Monday, June 24, 2013

Loonatics Unleashed - Secrets of the Guardian Strike Sword (Snark)

As our latest tale of suspense begins, Bugs is getting an ice cream cone in a park. Not being able to make up his mind what to get, actually. Because that lends depth to a character, or something.

At least he doesn’t ask for carrot flavor.

So set is Bugs upon his frozen treat he fails to notice the flash and noise of a wormhole opening in the air behind him (but what else is new?). That is until a flying train shoots out and buzzes the park. And he’s enough of a dope to think the ice cream has enough kick to blow him fifteen feet through the air before he hears the train horn.

Bugs notes, “I’d like to stay and chat, but as you can see, I got a train to catch!” I can? Is a flying train weird on Acmetropolis? See that question? Ones like it usually come up because of bad world-building.

He uses his flying motorcycle thing to reach the train. And this is where the show starts trying for real to make an effort to break away from the run-of-the-mill action show with funny animal heroes it was in the first season and be an actual Looney Tunes show, what with how the train’s being attacked by none other than Ophiuchus Shaina Sam.

The attempt to link the show more heavily to its roots in this season was probably done to fix the broken rush-job the first season ended up being. Even if this actually took it even farther away from its apparent aim of cashing in on the popularity of those gutsier cartoons from Japan. Supposing that to be the case, though, I was confused at why they wouldn’t come out swinging with their strengthened ties to franchise history by showing something like a prominent reinvented character such as we have here. As opposed to kicking off the season with that stupid plot about mutated dolphins that could’ve easily been a first season episode.

But…all the websites I checked for airdates say this was the first aired episode of the second season, meaning whoever put the DVD order together’s the one who screwed up. So never mind that. Mind instead that reintroducing all the other characters was the only thing on the crew’s minds, and not improving characterization or plotting or joke quality or…

And since I’m not referring to the Loonatics by their new names, why change policy for the rest of the old-new characters? This one’s pretty easy, as Sam’s an easy moniker, but thought I should make that clear.

Getting back to the show, Sam intends to rob the train, but he’s packing some seriously lame heat for the job. Bugs blocks some of the shots on his sword, but knocks them back so they actually hit Sam, but don’t do anything to him. Oh yeah, and Sam announces himself with his full name now, but can never pronounces the “Ophiuchus” part for the rest of the episode. Out of all the classic lines and gags the franchise had to offer, that’s what they went with. Liking the show better yet?

A wise-cracking airbiker pulls up alongside the train as well, introduces himself as Deuce, and saves Bugs from one of those ineffectual laser blasts by throwing an armored frisbee inbetween it and Bugs. Only to notice the train’s headed into another wormhole as we cut to the theme song.

In case anyone cares, Deuce is voiced by Khary Payton. You know, this guy.

The resolution to that nail-biting cliffhanger we were on? Deuce lets Bugs jump on his bike, and Sam gets scraped off the top of the train as it disappears into the wormhole. They land back in the park, Deuce commenting they make a pretty good team. Because Deuce threw a shield and blocked one shot.

The rest of the Loonatics are conveniently there. Lexi asks, “Did you hear about the runaway train at the park today?” Hear about it?! That couldn’t have been five minutes ago! What do you mean, hear about it??!

Bugs introduces Deuce and the save he made back on the train.

Deuce: “You might say I have a way of being in the wrong place at the right time.”
Lexi: “Sounds like you and [Bugs] have a lot in common.”
Uh, they do?

Deuce admires Bugs’s sword. “It was given to me when I got into the action hero business.” Which is why in the first season he had a sword he hardly ever used, which looked nothing like this one, and did none of the tricks this one does. Not even having a blade that pops out of the hilt, which he at least knows about already. And who gave it to him? Zadavia?

Also, this is where I believe we start hearing the show call the main characters “action heroes.” It’s not wrong, but don’t you think somebody like Bruce Willis over the X-Men when you hear “action hero”?

Before Deuce can touch Bugs’s sword, Zadavia’s hologram pops up from a fountain. What’s she popping in for? Bugs tries to introduce her to Deuce, but she’s surprised—unpleasantly—because she already knows him. He asks for a chance to bury their differences, but Big Z refuses and tells him in no uncertain terms to get off Acmetropolis.

Scene transition wipe, and man these generic triangle emblems are boring.

