Gidget's TaleSpin Review
TOUCH OF GLASS
Rating: 5 out of 5 Krakatoa Specials
Rebecca is happily making sandwiches for her ‘new class of clientele’ when a smelly guy tries to bring a sack of Grade A fertilizer into her office. A swarm of flies buzz madly around him (either from him or the fertilizer, probably the former). She bodily throws both him and his pungent package out the door, sniffing, “Peasant”. An outraged Baloo storms in, demanding, “What’s the idea of insultin’ poor Fred?”, instigating an argument about the ‘right kind’ of clientele for Higher for Hire. Rebecca tries to attract wealthy clients by cashing in the company’s insurance policy to buy advertising space in a ritzy magazine for $500. In something she smoothly explains as ‘collateral insurance’, when the plane takes off, the client gets the deed to the Sea Duck. If anything happens to the client’s valuables/cargo, they get to keep the plane. Baloo overhears this and goes berserk. But the deal is made and he grudgingly goes along with his boss’s reasoning, despite his misgivings about both the deal and Muffy and Buffy Vanderschmere, the rich couple. They want to be taxied to Hyenasport to store their inheritance (big sparkling diamonds).
After takeoff, strange events occur. Muffy opens the window for fresh air and Buffy coaxes his way into the pilot’s seat, insisting on flying the plane. Baloo complains to Rebecca, who scoffs, unwilling to chastise rich customers. The plane tips into a nosedive and Muffy shrieks, “Help! My jewels have fallen out of the plane!” Mayhem ensues as the plane and jewels both fall. Baloo roughly reclaims his seat and thanks to his quick thinking, manages to save the jewels from falling into the ocean.
They land at Louie’s to refuel, much to Rebecca’s dismay. But the Vanderschmeres are keen to go slumming, so they (particularly Rebecca) end up suffering through one of Louie’s aggressively friendly introductions, including hand-kissing and a nauseating fork-cleaning demonstration.
After Muffy and Buffy express their displeasure and demand to leave the island and insult Louie, hinting snidely that he’s not to be trusted.
Rebecca: “They’re right, Baloo. He’s a sleazy, low-life jerk!”
Baloo: “Just because he’s not dressed like you doesn’t mean you’re better than him!”
Rebecca: “Oh, please. Let’s just get out
Cody: She was being at her snobbish best in this episode, wasn’t she?
(Baloo’s angry defense of his friend seems to deflate… his facial expression is sorta dopey) Rebecca suddenly notices that her purse is missing, then later found in Louie’s office. Tensions rise and the Vanderschmeres are not happy. Which means Rebecca isn’t happy. Which will mean Baloo won’t be happy…
Louie senses her animosity and tries to win her over by dancing with her, only to end up with a half a cantaloupe melon in his face and sitting alone in the middle of the floor. On the way out, Rebecca is furious with Baloo for bringing them to the island until Muffy slyly brings something to her attention:
Muffy: “Uh, dearikins… weren’t you wearing a necklace?”
Becky (gasps): “My pearls!”
Buffy: “Someone must have taken them!”
suspected and again Baloo confronts him; the necklace accidentally falls out of
Louie’s shirt, branding him the thief and ending their friendship.
Cody: I admit it looked bad for Louie, but I can’t believe Baloo believed those three over someone he’s known for years!
Baloo stands guard outside the Vanderschmere’s room, guarding the jewels. But alas, he falls asleep and is startled awake by Muffy’s shrieks that their jewels were stolen. The rich couple leaves Louie’s in a huff, taking the plane. Baloo chases after them and gets dragged into a floating buoy for his trouble.
Rebecca confronts Louie, who reveals that the Vanderschmeres are con artists wanted for fraud (the bag of jewels are found in the bushes and Louie smashes them, exposing them as worthless glass; disappearing ink renders their check invalid).
To her surprise and humility, Louie helps Rebecca chase down the runaway Sea Duck and overpower the crooks. The plane is restored to B&B, the felonious couple is behind bars and Rebecca learns tolerance… sort of.
Quibbles and Bits
Rebecca fusses over the food arrangement on her desk and says in satisfaction,
“There. Perfect!”… yet she doesn’t
provide chairs for her clients?
