[Image: Yasmin and Cloe tied back to back. They are wearing their outdoor clothes. Yasmin is mostly visible with Cloe looking over her shoulder.]
This is a two-part review of the Bratz episode, To catch a thief. Click here to read part 1.
Outside of the room, Yasmin and Cloe are still trying to listen in with their ears to Byron’s hotel room door. Just then, the Tweevils approach, carrying matching pink purses. As they enter, they are finishing a conversation that was apparently about burning Burdine’s dress, maybe with the iron that Kirstee was using earlier. Maybe they set her on fire. Who knows?
But the twins mock Yasmin and Cloe for their eavesdropping. Kaycee says that when they do it, they always use a glass. The both then pull out drinking glasses from the purses. Kirstee then states that they sometimes use stethoscopes. They pull out stethoscopes from their purses. To demonstrate, they put their medical instruments against the door. Just then, Byron opens the door and sees the twins trying to invade his privacy. He grabs their stethoscopes and shouts into them for the girls to leave him alone. Which seems all fun, but could actually damage Kirstee and Kaycee’s hearing.
Cloe and Yasmin slink off as Byron is yelling at the Tweevils, presumably unseen by the angry Byron. They are next shown in a red car driving over what looks like incredibly inhospitable roads. Cloe asks if Yasmin really thinks that Byron hid the jewels out there. Yasmin says that he claimed that they weren’t in the hotel, so where else could they be? Which, when did he say that? It wasn’t in the episode. Did they overhear it? And if they did, why wasn’t that shared with the audience? Regardless, Cloe picks up her cell phone and calls one of the other Bratz to tell them that she and Yasmin are going to the camping area to look for the missing jewelry.
Back in Byron’s room, the man is admiring himself in his mirror. After giving himself a brief pep talk about how great he looks, he leaves. Jade and Sasha, seeing their chance to escape, get out from under the bed. But as they’re headed towards the door, it opens again with Byron walking back in talking about how he forgot something. He screams when he sees the girls. Because what grown man wants there to be hyper-sexualized teenagers in his hotel room? Jade then turns to Sasha and tells her that they are so busted. As if that wasn’t readily apparent.
In Burdine’s room, the magazine editor is applying lipstick over her already-glossed lips. She then tells the twins to finish polishing her tiara. Presumably after they finish with the pink pumps that they are currently shining. She adds, “Damon’s going to be here for our date in two hours and I’m not even half ready yet!” Which I find amusing because as much as the writers try to vilify Burdine, Kirstee, and Kaycee, they are just as superficial, self-centered, and egomaniacal as the Bratz.
It seems that Dylan’s earlier comment about not liking someone making them a viable suspect seems to hold true in many cases. The Tweevils and Burdine are supposed to be disliked so whatever behavior they exhibit is bad. Even if it’s the same behavior that the Bratz regularly indulge in. When the polarizing idea is that the Bratz are always good, no matter what they’re doing and the Your Thing crew is always bad, no matter what they’re doing, it leads to people not noticing others’ behaviors, but instead casting people as all good or all bad. While this seems like a simple enough approach for a children’s TV show, it sets a bad precedence for the impressionable children watching.
Anyway, Kirstee, still thinking that Burdine is the jewel thief, asks where Burdine was during the last theft. Burdine thinks back and says that she was having her mustache waxed. Because that’s supposed to be embarrassing for her. Be ashamed that your body produces hair, girls. It’s not feminine enough for a real woman. But then Burdine tells her interns that it’s none of their business. Kaycee then whispers to her sister, “Guilty with a capital Q.” Because it’s funny when girls are unintelligent.
Kirstee asks when Burdine will be back that night. Burdine goes over the night’s events. Dinner, dancing, marriage proposal. Sounds like a very efficient night for someone that she just met a few days ago. Burdine then asks the twins why they’re being so inquisitive. Kaycee starts to explain, but Kirstee, thinking quickly, stuffs the rag she was polishing Burdine’s shoe with into her mouth to gag her.
Out in the woods, Cloe and Yasmin enter a cave. And yes, it’s the same cave from the survivor challenge in the last episode and it’s the one that houses a bear. Yasmin is reluctant to go in as she thinks that the bear might still be mad at her for plucking its whisker. Cloe tells her not to worry and adds that she can take care of the bear with more of her honey face mask if needs be.
