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Saturday, April 18, 2009

Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, Recap 28: "Birds of a Feather"

Hi guys! Sorry this is up later than I thought. One of those days... ANYWAY, today's episode is "Birds of a Feather."

Because you can never have too many villains per episode

This episode starts with obscenely cute music and a shot outside Longshot. Which I've always liked as a name for a research laboratory.

Ooo, apparently Longshot has a 60's Batman style door in the middle of a mountain. There's a two lane road heading into it. As swanky as I find this, and I do indeed, it's not very subtle. I mean, if I saw a road head straight into a mountain, I would probably suspect a secret door. Or someone watched too many road runner cartoons, either way.

Inside, two fellows are pushing some kind of hovering platform. One tells the other that the data library is straight ahead. Have you ever seen those old Looney Tunes cartoons with Rocky and Mugsy? Because that's exactly the voice that guy uses. Based on that, I'm calling him as evil. It's just instinct.

The other guy identifies the speaker as Miller. And Miller pulls off a glove to reveal those nifty finger metal thingies! Miller! I remember you!

...hmph, guess the Po Mutant Doll isn't nearly as "deadly" as Niko made it out to be. False hype! But on the other hand, it has been 19 episodes. Fortunately, he's already lost the mobster voice because that would have gotten annoying real fast.

You know, considering that last time you worked for subtract, you got mindraped, guy, you must be kind of dumb to work for him again.

And dude, Longshot's security SUCKS.

Anyway, Miller zaps a computer terminal and they get into the Longshot data room, the other guy, who's name possibly IS Mugsy. Or close enough to count, finds "Supertrooper Juice Formula" which seems to be a redundant name and digs it out. There's an obstacle though, an "interface deflector."

Hmm, I don't remember Miller having a mustache before. It kind of suits him. Maybe he's hoping that the power of its awesomeness will shield him. Anyway, they have to scamper off because someone's coming.

Doc enters with Bubblehead who's babbling something about data chips. I actually like Bubblehead. He's irritating, but not mopey about it. And I like his shirt. He's not Buzzwang at least.

Anyway, Miller decides that a memory bird would be useful and starts sneaking behind an oblivious and tinkering Doc. Bubblehead actually does try to warn him, and eventually Doc does turn around, only to get zapped unconscious. Poor Doc.

Miller grabs Bubblehead, opens a panel in its back, and does something to make his eyes bulge out. Um. Really, man, please stop molesting the machinery. He wants to know what Bubblehead knows.

He starts singing a song about pipes. The mobsters lose patience and insert Bubbleheads beak into the terminal. Lucky that the technologies are compatible or someone would get blown up. They get the info, and shove the bird back into the "Servo Dolly" and head out.

They walk past Zach and Goose, who remarks about everyone being in a hurry. Dude, shouldn't your supertrooper programming be all "Something to kill!!!" or something? Your programming sucks, dude.

Goose sees Doc, who's groaning and waking up, first and amusingly yanks Zach back by the arm like my father STILL does whenever he thinks I'm about to cross the street during oncoming traffic. Zach calls to Doc to see if he's all right and they run over.

Doc thinks he's okay, but the Memory Bird is gone! He quickly checks the computer and determines that a file has been accessed. Goose points up to where the file was and asks "What's in file 18?" Did he count them that quickly?

Doc is alarmed and reveals that it's the Supertrooper Juice Formulas. I still think that's redundant. Though now I have disturbing ideas where they got it. I never should have read that bit from the Witchblade manga. Apparently they loaded the formula into the bird.

That doesn't seem like a good idea. Doc apparently agrees with me and disparages Bubblehead's basic math skills. Yeah, Doc, but he does know an ambush when he sees it. Goose declares that they can't take any chances. He'd know. Zach orders him to alert security, and he pushes a button.

Um, Zach, couldn't you have just done that yourself? I think power's gone to your head.

Outside, Miller and Mugsy are being stopped by security. Cleverly, they've hung Bubblehead on the rearview mirror. Miller's a very good thief. But they lose on subtlety when they floor it past the guard. He of course alerts his fellows, who shoot but miss. Aw.

