Pretty, Fizzy Paradise

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009


This makes me happy. Not so much for Black Canary, though granted, she is indeed awesome. But a Captain Atom co-feature?

THAT makes me happy.

The most helpful thing about the post is the comic list at the end, I think. But I wonder what comic Captain Atom or Black Canary will be the back up for. (Though I guess in the latter's case I'd guess either Green Arrow or a reformed Birds of Prey.) I would totally buy a new (to me) comic for Captain Atom.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, Recap 20: The Power Within

I've actually hit recap number 20! A little less than one third of the way through!

Anyway this episode is titled "The Power Within"

Because Sadistic Gameshow Episodes are Compulsory

The opening music to this episode is a bit weird and music boxy, I'm not sure I approve. But wait, whose voice is that I hear as Ranger One approaches a rather nifty star formation?! Could it be?! It's ZACH!! Hi, Zach!!! I missed you, you cyborged Jerry Orbach, you!

Zach's saying something about the horns of Capricorn. I'm busy going "Eee! Zach!!!" God willing, this episode will actually have all four main characters!!!

OMG! It does!!!

Okay, so I should probably actually recap what's going on.

The Rangers are approaching a part of space that doesn't appear to have a planet so much as an odd milky looking formation. I suck at astronomy, as I'm sure I've mentioned and never really regretted until I started recapping this series. I know Capricorn's a constellation though, so I guess they're near there.

Zach and Niko are in the cockpit of Ranger One. While Doc and Shane are sitting in a row of seats that look like a roller coaster type set up, with Zozo, that lovable rascal that THROWS PEOPLE IN FIRE, sitting behind Shane. It might be another ship. I can't tell yet. Anyway, Shane says something about ten ships missing in the last six months. Nifty!

Goose pops up on Zach and Niko's screen. For whatever reason, I am amused by his neckerchief all over again. You'd think I'd be over that by now. Anyway, he says that this system "eats cruisers for breakfast." Good to know. And that the missing ships had good pilots too.

Zozo chimes in with visible excitement that good pilots don't come any better than the Galaxy Rangers. Goose darts him a narrow eyed look. Possibly because he realizes his title as homicidal maniac of the group has been taken away by the little rodent.

Apparently they ARE all on board Ranger One, as it's the only ship visible. It would explain where the others are when we only see the cockpit, I guess. Niko asks Doc to pilot them in.

Suddenly the ship starts to shake and what looks like lightning flashes around them. Goose reports that they're being struck by a strong energy beam. Zozo grips Goose's chair, I suspect, because lightning is related to fire and he wants to burn them all.

Yeah, sorry, still not letting that go. Jesus.

Goose reports that the power is overloading, and his wonderful atari-graphic screen is flashing Danger above what looks like a topographical map of some kind. That's probably not good. Niko reduces power to one-quarter, which causes the topographical map to flatten out and the ship to start drifting along the beam's path. Goose recommends evasive action. Really? I'd never have thought of that.

Zach affirmatives and orders them to ready the deflector weren't doing that already? Yeesh. His image is flickering out. See, this is why it might be a good idea to have everyone in one place. So you can hear each other if communications flake. He orders Doc to pinpoint the power source.

Goose snaps that they're caught in a tractor beam, and Niko activates auxiliary power. Or tries to, Goose reports that every system has been neutralized.

We cut away to a somewhat barren looking planet (DRINK!) that is nonetheless occupied by a rather swanky looking castle. It's not red or creepifying, so I'm guessing it's not the Queen's castle. But maybe it is, on account of Zach waking up sprawled on the floor of a cell barred with green energy. Yeesh, couldn't put him on a BED? What lousy captors.

Niko's hair is on the floor nearby, and we zoom out to see a fairly elegantly set table with five places. It's kind of like a Japanese place setting in that it's all at a height to not require chairs. Zozo, Goose and Doc are all sprawled next to each spot. (Amusingly, while Doc, Zozo and Niko are sprawled, Goose is laying ramrod straight. Supertrooper training I'd guess. Heh.)

The spread on the table looks pretty swanky for a jail cell. Zach sits up first and asks if everyone's all right. Doc also sits up, with a "Compared to what?" Heh, I missed you Doc and Zach. Group episodes are the best episodes. Don't go away again!

Niko and Zozo are sitting up too, and Zozo remarks that he feels like he's been run through a nutra-processor. Goose staggers to his feet and mutters something about any landing you can walk away from. Considering how often he seems to crash-land, he ought to know. Niko points out that they've been stunned. Goose checks for weapons. "And picked clean."

Zach, seeing as how he's got the weapon that can't be taken away, notices first that while they can't take Thunderbolt away, they CAN take his badge. And they have. The Rangers are indeed badgeless. Doc comments that the green lasers are one "mean looking security fence."

I like how all the Rangers are ignoring the food to gripe about being in a cage. Zozo comments that it's a gilded cage, to use the proper term. Goose pronounces that the cage hasn't been built that can hold the Galaxy Rangers. Doc is all "Go get 'em, Goo-Dini."

They're interrupted by the entrance of an...interesting looking fellow. He's vaguely feline with a shock of wild purple hair. He's apparently wearing bracers and leg warmers of fur. His torso is covered by a tuxedo coat/shirt/bowtie, and the lapels are lined with fur as well. His pants are blue and purple and striped.

Wow. This guy makes the supertroopers look well dressed.

The cat-faced man cheerfully welcomes the "gamesters" and introduces himself as Nimrod. And I...have nothing to say about that. He's "the hunter of the horn" apparently and for the moment the Galaxy Rangers are his guests.

Zach asks Nimrod if he's crazy and wants to know where his ship is. I missed you and your loud, angry Orbachianness Zach. Nimrod asks if they've heard of him. Goose snaps something about not since Nimrod escaped from the Deltoid Rock.

Nimrod ignores that and asks them, in a very showmanesque voice, to "tell the audience about yourselves." And "How long have you had the pet kiwi?" He leans in close to the pyromaniacal psycho, which is, I suspect, a bad idea considering how much hairspray Nimrod must be wearing. Zozo is offended. Zach wants to know about their badges, and Nimrod answers that their reputation as Series Five Rangers precedes them. (I wonder what Series of Ranger Zach was before getting his implant. Hm.) He had to strip them of their powers so they'll remain true to the spirit of the game.

Which is fair enough really. The Rangers are pretty kickass after all. Doc snaps that he'll "Gain [him], PINROD."

Um, Doc. His name is ALREADY an insult.

Zach wants him to can the speeches and tell them what he's up to. There's some odd carnival music, and Nimrod welcomes them to "The Greatest Gameshow in the Universe!"

A roulette wheel descends from the ceiling landing on the number 72. Nimrod tells them that if they survive the games for 72 Galactic Hours, they'll go free in a ship that he will "willingly provide." Doc states that they're not playing any game, but Nimrod ignores that and shows them the "consolation prizes" if they fail. His trophy collection! Which shows a bunch of aliens being menaced by two headed dogs, nearly hit with spears, and one Jerry Lewis type alien from Progress getting sucked into a floor. I presume this would be more graphic if not a kid's show. Still the implication is pretty clear.

Nimrod shows one empty exhibit with just their badges hanging up and says he's saving the prime spot for them. Zozo comments that suddenly the cave doesn't seem so bad. It's a shame they didn't get the chance to eat. Oh well, Nimrod announces the games' beginning, and three multicolored doors open on the other end of the cell. They're transport portals leading to different gaming areas.

What would he do if they stayed in the cell? After all, it says to survive 72 hours, he didn't say how...

Ahh, he's calculated for that. To give them a "running start", the forcefield starts closing in on them. Leaving that nice spread on the table. Aw. I hate seeing wasted food.

Said food AND table is quickly vaporized by the forcefield. Eek.

Nimrod asks if it'll be door number 1, door number 2, or door number 3? Doc mutters something about Nimrod being a prize boob. (Can they say that on a kid's show?) While Nimrod warns that the last group that hesitated ended up as One-Dimensional Beings. I bet Shane or Zozo could kill you even as a One-Dimension Being, guy, so be very careful who you piss off.

Zach hisses to stick together. Shane points out that the lasers have other ideas. Doc quips that the last one in is a stuffed basooti. That leaves Zach, who soberly warns Nimrod that this will be his most dangerous game. I love you, Zach.

Nimrod just warns that the clock is running, and Zach turns toward the door. In a bit of pettiness, the area just above the door is raised. So Zach and Zozo trip, as they fall in to where the others are equally sprawled. That's just...catlike. Hm.

The door behind Zach says "Return to Go." But it vanishes, as the world suddenly changes to a plateau top overlooking a lovely forest. Niko wonders "Now what," Just as Nimrod, riding one of those giant gopher things, leads an army out of the castle gates. Shane's punched one before, he can do it again. I hope he does. Hee.

There are also nasty looking dogs and flying creatures. Shane IDs them as "Zacker Beasts." And Doc quips, "I forget, do we have a plan?" Zach does, and it's "Lose those hounds, for starters." He orders them to make for the woods. They start running.

Goose in the lead points out the river up ahead. He warns that there could be anything in there, but Zach points out that when they cross, the trackers will have a hard time picking up their scent. Niko senses something about the river, but can't be sure without her badge. Zach points out that if they had their badges, it wowuldn't matter what was wrong with the river. Goose runs back to check and points out the bad guys are gaining on them.

Zach, headstrong as ever, is about to jump in when Niko yells and Goose pulls him back, surprisingly gently. He asks what's wrong. Niko closes her eyes as Goose crouches by the river's edge. He asks them to hand him one of the berries from a nearby plant. Zozo grabs a whole bunch. Goose, pleased, takes one and throws it in, where some vicious looking things emerge to rip it to shreds.

"Carrion Vampire Fish" Goose identifies, to the other Rangers' shock. Goose has a very eclectic education apparently. Though the fish won't actually eat the berry now that it's torn apart, so they might have a chance, as Zozo points out. Doc quips something about a garlic scented fishhook. They're runaway berries, and if squashed, Zozo explains, they'll find out why.

They quickly get a pile of the things. Zozo stamps and starts smearing it over himself, telling them to do the same. Niko recoils saying no creature in his right mind would go near the stuff.

Once berried, Shane goes in first, since he's like that even without uber-healing. He makes it through un-torn apart and the others follow. Zach praises Zozo when they get to the other side. They run for it.

As they ascend the hill, Niko glances back to see Nimrod on the Gopher. He announces it's now Round Two, and his hunters scatter. Goose says they'll cross somewhere else. Zach adds that high ground is their only chance and Goose volunteers to take point. Good thing he does, as he collides with reeds and gives a gurgling scream and falls over. Eek. Doc and Niko run to him, while Zach checks it out. It's "Krillian Electrical Grass."

Wow, the Rangers' universe is filled with some scary ass shit.

Goose is bemused and mutters shakily that his legs should have turned to armor. Zach points out that with his Thunderbolt, he could clear it all away right now. Niko agrees, but points out that for now, they're regular Galaxy Rangers and they have to think that way.

I like how the series keeps revisiting how the Rangers use their power. I've mentioned how Doc, Niko and Zach tend to use their power as tools while Goose uses his more unconsciously and automatically. As we saw in the fight with Kilbane, he tends not to use it as MUCH as the others but more efficiently, when needed. This episode demonstrates the downside to that though. Doc, Niko and Zach are clearly feeling the lack of their nifty tools, but they're also not running headlong into electric grass either because they're used to compensation.

Niko's comment probably sums up the problem fairly well. The others know what it's like to be (mostly) regular. I don't think Shane really does. To be fair though, he IS incredibly adaptable. So now that he's become consciously aware that his abilities don't work, I don't expect him to make the same mistake again.

