Saturday, September 14, 2013

Loonatics Unleashed – Cape Duck (Snark)

The show’s not limiting itself to the A-Listers, as our villain/reinvented character du jour is the Shropshire Slasher/Sagittarius Stomper from “Deduce, You Say” with bionic arms and legs. Because they based the episode title (that is, this episode, and not “Deduce, You Say”) on the kind of movie they did, I’m still calling him Slasher.

Ah yes, about that. The title’s presumably meant to be a reference to the movie Cape Fear, but as usual there’s a problem. The most recent version of the movie was a 1991 remake, while this episode aired in 2006. How many kids in this show’s desired audience would’ve seen that (I haven’t even seen it)? How many kids in general, considering that according to Wikipedia it’s about how “Sam Bowden is a lawyer in the quiet town of New Essex, North Carolina. Max Cady is a former client whom Bowden had defended fourteen years previously when he was working as a public defender in Atlanta. Cady, who was being tried for the rape” okay we’re done talking about that.

Slasher, caught in the act of knocking over a jeweltry store, throws his loot at the cops and starts climbing a building like he’s King Kong or something. To quote a wise card game…

 Oh, and why is a spotlight set up right there?

Fortunately (?) the Loonatics are on the scene, with Bugs demanding he come down with a bullhorn. Not surprisingly, the bad guy just laughs at Bugg’s limp threat, and drops a toilet on Daffy from the top of the building for good measure (He’s still on the outside of the building, where’d he get that?). And not surprisingly, the crew forgets Daffy doesn’t have healing powers and should be dead from that.

Seriously, where did he get a toilet from here?

Wile E. promises to bring Slasher down with his new “atomic phase de-particulator.” This can turn solid matter into liquid, and liquid to gas. Just like Taz when he eats beans as Daffy points out, and which Taz is doing right at that very moment for…comic effect?

Then Slasher punches the spire off a building, and as it falls he calls “Ollie Ollie oxen free!” From what I understand usually that’s called when you’re playing hide and seek and people can come out. Everybody already is out, though, and…I don’t get it. That wasn’t supposed to mean “step out and please get underneath this thing I’m throwing down to crush you,” was it? Because that would just be stupid. And we know the Loonatics Unleashed crew are way too professional to fall into that trap.

The only one anywhere near it when it comes down and embeds point-first in the ground (convenient, that) is Daffy anyway, and in the process of teleporting out of the way he bumps into Wile E. and knocks the gun out of his hands, and it fires. In true kid-friendly fashion it hits a car and turns it into water but leaves the driver untouched. But it keeps firing, and…

Oh yeah, remember Dr. Dare, the villain from “Going Underground”? Remember how at the end he was turned to stone then left in a f***ing public park and forgotten? The turn-solid-objects-into-water gun shoots him and returns him to normal. Good one, idiots!!

Oh yeah, and this...

New from Acme: water soluble cell phones!

Daffy tries to run up to the gun, meaning the supposed screw-up character’s the only one a lifting a finger to do anything about it, when it blows up and flings him into the air. A stray blast--from the gun which isn’t actually blown up, somehow--hits the ledge Slasher’s on, liquefying it and making him fall off. Daffy runs into Slasher and they try to force each other to be on the bottom when they land, but Daffy wins by tying Slasher’s stretchy arms together and immediately becomes a media sensation for defeating Slasher.

Looks like the last we'd be seeing of that gun to me...

And let’s be honest, he did. What the fnck were the rest of the so-called better heroes among the Loonatics doing back there? I’ll tell you what: nothing. Stammer all you want about how you brought the gun, Wile E., you and the rest of your buddies were just spectating.

Slasher’s mom shows up then, praising what a good boy her son usually is, and showing us a baby picture about how he got bionic appendages after a childhood accident. The cops put the cuffs on Slasher, but he promises he won’t be there for long, and once he’s out he’s coming for Daffy.

And nobody’s noticed the other supervillain. Good one, idiots.

We return from theme song to a press conference for Daffy’s victory over Slasher, and Lexi remarking she thought he was tough to live with before. And I’ll say it one more time, maybe you should’ve gotten off your frigging cottontail and pitched in, then. But she’s not even done.

Daffy: “I can’t even spell the word ‘fear.’ ”
Lexi: “He can’t spell very many words, period.”

He’s still a better superhero than you, Miss Smarty Pants. Which of you needed a pep talk back in that little fiasco with the dolphins, hmmm? Maybe I should start calling this “Attack of theBrain-a-Saurus” Syndrome.

I will admit that Daffy does sound pretty jerky when he starts talking as if the rest of the Loonatics are just his support team. I’m still not sure that warrants Lexi ear laser-ing him in the next scene for it.