The girls step into the cave and start to look around. Among what looks like wild garlic, Cloe finds a jewelry box and opens it. She discover the diamonds. Just then a deep, male voice with an American accent intones, “Hello girls, may I help you?” So, for anyone with even a tiny bit of coherent thought in their heads, the thief is revealed.
Both Nigel and Byron speak with British accents, so they are both ruled out as this thief is American. Gertrude also speaks with a different heavy accent and is female. So the only suspect left on the list that is both American and has a masculine sounding voice is Damon. However, it’s supposed to be presumed at the audience doesn’t know who this person is.
Back at the hotel, Byron tells Sasha and Jade that they don’t look like room service. Sasha snaps back in her usual offensively-stereotypical Sassy Black Girl voice that, “–you don’t look like a jewel thief, but looks are so deceiving.” Byron then asks them if they lost their senses. He doesn’t stop to wonder if they ever had any to begin with.
Yasmin then tells him that she saw him taking a diamond necklace. Byron then explains that he’s filming a new reality show called To Catch A Thief, like To Catch A Predator, but not as hilariously meme-inducing. Anyway, Byron is trying to catch a world-renowned thief named Damon Vandoren. He says that he wasn’t stealing the jewelry, he was replacing the real ones with fakes. He adds that if Damon got away with the real pieces Byron would be in trouble for letting him go.
This explanation, however, brings up more questions than the girls had before this. First off, where are all of the cameras? How are they shooting a reality show without a single camera being present in this entire episode. Yes, I know it would be hard to animate camera people, but come on. Just like the previous episode about the Survivor series, there are no camera people present at all. Next, how can they trust Byron that he was doing what he said he was doing. If he is a thief he has every reason to lie to them and put them off his trail.
But the Bratz like him, so they don’t ask any of these completely valid questions. Sasha, to her credit, attempts to be skeptical, but the best critical thinking that she can manage is to ask how he got fakes realistic enough that could fool a jewel thief. As if that’s the biggest part of this equation that doesn’t make sense.
Byron then goes to the black bag that Yasmin found under his pillow and pulls out a diamond bracelet. He drops it on the floor and smashes it with his heel. The “diamonds” shatter. Byron explains that the victims were happy to exchange their real pieces for fakes in order to get a chance to be on his TV show. He then moves the flat screen TV to show that he has been keeping the jewelry safe in a hidden place behind the electronic device.
Sasha then rolls her eyes and notes, “Ah, people are such attention freaks.” Byron then asks if the girls want to help him catch the thief. Sasha then gasps, “Can we be on your show?!” Strange how this time, the writers are openly admitting that the Bratz are just as vain, shallow, and narcissistic as they vilify everyone else for being. But it’s played off for comedy. Because girls are funny when they’re unintelligent.
Back at the cave, Damon has tied up Cloe and Yasmin back-to-back in front of an interesting rig. He says that if either of them move, they will set off a motion detector which will then fire an arrow right at Yasmin’s heart. The instant and rather gory death of a character while her friend watches might seem a little odd for a children’s show aimed at grade schoolers. And it is. But no one either notices or cares.
Anyway, then this exchange takes place:
Cloe: What if I get the hiccups?
Damon: Then Yasmin would get heartburn like never before.
I get that the writers were trying to be funny or whatever their equivalent of witty is. But come on. That doesn’t even make sense. There’s nothing burning about an arrow through the heart. If you’re going to try to make snappy comebacks, at least have them make sense. Is that too much to ask?
Damon then leaves the girls as Cloe starts one of her trademark freak outs. She thinks that they’re going to die in that cave and then they won’t see their friends again, they won’t go to senior prom, they won’t graduate, and they’ll never return that DVD they rented. Yasmin cuts her off while telling her to calm down and think of a way out of there.
Cloe then wishes that they were wearing arrow-proof vests. But then further laments that those would ultimately be pretty tacky. Because why wear something that can save your life if it’s not fashionable? Yasmin then realizes that that’s it! She tells her friend that she’s wearing a necklace and, “The silver medallion is like armor.” It’s not and you should never bet on a necklace stopping an arrow fired by a machine, but this is Bratz. So just go with it.
