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Friday, May 05, 2017

Jem Reviewed: Episode 59 - Midsummer Night's Madness

Last week's Jem Reviewed was exciting and mysterious as we watched Danse finally find her long lost father.  Unfortunately her mother is still missing, and since this was Danse's last episode, the mystery will have to remain unsolved.  Cue Robert Stack introducing "Unsolved Mysteries".

As for today's episode...the mystery did I sit through this tripe?  This is Episode 59: Midsummer Night's Madness and let me tell you...this whole plot direction is madness.  You'll see why as we proceed.

Welcome to Greece in late July or early August - long before the collapse of Greece's financial markets.  It appears as though two groups - Jem and the Holograms and the Stingers - are performing at a special midsummer night festival.  How nice.

Well, okay, maybe it's not a nice experience for the Stingers.  The roadies hired to help them are so taken aback by the Stingers' arrogance and rudeness that they actually pretend not to understand English to mess with them.  When they smash an amplifier on the ground, Minx comments on how all foreigners are stupid.  Wow, she'd fit right in with Trump's America, wouldn't she?

At least most of the Holograms seem to be having a better time.  Aja, Shana, and Kimber are in love with the beautiful scenery, and Raya comments that it is the perfect condition for love and romance.

Which is quickly juxtaposed by a blowout fight between Jerrica and Rio!  So much for love and romance.  Apparently it's another one of those "you think Jem is better than me" arguments which makes no sense because Jerrica is too afraid to tell Rio that she's Jem because he hates lies and he hates deception.  The fight is quite serious with Jerrica throwing a clipboard at Rio and Rio responding with comments that are drenched in sarcasm and immaturity.  So in other words, it's a typical Friday for them.  Oh, and they break up for the four hundredth time.    

Aja tries to comfort Jerrica, but Jerrica is worried that she's lost Rio forever.  The Stingers overhear the whole conversation, and Riot remarks that he doesn't care about Jerrica.  He only loves Jem.  Oh, there's lots of irony in this episode!

The Holograms suggest that Jerrica try to forget about Rio and accompany them to the midsummer street festival as a happy distraction.  Jerrica agrees, but once she arrives at the festival she goes back to being a sourpuss and takes off from the rest of the group.  Way to bring down the mood, Jerrica.

As she walks down the streets of - actually, they never reveal what city they are in, so let's just go with Athens.  As she walks the streets of Athens, she passes by Riot who expresses some concern about her break up with Rio.  He turns on the charm that he claims will make every woman fall for him, and at first Jerrica seems captivated by his spell.  But once Riot asks Jerrica for help in getting Jem to fall for him, Jerrica literally loses it and screams WHY IS EVERYTHING ALL ABOUT JEM?!

(Well...considering that the show title is JEM...didn't you get the memo after almost 60 episodes, Jerrica?)

Jerrica's self-pity party leads to our first song of the episode - a rehash of a song first heard in Episode 16.  I do love the song "Can't Get My Love Together", and it was one of my favourites from Season 1.  The recycled version for Season 3 is still good, but I really don't care about the love triangle between Rio, Jem, and Riot.  Oh, and of course Jerrica has to change to Jem to sing because apparently Jerrica has no musical talent despite handling herself well on the song "Imagine Me".

Synergy appears to give Jerrica some words of encouragement and tries to tell her that Rio does care about her.  He wouldn't just kick a plant for anybody.  But Jerrica once again proves just how much of a brat she has become by telling Synergy that a computer as fantastic as her would know nothing about love, and tells her to go away and leave her alone.  Just for that comment alone, Synergy should change Jerrica into a cockroach.

Think this story has been strange so far?  Keep watching.

You see, as Jerrica continues to feel sorry for herself, a strange woman who introduces herself as an oracle named Phaedra.  How...convenient.  Phaedra claims that she knows everything about her - even that Jerrica is really Jem.  How...strange.  And Phaedra starts her prediction by telling Jerrica that she is a workaholic who needs to loosen up more like Jem!  How...awesome!  Jerrica reasons that she could never be as fantastic as Jem.  Um, Jerrica...YOU ARE JEM!!!  This is just freakin' bizarre.  Jerrica of all people being jealous of Jem.  Phaedra does offer Jerrica some advice though...she tells her to think of why Rio seems to be attracted to Jem and to start bring more of Jem's personality into her own.  Well, she could start by telling Rio that she is Jem, but Jerrica's too much of a coward for that to happen.

She changes into her Jem hologram and starts to have a conversation with Rio, but Rio steals Jem away from him rather quickly to try to seduce Jem away.  To Jem's credit, she responds that she is with Rio and wants to finish her conversation with him...

...but when Minx is seen throwing herself over Rio, Jem gets the wrong idea and basically tells both of them off before storming away.  I don't even know what the hell just happened here, but let me preface this by saying that all of these people are nuts.  Every last one of them.  Especially after Jem curses the oracle out as she storms away.