Zach, who's been "regular" longest, has an idea. They've made stilts! Zozo is sitting on Goose's shoulders, and the latter seems quite content on stilts, now that he's not focused on the lack of bio-defenses. He compliments the good brain Zach has inside his bionic skull and quips cheerfully that Zach "wins this round."

THAT...could be an interesting indicator of how exactly Shane Gooseman sees the interactions with his commanding officer. I'm going to have to think about this a bit and start babbling theories later.

So they make it through the grass. Just as their pursuers get there. A few of the dogs get zapped, while Nimrod starts up with his gameshow host spiel.

Apparently they still have washers and driers in the future. Also, Tri-D, which I'd assume is like tv. The gopher starts trampling the grass, while the pursuers follow.

Niko, using her limited powers, realizes that they're not ordinary beasts. Niko makes an interesting contrast to Shane here, because the two of them are the characters most likely to have some of their powers without the badges. (He did shake off the zap easier than a lot would, I'd reckon.) But because of the nature of her powers and her relationship to them, she has an easier time using what she can without overreaching. It's probably easier to take that mindset when your powers are active and offensive rather than passive and defensive though.

She identifies the dogs as "Syrian telepathic hounds."

Doc notes that they're being tracked by Niko's thoughts. And Zach notes that her implant would have let her project some kind of scrambler or ghost image. Niko glares and emphasizes "REGULAR rangers, Zach." She'll concentrate on a trail to the waterfall, as a sort of false trail. And they'll head into the lake.

I'm not sure I'd count that as "regular" so much as "less powerful" Niko. But still, I admire your practicality.

The lake is kind of gross looking and greenish. And while in the water, Doc starts sinking into something. They pull him out in a way that allows for quite the substantial crotch-shot. Goose identifies that the area is filled with "Canopian Suction Bogs."

I'm going to start a drinking game every time the Rangers identify some NEW danger.

Suddenly, to make things worse, it starts raining. The Rangers find another waterfall. Niko notes that there's something inside it. It appears to be a doorway. Niko's false trail doesn't seem to have worked, as Nimrod's close by and listing more "prizes."

They eye the doorway, which is yet another game doorway, skeptically. Doc shrugs and says "What do we have to lose?" A valid question. Zozo quips "Don't ask."

They run through and find themselves back in the shrinking cell. They run through yet another doorway to emerge in a very windy area. Zozo sarcastically congratulates Doc's choice, but Doc retorts that he'd rather have sand in his face than bog juice in his lungs. Fair enough.

Niko catches sight of shelter, and they make their way to a wall, where they crouch and wait for the storm to pass. Once it does, Zach identifies it as part of a star-fighter. This is Nimrod's junkyard. Where all the ships of his "contestants" go, I'd reckon.

Eek. This is the sort of scene where you suddenly process that the funny comic relief villain is actually a fucking serial killer. Those are a lot of ships.

Goose leaps on top of one (spectacular physical abilities =/= superpowers) , and investigates closer, noting that Nimrod's junkyard will be their ticket out. They get to work.

Shane takes charge of the repairs. Apparently, he's the mechanical expert of the group. This is an intriguing, unforeseen layer. It makes sense though. Someone ought to be adept at repairs. Doc's tech skill tends to be more with the programming/hacking and less with the engineering/mechanics. Likewise, while Niko's emerged as the team's general science officer, her abilities seem to tend more toward biology and soft sciences.

Engineering/Mechanics would seem to suit our Gooseman though. It's practical (especially if you're prone to crashing), methodical, and tends to involve more troubleshooting than anything else. It's nice to see him with an interest that doesn't involve causing violence to another person. (And to be fair, Mind-Net did establish that Goose spends a fair bit of time at Longshot. Now we know that he wasn't just playing with dolphins.)

Zach seems inclined to encourage this as well. When Doc grumbles about wishing Q-Ball were here, Zach shouts that they don't need Q-Ball when they have Shane Gooseman. Aw. Shane announces cheerfully that he was "born to synthesize."

Which...might well be true. Anyway, they get to work.

When finished, they all stare skeptically at the product. Niko's verbally unsure, while Zozo snorts that it will never fly. Goose cheerfully states that it's not meant to. Doc is not reassured, but Zach gets it and calls him a genius. I don't get it, but okay.

We see the ship. It's...interesting looking. An asymmetrical hodgepodge including a giant claw coming out of one side. As the daughter of an electrical engineer, I am amused. My dad would totally make one of those if he had the time and parts.

Shane christens his...creation the "Miscellany." Ah, Shane and your remarkably silly sense of humor that would have seemed impossible fifteen episodes ago. :-) Niko chuckles that Q-Ball will be proud.

On the horizon, dust starts stirring, as Nimrod and crew are now in nifty sand vehicles. Zach announces it's time to go back for the badges. Niko and Goose hop into the Miscellany, while Zach, Doc and Zozo remain behind.

Goose is definitely enjoying himself and leads Nimrod and crew on a merry chase, while the others run toward the doorway. Zozo gets to shout "Galaxy Rangers, Ho" this time. They're more egalitarian than the Thunder-Cats.

Back in the cell, they run down the last door. They emerge outside the castle, which is unguarded now that Shane's playing "Catch me if you can." They intend to get the badges.

Shane's apparently a damn good mechanic. That ship is flying, figuratively speaking. Two evil vehicles line up on either side. Shane tells Niko to hold tight, and sends the ship in reverse, causing the bad guys to shoot each other. Hee. Now, it's time to play chicken. And like a metaphor for all supertroopers we've met so far, and will meet, Goose's ship might LOOK a little outlandish, but it's all quite functional. That weird claw thing is perfect for ripping pieces off enemy vehicles.

It might not fly, but it does do a nifty sort of polevault somehow over the next batch of pursuers, sending them crashing into the pre-existing rubble.

There are a few guards left outside the castle, after all. But Zozo gets to work distracting them. He does not set any of them on fire. The Guards are boggled and aim their crossbows, but are promptly tripped by Zach and Doc. Now they've got weapons! Doc compliments Zozo's "mean moves." Zozo says he got the move from Doc.

They race inside. I wonder if they need their SPECIFIC badges, or if any of them would do. Zozo notes that Goose must have Nimrod on the run by now.

Not exactly, as he's still being pursued, but then that's where he wants to be. Nimrod starts babbling about time running out and how he really enjoyed this round. Niko's not having that, and though she calls him "Pinrod", she uses the arm like a spatula and knocks Nimrod's ship off balance.

Seriously, his name's ALREADY an insult. Changing it around isn't going to bother him, I'd reckon.

Anyway, they use the claw to physically pluck a henchman from a vehicle. They're having fun.

Back at the ranch, Doc is trying to hack into the displays. It's harder without the pets I'd reckon. Doc points it out, though Zach does suggest there was a time before the implants. Zozo and Doc groan that they know and repeat Niko's "regular Galaxy Ranger" chorus.

Fortunately "regular" equals "very competent hacker" in Doc's case, so he gets to work, even as more guards come with niftier weapons.

Back at the racetrack, so to speak, Nimrod and the Miscellany are neck and neck. Nimrod aims his gun, cheerfully stating that their time is up. He's interrupted by "alert" flashing across his screen and he orders everyone back to the castle.

Doc is interacting with Nimrod's security AI who wants to play password, essentially. Zach orders him to play along, even as Zach exchanges gunfire with the guards. Doc plays knock-knock games with the AI, and actually seems to be getting somewhere. Finally, Doc's in. Go Doc!

Now with the field down, Zozo's leaping for the badges, He freezes inside, and Doc notes that the beams aren't dead. Just in stasis.

Nimrod enters, and Zach orders him to disarm the field. Nimrod is still on the idiotic gameshow thing and tells them to prepare for trophy stasis. Zach accuses him of not playing fair and asks him about the spirit of the hunt. I missed Jerry Orbach's indignant Zach proclamations.

Nimrod points out that the successful player knows when to bring out the big guns. Zach counters with "eat photons."

The camera does a creepy zoom-in on Nimrod, who finally looks a little dangerous. The guards aim, and Doc and Zach leap and run for cover. Nimrod forgot about the cavalry though. Goose didn't, as the Miscellany slams through the wall of the control room. Goose and Niko emerge, and Goose grabs for a guard and quite ably disables him. Niko gets the other with a face-kick, and both are now armed. (Goose with pistol, Niko with rifle.) Zach joins the fray, as Doc 's back on computer. The stasis field drops, and Zozo can move again. He grabs the badges and juggles them as Doc dodges a guard. Zozo disperses the badges, and the Rangers, mid ass-kickery, collect them.

zach powers up the Thunderbolt. Goose deliberately takes a shot and goes titanium on their ass. Doc and Niko fight as normal, until eventually something knocks the computer loose and all the frozen people in the trophy case are freed. I'm not sure that the fact that they were actual frozen people and not images makes Nimrod less a serial killer though. Unless they had VERY small crews.

Nimrod is upset, then offers double-or-nothing, and charges Zach, who is not having that. Nimrod asks about consolation prizes and Zach agrees: a free trip back to the Deltoid Rock. Now they get into one giant purple looking ship, which Shane classifies as "not much, but she'll get [them] back to earth-space." Niko asks about Nimrod. Zach cheerfully says that his captives wanted one more game. Zach's got a sadistic side. I approve.

I admit, I have such a weakness for the "sadistic game show" type story. This one was definitely fun, too. Though I'm not sure really if Nimrod ever was on a show at all or if it was just in his crazy head.

Nimrod's an entertaining villain though. Mostly comic relief but with just a hint of genuine scariness. Especially when you see the wreckage of all those ships. Egads.

I loved the batshit crazy flora and fauna. Vampire fish? Electric grass? Bog-something or others? Hilarious. The Galaxy Ranger universe is kind of a fucked up place, man.

I liked seeing the Rangers without their powers. It made for an interesting set-up. Doc seems to be the least confident without his powers, which would be interesting to explore, because really, his powers do the least for him. It lets him conjure/carry AI that he's previously programmed and take a lot of shortcuts via his mental connection to machines, but doesn't alter the fact that he still does all the thinking himself. It was good to see him pull it together.

Niko didn't have as much trouble, but then with her powers, the implant really just makes a difference of scale. And Zach seems to have learned from Mistwalker and really made the best showing of all of them without his giant arm gun.

Shane did well too though, after the initial grass mishap. I'd suspect his issue was more because, since his powers are pretty much only defensive, he really had to get whacked to remember/process that they're not active anymore. He did well enough after the fact though, AND got to demonstrate a new non-violent skill set.

I was thinking about the "You win this round" comment to Zach, and I like the thought that it's more than just a side quip relating to Nimrod's game. This kind of gets into episodes I'm not supposed to acknowledge having seen yet, but given the dominance games we've seen from Kilbane, we can infer at least that it's probably very difficult for super-troopers to willingly submit to someone else's leadership. Which really implies that they'd be lousy soldiers, but then I'm not sure they were meant as soldiers so much as "instruments of chaos and destruction."

I have absolutely nothing to base this on, but I kind of like the thought that in his head, Shane rationalizes following Zach's leadership by setting up little contests in his brain that Zach always ends up "winning" without ever realizing that he's playing. So Shane can tell his instincts that yes, he is challenging the Alpha male. He just keeps losing.

And of course, since they're in his head, all the contests are rigged in Zach's favor anyway.

And finally, it's so nice to FINALLY have an episode with all four main characters again! I hope they stick around for a while!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, Recap 19: The Scarecrow

Good morning/afternoon! This post is a bit later than usual, but heck, I was out late last night actually being sociable for once.

Today's episode is "Scarecrow."

