|The forecast calls for a 75 percent chance of "thy" and "thou."|
Abraham Kane, the crazed businessman/scientific genius who makes life a living hell for the Burners and the denizens of Motorcity, doesn't appear in every episode of Motorcity and is absent during "The Duke of Detroit Presents..." I'm assuming Kane is holed up in a KaneCo lab, working on some new threat against Motorcity, like government cheese embedded with cheese mites in nanite form that are programmed to sicken ghetto dwellers' stomachs.
Kane's off-screen period of inactivity is driving Mike Chilton bonkers because he doesn't have anything to fight against--that is until the Duke of Detroit sets traps for him and his team to create action-packed footage for the new reality show the Duke is producing about the adventures of the Burners. In addition to being a junkyard owner and much-feared underworld figure, the Duke apparently wants to be Mark Burnett as well.
|(Photo source: Hair Nets and Dog Food)|
This time, Cardellini plays the charismatic Daniel figure who brings into her crowd a couple of newbies: Mabel and Dipper, who's got a crush on the older Wendy and lies about being 13 instead of his actual age of 12 to attempt to impress her. Because there are much less things for teens to do on Friday night in a small and secluded town like Gravity Falls, Oregon than there are in suburbs like the Detroit burb where Freaks and Geeks was set (and also because this is a TV-Y7-rated Disney Channel show, so the drugs and sex are kept off-screen), Wendy and her friends, including sullen musician/wanna-be artist Robbie (T.J. Miller), Thompson (episode co-writer Michael Rianda) and Tambry (Jessica DiCicco), break into the Dusk 2 Dawn, an abandoned convenience store that's rumored to be haunted. Dipper and Mabel tag along and discover the wonders of food fights and purloining junk food without paying for it and getting caught (even though it's 17-year-old junk food, which, judging from the kids' unperturbed reactions, doesn't taste like it's 17 years old).
|(Photo source: Stuff I found on the internets)|
Does that noisy flying shadow have anything to do with that muffin-shaped explosion Robbie spray-painted on the town watertower? Did that explosion come from a UFO Robbie saw? And why aren't there more Disney cartoons that make their viewers think and play detective like this?
Judging from the lack of mentions or reviews on Tumblr and other sites, The Hub's surprisingly good Kaijudo: Rise of the Duel Masters, about a secret order of warriors who are partnered up with powerful creatures from other dimensions, is a cartoon barely anybody's watching. Animation fans are missing out on some stellar small-screen animation by MOI, the same Korean studio that contributes equally top-notch work to Young Justice. Maybe barely anybody's watching Kaijudo because the show is based on one of the most boring nerd hobbies I had to endure once and never want to experience again: a trading card game (which also happened to be the subject of this week's new Adventure Time short).
In the conclusion of Kaijudo's not-as-boring "Into the Fire" two-parter, Ray and Gabe's rescue of their friend Allie from Lord Skycrusher (John DiMaggio, who amazingly sounds nothing at all like Bender or Jake the dog in this role) in the Fire Civilization turns into a rescue of Ray's partner Bob. In addition to having a bounty on his head and being targeted for execution by his dragon half-sister Moorna (Grey DeLisle), Bob is subjected to Skycrusher's mind control. For most of the two-parter, Ray and Gabe are aided by Saguru (Andrew Kishino), a mysterious bounty hunter who's the only human they've encountered in the Fire Civilization and who constantly shifts loyalties as if he's Gabriel Byrne in Miller's Crossing. One minute, the one-eyed Saguru is guiding Ray and Gabe towards Allie and then in the next, he's stabbing them in the back and handing Bob over to Skycrusher.