Cody: I guess they forgot to cover that part in business school. Muffy and Buffy are about to sit on thin air when Baloo kicks over a pair of bongos (Cody: Not…saying…anything….;)) just in time. I mean, they don’t even check if there’s anything to sit on first.
sandwiches and finger food Rebecca lays out on her desk never gets eaten and
looks different (some plates missing; different food) depending on whether
POV is over Muffy or Becky’s shoulder.
Cody: She keeps switching the trays, hoping to tempt her delicate clients. ;)
Gidget (as Rebecca): Which one has the arsenic? Go on --- guess!
Rebecca again makes sandwiches (well, one big towering sandwich, to be exact) in the cockpit, which again nobody eats; Baloo reaches for one and gets his hand smacked for his trouble. At least Becky didn’t do the Wildcat Thing and store the sandwiches in her pocket, then offer it to the passengers. Ya just can’t beat airline food…
Rebecca tells Baloo that she’s ‘going to go change’, she shows up in the next
scene in the same outfit, wearing a pearl necklace and totes a purse. She’s trying to be classy, but the ensemble
just doesn’t go together (I know…
Cody (preens her whiskers): It’s a definite fashion don’t. ;)).
The woman has no taste in clothes, especially when she dresses up for the evening (My Fair Baloo and Gruel and Unusual Punishment) or spends the night at a castle (The Balooest of Bluebloods).
Cody: And don’t forget that hideously dowdy dress she wore in A Star is Torn.
Gidget: I can’t. I want to, but I just can’t.
Since when does the Sea Duck have an intercom?
Baloo had Wildcat install it so he could check on his cargo without
getting out of his seat. ;)
Gidget (as Baloo, on intercom mike): Hey, Kit… is the cargo still tied good an’ tight?”
Kit (pitching the last crate of precious mangos out the door): Uh, sure, Papa Bear!
When Muffy opens the window to 'lose' her jewels, why isn't she sucked out? Open windows on airplanes are like vacuums in the movies. No way would she be able to keep that wig on.
And since when does somebody just ‘pop open a window’ on an
airplane? It ain’t a car, for goodness’
sake! Then again, Baloo and Kit have
the windows open often and are never sucked out (Vowel Play, I Only
Have Ice for You, A Bad Reflection on You, and Stormy Weather, to
name a few).
The water is pretty deep when Baloo lassoes the hijacked plane to prevent the crooked pair from taking off. He gets dragged along the surface, falls and hits his head on a floating buoy. But he doesn’t sink!
It’s all the fat. Keeps him
pretty buoyant, especially if it’s saltwater and not fresh.
Gidget (as Baloo): Saltwater taffy? Where? Where?
The Case of the Missing Pearl Necklace
Notice how Rebecca’s necklace keeps appearing and disappearing from scene to scene.
Louie kisses her hand (necklace is gone)
(repelled by Louie’s gallantry): “We really
can’t stay.” (necklace returns a second later)Since the pearls are the same
color as her white turtleneck, it’s hard to spot unless you look for it (and I
did!). Louie got a raw deal with that stupid necklace thing.
Cody: She looked like Wilma Flintstone. Those pearls were huge!
The Case of the Missing Eyebrows
Rebecca is frequently drawn without her eyebrows (her eye patches are outlined, but the top part isn’t darkened at top… it looks weird).
takes a peek at the jewels (“Is that the jewelry? They’re beautiful…”); then Buffy snaps the
bag shut before she can get a really good look at the stash. Louie would never be fooled---he’s an
expert on precious stones, as he proved in P&L, Part 2.
Cody: I don’t think he had to worry. Becky probably wouldn’t have known even if she’d picked one up and got a really close look.
-during the Louie/hand-kissing scene
-when Muffy and Buffy leave for the restroom (hopefully not the same one, but knowing Louie…)
-Buffy: “First her purse. Then her pearls. Next that thief will steal our diamonds. And remember, Baloo, if anything happens to the diamonds, the plane goes.” Becky’s eyebrows disappear during this speech.
-P&L, part 4 (when Rebecca and kids stare at Baloo until he agrees to save Cape Suzette (“Now, hold on, people… I ain’t the hero type!”)