Zach and Goose are also in a flying car and giving chase. Zach is driving, which I think is not using one's supertrooper to the best of his ability, but then maybe Zach wants them to live.

Mugsy and Miller note their pursuers, as Bubblehead keeps singing. I know I should find Bubblehead annoying, but I strongly suspect were I to measure my personality against any Galaxy Ranger character, I'd come closest to the crazy, attention-span deprived defective memory bird. Or possibly Zozo, though I'm not remotely a farmer.

You can make of THAT what you will.

Anyway, the annoying song is getting to Mugsy and Miller. They take the car through a tunnel, which Zach and Goose simply fly around to cut them off.

Hey, why do they have paved roads when the cars hover? I've always wondered that.

Goose uses his wrist thing to call in Longshot's airstrike. Pays to have connections, eh, kid? One of them says "Roger, Ranger." And that makes me giggle.

Miller is prepared for choppers though, and pops out with anti-aircraft guns. Wow. You know, for all his stupidity about continuing to work for a guy who drove him insane rather than pay him, Miller's a really really competent underling. My lifelong ambition!

Anyway, he shoots down a chopper (we see him eject with a parachute, so that's good) and heads into another tunnel. The other chopper waits at the other end, but is promptly blown up. But the pilot ejects safely at least. Goose and Zach are still chasing.

Once down from the mountain, Zach puts on more speed and as soon as they're close enough, the sun roof slides open so Goose can stand and start firing. Miller's got another trick though, and sends them flying, with a missile.

Amusingly, as they roll to a halt, Goose is still standing easily upright. Zach is hunched down and braced, like a sane person. They're both okay though. Zach notes that they're heading for "Phoenix Spaceport" which combined with the desert gives us a location for Longshot! Awesome!

Goose calls in the Galaxy Ranger equivalent of an APB with his wrist thingy. Meanwhile in the car, Muggsy and Miller take off their masks. Hey! It IS Miller! I was wondering if they'd just vastly changed the character design. Mugsy is an odd alien with half of his face pink and half blue.

I'm amazed by the ability of masks in the Galaxy Ranger universe to change the shape of the face of the wearer. Anyway, Miller also does a "bit of transforming" with the car, plates melt away, so now it's yellow. And fins pop out too. Clever! He also, when asks, has what to do with the bird "figured."

In Phoenix, Miller has no trouble driving the car past the waving guard. Bubblehead is a hood ornament now. They get on board the transport and head off. Nice escape. Betcha Subtract screws you over again, though. Idiot.

Back at Longshot, Walsh is showing all the Rangers the security footage. Walsh identifies them as Miller and Moxie. I like "Mugsy" better though, so I'm sticking with that. :-)

Zach asks if Subtract is still headquartered on New Pigalle. Walsh confirms and sends Zach and Goose to begin the stakeout. Doc and Niko are ordered to isolate the data and see what they've got. Walsh doesn't want the supertrooper juice changing hands.

Huh, it looks like the space transport has encountered a bit of trouble by way of Captain Kidd. Like wise people, they end up surrendering. Kidd, the monkey, and Umbrella-underling board the ship and Kidd is vexed. The raid is so far a bust, apparently. His luck changes however, when he stumbles across Bubblehead in the cargo hold, still acting like a hood ornament. There is a bird brain joke or too, and then Kidd recognizes Bubblehead as the Queen's memory bird.

Kidd asks if Bubblehead would like to be an ornament on the Iron Falcon. Bubblehead shouts "Daddy!" and leaps to Kidd's non occupied shoulder. Squeegie, the monkey, does not like this.

Nor do Mugsy and Miller who have a sotto voce conversation with their hands up. Miller orders him "on the horn" to Subtract.

Back at Longshot, Niko and Doc have figured out what they've made off with. Doc is rather surprised as he reads off the string of numbers. Apparently Mugsy and Miller didn't get what they came after.

On Tortuna, in the same neon signed saloon that the Rangers tend to have their barfights in, and the Queen met up with Kilbane in, and...

