Battle of the Planets remains the property of Sandy Frank Productions and Tatsunoko Productions. This work is a review of an actual episode. All views and opinions expressed are those of the reviewer. The recipe is genuine and has been tried and tested by the writer.
Before we begin...
I would like to congratulate the production team at Sandy Frank's for managing to correctly identify the mechanical animals in this episode. Yes, they're ants. Well done, lads.
The tremendous effort that went into correctly identifying the ants, however, must have taken it out of them because they sort of lost the plot after that. The name of the Evil Dude du jour in this episode is just plain ludicrous.
Oh, and there's a bit of a nose cola alert because this whole ant business set me off with some really silly thoughts concerning a well known nursery rhyme, so... um... just finish your beverage before you get into this, all right?
EPISODE REVIEW: A SWARM OF ROBOT ANTS
The episode opens with Zark. Don't they all? I hate that robot. I hated him when I was a kid and I hate him now.
We see some very high-quality animation of Princess dancing in a cringe-worthy depiction of a seventies discotheque, complete with mirror ball and people wearing seventies clothing. The thing is, that with the seventies retro craze on at the time of writing, this would be considered extremely funky by current standards. That's scary.
We see Keyop dancing in between a couple of girls with a goofy expression on his face, then the music goes all funny (a bit like some of the stuff you hear on some of those alternative radio stations nowadays) and the mirror ball stops revolving, which causes quite some alarm. The animators give us another lovely shot of Princess looking bemused and concerned, then Zark comes on and tells us how the city has lost all its power.
The camera pans over the city and drops in on an intersection where the lights are out and the cars have all bingled, and I think to myself what a shame it is that they couldn't have maintained this standard of production quality throughout this episode, because it really is awfully good! We cut to a bluish tinged shot of Jason, stranded in traffic in the G-2, telling Zark they have a crisis on their hands.
I find it tremendously comforting that Zark has to be told.
Now we see Mark in his plane, flying over the city and saying how bad it looks, and Zark, in an uncharacteristically concise and un-burbly tone, says crisply, "Better check out the solar fusion plant, Commander."
And this frightens me because Zark is so crisp and concise and businesslike, ALMOST AS THOUGH HE WERE A COMPETENT COORDINATOR so please excuse me for a minute while I gibber in the corner.
I take a deep breath and hit the "Play" button again... wow, that was scary.
Having recovered from Zark's lack of giggly burbling, I wonder why the Animated Ash Can has to tell Mark to check out the Solar Fusion Plant. If the Solar Fusion Plant is the main -- and from the looks of things only -- source of power generation for the city (and how sensible is that for a planet at war might I ask you?) then where is the automated system monitoring and fault reporting system? Where are the Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plans? Where are the back up power systems? Where are the people whose job it is to check out the Solar Fusion Plant? And where was Zark when the invading force went beyond the Early Warning System's detection network and within range of Earth based scanning and defence infrastructure? But I'm getting ahead of myself with this last bit, because we have yet to be shown what the cause of this black-out is. (You know and I know, however, from the title and Zark's earlier comments that it has something to do with A Swarm of Robot Ants.)
I take another deep breath and we see... wait for it -- yes! A Swarm of Robot Ants! They're crawling all over the power plant (excuse me, where are the staff?) and firing little laser beam thingies out of their mandibles and making a tremendous mess.
We see Mark's plane in Sonic Jet mode and it docks with the Phoenix.
I have to ask: with the roads gridlocked, how did the team manage to transmute and make it to the command ship without being detected by members of an Unsuspecting Populace? Jason was stuck in traffic -- wouldn't people have seen him transmute? Princess and Keyop I could maybe understand if Princess' motorbike is capable of negotiating footpaths and suchlike and if said footpaths weren't full of panicking civilians!
Anyway... the Phoenix flies over the ruined power plant and they see all the wee ants creeping and crawling all over the place.
The ants march in neat little lines and I find myself recalling that nursery rhyme, The Ants Went Marching .
If Jason makes the same connection he doesn't say so, but expresses a desire to press the Big Red Button. At this point, Mark says something sensible: that missiles aren't likely to have much effect on teeny little ants. Mark wonders what they can do, so Jason turns his brain on and points out that the aqueduct runs right by the power plant! (The gunner's good when he remembers to turn his brain on.) Mark expresses misgivings but agrees (he can never just admit that Jason's brain works well when it's turned on.) With glee, Jason gets to press the Big Red Button after all, and he blasts a hole in the aqueduct, letting the water in, and the ants get washed away, just like when you were a kid and you turned the hose on the ant nest in the back yard.
