|Season 1, Episode 1, 2, 3, 4, 5|
|Air date|| Pt. 1, October 4, 1992|
Pt. 2, October 11, 1992
Pt. 3, October 18, 1992
Pt. 4, October 25, 1992
Pt. 5, November 1, 1992
|Written by||Kermit Frazier|
|Directed by||Gilbert Moses|
"Who Burned Mr. Brinker's Store?"
Who are the masked thieves snatching the backpacks of unsuspecting kids in the neighborhood? Are they related to the alien-like people holding nighttime rituals? And who, or what, is this "ghost" that is writing to Jamal?
- Sheldon Turnipseed as Jamal Jenkins
- Blaze Berdahl as Lenni Frazier
- David Lopez as Alejandro 'Alex' Fernandez
- Mayteana Morales as Gabriella 'Gaby' Fernandez
- Tram-Anh Tran as Tina Nguyen
- Marcella Lowery as Grandma "CeCe" Jenkins
- Elizabeth Van Dyke as Doris Jenkins
- Samaria Graham as Danitra Jenkins
- Richard Cox as Max Frazier
- Alex Foster as The Saxophonist
- Peter Wetzler as The Keyboardist
- Gail King as The Guitarist
- Shawn Elliott as Mr. Fernandez
- Cordelia González as Mrs. Fernandez
- Wil Horneff as Calvin Ferguson
- Alice Playten as Voice of Attila the Parrot
- Fran Bill as Mrs. Ferguson
- Cristina Guzman as Samantha
- Felix Rodriguez as Felix
- Kalpana Narayan as The little girl who was robbed by Rocket Ripper
- Jarrod Gutman as Dan/Mighty Masher
- Jason Duchesne as Rocker Ripper
- Jake Patellis as Kool Kicker
- Lizbeth Zindel as Great Gripper
Special Guest Stars
- Samuel L. Jackson as Reggie Jenkins
- Mark Linn-Baker as Police Officer
One evening, twelve-year-old Jamal Jenkins is helping his dad rummage through their cluttered basement for an old traveling trunk that belonged to his his Great-Grandpa Ezra. The trunk will be used for his sister Danitra to pack up and go to college. Jamal jokes, asking if he thinks it will be big enough to hold all of her stuff. His dad jokes saying that it has to be or he'll need to rent a U-HAUL moving truck just to get her to college. The trunk is found on the bottom of an old bookcase. As they are moving and pulling it, an old dusty book that was on top of the trunk falls to the floor. Suddenly in a flash of white and mauve, a presence in the form of a ball appears. The ball quickly flies off all around the room, then as Jamal and his dad are moving the trunk upstairs it stops and lights up the lining of the letters of the word Positively on the back of Jamal's shirt.
Later that night, Jamal is on his way home with a bag from the grocery store. Along the way, he practices some karate moves. He stops when something gets his attention. He notices at the nearby park, there are flashlights flashing all around. Intrigued, he walks up to get himself a closer look to he see and can hear people roaring and growling and dancing around waving flashlights. The people all stop and put their wrists together. The people have strange green scary and scaly faces! Jamal leaves a bit creeped out and they look at him as he leaves as if assuming he spied on them. When he turns around for another look they are all gone.
When Jamal gets home, Danitra tells home that she has given him her old computer and has set it up for him in his room and asks him to be very careful with it. His grandma is thankful he brought the milk and eggs she needed to make the special caramel cake as a going away to college present for his sister Danitra. Jamal is excited to have the computer, and he starts the computer and the blue screen comes up (back in the time a blue screen was a good thing not an RAM crash) as a joke he tells the computer that he is Jamal and asks it if's it's ready for one dynamite dude. Meanwhile the strange light ball presence leaves the letters on Jamal's shirt and flies around to his peg board and lights up the words "Don't fool with the cool!", illuminating the words, Jamal's sees this and backs away scared. Then suddenly the light ball presence quickly enters his computers and types at full speed "HELP! HELP! HELP! HELP!, Where are the children? Are they all right?" He stares in complete shock. He asks it what it's talking about and who it is, but gets no answer.
Confused he calls for his sister to see is she possibly knows what is going on. He points it to her and asks what it is. A bit rudely she says it's a computer, the one she is letting him have. She confirms that the screen is blank and it says nothing, much to his confusion who can still see the message. She gets mad and tells him she'll take the computer back if he can't handle it, and if he wants to keep it he'll have to use it properly and behave properly for a guy his age. She leaves and he thinks it might be one of her jokes, the message is still there, and he unplugs the computer for a while and doesn't think about it anymore. Then when Danitra asks to speak with him about something, the presence enters his backpack as he leaves his bedroom.
Next morning, we see a brother and sister named Alex & Gaby Fernandez walking to their schools, She is complaining because there hasn't been a sunny day in a long time. Then mentions that St. Petersburg, Florida once had 768 days (over two years) of sunny weather. Annoyed, Alex tells her that he'd like to get to school before it's already over. She tells him she needs to tie her shoe. As she is distracted tying her shoe, irritated he walks ahead and turns the corner. Then slowly a tall person in a hideous green scaly mask runs by, and steals her backpack. She is shock and cries out for help to Alex. He has already walked off ahead and she is upset and furious that she was robbed.
