LadyGhosts of TV Past

Retro Recap: The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo, 1.3

Shelby Woo. I can’t quit you yet, not where there are still 10 more episodes of weird, wholesome, teenage crime-fighting hijinks. Apparently I have a lot of feelings about Shelby, so this time, I’ll just focus on one episode.

Episode 3 – “Wipeout”

00:14 – Shelby opens with a brief tease of the crime while arranging donuts on a plate for the cops. The donuts keep disappearing before she really has a chance to grab one. Cop jokes!


00:48 – Super super slow zoom in from a hospital to a pharmacy. Someone is stealing from the pharmacy by busting a window.  That doesn’t seem particularly wise or stealthy. Again, dark stuff for a kids’ show.

00:54 – Oh good, more Florida montage with shaky camera. Zany fun! This time all around a surf competition.

01:31 – Det. Hineline is there with other plainclothes cops because pickpockets are apparently on the prowl at the beach. In the five times I’ve been to the beach in my life (despite living 15 minutes away from a beach), I’ve never really brought many valuables or stacks of cash with me, but Cocoa Beach is supposed to be touristy so, maybe they bring lots of money with them. Where do they keep it? Beach clothes don’t really have storage.

01:38 – Oh good, Cindy is recording this. Hineline is making the exact face I am at the words “Cindy-cam.”


01:46 – Cindy, a veritable Renaissance woman, is making renegade Tourism Board commercials. Only in the suburbs, do kids ever say, man I really want to make a commercial and pitch it to the Chamber of Commerce.

01:55 – I get mildly nauseous every time they cut to “Cindy-cam.” It’s very Blair Witch.

01:58 – Shelby is living every heterosexual teenage girl’s dream, as she is volunteering to assist the surfers.



Shelby, no.
Shelby, no.

02:47 – The phrase “Hey brah, what’s up?” was used. I’m taking a drink every time I hear the word “brah.”

03:07 – Surfer brahs are talking about their tragic accident. This is of course foreshadowing, but Shelby doesn’t care because she takes her volunteerism very seriously. Careful, Shelby, you might veer into Corey territory.

03:38 – Shelby has walked surfer all-star brah Jack, all of 10 feet to the registration table. Jack is signing in with Darlene, who he has awkward one date history with, so she of course greets him with news of her impending wedding. Women, am I right?

03:58 – I THOUGHT WARRENNOAH* WAS JOKING WHEN HE SAID YABBA DABBA DOO,  but the young upstart rival surfer brah is named YABBA DABBA DUDE. They are also ambushed by a sponsor lady who I’m sure will pop up again. (*Yes, I am still referring to Noah/Adam Busch as WarrenNoah, because I will never forgive him for Tara.)

This is exactly what someone named "Yabba Dabba Dude" looks like.
This is exactly what someone named “Yabba Dabba Dude” looks like.

04:54 – Surf montage. I should’ve used context clues to tell me that an episode titled “Wipeout” would be rife with them.

05:45 – Montage has been happening for a full minute now. Also, I’m trying to understand how Cindy’s old video camera is able to capture these action shots.

Where is the camera??
Where is the camera??

06:20 – YABBA IS DOWN. Jack is off to rescue him.


06:57 – In an Oscar-worthy line delivery, Yabba says he can’t see, and everything is spinning.

This exchange follows:

“It’s probably an inner ear infection”

“No way, I’ve had that”

Yabba, ladies and gentlemen.

07:23 – After attempting to cover Yabba with a jacket after the latter passes out, Jack is escorted off the beach by Hineline as some prescription drugs fall out of said jacket. Our crack team is on the case.

07:39 – “Are you saying I poisoned Yabba Dabba Dude?” God bless the actor who tried to make this sound convincing.


07:53 – Jack is detained by the police as apparently taking long walks on the beach, despite being good dating profile fodder, is not a good alibi.

08:12 – Shelby is convinced of Jack’s innocence and is poring over her grandfather’s books to find something that will help him.

08:20 – “Your emotions are clouding your intellect.”  They are just reworking Karate Kid dialogue now.


08:35 – Grandpa seems to know a lot about recently FDA-approved drugs.

09:04 – First ’90s computer sighting of the episode! Don’t want to get the audience too used to this high-tech stuff.


09:17 – Shelby brought Jack who is still in jail, another sandwich. There is a shadowy figure watching her do this, which really makes me question the security of this police department.

09:40 – The gang is reviewing the tapes from Cindy-cam. Shelby has found a clue. Darlene had spilled a cup of something on the red jersey that Yabba wore. Suspect!

