1. BotP Episode 3-The Space Mummy by msannomalley
2. Gatchaman Episode 3-The Giant Mummy That Calls In the Storms by msannomalley
I should begin by mentioning that I have been putting off writing this review, because this is not one of my favorite episodes. My son used to watch it to death, however. He watched this version, the Gatchaman version, and even the crappy 1980's Ted Turner G-Force version. He watched any and all of them in an infinite loop, until he even got bored with it and pops in the Big Robot Gold Grab, Episode Six or Shrek. I have seen this one so many times, more than I care to count. But in the name of continuity and Internet entertainment, I will soldier on and write a review of this episode.
As usual, the episode opens with Zark. He gives his usual "I monitor the heavens for evil baddies" speech, but then adds that every now and then something "wonderfully new and exciting happens." Last week, according to Zark, while doing his usual monitoring, he discovered a new and previously unknown planet that was hiding behind Venus. And because Zark found it, they named this new planet after him. So I guess now we have ten planets in the solar system, the newest one called Zarkadia. So does this mean that Earth is no longer the third rock from the sun?
Anyway, Zark is thrilled, evident by his giggling. Zark is one being, machine or whatever you want to call him that should never, ever giggle because it's just kind of creepy when he does it. Zark flies over to his monitor and he tells us that even though he should be monitoring for evil baddies, he just can't resist taking a look at Zarkadia. So is this his rationale when he decides that he has to "pay special attention to Princess" but he really doesn't know why? He tells us to look at it, and a bunch of stars appear on the screen, but I don't see anything other than that. Then he says it's really "mindblowing" because Zarkadia has an atmosphere like Earth's and also has humans like Earth does, too. Gee, that's nice. While peeping in on this planet, Zark has discovered some mysterious plane crashes going on and Galaxy Security is sending G-Force and Chief Anderson to Zarkadia to investigate.
Now we get a sequence of Zark talking the team through their take off and stock footage of the Phoenix flying and of the team and stuff. Zark wishes them good luck and tells them to take care of "my world."
Oh God. A planet ruled by a giant walking metal suppository with legs. It must be the end time or something.
The team approaches Zarkadia. I've never seen a planet that looks like this one before. But I'm sure I'll see more of them in the future. It's not round, like every other planet. Rather, it resembles a giant Goo-goo Cluster, or a "Genuine Wisconsin Cow Pie" (which is not a real "cow pie", but chocolate covered peanuts that they sell to tourists here. They taste pretty good.), or dare I say it, a rather firm piece of poo. I know, I'm a sick puppy. Anyway, Zark is all worried, and a crudely drawn version of Mark appears on Zark's monitor and tells him to stop biting his rivets, things will be fine. Zark babbles to us, the television audience some more.
Next we cut to Chief Anderson, who unrolls a map of Zarkadia. There are X's on the map and the Chief says that there have been four plane crashes in as many weeks and it can't be a coincidence. Mark points out that they all seemed to have happened around the same area. Mark says, "I've heard lot's about CAT, but this is ridiculous." The Chief goes, "CAT? Oh, you mean Clear Air Turbulence." No, Chief, he was talking about drugs or something. Of course, he was talking about Clear Air Turbulence! The Chief goes on. "It's never been known to occur up here. But none of the pilots' tapes mentioned clouds. Only something white."
Mark gets up and starts leaving the room. Chief Anderson asks him, "Where are you going? I'm not finished." Mark turns around and replies, "C'mon Chief. We've known each other a long time. You want me to go out and nose around, right?" Then Mark walks out the door. The camera zooms in on Chief Anderson, who says, "When you get back, you'll tell me Spectra's here."
Now we're at an airport. Mark is standing around, looking at I don't know what, when some button or spinner or top or pin or something comes rolling by and stops at his feet. Mark picks it up and looks at it. Then a whiny little voice goes, "That's mine!" A hand comes out and grabs the thing from Mark. Yep, it's the World's Brattiest Child. The little brat says, "Papa gave that to me before he went away." It is interesting to note, that in the Gatchaman version, this kid has a whiny voice even more grating than the kid in this version. It's even more interesting to note, that in the crappy 80's G-Force version, the kid talks like he's a pimp or something. He's got this fakey "from the 'hood" accent. It's hilarious.