Yasmin says that if she can figure out how to get the necklace to cover her heart, then they can get off the arrow and get out of there. I can’t even begin to discuss just how many problems there are with this sentence. If this was the real world and not this ridiculously silly fantasy that a team of grown people made up to sell dolls to kids, this plan would probably lead to both of their deaths. But the scene cuts back to the hotel before seeing what happens with Yasmin and Cloe.
At the restaurant, Damon is on his date with Burdine. Burdine asks him about himself and he begins by saying that he had a rough childhood and his father was always sick. Burdine declares his back story depressing and asks him about how many houses he has. Without batting an eye, Damon starts discussing his villa in Italy.
Meanwhile, the Tweevils are at the booth behind the pair, peering over the top at them. They decide that since Burdine is distracted and out of the room, they can go look for the jewelry. This brings up an interesting point. The Bratz never suspected the Your Thing crowd as having anything to do with the jewel theft, even though they believe that someone who hangs out with them would be capable of it. So why did the Bratz pass over the three women when by their, we-don’t-like-them logic, they should be at the top of the list?
Anyway, back in Byron’s room, Sasha is worried. She announces, “Cloe and Yasmin don’t just disappear.” Oh, if only they had some way to communicate with each other through some means. Like, oh, I don’t know, a phone, perhaps. Just then, there’s a knock on the door and Cameron enters. He says that the missing Bratz are not at the pool, but Damon is in the restaurant. Sasha says that they should go tell Damon that they’ve figured him out and that they want to know here Yasmin and Cloe are. Byron then interjects, “Girls, Damon is dangerous and more than likely armed. Are you sure you’re up to it?” Sasha responds, “Totally,” with the sheer conviction of someone that has no idea what the fuck they’re doing.
How is Sasha exactly going to deal with a world-renowned jewel thief with nothing but her Sassy Black Girl attitude to protect her? But no one really cares. Byron says that he’s going to go stake out Burdine’s room. Sasha tells Dylan and Cameron to keep looking for Yasmin and Cloe.
Back at the restaurant, Damon takes a sip of his coffee. Suddenly, he points off behind Burdine and asks if that’s Donald Trump. Burdine immediately turns around to search for the billionaire and Damon takes out a vial and tries to pour some of its contents into her coffee. It’s never stated what this actually is, but from the context of his later actions, it seems to be some kind of sedative. Maybe the date rape drug. Who knows?
Regardless of what it is, the idea that children are being shown a man dosing a woman’s drink for the sake of comedy is highly disturbing. There’s no later mention or discussion of these actions. What a careless way to introduce a real and dangerous problem to little girls then cast it off as absolutely nothing important later.
Before Damon can put whatever it is into Burdine’s coffee, she turns back. For a second, it looks like Burdine saw the vial and knows what he was doing. But if she does, she absolutely doesn’t care. She then asks him, “How many bank accounts do you have?” Damon smoothly responds, “Onshore or offshore?” Is this show stating that Burdine is so desperate for a rich husband that she’s willing to let a man drug her?
Damon then drops a dime and points to it, asking if it’s hers. Burdine leaps into the floor to grab it with both hands. He tries again to dose her drink, but she returns and slips the dime into her purse before he can finish. With one last attempt, Damon asks if that’s Royale. Burdine leaps up, kneeling on the booth to look around the restaurant.
This is a legitimate concern for her ask she left her dog with Kaycee and Kirstee, neither of which have ever proven themselves to be competent. Damon finally manages to taint her drink. He then relents, “On second thought, it wasn’t Royale. It was a puddle. Er, poodle.” Which again, doesn’t even make sense.
Damon tells Burdine to sit down and drink her coffee, nudging it towards her on the table. Burdine pushes it away and explains that she only drinks a very specific cappuccino. She then calls a waiter over to remove the offending coffee.
While all of this is happening, the Tweevils are ransacking Burdine’s room, looking for the diamonds. At this point, the hotel room is a mess and Kaycee is balancing on Kirstee’s shoulders as they look into a light fixture. So far, they have found nothing. But they are still hopeful that Burdine is the thief. Just then, the phone rings and Kirstee leaves Kaycee, who now dangles from the hanging light, to go get it. Despite the fact that the phone only rang once and they are in someone else’s room, Kirstee yells at her twin for making her miss an important phone call after she picks up the receiver and no one is there.
