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Author Topic: Bucky O'Hare #3 - The Good, the Bad and the Warty  (Read 7352 times)
The King of Koosh!
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« on: May 11, 2007, 07:47:02 PM »

Time to recap the third and final episode of the pilot miniseries of Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars. As with "A Fistful of Simoleans," at the beginning of this episode we are given an action-packed narrated recap of the events which have transpired so far. Bucky O'Hare and the crew of the Righteous Indignation, including uber-nerd Earth boy Willy DuWitt, are on a mission to stop the evil Toad Empire, only to now find themselves trapped aboard the toad mothership thanks to the machinations of mercenary Al Negator who has stolen the clearance codes for the satellite defense network of Genus, the Coruscant of the Aniverse. Whew. That might be the longest sentance I've ever typed. Anyway if Al delivers the codes to the toads then Genus is doomed.

Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars - Episode Three, The Good, the Bad and the Warty
Written by Christy Marx

After the narrated recap ends we find ourselves forced to once again endure Andy Phibian, annoying toad reporter. He's aboard the mothership somewhere giving toad viewers an update on events so far (and this won't be the last time we'll be unable to figure out precisely where characters are on the ship). Toadborg, the purple cyborg toad introducd in the previous episode, walks by in the background and Andy, taking notice of him, shoves his microphone in his face, and asks for any comments. Toadborg responds by grabbing the microphone from Andy, crushing it, then punching the camera. This is the last we'll see of Andy Phibian, and incidentally, it just occurred to me that he's apparently intended to parody Kermit's reporter persona from Sesame Street.

Meanwhile we find the Righteous Indignation flying wildly around in the hangar bay. So much for "all their controls" being sabotaged. Aboard, Bucky is holding a little pow-wow with his crew, explaining that they need to get the disk containing the codes back from Al Negator before he hands them over to the bad guys. Interestingly, everyone is present here except for Blinky, so I'm guessing he's the one flying the ship unless it truly is completely out of control, in which case I'm amazed it hasn't crashed and exploded already. Willy points out that by now, Al might have already handed the codes over. Bucky disagrees. "Al's a Slezasaur," Bucky explains, "money means everything to his ilk." At the mention of money, Deadeye, who took Willy's fake money earlier, suddenly looks a little guilty, in a nice subtle touch.

Al's insistence on not handing the codes over just yet buys our heroes some time, but first they have to actually get off the ship, which is difficult to do since the hangar is crawling with Stormtoads. But Deadeye's got a plan!

The Righteous Indignation zips about the hangar some more before finally crashlanding and sliding across the hangar floor, finally coming to a stop when it bangs into the wall. A few Stormtoads run over holding laser rifles. A few more, flying around with the aid of either jetpacks or hovercraft, arrive and shoot at the ship a few times in an apparent effort to cripple it. The ship sparks and begins to smoke. The smoke fills the hangar and masks the ship from view. One of the Stormtoads cries out that it's going to explode and they all turn and run. As they do so, Bucky, Jenny, Deadeye and Willy all come charging out of the smoke. Willy is once again wearing his baboon battlesuit with the helmet on. The Stormtoads realize they've been duped ("It's a filthy mammal trick!") and come after them.

The Toad Croaker just happens to be sitting there in the middle of the hangar. Guess that's where Al just left it. Anyway Deadeye and Willy climb aboard and take off. Bucky, meanwhile, has been surrounded by three Stormtoads who for some reason don't just shoot him, and displays his astounding jumping ability by leaping straight up into the air above their heads with a springing noise.

He goes up so high that one of the hover vehicles actually passes beneath him, and as he comes back down he lands in it and kicks out the Stormtoad who's flying it. He falls and lands on the three guys below, knocking them all down. Now Bucky is control of the hovercraft and he pushes the throttle forwards, jumping out, and the unmanned vehicle crashes into and destroys several parked Double Bubble fighter craft. The remaining hovercraft and the Stormtoads wearing jetpacks have just disappeared.

With that taken care of, Bucky and Jenny run and jump through a hole melted in the hangar wall that literally comes from nowhere. In the script, Deadeye did this with the Toad Croaker's guns and then he and Willy flew through it ahead of the others. It'd have been nice if they animated it. Anyway Bucky and Jenny race down a hallway and come to a T-shaped junction. Wishing one another good luck ("Good luck, Jenny!" "Be careful, Bucky!") they split up. He goes right, she goes left.

Back in the hangar, the smoke has cleared and the Stormtoads charge at the Righteous Indignation with a cry of "Seize the ship!" As they reach it, however, Bruiser emerges with a cry of "Aaaayoooogaaahh!!!" Predictably, the toads panic and turn to flee as Bruiser leaps out and chases them. One starts to yell that it's a Berserker Baboon but he's cut off as Bruiser grabs him and another Stormtoad and knocks their heads together. They collapse to the floor. Declaring that this is "fun," Bruiser pulls another unfortunate Stormtoad from offscreen, squashes him into a little ball very cartoonishly (even for this show) and begins to dribble him like a basketball.

We suddenly cut to the Indefatigable, Commander Dogstar's frigate, flying through space. Dogstar himself is on the bridge with Wolf the wolf, trying to raise Bucky on the radio without success. He can "feel it in his bones" that Bucky is deep trouble, and suddenly a realization hits him and he snaps his fingers, declaring, "That's it! I knew I'd remember! That Sleazasaur Bucky hired is the same lizard I smelled in Tinker's spy shop!" Nevermind that Al is an alligator. Wolf comments that this is a bad sign, and Dogstar agrees, ordering him to set a course for Bucky's last known location.

