Ace is doing some flying, through clouds, swooping down, and to just above some trees. He scares some birds. Realizing this, he gently laughs. “I’m sorry.” With a soft expression, he thinks, I envy you little friends. Ace looks up. My father and I used to go flying together. Why did he have to disappear like that?
His transpower band begins to chime. “Go ahead, Control.”
(Interesting implication here that Brighthead might not always be the person on the other end of the line.)
Brighthead: “This is Brighthead, G-1. Report back to base right away.”
“Roger.” As Ace finishes turning his plane, he sees a familiar red jet. “That’s Red Impulse!”
RI buzzes Ace’s little Cessna. A close-up of RI shows a little grin that is rather smart-alecky.
Ace raises his arm. “G-Force Transform!”
Now there’s an ugly red jet and a cute white jet zipping along. Ace draws level with Red Impulse’s jet.
“All right, Mr. Red Impulse, what’s the idea?” Apparently his radio’s transmitting, since RI can hear him. And I don’t blame Ace for being annoyed; Ghost Owl explained in her review of the BotP version of this ep how dangerous ‘buzzing’ a prop with a jet is.
RI: “You remember me, G-Force. I’m flattered.”
Ace cuts his jet right in front of Red Impulse’s. Which is also a stupid move.
RI: “You must have had good training, G-Force. Your flying skills are excellent.” Listen up, Ace, the guy praising you is your-
Ace: “Good enough to defeat you any day!”
RI flies his jet in front of the G-1 and laughs. “If you’re picking a fight, G-Force, you’d better think twice about it!”
Ace: “You’re the one who’s going to have something to think about, mister!” Kid’s got a bit of an attitude, but buzzing someone is not on the ‘approved ways of greeting list’, either. Plus RI’s being a wise guy.
Red Impulse swoops his jet around and comes straight at Ace. At the last minute RI pulls up and zooms away.
Ace: “Ahh! Next time, Red Impulse!” To himself: “Where on Earth did he learn to fly like that?”
At Dr. Brighthead’s orange-roofed house:
Dr. B: “Welcome, Ace. I… heard you had a little adventure on your way here.” Heard? Already? How?!
Ace apparently doesn’t think of these questions. Or maybe he thinks Brighthead overheard on the radio or something. “Dr. Brighthead, I hope Red Impulse is on our side. Their squad leader’s an excellent pilot.”
Dr. Brighthead: “If he’s impressed you so much, he must be pretty good. The way you’ve described his flying reminded me of your father.” Okaaayyyy, I didn’t hear much ‘describing’ going on, but I’ll live with it. At least Brighthead has a reason to be talking about Ace’s father.
Ace: “M… my father!?” His eyes are wide as tinkly-plot-point music sounds for a moment.
Brighthead continues, “Your father was one of the best pilots I’d ever seen. He knew every trick in the book and even made up a few of his own. I wonder if we’ll ever know what happened.” His voice goes rather flat on the last sentence, hiding –grief? Or something else?
Ace: “I prefer to believe my father must still be alive somewhere.” Take note: this is episode 11. Brighthead now has been informed of Ace’s belief in his father’s survival. And the doc does not use some point in the next 40 or so episodes to deal with the issue.
“Well, if you’re right and is still alive out there,” Dr. Brighthead says, “I think he’d be very proud of the work you and G-Force have been doing for us. Including your current duty to escort a highly secret aircraft across the country.”
[Dun dun dun!]
Cut to the airport. One really big plane is being hauled along (and why haven’t the people been cleared out of its path already?). The plane passes the control tower.
Cardboard drum backbeat…
Inside a waiting room, an announcement is heard: “Attention, crew! All members of the Blue Hawk flight crew prepare for boarding. Takeoff will be at 1200 hours.” Through the window behind them the Blue Hawk can be seen.
The crew picks up their helmets and prepare to leave. Five green-clad soldiers come in and point rifles at them.