Scarecrows are Fucking Creepy. And so are Kiwis.

We start out with a nifty set of triplet planets. Though possibly one counts as a moon, I'm not entirely sure how this sort of thing works. I kind of regret not studying any Astronomy in college, because it seems interesting. Oh well.

So anyway, Ranger One, piloted by Shane, Niko and Zozo, it looks like, comes to a landing on the planet. No Zach AGAIN? Yeesh. Maybe Jerry Orbach had a project or movie or something around this time.

Anyway, for once the Rangers aren't landing on a barren looking planet. Granna (or Grenna?) actually looks like it might have PLANTS. Or at least fields. I'll take what I can get.

Goose confirms, apparently Granna is covered by thousands of square miles of "Super-Wheat." Zozo chimes in that he hopes Kiwi vegetables take to the soil as well. Goose actually TEASES Zozo about a Kiwi strawberry the size of a basketball that tasted like it had been through the hoop a few times already. Zozo is unruffled and points out that the experiments have been refined since then. Goose laughs and says that he remembers planet Floko too.

Granna's not covered entirely in fields, it looks like. Ranger One comes in for a landing in a place with quite lovely grass and a few fairly fancy buildings. Even a paved landing strip. I'm not sure why you need a landing strip when Ranger One just sets down to land, but maybe the other vehicles actually have wheels.

I might be thinking too much about this. For all the fanciness of the airport, the general store looks a tad more old-school. It's made of wood, and kind of pretty. Inside, Goose half leans on a counter while the store fellow talks to Niko. The shop fellow is looking a tad janitorial, but he knows his material, and explains that all the tests have shown very little "Gene displacement" so far. The wheat clones are holding up very well.

Mm. Cloned wheat.

He reveals also that this is the first day of the harvest, and another fellow, this one in rather fetching overalls and wearing eyebrows that rival Zach's, says that it's a big party day for them.

Niko says she hasn't been to a party in "Yonks." I don't know what that means. But that's what I heard. Make of it what you will. Goose chimes in with "Yep, no Floko," sounding very amused. (Zozo by the way, appears to be eating something from a box of fruit. Heh.)

The store folk don't know about Floko, and Niko laughs that she's not sure she's relieved or not that the story didn't make it on this side of the frontier. Goose laughs and reveals that apparently on Floko, the Kiwi vegetables mutated into flying plants. He says it was "wild."

I bet he got to shoot the flying plants. Destruction makes Goose happy. It's odd to see him so light-hearted as he has been so far in this episode. But I guess Kiwi vegetable mishaps amuse him.

The shopkeepers laugh hard. Niko sulks comedically saying thanks a lot to "Shane", and saying she thought she could live that one down. The more janitorial looking fellow suddenly sobers, saying that's not funny, and asks what happened. Apparently since it was a bacterial mutation, they seeded clouds and caused a lot of rain.

Goose continues teasing Niko about the smell, which apparently was so bad, he stayed in the ship behind lots of airlocks. "If you know what I mean." Wimp. But still funny. The overall-ed gent laughs very hard and whacks him on the back. I'm a bit perplexed by the "if you know what I mean" bit since it seems pretty self-explanatory. But maybe by "stayed in the ship" he means "caused mass destruction."

Zozo points out that this is only a survey mission. Janitorial fellow, who seems much more inclined to take his job seriously, wants to see printouts for the vegetables, which Zozo insists have been completely redesigned.

The Rangers and Zozo go riding. Goose is on Triton of course. Niko is not on Voyager. This horse is tan. Nell, I guess. Weird that she doesn't just stick to one robot horse. Then again, Zozo is riding a real horse. Weird.

Goose admires the fields of wheat which do look pretty, especially with the big red planet on the horizon. Niko reveals the wheat is going to feed all the exploration groups this side of of the League of Planets. Zozo thinks the new plant will grow very well here.

It occurs to me that Galaxy Rangers is a very left-liberal show. What with the competent space hippies, the environmentalism, and collectivized farming. Granted, it still has corrupt politicians though.

Triton chimes in that "survey sector A2 has prime soil conditions." I like Triton, it makes me smile when he gets speaking lines. Goose asks Zozo if that's okay with him, and Zozo agrees. Zozo's horse is actually leading another horse, which in turn is pulling a wagon with a weird mechanical survey droid on top, so this clearly isn't a leisure ride.

Apparently, this "thumper" as Zozo calls it, will use echo studies to make an underground survey map and get essential soil data. Goose starts the thing up and it pounds at the ground for a bit before Niko notices the sun setting and cheerfully says "It's party time!" They ride off.

I'm not sure why people on robot horses need to yell, "Heeya!" or "Giddyup!" But okay. We briefly get a hint of ominous music as the sun sets behind them.

Anyway, the party's apparently in a barn with a nice old fashioned "harvest dance" sign outside. I love the bizarre incongruities of setting in this series. Space cowboys going to a barn dance, with robots parked outside.

Inside, musicians are playing an accordian and fiddle respectively, while Zozo dances with a cute girl in brown. Our Zozo's something of a ladies' man I reckon. Goose is dancing with a pretty dark haired girl in green, much to the vexation of a sandy-haired young man watching. Niko, for her part, dances with the janitorial looking guy who knows his job, and gets her foot stepped on. Poor thing. But saying ouch so obviously is not very diplomatically astute either. Tsk.

In the corner of the room, the sandy-haired young man is entertaining a group of kids with tales of "the Scarecrow." I'm interested, because, hey, title of the episode. Apparently on Harvest Night, under the full moon (and next to the pounding metal survey thing, according to the cutaway scene), the scarecrow starts twitching.

Actually, it's a fairly genuinely creepy shot with the scarecrow next to the pounding survey thing. Scarecrows are fucking creepy. Anyway, according to storyteller Johnny, it climbs down from its pole and wants the Graveyard, where it can see if there's anyone freshly buried. It will dig it up and bring it back to life.

Zombie-raising scarecrows? Okay, I'm mildly intrigued, show.

Anyway, a well-timed crash of thunder underscores the kids' disgust at the thought. One kid asks what if there isn't anyone freshly buried. A good question. In that case, it goes into the town to get someone still living. As for what it wants, well, Johnny growls and makes scary faces, sending kids fleeing into the haystack and then says "Nobody knows."

Janitorial guy comes over and tells Johnny enough with the scary stuff, though the kids in the haystack moan that they want to hear more! Kids.

The survey droid is still pounding away. But then, the ground quakes and a hand reaches up, pulling a leg off the survey droid and knocking it over. Then the owner of the hand emerges. This hideous fellow isn't a scarecrow, but it does have a red skull for a head. So apparently we see what Johann Schmidt'll be up to in about eighty years. He's struck by a bolt of something, and bursts into crimson flame. Then he grabs for the hanging scarecrow and disappears.

Okay, that was pretty fucking creepy, show.

Two cops in a police car that looks a lot like ones we have nowaday, wearing cowboy hats drive through the rain. One muses about the kind of fun Galaxy Rangers must get into. The other agrees. In front of them, creepy zombie guy waits, clad now in scarecrow regalia. Eek.

It darts out of the way, but not before the police realize someone's out there. They get out to check it out. Oh, no. Don't do that.

It grabs them and holds them in the air. One tries shooting. But there's no effect. And paused on the "Scarecrow's" face may just give me nightmares. Jesus. (I'm weak to scary movies.)

The camera zooms in on the car as we hear evil laughter. Eeek.

Back at the dance, Johnny finally cuts in on Goose and the girl. He's a bit of a dick about it, calling him "Superhero" and saying the fun's over. Goose, probably realizing he could kill the little pissant with two fingers, gracefully yields the way with a courtly bow. The girl tells Johnny not to be so jealous. She gives him a wistful wave, and he winks at her. Johnny decides to take the girl (whose name is Norma) out for a walk, even though it's raining.

Idiot. That's a guy who'll be single by tomorrow.

Outside, the horses are grazing. Well, Zozo's horse is. Nell and Triton are just standing there as they're ROBOTS. A creepy voice tells Triton "You're so pretty. Soon you'll be mine." and we see the reflection of the Scarecrow in Triton's face plate. Triton takes umbrage.

The scarecrow's less creepy when I realize he basically just looks like Mumm-ra in better clothes. Anyway Triton announces that "No one but Shane Gooseman shall ride me!" and rears up. The scarecrow likes a challenge and zaps the horse with magic red energy.

I'm very boggled by this entire sequence which seems dirty and wrong. Not in the least because he's apparently forcibly wooing a robot horse. I mean, robot horses are cool, but not the subject of this kind of forcible wooing very often.

Inside, Zozo dances on a barrel to the happiness of all. See, this is why Zozo is better than Waldo. Waldo would never do that.

Niko and Shane stand together, and Niko teasingly asks a perplexed Shane what his girlfriend's name is. Goose is indeed perplexed, and Niko teases that she's been watching them and the girl is very pretty. Goose tells her the girl already has a date. And so does he. He winks, and she smiles. Aw.

The cute moment is interrupted as Norma screams. She runs inside and tells them Johnny's been shot!

They run outside, to see the Scarecrow riding Triton whose faceplate is glowing red. He...brainwashed the robot horse. In a way that's generally reserved for damsel in distress types. I'm very very amused. Anyway, Goose is aghast.

Triton runs off, the Scarecrow on his back. The Rangers pursue. Niko on her horse, Zozo on his, while Goose takes the janitorial looking guy's (apparently named Kimbal) Jeep.

I totally want a hover jeep.

Poor Kimball's riding with Goose and understandably freaking out, though not over Goose's driving. He wants to know what that thing was. Goose just snaps for him to be quiet and asks Niko over wrist communicator if she sees anything. Answer: No. Visibility is zero.

Kimball's confused by the fog. Goose, for his part, is confused by how he's keeping Triton under control as Triton's programming only lets him ride him.

According to Kimball, he's heading into Misty Bog. Which seems like it really ought not matter, seeing as how the jeep hovers and they can't see anything anyway.

Oh, apparently Niko's horse is named Mel, not Nell. Sorry. Anyway, she gives it encouragement as the Scarecrow shoots back at her. Mel agrees. Triton is usually faster than Mel, but he's not running well tonight. Brainwashing will do that.

Unfortunately, the Scarecrow shoots a tree down in front of Niko and Mel, blocking their path. Zozo and Goose catch up, while Kimball moans that they'll never find him in the misty bog. Niko shushes him, she hears something.

Goose only cares about Triton and ignores Kimball's moaning that some of the bogs are ten feet deep. Niko shushes them again. Goose hears a mechanical horse and runs straight into a bog, drawing his weapon and calling for his robot friend. It's kind of cute that he's so irrational about the horse. Robot horses deserve love too. Zozo catches up, manages not to get shot even. While Niko finds the source of the noise.

Mel warns that the Scarecrow is coming, while Niko loads her shot gun. Suddenly Triton leaps from the bushes, and the Scarecrow gets a shot in first, knocking her off her horse, while her own shot goes wide.

Daylight finds the three Rangers in a pretty building, where Niko's resting in bed. Goose asks about Johnny, and she reports he'll pull through. Zozo says Niko looks pretty as ever, and she thanks him. Shane asks Niko if she remembered anything more. She reports that Triton was glowing, as though carrying an electric charge of some kind. Goose is perplexed.

Apparently folks had seen the chief of police riding the horse. And apparently today the chief and his assistant were found on the highway. I wonder if they were alive. Goose does not satisfy my curiousity. Zozo reports that the Thumper was destroyed as well.

Goose is still upset and concerned, as Triton wouldn't LET anyone ride him. Niko points out that THIS someone did indeed ride him, and they have to find him. Goose tells Niko that SHE's staying put to rest, and he'll take Mel. Not being an idiot, she tells him to be careful.

