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Monday, July 13, 2009

Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, Recap 39: Shootout

Ahh, nothing like a recap to liven up the weekend!

Today's episode is "Shootout" and with a title like that, I have high hopes for gratuitous violence!

Why Teenagers Should Never Choose Their Names...Also, I Love My Show

I'm really hoping all the Rangers are in the episode, or I'm gonna start complaining that the opening theme is false advertising.

Oooh, we open on Tortuna. This is promising. Someone is being all "Hear ye, hear ye," to all of the Queen's "loyal subjects." Well...she must have a FEW I guess. The ones she didn't feed into her robot-machine.

The announcement is coming from a blimp of all things where a jester is going on about "the most fantastic event ever to take place in the known galaxy." Don't oversell, fellow.

People do seem interested at least, but it's possible that Tortuna is just really boring when random Rangers don't show up to cause violence.

Apparently the event is a big shootout (I'm shocked! The title would never have suggested this) for the title of "number one gunslinger." Ooo, I hope the Rangers join! The prize is a "Queen's ransom" of star stones. He finishes with "Be there or be unpopular." And by "unpopular" he means "executed for sedition" I'm guessing.

Elsewhere on Tortuna, the Queen is monologuing her plan to lure the best fighters in the Galaxy. Her arena is called "the Excellon" apparently. As good a name as any. She gloats that none of the fighters have a chance against her champion.

Her champion is, by the way, all in black with a red cape and scary helmet. It's the kind of gratuitously evil costume that makes me think the guy inside is totally a girly long-haired flamenco dancer.

It must be noted that my friend at work has been playing Final Fantasy IV recently which has influenced my perception on this matter.

A bunch of translucent cannon fodder holograms appear just so that the Queen's champion can shoot them down. Impressive. It'd be more so if they were moving, trying to do anything to defend themselves, or anything at all except STAND there. Hmph. His twirly holster move is swanky at least.

Anyway, the Queen'll have the losers shipped to her Psychocrypt. Fair enough. I dig her crystal-enclosed throne.

On another planet, with two moons, and a creepy red atmosphere (Space Sorcerer planet maybe?) a dark scary castle looms with red smoke coming from its turrets.

Ah! I identified it right, I think, as inside Mogul and poor hapless Larry are peering into a book. Presumably section G, as he's reading off "Gardener, Gopher, Gumby...Ah! Gunslinger!" Heh.

Anyway, Mogul gleefully throws the book over his shoulder (Hey! Were you raised in a barn?!) and rubs his hands together, proclaiming the stones as good as his. I must admit, it looks like four arms are useful for casting spells. He chants gibberish and Larry cutely follows along with his two arms until pink smoke appears.

Larry quietly singsongs that they're conjuring a fighter for the slower kids in the audience who haven't figured that out yet, while smoke coalesces into a masked green fellow who instantly starts shooting. They duck behind Mogul's conjuring table while green and lumpy (with four arms even!) keeps firing.

They might have wanted to conjure loyalty in there too. Or at least figured out the point of a summoning circle.

Larry tries to get him to stop shooting, while Green and Lumpy is all "That's what I do." in a voice that kind of sounds like a more stoned version of Doc Hartford. Mogul is all "Not US!" while green and lumpy shows off his mad holstering skillz. He seems to enjoy his ability and I appreciate that in a conjuration. Not so much appreciating the mod slang though.

On BETA mountain, we have ALL FOUR RANGERS standing around Walsh's desk! That's right! ALL of them! Doc, Niko, Zach and Shane! No Buzzwang! No kids! Just our Rangers!!!

I knew I'd love this episode!

Anyway, it seems like the Queen's added one BIG bonus prize, probably specifically to lure the earthlings in: Eliza's psychocrystal.

Oo, metaplot! Have YOU returned to me too?! I LOVE this episode.

I admit, the last nine or ten episodes had me losing faith, show. But you've redeemed yourself!!!

Zach is suitably stunned. Walsh finally makes up for all the "our primary food source is not top priority" nonsense in Mothmoose to me by pointing out the obvious: it's a trap to lure them in.