Cut to outside and to the now only sort-of big Blue Hawk.
Cut back inside and there are five men in uniform leaving the waiting room. The last closes the door on a jumble of bodies wearing similar uniforms. They go down an elevator and board a shuttle bus, which takes them straight to the Hawk and lift up to the cockpit. Security up the wazoo –except for there being NO GUARDS at the door of the pilots’ waiting area!
“Tower, this is Blue Hawk. Request permission for takeoff.”
Tower: “Blue Hawk, you are cleared for takeoff on Runway 3.” This voice actor gets a lot of announcer and radio operator jobs.
Blue Hawk takes off. Once it’s well up, its nose/beak straightens out just before it levels off. (Wha?) Once it has leveled off, the Phoenix appears and takes position close behind it.
Aboard the Phoenix, the team exclaims about the size of the Blue Hawk.
Pewee: “It must be at least ten times the size the Phoenix is!”
Aggie: “Closer to twenty, I think!”
Hootie: “Somebody told me it could do Mach 5.” (Yes, he pronounced it right.) ;p
Ace: “Dr. Brighthead says that its technology is so advanced that it may well be a match for the Phoenix.” Interesting implications about the Phoenix’s tech, here.
Dirk: “Well, if it’s such a great plane, what does it need an escort for!?”
Scene switch to some kind of office. Dr. Brighthead answers the ringing phone: “This is Brighthead.”
“Dr. Brighthead, bad news, sir. The Blue Hawk bomber is in enemy hands!”
The voice on the phone continues: “The crew was found unconscious in a storage room.” [Unconscious? Riiiiggggghhhhttttt. And even ‘unconscious’ doesn’t mean they’ll ever wake up.] “Whoever’s flying her they’re not ours!”
Brighthead switches ears. “All right. As far as we know, G-Force is still escorting Blue Hawk, so at least we know where they are. I’ll get word to them somehow about what’s going on.”
“Well, what will you have them do? We can’t afford to lose that plane, we can’t shoot it down!” (Wusses. Seriously, I understand the time and material that’s gone into that plane, but sometimes hard choices have to be made.)
Brighthead: “I’ll handle everything. Don’t worry about the plane!” He hangs up the phone. “You just couldn’t resist it, could you, Galactor?”
Back to the Blue Hawk flying.
Bridge of the Blue Hawk. Two nastily grinning guys are watching the Phoenix. One says, “All right now, so far, so good. They don’t suspect anything yet.”
Other guy: “Hey, I have an idea. How about testing the weapons system on the,?”
First guy: “I’m not so sure that’s a good idea. We’ll be letting everyone know that we’re the enemy.”
Second goon: “It wouldn’t make any difference. We’re invincible in this aircraft! Especially with G-Force out of the way for good!”
First goon: “You talked me into it. Aiming missiles now.” He gets a target lock on the Phoenix.
Aboard the Phoenix, Dirk is unhappy. “Escort duty, of all things! This could have been handled by someone else!” Ace flicks his eyes in Dirk’s direction but doesn’t reply.
Pewee stretches and yawns. ”This has to be the most boring mission I’ve ever been on! Isn’t there anything more exciting I could do?”
Well, we can see there’s a missile pointing at you…
On the Blue Hawk: “Stand by to fire.”
Here come three red jets!
On the Phoenix, Ace says, “Well look who’s here!”
“Company,” says Dirk grimly.
Pewee recognizes the jets, too. “Hey, that’s Red Impulse. What’re they doing here?”
On the Blue Hawk: “Hey, were did they come from,” asks the goon as he sees planes.
The jets fire on Blue Hawk and swoop away. Their bullets have broken a strut holding the missile in place. Another pass breaks the other strut.
On the Phoenix: “They’re attacking Blue Hawk, we’ve got to do something!” exclaims Aggie.
“Looks like it won’t be so boring after all!” Dirk definitely sounds pleased.
