Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Loonatics Unleashed - In the Pinkster (Snark)

Well look how deep the writers are dipping into the well of old characters this time. It’s Rocky and Mugsy! Or Stoney the Stone and Bugsy the Bug. And they still talk like 20's gangsters.

They’re robbing a weapons depot, which is of course lightly guarded enough for a pair of lunkheaded criminals to successfully pull off.

Not that it matters for long, since Mugsy shoots their pursuers with a disintegration gun, which only disintegrates their cars and leaves the police unharmed aside from the couple of minor bruises you get from falling out of a moving vehicle at eighty miles an hour.

Did I say 80 MPH? Silly me, I meant MORE THAN 140.

Cut to the Loonatics and Zadavia watching a news report about the theft. Zadavia says they have a problem, but Daffy is disparaging of her concerns saying they’re superheroes, and don’t go chasing ordinary crooks.

“Put a sock in it, duck!” Zadavia yells, yes yells. Lady, if you were real I’d punch you in the mouth. Yeah that’s a lazy and egotistical attitude for him to take, but if he’s supposed to be such a load, what does it make YOU for not just giving the order to pink slip him? And even with the mix-up of episode order between airing and arrival on DVD, this was still after the one I just reviewed, separated only by the one I skipped about space amazons.

And remember “Stop the World I Want to Get Off”? Zadavia called them and told them to intercede in a bank robbery without saying it was being committed by a supervillain, Lexi said pretty much the same thing. Zadavia didn’t bite her head off over it.

But Big Z’s worried because “we”--whoever that encompasses--think Rocky and Mugsy are after a rock called actinoid curium 247 (For a second I thought she said "kerium"). “It’s a rare isotope, the only substance that can totally strip away your superpowers. What more powerful weapons to have than the one that could put the Loonatics out of business for good?”

So what? Wile E. whipped up suits of armor that duplicated their powers in like half an hour that time they did lose them before, remember? Oh wait, that’s right. Except for generic vehicles and signature weapons, inventions can only be used once on this show. Except the jello gun. So, wait…

And how does she know what’s how it works? Did some meteor-empowered villain try to steal it only to realize he’d lost his powers? Are they going to use it on the captured first-season villains?

Rocky and Mugsy trap a truck on a bridge by blocking it on both sides with dump trucks of their own. Meanwhile, the Loonatics aren’t far away, investigating the weapons depot (Investigating for what? They know who robbed the place and there’s probably already an inventory of what was taken). A guy pushing a food card makes a “delivery” of about ten pizzas to Taz. Look at that cart, where the hell did he put those?

By the way, the delivery’s for “Slamacus.” As you’ll remember, his name on this show’s really Slam Tasmanian. Is “Slam” just a nickname, and the macho-sounding title of the wrestling episode just the equivalent of “I Am Jonathon” or “I Am Meredith”?

Finally, I’m sure I don’t have to remind you how the show rides Daffy’s ass for any infraction no matter how small, but here he actually stops Taz from stuffing his stupid face, saying he can pig out after they’ve finished the investigation. Are we sure this is the show’s Wheeler?

Rocky and Mugsy come barreling through right then, carrying an armload of weapons but driving the truck they just trapped (and Rocky still can't see over the dashboard). Did they steal those weapons from the truck? Why wouldn’t they just leave them in the back of the truck, then? Did they bring the weapons and use them to hijack the truck? Could you make sense for once, show?

A chunky cop on a speeder bike tries to get them to pull over, but they respond by making their getaway by driving straight up the sides of the buildings lining the street. That just seems like something the manufacturer would make sure it couldn’t do to avoid rampant property destruction. They shoot out his bike with their vehicle-disappearing gun and he falls about eighty stories, creaming the pursuing Bugs and Daffy but doing no serious harm. Of course.

And when the cop apologizes, he suddenly doesn’t have the deep, firm voice he had when he was ordering Rocky and Mugsy to pull over, but a soft voice with a stutter. Guess who!