Doc points out that it's too good to pass up and asks Walsh what his plan is.

This is one thing I really love about this show. It remembers that the characters, well, these five at least, are professionals. I've seen many shows where the boss will point out a trap/trick and the lead characters immediately jump up all "How dare you?! WE HAVE TO TRY!!!" before he can finish. Here though, they're actually waiting to see what Walsh has to say.

Zach does look tense though. Understandably.

Walsh tells them to go in undercover to investigate, and IF POSSIBLE secure the crystal. He points out that the Queen's gathering the most dangerous fighters and they should be ready for anything. Good plan.

We cut away to the charging chamber! Ooo, the charging chamber! It's been a while sense we've seen that! I LOVE YOU, EPISODE!

They're not actually charging up to their themesong for once, but some other generic 80s techno-pop type thing. Oh well, nothing's perfect. :-) It's so nice to see all the characters charge up though.

And even ride their little monorail into Ranger One, which gets its full assembly sequence! I'm sure this is all just filler to mask a plot which probably doesn't need all 20 minutes or so, but I'm still happy.

JV!!! Actually, when Niko says it it DOES sound like GV to me. Hmm. This might be another example of my linguistic incompatability with Jerry Orbach's accent. I'll probably go with whichever I hear next at any given time in the recap.

Anyway, I'm thrilled that the little rolling ball is back! What about Alma? That's the only way it could be better!

It's still fascinating to me that Zach gets AI choosing privileges. Does Niko HAVE an AI? I know Doc has the tweakers, and programmed the crazy one from one of the hateful Buzzwang episodes. Goose has Alma. But Niko's never seemed to have one. Weird.

Anyway, on Tortuna, people are entering the arena. The psycho jester ring-masters a "ladies, aliens and mutants" which makes me laugh. Everyone launches balloons in the air, and the crowd is filled with aliens both familiar and not. The Queen sits on her throne, flanked by slaver lords and announces "Let the games begin!"

Jester reads off the rules: all gunslingers get unlimited stun blasts, and ammunition. The fighting area is inlaid with pop-up walls, obstructions and holograms, and in fact, we see them form up as the jester speaks. First to be stunned loses. Fair enough.

Anyway, Round One (a "scaaary match") features a Misho the Magnificent, a humanoid fellow with long eighties hair, a vest, color coordinated boots and apparently severe eye-liner. His opponent is a robot in a cowboy hat named "Blaster-Bot"

Okay, this is unfair. Placing the macho glam-rocker against the killer robot in a cowboy hat. I don't know who to cheer for!

Oh wait. The robot. Duh. Still, I'm intrigued.

Actually, apparently glam-rock guy is a feline alien, and the eyeliner is war paint or markings. Meh, he's still got a pretty jade scarf color coordinating with his bandolier so I still like him. (The jester by the way sinks in a trap door as the combatants advance.)

I love fight scenes but they're hard to recap. Blaster-Bot draws quicker, but a pop-up wall quickly blocks the shot, while Catman tumbles behind an obstacle.

Why does he have a bandolier when they have unlimited stun blasts?

When Catman returns fire a flying disk shoots out from the ground and aims at the bot, who aims up and destroys it. There's more exchanging fire and fun convenient pop-up obstacles. It's particularly neat when the walls they're shielding behind suddenly drop and they run, or a pop-up appears directly in their path and they have to tumble over it.

Hmm, both of those were with the robot. I think the terrain is biased!

But then the same thing happens to Catman, but he doesn't tumble as well and gets blasted. Aw.

Go robot!!! Sorry. I dig my robot brothers.

The crowd is delighted as Catman is helped up and led away, Blaster-Bot gets the first round. The Queen is pleased.

Can you make a Slaver Lord out of a robot?

In Tortuna proper, Niko, Doc and Zach are in dark blue outfits, black hats, and masks. They're not going Zanguil today apparently, but it works. They note the empty streets as everyone's at the match.

Only three of them. Heee. I wonder where our Gooseman is?

