S2E9: “Aztec Enchantment”

Synopsis: “A prestigious film contest is coming up and Video is determined to win the competition. She brings Jem, The Holograms and Rio down to Mexico to film their newest video at a top secret location that is sure to give her the first prize.”

Summary: Episode 35 (S2E9) is written by Misty Stewart-Taggart.

We open with Lin-Z announcing that Jem and the Holograms are preparing to shoot a new music video in a secret location. It’s being directed by Vivian Montgomery. Lin-Z tries to coax Jem to divulge the location details for the shoot, but Video interrupts and says the video will be her entry for the International Rock Video Festival (the only award that Video hasn’t won). But why the need for all of the secrecy? Well, they don’t want to tip off any competitors that might try to steal their ideal shooting location.

Meanwhile, the Misfits are doing a photoshoot and Pizzazz is not happy to hear that Jem and the Holograms are shooting a music video in a secret location.

Pizzazz: I’ve been snarling ever since I heard about those creeps and their secret video.

Clash enters with a brand new camera that her father gifted her for her birthday. She claims it’s twice the camera Video is currently using and wants to use it to film the Misfits for the International Rock Video Festival. The Misfits are not receptive to Clash filming another video, as the last time she made an attempt, it was disastrous. Clash promises this time it will be different as she managed to get her hands on the secret filming location (by disguising herself as Video’s maid).

Cut to Video briefing everyone on the location of the video shoot, which will be deep in the Mexican jungle near ancient Aztec ruins. Raya’s father warns her that the trip will be very dangerous. Raya insists on going anyway as it will be her first time visiting Mexico, not to mention all of the stories about the land and its people. Rio tries to put her parent’s concerns at rest as Video has hired the best possible guide they could get, plus he’ll be there. Jem also reassures Raya’s parents and her father wishes her well.

Jem and the Holograms arrive in Mexico City to meet up with their tour guide: Luise Haraldo. As Luise arrives and greets the group, Raya seems quite smitten at his appearance. Before filming the music video, the Holograms go on a tour of the ancient Aztec ruins of Mexico with their tour guide.

Luis Heraldo and the Holograms embark on a tour through the jungle and they decide to stop at a nearby village for lunch. When they arrive, they are greeted with a horrific view of a demolished village, due to a recent earthquake. Video decides to grab her camera and shoot the devastation in an effort to convince people back home to send food and water to the villagers. When Video reaches into the Jeep, a boy steals her video camera and runs away. Video chases the boy and Haraldo catches him. The boy’s name is Paco and he’s homeless. The Holograms give him some food to eat and Paco insists that they take him back to America, because everyone there is rich and has big homes and big cars (not entirely inaccurate, from the perspective of someone who’s homeless and has nothing–even lower income Americans may look rich from his eyes). Raya tells Paco that you don’t just get rich by going to America–he seems surprised by this. Jem tells Paco that they are unable to take him and he runs away. The Holograms are concerned for the homeless boy, but Haraldo says not to worry as the village will take care of him.

The Holograms leave to make way to the ruins, and hopefully before nightfall as Video is on a tight schedule. Heraldo is concerned that if the earthquake damaged the bridge over the rapids, their shoot could be over before it even starts. The conversation is interrupted when an audible sneeze is heard from the rear of the vehicle. The Holograms have a stowaway–Paco! Since there’s no time to return him to the village, they decide to return him after the video shoot (Paco seems pleased).

Arriving at the bridge, Haraldo leaves the Jeep and goes to check the structural integrity of the bridge. It appears to be intact, so he signals everyone to cross it and follow him. Half way through the bridge, another devastating earthquake hits and the bridge begins to crumble. Fortunately for the Holograms, Haraldo quickly puts the Jeep into reverse and high-tails it back the way they came, nearly missing certain death. Rio shakes Haraldo’s hand and compliments him on his skilled driving. Unfortunately for the Holograms, the bridge was the only way across to the ruins. Overhead, they try and signal the attention of a helicopter, but when it gets closer, they notice it’s Clash and the Misfits. And it’s in this moment that Video realizes her secret filming location must have been discovered. Paco volunteers to help find a new way as he’s quite knowledgable of the land, but Haraldo insists the bridge was the only way across.

The Misfits revel in the knowledge that the Holograms are stranded and are without a secret filming location. Pizzazz decides they should turn the helicopter around for another pass and so she grabs the controls, causing the pilot to lose control.

Cut to the Holograms as they make it through a jungle clearing to another small bridge. Tensions are high as they attempt to cross it. Will the bridge hold out? Well, they make it across okay. Paco mentions his grandfather helped fixed the bridge.

The Misfits manage to land the helicopter safely, but not without seriously damaging it. Eric Raymond is completely beside himself as he can’t believe they survived the ordeal. Clash grabs the map and is determined to find the Aztec ruins before the Holograms do, but Pizzaz, Stormer, Roxy, and Jetta are not looking forward to walking (Stormer has heels on and Pizzazz says they’re stars, not pack mules).

