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Author Topic: Bucky O'Hare #5 - On the Blink  (Read 1609 times)
Kooshmeister
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« on: October 17, 2007, 01:58:11 AM »

After a long hiatus from reviewing anything (time spent working feverishly on my reader recap of If Looks Could Kill for Agonybooth.com; gosh I hope it's accepted!), it's time once again, dear friends, to continue the adventues of that heroic green rabbit--er, hare, Captain Bucky O'Hare! Unlike my previous four reviews, posted here long after I had written tham and put them up on the Agony Booth, this one is being posted as it is written, for the most part. Since this review is coming so long after the original four, I'll try to go out of my way to explain certain stuff to people who are new to it. Bottom line is, I grew up with this series and I adore it, and nothing can ever make me hate it....not even the fact it's full of more holes per episode than your average Michael Bay movie!

This was one of my favorite episodes as a kid, due to not having an overly complicated plot like the first four did. In fact, it has probably the simplest plot in the entire series. It's the first episode in the series to deviate from the main plot thread, the plight of Bucky's home planet Warren. As of the fourth episode, Bucky had successfully liberated his enslaved people, the hares, from the prison planet Kinnear where they were being forced to build another deadly climate converter - which is now in the hands of the mammals and can theoretically be used to restore Warren's ravaged ecology. Unfortunately, it seems as though the writers dropped the ball by resolving such a big chunk of that plot thread way too early in the series, meaning they can either continue and finish it in the fifth episode, and move on to something else, or they can hold off on it and wait until the series finale to tie it up. The chose the latter, and until the final episode, The Taking of Pilot Jenny, the Warren stuff is almost completely forgotten about in favor of a whole lot of more familiar Saturday Morning kiddie fare without terribly complicated plots. On the Blink is the first such episode.



The episode is also the first to begin in the human world as opposed to somewhere in the Aniverse. We open at the San Franciso Zoo where Willy is with his friend Susie, and as we come in they're looking at some hummingbirds. Whether these are actually part of menagerie or whether they're just there is never said (although according to the script, they're in the "bird sanctuary" area of the zoo). Willy, science nerd that he is, is droning on about what makes it possible for birds to fly, calling hummingbirds "scientific marvels" because of how fast they can fly. Susie is bored at first, then acts angry, snapping, "You and your aeromechanics! Sometimes you make me so angry, Willy DuWitt!" "Aerodynamics," Willy corrects her, then demands to know why she's so upset. Susie says everything is "a science project" to him, and Willy, adjusting his glasses in the classical nerd way, says it's important to know how stuff works. "It's important to know how things feel, too," Susie says, then points at some nearby koala bears, and says that they were nearly extinct because "people didn't care." Great. An episode with a message.



Cut to the Aniverse where we find an anthropomorphic koala bear hiding up in the branches of a tree, talking into a makeshift radio of some sort, trying to raise Captain Bucky O'Hare of the Righteous Indignation. He identifies himself as "Quentin Koala on Rigel 5," and we cut to Bucky and Jenny aboard the Righteous receiving his transmission. "Rigel 5! That's where the koalas live!" Bucky exposits helpfully. Quentin continues (odd that Bucky and Jenny don't, like, bother to say hello or anything; I guess they can tell he's in a hurry, and we'll see why shortly) and says that the toads have taken over the planet, "enslaved our people, and turned our world into a resort for....toads!" Why the pause? Who else would the toads make a resort for?



Suddenly Frax, one half of the obnoxious comic relief duo of toad officers Frix and Frax, appears beneath the tree Quentin is hiding in and yells offscreen, "I found 'im!" He then begins shaking the tree as poor Quentin clings for dear life (Frax is either really strong or that's a really weak tree, judging by how roughly it's shaking), yelling into the radio, "Mayday! Koalas in trouble! Bucky, help us!" before he finally falls out of the tree, and our view. Back aboard the Righteous, Jenny helpfully tells Bucky she's lost contact with Quentin, and Bucky tells her to change course to Rigel 5. Wherever they were going originally isn't terribly important, but then again, the plight of the koalas takes precedence. Deadeye the four-armed duck gunner and Bruiser the "berserker baboon" are both suddenly now on the bridge and get excited over the prospect of "croaking toads" (Bruiser in particular), but Bucky, ever the sensible leader, warns that they should run a recon first.

Cut to Rigel 5, where we see a resort called Club Toad built in he middle of a clearing. The buildings all resemble big toadstools, naturally. As a heavy metal band ("Verruca and the Toadstools") performs a song called "Sport a Wart" on various television screens throughout the club, we see different toads enjoying different luxuries common to ritzy country clubs around the globe. They subathe on lilypads in a pool of green water (ew), and get massages from the koala slaves and are fed chocolate-covered grasshoppers by them, too. The koalas, just so we can tell they're slaves, are all wearing raggedy clothing. I guess the toads didn't bring any of those orange uniforms from Home, Swampy Home with them to put the koalas in. Although it does beg the question of precisely how long Rigel 5 has been under toad control.



Cut to Al Negator the purple alligator mercenary dude from the second and third episodes, out on the golf course with the short, fat Toad Air Marshall. They're both wearing really preppy golf clothes (Al's shirt even has a little green alligator symbol on the breast, har-har). The Air Marshall is lining up a putt as Al demands his money for "settin' up the mammal defense shield." We'll learn a little more about that later, but for the time being, the Air Marshall says they "don't even know if it works, yet," and says he won't pay Al until they know it does. Well, why don't they put those koalas to some use then instead of having them play houseboy? And incidentally, there's another koala slave in this scene holding the Air Marshall's golf bag. Cute. Al, ever the money-grubbing sleaze, says that while they're waiting, they can make a friendly little bet. "Ten-thousand simoleans says you don't make that putt!" "I could make it blindfolded!" the Air Marshall says, telling him to "kiss your simoleans good-bye!"

