Episode 31. The secret origin of Fantasy Bedtime Hour!
Stuck in small rooms where clothing is usually stored, and: beginnings revealed.
Starts with “Drool’s moon embittered the night” (p409), ends with “the downward rush of an avalanche” (p412).
The episode begins with Heatherly reading The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle.
“FBH Episode 31″ appears on the screen in red letters (01:57). We see that Julie is sleeping as Heatherly reads. She wakes up (02:15) and starts singing—the intro is in the style of R. Kelly’s “Trapped in the Closet”.
> It’s 10:30 at night and I roll on a book and it wakes me up
> I shoot up from the bed oh my god it’s a paper cut
> And I see Heatherly lyin’ there with Lord Foul’s Bane tucked under her head
> Say but you better not have another book up here up in our bed
> Julie don’t worry Lord Foul’s Bane is all you’ll find
> Then I guess you won’t be worried when I pull back the covers just to ease my mind
> HEATHERLY (her thoughts):
> Shit. Think. Shit. Think. Shit. Think. Shit. Think.
> Did I hear somethin’? Bitch, that [just says?] cell phone ring?
> Let’s just [unintelligible] ’cause just I didn’t hear anything
> There’s a mystery goin’ on up in here and I’m gonna solve it
> Now Cameraman Jenn you get on over there and you open up that closet
> Please god don’t let her open up that closest
> Open the closet
> Don’t open the closet
> She’s got her hand on the closet.
> Get your hand off the closet.
> She’s opening the closet.
> Get away from the closet
> Open the closet
> I don’t want her to open the closet
> Open the closet.
Jenn opens the closet to reveal Adult Gladiator standing there holding a hardcover copy of Dune.
After a fadeout/fadein, we see Heatherly and Julie on the bed. Julie asks “Well Heatherly, what was your character thinking when Jenn was going to go open up the closet?” (03:38) and Heatherly replies “Well I was thinking I just really didn’t want her to open up the closet.” Julie then goes into the usual intro spiel.
###Analysis of Pages
Heatherly says that they left off with all of the travelers going into the cave, but then Foamfollower couldn’t go because he was just too big.
She says “so here we are on page 409″ and shortly thereafter realizes that the party has not yet entered the cave (04:37).
She says that Covenant has a feeling that he’s forgotten something, but then gets distracted by Birinair arguing with Prothall. She describes Birinar arguing with Prothall, and how it ends with Prothall realizing that Birinair is right because his light is “quieter” than Prothall’s. She then describes the formation of the party (p411) (05:55).
She describes their entry into the catacombs, and Covenant’s realization that he had not said farewell to Foamfollower (06:07), and that this is what he had forgotten earlier.
She says that Covenant starts thinking that the company would be observed soon, and then a report would go to Drool, and then the army would be recalled, and then “what chance had Foamfollower against so many thousands of Cavewights” (06:25). She says that with these thoughts, Covenant walked as if he were listening for the downward rush of an avalanche (p412) (06:32).
Julie asks “who the hell’s Korik and Terrel?” (06:43) Heatherly says she doesn’t know, and asks if they’re Bloodguard (they are) and then says she doesn’t think they’re Bloodguard. Julie says she bets they’re impostors (06:58). Heatherly says that they’re the expendable crewmembers (07:09). Julie agrees and checks to see if they’re first in line in the company’s formation (they are). When the text verifies this, Julie says “they’re dead!”. She later adds “seriously, readers, when you’re reading a book and it’s suddenly there’s just like all these names thrown in that are just suddenly with the Quest, they’re dead. They’re gonna die” (07:47).
Going down Treacher’s Gorge, Covenant finds the descent difficult, and he is supported by the Bloodguard. He thinks that he has forgotten something, but is distracted by an argument between Prothall and Birinair (p410).
Birinair wants Prothall to let him go first in the catacombs. Prothall refuses, apparently thinking that Birinair is making some kind of heroic or sacrificial gesture. Birinair eventually makes him realize that he should lead because the light he will provide with his staff is less than that of Prothall’s, and therefore less likely to be detected by Drool (p411). Birinair does lead, and Korik and Terrel go ahead of him as scouts.
Covenant looks to see Foamfollower, realizing that he had not said goodbye, but cannot see the Giant. (It is not clear that this is what he thought he forgot earlier.)
