This essay was original published at Roxy Reviews and is reprinted here with permission.
The Holograms ask Kimber to write a Father's Day song as a special present for Video's father. She refuses and goes to sulk, remembering and missing her own father. Meanwhile, both Video and Clash travel home to their town, Malberry, to visit their families.
Clash brings along the Misfits. Although they help her continue her battle with Video at first, they quickly grow bored of the town. They also become angry with Clash when they discover she has told her father she's a Misfit.
The Holograms go to Emmett Benton's old ranch to try to convince Kimber to write the song. She is thrown from a horse and rescued by Harvey Gabor--Pizzazz's father. He arranges a Concorde jet to take them to Video's concert.
Whoa. This is a poignant, well written episode if ever there was one, far deeper than the average "kids show."
There are four fathers on display here: Emmett Benton, the deceased parent of Jerrica and Kimber, Harvey Gabor, Pizzazz's father, and Video and Clash's dads. Both Clash and Video have supportive parents; Emmett is loving...but dead; and Harvey is doting but distant.
Kimber's anger at her father's death is never really fleshed out until this episode. Before this, she tends to lash out at Jerrica and the other Holograms. Similarly, this is the episode where we learn that Pizzazz's anger stems from her own loss, that of her mother.
Video and Clash have center stage here: the wild child and the responsible, yet tormented, elder cousin. In a way they parallel Jerrica and Kimber. Or not. Clash's father torments Video's dad: the cousin rivalry stems from the brother rivalry.
Sadder, though, are Pizzazz and Harvey Gabor. At the beginning of the episode, Pizzazz asks her father if he would like to do anything special for Father's Day. He completely blows her off, claiming to have no time--but then manages to find the time to charter a Concorde and fly his daughter's rival to her gig. It's easy to see how anyone might feel betrayed and angered by this. In Pizzazz's case, the situation is made worse because it's so public--all of the Misfits and Holograms can see that Harvey seems to care more about a stranger than his own daughter. For once, Pizzazz's rage is justified.
1. Jem and the Holograms: "Something is Missing." For once, I think this second video--this is another repeated song--is better than the original. The "footage" of Kimber's father is much more touching than Jem's lament for her missing earrings in the first video! The music is good, too.
2. The Misfits: "Let's Blow this Town." A slightly western beat, and a car, and the Misfits causing trouble in middle America. This video is basically a Pizzazz temper tantrum: see her stealing soda, littering, and abusing people left and right.
3. Jem and the Holograms: "You're Always in My Heart." A sweet song with more flashbacks, to both the Benton and Gabor fathers and daughters. Again, I think the sequence with Pizzazz is the more gripping of the two: Harvey remembering a tender moment with his daughter as a child, and then seeing her turn away from him.
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