However as he prepares to putt, Frix and Frax come running up with the captured Quentin, yelling for the Air Marshall, startling him and making him accidentally swat his ball into a nearby pond. "Look! We found the missing koala!" squeals Frax, oblivious to the Air Marshall's rage. The Air Marshall hits him with his putter and yells, "And I just lost ten-thousand simoleans, you wartbags!"



We then cut to Deadeye and Bucky, wearing fishbowl space helmets, flying along on the little shoe-shaped ship the Toad Croaker, which, if the opening credits of the show are any indication, is used to land on and squish toads, although so far we've only seen it used for that twice in the show. As they approach Rigel 5, Bucky notices the lack of any toad patrols and delivers the standard "it's quiet, too quiet" line, and Deadeye chuckles and tells him, "Never trust the silence, matey." Suddenly as they approach the planet a giant green forcefield of some sort springs up literally out of nowhere which encompasses the entire globe, and oddly enough, rather than repel the two warmbloods, it actually ensares them like a giant net. "Joltin' jackrabbits!" Bucky feels the need to cry.

Down below, the Air Marshall and Al Negator are relaxing in the Club Toad resort's bar watching TV, and some red-haired toad babe is telling them the "toad love lines are open, just for you," and asks for "big Al Negator" to give her a call, whereupon Al yells at the Air Marshall to give him the phone, which the Air Marshall gladly hands over. "Whatever you want, Al. Your swamp is my swamp." So, toad phone sex lines. And this is supposed to be a kid's show? Before Al can even dial, though, the toad chick vanishes from the screen and is replaced by Toadborg the purple toad cyborg, who says they're interrupting their regularly scheduled programming (thank goodness!) to give them a demonstration of the "new mammal defense shield" in operation, whereupon the screen switches to show Bucky and Deadeye trapped within the forcefield up in space. A bunch of toads gather around to watch, hooting and hollering.

So, they had to wait until Bucky (or someone else) actually came to try and invade before they could see if the damn defense shield even works? It'd really suck to be the toads if Bucky showed up and the forcefield wound up not working because, I dunno, they didn't test it beforehand. Like I said before, they should've used some of the enslaved koala bears to test it. It would've made the toads look more evil and help us feel sorry for the koalas, two things this episode desperately needs, but I'll rant about the koalas later.
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Kooshmeister
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2007, 02:01:00 AM »

So anyway, Bucky and Deadeye are now trapped within the web-like forcefield doohicky and can't get free, or, as Bucky puts it, they "can't crack the barrier." Luckily for them the Righteous Indignation is nearby (even with the defense shield there should be some patrols to be on the lookout for stuff like this; stupid toads). Jenny helpfully informs us, "They don't have a chance!" But Blinky's the man--er, robot with a plan. He says that they could reverse the polarity of the "plasma cannon" (the front - and only - gun on the ship, also referred to as the "maser cannon" in other scenes) and magnetically remove the Toad Croaker and its occupants from within the forcefield. This works, of course, and Blinky successfully extracts both Bucky and Deadeye, although apart from being jostled around a lot it doesn't look like they were actually being harmed by the shield; it simply trapped them.

Cut back to the human world. Willy enters his room, still grumbling over what he and Susie were talking about at the zoo before: "What's wrong with wanting to know how things work? Just because science is my life doesn't mean I don't care about living breathing organisms. After all, I am one." He's got a point, I guess. Suddenly the Aldebaran memory stone, given to him at the end of the third episode as a means of remaining in contact with the Aniverse, starts acting up and Jenny's face appears in it, telling him that they need his help right away. "We need your help to save the koalas!" Ha! What a coincidence that Willy's help is needed to save the very animals his friend accused him of not caring about? Surely now, he can prove himself a caring person! Sp Willy grabs a toolbox from somewhere and activiates his photon accelerator thingymabob, and proceeds through the portal to the Righteous Indignation's engine room in the Aniverse that exists in his closet door.

Just a couple of general gripes: first, Willy leaves the memory stone just sitting there on the table like that? What the heck? I know that the first episode established that Willy's parents were somewhat neglectful, being away from home a lot, but seriously. If he just leaves it sitting there out in the open like that while he's away at school (and also doesn't take it with him when he goes into the Aniverse, where he sometimes remains for days on end), what's to stop Mr. and Mrs. DuWitt from wandering in and finding the damn thing when he isn't there? Also, this is the second example of the good guys falling back on Willy whenever they're faced with any sort of problem. In Home, Swampy, Home, Jenny desperately called for his help....when all that was wrong was the goddamn radio wasn't working. Yeah, way to make your heroes seem real heroic, having them dependent on a snot-nosed little kid - granted, the entire point of the series is that a lot of this is Willy's escape from his mundane life in the human world, but surely they could've handled the "We need Willy!" stuff better. Especially in On the Blink's case, where they'll wind up not really having needed him for the problem immediately anyway.



So Willy goes through and is greeted by the entire crew, and asks what's up. "Not up, Willy, down," Bucky tells him. "We can't reach the surface of Rigel 5." Doesn't even bother to explain what Rigel 5 is or who lives there. They (the writers, I mean) just take it for granted that Willy knows Rigel 5 is home to the koalas. They do at least have them explain to Willy precisely why they need to "save the koalas," by having Bruiser step forward and go, "It's them toads! They've set up some kinda electronic roadblock!" Some time passes as we cut to an exterior of the ship and then back inside to find that Willy has been quite busy. He's sitting on the floor, surrounded by books and papers and things (he brought all that in his toolbox?). He says that after carefully reviewing "all the data on the Rigel 5 defense shield," he "couldn't find a clue." Wonderful.

