Episode 3: The Brady Braves

Greetings fans, friends and readers.  This week we conclude the Bradys’ Grand Canyon adventure with “The Brady Braves”.  The episode concludes Bobby and Cindy’s dilemma and allows the Bradys to meet the chief of a nameless tribe that lives at the bottom of the canyon.  We are treated to a guest star who remains a classic TV icon.  The story is simple and solid enough and a decent conclusion to the three part season opener.  Let us being reviewing “The Brady Braves”!

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Ominous music plays as the opening credits roll.  The establishing shot of the beautiful canyon ends with a zoom in on the canyon bottom.  The editors sneakily transition to another aerial shot of the lost Bobby and Cindy.  Cindy is blaming Bobby for their peril as he was the one who wanted to chase the Indian boy, Jimmy, they encountered in the last jimmyepisode.  Their trying to follow him saw they could not find their way back to camp.  Then we see both search parties of Carol, Greg and Jan and Mike, Peter and Marcia searching for the lost children.  Via a voice-over, Mike recaps the events of “Grand Canyon or Bust”.  Mike’s narration ends with Bobby and Cindy continuing to wander aimlessly about the canyon.  As they walk past the camera, it zooms in on Jimmy observing them from a distance.

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As Bobby and Cindy change directions yet again, Jimmy comes down to speak to them.  One might notice here that the sun decided not to set after all and now shines brightly overhead!  The last episode ended with concerns about the kids being lost as the sun went down.  A cute exchange occurs amongst the three youngsters.  Bobby greets Jimmy with the most generic Indian greeting of,  “How”.  Jimmy replies, “How what?”  Jimmy assures them he knows the location of their camp, but when Cindy asks if he will help them get back there he gives a flat out, “No”.  Bobby continues the generic Indian talk and asks Jimmy if he likes “us palefaces”.  Jimmy says to cut that kind of talk out.  He explains he has run away from home and fears the kids will give him up if he returned them to their camp.  The reunitedinitial reaction of a viewer might be to ask how he could be so cold as to just leave them to their own devices and possibly their demise and not help them.  Jimmy gets a pass as he is just a child and likely well versed in extended time in the outdoors; he may not be aware that Bobby and Cindy are not.  Bobby and Cindy dicker with Jimmy and he agrees to show them the way back if they won’t rat him out.  Once he points out the way to their camp, Bobby and Cindy agree to bring him some food after everybody retires for the night.  Seconds later, the kids reunite with Carol.  What follows is another lecture by Mike about staying together.

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That night, the Bradys all sing by the lights of their lanterns.  They all sing the campfire standards of “Down In The Valley” and “Home On The Range”.  Poor Alice is on duty and isn’t there to sing with them.  She must man the camp stove.  Bobby is seen putting a hotdog in his jacket pocket.  There will be no bun for Jimmy, even though we see beansone sitting on Bobby’s plate.  He and Cindy break away from the sing-a-long to under the guise of getting additional helpings of dinner.  For a moment they fear the jig is up as Alice says she doesn’t think they are eating the hot dogs, but inhaling them! She then steps away to do the dishes.  Bobby deems his flashlight worth sacrificing for Jimmy saving his life.  It is in the battery case for the light that he scoops some beans for Jimmy to enjoy later.

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With the Brady family and Alice bedded down for the night, Bobby rises and signals to Cindy via a bird noise that it is time to deliver Jimmy’s meal.   As they go to see Jimmy, a coyote is heard in the distance.  Cindy is scared, but Bobby encourages her to continue on and “Just think of how hungry Jimmy is.”  Cindy has a funny reply when she says, “Just think how hungry the coyote is”.  Jimmy is found quickly and commences to eating the food he is brought.  It is worth noting Bobby does not use any insulting or generic Indian terms in this conversation with Jimmy.  The trio then hear noises nearby and all hide behind the rock.  The noises turn out to be Greg and Peter in search of the two silhouetteyoungest Bradys.  Jimmy is introduced briefly before Greg rushes Bobby and Cindy back to camp.  It would appear Greg has little concern for another child wandering the wilderness.  However, this is not the case.  As he walks back to camp with Bobby and Cindy, he encourages them to tell their parents about Jimmy.  Bobby says they were sworn to secrecy after Jimmy saved their life.  Greg makes a very valid point that sharing the young Indian’s plight with Mike and Carol might very well save Jimmy’s life.   As they walk down the path, they hear another noise nearby.  A looming silhouette takes up the left side of the screen as the shot fades out.  This was no doubt the location of a commercial break during the original run (and perhaps in syndication).

