This episode begins with Judy quitting something Doug apparently wants her to do. It's the Founder's Day Pageant. She has a schedule conflict.
Doug pleads with her, pointing out that it's a killer schedule that no one in their right mind would take over now. And that's when Judy drops the real bomb. After Doug says only a crazy person would take over, Judy says he's going to replace her.
After the title screen, Doug gives us a flash back to last week. Principal White and Mr. Bluff have a school assembly to talk about Founder's Day and announce the director of the pageant, which we already know is going to be Judy (until she quits and makes Doug do it). When Principal White introduces Judy, Doug bemoans the choice saying, “oh great! Judy. Just what I need. Why can't she be busy with something else?” Back in the present, he's now asking her, “how could you be busy with something else‽” She says she gets a lot of offers and is thinking of getting her teeth cleaned. So basically, she doesn't feel like doing it.
Doug asks her how he's supposed to know what to do. She says, “oh Dougie, you're being far too modest. Surely all these years of living with me, something must have rubbed off on you. I bet if you gave it a try, you could be an almost average director.” This sets off a fantasy where he imagines the glory of being an almost average director.
It's like looking into the dreams of Brett Ratner, who can only hope that one day people will celebrate his ability to be an almost average director.
After the fantasy, Doug has just enough confidence to say, “Maybe I can do it!” Judy reassures him that he can and then asks what method he'll employ; one where the director helps the actor channel his energies to find his inner motivation, or like a general in charge of an army. Meanwhile there's an odd moment where she gets mad at Porkchop for trying on a turban from her costume trunk. It's pointless, but Doug apparently wrote about it in his journal, and if I still really need to make the case that he is crazy, well...he just wrote about his sister and dog arguing over the latter's use of the former's turban for no fucking reason.
Anyway, after hearing Judy's explanations of the two directing methods, Doug chooses the one where he's a general in charge of an army because he thinks it will be easier. Try not to act surprised when he is wrong and the other method works for him accidentally.
On Saturday night, which is oddly enough when his cast and crew has the first meeting, Skunky is the only one that stops to acknowledge the fact that it is snowing. In the auditorium, Doug starts telling the cast about the story of Thaddeus Bluff coming upon two forked trees and founding the town. There's a great fantasy about this where Doug is Thaddeus, Patti is his wife, and everyone is green.
Apparently Thaddeus Bluff argued with the two trees because they disagreed with the idea that they were a great spot to found a town. I don't know if that's really part of the founding of Bluffington or if that's some weird Monty Pythonish addendum Doug invented to make a 10 second play into something less boring, but Roger is the first to chime in and suggest something else.
Rickets. Anyway, Roger doesn't want to bother with telling the Thaddeus Bluff story. He wants to go back millions of years when the area was covered in volcanoes and nematoadasauruses. Roger's story is about Klotz the Barbarian “taming” the nematoadasauruses (by killing them) and throwing boulders on top of the volcanoes to cap them (because that's how it works). Doug's vision of this story is awesome.
I'd watch this movie twice.
Beebe interrupts Roger, and Doug says he thinks the play really ought to be about Bluffington's forefathers. Beebe then introduces the idea that the women of the time were far more important than the men. She says Thaddeus' wife Jinxie actually saved his life and was the real founder of the town. Her story says that Thaddeus almost died in quicksand, because of all the places he could have stopped and planted his flag, he chose the nine square feet of quicksand.
Men, right? After pulling him out, he plants his flag a few feet away. That's where they'll build their town. From there, Thaddeus' first priority is building a tanning bed. Jinxie says no. They should plant beets for food. He disagrees. She sarcastically agrees. He asks for lunch. She hands him a rock. After biting into it, he agrees to her beet plan.
After Doug's vision of Beebe's story, he's skeptical because it makes Thaddeus look stupid. He asks for Patti's opinion and she's a little enthusiastic about portraying a strong female character. Roger is a dick about it. He wants his bullshit, irrelevant story about his made up caveman ancestors to be the focus.
Doug intervenes and says the play has to be about Thaddeus. He asks for Skeeter's opinion. Skeeter says, “cows!” Skeeter thinks Thaddeus Bluff's cows deserve recognition. He wants to do a musical about the graceful, dancing cows that founded Bluffington.
Doug and Beebe shut Skeeter down. Finally, Doug asks the most important person what he thinks of all the other ideas. Skunky says, “they're all torque, man,” and suggests they do all of them. Doug insists they can't do all of them. They have to do his! Rogers asks him why and he says it's because he's the director. This causes all of them to quit and walk out. As they are walking out, 10 feet of snow falls and traps them in the school. Doug writes about it as if a 10 foot blanket of snow fell at once, but it's just a neat way of showing that Doug entered the school when it started lightly snowing and the next time he looked outside the doors were blocked by snow. It happened so fast he didn't notice.
After Boomer says this is great and delights in the idea of being at school with no one telling them what to do, Doug chimes in with, “here's what we're gonna do; we're gonna remain calm, we're gonna get on the phone, and call for help.”
Skunky says, “phone's dead, dude.”
Doug says, “well, we're gonna...we're gonna stay right here where it's warm.”
Skunky says, “heat's off, man.”
Doug says, “Is...is anybody hungry or is it just me?”
So Roger tries to cheer everybody up by telling them about a movie he saw where people were trapped in a blizzard until they ate each other. He says they have to hoard food and build a shelter. Patti points out they don't need a shelter, being in a school and all. Roger tells everyone if they want to survive they should follow him. He leaves with his goons.
Next, Patti suggests they try to establish contact with the outside world. Beebe agrees enthusiastically. Fucking no one points out that this was Doug's first suggestion and Skunky pointed out that the phones are not working. No, they just think it's the most wonderful idea and leave on their own. Doug feebly suggests they'll be stronger together. Skunky leaves on his own, saying he's going to check out Principal White's office because of rumors that there's a secret paradise in it. So it's just Doug, Skeeter and Porkchop.