He is strongly affected by being inside the mountain, and clings to his hopes as “his only protection” (p412). He considers the party “pathetically weak” (p412), and thinks that they will soon be discovered. From that discovery, he imagines a report to Drool, a recall of the army, the death of Foamfollower, and the company crushed like ants. He is unable to envision any other outcome.
This bleak outlook is entirely typical of Covenant, and raises the question of what hopes he protects himself with if he cannot see any outcome but their doom.
Terrel and Korik are not expendable crewmembers. Or spies. Or newcomers—Korik is first mentioned on page 214.
Covenant wrote a book. From page 5: “He had written a novel in ecstasy and ignorance, and had watched it spend a year on the best-seller lists.”
The Fantasy Action Sequence begins at 07:55.
It opens with Rustah emerging from the catacomb entrance that the company entered in the previous episode. He is followed by a white “Ranynyn”, Bannor, “Lilith”, and “Lord Mormon”, who says “my bad, folks, thought that was the entrance to the catacombs” (08:35).
“Lilith” asks Bannor “you mena we’re not there yet?” and “Lord Mormon” tells them to stop hassling each other, that they’re almost there. Then he says “I miss Foamfollower” (08:50).
We then see Bannor asking Covenant if he’d like Bannor to carry him, to which Covenant says “Get away from me! I’m finding pride in making myself move” (08:58).
The party moves down Treacher’s Gorge. The white “Ranyhyn” has trouble moving over some of the rocks. After subtitled complaints, it says (subtitled) “I miss Foam Follower [sic]” (09:32).
We then see Prothall, and next to him Birinair. Prothall starts, and says “Whoa! Birinair! What are you doing here? I thought we left you in the cave!” (09:40). Birinair rants about how the young treat the old, and when Prothall tells him that he really did think they left him behind, Birinair tells him that he must not lead the quest with “that obnoxious staff—it would be suicide, fool!” (10:03). Prothall protests that his staff is just fine, that just the other day he was talking to “Mormon” and—at which point Birinair yells “silence, fool!” (10:11). Then he goes into an extended “when I was your age” rant.
Rustah says he’s getting concerned, and asks “Lord Mormon” if he should stop this. “Mormon” says no, Prothall’s a big boy, he can handle it (a reference to “Mormon” saying the same thing in Episode 29, when Prothall was being throttled by Foamfollower).
Continuing their argument, Birinair tells Prothall “that’s no way to treat your father!” and then, when Prothall asks if that’s true, calls him a fool for believing it. Birinair finally gets to the point that Prothall’s staff would be too bright, like a beacon to their enemies, and this his defective staff would be much better (11:18). They then argue further, with Birinair complaining about having a defective staff, until Prothall tells him “just go! Jesus!” (11:45).
We then see the following scrolling text (11:51):
> pg. 411
> “At once Terrel and
> Korik passed
> BerrandAir [sic]
> and took scouting
> positions twenty feet
> ahead of him…
> The company moved
> towards the entrance
> to the catacombs.”
We then see Rustah standing between “Mormon” and the white “Ranynyn”, saying “Who are these people? Have they been there the whole time?” (11:59). There is a cut to Terrel and Korik, both of whom are wearing red shirts. “Mormon” says “Those two? Those are Terrel and Korik… I dunno. But I’m glad they’re scouting the lead” (12:06), at which the “Ranynyn” says (subtitled): “No doubt!” and the three of them laugh.
We then see the following scrolling text (12:15):
> pg. 412
> “Covenant strained his
> attention as if he
> were listening
> for a note of sense
> in the gibberish
> of his experience.”
We the see Covenant, looking disturbed, and we hear his thoughts: “Fuck! What are we going to do if/when this fucking battle? I mean, god, everything’s kinda gonna go to shit, right? Like, Prothall’s gonna get his ass kicked, and Lord Mormon might like, I don’t know, some sorta like scabies or something, and like we’re all gonna die, but does it really even matter? ‘Cause like, well like I’ll just go back to being a leper, right? Well, that kinda sucks anyway, but like, I guess it’d be better than getting my ass kicked by a bunch of like weird guys with like black faces, but at the same time, I sure do like my new friends here even though they kinda suck, and this place is weird, like, I don’t know, man, chicken sounds really good right now!” (13:01) (Covenant thinking of chicken whenever he is portrayed as lost in his thoughts is a recurring Fantasy Bedtime Hour invention.)