Doc notes that one person's not at the match. Geezy! HI Geezy! Geezy notes disdainfully that he smells a humming, and then eeks as he's surrounded by them. I love Geezy. He notes that every time he sees them he gets in trouble. Niko notes that they miss him too. Aw. :-)

Zach announces they want the crystal. Geezy notes that half the thieves in the galaxy are here for that, as he ducks into his shop. He notes that the Queen'll capture them and psychocrypt em too. Niko notes Geezy's familiarity with the Queen's household affairs, and Zach tells him he'll get them into the Excellon.

Geezy tries to demur of course and announces that he doesn't exist. That's an opening for Zach to snap that that can be arranged. Geezy resignedly opens the door and waves them inside. He notes the Queen has spies everywhere, while above, a metal thingy drifts by beeping.

I love Geezy. And this episode.

Back at the arena of doom, the next match is about to start. The jester is interrupted by someone handing him a scroll. Huh, I'm only noting the scroll use now. The Queen is kind of old school isn't she?

Anyway, the jester notes that this round is real scary. It's a freestyle match starring current leaders (apparently there've been fights we've missed. Fair enough.) MaCross versus Green and Lumpy! (Larry emerges from the tent and stumbles.)

Hee, MaCross! Hi!!!

oo, wait, not just them, but the Queen's Champion too! Awesome!

Blaster-Bot isn't announced, but he comes out too. Apparently, they're all supposed to defend their positions.

The fight is fun! I'm not describing it in depth because it's not as fun to read as it is to see. There are holograms, walls, and such though! Some of the holograms look human. Interesting!

Hmm, maybe this battle is just against holograms? I don't know, but I'll grant the Queen: she can put on a good show. Also, Green and Lumpy still sounds like stoned, mod Doc to me.

Nope, not JUST against holograms, I realize as MaCross and Blaster-Bot both manage to shoot each other. Aw. The jester notes that if this continues, the Queen won't have to worry about parting with the prize.

The Champion's voice is all electronic and scary, as he and Green and Lumpy keep shooting. Green and Lumpy has the advantage when the wall the Champion is leaning on drops and he's exposed. Green and Lumpy shoots the guns out of his hands and goes in for the win. The Champion dodges a few blasts and manages to grab his gun but not soon enough. Green and Lumpy wins!

Now the Queen is pissed, but she's not out of options as she offers Mogul the job of Imperial Court Wizard. Mogul is for it if the star stones come too. He asks what she requires. She wants a new champion.

Meanwhile, the three Rangers are creeping into a side door and head up some stairs which Zach says should lead to the banquet hall. Geezy's presumably stayed home. Doc makes a quip and Zach opens the door and peers in.

The Queen must have some good caterers, that looked like quite the spread. No trophy though. I'm honestly perplexed as to why it'd be in the banquet room anyway, but okay. Niko notes that they need to get invited to the banquet. Doc points out the improbable logistics. They note the approach of crown agents and run through the banquet room for cover. They reach the opposite door and run face first into...the Queen's army.

This tends to happen a lot in Queen episodes. Heh. Zach, I love you, but your direction sense sucks.

The Queen speaks through the robot and does her spiel and the fight starts. Zach tears cloth from his badge and Thunderbolts up. Niko and Doc have fun with the high kicks and the punching. One grabs Doc, but Zach punches him off. Rangers have good teamwork.

Unfortunately, they didn't come equipped with gas masks, as two agents come in with gas guns and knock them out. Shame they didn't bring the guy with bio-defenses or anything. So...where's he again?

The Queen is gleeful about the galaxy rangers being hers and doesn't note that they're only a fraction.

Back in the arena, the Rangers (minus their youngest and most homicidal) are seated on the steps below the throne with their arms bound behind them. The Queen is gleeful about them and her new champion.

The Jester announces the next round, while the Rangers stare at the starstones despondently.

Outside, apparently, they're still taking new entries, as a Kiwi in a robe enters. The guy at the computer mocks the Kiwi's height, because he's an idiot. The Kiwi, who is Zozo in a wacky hat, doesn't kill him but notes he's signing up his "boy."