Suddenly Blinky teleports over to the window. Literally. As in, in the previous shot he was standing over by Willy with everyone else, but then suddenly he's moved across the room to the window. He points out a "Double Bubble" (the two-man fighter ships used by the toads) approaching Rigel 5, and the others come over and watch as it safely descends down to the planet without encountering the forcefield at all. Bruiser, enraged, demands to know why they got through. "Their ship's made outta metal just like ours!" (nevermind that they used the Toad Croaker to try and get through before, not the Righteous). Willy snaps his fingers and says he's figured it out: namely, that the difference is the toads are coldblooded and they aren't. I.e., it's designed to keep out mammals, hence them calling it the mammal defense shield in previous scenes (again with the toads lumping poor Deadeye, a duck, in with the others as a "mammal!"). And they needed Willy to tell them this? Even without Willy they would've likely seen this Double Bubble go through the forcefield without any problems, giving them a big hint, so he's actually pretty useless here when you think about it (although to be fair, another explanation is that the toads could be, I dunno, monitoring all space traffic from the surface of the planet, and turn off the shield whenever they see a friendly ship approaching, although naturally Willy's theory proves to be the correct one).

Bucky, in full-on angst mode, whines that this means they can't rescue the koalas. Oh no! "We can't," Willy says, "but Blinky can." Blinky turns and blinks his one big eye at them, as if to say, "Who? Me?" Finally, in an episode called On the Blink, we get to the part where Blinky the android will become useful (he did think of how to save Bucky and Deadeye earlier, though, but I'm sure Jenny would've wimped out and summoned Willy for that if this were any other episode). Cut to cometime later. A toad supply ship is approaching Rigel 5, with the Righteous Indignation coming up behind it. Their grand plan to get Blinky down to the surface of the planet is to have Bruiser, wearing a rocket pack, fly from one ship to the other, open the "supply hatch" on the bottom of the ship, and put a crate (presumably containing Blinky) inside the ship.

I have a couple of issues with this. The crew of the supply ship should notice the hatch being opened, since this would presumably begin to depressurize the ship, and they should at least notice the Righteous coming up behind them. The original script does have a scene wherein the good guys go out of their way to make the toads notice them, so that while the toad crew is so busy focused on the Righteous they don't notice the little blinking alarm light telling them the supply hatch was opened from the outside. It's a bit contrived (since hedging everything on whether or not one of the toads won't just look down at the control panel during the encounter is a bit stupid), but at least it's better than nothing, which is what we wound up getting.



On the surface, the supply ship lands at the resort depot and the miserable-looking enslaved koalas begin unloading the crates of supplies while armed Storm Toads supervise them, yelling things like, "Move it! Move it!" and "Yeah, you'd think this stuff was fragile!" Mm, nope, still don't feel terribly sorry for the koalas. But again, I'll rant more on precisely why later on. Inside the depot, Frax opens up one of the crates, revealing chocolate-covered grasshoppers, which he begins eating, enthusing about how much he loves them. Nearby, Frix is digging through another opened crate containing, oh God, slimy white stuff, insisting, "jellied mosquitoes are better!" We get to watch a needlessly overlong shot of him putting a dripping handful of the stuff onto his tongue and slurp it up. This is disgusting. Moreso because it's a really lame way to make us hate the toads. We should hate them because they're evil and cruel, not because they're gross.



Frax opens the crate Blinky came in, but we don't see what's inside it just yet. "What's this?" he wonders aloud. The contents appear to be random junk connected by segmented grey tubing. Frix comes over and peers in, saying it's "probably some new parts for Toadborg." Frax shrugs, belches loudly (again, yuck) and says he's full, then he and Frix leave. Suddenly Blinky's head peers up from inside the crate and watches them go. His body quickly reforms from all the jumbled bits and pieces, and he hops out. Cut back to the Righteous Indignation briefly, where Bruiser is worried about his "little buddy." Bucky assures him that Blinky can take care of himself, and that he's the only one who can shut down that forcefield.

Cut to Blinky inside the (ridiculously unguarded and unmanned) main computer room of the Club Toad communications center, working feverishly at a bank of computers covered with blinking lights. Or so we're supposed to assume. He just appears to be randomly pushing buttons and stuff. Suddenly Toadborg materializes behind him and grabs him, lifting him off his feet. "Ah, can this be the famous Blinky we've heard so much about?" he says. "Mmmmmm.... could be!" Blinky says. Little smartass. So much for Blinky being able to take care of himself. He's down there all of five minutes before being captured. But I guess Toadborg learned something was amiss after being told about the "new parts" for him.
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Kooshmeister
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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2007, 10:14:05 AM »

Sometime later, in what appears to be a laboratory of some sort somewhere else in the resort, Blinky is strapped down to an operating table with some electrodes strapped onto his head, the various villains all standing in a circle around him. Al Negator laughs and says where he comes from, "spies don't live long enough to tell why they're spyin'!" The Air Marshall leans in menancingly and says they should "soak the little screwhead in water and let him rust!" Toadborg however has other ideas, and pulls a random lever of some sort on the wall next to him. Blinky convulses as a bluish electrical current surges through him, his head spinning wildly around and around on top of his neck, and he unleashes a pretty intense (for a kid's show anyway) scream of agony. Dang.



