msannomalley Reviews Super Space Spies by msannomalley
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Story Notes:
This review assumes that you are familiar with the Gatchaman Episode Galactor's Monopoly Mission. If you are not, then you can stream it at Hulu.com. 

Hyperbolic VO guy is very subdued today. Today's episode involves a secret Spectran espionage ring, hell-bent on poisoning the Earth's water supply.Their BOO is a planet called "Paradise Island.  This is BOO as in Base Of Operations, not the term of endearment. It would be weird for a group of people to engage in a romantic relationship with a planet. Not to mention impossible.

Sounds like a dastardly and evil plan. But I have one question.

How can a planet be an island? I'm confused. Seriously confused.

 

Cue the opening theme.

 

What is this? Could it be???

Dare I say it out loud??

Our opening consists of two guys climbing a mountain. Nothing more. No bucket of bolts with a severe anxiety disorder. No icky flirting with the breathy voice coming from a speaker.  No backhanded compliments and bashing of my favorite character.

Ah, bliss. 

Then one of the mountain climbers slips and falls. Fall Guy yells up to Other Guy that's he's okay. For some reason, Fall Guy washes his face in a stream. I wouldn't think people in the mountains would really care if their faces are dirty, unless, of course, this guy has OCD and can't help but give into the compulsion to wash his face. Then he licks the water that's cupped in his hand and he's not happy that it's salty. 

Meanwhile, we meet our Spectran Commander of the Week, who appears to be a cross between a bumble bee and a stingray. I've never seen black and yellow stingrays before.  Cmdr. Bumbleray briefs Zoltar on the two mountain climbers who Zoltar thinks are "scientists for G-Force" and Cmdr. Bumbleray says this part as if scientists for G-Force have cooties.  Apparently, the scientists are near the area where Zoltar's latest dastardly scheme is taking place. Commander Bumbleray informs Z that he "planted the pollutant" in the area . G-Force must never find out what kind of shenanigans Spectra is up to this time. Z chews out Cmdr. Bumbleray. Cmdr Bumbleray will keep the climbers/scientists out of there for "a cut of the percentage".   Zoltar will have none of this. He tells Cmdr. Bumbleray to just do as he is ordered.  

4 minutes into the Episode and Zark pops up. All hopes of a Zark Free episode are dashed.  Zark has to run some test whose name sounds like technobabble over the snow pack on Mt. Carmella.  Zark says if his tests show that the snow pack is contaminated, (which we already know it is because Z and Cmdr. Bumbleray just told us it was), "our water supply will be unfit for human consumption."  

While Zark is telling us about the goings on at Mt. Carmilla, he's traveling down his tube or habitrail or whatever he calls it and changes from his #7 Sweater to his "uniform". Then, to prolong our agony, his cape flaps as he "flies" over to his monitors.

Now it's time for a Science Lesson from Professor Zark.

In the winter, it snows. When it snows in the mountains, the snow becomes part of the snow pack. In the spring and summer, the snow pack begins to melt. Meltage=our water supply.   

He forgets this part: Too much meltage=flood.

While yes, this is Science from the Captain Obvious Polytechnic University, Zark doesn't take into consideration that regardless of whether or not Zoltar poisoned the snow pack; the snow is still contaminated. Snow gets dirty after awhile. Animals relieve themselves in it. Human males like to write their names in it. Who knows what else has defiled the snow pack?

Apparently the tests came back as positive, because Zark is all upset and is contacting Chief Anderson. His worst fear has been realized. Zark's worst fear is that the snow pack has been polluted.  

It already is polluted. And if that is your worst fear, you may want to consider therapy for your anxiety disorder. 

Cut to Chief A. Mt. Camilla, has been polluted with...

Salt crystals.

This isn't possible. Salt melts snow and ice. If Zoltar "polluted" the snow pack with salt, shouldn't it be melting?  

So along with telling us that something happened that clearly didn't (as indicated in the scene), it's okay to teach kids bullshit science?

(Not to be confused with pseudo-science. This is just plain wrong; ergo, it's bullshit science.)

And of course, it, that is, bullshit science and evil, can only mean one thing: Spectra.

Actually, it means Chief A must have gone to the Pulling Info Out of Our Asses and Calling It Science School of Technology.  

And the following conversation takes place.

Princess: "Again?"

Uh, yeah. Who else did you think it was? Up with People?

