The Partridges are on tour in New Mexico and eating at a restaurant that has managed to defy the health inspector even though it is infested with flies. This is the best part of this show I think. I mean here they have David Cassidy but in the Partridge-Universe they are only famous enough to be playing at Shriner’s clubs and hotel bar’s.
So while they are having a nice family dinner in a disgusting diner, this teenage girl comes up to them and says she saw their bus outside and is hoping they could give her a lift to Albuquerque. (I feel like there’s going to be a song with Albuquerque in it now. Also, I had to use spell check twice to spell Albuquerque.)
Then this runway girl proceeds to tell them a ton of stupid lies about her past. She seriously is failing at subtlety. Also, she speaks strangely. I think young actresses must have still taken weird speaking lessons in the early 70’s. Anyway, when the stop to spend the night she bails. They’re not in Albuquerque (2nd time spelling it correctly on my own!) but she says she has some Basque shepher friends she needs to visit (ugh okay). And Shirley Jones is all like you’re full of it but I can’t make you stay if you don’t want to. When really it’s like, I’m sorry Shirley Jones, but at this point you’re probably endangering the welfare of a child and may need to call some type of local authority.
But it doesn’t take long for the police to find the Partridges. They tell the cop that they don’t know where she went. But if he had only checked their bus he would have found the missing girl sleeping and snuggling her guitar case. So bohemian. Anyway, Shirley sends the kids away to “freshen up” for the concert and tells the runway to chill with them. Meanwhile, she and Reuben go to the local police station to figure out what was going on. It turns out that this girl always runs away from her grandparents in Nebraska because she wants to live with her dad in Albuquerque. Upon learning that she’ll be locked in a holding cell until her grandparents can come collect her, Shirley asks if she can keep the girl with her and contact the grandparents herself. And you know, when you’re a small time family-band celebrity, you operate under a different set of rules.
So of course the police make Shirley responsible for this child and allow her to take her to Albuquerque to meet her grandparents. But when the Partridge kids say that the runaway has been taking a very long shower, Shirley barges in and finds the bathroom empty. So basically this is the stupidest most avoidable situation The Partridge Family has ever found themselves in. The producers must have really wanted to reuse that ghost town set because they have the family search all over this one-horse town for the runway (while a song about Albuquerque plays).
Anyway, they can’t find her until she literally runs in front of their bus. Then they chase her around Scooby-Doo style. Luckily, she doesn’t know how to drive a bus, and they corner her as she is trying to steal their ride. Anyway, it turns out that her dad is a super chill guy and her grandparents are kinda evil. They don’t like her dad (clearly they’re maternal grandparents) even though he hasn’t done anything to warrant this kind of behavior. Then they fight over her because they both love her so much and both want to give her a really wonderful home. (The Partridge Family can make even homeless children look rosy.) Shirley Jones is so awesome with her total lack of boundaries that she mediates between the squabbling family members and they agree that her dad can see her in the summer and on holidays. The End! No big “live performance” scene! Hope you liked that montage!
Very Special Lesson: When in doubt, use your favorite celebrities to solve all of your domestic issues.