Back to the toad mothership now, where we find Bucky being chased down a generic hall by a bunch of Stormtoads who of course don't bother to actually fire at him despite them being armed with rifles and he with a mere pistol. Bucky, in turn, doesn't just turn and shoot the enemy soldiers, being the hero and all, and instead turns and shoots several pipes lining the walls. Steam jets from the ruptured pipes, burning the Stormtoads who all drop their weapons and yowl in pain. And yes, Bucky does say that the toads "got him steamed." He may be above killing his enemies, but he's not above making bad puns. With the villains thus incapacitated, Bucky turns and runs away.

Elsewhere, in a brief bit that amounts to nothing really important, we find Jenny walking down yet another generic hallway being watched by a camera mounted on the wall. She says, "It's not nice to stare," and zaps it with a blast of energy from her fingertip, destroying it. I guess this bit was just to remind us that, yes, Jenny has magical powers.

Elsewhere yet again, we see a gigantic wheeled contraption emerge from a big room. Gah, this is all very confusing, especially since this appears to be in the hangar and mere seconds later we find the thing chasing Deadeye and Willy down a hallway. Anyway the thing can best be described as a toadlike version of the cleaning machine in Labyrynth. It's got huge guns mounthed on either side of a giant metal toad head with a maw filled with buzzsaws. A pretty nasty-looking machine to be sure, and it's swiftly gaining on our two heroes. Well, okay, the comic relief and the viewer indentification figure. Deadeye refers to it as a "Void Droid," and attempts to shoot it with his blaster pistols, only to have the lasers bounce harmlessly off it.

The Void Droid swiftly gains on them, threatening to swallow them, Toad Croaker and all, into its maw of doom. Deadeye cries out for Willy to use his "secret human weapon," meaning the squirt gun he "confiscated" from Willy's room in the first episode and returned to him in the second. Willy takes the squirt gun out but tries to tell him it's not a real gun, but Deadeye cuts him off and yells, "Belay the yap and shoot!" Willy complies, turning and pointing the squirt gun at the Void Droid, squeezing off a stream of water directly into its mouth. Immediately the robot stops in its tracks. Smoke and sparks issue forth from its mouth. Its guns, buzzsaws and wheels fall over, then the entire thing collapses and explodes.

On the bridge, the Toad Air Marshall is looking up at the smoking remains of the Void Droid on a huge viewscreen along with Frix and Frax. "I don't believe it!" he cries. "It was ray-shielded and missile-shielded!" "But not water-proof!" Frax points out.

Cut back to Willy and Deadeye. Deadeye says there's "somethin' been naggin' at my conscience," and he gives Willy back the wad of bills he took from his duffel bag. Willy laughs and tells him not to worry about it because it's only play money. Deadeye, misunderstanding, says, "Looks like you played for big stakes, bucko!" Suddenly he flies upwards for some unknown reason causing Willy to fall backwards off of the Toad Croaker and right down a convenient chute of some sort. Deadeye doesn't even notice Willy is missing until a moment or so later, when he just happens to glance back and see no one there. Dumbass.

The chute Willy fell into just happens to lead directly to the room aboard the ship where Al Negator is staying. In fact, Willy ends up at his feet, and comes unmasked in the process. Staring down at him with his hands on his hips, Al comments, "My, my. What in the Aniverse are you?"

Before we get Willy's answer we return to Bucky, and it's here we discover that in addition to trying to get the codes back from Al, he also had another mission: to find his captured people. If you'll remember, we saw several captive hares being unloaded from slave ships at the beginning of "War of the Warts," so it's reasonable to assume they're being kept on the mothership somewhere.

Bucky seems to figure this out as well, and when we return to him, he seems to have found just the right place. Shooting the electronic lock on the door he charges heroically in only to find... no one there. This is a surprisingly spooky scene. Bucky's ears droop dejectedly as he beholds a vast, empty room containing nothing but empty benches and chains. There's no sign of anyone.

Suddenly, Bucky hears a voice behind him: "Your people are gone." He whirls around to find none other than Toadborg standing behind him. Without missing a beat, Toadborg continues, "Gone, to slave in our factories for the glory of the supreme toad race." Needless to say, Bucky is furious at this news. "Choke on this, robot!" he cries and fires at Toadborg. Toadborg takes the hit, but all it does is nick his shoulder a little. "I am no mere robot," Toadborg says, walking towards Bucky, "I am Toadborg." Worried a little bit now, Bucky amps up the power on his blaster, vowing to turn him into "Smorgasborg," and continues to fire, but still Toadborg is unharmed. Toadborg confidently tells him to set it as high as he wants. Deciding to get the hell out of there, Bucky once more displays his astonishing leaping ability, jumping into the air above Toadborg's head.

