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#5205-06
Last Resorts
Written by Roger Slifer

Synopsis:
Jem and the Holograms are going on a vacation to a ski resort, where the owner is about lose his lodge and mountain if he doesn't pay his mortgage payment to his banker by the end of the week. Eric who owns the other resort, is interested in the property, and suggests a skirace between Jem and the Holograms and the Misfits, winner takes all.

Characters:
Jem/Jerrica and the Holograms, The Misfits, Rio, Eric, Clash, Zipper, Rick Franklin owner of ski lodge Green Fern, ski instructor Svensson.

Locations & vehicles:
Mountains in Colorado, Rockin' Roadster, Green Fern ski lodge in Colorado, helicopter, Misfits' snowmobiles, banker's car, waterfall in Colorado, cave in Colorado.

Songs:
"You Gotta Be Fast" The Misfits
"It's Workin' Out/It's Doin' Me In" Jem and the Holograms/The Misfits
"Love Is Here" Jem and the Holograms

Genres:
Sport, Action, Adventure, Humor, Romance, Mystery, Drama.

Original airdate:
30 August 1986

Releases:
Released on VHS. Released on DVD.

International:
Italy: Aired on TV. Released on VHS. The episode title was "Vacanze In Montagna" (Vacations in the mountains).
France: Aired on TV. Released on VHS. Released on DVD. The episode title was "Sport D'hiver" (Winter sports).
Holland
UK: Aired on TV.
Australia: Released on VHS. Released on DVD.
New Zealand: Released on VHS.

Trivia:
Rick Franklin is friends with Howard Sands.

One of five episodes in the Jem series that shows snow, the other four are "Danse Time", "Journey to Shangri-La", "Middle Of Nowhere", and "Homeland, Heartland".

Aja seems to enjoy being on top of the mountain, with the peace and quiet.

Jerrica thinks Rio is impossible sometimes.

The ski instructor Svensson, seems to be from Sweden judging by his blonde hair, the colors of his clothes which are the same as the Swedish flag, his accent, and his last name which is one of the most common ones in Sweden, and also at the time this episode was made the undoubtably best slalom and giant slalom skier in the world was a Swede named Ingemar Stenmark. As a fun note, the singing voice of Jem, Britta Phillips' (aswell as her sisters name Inga) first name is a Swedish name.

Kimber likes the Swedish skier.

In the music video of "It's Workin' Out/It's Doin' Me In" by Jem and the Holograms/The Misfits, it seems like Clash is part of the Misfits.

Like in some other episodes there's a sign that says "Jem and Holograms" without the "the".

Jem is a much better skier than Pizzazz and Roxy.

Rio is close to discovering that Jem and Jerrica is the same person, as he finds Jerrica where only Jem is supposed to be.

Synergy's holograms projection is being blocked when Jerrica is in a cave, in another city, and blocked by a bear.

Rio gets a hologram projected over his body, along with sound, without even noticing it.

Review:
Vacation time, wintertime, away from everything, just skiing. But as usual the Misfits, Eric, Zipper and his troublemakers, and even Clash show up to cause trouble. They're working for the other resort. This episode consists of something of a love triangle, some sabotage and a skirace.

Nice to see the characters go skiing, and they all seem very good at it right away. And apparently they're all good at all kinds of skiing, alpine aswell as cross country, good enough to have their own race. But they never really mention what kind of skiing they're doing, and they're going from one to another without blinking.

Jem drives the car which is a little out of character. Put Aja behind the steering wheel. And while you're at it, put some more clothes on the girls, and put the roof on the roadster. Does the writer, fashion designers or animators realize how cold it usually is at skiresorts during winter? Even for legs, hands and heads? Well maybe this was the end of the season.

We are made aware of the trouble in this episode right away, as we hear about Mr. Franklin's resort. Jem and the Holograms end up right in the trouble. Then soon the skirace idea is introduced. Although it's their vacation, Jem and the Holograms are nice enough to do some charity aswell, atleast for the skiresort owner. He also happens to be a friend of Howard Sands, which is a nice detail by the writer to include, especially since Sands didn't get alot of episodes.

It's nice they included Clash. She doesn't get alot of episodes either. And she evens out the number of participants in the ski race. But why was Clash automatically included in the skirace? The writer makes no notice of the fact that she is not part of the Misfits, she's even in two music videos. Which works out fine since they aren't on stage playing instruments, but rather engaging in other activities like skiing and working out.