Back at HQ Bugs asks Zadavia why she brushed Deuce off like that, but I can only assume she’s purposefully ignoring him because she explains about the train instead. It’s the “royal intergalactic quasar train,” and it was the last ship to leave during “the fall of Freleng.” I assume she means when Optimatus was taking over. I assume.

The train was laden with cargo “that could make a man king.” It was rumored to, anyway. Wasn’t she the ruler of Freleng, or something? Wouldn’t she know about that? Anyway it got shot and launched automatically, and was thought lost…until today. She doesn’t think it’s a coincidence Deuce showed up at the same time.

“It’s also possible that he’s changed,” Bugs points out. Changed? Changed from what?? Zadavia didn’t mention Deuce once in that “explanation” of hers. Zadavia refuses both to take the chance or explain herself. She doesn’t actually refuse to explain herself, but she still doesn’t and you kinda wonder why. Wouldn’t her agents work better if they knew why not to trust this apparently friendly/helpful guy? Maybe if the show bothered to explain what she is to the Loonatics, her constant refusal to tell her operatives anything like this would make a little more sense. Did she get the team together? Does she provide their facilities? Did she become some kind of law enforcement figure on Acmetropolis? Guess I’m the only one who remembers all her BS just from “Acmegeddon”.

It might be one thing if Bugs brought up the fact that Zadavia’s track record is hardly spotless as his reason for ignoring her orders. He just goes over her head because Deuce made a good first impression on him, even though he’s never once thought to contradict the all-knowing Zadavia before.

But we’ve got to cover the plot sometime, and Lexi interrupts that they have no way of finding when the train’s going to appear next. And really, if it’s been zipping around the universe through wormholes all these years, why should it reappear next anywhere near Acmetropolis other than because there’d be no plot if it didn’t? Ignoring my stupid question, the answer to an arcane problem like how to detect when the train will reappear next is, as always, solved by Wile E. whipping up a handy gadget.

Bugs tells Wile E. and Lexi to stay there so the animators have fewer people to keep track of to monitor the situation while the rest of them go to stop the train. Deuce shows up and asks to come along. Bugs is up for it but Daffy doesn’t want to hear his sob story about wanting to regain Zadavia’s trust. I know he’s supposed to be a jerk, and he is, but whether they meant to or not they usually end up portraying Daffy as the Loonatic with the most practical smarts and, yes, competence. Some of that’s dumb luck, but he's still got a better track record than the show would have you believe from the way it treats him.

And there’s really only two ways they could’ve gone with Deuce. Guess what? Daffy’s call was the right one.

Bugs decides to let Deuce come with them. “Everyone deserves a second chance.” And the show continues to infuriate me with how it assumes I’m telepathically linked with the writers, because he adds Daffy should know that better than anyone. Why’s that, jerk? Daffy was a pool boy before he got his powers, not a villain. And if you’ll recall, his greed to get his powers back enabled him to already be in Optimatus’s command center and stall him long enough for the rest of the team to get there. Meaning he more than anybody’s responsible for Acmetropolis not being shunted to the ass-end of space…

And Bugs is going over the head of the great and wise Zadavia on this because he believes in second chances. That’s nice, but don’t you think you should have some idea what you’re forgiving? No? Really? For all Bugs knows this guy ate kittens and burned down orphanages. Or whatever the closest thing is in a show this lame.

As they make their way to the train there's a stock shot of the Loonatics zooming between the buildings on their airbikes. Except none of them have canopies, none are color-coded, and if you look closely two of them are being flown by Lexi and Wile E., who are back at HQ.

Compare and contrast.
Thanks to Wile E.’s plot device they do indeed find the train quickly, but have to find a way to shut it down before it disappears into another wormhole. Bugs orders Daffy and Taz to search the cars while he and Roadrunner head to the engine? Um, check the cars for what?? Your objective’s to find a way to stop the train, are you thinking it’s going to be back there somewhere and not on the engine car? And what are you having Deuce do, since you’re so eager to accept his help?

Since Deuce wasn’t given an assignment despite being on a mission with a hero team, we get to waste some runtime having him show up and save Daffy and Taz from Sam, then show up on the roof to help Roadrunner and Bugs fight off Sam again to gain everybody’s trust.