Jamal passed by the small park, he was last night and remembers seeing the strange scary people messing and hanging around. Suddenly he bumps into a brunette girl around his age named Lenni Frazier. They both apologize for bumping into each other, as the strange presence leaves his backpack and enters her backpack. Jamal recognizes her as Lenni Frazier she smiles and confirms that's who she is. Lenni, tells him she knows who he is too and that she's seen him around school also. Lenni says she is working on a song before school, he compliments her telling her he remembers her singing at a previous school talent show and tells her she was pretty good. She smiles feeling appreciated and they tell each other they will see each other later.
Jamal examines the small structures of the small park, he finds a green button on the green with the word THABTO on it. Also he finds a blue paper with a message but it's in code and can't make heads or tails of it. It's the most confusing coded message. Lenni is working on her song, the title of it is unconfirmed, but it's obvious that it might either be called "The Kids in the Hood", or "The Right Track". A later story arc revealed that it is called "Time for a Change." She is rehearsing it as she makes it up. Then suddenly a blast of orange light comes streaming out of her backpack behind her. The light was the he ball presence, it appears in orange glowing on her notepad, turning all the words orange. Then rearranging them to say "Where are you, dynamite dude Jamal?" Freaked out she throws her notepad to the ground. Then slowly approaches it with a stick to see it's gone, then suddenly it's back and rearranging the words to a message telling her "Lenni fights for what's right!" Lenni is freaked out and backs away. When it vanishes she takes the notepad back.
When Jamal gets to school, he finds a blue note sticking out of his locker. The note is a threatening message telling him "Near the park after dark you were there so beware!!!. THABTO". A furious Lenni approaches Jamal wondering if he did some magic trick to fool her. Confused, he asks her what she is talking about. She asks him to change the letters around again. Jamal mad himself, he mentions that since this is second time this day she snuck up on him and she probably stuck that note in his locker, too. She looks at the message and says she didn't write it and has no clue who THABTO is and asks if he knows. Jamal says he has no idea, and explains everything that has happened to him. He shows her the message and she cannot understand it either.
Suddenly, as they are looking at the threatening message, the presence zooms over it and flies over to the message board on the far wall. They are both shocked to see it again. It changes the words "Are You Tired Of The Same Old Lunches Day in & Day Out?", to say "Careful After Dark, My Children". When another student is signing a change the lunches petition they notice he is not reacting to it as it is glowing and flashing, so they figure out only they can see it, but they keep quiet about it so no one thinks they are crazy. They want to know how this anomaly is occurring, so Jamal invites her to come over to his house so he can show her where the presence first appeared so they can try to figure it out.
Then in the Bodega (Fernandez grocery store), Gaby explains that the robber took her backpack, because he was just too big and quick for her. Her mother is proud of her for not chasing after him because she might have gotten beaten up. The father is furious about the fact of possibly having to spend money to replace the backpack and school supplies. Then he lectures Alex for not keeping an eye on her at all times, and insists from now on he keeps an eye on her the whole way to school and back to school. Alex agrees that he will keep an eye on his little sister at all times.
Alex is looking after the cash register at his mother's request, when Lenni comes in to buy something. They both know each other from school, too. Lenni comments that Alex Fernandez loves mysteries and is always reading books about detectives and mysteries. There is loud music blaring from upstairs which he slightly complains about. Lenni says it's from her loft and her dad and his band are rehearsing for a show, much to the annoyance of Mr. Fernandez, who complains about having to hear it all of the time. Lenni comes in as their rehearsing ends, and asks permission to visit Jamal for a little while. He gives her permission but to be back before supper time.
That evening, Danitra is all packed and ready to go to University of Pennsylvania and as a joke Jamal reluctantly says goodbye to her as she jokingly calls him "Jammy Jam". Danitra hugs Grandma Jenkins goodbye and take a big lunch on the go with her as she promises she'll visit on Sundays. When Danitra leaves, Grandma Jenkins tells Jamal that soon it will be him going off to college. Jamal laughs and says not for another six years, she tells him that it will fly by in no time. Then Lenni comes over, and she is introduced to Grandma Jenkins, and they go upstairs to work on his computer. He explains on his computer was where it wrote its message to him, but when his older sister saw it she saw nothing. Lenni shows him her notepad and explains that was where she got her message.
The computer is turned on but nothing is happening yet, so to kill time waiting for it to appear again they decide to try and figure out the coded message again. The message says "ZRRGVAT SEVQNL FRCGRZORE GJRYSGU GUR SVANY FRPERG PRERZBAL ORTVAF ERAEBP LINA QENL." Lenni suggests it might be a foreign language like Greek or Russian which neither of them can read or speak. Also, looking at in a mirror makes it even worse. They figure it is unreadable because it is written in a secret code and Alex can help them because he is great with solving codes.
Downstairs, Grandma Jenkins has written up a little grocery list and went to the grocery store. But before she leaves, the presence has taken notice to one item on the list "cornflakes" It comes back to them on the computer asking them "What in the world are cornflakes?" They try to answer it but it doesn't hear them. It writes back why do you not answer me? Then it tells them ANSWER ME! ANSWER ME! ANSWER ME! ANSWER ME! A confused Lenni asks Jamal what they should do, but he does not know either.
The show's narrator explains to the viewers in case they have forgotten what previously happened in the arc. The facts are a lot of strange things have been happening to Jamal, like seeing really weird creatures in the park on his way home one night. Next he got a really weird message on his computer "HELP! HELP! HELP! HELP!, Where are the children? Are they all right?". When he went back to the park to check out where he saw the monsters, he found a strange written code on a piece of blue paper and button that said THABTO. Also THABTO left a threatening warning on his locker telling "Near the park after dark you were there so beware!!!!". Also, other kids in the nearby neighborhoods have been getting their backpacks stolen. Also Lenni saw a strange message appear in her notebook, then she and Jamal saw a message on a bulletin board rearrange to say "Careful After Dark, My Children". So where are these weird messages coming from? Who are the strange creatures Jamal saw? Who is the backpack thief ? Also, what does THABTO mean?
