1.7: Lost and Found
Well, where do I begin? This show is such a mixture of goodness and fantastic hilarity. Consider this episode. I was genuinely touched during some moments here. The rest of the time I was keeling off the sofa in fits of laughter. I can't figure out why it is that I like this show so much, but I have a feeling it has something to do with the way this show really attempts to be taken seriously during its fits of 100% pure grade CW angst. It's good stuff.
This is the episode where the writers, I believe, decided that it was time to make Matt manly. If they were trying before, they really fell short of the goal, because as I've said several times by now, Matt is STUPID. The poor boy. So to make up for this serious lacking, the writers have given him the gift of tracking. Surely this is manly and the very opposite of stupid (I refuse to say that tracking involves skill, and therefore requires some sort of knowledge, because if Matt can figure this out, a random city dweller should be able to accomplish it, especially when Matt admits to not knowing how he picked this up).
Okay, so now I have to get into why I'm talking about tracking. Therefore I've got to get into the plot, which is both good and remarkably silly at many, many moments. I also said that, for my own amusement, I'm going to replace these people with their Thoroughbred equivalents. So for this entry that is exactly what I'm going to do. Although for the sake of my sanity, I'm only going to do this with Ashleigh, Mike and Brad (Kris, Matt and Junior), and if anyone has suggestions for equivalents for the rest of the characters, I'm happy to open the floor in the comments. Suggest away. (And no, Dani can't be Lavinia, because that just violates several of my very strict rules. Dani will stand in as Brad's long lost sister, okay? Okay.) Oh, and for the hell of it, Wildfire is now Wonder. That's right. Just roll with it this time, folks.
We begin this episode with Ashleigh putting a random horse in a corral with other random horses, one of which being Wonder. While she's just standing there doing nothing, a herd of wild horses goes cruising by, upsetting the old horse she just stuck in the corral, as apparently the horse used to be a mustang. Never mind the fact that mustangs apparently don't exist in California. They do for the sake of TV, and as we all know creative license is all TV needs to explain itself. That and a bunch of people going "there are no wild horses here" while Ashleigh vigorously defends the fact that she has eyes and in fact saw the horses. Anyway, because Wonder is awesome, she jumps the fence and somehow, because she is awesome, lets the other horses out of the corral. They all run off with the wild horses and Ashleigh is staring open mouthed at this. She runs back to the farm house, where...Mike's mom Jean (roll with it, damn it) is recovering from a sprained ankle. Ashleigh goes on about the horses and after they're through refuting her claim to there being wild horses, Jean demands that they go after them and is up to, you guessed it, rummage around for food. Because that is what Jean does all the time.
While Mike and Ashleigh are readying their mounts for immediate pursuit, Brad drives up and inquires as to what's going on. Then he wants to come with because he's all in lust with Ashleigh. Ashleigh wants to know if Brad can even ride and he's all "yes" and they go off on their adventure.
Meanwhile, back at Whitebrook (haha) Jean and Charlie are trying desperately to make out at any opportunity. Although in an attempt at comedy the doorbell keeps ringing, interrupting their attempts at precious adult alone time. So just keep thinking of that, as it's like a continuous loop for about half the episode. The kids keep riding around, Mike making his serious non-stupid face all the time while Brad is back there mouthing off and attempting to be amusing, probably to keep himself occupied, as Mike is busy being dull and Ashleigh is busy being determined when she's not trying to fling branches back into Brad's face. They have some crisis moment over a cougar possibly existing somewhere, and then Dani appears because she was at Whitebrook, having interrupted Charlie and Jean to discuss where her brother is. And oh, yeah, two of the horses returned to the farm. Only Wonder and random important old horse are still out there with the wild animals. So they discover that the horses have forded the river they're next to, and because it's, like, maybe late afternoon or something they decide to call it a day and swim for a while.
These kids, they are so motivated. Like, wow. Anyway, they find a completely fake looking pit of water to swim around in and begin to tell secrets because this is just what they stumble into doing. Ashleigh reveals that she can't swim. No one is interested. Dani reveals that she tried to track down her mom, and Brad is all pissed about that. Mike reveals that he saw Charlie making out with his mom, and Ashleigh reveals that her mom always had guys around (yeah, so that's not exactly Thoroughbred equivalency). So they all climb out of the pool thing and wander around to make camp, setting up a heart to heart between Dani and Ashleigh about how Ashleigh has a "wire" with Wonder. Ashleigh asks Dani who she has a wire with, and Dani won't respond. Then she says something about how she knows Ashleigh isn't exactly the reason she and Mike broke up, but I honestly think she's mainly thinking her wire is with Brad.
Meanwhile, at Whitebrook, the doorbell rings again. Oh, hilarity! Actually, it's Pete (or Joe Lando, which brought back awful memories of Dr. Quinn), Jean's not at all forgotten ex-husband, there to give her $10,000 and attempt to win back her affection in Charlie's presence. This somehow leads to Charlie and Pete drunkenly attempting to make dinner before Jean makes it obvious to Pete that he will not be inserting himself back into her life, no matter if he's turned from "gambling to investing." (Yes, that was one of my fall over laughing moments.) So Pete slams the door, never to return! Or, I guess he does return. Five more times. Or something.
Back out in the wilderness, the kids are sleeping after a rigorous attempt at dancing to Mike's "music" which makes me wonder how Mike got that stereo out there and how he kept it dry during that river fording. All very mysterious. No one is actually sleeping. Mike and Ashleigh go out to get wood for the fire and remark that the stars are blah blah blah and then a stallion appears out of nowhere and Ashleigh sees it and Mike doesn't believe her again. Then Ashleigh wakes up again to go sit and stare at the stars and Brad follows her. He sits down next to her and tells her that her secret about her mom was in fact a real secret and that his is that he really sees her. It's all romantic and such, and Ashleigh completely falls under the spell of Brad and they start kissing. Only then the cougar has to come along and ruin this moment.
And then it's day again. I guess that cougar threat went no where? Well, anyway. Wonder shows up and takes them to the body of the old horse, who has died of simply being old. Then the show had to go get touching again, while Mike gets all manly and has to go tell his mom that the horse died. Brad and Dani have a nice moment while they stay with the horse's body, talking about their mom and how they wonder if she's dead or alive or what. Mike takes Jean back via truck and Jean says goodbye to her favorite horse and they start to dig a grave for him right there, while off in the distance the stallion from the herd rears in a field.
Really, it's not a bad episode. It's cheesy occasionally. Actually, this one really reminded me of Hey Dude. I half expected them to get lost and have to craft a giant SOS sign out of rocks so passing planes will notice them and alert authorities, but seeing as how Mike is manly now, surely he would have thought of something more updated. Like finding a cell tower for Brad's phone. Crafting words out of rocks is so circa 1989.