But the cyborg toad proves to be the better jumper. Toadborg leaps up, grabbing Bucky by the ears in midair, and then thuds back down to the floor on his feet. Dangling by the ears, Bucky desperately fires his blaster into Toadborg again and again, but even at point-blank range this does absolutely nothing to him. Well, it does annoy him, and he smacks the gun from Bucky's hand finally. We watch it go spinning off across the floor, and then Toadborg points his finger at Bucky. A small puff of pinkish gas comes out and hits Bucky in the face, and he is immediately rendered unconscious. "Sweet dreams, Bucky O'Hare," Toadborg sneers. Still holding the unconscious hare by the ears, he turns and carries him from the room.
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2007, 12:39:32 AM »

The inability of the bad guys to hit anything, of course, is also known as the "Stormtrooper Effect." Bucky's bad puns are probably a riff on Schwartzenegger's groaners from all of his action movies. As I like to say, if you're going to rip things off, always steal from the best sources!
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2007, 01:34:13 AM »

Cut to Jenny running, er, somewhere. We never really find out where she's going or what she's trying to do. This scene is just another excuse to showcase her powers. Coming to a door, she blasts it with her magic powers as she had done with the door of the toad slave ship's bridge in the first episode.

Entering, she finds Bucky lying unconscious on the floor with Toadborg standing over him. Without being prompted, Toadborg helpfully explains that Bucky is his prisoner, and "you are next." "Honestly, you robots are getting so cheeky," Jenny huffs, obviously thinking Toadborg here is just another expendable drone like the Guardroid was. Imagine her surprise when he blast of magic only serves to make him grunt in slight pain. He raises his hands, firing a blast from his fingers that knocks Jenny across the room. Ouch!

She recovers, but barely. She struggles to her feet long enough to mumble out loud that Toadborg isn't a robot after all, before collapsing again. Intrigued, Toadborg walks over and lifts her up by her hair (!). Sheesh, what is it with this guy and picking people up this way? "Deep within this metal shell are the remains of a living toad soldier," he tells her. "How fascinating that you perceived this. We must discuss it some other time."

He points at her like he did to Bucky, and knockout gas comes out of his fingertip. Jenny is instantly rendered unconscious. Toadborg sets her down just as some Stormtoads enter, and he tells them to take the prisoners and put them in the "jettison tubes." "They will talk, or be destroyed," he vows, banging his fists together dramatically.

Cut to Al Negator's quarters where Al is pacing in front of Willy, eyeing him up and down. He says he's "dressed like a baboon," but has "pink skin," and he can't seem to quite wrap his mind on just what species Willy is supposed to be. Changing the subject abruptly, Willy tries to look brave by accusing Al of stealing the defense codes. He begins jumping up and down, threatening to "stomp ya" unless he hands them over. Al, unintimidated, walks towards him, telling him nothing but simoleans will pry the codes from him. Willy, backing away, suddenly seems to get an idea. "Is that all you want?" he asks. "Lousy old simoleans?"

"Huh? What could be more valuable than simoleans?" a thoroughly confused Al demands to know. Out comes the play money. Oh boy, here we go. Willy is going to try to dupe Al. Referring to the bills as "willies" (oh brother!), he says that each one of them is worth a hundred simoleans. Al looks momentarily interested, then decides against it, waving his hand dismissively. "Never heard of 'em," he says. Willy pretends to look shocked, saying that willies are the new currency for the United Mammal Space Fleet, and are backed by mammals everywhere in the Aniverse. Now Al can't resist, and makes a grab for the bills, demanding that Willy hand them over. Willy pulls the money out of Al's reach, telling him to first give him the codes.

Al produces the snooper (the disk-like thing he downloaded the codes onto) and holds it up for Willy to see. He says he'll give him the codes, in exchange for all of Willy's, er, willies. Willy pretends to look insulted and calls this "outrageous." But ultimately he "caves," and gives Al the entire stack of money. In exchange, the alligator gives him the snooper. Al stalks off, happily thumbing through the stack of bills, and Willy enthuses, to an empty room, that Deadeye will be proud of him for swindling the bad guy.

Speaking of Deadeye, we cut back to him now, flying the Toad Croaker down yet another generic hallway, calling Willy's name. At least he's making an effort to find the kid. He finds his path blocked by Toadborg and skids to a halt, inches from colliding with the big cyborg. "Outta my way, ya slimey bucket of toad gears!" he snarls. "Make me, you feathered fool," Toadborg challenges, crossing his arms. Deadeye fires with the Toad Croaker's guns, but the blast does not hurt Toadborg, instead knocking the Croaker back several feet. Deadeye them flies at Toadborg, obviously intending to ram him. Toadborg simply grabs the vehicle and swings it, throwing Deadeye off. He flies into the nearby wall and then slides down unconscious.

A short time later, Bucky, Deadeye and Jenny are conscious once more, standing upright inside glass tubes tubes that go all the way up to the high ceiling. Toadborg stands at a control panel nearby, and asks Bucky what the strength of his fleet is. Nevermind that the "fleet" consists of exactly two ships, Bucky isn't going to talk. He simply asks if there's "room service," and pretends to order a glass of carrot juice. At least this gives a plausible explanation for why the toads haven't actively tried to kill Bucky and his crew so far; they want them alive to learn if the rumor about a big mammal fleet is true. Anyway, in response to Bucky's cocky attitude, Toadborg flips a switch.