Getting upset they both start shouting at Jamal's computer asking it if it wants them to speak louder. They both don't know what to do, then Jamal's Grandma CeCe who has returned from the grocery store brings them a snack. She asks them if they are all right and what all their shouting was about. Jamal's laughs and says it was just a crazy computer game they were playing. Grandma Jenkins looks at the screen seeing it blank and says what computer game? They both lie and say it was too hard and stopped playing it. She leaves them to enjoy their snack, and they realize just like Danitra, she couldn't see the message either.
Jamal asks it once again who it is and what it wants, then he realizes since it's writing to them maybe they should write back. Jamal asks it who it is, and says it does not remember. They realize it can't hear but it can read and write, next Jamal asks it where it come from and it says it does not know. Lenni asks it, if it's a person or an alien. It tells them it's a person or least it used to be, also it tells them it's a he. Lenni is confused why it's living in the computer. Jamal asks it why it lives in his computer. It asks them what a computer is, then says it feels lost. Lenni writes to it telling it is in Jamal's bedroom in Brooklyn, New York, The United States of America, Earth, The Universe. Reading this, it says it still feels lost and begins to disappear. Then it slowly says it feels lost and lonely and then vanishes.
Jamal asks it to come back and tells it not to be afraid and they care about it, too. They decide to be his friends so he will not feel lonely and they tell him that. Also they tell him that they will write to it. Reading this, it comes back saying thank you and it will write to them too, and they are rejoiced. Then they decide to think up a name for it. At first Lenni thought of Ghost Person, but it didn't make any sense. Then they decide to call him Ghostwriter because "He's a ghost and he writes to us, Ghostwriter." They ask it if they can call him that and it says it likes the nickname and agrees to it. Then a little later, Jamal leaves Ghostwriter a stack of books of about New York, he even leaves a note on top of them telling him that it can zoom through them to get caught up about where he is and Ghostwriter beams through them in a flash.
Lenni makes it home for supper just in time, and she is happy to tell her dad she made two new friends. To keep Ghostwriter's cover, she says she befriended Jamal's grandma who brought them a snack when they were playing computer games. Later that evening when Jamal is relaxing and playing a computer game suddenly Ghostwriter flies by and reads THABTO off the THABTO button. Then at a park, a female (wearing pink you can assume) in a green scaly monster mask slides down the slide. Then she grabs a boy's backpack and runs away. The boy was distracted watching his friend next to him play with his Gameboy. Then he gets up and screams "Hey that's mine!".
Jamal enjoying his computer game, gets startled when his screen goes blank. Then Ghostwriter comes back on with a message from him saying "THABTO AMERICAN FLYER SPORT". Jamal looks at the THABTO button and considers perhaps Ghostwriter may also be THABTO. He asks Ghostwriter, if he is THABTO, and Ghostwriter asks Jamal what a THABTO is. Jamal tells him he thinks it something bad. Ghostwriter writes back in a mad tone saying that he is not bad! Jamal replies saying he knows and he is sorry. Jamal then asks it where it read that, Ghostwriter said on another THABTO, because he can travel from one word to another word.
The next day, Grandma Jenkins seeing Danitra take Great Grandpa Ezra's trunk off to college, made her think of what else is down in the basement such as her father Leonard Harmon's old trumpet. Jamal takes it out and looks at is as Grandma Jenkins gets nostalgic about her father. Grandma Jenkins gives Jamal permission to go to the video arcade but not to stay all day. Before he goes he asks her if she believes in ghosts. She laughs asking him if he is really gonna leave her alone to think about that while he is gone, but she says believes in the good and friendly kind who live in memories. She asks him why he asked and he says he was just thinking.
Jamal meets Alex at the arcade playing an X-Men video game, he's just made the top ten and he has run out of quarters. Nearby at a four player video game, called Double Defenders, the four players are really into it as they yell and cheer with excitement. They are really playing it well to be ready for an arcade tournament on Saturday September 13th at noon. He and Jamal then imagine what it would be like of all the comic book superheroes were real and played against each other at the tournament. Alex bets the X-Men wouldn't need any quarters. Jamal wonders who would win if the Double Defenders played against the Turbo Heads. Alex thinks the Double Defenders would knock them out of the galaxy. Jamal says that the Double Defenders are pretty tough, they have two heads and can see behind themselves and everything. Alex says the Turbo Heads have engines where their brains used to be and lasers by their eye sockets. Hearing this Jamal reconsiders and agrees with him.
Since Alex is all out of quarters he agrees to invite Jamal over to his house to try and see if he can crack the coded message he has. In Alex's bedroom, he examines the message and says there are two different codes. One code where all the letters are replaced with another letter or a number and another where there letters in words are just scrambled around. They try it out in the coded message, GUR can be rearranged to rug and in PRERZBAL he finds Zebra but there is still an P, R and an L left over. Then Alex says it can't be a scrambled letter code because no matter how you change the letters around for QENL you can't make a word because Q and U go together for every Q word in the English language. So it is discovered the coded message is a message where letters are replaced by different letters.