Dawn finds the Phoenix parked in the grounds of the now-soggy Solar Fusion Plant, and G-Force stands around wondering what to do. Mark tells everyone to be careful, then Princess makes a really girlie scared "Eeeewww!" noise, which is really, really irritating because it's just a dead ant with a tiny muffler poking out its bum. If it were a dead cockroach, I could understand a moue of distaste, but it's an ant with a tiny muffler poking out its bum, for heaven's sake, quit being such a girl , Prin'! That's not scary.
Mark picks up the ant with the tiny muffler poking out its bum, (hereinafter abbreviated to AWtTMPoiB) cupping it in the palms of both gloved hands (wow, that's a big ant, you wouldn't want to get bitten by that bugger!) Cleverly, the camera closes on the AWtTMPoiB, then the background dissolves into a microscope view, only this episode we don't get to see Chiefy on his snazzy ride-on microscope, we're viewing the PowerPoint presentation instead.
The AWtTMPoiB has had x-rays and everything, and we get to see not only the tiny muffler (which is still poking out the ant's bum) but all other little clever mechanical bits and I think, well, that's a robot ant, all right. And I think, well, if ever I see any great big ants with tiny mufflers poking out their bums, I'll know, won't I?
At this point I have an extremely silly thought, and it goes:
The ants went marching one by one,
The ants went marching one by one,
The ants went marching one by one,
With mufflers poking out their bums,
And they all went marching,
Down to invade the Earth!
Told you it was silly.
One of the really ludicrous bits is coming up now, so if you're going to need a cup of tea, now would be the time to put the kettle on and get things ready.
Chief Anderson explains how scientists have determined that the metal the ant is made of came from the Planet Tramulus, and that the new leader of Tramulus is... wait for it... "Antoff."
And I'm rolling on the floor laughing... Ow! It's a hardwood floor.
HAAAAAAAhahahahahahaheheheheheehehahahahahaha - ow.
HEEEEEEhehehehehehehehehehahohahahahohohohoheha - ow.
Hehe... - ow.
Oh, dear... "Antoff!"
HAHA -ow. HAHA - ow. HAHA - ow. HAHAHAHAHA! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow! Ow!
Like, our Evil Dude du jour has a name that sounds like some kind of insect repellent.... hehe... ow.
I pick myself up off the floor (lucky I swept and dusted) and rewind the tape because I missed part of it when I was laughing at Antoff's name.
And at this point, I think we'd better go to the "Recipe of the Episode" while I nurse my bruises.
Do you love the rich, full flavour of chocolate mud cake but find the texture a little heavy? Now you can have the best of both worlds. it's definitely NOT low-calorie, however!
Feather Light (but wicked) Chocolate Cake
2 eggs 200g cooking chocolate
1 cup sugar 1 and 3/4 cups self raising flour
1/2 cup butter a pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk
Preheat your oven and prepare two 20 cm (8") cake pans. Cream the butter and sugar together, add egg yolks and beat well.
Melt the chocolate very carefully in the microwave according to the directions on the packet. Blend with the butter mixture. Stir in the milk a little at a time. The mixture may look somewhat curdled at this time, but this is normal.
Sift the flour and salt together three times, then add a little at a time to the batter, mixing carefully after each addition. When all is blended, carefully fold in the stiffly beaten whites of the eggs.
Bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees Fahrenheit) for 20 - 30 minutes.
This cake is sinfully rich but surprisingly light and fluffy in texture.
WE NOW RETURN YOU TO YOUR SCHEDULED PROGRAMME:
The Phoenix lifts off to some very snazzy Hoyt Curtin music with a disco beat and violins and stuff, followed by some of that, "fill in the empty bits" space shot footage and we close in on the team's destination: Planet Tramulus. Only it's that same jello-mould planet we've seen every other darned space shot. I guess the matte artists had a fixed-term contract.
We are treated to another lovingly detailed shot of the AWtTMPoiB being set down on the ground, and as Mark straightens up we can see that Mark, Jason, Princess and Keyop are clustered around said AWtTMPoiB, and that they are dressed in their civvies.
Mark informs the AWtTMPoiB that it is back on its home planet, and bids it show them where it "lives."
If only my computer were as easy to programme!
