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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, Recap 13, The Space Sorcerer

Hi! The Flame War is still going on in the other post, so please feel free to get your potshots in! Meanwhile, I have another episode recap for you from our favorite 80s cartoon featuring more than one robot horse.

Today's episode is "Space Sorcerer."

If I Start Singing Black Magic Woman, Would You Shoot Me?

We start off with nifty Dracula-esque organ music playing, looking at a purple planet.

When we zoom in closer we see the planet is fairly barren looking (I'm half tempted to make a drinking game out of this) and being mind by tiny teddy-bear looking things who are groaning pathetically. Humanoids with whips are watching malevolently.

The teddybear people apparently are mining red crystals. So it's not star stones, for once. Good to know. They have enormous green eyes. Enormous PAST the level of "cute" and well into creepy. The whip holders have kin of demonic cat-like faces and long ponytails. I wonder what they use for conditioner.

The teddybears beg for rest but the demon cats are all: DENIED! One unbearably creepy-cute bear thing takes advantage of the distraction and runs for it though. He scampers quickly, that bear thing.

Anyway, the bear thing makes it to a wall, and clears away piles of rocks from a communicator. He's glad it's safe. I'm trying to figure out why, if they had time to bury it, no one's used it already. But oh well. The bear-thing quickly calls for the Galaxy Rangers and Niko by name. It identifies itself as Iktar of the Basoot and announces that there are sorcerers...demons...taking over. He does not get to elaborate though, as a demon cat thing grabs him.

Ranger One and Goose's Interceptor blast out of warp, and Niko frantically asks if they can't go any faster. Zach tells her not to worry, they'll get to Basoot in time and not to worry, "Right, Goose?"

In his Interceptor, Goose is a bit more of a killjoy, as he soberly asserts that navigating the "Sorcerers' System" is very tricky, and dangerous. Especially considering how prone you are to crashing, my dear boy.

To be fair, I think Goose has only crashed once so far on the actual show, but I'm using forward knowledge to mock him anyway. I'm like that. Goose tells Niko to hang in there, though, they'll get there. In one piece.

Ooh. I hope there's a crash. Heh.

The Sorcerers' System is indeed filled with rocks and asteroids, but they seem to be flying through okay. Niko reports a transmission from BETA, as Commander Walsh's awesome mustache (and the Commander himself) appears on the screen. Walsh's mustache informs them that many spacecraft have disappeared in the Sorcerers' System. It exposits that a long time ago, the system was ruled by a race of sorcerers...I'd never have guessed that! Ouch, I'm sorry mighty mustache, please go on...!

Anyway, Walsh's mustache tells them to proceed with extreme caution. Goose concurs and tells them that not many ships survive the system and to stay alert. I'm going to feel awfully cheated if no one crashes. Goose ominouses that "Anything can happen."

Niko insists that Iktar and his people are her friends, and they're farmers, not fighters. I don't think that's actually a counterargument, Niko. Zach says they'll find out their status soon enough, as they're there.

Hmm, no crash, but there is a giant creepy black castle, so I guess I'm somewhat mollified. There's even billowy smoke coming out the top. It's like a cross between all the scary evil fortresses in fairytales with massive industrial pollution!

Inside, there are a lot of what look like broken mirrors, while a scary looking guy watches the Galaxy Rangers approach from his crystal ball. The creepy guy has a very pointy face and four arms, and a tiny little troll thing that vaguely looks like Peter Lorre attending him. The trollish Peter Lorre tries to interrupt Four-Arms's rant, but Four-Arms is having none-of-it. He also identifies himself as Mogul, the most powerful...

Trollish Peter Lorre interrupts with "I wouldn't dream of interrupting" (heh) he's trying to tell Mogul that there's something strange happening with the Star Stones.

Huh, I was wrong. Okay. Apparently Star Stones come in red too. Works for me. Kind of like Rubies and Sapphires, I guess. Mogul shouts back that the only strange thing is Peter Lorre's infernal persistence, and if he doesn't leave, he'll turn him into a human.

Then you'll be the go to "creepy guy" for an entire generation's movies! I'd take it! Mogul keeps fondling his crystal ball and revealing that the Star Stones amplify his power.

Um, then why not blast them?