Air immediately begins rushing out the tube Bucky is in, slowly suffocating him. Gasping for breath, Bucky slowly begins to sink to his knees as Jenny and Deadeye look on in horror. Still Bucky refuses to give in, and Toadborg flips the switch again and the air comes back in. Bucky slowly stands. Toadborg angrily pounds the control panel in frustration, and then Komplex appears on a small viewscreen before him, and he says Bucky will tell them nothing, but it doesn't matter because the mothership has reached the perimeter defense of Genus. Outside, we see the mothership approach the defense satellites, many of which are even bigger than it is. The mighty vessel does a U-turn to avoid flying right into the middle of the deadly weapons.

"I want the codes!" Komplex snarls. When Toadborg vows to have them "soon," Komplex snaps, "Not soon. Now!" and vanishes from the screen. Suddenly, in a nice role reversal of the earlier scene with Bucky in the slave quarters, Toadborg hears a voice behind him tell him to put his hands up. He turns and finds Willy standing in the doorway, baboon helmet on and pointing the squirt gun at him. Willy tells him to open the tubes and set his friends free, or "I'll zap ya!"

In a moment of genuine comedy, Toadborg initially freaks out like all the other toads do as he mistakes Willy for a Berserker Baboon, backing up against the control panel in terror and yelling for help. Realization dawns on him though and he calms down. "No," he says, "I am no longer an ordinary toad. No baboon can harm me!" Willy squirts Toadborg, but this does absolutely nothing. Smacking the squirt gun from Willy's hand, Toadborg growls, "Do you take me for some primitive Void-Droid? Water cannot harm me!"

He raises his fists to strike him, but suddenly Willy holds up the snooper disk and Toadborg freezes. Willy tells him to stay back, or he'll destroy it. "So, Al Negator failed," Toadborg grumbles, but then says he has something the bumbling mercenary did not have, and gestures to the tubes containing Bucky, Jenny and Deadeye. For some reason, Willy reacts as though this is the first time he's even noticed that they were there.

Toadborg's hand is poised on the control panel, and he tells Willy to give him the codes or he'll eject the three into space, feeling the need to sadistically explain that they'll die in seconds without spacesuits. Interesting animation blooper throughout this scene, too: in some shots Willy is wearing his baboon helmet, and in others, he's not. Anyway, flips three switches. The air begins to rush from all three tubes, suffocating the three of them. Willy now has a minute to decide what to do. Poor Willy is utterly at a loss what to do, and stammers nervously. Bucky yells for him to destroy the codes, and Jenny and Deadeye also chime in. She tells him it doesn't matter what happens to them, and he advises Willy to use his baboon suit's boots; they'll crush anything.

Of the three episodes in the pilot miniseries, this one is the most well written to me. You can really feel the pressure being put to bear on poor Willy here. Toadborg does his part, too, constantly reminding him that Bucky and the other two are going to die unless Willy forks over the codes (although he never actually says "die," to be fair). Toadborg advances on Willy, who backs away, still stammering nervously and beginning to cry. Boy genius he may be, but he's still a child, and this nice little moment really hammers that point home. The clincher is when Bucky yells, "Do what's right, Willy!" and Willy finally throws the snooper down onto the floor and stomps on it, grinding it to pieces beneath his boot.

Toadborg is furious. "You miserable monkey!" he shrieks, grabbing him by the front of his battlesuit and yanking him off his feet. Suddenly, Al Negator's hand enters the frame, holding another snooper identical to the one Willy just smashed. "Would this help?" he offers. "I made a copy, of course," Al explains as both Willy and Toadborg stare at him in confusion and disbelief. "Al Negator guarantees his deliveries!" So after all that drama and anguish Wily has sacrificed his new friends for nothing, all because Al is smart enough to make copies of the codes. Speaking of drama and anguish, Willy reacts to this about as well as you'd expect, screaming "No! NO!!!" at the top of his lungs. Toadborg takes the disk from Al and inserts it into a slot in himself, and there is a beeping sound and he announces that the Genus defense codes have been confirmed. He then pays Al the agreed-upon five-thousand simoleans which he see here are a handful of blue marble-like balls. Al laughs evilly and appears to eat them for some unknown reason (!).

Willy calls Al a lying sleaze as Toadborg carries him over and sticks him in a spare tube, telling him, "You can go out with the other trash." The air begins to be drained from Willy's tube as it is from the other three. Toadborg is one cold dude here, killing a child like this. Okay, to be fair, he has no idea that Willy is a human much less a kid, but still. And speaking of Toadborg, up until this point he's been a fairly intelligent and threatening enemy, but right here he begins to start making a lot of classic villain mistakes, first among them is leaving the room without making sure the heroes are suffocated. Al accompanies him as well, muttering about how invasions are such "messy affairs."

When the two villains are gone, Jenny in her tube starts to psychically converse with someone she calls "Mother Aldebaran," and we see a green feline face appear in the gemstone attached to the front of Jenny's helmet. Later, in The Artificers of Aldebaran," the episode that delves (kind of) into the hows and whys of Jenny's people, the head of their order is named the High Artificer, not Mother Aldebaran, and she is also a white cat, not a green one, so this Mother Aldebaran must be someone else. Who, exactly, we're never told.

Anyways Jenny begs permission to use her powers to save them all before they asphyxiate to death. Mother Aldebaran however retorts that their sisterhood's rules say they can't let outsiders see the full extent of their powers. I guess the Guardroid and Toadborg earlier don't count. I can only guess that she means Bucky and the gang, but really, if Jenny can reveal her powers to the villains, why can't she do so with her friends?