The computer guy, who's actually more like a giant lizard with huge nostrils notes "You talk, he fights." And Zozo, who I'm guessing I'm not supposed to recognize, is all "You got it, brain surgeon!"

Idiot guy wants a name, but Zozo is all "Don't got one." Idiot is all "No name, no entry" as someone tall and black clad steps behind Zozo. The camera is on Zozo, so we only see the guy's waist (nice belt though) as Zozo names him "the Galaxy stranger."

Oh dear. This is what comes of letting a socially-deprived nineteen year old supersoldier name his secret identity, especially when he is "helped" by a lunatic alien.

Shane IS rocking the black suit and face mask though. The idiot thinks it's a catchy name and types it in, so we can see it in big print.

Back in the arena, a blimp shows a commercial which amuses me. Then we see a pedulant and a lizard faced guy face off. It's pretty quick. Lizard guy wins and shouts "I win!"

But then some black boots step in and a soft voice Clint Eastwood's a "You forgot one." Heh.

Lizard guy fires and our man Goose doesn't even duck behind anything, he just fires back. Lizard guy missed, the "Galaxy Stranger" (snerk) didn't. Lizard guy falls over a wall and down and out. Hee.

Zozo is exuberant. Goose is hot. I'm a pervert, because I'm much too old for him. And also, he's two-dimensional.

Another opponent (big and with horns) comes out and fires, but Goose dodges with a nice roll and shoots up. Opponent goes down.

Goose is not flashy so much as v. v. efficient. His holster move is nice and showy though. He wins round 10.

The Queen is all "Galaxy Stranger? Hmm." Because she's not a goofy teenager and can tell obviousness when she sees it. Or she's staring at his ass. It's THAT tone.

Out in the arena, Green and Lumpy squares off with a human in a purple coat and pink skirt. His mustache is fetching and I wonder if we've seen him before. Oh well. They shoot and duck and the usual. Mustache guy makes a run for it eventually and gets shot. Green and Lumpy for the win!

His laugh amuses me.

Anyway, Jester announces that there are two finalists now, because the show doesn't force us to see boring fights. The Queen insists that her Champion better win.

Meanwhile Zozo walks up to "the Stranger" (snerk) and hands him a set of pistols all "This is it, you've got to take them." He also obviously winks. The Stranger (snerk) does, and holsters them.

Larry is moisturizing Green and Lumpy and Peter Lorre's "This is your big chance." Lumpy's gonna make a Galaxy Stranger burger. Heh.

The jester now announces the match, and indeed the sky looks darker, implying that there were probably a lot more fights we didn't see.

It's "Four-Arms vs. the Galaxy Stranger". Um. While I'd mock Mogul's naming skills, it's still better than Shane and Zozo's. The Queen is all "Finally, I'll have them all." Proving she's got a working brain and can count.

So Green and Lumpy and the Galaxy Stranger (snerk) face off. Shane sees the floating shooting robot first, dodges the blast with a nice backward move and shoots it. Four-Arms for his part shoots another four as they approach.

Meanwhile, an oddly stout and short Queen Agent with a familiar nose sticking out creeps over to them.

Shane seems to be having fun. He manages to elude a shot via a convenient pop-up wall and even get a shot off on Four-Arms who's hit but not going down. The jester is surprised!

Short and snouted's sneaking about still, while Shane and Four-Arms continue their fight. Four-Arms does nick Shane's shoulder with a lucky shot, so now they've both drawn first blood, so to speak.

(I'm amused that they had Shane get the first shot in though, that way we know he's not cheating by taking the blast and staying in.)

Zozo is all "Touch your badge!" and manages to lose the disguise in his tantrum and reclaims it.

The Queen, delighted, leaps to her feet, while the Rangers watch silently. It must be hard to be them right now and not be able to even react with concern. (Well, Doc and Niko look concerned. Zach just has an eyebrow raised. It's pretty funny.)

Goose does pull a panel away of his outfit (convenient design!) and touch his badge. I'm amused anew that his bio-defenses also repair clothes. Four Arms continues firing at the wall he's hiding behind all the while, until Goose stands and fires back. Four Arms dodges and runs.