-Time Waits for No Bear (when Rebecca wakes up… also, her nightgown changes from blue to white for a second)
-when begging for more time to find the lost jewels, Rebecca chases the Vanderschmeres as they leave the island. She doesn’t have her purse with her.
Muffy: “We should have known when we saw your shabby little office. Now we’re taking the plane. Ha!”
Louie follows Becky, asking what the ruckus is about. When she turns to snap at him, the purse suddenly appears over her left shoulder.
Know what’s funny about Becky? Her clients insult her office, then, when Louie tells her they set him up, she rushes to their defense.
Rebecca: “How dare you talk about---!”
Louie: “Did they ever pay you?”
Rebecca: “Well, of course. See?” Shows him the blank check, to her surprise. And gets a rude awakening about ‘classy’ clients.
(snorts) And this from the supposed ‘brains’ of the outfit. Boy, was she ever snowed!
Gidget: That drives me nuts. A businesswoman with a child shouldn’t be that naïve!
Neat Little Details
In the glossy magazine ad (“Fly the Affluent Skies with Higher for Hire”), Kit, Baloo and Becky are all wearing smart navy uniforms, Baloo is thinner and doesn’t obviously remember posing for the picture.
D’you think she could have just filched a couple of pictures and got the
magazine to rearrange them to make the ad?
Gidget: Wouldn’t surprise me.
Also, B&B switch roles here. Becky is easy-going about her classy clients ability to pay and Baloo demands payment up front.
“Well, if they’re so rich, they shouldn’t mind payin’ us.”
Rebecca flexes her muscles:
Shoves the scruffy Fred and his smelly fly-ridden Grade A fertilizer out
of her office and later shoves Baloo in the closet, locking the door (wonder if that closet is in the other
eps?). Later, when Baloo protests when
Buffy insists on flying the plane, Becky shoves him down the aisle into the
cockpit, saying, “It’s all right, Baloo.
They’re paying us a lot of money.” (Gee, what won’t Becky do for money?
(Cody opens her mouth)
Gidget: Don’t answer that! J
Cody: Well, you’re no fun! J
Gidget: Anyway, both are large guys… she must be pretty strong to overpower them (or else she took them by surprise)
Cody: I think she just took them by surprise. She might be strong, but she couldn’t move either one of them if they didn’t really want to be moved.
reading a comic book when Baloo enters his office to ask him about Becky’s
purse (Bearcat says it might be a Roger Rabbit comic)
Rare occurrence: Louie’s employees have speaking parts (mechanic and white-haired monkey)
Cody: They both sound like they’ve got emphysema or something.
visits Rebecca’s room (to return her necklace after it’s found in Louie’s
unwitting possession, nothing more… *sigh*).
Cody: (breathes a sigh of relief)
Gidget: (breathes a sigh of disappointment)
Baloo (tosses necklace angrily on Rebecca’s
bed): “Here! If you need me, I’ll be guardin’ those jewels. (flatly) I… guess
you were right about Louie after all.”
Rebecca (genuinely compassionate): “I’m so sorry, Baloo.”
Cody: Aww, she wasn’t really sorry. She was gloating on the inside. Becky: I was right! Y’see, I’m never wrong, Baloo. ;)
Outside on porch, Baloo prepares to stand guard with a weapon:
“If Louie shows his face, this flare gun’ll light up his life!”
falls asleep with the muzzle pointed at himself (!) and shoots a hole in the
ceiling when Muffy’s shrieks startle him.
Muffy and Buffy’s wanted poster shows them in prison garb and Muffy’s fluffy blonde hair is missing. They look like twins.
Which leads one to wonder if they’re really male and female or both
Gidget: Maybe they wonder too.
(as Buffy): Precious Metals, which one of us am I again?
“Ya don’t make money by shooin’ customers away. (conveniently forgetting that he mistook
Rebecca "as ‘just a customer’ and shooed her away when they first met in
P&L, Part 2)
Cody (as Baloo): I’m a reformed bear!
Gidget (as Rebecca): Can you form yourself a little thinner?
