In this week’s new episode of Sydney to the Max, both of their best friends turn 13. Titled “The Bat Mitzvah Planner,” Sydney’s story finds her helping Olive plan for her special day while Max in the past tries to make Leo’s birthday special. Here’s a recap of both sides of this episode’s story.
Olive comes into Reynold’s Rides with her mom and Max tells her how excited he is for her bat mitzvah. She tells him her theme is “Doo-Wop Days,” inspired by a musical TV show from the 1950’s. Talking all about her plans, she tells Sydney that she’s going to have food served on spinning vinyl records. Grandma Judy walks in wearing a poodle skirt, saying it’s what she’s wearing to DJ the event. But when the rest of the amigas show up, Sophia tells Olive the bad news: Another girl had the exact same theme at her bat mitzvah last Saturday, food served on vinyl records and all.
At Olive’s house, Olive is upset and her mom reminds her that the important part of her bat mitzvah is the ceremony, not the party theme. The amigas promise to help Olive come up with a new theme, but everything they suggest has been done recently. She sadly hugs her stuffed llama and Sydney suggests the theme be “A Night in Peru” so she can have a llama theme. Olive is excited, telling them that they have 4 days to retheme the event, but then realizes that she will be busy with meetings with her rabbi and writing her speech. She’s nervous that they will be able to pull it off, but the amigas are on board with helping her out.
Sydney planned to meet Olive at her temple to help her party plan after her rabbi meeting, but Olive isn’t there. The rabbi invites Sydney into her office and explains why a bat mitzvah is so important, representing a young adult stepping into the community and becoming responsible for making the world a better place. She tells Sydney that Olive is expected to read a section from the Torah and then give a speech about how it is relevant to her own life. She tells Sydney that for some kids, the party that surrounds the ceremony becomes more important than the ceremony itself, but Sydney says Olive wouldn’t do that. Her phone rings and she steps into the hall to hear Olive telling her that she won’t make it to meet with the rabbi because she’s visiting party supplies stores to find llama stuff. She asks Sydney to tell the rabbi for her.
The next day at Reynold’s Rides, Olive comes in excited because she found yamakas with llamas on them. Sydney tells her about her conversation with the rabbi and that she needs to focus on the ceremony too.“Trust me, Syd, I’ve got it under control,” Olive tells her, but then confesses that she hasn’t written her speech yet. She’s planning to do it that afternoon but when Grandma Judy comes in wearing a llama costume, her new DJ outfit, Olive asks where she got it and Judy tells her the name of the party supplies store, saying they had a lot of llama decorations. Olive runs out to grab her mom to take her to the store.
That evening, Sydney goes to Olive’s house and finds her room full of llama decorations, including llama glow sticks. It’s raining outside and Olive talks about her rain contingency plan. Sydney asks about her speech and Olive grabs a printed paper, saying she wrote it about how her party theme was stolen but now she gets a better party. Sydney tells her she doesn’t think that is deep enough for her bat mitzvah, but Olive disagrees.
It’s the day of Olive’s bat mitzvah and she’s over at Sydney’s house with her mom, with everyone helping stuff goodie bags. Her mom thanks Max and Judy for helping, saying her husband and sons are away at a hockey tournament and will get home just in time for the bat mitzvah. But when the rain starts to thunder, Olive’s mom gets a phone call from the rabbi telling her that roads are flooded and she won’t be able to make it for the bat mitzvah.
Olive is upset and her mom says they will reschedule, but she insists that it takes a year to book a venue. Max tells Olive about his 18th birthday party which coincided with the biggest snowfall in the history of Portland. Sydney suggests that they keep her bat mitzvah date and do it online, with her mom saying she has all of the decoration in her trunk. Sydney takes the guest list to contact everyone and send them an evite.
Holding her bat mitzvah virtually, the rabbi is on a screen behind Olive as all of her guests watch on screens, including her dad and brothers. The rabbi says she’s proud of Olive’s strength, determination and courage not to delay her bat mitzvah. Olive’s Torah passage is about Leah, a girl who found strength in the worst of times. She talks about how she almost couldn’t have her bat mitzvah, but her friends and family came together to make it happen. Instead of gifts, she asks everyone to donate to a local relief fund for people impacted by the storm.
After the party, Olive changes into a sparkly dress and finds the living room decorated with llamas. The screen with the rabbi now has a real llamma on a live stream in front of a sign that says “Mazel Tov Olive.” “It’s llamazing!,” Olive tells them as Judy plays a llama song and they all dance.
Max commends Leo on getting a nice boombox as a top prize at the arcade, asking his best friend what he wants to do on Saturday for his 13th birthday. Turning on the radio, they hear that MC Gavel is in town and will be filming a music video on Saturday. There’s going to be a contest and the winner will get to meet him on set. They decide to try to win the contest, doing the “Gavel Time” dance.
In the living room waiting for the contest, Judy makes peanut butter sandwiches for the boys, saying it’s “Brain food.” When it’s time to call, Leo uses the landline and keeps getting a busy signal. Max runs to get Judy’s cell phone to see if he can get through while Leo continues to redial. Taking a bite of sandwich, Leo gets through and becomes caller number 10, but with peanut butter on the roof of his mouth, the radio host can’t understand his answer and they go to the next caller.
Back at the arcade, Leo is bummed and nothing Max suggests will cheer him up, not even going to the movies and getting pizza for his birthday. Max suggests that they go to the place where the music video is being filmed and try to meet MC Gavel anyway. Leo agrees to try it with him.
Finding a bouncer guarding the door, Max pretends that they’re the contest winners and he tells them the winners are already inside. He tells them he’s heard every excuse in the book, including that it’s a birthday, and he’s not letting them in. Max then tells him that Leo was the first caller number 10 but he got peanut butter stuck to the roof of his mouth and the host couldn’t understand him. The bouncer laughs, saying he’s never heard that before and he goes inside to see if he can get them in. When he returns, he tells them that he can let just one of them in. Max tells Leo to have a great time, telling him he would be happier knowing that Leo got to meet MC Gavel. “Thanks Max, you’re a great friend,” Leo tells him as he does the “Gave Time” dance on his way in.
Sydney to the Max will return on May 14th with a new episode called “Man! I Feel Like a Genius.” Here’s the official episode description from Disney Channel:
When Olive is moved into an advanced math class, Syd pushes to be in the same class but quickly realizes math isn’t really her strongest subject. Back in the ’90s, Max retires his skateboard for roller skates to impress Alisha, but he doesn’t know how to skate.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.