Okay. So Mark replies to the kid, "That's nice. Why don't you take better care of it?" Yeah, why don't you, kid? Then this guy turns around and comes up to Mark and the kid. The guy looks like Colonel Sanders if the Colonel were a hip 70's swinger. Hmm, kind of makes you wonder what was in those 11 Secret Herbs and Spices, now, does it? "Excuse me," he says. "Has this young man done something wrong?" Mark rubs his hair and replies, "Uh no, nothing. Forget it." The man says, "This is my nephew. I'm taking care of him while his father is, uh, away."
DUN, DUN DUUUUUUN......Plot Point!
A plane is seen landing and the demon child runs toward the railing to watch it land. "Papa!" he says. Back to Mark and the child's uncle. "Is his father coming home from a trip?" Mark asks. The kid's uncle says, "Not likely. His father was the pilot of one of the missing flights." Mark says he's sorry, in that tone of voice that someone uses when they kind of, but not really put their foot in their mouth. "Buddy won't accept it," the uncle says. "He insists his father is still alive and will be coming home at any time." The uncle goes on to say that Buddy comes down to the airport every day, to welcome his father when he returns. Then Buddy's uncle remembers his manners and introduces himself as Dr. Sweet. Mark introduces himself as Mark, a visitor from Earth. No last name, though. Unless his last name is really A Visitor from Earth. But I doubt it. Mark turns his head, and now we get to hear his thoughts. "I don't know which is worse," he thinks. "Making the boy face reality or letting him keep his hope." Now we see Buddy at the railing and I guess this is supposed to tug at our heartstrings or something like that. It might tug at my heartstrings if Buddy were more likeable. Buddy is staring out at the tarmac with the most dazed expression on his face. Maybe his uncle gave him some hash brownies for a snack before coming to the airport or something or maybe the Ritalin kicked in. Some Really Sad Music is playing in the background and the sun starts to set and Buddy is still watching those planes land. Mark finishes his thought. "Who knows? No bodies were recovered. Maybe he's right? I hope."
But enough of that! Let's get down and shake our groove thangs while Mark flies around in his plane! He thinks out loud some more about the plane crashes and in one shot, showing him in profile, he looks like he might be related to a friend of mine from high school who used to have a really, really long, almost unpronounceable, and impossible to spell last name (before she got married. Her married name consists of only four letters.).
While Mark is flying, a flare shoots up and some black clouds appear. Mark thinks he's made a lucky find. The clouds spread and Mark flies around some more. The clouds from the flare cause all sorts of nasty thunder and lightening and wind and stuff like that, but Mark still keeps flying his plane. Then a big hand wrapped in bandages makes a grab for Mark's plane. You guessed it, it's the Mummy of this episode's title. It's a giant mummy that has an jet exhaust at the small of its back. Thank God someone had some taste and didn't make it coming out of its ass, although, it might be funnier if it did. Anyway, the Mummy swats at Mark's plane a few times and Mark is in Danger!, but he manages to get away and heaves a huge sigh of relief. He made it out of the storm. And he says that Zoltar has to be behind this.
Now Mark and the Chief are out to dinner at a restaurant by the sea. The Chief says that he's found traces of Plutonium X on Mark's plane, and he says this in an accusing tone of voice as if to suggest that maybe Mark was out raving with the plane again. Mark replies, "Every planet in the galaxy stopped making that because it's too radioactive." The Chief replies, "Every planet except Spectra. It must be what they're using to propel that giant mummy." He also says that he's glad that Mark was protected in his plane. Mark wants to know if there is a neutralizer of some kind. The Chief says there is and it's called Anti-Pluton. This stuff was invented by a Dr. Sweet, the same guy who is the uncle of Buddy the Demon Child. Mark tells the Chief he met Dr. Sweet today. And the Chief says that's probably why Spectra's here and that they're after Dr. Sweet. Then, we can see outside that it's raining. And Mark remembers that Dr. Sweet's brother was piloting Flight 5.
Okay, wait a minute. Dr. Sweet and Buddy's father are brothers. So that means Buddy, the World's Brattiest Child's last name is Sweet. Oh, the irony!
At this moment, Ms. Ann would also like to point out that there has been only two seconds of actual Condor footage, and that was only stock footage used during the flight to Zarkadia.