Apparently, the Chief of Police is not the Chief of Police, as in the kitchen of a nice place, he has a young fellow tied to a chair and reveals that after being in the ground for a "hundred million years" he gets the urge to talk. The tied up fellow is not an appreciative audience and he yells something, muffled by the gag. The Chief says that it's easy for him to say.

The lady operating the kitchen does not seem to take any notice of the tied up fellow. Apparently Granna's kinkier than I thought. She serves him coffee and breakfast. She is only vaguely puzzled by him asking about the coffee and food (eggs and hashbrowns with bacon and mushrooms, mmm) so, yeah, apparently a very odd place, this Granna is. He thinks it's missing somethting.

The kitchen lady goes to the tied up gent and whispers "Don't you think [he's] acting peculiar?" THe tied up gent, still gags, tries to say something like "YOU IDIOT, HE TIED ME UP AND GAGGED ME AT YOUR KITCHEN TABLE, LET ME THE FUCK OUT."

Or maybe I'm just projecting.

The chief wants to know what's in the cupboard. He pulls out a bottle of something that has the kitchen lady boggled and protesting that it's not "people food." He pours it on the food and makes it all green and bubbly. Ew. The kitchen lady is grossed out.

Goose and Zozo are out searching. Zozo asks what the plan is, and Goose tells Mel to see if he can pick up on Triton's "Beta Field." We get a Mel's eye view shot which is kind of cool actually. Goose says they'll look in one side of fields first. Zozo wants to know what they're looking for. Shane's not sure, but if he can make Triton carry him, Shane thinks, he must have some powerful weapons.

The sun's set again, and the Scarecrow hops onto Triton (calling him "my beauty") and has decided that they're riding in search of a spaceship.

In bed, Niko's having one heck of a dream. Flashing back to getting shot by the Scarecrow, then finding herself in a grave, then the Scarecrow trying to strangle her. She's understandably freaked when she wakes up. Anyway, she gets dressed and accesses her wrist thingy. (That looks useful, I'd want one, but I can't keep track of my watch.)

She tries to contact Goose. But is interrupted by the Scarecrow melting through her window. He's apparently decided that she has a spaceship, and he wants the command codes.

Despite her wrists being grabbed assholishly, Niko is uncowed and wants to know why he shot the boy and took the policeman. The Scarecrow tells her that after a hundred million years, his lifeforce grew weary and he needed theirs. Niko is quite shocked and asks what he is.

The Scarecrow is even more of a dick, and pushes her away. He says he is as beyond her, as she is an insect. Yeah, but you don't have lips, asswipe. Then he commands her to give him the codes and starts advancing on her, only to be interrupted by a ticked off supertrooper bursting through the door. Hi, Shane!!!

"Oh man," he says, "You are overdrawn on your account." ...I have no idea what that actually means in this context, but I suppose I should command Shane for actually trying to trash talk in an actually verbal manner. Zozo leaps through the broken window and knocks the gun out of the Scarecrow's hand. Shane uses that moment to pull him away from the gun. The Scarecrow then grabs HIS wrists and starts blasting him with red energy, and then tosses him against the wall. Ow.

The Scarecrow then picks up his revolver and aims it at Goose. Niko's not having THAT, and she yanks out her shotgun, shooting the revolver out of his hand and yelling "Eat light." That makes a lot more sense than Shane's earlier quip. But he's young. He'll learn. She shoots at him again, sending him running out the window. Helpfully Zozo points straight ahead, saying he went "thataway." Thank you, Zozo, I'd never have guessed from the way he's running in a STRAIGHT LINE.

Shane shakes off the blast, even as Niko collapses with exhaustion. He calls her "babe" and tells her to sleep. Aw. She'd probably whack you for that if she were more awake, dude.

Meanwhile the Scarecrow's back on poor Triton. But Goose is on Mel, and Zozo on his own horse and in pursuit. Mel reveals that Triton is being controlled by an alien power field. Goose is vindicated. He urges Mel to go faster. Mel says he'll try, but Triton is a "Model 6" racer.

They reach the house where the Sheriff had ate breakfast with his kinkily tied up friend the day before. Mel reports strange power fields, and Goose restrains his undoubtedly sarcastic retort to "You don't say." He climbs down and is met at the door by a fellow who creepily steers him toward the barn before morphing into an image of the Scarecrow. When Goose gets to the barn, Triton bursts out, the Scarecrow on its back. Poor Triton.

Apparently Scarecrow energy is no match for the love of a good supertrooper, and Triton suddenly breaks out of the control and greets Goose joyfully before bucking and tossing the Scarecrow from his back. Ouch and well done, you awesome robot horse, you.

Triton goes to Goose and there is brief comforting of the traumatized robot horse (his energy flux is overloaded), before the Scarecrow gets back to his feet. This of course leads to the who-can-grab-their-gun-first shootout. Awesome.

During the course of the pre-duel banter, the Scarecrow decides he likes being known as the Scarecrow (this is the first time he's been called it to his face), he'll keep it for his name in his new life.

They draw, Goose is better and gets off two blasts. Though the Scarecrow does manage to get him in the arm. But that's what badge taps are for. He becomes all glowing man (all over this time) and starts walking toward the Scarecrow, who shoots to no effect. He's starting to look freaked, and runs for it.

In the house, the kitchen woman was FINALLY untying the poor guy, but the Scarecrow bursts in and grabs the guy as a human shield. Yeesh, captured, tied up, and left in a kitchen with an idiot. It's not that guy's day. The Scarecrow has the gun against the poor guy's head, but fortunately doesn't notice the window open behind him. Hi, Zozo!

Zozo leaps on the Scarecrow's head, knocking the hostage free and causing him to fire wildly. One of his blasts hits a canister of fuel and sparks a fire.

Zozo pushes him INTO the fire, and the others run for it as the fire grows rapidly to fill the house.

Jesus! The cute mascot just SHOVED THE VILLAIN INTO THE FIRE!

This show is kind of hardcore!

The Scarecrow, now enveloped in flame, does manage to make it out the back as the house goes up. In front, the hostage guy says that that's the last they'll see of him at least. But Shane wouldn't bet on it. Zozo is looking very cute for someone who SHOVED SOMEONE INTO FIRE.

I'm not getting over that any time soon.

Apparently lingering doubts aren't going to keep the Rangers on that planet forever, so the next we see is Ranger One on the runway, getting fueled up and taking off. There's a weird close up on the guy who was fueling it, and I half-expect him to turn into the Scarecrow. He does not.

Goose, Niko (who's looking improved) and Zozo converse in the ship. Goose ponders the existance of a completely new kind of life form. (Which Zozo THREW INTO FIRE!) He wonders what kind of world it came from. Zozo asks if it's more powerful than mutated kiwi vegetables. I am not ready for jokes from people who THROW BAD GUYS INTO FIRE.

Back on the planet, the attendant indeed becomes the Scarecrow, and starts laughing.


Wow. That...wasn't a win. I mean, they lived. And they rescued Triton. And they didn't let the Scarecrow get the ship. But they pretty much just left him there with all those poor people. And it's at least implied that the police chief and assistant are dead.

It's not the ending I expected in a cartoon. That's for damn sure.

The Shane and Niko implications are still going. It's still kind of tentative though. A tiny bit of flirting in the gym. Not much else. I'd say the rest of the distress/concern in the episode was pretty standard. As in, not beyond that which they'd feel for any of the other team members. But the early flirting was pretty cute.

Shane's definitely more comfortable teasing now, and he gets good digs in on both Niko and Zozo without being mean or cruel.

I was a bit annoyed by all the Niko-in-distress moments, but I did appreciate that she got to shoot the Scarecrow a few times too. And the REALLY sexist horror cliche went to the robot horse.

That, by the way, was brilliant. Hah. Such an awesome mock-up of bad monster movies.

This episode was niftiest though for suddenly turning the cute, harmless, farming kiwis into utter badasses. I mean, granted, the Andorians have the hyperdrive and engineering technology. But the Kiwi have apparently some spectacular genetic engineering chops that belie their cute exteriors.

And that's not even getting into the way Zozo PUSHED the Scarecrow INTO FIRE. Jesus. That really is a lot more hardcore than I'd expect from a cartoon. I salute you, Zozo. From over here.

Really though, I'm still kind of boggled over the fact that they really didn't let the good guys win this one. I'd imagine that at least Shane would intend to come back, since he's not certain that it's dead. And the League'll have to step in since it's a major food source for them. But still. Eek. I'm kind of impressed.

And I'm going to stay away from wheat fields for a while.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Me, No post. You, Go away. :-P

I posted two big posts yesterday, so I'm taking a break. (Gotta run a game tonight. :-P) Have a good one!

See you tomorrow! :-)

Friday, March 27, 2009

When the Fridge Door Reopens?

I haven't blogged anything Green Lantern in ages. Probably because I couldn't think of anything to say that I haven't said already. But recently I've had some inspiration. (Disclaimer, I'm a little behind in GLC, so if something happened to contradict what I've babbled about here, well, it won't be the first time. :-))

I think it was one of Sally's posts that sparked it. Maybe one of her fabulous Green Lantern Corps reviews. I'll find it later and link it. Anyway, she pointed out the very sad fact that it doesn't look like Guy and Ice will get together in the end. And how each one shies away whenever the other starts to reach out.

I thought about it, and she's right of course. Guy comes to find her after all those years apart and lays it on the table in his own Guy way. And she wants time. After he relocates to Oa, THEN she comes to find him. He starts looking like he's going to propose, but only asks her to move in. She gets upset. He gets upset. They resolve things somewhat, but still...

It occurred to me after the fact that that whole proposal-move in with me thing is a blunder that honestly I can't see this version of Guy Gardner making. He's not the bowl-cutted moron anymore and hasn't been for a long time. Since the Corps was rebuilt, he's steadily proved himself to be the most emotionally astute of any of the lead characters. He provokes and pokes and gets the reactions he wants from the newbies. From Soranik. From Hal. From Kyle. Pretty much everyone.

He plays at the smartass rebel because it works and because it annoys Salakk and the Guardians and because it helps the youngsters see that the Corps doesn't have to crush your spirit. And he's honestly very good at it.

Which leads to the question of why on Oa would Guy, who's pretty much proven his astuteness by now a hundred times over, not realize that the way in which he brought up the subject to Tora, a sweet, traditional girl, would look like he was about to make the most romantic gesture of all. And instead, bluntly follow it with an exceedingly impractical invitation to move in together?

There are a hundred ways to ask to move in together and make it a romantic step toward marriage. Cohabitation gives a closeness, time for a couple to truly get to know one another without barriers. It can be a very sweet offer. But if you start with what looks like a marriage proposal and THEN make the offer, it looks like a step back. A traditional girl like Tora couldn't possibly do anything but reel back reflexively, thinking "THAT's what you think of me?!"

This is a guy who can in one gesture simultaneously piss off a stoic genius in a bat costume, a heroic symbol of virtue, a sweet-tempered dreamy artist, and/or a professional and driven doctor basically any time he wants to. He's a symphony conductor and outrage is his instrument.

The idea of Guy Gardner not realizing that the way he made his offer would piss Tora Olafsdotter off is as ridiculous as that conductor not realizing the entire flute section of his orchestra is out of tune.

When Sally posted, I realized that it wasn't sloppy characterization at all. Guy got her angry because that was the result he WANTED. And I realized that my favorite couple is pretty much doomed.

And I'm actually okay with that.

This isn't Mephisto blackmailing Guy with Buck Wargo's life. This isn't a fridging either, thank god. This isn't one of the myriad of other ways that writers can break up a couple once and for all.

