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Finding the Mall - Ep.1-2
Ryan and Lex first became friends at boot camp. Then there's Zandra, who is halfway to being Lex's girlfriend - if he weren't so mean to her (and everyone); and there's Glen, Lex's potential rival for Zandra, and who doesn't really trust him. Four people with too much self-interest to be described as friends. Yet here they are, led by Lex, hoping to join the Locos. It's a question of survival.
Ryan might be described as 'slow', and he pretty much does whatever Lex tells him. He even copies Lex's tribal markings, often a single black line under each eye. As time goes on (Seasons 1-5) Ryan becomes more independent and somewhat smarter.
Lex is no diplomat, and he runs foul of Zoot almost instantly. Lex gives the order to run. As they scale a wall, Lex ditches Glen, sacrificing him to the Locos. Ryan and Zandra never learn the truth about this. Glen and Lex will meet again....
By chance Lex's group (of 3) encounters Amber's group in a Kids' play area. While Lex tries to bully Amber into handing over any food, the Locos catch up with Lex. Then the Demon Dogz arrive and a fight between the two rival tribes ensues. Amber's group escape, and find the Mall. Lex's group sit the fight out under cover.
Lex spots the teddy Cloe has dropped and tracks Amber's group to the Mall but his renewed threats are thwarted when Jack lowers the grille in front of and behind him. They are trapped.
Despite issuing threats and ultimatums, Lex and his companions have no choice but to spend their first night behind the grille. Lex commandeers the only couch for himself, leaving Ryan and Zandra to sleep on the stone floor. Ryan uses Cloe's teddy as a pillow.
The following day, Amber allows the three out when intruders are heard in the sewers. Ryan makes a point of handing Cloe's teddy back to Amber, revealing a softer, kinder heart than Lex, who comes across as hard and ruthless.


The intruder turns out to be Bray, and despite Lex's bravado and self-proclaimed expertise in protecting people, Bray outwits him and Ryan, and he sneaks into the Mall while they go on a wild goose chase.
Making the Mall Home
Once Lex, Ryan and Zandra have joined the fledgling tribe, Zandra sleeps in the furniture store with the other girls and younger kids. For a short time Lex and Ryan take up residence in the boarded-up Jewelry store.
Lex has brought the red couch from the grille area for himself, leaving Ryan to sleep on the floor with nothing more than a blanket or quilt.
Some time after Ep.8 Lex and Ryan move to the Boutique. As before Lex sleeps on the couch, and Ryan on the floor.
We soon understand that Ryan has a thing for Zandra, not that it's ever likely to happen. Zandra plays on this, stringing Ryan along whenever Lex is being mean.
Zandra has an eye for design and gracious living. With a little effort, and Ryan's help, she turns one half of the furniture store into a comfy living space for everyone, leaving the remaining half for sleeping.
Zandra gives Ryan a job, a pile of scatter cushions. Ryan takes her at her word and throws them in the air. Ryan's understanding of scatter cushions.
When Bray brings a heavily pregnant Trudy to the Mall, a vote is taken whether she can stay. Ryan votes with Lex - no. Zandra votes yes. It's 5 to 4 against. Trudy goes into labor, which changes everything.
With Amber generally supervising the birth, Zandra remembers that Lex has some paracetamol. Amber sends her to get some for Trudy. She meets Ryan on the way, retrieving a backpack from behind the CD counter. "Personal items" he explains.
This story runs, on and off, from Ep.4 to Ep.28....
Ryan's "Personal Items" - Ep.4-28
In Ep.6 Ryan checks on his bag, now hidden away in the old clock in the Antiques store, muttering, "Money, lovely money." In Ep.7 Ryan counts his money again. Either he can't count or some has gone missing.
"Lex, someone's stolen our money...this was our life-savings." Lex suggests Ryan should set a trap. Ryan asks Jack to help with a hypoth--[etical] problem concerning some hypothetical money that has been stolen. Jack recommends putting his name on all the notes. "Jack, that's brilliant!"
Ryan has actually written his name on every note. Back in the Antiques store Ryan counts it all again. From the Phoenix Jack watches him with glee for being so stupid.
At the Tribal Gathering (Ep.28-29), KC spots Dal in a line of slaves. The Mallrats discover that he has been sold to Ebony. Ryan produces his bag of money, a ransom to buy Dal back. Ebony laughs, as does everyone nearby. Amber explains that money is useless now, it is worthless. It all ends up on the fire.
Back at the Mall in Ep.30 Ryan is shocked to learn that Lex knew all along that the money was worthless. Water on the other hand is worth a fortune.

