Miscellaneous holiday hijinks with the Winkerbeans and Moores.
Les announces to Cayla that Mason Jarr the Movie Actor will be staying at Les and Cayla’s house, as he preps for his role in the Starbuck Jones movie by perusing Holly and Cory’s SJ comic book collection. At Montoni’s, Les tells Holly that she “can’t say anything” about Mason’s visit. Cindy appears, overhears, and pesters Les into asking Mason for an exclusive interview.
The long-awaited Dick Tracy crossover, in which Tracy and Sam Ketchum stand outside the room where a cache of stolen Golden Age comics is auctioned off. Later the pair deliver the comics to the winning phone bidder, who turns out to be Holly: she’s spent over fifty thousand dollars to acquire the comics so Dead Skunk Head John (whose bid topped out at fifty dollars) can sell them off in order to repay her.
The band travels to the Ohio Music Educators Conference in Cleveland. Ed Crankshaft and classic hat-wearing Harry Dinkle appear in flashback.
Mason Jarr the Movie Star arrives at Moore Manor, and proceeds to the Winkerbean home, where he sits on the floor perusing Starbuck Jones comic books while Holly brings him hot chocolate and cookies. Later, at Montoni’s, Mason is introduced to Cindy, and leaves the pizzeria with the older woman to stroll by the gazebo, but Cindy is left to mope when Mason abruptly returns to Hollywood.
Bull receives a visit from two representatives from Enormous Midwest University, who are there to give a presentation to the students about “the college experience”.
Les and Funky go jogging in winter.
Sunday: Owen attempts to deconstruct the 1933 film King Kong, getting key plot details all wrong. Darin collaborates with Les on a graphic novel while, in New York, Pete’s editors want him to move “The Amazing Mister Sponge” in a “darker and grittier” direction. Pete fantasizes about being a comic book writer at “Batom Comics” during the Silver Age.
Cindy shows up at Montoni’s to get Funky’s advice about an opportunity to anchor a web newscast at “buddyblog”: her employer, Channel One, has not discussed renewing her contract, and Cindy sees “low res” webcasting as a way to preserve her youthful appearance. Funky offers a smug putdown or two along with zero advice. Cindy decides she’ll fly out to Culver City to check out the position, and maybe stalk Mason Jarr while she’s in Cali.
Cindy’s interview immediately gets off on the wrong foot when she assumes buddyblog’s young president Michael Spencer must be the president’s son. Michael offers only a vague job description and a salary akin to what a panhandler might make, and cracks wise about how he expected that his company “could afford” to hire Cindy. As she asks for a little time to consider buddyblog’s pathetic offer, she gets a text from Mason Jar looking for a dinner date that night, and instantly accept’s Spencer’s offer.
March 30-April 5
The latest issue of The Amazing Mister Sponge hits the comics racks, and as expected, the “wackdoodles” (read: fans) express “geek rage” over Pete’s plot twist involving a clone. Pete calls his editors to bemoan the abuse he’s receiving (even thought the clone story was Pete’s idea) and is told that “Sales of ‘The Amazing Mister Sponge’ are going through the roof!” Sunday: little Skyler Fairgood receives an ass-ton of Easter goodies.
Cindy is nervous as she attempts to “babe up” for her big date with Mason Jarr the movie star. Over dinner, Cindy coyly states that she’s “not sure” if she’s accepting the job at buddyblog (though we saw her accept the gig two weeks ago). Mason hints that he’d like Cindy to relocate. We learn that his Starbuck Jones movie is in limbo pending refinements to the script.
Pete continues to moan to his bosses at Mega Comics over fan reaction to his Mister Sponge clone story arc, and his bosses continue to insist that sales are through the roof, and they want to spin off two more comics. Pete frets over the additional workload, and is told “not to worry” because he’s been fired. Meanwhile in Hollywood, Mason Jarr hints at a screenwriting opportunity for some lucky comic book writer.
April 19 – May 3
Cindy stops by Montoni’s to let Funky and Les know she’s moving to the West Coast to take the job at buddyblog (and to be close to Mason). First she must delegate her duties as Westview Class of ’78 reunion chairman to Les, who whines accordingly. Darin suggests to Cindy that Pete would be a “perfect fit” to write the Starbuck Jones screenplay.
Funky and Crazy take Montoni’s broken Band Box for repair.
The Starbuck Jones producers fly Pete to Hollywood to discuss the screenplay.
Dinkle organizes a band comprised of elderly residents of Bedside Manor.
Cindy drops off “tons of class photos” for the Coming Reunion, and mentions to Les that Channel One is donating their old news set for the high school to use in their video journalism program.
The reunion committee, chaired by Les, makes sure to set up a shrine to Lisa but neglects to book a venue for the event. The decision is made to hold the reunion in the school gym.
Darin delivers the finished artwork for the graphic novel that he an Les are collaborating on, telling the story of Les and Cayla’s “romance”. On his way out the door, Darin suggests to Les that he write another book telling the story of how he and Lisa met.