Back at the airport, it's raining. Buddy and Dr. Sweet are the only ones standing at the railing, watching the planes land. Buddy is still wearing that "I've been drugged" expression on his face. Mark appears, calling out to Dr. Sweet, then goes running over to the two. Mark goes, "Hey Buddy, aren't you worried about catching cold?" Dr. Sweet replies, "Luckily we're immune. He still insists on coming out, rain or shine." Then Buddy says, "Last night, I had a dream ( I had an awesome dream. Sorry for quoting Lionel Ritchie.) and in the dream Papa said he'd come back on a rainy day. So I gotta be here when it rains, don't I?" Mark says nothing, as Really Sad Music plays in the background. He only puts his hand on the boy's head. Then the rain stops and another plane appears. Buddy turns around and gets all happy and stuff. "Hey! I'll bet that's him!" Buddy takes off, yelling, "Papa!" Dr. Sweet tells Mark that he's just about given up his work by indulging in Buddy's denial, but the doctor can't bear to hurt his feelings. He goes over to Buddy and they watch the plane land. And Buddy's still stoned. The passengers get off the plane, and Buddy's still stoned, but then he gets all happy when he sees his father get off the plane. Buddy goes running out to the tarmac to greet his father. Dr. Sweet can't believe it and Mark is standing behind the doctor, in the rain, not immune to catching a cold, and getting wet, although his hair is still as fluffy as it is when it's not raining.
Now we're inside the airport. Mark is standing behind a pillar, hiding, and watching a news conference. Dr. Sweet and his brother are being interviewed by the press and Buddy is asleep on his father's lap. As Buddy's dad is answering questions, Dr. Sweet notices the ring on his brother's finger. Well, you can't help but notice it because it's big and kind of ugly.
Now it's nighttime, and a motorcycle pulls up to a house that is dark. It's Mark. He notices a beam of light inside the house. The light is coming from a flashlight. Inside, Buddy's Dad is rummaging around a cleverly disguised safe in the house's library. Then a door opens and Dr. Sweet comes in. "What are you doing in my safe?" he asks as he flips on the lights. "Who are you anyway? You're not my brother!" Fake Brother laughs evilly and asks, "How can you be sure?" Dr. Sweet replies, "My brother never wore rings." Fake Brother goes, "Spectra research should have known." Dr. Sweet goes, "So you are from Spectra?" Fake Brother replies, "I am Spectra! You may have heard of me. Zoltar!" Then Zoltar/Fake Brother chucks the flashlight at Dr. Sweet and escapes out the window. The breaking glass gets Mark's attention. He goes into another window and Dr. Sweet watches. Dr. Sweet runs to another room and looks surprised at what he sees.
Time for a commercial break.
Now we're back at Center Neptune and with Zark. He babbles about steaming up his monitors and "his world" (like he really owns the damn planet) and wipes his monitors and babbles some more and wants to remind G-Force to keep in touch with him about this because, again, it's "his world" and blah, blah, blah, blah.
Back to the story. Dr. Sweet walks in to find Zoltar/Fake Brother sitting next to Buddy's bed while Buddy is asleep. Zoltar is holding a gun. Zoltar says he's the soul of fairness, and that Dr. Sweet should give him the Anti-Pluton. If Sweet does this, Zoltar will spare the boy. Sweet goes, "Anti-Pluton?" Zoltar says, "No games, please. With your new formula, Spectra can dominate the universe. I want it!"
"You won't get it," says Mark, who comes in through the window. Zoltar is all "G-Force!" and then he and Mark get into a fist fight. Mark goes, fist balled up, back to the window, wind blowing in and blowing his hair around, "This is your lowest trick of all, Zoltar." They fight some more, and who should wake up but Buddy. The boy breaks up the fight, telling Mark to leave his daddy alone. Zoltar escapes out the window. Mark stands there while Buddy punches him in the solar plexus and tells Mark that he hates him. Dr. Sweet comes to comfort the boy. Mark apologizes. Dr. Sweet goes, "You said you were from Earth." Mark replies, "I'm with G-Force. We were sent to keep Spectra from getting your Anti-Pluton." Way to blow your cover, Mark. Dr. Sweet says that he's only extracted a tiny bit of the stuff and he hid it in the last place anyone would try and look for it. Buddy's pin/spinner/toy thing. Dr. Sweet is going to give it to Mark, but Buddy is all that's mine and you can't have it because my daddy gave it to me and you hurt my daddy. Dr. Sweet tells Buddy that that man isn't his daddy; he only looks like his daddy. Then Mark tells Buddy that the man is a bad man named Zoltar who can change his looks to confuse little boys like Buddy (and in Gatchaman, he changes his looks to confuse everyone! *snicker*). Mark says this in a tone of voice one would use when explaining to a child what "bad touch" is. Buddy, however, is still in denial.
