Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Monday, July 06, 2009

Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, Recap 38: Marshmallow Trees

It's Sunday Night/Monday Morning, so it's time for another recap. I love the summer and my job, but I do kind of miss having the time to do these more often.

Today's episode is Marshmallow Trees. I have trepidation already.

The Perils of Gardening

I love you 80s themesong. And thirty-some odd episodes in, I'm still amused that every character shows off their powers except Goose who just twirls his guns. That's badass identification system right there. Violence should always outweigh superpowers.

We start off with some friendly light music and Ranger One about to land on Granna. Granna was, I recall, where we first met the Scarecrow. But I'd be very surprised if he made his way back from Tarkon by now.

Ranger One lands and out descends, oh fuck it all, the Kiwi kids. I generally like the Kiwi kids, but can't we get back to actual Rangers now?

The Kiwi Kids seem to be new to planet Granna, but then a couple of yokel types immediately recognize them so I don't know what to make of that. Granted Zozo seems to be fairly important as the League of Planets goes, but it seems very odd that the kids would be recognized on sight.

But it does make me think that the tabloids in the Galaxy Ranger Universe would be vastly entertaining. "Man-Bat wins paternity suit against Supertrooper."

Anyway, Bud, Sweetie and Joey all leap into the truck. I keep thinking they're missing one, but it's possible that they're all blurring together. The couple who recognize the Kiwi kids step up to greet Niko.

Oh fuck me, Buzzwang's there too.

Anyway, guy-with-mustache-and-cap who I vaguely remember from the Scarecrow episode introduces the lady with him as Mrs. Peabody. She's the Chairperson of the Granna Garden Club. Zozo and Niko are respectfully interested.

I just wish Zizaw would parent his own damn kids. Apparently they're here to plant...Marshmallows.

Hey, wait, didn't the Scarecrow episode mention something about a marshmallow incident? Actually having checked, no, it had to do with planet Floko. Too bad, I was actually intrigued for a moment.

You know, I like Niko, but given how many episodes she seems to co-star in with Buzzwang and the Kiwi Kids, I'm starting to get very annoyed with her. At least bring your destructive shapeshifting jailbait boyfriend sometime, lady!

Then again, I'm not sure I remember there being an episode with Shane, the Kiwi Kids and Buzzwang altogether. That's probably for the best. Even if Zizaw vs. Shane Gooseman would be an awesome fight.

Apparently this is for the school botany field trip.

Wait a second. The planet Kirwin, food source of the universe, didn't get Galaxy Ranger priority, but kids' field trips do? Then again, maybe Shane's off killing something and Walsh is trying to balance his karma.

And talk about unfair nepotism. These kids get everything. Hmph.

Anyway, the kids have their computer units already, while cap-wearing guy asks skeptically if Zozo's sure that the plants were tested on Kirwin. He is. The kids go through a clearly brainwashed sales pitch about Kiwi Marshmallows which are organic, healthy and contain all required vitamins and all that.

Buzzwang, being an idiot, is suitably impressed. Cap-guy is still skeptical until Zozo utters the magic word "cash-crop." Heh.

Ms. Peabody says they have a lovely site for the trees, and we transition there where Zozo appears to be digging at the ground with a shovel. Niko notes that they seem healthy enough.

I'm distracted by the idea that an Ambassador apparently has enough clout to get his nephews and niece's fieldtrip with police escort (even if it is with psychic chick and incompetent robot) but has to do his own digging. Shouldn't you have lackeys for that?

Zozo notes that in the red sun, they should grow very quickly. Uh-oh. In six months, they'll start producing fruit, supposedly. Cap-guy notes they'll be the only frontier planet offering this cash-crop. Which granted would seem to be a far more successful export than psychotic homicidal beings of extraordinary power.

Ms. Peabody is more interested with the pretty trees winning recognition from the Galactic Garden League. To be fair, they ARE pretty trees.

Once the trees get planted, cap-guy decides it's time they see what Granna's trading for the trees. That seems like something I'd want to see before I start planting, but okay. Zozo says he's curious about the Kiwi end of the deal.