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The looming figure turns out to be Mike.  He was out looking for the kids.  Bobby and Cindy try to avoid sharing the existence of Jimmy, but Mike finds out.  He sits down for a heart to heart talk with the boy.  Jimmy isn’t the brightest of boys.  When questioned about why he wants to run away from home, he can give no good reason.  He complains of how his grandfather only speaks of the old Indian ways.  Jimmy is tired of being an Indian and wants to be an astronaut.   Mike questions if Jimmy’s grandfather is mean to him.  Jimmy says he is not, he loves him very much.  Mike than asks how his grandfather feels about his astronaut aspirations.   Jimmy doesn’t know as he has not told him.  Fortunately, the writers of the episode gave Mike the good sense to realize and point out to Jimmy there is no real problem here.  Jimmy ran away because he could not be troubled to share with this grandfather plans he has made ten years down the road.  I suppose we can just chalk this up to a dumb kid action.  The producers of “The Brady Bunch” sure shorted those under 10 years old on smarts.

jimmygone

Jimmy agrees to return to camp with the Bradys for the night so he can go home the day following.  Mike brings Carol out of the tent to see Bobby snuggled up in a sleeping bag with some strange child.  He tells Carol she is looking at the first Indian to go to Mars.  Oh what high hopes Americans still had for NASA back in 1971.  Here we are almost 50 years later with only rover and aerial images of The Red Planet.  The next morning, the boys share that Jimmy has split.  Mike has limited concern and states he gave Jimmy the best advice he could, but he couldn’t make him take it.

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Meanwhile, Alice is about to set out on an errand to fetch water.  She tells Carol that if she is not back shortly, to send a forest ranger.  Even if she is to be back shortly, she tells Carol to send a forest ranger anyway.  Poor Alice. At least we can laugh at her lonely heart!  Upon going for water, Alice encounters an adult Indian, Chief Eagle Cloud.  She gives a greeting of “Yata-hi”(sp?).  Chief Eagle Cloud replies, “Yata-hey” and begins speaking to Alice in his native language.  In a chuckle worthy line Alice replies he must have taken the advanced course.  Chief Eagle Cloud thinks Alice is Mrs. Brady and she says she is not, she is Alice.  He then asks if Mr. Brady has two squaws.  Groan.  This line made me cringe. For as chapped as Jimmy was at Bobby’s Indian references earlier, having Chief Eagle Cloud ask that question with such a generic Native American term just irritated me.  At least he didn’t say, “Mr. Brady have two squaw?”  We learn quickly that Chief Eagle Cloud is Jimmy’s grandfather.   Jimmy has returned with him so he may meet the Bradys.

jaysilverheels
Jay Silverheels as Chief Eagle Cloud.

The actor playing Chief Eagle Cloud is no stranger to fans of classic television.  He will forever be remembered as Tonto on “The Lone Ranger”.  However, his acting resume included several other roles.  He was also a very good athlete in his younger days.  His stage name “Silverheels” came from his days as a competitive boxer.  Jay Silverheels final role was in 1974 in another Sherwood Schwartz incarnation titled “Dusty’s Trails”.  It was a western version of “Gilligan’s Island” with Bob Denver playing the lead role again.  Jay Silverheels post acting years saw him involved with horse racing.  He passed away in 1980.

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Chief Eagle Cloud meets the Brady family.  He offers many thanks for Mike encouraging Jimmy to return home.  He smiles at “the foolishness of this child” and shares he has no problem with Jimmy aspiring to be an astronaut.  The Chief says, “He thinks because I speak of Buffalo, I do not understand blast off” and if he were a boy of Jimmy’s age, he’d want to “swoosh to the stars” too.  Carol says that’s what they call a generation gap.  The Chief says the Indians call it the same thing.   To show his gratitude, he wants to make the Bradys and Alice members of “his tribe”.  There will be a ceremony that night at his village where everybody will have a “groovy time”.

ceremony

That night, viewers are treated to more Indian dancing, similar to the rain dance performed by the Hopi Indians in the last episode.   Chief Eagle Cloud’s tribe remains ambiguous.  Jay Silverheels hailed from the First Nations who reside in Canada.  I am glad that some tribal name was not conjured up for the episode.

names

Chief Eagle Cloud talks of his tribe’s history.  He shares how they race fast horses.  I found this funny as Jay Silverheels was a fan of racing horses.  He declares the Bradys will be part of his tribe “from now until forever”.  This line rang historic as it was similar to Chief Henry’s “I will fight no more forever”.  As part of their induction to”the tribe”, the Bradys and Alice all get an Indian name.   Mike’s name is spoken in both the tribal tongue and then in English.  The others are not.

