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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Summer of Joe: G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero (1983 Mini-Series)

Title: "Duel in the Devil's Cauldron"

Three sentence synopsis: The Joes travel to a South American volcano to obtain the final element they need to make their own M.A.S.S. Device functional.  Scarlett gets kidnapped.  Destro, who clearly fancies himself superior to Cobra Commander, leaves behind millions of dollars worth of military tech, plus most of the meteorite the Joes need to complete their M.A.S.S. device, when he absconds with Scarlett.

G.I. Joe-ments: Just how many Timbers are there?  At the end of "The Worms of Death," most of the Joes have been rendered unconscious by a sleeping gas-spewing time bomb. As "Duel" opens, Timber, Snake Eyes' wolf buddy, helps Cover Girl, a Joe whose special ability is looking pretty, I guess, get rid of the bomb before it goes off and kills everybody.  Now that the scene is appropriately set (don't you feel like you're RIGHT THERE???), let's talk about the mistake.  Actually, it seems more like a lazy move (i.e. non-move?) on the animators' part than anything else.  While Cover Girl gathers up the bomb, Timber waits patiently outside of a jeep, only Timber is also already inside the jeep.  So there are either two Timbers, which seems highly unlikely (don't spoil it if I'm wrong, OK, nerds?), Timber has the ability to travel outside of his body astral projection-style or somebody done goofed.  The scene cuts to Cover Girl saying some such garbage and then back to a wide shot of the jeep, and there is now only one Timber.  So, what's the answer?  Timbergate has officially begun!

*Cobra Commander is seen seated before a bountiful feast, a chicken leg with a large bite taken out of it gripped in his fist.  This seems like the perfect moment to explain how Cobra Commander eats.  He must eat, right?  I mean, just before we join the banquet scene, he had to have taken a bite out of that drumstick.  Does he simply pop his mask off at meal time?  Probably not, unless he puts it back on after every single bite.  That would probably get extremely tiresome.  Is he using the M.A.S.S. Device to transport food into his mouth?  I doubt it.  Destro would never let him get away with that kind of wasteful shit.  I have a theory that his faceplate slides open vagina-style (note to male virgins and/or young men who have never seen porn: this will make sense to you on your wedding night), providing easy access to his mouth.  The mask slides open, Cobra Commander takes a bite or a drink, and the face plate slides back into place.  Just like a woman's vagina.

*Cobra Commander's upset voice = James Adomian as Huell Howser turing into a crow-bot.

*To stop Cobra Commander from destroying New York City with the M.A.S.S. Device, a slave girl dumps a pitcher of water on it.  That's how easy it is apparently.  The Joes have spent four episodes now traversing the globe collecting hard-to-find elements, when all they needed was a jug of water.  Ugh.

*Jet packs!!!

*Let's talk about Cobra's tech real quick.  They've got some fairly advanced shit.  I mean, they're basically flying around in a Star Wars-style spaceship in this episode.  It's also sort of like that thing S.H.I.E.L.D. flies around in The Avengers.  It's huge, covered in guns, and staffed by hundreds of soldiers willing to die for Cobra's cause.  My question is this: why do they even need the M.A.S.S. Device?  Couldn't they take over the world with this futuristic airship they've got?  G.I Joe has jet packs and fighter jets, but Cobra has a spaceship, man!

*Something else about this spaceship: Do they have more of them?  Destro, who comes across as the responsible one in the whole Destro-Cobra Commander dynamic, simply abandons this one with nary a second thought after the Joes hop on board.  He doesn't seem all that concerned.  Also, he leaves most of meteorite that contains the final element the Joes need to complete their competing transporter behind when he flees.  Does he not know the Joes are building their own M.A.S.S. Device?  Why does he think Cobra keeps running into G.I. Joe everywhere these elements hang out?  Stupid.

*Missed opportunity to give Timber his own jet pack.  Bummer.

*At the end of the episode, Scarlett and Destro are on a collision course with the Devil's Cauldron.  Are they going to crash?  Will Scarlett somehow free herself before Destro's escape plane is dashed upon the boiling volcano?  The tension, my God, the tension!  


Oh, wait. "Next time on G.I. Joe..." is here to snuff the tension out.  Phew!

Quotes without context:

"Timber, you're my kind of wolf!"

"This is hotter than a bronco with a cactus saddle!"

"Let's hear it for big feet!"

"When that crater wall breaks, we could have us one humongous blow-up!  It'll send that meteorite pushing out faster than a field mouse at a tomcat picnic."

Title: "A Stake in the Serpent's Heart"

Three sentence synopsis: In the exciting conclusion of the "G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero" mini-series, the Joes are beamed halfway across the globe to duke it out with Cobra on Cobra Mountain.  Cobra debuts some more weird tech (see above sumo-snake-bot), but G.I. Joe proves they possess vehicles just as weird (tanks on robotic spider legs).  Shooting.

G.I. Joe-ments: Scarlett and Duke's slave girl main squeeze lead a slave rebellion (GIRL POWER!) that fails almost immediately (AW, SORRY, GALS!  GUESS YOU BETTER SIT TIGHT AND WAIT FOR THE MENFOLK.).

*The closest anyone comes to killing someone on this show: Two nameless Cobra operatives toss Scarlett down a steep set of stone stairs.  She's perfectly fine, don't worry.

*New favorite Joe: Unnamed dude in blue jeans and plain white t-shirt.

*As a final "up yours" to everyone on the planet who refused to bend to his will, Destro points the M.A.S.S. Device at the Earth's core, which Cobra Commander advises us will cause the planet to explode.  On his way out the door, Destro tells Cobra Commander, "Good-bye for now."  Good-bye for now?!?  You are escaping in a helicopter, Destro!  How far do you think you're going to get before the Earth explodes?  Also, how long do you plan on hovering around in the COLD, AIRLESS REACHES OF SPACE in a helicopter?  Knowing Cobra, it probably converts into a spaceship or something, but still.  

*Um, what happen to Major Bludd?  He seemed so important before, but he's been absent for three episodes now.  Maybe Cobra Commander gave him a well-deserved vacation, after all, he is seemingly the only member of Cobra who can actually succeed at anything, even if that thing is retreating.

Quotes without context:

"Don't open any champagne yet, scrap-iron breath!"

"Is the device at operating temperature?"

NEXT TIME: Cobra returns and a new mini-series begins!