It’s Porky, I mean Pinkster, I mean Porky! Daffy’s old roommate at the orphanage! There weren’t a lot of couples looking to take in cartoon animals, it seems, though, and when one came along they decided who’d be picked with a coin toss, and Daffy won.

Their room at the orphanage was a cage at the monkey house?

Things weren’t so easy for Porky. For a while he made a living as a lab animal, which is how he’s bald. No idea what happened to the third arm. And when things get tough, he looks at his lucky charm, a tin can with a very obtrusive eye design on it. “I can do it,” he reminds himself. Cute.

Anyway, Porky asks if he can help catch Rocky and Mugsy since they got away from him. Daffy’s up for it but Bugs isn’t so sure. He does agree when Daffy begs, “against my better judgment.” Daffy tells him he won’t regret it, and Bugs replies “I think I already do.” Boy, you just get more inspirational all the time, don’t you Fearless Leader? I mean, Porky’s not just some random guy, he is an officer of the law. Once again, what are the Loonatics? Well-funded vigilantes? A specially appointed task force for major crimes? What does his massive reluctance to take a ridealong cop reflect? Does he think a crappy former B-movie stuntman in black and yellow spandex like him knows better than Acmetropolis’s judicial system?

Wouldn’t you know it, right then Rocky and Mugsy are sticking up a bank. The Loonatics scope things out from the rooftop while the crooks are apparently still beginning to rob the place. Boy, they got there fast. Bugs tells Wile E. to “set up one of your criminal-catching gadgets at the entrance.” One of your criminal-catching gadgets, that’s all, huh? A real pro, that Bugs.

Daffy wants to give Porky the remote control to spring the trap, but Bugs tells him no. I’d like to think it’s because he learned his lesson about blindly trusting good-seeming people from “Secrets of the Guardian Strike Sword,” but it’s not quite the same thing. There he decided to trust Deuce because of a good first impression, despite having no idea what heinous deeds the guy perpetrated while still knowing heinous deeds were in his past. Here, they do know who the guy is, where he comes from, and that he’s an underconfident loser. Daffy’s actually trying to make a tangible effort to help somebody, but Bugs is vetoing him? How heroic of our greatest hero of all time. After more wheedling, Bugs relents.

Rocky and Mugsy aren’t actually stealing money, though, they’re forcing the guards to hand over their guns. Bugs and Daffy prove to be hiding amongst the guards and some laser vision puts the felons to flight. But as they run out the door Porky waits a second too long in counting to three because of his stutter, and the bad guys get away while Bugs and Daffy get netted. Yeah, that was a big slip-up on his part, but I don’t see why I should ignore Bugs and Daffy standing around where the trap was when it obviously hadn’t been sprung. Idiots.

A news story follows detailing a bunch of further confrontations where the bad guys got away because of some screw-up on Porky’s part. NOW it’s understandable for Bugs to tell Daffy things just aren’t working out with his old pal. Daffy continues trying to stick up for old bacon-breath, and Lexi and Bugs prove suspicious of his motives, Bugs even going so far as, “So what gives, Gandhi?” Fuck you, Mr. Flush the World For a Flimsily Established Romantic Interest.


Daffy fesses up that the real reason he wants to give Porky chance after chance is he feels guilty because he cheated on that coin toss over who got adopted, because it was the same on both sides. “Once again, the world of Duck makes sense,” Lexi jibes. I’m only letting that one go because she actually was willing to surrender herself to save the world.

Porky shows up with suitcases, saying he’s leaving and apologizing for being so much trouble. The other Loonatics are suddenly feeling all bad and say he can come on the next job after all, and he says he’s jazzed to be part of guarding the magic rock Zadavia mentioned. Bugs even goes so far as “There’s no one I’d rather have at my side than the man in pink.” Whatever that means.

