Road Rules

Season 5 Episode 3

The Blind Leading the Blessed

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Aired Wednesday 10:30 PM Jan 26, 1998 on MTV - Music Television
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The Blind Leading the Blessed
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It's a gorgeous, sunny morning and Noah is alone in his arc, stroking his instrument. That's right baby - he's in the Winnie strumming his guitar. And guess what? He's got rhythm! The boy is musically inclined. A warm breeze sneaks in the open door and tickles Noah's bare feet - it's so nice to have a few minutes to myself. Hey now! The rest of the gang piles into the Winnebago, ending Noah's pluck-fest. But he doesn't care - it's time to hook up with THIRD EYE BLIND - a band that Noah reminds everyone has "really made it." The Rulers motor on over to a fancy, hush-hush hotel and track down suite number 1716. Open the door and there they are - foxy band members Brad, O'Ryan, and Flipper. Flipper? Yeah, Flipper. He's not a dolphin - he just likes using an alias. You know those lead-singer types. Flipper lays out the plan: proceeds from tomorrow night's gig will benefit a teen suicide hotline at the local crisis center and you guys need to make a PSA that will play at the concert. What's a PSA? PSA stands for Public Service Announcement - like a commercial, but designed to service you, not sell you. Flipper further explains that "this mission will not be easy - suicide isn't kewl or sexy." On the up side, the Roadies are granted permission to use the THIRD EYE BLIND hit song JUMPER as a music track for the PSA. Nice! Now go find a video camera and your muse... As the Roadrats exit the hotel, Dan confesses that he is intimidated by the prospect of creating a video. Roni suggests taping a funeral. Huh? Well that's what parents and friends of suicide survivors have to deal with. Tara is not having it - " we are not doing that, it's way too depressing." As the Winnie pulls out of the parking lot, Anne breaks into tears. She's really sobbing. Through welling hysteria, she confesses that a childhood friend once came to her, asking for some private chit-chat. Anne couldn't find the time. Next day, this lonely boy committed suicide. Apparently, Anne has never forgiven herself for not "being there" for the guy. She explains that participating in the creation of a teen suicide PSA makes her feel like a hypocrite. "Why should I help with this PSA when I couldn't help my own friend!" Tara quickly folds Anne into her arms and hugs her tightly as Roni explains that Anne could use this past experience to make the PSA even more powerful. It just might work... Noah pops the THIRD EYE BLIND tape into the cassette player in the dash - wish you would step back from the ledge my friend... The Roadies roll into the parking lot of the Crisis Center and solemnly pile out of the Winnie. Dan immediately notices that their vehicle is sporting a flat tire. All shuffle inside, searching for some info they can put to good use. The Roadies are greeted by Susan Goldman, the manager of the center. Anne pleads for help - we have to make this PSA as powerful as possible. Susan offers a crucial statistic: one in five teens consider suicide. She explains that the crisis center has a twenty four hour hotline that is answered by kids ages 11 to 21. Why kids? Teens who want to kill themselves don't want to talk to an adult. They want someone their own age. The money raised by the THIRD EYE BLIND concert will help keep the hotline going. Armed with the power of new knowledge, the Roadies pile back into the Winnie - and it begins to rain. How appropriate... The next morning, Dan and Roni head out in the Winnie to get the punctured tire replaced as the others pick up the video camera from the rental agency. Noah and Jon pair off to search for the perfect location as Tara and Anne go their own way, searching for the same. Noah and Jon discover a fantastic abandoned building with a menacing ledge, but this location is all locked up. Noah tries to jump the fence, but apparently breaking and entering isn't his specialty. Meanwhile, on the other side of town, Anne and Tara have found a ledge they're pretty partial to - but guess what - this building is locked up as well. Can you say deja vu?! Dan and Roni return to the group as the location scouters swap trespass tales. Noah decides that the video should be shot inside - not outside. As all hike back into the hostel, Tara privately confesses that everyone immediately bowed down to Noah's suggestion without evening questioning his plan. Up in the hostel lounge, Anne is leaning out the window, trying to visualize the image the video camera could create. Noah complains that he doesn't like the lighting - too many shadows. Anne counters that shadows are appropriate. Noah complains that the faces will be obscured. Anne reminds him that the PSA is not about faces - anyone could commit suicide. Noah just gives in completely, "I don't care any more I'll do whatever you want." Tara really lets Noah have it, "if we don't use your ideas you just pull out completely - you can never compromise!" Noah privately complains that he feels like he is in seventh grade. The Roadies finally head back out onto the streets, all but Noah agreeing that the PSA should be shot outdoors. Jon finds a nice ledge, about ten feet off the ground, down near the waterfront. He takes the camera and instructs the others to walk along the ledge. Yeah, that's good - and then Dan, you can be last, and you stop and turn to the camera, and look down - like you're thinking about jumping. Roni explains that most teen suicide victims are white males so their jumper just has to be all-American Danny-boy. Jon instructs Dan to leap of the ledge and our instant-actor does just that, flying right over the camera. Now that shot might look great - or it might look like he's just stepping off the curb. Night is falling, and the opportunity to shoot more coverage has vanished. Tara is worried about the quality of their video work. Jon confesses, "we may have bit off more than we can chew." So just swallow... The next morning, the Roadmates motor on over to a video editing building and stroll into one of the many suites, where they are greeted by their groovy editor, David. The Roadies and Davie bond immediately, and the image wizard attempts to discover just what the kids had in mind for their video - what did you want to see? Jon explains the concept of the video - five kids walking on a ledge, one kid jumps, use some voice over, and give the phone number for the Crisis Center. Sounds kewl. Dapper Davie drops the footage into his AVID video editing machine and checks out the raw material the Roadies have captured on video. Anne quickly complains about the shadows and Noah can't help but cough, "I told you so!" David worries, "you don't have much coverage," but begins to splice and dice, as the Roadies move into a second editing suite to record the voice over. Everyone decides that Noah has the best voice and he reluctantly takes the mic. "One in five teens consider suicide. Call us, we're here to listen." Anne just can't take it. She bolts out of the editing suite and dashes into the ladies bathroom. Noah quickly follows and finds Anne sobbing against a chilly tile wall. He puts his arms around Anne and reminds her what a great job she's done. Anne accepts his comfort and the gesture seems to help, but the tears just won't stop. Night falls. The Roadies scrub-a-dub-dub and are primped and slicked for the big THIRD EYE BLIND concert. You guys clean up well! Noah jumps behind the wheel of the Winnie as Anne takes shotgun. Noah winks at Anne, "you look pretty good." Anne gasps, "pretty good!?" Noah corrects himself, "you look gorgeous." Anne smiles and the Winnie rolls out. At the concert, the mosh pit is packed - and so are the lofts overhead. The music kix and everyone is having a fast-fun, sweaty time. Tara bravely dives into the slamming pit and she's quickly crowd surfing. Right on! And hey, there goes Anne - she's up and sailing over a sea of hands. Hey, that's my butt, mister! A round of applause and Flipper takes the mic, introducing the PSA. A large movie screen descends from the ceiling and the Roadies watch the crowd as the crowd watches their work. In thirty seconds it's all over, and the Rulers get a healthy round of well-deserved applause. Noah hugs Anne and she kisses him on the cheek, hugging him tightly. She seems relieved. The PSA really worked. Who knows, it might even save a life. And Anne will have helped. You can see it in her face, she letting go of the guilt from the past. She confesses with a smile, "I've finally found some closure with all of this." It's all good. Stay away from that ledge... from MTV.commoreless

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