I suspect that the Kiwi are just offering the plants to be nice (or to fuck with the humans when things go crazy) and are only accepting things in return to salvage silly human pride. Heh.

Meanwhile, the kids are hungry and whine for Granna-burgers. Mrs. Peabody is sympathetic and insists they all have lunch. The kids circle Buzzwang for some reason and cheer. Buzzwang cheers too, then realizes sheepishly that he can't eat lunch. Idiot.

OH, that's why they circled him. To fuck with him. I love the Kiwi. Niko agrees and says they'll check on the trees in a few hours before heading back. Good plan.

Anyway, everyone goes to what looks like a fastfood joint with a big "Granna Hamburger Palace" sign. Apparently that's also what they're trading. "Granna Hamburger Palace Units." Zozo admits that not even their most famous scientist, Dr. Roho, can get Granna burgers to grow on Kirwin.

Um. Zozo. I'm not a geneticist, but I suspect I know the answer to that quandary. Hamburgers are MEAT.

Niko shows Zozo how to...spread catsup on the burger, with onions and mustard. Zozo looks crestfallen and can't believe he traded Mallow trees for "charbroiled matter."

Um. Zozo, you might be badass, but you're possibly the worst negotiator ever. The kids are happy, and cap-guy thinks the food'll do well on Kirwin.

Suddenly, Niko's wrist lojackamator starts beeping, and she notes it's time to check the trees and mosey on home to BETA.

They ride a hover-truck back. Buzzwang is driving, and I'd judge, but thanks to my own recent misadventure I'm going to keep quiet for once. Zozo and Niko are chatting about the trees. Zozo is enthusiastic about their growth potential. Niko has doubts. Zozo tells her to trust him, just as the light grows dim and the music eerie.

Kiwi are possibly evil.

Anyway, Buzzwang breaks into the conversation, remarking that visibility has dropped. They look see giant roots. Oops.

Niko suspiciously asks Buzz if he followed the directions. I love that his incompetence is her first thought. Buzzwang mildly points out the "Hello, robot?" thing, though more politely. He does note that they're lost and Niko snaps at him to pull over.

Hmm, someone's in bitch-mode today. Then again, it IS Buzzwang, so she's probably justified. Zozo also yells at Buzzwang, calling him a bite-bucket. Um, I'm just guessing, but I think that this is your screw-up this time, Zozo.

Buzzwang notes that he's sure it's the same location, and Zozo Charleton Heston's "Then Where are my TREES?!"

The kids also look around and Sweetie points UP into one of the trees. "There they are!" They are indeed really pretty. And gigantic.

Zozo is delighted, but Niko's down right accusatory as she says she told him conditions were different here. Zozo grabs the scanner from her hands. Hey! Rude! The trees are apparently healthy. If 20 times normal size.

Um, how will this effect the OTHER crops? I'm sure there must be climate changes, if nothing else, the amount of sunlight must have decreased...

Niko asks Zozo what stage of development they're in. Zozo notes that they've started gestation and should produce fruit in two months. And just as he finishes speaking, a marshmallow lands on Buzzwang's head. Awesome.

Anyway, they're all very surprised. This is the cue for more giant marshmallows to fall. Soon they're buried! After they extract themselves, Niko scans and notes that the giant marshmallows seem perfectly normal. Zozo notes that the people of Granna will make a fortune. Buzzwang notes that Kimble (cap-guy whose name I couldn't remember) will be pleased.

Zozo has them load the truck and soon they're at the General Store. Niko makes a tremendously bad pun about the giant marshmallows going to be very BIG around these parts, while Zozo thinks he'll get the Grand Kiwi Achievement Award for this.

Kimble notes that Granna will always be in Zozo's debt. Zozo wants to try a giant Kiwi bubble plant, but Kimble calmly asserts a "Let's not get ahead of ourselves here." A wise attitude, but don't stand near a fire. Ms. Peabody wants to see the "marvelous trees" but actually GRABS ZOZO'S EAR as she says so.

Christ, do none of these people have manners?