Back at the airport, the Space Mummy lands and starts trashing the place. Chief Anderson contacts Mark and tells him about the situation at the airport. Mark transmutes, and heads out there. At the airport, fighter planes come to take care of the mummy, but they're not real fighter planes, as Zark points out. They're a fleet of robot fighter planes. Of course, since they are not the heroes of this show, they get decimated. Some of the mummy's bandages come off, and the mummy looks like a demented gargoyle who might belong to the World Wrestling Federation who also wears a diaper.
Back at Buddy's house, his uncle comes into his room to show him the flames from the airport. But Buddy is gone. Yep, Buddy went to the airport.
Back at the airport, as a fanfare version of the "Defeat Galactor" song (aka the Shupa, Shupa, Shupa, Shupa Song) plays, the Phoenix arrives. Mark is on board. Tiny goes, "Man, that airport is one big bonfire!" Outside, the mummy is swatting at planes. He tries for the Phoenix, but misses. On board, Jason...
Yay! Ms. Ann finally gets to see the Condor! Seventeen and a half minutes into the episode and Ms. Ann gets to see the Condor. Stock footage doesn't count.
Jason goes, "What are we doing? Saving our missiles for July Fourth?" Mark says the mummy is just brushing missiles off. He goes on to say that they have to use Anti-Pluton, but they have to place the shot just right, as there is only enough of the stuff for one shot. Princess wants to know where the critical spot is. Mark tells Tiny to get real close so he can figure out where to aim. The Phoenix gets closer to the mummy. The mummy swats at it some more. Tiny goes, "Call me chicken, that's as close as we go." Mark goes, "There's got to be a direct hit, right where the plutonium is stored."
Up by the railing, Zoltar crows about how it's a splendid day and the usual we're going to win and take over the universe speech. The Phoenix flies around the mummy some more, then the mummy takes off. Mark finds the critical spot, on the mummy's back where the exhaust is. Then Princess goes, "There's a little boy running across the airport!" Mark is all, "What?" and sure enough on the monitors, Buddy appears, running and crying and stuff. Zoltar tells Buddy to stay put where he'll be safe. Dr. Sweet tries to get to Buddy, but the soldiers on the ground won't let him. Buddy is looking around, surrounded by fire, as Zoltar tells him again that he'll be safe. In the background, the mummy is landing.
On the Phoenix, Keyop goes, "Boy is fool." Mark, now full of righteous anger, gets on the little platform that goes up into the top bubble on the ship. He goes out and while standing on the platform, he opens the pointy bit on his boomerang, crumbles Buddy's pin and puts the crumbs into his weapon. Then he jumps out and throws his sonic boomerang at the mummy's back. Meanwhile, the mummy is coming closer and closer to Buddy, who is staying put. Dr. Sweet breaks away from the soldiers and runs to Buddy, getting the boy on the ground and covering the boy with his body to protect him. The Anti-Pluton works at the last possible moment, right before Buddy and Dr. Sweet are to get squished. The mummy turns to stone, and the stone bits fall to the ground. On the Phoenix, Keyop says something and Jason goes, "Don't worry Keyop, Mark always knows what he's doing." Then the Phoenix flies off. Zoltar runs up to the mummy as a ramp lowers. Inside the mummy is Zoltar's escape ship and Zoltar gets away. Buddy, sadly, is still in denial, in spite of what has happened, and bids his "father" good bye and thanks him for "saving" him.