That last comment was said within the earshot of Rapture...and you can automatically sense the wheels of evil cranking around her morally bankrupt personality.  I can only imagine what scheme she has going through her head right now.

Jem meets up with Phaedra and informs her that Rio still doesn't notice her, nor does he care.  Phaedra seems to come up with a solution.  Create a whole new persona.  Yeah, because two just isn't enough.  She already has an issue with dual identity disorder - you want to try for multiple personalities now?

Surprisingly, Jem thinks this is a great idea with her reasoning being that Rio would be able to see through to her no matter what she looks like.  So she asks Synergy to transform her into a dark haired Greek girl named Jaime.  I don't recall Jaime being a Greek name.  Aphrodite, Apollina, Dionysia, and Eurydice, maybe.  But Jaime?  I don't even know if the letter J even exists in the Greek alphabet!

Anyway, Rio (who has tried to find Jem to explain what happened) quite literally crashes into "Jaime", and almost instantly the two hit it off.  Rio even comments that even though they have just met, Jaime makes him feel as though he has known her his whole life.  And I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.  I mean, Rio is essentially hitting on every girl with a pulse, and Jerrica as Jaime is just eating it up.  Told you this episode was maddening.

You know, I've had enough of this.  Let's check in with what else is happening in Athens.

Wow, a strange oracle has appeared in a town square, promising the future to random Greek citizens - for a hefty price of all the money in their possessions.  And if you've figured out that Rapture is using Jem's oracle story to line her own pockets with gold, you have successfully predicted the future better than Rapture can.

Minx and Riot are wise to her scheme, but really don't care.  Minx's destiny is towards making Rio hers.  Riot's destiny is to make Jem his.  Both of them leave Rapture to her own destiny of getting rich off of the gullibility of others.

However, as terrible of people as the Stingers are, they do make fantastic music.  "Destiny" is a fantastic song, and it's really nice to hear Minx and Rapture sing instead of just Riot.  But does the female singing voice sound familar to you?  It should if you're old enough to remember the 1970s.  In this installment of Jem Trivia I can tell you that one of the girls singing in this clip is late disco singer Vicki Sue Robinson, whose most well known hit would be the one featured below.

Though, I don't see Rapture turning the beat around and quitting while she is ahead.  In fact, with Aja, Kimber, Raya, and Shana approaching, Rapture takes it as an opportunity to really mess with them.

As the oracle, Rapture tells the group that someone they care for is experiencing a crisis of love, and that she needs help.  Well, of course Rapture knows this because she was there when Jem had her meltdown.  But Kimber and Raya seem to hang onto her word.  I'm a little surprised by Raya's naive attitude, as she was one of the more intelligent characters last season.  Kimber's still an airhead, but Raya knows better.

It's only when Rapture announces that the group should give up playing music and become professional basket weavers that Aja starts to suspect that something isn't quite right.  When the oracle mentions the Stingers, it more or less confirms Aja's suspicions.

And when Aja unmasks Rapture as the oracle that has been taking everybody's money, an angry mob of people go running after her.  Rapture probably won't learn anything from this, but at least she won't try to rip off the poor people of Greece.

The Holograms set off to find Jem, but instead they run into Rio - who is taking Jaime on a tour of the Greek neighbourhoods.  The other Holograms are NOT impressed that Rio is seemingly dating another woman (not realizing that Jaime is really Jem who is really Jerrica), and they basically call Rio a lying, cheating pig!  Wow, how ironic that the king of anti-deception is being deceptive towards Jerrica.  Even more ironic that he doesn't know that Jaime is really Jerrica who still hasn't told Rio that she's Jem.  I think I sense a migraine coming on.

Jaime leaves Rio and follows the Holograms to try and talk to them, to which Shana more or less calls her a tramp.  She doesn't actually say it, but she implies that she is one.  To which Jaime utters a "Show's Over, Synergy", and changes back into Jerrica which stuns everyone else into silence.

The Holograms all ask Jerrica what is going on, and Jerrica says that she was told that if she became Jaime then Rio would actually fall in love with Jerrica, and this makes all the Holograms go HUH?  Jerrica also explains that the oracle told her to do it and that she ended up making things worse, and Aja tries to tell her that the oracle was Rapture and that she was just lying, to which Jerrica reveals that there is another oracle and that she isn't on drugs, and she isn't drunk, and storms off.  Okay, what is this, the "everybody loses their mind" episode?

I guess it must be because no sooner has Jerrica left her friends than she is abducted by Riot - who is dressed in a gladiator outfit and is riding a horse drawn carriage.  Yeah, there's definitely something in the water - especially after Riot announces that he doesn't love Jem any more...he wants Jerrica and he wants Jerrica now!  Oh, sweet Jesus, how much longer is this episode?  I almost want to skip through it like I did with "Aztec Enchantment".  It's THAT HORRIBLE.

