Can anybody hear me?
Episode 301: Shore Leave

Well girls, are we getting excited yet?

Brendon Small/FPC Cartoon Guy/Perry/Ken Addleburg– Brendon Small
Jason Penopolis/Coach Jon McGuirk/FPC Woman/Walter – H. Jon Benjamin
Melissa Robbins – Melissa Bardin Galsky
Paula Small – Janine Ditullo
Josie Small – Loren Bouchard
Fenton Muley – Sam Seder
Trudy Muley - Paula Plum


Synopsis: Brendon, Jason and Melissa face seperation during the weekend from hell. Brendon is forced to spend the weekend at Fenton Muley's house after Paula agrees to it; Melissa is forced to join the Fairy Princess Corporation after Erik signs her up.

· This is the season 3 premiere episode, feautring the return of Erik & Josie.

Lawn Gnomes: (Click for picture)
· Bed shot during the Walkie-talkie test.
· There is a lawn gnome in the way left corner when McGuirk is talking to Melissa at the mall. A sign says, “All Gnomes 40% Off!”


Brendon’s Filmography:
· “Shore Leave” – Three sailors finally get off the seas and get to spend some time on shore leave.

The Movie-Episode Connection:
· The movie is about three sailors who get some time off. The episode has Melissa, Jason and Brendon spending the weekend away from each other.

The Plotline Connection: (TheJazzFighter)
· Brendon and Melissa take a leave for Fenton's and the FPC, respectively. Paula and Erik also get to take a leave from having Brendon and Melissa around.

· This episode features the acoustic instrumental of “El Escapo Music”.


Random Observations & Facts:
· This episode is the first time we’ve seen Erik since 204 and the first time we see Josie since 205.
· Sign at opening of “Shore Leave”: “Anchors & Aweigh We Go!!!”
· Building in “Shore Leave”:
· Erik is wearing an apron when he talks to Melissa about gender bending.
· The FPC pamphlet has a pie chart on it.
· McGuirk says that Melissa is hanging out with “A bunch of whiny babies in stupid uniforms”. The next scene has Perry in his soccer uniform crying.
· Sign in the FPC room: “Pretty Little Cute”
· Fenton’s character has changed from “The Party”. In “The Party”, he was a spoiled brat who was mean to his mother. In “Shore Leave”, he is an overly obedient creepy kid. I guess McGuirk set him straight.
· The clock on the coffee machine says 1:04 during the Erik/Paula scene.
· Erik’s coffee mug has some sort of monster on it.
· Fenton calls Brendon “B” and “Bren Bren” during the course of this episode.
· During the FPC video scene with the “Before & After” girl, there is a caption on the bottom of the screen: “* The FPC generic girl is not actually you but a representation of adolescent girls in simplistic doodle format.”
· The name for phantom-shoppers in the FPC video: “Civies”
· Brendon and Fenton play “Roll-A-Nine”
· Fenton is holding a bunch of hair care products when he suggests, “Let’s do something fun with our hair!”
· In Brendon’s nightmare, Fenton’s face appears on: Coach McGuirk, Paula, Josie, Melissa, and Fenton’s hair appears on a regular looking-Jason.
· All of the Fairy Princess merchandise is $6.66.
· A guy in a black and white criminal costume holding a bag with a $ on it walks through the mall.
· Melissa has really big eyes when McGuirk comes back. They go back to normal size when he asks where the food court is.
· Fenton’s poncho has a mini-umbrella on top.
· Melissa uses all 3 FPC products in her escape: Hair products to blow up the place, the umbrella to keep her dry, and a string of cloths to escape from the window.
· Bumper stickers on McGuirk’s car: “Yankees Sucks” and “Rehab is 4 Quitters!!!”
· Meals at the “Sunny Side Up Diner”
Brendon: Hamburger and fires
Melissa: Pancakes with “Jersey Turnpike "Natural" Syrup"
Jason: Fish and ice cream
McGuirk: Mug of beer and a bottle of beer
· McGuirk breaks Jason’s Walkie-talkie in two pieces and puts his ice cream on his head. While Jason & McGuirk talk, H. Jon Benjamin is actually talking to himself.
· In the credits, we see “El Escapo Music & Lyrics – Brendon Small” Once again, there were no lyrics in the episode.
· In Shore Leave, after Melissa sees McGuirk at the mall and she calls Jason on the walkie-talkie and says "Jason, come in, Jason," the next few lines of dialogue between the two are mistakenly the unpitched voices of the actors (as opposed to the full-step-up pitched voices the kids usually get in production). (thanks to a fan for this contribution)

Would you like to buy an FPC fairy cloth?

