In honor of 25 years of Tetris.
Saturday, June 06, 2009
G.I. Joe: The Pyramid of Darkness
These are the first five episodes of the regular series G.I. Joe, but they're also a five-part miniseries, so let's just deal with them that way. Once again, I remember WGN aired these daily and then all together as a movie on the weekend. This was always my favorite of the miniseries, partly because of all the outer space stuff, and partly because it was so Shipwreck-heavy.
This opens pretty much like The Revenge of Cobra, only instead of escorting a laser core, the Joe team is escorting a space shuttle into launch position. The shuttle platform is moving surprisingly fast, too; in reality, it takes many hours. The Joes are cracking wise, but not as wise as in The Revenge of Cobra (where Flint opines "Remember, snake is sneak spelled sideways").
Well, it shouldn't be a surprise by now that Cobra immediately attacks in force. Just like before, we're seeing lots of new characters all over the place. The Cobra strike is led by Tomax and Xamot, the Crimson Twins, and they just creep me out. Seriously, you want to talk subtext? These twins not only finish each others' sentences, they also feel each others' pain--when one gets punched, the other feels it, too. Wow, that's just... wow.
Cobra Commander is watching the strike from a distance rather than leading it this time. Tomax and Xamot are trying to drag the shuttle away, which is going to take days... They're flying in those flight pods the Joes call "Trouble Bubbles," when a couple of new Joes fly up on jetpacks and take the fight to the twins. These are Alpine and Bazooka, two of my favorite characters, but the introduction of Alpine is kind of the death knell for Stalker as a character. More Joes are getting pushed into the background, some of them further than they have been already.
Well, now Destro leads a reinforcement squad of Rattler planes, but the Joe counterattack, led by Gung Ho, gets the advantage. The Cobra retreat is especially messy; Cobra Commander and the Crimson Twins are pretty much at the height of incompetence here, and Scrap Iron fouls things up even further. The Joes actually capture the Commander and the twins for a moment, but these gigantic Cobra robots save them.
Seriously, you're attacking a space shuttle platform, and you don't think the giant robots should have been in the first wave?
The robots head underwater, and Shipwreck, Snake Eyes, Roadblock and some others follow in those underwater SHARC jet things they've got. Shipwreck, by the way, has acquired a parrot named Polly, voiced by Frank Welker with a real smartass quality. Typically, Shipwreck is often frustrated with Polly; how come they're never friends in these situations? Meanwhile, Flint and Lady Jaye (oh, good, lots more of them) fly their Skystrikers into a city chasing after Destro, causing a lot of property damage to windows.
Underwater, Cobra Commander and the Crimson Twins escape. The robots sink Shipwreck and Snake Eyes who, unbeknownst to anyone else, escape into the Cobra complex. The rest of the Joes are forced to retreat. In the city, Destro escapes by flying into a hidden hangar placed in the office building of Extensive Enterprises. (I love the vehicles on G.I. Joe; they never have to gradually cruise or land like a real plane, they just come to a perfect stop).
Tomax and Xamot are actually the CEOs of Extensive Enterprises and, like most corporations in the eighties, are delighted to deal with international criminals. Turns out the Cobra attack was just a distraction to give Zartan room to get aboard and load some "special cargo." Hmm...
There are Joes onboard the shuttle, too. Breaker, Mutt (with Junkyard--first the dog gets to fly in an F-14 and now he's in outer space?), Steeler, and a new guy called Dusty notice the shuttle knocked out of its smooth launch by extra weight that hasn't been accounted for. There's also some guy called Sgt. Popper aboard who is obviously Zartan in disguise. They're headed for Joe Space Station Delta, where Duke and Scarlett (relegated to outer space this time? jeez!) guide them into the docking station.
Becca finds Dusty irritating. She calls him "the Matthew McConaughey one." Plus she thinks wearing desert camouflage on his face while piloting a space shuttle is pretentious. (I love Mutt, though; he's just cool.) He's all impressed with his luck for having command responsibilities on his first mission: "Too much!" While the mystery cargo bin is taken off by Mutt and Dusty, Sgt. Popper stays behind to lower another cargo bin and check inside; it's the Dreadnoks with a bunch of ATVs so, I guess, they can do motorcycle gang stuff in outer space. Seriously, the flight plan didn't account for one cargo bin, but it did account for the weight of the Dreadnoks and their ATVs? I guess I should just be impressed that the writer (Ron Friedman, same as the other two miniseries) thought about the weight issue at all. Science!