Fade out (presumably to what would've been a commercial) and upon returning we find Blinky still strapped down, but with his eye closed and smoke pouring off him. Nearby, Frix and Frax are watching a beauty contest on a TV, arguing over which one of the girl toads is prettier. "I tell ya, I like Miss Lilypads. Look at those warts! Gorgeous!" croons Frix. "Not as gorgeous as Miss Croakerville!" insists Frax. Behind them, Blinky wakes up and begins rather easily unbuckling himself, but they don't notice because their backs are to him. The ridiculous ease of Blinky's escape (from this room, anyway) will actually have an explanation later on so I won't nitpick on it. On the TV, an MC in a tuxedo, envelope in hand, calls from a drumroll and says it's time to announce the crowning of "this year's Miss Toad TV!" Frix and Frax start getting impatient as the MC takes out the card from inside the envelope, but then Blinky hops off the table....and his metal feet clank really loudly on the floor, making them turn and see him.

He bolts from the lab with Frix and Frax hot on his heels as the drumroll continues. They're halfway down the hall when they hear the drumroll stop and skid to a halt, Frax crying out, "Who won?!" "I dunno," replies Frix, "but if we don't catch that android, we lose!" Normally I hate odious comic relief villains, but for some reason I adore these two idiots. Frax hits an alarm (although there isn't actually a button on the wall for him to push if you look closely), causing lights to flash throughout the building. Blinky races down the hall and manages to lose them - well actually they just sort of disappear. Another victim of the cutting room was a scene from the script wherein Blinky creates a bunch of holographic duplicates of himself, confusing Frix and Frax, and he slips away while they're trying to figure out which one is the real him. By removing this scene it makes Frix and Frax just effectively suddenly not be chasing him anymore, which is just sloppy as hell.



Anyway, Blinky runs outside and runs smack into the Air Marshall and three Storm Toads who are blocking his escape. So Blinky creates a holographic projection of Bruiser! Despite "Bruiser" just appearing out of nowhere, the four toads are instantly terrified of him. I love the one Storm Toad who goes "Crawlin' cockroach!" An interesting exclamation, and one I think I'll use in a real life situation some day. Anyway, "Bruiser" licks his lips and says, "Toad buffet! My favorite! whereupon the three troopers turn and flee in terror, although the Air Marshall holds his ground. Removing one of the fifty-plus medals that cover his chest he holds it out to "Bruiser," whining, "Wait, let's make a deal! Take this! It's one of my favorites!" Why is it that this show does comedy so well only where the villains are concerned?

Blinky, now hiding behind a tree (?) shuts off the holographic projection, making the Air Marshall realize he's been tricked, and then he (Blinky, I mean) runs off and makes it over to a pond where four Double Bubble fighters are floating in the water. He wades in and climbs aboard one of them. Incidentally, the Double Bubbles come in two types: ones equipped with four-barrel guns on each wing, and ones equipped with really huge grappling claws. The one Blinky gets into is the one non-clawed one in the pond, apparently so we'll be able to tell which one he's in from a distance during the chase scene that's coming up. He takes off just as a bunch of Storm Toads come running up, and they jump into the other three Double Dubbles and follow him.

Cut to the Righteous Indignation flying through space somewhere nearby. Four blips appear on the radar screen, and Jenny identifies them instantly as Double Bubbles. Bucky leaps to the conclusion that they're under attack and tells Deadeye to "man the maser." Hmm, didn't they call it the plasma cannon earlier? What is the difference between a maser and a plasma gun anyway? Deadeye says it's "four to one," and he "likes them odds." Suddenly Jenny spots Blinky in the lead Double Bubble, and Bucky tells Deadeye to hold his fire. Outside as the four other craft approach, one of the toad-piloted ships hits the cockpit of Blinky's ship and shatters the canopy, exposing the startled little robot to the vacuum of space. Luckily, since he's a robot, he doesn't instantly asphyxiate to death.



Bucky tells Jenny to lower the "launching platform," and we quickly see that he means the portion of the ship which comes down to launch the Toad Croaker. Blinky leaps out of his Double Bubble just as a second shot hits and completely destroys the now-empty ship. He "falls," flailing, towards the Righteous and lands in the Toad Croaker. Immediately Bucky yells for Deadeye to "give 'em both barrels!" Deadeye yells, "Masticate some maser, ya bilge-suckin' toads!" and opens fire. Thus begins the episode's single stupidest sequence, and the worst excuse for a space battle in the history of sci-fi. The three Double Bubbles approach the Righteous Indignation very slowly, making no effort whatsoever to either dodge Deadeye's shots or return fire, and he destroys them all one by one without any difficulty. Of course, being a kid's show, the Storm Toads don't die, they simply eject in their little egg-shaped pod things. In a cute bit, Blinky waves at them as they float past, then the launch pad closes with him inside.

Back down on Rigel 5, all of the main villains are in the resort's communications center in front of a big viewscreen, having just observed the entire sorry excuse for a battle. The Air Marshall looks over at Toadborg and whines, "He escaped?" Yes, it's phrased in the form of a question. This is a callback to, oy, another deleted scene wherein the Air Marshall assures Toadborg that Blinky won't escape. Toadborg however says Blinky just thinks he escapes. "I made sure he got away," he says. Frix and Frax come forward angrily and demand to know why Toadborg didn't tell them. "We were guardin' him real good!" insists Frix. "With exactly the competence I expected from you," replies Toadborg and chuckles darkly. This doesn't make the previous scene with the Double Bubbles any less stupid, though, in my opinion. All we know is that Toadborg made sure Blinky could escape from the lab, by itnentionally putting the two stupidest guys on guard duty - without telling them not to actually catch Blinky. We're never given any indication that the Storm Toads outside the building were informed not to return fire.



