It should be no surprise by now that this episode opens with the robot we, I mean, I love to hate, 7 Zark 7. Today, says he, he's got his articulators full because of some activity coming from Jupiter, which could be bad, which naturally means Zoltar. Zark decides to peek in on His Purpleness. His console starts shooting sparks. It's too hot for his scanners. I'm not sure I want to know what Zark is seeing. The words "too hot for" and "Zark" should never, ever, ever be used together. Except of course if it's used in a certain fan fic written by a certain msannomalley...
Next, we're taken to Zoltar's headquarters where he's having a chat with the Big Blue Chicken, er, Oh Luminous One. There is an extreme close up of Oh Luminous One. The floating chicken head tells Zoltar to listen well. Spectra has made an ally of some guy called Commander Typhon and everything they [Oh Luminous One] wants for Spectra is well within his grasp. Or so he says. Typhon was exiled from his home planet Scorpius and is to aid Zoltar in Spectra's conquest of Earth. But there's a catch. A little quid pro quo if you will. For helping Spectra, Zoltar is to help Commander Typhon defeat his rivals on Scorpius and get his planet back.
Now we're at an ocean and The Yellow Submarine pops out of the water. A hatch opens up and some rockets launch. (Ringo! NOOOOO!) Anyone familiar with the show will recognize this footage from the closing credits of the show. The rockets launch into space, then open up, and things come out. The things start assembling themselves, and they take the shape of a scorpion. During this sequence, we see for the first time, this Commander Typhon. I think I now know why he was exiled. He looks like an extremely flamboyant Bozo the Clown with a funnel on his head or the Goofiest Sith Lord Ever. Yes, his only crime was a very bad sense of fashion. I should mention that Mr. Ann O'Malley laughs his toucas off when he sees this guy. Oh yeah, Darth Bozo reports to Zoltar. He wants to celebrate the launch of the rockets and the fruition of their plan, but Zoltar says it's too early.
Okay, where was I? The rockets launched, things came out, and started coming together and making a scorpion. Rogue Bozo reports to Zoltar. The scorpion lands on the moon, or I should say Jupiter's moon, or I really should say One of Jupiter's moons, since they don't say which one it is. It starts spitting rocks. I think it's supposed to be sucking in the rocks, but that's not what the animation looks like. Then, if the rock puking weren't enough, a section of the tail opens up and then it starts crapping rocks. Yes, it's shooting rocks out of its bum. The rocks head to Earth, which is conveniently in the background. Odd, I thought they were on Jupiter? Did the solar system suddenly rearrange itself?
Yes, kids, Earth's under attack from mechanical scorpion dung. And this is what G-Force is supposed to stop in this episode.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that during the scene where the scorpion is landing, there is a hair on the film. Back to our regularly scheduled review...
As the camera pans back to Earth, Susan from Planet Pluto calls Zark and tells him about the scorpion that is crapping rocks at Earth. The rocks are now flaming meteors. So the scorpion must have had some habanero peppers for lunch? Susan says that the flaming rocks/meteors/scorpion turds will fall on Capital City. Zark says in this really cheerful and inappropriate tone of voice, considering the situation, "Big Ten, Susan." Zark says he'll have the place evacuated. Then Zark tells us that he has ordered G-Force to stand by in their Ready Room while Zark finds out what's going on.
Oh no. The Infamous Ready Room Sequences...
In said Ready Room, with it's extremely 1970's decor, the team is talking about the scorpion that craps flaming rocks. We see Princess with her guitar. Tiny is in a chair, scarfing down "space burgers". Mark and Jason are playing ping pong, and Keyop is playing the drums. It's not what they're doing, but how HORRENDOUSLY DRAWN they are. I want to weep and weep hysterically. Princess looks really boxy and is wearing a bullet bra. And somehow, Jason lost a couple inches in height, which was somehow transferred to Mark, not to mention that somehow their hair got longer. And when they play ping pong, they're sticking their butts out.
I'm not even going to get into the fact that I cannot picture Jason being a ping pong player.
Mark misses his aim, and a ping pong ball goes flying and knocks the spaceburger from Tiny's hand. Zark calls them and briefs them on the situation and we get even more close-ups of them. It's not a pretty sight. It's enough to make a Fan Girl cry. Oh, and then we learn the name of the moon that the scorpion is on. Callisto.
And why is there a picture of a burger on the wall?
Anyway, they assemble when they're being briefed. Then when they're to go, the part of the floor they're standing on drops and their hair flies up as they all go "G-Force!"
Now we're back to the regular, good animation. The team runs to the Phoenix, and we get to see them all in the bubble. Then a door opens and the Phoenix is underwater and then we get to see the ship take off. They're headed for space, and then there's a long, protracted scene of them flying to Callisto.