The Rangers are now on the planet, looking around in confusion. Oddly Doc is not there. Much to my irritation, Buzzwang is. Oh come on! Zozo is there too, but he's more useful than Buzzwang, so I can't complain. They wonder where Iktar is, and get interrupted by another tiny hiding teddy bear, who Niko recognizes as "Iktar's daughter."

Seriously, I can't believe that Doc's not in this episode, but fucking Buzzwang is. How lame is THAT?

Niko asks "Becca' where her father is, but Becca is more interested in Zozo. Zozo seems to like not being the shortest person in the area. He tells her he's on "observer duty" with the Rangers, but they can't help until she tells them where her dad is.

Becca's not sure, though she thinks he might be at the old quarry, because that's where the demons are making everyone dig. She leads them to it.

Exposition reveals that the demons work for sorcerers, but the sorcerers are long gone. Except for Mogul of course. Heh. I guess he is the most powerful one after all. Becca says that Mogul is in the "Fortress of Shen."

Niko is familiar with it, because she once had an archeological dig up there. Hey! Niko actually has a profession! And one that makes sense with her knowing about art stuff and history. Neat!

Anyway, Niko says that the place couldn't be taken by an army. But Zach suggests that maybe two or three people could. Let's see, Shane Gooseman, Zach's arm, and pretty much anyone else in slot three? Yeah. I'm calling that they can make it in.

Unless Buzzwang's involved.

Actually, apparently Zach's got a different plan. Shane and Buzzwang are going to divert everyone's attention via battle, while Zach, Niko, and Zozo invade the fortress.

While I appreciate the plan of diversion via mass combat, wouldn't it be a better idea to take your most single-handedly destructive subordinate inside? Oh well, Goose seems happy with this plan. Zach stresses that the battle is a diversion.

Zach, Niko and Zozo make it to the front gate, which is guarded by five demons. Niko insists that they'll never make it through there. See, that's why you bring SHANE to these things. Idiots. Zach suggests there's another entrance.

Zach suggests Niko use her powers to find another way in, though I'm not sure why someone who's been on an archeological dig wouldn't know anyway. But okay. Niko says they'll need to touch the fortress wall.

Zozo decides to be a distraction.

Um. Since the fortress is encircled by walls, couldn't they just find another patch of wall out of sight?

Zozo leads them on a merry chase, while Zach and Niko get to work. I'm also not sure why, if the guards are gone, they can't just blast in. But I'm not very subtle, I guess. Anyway, Niko does her visiony thing and glimpses TINY trollish Peter Lorre at a secret panel. She relates this to Zach. And then the door opens and they race inside.

Anyway, back at the quarry, a Teddy Bear is groaning with exhaustion. A demon cat aims to whip it, but is suddenly shot by a blaster. The other demon cats are understandably alarmed.

Buzzwang stands on the cliff, bows, and introduces himself quite formally. It's kind of robot-Alfred-ish at the moment. Goddamnit, Buzzwang, stop making me like you. He then mocks them and runs off. There's a moment of panic, but then Goose starts firing at the cat demons chasing Buzz. He seems to be having fun.

Back at the castle, Niko confides that she doesn't like this. Zach agrees it's too quiet. But Niko doesn't mean that. She feels something brushing at her...but she's cut off as a pink light appears.

...of course, my inner twelve year old is filling in that blank with many inappropriate words.

Suddenly Niko has a vision of the archeological dig where she and Iktar excavated the fortress Basooti. She says the excavation was "a long time ago" and that she couldn't have gone back in time...could she? I do like that she considers it. Meanwhile the teddy bears that materialized in front of her reveal themselves to be Cat-Demons. Uh-oh!

Niko calls for Zachary, and is appalled at the demons' carelessness for priceless relics. That pisses her off Heh.

Meanwhile Zach's in the castle calling for Niko, when pink smoke solidifies into a female form in front of him. Oh. OUCH. Of course, it seems to be Eliza. Poor Zach. Eliza definitely doesn't talk like the Eliza we remember, but perhaps it's understandable that Zach isn't paying attention to that part. He's shaking and saying that this is unbelievable.

She runs to embrace him, then turns into a giant green monster that grabs his throat. Choking, he touches his badge and pushes the monster off. Then picks it UP and throws it into the wall. NICE.