Then Gaby hurriedly runs in and asks Alex to come quickly, because she says she knows where her stolen backpack might be. She says it might be in a nearby junkyard, where her friend found hers. She might be in luck like her friend was because everything was still in it except her lunch money. Before the three went off, Gaby introduced herself to Jamal at Alex's request. Going over to the junkyard, Gaby tells them that four more people in her class have also had their backpacks stolen and their school is starting to get scared. They suspect it is just bigger kids from middle school stealing them, because you can't see their faces because they wear strange masks. Hearing this, Jamal pictures in his head it might be the creatures he saw in the park.
Gaby is relieved to find her backpack with everything still in it, and just like her friend only her lunch money was stolen. Then Gaby insists on going over to tell her friend Tina Nguyen about this. Alex tries to stop her because he needs to keep an eye on her when she has her backpack at their father's request. Gaby says that Tina lives just on the very same block four doors down and Alex lets her go. They find a backpack that says American Flyer Sport and Jamal then remembers that was what Ghostwriter messaged him about earlier.
Suddenly the word Alex, on Alex's Letterman jacket glows green and Jamal freaks out, but not as much as Alex does when he sees it bounces and flying around asking "What is that thing?" as it bounces and flies all over the junkyard. Alex confirms to Jamal that he can indeed see it and it leaves Alex a green message saying "Alex, Lover of Mysteries!". Alex is shocked and and asks what's going on. Jamal tells him that it's Ghostwriter and he's writing to him. Alex is shocked and confused.
The show's narrator explains to the viewers in case they have forgotten what previously happened in the arc. The facts are first, Jamal saw something that looked like monsters in the park. The next day when he went back to the park he found a strange coded message on a piece of blue paper and a button that said THABTO. Second Jamal & Lenni saw something very strange, a message on a bulletin board at school rearranged to say "Careful After Dark, My Children". Plus there is a backpack thief on the loose stealing kids backpacks from various nearby neighborhoods. New facts from the previous part are, Jamal & Lenni made a cool new friend with the ghostly presence and nicknamed him Ghostwriter, who is a ghost that can only read and write and he's trying to help them find out what THABTO means and who is stealing backpacks. Next Jamal asked Alex Fernandez to help solve the code message he has because he thinks it is involved with THABTO. Alex figured out it's a code where letters are replaced by different letters. Then Alex & Jamal helped Gaby look for her stolen backpack in the junkyard and something really weird happened. Ghostwriter revealed itself to Alex, much to Alex's startling shock. There are lots of questions that need answers, such as 1. Who are the monsters Jamal saw in the park? 2. Can they solve the coded message? 3. Who is the backpack thief? 4. What does THABTO mean?
The story resumes with Ghostwriter just writing a message to Alex saying, "Alex, Lover of Mysteries!". Alex is shocked and and asks what's going on. Jamal tells him that it's Ghostwriter and he's writing to him. Alex wonders who Ghostwriter is and thinks Jamal is nuts or something. Then the green message melted off the garage door. Alex thinks that the junkyard is a weird place with stolen backpacks and aliens. Jamal replies that it's not an alien, he's... Ghostwriter. Alex wants Jamal to be serious but Jamal is serious. Then Alex started to ask some crazy questions. Jamal stops him and explains Ghostwriter. He even tells Alex how he helped Jamal with the backpack case and how he found out about the stolen backpack saying "American Flyer Sport" and another THABTO button. This may indicate that the backpack thefts and THABTO are connected. Alex somewhat understands and then he & Jamal went off to return the backpack (to a kid named Felix) and told Lenni about Alex & Ghostwriter. The scene ends with Alex saying "Ghostwriter, what a trip."
Later at Lenni's loft, the three talk about how Ghostwriter's gonna make a difference in their school; like reading & math (probably just word problems although he may do numbers as well). Alex at one point wrote to Ghostwriter if he can give them the answers to a test. Ghostwriter replied with "That would be cheating," though he used only the letter from the question Alex wrote. So the answer at first looked like this: "that wou__ _e c_eating." Alex understands his honestly and Lenni said that he won't look into their diaries if they don't want him to. Alex asks why Ghostwriter left some spaces blank. Jamal says that the letter in the question were the only ones he used. This means that Ghostwriter can only use letters nearby unless he's in the computer which gives him endless possibilities. Alex wrote back saying "Just kidding." Now Lenni asks Ghostwriter if he can help them with the case of the stolen backpacks by finding more THABTO buttons while they continue to try and crack the coded message. Ghostwriter says, "I can try." Then the three make up a special Ghostwriter handshake, the Ghostwriter seal of approval.
Later in Jamal's room, Jamal asks Ghostwriter why he choose him, Lenni & Alex. Ghostwriter's answer is: "Some things you just feel."
Next day, Gaby's doing a video about the backpack thefts with her best friend Tina Nguyen running the camera, all in the Fernandez sibling's room. Jamal & Alex soon enter and met Tina. When Alex first saw her, he was love struck. (Direct Hit, Cupid!) Gaby introduces Tina to the guys. Tina mentions that there are 14 victims in total so far (8 girls & 6 boys) and even mentions about the scaly two headed masks they wear. Gaby realizes that why she thought the one who stole her backpack was running backwards. Jamal gets a flashback of what he saw last week again. Alex then starts to write down the facts so far to remember and for you know who. Gaby angrily asks what Alex is doing. Alex tells Gaby what does it look like he's doing. "This is Tina's story, not yours!" says Gaby. Tina actually doesn't mind. Alex then tells Gaby that a good detective always writes things down like suspects & evidence. "Who says you're a good detective?" asks Gaby. After a brief stare-off. Tina replies with: "Hey cool, a casebook." Alex promises Tina that he can make one sometimes. Tina then leaves and Gaby teases Alex that he likes her. Jamal giggles in response. Alex & Jamal both snap out of it and wonders which store would sell masks & buttons like those. When Alex saw a logo in the back, he says "Right under our noses."
