Saturday, November 12, 2011

Episode 39; Part 2: Doug's Magic Act

This episode begins with Doug performing magic tricks for Patti. No one else was invited, or they all hate magic. Patti loves it though. Doug finishes a trick and she claps and calls it great.

Then she takes a quick glance at her watch.

Doug does another trick and receives less enthusiastic clapping and no verbal response from Patti. He does another trick and all she does is look at her watch and say she really needs to go. She has beetball practice. Doug says that's no problem. He just wants to do the grande finale. He says he needs a volunteer from the audience. Patti looks around the room and says, "you mean me?"

Reluctantly, she plays along. She raises her hand like a volunteer at a magic show and Doug calls for "the lovely young lady in the front row." She steps up and tries to tell him to hurry it up so she can leave, but he just ignores her and asks for her name. As she's saying, "Patti," he cuffs her hand to his. She's a little shocked by this and he tells her not to worry. Then he pulls out the key and throws it into the vent.

Patti asks, "why did you do that? Are you crazy?" The short answer is yes, Patti. He is. Oh, but that's just part of the act. It's really not a magic trick if you just handcuff yourself to someone and pull out the key and unlock the cuffs. That's not a trick, Patti. Don't be stupid.

Doug takes the "magic scarf of Califonzo" and putts it over the cuffs and says the magic words "veni vidi vici." When he removes the scarf, they are still cuffed together. Doug apparently does not know how to do this trick, or he believes it really is just magic. It's not a slight of hand trick. "Veni vidi vici" just isn't the right magic phrase or something.

Doug explains to us how he got into this whole magic business. It started when he was watching some Penn and Teller wannabes on tv. He says he invented a few tricks of his own after he studied their routines. His first trick was the "Rubber Snake in the Clothes Dryer."

A brilliant piece of magic. Where do you go from there? Doug made it more sophisticated and renamed the trick "Snake in your Sister's Bed." So really, he just doesn't get magic at all. He's very pleased with himself but admits they weren't real magic tricks. He finally goes to a magic shop.

He tells the guy he's performing a show for his friend and he really wants to impress her. The guy says he knows just the thing and pulls out the Houdini Mystery Cuffs. Doug says the cuffs are very ordinary and the guys tells him they have a very special surprise finish built in, if you work them right. He whispers the trick to Doug, and Doug immediately fantasizes about how this will play out.

It's pretty much just like it was before, with the scarf and the "veni vidi vici" except the trick works.

The surprise finish is flowers. Fantasy Patti is so impressed she kisses him on the cheek. Unfortunately, in reality Doug did the trick wrong, so now he's digging in the vent for the key while Patti gets increasingly annoyed.

Doug is trying to apologize and explain what was supposed to happen when he finds something.

It's just his Bluffscout pocket knife. How much shit does Doug drop in this vent? Kids, eh?

Doug finally gets the key ring around the end of one of his fingers, but he stirs up a lot of dust in the process. The dust makes him sneeze and the sneeze makes him drop the key farther down the vent.

Patti is unamused. Doug says he has an idea. He gets a magnet and starts lowering it down with some rope. Why didn't he use the magnet to begin with? He could barely reach the key, and then only barely managed to get it on the tip of his finger.

Anyway, Doug lowers the magnet all the way and hits Porkchop in the basement.

Yeah. Doug says he thinks he has something. He starts pulling but it gets stuck. He pulls harder, several times.

Apparently Porkchop's collar is magnetic. I don't know why. Eventually the rope breaks and Porkchop falls with the magnet into a laundry basket where he goes back to sleep. Since he can't get the key, Doug has another idea.

Patti suggests they just walk over to the magic shop to ask the guy for help. Doug doesn't want to go outside like this. She says he could just explain he doesn't know how they work and he tells her he does know. They've worked hundreds of times before. They're just stuck. His brilliant solution now is suntan lotion.

Only a kid would think this would help. They pull and nothing happens. Patti suggests they just cut them off and Doug glares at her. They cost seven allowances. He's not just going to cut them.

His next idea is bobby pins. This should've been his first idea after he couldn't get the key, but he's Doug Funnie and suntan lotion is a great way to unlock something.

And why are you unlocking your cuff, sir? She's the one that has somewhere to be, and a gentleman would free a lady first anyway. It doesn't work anyway, but still.

Doug finally agrees to go to the magic shop if they can get there without people noticing they're handcuffed to each other. Doug's idea works too well.

They're just carrying some recyclables to wherever Bluffington citizens carry their recyclables. They tell Mr. Dink their cover story and Al and Moo overhear them. They ask Doug and Patti if they wouldn't mind taking these old computer and automotive parts for them.