Princess asks Mark what they'll do once they've followed the AWtTMPoiB to its base, and Mark, in a fit of heroic and decisive leadership, replies that they'll cross that bridge when they come to it. Ah, the master strategist at work... Not.
Jason says that he hopes they aren't about to follow the ant into some kid of trap, and Keyop exhorts the ant not to trick them. Sure, kid, that'll help.
The music goes all ominous and we see that the team is in the middle of a desert vista of mesas and a big red afternoon sun as the AWtTMPoiB toddles off, closely followed by Our Heroes. The Phoenix lifts off, and G-Force takes cover, trailing the ant.
Now, why G-Force should take cover and make a show of trying to avoid detection at this point is beyond me because the Phoenix is hovering overhead, and it's a little bit hard to miss a dirty great big blue and red warship with its vertical lift thrusters roaring and screaming as said dirty great big blue and red warship hovers in your airspace in much the same way as a herd of elephants doesn't.
Not exactly subtle, if you ask me, but then you didn't, did you?
Keyop suddenly looks aghast and explains this sudden facial contortion by remarking that the ant has vanished.
At this point, the editor presses Tiny into service as temporary narrator: we cut to the flight deck of the Phoenix where Tiny yawns and observes, "That robot ant gave 'em the slip."
Gosh, Tiny. You don't say.
The other four members of G-Force are running in the general direction the ant was last seen taking, then they skid to a halt as they come to a suitably dramatic precipice. The camera sweeps the length of two enormous ant hills. Keyop sputters and observes, "Ant castles!"
In the interests of accuracy, Mark corrects Keyop: "No, Keyop, those are giant ant hills. We've located the base!"
Oi! Chicken Boy, quit picking on the kid. You're on a strange planet with whose native fauna you are not familiar. They could well have ant castles here for all you know.
Jason wryly suggests that this might well be the time for them to, "Cross that bridge, you know, the one we're always going to come to, later?"
I do like the gunner's wit.
The team now has an enlightened little group discussion. Jason's contribution, predictably, is to suggest a spot of smashing and doing-in of the local population. Mark, however, disagrees, going all pompous and delivering a short lecture: "Sometimes, force is counter-productive."
It is only my imagination that has Jason biting back a comment about Mark paying too much attention to the messages in government issue fortune cookies.
Mark decides that they will, "Wait them out."
You're such a master strategist, Chicken Boy.
It's night on Tramulus and fleetingly, I wonder what's been going through Jason's mind since Mark made the decision to wait.
All of a sudden, the music signals that something is about to happen, and sure enough, there's activity at the giant ant hills: out come lots and lots of little ants, presumably with mufflers poking out their bums, although we are spared that particular detail by the camera angle.
G-Force get up to see what the ants are up to, and the ground opens up beneath their feet. To confirm this for the viewer, Mark cries, "The ground's opening up!"
Such amazing powers of observation. No wonder he's the Commander of G-Force.
Keeping production within budget was clearly an issue for the good people at Tatsunoko, because they recycle that same footage of Mark sliding down an opening in the earth from that Space Earwig episode, and, as before, the director must be hoping we don't notice that both Mark and Jason have managed to take the time to put on their natty driving gloves in between the ground opening up and their falling into the crevasse. Nice trick if you can manage it.
Sliding, and without sustaining a single graze or abrasion while he does it, Mark calls out to the others, "Activate your transformers! Transmute to full G-Force!"
As opposed to seven eighths G-Force, one presumes?
The team transforms with the usual lovingly detailed focus on Mark, then they land in a neat little row, spaced a good metre and a half apart if scale is anything to go by: Mark, Princess, Jason and Keyop (who lands on his face.) They are in a neat, metal-lined chamber that has NO SAND IN IT. Another nice trick, if you can manage it.
The music turns heavy with menace and a voice says, "Greetings, G-Force! Allow me to introduce myself: I am the MIGHTY ANTOFF, soon to be supreme ruler of Earth, and you are my prisoners!" I fall about on the floor laughing as the camera pans over ranks of green clad soldiers whose uniform looks just like the one Zoltar's people wear! Gee, there must have been a big clothing clearance at 'Evil R Us.' Antoff continues speaking: "Flick the switch!" he orders.
A goon throws a lever and a clear dome rises up to trap G-Force, who are no longer neatly spaced in a row but clustered together in a neat little knot right over a conveniently positioned trap thingy. Super heroes are pretty dumb that way. Did you ever notice that whenever super heroes land in the villain's lair, they nearly always stand right on top of whatever the trap du jour is?