Now that they're back at the giant trees, Zozo is crestfallen. Apparently, according to Niko, they're "virtually inactive." Aw. Buzzwang says something about photoplasmic decay, while Zozo bursts in with a "They're dead!" Little Joe starts crying, and Niko picks him up.

Kimble is all accusatory, saying he thought Zozo said it would take six months to grow one of these trees. Niko notes that the lifecycle got increased because of the suns. I'm not sure how that works, but okay.

Kimble is still fairly delighted, but Zozo is distraught, as the trees are apparently infertile. Kimble asks if that means they have to keep buying seedlings. Niko tries to inject some sanity by saying that she's sure Roho and the vegetable lab will be able to isolate the gene factor.

Kimble snaps that in the meantime the trees need to be cut down. At least you have good fruit-lumber? The Kiwi kids all cry. Aw. See, you dick? You made them cry. Buzzwang tries to cheer them up by making faces, but Sweetie just pulls out a scanner and sends out a pulse. Buzzwang pulls back all "Well, I never!"

Niko notes that they'll "put up" for the night and get one more reading in the morning.

Everyone is put up in a very nice house. Niko is lounging on a bench, while Zozo stares off into the horizon. She urges him to get some sleep and reminds him that the Kiwi lab is the best in the system. Zozo agrees, but he'll hate to see the trees cut down. He wishes Niko a good night and heads to bed. The kids all pull a Waltons as they shut off the lights. Buzzwang sounds annoyed. Heh.

Outside, the moon is reflecting light onto the trees...which are sprouting marshmallows again, and they're sent floating in the air.

In the morning, the Kiwi kids see the white marshmallows (not giant this time) falling and think it's snowing. Delighted, they go outside to look. Buzzwang goes out as well, sliding and falling on the ice.

Niko is aghast. It's not cold enough to snow. When Zozo comes out, the kids point out that the snow is dry. Zozo realizes that the "snow" is the made up of the trees' seeds. This...can't be good.

Kimble doesn't understand. Nor do I. Niko notes that it's the moon. Zozo points out Kirwin's multiple moons, but Niko thinks the suns are a factor and create too much polarized blue light.

How does orbit work with two suns? I should ask an astronomer.

Sweetie notes that Mallow trees take eight months to seed on Kirwin. Niko notes that everything is happening a thousand times faster here. Buzzwang, meanwhile, has completed calculations Niko wanted, if the seeds are fertile, there will be twenty million mallow trees by tonight!

Um, wouldn't soil nutrient availability be a factor? I know nothing about botany, granted, so fuck all if I know. Still it seems pretty hard to believe. Anyway, there'll be 90 billion by tomorrow and after that...they'll cover the entire planet!

Wow, Zozo, with a few seedlings you managed to destroy a world. I love you.

Zozo thinks he'll be the laughing stock of the Garden League. Um. I think the fate of Granna might be a bigger concern. Zozo tries to convince himself the seeds will be mutants, but even as he speaks a tree sprouts behind him.

Indeed, they're all sprouting, it's kind of creepy actually. Kimble notes that the farmers won't be happy. Niko says she'll call for back-up. (If anyone can commit plant genocide on a mass scale, it's Shane Gooseman.) Zozo insists, a bit crazily, that this can't be happening. Even as a tree lifts him into the air.

The trees now rain marshmallows onto the conveniently undamaged buildings. Inside, Niko tries to calm everyone and tells them that Q-Ball and Roho are working together to solve the problem, and that in the meantime, they should seriously consider evacuation procedures.

One guy calls out "Never!" Other farmers accuse the Kiwi of ruining everything. Hey now. It's not like he planted the trees behind your back. It was all contracted, damnit.

The kiwi kids all cry, and Buzzwang actually grows a pair and is all "Don't you touch one hair on the Kiwi children!"

Niko is good at being authoritarian and calls their attention back. She tells them if the trees seed again tomorrow, they'll lose the planet.

Suddenly Q-Ball contacts them through the wrist-thing. He sends them images of some unbearably cute spore things. "Gobble bug" Apparently, six breeding pairs would multiply and eat every mallow seed on the planet.