Mark has transmuted back into his civvies and he observes Zoltar's escape. Buddy finds him and is royally pissed off at Mark. Buddy is still in denial. Dr. Sweet really should get that boy in to see a therapist. Dr. Sweet tells Mark that someday Buddy will understand. Mark thinks maybe but tells the doctor in effect to let Buddy use Mark as his emotional punching bag. Mark walks off into the sunset and we're taken back to Center Neptune and Zark.
Zark sums up the episode and brags some more about "his world". One Rover One is jealous because Zark gets a new planet named after him. Zark tells him not to be jealous, as they named the brightest star in the galaxy after him. The Dog Star.
GROAN! I didn't find that joke funny at the age of eight, either.
Okay. I got that over with. Now for some observations.
What is up with this business of Zark discovering and getting a planet named after him? First of all, naming a planet after this tin can is the last thing he needs. His ego is big enough as it is, but this just made it worse, as evident by all the references to "my world". Gee, we don't have a swelled head now, do we? That's all we need, a Zarkito Mussolini, dictator of a planet that didn't ask to be named after a giant walking metal suppository. I should mention that this episode is light on Zark time, but all his bragging about "his world", more than made up for the lack of airtime.
Another point on this is that, obviously this planet existed (of course, we in the fandom know that this is really Earth because in Gatchaman, it was Earth.) before Quanto Tobor labs made Zark. So wouldn't you think it would already have a name? It's a planet that already had people and airports and technology and stuff, and to come around and declare that the people who live there are now Zarkadians is wrong. I mean, shouldn't they have asked them first what the name of their planet is?
And if this planet was hiding behind Venus, then why did G-Force have to go past Saturn? Were they taking the scenic route? Actually, they had to because Sandy Frank declared that all routes of space travel must pass Saturn .
The child in this episode was a brat. No wonder his uncle had to subdue him or drug him.
When Mark pulls up to the house on the motorcycle, I always have in my mind the conversation that took place when Mark was trying to acquire his mode of transportation to the house.
Mark: Hey, Jason, can I borrow your car?
Mark: I promise I won't put a scratch on it.
Mark: I'll even fill up the gas tank.
Mark: Why not?
Jason: Nobody drives my car but me. And I've got a hot date tonight.
Mark: Can I borrow your motorcycle?
Princess: Jason wouldn't let you use his car again, didn't he?
Princess: Okay, you can borrow my bike, but you'd better promise not to put even a single scratch on it...
Mark: I promise.
Princess: And the gas gauge better be where it was when you took it out.
Mark: I promise.
Princess: If you don't, then you know what happens, right?
Mark: No sugar for Marky. I know.
With a bratty child, a glaring lack of Condor airtime, and Zark's ego going through the roof, you can see why this isn't one of my favorite episodes. But I survived writing this review. Now I have to watch the Gatchaman version and write a review on that one. I'm not looking forward to that, as the kid in that version is even worse than Buddy was in this version. But I soldiered on through this one, and I will soldier on through that one, too. At least there is no 7 Zark 7 in that version.
Our episode opens with a plane flying through the air and some background music that reminds me of the music they used to play in grocery stores when I was a kid. Not the Adult Contemporary stuff they play now, but genuine, honest to goodness Muzak. Inside the plane the pilot and co-pilot are messing with the controls. The pilot sits back and loosens his tie. His co-pilot looks at him with much adoration. The pilot returns the look. Then he says, "Finally back in Japan. I miss Makoto." The co-pilot says, "Makoto's cute, isn't he?" And I'm wondering at this point, who this Makoto is and is there something else about these two we should know about. The pilot says, "Well, he's at that age. With his mother gone, I spoil him too much." I hope he's talking about his kid and not a boyfriend whose mother is out of town. Then the co-pilot remarks that this is a perfect day for flying, no sign of turbulence.
Not so fast, Bucko.
A flare rises up from a mountain and a black cloud appears. The pilot says, "Weird cloud." The cloud spreads and the plane flies into it. A storm crops up. The pilot wants to know what's up with this cloud and then he orders his co-pilot to check their heading on the radar. The radar isn't working. In the cabin, passengers are falling out of their seats and stuff. The pilot radios "Mayday". Actually he said, "SOS". At the control tower, they hear the message and the pilot says that there is something white, right before he screams. The plane nosedives, it's fuselage on fire, while a giant white mummy rises up. The control tower wants a response, but it gets none. The air traffic controller is distraught at the loss of the plane, the pilot's screams are running in his mind while he watches the activity on the runway below him.