The unauthorized cargo contains these cute little furry creatures. Junkyard hates them right away, but Scarlett thinks they're most cutest things EVAR. It's Scarlett's girliest moment so far. Mutt finds a card from Cobra Commander calling the creatures a gift and giving them they very un-Cobra name "Fatal Fluffies." Who do you think picked that out? Cobra Commander? Destro? Major Bludd?
Then Zartan reveals himself and blows a whistle which causes the Fatal Fluffies to suddenly grow, Gremlins-style, into these extremely pissed off troll-things that look like a cross between the goblins from the Rankin-Bass Hobbit and Ewoks drawn by Rob Liefeld (who gives everyone big, bulging, engorged tits, even the men). Oh, and they breathe fire. And carry laser pistols. And, with the help of the Dreadnoks, they capture the Joes and the space station pretty handily. So, once again, for the third time in three miniseries, Duke is a prisoner. And now, so are Mutt, Steeler, Breaker, Dusty, Scarlett, and Rock 'n' Roll.
Hey, how are things going underwater? Shipwreck and Snake Eyes, with Polly and Timber in tow, get into a subway tunnel under Extensive Enterprises, and there are Cobras everywhere. Ship at least has the grace to say "Yeah, who'd notice a wet sailor with a parrot and a masked silent man with a timber wolf... I think we're in major trouble." They're not exactly inconspicuous. I can kind of understand Junkyard as a military dog, but what is the G.I. Joe policy on pets, anyway? Like Ship and Snake don't have enough to worry about without dragging pets along? (Of course, as a kid, I loved that they were off doing stuff with a wolf and a parrot, and that's really the point, isn't it?)
Oh, and if Shipwreck became, in the last miniseries, the Han Solo of G.I. Joe--and I maintain that he did--I love that this miniseries makes Snake Eyes his Chewbacca. You can bet that dynamic was at the forefront of my action figure adventures. They knock out a couple of Cobra Eels (the divers) and take their uniforms.
So, Flint recaps. In the last couple of hours, the shuttle was attacked, communication with Space Station Delta has been lost, two Joes are missing, and the captured Cobra leaders have escaped. Well, he's honest about the crappiness of the situation, I'll give him that. Conveniently, Zartan sends a transmission to let them know he's got the space station, then fires on the Joe HQ and nearly demolishes it. No one thinks to ask why G.I. Joe has a high-powered death weapon in outer space.
The new Cobra base is behind a waterfall; another building with giant snakes carved into it. Do they just have construction teams working constantly in several locations at once? Cobra Commander, pleased at the destruction of G.I. Joe, reveals his plan to the audience: the space station will use four cubes placed in strategic positions across the planet to create a zone that will dampen all electricity within it. It looks like a pyramid--hence, the Pyramid of Darkness--and without electricity to power factories, the world will fall into chaos and Cobra will reign supreme.
Well, it doesn't take a genius to guess that the Joes survived the explosion. Shipwreck and Snake Eyes, however, are about to be destroyed by an overly-complicated death trap and a robot (seriously, Cobra Commander should just stop it with the terrorist shit and build robots, he could make a fortune) because Ship's voice identification doesn't match Cobra's voice records. I mean, we're talking circular saw blades, spikes in the ground, the walls closing in. Crazy! The robot couldn't just shoot intruders? How much money does Cobra waste on this inefficient stuff? And they're saved by Polly, who says the passwords... somehow, Polly's voice is on file? Can you imagine the poor Cobra soldier who has that voice? The others must just rip on him all the time. (Becca reminds me that the voice sounds like Cobra Commander to the machine.)
Well, safely inside the base, they can see four enormous black cubes being constructed. Shipwreck places a homing device on one before being questioned by the foreman about Polly and Timber. Finally, someone notices, for crying out loud! I love Shipwreck's feint that the animals belong to Destro: "Hitler had a canary, Attila the Hun liked goldfish. What can I tell you?"