Mike is “Big Eagle of Large Nest”

Carol is “Yellow Flower With Many Petals”

Greg is “Stalking Wolf”

Peter is “Middle Buffalo” or “Sleeping Lizard” or “I get back to you”

Bobby is “Little Bear Who Loses Way “

Marcia is “Willow Dancing in Wind”

Jan is “Dove of Morning Light”

Cindy is “Wandering Blossom”

Alice is “Squaw In Waiting”

Alice asks that it be a short wait and we are reminded of her lonely manless existence.   The Bradys then join their new fellow tribe members for a dance around the fire.

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The next shot is of the Bradys driving out of the campground at the top of the canyon.  Greg asks if they may stop for one last look at The Grand Canyon.  In a very lazy move, the shot of the family looking over the canyon from the last episode is just reused.  They could have at least thrown a jacket on some of the kids between shots or maybe put Marcia’s hair in a ponytail.  Alice’s loud pants really give the reused shot away.

As the Bradys bid farewell to The Grand Canyon, Cindy asks the still uncredited lady at the gate if she remembers them, the Brady Family.  Bobby corrects her that they are now the Brady Braves.  I suppose this counts as an epilogue.  We then see the Bradys drive away as they conclude their Grand Canyon adventure.

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The Grand Canyon episodes are fun for the most part.  I’d love to someday visit that natural wonder.  The Bradys’ adventures here were a nice break from the typical suburban woes and drama we had grown accustomed to.   Sharing your own thoughts on the episodes or your own Grand Canyon experiences is most welcome.  Next week we return to that nameless California burb in “The Wheeler Dealer”.  See you then!

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Author: bradybunchreviewed

I am a lifelong fan of the Brady Bunch. I love it for it's wholesomeness, it's absurdity and how it serves as a time capsule for a time that really never existed, but so many of us wish it did. The show was off the air by the time I was born, but I enjoyed it daily at 4:35 PM for years on Atlanta's Superstation 17, TBS. Through the years I've enjoyed the Brady Bunch spinoffs (however short lived), revivals in pop culture, books, reunions, movies and spoofs. Now, I am excited to be revisiting the show after nearly a decade's hiatus from viewing. I am a parent now, so there may be some new perspectives never before experienced. I hope my fellow fans, lovers and haters alike of the Brady Bunch will join me on this blogging adventure and share your own thoughts and observations.

17 thoughts on “Episode 3: The Brady Braves”

  1. The Grand Canyon episodes were fun but for the most part, it was always exciting when they were broadcasted because you knew what was in store. Season 3! Which was a great season. So, these episodes are a somewhat fun kick off.
    Chris Knight was funny in this episode–when Peter reacted to the Indian names. Such a great actor.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One fun bit of trivia: In 2002, Commander John Herrington, a member of the Chickasaw Nation, became the first Native American to fly on a NASA Space Mission.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember seeing this episode back in 1971. The reason is I joined Indian Guides that year and misheard a couple of the Indian names. At the time I thought that Bobby, the Brady to whom I related the best at the time, had taken the name “Little Buffalo”, so I was “Little Buffalo” and my dad was “Big Buffalo”. I still have the vest that my mom made for me, with my name in alphabet soup letters on a name tag pinned to the front.

    I haven’t been to the Grand Canyon either and would still like to go someday. I don’t have any desire to ride mules to the bottom though.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. These episodes were fun! I could never remember the Indian names of all the Brady’s! Thanks for posting them! I just knew that Bobby was “Little Bear Who Loses Way” and that Alice was “Squaw in Waiting.” The one unrealistic thing is that when Bobby and Cindy chase after Jimmy and get lost, I agree, why did Mike yell at the other kids about wondering off? They didn’t do anything! I wonder if Robert Reed pointed this out with this scene?

    Brady Trivia-You will notice that on the DVD’s the fill in squares are missing from BOTH the Grand Canyon and Hawaii episodes. In the the late 80’s or early 90’s, Paramount released a mini-movie, 90 minute episodes of the Brady’s on vacation for sets of episodes. The fill-in squares that are a part of syndication were skipped to make the episodes have better continuity flow. I forgot if the DVD for the Grand Canyon or Hawaii episodes have the “Don’t miss part (2, following week part 3) of the Brady Bunch next week at this same time.” in the closing credits as a voice over? That was in the original series run, but might have been chopped in the first syndication cycle, or shortly after the first syndication cycle.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. People have a problem with Mike going off on the kids who did not stray after he told them not to. But I think he was just excited to have Bobby and Cindy–that is, their disappearance–as an object lesson to drive his point home to the other kids.

