Mission Hill Episode Guide - Episodes 5 - 8
5. "ONE BANG FOR TWO BROTHERS" (OR, "Andy and Kevin Make a Friend")
Andy and Kevin meet Tina, George's older sister who has come in to visit from college. Both of them fall in love with her, which causes Kevin to become extremely angry at Andy after he sees Tina sleep with him. Blaming Andy and believing him to be a degenerate pervert, he takes out his anger at Andy while at the local science fiction convention which they all attend with her.
Meanwhile, Gus comes home with a knife in his head and refuses to remove it despite Wally's nagging and subsequent failed attempts to remove the knife himself. In order to make Gus see things his way, Wally welds a birdcage, a candelabra and some other items he scrounges up to make Gus look more like a public spectacle than he already is. That causes Gus to falter and he agrees to remove the knife.
At the sci-fi convention, Tina breaks up a fight between Andy and Kevin and expresses her shock and disgust to them, although it's unclear if she is talking to Andy or Kevin. She tells them she has to leave for her train and she'll call 'him' (Andy or Kevin) if she gets back, but 'he' (Andy or Kevin) will have to get his act together.
This is another funny episode, mostly because of the barrage of jokes, ranging from that painter from PBS with the afro (I forget his name right now) to the many sci-fi / nerd jokes throughout about Babylon 5, Vampereilla, Planet of the Apes, Star Trek and of course, Star Wars. The main plot about the love triangle is handled well also because of Kevin's hilariously pathetic interpretation of Tina's actions towards him and his definition of a 'girlfriend.'
From what I can tell myself, I think Tina was talking to Andy at the end. Kevin seemed nothing more to her than a cute kid, one of her little brother's friends. And of course she slept with Andy which gives her further reason to get upset over his immaturity.
The subplot with Gus was kind of strange. It had its moments, perhaps due to its strangeness, but it was overshadowed by the main plot to a degree that it felt even less of a subplot. Or perhaps it was just so strange to me that I just found that feeling overpowering the humour.
6. "HOW TO GET HEAD IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING" (or, "Andy Gets a Promotion")
After receiving one too many rejections for his cartoon submissions, Andy gives up and agrees to Ron's offer to become the assistant manager at Waterbed World. Back at his apartment, Stogie begins devouring the couch, since Andy has had no money for dog food lately, and it's been flavoured by Jim's constant food spillage.
Andy slowly degenerates into a sordid lifestyle, dating a stripper and convincing Ron to buy the local strip bar when it closes. While at the bank to get a loan, Andy is about to sign the application when he sees a security guard reading and laughing at a cartoon he drew, published in the free newspaper, the Weekly Freebie, thanks to Kevin's submission of Andy's cartoon. Encouraged by this, Andy decides to go back to cartooning.
While it had some funny scenes and some good lines, there just wasn't anything really laugh-out-loud funny in this episode. It relied a lot on Ron's heavily-accented yelling to get laughs, and while Ron is funny I feel they may have relied on him too much. To me, hearing him yell is funny only in doses at appropriate times. And while I don't meant to sound like an old man, the barrage of sexual jokes was a bit much. Some of them were funny but others were kind of shock humour.
The subplot with Stogie, wasn't really much of a subplot. It was amusing enough but it really wasn't telling much of a story other than the early revelation as to why Stogie was eating the couch. It was really more of a series of gags (albeit amusing gags) relating to Stogie's eating of the couch, that took place between acts of the main plot.
7. "NOCTURNAL ADMISSIONS" (Or, "Kevin vs. the S.A.T.")
Kevin and his friends, Toby and George, discover that a modern-day college applicant needs more than a relatively high SAT score to be accepted. After their attempts at getting more extra-curricular activities (to pad their resumes) fail miserably, they decide to pursue a legendary SAT code, a repeating pattern in the answers that would allow them to attain perfect scores.
Meanwhile, Posey opens her own massage business. Unfortunately due to a misprint in her advertisements, everybody comes to her thinking they'll be having sex. This catches the attention of the neighbourhood pimp, who insists on his cut for her working his territory. Posey adamantly refuses to pay him anything. When Andy mocks the stereotypical pimp, the pimp tries to throw him off the roof, but his back stiffens up. Posey massages him back to health, and then kicks him off the roof while he's sighing with relief.