Meanwhile, Dr. Nambu unrolls a map full of X's. He says that it's a map of the recent airplane crashes. Ken, points to each X as he says, "The first one was in the desert, then they move north. I've never heard of a typhoon coming this way." Dr. Nambu says that there have been no signs of storms in the area. But he points out that the captain of the last plane to crash said "storm" and "something white". Ken starts to leave. Nambu wants to know where he's going as he's not done talking to Ken yet. Ken replies, "You want me to check on the storm and the white object, right?" Then he walks out. Then Nambu goes, "Like father, like son. Very intuitive." And I'm smelling a plot point!
Ken is now at the airport. He is looking around when some kid's toy rolls by his feet. Ken picks it up and then the Demon Child swipes it and calls Ken a thief. Ken's like "Thief?" Then a man comes over and says, "Is he causing trouble? I'm his uncle." Ken's all no it's nothing. Then the uncle says, "Makoto, behave or your papa won't come back."
Well, if he isn't a loving and giving caregiver!
The sound of an approaching plane catches Makoto's attention. The kid shoves through some people to get a better look. Ken asks the uncle if Makoto's father is traveling abroad. The uncle says that Makoto's father died in a plane crash and that he was the pilot. Ken asks, "The recent crash?" The uncle says, "Yes, but he believes his father will come back alive. He insists on coming to the airport every day." Then the uncle introduces himself as Tetsuro Takahara. Ken introduces himself as Owashio no Ken or in English, Ken the Eagle. Which is kind of weird to me, unless it was translated badly because Ken's last name is Washio, so maybe he was saying Ken Washio in the Japanese way, last name first. Or maybe not. I don't know. I'm confused.
Then Ken looks at Makoto, who is standing at the railing wearing an "I'm drugged" expression on his face. Then the sun goes lower and the kid is still at the railing.
This kid needs therapy. Right now.
Then Ken goes out in his plane and he flies to the site of the most recent crash. A flare comes up out of the mountains and spreads it's black clouds and a storm pops up. Ken is caught in it and is nearly caught by the mummy, but he gets away.
Then he's out to dinner with Nambu and they discuss what Ken saw. Nambu says, "We checked your data and discovered Plutonium-X." Ken says that Plutonium-X is too volatile of an energy source for Earth to use. Nambu says that Galactor is using it for the mummy. Ken wonders if there is a way to neutralize the Plutonium-X. Nambu says there's one. It's a material created by a Dr. Tetsuro Takahara called "Uranless".
Uranless? Isn't that a brand of urinal cake? Excuse me while I snicker myself silly for a moment. This show comes up with some of the strangest names for things.
Okay, I'm better now. Nambu says that Galactor is aware of this Uranless stuff and that they'll go after Dr. Takahara. Ken realizes that Dr. Takahara is the man from the airport.
Back at the airport, it's raining and Makoto and Dr. Takahara are waiting out in the rain. Ken shows up. Ken calls out to the boy, the uncle starts to apologize, but Ken goes, "You'll catch cold." Dr. Takahara says, "He's trouble. He doesn't listen and he insists on coming out here."
Like I said, he's a loving and giving caregiver, isn't he? Let's hope he doesn't have any children of his own.
Makoto says that his papa spoke to him in a dream and told him that he'd be coming back on a rainy day. Makoto's convinced that today is the day. Ken looks at the kid with pity and puts a hand on his head. Makoto turns, his attention diverted by a plane landing. He goes running off. Dr. Takahara says, "He believes his father is coming back. How can I tell him...?" Then he walks over to Makoto.
Dr., you're obviously a scientific genius, but you have no clue about kids. Tell the kid the truth. Now. Now, before he finds out the truth someday (and he will find out the truth) and ends up hating you for lying to him.
The plane lands and the passengers get off the plane. Makoto brightens when the last passenger appears. It's his father. Makoto runs down some stairs and onto the tarmac (a move that would get him arrested in this day and age and also shut down the entire airport, too.) and to his father. Ken watches the scene, amazed. He thinks, "The captain has come back to life just as the mummy is resurrected." Then some lightening flashes and the wind picks up in a Very Dramatic Moment.
