What Happened In Bridgeport
Police arrive on the scene at the start of episode 8 of The Hardy Boys to collect an unconscious Tall Man. Twisted and contorted, he lies motionless on the floor after being hit by a car. Apparently the officers can’t find a pulse but is he really dead? Still, the driver (a girl called Stacey) is taken down to the station while the Hardy’s join her in a separate car to talk to Ezra.
Both kids are obviously cagey in the wake of Ezra’s questions, especially after the torn fabric found in his bin. Well, Joe has his number and questions Ezra over just who opened the Tall Man’s jail cell in the first place. When Trudy arrives to pick them up, Ezra tells her to keep the kids under control, especially given trouble seems to follow them.
Biff speaks to her Mother and admits that she’s worried about Frank and Joe. With the door shut, she reveals what happened at the brick factory, including sprinkled details about the artifact.
Back home, the brothers learn that because of Fenton’s job, they’ll be enrolling in class at Bridgeport for the time being. Not long after, they head down to Wilt’s and feed back what’s happened to the other kids. Given school is less than 24 hours away, the kids are obviously agitated and anxious over being the new kids.
In the midst of all this, J.B. Cox arrives at a shady hotel room with a strange man who tells J.B. he won’t get paid until he delivers what was inside the idol.
When Joe returns home he notices his room completely trashed. Someone (probably J.B.) has been looking for something but the kids are dumbfounded for now over what it means. Still, they go to sleep and wake up ready for their first day at school.
In class, Biff breaks the news to Joe that she told Jesse about what happened. That’s probably just as well too, given Jesse starts to exhibit suspicions of her own at work, telling Ezra she’s going on patrol. Outside, she finds brick dust on his wheel rim which further points at him being involved.
J.B. grabs Joe at Wilt’s after school and asks him about the artifact. He promises that in exchange for handing it over, he’ll collect information on Laura’s murder.
On the back of this encounter, Joe reveals what’s happened to Frank and together they concoct a plan to try and trick J.B. into being caught. Both of them aren’t so sure this will work though.
At school, Chet and Callie discuss Rosegrave and the latter worries that this prep school may not be what she wants. Afterwards Callie speaks to Frank about Stacey and quizzes him over whether they have feelings for one another or not (well she calls it “hitting it off” but it’s clear what she means.)
Not long after, Frank speaks to Ms. Diaz about the past. She confirms that Laura spoke to her about the town and how her family was running things. She even had an article about it but this wasn’t published. As the conversation ends, Diaz steers Frank in the direction of the archives in the basement.
After class, Joe loses his walkie talkie but is stopped by J.B. who corners him. Thankfully Phil happens to have picked up the walkie and radios through for help after seeing Joe taken away. It turns out J.B.’S not actually there to kill him… but the people he’s working for may not see it that way. Anyway, Joe agrees to follow him and the two walk through the woods together.
Meanwhile, Frank goes rooting around in the archives for the old articles Laura wrote. Following the clues, he looks in the file… and finds nothing. This brings him back to Gloria’s house where both J.B. and Joe happen to be. J.B. is convinced that Gloria has something to do with all of this and demands she show her face. Now we might actually be getting some answers.
The Episode Review
The episode really doesn’t tell us anything we didn’t know before, aside from a bit of wheel spinning and bringing J.B. back into the fold.
I love long seasons, especially those that used to be 24 episodes long. The Hardy Boys however, clocking in at 13 episodes, struggles to fill its run-time with enough meaningful content to justify it should be anything longer than the seemingly new-norm of 10 episode shows.
There’s so many scenes here that rehash what we know already; pointless dialogues that don’t drive the story forward and repetitive sequences about who’s clean and who’s not (Ezra being dirty for example is repeated constantly all episode.) That’s before mentioning the love triangle angle that really doesn’t work.
Still, it looks like we’re on course for some answers now so hopefully that will bring this series back to feel like a more pacey, urgent story.