Kaycee, who is now wildly swinging from the light, falls onto her sister and knocks her over. Picking themselves up, Kaycee laments that they can’t find their jewels and they will never get the reward or start their own magazine. Kirstee points out that they haven’t looked in her car yet. The girls do their usual pinky promise and booty bump.
Back at the restaurant, Jade and Sasha arrive to find that Burdine and Damon are gone. Jade then remembers to turn on her phone. As if that’s not something that she should have done hours ago. She immediately gets Cloe’s message that they’re off to the camping area. Sasha and Jade go to investigate.
Outside, Kirstee and Kaycee are in Burdine’s pink hyper-feminine car, looking for the jewels. Kaycee then hits the gear shift and the car starts rolling backwards. The girls then realize that the car is moving and they both jump out, leaving the vehicle to crash into a tree. No fucks were given. None at all.
In the hallway outside of Burdine’s room, the woman in question invites Damon in to see her collection of pink pumps. Is that what the kids are calling it these days? Damon then smiles, “I thought you’d never ask.” Burdine enters the room to see that it’s been trashed. She starts walking around the room in a panic and Damon grabs a nearby lamp.
He strikes Burdine over the head and renders her unconscious. Her body then goes into complete rigor for some reason and he picks her up to carry her to her bed. He gets her through the doorway, then starts to pull her tiara off. It’s apparently been melded into her skull because he pulls and pulls to no avail. He then puts his foot over her face and wrenches the item from her hair. Her hair is completely untouched by the removal, by the by.
He examines it with glee and notes that this is, “My one-way ticket to the retirement planet of the filthy rich.” They have their own planet now? I wasn’t aware of this. He then exits the room but runs into Byron in the hall. He tries to hide the diamond encrusted tiara, but Byron sees it and is starting to mention how that looks just like Burdine’s when Damon punches him in the face. Unconscious, Byron falls to the floor.
Damon then moves Byron into the suite and places him in bed with Burdine. As he leaves, he sprays some kind of white foam on the door and makes a remark about people being unable to get them out of the room. He adds a Do Not Disturb sign on the knob.
Back in the cave, Yasmin manages to grab her necklace with her teeth and maneuver it outside of the ropes which are wrapped around herself and Cloe. Yasmin then says she’s ready. Cloe asks her if she’s sure that it’s going to work. Yasmin, ever confident in her ability to find cute shoes to match her outfit, assures her friend that it will.
She then kicks her legs up and sets off the motion detector. The arrow fires and harmlessly pings off her tiny necklace. The amount of bullshit in the last few seconds is just staggering. But what’s science or physics when you’re in the Bratz’ world? It’s a boring class in school that no one pays attention to and the subject never comes up at the mall.
Anyway, deciding that she hasn’t had enough fun today. Yasmin moans that the arrow got her. Cloe, who has her back to her friend and can’t see anything screams for what she thinks is her injured compatriot. Then Yasmin reveals that she’s just kidding and the girl actually isn’t dying horribly. Comedy! The two decide to get out of the cave.
They stand up and Yasmin says, “Quick, inhale into a size zero.” They both breathe in and the ropes become so loose that they quickly slip out of them. Which, if this was reality, would probably indicate that Damon is really shitty at tying people up. But let’s not even examine the idea of the girls just inhaling to have the same size waist as the average eight-year-old girl. The girls both announce, “Rockin’!” as they step away from the ropes.
Yasmin then grabs the jewelry box and they’re headed towards the mouth of the cave when Damon arrives, this time wielding a baseball bat. He tells them not to leave so quickly. Yasmin responds by throwing the box at his head. He is stunned for a second and they both run. But Damon recovers quickly and grabs Cloe. The three grapple with each other for the rest of the scene. At one point, Yasmin steps on his foot and then announces, “These heels are just murder on the feet.”
The fight ends when Damon grabs Cloe and lifts her up. Cloe pulls out an aerosol can from somewhere and sprays Damon in his eyes. A white foam covers his face and he screams, dropping Cloe and eventually falling to the ground, unconscious. Just then, the other Bratz arrive and hug their friends. I guess the point they were trying to make is that beauty products can be dangerous? Or girls can defend themselves with mousse? I have no idea. I really don’t.