Anyway, not only have G-Force conveniently positioned themselves over the trap du jour , they have also conveniently forgotten their lightning fast reflexes so they just stand there having a collective blonde moment while the two sides of the dome rise up out of the floor and seal over the top of them. Belatedly, Mark and Jason spring into action, battering at the wall of the dome, to no avail, as Antoff (snerk!) explains how he has struck a bargain with Spectra: Zoltar will make him ruler of Earth if he eliminates G-Force.
This is an interesting concept. The premise on which the conflict between Earth and Spectra -- the Battle of the Planets in question -- is based is that Planet Spectra is dying and her people, which presumably includes Zoltar, need a new home. Zoltar and the Giant Blue Chicken of Spectra have looked through the real estate pages in the local newspaper and even though Earth hasn't got a "For Sale" sign out on the front lawn, they've decided to make an offer. So why would Zoltar hand over rulership of Earth to this Antoff dude? Maybe Zoltar has an expiration clause on the contract? (Most probably one that involves Antoff expiring.) Just a thought, there.
Anyway, Mark leans against the inside of the dome, sweating and panting. Surely he didn't exert himself that much? Are there elevated levels of carbon dioxide in the dome? Anyway, he tries stabbing at the dome using one wingtip of his boomerang but the material seems to yield slightly without breaking. Bear this in mind for the next minute or so, because it's -- for want of a better word -- material to what happens next.
"It's no use," Mark says. "We're trapped."
Took you long enough to figure that one out, Chicken Boy.
"Maybe not," Keyop chirps, rubbing his nose. Keyop takes a Tic-Tac box out of his belt and starts shaking black powder into the ends of his bolos.
Neither Antoff or the goons say or do anything.
Princess warns Keyop, "Don't overload those charges!"
Jason suggests that maybe Keyop knows what he's doing. From the gunner's tone, it's hard to tell whether he's being supportive of Keyop or just taking the opportunity for a cheap shot at the kid. Keyop crawls back to the main group and they all duck beneath their capes. The camera pans to focus on Keyop's bolos, which are rotating like a pair of old fashioned clockwork egg timers.
There is a "Boom!" and a hole is blown in the dome.
A piece of the dome falls to the floor and makes a hard tinkling sound.
Neither Antoff nor the goons say or do anything. In fact... where are they? They've all vanished. What gives?
Now, earlier on, when Mark tried to break out using the tip of his boomerang, the dome yielded like tough but flexible plastic. Now, however, it tinkles and shatters like glass. I suppose I should put it down to science fiction...
Keyop is understandably chuffed and crawls out through the hole.
"Not bad!" he announces.
There remains no sign of Antoff or his goons.
Now we cut to Zark who is pacing up and down in front of his monitors. I wish someone would blow Zark up. Zark dribbles on and I take the opportunity to go to the bathroom.
The screen goes blank, and this is where the network would normally put in an ad break.
We now cut back to Zark. He's still pacing up and down and nattering on about how worried he is. He recaps, saying that Tiny reported that the rest of G-Force disappeared into a quicksand pit near the giant ant hills. He hopes they're all right. (Aaaaaawwwwwww...) He wishes G-Force were back here on Earth. (Aaaaaawwwwwww...) he flies (cringe) to his screens and makes a call to G-Force.
G-Force don't reply but the editor uses this opportunity to cut to Mark's feet. The camera pulls back and we see our four intrepid bird folk sneaking down a wide corridor.
There is no sign of Antoff or his goons. Wherefore art they at?
The music goes all dramatic. The team flatten themselves against a wall and peer around a doorway. Their faces reflect their horror and Princess says, "Oooooh!"
In a huge steel pit, is a huge white cocoon, and in the huge white cocoon lies the shadowy form of a Giant Ant!
This time, I can forgive Princess for saying, "Oooooh!" because the ant is neither tiny nor drowned and there is no discernible way of determining whether or not it has a muffler poking out its bum.
We cut to the hovering Phoenix, where Tiny is grizzling about the team's lack of contact. "I can't stand silence," Tiny grumbles. He leans forward as he sees a disturbance in the sand below.
Out of the ground comes what looks like a giant drill bit, spinning and forcing its way to the surface. When it stops spinning, however, we see that it is in fact the giant cocoon, which breaks open to release The Giant Ant!
"Gotta grab some sky, fast!" Tiny decides, and takes evasive action as the Giant Ant rears up and spits -- yes, spits -- what looks like some kind of plasma at the Phoenix.