Sheesh, is there really just ONE saloon on Tortuna?!

Anyway, Kidd tells the bird that he's tougher to crack than a flagon's egg. Or something like that. Bubblehead continues to babble something about Sunny-Side Supertroopers, and Niko and Doc on a raft. A woman interrupts the conversation.

Hey! It's Daisy O'Mega! This episode's a call back to a whole slew of episodes, ain't it?

Daisy is invited to a seat, I forgot how much I liked her theme music. Daisy pushes over a nice stack of coins, as she wants to buy the memory bird. Bubblehead goggles at the stack. Kidd is pleased to see someone who speaks "his language."

On New Pigalle, Subtract is chewing out his underlings via viewscreen. Jeeze, Subtract, you find the one guy who's simultaneously smart enough to break into BETA's space station and Longshot, while being stupid enough to keep working for YOU and you continue to not appreciate this. Mugsy reports that Kidd sold the bird. How do they know this? Did they follow him to Tortuna?

They report that Daisy has it, but they don't think she knows about the formula. Subtract snarls that he doesn't pay them to think, which isn't exactly true, and that she has to know the formula as the whole galaxy does by now. Miller and Mugsy are sent off to Entropy's Edge to catch her. We see some nifty little green spidery ships take off.

The Rangers apparently have been busy beavers, and we see that the conversation between Subtract and his minions is also playing in the cockpit. Goose is enthusiastic, probably imagining a rematch versus the Black Hole. Zach reins him in though, reminding him to trail them.

It looks like they've rebuilt the asteroid base. And like all outlaw asteroid bases on the edge of a black hole, there's a saloon. Daisy enters, carrying the bird. There might be still some hard feelings in the gang, as the guy leading her calls her O'Mega and is awfully curt. MaCross looks up at her approach and growls that he can't say it's a pleasure. Daisy smirks and says that she thought MaCross would be right pleased to see her.

MaCross that he knows ten crime bosses who would storm the station for that thing, as well as the Galaxy Rangers. She sets him on the table and tells them to deal her in.

Kidd remains on Tortuna, where he's drinking up happily, and buying a round for everyone. Geezy (Geezy!) slides up and asks what the occasion is. Kidd tells him he's sold a Bubbleheaded memory bird.

Geezy confirms that it was wearing a "stylish tie and a labcoat" and then irately informs him that the bird he sold for a thousand crowns was stolen from BETA and has the Supertrooper Juice formula. Kidd sputters and realizes he's been robbed. He wants his bird back.

The Rangers meanwhile appear at Entropy's Edge, which Goose confesses always amazes him. Well, you did get to see it close range. Zach has no intention of indulging his young subordinate in a repeat journey and decides to have a look around instead.

Goose looks absurdly young in the shot I'm paused on (and like his nose/cheekbones could cut glass) while Zach looks very pensive. I just felt like sharing. Anyway, he's just grumbled a question about whether there was a convention as he recognizes Kidd's ship. Wow. He got there fast. Zach is all "Let's move in."

Daisy has finally put the bird up as stakes, and as it babbles, Mugsy and Miller appear in the door and announce that it's not hers to bet. "Says who?" She snaps, and Mugsy draws his gun. However, Daisy doesn't have her reputation for nothing. She tips her chair back and shoots his gun out of his hand. Meanwhile MaCross overturns the table and throws it into Mugsy while the ducking Miller shoots out the light.

And the bar fight commences. <3 I love this show. It's mostly dark though, with just lasers shooting back and forth, which is one way to lower animation costs. One of Mugsy and Miller's men lights a match. He talks like the idiot gangster and is promptly punched in the face by MaCross and knocked into the other room.

A bar patron wants people to stop and is nearly hit by a chair, while an old man who looks like Mark Twain gets slammed into by another patron. Kidd enters and is aghast. Miller is tossed unconscious out the back room, and Bubblehead hops out with him. He tries to coax Bubblehead to come with him, but Bubblehead isn't having it ("You buy me dinner and then you think you own me!") and runs off. Kidd crawls after him.