Rebecca: “Customer? He looked more like a bum.”
Baloo: “Rebecca, don’t judge a bankbook by its cover. That ‘bum’ is worth half a million shaboozies.”
Rebecca: “Him? Now who’s full of fertilizer?”
Baloo: “The problem with you, Becky, is you’re too hung up on appearances. You oughtta… (sees a portrait of a snooty-looking nobleman on the office wall) “ Hey-hey! What’s this? Your gym teacher? What happened to my picture of Louie?”
“I was tired of looking
at that pile of matted fur.”
Baloo (spies Louie’s picture in the trash and fishes it out): “Hey, that matted fur is my friend!”
Rebecca: “He’s a slob, and I don’t like slobs around me!”
Gidget (whispers): “Get used to it, Beckers.”
Rebecca: “Did I say ‘manure’? I meant… bon jour!”
After the deal is clinched, Rebecca tells Baloo to get the plane ready for take-off at 3:30.
Rebecca: “Now I’m going to go change and I’ll meet you here at 3:30—uh, could you paint the plane before then?”
Baloo (incredulously): “Are you out of your so-called mind?”
Rebecca: “All right! Then at least wash it!”
Baloo: “All right! Everyone aboard! (sarcastically) I hope the trip’s not too roughy!”
Rebecca: “Baloo! That’s enoughy… I mean, enough! Get the bags.”
Baloo (mutters to himself): “Get the bags…! Where she gets off, I dunno…” (throws the bags into the hatch of the Sea Duck, hitting Muffy off screen)
Muffy (surprisingly coarse voice): “Hey! Watch it, you dumb ox! (suddenly remembers her patrician role) I mean… I’d appreciate it if you were more careful, young man.” Baloo is left scratching his head in puzzlement.
If Kit had been in this episode, he would have seen through them right
away. He might have even sided with Louie
when Baloo turned on him, which would have made an interesting storyline.
Gidget: I have to agree with you. Kit definitely wouldn’t have gone along with Baloo.
In the cockpit, Baloo voices his suspicions to Becky:
Baloo: “I’m tellin’ ya, Becky… those two aren’t as classy as they look.”
Rebecca: “Au contraire, dumb bear. They’re rich and refined. Educated too.”
Baloo: “How do you know that?”
Rebecca: “Look how smart their clothes are.”
Baloo: “Smart clothes don’t make smart people.”
Rebecca: “Anyway, if they like us, they’ll tell their rich friends, so you be nice to them.”
Cody: Buffy gleefully flies the Sea Duck:
Buffy: “I don’t know a thing about aviation, but I’ve always wanted to dabble in it!”
“Oh, this is amusing! Wheeee!”
When Baloo snarls at Buffy, Rebecca’s sweetly threatening voice floats over the intercom: “Baloooo… be niiice…”
While the plane nosedives toward the ocean, Baloo digs through his belongings, desperately seeking something to snag the falling jewels. After pawing through the pile of junk, several items are unearthed, including a pogo stick.
Baloo: “Come on, where is it? (finds pogo stick) Gee, I’ve been looking for that!” Goes on digging until he finds a small net. “Eureka!”
Baloo: “These are clients and they mean a lot to Rebecca, so be on your best behavior, okay?”
Louie: “Say no more! Those them?”
Baloo: “Yeah. Muffy and Buffy.”
Louie: “Which is which?”
Baloo: “I don’t know.”
Cody: Me, either!
Louie welcomes them to the bar, shaking everyone’s hand, grossing out the Vanderschmeres:
(to Buffy): “Hi, I’m Louie. I dig your chapeau, Joe.”
(to Rebecca): “Hello, gorgeous!” (grabs her hand and sloppily kisses it)
(to Baloo): “How’s that for class?”
Baloo pulls his hat down over his eyes, embarrassed by Louie’s gaucheness.
Louie grabs Rebecca’s hand. “Come now. Let me take you to my very best table. It’s the one I reserve for headhunters.”
Muffy: “Waiter! My fork’s dirty.”
Louie: “Man, oh man, am I sorry!” (breathes
on it like he’s cleaning a pair of glasses, then wipes it on his bare hip)
“There! Good as new. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some
business to attend to.”
