Bean there...
Episode 307: Four’s Company

Note: Though "Four's Company" was the fifth Season Three episode shown, it was the 7th produced, hence the number "307".

Cast:
Brendon Small– Brendon Small
Jason Penopolis/Coach Jon McGuirk – H. Jon Benjamin
Melissa Robbins – Melissa Bardin Galsky
Paula Small – Janine Ditullo
Josie Small – Loren Bouchard
Mr. Lynch – Ron Lynch

Alright, Paula I'll call you back...

Synopsis: Melissa's new boyfriend creates some bitterness in Jason and Brendon, and McGuirk attempts to organize a dinner meeting.

History:
· This episode starts off the Lynch-Kittens running joke.

I'll be at the country club, 18th hole...

Lawn Gnomes: (Click for picture)
· The sculpture and statues in the opening movie are all lawn gnome shaped.

Prescott, my good man...

Brendon’s Filmography:
· “Prescott” – Millionaire Prescott’s past comes back to haunt him in this horrifying tale.
· “Susan B. Anthony Man” – The life story of Susan B. Anthony, Small-style.

The Movie-Episode Connection:
· None whatsoever.

The Plotline Connection: (TheJazzFighter)
· In this episode, Brendon feels threatened at the idea of there being four people in his group insted of three. McGuirk tries to get 3 other people to come to dinner. hence making it 4. The title fits in.

I guess I'll settle for the right to bear arms!!!

Random Observations & Facts:
· There is a picture of an old man who looks like Brendon on the wall in “Prescott”.
· Some of the art on Prescott’s walls: A $ sign, Some gold coins, a money bag, a $100 bill
· The weight attached to Wayne (Jason) in “Prescott” says 10 lbs.
· When Prescott wakes up from his nightmare, his handkerchief is covered in dirt, his legs are chained together, worms crawl on his floor, his walls bleed and open up, and he finds a fish with a flower on it behind his head.
· On Lynch’s chalkboard: A picture of a house & sun, a smiley face, a basic multiplication problem, “Today’s word: Cholestrerol”, “Hi Mr. Lynch” and a Trigonometry function.
· The picture Lynch has stopped the movie on features Jason & Melissa eating Brendon.
· The various shopping carts contain appropiate items:
Paula: 6 cans of beans and Super Diapers.
Brendon: Dog Food, a fire hydrant squeak toy, a mega blaster and something with a dog’s face on it.
Erik: Loco Coco, Good S’mornings, bananas and a bag of muffins.
Lynch: Chipz, milk and mouthwash.
Melissa: Piece of French Bread, Wine, Flowers, and a bag of bagels.
McGuirk: Black Hole Brew (2 24-packs, 2 6-packs), Meat, Red Eye Whiskey, Water and a bag of “Jack O Tater”. The contents of McGuirk’s shopping cart change from one scene to the next.
Jason: Grapes and an apple.
· The trio eats “Peanut Butter Jiffy Oats” cereal in the shopping aisle.
· The costumes eventually used in “Susan B. Anthony Man” can be seen behind Jason & Brendon when Jason talks about Melissa.
· Brendon's test paper. Notice "October" and the strongman Brendon in the right corner.
· Octavio’s teeth shine when he smiles.
· Sign in the hallway at Brendon’s school: “Hacky The Butt Says: ‘Stay Away From Cigs, Kids. Trust Me!’ – Hacky”
· McGuirk & Brendon’s eyes follow Walter & Perry dancing across the soccer field.
· The book Brendon reads about Susan B. Anthony is just a bunch of letters like this: fkjlfk js;kfljalfj hflkjf fhkalhf
· Erik’s note: Call Wisam @ work.
· Lynch has a book on his nightstand that is called "Here Kitty Kitty". (Thanks to Lauren for the name)
· Octavio looks sickened at “Susan B. Anthony Man”

Past Episode References:
· Several food items in the shopping carts are from past episodes: Loco Coco (205 – The Party), Chipz (Several episodes), Good S’mornings (303 – Bad Influences), Red Eye Whiskey (112 – Law and Boarder) and Black Hole Brew (many episodes).
· The published poet from Episode 108 – Method of Acting is in line at the supermarket.