Flint establishes a temporary base on an aircraft carrier with the permission of Admiral Ledger. Ledger has the worst voice so far in the history of G.I. Joe. He sounds like a woman pretending to be an annoyed, gravelly-voiced man. If you've ever listened to Howard Stern and heard Robin doing that voice, you know what I'm talking about (remember the Match Game parody in Private Parts?). He also digs at Lady Jaye about women being bad luck at sea. I understand, Admiral; I don't like Lady Jaye, either. I love the exchange when she tells him it's an old Navy superstition: "Old Navy is what I am. I've been at sea for so long whales ask me for directions." Ah, traditional sexism.
The Joes pick up Shipwreck's homing beacon on a cube headed to the Devil's Playground, a volcanic area. So this is the treasure hunt this time around; the difference is that Cobra is trying to place something instead of recover or collect something, and the Joes are trying to stop them. Flint mobilizes a Joe team and gives Admiral Ledger (and the boys watching) a brief lecture about Lady Jaye being not just a lady, but also a teammate. Obviously, but I still don't like her.
On Space Station Delta, Zartan has cut off the gravity to keep the Joes off their feet and force them to work on the Cobra weapon. The Fatal Fluffies keep them in line with these electric whips and the Dreadnoks zip around on their ATVs like morons. Dusty justifies his place on the team by figuring out that he can send a message to the Joes, then acting crazy as a distraction to put his plan in motion. He forces his way to the gravity controls, switches the gravity back on (don't ask me the science of all this), escapes the Dreadnoks, and, with the great timing of Mutt on the gravity controls, and makes it to the control center where Duke is being held prisoner, but Dusty gets captured at the last second. You almost made it, Dusty. Good try. Not like Duke, who seems to just enjoy being taken captive now. Poor guy. Cobra Commander must have really messed up all the way back in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero. I wonder if he's relieved or disappointed that there's not an Arena of Sport in space.
At the Devil's Playground, Destro is directing the cube installation. There's a fantastic moment when some of the corrosive liquid from a nearby pool splashes on to Destro's steel mask, and he just sands it off with a belt sander. Awesome. It's the little moments of humanity that make this work. (Look at the guy in the middle of the picture there. He's all like "Destro's an idiot. Why do we listen to this guy? Look at him with lava juice all over his face, man. Ass.")
Flint and Lady Jaye attack and are shot down. Who makes those Skystrikers, AMC? They shatter like Gremlins.
In the Cobra construction plant, Shipwreck and Snake Eyes find out about the Pyramid of Darkness and steal the laserdisc that programs the assembly line. They escape on a rail cart. On the Space Station, Dusty hatches another plan and another distraction. He tricks the Fatal Fluffies into fighting each other and then breaks into the communication lines, rerouting them (via a jumper cable!) so that the Cobra transmissions can be received on Joe frequency. Dusty and Mutt are captured, but the plan works and the Joes on the aircraft carrier learn that the second and third cubes are being installed at the City of the Dead (some kind of Mongolian temple) and the Mountain of Glass.
Roadblock decides it's time to retaliate. Some more new guys: Footloose and Airtight. I always loved Airtight when I was a kid (one of the action figures I still have, actually), and I can see why here. He's such a nerd, checking and rechecking his calculations on fuel consumption, very excited. Footloose decides to simply mellow out; he's one of those laid back hippie types. Roadblock gets them in line pretty fast. They're going to the City of the Dead. The mission to the Mountain of Glass is led by Alpine and Bazooka.
Back to Shipwreck and Snake Eyes: how the hell is that wolf pumping the rail cart? How? That's just... but...
Anyway, they escape and wind up in a bad part of town. Just like Flint and Mutt showed us in The Revenge of Cobra, Joes apparently turn into pussies when they're on the wrong side of the tracks.
So, for the Devil's Playground being volcanic, the liquid seems to be pretty harmless and not lava or anything. I mean, Flint and Lady Jaye fall in and they survive. When they fall in they aren't worried about melting or burning, they're worried about drowning. What is it? Is it just, like, mud? Even then, they're fine; Lady Jaye's javelins are like Green Arrow's arrows--all purpose, but also incredibly lame. She pulls one out that creates a bubble of air that not only lets them breathe, it floats them to the surface. There's some lame flirting on the part of Lady Jaye that's met with stammering from Flint, and this Archie Comics scene mercifully ends. I hate Lady Jaye; Scarlett's so tough, and Lady Jaye just craves the attention and acknowledgment. I'm just going to start calling her Not-Scarlett.