The first disaster is Roger. His goons have rounded up all the junk food from the cafeteria and nothing else. I would cry foul and say a school cafeteria wouldn't have so much junk food, but I remember how many fruit roll-ups I stole from my middle school cafeteria. Roger is eating all of it himself and yelling at Willy for trying to eat one small piece.
The next disaster involves the girls. Patti hangs up the phone saying, “the phone lines really are dead.” Because why should anyone believe Skunky. Beebe pulls out her laptop and says she'll get help through the internet. Connie asks, “don't you need a phone line for that?” Beebe says it's totally wireless because her dad launched a satellite just for her. She opens her briefcase-sized laptop and connects to the internet with the sounds of an old dial-up modem. I love this for reasons that need no explanation.
Anyway, Beebe orders some emergency supplies from who knows where and Patti shoves her out of the way to try to contact someone in a chatroom. Are chatrooms still a thing? I didn't like them then; wouldn't like them now. The chatroom Patti tries is actually some ridiculous game, apparently. So trying one out of what must have been hundreds at the time, the chatroom strategy is deemed a failure. Of course, the reality of middle school girls in a chatroom at any time in the history of the internet should be considered a failure at best. At worst, someone somewhere is committing a crime or wanting to commit a crime.
Meanwhile, Skunky breaks into Principal White's office and finds the secret paradise.
It wasn't exactly Easter eggs on the roof of the church. The office transforms into a relaxing tropical themed whatever after he flips the switch.
Meanwhile, Doug and Skeeter are back in the auditorium playing with switches on the control board. The first one they try reveals some harnesses. Skeeter thinks they'll be handy for the flying cows.
Doug pisses him off by saying, “I thought we agreed that was a stupid idea.” After Skeeter storms off, Doug has an accurate fantasy about his current situation as General of the army performing the school play.
Meanwhile Roger and his goons have moved to the gym. He's lying on a few mattresses while his goons exercise. Apparently their exercise is very important to his survival. After he eats all the food, he'll need them to find some more. He doesn't yet have the foresight to worry that he might be the food they have to find later. My favorite moment from this scene is Willy's pathetic attempt to get out of the exercise.
Even barely-literate Roger can see through this bullshit. When he throws Willy's note away, Willy quits and leaves. After that, Roger invites the other two goons over for a break. Pissed at the measly food portions he gives them, they also quit and leave.
Back with the girls, there's a fight between Patti and Beebe over control of the laptop. Connie walks up saying, “hey, what does this do?”
She pushes a button on the bottom left side of the keyboard and the Beebe-shaped sattelite blows up.
Pissed, Beebe yells, “HOW COULD YOU BLOW UP A TEN MILLION DOLLAR SATELLITE‽” I'm happy to say that Connie and Patti point out how stupid it is to have a button on the laptop that blows up the satellite.
Back in the auditorium, Doug imagines what the town would be like if the founders acted like his crew. First, he crosses the street on a green light and Officer Klotz gives him a ticket for jaywalking. He crossed into Klotzlvania where green means stop.
He crosses the street again and tries to buy a drink from a street vender. Unfortunately Skeetania uses a different currency.
After this fantasy, Doug says to Porkchop that things can't get any worse. The power goes out.
So Doug, having pulled a flashlight out of his ass apparently, starts wandering the school. Beebe is the first to catch up to him and ask what happened. He asks, “what are we gonna do?”
She asks, “what are you looking at me for?”
He says, “well, I just figured that, y'know, Jinxie would've known what to do.”
Beebe agrees and then says her father just tells the butler to turn on the emergency power whenever this happens at home. They start looking for the emergency power. Doug tells her he thinks Jinxie really is interesting and she tells him about how Jinxie helped get the cows across a frozen river. Doug has a fantasy about this where Thaddeus starts digging a tunnel with a spoon for the cows to go under the river, while Jinxie just ties some flat rocks to the cows' hooves. Patti and Skeeter overhear the story and love it. Patti just likes hearing another triumph for women, and Skeeter likes hearing something that has potential as a dancing cow part of the show.
Eventually everyone rejoins Doug. They don't find emergency power though. And Roger doesn't find them. They start searching for him and eventually find him cowering in the gym, scared they're going to eat him.
He tries to play it off as if he's trying to see what it's like to live in a cave like Klotz the Barbarian. Patti thinks this is the greatest thing ever, and suggests Klotz the Barbarian's cave is the same cave the settlers take shelter in during a dust storm.
Back in the auditorium, Roger complains that they can't do anything without lights. Doug suggests that the play could take place at night, which would make it dark and moody. The power returns and the lights come back. His new contribution is shot down by random chance.
So the crew gets to work building sets and costumes and combining everyone's ideas. At some point Skunky rejoins the crew. Remember him? No one else did until he showed up.
Doug tells him they've decided to do everybody's ideas. Skunky says that's “totally torquin'” or something and wishes he'd thought of that. Doug points out that he actually didn't think of that well before anyone else. And that's when the firefighters run to their rescue. Along with Principal White and some reporters.
The kids decide they aren't going home. They have a show to put on and they have to work without end until that show happens apparently.
The show goes on and Doug plays a nematoadasaurus, Thaddeus Bluff...
...and one of these ice-skating, singing cows.
Everyone loved it.
During Doug's wrap up, Porkchop struggles to lift this club. I don't know why.
Probably one of Doug's finer moments. He didn't freak out when they got trapped. He just couldn't control several other kids like an army. Can't really fault him for that. Kids are assholes. His fantasy of being a director celebrated for being totally average is kind of sad though. Aim at least a little bit higher, won't you?