Homunculon, a metallic golden crab. It makes a memorably eerie entrance straight out of a Guillermo del Toro flick: it crawls out of Saguru's laser-firing right eye to treat Ray's wound. Homunculon's human partner is equally intriguing. We don't know whose side Saguru is really on, though for now, he's allying himself with the Choten (Oded Fehr), the Duel Masters' main nemesis, to recover pieces of his erased memory. After delivering Bob to Skycrusher, Saguru steals the coveted FireSword that Skycrusher has in his possession and hands it over to the Choten in exchange for information about his past.
I think Saguru is Ray's presumed-dead father. Mr. Okamoto must have used the memory-wiping Cyber Virus creatures on his family to protect them from his life as a Duel Master (what good that did because his son is now part of the Order of the Duel Masters) and then had a Cyber Virus erase his own memories of Earth. Saguru's Japanese accent and Ray's blind condition in the promo for the next episode--like how Saguru is half-blind--both hint that they're related.
The Skrull invasion arc concludes in a suitably epic but somewhat rushed fashion on The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes. "Secret Invasion" episode writer and series MVP Christopher Yost chooses the steps of the Capitol Building in D.C. as the site for the climactic battle between the reunited Avengers and the Super-Skrulls (one of these Super-Skrulls is a mash-up of Cyclops and Wolverine, so if he had to face off against Jean Grey, he'd probably turn into Goofy and "aw-hyuck" repeatedly about his pants suddenly being too tight).
I would have preferred to have seen this invasion arc continue for another episode or two (did Yost forget about Red Skull's role in this invasion?), although "Secret Invasion" ends on another cliffhanger, with Captain America walking off in sorrow to try to restore a reputation that he may not be able to repair because it's been heavily tarnished by his Skrull doppleganger. Don't worry, Cap. Spider-Man's got your back next week.
The best line in "Secret Invasion" isn't a one-liner at the expense of the Avengers' alien adversaries. It takes place when someone on this show finally acknowledges the absurdity of the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier always being compromised or attacked. (Why weren't any CTU agents ever this observant or witty about the crappy security at their L.A. headquarters on the ultra-conservatarded 24? Oh yeah, because many of its writers were ultra-conservatards, and they're known for their sharp sense of humor.) Agent Maria Hill mutters, "I've had the same car since I was 19 years old. Never had a problem. Yet this thing falls out of the sky every other Thursday."
Contempt for snooty restaurants or clubs is an anti-establishment tradition in comedy on the screen that goes all the way back to the Marx Brothers and the Three Stooges. That tradition lives on in Regular Show episodes like last month's "Access Denied"--where writers Sean Szeles and Kat Morris seemed to be channeling past lousy nightclub experiences like how Aaron McGruder worked an encounter with a snooty doorman into The Boondocks' Martin Luther King episode--and this week's "Fancy Restaurant."
On the big night, Mordecai and Rigby coach a constantly perspiring Mitch via mini-headsets and masquerade as waiters to check in on him. Despite some awkward early chatter from Mitch to Starla's parents, "Sir Herbert Gutsmandottir" and "Madame Rose Gutsmandottir," about the subject of groundskeeping ("I'm just lucky I get to do what I love, which is basically just mowing the lawn topless"), the night goes smoothly--until the wait staff catches on to Mordecai and Rigby's act and destroys their hidden communication equipment. The head waiter tries to expose Mitch as a fake by quizzing him about something he'll easily get wrong: dessert utensils. I love how Mark Mothersbaugh's synth score switches to intense Mortal Kombat mode while the hostile waiter snarls to Mitch, "You do not eat zha crème brûlée with zat kind of spoon. You disgust me."
|(Photo source: Calvin Wong)|
It amuses me how the night becomes violent for the two green-skinned couples (but not violent on a body-bisecting Metalocalypse level for obvious reasons). "Fancy Restaurant" is the perfect episode for anybody who's ever had a lousy experience with a supercilious waiter and wanted to see that waiter get tossed out an open window at the end of the evening.
|Regular Show voice actors J.G. Quintel and Sam Marin at last weekend's San Diego Comic-Con (Photo source: GO 4 IT)|