In the airport, a news conference is going on. Dr. Takahara and Makoto's father are sitting on a sofa and Makoto is sleeping on his father's lap. Ken is behind a pillar, hiding. Reporters ask questions. Makoto's Dad says, "When I came to, I was floating on the wide ocean. Luckily, a cargo ship came by and picked me up." Then he wonders, "How can I be the sole survivor? How can I apologize to the victims' families?" One reporter, who kind of looks like Chuck Conners (aka The Rifleman. Ask your parents. Or your grandparents. But you've probably seen him before.) asks the Dr. how he feels about getting his brother back. Dr. Takahara still can't believe it. He says that Makoto must be the happiest of all. The kid is sleeping and the boy's father is stroking the kid's arm. A flash of light catches the Dr.'s eye. It's a really big, butt ugly ring.
Later that evening, Ken goes to their house. He rides up on a motorcycle, which I wonder if he borrowed from Jun. Although, unlike that conversation I imagine while watching this scene in Battle of the Planets, Ken probably doesn't even bother to ask Joe if he can use the car. He probably just goes straight to Jun and promises to pay off his bar tab or something like that. (Ken has a bar tab, but this hasn't been brought up yet at this point in the show.) Ken sees a flashlight shining in a dark room. In the room, someone is rummaging around in a safe. It's Makoto's father. The Dr. catches him in the act. He says, "You fooled Makoto, but you're an imposter." Fake Dad replies, "How did you know?" The Dr. says, "Your ring. My brother hated rings on men." Fake Dad turns around and says, "How foolish of me to make such a mistake." The Dr. goes, "Who the hell are you?" Fake Dad says, "Don't be surprised. I'm Berg Katse, leader of Galactor." Katse shines the flashlight at the doctor and makes his escape out a window. The sound catches Ken's attention. Then Katse goes in another window. The doctor runs out of the room.
Then he runs into Makoto's room and is in for a big surprise. There's Katse, sitting next to the sleeping kid, and pointing a gun at him. Katse says, "If you want him alive, give me the Uranless." The doctor is all, "Uranless?" And Katse says, "Yes, your creation, the Uranless. We want it. Be quick, give it to me. Or else..." Then Katse points his gun at the kid's head and starts to pull the trigger. The doctor says wait. Katse (who still looks like Makoto's dad) cackles and moves the gun, but then it's slapped away from him. "What's this?" It's Ken. Ken is in a fist fight with Katse/Makoto's Dad. There's fighting and the wind blowing rain into the room and then Makoto wakes up. He sees Ken punching the man he thinks is his father. Makoto breaks up the fight and Katse escapes. He says to Ken that his papa is gone and it's all Ken's fault because Ken beat him up. Then he ineffectually punches Ken in the stomach and calls him an idiot. He's crying and goes to his uncle. Ken apologizes to Makoto and then the Dr. asks Ken who he is. Ken says he was sent by Dr. Nambu to get the Uranless. The Dr. says he talked with Nambu about the Uranless. He gives Ken Makoto's pin, telling Ken that the Uranless is hidden inside. Makoto wants it back and snatches it away. The Dr. says, "Makoto, behave or your Papa will never come back." Ken kneels down and tells the boy he needs it to bring back his father. Ken says he will bring back the boy's father. Makoto says, "Promise?" Ken hesitates, but promises.
Bad idea, Ken.
Back at the airport, it's raining and a plane is taking off, and it's heading toward a bright fiery ball of something in the air. The plane reaches that fiery ball and promptly explodes. The ball comes closer and we see it's the mummy. People want to know what that thing is.
At the house, Ken is paged by Nambu and Nambu tells Ken that the mummy has landed at the airport. Ken goes to Birdstyle.
Back at the airport, the mummy wreaks all sorts of havoc and nothing, it seems can stop it. Planes and tanks shoot missiles at the thing, but he just scratches the places the missiles hit. ("The burning, the itching.") The airport is on fire, and back at Makoto's, his uncle runs into the kid's room to tell him about the flaming airport. But Makoto is missing.
Makoto is running to the airport and crying. "Come back, Papa," he says. "Don't get on anymore planes." At the airport, is Katse/Makoto's Dad. Then back at the house, Dr. Takahara goes, "No, Makoto, he's not your father."
