Season 1 Episode 6

Who Burned Mr. Brinker's Store? Part 1

Aired Unknown Nov 01, 1992 on PBS

Episode Recap

Jamal and Lenni are walking home from school and bemoaning over their school pictures. They grab each others pictures and run off to the basketball court, laughing all the way. Jamal notices Craig wants a chance to play but Momo rebuffs him. Jamal suggests that they have a one-on-one match Saturday afternoon and they agree.

Tina is trying to film a video in front of Mr. Brinker's video store that Friday afternoon but her best friend Gaby keeps interrupting. When she starts the video, Tina catches a man in a business suit coming out of a taxi and going into Brinker's store, where Jamal is playing a computer game. After winning, Jamal puts his baseball cap on top of the computer. The man goes over to Brinker and hands him a letter but Brinker angrily tells him to get out of the store.

Jamal's screen goes blank just before Ghostwriter writes "Warning. Copyright Infringement". Ghostwriter says he read it on the man's letter. Jamal wonders what it means. Tina comes in to get a blank video cassette. She finds Mr. Brinker in the back of his store where the smoke detector has gone off from his cigarette smoke. He gives Tina a video cassette but when she says it's not blank, he barks at her to leave. Jamal jokingly warns Brinker that they'll boycott his store but he shoves Jamal out too.

Jamal pours out his frustrations on his home computer. Once he's calmed down, he writes a letter asking Brinker to be nicer to his customers. He puts the letter into his envelope from school pictures and tells Grandma Cece that he's going to the library. When Jamal gets there, it's closed so he heads over to Brinker's store. Jamal drops the letter into the mail slot and accidentally tears his sleeve. There's a snapping sound from firecrackers and some laughing kids run off behind him. Jamal notices someone moving boxes into the back of the store. He heads home and doesn't tell his grandmother what happened. That night, the back of Brinker's store catches on fire.

Alex, Tina, and Gaby are walking together the next day while the police are examining Brinker's store. Lieutenant McQuaid assures Brinker that they'll find the culprit. In the meantime, he finds an orange thread in the mail slot. Alex, Gaby, and Lenni get messages from Ghostwriter to go to Brinker's and help Jamal. Gaby gets an interview with McQuaid in front of the store to find out what happened. He says a fire started in the store at 7 PM. They can tell because Brinker's clock stopped when the electricity was knocked out. The police believe the fire was deliberately set but they caught someone on videotape just before the fire started. Lenni shows up and what's going on. Mr. Brinker sees Jamal and says he's the guilty culprit.