This is actually...a fairly natural development.

I mean, think about it. Tora might have loved Guy, but the Guy Gardner that she loved was a completely different person than the one she sees now. Granted, he had been basically a broken, demented eight year old Dennis the Menace in an adult's body. But she really did love him. She was able to push through all the rudeness and idiocy, the childishness, and the deep and very understandable rage at the universe, and find the core of the schoolteacher inside.

I always thought it would be neat when she was finally resurrected, because in the time she was dead, Guy rebuilt himself. Through regeneration and healing, and his own determination, he'd made himself into a man worthy of her. A man that, while still temperamental and provocative, is clever and funny, warm and even in his own way noble. It doesn't take much effort to see Guy Gardner's good qualities anymore. She can get the man she always knew he could be without all the fight and frustration.

But, when I think about it now it occurs to me that if she did love that Guy Gardner, a part of her must have loved the fight and frustration too. Some people are like that. Deep down. Questors and fixers and fighters, who are never happy without a new discovery to find, or a new break to fix, or a new enemy to fight. For example, for me, I've never been able to play the Sims, or any time management game/strategy game on endless or sandbox mode. I need the advancement of levels and the clear recorded goals to have fun. (I like being Catholic, because I honestly think I'd be much happier in purgatory, then in heaven. I'll be working for something.)

If Tora's one of those sorts of people, and honestly, if we look at the kind of people she's drawn to and the kind of life she lives, I think we can agree she is. Certainly, Bea's not the most easy friend to have. Superman as a crush might be more ideal than Guy, but also impossible to reach as a realistic goal. And all of her issues with her own country....

Tora is sweet, nice and open. A pure light even in the DCU. But she definitely lives for a challenge. I'm sure that she could love the man that Guy's become, but could she ever love him as much as the one that she had to push through so many obstacles for just to get him to show her his love?

And really, there's a power dynamic element too. Because that's the real appeal of a bad boy to most young girls, you realize. The appeal that YOU are the one who's causing him to act contrary to his nature. That when he's nice and sweet to you, it's because of YOU, not because he's a nice and sweet person in general. There's a power in knowing that a man is trying so hard to overcome his own nature just because he wants to be with you.

Imagine how powerful Tora must have felt to sit next to Guy in that skating rink and watch as he clung to his temper with teeth and nails rather than rampage just because he wants her to have a good time.

She can't ever feel that power again with him. Because he's done fighting with himself to be the man she believes he can be. He IS that man. And while he might have a few prickly edges here and there, it's not the same. And she never got to see the lengths he went to in order to be this man for her today.

And none of this is getting into the fact that she doesn't KNOW the man he is now. He's a stranger. Granted, he's a stranger with the core of the man she loved, built into an image that he believes she'd want him to be. But that's not the same as knowing someone. And love really is about that knowledge, more than anything else, I think. The knowledge of the core of the other person, both virtues to be appreciated, and flaws to be treasured. But all of her knowledge of him is out of date. And even if he looks the same, and looks at her with the same love, she's going to feel that difference everytime he zigs instead of zags the way she remembers.

It's like that moment where you meet up with a childhood friend you haven't seen for twenty years and you realize "Wow, the last time we met, you were still playing with DOLLS. Now you're someone...entirely new.

That's not saying she can't get to know him and grow to love him, but right now? It's pretty unlikely.

And in all fairness, it's not going to be any easier for HIM either. Guy's done a lot of growing up since she died. And while she's pretty much the same, as far as we can tell, as she was when he saw her last, he's looking at her from a very different perspective.

His love for her was childish and pure. When he lied to Kilowog about their relationship, he didn't do the usual fratboy lie about banging her. He said he was going to marry her. He jumped through hoops for her. Struggled for her. He pulled her pigtails and carried her books and didn't fight with her friends, even though he really wanted to.

But a lot's happened to him since then. He lost everything, found a new identity in the bar, his powers, his friends, lost those, and found a new place at the core of the Green Lantern Corps. Hal, his brother, simultaneously idolized and resented, fell tarnished. Betrayed him. Was forgiven. Redeemed himself, and rose again. And now Guy has his brother back, but as an equal, not a superior. He gained a kid sister in Arisia, lost her, got her back. Sort of. Even if the comic hasn't really addressed that part yet. He's been chewed up, spat out, remolded, and came out of it all the man he is today. He grew up.

But an adult doesn't see things the way a kid does. He doesn't love the same way that a kid does. And heck, sometimes tastes change too. Just because he remembers being in love with Tora doesn't mean that he's in love with her now.

That doesn't even get into the inherent unhealthiness in the fact that he essentially molded the person he is now around the idea of being the kind of man that she would want him to be. There's something OFF there. It's one thing if you have a pair of childhood friends that grew up with each other and fell for each other early on, and made efforts to be suited to each other as they aged and grew. That's at least EQUAL.

This really isn't. And the power dynamic underlying it is incredibly unhealthy in a way that would be more obviously so if the genders were reversed, but is still pretty skeevy.

This isn't to say that these challenges can't be overcome, but it's going to take WORK. They can't just resume where they've left off. And if they're going to get back together, well, they're pretty much going to have to start fresh. If they should get back together at all.

And it's weird because they really are my favorite couple, but I'm okay with the idea that they wouldn't get back together. At least not until, a number of years down the line, some future writer decides to start them anew. Being apart works right now.

Tora needs to find her place in the DCU. She needs an identity that isn't "the girlfriend." Guy for his part...well, he's the emotional center of the Green Lantern Corps. He's busy picking on the kids, poking at them, supporting them, counselling Kyle, supporting Kyle, poking at Salakk, poking at Hal, looking askance at the Guardians' idiocy and so on. He doesn't really have ROOM for a romantic relationship right now.

He's basically married to the Corps, I think. At least for now. Besides, let Kyle and Soranik have the spring love plot for now. God willing, she'll survive it when it breaks apart.

I do hope Ice and Guy keep interacting though, because it really does give an interesting look at what happens to people when fridging gets reversed. God willing someday, we'll actually get Alexandra DeWitt back and see what she thinks of the person Kyle's become.

Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, Recap 18: Space Moby!

Yet another recap! This episode is called "Space Moby." I'm not entirely sure yet what this refers to, but I automatically love anything with the word "Space" in the title. Maybe there'll be a space whale. I love space whales...

As a reminder, if anyone but the three of you who actually read these want to know what the heck I'm babbling about in these recaps, my Amazon search box is to your right. :-P

I'm not sure Melville would approve...

The intro music's kind of nifty for this one. Almost folksy as opposed to westerny. That probably made no sense to anyone but me, but there you go. It's catchy.

So we start the episode in an asteroid belt. If I were to make a drinking game of this series, asteroid belts and barren planets would so be on the list. As well as any time Shane Gooseman blows something the fuck up. You'd get alcohol poisoning pretty quickly, but I suspect it would still be fun.

Anyway, a tiny cute craft is flying through said asteroids, past some sort of weird tower thing. Another ship is pulling what looks like a banner, and people (or aliens?) in space suits are wandering about.

One space suited fellow aims what looks like a laser jackhammer at a crater, while a nearby robot reports that the "readings are still minimal." Apparently there are "slim pickings on this 'roid." I've always wanted to say that.

Anyway, the two guys in the suits start talking. They look pretty human. One asks the other if he sees anything. The other says, there's nothing there. You know, man, your eyes =/= space scanner.

Thankfully he turns out wrong when a huge mouth opens before them, with an odd robotic camera at its roof, and tries to gulp them whole. Awesome.


Anyway, the whale lunges for them (one of the ships briefly distracts it) and manages to chop away the asteroid beneath them. The robot is maydaying for help. Oh wow, there's a whole mass of space whales now. Egads.

Apparently our two human guys do manage to slip out and are in a bar drinking something orange. Who can blame them really. They exchange that they've never seen ANYTHING like that.

In the corner of the bar, a heavily mustached fellow with rather pronounced sideburns starts playing a 80s dance music variation on some sort of pseudo-celtic tune on his keyboard-guitar. Then intones creepily about monsters.

Dude, don't get me wrong, I appreciate the attempt at atmosphere. But it doesn't really work from a guy playing a keyboard-guitar like one of the chicks from Jem.

Anyway, the guy, who of COURSE has a pseudo Irish accent asks if they mean giant asteroid eaters. Once asked if he's heard of them, he swivels on his bar stool, one hand to his waist and announces that he's been hunting them hither and yarth, across the galaxy. He also calls them laddie.

This is an awesome episode.

Anyway, the guy, who has a metal yet electronic peg for a leg (and a really small foot on his existing leg) calls himself Everson Mylox. Captain of the S.S. Mildew.*

(*Below in the comments, Dan informs me that this is actually Emerson Mylox, Captain of the MELVILLE. Which does, admittedly, make a lot more sense.)

Okay, this is one of those "our writers are on drugs" episodes isn't it? Awesome. They ask if he can get rid of the space whales and he announces it's his sworn duty. Aw. Really, what did the space whales do to you? They ate your asteroid, sure, but you got out alive!

Mylox announces he must take his ship and be after the monster. He plays his creepy background exit music himself on his keyboard-guitar. Heh. That doesn't work, guy. They're about to ask his fee, but he clomps away.

Meanwhile, on Earth, folks from Tetragram Radium Mining, Inc (so named on their sign) are chewing out Walsh via teleconference. I wouldn't do that, guys. The thing about the mustache is that when you can see it, it can see you. I kind of admire the audacity of chewing out the head of BETA itself for not going and killing your space whale problem for you.

The spokesman, who's fetching in purple and exclaims "Leaping Lasers" rants about the lack of profits or help from BETA for this disaster. Walsh's mustache tells them BETA's people are still studying the deta.

Purple-coat is not having that, as they're eating away his profit margins. Walsh's mustache coolly verbally bitchslaps him by reminding him that BETA is in the business of PRESERVING life. Not destroying it.

Purple-coat pulls the "I have a lot of important friends" line suggesting that he make this his business. Walsh's mustache could eat you for breakfast, guy.

Still, at BETA, Walsh does inquire of Q-Ball what he's been able to learn about the "Tetragram request". Q-Ball says "Oh yes, the Space Whales." Niko and Buzzwang are peering over his shoulder and tell Walsh's mustache that that's their name for the things. Niko tells him that the whales are a silicon based life-form.

Buzzwang, who is hunched over and gaping idiotically, tells them that they propel themselves by expelling gas through their spouts. Walsh's mustache wants to know if they're intelligent. Niko can't tell from the data.

Okay, the S.S. Mildew is an awesome ship. It's actually shaped mostly like a sea ship, with turrets and metal sails and a bunch of things that I'm not sure how they work, but they look kind of awesome. Not remotely aerodynamic though. You can't float on the surface of space.

Mylox continues to play his theme music (which is really a bizarre quirk) while green, fin-eared men, pilot his ship. One picks up one of the whales, and Mylox announces "Thar she blows."

I don't know who said "Let's make a space Moby Dick," but I think they might be geniuses. But can we have the main characters show up soon?

He orders them to man the longboat, which is a longboat-shaped shuttle/fighter type of thing. It's tiny next to the ship. They do so, to proper Galaxy Ranger music instead of his playing. It's actually open on top. They're in space suits.

In a neat, if scientifically impossible, effect, we can hear whale song as it eats the rocks. The ship quickly shoots a net around the poor whale. Poor whale. It's totally not the size of a planet though, whatever those two mining idiots said before. They begin towing the distressed looking whale.

Back on Earth, protestors are gathered around the Tetragram building, while the Rangers (Well, Goose, Niko, Walsh, Buzzwang, and Q-Ball) watch it on the news. The reporter says that the group is led by "Zoot Martin", head of the ecological protection group "Space-Peace" Niko points out with some approval that Space-Peace is always on top of issues like this.

