An Unfortunate Episode – Jem “Alone Again”

Laura witnesses this exchange and sees Bobby push pills on Ashley. It’s the same schtick, just sub “Big History Exam” for “Big Concert” and add some bit about taking her to a movie. It works. Ashley is now heading straight for addiction.

Jerrica finds Laura after school and takes her for a drive. She persuades Laura to join a group encounter with other young addicts so she can kick her habit. Naturally, Laura thinks she’s above this, which she expresses to the rest of the self-help group when they meet. A vaguely Latina girl1 interrupts her, shouting, “Can it, Princess!” Yessss. “You’ve got a problem. You’re addicted to the drugs!” This angry chick is my favorite character by far. I hope she grows up to be a happy, healthy member of the Misfits.2 Anyway, Laura finally accepts she has a problem and her road to recovery is finally underway.

Or is it??? In the next scene, Laura and Ashley are hanging at the video arcade. Bobby approaches with The Stuff to get ready for The Big Whatever. But as soon as Laura hands him cash, a cops appear and read would-be statutory rapist Bobby his rights. D.A.R.E. INDOCTRINATION COMPLETE! When you tell the police about the drug dealer who approached you at school, you’ll get to be part of a cool sting operation, that one bad guy will get locked up for good, and your high school playground will be safe again. Let’s hear it for the War on Drugs, everybody!

Denouement: Laura, Ashley and Jerrica have a special moment at the arcade, where everyone speaks to the lesson learned. Laura bumps her butt into a loud video game, which makes a weird noise, and everyone laughs. Cut to The Big Concert, where Jem welcomes Laura to the stage. Together, they play a new jam called “Look Inside Yourself”. In the accompanying video, we see new and improved Laura meditating, mentally floating through the cosmos, standing atop a mountain, running along a placid beach, and just feeling all around groovy. Clearly, she’s a stoner now, which is a great improvement over that nasty speed-laced crap Grandpa Bobby was supplying. Now that she’s in a better state of mind, maybe we can start to talk about her dead parents.

Jem and Laura (Screen: Sunbow/Marvel Productions)
Jem and Laura (Screen: Sunbow/Marvel Productions)
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  1. Kudos to the Jem writers and animators for making this show racially diverse, but the outcome is (predictably) problematic.  
  2. They’re the punk as fuck enemy girl group who is sadly missing from this episode, AND THE MOVIE #byefelicia  

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Tara Rose
About Tara Rose 106 Articles
Since 2009, Tara has been writing snarky essays about pop culture, motherhood and her various neuroses at Rare Oats. She spends most of her other time selling cheese, raising a small human and goofing off with her husband Dan. E-mail: tara@whatelseison.tv
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