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"Caught in the Crosswires"

Caught in the Crosswires main image

Caught in the Crosswires Title Card

Season/Series: 17
Number in season: 9a
Original Airdate: Flag of the United States May 13, 2014[1]
Flag of the United Kingdom November 14, 2013[2]
Flag of Australia May 1, 2013[3]
Written by: Scott Gray
Storyboard by: Allan Jeffery
"Crime and Consequences"

"Caught in the Crosswires" is the first half of the ninth episode in the seventeenth season of Arthur.


Muffy is thrilled when mega producer J3 chooses her family for his latest reality TV project. After all, she was born to be star! But when Muffy's asked to amp up the drama between her and Bailey, she worries that she's being portrayed as a spoiled brat. Is it possible reality TV isn't as realistic as she thought?[4]


It begins in a large mansion where Arthur is explaining that just because someone says something is real doesn't necessarily mean it is. Then, the doorbell rings and Bailey answers it, asking "May I help you?". The visitor says that no, he can help Bailey. He then introduces himself as Jimmy Johnny Johnson, aka J-Cube, a famous TV producer, and introduces the man standing next to him with a camera as Phil. Jimmy then says he wants to put the Crosswires on TV. Mr. and Mrs. Crosswire walk up, with Mr. Crosswire asking Bailey what is going on. Bailey says that he believes they are being "punked." Muffy walks up, excited that Jimmy has gotten her letter, and explains to Mr Crosswire that she read that J-Cube was looking for new reality TV stars and she thought her family would be perfect. Jimmy agrees as the Crosswires are rich, intelligent and glamorous, and asks Mr Crosswire what he thinks, calling him "Ned". Mr Crosswire says, "It's Ed," but J-Cube just asks him if he would let the Crosswires be on TV. He thinks for a bit and, upon seeing his wife and daughter look happy about it, says "You bet!" Mrs Crosswire and Muffy cheer and Bailey sort-of cheers but he remains stoic. Jimmy asks them to cheer again but with more excitement and tells Mr Crosswire not to wait too long at the pause as it feels a bit staged, calling him "Ted". Mr Crosswire, a bit miffed, corrects him again (It is Ed), and Jimmy and Phil close the door and start filming again. "See what I mean?" says Arthur. The doorbell rings and he goes off to answer it.

Muffy is in her closet, narrating into the camera that it is her first day of the people filming their reality show and things couldn't be better. She only wishes Chip could be there, but he is at school and suggests them making a second season. Francine calls Muffy's name from her bedroom and Muffy says she will be out in a second. Francine asks Muffy who she's talking to and why she was hiding. Muffy comes out and says she wasn't hiding she was just talking to her fans in private. Francine says, "I think it's called a closet." Muffy flops down on her bed, explaining that she and her family have to do three video camera diaries every day and that's when the camera isn't following them everywhere and she never knew it would be that hard. Francine says that Muffy has only been filming for a day and Muffy says it feels like years but at least it's for a good cause. Francine is unimpressed and wonders what the cause is, quipping that it might be making people famous for doing nothing. Muffy sits up and says no, the cause is providing entertainment for people whose lives are not as interesting as hers. Francine laughs and invites her to the movies to see Galaxy Kittens in 3D. Muffy really wants to but has to go to dinner. This surprises Francine as it is only 3:00. Jimmy and Phil pop up and Jimmy says that they want to film dinner while it's still broad daylight and that Francine did a good job at being snarky.

At the dinner table, Bailey serves Ed soup, and Ed thanks him. He then wonders if he has a cradenza on his napkin on sale at his job. Millicent says yes it is, and it's an amazing deal. Jimmy asks Phil to film "the kid," and Phil turns around to Bailey pouring Muffy's soup. She says thanks, eats and notes that it is hot. Jimmy asks her if Bailey served "scalding hot soup" and asks accusingly what sort of animal would do that. Muffy is intimidated and says that the soup isn't that hot. "But what if it was?" asks Jimmy. Muffy doesn't answer that and just states that it isn't. Jimmy leans in closer and asks "Or is it?" Muffy says it isn't and Bailey says that he thinks Jimmy wants Muffy to be more dramatic so the scene would be more interesting. Jimmy agrees and does finger-guns. Phil starts filming again and Muffy, surprised, says "Well, okay," and takes a sip. Bailey asks Muffy if she likes the soup. Muffy takes up Jimmy's request and is dramatic, throwing away the spoon, pushing away the bowl, and saying it is way too hot. Bailey apologizes and asks to blow on it, but Muffy, still acting, tells him not to bother and to take it away as her dinner is "ruined." Bailey takes the soup away while Jimmy whispers that he thinks he and Phil just found their star. The Crosswire couple then walk off with their napkin.