It tries turning into Eliza again, but Zach's not falling for it. She says that "Master will get him" then turns back into the green monster. Zach just shoots its ass this time. Now considerably annoyed, Zach calls for Niko again.

Back outside, Goose is having such fun shooting that it looks like they're reusing the same footage. Heh. The Cat-Demons are not having as much fun, as they're being picked off. One though is clever, and aims its laser whip thing at the two cute teddybears. Shane immediately dives on top of them to cover them and drops his blaster in the process.

The Teddybear things see this, and Buzzwang getting chased, and decide to help out. I love how this series lets the oppressed folk strike back. One Teddybear thing says it best, "We may not be warriors, but we're not slaves either!" They start charging Cat Demons. One awesome alien which I'd call by name if I ever figured out whether they're Suth or Soots, or how to spell it, leaps onto a Cat Demon's head and whacks it with his mining tool. Others converge on a cat demon, the cat whips them away, but other teddybears drop a boulder on him! Good teamwork!

Meanwhile Goose, who's whipped arm is glowing, is cornered by a demon cat. He has his badge though, and taps it with a growl. Cat. Meet Supertrooper. He grabs his gun, lightning quick, and shoots it. Good show, my Gooseman! (Hey, Doc's not here, someone had to say it!)

Buzzwang watches the celebrating Teddybears, who surround Goose (one is hanging off his back, hee) and declare they're free. Shane again adopts Killjoy mode and reminds them that there's still the sorcerer to deal with. The Teddybears think Niko and Captain Foxx can take care of them. Goose hopes so too.

In the castle, Zach finally catches sight of Niko, who appears to be walking toward a weird furnace thing. She touches it, and it gives way, sending her plummeting. Zach grabs her hand. Niko reveals that the fortress is a powerful illusion, which I guess, sort of explains what happened to the cat demons breaking the artifacts.

Mogul, with tiny trollish Peter Lorre by his side, thinks this is a touching scene. A door glows above him strangely, while Niko tells Zach his guess was correct. There is one last space sorcerer. Mogul announces that he's the greatest.

Peter Lorre breaks in with "Maybe you shouldn't..." but is silenced. We also finally get a name. "Larry."

Yeesh, I think he was better off with "Tiny Trollish Peter Lorre" myself. Mogul continues introducing himself and says soon they'll be groveling in fear. Zach finds this an "idle boast."

Damnit. This show was being so good at using "solar" correctly. But this time, Mogul's calling on "Dark Solar Winds." Which granted, sounds cool, but is inaccurate, oh well. Mogul continues conjuring and a giant pink light appears.

Zach is skeptical, but Niko says it's no act. He's focusing his psychic powers. Suddenly the light vanishes, revealing a dragon. Aw. Goose is going to be sad to miss killing a dragon. Zach and Niko are understandably surprised. Zach apparently identifies the type of dragon, but I'm still stuck on the "Dragon" part.

Zach clarifies: a giant two-horned Dinerite Dragon. Thank you, Zach. I think "Dragon" really says enough though. Niko notes that Mogul's enhancing his strength, much like they do with the implants. She wonders how.

Zach doesn't quite care how, and tries to shoot the dragon, but his gun is misfiring. It rears up on Zach, only to stop with puzzlement as Niko kicks it. She seriously looks like a kid kicking it in the shins. Seriously, considering how badass you usually are, Niko, is that the best you can do?

She's grabbed by the dragon's tail, then starts giggling, much to Zach's puzzlement. Apparently the dragon doesn't have a psychic field and isn't real. It vanished. She giggles that when she kicked the dragon's tail, she must have kicked Mogul. Sure enough, Mogul is indeed rubbing his rump. Heh. Okay, my scorn is rescinded.

Mogul is upset at being mocked, and starts tossing debris at them. But Niko's ready with a psychic shield. She won't be able to hold it forever though. Her shield gives out. Just as a blaster shot interrupts them. The cavalry has arrived.

Zach tells Goose that Mogul must be using the Star Stones somehow. Heh, Mogul's awesome, but in this shot, his robe seriously looks like a Hawaiian shirt. That makes him more awesome, by the way. Anyway, they see the door. Zach orders the other "Rangers" to protect Niko from the debris, while he goes after Mogul.