Pewee: “Hey, what a fight! Red Impulse against us!”
Hootie: “Ace, should I set up a counter-attack?” I’m guessing this request has to do with the fact that G-5’s the main pilot of the Phoenix.
Ace looks seriously put out. Ignoring Hootie, he says, “Now I know for sure that Red Impulse is the enemy. I’ll settle with him myself!” He runs off the bridge.
Aggie: “Ace, wait…”
Yep, he’s going to go get his plane. It’s scenes like this that had me convinced that the flying vehicles, at least, could override cockpit controls so the vehicles could exit the Phoenix, mostly because he doesn’t call to be released. (Another would be the Sea Anemonoid episode.) A rare scene of the G-1 backing out of its bay. (And how many laws of physics does this violate?)
The Red Impulse jets take another pass at the Blue Hawk. Then RI fires his cute little tracking/time bomb and it sticks in BH’s armor.
RI radios: “Red Impulse, secure from attack.” Must be some kind of code phrase, because the jets break off the attack and swoop away. And a cute white jet is chasing them.
On the Blue Hawk: “They’ve given up! Look at those cowards run!”
Goon #2: What could they do? This aircraft is almost invincible to any attack!”
RI jets flying, G-1 pursuing.
Ace: “You won’t get away.” His transformer band chimes. “This G-1 here.”
“G-1, this is Brighthead. I want you to return to the Phoenix at once.”
Is Ace going to obey orders? “Dr. Brighthead, you don’t understand! Blue Hawk attacked by Red Impulse. Now I’m pursuing the attackers!”
Brighthead: “Return to Blue Hawk, G-1. That’s an order.”
Ace: “And let the enemy get away? I’m sorry, Doctor, but how can I obey such an order?” The same way soldiers have stomached reasonable but unpleasant orders through history, fella.
“You don’t understand-“
“Sorry, Doctor, G-1, out.” And it seems that Ace cut the Dr. off before he had a chance to explain. He might not have, but Ace lost any chance to find out. (And did you really think he’d follow orders?) Doesn’t explain why the Dr. didn’t contact the rest of the team.
An exterior shot of the G-1: “Okay, Red Impulse, let’s see what you’ve got!” Fade to interior to show the grim look on G-1’s face.
Scene next shows Blue Hawk cruising. Then the Phoenix comes into sight alongside. A once-over of the Hawk’s bridge, then Goon #2 contacts Galactor: “Watch for the return of the mysterious red planes,” PDOS warns. “They can be a serious threat to us.”
Cut to Computor’s throne room: “Computor! What was behind those red planes?”
Deep, synthesized (hard-to-understand) voice: “All I can tell you about the red planes is that they are a great enemy.” Like, duh?
Galactor asks, “Then what should I do about G-Force? The fools are still unaware that their precious Blue Hawk is now under my control.” Another implication that the G-Force organization extends beyond just the team.
Computor instructs Galactor to lead the team into his secret base and capture them. Galactor says he will.
Another external view of Blue Hawk, this time for above. (The artists did do a good job on it; they’re allowed to show it off.) :p
Dirk’s complaining. “What in the world’s the matter with Ace, leaving us this boring escort duty by ourselves?” He has a point about Ace leaving his assigned job.
Pewee wishes he’d gone with Ace. (Um, could the buggy have kept up to a jet?)
Aggie: “I hope he’ll be okay.” Three on one? She has a point.
Hootie notices something. “Hmm. Hey, that’s funny.”
“What?” Pewee asks.
Hootie: “Blue Hawk isn’t sticking to course.” YES, someone who pays attention to their instruments!
“Where are they going?” Dirk demands.
Hootie: “Hey, now something’s wrong with the Phoenix. I can’t seem to steer it!”
Somewhat condescendingly Aggie says, “Silly, the autopilot’s on.” That’s right, Aggie, tell the guy who’s flying that he’s not doing his job right.