Turns out, these were all sold at the Party Animal store. The Party Animal is a store run by the Ferguson family. So the guys go there in search of more clues with Alex's school rival Calvin Ferguson and his parrot Attila watching the proceedings. Calvin is the son of the store's owners. Calvin tells Alex that he scored a 105 on his Social Studies test. Alex introduced Jamal to Calvin after which they continued their search. Then suddenly, they spot the two headed mask. Shortly after the saw buttons made to order. Thinking that this is hard evidence, Alex writes this new information down in the casebook. Ghostwriter then shows up to remind the boys that he's on the case. Jamal & Alex then came to Calvin and asks him who ordered the button, but Calvin wouldn't answer as a matter of confidentiality. Soon Ghostwriter came back and gives them another clue "THABTO FOUR BUTTONS DAN 555-1966," Alex quickly wrote it. This scene ends with Calvin saying: "Can I help you further?" after Alex closed the book on him. Alex & Jamal runs out to talk about the clue Ghostwriter found and decided to use the phone number as a plan to get more information.
Back at the loft, the three devises a plan to get Dan to tell him why he ordered four buttons & masks while talking to him on the phone. Jamal pretends to be Calvin while Alex pretends to be Attila. When they got him on the phone, Jamal asks Dan for his full name and address with no success. So he asks about the THABTO button Dan ordered. But Dan said he doesn't want to order anymore buttons since there are only four members on the team. Then he hung up. Jamal thinks it was a bust, but the last two things Dan said are actually new facts the team didn't know before.
Next day at school, Lenni asks about four guys in the same jackets, but they are all on the basketball team. Lenni explains that she's feeling too pressured by the THABTO case. Then Ghostwriter writes to Alex & Lenni, "Penco Products, Inc. 163 THABTO." Alex wonders where he saw this before and Lenni asks Ghostwriter what he meant by that with no success. Then Alex realizes when he's about to put his stuff in the locker that "163" is the locker number of a THABTO team member. Alex & Lenni watches the locker to see who owns that locker and if and when he will show up. So far, nothing. After school, Jamal tells his friends that he asked the secretary for the name of the holder of locker #163. No dice, dead end. Soon it is time for Alex to walk Gaby home from school with Lenni & Jamal tagging along.
Later at the bodega, Gaby says that Tina showed the video about the backpack robberies at an assembly in school and the principal told everyone to be careful. Alex says, "We gotta crack that coded message." Gaby asks about the coded message but Alex turns her down to conceal their doings. Then surprisingly, Gaby shows the three her coded message she got from her trivia book in her backpack. It is the same as the other. Her message reads: "ARNG NAQ PYRNA V TBG NJNL URL URL." In their room, Alex reasons with his little sister in an attempt to see the message and get extra help. Gaby resents at first, but eventually gives in. So the team looks at both messages and certain patterns begins to emerge. Gaby spots a so-called single letter word, which is "V". In the English language, the only two letters that double as single letter words are "I" & "A". Alex spots a total of 17 "Rs" in both messages. "E" is the most frequently used letter in the English alphabet. So he thinks that "R" is really "E". So then it is decided that A-M is really N-Z and N-Z represents A-M. Using this information, the gang went to work cracking the code at once. They finished in about no time at all. Gaby's message now says, "Neat and clean I got away. Hey! Hey!" While the other message now reads, "Meeting Friday September Twelfth. The final secret ceremony begins renroc yvan dray." The last three words are also in code despite the gang taking four days to crack the first. Gaby's feels tired and her eyes hurts from the codes. So she went to her bed. Meanwhile Alex, Lenni & Jamal huddle to tell each other that they can ask Ghostwriter to help them some more. But they have to write it down since he can't hear them. Alex begins to think about how they are going continue to hide from Gaby to keep her nosing into their business. Besides, Ghostwriter never wrote to her (or so they think). Part three ends with Gaby screaming and jumping out of bed.
The show's narrator explains to the viewers in case they have forgotten what previously happened in the arc. The facts are first, Strange things have been going on, like Jamal seeing weird looking creatures in the park. Then later he found a coded message and a button that said THABTO. Also a lot of kids in the nearby neighborhoods have gotten their backpacks stolen. Then Ghostwriter recruited Alex to the team as well, and Ghostwriter is trying to help them find out who the backpack thief is. They're pretty sure it has something to do with THABTO. Now the new facts from the previous part are. 1. Tina is interviewing the backpack victims for her school paper. 2. At the Party Animal store, they got another important clue about THABTO. The clue is that Ghostwriter found a paper that a boy named Dan left. Dan ordered four buttons with THABTO printed on them and left his phone number with the store. When they called him they found out the THABTO's are a team of four members. 3. Ghostwriter sent a message that revealed a THABTO member had a locker number at their school. 4. They finally cracked the coded message, and figured out what letters replaced the different letters. The last thing is that end of the message has another small code to figure you. Can they figure out when the secret ceremony is? Will they be able to stop the backpack robberies? Or will the thieves get away scot-free?