The refurbished Band Box is returned to Montoni’s, to the delight of young and old and very old. Les brings the fun to a screeching halt when he “whitesplains” the history and etymology of the jukebox.
June 29-July 5
On her first day as buddyblog’s franchise newscaster, Cindy immediately insults her boss before discovering that the news “studio” consists of a simple desk, chair, and spotlight, and an iPhone instead of video cameras. Mason stays in Hollywood while Cindy returns to Westview for the reunion.
July 6 – August 8
Hours before the Class Reunion, the DJ hired for Westview’s party “splits” to play the better-paying Big Walnut Tech reunion. Quick-thinking Holly summons Dinkle and the Bedside Manor band to provide the music. The sight of the elderly band prompts Crazy Harry (and oddly, nobody else) to recall that “this is the reunion where it happened,” “it” being the time that the gang’s teenaged selves showed up at a future reunion, via the “time pool” that exists in Crazy’s locker. Flashback to Act I, as Crazy invites his friends to see the time pool for themselves. They are transported into the present, and Crazy, Funky, Holly, Cindy, Les, and Bull come face to face with their future selves. Lisa realizes that her adult self is not at the reunion, and their middle-aged selves quickly come up with false explanations as to why. Teenaged Les wanders over to the “In Memoriam” table and learns Lisa’s fate, and ushers her and the rest of the group back to the seventies. Les awakens on the gym floor to learn that the whole thing was a dream that ensued after he fainted in from the stress caused by the DJ’s cancellation.
Pete calls Darin from Hollywood to invite him to do storyboards for the Starbuck Jones movie. Darin shares the news with Jess and they decide to move west. Wally offers to take over Darin’s pizzeria manager role as well as the coveted apartment above Montoni’s. Sunday features the first Band Camp riff since 2013.
A very magnanimous Les holds court from the porch swing, dispensing Hollywood advice to Darin and hinting to Cayla that although the China trip he promised her is on hold, he might whisk her off to Paris at some point. Darin says his goodbyes to family and reunites in Hollywood with Pete Reinhold. On Sunday, Les muses over cutting down a tree in his yard while Cayla makes puns in French.
Cody and Owen begin senior year. Owen fails to intimidate a freshman, and the pair are assigned to Les’ Senior Lit class.
August 30-September 6
Les wanders the halls of WHS in a melancholy funk, chats with his dead wife on the park bench, and spares the tree in the yard “until the last leaf has fallen”. He inexplicably walks home, leaving his car in the parking lot, where it gets tagged by a senior.
Summer packs up the Lisa VHS library and brings it to Crazy Harry to be digitzed.
The historically terrible Scapegoat football team has somehow become a powerhouse: Bull is accused and summarily acquitted of bullying an opposing team by running up the score 93-0.
September 20 – October 4
Crazy Harry finishes transferring (and ostensibly watching) the hours of Lisa tapes. He informs Summer that he found “a couple of Easter Eggs” on the tapes, which he burns to separate DVD’s marked “For Les” and “For the Other Woman”, and Summer presents these to Cayla. Cayla’s starts with a lecture from Lisa about how to handle her duties as Les’ wife (before devolving into threats that Lisa will haunt Cayla if she ever hurts “our Les”).
Mason and Cindy lay on the beach and discuss their age difference; Mason reveals to Cindy that he is bi. Polar. Cindy is unfazed by the news.
Holly and Funky pick up returning G.I.’s Cory and Rocky at the airport. Cory takes possession of the Starbuck Jones collection and proceeds to sell it to the Komix Korner behind his Mom’s back.
Les has Lisa’s dead tree cut down.
While cleaning Cory’s room, Holly discovers the empty longbox that contained the Starbucks Jones collection. She confronts Cory, who shows her the engagement ring he’s purchased with the proceeds from selling the comics. Rocky accepts Cory’s marriage proposal. After toasting their engagement (with real toast, for sober Funky’s sake), Rocky drags Cory to the Komix Korner, where she presents him with “the complete archive edition of the Starbuck Jones comics!”
In Hollywood, Pete and Darin must deal with the producers’ request for changes to the Starbuck Jones movie script, triggering another sepia-toned flashback to the plight of “the guys working at Batom Comics back in the day.” Jessica pays a surprise visit, and they celebrate Thanksgiving with Montoni’s pizzas that have been shipped from home.
November 30-December 6
A Crankshaft crossover about the time Montoni’s team won a holiday bowling tournament vs. the schoolbus drivers.
Mason and Cindy show up at Montoni’s to announce their engagement. Darin returns for the holidays too.
Dinkle rehearses the Bedside Manor band for a Christmas concert that winds up being for an audience of one; Sunday, Crazy and Dead Skunk Head talk comics.
Les is “working”, i.e., farting around on the computer and snacking. Dinkle listens to a CD. That Harriet bought him for Christmas. Funky and friends toast the new year in the most depressing way imaginable.