The Fifth House on the Left, Part 1
Bernard and Eugene finally make it to San Diego. Bernard purchases his new truck, and Eugene figures out the expenses of their trip. Eugene finds that the trip has eaten up almost all of the savings Bernard supposedly made on the truck deal. Instead of driving straight back, Bernard wants to make a detour to see Hollywood and visit the stars' homes, especially the home of cowboy film star Hip Hobson.
Once they get there, they can't find the house or the star, who has long since moved. Instead, there is just a locked gate to a large estate. Bernard and Eugene walk up to it. Bernard is ready to give the owners of the house a piece of his mind. Suddenly, a car screeches around the corner. It heads straight toward them, nearly hitting Eugene!
After this experience, they are nearly instantly bonded with the owners of the house, a bigwig movie producer (Foster Smith-Hammer) and his two daughters. Eugene goes off with the oldest daughter Kelsey for a screen test and Bernard stays behind to tell the younger girl Tammi stories, while doing so discovers that their housekeeper/cook, Angela, is a Christian, but hasn't told the family about Christ before, for fear of being fired. Tammi is especially interested in the story of Jesus, but her father isn't impressed. Just as Eugene is telling Kelsey that he isn't interested in movies, they hear a loud rumbling: it's an earthquake! Everyone runs for cover.
- This plot section is too short and should be expanded. »
- Why were Kelsey and Tammi so spoiled?
- Why was Foster so opposed to Bernard telling Tammi about Jesus?
- Have you ever had a major emergency in your town?
- How would you react if you did?
- This episode takes place away from Odyssey: Episodes That Take Place Away from Odyssey
- Eugene says in this episode that Bernard was looking for Shirley Jones' house (to which Bernard responds that he has given up). Shirley Jones starred as the mother in The Partridge Family, which also starred Dave Madden (the voice of Bernard Walton).
- Bernard apparently once had a collection records by Hip Hobson, the singer whose house he is seeking in this episode. Later in #433b: “Chain Reaction”, burglars would steal this collection (either that or, as Bernard suspects, his wife hides it from him).
- Bernard will finally consider replacing the truck he purchased in this episode in #538: “Stubborn Streaks” and will eventually buy a new one in #567: “Two Friends and a Truck”.
- It’s a Wonderful Life Reference: as Bernard is telling a Bible story to Mr. Smith-Hammer's daughter, she asks if it's an angel like in It's a Wonderful Life.
- The Andy Griffith Show Reference: Kelsey continually refers to Eugene's hometown as Mayberry — which is, of course, the town in The Andy Griffith Show.
- Listen carefully: the background music heard in the Smith-Hammer house as Eugene and Bernard meet the family is the same "classical music" piece played previously by Bart Rathbone for his family's dinner together in #243: “Family Values”.
Bernard Walton: Just take a deep breath, Eugene. Aah, there's nothing like the smell of a new pick up truck. It's heaven.
Eugene Meltsner: Smells more like artificially-induced pine scent and upholstery cleaner.
Eugene Meltsner: Caspio?
Foster Smith-Hammer: Yeah, he's a character in my new movie.
Eugene Meltsner: Is that Shakespearean?
Foster Smith-Hammer: Sort of; it's called "Biker Bimbos From Belview Go Bonkers."
Eugene Meltsner: Obviously a philosophical work.
Bernard Walton: Dinner?
Angela: Mr. Smith-Hammer made it very clear that you're to be treated like a houseguest until further notice.
Bernard Walton: Oh? Wonder what that means?
Tammi Smith-Hammer: That means until he doesn't want you around anymore.
Bernard Walton: Oh, I see. Well, considering Eugene's people skills, I'd better eat fast.
Eugene Meltsner: Perhaps I'm uncomfortable with all of this... artifice, the fakery, the make-believe! Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I get the impression that everyone in this town is acting—acting like a friend only so long as it serves a purpose, acting as though they care when they really don't, acting as though the entire world revolves around what happens here without any regard to the rest of the world!
Kelsey Smith-Hammer: You got all of that from a day in Hollywood?
Eugene Meltsner: No, Kelsey—from a day with you! Frankly, I'm not sure how you cope with such a life.
Kelsey Smith-Hammer: You cope by doing it the same way. You cope by becoming a big star, making tons of money so you can buy whatever you need, including friends. You cope by becoming powerful enough so you can create your own world, Eugene!
Eugene Meltsner: I think that's very...sad. To be so young, and so cynical. Couldn't it be argued that by creating your own world, you're actually missing out on the real world? True friendships? True feelings?
Kelsey Smith-Hammer: You're quaint, Eugene.
Eugene Meltsner: Philosophically speaking, Kelsey, don't you ever wonder what would remain if the artificial world you've created suddenly collapsed? What would you have left?
Kelsey Smith-Hammer: No, Eugene, I don't wonder—I don't want to know.