A BHG member announces Galaxy Rangers at the front door, and MaCross makes his way out with Mugsy in a headlock. He says he knew the bird would bring trouble. To be fair, MaCross is usually right. He asks how many ships there are, and when told one Interceptor, MaCross calls him an idiot and tells him to blast them.

Doesn't look like an Interceptor to me, actually, but okay. Maybe I'm wrong or the guy is an idiot. Could be either.

They shoot down the security defenses, and inside, MaCross calls things to order, commanding the gang members into ships and weapon ports. Kid grabs the bird finally and readies to leave. Daisy yanks Miller up by the collar, and he informs her that Kidd has the bird and is making a run for it.

Outside, Goose is having fun shooting down fighters. Zach points out that they're out-numbered, but Goose just cheerfully asks what else is new. He's always so happy when he's causing destruction. As the ship weaves in and out of the enemies, Zach mildly asks if they should revise their plan, and Goose's answer is "Nah."

...I love when Zach and Goose team up. It's always amusing and destructive.

They're not the only ones destroying ships though, as suddenly one is taken out by behind. It's Ranger One! (Goose and Zach are using the bigger ship that was the same one that we see periodically, especially when Goose was bringing MaCross back to Earth.) Doc greets them. Some Ranger banter is cut off whenn Goose notes someone making an end run. Kidd, of course.

As Kidd leaves, MaCross pops on the viewscreen and flatly tells them that he doesn't want anymore trouble and tells them that Kidd's taken it back to Tortuna. They head there. Personally, I'd be worried MaCross was lying, but well, I guess I can buy cop-instincts.

Kidd is happy, but made less so when he discovers the Rangers are chasing him. He groans and asks why they can't just mind their own business. Well, technically they stole the bird first. As the Rangers fly side by side, Niko suggests Doc "tell them." Doc does so: What Mugsy and Miller got was an early experimental formula. Zach interjects that even the early formulas are potent, but Doc says that Bubblehead can't handle the data and half his memory's filled with plumbing info.

Zach points out the breach of security. But Goose quickly interjects at them to cut the chatter as they're "warping out." Kidd is doing so as well. RIGHT into a convoy of QueenShips. It is not his day. Kidd brightens and tells them to lock in on the Queen's coordinates and tell her to expect them.

Zach and Goose emerge, detecting Kidd's change in course. Ranger One is nowhere to be seen. When Goose notes they're slaver transports, Zach orders a pull-out. Ah, there's Ranger One! The two ships drop back.

Kidd is glad to hear that and says he knew they wouldn't risk following him in. Then he heads to Tortuna, where a slaver lord waits. He greets it as "Oh Marginal One," which amuses me to no end, and announces that he's brought "great booty." The Queen, speaking through the slaver lord is initially dismissive, but then pleased at the sight of the bird. (Once the Queen talks through it, Kidd calls her "your regalness") he then tells "[her] hiney" that she hasn't seen anything yet.

Now in front of the Queen in person, he announces that he's humbled. She wants the bird, who clings to Kidd and cries that he doesn't want to go back. Aw. Poor bird. Kidd apologizes, saying that they got close, and then mutters an insult at the bird. The Queen demands that he come to her and Kidd tosses him over.

She purrs all "there's something you want to tell me?!" But of course, it's Bubblehead, so he starts singing about pipes again. She thwaps him and his eyes cross and he actually starts reciting the real information. He actually looks a bit dangerous when he finishes, and calmly asks "How's that?" Kidd is happy and asks about the reward. The Queen wants to see exactly what he brought her first.

You know, I criticize the Queen a lot, but that's a good idea. Apparently her crystal will accelerate the growth cycle and let her create a full grown supertrooper to program at her command. Yeah, because Kilbane and Gooseman are so immensely programmable. Heh.