There was no point to either of those scenes besides killing some runtime, though, because next thing we see is Deuce and Sam entering the car Daffy and Taz are searching. SHOCK! It turns out they’re in cahoots! It’s all just a trick to get Bugs’s confidence so they can steal his sword! And they’re not very smart about keeping their partnership secret from the superhero team! Deuce throws his little shield, misses the two eavesdroppers, but it bounced off a bunch of luggage compartments which open and bury Daffy and Taz. Realizing they’re out of time, everybody but Daffy and Taz (Daffy can’t teleport out and Taz can’t just stand up? He’s the strong guy, after all) jump off the train with Deuce slamming Sam into a dumpster to hide his duplicity.

We see the train flying through space. I could get the nebulae that look like a sea shell, banana, fish, orange, and ice cream cone for comedy’s sake, but why are there ones shaped (and in the first one’s case, colored) like Marvin, Elmer Fudd and Tweety? It's hard to think of that just being for comedy's sake when all of them will show up as actual characters a few episodes down the line. Daffy and Taz look for food but only find some old machine parts, which Taz doesn’t hesitate to chow down since after all Tasmanian devils eat anything but especially rabbits.

Bugs and Deuce follow Wile E.’s gadget to a parking lot where the train’s supposed to appear next. Sam ambushes them, and after repeated shots Deuce’s shield is destroyed, leading him to plead with Bugs to toss over his magic sword. Bugs hesitates at first (Is he thinking he may have made the wrong call, or just hesitating to let someone else play with his favorite toy?), but another near-miss shot prompts him to do as Deuce says. As soon as he has it, Deuce reveals his true colors.

Bugs runs to the attack, but Deuce proves to know how to use the sword’s powers already and knocks Bugs back with an energy blast from it, destroying the homing gadget in the process. The train conveniently shows up then, clobbering Sam. Daffy and Taz jump out and warn Bugs not to let Deuce have the sword. And don’t give him that look like the news is too late, Bugs. He was right and you were wrong the first time, jerk.

Man, Bugs is really sucking as team leader in these first two episodes! At least most of the time he’s just bland and not making a ton of bad calls, even if he doesn’t really make that many good ones either.

Back at HQ, Bugs is all apologetic for not listening to Zadavia before, but she’s rightly apologetic herself.

“It’s not entirely your fault, [Bugs]. I should’ve told you the entire story.” Yes, you bloody should’ve. And the only reason you didn’t was the writers needed Bugs to make that slip-up, and he couldn’t if you’d acted like a hero team leader and given Bugs a good reason not to trust Deuce. In fact, she not only should’ve told them about Deuce before, based on what she does tell them, she probably could’ve had the Loonatics arrest him as a war criminal. Seriously Zadavia, you suck at your job something fierce.

Finally she does explain herself. Back on Freleng, Deuce was one of her “most powerful generals,” but when she refused to “place all of Freleng under his command” and pulled a medal off his jacket, he left. When Optimatus made his coup, Deuce and his army were nowhere to be found. Well, what did you expect? After all, you’re so sure “Deuce was only interested in glory for himself,” and “determined to lead the greatest army ever assembled.” Why would he have a change of heart and come back for your sorry rainbow behind?

Wonder how Zadavia would’ve had the authority to “place all of Freleng under his command” anyway, since as she notes this was before Optimatus launched his hostile takeover. He’s even there in the flashback, prior to having his face melted off. But my point being that in the flashback in “Acmegeddon,” we saw there was some kind of council that had the power to veto her or Optimatus’s dictates. Unless he was asking her to help him overthrow them, which is entirely possible with the sketch of the character we’re getting. But if he’s so “only interested in glory for himself,” why not just get his army together and do it himself? I dunno, you’d think somebody who managed to climb to the rank of general, and so quickly as to still be young enough to be a virile kung-fu badass with fabulous hair on top of that, would know about cutting unnecessary steps out of a battle plan.

By the way, as you've probably noticed the flashbacks we’ve seen this episode have been in sepia tone. I could accept that’s just for illustration purposes, except for how these have actually been historical videos Zadavia booted up to show the Loonatics what she's talking about. Meaning Freleng had fleets of ridiculously outrĂ© spacecraft, robotic armies, magic swords and something about their rulers that made them able to shoot rainbow beams, but not color film. Horse pucky!

Big Z finally finds out what Deuce was after on the train after Daffy explains they didn’t find anything but a bunch of old robot parts. Deuce’s soldiers were robots and they were on the train! Well of course they are! How are the heroes supposed to get away with actually hurting the bad guys if the bad guys aren’t mass-produced automata??