Then the God Phoenix and the KNT arrive. Jinpei says, "Wow, this is bad. The airport is a sea of fire." Of course, Joe wants to fire Bird Missiles at it, but Ken says that they won't work. "Our only hope is the Uranless." Jun wants to know how they will use it. Ken tells Ryu to get closer so they can find the mummy's power source. They fly close to the mummy, and the mummy swats at it. Ryu tells Ken that they can't get any closer. Ken wonders where the power source is.
On the waiting area, by the railing, Katse is laughing. He orders the mummy to "Destroy! Destroy!" (Faster mummy! Kill! Kill!) and to destroy until Galactor rules the Earth. The mummy swats at the God Phoenix some more, then a spot on his lower back starts to glow. Then the mummy takes off and starts flying through the air. The God Phoenix is over his back and then Ken sees the power source. Jun shouts, "Ken, there's a child at the airport!" Ken's all, "What?" and the screen shows Makoto running across the tarmac. Makoto is looking for his father. He's running and crying. Then Katse/Fake Makoto's Dad says, "Don't hesitate! Step on the child!"
Dr. Takahara tries to help the kid, but soldiers hold him back. Makoto is looking around, confused, trying to find his father. He is surrounded by flames. On the God Phoenix, Jinpei goes says the mummy is going to step on the kid. Ken gets pissed off and goes to the platform that will take him up to the bubble on top of the ship. He orders Ryu to get closer to the mummy. Joe goes, "Ken!" and Jinpei goes, "What are you doing, aniki ?"
Up in the bubble, Ken crumbles the Uranless and puts the pieces in his Birdrang. On the ground, the mummy is behind the boy and Dr. Takahara runs to him. The boy apparently doesn't know the mummy is near him. Ken jumps up from the God Phoenix and chucks his Birdrang at the mummy, aiming for that spot on its lower back. He hits the spot and the mummy turns to stone and breaks up. On the God Phoenix, Jinpei goes, "That's my big brother." Then Joe says, "Our mission is complete, let's go." And then the God Phoenix flies off.
Katse does his "Curses, foiled again" thing. Makoto spies him and shouts at him not to go. Katse climbs up this ramp that was part of the mummy and escapes. Ken comes back, in civilian dress, and says, "Damn, they had a rocket inside the mummy." as he watches Katse's escape. Makoto runs after him, then when he can't catch him, he falls to his knees and cries.
Ken calls out the boy's name and the boy rises, full of anger. He calls Ken a liar and says, "You promised you'd bring my papa back." Then he punches Ken in the stomach again until he's too overcome and collapes against Ken, crying really hard.
Dr. Takahara goes, "Makoto, that wasn't your father...." Ken goes, "It's all right. Let him believe. Don't hurt him. I shall gladly have Makoto hate me." Gee, real noble of you Ken. The Dr. wants to know why. Ken says, "He reminds me of myself. My father was also a pilot, lost in an accident ten years ago. I don't want to believe he's dead. He's alive; I'll see him one day. That's what I believe." (I'm smelling a major plot point here.) Makoto breaks away and goes running, calling for his papa. Ken thinks, "Makoto, please be happy." Then the Narrator chimes in, for I believe the first time, and says, "Thus praying, Gatchaman also felt a new surge of hatred for Galactor who took away Makoto's father. Go, Gatchaman!" As this speech is going on, Ken walks away and we can see the mummy's head on the ground.
There was even less Condor airtime in this version, if you count the stock footage in the last version.
This version, as I was watching this and writing this review, depressed the hell out of me.
For the first time, we hear about Ken's father, and this will come up again in the series.
I was rather appalled at the treatment of this kid. Telling him to behave or his dead father won't come back. Not warping the child, are we there? Please tell me that this Dr. Takahara was just a poor guardian and took the concept of Tough Love a little too far, and it's not a cultural thing.
If Tatsunoko ever decided to do a fourth Gatchaman series, you've got a ready made villian. Makoto. Makoto grows up, finds out the truth about his father, and then remembers the promise that Ken made to him. He gets in cahoots with Sosai X, Y, Z, AA, or whatever, and vows to destroy the KNT and get revenge on first his uncle, then Ken. The way the kid was treated on this show is how arch enemies are created.
There really isn't much else I have to say about this episode.