Cody: Kinda makes me wonder why the health department doesn’t shut him down…
Gidget: They came close in Pizza Pie in the Sky,
Muffy and Buffy are completely appalled.
Buffy: “The man is disgusting!”
Baloo (sarcastically): “What? Too scruffy?” (love the way he makes fun of
Cody: Me, too!
Baloo questions Louie about Rebecca’s missing purse:
Louie: “Hey, Baloo! What can Louie do for you?”
Baloo: “Uh, this isn’t easy. It’s Rebecca, ya see. She’s kinda…bent outta shape?”
Louie (laughs lewdly):
“Her shape looks fine to ol’ Louie!”
Gidget (as Baloo): Yeah, me too! The way she wears that turtleneck sweater in tropical weather drives me nuts!
Muffy: “Buffikins, I need to go… freshen up!”
Buffy: “Wait, Precious Metals! I shan’t let you wander around here alone!”
Muffy (when they return): “Have you seen what’s written in the restroom?”
Cody (as Baloo): Be careful—the toilet paper can be a bit…roughy?
Baloo finds the necklace in a buried in a load of junk in Louie’s office:
Louie: “Well, pluck my face! One of the waiters must’ve found it!”
Rebecca to Baloo (about Louie’s lack of refinement):
“Tell him to mind his manners or I’ll wring what he has for a neck!”
going insane and I’m taking you with me!”
Cody: That’s probably my favorite line in the whole series. Couldn’t you see that on a bumper sticker?
Louie drives his guests off the table seats. Leaning close to Rebecca, he tries to flatter her:
Louie: “It’s great to have your as my guests tonight. I got you the best rooms in the place!”
Louie: “Rebecca, did I ever tell you that I love your hair?”
Muffy: “Only thirty-two times.” (leaves end of seat and hurries to other side, away from Louie.)
Louie: “And what fabulous teeth!”
Gidget: What if he opened her mouth and examined them, like at a slave auction?
Rebecca (to Buffy): “The better to bite him with!”
Cody: LOL! Wouldn’t it have been funny if Buffy had said, “Don’t bite that. You don’t know where it’s been!”?
Louie: “And such nice pearls! South Seas, am I right?”
Rebecca joins her clients on other side. “Balooooo….”
Baloo (undertone): “Louie. Eeeeasy.”
Louie: “Is it just me, or does she seem a little cold?”
Baloo: “Like a Thembrian icebox.”
Louie: “Well, maybe this’ll warm her up. Hit it, Maestro!” (grabs Becky for a dance)
Duck is sabotaged so they can’t leave Louie’s island:
Baloo: Plane all set up?”
Baloo: “Then we’re ready to go.”
“Nope. Bad news. Plane sabatage.”
Mechanic (impatiently): “Tage… part missing!”
“Oh! It’s a plot! They’re trying to keep us here so they can
steal my jewels!”
Cody: Oh, that’s great. Announce it to the whole island, why don’t you?
Mechanic (unimpressed): Relax! We got new part. Ready first thing morning.”
Baloo: “I guess that means we’ll have to stay here overnight.”
Muffy (horrified): “Stay? Here?” (faints)
Baloo (disgustedly): “Wouldn’t she be great to take on a camping trip!”
After Louie reveals that Muffy and Buffy are crooks, Rebecca is incredulous: “That means Baloo was right… they were phonies! (then pained) Baloo was right?”
Muffy’s wig comes off, revealing her to be as bald as Covington. Maybe that’s why she leads a life of crime…
Louie: “Ah-ah-ah… where’s your manners?” (rubs Muffy’s bald head until it squeaks)
Muffy: “Don’t you touch me, you sleazy, low-life joik!”
“I don’t let people talk to my friends like that!” (slugs her off-screen
while Louie covers his eyes. Actually,
she wasn’t very sportsmanlike… Muffy was restrained by Baloo’s net and couldn’t
defend herself. Oh well. I like Becky when she does these
Cody: Who cares about sportsmanlike? It’s survival of the fittest! J
Rebecca: “Say you’d better get some ice for that eye, it looks a little puffy!”