Zadavia explains the original owner of Bugs’s Guardian Strike Sword, as it’s called, was one of the greatest warriors of Freleng. “It holds powers you cannot imagine.” Which is probably bull because if nobody could imagine them, they couldn’t write them into a script. But this begs the question, was Zadavia the one who gave Bugs the sword? Probably, but then why did she never mention that before?

Bugs actually asks that too. “Great power used too soon can create as much harm as good,” Zadavia explains. Translation: we didn’t think of Bugs having a special sword until this season and we need to have some reason why he never used its powers before now. She promises “It will come to you when you’re ready.”

“Think I read that in a fortune cookie once,” Daffy disparages, but once again I’m on his side. These mystical mentor characters have to be handled delicately or they end up coming off, well, like Zadavia.

Lexi asks how they’re supposed to find the train again without Wile E.’s tracker. Is there any reason he can’t just replace it? He whips up these gadgets like popcorn, and he already made one in no time that he knows works, so he should be able to make another even faster and maybe better.

I could believe that question coming from a show like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, where Donatello whips up all kinds of fancy gizmos, but they live in the sewer and he has to work with whatever cast-off parts he can find. Replacing stuff’s a believably painful process for them.

In this show? Nuh-uh. The Loonatics live in a high-tech future and are a full-on public superhero team with a Hall of Justice-esque headquarters and endless fleet of pimped-out vehicles. Wile E. said nothing to the effect that he can only make one because it took the last of his supply of zerblarfium. Why was that the one and only homing device they’ll ever have?

But they can’t, for the sake of some original Looney Tunes-style “comedy”. They captured Sam, you see, and figure that Deuce knew where the train would show up and thus his accomplice must know that too. They try to let Sam go so they can follow him, but he’s an idiot and needs some help from the Loonatics themselves.

Sam does lead the Loonatics to Deuce just as the train appears yet again, but rather than get this episode over with quickly and cleanly by disarming Deuce with a blast of laser vision before Sam knows he’s been followed Bugs loudly announces their presence and attacks. Deuce holds them off for a second with the sword’s powers but then climbs up to the train because that’s his real goal, not winning a fight with the Banana Splits. Sam follows, but Deuce doesn’t feel like sharing the universe and kicks him off the train. Say bye to Sam everybody!

Bugs hops on his speeder bike to give chase as the train vanishes, since it was his dumbass mistake that made Deuce a threat, and he has to make it right. He makes it to the train and Deuce immediately attacks from behind and kicks him into some crates that looks they were there just so somebody could get kicked into them.

Hell, look at those crates, they were empty! Maybe the train stopped at the warehouse from Future War sometime.

“Hey Deuce, is this how you treat your friends?” Bugs asks. He has no honor, numbnuts. He knows you know and he doesn’t care. He uses the sword to awaken a few of his robo-soldiers.

“Nice robo-army. You must save a fortune on uniforms.” You must save a fortune on joke books.

Deuce leaves the robots to finish off Bugs, but these members of “the finest army in the universe” prove rather susceptible to that hoary old trick of shooting each other when the hero moves between them.

Bugs tries to attack Deuce’s ego by saying he doesn't see why such a great warrior would need to hide behind a magic sword. To this miserable show’s credit, Deuce doesn’t fall for it and keeps blasting Bugs with the sword. It still shoots itself in the foot by having Bugs gain the upper hand by overwhelming the sword’s energy blast with his laser vision and knocking the sword away, where it floats in midair (but keeps pace with the train). Nice legendary sword there. And nice hypocritical hero, because Bugs jump-kicks Deuce from behind while he’s distracted trying to call the sword back to him.

With Deuce seen off for the moment, Bugs tries to recover the sword. It floats to Bugs’s hand and Zadavia’s voice reminds him the sword’s power would come to him when he was ready, and I guess he just proved himself worthy now. Even though you have to look for the indicators that this was meant to be the kind of battle where a guy proves he’s not just a main character but an actual hero and worthy of the magical doohickey. I think those indicators were Zadavia pointing out that the sword’s previous owner was one of the “guardians” of Freleng and thus making it a Legendary Item, and Bugs saying he let Deuce steal the sword so he had to be the one to make things right. But like I said, you have to look for them.

But honestly, Bugs’s worthiness of the sword probably got short shrift because of everything else they had cram into this episode. The sword’s background, Deuce and his part in Zadavia’s history, Deuce’s robot army…and they couldn’t really skimp on any of that because like it or not, Deuce is gonna turn out to be our big bad guy of the season.

I’m starting to notice how this show’s at its worst when it’s trying to develop the main plot.