Cut back to the Righteous Indignation, where Blinky is receiving a warm welcome from everyone. Bucky tells him he showed those toads a thing or two, to which Blinky responds, "Actually, four or five!" Jenny asks him if he deactivated the mammal defense shield, and Blinky cocks his head in a strange way and says, "Defense shield deactivated?" Yes, phrased in the form of a question. So he isn't answering her, he's acting like he doesn't know what the hell she's talking about. Only Bucky seems to pick up on this, stroking his chin thoughtfully, but any suspicions about whether or not something is terribly, terribly wrong with Blinky pass the instant Deadeye chimes in with, "All right, then, let's croak some toads!" The ship turns and heads back towards Rigel 5, as, on the planet, Frax points up at the viewscreen and yells that "those mildewed mammals" are returning. The Air Marshall is about to activate the defense shield, but is stopped by Toadborg, who steeples his fingers like Mr. Burns and says, "That will not be necessary," making everyone look at him like he's insane.

And, yes, apparently the mammal defense shield is not automatic. One must monitor the viewscreen and manually activate it before the good guys reach a certain point. Or at least, this is what I glean from the Air Marshall's line, "I'll activate the defense shield!" Amazing how one line of dialogue can completely ruin any credability an episode's already silly technology has. Seriously, if we take his line at face value, this means the heroes could fly down to Rigel 5 without incident so long as none of the toads were actually monitoring the screen, or if they activated the forcefield a couple seconds too late.

Aboard the Righteous, Bucky says that they have to hand it to Blinky. "Without that defense shield, it's smooth sailin'." What suspicions he seemed to have about the manner in which Blinky responded appear to have disappeared entirely, and it just occurred to me that the idiotic scene with the Double Bubbles could've been made okay if only someone had commented about how easy Deadeye had destroyed them. Y'know, like, "Boy, it sure is weird how easily those toad fighters went down, isn't it? Almost like they wanted us to destroy them so Blinky could safely get aboard." Anyway, thankfully, right on the heels of the episode's single stupidest scene, we come to what is, in my opinion, its best. Almost every episode has one. For example, The Good, the Bad and the Warty had the destruction of the toad mothership (a marvelous and chaotic scene), and Home, Swampy, Home had the scene at the end where "Angus McJump" reveals himself as Bucky O'Hare, stares down the Air Marshall, and liberates the slave factory. On the Blink has the scene where Blinky fights with himself to override his new programming.



Yep, Blinky was reprogrammed. We find him down in the engine room of the ship, and he walks over to the machinery that operates the ship, and stares in at the various circuits and wires. He then begins hearing Toadborg's voice inside his head. The scene that follows is so well executed I'll just transcribe it in its entirity here:

Toadborg's Voice: Humble robot must now do as programmed.
Blinky's right hand reaches in. He pauses and shudders, then his left hand quickly grabs the right and pulls it back. He shakes his head.
Blinky: No. Cannot do that.
Toadborg's Voice: Imperative!
The right hand shoots back into the mechanism. The left hand pulls at the right.
Blinky: Negative!
Toadborg's Voice: MUST DO AS PROGRAMMED!!!
Blinky: MUST NOT!!!
Toadborg's Voice: MUST!!!



Blinky struggles with himself, smoke pouring out of his head suddenly. Finally, his right hand wins and grabs some wires and rips them out, causing sparks to fly. Blinky's chestplate pops off and goes flying, and then he falls down face-first onto the floor as alarms begin going off throughout the ship. I guess his two programs battling it out with one another caused an overload or a short circuit or something.

Phew. Excellent little scene. A pity almost everything before and after it has to be so stupid.
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akiratubo
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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2007, 08:28:57 PM »

I've got to wonder why the MAMMAL defense field would stop Deadeye.

Also, regarding the heroes always running to Willy for help, I've more or less concluded that the whole series takes place in Willy's disturbed little mind.  I've not seen every episode on You Tube yet but nothing seems to happen that doesn't involve Willy sooner or later.  Note that he can only be directly involved when he's at home and locked in his room, away from real life and anything that could disturb him from his fantasies.  The parts of the show that occur without him always seem to be when he's at school or something, probably daydreaming.

Take this episode, for example.  His little friend accused him of not caring about living things and, lo and behold, there's suddenly a situation in the aniverse that would allow Willy to prove he does care.  He hies it home and jumps right into the action.  That's exactly the kind of rich fantasy life a disturbed, lonely, little kid with neglectful parents would have.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2007, 08:41:08 PM by akiratubo » Logged

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Kooshmeister
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« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2007, 05:57:19 PM »

Sorry this next bit took so long to post.....

After a brief scene in which Toadborg rather needlessly explains to the other toads that he reprogrammed Blinky (needless for the audience, anyway, unless they're total idiots who didn't pick up on the obvious), we return to the out-of-control Righteous, where Willy cries out that the "computer's out of sync." Whatever that means. Bruiser enters carrying the "unconscious" (or should that be simply switched-off?) Blinky, explaining that he found him "smacked off his gyroscope," which must be a fancy way of saying "he fell down." Willy notices he's still clutching the wires he ripped out of the terminal, and identifies them as "the hyperdrive relay" and says that's why they're out of control. Wait, what's the hyperdrive relay got to do with the directional stabilizer? Isn't the hyperdrive relay only for, like, hyperspace? Is there any kind of logic behind this or are the writers just making it up as they go?



Bucky wonders why Blinky would sabotage them (funny since earlier he was the only one who found anything about Blinky's behavior odd), which brings up an interesting point about robots that sci-fi shows rarely seem to bother acknowledging, that they're a liability waiting to happen. Especially. in Blinky's case if he's so easily reprogrammed. Granted he fought against it, but the new programming won out in the end. Anyway, Willy produces a pair of tweezers and digs around in Blinky's chest cavity and pulls out a little microchip emblazoned with the death's head symbol of the Toad Empire. He takes this to mean Blinky was reprogrammed (making the earlier scene with Toadborg explaining it all the more pointless), and meanwhile, I'm wondering, if Blinky was reprogrammed using a chip, what the hell did electrocuting him have to do with anything?