Back at the hotel, Burdine and Byron wake up at the same time and realize that they’re in bed together. Byron tells Burdine to get away from him, but Burdine yells that he’s in her room. She tries to shove him out, but he can’t exit as the door is stuck. Just then, Burdine realizes that her tiara is gone.
She accuses Byron of stealing it and calls him a liar when he says that he didn’t. In return, Burdine begins to beat him over the head. The next scene picks up in the lobby with Byron and Burdine freed, with no thought to how they got out or whatever it was that Damon sprayed on the door to lock them in there in the first place. It seems strange that the writers would go into so much pointless detail about how Jade picked a lock with a cuticle pusher and then leave all of this unanswered in any way. Maybe the cocaine was running low again. Who knows?
Anyway, in the lobby, the girls are looking over their $10k check with gleaming pride. It’s written out to the “Bratz” and sadly, no one notices that they would never be able to cash it because the date reads, “09/00/05”. I like to think that this is the hotel’s way of getting around paying the teenagers that endlessly harassed their guests and staff all week.
The girls laugh at how they caught Damon with Cloe joking, “And all we had to do was risk our lives?” Risk their lives? What? Teenagers are invincible. Everyone knows that.
Byron then comes over to “commemorate” the girls on a job well done. No joke, he actually says “commemorate” to them. I had to listen to that about four times to make sure I heard it correctly. Is this a mistake the voice actor did that everyone was too lazy to fix or did the writers actually put that on paper? The world may never know. He asks the girls what they’re going to do with the money.
Sasha says that they’re going to buy diamonds! Everyone informs her that that’s not funny. Yasmin then says that they’re going to donate the reward to a wilderness program for city kids as she hands the check to Byron. Which, if they were never going to keep the money in the first place, why did they get so excited at the idea of having it? Are they THAT into charity? Of course, this is the first and only mention of this program. No one ever sees the kids that benefit or even hear about how they helped these people. Just another empty gesture from the Bratz, meant to make them look good.
Just then, Burdine enters the lobby in tears. She tells Royale, “May your heart never break like mine,” as if that makes any sense. Burdine is characterized as being so heartless it would be in keeping with her portrayal for her to be completely unaffected by Damon’s betrayal and capture and just disappointed or annoyed that she lost a potential meal ticket. The fact that she is shown actually mourning the end of the relationship is nothing short of bizarre.
Byron, realizing his pink nemesis is back, says that he has to leave. He leaves with the $10,000 check in his hands. No one says anything about it. Just then, Burdine and the Tweevils, that were following behind her, lugging bags, leave the hotel and see off the in the distance, Burdine’s car that has been totaled and is now resting against a tree.
Apparently no one saw the wreck or thought it was important to report it. Burdine starts shouting and demanding answers and the Tweevils creep off to get out of the line of fire. The Bratz just laugh at their enemy’s misfortune. Because they don’t like her. So she deserves no sympathy or compassion, despite the fact that she seemed to have cared about a man that just tried to poison her and hit her over the head.
The wrap up relates that Damon got 15-20 years in prison for his struggles. Even though, with theft, two kidnapping charges, attempted murder, and multiple assault counts, he probably should have gotten more than that. Then, “Burdine found that love hurts.” I could literally write another 8,000 words on how many problems I have with that sentence. But let’s just chalk it up to the fact that everyone uses the word “love” as if it’s the word “like”. Finally, and most importantly, the girls with a passion for fashion got a great cover story that they dubbed, “How to catch a thief in style.”
The title of their article just hammers home all of the problematic elements of this already highly problematic show. Even the girls step out of their pink shopping mall and try something not associated with hyper-femininity, they still have to tack on the word “style” to make it count. The Bratz do not exist without fashion, so that fashion and femininity must be injected to every tiny thing that they do, no matter how inappropriate or ill-fitting it is. In the end, the Bratz save the day. But do it within their limiting box of what it means to be a girl.
This is a review of an episode of the Bratz TV series. To read more reviews of Bratz episodes, Click here. To read Bratz movie reviews, Click here.