Scooby-Doo has more franchises than I can even keep track of. One of those was the late-80’s/early-90’s A Pup Named Scooby-Doo. The gang is adorable a group of adorable children solving mysteries with the titular puppy. Since, the original Scooby-Doo was set in the late 60’s, I’m pretty sure this show is supposed to be set in the late 50’s/early 60’s. But really the only evidence of this other than the characters’ ages are Freddy’s flat top and the fact that Daphne is sporting a neck-kerchief.
In this episode, the gang has taken a trip to the beach where Velma’s aunt works at some sort of marine institute’s “dolphin corral.” The dolphins have become un-corralled (read: stolen) and the gang is there to help find them. Or maybe they should just go on their merry way because who corrals dolphins anyway? That’s messed up. Leave the dolphins alone!
Well, there is one remaining dolphin, actually. Skipper. But she disappears shortly after the gang arrives with Freddie stating that she has been “fish-napped.” OMG THIS EPISODE IS LIKE DOLPHIN RACIST. Ugh. If I was a science teacher, I would give a test on this episode and everything it got wrong. (Yes, I would teach based on cartoons and yes, I think that would make me like the best teacher ever.)
Anyhow, while trying to track down the missing dolphins, the gang is continually terrorized by “The Headless Skateboarder.” They’re all like meh, it’s a monster in a mask. But I’m not so sure. I think this one may be the real deal. Do you have any idea how hard it would be for a human to skateboard on sand??
The gang heads over to “Al’s Skateboard O-Rama,” where they discover that all of Al’s customers have been frightened away by the headless skateboarder. The voice of Al is VERY familiar. Hold on, I have to look this up. OMG IT IS WALLY FROM THE BRADY BRIDES. Wow, he’s had an um interesting career…
The gang follows the “Headless Skateboarder” to an old shack here they find a bunch of Al’s old skateboarding trophy’s. Velma takes out her giant, portable computer and discovers that Al was a big deal skateboarder until he got involved with DRUGS. And Scooby is all like ” RUH-ROH DRUGS?!?” Shut up, Scooby, we know you do drugs. Maybe not yet, but once you’re a fully grown dog, it’s basically all you and Shaggy do. You’re dead-weight on the crime-solving actions of The Mystery Team.
Everyone gets really offended that Al would do drugs, so they head back to his store to question him. He immediately breaks down crying. Yes, A Pup Named Scooby Doo shows a grown man break down and cry when confronted by a group of children about his addiction. But it’s okay because he’s a cartoon so it makes it not really that depressing.
Velma decides that they have exhausted all viable leads on land, so the team scuba dives to look fore more clues. There, they find the dolphins in a cave. The dolphins are all wearing remote-controlled harnesses and pouches that contain drugs. Yes, this is a children’s cartoon episode about drug trafficking. This is Scooby-Doo‘s version of Miami Vice.
Velma has somehow solved this mystery and takes the team back to Al’s shed to look for more clues. They plan to drop a dolphin’s harness on the headless skateboarder and control his every move, thus leading him directly to them. Sounds like a good plan. Except he doesn’t have a head. So he probably doesn’t have a neck. How will you harness his neck if he has no neck, Mystery Team??
Of course, they accidentally harness Scooby instead. But Scooby bumps into him and somehow leads him right into their trap. So now that they’ve caught the monster, the gang let’s you THE AUDIENCE solve the mystery! We’re given a couple of random options to chose from. They’re people we’ve seen for roughly like two seconds this episode and I can’t even remember their names. But before I can even make a conjecture, Velma rips off the skateboarder’s costume. It’s Al. Of course it is. Al did drugs and therefore Al is pretty much Pablo Escobar. But…okay…so this is the 50’s right? Ugh, thanks for the revisionist history, War on Drugs.
Very Special Lesson: I think the lesson was supposed to be don’t do drugs. But really, it seems to me that it’s more a cautionary tale and not using high-profile mules, or “dolphins” as it were.