End Credits: "Season Three Theme"

And we did not pay for this cereal, did we?

Reviews: WARNING: Spoilers

Jdoggg: Good episode, the best one of season 3 so far (not saying much, though). It didn't seem to take the outlandish route, which I am very appreciative of (I was afraid Melissa was going to level a whole block, but no explosions, good job). The McGuirk subplot was good, especially his scenes alone with Erik, because then I can pretend that I'm watching Dr. Katz. It's also nice to see the movies get resurrected, because the absences of the movies in other season 3 episodes made them seem even less Home Movies-like. A

Spectre: Oh, goodness. What a nice episode this was. I was pretty surprised. This episode.. well, on first viewing, ranks as the second best episode of the third season so far ("Shore Leave" is still #1). But even so, this episode does wonders in so many areas.

Pros: Complete random humor, which might turn some fans off. It was amazing. I loved the scene in which McGuirk spies on Erik, and I also loved the whole, entire shopping mart sequences. It was a nice change to see HM in a different environment.

Not to mention other incredible moments. Of course it's impossible to list them all, about ten happen in a minute.

Cons: None to say as of now.

I'd rate this an A.

Noclist: Home Movies - This show just continues to stay consistantly funny, I love every episode. The best parts were the bean conversations and the Susan B. (*****en!) Anthony convo at the end.

A-

The Condiment King: This episode was great, except for Octavio. Octavio was about as useful as Loni in "We'll Always Have Tuesday". It was just odd, and he didn't really add much to the episode. Not a very good character. Not to mention, his storyline was much more contrived than Loni's. At least Loni was just a boyhood crush on a fickle girl. That's understandable (if somewhat boring). Octavio's storyline was just strange, in that he wanted to be in a movie with the "famous" director Brendon Small. I know that Brendon won an award and was on the news in "Brendon's Choice", but that's about it. As far as I know, noone knows of his movies but the people that know Brendon, Melissa, and Jason. Didn't make much sense to me. The best part of Octavio was Brendon's nickname for Octavio, October, which is just a laughably bad nickname.

I really like the grocery scene with everyone "exchanging information". This scene really involved all the classic stuff about a grocery store, like having a person there to try out a certain new product like with McGuirk and Tofu Tots. Brendon has all the pets including Old Joe, Regular Joe, and Cup of Joe. Its very obvious that McGuirk would have all those Black Hole Brews in his shopping cart seeing as how often we've seen them in this series. Its funny that Jason is like an old lady with his coupon book out. Melissa says coupon differently than I would say it. I'm guessing that's the southern accent. I usually add a longer u in it.

Something interesting for the long term of this series is that Jason planned on marrying Melissa sometime in the future, when they were adults. This really does come out of nowhere, and it still is odd why they included it. Maybe Bill Braudis and Brendon just wanted to make something that wasn't obvious obvious to cover up the bickering between Brendon and Melissa in this episode. Brendon was obviously jealous of Octavio because perhaps he liked Melissa. I believe that if this show continued much further and if children this age had feelings like this (which I guess they do in this universe), Brendon and Melissa would have probably ended up together.

I like that McGuirk is trying to organize a dinner with the major adults in the series: Paula, Lynch, and Erik. McGuirk and Erik were great in this episode. "ADULT DIAPERS? I HAD NO IDEA." The best part of this is McGuirk using binoculars out of his car to look at Erik and catch him lying on the phone to him. A classic scene. Erik and McGuirk really work well together, and its fitting to see just them going to the dinner. *****

J-Chan: Mm, new episode ^^ God, McGuirk was fantastic in this one! He just keeps getting funnier. Jason's coupon book cracked me up.. and it only went uphill from there. The random dancing Walter and Perry was so FUNNY~~ So much character interaction in just one episode, it's amazing. Gotta love that Susan B Anthony presentation.