Um, then what do they do about those very toothy looking bugs. (The one on my screen now is scary!)

One farmer protests that gobble-bugs are the worst pest-insects in the galaxy. Yeah, but your world is about to be destroyed by marshmallows. Mrs. Peabody, who now tops even Audra Miles on my list of annoyances, protests that they eat everything, including her flowers!

They shout in unison and it's very impressive. Q-Ball merely waits for them to finish and then notes that the new specimens are specially bred by Bovo (?!) and have a very short life cycles. They'll only be insects for an hour, then will change into something else depending on climate and what they've eaten.

Um, that seems a bit risky. But I like chaos, so let's see how this goes. Zach (!!!!) and Doc will be arriving with the specimens.

Kimble tries to comfort the farmer by noting the bugs' limited span, but the farmer isn't having it. The farmers start to circle and close in, but then a very welcome voice sounds from Niko's wrist thing. Jerry Orbach!!!

Zach!!! I missed you!!! Never leave again! And bring Shane, damnit. Things need exploding here.

(Shane is probably not here as he would kill them all in frustration in three minutes.)

Everyone's delighted as I am, and Ranger Five, which seems to be a new ship type that I don't recall seeing before, sets down. Zach barely gets to ask where everyone is when Niko, Zozo, the kids and Buzzwang race out of the general store. Zach takes one look and shoots his gun in the air.

God I missed you, Zach. And your manly eyebrows.

The farmers brandish pitchforks now and are facing the line of troopers. They insist they're not evacuating. Doc and Zach are armed. Doc notes there's only a short window of opportunity, and holds up a case. They need to be released in the next twenty minutes or it'll be too late.

The farmers are still stuck on the gobble-bug thing, and granted, Bovo's track record hasn't been the best, but they irritate me so I want Zach to shoot them. Niko snaps that they don't know the bugs will ruin them.

One farmer pulls out a gun and is all "Hold it right there," and wants them to disarm slow and easy. Um, guy. You have one gun. They have three. And a ship. And Zach's cannon. Still Zach and Doc toss their guns down as they don't want people hurt. Zach tells them they're making a mistake.

The farmer insists the Kiwi made the mistake. Another farmer, an alien this time, grabs the case from Zach. They pretty much are total idiots. They hop into a car and race away.

Kimble drives up and Zach commandeers the car, tossing him out and he and Niko dive in. They give chase. Kimble tries to get in another vehicle, but amusingly, Zozo pulls him out and commandeers that one. Buzzwang and the kids jump in.

Finally, Kimble gets a third car, only to have it commandeered by Mrs. Peabody. She pushes him into the passenger seat and drives off. Poor Kimble. She does apologize when she realizes it's him.

So there's a chase. The farmers want to blow up the bugs. Because they're idiots. Niko notes they have to get the bugs free in four minutes. Zach is all "Hang on!"

This should be good.

Meanwhile, Zozo is too short to effectively drive. Doc finally offers, on account of wanting to live. Zozo, not being an idiot, says it's a good idea. Doc grabs the wheel.

The farmers actually shoot at Kimble and company. Um. Congrats on your felony, guys? Niko pulls out her big-ass rifle (tm) and takes aim. Zach uses his wrist thing to talk to Doc, and suggests sandwiching. Zach in front, Doc behind. They take flight and overtake them from above. Then Zach stands and touches his badge.

Awww, yeeeeah. Thunderbolt!

He shoots the giant marshmallows, causing them to melt and bury the farmers, who drive through but come to a stop on the other side all gooey and clogged. The other vehicles all follow. Zach walks to the alien farmer and yanks him up demanding to know where the bugs are. He doesn't know, he dropped them. Zach tosses him to the ground and is all "Listen up! We have to find that box."

I missed your violent temper, Zach! Never leave again!

Niko notes they have two minutes, but can't get a trace. She asks Doc to locate it with the CDU. THe tweakers are too clogged. They need a "clean" device. Fortunately, Sweetie somehow had one. I won't ask. It's probably a Kiwi thing. Doc activates it, and it turns out to be a preschool spelling toy. Aw.