When they get there, Princess says that it's not so ugly and barren as she thought it was. Uh, yes it is. Then they see the meteorites. The rocks head towards the Phoenix, which dodges out of the way. Jason says, "Those things are headed for Earth and they'll be balls of fire when they get there." Thanks for stating the obvious, Jase. And by the way, is there something wrong with you today? You don't quite seem yourself...
Anyhoo, Mark says that "they [Spectra] have complete control over the meteorites. They can pinpoint where they land."
Cut to Darth Bozo. He sees the Phoenix and proclaims that G-Force is puzzled by the meteorites. Then Darth Bozo makes some pompous bad guy proclamations, like all bad guys do.
Back to Zark. He tells us that those meteorites are still showering down on Earth and pretty much helpless. Then he wishes that he had a clearer picture of what's going on. Yes, Zark the compulsive neat freak cleans his monitors for the umpteen billionth time. They still squeak and he does it with a dry cloth. Then he freaks out because he sees a horrible new monster. No, wait, that was only Zark's reflection. It wasn't the first time Zark made that mistake. And your attempt at self deprecating humor was really sad, too. Zark says that Darth Bozo is messing with the Phoenix's radar transducer something or other and Zark wants to figure out a way to help G-Force out of this jam.
Then we see some Green Goons and Bozo the Rouge Clown. Then the Yellow Submarine reappears and a satellite dish pops out (Ringo's getting cable? Wrestlemania 354,502?) and they do something that zaps out something on the Phoenix. On the ship, Princess goes, "Mark, we're in trouble! All of our electronic detectors are going crazy!"
Cut to Darth Bozo laughing. Darth Bozo sounds an awful lot like Zark.
Cut to Callisto. The crapping scorpion rolls itself in a ball and starts flying to Earth. I want to mention that I have been sorely tempted, from reading Ayako's Gatchaman Episode Nine Review , to refer to this week's mech as the "Super Shittin' Scorpion Mecha" only because I think that's a very funny line (and Ms. Ann's a teensy bit jealous that she didn't think of this one herself). But I have resisted temptation and did not refer to this week's mech as such and I think Ms. Ann deserves a pat on the back!
[pats self on back]
Okay, back to this review.
On board the Phoenix, G-Force spots the scorpion. Keyop goes, "Skyrockets!" And at this point in the DVD, Mr. Ann goes, "In flight." And thanks to him, I've got that dreadful "Afternoon Delight" song stuck in my head. ("A-a-a-a-a-afternoon delight!") On a side note, when I was around the age I would have been when I originally saw this episode, I thought that the song Afternoon Delight was about going camping out in the woods, and not about the whitest, most bland ode to the quickie ever written in the history of music (and a song that gives me hives). Forgive me, I was but a small child at the time.
Okay, back to the episode again.
Keyop said skyrockets. Then Mark says, "It's headed straight for Earth!" Princess goes, "Oh no! We got to stop it!" Mark declares that G-Force has to follow it all the way back to Earth. Well, duh, Mark! Were you planning on stopping out on Pluto first?
Then Jason says that their "rocket missiles" ought to knock it out. Okay, before I go any further, could the writers please settle on one name for the missiles on the Phoenix? Thank you. Mark goes, "If not..." to which Jason replies, "Then we really are in big trouble." Of course, Jason shoots missiles at the scorpion, and today they don't do any good.
So now G-Force really is in big trouble. But I get the sense that something isn't right here, because there's usually a big argument about firing the missiles and Mark gets more authoritative than necessary and usually touches Jason when he really doesn't need to, and Jason yells back or says something sarcastic. But they don't do it in this episode. Jason, are you sure you're okay?
Jason goes to Mark, "We're not making points." Then Mark wants to know what they're target is, and he asks, "Jason, can you tell me what they're target is?" Princess interjects in this melodramatic voice, "Their target is Earth!" Again, Mark...DUH! Please tell me how Mark got to be the Commander? He's shown moments of stupidity, but today it's just really bad.
Then Jason says that since they can't stop it, the next best thing is to inform Zark, who already knows.
Okay, something is really wrong here. Usually, Jason wants to do something about it, even if the situation seems hopeless. He'll even try to do something, even when no one else will. He'll make an attempt to rectify things, even when the others try and stop him. It may not be the right course of action sometimes, but he does try.
WHO IS THE POD PERSON IN THE CONDOR'S UNIFORM AND WHAT HAS HE DONE WITH JASON?????????
Anyway, Zark says that the scorpion is targeting some power place. Mark wants to go there. Zark says he managed to evacuate the place and robot defenses are being deployed. Zark tells G-Force to stay where they are and to find Darth Bozo, because that's who is controlling the scorpion with the defecation problem.
Jason goes, "Our instruments don't work." Zark tells the team to reverse the polarity on some thingamajig. Mark orders Princess to do it. She says she might not be able to do it, because this magnetic tape probe thingamabob was just installed. Don't you just hate it when you get new stuff and there are bugs in it that can't be fixed? Anyway, she pulls out this 8-track tape and Mark basically re-spools it.