Bucky then steers the conversation towards more important matters: namely, fixing the ship before they fly into the sun. Willy says he has to fix Blinky first. Um, why? Blinky's a robot. He can wait 'till later. Bruiser seems to share my sentiments since he tells Willy, "Yeah, well, you better hurry. It's gettin' awful hot in here."

And, something just occurred to me. Well, okay, it occurred to me a long time ago but it was while watching this part of the episode that it happened back then. They're all acting like repairing the hyperdrive is the only way for them to escape certain doom, when they actually have another means of escape at their disposal, albeit an unconvential one: namely, Willy's door. Yes, I wonder if they'd escape into the human world if they really had to. In this case, the downside is they'd never be able to return, because the Aniversian side of the portal would now be in the center of a star....which brings up an interesting question about dimensional doorways, namely, what would happen to Earth if the dimensional door were opened when the opposite end was in the middle of a sun? Would the planet be destroyed as all that solar radiation and intense heat flooded through the gateway and onto the surface of the planet? And what if the Righteous Indignation was destroyed, blasted to bits, or the hull otherwise breached while Willy was away, and he unknowingly opened the dimensional door, thereby bringing the vacuum of space to San Franciso?

Cut back to Rigel 5 where the toads are all still watching the plight of our heroes on their big screen. The Righteous Indignation appears to disappear into the sun and then there's a huge explosion as everyone cheers. The festivities are interrupted by Komplex, who appears on another viewscreen and tells Toadborg to return to the mothership immediately (I guess they already rebuilt it since it got blown to bits at the end of The Good, the Bad and the Warty), since with Bucky O'Hare dead, "plans for the final mammal invasion can now be activated." This is, of course, just an excuse to get Toadborg off the planet so he won't give Bucky and co. any further problems, since we know from the pilot miniseries that the guy is nigh-indestructible. The writers really wrote themselves into a corner with this character by making him way too powerful, forcing him to sit out most of the action scenes in the series, at least the ones where the heroes and villains actually fight face to face.

Komplex vanishes from the screen and Toadborg exits as Al Negator bugs the Air Marshall about his twenty-thousand simoleans for the defense shield. The Air Marshall blows him off, though, telling him they don't need the shield anymore with Bucky dead, although frankly I think he should still pay Al anyway for his trouble. And for that matter, I guess both Komplex and the Air Marshall don't consider either the Indefatigable or the Screamining Mimi, the UAF's other two frigates, to be of any concern. Even if Bucky O'Hare and the Righteous Indignation had been destroyed (and it's not a spoiler to say they weren't), the toads should still take the remaining mammal ships into consideration, the dopes.



Outside, we are shocked (yeah, right) to see the Toad Croaker landing with Blinky on it. We then cut to the Club Toad spa where the Air Marshall is sitting in a chair while a koala slave rubs the back of his head with a towel. Obviously, some time has passed since the last scene. Precisely what the koala is doing isn't immediately apparent, but according to the script he's buffing the Air Marshall's warts, as one would buff shoes. Al walks up to them and again demands to be paid. The Air Marshall smugly refuses, telling him he's "out of touch" and that the "technology's obsolete," whereupon Al drops a little yellow and black thing down the back of his uniform, and the Air Marshall jumps out of his chair, trying to dig whatever-it-is out of his suit, demanding to know what it was.



"Surprise! It's a killer bee bomb!" Al says, holding up a remote detonator thing, threatening that if he isn't paid soon, the Air Marshall "will have a bee sting for every wart on your body!" The script's version of this scene was somewhat more dark. Rather than a "killer bee bomb," Al stuffs a frag grenade down the Air Marshall's suit and says it'll be raining body parts if he doesn't get paid. Sheesh! In a cute bit, the koala who was buffing the Air Marshall's warts turns tail and runs off, just as Blinky approaches, and the Air Marshall couldn't be more surprised! Blinky is acting like he's still reprogrammed, and explains he escaped before the ship flew into the sun. The Air Marshall waves him off, a bit too busy trying not to be stung/blown up/whatever, and tells him to "go relax for a while." Blinky heads off as Al threateningly holds up the remote and says, "My simoleans, Air Marshall?"

Meanwhile Blinky returns to the room with all the computers, and we can see that there's a helpful sign saying "Defense Shield." Again, there's no one around, although there'll be a (somewhat) valid excuse for this given in a minute. Blinky turns his right hand into a kind of plug, which he then sticks into a handy outlet in front of him. And that's it. Boom, the defense shield is off. Nevermind that the Air Marshall said they didn't need it anymore so it should theoretically already be turned off by that logic, but earlier Blinky was shown to be pushing lots of buttons and stuff. So either in the earlier scene he was simply trying to figure out how the machine worked, or after capturing him the toads didn't bother to undo what he'd already done, thereby allowing him to just pick up where he'd left off from last time.



That accomplished, he contacts the Righteous. Yup, they weren't destroyed. In a scene of blatant exposition, it is said that Willy managed to repair Blinky "in record time," then together they fixed the stupid hyperdrive, and then our heroes proceeded to fake their own deaths by "scuttlin' a spare fuel tank into the sun," which gave them a "genuine three-alarm fireball." And so with a unanimous cry of "Let's croak toads!" they fly down to the surface of the planet. In the computer room, a hand suddenly closes on Blinky's shoulder, startling him, but it's only Quentin, the koala who had contacted them for help back at the beginning of the episode. The Righteous lands in a cluster of trees and everybody gets out, weapons drawn.

Jenny announces that her "psychic intuition" tells her that the toads are so busy celebrating they don't even know they're there. Which, I guess, explains the lack of guards in the computer room, although you'd think Quentin would be at least locked up in a holding cell or something after he not only escaped but also contacted Bucky O'Hare earlier!