One of the reporters asks how Daffy feels about Slasher’s threat, since he’s made the same threat every other time he’s gone to prison and always made good on it. If he’s so dangerous and been incarcerated so many times, why did it seem like that was the first time the planet’s superheroes have ever become involved with him?

While berating Daffy for his cracks about them afterward, they catch a broadcast and finally learn Dr. Dare’s free again. Good thing they're so up on current events they're only aware of this now.

And Wile E. rides Daffy’s ass for his part in setting Dare free, but whose decision was it to put him in a public park and not somewhere secure, hmmmm? You got an answer for that, show? I don’t think it was Daffy, because they never listen to him.

And once again, he was the only one on the whole team who was attempting to stop the wildly-firing gun that melted anything it shot.  You guys can just shut up.

The team heads to the Museum of Greek History Dare’s just robbed, and an ersatz Jimmy Olsen from the press conference shows up and asks Daffy how he plans to deal with this new villainous threat. Bugs and Roadrunner are mad about this, but the thing is they’re mad and assume this is Daffy’s doing before he says he invited the reporter. For all they know he was on his way there anyway because he’s a reporter and a supervillain attack is news. Idiots.

The only thing Dare took is the Shield of Perseus. Perseus was the guy who beheaded Medusa, and when he was using his shield to find her so he wouldn’t look her in the eye, it apparently absorbed her reflection and can now turn things to stone itself. The show only demonstrates the shield’s power, of course, and not the backstory that explains it.

Right, back to the “heroes.” Flowers came for Daffy while they were gone, and they turn out to be a premature funeral bouquet from Slasher. Right at that minute a washing machine crashes through the roof, and rather than taking any notice of how this means a murderous cyborg’s on the loose again, Wile E. and Lexi are just amused at how Daffy’s fearing for his life. Assholes.

No, really, they're acting like nothing just happened.

After watching this again I sort of got the feeling that maybe we're supposed to be wondering if this is all in Daffy's head or something. With the way the show assumes it doesn't have to demonstrates to me that the other Loonatics deserve my support and that Daffy doesn't, well, maybe you can see why I thought maybe these guys were just being assholes.

Bugs, Daffy and Jimmy Olsen are next at the prison where Slasher’s locked up. Supposedly. Since Jimmy asks what they’re doing there, I presume Bugs or Daffy invited him along. Since Daffy’s showing signs of fear that Slasher might have busted out after all, does that mean Bugs invited him? Asshole.

Slasher’s still there, but as they leave Bugs spots a bottle of pills and a pink toothbrush in the malcontent’s cell, and this gets his Batmanesque Detective Skills a-twitchin’.

Nighttime at Asshole Squad HQ. Daffy’s sleeping in a bed covered with oddly low-tech weapons considering this is a Hyper-Advanced Future Time and all. He wakes up to the sound of someone prowling around, and then a cow almost lands on him, making me wish I had my contacts in wrong and put Earthworm Jim in by mistake.

Daffy screams and the others come running, but somehow the cow’s gone (In fact, so are all Daffy’s weapons) and they think he was having guilt-induced nightmares and tell him not to cry wolf again.

But Dr. Dare chooses now to come back and flies around turning people to stone and making stupid rock puns. The Loonatics are on hand this time, and the weirdest thing happens. Bugs’s eyes glow yellow as he goes on the attack, but all he does is a couple flips off of rocks that Dare’s rock monsters throw at him and chop one of the monsters up with his sword. He doesn’t even use the sword in anything but its regular sword mode to do that. Lexi’s eyes glow as she joins the fray, but she’s firing off ear lasers when she does. Why is Bugs glowing like he was using superpowers back there?

There’s a simple answer to that, of course. They thought it would make his fight look cooler. As far as cool bunny-perpetrated sword fights go, though, this show’s a long way from being Usagi Yojimbo.

Wile E. uses the liquefy-things-gun again, melting Dare’s hover rock so he lands on the shield and is turned to stone again. We don’t see what they do with him this time, but after the idiotic way they disposed of him last time, that’s probably for the best.

Jimmy Olsen shows up yet again and praises Daffy’s latest triumph, but Daffy gives Wile E. all the credit this time. Even going so far as to say he was the one really responsible for Slasher’s capture, too. Yeah, that’s craven of Daffy, but…that’s what Wile E. wanted in the first place. Why he be lookin’ so uncertain, then? Hell, when they watch the broadcast later, Wile E. even says “all’s right with the world” now.

Right before he gets a funeral bouquet from Slasher too and almost gets squished by a falling refrigerator. Daffy even mocks him like the others mocked him before, until they read the post script that Slasher’s still coming for him too.

And even if we're going with the assumption that these falling objects are actually hallucinations brought on by fear, what sense does it make that two guys are hallucinating the exact same thing at the exact same time? If this doesn't make any kind of sense then it's goofy instead of scary, and that ruins the whole bit.

