HomeTelevisionBluey: Time to Unwrap That Surprise Episode Drop!

Bluey: Time to Unwrap That Surprise Episode Drop!

Bluey the surprise
Photo Credit: Disney+

Back in the fan favorite Bluey episode, “Pass the Parcel,” the Heeler’s neighbor, Pat (aka Lucky’s Dad), convinces a new generation of kids that their favorite birthday party game is more fun when they embrace the hope of earning a large reward instead of collecting a host of unearned and meaningless trinkets from every single layer of wrapping paper. 

It’s a lesson that hit on a metafictional level for international viewers of the Aussie television show. Every time we waited patiently for a delayed release of the episodes that originally aired in Australia, we were rewarded with a rich tapestry of humor and life lessons. We fell in love.

Over the course of the last few weeks, the worldwide Bluey audience has been invited to a series of three global releases. “Ghostbasket” gifted us a fun return of the beloved “Grannies” bit, as well as a week of anxiety and speculation over the implications of a “for sale” sign in front of the Heeler home. One week later, “The Sign” landed. It was a 28-minute tour de force that made us laugh and made us cry with the signature, innovative touch that put Ludo studio on the map. It closed out some important loops, reached new emotional depths, and framed the first three seasons of Bluey as a full and complete masterpiece.

Then, on Sunday, viewers learned that this masterpiece had yet another layer. What was behind the wrapping paper? Well, quite a bit actually. We got one more traditionally-paced episode of Bluey (hooray!), an emotional passing-of-the-torch (hooray!), and plenty of new data to feed speculation as we wait for Bluey’s return after the current indefinite hiatus (hooray!). 

“Surprise!” opens with Bluey and Bingo asking Chilli what it’s like to be a parent. Chilli manages to get away with a good, old fashioned, “it’s hard to explain,” because Bluey is busy loading up a motorized space-themed blaster toy with projectiles and Bingo is busy fashioning baby dolls out of beer koozies and tennis balls. After a failed stealth check in the kitchen, Bandit finds himself mixed up in both games.

While Bandit tries to watch a professional wheelchair race on television, he has to babysit Bingo’s children (he is not allowed to stop singing to the children) while staying alert for the next “surprise” attack from cyborg Bluey and her heavy ordnance. We get some fun bits, like Bingo commentating on how much work it is to wash all of the baby bottles and Bluey unleashing waves of ammunition on an innocent garden gnome as she exercises the powers of her new toy, but the most visceral moment is when Bandit finally collapses after knocking over a mop and bucket; his remaining energy drains in time with the mopwater as Bluey continues to pelt him with projectile balls. At this point, Chilli chimes in to say, “That’s what having kids is like!”

But, Bandit is a great dad, so he bounces back and sits by one of Bingo’s beer koozie children during a (pretend) hospital visit. Bandit offers the false child words of encouragement, and unwittingly inspires the lurking Bluey to spare her father the next violent deluge of toy bullets. Furthermore, she steps in to pick up the slack and show her dad that she appreciates his support – and that she has taken those lessons to heart in her own life. As Bandit puts it, “That’s the thing about kids…they are always surprising you.”

All of this would make for a solid and memorable episode of Bluey, but we get one more surprise: a time jump! We find ourselves with an aged-up Chilli and Bandit. Chilli has glasses and both parents are looking a bit scruffier than usual. Chilli answers the door to reveal an adult Bluey! They exchange niceties, and Chilli calls back to “The Sign” as she lovingly jokes with Bandit about how close he came to selling the family home back in the day. But then, the doorbell rings. In a callback to a gag from earlier in the episode, Bandit steps to the door to reveal a child, armed with a familiar toy arm cannon, ready to pounce.

This is where the speculation kicks in. While this reviewer isn’t ready to jump to any conclusions, a logical assumption seems to be that this small child is Bluey’s child. Some folks are already putting a lot of time into wondering aloud whether or not the child’s father might be a character we’ve met (leading candidates are Mackenzie the Border Collie and Bluey’s childhood camping acquaintance (and teenage romance?) Jean Luc, a French-speaking labrador), but this scene also raises questions about what the show might look like when it returns from hiatus.

This isn’t the first flash-forward we’ve ever experienced, so perhaps future Bluey will be more of what we love, but we can’t help but wonder if the next iteration could move the title character into a parenting role. We also get an interesting line of dialogue regarding Bingo. Bluey states that she decided to “pop by” the family home, but Chilli mentions that Bingo is already out in the backyard. Why does Bingo seem to be living with her parents? It could be a simple matter of age or employment, or perhaps Bingo is at home caring for her parents or receiving care from her parents. It could mean almost anything, but that probably won’t stop us from thinking about it. Clearly, fans have a lot to chew on. 

Whatever the future holds (in the artists’ conception of the future in this episode, Brisbane has adopted a more advanced waste management system and invested in futuristic housing units equipped with rooftop gardens), Bluey fans will certainly tune in whenever Ludo studios is ready to carry us back “Down Under.”

Bluey, ‘Surprise!’ is now streaming on Disney+

Randy Allain
Randy Allainhttps://randyallain.weebly.com/
Randy Allain is a high school English teacher and freelance writer & podcaster. He has a passion for entertainment media and is always ready for thoughtful discourse about your favorite content. You will most likely find him covering Doctor Who or chatting about music on "Every Pod You Cast," a deep dive into the discography of The Police, available monthly in the Pop Break Today feed.

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