The story picks up with Gaby suddenly jumping from her side of the bedroom screaming in fear. They all look in her side of the room to find a message floating in the air from Ghostwriter. The message says "Gaby thirsts for _no_ledge". Lenni is confused at first by what it means by _no_ledge, then Ghostwriter takes a K from a big plastic crayon shaped coin holder from one wall. Then takes a W from a painting from another wall and adds them to the blank spaces to form "Gaby thirsts for knowledge", because Gaby is smart and she always wants to know things. Gaby looking utterly confused, is approached by the three of them who tell her to sit down and they explain it to her.
Then at school, near the end of the day, Alex keeps a watchful eye around locker 163. Then as a young handsome boy comes to it, Alex acts casual drinking from the water fountain so he won't be suspected of spying on him. Then slowly Alex follows him all the way to the video arcade, where he meets his three friends, they are begin to play the Double Defenders' video game together. Alex the writes new clues he spots in his casebook. Clues such as wearing army belts, something kids don't usually wear for the heck of it. They love to play the Double Defenders' video game. Also addressing each other as names of the Double Defenders, Rocket Ripper, Mighty Masher, Kool Kicker and Great Gripper. When Alex and Gaby have Lenni and Jamal over a little later he informs them all, of the new facts clues he's discovered and that the video arcade is where the kid from locker 163 likes to hang out after school.
Gaby mentions that the Double Defenders' names sound just like something a girl a told her when she interviewed her. Gaby says that a girl she interviewed, was robbed by one of them who's double mask fell off, the others shouted "Run Rocket Ripper run!". Alex mentions that the Double Defenders' player kept calling each other by the names of the Double Defenders. Gaby figures out that the Double Defenders' players are the same people stealing the backpacks. Jamal figures that since they are wearing double face masks, they're trying to be like the two-headed Double Defenders heroes. Lenni mentions that there are four thieves, because they made four THABTO buttons, and they are four Double Defenders' players. Alex says it's got to be them, Lenni says that have to prove it by catching them in the act. Alex says either that or crack the second code.
Jamal suggests that the look up the book series about Double Defender, because perhaps the THABTOs got their ideas from the book and he plans to check it out. Jamal tries reading through a Double Defender novel, but the story is confusing and frustrating. He goes to his computer to write to Ghostwriter. He tells Ghostwriter "Ghostwriter, I need help". Ghostwriter writes back "Help Jamal", he thinks Ghostwriter is being silly at first and writes to him "No, no, I need REAL Help. Ghostwriter replies back with "Help Jamal!", in Lenni's Loft, Lenni and her dad and playing keyboard together. Then after they finish, she notices on the fridge that the letter magnets on it rearrange to say "Help Jamal", confused she wants to know what's wrong and phones the Jenkins house, but the line is busy. Then in the Bodega, Alex is stocking a shelve with boxes of Jolly Jack's Pirate Munch. Then the words on the box rearrange to say "Help Jamal", Alex is confused and goes over to speak with Gaby who also got a message too and they decide to go see him.
After getting no answer on the phone yet, Lenni gets permission to visit Jamal very briefly. The three of them all appear to Jamal's bedroom and inform them that they all got a message to "Help Jamal!", Jamal realizes that what Ghostwriter meant when he kept saying it, he was contacting the others. They realize how cool and useful it is to have instant messages sent to each other. Because according to Alex, it is better than the telephone and they can communicate no matter where they are. They decide on Jamal's suggestion, which is that if they all need to get together for a meeting, they'll use the word RALLY and after writing Rally they'll put their first initial of their name so they can tell who is calling it.
Jamal then tells them he needed their help because he having a lot of difficulty trying to understand the Double Defenders books. Lenni mentions if the could just solve the last three worded code, then they would know when the ceremony begins. Alex suggests they split up: he and Lenni will work on decoding the messages, while Jamal and Gaby will look through the books. Jamal reluctantly agrees, while Gaby encourages him to give it a try. Alex tries a scrambled letter code again, from RENROC YVAN DRAY. As it turns out, each word was written backwards, for he eventually gets Corner Navy Yard. So they find out the secret ceremony will be in the Corner Navy Yard. They are excited until Gaby points out they don't know what time though and they get discouraged because they have to check the books again. To speed things up, Jamal asks Ghostwriter where the Double Defenders meet.
When Ghostwriter zooms and zips through the books, he tells them to look in the art of Double Defense section. Alex reads that when the Double Defenders give each other secret messages they arrange the time for their meetings by adding up all the words in the first two sentences then subtracting one. Jamal counts eight words then minus one to equal seven in the big coded message. They rejoice and cheer, when the find out the final secret ceremony will be in the corner navy yard on Friday September 12 at 7pm. The way they plan to get the proof that the THABTOs are the backpacks thieves, is that Alex is going to crash the secret ceremony. Alex plans to go in disguise as the kid from locker 163. Gaby cries that he'll be an extra guy and they'll know. Alex suggests writing the kid in locker 163 a fake message to trick him into believing the ceremony is cancelled.
Jamal and Lenni make the fake message to the locker 163 kid, the messages says "OUR FINAL CEREMONY IS OFF FOR NOW. YOU MUST MAKE NO CONTACT WITH OTHERS UNTIL YOU RECEIVE FURTHER NOTICE. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY TOP SECRET!!". Then as they are about to translate into in the THABTO code, Lenni realizes with so many words to translate it will take a very long time and will not get it into the locker before school closes. Therefore they shorten the message to say "CEREMONY IS OFF. MAKE NO CONTACT WITH OTHERS UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. TOP SECRET!!" In code the message says "PRERZBAL VF BSS ZNXR AB PBAGNPG JVGU BGUREF HAGVY SHEGURE ABGVPR GBC FRPERG".
