The BSC is putting together a bulletin board of old photographs: "Stoneybrook through the Years." While working on the project, Claudia and Dawn venture in the secret passage and the Schafer/Spier house. The passage looks nothing like I imagined it: there are windows! And insulation! It looks like an attic instead of the dark, narrow, rickety hallway-sort of thing in my head. But the entry looks pretty good to me. It's a panel that pull out from Dawn's wall, which is smaller than I imagined (I'd thought of it as the entire wall) but just a panel makes more sense.
Anyway, Claudia finds an old note in the passage. Apparently there was some feud between sister years ago over a lost diamond ring. The girls decide to hold a seance to try to tell the letter-writer's sister that the lost ring wasn't her fault. The girls find a broken diamond ring in the passage, which they assume is the one the letter meant. Janine points out that the letter has transparent tape on it, which the BSC learns was invented in 1930. Since this episode is from the early 1990s, the girls might now be grown adults and the BSC can return the ring, ending the feud that might still be going on between the girls. A jeweler confirms the style of ring was popular in the 50s, and he happens to recognize the name from the letter, and gives the girls some more information. They track the sisters down to a flower shop they now own. The sisters still disagree over who lost it, but their feud was over decades ago.
Several of the girls are having trouble with their sisters. Becca, Karen, and Vanessa are feeling ignored by Jessi, Kristy, and Mallory, respectively, and Janine is getting on Claudia's nerves. While in the books Claudia can come off as ungrateful to Janine, here Janine is actually very dismissive and belittling of Claudia. Claudia calls Janine out on this, and then later graciously thanks Janine for her tip about the tape. During their conversation Janine clearly makes an attempt to not talk down to Claudia. And Janine is busy...baking cupcakes? She explains that they're for the sisters picnic that Jessi, Mallory, and Kristy planned for their little sisters (Stacey invites Charlotte Johanssen too), because Janine has a little sister, too. The sisters from the flower shop also show up to the party.
Things I noticed:
The captioning spells Kristy as "Christy" in the first scene. Also, Johanssen is spelled "Johansson."
Vanessa Pike has a brief appearance, and she wears glasses and rhymes, and later on Margo and Claire show up, but with red hair instead of brown. Emily Michellel, Becca Ramsey, and Squirt show up too. (A pair of twins in matching frilly dresses walks by in another scene...the Arnolds humoring their mother?)
Kristy's actor is wearing braces on her teeth.
Funny! Claudia holds up some broccoli and declares it "Dawn's wedding bouquet." Dawn puts some carrots up to her ears and says they're Claudia's earrings.
The girls have thick, red plastic flashlights, just like I did in the 80s.
Special guest stars: Kelly Bishop as Flora, Ashley Chase as Karen, Jane Chen as Janine, Najah Dupree as Becca, Stephi Lineburg as Vanessa, Maeve McGuire as Bettina