Deadeye, hopping up and down excitedly, says they should "quit jawin' and croak those web-footed wart buckets!" Hey, Deadeye? Look down at your own feet before you start slinging insults at other species, thanks. Bucky however says that even though the toads are all partying, all it takes is one or two to notice them and raise an alarm. And besides, they're vastly outnumbered: "There's only a handful of us and a fistful of them. We need a plan." Suddenly Quentin appears with Blinky, and the koala says he has that plan Bucky's looking for...
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Inyarear
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« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2007, 02:34:47 AM »

"Surprise! It's a killer bee bomb!" Al says, holding up a remote detonator thing, threatening that if he isn't paid soon, the Air Marshall "will have a bee sting for every wart on your body!" The script's version of this scene was somewhat more dark. Rather than a "killer bee bomb," Al stuffs a frag grenade down the Air Marshall's suit and says it'll be raining body parts if he doesn't get paid. Sheesh!

Here, I'd note that this is another obvious riff from Star Wars: in the scene from Return of the Jedi where Princess Leia arrives at Jabba's palace disguised as Boushh the bounty hunter and tries to get full price for bringing in Chewbacca, the movie leaves the Ubese she was speaking unsubbed, but the novelization and the comic book versions both provided the translation. In response to Jabba's offer of "25,000, plus his life" Leia/Boushh declares: "Tell that swollen garbage bag he'll have to do better than that, or they'll be picking his smelly hide out of every crack in this room. I'm holding a thermal detonator."

Maybe the censors didn't think threatening to blow people to bloody rags was acceptable for kids' shows on TV at the time, but a lot of parents did take their children to see those movies, after all, so there is some precedent for it. On the other hand, there might be some precedent for the censorship, too; I always did wonder why George Lucas didn't have Leia's part of the conversation properly subtitled.
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Kooshmeister
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Must have caffeine...


« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2007, 02:16:15 AM »

Cut to....a television studio, where Bucky is powdering Bruiser's face. Yes, apparently Club Toad has its own TV studio in lieu of receiving broadcasts from the Toad Homeworld or whatever. Nearby we see the MC, Miss Toad TV beauty contestants and what appears to be the studio crew, being held at gunpoint by Deadeye and Jenny, the former of whom threatens them, "Anyone moves, you're toad pudding!" Is anyone else besides me a little disturbed by the fact Deadeye is basically threatening to kill unarmed civilians here? It's moments like these that make me severely dislike the Deadeye character.



While this is going on, Bruiser clears is throat, rehearsing while standing in front of a TV camera being manned by Bucky: "This is Bruiser, uh, the Betelgeusian Berserker Baboon." I think it's pretty clear where Quentin's plan is going, given how afraid we've seen toads to be up to this point.

Bruiser shifts nervously as Quentin holds up one of those "clacker" things and slams it shut, then moves out of the way as Willy, counting down from four, tells Bruiser he's on the air. In a cute bit, Bruiser totally freezes up at first and can only get a few words like "Duh, um, uh," out as we cut to the resort's bar where a couple of Storm Toads are shooting pool, unaware that Bruiser's face is now on the television screen - which strikes me as kind of odd, since aren't the toads supposed to be addicted to Toad TV and watch it all the dang time? Them being caught off guard by Bruiser's broadcast like this seems a bit unlikely given what we know about them thus far. Anyway Bruiser soon gets their attention, slowly regaining his usual bravado and overcoming his stage-fright: "This is B-Bruiser. Yeah, Bruiser! Bruiser! The Betelgeusian Berserker Baboon speakin'! Now listen up, all you toads out there!"



There's a TV set mounted on a pole out on the golf course, and some toad golfers see him, too. "I'm unstoppable! Unbeatable! And UNCONTROLLABLE!" he tells them, whereupon the turn and run, one of them hilariously leaving his golf club spinning in midair. Back in the bar, the Storm Toads playing pool also run away as Bruiser utters the infamous (i.e. stupid) Berserker Baboon warcry, "Aaaaa-Yoooogaaa!!!" Cut to the spa, where Al Negator, wearing a one-piece bathing suit, is relaxing in a mud bath jacuzzi sort of deal, counting his simoleans, which are here depicted as coins rather than the marble-like things they were in The Good, the Bad and the Warty. Continuity? What's that? The Air Marshall is standing nearby, holding the killer bee bomb and glumly examining it, as Al says that he likes toads, "especially toads what pay their debts." Suddenly they hear Bruiser on the TV screens mounted above the nearby pool: "And, I want every toad offa this planet NOW!!! Else, I pay each and every one of youse bug-eyed, bald-headed banjos a visit... PERSONALLY!!!"



Some toads wearing bathrobes turn and run, heading right for the Air Marshall who stands there waving his arms and yelling for them to stop. "It's a trick! He's not real! He's a hologram!" They stampede over him and knock him to the ground, then get manages to get up and begs Al, still kicking back in the mud, to come and help him. "For a friend? Sure!" says Al. "For another six-hundred simoleans." Yeesh. He's going to make the Toad Empire go bankrupt, I tell ya. Back in the studio, Bruiser is really working himself into a frenzy and the camera loves him, ranting about how any toads he catches "are gonna get pulpated, croakated and mashpotated!" Mashpotated? That's a new one. We then see the Air Marshall, Al and Frix and Frax, all armed, sneaking down the hallway to the studio entrance, where they can look in and see the good guys, particularly Deadeye and Jenny holding the studio personnel hostage. "It's those mangy mammals!" cries Al. "That's impossible!" replies Frax. Neither of them is making any effort to keep their voice down, so it's a wonder that our heroes don't hear them. But then the Air Marshall suddenly drops his maser pistol for some reason, and the mammals hear that. Go figure.

