Day 40. That's the last one, in case you're keeping count. Jonathan summons the kids to the middle of the town, where they all stand in a tight, artfully arranged crescent as Jonathan pulls something out to show them: it's a Gold Star that looks to be about two and a half times the size of the others. That's just a rough estimate on my part, mind you. And then there's a second, and a third, and a lot of oohing and aahing from the kids. Jonathan summons Alex up to lift one, and as Alex holds it up so we can see it's the size of his head, Jonathan tells him he's holding $50,000 worth of gold. It's not just a Gold Star; it's a GOLD STAR. And any one of them can take one of the three home. Well, except Taylor, obviously.
Jonathan tells them that the GOLD STARs will be given away at the last Town Hall meeting today, but first the town has to earn them. And here's how. Today will be the "first annual Bonanza City Bonanza," celebrating everything they've done. "First annual," that's a good one. He tells them they have one hour to "cook, decorate, and clean the town from top to bottom." Which is not actually the case, because production has just planted three signs at different locations around the town, giving them certain tasks. If they get them all done, the Council gets to give two GOLD STARs to the hardest workers, and one to anyone, whatever that means. Sophia gives an interview in which she sounds like she's just upgraded from two packs a day to four and says, Fifty thousand dollars. That changes your life forever. It's a gargantuous amount." I don't know about changing your life forever, but it's certainly more than I've ever earned in a month and change.
Jonathan clicks his stopwatch, and the town scatters. Sophia, naturally, leads a large group into the kitchen and reads the sign out loud. It instructs them to turn a big pile of dough on the table into spaghetti, and a big tub of tomatoes into enough tomato sauce to fill a five-gallon jar. Everyone gets to work loading dough into these pasta cannons that have been set up for the purpose. When kids on one end push the plungers, kids on the other end catch the extruded noodles on plates and dump them into a kettle. I assume the stuff isn't actually going to have to be edible, because it looks disgusting. Like an ostrich shat through a screen door. While Sophia leads that effort, Zach is leading a small crew of tomato-squashers. They're being none too neat, and Zach asks Maddy, "What's worth more, that shirt, or fifty thousand dollars?" My question: Who the fuck is Maddy? The noodles are finished, but the sauce has to be heated in the microwave one big bowl at a time and then dumped into the jar. "Taylor made the right choice," Zach says of the microwave. Hey, I get it! This is like a culmination of everything that...oh, fuck it. The jar is filled to overflowing, and everyone runs out of the now-trashed kitchen with forty minutes left. Is anyone going to have to actually cook in that pit now? "Hurry!" screams Jonathan, holding a GOLD STAR aloft.