Bluff City 35: To Be Young Near the Shore Pt. 4

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Episode description[edit | edit source]

YOU can fix it: Episode 10 (Continued): Testing The Erase Head

Subtitles provided by gardenia76

[Audience applause, theme concludes]

What a show we have for you tonight, folks, live from Bluffington Beach! I’m Richard Gillespie, and this is my cohost Michaela Lewis.  Let’s meet the contestants!

I’m just going to watch until I see my aunt.

First, meet Mickie, a laundromat repairman from Smithsville. Hi Mickie!


[Audience applause]

And here’s Lizzy, an accounts specialist from Trenton. Good to have you with us, Lizzy!

Hi Rich!

That’s her! That’s my aunt! I did her hair for this.

[Audience applause]

And finally, meet Jocelyn, a civil engineer from right here in Atlantic City! Great to meet you, Jocelyn!

Do not repair the erase head.

[Audience applause]


What - let me roll that back.

[Rewind whine]

Do not repair the erase head.

[Audience applause]

Best of luck to you all!

That can’t be. She can’t have said that.

Michaela, darling, could you put the board in motion?

[Letter board sound effects]

Interesting. Interesting.

Mickie, you’re up first. Go right ahead.

[Wheel spins, audience applauds]

$2000. Pick a letter.

I’ll take T, please.

[Letter board sound effects]

Two T’s, Mickie.

I’ll take an S, please.

[Buzzer sounds]

Oh, I’m sorry Mickie. Moving on to you, Jocelyn.

Thanks, Rich. Do not repair the erase head.

[Marianne gasps]

[Audience applauds]

We all agree. I was just speaking with Lizzy before we came on. She shook my hand.

I said, don’t you think she’d be making a mistake? To touch that erase head?

And Lizzy, your aunt Lizzy? She said, Jocelyn, you’ve been here for so long, don’t you think this might be it? The way out of the studio?

And I laughed and said, I’ve felt the edge of that, Liz, and it is a cold death. There’s an obliteration in the heart of the magnet. No beauty in it.

Fair enough, said Lizzy.

So we agreed. Better to be here with Rich. No escape without devastation.

Please put the Persimmon back on the shelf.

I’m going to spin the wheel, now.

Contents[edit | edit source]

Plot[edit | edit source]

It is a bright, overcast day in Bluffington Beach. The kids gather together during lunch in the school cafeteria, using their hotdogs and mac and cheese lunch to diagram out their plan (Nolan, who doesn’t mind getting his fingers sticky, moves the food). Frank is a little anxious about their plan to rescue Britney from the Tunnel, as their recent discoveries have scared her, but the others are more interested than concerned.

Frank admits to her main concern - that they have been “marked by a ghost” as Miss Maxwell warned them about, and the others try to reassure her. Ronny says they don’t have anything to be concerned by, as Britney is not a real ghost and therefore cannot “mark” them. Frank, somewhat reassured, suggests they go after school. Nolan says he would rather go during class, since it is easier for him to cut class than to get out of being grounded (it is also family game night at the Pearson house, so his absence will definitely be noticed).

They compare class schedules, making sure that their absences are spread out enough not to be noticed. Frank has music class with Mr Garret, and CC plans to use her family’s move as an excuse, Ronny thinks he’ll be able to get home before anyone else to erase any message the school leaves regarding his absence, and Nolan, who is already cutting class to meet them for lunch, plans to bribe the teacher’s pet in his class to lie to the teachers and say he went home sick.

Nolan goes to Jodie, the teacher's pet, telling her that he has an “unofficial” extra curricular that he has to do instead of going to class, and asking her to do a favour for him. Jodie, interested enough to put her book down, asks what it is and Nolan tells her it is “adventure club”. Jodie asks how you join adventure club, and Nolan tells her that it’s something for older kids and that he was let in because he was “really fast”. Jodie says that if he will get her a tryout to be in adventure club, she will do him a favour. Nolan agrees, and asks her to tell the teachers that he went home sick if they ask where he is. She agrees to this deal.

Frank picks Tiny up from the dogsitter’s and Ronny gets extra batteries for the tape player on the way to the Tunnel entrance near the group’s hideout, choosing that as their entry point as it is familiar territory to them. They are working together to lift the heavy metal door to the Tunnel entry when they hear the buzz of a motor. In response, Ronny puts the cassette from Blossom Investigations in the tape player and makes sure it is ready to go.

Frank spots a drone sent by the Concern, spotting it in time to pull herself and the others out of it’s sight before it spots them. Through the speaker system on the drone, Frank is able to hear the Concern agents chatting to one another, and tells the others. As the door closes, the group is plunged into darkness as the orange emergency lights come on. The kids get out their various torches, heading off into the hallway.

