Space Needle Shot #43. The End van is driving somewhere at night. I think we've seen that shot, like, ten times this season already. Then, for a change of pace, we see The End van driving toward the Space Needle, just in case you thought the kids were on a road trip to Oregon or something. Oh, they were just going to The End offices. I don't understand how that works. Do they get to keep the van at their house and drive it anywhere? Or does the van come and pick them up for business-related outings? I'm guessing the latter. They all (except David) have a meeting with Phil, the head honcho. He tells them that he got a call from REI, and some of them need to go and meet with them because they are interested in doing advertising with the station. So now they are ad reps in addition to modulators? Whatever, like we don't know it's all a big ruse to introduce the big vacation of the season. Phil gives the info to Irene and asks them to "report back to [him] on what it was about. Curious to know." Ooh, he's such a good actor. Like he didn't know the whole time.
Nathan, Irene and Rebecca head to REI for their meeting. The Squiggly Hip Font of Character Introduction (tm djb) informs us that they are meeting with "Kelsey, REI Promotion Administrator." Kelsey is like the anti-Aubbie. She has a similar 1998 post-Rachel hairdo, but unlike Aubbie, she makes it look good, and she's not fucking dour all the time. Kelsey gives them a little tour of the REI store, which was cutting-edge retail at the time -- it was all about the "full experience," so you not only can buy rock-climbing shoes, but you can test them out on the rock-climbing wall in the store. I was working for a major retailer during this time period, and everyone was trying to be like REI. Anyway, if you don't know, they sell outdoorsy gear. The kids meet with Kelsey and Jerry, the REI Retail Director. Man, could these REI people look any more wholesome? They practically have milk moustaches. Jerry explains that REI wants to start an "adventure travel company." Kelsey tries to build suspense, by saying that they want the kids to have some travel experience, and be able to promote the company the right way. Then the crew does her no favors by switching to a super-tight close-up of her face, as she says they're sending them on an REI Adventures trip to Nepal. Rebecca gasps, and Nathan has no reaction, but you can see the gears turning as he thinks, "Nepal? Where the fuck is Nepal?" Kelsey helps him out by saying, "Himalayas, you got it!" Irene and Rebecca are all, "No way!" In an interview, Nathan says that he never in his wildest dreams thought he would go to Nepal. Mostly because he couldn't find it on a map. Nathan fishes for more information, asking Kelsey, "Not Nepal, Arizona or anything?" Finally Kelsey hooks them up with a map and shows them exactly where they are going.