Unbeknownst to Toby and George, Kevin gets the aid of a jock to collect old SAT tests for data. Their hard work fails to bear fruit, and when Toby and George find out the jock stole the old tests, they abandon Kevin. Despite his best efforts, Kevin runs into a dead end, and in his frustration ends up destroying his computer, along with Toby and George's, which were all hotwired to analyze the massive amounts of test data.
Kevin then hears from Wally about another man who once searched for the SAT pattern. Kevin finds him and with their combined efforts, the code is cracked. Kevin then runs to school to take the test, with the code in hand. Toby and George refuse to use the code, while the jock takes it, and explains he'll be giving it to all his jock friends. Kevin realizes it was a mistake, fearing college will become ruined with too many jocks in it. So he destroys the code and gets beaten up for it. To get out of the test on medical grounds rather than fail it, he insists Toby and George beat him up some more, which they do, after Kevin explains he destroyed their computers.
Apparently this episode is a parody of the independent film "Pi," which I haven't seen. Luckily, that means you don't have to have watched the movie to enjoy the episode. It's actually a clever parody of the anxiety and at times, seemingly hopeless quest about getting into college, especially for people who aren't involved in extra-curricular activities. During Kevin's detailed analysis of the old tests, Kevin breaks down in a very funny scene with some really neat visuals, and some variations on the old "If a train leaves New York at 10:00 am..." etc.
The subplot with Posey's massage business provided quite a few good laughs too. Probably more laugh-out-loud moments than the main plot. You can never go wrong with a good pimp joke, complete with that authentic 70's wa-wa music. (You know what I'm talking about). And even though this was another episode that was kind of heavy on the sex jokes (it doesn't offend me usually but some people can see it as 'lowbrow' at best), I think it was done tastefully enough so as not to be overly vulgar.
8. "BROTHER'S BIG BONER" (Or, "Unemployment Part One")
One day, Andy spends all the money in his bank account, money both he and Kevin have to live by, on an electronic organ. Andy intends to use his paycheque to refill the account, but when he goes to work the next day he finds the waterbed store has been seized by the IRS. It seems Ron has been cheating on his taxes.
After a series of failed jobs, Andy and Kevin are forced to live on almost no money. Kevin only stands so much before he goes to visit Ron in prison and make him sign a form so Andy will receive unemployment benefits. In exchange, Ron gives Kevin the title to his car, a shiny new Ferarro, so the IRS can't seize it.
The car proves to be a lot of trouble though, since Kevin is forced to buy insurance from a shady dealer, and the car is very costly to maintain. Andy becomes extremely jealous that Kevin gets to drive around such a fancy car, even the organ loses its charm after a while, so he insists he and Gwen use it on their date. Kevin ends up being their chauffeur, but at a toll booth Andy discovers Kevin spent all their money on auto maintenance. At that moment, the car's battery dies.
After pushing the car to the side of the bridge they're on, Andy
and Kevin argue. Meanwhile, the Ferrarro rolls away and gets hit by a
truck, and then falls off the edge of the bridge and into the water below.
Unfortunately, the insurance payoff from the shady dealer turns out to be only
$400. Despite all that's happened, Kevin and Andy visit Ron in prison and
tell him what happened to his car. He gets extremely angry, but it does
make Kevin feel better that at least he told Ron.
This episode noticeably used more cartoony physical humour and general cartoon-like exaggerations such as intense blushing, shaking and the visualization of thoughts (how's that for complicated analysis?). Which is just fine, in fact it's probably an advantage this show has over a live-action sitcom. Since it is animated it can use outlandish visual gags. And Ron was used quite effectively in this episode. I loved his loud, angry, incomprehensible outburst at the end of the show.
When Kevin got the car, he hilariously nerds up the Ferarro, a point Andy even mentioned. It's handled in a subtle way that's pretty consistent with how Kevin has behaved in the past, so it came off pretty natural and not forced. Somehow he failed to look cool while driving a cool red sports car.
Oh, and the gag at the beginning in the waterbed store was just hilarious, although it's another in the long-list of Mission Hill's sex jokes, this one was quite funny and in some ways clever.
Interestingly, the two subplots of this episode were tied very closely together, it was more like different sides to the same situation rather than differing story branches. In fact I'm almost hard-pressed to call them subplots, but I'll consider them subplots because one was Andy's story and one was Kevin's story. And they did end off together nicely, kind of tying back to each other.
All in all, a funny premise and a lot of funny scenes make one really funny episode.