Louie: “Gimme me some skin, mama!” They high-five each other (with both hands)
Rebecca prods Baloo awake after apparently getting him first aid (his head is swathed in bandages).
Rebecca: “Wake up, flyboy. How are ya feeling?”
“Oooohh, I had the worst dream, Rebecca. These snobby people who talking funny stole our plane.”
Gidget: Notice how he says our plane, not my plane. Little Baloo is learning to share!
Rebecca: “You weren’t dreaming, Baloo. But my good pal here got it back for us. Right, Louie?”
Louie: “Right, Becky, baby!”
Baloo: “Good pal? Becky baby? Now I know I’m dreamin’!”
Rebecca: “Louie, this could be the start of a beautiful friendship.”
(loosely quoting Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca)
Cody: You think she was deliberately quoting him? We know from A Star is Torn that she thinks ‘Bumphrey Hogart’ is dreamy. J
Louie gives her a big wet kiss on the cheek. Startled, she shoves him off the pier and wipes her face in disgust.
“Then again, maybe not!”
Gidget: I almost gave this episode four Krakatoa Specials instead of five. Although it had great characterization, humor, action and pacing, (the elements that decide my ratings) I didn’t feel the rare but not always necessary emotional wallop I expect from TaleSpin. Then I remembered: The friendship of Baloo and Louie is seriously threatened by Rebecca’s presence. Without her to police Baloo’s actions, they can sit around and scratch themselves, burp, fart, whatever. They can ‘be themselves’, say, in For Whom the Bell Klangs and The Road to Macadamia (presumably before Baloo’s Air Service went bankrupt and Higher for Hire took over). Rebecca’s insistence on civilized behavior comes in degrees: grudging tolerance and cringing embarrassment when Baloo does something stupid in public and outright anger when it affects her business. Rebecca and Baloo both learn something in this ep. Baloo is forced to make false ‘discoveries’ about Louie’s character and learns that blindly following orders can have consequences (when he nearly loses a dear friend). Rebecca learns not to judge a book by its cover, especially when it hurts other people (like Baloo and Louie). I found her unlikable most of the time, except when she hauls off and slugs Muffy.
Cody: I’d have to disagree with the rating. Although I do like this episode, I would have liked it even more if it had included Kit so I’d rank it at a four. Louie shows his true colors, Becky acts like, well, herself (aka: judgmental and dogmatic), and Baloo goes over to the Beck Side. ;) It was interesting that he chose to believe Becky, whom he’s known for less than a year, over Louie, who is his best friend of many years. I did love Muffy and Buffy, though I can’t tell you which was which. ;)
Gidget: Muffy and Buffy are delightfully snobbish and seemingly too delicate to live. The voice acting is marvelous. (Linda Gary and Danny Mann, respectively) do a great job going from haughty, precise diction to coarse, guttural tones when revealed as no-good criminals. They also have non-speaking cameos on the Spruce Moose near the end of My Fair Baloo and the terrorist scene in Vowel Play.
When Rebecca finally apologizes to Louie for the way she treated him, he forgives her:
Louie: “Hey, love means never having to say you’re sorry, baby.”
(“Love never means having to say you’re sorry” is a famous tag line from the 1970 film Love Story)
Cody: Wow, Becky learns a lesson. Who knew the banshee businesswoman could be taught? ;)
Gidget: Louie is very heroic here. Not only does he solve the mystery, but he saves lives (stops Sea Duck from crashing into a mountain).
And all this after being treated like crap. I hope he charged them double for their rooms.
Gidget: I wonder: If Baloo, Rebecca and the Vanderschmeres all accuse him of being a thief, why is Louie allowing them to sleep over? They’d have nowhere else to go, but I’m surprised he doesn’t make ‘em spend the night in the jungle instead.
Cody: Or at least short-sheet their beds. ;) But I agree. He’s a real gentleman here.
Gidget: And Baloo was all primed to blow him away with a flare gun? Hospitable to his guests, polite to a fault, Louie really does take a lot of crap. He is way too good for these ingrates. In my opinion, that ‘pile of matted fur’ is the real one with class.
July 2000 (originally written)
January 2003 (updated with Cody’s 2 cents)
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