After all of the interesting, creative villains we've seen for Cobra, it's disappointing that the Cobra agent following Shipwreck and Snake Eyes is just some guy with a scar dressed like an undercover cop. He's got an almost-cool name: Colonel Slash. He tails them to the Snake Club (seriously, this Cobra underground society is getting way out of hand), where Ship and Snake see a singer named, in the lamest 80s tradition, Satin. She sings "The Cobra Who Got Away." Shipwreck is obviously very taken with Satin.
Way to be subtle. Seriously, Ship, keep in your pants.
No! Don't come on so strong, Ship! Gaah!
Satin informs Shipwreck that Cobra agents are closing in, so she pulls he and Snake Eyes on stage and they start dancing in the Vegas-style chorus line. It's hard to say who loses their dignity the most, but...
...I know it was the 80s, but Snake Eyes breakdancing? Can you imagine this happening now? If Snake Eyes pops and locks in the new movie, fans will tear down the rafters, they're so humorless. (And yes, that is Timber dancing behind him. There's apparently nothing this wolf can't do.)
Back to the Devil's Playground, which has nothing to do with rumspringa. The cuba has all of these mechanical arms it can use to defend itself, allowing Destro to escape after the installation is complete. First one down. The cube even has laser rifles it can use to fend off the Joes while it tries to squeeze Flint and Not-Scarlett to death.
At the Snake Club, Satin leads Shipwreck and Snake Eyes into a hidden passage. Polly says "'All the world's a stage;' William Shakespeare." Shipwreck answers "'Can it, birdbrain;' Shipwreck Delgado." I think this is the first instance of one of the Joes' real names being mentioned. (It's Hector X. Delgado, for the record.)
Tomax and Xamot are leading the cube installation at the City of the Dead. They arrive before the Joes do and hide behind the Guardians of the Dead, which are meant to evoke the Terracotta Warriors. The Guardians are awakened when Airtight steps on a certain stone, and the twins plan to wait until the Guardians destroy the Joes to place the cube.
Our old mate Major Bludd is in charge of the third cube at the Mountain of Glass, which is in the Antarctic or something. Again, Cobra is ahead of G.I. Joe and Alpine and Bazooka are attacked as soon as they're in range. Joe and Cobra are separated by a platform of ice, which Alpine breaks by yodeling because, quite frankly, Alpine's awesome (so is Bazooka, for that matter--Alpine is like the smooth Lando Calrissian of G.I. Joe, but I'm not sure what that makes Bazooka then. Nein Numb? Too insulting...). They cross the chasm with the Bridgelayer, driven by Tollbooth. Tollbooth only cameos whenever they need a bridge. I can just see the guy sipping coffee in his tank. "Oh, hey, Tollbooth, we need a bridge!" "Yo, Joe!" "Alright, thanks, Tollbooth!" "Alright, then." And then he goes back to sipping coffee and trying to finish The Sound and the Fury. He's got the time. Alpine and Bazooka climb the mountain with plans to attack Major Bludd from behind.
I don't know where Satin's hidden passage (that sounds naughty) leads to, but when we see Satin now she's in her dressing room. Col. Slash enters without knocking; she calls him a "maxi-jerk" (oh, you 1980s, you) and reminds him that Cobra Commander is her biggest fan. And she's got, like, this signed picture of the Commander. Which is weird, because Cobra Commander is beyond asexual. It's hard to imagine him romancing anyone who isn't Zartan. And even then, the Commander would be a bottom. Which, come on, it's hard being a terrorist despot bent on world domination, sometimes you want to give up a little power, right? Blows off steam. Plus, Zartan seems like pretty rough trade, and you know the Commander likes the whole English punk thing; and even then, Zartan is also kind of urbane. He's like Tim Curry in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but maybe he's a little more caring. And... anyway... moving on to something less subtextual...
Satin hands the guy in the sailor suit open at the chest with the pet parrot some disguises to get out with, and he immediately hands the dress over to the mute guy in the skintight black. Oh, Jesus. Let's go back to the Mountain of Glass.