The Holograms, with the help of Paco, manage to make it to the recently discovered Aztec ruins. Video makes a passing comment how they’re the first group to film at the ruins (no thanks to her friend who makes documentaries for the Mexican government). Raya says she feels completely at home in the ruins and Heraldo tells her to embrace it because it’s her heritage.

Cue Jem and the Holograms Music video: “Aztec Enchantment”.

After the music video, an older man comes running out of a temple, demanding who these people are and what the “ear-splitting noise” was. The old man introduces himself as Dr. Valdezar. Raya recognizes him as a famous architect. When Jem explains that they’re filming a music video, Dr. Valdezar gets very possessive, claiming he won’t allow the group to film as it will attract tourists and treasure hunters. Rio explains they have permission from the Mexican government to film and that they aren’t leaving until they’re finished. Valdezar threatens Rio and the Holograms that they’ll “regret coming to this place.”

Later, the Misfits arrive at the Aztec ruins and Clash believes they’re the first to arrive. The Misfits are not pleased about the location shoot, but they decide to try and upstage the Holograms by shooting a music video.

Cue Misfits music video: “Welcome To The Jungle”.

The following morning, Jem and the Holograms take a break and get setup for filming the next scene. Paco interrupts and asks if they can go, but Raya explains they can’t go to America. Paco becomes upset and leaves. Dr. Valdezar tells Paco he knows a way that he can get to America, and they both enter one of the Aztec templates. Raya observes the situation and when Jem says Valdezar seems friendly today, Raya has her suspicions and thinks something is off with him.

We cut to a quick scene where Dr. Valdezar appears to be hashing out some kind of nefarious plan with Paco. Later, Paco drags Jem away from the rest of the Holograms and asks her to follow him. When Jem asks Paco why the rest of the band wasn’t invited, he makes an excuse that Valdezar wanted only her to see this. Jem makes her way to a well and looks into it, noticing how deep it is. Dr. Valdezar shows up and explains it’s a sacrificial well and that she should take a closer look. He pushes her into the well.

Rio, Aja, Kimber, Shana, and Raya begin searching for Jem, as it’s unusual for her to run off and not let anyone know.

Paco finds Dr. Valdezar and tells him he did exactly as he was told. When Paco asks if the doctor can take him to America now, Valdezar tells him to get lost. Paco realizes he’s been duped and demands to know what he did with Jem. Dr. Valdezar threatens Paco and tells him perhaps he wants to join her. Paco manages to break free of Valdezar’s grip and screams for help (the doctor tries to escape).

The Holograms discover an empty temple. Rio realizes that Dr. Valdezar is not an archeologist, but a thief as all of the treasures have been stolen. Kimber notices a truck leaving the ruins and realizes it’s Dr. Valdezar. Rio and Luise decide to chase after Valdezar and they cut him off, causing his truck to crash.

Cut to Paco who’s looking for Jem. He hears Jem’s cry for help and finds her at the bottom of the well. Paco finds a nearby tree, grabs the vine, and lowers it down to Jem so she can escape.

After capturing Dr. Valdezar and his cronies, Raya berates him for stealing treasures that belong to his own country. Valdezar pleads not to turn him in and offers a bribe, to split the treasures evenly. Rio grills Valdezar as to the whereabouts of Jem and he agrees to take them to her. Valdezar lures the group to a hidden Tomb where they encounter an old man that turns out to be the real Dr. Valdezar. The imposter turns out to be Ramon Chavez who is nothing other than a common thief. Chavez locks them within the Tomb.

Cue Jem and the Holograms music video: “Love Will Show The Way”.

Jem enlists Synergy to create a diversion. A hologram of ancient Aztecs appear, which at first do not frighten Chavez. But when Chavez charges at the holograms, his fists pass through them and he’s convinced they are ghosts. The Aztec ghosts demand the prisoners and treasures be released, otherwise he’ll be doomed. Chavez agrees.

The Misfits appear to be stranded, but fortunately for them, they manage to hitch a ride in one of the Jeeps accompanying Jem and the Holograms.

A festival of celebration in a small village. Jem mentions the government is going to send a new team of workers to help Dr. Valdezar with the Aztec ruins. Raya mentions to Paco that the government is particular impressed with his deeds. Jem says they’re going to ask the government for permission to take him to America, but he says “no thank you.” Raya Asks “why the change of heart?” Paco says the Aztec’s built things that cannot break. He will go to school and learn to build things the Earth cannot knock down. Paco is proud of his country and wants to stay and make it great.

We end with the Holograms winning the International Rock Video Festival. A reporter asks Lin-Z what they plan on doing with the reward money. Jem mentions the money is going to someone who really needs it (it turns out to be Paco). We see Paco sitting in a classroom learning about the history of the ancient Aztecs.

Duration: 1:06:08

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

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Download: JEMcast – Episode S2E9: “Aztec Enchantment”