Sunday, March 25, 2012

Episode 47, Part 2: Doug's Brainy Buddy

This episode begins with Skeeter pretending his hand is a giant spider. His other hand is holding a pencil, and it is attacking the giant spider. Skeeter is making battle noises and music cues as if he's watching a movie.

Doug is watching this play out with a look on his face that indicates that he thinks his friend might be a little stupid. Ms. Wingo walks between them, handing each of them an envelope. Skeeter says, "wow, man. A letter from Ms. Wingo! Cool!" Doug says it's probably the results of the intelligence test they took last week. Skeeter says, "that thing was a test? Boy...good thing I didn't know. I always choke on tests. They give me the ooglies."

Doug opens his envelope and reveals that his score is 565. He is pleased. Skeeter expresses some disappointment and Doug immediately tries to make him feel better by saying a low score doesn't necessarily mean you're dumb. That wasn't what Skeeter was complaining about though. They just spelled his name wrong. It says "Valentino" instead of "Valentine." And then Doug looks at Skeeter's score...

For a perfect score to be 1000, 120 seems like an extremely low average. Doug scored 565, which puts him way above average, apparently. Something is not right about this test.

Doug is very skeptical. He doesn't believe the future head astronaut of Bluffington could have a perfect score on a test he didn't even realize was a test. It's not the craziest thought Doug's ever had. If Skeeter didn't realize it was a test, what did he think it was? Some genius! Anyway, Doug looks at the name again and decides it was a mix-up. Skeeter got Mosquito Valentino's test results, and Mosquito Valentino got Skeeter's test results. It makes perfect sense! Before Doug can explain this to Skeeter, Mr. Bone calls over the intercom and requests that Skeeter come see him immediately. Doug assumes Mr. Bone wants to give Skeeter his real test results. He also assumes Skeeter will need to be cheered up after he finds out he's not a genius, so he goes to wait for him after school.

While waiting, Doug overhears a conversation between Mr. Bone and a guy named Mr. Steele. Mr. Steele says Skeeter's a genius, and they want him. Mr. Bone says that's up to Skeeter. Mr. Steele says they won't take no for an answer as he's leaving the office.

Doug notices there are some weird sounds coming out of the office and peeks his head in to see what's going on. Three scientists are examining Skeeter with strange equipment, including some phrenology calipers and ink blot tests.

I have to assume their use of phrenology is just a simple trick. A person of average intelligence would be able to tell you that phrenology is bullshit. If the subject doesn't object to the examiners' use of the pseudoscience, then the subject is clearly not a genius. Mr. Bone finally notices Doug and tells him to wait outside before slamming the door in his face.

On the way home, Skeeter tells Doug how they tried to measure his IQ, "but it was way off the scale." He also mentions a guy from Tri-County College and the fact that they took pictures of his brain. In the principal's office. They just brought an MRI or CT scan machine with them, or Buttsavitch just has one of them in his massive office.

At Skeeter's house, Doug asks him why he didn't tell them about how the test wasn't his. Skeeter dismisses Doug's theory because he realizes that typos happen. Doug insists that Skeeter's not a genius though. He says that guys that get perfect scores on tests like that wear thick glass and pocket protectors and they read lots of books. Skeeter says, "so what do you call those‽"

Doug says, "not the Bucktooth Boys, Skeet. Real books." He just pointed out one book with a dumb sounding title, but it's literally right next to a book called "Principia Mathematica," and that book is next to a book called "Enzymes Throughout Time." Doug pulls one book at random because he expects to be able to demonstrate that the books Skeeter reads indicate that he is not a genius. It's a brilliant plan.

Unfortunately, Doug pulled out a book called "A Critique of Pure Reason." Skeeter says the book is pretty cool and starts trying to tie his shoes for some reason. Doug opens the book to a random page and struggles to pronounce the word apodictic. After Skeeter tells him how to say it, Doug asks what it is. Skeeter launches into a whole explanation about what the author was trying to say and Doug is mystified.

He slips into a crazy fantasy where everything's spinning and he falls into the vortex right after he finally notices that most of Skeeter's books are brainy. After Skeeter finishes his explanation of the book, his head balloons up.

"Get it, Doug?"

Skeeter notices Doug has slipped away into fantasy land and asks him if he's okay. Doug says he is and now he has to leave. Skeeter says goodbye and then admires the brilliant work he did of tying his shoes.

Only a genius could do this.

Doug finally realizes that Skeeter actually is a genius, but now he's just wondering how that's possible. He has a fantasy.

The scientist tells them to put that helmet on Skeeter every night when he goes to sleep. Skeeter's dad asks what it does and accidentally spills coffee onto the machine. This causes a serious malfunction that only makes Skeeter smarter, instead of electrocuting him.