Alpine's plan to attack Cobra's flank would have worked if Bazooka hadn't been so clumsy; he falls, knocks them down a slope, and the ice falling warns Major Bludd. The Joes at the City of the Dead fight the Guardians but manage to capture Tomax. And at the Devil's Playground, Flint and Not-Scarlett are freed. The cubes are energizing and the Pyramid of Darkness is nearly complete.
Bazooka has injured his leg, and Alpine tries to carry him, but they're attacked by Storm Shadow, who is so much of a badass that he doesn't even need to protect himself from the elements. He's just wearing his gi and commanding some Snow Serpents. There's some brief laser fire exchange, but Alpine and Bazooka start drifting away on an ice floe and are attacked by some hungry leopard seals. (The perspective on the leopard seals is as problematic as Ramar's in G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero; sometimes they're huge, sometimes they look too small to be threatening.) But they're saved by a guy called Quick Kick.
Quick Kick and Storm Shadow fight; at first they're evenly matched, but Quick Kick actually manages to kick Storm Shadow's ass pretty, well, quickly. Quick Kick is, at his very core, a rip-off of Bruce Lee. And why not? Everyone had a Bruce Lee character at some point or another. He seems like a cool guy--he reminds me of my Uncle Del, who is Japanese but talks with an American accent--but he's actually quite obnoxious. Turns out Quick Kick--who is also so badass that he doesn't need to protect himself from the elements--is a Hollywood stuntman who was abandoned by his director while filming a commercial for Frozen Fudgies (not to be confused, of course, with Fatal Fluffies). There's an implication that the director left Quick Kick to freeze to death over money, but I think it's because Quick Kick is so irritating. He keeps breaking into all of these impressions of famous people--John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart; basically the impressions every guy thinks he can do really well.
Quick Kick, Alpine, and Bazooka hitch a ride underneath Major Bludd's HISS tank and simply let the Cobras take them to their secret base. Bazooka asks for a Frozen Fudgie (he simply says "Fudgie!"--that horrified Becca for a second), and we learn they're made with chocolate fudge, taffy, raisins and nut. They sound terrible, but Bazook likes 'em.
So, serious question about Bazooka: does anyone else think he's retarded? I kind of think he is. He's simple, childlike, makes a lot of childish mistakes, and doesn't say very much. I don't know, having worked in special education, he reminds me of a retarded kid. I don't think that lessens him--I love the guy. In fact, being retarded would kind of make him cooler. The retarded G.I. Joe.
Oh, by the way, Major Bludd has activated the third cube.
Back at the aircraft carrier, Roadblock reads Tomax his two rights--fists, that is. Roadblock totally wants to engage in some prisoner abuse to find out the location of the Cobra base. Tomax, however, blinds the Joes with some sort of device in his Cobra insignia and tries to escape. He nearly does, too, except that Roadblock is frigging awesome and recaptures Tomax with a minimum of effort.
Xamot, at a Cobra meeting, can feel everything that's happening to Tomax. Cobra Commander asks what's wrong with him and Destro explains about their creepy psychic bond. The Commander's reaction is priceless: "How revolting!" Tell me about it, Commander. Somehow, this allows Xamot to feel where they're holding Tomax--by the Sea of Lost Souls, where they're going to plant the fourth and final cube. Cobra Commander refuses to let Xamot run off to free his brother, but acquiesces when Xamot reminds him that Extensive Enterprises has funded the Pyramid of Darkness. Destro, ever the smartest guy in the room, knows that Cobra Commander plans to let the Joes capture both twins and be done with them.
By the way, the Baroness has finally shown up, into the fourth episode, to attend the meeting. Oh, Baroness. She's started listening to Destro when he talks about the Commander's incompetence.
So, if you thought a breakdancing Snake Eyes was the worst of it, here's something else exceptionally silly. Satin makes it to a Cobra checkpoint, claiming she's got a gig at the Cobra Temple. The guard orders everyone inside to come out. And, in nightmarish disguise, they do.
Now, Shipwreck looks like some kind of disfigured Muppet in this outfit, spouting all kinds of crazy shit about hip music and crap. It's like an awful, scarily accurate parody of how bad cartoons in 1985 were, especially ones like Jem that were supposed to be all rock-oriented.