Seriously, I hate this kind of thing, and alongside Toadborg's sudden drop in intelligence (which is about to get a lot worse following this scene) it's the definite low spot of an otherwise well-written episode.

Mother Aldebaran takes pity on Jenny's plight, however, and advises her to use a "low level psychic blast," which will "probably go unnoticed." Jenny thanks her and then proceeds to zap the control panel with a pink beam from her forehead gem... which for some reason doesn't also shatter the glass of her tube. Oh well. As soon as the control panel is blown to smithereens, the four tubes open automatically, and our heroes emerge, and naturally don't have to catch their breath or anything. They've only been suffocating for over a minute. A dazed Willy asks what happened, and Bucky admits he doesn't know, and rather slyly asks Jenny what she thinks. Jenny, "examining" the remains of the control panel, simply says, "I guess they just don't build control panels like they used to."

With that, our heroes grab their guns from a nearby shelf (strike two against Toadborg: he puts the good guys' confiscated weapons within their reach) and run from the room, with Bucky saying they have to get off the mothership and warn Genus. Yeah, "warn Genus," not "stop the toads." A nice little nod to the fact that at this point, the best they can do is give everyone on Genus an advance warning of the coming invasion.
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« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2007, 06:27:42 AM »

Oh.  My.  God.

Can you spot the hidden subtext in this image?

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The King of Koosh!
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2007, 12:16:14 AM »

She's being sprayed in the face with knockout gas. Don't put subtext or meaning that isn't there. Wink

On the bridge of the mothership, the Toad Air Marshall, Frix and Frax all stand before Toadborg, the former complaining aloud that there are no codes in the ship's computer for them to transmit. Toadborg then explains that, ridiculously, he has the codes within his own internal database, and will transmit them himself. Shortly after this, we learn that you can't just transmit the codes and then breeze on through. You have to send a constant, uninterrupted signal to prevent the satellite guns from firing on you until you pass through the perimeter. The Air Marshall rather wisely points out that if anything happens to Toadborg, the signal will stop and the mothership will be a sitting duck. Toadborg's response? "Then you'd better hope nothing happens to me." That's strike three, Toadborg. You went from being a relatively cool and intelligent villain to being a complete dunderhead in one episode.

His eyes light up and we hear more beeping sounds. A miniature radar dish pops out of the top of his head. Outside, the satellites all deactive. Toadborg announces that "It is done," and Frix and Frax look at one another, smiling like they actually did anything useful, as Toadborg instructs the crew to fly the mothership into Genus orbit. They comply and the huge vessel proceeds to plow through the satellites, ramming them harmlessly out of the way.

Toadborg's grand plan to invade the now helpless Genus is not to land a bunch of Stormtoads, but rather to land the previously talked about and much-feared climate converter, which we see here is a city-sized contraption capable of interplanetary flight, with massive conduit towers on the surface. It's actually a fairly scary-looking machine, but it's no Death Star. Anyway Toadborg seats himself at the controls of the converter, and one of the huge "warts" on the surface of the mothership opens and the climate converter, a massive, saucer-shaped vehicle, emerges and flies towards Genus.

Back inside the mothership, Bucky and Jenny come into the hangar bay to find Bruiser still throwing some Stormtoads around. Well over fifty of them lay about the hangar in various states of injury. Okay, now I understand why Toadborg is loathe to send Stormtoads onto Genus in advance of the climate converter. These guys are pathetic. Bucky congratulates Bruiser on his good ass-kicking, and Bucky and Jenny hurry aboard the Righteous. Deadeye and Willy fly in on the Toad Croaker, Deadeye landing it on some of the knocked-out toads with a whoopee-cushion sound. Willy gets off and clambers aboard after Bucky and Jenny. Deadeye flies the Croaker around to its port on the opposite side of the ship.

Aboard, Bucky consults with Blinky who is fiddling with a control panel (so that's where he's been all this time) and asks him what the status is on repairing the damage wrought by Al Negator's disablers. Blinky salutes and says all systems are at "70-percent of standard operation," which, to me, suggests that the Righteous Indignation is a really crummy ship. Nevertheless, Bucky tells Blinky he did a good job, and with that, our heroes are off! Although most of the Stormtoads are laying about, one has managed to sit up. As the ship passes above him he ducks down with his butt in the air. The ship's afterburners end up burning his butt. Ouch.

Two toad controllers in a room overlooking the hangar take notice of the Righteous Indignation's escape and try to stop them by closing the bay doors (which if you'll remember, the Air Marshall ordered closed already, hooray for continuity). Needless to say, the Righteous Indignation successfully makes it out before they snap shut. Not that it matters, as as soon as they make it free of the mothership, the mammals suddenly discover hundreds upon hundreds of Double Bubbles blocking their escape.

Before any of the toads have a chance to fire, their Double Bubbles begin to explode one by one. Just when we begin to think they're all spontaneously combusting, Commander Dogstar comes flying onto the scene in the Indefatigable. Took him long enough. Still channelling Jim Backus, Dogstar comments on the overabundance of toad fighters thusly: "Great horned toads, Bucky! Seems to be a bit of a toad infestation!" The Indefatigable proceeds to start ripping through the Double Bubbles with its laser cannons. Bucky and Jenny watch as the toad pilots float past the bridge viewport in their escape pods.