10:08 – Time for WarrenNoah to observe some clues on Cindy-cam tape.  Jack’s friend offered Yabba a soda.  Suspect!

10:21 – They remembered the sponsor lady from the sunscreen company!  Suspect!  Time to figure out a motive.



10:50 – MICROFILM! Does anyone even use microfilm anymore? What are they doing with the microfilm archives now? I have many questions.

11:42 – Noah has found yearbooks, and is implicating Darlene based on her yearbook quote about loving jocks. If ever my Coldplay lyric yearbook quote is used to indicate motive for murder, that would be the worst. (Something something, murdering good taste.)  Darlene is also a nurse.  I’ll let Shelby put that together: “She’s a nurse? The drugs were stolen at a hospital!” Great work Shelby, you’re doing amazing things.  Truly.

12:05 – Jack has been transferred to real jail, not temporary holding jail. Shelby is distraught. Hineline is skeptical, but also hands off mail that arrived for Shelby. I’m betting it’s a threatening note. Or someone who promises to share some inside scoop.

12:34 – It’s the second one.  “Come alone” is specified.


12:54 – Shelby is at the meeting spot, but what the audience can see and Shelby cannot is that it is a trap (obviously), and someone is about to drop a paint can on her from above.  Shelby sees it.  Time for a perfectly placed cut-to-black commercial break, to really heighten that tension.

13:05 – The can is thrown from like six inches away.


13:14 – It misses. Shelby screams anyway. I’m really bothered by the fact that the paint/tar/goop didn’t have a lid. Shelby runs away.

13:18 – “Did it get you?” Cindy, honey, you are actually standing next to, and speaking to Shelby right now. What do you think? Cindy enjoys this because she thinks it means they are close to solving the mystery. Cindy is really excited about being in danger. That smoke bomb last episode set a weird precedent.

13:47 – Jack’s friend and former surf brah is “Sky Bird.”  He runs a kite shop. Beach towns are weird.

14:31 – After Cindy and WarrenNoah pretend to buy a kite, they stick around to ask some questions. Sky Bird gets defensive of his brah and threatens to hurt WarrenNoah. Sky Brah is also super forthcoming with random teenagers in his shop asking him questions about an accident he was in with Jack, and accusing him of planting drugs.

15:28 – Shelby and Cindy are going undercover as candy stripers. Cindy covers Shelby as she peels back the super secure cardboard over the broken pharmacy window. Shelby manages to grab the log of all the drugs missing, which was conveniently placed right on the window sill, beside the cardboard covering.

So secure.
So secure.
Just a normal part of the volunteering.
Just a normal part of the volunteering.

16:37 – Oh god, WarrenNoah’s undercover with the sunscreen lady. And he’s doing an accent.

18:11 – Meanwhile Shelby and Cindy have run into Darlene and another nurse. Darlene runs off to fill a prescription, and other nurse starts chatting with the girls, telling them that Darlene was in surgery with her the night of the theft. Alibi found. Also, nurse lady is especially chatty, considering when I call my mom at work, she just tries to get me off the phone since she’s busy helping sick people or something.

18:51 – While the gang regroups and discusses how their suspects all have solid alibis, this happens.


19:41 – Grandpa is called in to help and manages to help Shelby figure it all out. She will, of course, withhold this until she knows for sure.

21:02 – After WarrenNoah and Cindy drop some major hints about Jack’s innocence to Darlene, she goes to confront Shelby who, of course, is waiting alone. I want to believe that Shelby is trapping Darlene, but this is also the same girl who watched someone carefully position a paint can to take her out, so my faith is low.

21:23 – Darlene framed Jack to keep him trapped by her love. She also is trying to attack Shelby with a syringe filled with something. Outside. On a public beach. And Shelby is barely resisting. Thankfully, Detective Hineline swoops in with the police to save the day.

22:56 – Great, now Shelby is imagining her and Jack running on the beach together because his gratitude at not being in jail will surely translate to love with a minor. Dare to dream, girl. Oh that actually happened, but in a “thanks for helping” frolick, not a From Here to Eternity kissing on the beach. Good, I guess.


So the day is saved, Shelby is able to hang out with the hot surfer of her dreams, and Darlene is finding out what happens after the Lifetime movie plot she was living. Normal teenage hijinks!


By Karishma

Karishma is a twenty-something living in New York City and is trying her hardest to live out every cliche about Millennials. This involves eating her feelings, drowning in debt and mocking infomercials. She likes sociology so much that she has two degrees in it, and is still warding off her parents' questions about a real career.

Leave a Reply