Dirk looks worried. He also sounds a little concerned as he says, “Everything’s fine, Hootie.” Don’t ask me what’s going through his head.
Hootie: “But I turned it off. We’re caught in some sort of tractor beam!”
Over on the Blue Hawk, Goon #3: “You think that tractor beam will give them some idea that something’s wrong?”
Goon #1: “Yeah, but it’s too late for them to do anything!”
Blue Hawk and Phoenix are pulled towards a volcano.
And cut to a cute little white jet.
“I’ll follow you wherever you go, Red Impulse.” One of the red jets turns back towards the G-1. “Well, what d’you know?”
This next exchange is over the radio:
RI: “You can’t win against me, hotshot, so just turn yourself around and go home.”
Ace: “You should never have attacked Blue Hawk. Now I know you’re the enemy and I’m coming after you.”
RI: “You’ve got it wrong, G-Force. Besides, weren’t you ordered to secure the chase?” (Gotta be a code word.)
Does Ace stop to wonder how RI knows this? Nope. “Nevermind what I was ordered!” (Aren’t those disciplinary words in most military branches?) He buzzes RI with his landing gear down. RI makes a comment about the foolishness of that maneuver.
After a few more minutes pursuit, RI points his nose straight up. Ace pursuing, growls, “You won’t get away, cause I can go higher!”
RI talks into a tiny walkie-talkie. (‘70s miniaturization –gotta love it.) “Red Impulse to Control. You were right about G-1. He does have a lot of spirit.” In answer to something we can’t hear: “What’s that? You’ve lost contact with the Phoenix? All right, I’ll check it out right away!” RI zips off with G-1 still in pursuit.
RI realizes that G-1 is still following. “I see you.” (What the blazes? Whatever…) He looks at his console, where a little light is gleaming. He makes a comment about his little toy guiding him.
The Blue Hawk is in some kind of hanger. Till attached to the medium blue casing is the red missile. (And no one’s seeing this. Goons must not look up.) Beside it is the Phoenix. Within the team is immersed in pinkish-purple gas. Looks like Dirk was standing up when the gas hit, as he’s slumped against the wall. (And how did the goons get the gas in there?)
Back to the jets. You know, as filler goes, a long jet chase is definitely preferable to Zark.
The little glowing dot reaches the middle of the screen.
And there’s the volcano. The jets land in a field just beyond.
RI leaps out of his plane quickly before Ace lands. When Ace jumps out of the plane he makes a really cool jump out of the sun, but doesn’t take advantage of the whole ‘sun behind your back and in your opponent’s face’, instead choosing to make a somewhat showy landing.
Ace: “I’ve got you at last!” He runs as RI…
…and gets tripped. He manages to catch himself from going splat and goes for a high kick…
…and gets knocked aside. He backflips and comes in for a punch…
…and can suddenly see through RI’s visor.
Those eyes. They seem so… familiar to me. No! This man is my enemy! Keep telling yourself that and you’ll just add to your daddy issues.
RI: “Listen, boy. Your ship the Phoenix is in the hands of Galactor.”
RI continues, “It happened while you were out chasing me against Dr. Brighthead’s orders.”
Ace: “And what about the others on the team?”
“They’ve been taken prisoner. Blue Hawk was captured by Galactor’s men even before it took off!”
“Oh, no!” Ace drops to his knees.
“I fired a homing device into the hull of the aircraft. Blue Hawk is somewhere in that volcano and I’d be willing to bet your friends are in there too.”
Ace raises his head. “At least answer me this: Are you a friend to us or are you an enemy?”RI laughs. “Right now I’m a friend. But this is neither the time or place to chat; there are friends of yours in that volcano that need help!”
Looking down into the volcano… Why does the ‘volcano’ have a metal floor? And the morons didn’t even bother to try to camouflage the hatch. Apparently they haven’t heard of the ‘just in case’ rule.
