8:00: This week's episode is titled "Bonanza Is Disgusting." I agree. But while the title is talking about the garbage, I am talking about the children. AKA, the human garbage.
8:01: Recently deposed Town Council member Taylor (10-GA) claims she is putting pressure on Zach (10-FL) in retaliation for all of the pressure he put on her. It is a fair trade. When Taylor was on the town council, Zach asked her to please do her job and not spend all day in bed. Now that Zach is on the Town Council, Taylor puts that same kind of pressure on him by screaming in his face and spending all day in bed. Don't dish it out if you can't take it, Zach.
8:07: I'm not sure how many more times (how many episodes are left?) I can stress the ridiculousness of the "pioneer journal" but they really take things to a whole new level this week when the journal says "April 17, 1885: If you're reading this, you've been living in Bonanza City for over two weeks. You've got new leaders, new jobs, and a whole new set of problems." Apparently, Bonanza City was formerly called Hill Valley and it was settled by Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown.
8:09 The problem, of course, is garbage, which is so yucky, you guys. Garbage, pee-yew. The Town Council decides to take the garbage outside of town and bury it (after which they will "come back and rejoice," says Zach, the 85-year-old confirmed bachelor.) The kids assigned to the task are the older, stronger, more responsible kids, and also Taylor.
8:10: When they show a shot of the garbage pit, right on top of everything there is a two-pane window in a wooden frame. Obviously, it didn't go with the porcelain Edwardian roll top bath Taylor had installed in her private spa. WHAT IS THAT WINDOW? When kids are left in a ghost town for 40 days by themselves, they don't get Lord of the Flies, they get Christopher Lowell.
8:11: Instead of helping with the garbage, Taylor and Leila (NC-9) literally run away. They hide in a shed and cry. Their argument is that they are beauty queens and beauty queens do not shovel garbage into a cart and haul it out into the desert and bury it. Fair point. The only possible counter argument is that NO ONE shovels garbage into a cart and hauls it out into the desert and buries it. Taylor and Leila are informed that because they did not do the work assigned to them, they will be punished.
8:12: Now that Guylan (11-MA) is on the Town Council, he talks a lot about how he's going to do his best to be a leader and clean up the town. If doing his best at being a leader and cleaning up the town is anything like doing his best at being a long-haired mildly-androgynous home-schooled nerd who wears a bandana over a knit cap all the time, I don't think he has anything to worry about. But when it comes to doing his best at digging a hole, his 11-year-old arms are ineffective at digging the trash hole, Greg (15-NV, go TEAM GREG), in an interview, says "Guylan just kind of sucks." Well put, Greg. Very incisive.
8:15: At the last minute, fearing her punishment, Leila attempts to help with the hole digging, so Taylor faces punishment alone. "They're just, like, dictators." Wrong. Were they like dictators, sweet, darling Taylor, you would have been unceremoniously beheaded and buried with the garbage. Taylor's punishment is to haul water, which she also refuses to do. Note to Taylor's parents: good job, please have more kids.
8:22: Former Town Council member Mike (11-WA) is in the kitchens struggling to figure out how to use a potato peeler. It's hard being a civilian. Mike says, "It was almost like I was starting over." But actually, if you don't know how to use a potato peeler by the time you're 11, you're not really "starting over," you're just kind of "starting for the first time."
8:23: Showdown Time. I wonder what Jonathan Karsh does all week. I mean, how many times can you pluck your eyebrows and say "Pioneers, it's showdown time" into the mirror? There is a giant "frying pan" which is actually just a round pig pen full of 1600 gallons of "pork" and baked beans. The kids have to find colored cans and...forget it, Jake, it's Double Dare.
8:26: This Showdown has some of the most intensely bizarre moments of any Showdown so far. Like, when Laurel (12-MA) emerges from the pig pen covered in baked beans, Jonathan Karsh says "Nice one, Laurel." Nice one, what, Jonathan Karsh? You are a creep, dude. Other notable moments are when Olivia (12-IN) continues to refine her impression of a childless cat lady by peevishly complaining about Anjay's (12-TX) inability to find a colored can and says, "Jeez you would think the guy wouldn't take 10 minutes to find one can" with all of the self-satisfied impotence of a middle aged secretary who would kill herself if her many, many cats didn't rely on her to feed them. This is topped only by Anjay's response: "I don't have the muscle strength because my bones are still forming." Whoops, my heart just broke for that nerd.
8:32: Red district gets upper class, Green gets merchant class, Yellow goes back to the kitchens, and Blue are the laborers. But more importantly, what is the reward? Well, as Jonathan Karsh points out, "today we've been talking a lot about pollution, and that's what these choices are about." The Town Council can pick either fresh fruit and vegetables, or dune buggies with all the gas you need to keep them running. That's not really a decision between Mother Earth and fossil fuels as it is between scurvy and head injuries.
8:40: When the work is divvied up, Taylor and Leila are assigned to wash dishes, but they decide to make fruit salad instead. This is actually kind of awesome, because when Zach calls them lazy it allows them to make the classic "would a lazy person make fruit salad?" argument. Zach says he will never pay her and she can forget about the gold star, "FOREVER!" Careful, Zach. You should really consult Human Resources before making those kinds of statements. I'm just saying, I'd hate to see the Town Council get slapped with a costly unrightful termination suit.
8:41: DK (14-IL) breaks up a fight. Earlier he organized a team effort to refill the cistern. Everyone in interviews keeps talking about how great DK is. The guy has gold star written all over him. Two seconds later the Town Council unanimously agrees the only man for the gold star is DK.
8:44: Town Hall Meeting. Within moments, everyone is screaming at Taylor for being, well, for being Taylor. D "The Golden Child" K finally settles things by reminding everyone that they need to focus on themselves and not be so mean. What DK is doing here is maturely defusing tension in the group. Taylor, of course, says "Yeah, you need to stop with the criticism," totally missing the point. But the only way Taylor wouldn't miss the point is if it were dipped in gold and wearing a Swarovski-crystal-encrusted tiara, so no surprise there.
8:50: DRAMA: D "Gold Star Shoe-in" K wants to go home to "be with people he can deal with without all this drama." Adults, basically. Everyone is crying, seriously, everyone. It's getting very Dead Poets Society in here, but without the poetry, or education. And I don't think there were any black kids in Dead Poets Society. And no one actually likes Robin Williams. This is nothing like Dead Poets Society, sorry.
8:52: Guylan takes DK outside and explains that he can't leave. That was easy. DK handily wins the gold star, and explains that he has six brothers and sisters at home and he wants to see them all go to college. 20k split seven ways doesn't actually provide much in the way of tuition, but I'm on board, you guys. I still don't believe that kids can "build a better society," but I would definitely live in a society where people were as co-dependent as DK. You can take advantage of their desperate need to be loved and needed so easily, it's awesome.
8:53: DK calls his mom. I swear he says "I am feeling on top of a building." That can't be what he says. His mom says, "What's going on, 20,000 dollar man?" The whole family is there and everyone takes turns passing around the phone. Love it. Love these guys. They win. If you're reading this, I'm sorry, your family sucks. Unless you are DK, whose family is the only true family. So strong. Give it up for DK, you guys.
Next Week: The Town Council goes into an abandoned mine in search of Chester Copperpot, and the rest of the kids learn that "money changes everything." Can someone say "Ye Free Markete Lemonade Stande Economie."