Shnay: Hoo, boy, I did not like this one. There were so many things in this episode that went against everything the series and characters are about. But, I always try to begin my reviews with the positives of the episode, so I suppose I’ll do the same this time. Unfortunately, the list of positives this time is rather limited.

The animation looks really great. Overall, I still prefer the Squigglevision, but this episode proves that these guys can do some excellent work in Flash. The opening movie (which I really didn’t like…but I’ll get to that later) looked incredible. On the characterization side of things, it was interesting (to a point) to see the loneliness and desperation of Erik and McGuirk. Having Erik be the only one to show up to McGuirk’s little “get together” was the one good thing character-wise that came out of this episode. And, finally, though it was a pretty small thing, I liked the scene where Brendon was doodling on his test paper, including a picture of him with huge muscles; that was pretty funny.

Now the negatives. Sigh…so many things wrong with this episode…

First off, the opening movie was everything that the movies shouldn’t be. I hate the fact that the movies keep getting more and more elaborate in terms of visuals. Melissa takes off a mask of her face to reveal a skull? What happened to that great, small-time, amateur charm? They’re eight year olds making movies in the basement, and it should look like that. It shouldn’t look like…well, like a fancy Flash animation. When their movies look over the top, it takes a great deal away from the series is all about. And, on the topic of bad movies, the “*****in’” in the Susan B. Anthony movie was completely out of character for all of them, especially Melissa.

The main plot, dealing with Octavio and Melissa, was awful. The idea of a fourth person interfering with movie making seemed recycled from the episode with Lani. The character of Octavio was boring and his plot was incredibly stupid and unbelievable. He’s trying to get into the movies of the “famous” Brendon Small? Give me a break. And I know he’s just a one-time character, but Lani was at least semi-interesting, while Octavio was as bland as they come. The plot didn’t feel thought out at all, and didn’t add anything to any characters or provide that much comedy (if any). It seemed to just be thrown in to fill time.

The other plot is McGuirk’s attempts to get everyone together. Now, this started out pretty well, but dragged on and on until it just got irritating. The first scene in the grocery store between Paula, Lynch, McGuirk, and Erik was great. The three guys all have the same corny sense of humor, and crack each other up while Paula tries desperately to squirm away. That scene was great; it went on a bit long, but that’s certainly forgivable. But then this plot with McGuirk just continues on and on until the once-funny situation turns irritating. Sure, the conclusion to all this, with Erik being the only one showing up, was great, and was probably the best thing to come from the episode. But the amount of time they spent building up that scene was far to long for a short scene at the end.

And, last but not least, the characterization we do get, I don’t like. Why, oh why, did Jason have to talk about dreams of marrying Melissa? I don’t want to see some typical, cliché “love-hate” relationship develop. Can’t their personalities just clash without adding “blossoming romantic feelings”? I thought this, like the country club episode, does more bad than good to developing Jason’s character.

Now, I know that this is “just a TV show” and that’s it’s not meant to be analyzed or looked at this in depth. I realize that. But the reason I write this much (and, sometimes, complain this much) is that I really love this show, and I get upset when they do something that I don’t think is for the best. Anyway, just my thoughts.

StrangerAtaru: Quartets were in for an episode, and while one set of quartets ended up with an interesting storyline, the other one really never went anywhere except with a few jokes here and there. The first, and lesser, of the quartets was when transfer student Octavio decides to "date" Melissa, but only because he wanted to get into Brendon's movies! A lot of the Melissa/Octavio scenes together seemed to overtly play up this aspect a bit too much, but those are probably one of the worse parts of it. On the other hand, watching the reactions of Brendon being faced with Melissa falling for this guy is, as typical, funny. (including in the semi-classic "supermarket sequence", but I will get to that when I get to the other set-up) It was strange hearing from Jason that he himself loves Melissa with all of this going on, but considering that those two spend a lot of time together with the movies (and have this rivalry that can go from friendly to hostile), that makes a bit more sense in the end. (of course, when Brendon tells him to "Fluff the pillow and get the wig", I actually thought Jason was going to play Melissa in the movie of the episode, but it was just a normal pillow) This storyline does get better only when Brendon finds out Octavio is a fraud, including with his French accent ("I'm Canadian, eh?") and tries to have him break up with Melissa or else. This storyline in the end is only OK, partially because the only really good part involved Octavio's "frauding" confessions.