How's this for loss of dignity? Snake Eyes in the worst parody of femininity I've seen this side of Coco. He reminds me of how my sister and her friends used to play dress-up and put on the gaudiest shit. A lot of girls in the eighties dressed like that and actually went out of the house. Ladies, did you learn nothing from the Runaways?
You think that's bad?
How about this?
Yes, yes, look upon this horror. I guarantee you Shipwreck occasionally wakes up all sweaty and scared, unable to burn this image out of his brain no matter how much he drinks. No wonder he stopped palling around with Snake Eyes and started hitting so heavily on Cover Girl; he just wanted to get the image of Snake Eyes in a dress and wig out of his fucking brain.
And then they sing! And dance! And play the sax! Quick, somebody do something violent so we can move on!
That's better. They escape and we can all get out of here. Now let us never speak of this again.
Destro and the Baroness are going to oversee the installation of the final cube, and then...
...whoa! WHOOO, YEAH! Destro's gonna get it on with the hottest chick on this show! And apparently she likes the taste of stainless steel, so it's all good.
Anyway, Flint and Not-Scarlett lead a team to head off Cobra, but fail miserably, and the Pyramid of Darkness descends, turning off all of the electricity for what looks like everyone in the northern hemisphere. Xamot rescues Tomax and they get away in a raft pulled by sharks, which is pretty effing cool. Destro and the Baroness get away in an oar-powered Viking longboat, which is even cooler. Cobra's got style. Not to be outdone, the Joes harness these massive sails from... somewhere... and turn the aircraft carrier into a sailing vessel. The aircraft carrier has stopped because of the Pyramid--true to G.I. Joe form, the ship has just stopped. Not drifting. It just stops in the water.
Well, the Crimson Twins are merely creepy, not stupid; they know Cobra Commander has intended to leave them behind, so they enact their contingency plan. They fire a flare into the air, which is a signal to the Dreadnoks to take charge of operations on the space station--they even take Zartan prisoner! Which proves they have no loyalties at all. Except for the fact that they're pretty much always working for someone at Cobra...
Oh, and Satin drops off the boys. Shipwreck wants her to stay and help them fight--he's in love with her--but she's going to fight them her own way. Apparently, Cobra Commander framed her father and he never recovered. Plus, probably, she saw Shipwreck in that stupid hipster outfit and just can't look at him the same way anymore. At least they've still got that Cobra laserdisc.
Cobra Commander is, as usual, preening with anticipated victory, wondering how he's going to declare his ultimatum to the world (back to the camera, or close-up?), not considering for a moment that the entire northern hemisphere is now without power and the superpowers aren't going to be able to catch the broadcast. But the Crimson Twins walk in and tell him that they control Space Station Delta and, therefore, the Pyramid of Darkness. But they do offer to let Cobra Commander remain a figurehead of the organization if he cooperates. Cobra Commander is really, really pissed off.
Alpine, Bazoooka, and Quick Kick make it to the Cobra Temple and steal a transport plane; unfortunately, there are Cobras inside who attack them mid-air. Bazooka, still injured, is pushed into the controls and the plane goes into a dive. And when they're righted, the plane gets shot down. The three have to make it out in Trouble Bubbles, which I guess Quick Kick just knows how to operate, and then commandeer the helicopter that shot them down. And I guess this is all in the southern hemisphere, because otherwise this wouldn't work, right? Right? Actually, when they enter the Pyramid, the helicopter starts to die. Where they heck were they coming from?
Well, back at Joe HQ, everyone's trying to fix the place up (Gung Ho's grumbling about it) when the power surges back on and Cobra Commander appears via broadcast, introducing the world to the new supreme leaders of Cobra: Tomax and Xamot. They elbow the Commander into the background, leading Ace to quip "Looks like Cobra Commander's having a little power failure of his own." Hey, Ace? Try flying a plane that doesn't crash, and we'll let you have your little jokes, alright?
Anyway, yada yada yada, surrender to Cobra, ditto ditto. Their threat is that they'll increase the intensity of the Pyramid if the world doesn't surrender. I'm not sure what kind of threat that is, honestly. I mean, what will they do? Turn the electricity even more off? They really don't have any next level to go to. I'm not sure anyone even brings this up, and Stalker's right there. He's smart. I mean, Wild Bill, Ace, Cover Girl, Tripwire and Gung Ho aren't going to win any spelling bees, but come on, Stalk!