Oh, and Minx tries to hit on Rio again because she hates all Americans except Rio and she has no self worth.  Rio rebuffs her advances once again, and Minx is about to rip the purple hair right off his scalp.  Luckily for Rio, Rapture's angry mob fast approaches and now Minx has joined Rapture in the quest to not get murdered by said mob.

Seriously, is this show over yet?

Riot continues to try and schmooze Jerrica, and he is definitely turning on the charm - even more so than he has with Jem.  This tells me that he's definitely up to something, and I think Jerrica is starting to see it too because she excuses herself and changes back into her Jaime persona.

It's actually kind of funny to see Riot running down the streets of Athens wearing a gladiator costume screaming his love and affections towards Jerrica knowing that she's literally standing two feet away as Jaime.

Jaime quickly bumps into Rio again and does a little bit of flirtation, but Rio's not really interested in chatting with him running away from Minx and with him trying to find Jerrica.  But Rio brushes Jaime off so rudely that Jaime decides to silence herself for good.  She changes back into Jerrica and proclaims that at least Riot has noticed her and that he will take her back.  Oh, my lord, end this insanity now please.

I'm not exactly sure what happens now because I've honestly stopped paying attention to the dialogue at this point, but eventually Riot and Rio come face to face and they start dueling over Jerrica, saying that Jerrica is better than Jem.  But then Jerrica completely goes postal at both of the men saying that just a few hours ago, both of them wanted Jem, and now they want her instead.  She blasts both of them for being immature and tells them that they are stupid for being so indecisive!  Well if that ain't the pot calling the kettle pink.  Oh, sometimes I hate this show.

Jerrica runs into the Holograms who still believe that Jerrica needs a straitjacket to go with the JemStar earrings.  They still don't believe Jerrica's story about the oracle, and they want her to sit down and sing Kumbaya with them.  Well, not really, but they are concerned.

Ah, but wait.  The oracle Phaedra makes an appearance, and Jerrica is about ready to rip her a new one.  Jerrica says that she did everything she suggested and nothing worked.  Rio is such a man-whore that he hits on anything that moves, and that he doesn't care about her.  But Phaedra reveals that simply isn't true.  For every time that Rio was presented with a new girl, he thought only of Jerrica, for Rio was able to see her inner beauty within.  Oh for the love of poundcake.  Seriously?!?  That's lame.  I suppose next the oracle is going to reveal herself as a friend of Jerrica.

Oh, shocker.  Phaedra is really Synergy.  And actually what Synergy reveals makes a lot of sense under the context.  It was clear that Jerrica wasn't going to listen to Synergy, so she had to synthesize the Phaedra hologram to get her to listen - much like she had Jerrica turn into Jaime to get Rio to listen to her inner self.  Well, when she explains it like that, it makes quite a bit of sense.  The episode is still insanely stupid, but I get the point of it now.

I guess Jerrica was so busy coming to terms with everything that she forgot that she left Rio and Riot pummeling each other in the middle of a Greek neighbourhood.  They rush back to see both of them engaged in a fighting pose ready to bust open each other's noses.

But then Riot does something completely out of the blue.  He tells Rio that Jerrica is all his.  When he asks Riot to explain, he says that Jerrica is a lovely lady, but only second best for him.  Wow, what a real charmer this one is.  He decided to stage the fight so that Rio would see what a jewel he has in Jerrica leaving him free to pursue Jem.  Oh, the irony is just overflowing in this episode much like some of the coastal areas in the Eastern part of North America at this time!

At least Rio tells Riot that Jerrica is more of a woman than Jem could ever be, and naturally Jerrica swoons at the news.  Aja encourages her to go over and tell Rio how she feels and it's happily ever after for Jerrica and Rio.  Excuse me while I barf.

But Jerrica's not finished yet.  She remarks that Riot wants a fantasy girl, so she'll create the fantasy.  She projects a hologram of Jem in the distance which causes Riot to run towards it.

Of course, Riot only runs into his bandmates who essentially have lost five pounds running from the angry mob.  It's only until Riot fills a pot with the money Rapture stole and smashes it on the ground in front of the mob that they stop, leaving the Stingers free to make their escape like the platinum haired cowards they are.

And it's time for our final song.  It's a song with a Greek beat called "Midsummer Night's Madness".  It's okay, but not my favourite.  And that wraps up one of the most frustrating episodes of Jem that I've ever seen.  With only seven episodes left of the series, I shudder to wonder what the next one is all about...everyone seemed to lose their minds in this one.  Ah, here's a brief description for episode sixty...

...Jem DIES?!?  REALLY?!?  Oh, please don't tell me that this is going to stretch out until the series finale.  I might not make it! 

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