While the Queen is all "GET HIM!" our renegade agent is continuing to creep forward and down the steps.s He pulls out a pick and releases Zach.

Four Arms runs straight into a wall (there's possibly a moral there, or possibly a critique of sexual technique symbolized in this fight) Four Arms continues with his fire-constantly-and-wildly technique, but our man Goose fires five shots: all guns knocked away and a final chest shot for the win.

Yay for the Galaxy Stranger! Even if his name is stupid!!!

Four Arms goes splat. The crowd cheers. Goose has badass validation, and the Queen is pissed. And more so when she looks down to see the Rangers all free and standing. She shouts a "Get them" and they fight. Doc and Niko get good punches in while Zach throws one out a glass window. I love you, Zach, and I don't feel like an ephebophile for saying so.

Zozo and Goose are there too and urge them to move faster. Doc grabs the star stones, and they all exit. Geezy's out of uniform too for some reason, but I won't judge as his appearance was unexpected and awesome.

Shane unmasks as they rendezvous, and they run for it. Zach Thunderbolts the pursuing crown agents and blows up a staircase.

Soon we see a fast moving stagecoach driven by an unfamiliar pedulant. It looks comfy inside actually, as there's room for all four rangers, Geezy, and Zozo with room to spare. Geezy is triumphant.

Doc plucks a stone from the container. It's a psycho crystal, but the face staring out is a pedulant, NOT Eliza. Aw. Zach takes it well though. Geezy is delighted though, as it's his cousin who was missing for two years! Yay!

They reach the ship and take off, and no one teases Goose about his silly alias, but I'd like to think they'll do so later. The end!


You know, after the last lackluster episodes or so, I was getting disheartened. I was ready to write off all the episodes from 30-now. But 39 saved the whole batch!

THIS is the show I love! Clever, violent, and fun! All four characters. Nifty use of recognizeable foes and the fact that they've all got their own motivations and agenda. And of course, unexpected bouts of heroism.

I called Shane's stint as gun-slinger of course, because that's standard fun in a show like this, but I was genuinely surprised at Geezy showing up to be the cavalry. For all his grumbling, he really does care about them, and he shows it by stuff like this.

And he got rewarded too!

I also love this show because it remembers that the characters are adults, instead of aiming for cheap drama. The team's willingness to hear Walsh out, Zach not spoiling Geezy's delight at the end by angsting... Good moments.

And they didn't forget Shane's comparative youth (at least that's MY explanation.) Teenagers should never be allowed to name themselves, as millions of Mary Sue fanfiction has long-sense demonstrated.

And I love how no one was fooled by any of the transparent attempts at deceit. Walsh knew this was a trap. The Queen knew a Galaxy Ranger when she saw one.

I wonder what'll happen to the defeated combatants. I'm guessing that they don't get psychocrypted somehow, even if the Rangers didn't rescue them. We'll know for sure the next time MaCross shows, I'd reckon!

My love for the show has rekindled! YAY!


  • At July 13, 2009 4:50 PM, Blogger SallyP said…

    This WAS a particularly good one, especially after all the duds. I mean, I like Zozo and all, but really, the shows with Goose, and Zachary and his amazing eyebrows are the best.

    And I'm pretty sure that Zach's AI is GeeVee, or GV.

    Goose does look astonishingly good in the black outfit, I must say. The Queen was totally mesmerized. I'm sure.`

  • At July 13, 2009 4:59 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    It definitely sounds like GV when Niko says it. But Zach says it more often, which is why I tend toward "JV", because in Orbach voice, that's what it sounds like. :-)

    I'll go with whichever one I hear at a given time though. :-)

  • At July 16, 2009 3:44 PM, Blogger Delora said…

    That Geezy is so happy to have the psychocrystal of his cousin when in order to revive a person you need both the body and the crystal, got me speculating: Maybe the Queen psychocrystalizes rebels as a punishment and gives their bodies to care for/keep in stasis to their families. So it serves as a reminder what disloyalty will entail, and the Queen reduces the cost for her Psychocrypt.


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