It's not long before Lex needs a favor. Zandra wants him to make a list of wedding vows. Unable to read or write, he needs Ryan's help. Ryan refuses, sore that Lex was laughing at him all along about the money.

It's not long though before Lex sweet-talks him into changing his mind.
Ryan enforces Lex's bullying
Because Ryan let's Lex tell him what to do much of the time, we often see Ryan restraining people whenever Lex requires it. Lex does the talking, shouting, or punching.
In Ep.6 Lex has been helping himself to Jack's batteries for his Gameboy. Jack objects, and wants the batteries back. Lex threatens to hurt Jack "really bad."
Lex v Zoot - Ep.8
In Ep.8 Paul and Patsy wake Lex, for they believe there's an intruder. Lex and Ryan find Zoot, leader of the Locos, talking to Bray and Trudy. Even though Zoot is unarmed, and seems peaceable, Lex wants a fight. Ryan does as Lex tells him, restraining Bray while Lex lands punches to his stomach. Zoot escapes up the stairs, and the others follow. Zoot falls over the balcony to his death when he defends his brother Bray against Lex.
In Ep.11 Lex refuses to let Bray eat, or even to take food for Trudy. Ryan prevents Bray going any further. Why? Because Bray didn't do guard duty last night. He has to promise to do double guard duty to make up before he can eat.
Ryan teaches Paul and Patsy to play Poker - Ep.9-10
In Ep.9 Amber institutes a chores roster so that everyone does their share of the general household chores. Ryan has a plan for bucking the system.
He teaches Paul and Patsy to play Poker, letting them win with matchsticks. He raises the stakes to chores, and plays to win.
Patsy and Paul end up doing all Ryan's cleaning duties for the next 4 days. Generously, he offers to finish walking Bob!
It doesn't end there. In Ep.10 they play for food rations. Ryan wins as before and to stay in the game Patsy cajoles Jack into giving her food from his secret stash.
When Patsy goes a second time, while Lex looks after his cards, Ryan follows her, all the way to Jack's food stash.
Ryan runs back to Lex with some of the evidence, a can of creamed rice. Ryan tucks into it without delay. Lex turns the situation to his advantage. Jack must promise to vote for him and not Amber in the upcoming election for leader.
Ryan resumes the Poker game. What he doesn't know is that in return for Paul's promise to vote for him, Lex has been switching cards in Paul's favor. Ryan loses everything and is totally shocked.

When Lex wins the election, Ryan lets slip to everyone about Jack's food stash. So Lex's first task as leader is to put Jack on trial.
When Lex appoints Ryan as judge he insists on wearing his special hat. Before Jack has had a chance to speak, Ryan votes to have Jack thrown out.
To keep his own water stash secret, Lex must have the charge against Jack dropped. Jack has made that very clear.
Lex hints that if Jack is found guilty, maybe the court should look into other crimes, like people gambling for food rations. Needless to say, Ryan switches his vote and the majority end result is "not guilty".
"Boys and Sticks" - Amber
As leader, Lex gives all the chores to the girls. The boys are to learn self defense - or "the noble art of bearing arms". Amber notices that the kids are using brooms with no handles. When the girls are summoned to watch a demonstration, they see where the handles went. Lex ticks Ryan off. Ryan   You said to get I did
Lex   I didn't say get broom handles
Ryan   You didn't say not to
The Girls Rebel. Ryan gets a piece of the Pie - Ep.12
To persuade Lex to see reason, the girls go on strike, cooking only for themselves and the kids. When Salene tells Ryan she is making a pie to celebrate Trudy naming her baby, he wonders if he might have a slice if he provided water to make gravy.
Jack and Dal are also invited, to show them what they can expect if they share the chores. Trudy announces the name "Brady" and Ryan cuts the pie.
Only Lex is left out. He tries to prevent the boys eating with the girls, but it's too late. The boys are beginning to side with the girls against Lex.
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