The kids look around to see if they can find a map or other information that would help them find their way in the Tunnel. Frank finds blueprints of the facility on a microfiche machine, including the Control Track (which is the part of the facility that ensures people get to their correct destination safely). Reading through the Control Track information, Frank and the others realise that Britney (and, years earlier, Ollie) must have gone through the Tunnel while the Control Track was not working correctly, causing them to become unstuck from any particular city.

They also find information on the Expansion Protocol, which was a series of experiments run on unknowing members of the public to see how they would be affected by ending up in a City that they had not intended to travel to. Ronny Le Highsmith Sr (and family) are on the list of test subjects, which outrages Ronny as they were supposed to go to Bluff City (where medical care for his father would have been better).

The kids figure out that if they realigned the tape within the Control Track room, not only would this stop the Expansion Protocol, but it would also realign Britney to her correct destination, returning her to the world.

They hear a noise from the drone outside, requesting entry and attempting to pull the door open. Frank says that she believes that the drone is looking for them and that they should head deeper into the facility. The kids head towards the second door, seeing humanoid robots in the distance, accompanied by a high whining, scrubbing sound. Behind them, Agents Clark and Bailey open the entry door, coming into the tunnel with their drone.

To distract them, Nolan uses his phone to call Cam and Angie to ask for their help. The calls frustrate and exhaust him (“it’s been a long week for a ten year old”), although Angie agrees to give the Concern false information because of her previous ties to Blossom Investigations. The Concern agents receive Angie’s call and leave. Nolan’s call to Cam does not go as well, as he is too busy to lead the agents on a chase.

Ronny attempts to shut down one of the Control Track cleaner robots by “popping” it (believing it to be similar to bubblewrap in nature and that it will deflate). The others follow after in order to continue to be protected by the tape recording from Blossom Investigations, helping Ronny to take down the robot. Tiny, Frank’s dog, also helps.

Frank uses her knowledge of deconstructing a VCR to try to locate Britney in the Control Track. While trying to fix the magnetic tape, she sees the advert of her again in her reflection on the tape and begins to feel the reality in which she did tape that advert close enough to touch. Frank, wanting to be on tv for real, nudges it into place to make it a reality.

CC tries to lure Britney towards them, playing ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ by Nirvana on her guitar. After briefly being startled by the sudden ghostly appearance of Britney and Ollie, CC calms down and begins to play well, and Britney begins to lose her “television ghost” style appearance. Britney begins to play her sax, solidifying into reality. The same effect begins to happen to Ollie, but can’t seem to take hold fully. As Britney becomes solid, the others remember her.

The lights flicker on, and the kids hear El yelling at them. She begins to run in their direction but Ollie moves between the kids and El, gesturing for El to let the kids go. El is startled to see El there, giving the kids time to get away, back the way they’d come.

Britney doesn’t remember anything after leaving Blough City from the band competition, although they hear a broadcast about the search for Britney on the radio (as the world now remembers her). The kids hang out with her for a while in the hideout as she processes what happens, and then head home.

When Nolan returns home, his mother is too relieved to see him to chastise him for coming home late from school. He has his favourite dinner (spaghetti-spaghetti with meats and garlic bread), and despite spilling a meatball on his polo shirt, has a good night.

Due to the reality shift, CC’s parents have been more present, and so she gets in trouble for being late home. She is a little relieved that they actually seem to be paying attention to her and Theo. Her experience with the Tunnel hasn’t made her scared of her move, but she does, finally, begin packing her room. Theo checks in on her, as he’s noticed her absence, and CC brushes it off, saying that she’s just been saying goodbye, and the two make plans to hang out after dinner (pizza leftovers).

Shifting reality to one where she’s shot the advert has little effect on Frank’s life, aside from her family now remembering her having done it and having $450 in a savings account. She takes the knowledge that reality is malleable with a “cold ,comforting feeling”.

Ronny returns to Aunt Josie’s cramped apartment. His father greets him happily, ruffling Ronny’s hair, although he seems tired. Ronny tells Josie that he’s fixed the tape recorder and she accepts it, figuring out something is going on even if she doesn’t know the details. They order pizza from The Upper Crust, which Ronny tired to pay for with money from selling the photograph but his dad tells him to keep the money.

Later, the families of the four kids gather at The Shops At The Cove as a farewell party for CC, going on rides and eating at one of the cafes there. CC’s family packs up the car and drives towards the Tunnel as the episode closes.

Cast[edit | edit source]