The Bee is the sixteenth episode of season one.
Frankie gets promoted to Customer Relations Supervisor down at Ehlert Motors. That means she gets to write birthday cards to all the cars they’ve sold over the past 10 years. You heard us right. She’s sending cards to hatchbacks. All this busy work means that Mike will have to pinch hit for her as a volunteer in Brick’s class.
Mike’s not all that jazzed about reading time with the kiddies, but the class visit ends on a high note when he finds out Brick won the school-wide spelling bee. If he wins at a few more competitions, he’ll take part in the Scripp’s Spelling Bee in Washington, DC.
Sue has been making random remarks about any special plans in the works for Saturday. She wonders if Frankie might be making her favorite dinner. And if there’s a chance she could have some friends spend the night. Frankie puts the kibosh on the sleepover idea. Sue takes the news in stride. She winks and promises to think of something else. She’s acting very peculiar.
Brick’s not all that excited about competing in more spelling bees, but Mike is busting at the seams. He coaches his youngest son relentlessly. Brick is a natural. He dusts the competition at the Orson County Bee which means he can go to Chicago to compete in the Midwest Regionals. After that, he’s off to our nation’s capitol.
When Mike and Frankie return home to share the news of Brick’s victory with the rest of the family, they find a dejected Sue sitting at the dining room table. She’s holding a balloon and there’s a small piece of cake sitting on a plate. As Sue sings the most depressing rendition of “Happy Birthday” ever heard in Indiana, her parents suddenly realize they forgot her big day.
In order to make it up to Sue, Frankie offers to celebrate her birthday next weekend in Chicago, which just happens to be the location of Brick’s next spelling bee. Sue’s no fool. She knows her parents are trying to pass of Brick’s trip as her birthday bash. Frankie then says her real present is that she’s in charge of the whole trip. Every decision that’s made must come from Sue. That’ll work!
The long car ride is filled with sing-along songs by Sue. She picks the Colonial Diner as a spot to stop and eat. The sign said their food is “revolutionary!” Unfortunately, the chicken pot pie tastes like it was made in 1776. After the meal, Sue wants to stop to see the world’s largest oak tree stump. It’s the Eighth Wonder of Muncie! But this particular wonder isn’t all that wondrous. Maybe the hotel Sue picks out will be a nice place to regroup. Nah, it’s a dump. And the TV doesn’t work either.
As the family sleeps, Sue can be heard crying. Mike tells her to stop so she doesn’t wake up Brick. This leads Frankie to accuse Mike of wanting to win the spelling bee, not Brick. She may have a point. Mike does want to win, but he also wants to make sure his daughter knows that he’s sorry they missed her birthday. The next morning, he drives 10 miles down the road to get Sue some donut holes, as he knows that they are her favorite. Actually, they’re Brick’s favorite. Sue likes waffles. But it’s the thought that counts.
The family finally arrives at the Spelling Bee. While all the other kids are pacing nervously, all Brick can think about is a pancake house Sue told him about. Apparently, they make the pancakes right at your table. This nonchalant attitude makes Mike realize that Brick could care less about the Spelling Bee. And that could give him the edge he needs to win it all. Let the spelling begin!
The words come fast and furious and the disqualification dings from the judges are swift and decisive. But Brick is on fire and makes it down to the final two. The word is: Reindeer. Brick says, “R-E-I-N-D-E-A-R." Errrr! Brick is out of the competition.
Brick is upset that he lost, but not because he won’t get a trophy. He then blames the incorrect word on the boy who had to spell the word Banana. He then tells his triplet friends, Tommy, Tibbles and Timmy to get the supplies to invent the boy's jailhouse.
Brick's friends, Lyla, Emma and Zach were worried about the boy, as he was trapped in the jailhouse that Brick, Tommy, Tibbles, and Timmy made for him. Emma grieves about that Brick was a bad speller during the competition. The siren then wails. Lyla opens the window and sees a policeman, arriving at the competition. Emma says he is here to take the boy to jail, due to Lyla blowing on the microphone in the competition's auditorium. The kids take the boy to Emma's house to hide him, but Emma's mother, Uniqua, finds a strange noise in the cupboards. She knows that the boy needs to use the bathroom.
Lyla, Emma and Zach dress up in their teacher's judge clothing, and go downstairs to tell the policeman. Emma on the top, Zach in the middle and Lyla on the bottom. Zach tells Emma to quit kicking him, and Lyla tells Zach to stop pulling her ears.
Lyla says: "Excuse me, but I'm in a terrible hurry. I can't be late for my wish auditorium." which is told to be French for thank you. The kids then topple over losing their balance. Frankie and Mike find the kids as the outfits disassemble, and Mike catches them.
The policeman tells them that he was actually going to give the kids a free supply of popcorn and a dollar to the Fireball Toy Shop (a toy store in Tantrum, Malibu). The kids come over to the Hecks, and buy birthday gifts with the one dollar. The kids invite Tommy, Tibbles and Timmy as well. Emma then says when Brick will come.