That Friday night, Jamal, Lenni, Alex and Gaby head down to the corner navy yard. Jamal, Lenni and Gaby hide to the side to avoid being seen. Seeing the other THABTOs come in they know they're in the right place and the right time. Alex then sneaks in wearing a double scaly mask and a customized punk outfit. Inside the big boat shed the meeting is commencing, but when hearing their "brother" didn't show earlier they find out their fake message worked. Alex is ready to infiltrate the meeting, but Lenni and Jamal are not sure it is too safe. Jamal plans to tape record the whole ceremony on his handheld tape recorder. Alex says he has to, because if the fourth person doesn't show up there might not be a ceremony. Then Alex puts on the mask and goes to the middle to join the other three THABTOs, as he goes in Jamal begins tape recording.
Alex walked in backwards, and the leader falls for it, saying finally their "brother" is finally here. They greeted each other by saying "Double welcome." Shining flashlights at their masks, the leader stood before them and they repeated him as he said "With our quarters by our side, we'll do a Double Defenders ride. Then the tournament is ours. All will bow down to our powers. Then know the THABTOs are next to none. TWO HEADS ARE BETTER THAN ONE!". Then they all danced around and screamed and roared. Then, they all signed in by their chosen names. Hearing this, Gaby was worried because she didn't know what name Alex was supposed to be. Jamal worriedly says he didn't know and Gaby said neither does Alex! The leader signed in as Mighty Masher, the yellow shirt person signed in as Rocket Ripper, Alex was asked to sign next and took a chance and picked Great Gripper. Suddenly the girl took off her mask and screamed Hey I'm the Great Gripper! Revealing to the THABTOs that he was not one of them, but a spy.
The show's narrator explains to the viewers in case they have forgotten what previously happened in the arc. The facts are Lenni & Jamal have a cool new friend named Ghostwriter who can do awesome things with words, such as rearranging letters in words to write different words. Also thieves called THABTOs who wear two faced masks have been stealing school kids backpacks in nearby neighborhoods. Also the team has cracked most of the code and found out they were planning a secret ceremony. Also Ghostwriter has recruited Gaby to join the team as well. Some new facts from the previous part. 1. The team found out the THABTOs are a four member team who loves playing the Double Defenders video game. They idolize the Double Defenders and try to be like them by wearing two faced scaly masks and address each other by the Double Defenders' names. 2. They did research on the Double Defenders and with Ghostwriter's quick help, they cracked they rest of the coded message. 3. They found out the ceremony would be Friday night, at 7pm in the Corner Navy Yard. 4. They wrote a fake coded message to one of the THABTOs to trick him into not showing up to the ceremony and Alex planned to infiltrate the meeting disguised as the missing THABTO. However, it turns out Alex doesn't know which Double Defender he is. Now that he needs to sign in under the name, he guessed the wrong name and has been exposed as a spy!
When we last saw Alex, he is in a great deal of trouble. Two of the THABTOs (the ones the did make it to the ceremony) both signed in under their Double Defenders names. Alex is the next to sign in, but he signed in under the wrong name which was Great Gripper. (The girl is Great Gripper.) The leader Mighty Masher wants to know who the impostor is and took off Alex's mask. Great Gripper says that they've been double crossed. Alex nervously chuckles, gives back the pen & scroll and tells them that he'll catch them later. And then he runs away and his friends with him. The THABTOs start to chase after the team. The team splits up with the Fernandez siblings hiding from Rocket Ripper and leaving the shed, hoping that Jamal & Lenni made it out okay. Meanwhile, Jamal & Lenni run to a dead end fence. They are trapped until Jamal gives Lenni a footing to help her climb over the fence. He even gives her the tape. At last the other two THABTOs finally catch up to Jamal and they recognize him from last week. They tell him that this is his second interference against the THABTOs. Apparently the warning last week wasn't clear enough for Jamal as stated by Great Gripper. He's looking to get permanently jacked up, until he slammed their heads down allowing him to escape with the THABTOs on his tail again.
Later at Lenni's loft, Jamal arrives and tells them how he escaped. Jamal says that he was like a running-back punching though the lines -- zip-zap and he was gone. The THABTOs somehow stopped chasing him before he reached the loft. Alex apologizes for picking the wrong name. Jamal guesses that Alex couldn't be cool for anything. Alex confirms to Jamal that the whole chant is on tape and Gaby finished writing it down. The team & Ghostwriter read the whole chant and explain the significance of the chant. That is when they found the solution that the THABTOs really are the backpack thieves but they only stole money from the packs just so they can get quarters to play Double Defenders and that they plan to win the Double Defenders Tournament tomorrow. Ghostwriter highlights the starting letters of the words in the last sentence, "Two heads are better than one." T-H-A-B-T-O which spells THABTO. So the team works up a plan to catch the THABTOs.