Or you could come with, you lazy assholes. Their parts make the box a lot heavier. As Al and Moo are loading up their garbage, Doug goes into a fantasy montage of clips from previous episodes while he talks about how the only thing he's dreamed about since he moved to Bluffington was to be near Patti. The fantasy ends when he says that his dream is turning into a nightmare.

Patti asks if they can put down the box because she's starting to lose feeling in her pitching arm. Doug says it's just one more block away and she says, "well, I hope. It's already 5 minutes after 5:00." Doug starts to panic and they run the rest of the way to find that the store is already closed.

Patti angrily points out that they would've been there before the store closed if they had just left the first time she asked to go to the magic shop. But no, Doug had to try the magnet, the bobby pins, and the suntan lotion! Doug says she's twisting the logic (HA!) and then she gets madder. She says he was only thinking of himself. She sits down saying she's not talking to him anymore. He points out that the store is closed until Monday, so they're just supposed to sit there for two days not speaking to each other?


So finally, he says he was actually just thinking of her. "You're all I ever think about, Patti. That's why I bought this trick. To show you. That's why I saved up seven allowances. If I had any idea it was gonna turn out like this, I wouldn't've even tried it. I guess I only wanted you know, like me or something. And now well, I feel so completely stupid, I almost wish I never moved here in the first place." Damn! Finally! And all it took was getting her so mad at you she didn't want to talk to you anymore.

She apologizes for getting "so weird about practice." She says she was just frustrated. She's glad he did move here and admits that of all her friends, she likes hanging out with him the most. They finally hold hands.

And that's the trick, actually. Somehow, the act of them holding hands makes the handcuffs fall off.

Doug says, "well, I guess this means you can go to your practice now. You'll only be a few minutes late." Really? You don't want to take this opportunity to set up a date later, or tomorrow night or something? Patti does. She starts to walk away, but then doesn't. She decides to skip practice and Doug runs back and asks if she wants to go to the Honkerburger. Yes, she does. This seems too unreal.

Doug picks up the handcuffs saying, "so much for the big finish."

"Big finish?"



Amazing. At what point did Doug just slip into a fantasy here? I can only assume it was between Patti being angry with him for missing practice and Patti skipping practice to hang out with him. Did he actually, finally tell her how much he likes her or was that just part of the fantasy ending he slapped onto this story to make himself feel better?

Where did he get the idea to impress her with magic anyway? She only shows any sort of enthusiasm after the first trick he does, but immediately looks at her watch. Then she shows less enthusiasm while she waits as long as possible for an opportunity to get away. Doug just saved seven allowances to impress her with something she doesn't have time for.


  1. And just like that, we bring season 3 to a close. Only season 4 of the Nickelodeon version remains.

    A few things:

    1) How are you gonna be able to cover "Doug's Bum Rap" and "Doug's Babysitter"? Neither of those episodes are on the season 4 DVD.

    2) I'd suggest you cover "Doug's Halloween Adventure" and "Doug's Christmas Story" as the 4th and 10th respective episodes of season 4. Not only were they the 4th and 10th episodes respectively in terms of production order for season 4, but it was recently confirmed through a few researched articles posted on wikipedia that they actually aired in 1993. Again, just a simply suggestion.

  2. 1. It's ridiculous, but the two episodes that aren't on the dvd set are apparently available on itunes and amazon instant video. If that doesn't work, I will find another way. I really wish they were on the dvd though.

    2. I'm going to do it in that order.

  3. Funny to think we're down to the last season now. It's weird looking back and recalling every episode of this show to date.

  4. I always assumed this was the last episode, but I guess it wasn't

  5. You probably should've pointed out that this episode's plot was basically "borrowed" from a Hey Dude episode where Ted and Brad get handcuffed together. It was later re-reused in an episode of Rugrats.

    Once again, the show's self-contained episodic format will soon be apparent, as in S4's Doug's Fan Club, our favorite sixth grade psychopath has clearly forgotten about his experience with magic in this episode.

    I remember seeing Doug's confession to Patti at the end of this episode and also being like, "Damn! He finally told her how he feels, and she gave him a positive response." Only to be immediately disappointed when he didn't finally ask her out, despite having the perfect opportunity. I think it's pretty safe to say that, a few years later, Doug was Patti's goto guy to complain about how nervous she was about asking Chalky to the school dance. Or maybe he was her rebound guy after dumping Chalky for being too much of a sex fiend.

  6. Except they're NOT self-contained. There's a pretty specific chronology in the series based on recurring bit characters (such as Fentruck) and certain developments. There are just some occasional continuity errors that pop up, which may in part be the result of episodes being made in a different order than they were released.

    And I've always thought the Hamburger boy episode, which seems to pose the most problems in the series in terms of continuity, was intended to be surreal.

    I'm pretty sure "handcuffed together" is a classic trope.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.