Other than causing trouble once, and again in the skirace, The Misfits and Clash are a little invisible in this episode. We don't see them talking amongst themselves much, revealing their reason for even being there like we're used to, or why they're agreed to the skirace. But then why take time away from story for that, when their presence speaks for itself, they were there with Eric to ski, and they always want to cause trouble for The Holograms. Infact perhaps more episodes should have exluded the build-up scenes.

On all their travels, Jem and the Holograms never ever go anywhere near Scandinavia nor any of the Nordic countries even, nor any of their closest neighbour countries. So, having this blonde Swedish character called Svensson, dressed in blue and yellow like the Swedish flag, is the next best thing. And his accent isn't bad, while many american actors really get into it and overdo it on the wrong direction, sounding more Norwegian.

Of course Rio gets jealous and protective of Jem right away when Svensson comes around, even though he just saved Jem. Very clever to include the line where Jem says to Rio, "I thought it was Jerrica you cared about". Because some writers just write in that Jem and Rio is the couple without any thought of Jerrica.

I'm not sure why they added the character Swenson though. I guess it's logical there should be someone more than the owner working there, a ski coach, and it also enabled a love-triangle while Jerrica wasn't there. But not including Jerrica, is kind of a shortcut to not handle her whereabouts. But then they do include Jerrica, and holographic projections a couple of times, during the skirace.

Kimber is man-crazy as always. Since she had an ongoing romance with Jeff that we never saw the end of, and then started one with Sean, it was kinda too much to see her comment on this Svensson aswell.

I like how they write the character Mr. Franklin. This series was great at showing the backside of work, the personal struggle behind the glory, especially since this is a series about the often glamourized showbiz.

It seems like the banker hired Zipper this time, without telling Eric. Does everyone hire this guy? And how did Zipper know the lift would break just as Jem and the Holograms were in it, if he ruined it the night before? Well maybe he just meant to break it either way.

Does the writer know that a skipole couldn't possibly hold up a person, at the bottom part especially where the round plastic part would come off right away.

As usual, Rio risks his life to save Jem. Although he is a jealous person, this shows what kind of a guy this is. While it may have been more clever by Svensson to take the helicopter, it wasn't as brave.

The song "It's Workin' Out/It's Doin' Me In" came to be used in a playset for the doll line. It was probably the music video that lead to the playset. Funny how Hasbro found ways to earn money on certain parts of the episodes, like characters and themes.

While many times in the series, Jem seems to be able to talk into her earrings without anyone noticing, regardless of how close to her they are standing, in this episode Pizzazz does notice that she is talking to someone. And Pizzazz even turns around asking what she said. These little details add realism to the story.

I think it's a great thing we get to see how dangerous an avalanche is. That scream and look on Jem's face says it all.

The way Shana is able to jump across the ice blocks escaping the waterfall, is not very likely, seems like typical cartoon realism. But I like the fact that Aja saved the rope that was tied to her, incase she would be able to use it late for something, like saving Shana. This is clever continueous writing.

Interesting seeing Rio and Svensson overlooking their rivalry and working together near the end of the episode.

One of the Jemstar earrings is damaged in this episode, but we never find out how they fixed it. Infact these earrings go through quite a few things during this series, as they are stolen, go under water and so on in other episodes. Who can fix the advanced technology which was obviously damaged here? Perhaps Aja by the help of Synergy. After all, in a later episode, we do get to see The Holograms fix a racecar by the help of Synergy's instructions.

Rio sees Jerrica, who isn't supposed to be at the resort. Then when she is able to turn back into Jem, it's explain by the excitement of the moment with the bear. Quick fix. I guess it was the only way to save it, other than writing Jerrica into the story. But was the whole scene necessary? Rio could have just saved Jem from the snowed over cave without a bear, or even with a bear. But did this scene really require a third piece of excitement by Jerrica showing up? Of course this way the writer could include Jerrica in an easy way and also got a chance to use the earrings even more in the story.

How did Svensson capture four of Eric's men and tie them up and bring them back? And he even convinced them to tell the truth. That was another quick fix. But then again there's something special about Swedes.

Jem and the Holograms had as much as four sets of winter clothes in this episode, which all looked great, and not too dated in my opinion. But they could have been alright with less.

Conclusion: Great animation right from the start. Since Jem didn't have a christmas episode, I like to think of this one as the substitute, along with the music video "People Who Care" in Danse Time. This episode sure makes use of every possible event that could happen in a winterland and then some. Although none of the songs in this episode is really a favorite of mine, this episode contains a nice mix of songs. One Misfits, one fun duet, and one romantic ballad by the Holograms.

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