Doc swears and tries to reprogram it, then sends in Pathfinder, who seems to rape it or something. But eventually it jumps out and finds the box. Everyone leaps and tackles it, Zozo pulls out the box, and Doc releases the bugs who go a munching.

WOW. That's one hell of a swarm. They start practically dissolving the trees.

Safely inside, Sweetie accuses Bud of being afraid of the gobble-bugs. It's very cute. Niko notes that they're vegetarians. Buzzwang Nightwings that that's true for now, but they don't know what they'll evolve into.

Niko notes that Bovo specializes in this, but one of the farmers brings up the Bovo-6 cattle. Hee, continuity! Zach notes that that was a different division. (Yay, for non-monolithically evil corporations!) Zach shouts to simmer down, and one of the farmers grumbles about moving to Nebraska, though it'll cost plenty. Zach says that BETA will allocate relief funds, which is good as it IS pretty much Zozo's fault.

Outside, the bugs are changing, and have become pretty squishy flower things. Zozo says that the Kiwi labs will pay all the damages, while the kids call his attention to the window. He shushses them for a bit as he's handed a piece of paper by the farmers (probably a bill), he signs it and notes he'll be lucky if the Garden League makes him a junior member after this.

Finally they notice the Kiwi Kids climbing on each other's shoulders to get the door open and the flowers fall inside. Everyone is amazed.

Even Mrs. Peabody thinks they're lovely and that they'll be sure to win the Garden Award. I hate you and your misplaced priorities. One farmer notes that while the trees are gone, so is the wheat, but Doc points out that the flowers are filled with Kiwi soil nutrients. Which will settle the fields with the best plant food in the universe, and they've got an incredible harvest to look forward to.

The farmers decide they might as well join in with the kids' celebrating and one pulls a fiddle from somewhere I don't want to think about. Zozo cheerfully walks over, grabs the signed bill, and tears it up. I don't think that's legal, man. Everyone's happy though, and it's the end of the episode.


Well, it wasn't a bad episode. Not one of the most exciting, but at least Zach is back! That's worth celebrating!

I'm beginning to sympathize with the Scarecrow though, those farmers were fucking irritating. I do get that they've got real complaints, and I love them for pointing out the Bovo mishap...

Well, really, I don't blame the farmers in retrospect. Their concerns WERE justified. But it was a bit late, and doing NOTHING wasn't going to help either!

The one I really hate is Mrs. Peabody though. Everyone else had sane concerns, hers was the stupid Garden thing. Fuck off, lady. The PLANET is at stake.

And you shouldn't win for these flowers. If anything BETA or BOVO should get any prize.

It was kind of a lame duck episode, but the next one is called Shoot-Out. Already, I'm enthused. God willing, we'll have Goose and Zach, back!

I want my rampant violence!


  • At July 06, 2009 10:51 AM, Blogger Elizabeth B said…

    Mrs. Peabody is also the moron who fed the Scarecrow eggs and hashbrowns while thinking he was the sheriff. Chris Rowley, the story editor who wrote "Scarecrow," once said that he wished Mrs. Peabody could have a short interview with the Scarecrow. Nom nom nom.

    This isn't a favorite episode of mine. Buzzwang and the Kiwi kids annoy the crap out of me.

  • At July 06, 2009 11:30 AM, Blogger kalinara said…

    :-) I completely forgot about her. Oh well. I like that the show recycles the bit characters though.

    I'm actually okay with the Kiwi Kids in small doses, but lately they've been in more episodes than Zach! That's not right! :-)

  • At July 06, 2009 12:37 PM, Blogger Delora said…

    I assume BETA has to at least sometimes play taxi driver for the people who brought them the drive for their ships.
    Re Kiwis and digging -- how do you think they stay in shape for their badass fighting?

  • At July 06, 2009 8:02 PM, Blogger SallyP said…

    Good God, but Buzzwang is irritating. And I do have to admit that the charm of the Kiwi Kid wears off after a while. But it WAS nice to see Zachary and Doc.


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