As the Flipper TV series progressed, it seemed to revolve more and more around Bud and his various antics. Whereas Sandy was the central character in the two movies and seemed to have a more equal role in Season 1, as Season 2 and 3 progressed, the script writers seem to trip over themselves to find ways for Bud to screw up and be rescued either by Flipper or Porter and Sandy.
This episode is Bud's screw ups writ large. His clever scheme to make 33% off the labor of his friends by taking on 3 jobs in the same day was a ticking time bomb of trouble. The underwater museum was a resurrection of a similar scheme that featured in "Flipper's Underwater Museum" in Season 2. Bud tries to rope Sandy into his grand scheme by having him manage the museum and Sandy wisely won't have a bar of it.
Pretty soon Bud is annoying everybody - Shorty for not getting him to the dentist, Fatso for no food (haha), Tom for the same, the boat owner for slacking on the job and then Sandy for taking the cake his girlfriend made for him. With the injury of Shorty in the buoy, the whole charade comes crashing down and then at the end, all the parents of the boys concerned don't want their sons to hang out with Bud for a while.
For a father who began the series as a pretty consistent disciplinarian, aside from a verbal dressing down, Porter seems to let Bud escape from this disaster lightly.
Flipper contributes relatively little to the plot this time and the awkwardness of having to constantly work around Bud's tomfoolery is evident in how Luke Halpin must act the part of the forever forgiving Sandy - when all natural 17 year old boy instincts would be to give the troublesome younger brother's schemes a permanent wide berth, he grits his teeth almost and acts the part of happily agreeing to help with the underwater museum.
I've entitled this review "Bud never learns" because the screw ups continue to pretty much the end of the season and I'm sure the obsession with these story lines was one of the reasons for the series eventual demise.
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