.

We cut to Shana and O’Toole, who are still stranded in the middle of the ocean. Fortunately for the two of them, O’Toole carries a flare gun and uses it to catch the attention of the coast guard, who rescue them and bring them to shore. O’Toole is grateful and thankful to Shana for saving his life earlier. She once again asks him if he’d consider rejoining the rest of his old bandmates in Los Angeles for a final album, and he agrees.

At Mark Rockwell’s office, Eric Raymond looks pleased that the Taps Tucker band hasn’t made it to the meeting in time, so his Jazz deal by default should go through. Eric threatens Mark to sign the contract now, or else he’ll take the Jazz-classic tapes elsewhere. Mark grabs the pen from Eric and begins signing the contract, but before he can finish signing it, Jem and the Holograms burst through the door with Taps Tucker, Dave Wilson, and Joey London. Mark mentions that someone is missing, but Ace O’Toole and Shana show up at the last second–just in time to perform for Rockwell.

Roll Jem and the Holograms music video: “Jazz Has”.

After the performance, Rockwell says he’ll accept Jem’s offer to record a new album with the Taps Tucker quartet, so long as “Jazz Has” makes it onto the album. Eric is fuming at this point and tells Rockwell he can’t back out of the deal because he already signed, but it turns out that Rockwell never finished his signature, so the deal is null. Eric has no recourse at this point, other than to yell at Mark and claim that the album will never sell, because the quartet are has-beens. Rockwell tells Eric goodbye and he then storms out of the office.

This episode wraps with Ace O’Toole thanking Shana for convincing him to re-join the Taps Tucker Band, saying that the band is going to be better than ever. Taps tells Jem they’re going to dedicate the new album to Jem and the Holograms.

Duration: 1:10:55

Present: Alex Knight, Aleen Simms, K. Tempest Bradford.

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Download: JEMcast – Episode S2E11: “The Jazz Player”

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