After the fantasy, Doug is at home saying he spent the whole night looking up the words in Skeeter's book.

Apparently he stole Skeeter's book. The definitions aren't helping him either. He reads the definition of apodictic, looks at Porkchop and says, "huh?" Porkchop responds with a shrug and a "I don't know" sort of moan before returning to his reading on the floor. Typical dog behavior. After this, Doug becomes determined to prove that Skeeter isn't that much smarter than him. So he stays up all night reading the book, and continues reading it at school the next day, waiting for Skeeter to show up so he can discuss it with him. But Skeeter doesn't show up.

At lunch, Connie asks Doug where Skeeter is, but he says he doesn't know. Beebe chimes in to tell them he's at college. Skunky Beaumont told her. Chalky says he heard Skeeter was going to teach a class. Doug says that's stupid. He's just a kid. Skeeter shows up and confirms that yes, he might be going to college. A recruiter wants him to go to college and he was just on campus for a tour. Everyone is impressed. Even Roger.

Except Doug. Doug gets pissed. Skeeter mentions a few details and Doug accuses him of thinking the middle school isn't good enough for him.  Everyone there is just too dumb. Skeeter asks, "what's your problem?" Doug responds, "what's your problem?" Skeeter responds, "NO! What's your problem‽" Doug pauses for a second and again asks, "What's your problem?" Skeeter insults this pathetic comeback and everyone laughs. Roger tells Doug to take a swing. Instead he tells Skeeter to take his stupid book and to leave him alone. Then he throws the book at Skeeter.

Doug is an asshole. After a few more parting words, Doug has a fantasy about what Skeeter's college experience might be like. In the fantasy, Skeeter is presenting an experiment that has something to do with the brain. He shows off his test subject.

"His puny brain makes even the simplest tasks virtually impossible."

At home, Doug decides he's going to forget about Skeeter and get rid of everything that reminds him of him. He pulls down his Beets poster, packs up his Beets tapes and just puts everything into one small box.

After putting the box out into the hall, he notices his room is pretty much empty now. Judy asks him what he's doing and then asks what Skeeter did to him anyway. Doug says he just got smart. She says, "oh," and tells him she's going to take the cassette player if he's just throwing it away. Doug gets upset at her dismissive "oh" and says, "I'm not jealous of him, if that's what you think." Then he realizes he is jealous. Porkchop agrees. Realizing he's been a massive tool, he runs downstairs, opens the front door and runs right into Skeeter. Doug says he was just about to go to his house and then they both apologize to each other in unison. It's weird.

I mean, what is Skeeter apologizing for? Skeeter says he realized he was just showing off and making Doug feel jealous. Whatever. I guess. Doug asks him about going to college but he says he decided not to go. "Nobody there likes to air guitar or anything!"

"And they all smoke," said the genius. They go to the Honkerburger and Doug realizes you just have to accept people for the way they are, "even if they are smarter than you. Or something."

Doug is an asshole because he has an inferiority complex. He always wants to prove he's actually superior because he feels inferior. Once he accepts that Skeeter actually is smarter than him, he tries to read a book he can't understand to prove he's at least as smart as the guy that didn't realize he was taking a test. Doug's not stupid. His score was way above average, but instead of focusing on that, he focused on the one person that got a perfect score. He found something that made him feel inferior, then tried to deny it, top it, or forget about it. In the end, he placates his inferiority complex by apologizing and accepting Skeeter as the more intelligent being he apparently is.


  1. As someone who has seen all 52 episodes of the original Doug, and most of, if not all 65 episodes of the Disney version, I have to say that the scene where Doug goes mental over Skeeter's explanation of the apple dicht dicht principles has got to be the funniest moment in the history of this show. It cracks me up ever single time I see it.

  2. I forget, did Skeeter continue being a genius or was this just a one-episode thing that was never mentioned again?

  3. It was a central theme in the Disney version. Al and Moo even began looking up to him as some sort of Guru (calling him "The All-Knowing One"). It was also revealed that he never earned an F until he screwed up some big project for his robotics class (due to his robot being too pretentious).

    Skeeter is VERY self-deprecating, huh?

    1. Thanks, I only remember his Lucky Duck Monster obsession

  4. I like that they chose Critique of Pure Reason, a real seminal philosophical work by Immanuel Kant. I wonder what Kant would think of Doug's reasoning abilities.

  5. I also like that they had Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica. I wonder if his college visit really meant him skipping 6 1/2 grades, or if he was just starting to plan his college years at the rather ripe age of 11.

    Also, the "Skeeter as a college prof" fantasy is one of my favorite fantasies on the show! If mostly because Skeeter wasn't acting like that at all with Doug.

  6. I suppose it comes from reading the 'wrong books'! :-P


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