October 15, 2021

Netflix’s BSC 2.8, Kristy and the Baby Parade: The Benefit of the Doubt

Posted in TV tagged , at 7:39 pm by Jenn

Everyone deserves a dorky dad like Watson

Summary: Watson and Elizabeth have decided not to have a baby after all (or possibly have learned they can’t have one; it’s kind of unclear), so the Thomas/Brewer family will remain as it is now. Fortunately, Elizabeth has something to distract her: Stoneybrook’s previous tradition, the Baby Parade, is being resurrected, and all the past winners have been invited to ride on a float together. Kristy and Watson are both past winners, and though Kristy really doesn’t want to participate, she agrees to do it.

And then, a bomb: Kristy’s father and his girlfriend are about to pass through Stoneybrook on their way to visit her family. Oh, and they have a baby, which none of the Thomas kids knew. They want to come to the parade and introduce Mr. Thomas’ first family to his new family. Elizabeth lets the kids decide for themselves if they want to do that. Charlie says yes, but Sam thinks Mr. Thomas just wants money now that his kids are living with a rich guy. Kristy, however, isn’t sure what she wants to do.

After giving it some thought, Kristy and David Michael both decide to see their father. Kristy wants to give him the benefit of the doubt that he really cares about her. Sam is upset that no one’s on his side, but that doesn’t get explored. When Kristy tells the BSC girls that Mr. Thomas is coming to town, they’re not sure if she should see him. Mary Anne says that what Kristy wants is important, not what her father wants. But Kristy can’t help taking David Michael and Elizabeth’s feelings into consideration, too.

Kristy gets more excited about the big meeting, wanting Mr. Thomas to see who his kids have become. Elizabeth tells her that whatever makes her kids happy will make her happy, too. She admits that it was hard to accept that she won’t be having another baby, but she’s glad that her kids will have their father’s new child to love.

Then, another bomb: There won’t be a big family reunion. Mr. Thomas and his girlfriend won’t have time to visit, so he’ll have to see his kids the next time he’s in town. Watson, who’s been completely silent about this whole thing, finally reveals his feelings: Mr. Thomas is selfish. He abandoned his family, he’s ditched them again, and Elizabeth shouldn’t just pretend everything’s going to be fine. (This is made slightly surreal by the fact that Watson is currently wearing a giant baby bonnet for the parade. It’s hard to overlook.)

Mary Anne agrees, having seen this over and over through her and Kristy’s childhoods. Every time Mr. Thomas said he was coming to visit, Kristy would get her hopes up and drop all her plans, only to have her heart broken again. Mary Anne is sure that her mother would have given anything to spend five more minutes with her. It hurts Mary Anne to see Mr. Thomas consistently throw away his chances to be in his kids’ lives. Dawn backs her up, saying parents are supposed to want to be with their kids.

Watson thinks he has a solution: He’ll adopt the Thomas kids so they can have him as a father. Kristy remembers how Watson has turned her whole life upside-down and keeps trying too hard to be a good father. But instead of turning him down, she puts on her own bonnet and announces that she loves him. Kristy acknowledges that family isn’t always who you expected them to be, but they’re the people who move forward with you. She and Watson ride in the parade with their family and the BSC girls behind them.

The B plot plays closer to the book’s storyline: Claudia reveals that she and Mary Anne were contestants in the costume contest the year Kristy won, and she thinks Kristy only took the prize because one of the judges was her great-aunt. For vindication, Claudia wants the club to make their own float. Kristy tries to talk them out of it, because how dare someone other than her have a good idea, but the girls are all on board.

The building of the float, with the theme of the old woman who lived in a shoe, unfolds a lot like it did in the book. The paint is orange, the costume fabric is pink, and no one has worked together to coordinate anything. The day of the parade, the girls dress their designated babies however they want. Then they realize that they haven’t figured out how the babies will actually sit in the float. It all falls apart – literally. But Mallory fixes up the float enough that it looks…well, okay. Claudia wins first prize in the costume contest (well, really, Lucy Newton wins), with a costume Mimi once made. And no one is horrible embarrassed. Success!

The details:

  • Like Momona Tamada in the previous episode, Sophie Grace (Kristy) does a wonderful job showing sadness.
  • Kristy’s costume the year she won the parade: Mrs. Claus. Watson’s costume, thanks to his grandmother: President Nixon. (Unironically.)
  • Claudia’s idea for the float is some weird, primordial structure, either like Stonehenge or a spaceship, with the babies dressed as creatures in the early stages of evolution. Crop circles are somehow involved. Claud, you have, like, $10 for this. Think smaller.
  • At the end of the episode, the show finally uses the song from the original ’90s series, “Say Hello to Your Friends.”

The differences/changes:

  • Other than the actual baby float, this episode is nothing like the book. That’s a good thing. The book was pretty weak.
  • Stacey suspects that her parents are on the verge of splitting up. Dawn gives her some great encouragement, saying that whatever happens will be the right thing. She needs to give them the benefit of the doubt that things will turn out well.
  • This would have been a great time to add Emily Michelle to the family. Oh, well.

If there’s a third season, maybe Mallory will get her own episode?

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