Wile E. and Daffy goes with Bugs to make sure Slasher’s still in jail again, only for his cell to appear empty. Until he gets up from behind the bed, claiming to have been napping. On the floor. And having us believe that that tiny bed could hide a cyborg with shoulders as wide as any three linebackers put together.

Ha ha yeah no.

But the show has to embarrass itself again by having Bugs notice that Slasher’s taken up knitting to kill time during his incarceration. This is supposed to be a clue that something’s up and that Bugs is a master detective, but it really works better as an indicator that Slaher’s tough enough to do this and still be considered a badass.

Daffy and Wile E. are suitably spooked to try to hastily move to another planet under the guise of taking a vacation. Taz asks if he didn’t just take one, and the only thing I think he could be talking about would be the episode I skipped, “Apocalypso.” And that doesn’t really count as a vacation because like I said, they ended up fighting space amazons with plant control powers. Bugs reminds them they saw Slasher and he was definitely still in jail, even if this completely flies in the face of his Master Detective-ness which was tipped off by the things he noticed during those two check-up visits. Bugs even seems only mildly suspicious despite their story being completely transparent, especially when they run off in a panic when they’re almost creamed by a desk and safe at the same time. Right in front of the whole team. Idiots.

Daffy and Wile E. hide out in the sewers, but if you know anything about superheroes and cartoons you’ll know that’s about the first place a bad guy would look for them, and Slasher shows up almost instantly. Wile E. seems to have been banking on that as he set a trap for Slasher where a big metal box drops on him, but the super genius forgot to lock the door and Slasher just walks right out. He doesn’t even rip it open with super strength.

They run around a corner to get away from Slasher, he grabs Wile E., and Daffy hits him in the face with an egg that does absolutely nothing but surprise him enough to drop Wile E. so they can seriously run around the exact same corner using the exact same animation they just did. Wile E. finally does something relatively smart and reminds Daffy to use his Aqua Dense attack on the sewer water. He batters Slasher with it for a few seconds before Bugs and Lexi suddenly show up and use the liquefy things gun to freeze Slasher solid. And a sheet of ice totally sounds like something that would stop a guy strong enough to weaponize large parts of skyscrapers and throw heavy objects for miles and through the roofs and upper floors of buildings alike. Doesn’t it?

How did the rabbits find them? Lexi’s “sonic hearing” let her hear Slasher’s whistling. That is, the eerie background music that played whenever heavy things were about to land on somebody. Oh isn't that just the epitome of fourth wall humor. Gag.

But how did Slasher bust out of jail, you ask? “He didn’t,” Bugs smugly replies. It was really his mom in a robo-suit the whole time, which she was able to build because she’d also made her son’s bionic appendages. Hence the pills, the knitting and the pink toothbrush. The knitting I’m almost prepared to let go, but this show comes off as pretty shallow for seriously saying the pink toothbrush was a clue.

Oooh aren't you smart?

Jimmy Olsen’s there, even, and gushes over Bugs’s detective prowess at this fantabulous deduction. Daffy tries to claim credit, then freaks out at hearing eerie whistling, evidently thinking someone else was throwing large objects before since Slasher and his mom are both in jail. The others leave him and Jimmy down there to face it by themselves. Dicks.

But about that, and the whole "huge falling objects are just fear-induced hallucinations things, the amazing disappearing cow's the only time anybody asks, "WHAT giant object that just smashed through the ceiling?" The others like the washing machine aren't acknowledged by the other characters, but come on, the writing on this show's hardly airtight. In this episode alone, despite Wile E. apparently looking at the havoc his gun was causing, and everybody but Daffy just standing around letting the havoc take place, not one of them noticed Dr. Dare turning back to normal and holding his glowing staff high? 'Cuz they didn't.

After that, it's kinda easy to believe they're stupid enough to ignore the appliance that very nearly crushed their teammate a second ago. And after Wile E. got mad about Daffy getting the credit for nabbing Slasher, when that's what Daffy did in fact do while the rest of the supposed better heroes stood around, it's easy to believe they're big enough jerks to ignore falling appliances as long as they're aimed at him too. It's one of the chief failings of this show: thanks to bad writing, it assumes that because Daffy's kind of a jerk (which he is, I won't lie), it doesn't have to actually spend time showing the other characters as being smarter/more competent/more likable. We can just take it on faith that they are. Except that's not how it works. Not even on kids' TV.

And if you need anything else, remember that this is the show that has a major plot point that putting Tweety in charge of a planet will keep the universe from being swallowed up by war instead of being what causes it (Oh yeah, we're not done with him). And remember Deuce? Remember what Bugs did because Zadavia wouldn't explain her refusal to trust him, despite having every reason in the world to do so.

Am I really at fault for not noticing this episode might have been aiming to be a psychological thriller, and that the characters really are just that stupid?

One disc to go!

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