Zach taps his arm and thunderbolts the crap out of the doors above Mogul. Well played, Zach. He actually hits the stones, which are destroyed. Yeesh, the Rangers tend to destroy a lot of those things, don't they?

Mogul wails. It took him years to find the planet, and it's not easy to find the "special" star stones. He starts tantruming. Mogul, you're not cool anymore. Mogul tries calling up more demons, but he doesn't have any strength left. But...he trips on a star stone and realizes there's ONE left. But it crumbles in his hand.

Larry interjects that that's what he was trying to tell him. If the new stones are exposed to air for more than a day...they crumble. Heh. Star Stones are fucking useless. The Rangers all laugh. Zach tells Mogul to give up, but Mogul has just enough power to teleport away in a puff of pink smoke, grabbing Larry in the process. The other Rangers cough (except Buzzwang, who scratches his head) and Zach vows that they WILL meet again, but Mogul won't enjoy it.

Later, outside, Zozo explains that Star Stones enhance "supernormal talents", and Zach confirms that that's why they're valuable. Niko looks oddly sulky as she explains that in the wrong hands, they're also very dangerous weapons. Shane (who's got ANOTHER Teddybear glomping off of his neck) points out the upside, the Basootis will now be under a LOT of protection from the League of Planets. Noticing Niko's sulk, he asks what's wrong. She's still worried about Iktar.

Fortunately, Iktar emerges from the crowd, Becca hanging from HIM like the other one hanging off of Goose. He tells her that she taught them all how to stand up for themselves. (Actually, I think that was Goose, man. :-P). Zach makes a pun about all of Mogul's conquest plans amounting to dust. And the episode ends.

-

It was a fun episode, but not a terrbly enlightening one. I didn't notice any particularly interesting character insights, except maybe Zach's propensity NOT to use his super-soldier subordinate to the best of his destructive capability. But that's probably just me wanting more explosions.

It was nice to revisit Zach's emotions over Eliza. And that might well have fed into why Zach chased after Mogul/blew up the stones himself. I'd be more than a little pissed off too, if a demon took the form of my wife to fuck with me.

It was nice to get a little more background on Niko, too. Now we know, she's an archeologist. Which probably puts her age in her mid-to-late twenties. The archeology reveal definitely fits with what we know so far, especially from One Million Emotions. She appreciates art, but tends to talk more about its historical significance and cultural context than the art itself. It also fits with her academic open-mindedness in Traash. Archeology's usually part of Anthropology, after all.

She makes a good contrast to Audra Miles, who's the annoying stereotype of a social scientist.

It was neat to learn a bit more about the Star Stones. I wasn't quite sure why anything so fragile that it'd get destroyed by the sun or air would be valuable, but the performance enhancing aspect makes sense. I just wish they were a bit clearer as to why these red Star Stones were special to Mogul.

Zach and Niko got the majority of focus. No Doc though, which I resent. Doc is awesome. Buzzwang did a fair job in redeeming himself from last episode though. He's not particularly remarkable on the team, but did the job he was assigned competently, and that's what counts.

It is nice to see some continuity in that respect.

Goose didn't get to do much either, aside from shoot things. But I enjoyed the sight gag of the cute teddy bear things constantly hanging off of his neck. Aw.

I mentioned this before, but I liked the Basooti (Thanks for the spelling, SallyP!) rebellion part too. I always thought Galaxy Rangers does a really good job of remembering that prisoners and slaves are more than just people in distress to get carted back to the ship. They almost always get to seize the opportunities the Rangers give them and play some part in their own rescue.

Also, it's satisfying to see cute little oppressed people swarm the giant scary cat-demons.

As villains go, Mogul's not my favorite, but he is pretty good for lighter episodes. And you have to admire his sense of style.

So what did we learn this episode? Always let your subordinates finish their sentences. Don't mock the leader of your enemies with illusions of his captured wife. And Teddy-bears really like Shane Gooseman.

2 Comments:

  • At March 17, 2009 9:56 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    If I remember correctly, it is Basooti.

    This was a fairly decent episode, not the best, but not the worst either. I have to confess to a certain fondness for Larry, but I've always found Buzzwang to be a bit on the annoying side.

     
  • At March 17, 2009 10:11 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    Thanks! I'll fix that. :-)

    Larry's kind of cute. Buzzwang is definitely annoying.

     

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