Also, probably what was meant to be the biggest indicator that Bugs had earned the right to wield the sword is the contrast between him and Deuce, a lying, backstabbing snake in the grass (who'll show himself to be, if anything, even more of one when he shows up again). Again, though, look at that picture above of Bugs taking advantage of his enemy's distraction to attack from behind. What, is the fact that Deuce did it first make it okay, or doesn't this kind of show usually equate that with sinking to the bad guy's level?

What basis do we have for Bugs proving that he's such a great guy and better than Deuce? Uh, he leads a superhero team. And by that I mean he leads them in battle. That's nice and all, but I'm honestly not if he does it because he genuinely wants to do good or if he's in it for the rush. He worked as a stuntman before, I almost want to say the latter. In the numerous iterations of X-Men the people are on the team because they usually agree with Professor X's vision of a world without distrust toward his kind. In Justice League we saw the heroes get together and could get a sense that they were doing what they did because someone had to and they were better equipped than most. Thanks to the show's having much better things to do than show us how and why the Loonatics were formed, they're just sort of there.

Practically never do we see Bugs having to make a moral choice or having to prove his sincerity to someone. In this episode we have him deciding to trust Deuce over Zadavia's orders not to, but he proves to be wrong about that, and Zadavia had no good reason not to explain herself in the first place. It only happened because the plot needed it to happen. You know how this plot could've worked better? If Zadavia did explain herself, but Deuce was given a chance or two to seem sincere and Bugs gave him another chance because being charitable and believing in positive change are heroic virtues. Without Bugs knowing what he's forgiving or what he's countermanding the all-knowing Zadavia for when he's never had the urge to be insubordinate before, it comes off as forced and kinda confusing.

I guess Bugs is sort of better by dint of not being a galactic warlord.

Bugs chops through the coupling, sending Deuce and the engine speeding into the wormhole to parts unknown. This makes the rest of the train lose power and crash, but nobody seems to care. Back at the base Zadavia praises Bugs for not only recovering his sword (and hopefully learning not to be such an idiot) but proving himself a true warrior. Yeah, whatever, lady.

Bugs asks Zadavia when she’s going to tell him what all the sword can do, but she begs off. “In time. Too much knowledge can be a dangerous thing.” If I’m hearing this right, then the title of the episode is just bringing it to your attention that Bugs’s sword has secrets, and we might be finding out what they are later on.

Daffy protests that too little knowledge is dangerous too, then a laser shoots out of the sword to zap him like punishment for his usual sin of speaking out against the group. Rather than proving Zadavia’s a dumbass bint, the others Loonatics are a-holes for laughing at the fact that Bugs’s control over his magic sword’s so poor he just fried a non-baddie by accident, and Daffy’s completely right.

Look at his face, he's as surprised as anybody.

If some dude in tights wants me to put my life in his hands, especially if that dude’s a wise-cracking rabbit, I want to know he’s not accidentally going to fry me instead of a villain. Get the superheroes up to spec on their equipment before handing out the diplomas, please.

Oh yeah, and the show expects you to take Zadavia's word on it that now's not the time to talk about the sword's full powers. When this episode only happened in the first place because she decided to keep important info to herself for no better reason than petty anger. No, show. No.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Loonatics Unleashed – A Creep in the Deep (Snark)

Well let’s see, there’s a cruise ship, and there’s the Loonatics test-driving Wile E.’s new superboat so they’ll conveniently be on hand when something bad happens…what?

And I have to ask, does he build every single weapon, vehicle, device and computer they use? All of them? All by himself? With his two hands alone? Everything? Really? Really. Must be, nobody ever knows about his inventions before they’re unveiled. I know the most common joke out there’s for the resident science geek to have no life, but if I’m going to believe Wile E. builds all that I might as well believe he built their entire building.

When Wile E. says how many knots an hour this thing can pull, Roadrunner launches into a tirade wondering why the measure of speed for boats is knots and what it has to do with knots you tie. And I’m so ashamed for not noticing this before, but evidently Rob Paulsen decided to play this character as just an even more hyper version of his character from Channel Umptee-3.

What else? Daffy’s digging being out on the water but Lexi’s comedically about to toss her cookies. Don’t know if that’s more of her one-dimensional female stereotype-ness, or a comical reversal of expectations showing how a tough chick like her can still be delicate. This little innovation called “fleshing out your characters” would’ve helped to figure out which. And boy if any of these supposedly familiar but new characters could’ve used it, it was Miss One Major Previous Appearance, Generic Empowered Female here.