As Dogstar continues destroying the toad fighters, Jenny suddenly points down to the surface of Genus, and we see the climate converter sitting above the water. Its massive electrical conduit towers are generating static electricity to start a thunderstorm, and it appears to be working. "It'll turn Genus into a toad-infested swamp. Just what it did to my world," Bucky grimly points out. He then tells Dogstar that they have to stop it, and Dogstar tells Bucky he and Wolf (who is wearing a purple baseball cap in this scene that we'll never see him wearing again) will keep "these slimey bug-eaters" off of Bucky's back long enough for him to get down there and destroy the climate converter.

The Righteous Indignation flies down through the storm to the surface of Genus, and Deadeye tries shooting the climate converter with his laser cannons to no effect. Bucky then concludes that they'll have to destroy it from the inside. Just as Jenny is in the middle of pointing out that there is no visible way inside, a round hatch on the side of the machine splits into six pieces that slide inward, revealing an entranceway. This is awfully convenient, to say the least. Is Toadborg just daring Bucky to come in and fight him, or did the door just automatically open because a ship was nearby? If it's the former, it's another example of how foolishly cocky Toadborg is. If it's the latter, then it's obvious that the toads don't have technology equipped on their climate converters that detects mammal ships. The Righteous Indignation pulls up to the open hatchway on the conduit tower. The side hatch of the ship opens, revealing Bucky, Willy, Deadeye and Bruiser. A harsh window blows past the mammals. Deadeye, brandishing both of his pistols, tells Bucky he's not going in without him, and Bruiser chimes in with an enthusiastic "Yeah, me too!"

But Bucky orders them to stay put, and then rushes across the open hatch and enters the tower. Willy runs after him suddenly, and Deadeye tries to grab him and pull him back but the ship pulls away from the tower just as Willy enters the passageway. He stumbles and falls as soon as he's inside, proving to be a real klutz. Bucky helps him stand and asks him if he's crazy, to which Willy replies, "No, but you are. How can you turn it off without an engineer?" A good point, but Bucky says he was going to "play it by ear" (the hell?), just as they turn to see Toadborg coming towards them.

He is genuinely surprised to see them, which means he did not in fact open up that hatch as a challenge to Bucky. Toadborg is also alone, without any technicians or guards inside the converter, the interior of which all glowing and blinking panels of lights and equipment, with electricity and energy crackling over tubing that runs everywhere. "I don't know how you escaped, Bucky O'Hare, but you will not leave here alive," Toadborg growls.

Why does Bucky insist on going into the climate converter alone? He's already learned he can't fight Toadborg alone, so why this gung-ho, lone hero act? If he's concerned about the well-being of his crew (i.e., he's worried Toadborg will, like, kill them), it'd be nice if he said so instead of just ordering them to stay put and charging off to face Toadborg alone. And while I'm on this tangent, it'd be interesting to see Toadborg vs. Bruiser.

Bucky shoves Willy behind a piece of equipment and then pulls his pistol, firing at Toadborg. As before, it does nothing to hurt the giant purple cyborg. "You haven't learned," says Toadborg, "nothing can harm me now!" "That does present a challenge," comments Bucky. As Toadborg advances on Bucky, Bucky jumps up into the air. Toadborg also jumps, but this time Bucky uses Toadborg's better jumping ability against him, somersaulting underneath Toadborg so that Toadborg sails right over him and crashes into some of the climate converter's arbitrary, pointless pieces of equipment, and this does nothing to affect the climate converter's performance. Toadborg gets to his feet and turns to see Bucky standing on a flight of stairs nearby, leading up to a closed hatchway, his hands on his hips. "Poor little toady," he teases. "To think that Komplex wasted all that power on a dumb little toad brain."

If Bucky's aim was to get Toadborg to come after him, it works in spades. Toadborg growls and leaps at him. Bucky rushes the rest of the way up the stairs and turns the valve handle to open the door. He gets it open just as Toadborg lands on the stairs right behind him, and dashes through as the cyborg chases after him. After they're gone, Willy comes out of hiding and rushes over to one of the control panels. He removes the panel and begins fiddling with the wires inside using a wrench he'd brought with him. I commented above that Toadborg didn't bring anyone with him, which works in Willy's favor here. He'd be unable to do this unmolested if there were any Stormtoads. Toadborg, you dips**t.

Outside, Bucky finds himself standing on the surface of the climate converter. Suffice to say that the exterior of the converter is a very hostile place to be. Thunder booms and lightning flashes overhead. Energy crackles from the multiple gigantic conduit towers that dot the surface of the massive machine. The waves of the ocean pound mightily below. Looks like a good place to stage a final battle to me. As Toadborg emerges, Bucky ducks behind one of the conduits, yelling, "Yeah, you toads are real brave, picking on helpless planets!" Toadborg responds that he is "not a toad," but rather is Toadborg. But when Bucky teases him further by saying, "Hey Toadborg, where did Komplex find ya? Workin' in a fly pie factory?" Toadborg contradicts himself (sort of) by losing his temper and roaring with fury, "I was no worker! I was a Stormtoad! I WAS A WARRIOR!!!"