Past Episode References:
· Inconsistency: In episode 104 – Brendon Gets Rabies, Melissa says she “does not like birds at all” and says she wouldn’t want to get one. In this episode, it is shown the Robbins have a bird.

Movie & Other References:
· Brendon’s video in the Muley’s closet plays out like "The Blair Witch Project”.

End Credits: Spoken: McGuirk registers

The Aftermath

Reviews: WARNING: Spoilers

Randomguy: Hmmm... Interesting. Strange. I don't think it's a whole new show, but it's getting closer. Anyway, although the movie parodies were great, there was one big, BIG instance of wackiness that I didn't much care for, and that was Melissa blowing up a can of hairspray. Way too out-there for the normally semi-realistic Home Movies. Everything else was golden. McGuirk was toned down a little, which was good. The editing and animation were great. Melissa getting more development was superb, and I did like that we saw her in the light that we did- smart, sympathetic, with a little badass in her. Indeed, this ep was more about her than Brendan, which is fine with me (if they do it only occasionally). It ruled to see both Josie and Erik back, and the dynamic between Erik and Paula was most interesting indeed (it seems Melissa's old man has a bit of a thing for Paula, although she couldn't care less).

That being said, though, I hope they're careful about not getting too wacky. Having Melissa blow up a room is a little much.

Spectre: Oh, God, hopefully I'm not the only one here -- I thought this episode was fantastic. It was incredibly better than "Politics," even though that episode was a pretty good. It's not a first season episode -- and by this, I mean it had more of a second season atmosphere to it -- and let's face it, no future episode will ever be like a first season episode. Those were it, and it seems like that's going to be the way for a while.

But even so, this episode could easily top a few first season episodes. Really. It's got a great storyline -- that of Brendon and Melissa feeling not quite in place in their surroundings -- Brendon at Fenton's house for the weekend, Melissa at a girl camp -- and it's done in such perfect timing, it totally works. Completely. It's got all of the usual HM humor that we've all known to love, and it has it in spades. It also has this beautiful dramatic quality, like the moment where Brendon and Melissa brake out of their horrible, horrible surroundings. Music is top notch, too.

HM has really aged well. Let's hope for more good episodes like this. A+

Jethro-McB: Very nice, very nice! The whole "stuck hanging out with the annoying kid" plot really worked with me, for some reason. Didn't you love the way that every time you stayed over at another kid's house as a child, you were always forced to conform to their bizarre, ass-backwards rituals? The Fairy Princess plot was also great, especially the sales video (and, of course, Melissa's "What the crap" reaction.) As usual, Coach McGuirk steals every scene he's in. I don't know why he's such a great character - maybe it's the way that Jon Benjamin delivers the lines. Anyways, had to love McGuirk in this episode. He had the best lines - "Are you drunk?" "Of course I'm drunk, that's why I came to the mall," "I was right and you were wrong and now you're miserable. And that's good." And let's not forget the resolution. "El Escapo" steals the show, only to be punctuated by the outstanding voice-over during the credits. Overall, a solid A

Jdoggg: This started out as a good episode. It had good jokes, plots, etc. The Melissa plot was good. The Brendan plot was great. Then there was that ending. I see this as both a turning point and an omen of things to come. Melissa should not be able to blow up a room without consequence. That's way too cartoony. HM was interesting mainly because the stuff that was portrayed could happen, and that was what defined it from most of the animation. How long is it before they build giant robots and fight Martians? Still, for the most part, a great episode. A

Rad Recker: This episode was awesome! I can't believe at one time I hated this show and wished they would remove it for good. Thank god for the drastic improvements of Season 2. Tonight's episode was in the season 2 veins but went beyond and became what I consider probably the best episode of Home Movies.
Grade: A+

Behonkiss: Well, I'm in awe. This surpasses 'The Party', even 'Writers' Block'. The parts with Brendan and Fenton fighting, and the infamous explosion (Me and my brother just about died watching her stroll down the hall like that), the return of Josie and Erik, and a focus on Melissa for once made this a triumphant return. I kind of think it would have been a nice idea for Jason to have been involuntarily thrown into something horrible as well, and it was nice for him to finally have a talk with Coach McGuirk. And let's not forget McGuirk talking with the Sausage Guy over a web domain.