With a cry of "Toads!" Deadeye turns and shoots at the doorway, so all four villains rush in and dive for cover behind what looks like some boxes or crates. The Air Marshall doesn't bother picking up his gun on the way, either, which doesn't stop him from suddenly having one again in a minute. Frix and Frax pop up, the former mumbling that he "didn't know holograms could shoot!" Frix then shoots and hits an arc light, knocking it loose, and it falls down and lands in front of Bruiser, smashing a huge hole through the floor. The impact causes poor Bruiser to lose his balance and fall in. Wow, score one for Frix! All of the toad studio personnel hurriedly vacate the premesis as a rather uninteresting firefight that I'm too lazy to describe in full follows, the only other interesting bit behind when Bucky is for some reason hiding behind the TV camera (yeah, Bucky, that'll sure protect you from enemy fire) and the Air Marshall shoots the camera, causing it to explode, hurling Bucky through the air, whereupon he lands in a sitting position in the throne intended for whoever won the Miss Toad TV contest.



The Air Marshall takes this as a great victory and so, with a cry of, "We got 'em now!" he aims upwards and shoots off four shots that disintegrate the wooden catwalks up by the ceiling. The splintered wooden beams rain down on the mammals, sticking into the floor and forming an impromptu cage of sorts around Bucky, Jenny, Deadeye, Willy and Blinky (Quentin, for his part, seems to have vanished). Laughing, the Air Marshall walks over with Al, Frix and Frax. Interestingly, this is show in a wide shot that shows the entire studio, and the hole Bruiser fell into is nowhere in sight, nor is Bruiser himself....which makes it even stranger when Bruiser suddenly appears from nowhere behind the Air Marshall as he's ranting about how he's going to make Bucky "fry." Bruiser growls at him and the Air Marshall drops his gun (again!) in surprise and his mouth does this weird little thing....I'm entirely sure the script intended for it to be like a "little round 'O' of surprise" kind of deal, but instead it looks like a puckered anus and is very disturbing.



All four villains turn around, terrified of Bruiser. The Air Marshall and his boys I can understand, but why is Al afraid of Bruiser? He's the same size as Bruiser and doesn't have what predispition to be afraid of Berserker Baboons that the toads seem to have (that we know of, anyway). Nevertheless he's cowering in terror right alongside the three toads in this scene and it just looks dumb. Frix, master of the obvious, points at Bruiser and goes, "It's the Berserker Baboon!" Whereupon the Air Marshall suddenly begins laughing and says, "There is no baboon, I tell you! It's one of Blinky's trucks! He can't fool me twice!" He walks right up to Bruiser talking about how he doesn't exist and to prove it, reaches up to grab his nose, and, well, you can probably guess that he actually touches something solid and all of his bravado vanishes in an instant.



"Whaddaya mean, I ain't real?" Bruiser growls. He then grabs the Air Marshall, squishes him into a little ball, and then, I kid you not, punts him like a football!!! I think Bucky O'Hare just jumped the shark here, folks. There's no turning back after this moment.

The Air Marshall sails through the air, out of the studio, and bounces off down the hall, followed closely by Al, Frix and Frax. Ourside, panicking toads are climbing into every available Double Bubble and escaping. The Air Marshall, now back to his original shape, is in one when Al suddenly lands on top and begins pounding on the canopy, demanding that the Air Marshall take him with him: "You can't leave me here! You owe me six-hundred simoleans!" "Sue me!" the Air Marshall snaps, then takes off and flies away with Al still clinging to the top, the two of them continuing to bicker as they disappear into the distance ("Sue me!" "Pay me!" "Sue me!" "Pay me!"). Gosh, I hope Al climbs into the other, vacant cockpit before they leave the atmosphere or else he's screwed. Bucky, Willy, Jenny, Deadeye, Bruiser and Blinky and Quentin (there he is!) and some other koalas walk up and watch the toad ship disappear as Bruiser gives one final triumphant "AAAAAY-OOOOOGAAA!!!!"

Deadeye rants about how they "made those mutinous mudpacks walk the plank," and Bucky, seemingly ignoring him, turns to Quentin and the other koalas and tells them they're finally free. Quentin however worriedly wonders what will happen if the toads ever return, so Willy chimes in and says that he can reprogram the mammal defense shield to keep toads out, thereby protecting Rigel 5 from any future invasions.

The koalas all cheer and I don't really care, and now I'll finally say why. Because we're not given enough time to care. I cared about Bucky's people, the hares, because we had four episodes to get to know all the ins and outs of their plight, to show the misery inflicted upon them and their planet by the toads, and the anguish Bucky suffered because of it. Plus, the first episode made the somewhat bold decision to open from the point of view of the villains, and one of our first visuals in the series (besides Frax molesting a television set) was several terrified hares in chains. Meanwhile, I don't care that much about the koalas because there's no emotional involvement with them like there was for Bucky's people, and we don't see enough of what they went through while slaves of the toads. They're used as caddies, masseusses, butlers, etc. It's just not the same as seeing them being forced to build the same machine that destroyed their planet, and being tortured; the koalas aren't even forced to wear the "slave uniforms" like the hares were.



Anyway we return to the human world for one final scene between Willy and his friend Susie, and they're, uh, back at the zoo again? Yeesh, they sure do go there a lot. They're even looking at the koalas again. Yeah, yeah, I get it. Susie seems to have forgiven Willy's earlier callousness (or perceived callousness anyway) and tells him maybe somebody he'll do his part to save the animals from "the greed of mankind." Willy smirks at her and says, "What about....toadkind?" Susie gives him a look but simply says he's silly and walks off. Willy tosses a peanut up in the air and catches it in his mouth, then breaks the fourth wall by winking at the audience and saying, "Yep, and sometimes I'm not."

The End. Finally.
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