By the way, Shipwreck and Snake Eyes make it back to headquarters by riding cows. It almost makes up for the disguises. Almost. And they have the laserdisc with information on the cubes. Too bad there's no power...
The Dreadnoks, meanwhile, are throwing the whole thing in Zartan's face, playing the ultimatum video over and over to torture him with it. Mutt's had enough of their shit and commands Junkyard to grab the whistle that controls the Fatal Fluffies, which Torch has taken from Zartan. With the whistle, the Fluffies shrink back to their original size and the Joes capture the Dreadnoks. (By the way, Doc and Clutch are on board and have had, like, zero dialog.) (And look at Junkyard up there. Man, he looks really pissed off.) They free Duke and shut off the Pyramid. So I guess Quick Kick doesn't die this time.
Cobra Commander is livid. He immediately retakes control of Cobra from those Crimson Clowns and contacts Destro, who is still making out with the Baroness.
And then Destro's all "She's got something in her eye!" and Cobra Commander's all "Her eye, my eye!" The Commander wants Destro to scramble up to a mountain top and build a low-altitude version of the Pyramid before the Joes can mobilize. Shipwreck pops in the laserdisc and, via video conference, he and Flint analyze it. Apparently, there's a self-destruct mechanism for the cubes, but it's located in the Cobra Temple. And Destro gets that new Pyramid running right away.
But Alpine, Bazooka, and Quick Kick make it to Joe HQ just as their helicopter dies again, and they sure know where the Cobra Temple is. Alpine's a little too impressed with Quick Kick, introducing him as "star of stage, screen and regular on The Gong Show" and "stuntman extraordinaire." Ouch. And then, when he's telling his story to the Joes and Shipwreck asks him to "replay that part about the Cobra base," Quick Kick mimics the sound of a rewinding tape. Smurfing hell, this guy is obnoxious. Shipwreck leads the charge to mobilize, so I guess Quick Kick is in G.I. Joe now. What is the application process, do you think? Just like Shipwreck, now some stuntman can just walk in with his annoying impressions and be a Joe.
The Joes get to the Cobra Temple F-A-S-T, but it's cool that Shipwreck is leading the assault because, you know, the awesomeness. The Crimson Twins use the Cobra Dragon, a snake-headed cannon that emits waves of intense heat to disable the Joes, who start falling from heatstroke. Once again, Alpine saves the day with his yodeling, aided by Bazooka and Quick Kick, who bring the rocks raining down on the Dragon.
Cobra Commander and the twins escape in a Rattler plane, but Polly accidentally rests on the self-destruct lever and, to Shipwreck's delight, blows up the cubes. The Pyramid effects vanish, and Cobra Commander wonderfully cries out "I lost my cubes! My wonderful cubes, all gone! Now I'll never rule the world. I hate this job!" Flint and a squadron of Skystrikers chase after the Rattler, but they make it to the hidden hangar inside Extensive Enterprises; the two towers shed and reveal a rocket and gantry hidden inside!
While Duke rushes to rig a proton beam strong enough to destroy the rocket, Shipwreck and Snake Eyes head into the tower elevator and meet up with Satin again. She's already on her way to get her revenge on the Commander. When they get to the top, she corners him and jams his helmet into the control panel. After a brief fight, Ship, Snake, and Satin escape in Trouble Bubbles. The Commander's helmet is actually stuck to the control panel, but the twins free him and manage to fly off just before Duke's proton beam rushes down from space and destroys the rocket. At the same time, Zartan and the Dreadnoks manage to get into an escape pod and get away from the space station.
So, the Joes are victorious, Cobra is defeated, and Shipwreck gets the girl. And none of the Cobra leaders get arrested this time. In fact, they all meet up later on the subway in their own disguises...
Wow, this one looks like the cover of a crudely drawn adult novel. Let's just skip the lame banter between Flint and Not-Scarlett and fade out on this one. Destro the construction worker just somehow makes it all worthwhile...
Next week, I'll start on the regular series. I think I'll probably discuss a few at a time, probably not in as much detail as I've been doing. The regular episodes are less expansive than the miniseries, so there's less to talk about, unless something just hits me.
Once again, pictures from the indispensable JoeToonArchive.