Some dolphins ram the boat and knock Daffy overboard. He sees one of them swimming toward him and tries to zap it with one of his energy eggs, but he actually produces a big energy beam instead he’s never had before and doesn’t know how to control.

Above, the other Loonatics see they’re about to crash into the cruise ship and Wile E. calls for “Engines full reverse!” Even though they actually just stop before hitting it. Which is good, because then a whirlpool suddenly forms underneath the cruise ship and starts pulling it underwater. Daffy comes back up and tries to tell the others about his new power, but Bugs and  Lexi yell at him (with Taz glaring at him too) for not focusing on the fact that an ocean liner’s being sucked underwater.

And while you morons are giving him the stinkeye, a ship's sinking behind you.

Allow me to return the favor. Why are you idiots just standing there?! It’s completely perpendicular to how it’s supposed to be! Who knows how many people are being injured or crushed from being tossed around like that?!! You guys are supposed to be superheroes, DO SOMETHING YOU IDIOTS!!!!

But no! Look at those pictures! The Loonatics actually retreated to safety! They sit there and watch as the ship goes down the toilet!

Reimagined theme song sequence, go! As you can see, they’re trying to play up the links to the original shorts*. Both with the rippling background and showing the Loonatics fighting versions of the rest of the classic cast. More on those guys as they appear, but for now, with the bouncier music and weird “jive” announcer (I don’t think what he’s doing quite qualifies as “singing”), it’s safe to say the show officially gave up on its original ambition of playing to the anime crowd.

By the power of hopeless show premises!

Yes, that's who you think it is.
* (This is why I can't agree with the logic of some of the show's defenders who say I should consider Loonatics and the original shorts two completely distinct things. Not when the makers of this show evidently decided Loonatics Unleashed didn't remind its viewers enough of the classic stuff, and went all-out to do so in the second season)

Where were we? Oh yeah, cruise ship being drawn into mysterious whirlpool, Loonatics no help. But it’s okay because the show manages to have even less balls than last season, because all the passengers float to the surface in handy escape pods.

Recsue pods?

Aren't we looking inordinately proud of our contribution here.

“Good thing we were here!” Bugs points out. Yes, how convenient, and how glad those people must be the Loonatics sprang into action to save them.

The captain comes up screaming that the ship sank because of “them!” and clutching his ears in a vain attempt to drown out “The squeals! THE SQUEALS!!!” Bugs writes this off as the guy having swallowed too much sea water. Because that makes you have ‘Nam flashbacks even if ‘Nam was hundreds of years ago. And being seasick makes you hear voices, because Lexi can hear the dolphins badmouthing those filthy anthropoids but ignores it to go throw up.

After everybody else is gone, one of the dolphins monsters out in front of Daffy before diving underwater again, but nobody believes him about it being “a sea monster with huge fangs and shoulder pads or something!” Nice trust in your teammates there, Loonatics. Nice open minds there, Loonatics.

Holy crap.

Seemingly determined to make me like Daffy more and the rest of these clowns less, they take a sub (or maybe it’s the boat they were already in in a submarine mode, I don’t know) to Zadavia’s little underwater base to find out if she knows anything about what’s going on. Indeed she does: “There have been several reports of mysterious attacks at sea.” And you haven’t brought this to their attention…why? And they haven’t heard about these…how?? Don’t superheroes usually pay attention to current events so they can react as soon as they’re needed???

Oh it gets better, because we find out what those incidents were! “Disappearing oil rigs, lighthouses ships, oceanography stations, and even small land masses. The size or weight of the structure doesn’t seem to matter.” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Were you planning on telling them soon, Big Z, or did you assume they already knew? ‘Cause you sure ain’t acting like it!

But wait, there’s more! In the videos they’re watching, Bugs notices what’s causing these larcenous whirlpools: lots of whales are swimming in formation really fast to cause them. Ah whales, the speed demons of the deep. He even notices a bunch of dolphins looking on in most instances, but fails to notice the dolphins are evil mutant ones like the kind Daffy said attacked him.

Here's regular dolphins! You can see the differences!

Seriously. They bring up the secondary indicators of aquatic mammals and their abilities, like Lexi thinking she overheard them insulting landlubbers, and dolphins’ intelligence and communication abilities. And the hyper-advanced weaponry they use to protect their dearest friends, electricians. Nothing about how they looked in the video.