Muffy is in her room, doing her hair. She gets ready for bed then shouts out Bailey's name. Bailey answers. Muffy, still amping up the drama, says that her covers were not turned down and her pillow was not flopped and that's unacceptable. Bailey apologizes and starts to make the bed, stating it will not happen again. Muffy says "It better not!" then asks Jimmy and Phil what their verdict is. They approve.

Muffy is asked to act dramatic again, asking Bailey to pedal her bike faster (I'd like to get there before I turn eighty!), throwing her food she doesn't like at a portrait, and breaking her coat hangers.

When Bailey drops her off at school, she does her drama queen act, stating that he's going back to "Butler School" if he is late. This shocks Buster and Francine who are nearby and Francine asks Muffy why she was being so rude to Bailey. Muffy explains she was just acting because J-Cube thought it would be good if she fought a lot and the three walk along the path. Francine says that it seemed more like being mean than fighting, but Buster says Muffy has to be mean, as she's the villain. Muffy says she's not the villain and Buster says she is, but that's the best role and that every reality TV show has an antagonist, in Top Supermarket Clerk it was Jeff. Buster says the villains are the most memorable characters and Muffy says that she can't be the villain as she's also been nice to Bailey; this morning she gave him the cherry from her fruit cup. Francine says that she thinks it will take more than a cherry to make up for her rudeness and drama.They go into class but Muffy just stands there looking thoughtful.

In Muffy's closet, Jimmy and Phil film Bailey, Jimmy asking Bailey how it feels to be "abused" by a "spoiled eight-year-old tyrant." Bailey says he wouldn't know as he's only been employed by kind households. Jimmy says that "wasn't the answer he was looking for," then thinks of something and asks how his eyesight is. Bailey says he has excellent eyesight and Jimmy hands him a notepad and asks him to read it. Bailey reads it out: "I am so very, very miserable." Jimmy then asks Bailey to hold an onion, which makes his eyes water.

That night, Millicent and Ed are walking down the corridor in their bathrobes and Millicent tells Ed she dreamt she was in a luxurious car that was inexpensive. Ed says that it wasn't a dream and that he sells cars like that. Jimmy and Phil follow, filming the Crosswire parents. Muffy sneaks out of bed and down the hall. She asks Bailey, who is in his room sewing, to talk. He walks up to the door and looks around. Muffy tells Bailey not to worry as she "dodged them" and both run into the room. Muffy asks if she's coming across as mean and spoiled in the show. Bailey says it's a distinct possibility. Muffy, worried, asks if she's really like that, to which Bailey, sitting down on the bed, says no and asks if he's a "spineless jellyfish." Muffy says no, he's the "bravest, strongest, noblest person she knows, except for Daddy." Bailey agrees. Muffy wonders what to do as she feels her situation is "terrible." Bailey suggests they ignore Jimmy's suggestions and treat each other normally. Muffy agrees.

Jimmy and Phil then film the Crosswires at breakfast (the parents are reading their papers). Bailey enters with a jug of juice, but Phil throws a banana on the ground, causing Bailey to slip on it, spilling juice on Muffy. He apologises, and she says it is all right and she will change after breakfast. Jimmy asks if "that bumbling oaf" spilt juice all over her priceless new dress. Muffy says that the dress is not new and was on sale when she bought it and that "Crosswires never pay retail" and that was just an accident. Jimmy says to Bailey in an accusing way "An accident?! You've been a butler for fifty years and now this snob is calling you clumsy?" Bailey states that he's thirty-seven so he can't have been a butler for fifty years and that Muffy didn't call him clumsy. Jimmy facepalms and says that he wants the scene to be more exciting. Muffy says no and that if her family is not exciting enough for them, go film someone else but from now on, she's just going to be herself. Jimmy says that he wrote There's a Bear In My House and that nobody wants to see a show about the real Muffy as it's boring (putting a lot of emphasis on the word "boring"). Ed asks them both to leave right then because they can't talk to his daughter like that. Bailey then pours the juice all over Jimmy and states it wasn't an accident.

In a garage, Buster, Arthur, Muffy and Francine watch a short for the show which covers all instances of Muffy being rude to Bailey and also has the onion scene. Muffy explains that they will air it for three weeks. Francine and Arthur, angrily say that they will never watch the show and will tell everyone else not to watch. Buster, however, likes it but promises not to watch it for the sake of his friends. They leave, with Muffy holding the door and saying she could make a show called Bad Reality TV Producer, which Francine and Buster think is a good idea.






  • Jimmy calls Bailey "Jeeves," and Bailey, in return, calls him "Mr. Cube".

Cultural references


  • When Muffy, Ed, and Bailey confront J-CUBE, the 'JC' on Phil's hat is flipped.

Production notes


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