Oh, dear... a giant, spitting ant...
The faint, strangled noise you hear at this point is me, struggling to keep a grip on reality.
The Giant Ant lumbers away with much dramatic music and some inexplicable noises, this latter courtesy of the Foley operator, who had obviously had a few too many quaaludes the night before.
"That giant ant is cutting out," says Tiny (a leaf-cutter ant, perhaps?)
"I read, Tiny," Mark replies. "Better pick us up." Mark tells Tiny to switch on the sonar sensors and keep track of the Giant Ant. Sonar? Um... it's big enough to provide a radar return, guys. Sonar sensors... okay. Mark decides to seal off the base and return to the Phoenix.
We don't get to see the base being sealed off but we do see the team being drawn up to a belly hatch by way of a really long line. Just watch out for the exhaust from the hover jets, guys... How do you like your science ninja? Regular, or extra crispy? I guess the suits must be heat proof. Don't try this at home, kids!
Now we see the Phoenix in straight and level flight. Inside the Phoenix we see the tele-comm screen with Chief Anderson on it. The Chief is giving G-Force the latest news bulletin: "Zark has identified Antoff as a space pirate from the galaxy of DQ3." I blink at this. Another space pirate? The future must be crawling with the buggers! From the galaxy of DQ3? Isn't that a map reference in my street directory? Let me check... Oh, my gosh! He's from BECKENHAM!
I always knew that neighbourhood was a bit dodgy.
The Chief continues: "This is the first time he has ever invaded Earth and apparently he has Spectra's cooperation in this venture. This alliance threatens every planet in our galaxy."
Mark asks what the latest emergency readout is from "down there on Earth."
The Chief replies, "Zark reports a giant ant has landed and is moving underground toward the Civic Centre." (Again with Zark this and Zark that... you'd think that without Zark, he wouldn't know whether to scratch his watch or wind his balls.) Mark wants to know how anyone can get the Giant Ant if it's crawling underground. Anderson predicts that they won't have long to wait before the Giant Ant surfaces and attacks the city.
"But where?" Princess asks fearfully.
"And when?" Keyop adds.
Mark decides that G-Force had better get back to Earth. Anderson agrees.
The scene: a pavement.
A pavement... with a grille in it.
The pavement trembles... the music goes all menacing and the Giant Ant bursts forth to smash and do in all sorts of pavement-related thingies!
But... the pavement is not undefended by those who defend innocent pavements! Aircraft identical to those flown by the Rigan Red Rangers start giving the Giant Ant a bit of a hiding, so Antoff orders his men to take the Giant Ant to cover in the tunnel that runs beneath the river.
Back aboard the Phoenix, the kids and the Chief are having another chat. Chief Anderson tells G-Force that the ant has been trapped in the Breslin Tunnel, and that it can't get out without flooding said tunnel. He orders them to, "Get it!"
It is interesting to note that he doesn't specify exactly how this is to be achieved, however.
We have some heroic music, now, as an accompaniment to some stock footage of the Phoenix on a steep ascent.
We cut to the Phoenix, hovering outside the exit to the Breslin Tunnel. Below, in what looks like a control tower of some kind, Chief Anderson is observing. He's obviously a man who can get where he wants to go pretty damned fast. Whatever his mode of transport, may I borrow it the next time I have to drive to work in peak hour?
Mark tells everyone to get ready for an electron blast. (Pssst! What's an electron blast? Anybody?) Keyop consults the sonar scanner and reports that the ant is heading, "Right... at us!"
"Our new weapon'll be useless without sunlight!" Mark declares.
The abrupt introduction of new ideas near the end of the story is generally not a good move on the part of the writer. Oh, well, this is the canon. We're stuck with it.
The camera pans past the tunnel exit.
INTERESTING CANON FACT FOR FANFIC WRITERS: I notice that there's a red "60" with a circle around it, the international standard format to say that the speed limit in the tunnel is sixty kilometres per hour. This means that surface speeds, at least, have gone metric in this universe. Just thought I'd mention that. Why is it so, low, however? Even the Northbridge Tunnel has a limit of eighty. Oh, never mind... Maybe they're going to issue the Giant Ant with a speeding ticket? Anyway, back to our story...
The music goes all tense and suspenseful!
A LIGHT appears in the tunnel. I can deal with this. Whenever I see a light at the end of a tunnel, it usually turns out to be an oncoming truck.
Mark orders Tiny to prepare the Solar Reflector.