His arms extend on long cables and reach around the conduit to grab Bucky. Bucky however leaps out of the way and Toadborg grabs thin air. His arms retract and he then leaps after the green hare yet again with a cry of "Hairy rodent!" Back inside the climate converter, Willy has pulled out all the wires and then reassembled them in a big tangle on the floor. As he finishes, everything starts to shake and glow bright yellow. Deadeye runs in and Willy rushes over to him, telling him "the Captain'll have your hide for mutiny, lad!" He's one to talk! What's he doing here anyway? Anyway Willy tells him he's (somehow) created a negative field that will attract the lightning. "The whole thing is gonna blow!" He and Deadeye run back aboard the Righteous Indignation which is once more hovering just outside the first entranceway. The ship then pulls away and flies up and over the climate converter, up to where Bucky and Toadborg are fighting.

They both stop and look around, and Toadborg realizes that something is very wrong when the lightning bolts start coming down and hitting the surface of the climate converter. "No, this is not right!" he cries. "The lightning will destroy it!" Forgetting about Bucky for now he turns and runs back inside. The Righteous flies overhead, the hatch open and Willy and Bruiser leaning out, the former yelling for Bucky to jump. Bucky jumps, but he can't make it even with his leaping ability. He starts to fall when Bruiser reaches down and grabs his cape, hauling him up into the ship.

Aboard the toad mothership still in orbit above Genus and surrounded by the defense satellites, the Air Marshall stands on the bridge having his medals polished by Frix and Frax. He says he is going to ask Komplex to have all his medals melted down to make "one big medal," and doesn't noticed the satellites all come back online and turn their guns towards the ship. Suddenly alarms start going off and a lab-coated controller turns to the Air Marshall and goes, "Air Marshall, we've lost contact with Toadborg! The Genus satellites are turning on us!" The whole crew turns and runs off the bridge as the Air Marshall, Frix, and Frax turn and see the guns pointed at them. The Air Marshall has enough time to cry "ESCAPE!!!" just as the satellites open fire.

In the best sequence in the entire episode, all hell breaks loose on board as the ship starts being destroyed. Stormtoads, scientists, and various personnel run around aimlessly in panic as the lasers rip through the ship with debris and shrapnel flying everywhere and alarms going off like crazy. Many scramble aboard slave ships and Double Bubbles. Others squeeze into escape pods. Still more are sucked out into space by the huge holes the satellite guns blow in the mothership's hull. Ultimately, the entire mothership explodes in a massive fireball.

One of the last ships to leave is the Air Marshall's personal shuttle, being flown by Frix and Frax. On board, the Air Marshall is wiping his brow with a handkerchief in relief when suddenly Komplex appears on a viewscreen. "Air Marshall, you despicable failure," he yells. "Return to the Homeworld at once!" He promptly faints, and Frix and Frax look at one another. "Do you think Komplex will melt his medals?" asks Frax. They turn and look at him lying on the floor, and then Frix goes, "I think Komplex will melt him."

I don't understand why Komplex blames the Air Marshall for the destruction of the mothership and for the failed attempt to conquer Genus. As noted above, it was Toadborg's overconfidence and stupidity that ultimately led to both tragedies (well, they're tragedies for the toads anyway).
« Last Edit: May 13, 2007, 12:20:16 AM by Kooshmeister » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2007, 01:14:40 PM »

Can you spot the hidden subtext in this image?

Eeeyeah, I think you're the one overanalyzing things this time. This IS a kids' show, after all. On the other hand, I admit that showing that one toad getting his butt burned off might be a little naughty.

On Toadborg's stupidity, I'd have to say it's probably because, as he states himself, he's a cyborg composed of machinery overlaid on an old stormtoad. Stormtoads obviously aren't too bright, judging by their performance in these episodes. While Toadborg might have some extra processing power at his disposal from whatever kind of computer system he's got in that suit, it still wouldn't improve his basic intellect very much. The improvements to his physical prowess also seem to have made him a bit arrogant and overconfident--two traits that have felled villains more intelligent than himself.

Komplex's reaction to Stormtoad's failure is rather irrational, but like the idiocy of Bucky's superiors, all too realistic. You warn the boss that what he's telling you to do won't work, he tells you to do it anyway, and then guess who gets blamed when, just as you warned him, the project gets all shot to hell? Yeah. Komplex obviously does have some distinctly human personality flaws to go with his sentience. On the other hand, Bucky's charging headlong into the action and needlessly endangering himself just like Captain Kirk on Star Trek, so it's not as if the toads are the only ones letting hubris and overconfidence get the better of them.
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2007, 03:08:23 PM »

Komplex's reaction to Stormtoad's failure is rather irrational, but like the idiocy of Bucky's superiors, all too realistic.

You mean the Air Marshall. :)


Toadborg, battered and damaged, floats through space amidst the debris of what's left of the mothership. As a fleeing Double Bubble passes him, he shoots his hand out and grabs ahold of it and gets pulled along with it.

The Righteous Indignation and the Indefatigable fly down towards the surface of Genus where they are greeted by the cheering mammal populace. Standing at the hatchway of the ship, Bucky does that thing where you put both your fists together and shake them vigorously above your head, then bows dramatically. He sure is eating up all this attention, isn't he?

Cut to sometime later. At least, we're left to assume it's sometime later. We just cut right from Bucky basking in his glory to Willy pulling the lever on the photon accelerator, causing his closet door to appear. Guess the damage was only temporary. Now, as you can imagine, it's time for the Wizard of Oz good-byes. Suggesting that this scene is in fact still part of the previous one, Bucky tells Willy he should be out there since he's the real hero. Which is funny, considering in the previous episode Bucky had been loathe to let anyone but his own crew know Willy even existed. Willy, proving to be a real modest guy, stuffs his hands in his pockets and sheepishly says he didn't do all that much.