So RI and G-1 sneak in…
The other four members of the G-Force team are shackled to the wall. (And how did the goons get in the Phoenix to grab them? The ship doesn’t look damaged…) Galactor is cackling on a screen.
“You have been hanging around my secret base long enough. It is time to say goodbye!”
Dirk’s not happy. “Don’t do anything you’ll regret later. You’ll never get away with it, Galactor!” From a Condor, this means he has every intention of bringing as many goons as possible down with him –even if he did say it rather corny,
Pewee is struggling hard against his bonds. “Don’t worry, Dirk, Ace’ll be here any second!”
“Plead as loud as you like, it will be the last noise you will ever make!” Galactor cackles madly. (Plead? I didn’t hear any pleading. Some corniness, sure, but pleading?”
“Galactor. You may do away with us, but there will still be one left who will hunt you down!” Aggie glares at the telescreen. (Aggie, Galactor’s making a mistake. Don’t remind him.)
“I do not frighten easily. Your friend will suffer the same fate as you as soon as I get my hands on him. Now, finish them.”
A bullet shoot off the triggers of the machine guns. It’s Red Impulse.
Galactor: “Who’s that man?”
“I am Red Impulse.”
“I do not know who you are, Mr. Red Impulse, but you have a lot of nerve invading my secret base. I will have to finish you off with the others.”
Parts of the wall turn around, revealing soldiers –who are swiftly disarmed by a boomerang. Ace stands tall on Blue Hawk’s nose before leaping down.
Aggie: “Ace, help us!” Considering she’s a little tied up, I personally don’t think she’s being girly.
"Well, it's about time you showed up!" Dirk snaps. "Now how about comin' over here and cutting me down!"
Galactor throws a hissy fit and orders his soldiers to wipe out G-Force once and for all.
RI: “You have a nasty disposition. You must have had an unhappy childhood!”
Galactor: “What is childhood?” Either ‘childhood’ is a word Galactor doesn’t know, or… the implications are mind-boggling. (Actually, Transmute Jun’s ‘Snowbound: Swan’ as an interesting take on this.)
RI shoots out the telescreen.
More soldiers. Man, they’re coming out of the woodwork… metalwork… whatever.
Ace beats up soldiers while RI shoots the team loose.
Fight scene! Mostly the same the Gatch ep., including Dirk getting to clobber bad guys.
Unnoticed by most, the tracker bomb’s dial has hit a mark, and another dial starts to go around.
RI: “Everybody into the Phoenix. This place is about to blow sky-high!” (And he doesn’t mean the movie.)
Ace signals a time-out and everyone flies to the Phoenix. The ceiling opens, RI leaps (presumably onto the smaller ship) and the Phoenix splits.
On the Phoenix, Pewee asks, “Wait a minute. How come we’re not taking Blue Hawk with us?”
RI: “It’s of no use to us now.”
Pewee: “It a shame to let them have it.”
Some of the surviving goons get into the BH to pursue. And the second dial hits zero.
Gone one stolen ship.
Gone one base. Some goons get hit by a tire, and others get roasted alive.
The Phoenix, G-1, and Red Impulse jet are flying together. Dr. Brighthead is speaking on a small screen of the Phoenix and apparently can be heard on the radios of the jets. He points out that the Red Impulse are fighters for justice, like G-Force. Aggie makes a cute comment about working together with Red Impulse for a change.
G-1 and RI look at each other from their jets. “Ace, this is where we go our separate ways.” He waves at Ace. “Fly straight and true, son.” A tear runs down RI’s cheek.
“I’ll see you again sometime, Red Impulse.” As the Red Impulse jet flies away, Ace recalls, He called me son. I wonder.
The G-1 reenters its bay.
And the Phoenix flies against the sunset, heading home.
Two things about this ep:
It’s never adequately explained why Brighthead didn’t contact the Phoenix to tell them Blue Hawk had been hijacked.
Why didn’t Galactor know what childhood was?