The next day at the tournament in the arcade while the THABTOS are playing Double Defenders as usual, the team arrives with the victims of the backpack thefts. Jamal reminds a girl victim that she saw the face of one of the robbers as she told Gaby and heard somebody call him Rocket Ripper. The girl says yes and Jamal yells out, "Run Rocket Ripper Run!" Rocket Ripper turns around and instantly the girl recognizes him. Rocket Ripper tries to deny it. Kool Kicker informs him that the game is over. Mighty Masher tells the kids at the door that they have an important tournament to do and the onlookers are just ruining it for them. Jamal asks them who lost this great looking button (the THABTO button Jamal found). He knows it couldn't be Dan... or could it. Mighty Masher who probably is Dan turns around in surprise. The team them tells the THABTOs that they know they did it. Gaby even show them the message left in her backpack to represent all the messages left in the stolen backpacks. Lenni tells them that they were the ones who told Kool Kicker not to go to the final ceremony last night. And Jamal plays back the chant. Realizing that their plan is now exposed and after hearing the victimized kids angrily saying that they want their money back, the THABTOs try to make a getaway out back. But they are briefly stopped by two more kids. So they ran to the front. Jamal lets them getaway and tells the others to let them go. But as they are about to run out the door, the police came in and ended their possible escape. The leader explains why they did what they did. Alex comes to them and tells them that they are not superheroes; they are super-cowards. The police arrests the THABTOs, take them away and call their parents. The head officer says to the victimized children that the THABTOs will given them their money back real soon. All the kids cheer and rejoice. Now with the case solved and nothing else to do, Lenni, Alex and Gaby all return to their homes, leaving Jamal all alone in the arcade.
Later Jamal returns home and went into his room. Ghostwriter then came and says hello to Jamal. Jamal asks Ghostwriter if he is with the others and he says he's with everybody. So Jamal then gets an idea. He picks up his money and goes to the Party Animal store. Once there, he buys four pens and different colored neck pen holders to go with them. All while Mrs. Ferguson could not stop talking about how great her son is to a customer. Mrs. Ferguson goes off to prepare for dinner, leaving Calvin to ring up Jamal's purchase of the pens and their holders. Calvin mentions that there's a lot of buzz about their capturing of the THABTOs and he wants to know how they did it. Jamal replies with "That for us to know and you to find out." Calvin thinking that they're up to something vows to find out one day, but Jamal doubts it and leaves after he pays for his merchandise.
When Jamal returned to his home and hoping his idea will work, he writes down RALLY and the letter J (his initial) afterwards. This is the first official rally call. One by one, the others respond to it (Gaby got notification from her trivia book and Lenni got called via an X-Men comic book) and comes back to his room. The others think that it's another case, but Jamal explains that he's got an idea and wants his friends to officially become a team. He gives each of them a pen he bought and tells them that they can write to Ghostwriter anytime, anyplace. Alex writes all the things describing Ghostwriter. Some of which also describe each of the team members. 1. He cares about children. 2. He like to solve mysteries. 3. He fights for what's right. 4. He thirsts for knowledge. And finally, 5. He's a friend. Alex thinks that if they can keep on writing about Ghostwriter, they can eventually solve the biggest mystery of them all... Who is Ghostwriter? When Lenni asks about a name for the team, Jamal calls his team, The Ghostwriter team. Then Jamal went into his closet to grab an old binder notebook. He found it in the basement where he first accidentally released Ghostwriter. Grandma Jenkins said according to Jamal, that ghosts live in memories and good old things. So he decide to keep everything they know about Ghostwriter in there starting with what they wrote. Gaby then writes to Ghostwriter, "Do you like the name, Ghostwriter team?" Sure enough, he does. Jamal catches him in the notebook and he opens it back up to reveal, "Our Ghostwriter Team Mystery Book". The story ends with the team saying... "Let's hear it for Ghostwriter and teamwork and mysteries and lots and lots of adventures." And that is how the whole thing got started. THE END.
- This was not the pilot story. The original pilot was "Who Burned Mr. Brinker's Store?" However, it was later decided that a proper pilot storyline be produced at the last minute. Such things can be shown to see that it wasn't the original pilot. And here they are:
- The cast of the team all look as old as they do for the rest of the first season. In "Who Burned Mr. Brinker's Store?" they all looked a couple months younger possibly because it was filmed months ahead in advance.
- The setting inside rooms of houses look the same for the rest of the show because it was being filmed on sound stages. While in "Who Burned Mr. Brinker's Store?" the rooms in Jamal's and Lenni's houses looked much different because it was being filmed in real houses and buildings.
- Ghostwriter is shown how he arrives into the show, introduces himself saying what he remembers, and forms the team beginning with Jamal, Lenni, Alex and Gaby.
- Ghostwriter confirms that he is a HE when in "Who Burned Mr. Brinker's Store?" Jamal says at Tina's Orientation that it could even be a she.
- They introduce their method of how to all get together and meet by calling a Rally meeting by including the first letter of their name of writing the word rally.
- Tina is just introduced as Gaby's friend and doesn't become part of the team until that particular next episode.
- The rap Lenni did in the first part was later heard in the second part of "Over a Barrel".
- This was the first of only two five part story arcs produced, The second one was "To the Light". as all the others were four-part episodes.
- This arc was the first and last time Calvin Ferguson was portrayed by Wil Horneff. As of "To Catch A Creep", he was portrayed for the remainder of the series by Joey Shea.
- The use of the Ghostwriter handshake that Jamal, Lenni and Alex made up was never seen again.
- Originally at the time when this first aired, after part five there was a fan club offer. In which the show's narrator informed viewers that there was a chance for fans to mail in for a free exclusive Ghostwriter glow in the dark light switch sticker.
- Ghost Story is known as the first mystery of the show, despite it not being the first filmed, and thus the series comes full circle when the last mystery of the series, Attack of the Slime Monster, also deals with a textured, googly-eyed face, albeit in doll form. Both also involve intense chase scenes and slogans from the grotesque faces.