Bucky hugs him, telling him to come back soon, as "it won't be the same without our engineer. And no sleazasaurs this time." Deadeye pipes up and promises he'll make sure of that. We then notice that Jenny is absent for some reason, and so does Willy. He tells them to say good-bye to her for him, and is about to go through the door when she appears holding a small pink gem of some sort. "I've been preparing this for you," she says, handing it to him and giving him a kiss on the cheek. "It's an Aldebaran memory stone," she adds. I seem to remember her actually explaining what it is it does, but I guess I was wrong because without any further ado she simply tells him to hurry back. Willy promises to return, then goes through the closet door and it disappears in a flash of light when he closes it.

Cut to a seedy-looking bar someplace. Al Negator and a few Stormtoads (?) are boozing it up at the bar. Or rather I should say the Stormtoads are; Al is, at the moment, in the middle of arguing with the chimpanzee bartender, with whom he appears to be friends. The chimp is wearing an eyepatch and looks vaguely like Louie from Tale Spin. "I'm tellin' ya for the last time, Al, I've checked the currencies from one end of the Aniverse to another and there ain't no such thing as a willy," the bartender is telling him, and he points at the wad of fake bills in Al's hand and declares it worthless. Al seethes at this and wonders aloud how "that pink-skinned baboon" would dare give him worthless money... and then suddenly begins laughing.

The bartender laughs, too, pointing at Al as he does so. Al stops laughing and grabs him by the back of his shirt, lifting him off his feet. "I didn't say you could laugh!" he snarls, then harmlessly tosses him aside. He then crumples up the "willies," and vows to get revenge against "the creature that gave me the willies."

Cut to Willy's universe. At the school science fair, Doug, his friends, and Willy are demonstrating the computerized skateboard that they've built. I really have no clue how this thing is supposed to work, but Mark, doing some moves with it, explains it thusly: "This baby figures out everything! Speed, balance, helps you perfect some radical moves." The female science teacher they're talking to is very impressed, but notes with some skepticism that they apparently got a lot of help of Willy. Doug denies this, of course, calling Willy an "egghead," and saying he just let him kinda of "tag along" to be nice. Nevertheless, the teacher gives all four boys an A.

Willy looks a trifle hurt by Doug's downplaying his involvement, and further, Doug takes all the credit for the idea. Jeff, the bully who in the previous episode had expressed interest in the skateboard before either Doug or Mark did, comes over to Willy and tells him to just ignore Doug. This is an unusual development to say the least. Not only has Willy come to a nonviolent conclusion with the bullies, but he appears to have even become friends with one of them. Anyway, the episode then concludes with Willy taking out the memory stone Jenny gave him, which displays a sort of "family portrait" of the entire Righteous Indignation's crew; Bucky, Jenny, Deadeye, Bruiser and Blinky all appear in the stone, and we once more hear Jenny's voice telling him to "hurry back."

The End

Thus ends the third and final part of the three-part pilot miniseries for Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Wars. It could have been better, but for all its faults it's my favorite of the three. As with many cartoons, when Bucky came to home video, these three episodes got combined into one "movie" for the VHS release, which was called Bucky O'Hare and the Toad Menace. I fondly remember watching my copy of it as a kid living in Texas, and thinking it was the greatest movie ever. Now though, as with all the other toons I've been revisiting in my reviews, I see all the glaring faults peppered throughout and it does affect how I watch it; once you notice a blooper you can never not notice it again.

As you can imagine, there are a lot of loose ends left dangling by the miniseries. At the end of this episode, all Bucky does is deal with the immediate problem of the Toad Empire trying to invade Genus. He's still got those other problems to deal with further along down the road, such as finding Bruce again and discovering where his own enslaved people have been taken. And remarkably, unlike some other cartoon series, these dangling plot threads will be resolved, or at least addressed, in future episodes.

The only thing set up in this episode that never gets dealt with again is Willy's apparent newfound friendship with Jeff. Jeff is never seen again in the series, nor are Doug and Mark for that matter. As I said above, I liked how Willy manages to overcome being bullied in a nonviolent way, and Jeff warming up to Willy seemed like a big step forward in developing such a minor character, but unfortunately the writers never did anything with this. Shame. I would've liked to have seen more of Jeff.

Anyway, that's all, furres, as the Warren Tourist Bureau would say.. :)
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2007, 09:31:56 PM »

You mean the Air Marshall. :)

Actually, I meant Toadborg. Air Marshall is more like the poor sap who gets to take all the blame just because the Toadborg was too full of himself to arrange for proper backup.

It's interesting that the bartender would look like Louie from Talespin. Did Disney have any hand in the production of this cartoon? I know a lot of the characters in Talespin also appear in The Jungle Book, so it wouldn't be the first time they'd reused a character in different settings.

As for Al Negator chowing down on the Simoleans, maybe they're something like the power chips of Guardian Legend, a kind of barter currency. On the other hand, this is the guy who pulled his credits from his briefs, so maybe this is just his way of depositing his money for later. I hate to think of what it's like when he makes a withdrawal, though. Oy vey! That's one grungy character.
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