It would be a little less bad if this season didn’t seem to be trying to make Bugs cooler by giving him Batman-esque powers of deduction in later episodes.

Bugs asks Wile E. to invent something to let them talk to dolphins, and Wile E. asks Zadavia’s permission to go ahead and create this invention to facilitate them putting an end to these horrific disasters. Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Somewhat mitigating the pain, Daffy tries out his new power again and manages to blast Bugs in the face with a glass of water.

The Loonatics leave to try to talk to the dolphins from the sinkings, or evidently any dolphins they can find. After finding some dolphins near the wreck of an old (but still futuristic) battleship, Wile E. and Roadrunner stay in the boat while the others go out in little color-coded minisubs. Daffy asks what they’re doing again and gets an annoyed groan from Bugs, but again, Our Great Leader’s the one who failed to notice a bunch of freaking monsters.

Screw you, show.

As we already know, the dolphins are evil and monster out as soon as they get behind Taz and Lexi’s subs. And Taz opens the canopy on his so that…the dolphin attacking him can knock him out of it. He grabs two of them by the tail and spins really fast before throwing them away, actually making something akin to that buzzsaw noise he did in the old shorts.

Realizing Daffy was right all along, Lexi opens up her canopy as well to let the dolphins have it with her ear lasers. But being down there somehow amps up her powers too, causing the shot to rebound off some rocks and knock her out.

Bugs and Daffy aren’t doing much better, but after Daffy crashes he uses his new super blast (Aqua Dense, as he dubs it. Okay, that sounds like an anime attack) to take out the two dolphins hassling him. Bugs doesn’t fare as well, being carried off by a single dolphin. Daffy makes it back to the boat and starts telling the others how he beat off the dolphins with his Aqua Dense, only for Lexi to snap “Dense is right! You let [Bugs] get captured!”

…ex-squeeze me? What does she mean “let”? They got separated during an attack. Is that something she’s not familiar with? A member of a group that gets into battles with evildoers all the time? How was that Daffy’s fault? Besides, Daffy did call out to Bugs after fending off the dolphins and got no answer. I find it hard to believe even he didn’t look even a little. Especially with the way he’s extra-confident this episode with his super-duper new power and everything.

On top of that, all evidence to the contrary, Daffy’s supposed to be the bumbling egomaniac/chew toy of the show. She expected that character to do something right? And if Bugs is the greatest hero of all time (as a later episode asserts), surely his powers and skills would be enough for him not to need anybody, let alone a character like that, watching his back against Flipper.

The, ahem, greatest hero of all time.

Wonder if Bugs even tried to fight back. Did he not laser vision the dolphin? He can use his laser vision through the spacesuit he had in “The Comet Cometh,” but not his dive helmet in this one?

Back in that ship from before, Bugs is trapped inside some kind of big jellyfish. The leader of the dolphins, Adolpho (ooooh, clever) soon shows up and demands respect from Bugs. Landlubbers, after all, polluted their oceans, but even worse, forced them to perform “in your creepy water park shows.”

By the way, thanks for leaving the pollution explanation at that and not deciding emulating Captain Planet’s a good thing, show. Even if it does make the Loonatics look even more like negligent a-holes for doing only the bare minimum to end this threat and doing nothing at all to look into or prevent further malevolent mutations like Adolpho. After all, it's clearly produced other giant marine life too.

“And they make you wear that ugly makeup. Oh, I’m sorry, that would be your face.” New season, if anything Bugs’s witty quip powers have eroded. Check-a-roonie!

As a sidenote, for some reason (okay, I enjoyed The Tick a little too much back in the day), an evil talking dolphin not voiced by Maurice LaMarche sounds wrong. They probably could’ve had him do the role if they’d wanted to, too. Maurice did work on this season.

Just saying.
Instead, we’re stuck with Mark Hamill. But, on with the show!

Bugs tries and fails to quip with “I didn’t realize this room came with entertainment,” only to prove to be the entertainment himself when the evil dolphins smack him back and forth. He tries yet again with “You realize this means war” and does fire off his laser vision, only for it bounce off Adolpho’s back and knock him around some more. I repeat, what happened after we cut away from that dolphin inching up on Bugs? It’s getting hard to believe our Great Leader put up a fight before they got him, since he didn't know that would happen. And because of that it’s getting hard to believe he’s our Great Leader.