"Wouldn't your family like a cloth?" "No, I don't have any." "Why not?" "They're dead." "Oh, I'm sorry I brought it up..." "Don't be. It's not your fault. People die." "Would a cloth make you feel better?" "No. Get out before I call the police." "OK." "No, you're not supposed to say OK! What's the worst the police willll do, arrest you?"

Moreysurf: I had never seen this episode til last night....boy was I in for a treat! This ep was just hysterical, quite possible the best HM ever(Dare I say better than director's cut?) The Fairy Princesses, Mcguirk, Brendon and Fenton, it was all good. Now we come to the part some people hated...Melissa blowing up the Fairy Princesses "compound". Was it a bit unrealistic for HM? yes. did it detract from an excellent episode? NO! So it was a bit what?

Shore Leave gets a big A+

Condiment King: This was a great episode, perhaps the best season premiere of the series. Fenton was back and on form, but this time with a different type of annoyance. He was annoying in his overzealousness of the weekend with Brendon. The rules that ran the Mulley household suggested that either Mrs. Mulley ran a tighter ship since "The Party" or it was just a really eccentric household. Brendon was in a living hell. "Rice flavored."

This is the first time that Melissa really had a storyline all her own, and she thrived. This is the season where Melissa's characterization really comes on strong. I like the fact that the Fairy Princess Club ends up being some corperation pyramid scheme, as well as McGuirk once again being really hard on Melissa. Notice that the fairy clothes that Melissa was selling were $6.66. There was a great scene there with the leader of the club trying to teach Melissa how to sell, even if it meant the person would call the cops for her to stop. H. Jon Benjamin was really great here.

Its interesting that Erik was so worried with Melissa having a mother figure in her life, but its really true that she doesn't. Its weird that Erik would think that Brendon doesn't have a father figure when he has two in Andrew and McGuirk. He even might have four if you were liberal and included Erik and Lynch. He might have more father figures than mother figures since he just has Paula as an older woman who guides him in life.

The ending to this episode was classic with Melissa doing the elaborate get away, the fallout with Brendon and Fenton at Fenton's house, as well as Jason and McGuirk ending up at the exact spot that they all got to. This is the first time we actually see Jason interact with McGuirk (which is odd since they are both voiced by H. Jon Benjamin). Great line from McGuirk at the end about registering I noticed that the animation is better for Season 3 as well. Very well-written fantastic episode. *****

Jacob The Hedgehog: Shore Leave is, in my opinion, one of the best Home Movies episodes. In fact, the only thing I didn't like about it was Fenton. I understand him to have a new personality, but his change was a little bit to sudden, It makes him look like Walter and Perry. All that aside, my favorite scene in the episode is the Walkie Talkie scene.

Jacob's Observations: The only thing that the Muellys serve is rice.
Melissa is obviously gifted, if she can make a bomb out of hair care products
McGurk seems drunker then usual
Seems kinda weird that McGurk got a copy of that video (and disgusting)
Why Brendon didn't burn that tape is beyond me
This is one of the fiew times Melissa's last name is shown

Jacob's Overall Rating: A+

Mynd Hed: This is a new one to me, and I friggin' LOVED it. It got off to a slightly rocky start, but it finished STRONG. Is it just me, or have the kids in this show gotten slightly more foul-mouthed? Not that I'm complaining or anything-- Melissa echoed my sentiments entirely when she said, "What the crap?" and I think Jason just might be the only non-South-Park 8-year-old ever to tell anyone to kiss his ass on basic cable.
Anyway this episode just got better and better. The Fairy Princess Corporation training video was hilarious, McGuirk's drunken mall conversation with Melissa was aces (especially Melissa's doe eyes-- that freaked me out) and the ending was pure gold.
One pretty major flaw: I disliked the whole Fenton subplot, and that's rare for me. I usually love seeing all the other characters in the show react to Fenton, but it just didn't do it for me this episode. It was also pretty out of character-- since when did Fenton turn from a 100% demanding obnoxious brat to someone who flip-flops between a demanding brat and a saccharine-sweet-eager-to-please-mama's-boy? And for that matter, when did Fenton's Mom turn from an easily controlled puppet into a demanding authoritarian who makes him go to bed at 6:30 and do chores in the rain when he has a guest over?
The only other real flaw some people might find in this episode is that it's a tad phallocentric-- everything feminine is skewered as either being silly, superficial, and lame (the FPC uniforms, the way Brendon runs "like a girl") or else overly capitalistic and exploitative (the FPC training video, the pressure-intensive FPC leader). Being a dude, I didn't have any particular problem with this, but I can see how some ladies in the audience might have.

