October 11th, 2017 by Proprietor
Before the Hawaiian vacation epic, there was the Grand Canyon. Mike had some time off from the architectural firm he worked for, and wanted to take his family on vacation. Mike was a dedicated architect, putting up with impossible clients, and not really taking vacations, unless the company made it a working vacation. But this time was different. A repeat of a camping trip from season 1 was probably not going to fly with viewers. So, why not have a more epic camping trip? It was the first three part cliffhanger serial for the Brady Bunch, and it brought the Brady family to the natural wonder of the world called the Grand Canyon.
Mike rented a camping trailer to tow behind the Brady station wagon, and provide the women with more comfortable quarters to be in, unlike the last camping expedition. Though the women would prove to be more experienced campers this time. Thanks to Marcia joining the Greg’s scouting troop, and overall experience.
The trip to the Grand Canyon was going to take two days, with the family stopping at a camp ground along the way. While filling up with gas, the attendant told the family about a ghost town up the road. Since it was on the way, and they could camp in the ghost town just as easily as a camp ground, Mike decided to take the family there.
The town itself was a dilapidated western town from turn of the century, 19th to 20th century, and it was not really haunted. Actually haunted by a miner. Jim Backus made his first appearance on the Brady Bunch as the grizzled old miner who thought the Brady’s were claim jumpers. Why is it the Brady’s, the most wholesome American family mistaken for a bunch of thieves? Really, if you saw the family, gang of grifters is not the first perception, unless you really are unhinged. Jim would return as Mike’s boss two seasons later, and get fleeced by Bobby at pool.
As the Brady children played amongst the ruins, the miner observed, then stole some fried chicken. When the family was fed and cleaning up, the miner appeared with his mule, then tricked the family into following him around the town. When they went to view Jessie James’ signature in a wall in the jail, the miner locked the family up and drove off in their car. End of episode.
After a recap, the second episode starts with the Brady’s attempting to escape the jail. They manage to knock a key off the peg, and escape. While Mike and Peter walk to the road, the rest of the group spreads out to find some way to communicate to the world. Mike and Peter return with the miner, who had went to file his claim, and returned. The family loaded up, and drove off. Very forgiving of them. When the family arrived at the Grand Canyon, they took a mule train down to the bottom of the canyon. Bobby and Cindy being the precocious children wandered off, saw a young Indian (Native American) boy. They chased after him, and became lost. As darkness fell, the Brady camp became worried and mounted a search. The episode ends showing Bobby and Cindy huddled together to keep warm.
A recap of the last two episodes yields to the Indian boy helping Bobby and Cindy find their parents in return they will bring him food. Mike finds Bobby and Cindy, and all head back to camp for beans and franks. Bobby and Cindy hide the food in a flashlight, and then sneak out at night. Mike catches them with the Indian boy, and they return to the camp. The boy explains his grandfather is a traditionalist, while he wants to be an astronaut, so he is running away. After Mike dispenses some Brady wisdom, they decide to sleep on it.
The next morning, the Indian boy is gone. The Brady’s quickly organize a search party. Alice comes upon the boy’s grandfather in full Indian regalia, and he presumes she is Mrs. Brady. Then the boy appears, and Alice realizes who the man is. She brings them to camp, and in campy, hackneyed comic Native American, the grandfather thinks Mr. Brady has two squaws. After explaining that he understand’s his grandson’s dreams, and thanking them for returning the boy, he invites them to join the tribe. During the ceremony, each Brady get’s an Indian name. No cake was served.
The seventies were not so mired in political correctness. To some extent it is comical now to view how Hollywood portrayed people of Native American culture in such backwards and cartoony ways. In this way the Brady Bunch was mired somewhat in it’s time.
At least they did not have Cousin Oliver yet.
Thanks for stopping by.