Season: One — Episode: 4 Director: Henry Sarwer-Foner — Writer: Brent Butt & Andrew Carr — Aired: February 11, 2004 — Viewers (millions): 1.10 Summary: In an effort to impress Lacey, Brent agrees to babysit Wanda's troubled six-year-old, Tanner, and the town takes an unusual interest in the outcome. Lacey comes to Brent's rescue but not for the reasons Brent thinks. Oscar tries not to destroy the gas station in Brent's absence and Hank deals with his own disturbing memory of babysitting Tanner.
At Corner Gas, Oscar complains to Brent about all the impulse items on the checkout counter. Brent remembers that Oscar used to have cigarettes on the counter when he ran the station. Oscar is surprised that kids can't buy cigarettes anymore and asking Davis if this is true, he doesn't know. Later, Wanda has a toothache and Brent discovers she hasn't been to a dentist in over a decade. Indicating her dentist is a "psycho", Brent helps her find another one in the phone book. However, since the dentist is in Regina, Wanda needs someone to babysit her son, Tanner. Alarmed when Wanda asks him to do it, Brent says Tanner is a brat and pretending a customer has arrived, he leaves.
Your days of outwitting 7 year olds are over.
At the Ruby Cafe, Lacey serves Brent a chili cheese dog. Wanda arrives and mentioning her toothache and need for a babysitter, Lacey is surprised to hear no one in town will help. Lacey comments that men who like kids are attractive which prompts Brent to offer to babysit. Thanking him, Wanda leaves. Brent asks Lacey if she'd like to join him babysitting Tanner, but Lacey indicates she doesn't like kids. At the Dog River Hotel, Hank bets on sports with Paul. Brent and Lacey arrive and Hank teases Lacey that she doesn't understand betting. Learning that Brent agreed to babysit Tanner, Hank, Paul, Wes and Wade make bets that Brent will get hurt. Hank recalls a horrific experience when he babysat Tanner and shows Brent that pinball playing Phil was traumatized by Tanner.
Now concerned, Brent visits the Dog River Public Library to get a book on child psychology. Librarian Alice shushes Brent and lends him the only book the library has on the subject, from 1969. Having left Oscar in charge of the station, Brent returns with the book. Oscar's opinion is that kids needs to be kept off-balance with antics. Brent recalls one such incident from his childhood and Oscar agrees to continue working at the station while Brent babysits. Arriving at Wanda's house, she gives Brent a list of emergency numbers. Greeting Tanner, he throws jam in Brent's face. Karen arrives at the Hotel and initially wanting to shut down the betting, she joins in when she hears it concerns harm to Brent from Tanner. Hank begins to worry about Brent's safety.
Want a piece a this?
With Wanda now gone, Brent can't find Tanner. At Corner Gas, Oscar tells Jane to leave after she tries to buy candy from the counter, thinking Brent sent her. Pleading with Tanner to show himself, Tanner hits Brent in the head with a toy car. At the Hotel, Davis has now joined in on the betting. Seeing mayo being put on a sandwich reminds Hank of his trauma with Tanner. Calling off his bets and rebuking everyone, he leaves to help Brent but returns, asking for help as he's locked his keys in his truck. After being hit with multiple cars, Brent vows to scare Tanner. Oscar throws out a customer who takes a penny from the "take a penny" tray. Wearing a mask and carrying a knife, Brent surprises Tanner but doesn't scare him. Oscar chases out customers who are looking at magazines.
I'm not playin' your sick game anymore.
Lacey arrives at Wanda's and finds Brent's clothes in shreds and watches as a toy car hits him in the head. At the station, Oscar nearly starts a fire with a lighter. Sitting down and reading the book Brent borrowed from the library, he calls out to Tanner using groovy advice from it. Getting no reply, Lacey threateningly tells Tanner to come out. Hank can't get his truck unlocked. Brent applies a bag of frozen peas to Lacey's head after she's hit by one of Tanner's toy cars. Recommending he call Emma, Brent is initially resistant, but gives in. Emma is disgusted but agrees to come. Hiding under a table ringed with pillows, Brent and Lacey withstand a barrage of Tanner's thrown cars. Emma arrives and Brent warns her about Tanner. Tanner throws a car at Emma who catches it and proclaims that she's dangerous too.
Davis tells Hank that his passenger window is open. Hank gets in his truck and leaves for Wanda's. Emma tells Tanner to go to bed and delivers a threat. Tanner immediately complies. As Emma explains her child psychology, Brent recalls her using the same technique on him when he was a boy. Emma leaves and Brent thanks Lacey for coming, just as Hank arrives. Impressed that that Tanner is in bed, he asks how Brent accomplished this. Lacey reveals that Brent called Emma for help, which is what she bet on at the bar. As Brent chases Lacey out of the house, Hank is left alone. He senses that Tanner is stalking him and freaks out when he looks into a wall vent.
Tanner spots Hank.
Tanner Dollard is never seen. All scenes involving him were shot from his perspective.
During the flashback scene when Oscar ran Corner Gas, there is a modern-day Canada Post mailbox outside the window.
At the end of the episode, when Brent is trying to guess Lacey's middle name, "Sunshine" is one of the names he tries. Sunshine is Gabrielle Miller's actual middle name.