Walsh's mustache agrees and has Mr. Martin sent in. Zoot Martin looks like a fairly ordinary young guy in baggy beige clothing. He has something of a bowl cut though. Anyway, he walks calmly and coolly up to Walsh, and tells him that humanity has a nasty habit of destroying the environments it enters. Which is not really an unfair statement.

Space-Peace, according to Martin, will not let it muck up space too, "y'know?" This is a young fellow with good ideals, but he could probably benefit from elocution lessons. Shane breaks in, defensively, that they're JUST as dedicated to preserving life. Martin confronts them about Tetragram having some lunatic catching all the whales. Walsh's mustache replies that they're monitoring the situation. Zoot Martin calls that a cop-out. While Q-Ball resents the insinuation that BETA is lax in its duties.

Shut up, Q-Ball. Martin's a fanatic, but he has a point. Anyway, he says "If you aren't going to do anything, man, we will." You know, for a futuristic space hippie who talks in old school slang, Zoot Martin comes across as fairly formidable in this scene. He's forthright, blunt, unblinking and unfaltering even facing down the leader of BETA, himself. A far cry from the usual irrational stoner-hippie caricature.

Zoot Martin would eat that Futurama hippie for breakfast.

Walsh sends Niko and Goose out to the sector with Q-Ball's whale file. He wants data. Goddamn Buzzwang's still got the file in his memory, so he goes along too.

I hate you Buzzwang. Where the hell are Doc and Zach?!

Mylox nets himself another space whale. This one looking more like a Sperm Whale. (The other one was a Baleen whale of some sort.)

Ranger One appears, to its own damn rock-ish music that the characters DON'T have to provide for themselves. They appear next to the whale and gape for a moment.

Apparently the latin name for the space whale is silicon gigantis. Okay. Buzzwang is of course rattling off stats, which Shane cuts off with a dry "Thank you, Buzzwang." Buzzwang obediently quiets but points out that the "poor thing" is trapped.

Niko wants an ID on the vessel, which Buzzwang provides. They move along side of the ship, just as Space Peace sends their own kind of nifty insect shaped ship.

Mylox talks very old school pirate. "Avast" and "What ship doth this be?" Zoot Martin does not, though he does look strikingly like Guy or Rock Lee from Naruto. He introduces his group as Space-Peace and says they're "totally opposed" to this action. It shoots a laser at the net and cuts the whale free.

Well done, young Zoot. You are a fitting heir, or is it forefather? To the awesome line of Gai and Rock Lee. There will be much manly crying. Mylox is upset at the freeing of the monsters. Zoot shoots back a surprising "They're only babies!"

I...would like clarification on this matter.

Goose finally, verbally steps in, and I'll grant that he might be better as leading this mission than Zach, just for the way a slightly nasal, flat calm voice can cut through garbage. Zach's a bit excitable.

I still miss Zach though.

Anyway, Goose ALSO wants clarification on the "babies" thing. Mylox interrupts saying he KNOWS that. But these "offspring" are the link to the great one. Scanners are picking up an suitably JAWS-esque music too.

(It's kind of neat to see how Ranger One is flying BETWEEN Space-Peace and the Mildew. They can't shoot one another without hitting it.)

Niko says it's MUCH too big to be a ship. Mylox plays his music and JESUS. That thing is HUGE.

And pissed looking. The babies might not be planet sized, but this thing...might have a shot. The Rangers gape. Even Goose looks vexed enough that he may well not know a way to kill this. It opens wide and tries to swallow them whole.

Zoot's co-pilot is a blue chicken.

Anyway, the whale gets a blast off on Ranger One via the blowhole, while the Mildew readies to fire. Space-Peace slides in the way though. Mylox, living up to his inspiration, rants about destiny not being denied this way and orders them to fire. The pilot (at a Ship's wheel no less) protests. But Mylox says "Fire or sleep with the comets!" Yeek.

The pilot flips off part of the Steering Wheel and starts arming the weapons. Good new fangled lasery weapons. Zoot's ship however has a nice shield. I wonder who funds Space-Peace. Because that's nifty.

The whale "swims" off, a rocket system visible on its back. Mylox is pissed and orders a hard to port. They're now chasing Zoot and his ship. And they get a good shot in, sending Zoot's ship careening. "Now!" he says, "After the Space Moby!"

One of the aliens pronounces that the Space Moby is a swift one. But they are within striking distance. It maneuvers into the asteroid belt, where they can't follow without being smashed to bits. Mylox Ahabs that it's toying with him.

Dude, it's a whale. Not a cat.

Mylox will wait him out.

Meanwhile Zoot thinks this is a bummer, and requests a damage report. His space hippies have to shut down for repairs. Ranger One comes up alongside and tries to contact them. Zoot asks for a tow, and a growing list of repair tools that starts turning agreeable Goose into befuddled Goose. But well, Zoot's proved his merit by suicidal yet idealistic actions, so Goose is tolerant and friendly. Niko laughs and suggests she pods on over with the entire toolbox to speed things along. A sheepish Zoot agrees.

Zoot is also eating space yogurt. Just because.

So Niko and Buzzwang go out in the pod, telling "Shane" that they shouldn't be long. Hmm, I'm not sure when she started calling him by his actual name, but I think it's a relatively new development. Possibly the episode with the Queen's evil space gun. Interesting.

Goose meanwhile intends to pay Mylox, who's in stable orbit, a visit. (Can you orbit an asteroid belt?) Niko acknowledges cheerfully, then seems to remember exactly who she's talking to, and asks him with a sigh and another use of his actual name to be careful.

I don't think it's an artists' mistake that Shane looks slightly demented when he acknowledges. Heh.

So Shane introduces himself and requests permission to board. He doesn't go all out with the pirate stuff that Mylox (who's lost most of his Irish accent along the way, replacing it with "Pirate") does, but he does slip in an "Ahoy". Mylox remarks that Goose "sails under the colors of the League of Planets" and okays his boarding. Playing his music of course.

Back on Zoot's ship, he thanks them for the help, while Niko asks what they're doing out here. Zoot announces that they have to protect the whales. Niko's good with Zoot. She's very non-judgmental. Zoot presses a button and pops up with some nifty data that Tetragram never gave them. The whales travel in herds, slingshooting off stars, and harmlessly grazing on asteroids.

How does Zoot know this? They TOLD them. THAT gets Niko's attention. Apparently the whale song notes can be translated into actual speech. Okay, I'm officially impressed with the Martin kid. His computers have broken down the music into rough language data, and Niko asks if Buzzwang can copy it for BETA. Zoot, recognizing an opportunity when he sees it, okays them taking ALL of Space-Peace's data file. Buzzwang is happy and pops out some kind of extension plug. Niko meanwhile enjoys the whale song.

Shane's having less fun, as he demands to know why Mylox is after the Space Moby. He puts a hand to his not-leg and says his reasons are his own. Shane's not playing Ishmael though, and announces that he's through pussy-footing around. He says that Mylox is under arrest for "harpooning" civilian ships.

Would it be okay to harpoon military ships then? Just curious. :-)

Mylox snaps that "Those fools know not what they do! The Moby must be rousted!" He plays his music. God, I hope Shane breaks that thing over this guy's head. And I LIKE weirdly technoized celtic folk music.

Mylox's guitar is apparently a weapon, as it blasts Shane while the latter covers his ears in agony. Oh, THAT'll go well. Shane Gooseman LIKES when you resist arrest, man. Shane keels over. I'm mildly appeased that the crappy guitar thing is a weapon.

Niko and Buzzwang leave the ship, and apparently Buzzwang's taken on Zoot's...idiosynchratic manner of speech. Stop, Buzzwang, you have to be genuinely competent to play around like that. Anyway, he says that space is the whale's home, humans are visitors. Niko, for her part, tries contacting Goose. (She's back to using his nickname.) Buzzwang picks up a signal from the space whale, coming right toward them.

Buzzwang gives a "bummer man" as they're swallowed.

Mylox is back after the whale. In an amusing side-joke, Zoot calls him "Melville" when contacting him. Heh. Zoot tries to warn them off since the whale swallowed the galaxy ranger pod. Mylox just says to "ready 'poons."

Inside the ship, Niko and Buzzwang are a bit freaked by the noise of stomach acid eating pod walls. Niko forms a forcefield, but it drains pretty quick. Niko wishes they could tell the whale they're here. Buzzwang points out that they can, with Space-Peace's data. Niko points out that it won't hear him in here. But Buzzwang'll go outside.

Hmm. I may approve of you this episode, Buzzwang. A dose of hippie makes you tolerable. Buzzwang also was crafted from "the finest and most durable alloys" so he shouldn't get dissolved.

Finer than the SHIP? Just sayin'. But then I do like suicidal idealism. In a very pun-worthy bit of dialogue, Niko snaps "I know you've always wanted to prove what you're made of, but this isn't time to prove your mettle."

Heheh. Pun-tastic. Buzzwang announces "No sweat, cutie."

Why doesn't Buzzwang just stand on the ship?

Anyway, he falls off into the acid. Then stands and...doesn't mope. Instead, he starts communicating. Wow. Maybe a dose of Zoot would fix Nightwing as well!

Niko feeds him the usual "We come in peace and want to help you find your herd" dialogue. The whale is surprised to have eaten a talking asteroid but is okay with communicating. He wants to stop Mylox, who's been chasing them for years. The whalesong rattles the ship anyway, and now it's worse. Mylox is attacking!

I hope for his sake he's ejected Goose or else...

Nope. Goose is still on deck, out cold. Mylox watching. The music for this part of the showdown is legitimately awesome. Kind of poor-man's John Williams. I dig it.

They get a net around the Moby, which starts yanking them through the asteroids. This rouses Goose, who slowly rises with a growl. Captain Ahab versus Clint Eastwood. The aliens try to run, but Mylox pulls out a gun and threatens them into preparing the next shot.

Goose stands and orders Mylox to drop the gun and order his men to stop. Mylox aims the guitar, but Goose is ready with a badge tap which covers his ears in glowiness.

Trick to killing a supertrooper? Kill him the first damn time, otherwise he'll ADAPT.

Mylox runs for it, Shane's not quite fast enough but the crew informs him that the door leads to the longboat. Mylox is going after the whale himself. Idiot.

He's in a space suit, but still has the damn guitar. How do you play that in a space suit? But anyway, he presses a button and extends the harpoon. He's now being towed by the whale. He announces "I will grapple with thee to the death." Just as he collides with an asteroid and...kaboom.

Wow. I'm mildly impressed. The crewman notes that the Whale is safe in the cluster. Goose is worried about Niko and Buzz.

Meanwhile Buzz keeps conversing. His feet are dissolving a bit though and he runs to the ship. The whale's mouth opens and Goose starts to wander toward the ship to go in after them, and probably blow up the whale from inside. Fortunately Niko gets through and announces that they're out. Goose is quite pleased and asks how. Buzz, apparently, is a real rib-tickler. Buzz is clinging to the pod, actually, feet gone, but otherwise okay. They're off to save the whales!

Shane seems to have commandeered Mylox's ship, and they free all the cute whales.

Back at Tetragram, Zoot says that the whales will help by inorganically clearing away asteroids clearing the way for space travel. They've agreed to steer clear of certain mining sectors when possible and direct their grazing. In turn, the whales want the miners to raise a flag when working, so the whales know there are people on them and not to eat them. Buzzwang tips off the iceberg, the whale's waste is a gas that would rock for interplanetary commuting.