The other "quartet" refered to earlier is the unlikely, but funny, combination of the four main adults in the series: Paula, Erik, Lynch and McGurk. The situation starts off funny enough with the coincidental encounter in the supermarket, that seemed at first concentrating on Paula since she was the first one in the area. The conversation was a good one between the four of them (with a lot of bean jokes all around), but suddenly becomes awkward when McGurk takes control of the plot, choosing to have the four of them come together again for dinner sometime. McGurk does try his best throughout the entire episode to try and bring the four of them together again, but he does seem more and more desperate as the episode goes along to making sure this happens. But then it gets really funny again in a climatic scene where the soccer coach starts "stalking" Erik in order to make sure that he goes through with this. (the first time I saw that scene, I was a tad shocked that he would go this far to make sure they get together, but this is McGurk we are dealing with) I sort of saw this plotline pretty much as McGurk's strange plea in creating lasting friendships with the people he knows, even if there are some he never really likes that much. (and we all know how well he and Lynch get along....) But the end of the episode had a very typical, yet funny, ending where McGurk and Erik finally do get together without the other two, but he leaves Melissa's father with the bill. (I know I probably didn't get everything that happened, but I do know that this plotline was overall more consistant in humor than the one involving Octavio)

Outside the main "plot" of this episode, we had a lot of interesting jokes that varied in humor. For one thing, I liked the parallel supermarket encounter that occurs parallel to the adult one between Brendon, Jason and Melissa, which while does seem somewhat conventional considering what else is going on, does get funny once we get to the trio trading coupons amongst each other. The two "movies" in the episode somewhat varied in quality: the "horror" movie, while somewhat creepily funny in a weird way, has been commented by someone else that it is a tad too sophisticated for someone of Brendon's talents. Personally, I don't know or not, but it did have a bit of humor even if it was a little predictable. The other "movie" (as well as the reaction to the first one by Lynch) continues the thread that Brendon sucks at history, with him turning Susan B. Anthony into a gun-toting woman who used forceful tactics in suffagation. That one was a lot funnier than the first, if only because of the continued theme. (and because Melissa, like Susan B., was "*****in'"!) Another continued thread from a previous episode was Brendon's desire for a pet...which hasn't gotten better since "Brendon Gets Rabies". Finally, in a small cameo appearance, is one of my favorite Walter and Perry scenes of all time! (there just something hilarious in comparing Melissa and Octavio's "waltz" to Walter and Perry running around acting goofy!) Overall, this was a pretty good episode, not perfect, but with its moments.

The Landstander: I have to go with the general opinion, definetely not one of their best. Of the two plots, McGuirk's is definetely better, but it's still not that great.

The Octavio thing was, in total, just silly. They've already done the Yoko aspect in "Yoko", the character himself wasn't very funny. And the idea of him wanting to make movies with Brendon Small feels like an idea from a completely different show. The Susan B. Anthony movie was cool (and the initial joke of Brendon using it as a report was pretty funny), but everything else was a bore.

McGuirk does indeed have some funny scenes here, at least. The initial scenes in the grocery store were very funny and seemed to ring true; I liked how Paula seemed to paying more attention to Josie by the end of everything. McGuirk's insistance on a dinner meeting is funny, though the episode doesn't seem to take it beyond that. The ending hits a nice note too, with Erik showing up and McGuirk pulling a 180.

Yeah, I pretty said what Shnay already said. A mediocre episode.

I'm in my car, holding binoculars...