As an avid Clue player, I love a secret passage.
This episode starts off with the BSC looking at baby photos of themselves and remarking on whether or not they look like their siblings. “Do most sisters look-alike,” Mary Anne queries. I’m concerned about the quality of education they’re getting at Stony Brook Middle School…
So as it turns out Dawn just happens to have a secret passage chilling in her house. UGH SHE HAS THE BEST LIFE. Great hair. Great step-sister. Great secret passage.
The BSC is working on a photo-history project and Dawn has stored the bulletin board there because it was too big and obtrusive to keep in her room. (Hm… I mean okay fine whatever guess we have to investigate the secret passage somehow). Instead of leaning the bulletin board against a wall in this very spacious passage, Dawn has wedged it in between insulation pieces in a broken-down partial-wall.
Dawn can’t pull the bulletin board out easily, so she pulls while Claudia pushes from the other side. In the process, Claudia finds a taped up “treasure map” in the wall.
Okay finding things in walls is cool. Treasure maps are cool. But you wedged a bulletin board in a broken wall? Like it’s a freaking secret passage. You could have just been like “cool, let’s snoop in the secret passage.” Also, can you imagine a Goonies version of the BSC? Kristy would be like absolutely crazy on the treasure path.
But it isn’t a treasure map. It’s just an old note. The note reads: “I didn’t lose Bettina’s diamond ring. Why won’t she believe me? She’s so mean sometimes that I’m afraid of her. I wish with all my heart I never had a big sister. I vow never ever to speak to her again.”
Claudia decides that “Bettina sounds really evil.” Geez. Harsh, Claud. And they decide the whole BSC will investigate on Friday night at a sleepover. In another big assumption, Claudia decides that these sisters are dead. So they all agree to have a spooky séance, hoping to restore the sister’s spiritual peace.
The séance is pretty lame, but Kristy tries to spook everyone with a tape recording of ghost noises, which is kinda cool. Then the wind blows their candles out and Kristy tries to hide the tape recorder in the insulation before anyone can catch her red-handed. That’s when she finds the missing ring! The band is broken, so it probs just fell off in the passageway many years ago.
The BSC decides this proves that Bettina’s sister is not a thief. The next day Claudia brags to her older sister that the séance was a massive success. She’s all like, “I bet this letter is two hundred years old.” And her sister is like you idiot, “When do you think they invented transparent tape?”
As it turns out, transparent tape was invented in the 1930s. Since the letter was taped to the insulation, it can’t be any older than that. So the BSC goes to the library and hunts through all of the old year books for “Bettina.” They come up with nothing and decide to try jewelry stores instead.
The jeweler confirms that the style was very popular in the 1950s, but they didn’t keep records of who they sold them to. However, he remembers Bettina and confirms that she married a local grocer. AND OMG IT TURNS OUT TO BE THE GROCER WHOSE GROCERY STORE THE BSC WENT TO FOR SLEEPOVER SNACKS.
Aw wait bummer, the grocer is dead and the store is under new ownership. The new owner thinks that his widow opened a flower shop. So the girls head to a bunch of flower shops. They begin to convince themselves that Bettina must have killed Flora, the little sister, because no one in town remembers what happened to her.
When they finally find Bettina, they think that she is threatening them with gardening shears. And then Flora walks in while they’re all screaming like lunatics. They return the ring and realize the sisters got over it like at least three decades earlier anyhow.
The episode ends with the BSC hosting a picnic to celebrate all of their little sisters. Claudia’s older sister makes cupcakes and Stacey brings a kid she babysits for because she’s an only child. They also invite Bettina and Flora and, surprise, Flora is EMILY GILMORE.
Very Special Lesson: I tried to be as snarky as possible and yet I find this episode totally heartwarming.