It's "the moment of truth" and a large if squat muscular figure appears in the tube and burps. It's got a large nose and isn't human. It busts out of the tube and Kidd realizes in dismay that it's a "Plago" which I think we've seen before but isn't ringing a bell. The Queen snaps that it's a Plago with superstrength. The Queen announces that Kidd will pay dearly for this. Kidd runs for it and the Plago apparently seems willing to help. The Queen orders them captured, but there's enough confusion that Kidd and Bubblehead are able to get away.

Back on their ship, Zach wonders if the Queen will reward Kidd for the bird. Goose figures he'll get what he deserves.

Kidd flies from Tortuna, chased by slaver fighters, Squeegie on one shoulder, Bubblehead on the other. He's crestfallen as he mutters something about having the slaver fighters on his tail. The sidekicks alternatively supply "The Galaxy Rangers" "Daisy O'Mega" "Jackie Subtract" "the Black Hole Gang" and Kidd decides to pilot a course for the next galaxy. Heh.

End of episode.


Not bad for a light-hearted episode. Though I don't think there was quite enough of the main characters for my tastes. There was sufficient violence to make me happy though. I enjoy explosions and barfights.

I liked all the call backs to previous episodes, and that the appeal of "supertrooper juice" wasn't a one episode occurrance. We also get a better idea of what it actually is, I think. Initially I thought it'd be something like Captain America's supersoldier serum when I saw Smuggler's Gambit, but it looks more like some kind of DNA cocktail instead. Which makes sense. People don't BECOME supertroopers, they grow them.

Though why on Earth would they have a formula to make a superstrong Plago?

I was surprised, but pleased, to see Miller again, as I honestly expected him to be a one-shot throw away character. Apparently he's more durable than I thought though, and doesn't seem to have any after effects from the Mutant Doll. Then again, maybe brain damage is why he continues to work for Jackie Subtract.

I was surprised to see so many familiar faces, but I thought they worked fairly well. A lot of villain team-ups tend to neuter some of the villains involved, but everyone kept their strengths and weaknesses. And MaCross is still the voice of reason that no one listens to. Heh.

I was disappointed by Kidd. I guess I got used to him doing the right thing. Oh well, he'll be back, I'm sure. :-) And Bubblehead is still less annoying than Buzzwang


  • At April 19, 2009 4:44 AM, Blogger LurkerWithout said…

    Mugsy McMoxie or Moxie McMugsy would be a perfect DCU Silver Age character...

  • At April 19, 2009 10:26 AM, Blogger SallyP said…

    They really did do a remarkable job of reusing characters. This was indeed a rather silly episode, but a fun one.

    I always liked the fact that only two Rangers were required to go after all those villains...although of course it was nice that Doc showed up.

  • At April 19, 2009 3:05 PM, Blogger Elizabeth B said…

    I like the name Moxie. "Man, that guy sure has moxie. He'll steal anything!"

    It is indeed a silly episode, but amusing.

  • At April 21, 2009 3:57 PM, Blogger Unknown said…

    Figuring out what exactly the Supertrooper juice is, is about as vexing as understanding the different types of star stones. It could either be an activator of pre-existing super genes similar to X-factor (so everyone is a mutant in a way) or it could actually insert those genes (or both).
    As to Moxie being sane again (at least as sane as you can be when you're still working for Subtract) -- maybe Niko discovered a way to treat him after Goose learned to deal with the Po mutant doll.
    What bewilders me more is how all the criminals the rangers keep arresting get out of prison so fast again. Of course, it would also be interesting how O'Mega and MaCross reconciled after he left her to die in the Orion Nebula.
    I agree that there were many good villains but not enough of the main characters. As awesome as most side characters in GR are, I'm watching the show for the main cast.

  • At April 21, 2009 5:03 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    To be fair, it did look like Daisy and MaCross were very tense with each other. And since she was listed separate from the Black Hole Gang, I suspect they've gone their separate ways, but are both practical enough to work together if it suits them.

  • At April 21, 2009 5:05 PM, Blogger kalinara said…

    It looked like, at least in this case, the juice was a genetic blueprint, rather than something injected into an already living being. Since the result wasn't there a minute or two ago. So for once we do get something of an explanation.

    Until it works differently later on, I'm sure. :-)


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