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Zero Hero
  • First aired: December 3, 1983
  • Story by: Earl Kress
  • Duration: 11 minutes

Cast

Summary

At the start of the episode, Buckwheat is trying out his latest invention, a channel changer with a telescoping arm. He then decides to turn on his favorite program about science. Buckwheat then goes for a snack, and the remaining boys tune in to their favorite shows one by one, then go back home to grab a snack.

When all four boys returned to the treehouse, they were fighting over what to watch, and then found Darla sitting in front of the TV, watching a show that was very important to her because she entered a contest where a viewer could win a date with the TV superhero Captain Muscles. After a commercial for Cocoa Spuds, Captain Muscles drew a name, and Darla was declared the winner of the contest. She was informed that Captain Muscles would arrive to her home one week from that day for her date. Darla wanted to celebrate her win by treating the boys at the soda shop downtown. All of the boys attended, except for Alfalfa, who was now jealous, and decided to become a superhero himself, assuming the identity of Alfaman.

When Spanky, Darla, Porky and Buckwheat were on their way to the soda shop, they encountered a flow of water at the side of the road, where they would normally cross the street. Alfalfa would try to help get the foursome across the street using Buckwheat's channel changing arm, and swinging like Tarzan, but falls into a manhole. Officer Ed ran toward the gang, blowing the whistle, in order to assure Alfalfa that he was safe. Spanky, Darla, Porky and Buckwheat had already found their own way to cross the flowing water - by using a red cloth.

Next, Alfalfa saw Maria, the Latina girl whom Darla befriended in "A Not-So Buenos Dias", picking apples and offered to help. But the ladder fell, and Maria was clinging onto a tree branch. Alfalfa rescued her, and Maria kissed him on the cheek. The TV reporter was on the scene to interview Alfalfa for such heroic deed.

Meanwhile, Spanky decided to show off Alfalfa's superhero identity by hosting a Alfaman show. The stunts could not be done by Alfalfa himself, but the boys did help him out, knowing that his heroic attempts were just a fluke.

Then, trouble was about to arise in Greenpoint, as breaking news was on TV, and the reporter told the residents that a trio of male dwarf bank robbers known as "The Babyface Gang" had escaped from prison. Knowing that, Spanky, Buckwheat and Porky decided to prove that Alfalfa is not a superhero by portraying the robbers.

The day of Darla's dream date has arrived. Alfalfa and the boys were planning on heading to the area of the bank where the robbers intended to target. Darla and Captain Muscles arrived to the area in a limousine. Captain Muscles was engaged in a conversation with Darla, but then Alfalfa's chance at heroism was about to happen, when Alfalfa had encountered who he thought to be the other boys in disguise, but they revealed themselves as the real robbers. One of the robbers had deflated Captain Muscles' inflatable suit, and Darla was nervous. Alfalfa had fainted, and the telescoping arm on Buckwheat's channel changer had been set off, and captured the trio of bank robbers. Officer Ed arrived at the scene of the crime, and informed the gang there's a reward going out to them, but Spanky gave Alfalfa the credit for the capture.

Meanwhile, back at the treehouse, Alfalfa felt like a failure, but Darla told him in a sincere manner that she likes him more than a fictional superhero. Alfalfa claims she has seen the last of Alfaman, but then the rest of the boys informed him that there is another Alfaman show that is about to start, and the audience is anticipating the show. As Alfalfa was being carried by the other boys, he cried to Darla for help, Darla giggled and jokingly remarked "Where is Captain Muscles when you need him the most?"

Notes/Trivia

  • This is the final episode of the series.
  • Buckwheat apparently has an interest in science, and not just inventing gadgets. He tuned in to a show that featured chemistry.
  • Aside from Buckwheat's and Darla's shows, Porky tunes in to, not surprisingly, a show about cooking; Spanky tunes in to a police drama, and Alfalfa tunes into "The Funny Bunnies Show" - the last of which may be a callback to "Alfalfakazam!", though not related to magic.
  • After Darla finds out she was the winner, and informs the boys she is treating them at the soda shop, she is seen wearing white socks with pink shoes, the inverse of her usual color scheme. This anomaly was also seen in "Cap'n Spanky's Showboat" and at least two other episodes.
  • The Latina girl, Maria, made her second of two appearances.
  • This episode supposedly took longer to produce, which could be due to the voice actors being busy with other cartoon episodes yet to air, and were unavailable for the taping of this episode (Patty Maloney, the voice of Darla, was likely the only voice actor available all the time, as she didn't have any other projects in 1983). "Cap'n Spanky's Showboat" was rebroadcast the previous week as a way to fill the gap until "The Zero Hero" was ready for broadcast.
  • This may be the only new episode in Season 2 where Officer Ed had a speaking part.
  • Porky normally doesn't mention any of the Rascals' names, but in one scene, he did manage to utter Darla's name, as he did in "Wash and Werewolf".
  • Although Captain Muscles did mention Darla's name on TV when naming her the winner, he mistakenly addressed her as Delilah while on the actual date. By that time, she had begun to lose interest in him.
  • In the end, when Darla told Alfalfa she admired him more than a fictional superhero, the skirt on Darla's dress appeared to be much shorter than normal.

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