Tiny presses a button.
A satellite dish unfolds out of the Phoenix's nacelle where Jason's car usually is. Where is the G-2? Did they trade it in for Foxtel access? Will G-Force's new weapon work by bombarding the Giant Ant with multiple repeats of the Hallmark Movie of the Week? (Ladies and gentlemen, we may have found the Ultimate Weapon against Alien Invaders From Beyond Space!)
Out comes the Ant...
Chief Anderson looks tense.
Out comes the Ant...
Mark looks tense.
Out comes the Ant...
The tunnel looks wrecked.
Out comes the Ant...
Chief Anderson and Mark both look tense (but not at each other.)
Out comes the Ant...
"There it is!" exclaims Chief Anderson. Thank goodness you're here, sweets, I'd never have worked that out on my own. I guess that's why you're Chief of Galaxy Security and I'm a humble raptor rehabilitator.
"We have target in view," Mark says.
The parabolic reflector (I think this is what it is supposed to be, but I guess the censors didn't like the word, "parabolic" because it's got a 'p' and lots of syllables in it -- I know I didn't like the word, "parabola" in 1979 because we used it in algebra) swings around and points at the Giant Ant.
The sun shines on cue and makes some rather novel sounds which I don't normally associate with the sun shining. I mean, normally it sort of more or less keeps to itself and doesn't make a lot of noise... but maybe that's just because I hadn't had any of the LSD that the Foley operator must have been taking. The sunlight strikes the parabolic reflector and is beamed down onto the Giant Ant. The artwork at this point, particularly the airbrushed bits of the sunlight coming off the parabola, is very good.
The ant quails.
I'm not sure quite how it manages it, but quail it does.
This whole business is disturbingly reminiscent of little boys playing at burning ants with a magnifying glass. I don't think we should be encouraging children to torture animals.
"Come on, sunshine," says Mark.
Meteorology intervenes at this point and clouds cover the sun! Whose bright idea was this parabolic mirror, anyway? (Yes, Chief Anderson, I'm looking at you...)
The new weapon goes, "Ftzzzz!"
"Now to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee!" Antoff declares, which must be an old folk saying in Galaxy DQ3.
The ant grows WINGS. Ye gods, is it ant mating season? There aren't any more of these things floating around, are there? I don't want one of those down the back of my cardigan! The Giant Ant takes to the air and closes in on the Phoenix . The Phoenix dodges another stream of plasma / ant spit.
G-Force attempt to climb above the cloud so they can use their parabola again.
"On board ailerons have lost orbital electrons!" Tiny says.
Did the writers have any idea what an aileron is? Or an electron? I mean, if... no. No. I'm not going there. I'm not going to contemplate all the atoms in a control surface suddenly shedding part of their atomic structure and acquiring a positive charge. This is not happening. This is just stupid. I'M IGNORING THIS PART.
Chief Anderson looks tense. He's probably envisaging huge chunks of the Phoenix suddenly acquiring a positive charge...
Those familiar red jets arrive and hit the airborne Ant with air to air missiles. This I can cope with.
Mark says, "Stand by with the reaction mass reserves!"
I want the writer of this episode taken out the back paddock and SHOT. If he's already dead, dig him up and take what's left of him out the back paddock and shoot the remains. WHAT IS IT WITH THE RIDICULOUS AND INAPPROPRIATE USE OF JARGON IN THIS EPISODE? Who's responsible? Own up! Nobody's going home until one of you owns up!
That strangled sort of noise is me, trying to keep a grip on reality.
The Phoenix rises above the cloud. The parabola kicks in again. The Ant is in Big Trouble.
Mark looks tense.
Chief Anderson looks tense.
Antoff would look tense if he weren't wearing that silly mask. He decides they can't cope with G-Force, and orders his crew to the aerial life rafts.
The Giant Ant falls down, goes, "Boom!"
Cue the happy music.
The Phoenix cruises off and Chief Anderson mops his brow with a hanky in relief.
There is now some really pathetic dribbling from everyone about what a great job everybody did and don't we rock and the REAL hero is the sun! Must... control... gag... reflex...
Zark is pootling along and being his usual Zarky self. He tells us how Antoff and his crew are all in prison, and he marvels at the technology in the robot ants, saying how they had more modern circuitry than he does. That, he decides, is scary. Susan calls. Suz and Zark flirt for a while. Hideously. Then Zark starts talking about his fosdic. Now, THAT'S scary.