Purple-coat likes the sound of that, and says he'll have his lawyers call the whales' lawyers. Shane is boggled, but I think it's kind of nice that Purple-Coat is, in his own way, looking out for the whales' interests too. After all, if only one side has lawyers, then it's not hard to make the other side inadvertantly promise stuff against their interest. Considering what we learn about Supertroopers, maybe Shane himself could benefit from a lawyer.

Anyway, Zoot promises that Space-Peace will look out for the whales. Given their apparent level of financing, I've faith in their ability to get a damn lawyer. Buzzwang, to Zoot's dismay, says "Radically far out!" Everyone laughs, the end.


I'm actually surprised that Mylox was killed off at the end. Or at least that really looked like it. I think he's the first official death the show has. At the very least, he's the first dead villain. On a character note, I like that Goose didn't even blink at the death, but was instead focused on Niko and Buzz.

There were some good character beats: Goose's environmental kick popped up again, and his growing appreciation for Zoot. Niko's sense of humor. Hell, even Buzzwang was infinitely more tolerable with a hint of hippie to counterbalance his Nightwing style angst.

I hope they keep that. I actually liked Buzzwang this episode.

I have to say though, as much as I am annoyed by Buzzwang in general, I kind of like how he's used in the show. They could have shunted him aside totally, but instead, they use him sporadically in different episodes in ways that make sense given his capabilities. He's not in every episode, mind, but it usually makes sense when he's there. Except maybe Space Sorcerer, but possibly Doc just needed a break.

I love Zoot Martin. I think it's the first space hippie character I've seen who isn't some sort of neo-hippie liberal douchebag, to misquote South Park. He's a bit fanatic, but utterly rational. Even clever. And for all the outdated slang, he knows how to face down a BETA Commander. Also, he makes Buzzwang tolerable. Heh.

It's funny, but when I saw a lot of episodes before, I'd never really caught on to anything between Niko and Goose. I'd see fans commenting on websites about the two, and could NOT figure out where it came from. If anything, Doc and Niko made more sense as a couple because they actually FLIRT.

But I have to say, watching it in order, I really am starting to pick up SOMETHING. I wouldn't take the leap and say it's romance or anything, but watching it in order, there's definitely been some sort of subtle warming going on. Somewhere along the line, she's started using his first name more than his nickname, and he seems to be a bit less brusque with her. And there WAS that brief hand-holding thing in Queen's Lair... It'll be interesting to see if it lasts.

I'm slightly aghast that this is the third episode in a row without Zach. Does not Jerry Orbach deserve a paycheck? He's the main character! I wonder if this may not have to do with the fact that Psychocrypt is coming up in four episodes, and that's a big one.

So yeah, this episode was pretty entertaining. A space retelling of Moby Dick wouldn't have been my idea for an episode of a space opera type sci-fi cartoon, but it kind of worked for me. At the very least, it had space whales and space whales are awesome!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

One Quick Thought.

My most recent search term was "hal jordan hair."

This is very very amusing to me. And occurs to me that if any superhero makes a regular practice of googling himself, it'd totally be Hal Jordan.

And he totally makes dates with the women on his fan-message boards. He's like that.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, Recap 17: Shaky

Well, I took yesterday off recapping so now I'm back at it. Lucky you. :-) On the plus side, today's episode is called Shaky. Yay.

Mining on a Geologically Unstable Planet Seems Like a Bad Idea
This episode starts out zooming in on a pretty blue planet, which on zoom in still looks pretty barren and dusty. There's some pretty impressive rumbling going on, and soon we get to witness a tank like vehicle striking at rubble.

Oh hey! It's Roy and Burro! I'm used to returning guest stars, but I wasn't expecting them to show up again this soon. Burro, by the way, is sitting in the co-pilot's chair of the tank like thing, tapping at a screen with a robot hoof.

That's such an inconvenient design. Poor Burro. Anyway, they blast their way into open tunnels and Roy starts ranting. Apparently, he'd sunk his savings in the "high falootin' digging machine" but all he's finding with it is empty tunnels.

Well, maybe if you didn't smash straight through support walls, you'd have better luck finding a good claim site, man. At least one that's not rumbling on top of you.

A large fission opens before the crushing machine, but much to my sorrow, it doesn't fall in. It's a close call though. I don't dislike Roy, but if it fell in? That'd be cool. Burro's excited braying interrupts Roy's ranting, and he looks up to see a nice pile of red stone ore. Sadly the rumbling soon buries it.

See, that's what happens when you dig through support walls, man. Too bad you don't have a DIGGING machine to unearth them.

Back in what looks like a repair shop, a strikingly familiar patched villain has his legs on the desk and asks his henchmen if they'd had any luck with the miner. They've managed to tap into Roy's call to BETA apparently. His equally eyepatched orc-like henchmen is reporting. I wonder if patch has issue with two-eyed beings? That'd be inconvenient. Though I suppose one of them could belong to the Pete Wisdom school of "I'm only wearing this eyepatch because it looks good."

He patches the audio through, so Patch and company are hearing that Roy found a batch of special Star Stones. You know, I get that they're useful, but it seems like there are more logical choices than BETA to report that to. Then again, I'm not one-hundred percent certain how big BETA is. Extra-Terrestrial-Affairs can cover a lot. Roy points out, on the recording, that there are a lot of shady characters about and he would be glad to show the crystals to Sweet Niko and Old Wally.

Heh, continuity. Even if it's mildly annoying continuity. Poor Doc. The transmission ends, much to Patch's dismay, but the one-patched orc's got a trace on the transmission. The other, vaguely trollish henchmen with both eyes, whines that Roy didn't give a location. But Patch wants them to find out anyway they have to.

Back on Earth, BETA mountain looms prettily. Walsh's mustache is briefing Niko, Doc, and Goose. No sign of Zach, sadly, but at least this ups the expected quota of insane destructive shenanigans. I love Niko and Doc, but I suspect they're too sane for me to really be interested in too much adventure by themselves.

Goose appears very amused by the entire thing and especially to Doc's explosive reaction to being called Wally.

Yeah, Doc, you know I sympathize. I do. I spent a good portion of my childhood as Missy, after all. (Try it and die. For the record.) But you are talking to a man who goes by the name of female waterfowl. Who probably knows sixteen ways to kill you without actually moving.

Fortunately, Shane is more amused than anything, and he throws up his hands mocking "I'm frightened, cowborg!"

As a teasing insult goes, that doesn't really make a lot of sense, but I suspect Goose is new at playing at a little brother role that doesn't actually involve half-naked fisticuffs with a psychotic Ricardo Montalban.

While this is going on, Niko just sighs and says that it figures Roy would get himself into trouble. The AI, which is neither Alma nor JV, is spheroid, male, nasally and snarky, and pipes in that it's even worse than she thinks, due to the instability of planet Shaky. That's actually the name of the place. Which doesn't bode well for mining prospects or Roy's intelligence.

Q-Ball, who by the way, appears to have a fairly phenomenal manicure, contradicts my take by pointing out that a lot of valuable minerals are being uncovered in the process. Fair enough, science-guy. You'd know better than me.

Walsh's mustache looks pensive as he points out the Star Stone aspect. The Rangers are now both behaving and listening. Walsh's mustache orders the three to Shaky to help secure the claim and to take Buzzwang with them.


So Ranger One blasts off, my rage in tow.

On Shaky, Roy attempts to swear Burro to secrecy as the weird sci-fi western version of Clementine plays in the background. He says that until Niko and Wally get there, it's their secret. Burro points out a mass of diamonds right in front of them, which they nearly roll over. They are promptly blasted.

Roy quickly realizes that this is no quake, they're under attack. Their machine is fairly well armed, but it doesn't look like a match for the giant scary digging tank of Patch's henchmen. They blast a nice hole in the side of the machine, the resulting electrical charge zapping Roy and sending him flying from his chair. Aw. Poor Roy. Roy tries pushing his idiot robot out the door, but like the donkey he's based on, Burro is apparently a moron. Seriously, can't you program a brain into that thing?

He's forced to shove it out, and the resulting force causes them to bypass the ladder altogether and drop quite a distance to the ground. They quickly race into the caverns for cover. Which seems like a bad idea, but granted, so does staying put and being captured.

The bad guys catch Roy in a tractor beam, but not Burro, and Roy quickly orders Burro to escape and get help. The henchmen are stupider than Roy OR Burro, and let the creature go. Idiot. It's fairly clear robots are sentient in this universe, so why the fuck are you letting it leave?


The Galaxy Rangers have arrived. Well-timed to see a volcanic eruption on robot-horseback. Niko wants to know what's happening here. While Doc (Who's riding double with Buzzwang, poor Doc) quips that it's no Baked Alaska. (The perils of being the most even-tempered member. You get stuck with the robot your colleagues would totally smash.)

Apparently with Zach/JV not here, Alma is the AI of Ranger One, and on Goose's order lifts into space to wait and monitor.

I've always kind of wondered if this isn't supposed to indicate rank somehow. There's not really a clear indication of who's in charge when Zach's not present. Possibly no one, since they all seem fairly egalitarian. Or if they are, Doc and Niko might be outside of a standard military command because of their specialties.

I'll have to pay attention to this. It'd be interesting to know why Doc and Niko don't tend to use regular AIs though.

Anyway, Niko shouts that they should head to Klondike, while Shane channels his inner Lion-O again. Seriously, what's up with that? Anyway, they make their way to the town, where Doc and Shane banter about how the town sure as heck isn't Monte Carlo. Goose suggests Tombstone. And Doc volunteers himself as Doc Holliday. Which isn't terribly ill-fitting, except for the lack of communicable diseases I'd reckon. Buzzwang corrects him by saying that he is Walter Hartford, sir.

Okay, granted, that's kind of funny, but it's not like over-literal humor can't come from a robot horse instead of the Nightwing of all Galaxy Rangers. Or Robots, for that matter. Doc cheerfully thanks Buzz for the clarification, while Niko (on Voyager, I must point out. It really does seem like Doc riding it in New Frontier was just bug-maintenance) testily snaps that now that they know who Doc is now, "Could we go find Roy?"

Hmm, touchy, touchy Niko. Granted, she is fondest of Roy, but that's still surprisingly pissy of her.

Klondike's a classy place. We can tell by the banner out front which says "Entering Klondike, No Exposed Weapons, Please." I want a sign like that.

Niko pulls Voyager up short when she spies teeny little stupid but cute Burro at a fueling station/trough. Burro comes racing over, yelling Niko and Wally. Doc pats its nose and tells it not to call him Wally, while Niko asks after Roy.

We cut away to the ogrish guy demanding the stones' location from a tied up Roy. Roy makes a passably good attempt at claiming he's just here for the gold and diamonds, but Ogre-Man isn't buying it. Ogre-Man points out that they heard him talk once, he'll talk again.

Burro, for his part, is leading the Rangers through the caverns. Niko is trying not to sound skeptical as she asks if it's sure it can lead them to Roy. The others just look a bit nervous as the cavern rumbles overhead. Goose points out that the tremors are getting worse.

Burro leads them to a mass of rubble, and Niko does her psychic mojo for info. In a possible indicator of the actual Zach-less chain of command, Niko does tell Goose what she plans to do, and he waves her ahead.

She gets a vision of Roy captured, she identifies the captors as the Black Hole Gang. I wonder if this means that MaCross and Patch have reconciled. Or if they have two separate divisions, split down the middle like china patterns after a divorce. Goose asks if she can pick up the trail, and she does better than that, and points out tread marks.

I'd mock Goose for that, but I suppose that there are probably a LOT of treadmarks in a cave. Nah. Hah, Goose can't see what's in front of his faaace!