Overall Grade: B+ (would've been an A+ if the Fenton scenes had been more in character)

StrangerAtaru: For some reason to me, as funny as this episode is, I just can never place this one in the "classic" position as practically everyone else who sees it. Sure it is an interesting experience, but there are just some things that don't work or make it more foolish than funny. The first thing to say is that this is "the" Melissa episode, pure and simple. She is caught in this typical sitcom plotline about "the tomboy girl who is forced into something more girly", even though the basis of this is a funny movie where they are gender-bending sailors. (with Brendon and Jason acting feminine, and of course Melissa being overtly macho) It is here that Melissa is forced into the infamous "Fairy Princesses", which at first tries too hard to be feminine until the "Satanic sales" side is brought up, which is where Melissa's situation is made more and more urgent that she just does not belong here. Her interactions with the BB (as one previous reviewer commented) starts off as one with fear, considering she is shocked into this semi-satanic cult, but later in the episode gains this "calm composure of boredom" as she knows what she is about to do. (especially after an obvious sequence where McGurk teases her for everything that has happened to her beyond her control) By the end of the episode, well, we have this classic, yet somewhat improbable, finale where she blows the joint (literally), leading to the stereotypical "be yourself" ending which somewhat remained funny. (but I will get to that later)

Brendon too also seemed to have a horrible weekend in this episode, in being forced into a "sleepover" with Fenton that he wants nothing to do with. However, the humor here involves Brendon's reactions to staying at Fenton's at what happens gets more and more humiliating towards him. Fenton is shown here as completely obsessive to the point of disturbing, making him even less likeable than he was before. Everything Brendon is feeling is summed up by a funny nightmare where Fenton takes control of everyone in his life and everyone in it. (except Jason, who just has a Fenton wig on) At the same time as Melissa's classic escape, Brendon makes a run for it as well, but unfortunately his escape involved accidentally seeing Fenton's mom naked, which while not needed whatsoever made the whole thing even more insane than it was. Of course, Fenton gets his just deserts in the end...(this episode shows exactly why I like Walter and Perry as Fenton's foils: they keep him under control!)

Everyone else seemed to have a good episode for what they did. Erik made a grand re-entry in the show with his reactions and motions to help his daughter out, even if they turned out to be bad in the end) (as for the whole "bird" bit everyone keeps talking about: note that you only see the birdcage's POV, but no bird) Paula really didn't have much to do in this episode, but what she did do with Brendon was funny. Jason had an interesting episode as well, pretty much stealing the scene every time they had a walkie-talkie bit (especially the one after the first commercial), but I highly doubt he could of come up with the whole plan to save Melissa like they said at the end. (unless he really had a lot of time on his hands that weekend) As for McGurk, he does have several funny bits throughout this episode, including a couple of good interactions with Melissa (especially the one at the mall) and the website registration for "Fenton's naked mom" at the end. My only complaint about him was that he showed up too conveniently at the end of the escape sequence, making him almost like a plot device to get everyone to safety. In the end, while I do like this episode, I really don't think it is the greatest episode ever made, but more for some of the little things than the grander bits.

The Landstander: As mentioned in every other review, the room blowing up was a bit much for the show. It just doesn't fit the usual mold, and the storyline could've worked fine without it.

But that's really just a small flaw in one of my favorite episodes. Everyone is used effectively here, and this is probably Melissa's best episode. The FPC stuff played out like a skit in and of itself, and worked well off Melissa's generally confused reaction. Brendon's plotline was almost as good, with Fenton being in full form. You can truly feel the pain of spending a weekend with this kid. At first the change from season 2 Fenton seems daunting, but I think the character works as a whole; Fenton is the type who is a momma's boy much of the time, but occasionally can be a brat (particularly when a bunch of friends are around). This time he's definetely in the former category. And though they were used sparingly in comparison, Jason and McGuirk both have some great scenes here.

It was also great to see Erik (and Josie, who mysteriously disappeared in season 3) again. The ending of the episode, while chaotic and perhaps too cartoony for the usually grounded in realism Home Movies, is a lot of fun to watch, and Brendon catching Fenton's mom naked is classic. Best of the Season.

Coach wants to fly away...