The other Loonatics are cruising around trying without success to find Bugs only to see the whales pulling down another island. With that gone, “Now they’re after Acmetropolis City!” Which as you maybe remember IS THE WHOLE PLANET!! Maybe the writers didn’t realize it, but they just said the bad guys are trying to pull the entire planet into a whirlpool.

Clearly something that can destroy the world.

You see maybe why I complain about this show?

Further endearing themselves, Wile E. “We’ve gotta get out of here before that whirlpool gets any bigger!” And leave the boats already trapped in it to fend for themselves, evidently. They’re learning Zadavia’s lessons well.

Oh yes, they showed it. And no escape pods this time! Robot pleasure boat drones, I guess!

They get pulled in as well, but Daffy’s able to push them out with his Aqua Dense. With their own safety assured for the moment, he takes command, with him and Lexi going to find Bugs (what for?) while the others do something about the whirlpool that can totally pull in an entire planet.

The anti-whirlpool team try to stop the whirlpool by having Taz and Roadrunner move really fast in the opposite direction. Adolpho sees what they’re doing and knocks the both of them into the stomach of one of the whales.

Meanwhile, Daffy and Lexi notice the lights are on in one of the old battleship’s rooms. Lexi reminds Daffy her powers backfired big time before, but Daffy pep talks her. “My powers are different down here, so maybe your powers are different too.” Uh…yeah? And what? No, that’s it, that’s the end of his rousing speech to his insecure teammate he’s counting on to cover him.

Daffy goes in and gets grabbed by the jellyfish too, only for Lexi to predictably save the day with one of her bottom-of-the-ocean enhanced ear lasers, allowing Daffy to finish it off with yet another blast of Aqua Dense. Sure it’s cool he’s got a new power, but you’re overusing it, show. And I bet I don’t even have to tell you they never explain why none of this ever came up before, whether it’s being underwater or near water that lets him (and Lexi) do this, and why they hardly ever take advantage of the conditions that boost their powers in the future. “Lexi short-circuited their mind control,” Bugs notes. Uh, she did?

You know what happens after hearing that, but let’s see if there’s any other dumb stuff to talk about. Bugs reminds us how “Adolpho’s gonna take down the city.” Ha ha, in your dreams, show. This season isn’t that cartoony.

Terrifyingly, we get a bit telling us the writers do know they’re saying this whirlpool’s supposed to doom the entire city planet. Adolpho tells his buddies to speed it up, “We’ve got a world to sink!” Daffy even affirms it with “We’ve got a world to save!” This episode just got five times dumber.

Daffy and Lexi use their souped up powers to blow the whales out of the water and the others net Adolpho. Wile E.’s dolphin translator just so happens to be a whale translator too, letting Bugs ask them to spit Taz and Roadrunner back out. Even though you’d hardly think the strong guy and the fast guy on a superhero team would have trouble pounding their way out of a whale’s mouth, but then again I hardly expect them to be anywhere near as capable as the hero of King’s Quest game.

Ground! That's it! Wonder if it'll be friends with me.

Roadrunner has another of his super-fast tirades about nothing, and everybody else looks to have left to not have to listen. Except they don’t leave, as it cuts to a long shot they’re just gone. As if we were dealing with bad animators or something.

They’ve put the captured Adolpho in a giant fishbowl complete with a fake underwater castle. He continues screaming his hatred of them even though he’s got a power suppression helmet on (well, they don’t say what it is, but what else would it be?).

Oh yeah, and a bunch of villains from the first season are in tiny little niches in this same hallway, but none of them are saying how much they hate the Loonatics because that would mean rounding up all those voice actors again and thinking of things actually worth spending their runtime on.

And wait just one miserable minute here. This is clearly the prison where they were keeping Mastermind with a new paint job.

Yet the season finale said those villains, including her, were being moved to somewhere more high security. Somewhere that required a train to take them there. Yet there's Massive and Weather Vane up there, and this is clearly the same prison with a new sign out front, and less secure because the zappy bars around the perimeter are gone.

I know, I know, they just thought we wouldn't notice. But that's the problem. They're banking on their audience being inattentive morons. Or maybe they didn't notice, and the show was made by inattentive morons.

Adolpho keeps screaming threats of revenge at them, and they respond by mockingly taking off their translator earpieces, reducing him to incoherent squawking again. And I sort of get the sense they came there specifically to do that in front of him. With all the times they screwed up this episode, and they think they’re allowed to waste time taunting the villain after it’s all over.

D-, Loonatics.