The Fantasy Action Sequence ends at 13:03.
We see Heatherly and Julie saying “‘sup?” to each other for a while before they remember to introduce the expert.
The expert is Jeff, who appears on screen at 13:21. He is not wearing the expert jacket, but after a fade he has it on at 13:27. Julie and Heatherly debate whether he is Gothic, New Wave, or Darkwing (Julie probably means “Darkwave“. He has read Lord Foul’s Bane four times (13:48), and understood the first time (13:52). He tells them he doesn’t quite get what they don’t get. They say they only allow geniuses to be experts, and he asks “what about Tadhg?” (14:18). When Julie says “super-genius”, he snorts and says “okay, what—okay”.
Julie says that in Episode 30 she thought they went into the cave, and then here they’re getting ready to go into the cave, and wants an explanation for what happened. He explains that they went into the crevasse and hadn’t quite entered the cave part of it (14:51). Julie then asks that if that’s the case, why did the leave Foamfollower there, and Heatherly asks if they’re just trying to ditch him. Jeff says “well, he could have been possessed” (15:05). Julie rejects this explanation, and Jeff says that he’s standing guard, but Julie wants to know what Foamfollower is too big to fit into if they’re not at the cave entrance when they leave him behind. Jeff says they’re in a crevasse with the ceiling coming down.
Heatherly claims that Birinair and Prothall’s argument involves Birinair wanting to impeach Prothall (15:39). Jeff says “like a power trip” and Julie says that it seems like it. Jeff says that if Prothall hadn’t listened to Birinair, he would have given the whole party away with his staff (15:59). Julie asks if Prothall’s staff lights brighter than those of the others, and Jeff says yes. Julie asks if they decide who the leader is by who has the biggest staff, and Jeff says “this whole book is about the biggest staff” (16:20). Heatherly says that the Staff of Law is the biggest staff of all, and Jeff concurs. Then he says that it’s eternally hard and can’t be broken. Julie asks how to determine the size of a person’s staff. Jeff says “well, what do women say? They always say it doesn’t matter.” and Julie says “who says that?”, to which Jeff replies “shit, they always say that to me” (16:38).
Julie says that she didn’t even know Birinair was there, and Jeff says “I know! It was weird, I thought he was like the sheepherder or something, because suddenly he shows up, and he’s got some authority” (16:56). They try to figure out if he’s been there the whole time, and Heatherly suggests that maybe he’s so old that he’s always been like a mile behind.
Heatherly asks Jeff why he thinks Joan left Covenant (17:18). He says “Because Joan wanted a little pussy bitch-boy who was dependent on her. But then, when he finally became successful, she blamed it on his leprosy” (17:30). Heatherly asks if Covenant was successful before he had leprosy, and Jeff says that he was. Julie wants to know what book of Covenant’s was successful, because maybe they read it. Jeff suggests The Prince of Tides and Julie excitedly asks “was it Dune?”—to which Jeff says “don’t even say that about Dune! My god! That’s so awful” (17:51).
Heatherly says she’s confused, that she was there, and read pages 1 thorugh 4, and pages 4 through 8, and doesn’t remember anything about Covenant having written a book. Jeff insists (correctly) that Covenant wrote a book and was successful. Julie asks if the book was the VSE pamphlet, which she bets was hugely successful.
Julie asks what will happen if they go into the ravine and they encounter some situation where they need Foamfollower (18:32). Heatherly says “they’re just screwed”, and Jeff says “what would he do?”. While Julie says he could kill a lot of people with his luggage, Jeff says “I get so tired of Foamfollower laughing inappropriately when things are uncomfortable” (18:45).
At 18:52, Jeff no longer has the expert jacket on. Heatherly asks “who is [sic] Terrel and Korik?” Jeff says “aren’t they Bloodguard?” Heatherly says she doesn’t know, and reads the line about their taking scouting positions in front of the Hirebrand (p411). Julie asks “what’s a Hirebrand?” Jeff says that Terrel and Korik are like those guys in Star Trek that you always knew would die, prompting Heatherly to gleefully say “I knew it!”
Heatherly asks how Covenant could have forgotten to say goodbye to Foamfollower, and calls him a jackass. Jeff agrees. He says that Covenant is just afraid of closeness (19:54).