Goose tells Doc to take Burro (oddly Goose pronounces it more burrow. With an emphasis on the second syllable) and Buzzwang (poor Doc) to find the stones, while he and Niko go save Roy's ass.

Shane doesn't seem inclined to order like that does, but this seems pretty concrete evidence of the chain of command. I'm glad to know! We'd never had an episode with just Zach missing before, so I'd wondered.

Burro nuzzles Doc and they start riding. Doc reminisces dryly of his horse, Nell, in the "I thought that was uncomfortable" vein of complaint. Buzzwang points out that Nell's fine above ground. Doc agrees that he'd be fine there too. Burro lowers his head and hikes his ass, sending Doc and Buzzwang sprawling. They're here, and of course, Burro continues with the Wally stuff.

Burro's annoying, but granted, not as annoying as Buzzwang. Doc doesn't see any stones, but Burro explains that the Earthquake buried them. Burro's voice by the way sounds like Ned's from South Park. Why not get him a less painful sounding voice box?

Doc is skeptical, but about to order Buzz to get to work. Though a tremor suddenly opens hole in the series, and a deluge of water strikes poor Buzzwang's head.

Hah, the universe hates you too, Buzzwang. It trickles to a stop soon. And Doc warns him not to rust. Buzz is guaranteed rust proof though. Buzz asks for orders, Doc wants him to stand and keep an eye out. After the usual over-literalness, Doc tells him to keep an eye out. But then, they get buried. Though the rubble falls in that peculiar not-crushing the people beneath way, fortunately.

The bad guys don't like the tremors either. They DO like Roy's knack for finding stuff. The Ogre spots the Rangers walking up, and start firing out the window. Niko (with shotgun) and Goose (with pistols) fire back.

See. THIS is what was missing last episode. Gratuitous fight scenes. I missed you, Shane. Anyway, Niko, who's behind a rock, covers Goose, who's going in. Or that's the plan before the ground gapes open in front of them. Aw, Goose, are you going to let THAT get in your way? The lava at the bottom might be an impediment granted.

As Niko's rock drops into the lava, it steams up (somehow) and the bad guy takes advantage of this to fire. Goose sees it first, tackles her out of the way, but overshoots the distance himself and lands face first in lava. Ouch. Niko is dismayed. And pissed. She rolls to the ground and starts firing back with Determination.

Granted, neither character is reacting any different than they would if any other team member took a swan dive into lava or was about to get shot. But a part of me recalls an inexplicable hand-to-hand contact moment two episodes ago, and wonders.

I don't have time to wonder long, as Goose pulls himself out of the crevasse looking, well, much like Sand did during his resurrection arc when he was a mindless magma monster. Goose though is not trapped in a dream world, and thus does not need his ass beat down by Power Girl. Sadly, this also means the likelihood of resulting nudity is limited too.

Oh well.

Anyway, the Ogre is freaked by Magma-monster Goose. The orc points out that it's "that mutant Ranger" and says to keep shooting. Magma Goose is gigantic, and slow moving, but unaffected by the blasts and merely walks over to the wall and destroys himself a good hole in it. It growls, picks the henchmen up by their collars and slams them together. Goose likes that move, I think. Niko sheathes her weapon and enters, running to Roy when he weakly says her name. She unties him.

Goose asks if he's okay, and Niko scans him even as Roy complains of a headache. Apparently he's been hypno-scanned. Roy is starting to come back to his senses and mentions that he must have told them a thing or two. He blearily eyes Shane and comments that "either that scan has a kick worse than red eye, or that fellow's made of stone." Niko laughs sheepishly and makes introduction, confirming that he IS Stone. For the moment. Goose takes this time to become his usual jovial self.

Niko wants to know what happened to Roy. Roy jumps up, telling them that the hench minions had radioed the location he gave them to their boss. They try to contact Doc. They get through to Buzzwang who explains that Doc is buried. No one seems very concerned, but I suppose if Doc were injured it'd be reported. On the otherhand, Buzzwang IS an idiot... Niko warns of the gang, while Goose gets a geological update from Alma (currently stable, tremors temporarily subsiding) and then suggests they move out.

Doc meanwhile is indeed under rubble. It's dark, but he has some space and isn't squashed. He wisecracks about a nightlight and then taps his badge. Ooo, nice. He contacts Buzzwang via the implant. I didn't know he could do that, but clever! Buzzwang indeed hears him, and promises to get him out. Burro is concerned, but Buzzwang goes to help. And then locks up. Apparently the water short-circuited something. Great.

You're useless, Buzzwang. Doc has an idea, he wants to input Firefly into Buzzwang to clear out the kinks, I'd guess and mutters "rust proof, my eye." Heh. Anyway, Firefly's dispatched. Suddenly, Buzzwang starts dancing and acting odd. Tweakers. Heh.

The planet is rumbling again, as the Black Hole gang drives its way toward the location. Niko and Shane aren't far behind on Voyager and Triton. (Roy's riding with Goose.) They make a nice impossible leap over a lava crevasse.

Anyway, Niko is all "Look at that!" Roy's all "A whole other mountain!" And Niko's all "Not that, idiot." That last bit might be mine. She points out the gang members. As they drive in, Shane notes that they'll want to hurry before the tracks disappear.

When Patch sees Buzzwang excavating, he says "What IS that?" When told it's a robot, he snaps back "I've got eyes!"

I'm a horrible ablist person for this, and I'm sorry, but that made me laugh pretty hard. Patch is wearing an eye patch after all.

Anyway, Patch and company shoot at Buzzwang. Doc is concerned and upon hearing "I think someone is shooting at me" responds "stop clowning around." Heh. One of the henchmen gets a good shot, and Buzzwang (and Firefly) are down for the count.

They charge to dig out the Star Stones. Burro gets in the way and kicks one, but before he gets his robot donkey ass (redundancy!) beat, Goose's blaster fire interrupts them. Yay!

Hmm, Niko does a nice roll and shoot maneuver, and Shane compliments it. You know. I might just be jumping to conclusions, but Goose really isn't the sort to actually compliment good shooting. I wonder...

Oh, wow. Doc's implant powers are apparently quite a bit awesomer than we've been led to believe. He closes his eyes, and WILLS Buzzwang awake. That's...pretty fucking awesome right there. Doc's been holding back on us.

Even moreso, as Buzzwang shakily walks to a bad guy, he asks Doc what to do. Doc says "I'd give him this!" and punches in demonstration. Buzzwang, without quite meaning to, then punches the bad guy.

You really HAVE been holding back, Doc! Soon, the henchmen are captured. Patch decides to quietly make his way out aboard his car thing. Goose isn't having that and on Niko's alert, shoots and sends it careening. NICELY done.

Patch tries running for it. But Roy steps in and trips him. Goose comes running, compliments Roy's work, and Burro races up and headbutts Roy with joy. Heh, stupid donkey.

Niko asks about Doc, and Buzz sheepishly admits he forgot. (I really hope there's enough AIR in there...idiot robot.) Goose is very concerned and wants to see the spot. They start moving rocks away, (Roy comments that it's not searching for buried treasure. Shut up, Roy. Jerk.) and Goose moves one to see Doc's eye peeking out, as he snarks that he hopes they've been enjoying themselves. Goose banters back that they couldn't enjoy themselves without HIM. Then they move the rocks away, finding a nice mess of Star Stones in the process.

Doc apparently hasn't just been sitting around in there though. He corrects them and points out that they're "Fool's Stones" and not real.

Anyway, they blast off, Roy and Burro aboard. Goose quips that Doc never ceases to amaze them, and calls him Wally, much to Doc's dismay. Roy is sad about the Fool's Stones, and says he'll have to start again and get himself a new digging machine. Doc points out that his reward for capturing the Black Hole Gang ought to take care of that. Roy says that "Wally" is okay, and Doc snaps...but is interrupted by cutely stupid Donkey licking.

I don't know why it has a tongue, but I'll go with it. Everyone, including Doc, laughs and the episode ends.


This episode was more like it. Really, as much as I really like Doc and Niko, I like gratuitous violence more, and that really requires the presence of Shane Gooseman. Doc and Niko are just too sane. I was surprised to see Roy again, but it worked pretty well. Roy's the sort to always have something interesting going on, after all.

I definitely miss Zach though, and trading Zach for Buzzwang just isn't fair. Granted, Zach probably can't be hacked awesomely in the way that Doc managed with Buzzwang... MAYBE. He does have bionics after all. I wonder how much Doc could do.

It was an interesting thought that unlike the other characters, who use their abilities directly, we only tend to see Doc using his programs. But that's definitely not all he can do. Even if we explain away his jumpstarting Buzz with his mind as having to do with his control over Firefly, that's pretty fucking impressive and a new dimension to his powers.

While I missed Zach, his absence did clue us into the apparent rank dynamics of the other Rangers. When Zach is there, Doc, Shane and Niko all interact as equal subordinates. And when they're off in pairs, they always tend toward egalitarianism. But with three or more, you really need to have a designated leader ahead of time, and I really wondered how that worked.

This episode seems to establish Shane Gooseman as Zachary Foxx's second-in-command. Which seems odd on one hand, since he seems to be the youngest of the group. But it does seem to make sense, especially if he'd gone to the military right after the Supertrooper project went belly-up. (It makes sense, given the general expertise he's always shown with his abilities, to conclude that he was the first of them in the Series Five program at least.) Doc's mentioned college, and Niko seems to have had a whole civilian academic career, so it makes sense that they're relatively new to the job.

There's also the possibility that given their roles on the team, they aren't actually part of the chain of command. They're both tech/academic types and neither particularly show anything resembling a military demeanor. Both are apt to refer to Zach as "Zachary" rather than by rank or preferred nickname. I suppose I won't know until/unless the show explains it for me. And I doubt they will, just because the characters already know that. :-)

Goose's leadership style is a bit different than Zach's. He doesn't seem to give orders so much as give suggestions or instructions. Possibly this is because he'll be back to being on the same level as them when Zach comes back. But really, regardless of the reason, it's an interesting contrast. Especially once we start seeing more of the Supertroopers.

Of all the characters, I think Goose has shown the most obvious character growth so far. Which makes sense, I think, given that the others seem to be coming from a place of greater confidence and security in their identities. Zach's been a Ranger for decades. Niko's got a very well-established career that she draws back on whenever she needs. And Doc has his programs and clear technical expertise. Goose has confidence in his ability, but if you think about it, all of his abilities are wrapped up in an identity for which he still demonstrates a lot of conflicting emotions. He doesn't seem to have had time to develop any real outside interests, like art, and I'm just guessing that he's not a college man either.

Really, I think the reason Goose shows the most character growth is because we always see more growth in adolescents than we do in adults. And physical growth aside, I think on some level Shane Gooseman's more the former than the latter.

This is why the "Galaxy Ranger, Ho!" bits amuse me so. Essentially, he reminds me a lot of Lion-O in Thundercats, in the sense that there is a mismatch between the characters' emotional maturity level and their physical bodies. I wouldn't be surprised to find out Supertroopers mature physically much faster/earlier than normal humans, and even if not, we can probably extrapolate that it was not a good environment for developing young people.

Which makes me happy to see him bantering so easily with Doc. It's a far cry from the irritable silence of the first few episodes, or the tentative attempts after the Po Mutant Doll incident. Now he banters naturally and comfortably. And in this episode, even gets to tease our Doc like any obnoxious little brother.

And let's face it, if any character on this show could really benefit from the chance to play annoying little sibling to someone who isn't a psychotic Ricardo Montalban, it's Goose.

I still don't know what a "cowborg" is though.

So what have we learned today? Robot donkeys are STILL idiotic, don't join Roy in mining ventures, and never trust men with eye-patches.

Unless they're Nick Fury.