    What are we to make of Bobby thinking his flashlight had a built-in thermos to get baked beans to Jimmy? Maybe there’s something to say about Bobby’s resourcefulness or ingenuity; on the other hand, couldn’t he have come up with a better, more sanitary, solution?

    What bothered me the most with this adventure was the Bradys’ behavior at the naming ceremony. I imagine that such a ritual would be something solemn for Chief Eagle Cloud, and the Bradys fawning or making comments after receiving their new names was out of line for this occasion (I’m looking at you, Peter.) Heck, the boy who won the ice cream eating contest treated his moment with more formality than these folks did!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The issue with Mike scolding the kids is when it happened while Bobby and Cindy were still missing.

      I laughed out loud at your comments on the naming ceremony. I hadn’t thought of that. The comparison to the ice cream eating contest is hilarious!

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      1. Mike’s sharp comment about Bobby and Cindy’s disobedience: My guess is he was panicked and upset at the situation, and scared that they were missing. I’m sure he apologized (off-camera) later.

        But to that point, yes … I’d be upset to and might make such a comment, and not think that it was coming across as yelling at the kids that did obey the rules. After all, put yourself in Mike’s shoes: He doesn’t know if they’ll ever be found — remember, this was 40 years before such things as GPS and drones could be used to help find them easily — and who knows if Cindy’s fear of a wild animal finding them would come to pass. And even in 1971, there were sick pedophiles that they might come upon, promising to “help” but then you know what happens next … .

        So yes, Mike’s mind was more on “please let’s find the kids safe and sound” and his was an off-the-cuff remark that, again, I think later (off-camera) he apologized for. (Which, granted, he should.)

        Liked by 1 person

    2. lol, I know what you mean about the beans in the flashlight… yuck! But those of us who were kids in those days probably didn’t always think that way. We drank water from garden hoses, and with those hoses being left out in the yard during the summers, being wet on the inside and baking in the heat, who knows what kind of stuff we ingested lol. Somehow, we managed to survive. Maybe Bobby figured if he and Cindy were caught sneaking away, it would look better if they had a flashlight so they wouldn’t have to explain why they were sneaking off with food.

      Re: the ceremony… I remember hearing (a number of years ago) that authentic Native American tribes might get upset by the portrayal of the ritual dance that the Bradys did around the fire, since all they were doing was making random movements which meant nothing. I don’t know if that’s true or not (about N.A’s getting upset) but that was the story at one time.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. In the 1960s and early 1970s, Readers Digest sold several box sets of these “family friendly” songs that they might sing on a long car trip, songs like the ones sung throughout this trilogy: “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” “Oh My Darling Clementine,” “Down in the Valley,” “Home On the Range” and many others.

    One imagines these songs on the old “Tennessee Tuxedo”/”Rocky and Bullwinkle” show segment where the lyrics were posted on-screen and viewers just had to follow the bouncing ball to sing along. And then, of course, we had Mitch Miller and His Orchestra, who actually had a No. 1 pop hit in 1955 (very early in the rock era!) with “The Yellow Rose of Texas” (of which there was a country song loosely based on the children’s sing-along song, which served as the theme of an NBC dramatic series in the mid 1980s).

    And, of course, “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” was used in a far-darker sense just a few months later during the infamous school bus scene in “Dirty Harry” (where a sociopath takes children on a school bus hostage and forces the children to sing said song, and he even hits several children whom he believes aren’t singing enthusiastically enough).

    Anyway, in addition to showing family camaraderie and — I’d guess — a still fairly common way to pass time on a long car trip (you mean the AM radio in your car couldn’t pick up a good station as you continued traveling(?)), these songs were in the public domain. While it would certainly stretch imagination to hear the Bradys sing “Joy To the World” or “Never Can Say Goodbye” or “It’s Too Late” — songs that were popular during the likely filming period in May/June 1971 — Paramount wouldn’t have to pay royalties.

    My two cents take.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I thought Greg was incredibly mature when he said they may be saving jimmy’s life if they told the Mom and dad about him. I hardly knew any kid his age who would think like that.

    Like

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