Kid Nation
Where's Bonanza, Dude?

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Hi, Noon

Back to the Gold Star decision. Greg votes for Alex, on the basis of his intelligence. And then we get a cut of Alex talking to Eric about the Bonanza City economy. Which is not all that smart, because Bonanza City has an economy in the sense that ant farms do. But it's really just a setup for a proposal Alex has: "We should have futures." Aaand, he lost me. Eric, too, which makes me feel better. Greg thinks a Gold Star for Alex could one day fund a cure for cancer. But then there's Jared, who gets a clip of his own saying to Anjay, "I'm trying to figure out how to make this mass converter than can convert a small amount of quanta into a small amount of regular matter." As are we all. Back in the chapel, Greg seems ready to buy into a future Jared-invented teleportation device.

Town Hall meeting. Seems like they have one of these every week. In place of Jonathan asking how everyone feels about the Council, he remarks that they didn't have one the last few days, but they did have a sheriff. If he takes an opinion poll on Sophia we don't see it, instead skipping right to Sophia standing up and saying, "I think the arcade is discouraging verbal communication in social gatherings." She says she'd like to see people resist the temptation to play video games in order to spend time with each other. Wise of her to encourage a different choice, rather than advocating taking the choice away entirely. Colton stands and demands, "What else will we do besides work?" Hmm, seems to me that someone mentioned...talking? Morgan reiterates Sophia's point, and Markelle claims that he got to know Jared by playing air hockey with him. Nobody points out that Markelle has been sleeping in the same room with Jared for over a month. Morgan angrily says they hardly know anything about each other after more than thirty days. Olivia says to close the arcade for good, because Olivia is a tight-ass. Pharaoh, by contrast, argues, "Aaaaaa!" Another cogent point. Then everyone's talking at once, and even Jonathan slaps a hand to his forehead in alarm. Finally, Greg calls a halt to all the yelling, and Jonathan asks the Council what they want to do about the arcade. The Council talks for a moment and comes to a decision. Greg announces, "Tonight, the arcade...will be locked for good." Some of the older kids seem thrilled, hooting and cheering, while the younger ones (and Markelle) look pissed. Greg interviews it was a spur-of-the-moment decision, and that they need more bonding time. So stay longer. Sophia thanks the Council. Greg says they'll have a campfire instead and tell stories. I hope the kids who were in favor of keeping the arcade open show up and tell stories about their greatest Dance Dance Revolution triumphs.

Gold Star time. As the Council huddles, we see shots of Alex, Jared, and Zach. Not Migle, though, so I guess she's out of the running. Greg stands up and says that it was a tough decision, and although the winner isn't the biggest, strongest, or oldest, he's one of the smartest (which Zach knows eliminates him, but Jared doesn't, which just proved my point about Jared), and Alex is the winner. Big cheer from everyone, except of course Alex's best friend/brother Jared, as Alex goes up to the front, amazed at his good fortune. In an interview, Jared looks on the bright side: "If I get the Nobel Prize, let's just say that's a lot of Gold Stars." Now, I'm certainly not about to bust on Jared for not knowing off the top of his head that the monetary value of a Nobel Prize is ten million Swedish Crowns (roughly $1.3 million), because I had to look it up myself. But then he adds, "At least five." Should have quit while he was ahead. Alex thanks everyone, and uses the moment to encourage nine-year-olds everywhere. Jonathan asks Alex what he'll do with the money, and Alex says his children and grandchildren might really need it. "I mean, I don't really have any use for twenty thousand dollars." Just what 27 kids without Gold Stars want to hear. "Really?" Jonathan says, surprised. Alex says that $20,000 is a lot, but in the grand scheme of things it isn't. "It's a paradox," he says, and then has to define "paradox" for everyone. "Oh, he's so cute!" Laurel gushes, and thus Alex has won everyone over, despite being really kind of ungracious. As for what his parents will think, Alex thinks, "They'll be shocked that their nine-year-old won twenty thousand dollars." Alex interviews that his mom will tell him to hold onto the Gold Star as long as he can, since he thinks gold prices are going up. How cute is it that they all think that brass-coated paperweight is actual gold, when Jonathan is always to careful to say "worth its weight in gold"? Jonathan hands Alex the key to the phone barn and sends him off to call his parents, then sends everyone else back to their bunks.

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