It works and then they find Darth Bozo. Except radar shows he's in the ocean on Planet Spectra. So G-Force heads for Spectra. It's a sunny day on Spectra as the team dives into the ocean. After some travel, Tiny cuts the jets. Mark thinks that this is a good idea and says that they'll "coast" there. Then they come across the Yellow Submarine, and Mark says that they'll have to "do a little skin diving" to get there.
Next, we see four of the team wearing fins, snorkels, and air tanks, but bathing suits instead of wetsuits, swimming underwater. Yep, Tiny got left behind again and he's not too thrilled. He says that it's giving him a complex.
Well, anyway, they're swimming and then they stop to hide behind some rocks. It looks like Keyop is wearing a Speedo or a red diaper or something. Then this motorized sting ray comes by. The team hitches a ride and now it looks like Keyop is starkers! It really does!
The mech goes into the Yellow Submarine. Then we see some goons getting out and then the team, who are now back in uniform. The goons head toward this elevator and then G-Force follows them into the elevator. Then G-Force beat the snot out of them, but we don't get to see that.
Then we cut to Darth Bozo, who is watching the scorpion doing the Lambada. Darth Bozo laughs. Then a goon enters, says, "Excuse me, sir." Darth Bozo goes, "What?" Then the goon says something else, but Darth Bozo demands the goon speak up. The goon falls to the floor, and hiding behind him the whole time it was G-Force. Mark tells Darth Bozo that it's all over now. Then Darth Bozo tells a goon to push an emergency button. But G-Force stops him. There's a confusing fight sequence where we see bullets that seem to come out of nowhere, but Princess somehow takes credit for destroying the thing that controlled the scorpion. On the viewscreen, the scorpion falls down.
Then Darth Bozo cackles about the meteorites being on their way to earth and makes his escape. Now G-Force is locked in the room. On the Phoenix, Tiny spots the escaping villain and goes after him, but he can't get the ship through a narrow passage between some rocks. Back in the room, Mark says that they're locked up in the room and Tiny is out there. He doesn't seem to have a clue as to what to do next, because he says he's open for ideas. Jason suggests that they use Princess's yo-yo bomb. Maybe Jason is returning to normal? I can hope, can't I?
Princess launches it and it sticks in the crack in the door. Then Mark says that there is going to be a lot of shrapnel flying around. Then for some unexplained reason, the team gets together with their wings spread. Then there's a shot of the yo-yo bomb. Then Mark tells them to get ready to form the Whirlwind Pyramid. The bomb goes off and then the team starts spinning, four individual whirlwinds that join together and blow the shrapnel away. Okay, so that's why they got together like that. Now they make their escape.
Cut to the flaming meteors. The Phoenix flies through them. On board, Princess says that the meteorites have reversed. Then Jason goes, "The destruction of the scorpion turned them around." But he says this in a flat kind of voice. Then Mark contacts Earth and tells Chief Anderson, who we see for the first time, that the mission has been accomplished. The Chief says that thanks to G-Force, and the robot fighters, whose planes look suspiciously like those Fighters from Mir in Episode Five, when the scorpion was destroyed the meteors went away because the scorpion controlled the meteors.
Then Mark says something to the effect of Zoltar not succeeding even when he teamed up with a man as mad as himself. Then Jason says that this is a good example of how two wrongs don't make a right.
Okay, Jason is really not himself today. Mark usually dispenses with the moral platitudes. Could somebody please tell me what's going on here?
Then Mark asks Zark for clearance to land. Zark says that his "psychometer" (his psycho-meter?) indicates smooth sailing. So G-Force heads for home, another mission accomplished.
Then we're in Zark's ready room and he's taking another one of his ten second oil breaks. Then he says something about G-Force being heroes. Then One Rover One yaps. What's he saying? I don't know. Zark, for once, doesn't want to take credit for something he didn't do. He says that they just have to be content to bask in reflective glory.
So there's a pod Zark?
A girl can dream, can't she?
A Few Thoughts From Ms. Ann:
I said it before and I'll say it again:
WHO IS THE POD PERSON IN THE CONDOR'S UNIFORM AND WHAT HAVE THEY DONE WITH JASON?????
I want to know who wrote this episode because it seemed that everyone is way out of character here. Like I said before, Mark has his moments of stupidity on this show, but in this one, he's really dumb! And it seemed like someone must have shot Jason with a tranquilizer or force fed him lithium or something because he was just totally not himself either.
I'm wanting to not comment on Keyop being starkers because I haven't written the Gatchaman episode review yet and the Japanese have different attitudes concerning nudity than what we do. But how in the hell did that one particular shot get past the Action for Children's Television? God forbid we show someone's butt!
And the ready room...
All I can say right now at this point is that when I was eight years old, I couldn't tell the difference between the poorly drawn ready room shots and the regular footage. I swear it. Seeing it now makes me cringe.