As said, this next job is to protect the magic Loonatic-depowering space rock as it’s dropped off at a building labeled simply Security. Bugs gives Porky the all-important job of standing out of the way and not moving. As the escort speeds by (and the rock’s not even in an armored vehicle, it’s in a floating transparent cylinder), it knocks his all-important can out of his hands, which rolls into the building. As Porky runs after it a barrage of lasers and missile launchers start shooting at him, and Wile E. shuts down security to spare him. Another case of excellent timing, because right then Rocky and Mugsy parachute in to steal the rock.

This is bad news, as according to Bugs, “If the Einstein twins reach the vault first, our butts are gonna glow brighter than a full moon.”

…I beg your pardon?

One forgettable action sequence later Porky’s managed to be taken hostage and Bugs is forced to open the vault and let the bad guys have the rock. Porky gets Rocky’s gun, but then drops his charade. Rocky and Mugsy are his “torpedoes” (His WHAT??? Now we're expecting kids to know about The Sting?), and he goes by the nom de guerre, Pink the Pug. Because he’s a hard-bitten crook. Totally.

Know what else that means? It’s the second time in a 13-episode TV season an episode has had the premise “hero’s friend turns out to be a traitor.” Third, if you count Granny. And the final story arc takes up three of those episodes. Starting to see how much harder they were trying this season?

Porky blasts Bugs with the magic rock with a cackle of “That’s all, Loonatics!” But Bugs is okay and traps them, because he saw through Porky’s charade and switched the rock with a fake, though, and traps the bad guys with a big robotic claw.  The show proceeds to then really embarrass itself by having Bugs trot out his Batmanesque Detective Skills™ again. He checked on the place Porky said he worked, and at the police academy too, and neither of the people he asked had ever heard of our porcine pal.

And yes, I said neither. He talked to two people and they handily had clipboards with the lists to prove or disprove Porky’s story stuck under their arm right then and there.

What really gave him away was when he specifically asked about tagging along the rock-guarding job. Since after all, it’s top secret! Never mind that the reason he was there was he was because he was friends with Daffy, who was trying to help his confidence and who the show constantly reminds us is supposed to be this colossal screw-up. Daffy’s even supposed to be the biggest one of his kind ever. Remember the episode with Elmer? Might not Daffy have mentioned the job, thinking Porky would be coming with, to make him feel good to be entrusted with part of such an important operation?

Guess not. That would tarnish Bugs’s Batmanesque Detective Skills™, after all.

By the way, we never find out why Rocky and Mugsy were stealing so many weapons when they basically had just the ordinance they got away with from their first robbery when they were trying to steal the rock. Oh, and Porky’s lucky can? It was a microphone transmitting all of their conversations to the bad guys. And Porky had been adopted by Rocky and Mugsy the day after Daffy got go to leave.

Daffy feels bad about how the toss of a coin turned Porky into a criminal, but Porky then tells him he, Rocky and Mugsy had been planning that (when he was just a little kid) from the beginning. Porky knew Daffy had a trick coin and he suggested the coin toss to make sure he wasn’t accidentally adopted by the wrong people. Although if they were already a gang of crooks, you wouldn’t think there’d be anything keeping them from “kidnapping” Porky from his new family.

Daffy voices his hope that there’s still hope for Porky, who swings the claw he and his cohorts are hanging from to knock him over and tells him to shut up. As usual, every word Daffy says is wrong, even something like hope that criminals can be rehabilitated. Up yours, Loonatics Unleashed.

As you’re no doubt expecting, they have Porky give a variation of his famous closing line to end the episode. As usual, the show doesn’t do it right. Porky’s closing line, at least here, is “This ain’t over, folks.” Shouldn’t it have been more like, “That’s NOT all, folks!”? And seriously, don’t kid yourselves. This show already went through two sweeping changes thanks to poor response. You think Extreme!! versions of Sylvester the cat, Pepe le Pew and Elmer Fudd are gonna be what saves it?

Yeah, keep dreaming.

Next time, part one of the series finale