Julie asks what demesne is, mispronouncing it “demense”. Jeff says that he saw that word. He suggests that it could be like “demenstruation” (20:13), then says he doesn’t know. Julie asks Cameraman Jenn, and Jeff then spells it as Julie pronounced it. Jenn correctly defines it as “domain”, and points out that the S is silent. Julie says that she challenges that and asks where the Scrabble dictionary is (20:36). They pull out a dictionary. Apparently Jenn off-camera changed her definition to “into the household”, because that’s what she says when Jeff asks her for the definition again. He says that she’s right, that it’s dominion or territory, and calls her a savant (21:11).
Julie says that the text says Birinair lost his dignity, and she wants to know where it was (21:25). Jeff makes a joke about Birinair wearing Depends and soiling himself, followed by a joke about Birinair’s digity or loss of dignity being like having toilet paper stuck to your shoe. Julie asks if he’s the butt of everyone’s jokes because he’s so old, and then asks if he became the oldest after “Mormon’s” parents died. The three of them agree that this was the case.
We then see Heatherly and Julie alone in the bed. Heatherly says that their expert and Cameraman Jenn are taking a smoke break, and Julie says “I know, it’s kinda weird”, and Heatherly says “I know, like, what the hell are we supposed to do?” (22:17). Julie says that she thought they’d cease to exist, but they’re still there, so maybe they should talk about their questions.
Julie asks “what the hell was up with Thomas Covenant writing a book?” (22:25) Heatherly says that she was present for the first few episodes, that she read them herself, and doesn’t remember anything about Covenant having written a book. Julie asks if she thinks that Jeff just made that up, and Heatherly says that she does.
Heatherly says that Cameraman Jenn seemed to be all angry, and wonders if she’s pissed at Jeff. Julie says no, that she’s pissed at them for challenging her on the word “demense” (22:46).
Heatherly says she thinks they’re coming back, and they wait expectantly until Julie says “no, they’re still smoking” (22:58).
Jeff is back in the bed at 23:02. Heatherly says “this is a very special chart-writing for me, because, a long time ago Julie and I were reading this book, and we got to this part where they had to get into this exact formation to go into the cave, and then we got really confused and started asking each other questions and then we thought ‘oh my god, what if we had a show where we started asking each other questions and then we could have experts, which would be somebody like you, come on our show and answer them for us’ and that’s how the Fantasy Bedtime Hour—” and Julie says “It’s true, this next chart is how the Fantasy Bedtime Hour got started” (23:35).
Chart-writing begins at 23:47, on the topic “what was the exact formation the questers were in before they went into the cave?”
Chart-writing ends at 24:26
Julie’s chart (24:41) shows Korik going first, followed by Terrel (she comments that you know they’re going to die), followed by “Beer + Air”, Thomas Covenant, “Mormon”, “Lilith”, and Prothall.
Heatherly’s chart (25:03) is an overhead diagram showing the “gaping maw” where the party is heading, and she has “Torrik” and “Kirell” twenty feet in front of Birinar [sic] Hirebrand, behind whom are two Bloodguard, followed by “Mormon” and Prothall, “Lilith”, Bannor, Thomas Covenant, and then Quaan with his Eoman in files of three.
Jeff’s chart (25:38) shows numbered bowling pins. It also has a representation of Foamfollower as a legume—a kidney bean. Moose growls, Heatherly asks what’s up with him, Jeff says Moose doesn’t like his interpretation, and Julie says that Moose thinks Jeff’s interpretation is a little shoddy, a little schlocky. Jeff says it’s a little abstract.
The “post-coital” segment starts at 26:16.
Heatherly’s favorite part was getting to the exact formation (26:38).
Julie’s favorite part was when Birinair totally called Prothall “fool!” (26:47).
Jeff’s favorite part was “finally making the real penetration” (27:00).
The end credits include an out-take of Heatherly, Julie, and Jeff laughing about Birinair rediscovering his dignity.
After the end credits is an out-take of the Heatherly, Julie, and Jeff, with Julie saying “welcome to our demense” and Jeff cracking up.
After that, there is a still shot of a statue, with the words “Fantasy Bedtime Hour Productions” to the left of the statue, with a voiceover of Heatherly saying “Oh my god!” and Julie saying “I know! That’s hot!”. The statue is from Powerscourt Gardens in Enniskerry, County Wicklow, Ireland.
Demesne: domain, in the sense of property or region.
First appearance of episode title, 01:57
First mention of the origin of Fantasy Bedtime Hour, 23:35