Tiny: "Salting a mountain? Sounds like a waste of time to me."

I agree. It's not like the mountain needs salt anyway.

P: What could Spectra hope to gain by salting that area?

Keyop: chirps, bloops, "Make ocean out of mountain."

Can't make water out of rocks, son.

Then Jason gives the kid a noogie and says: "They couldn't do that!"

Jason is one smart cookie. Too bad everyone thinks the worst of him.

Chief A: Keyop may have the answer. Spectra could hope to pollute the snowpack on that mountain with salt from the ocean."

P: "If all that snow was contaminated, much of Earth's water supply would be unfit to drink. Right chief?"

No, they would have to build one ginormous desalinization plant to remove the salt. 

Salt isn't bad. Mix it with water, and bam! Instant sore throat remedy.

Better yet, bring in some tequila and some limes and you got instant margaritas. With the snow, you eliminate the need for a blender and crushed ice.

How is this a bad thing? Unless these are watered down margaritas. Nobody likes to pay $7.00 for a mixed drink that is mostly ice and has very little tequila in it.  I know I sure don't.

"Exactly," Chief A says. "It could also mean the ruination of all natural farming land."  

Chief has never been near a farm. They put worse stuff on the crops than salt. Pesticides, herbicides, cow shit. Plus bad farming practices such as not practicing crop rotation or allowing the soils to replenish its minerals by not planting anything on it is worse than salt.

Mark: With no food or water, Earth will be forced to surrender.

Except it won't because this is bullshit science and if Earth surrenders to bullshit science, then Earth gets what it deserves.

Jason: (punches his left hand with right fist): No way are we going to sit back and let that happen to us!

Chief: Zark's "solarscopic range finders" (he turns to a map) indicates Spectra activity in this area near Mt. Camilla." He points to a big brown spot on what appears to be the Indian Subcontinent. 

Mark: If anything's there, we'll find it.

K: Look for what?"

Chief: Anything out of the ordinary. And good luck G-Force.  

Next, the Phoenix is flying over some mountains. I'm still waiting to find out how "Paradise Island" fits into this.

Zark: It's up to G-Force to stop the pollution of our planet's water. Life on Earth would be impossible without fresh water.

Except for the fact that a good chunk of the Earth is covered in salt water and plants and animals manage to live there just fine.  

G-Force lands and disembarks. Keyop immediately goes to play in the snow and he makes a snow cone out of the supposedly polluted snow. The way he's licking that snow cone is disturbing and kind of dirty.

I'm also reminded of the immortal words of one Frank Zappa: "Watch out where the huskies go and don't you eat that yellow snow."

Nanuk, I mean, Keyop...no-no.

I'm not sure what Keyop was expecting the snow to taste like, but he remarks that it tastes salty.

You were just informed that the snow pack was polluted with salt. What did you think the snow would taste like? Cotton Candy?

Be thankful it tastes like salt and not like dog pee.  

Also, if it's salty, you should be standing in water.

Tiny: It must have come from the mountain top.

Mark: But how did salt get up there in the first place?

Um, didn't Chief A just tell you that it was probably spectra?  Were you not listening during the briefing?

P: Maybe Spectra dropped the salt from a space ship of some kind?

The Starship Morton?

M: Right, Princess 

J: Any idea what we're looking for?

M: No. Just look around (points at the mountain.)

Mark sees something shiny sticking out of the rocks and they all go to investigate.

It's sharp, pointy AND shiny.

Then Mark turns to Tiny and asks, "How about putting those muscles to work, Tiny?"

T: "You got it. Always ready to pump iron."

I'm disturbed by this. When it's convenient for G-Force, Tiny's bulk is muscle, but when he messes up or says something dumb, it's fat and he gets picked on for that?  So, it's not okay to show people getting hurt physically, but it's okay to make fun of the fat guy and hurt him emotionally?

Whatever.  

Tiny starts pulling on the sharp and pointy metal thing. I hope his gloves offer adequate protection because otherwise we're going to have to listen to Zark come up with some bullshit reason why Tiny's hands aren't really cut up so horribly from grabbing on sharp and pointy jagged pieces of metal.

Tiny struggles, slips, falls into Keyop, they both go tumbling backwards and become a snow version of the Hindu goddess Kali. Or Belial. Or Ray Milland/Rosie Grier in the Thing With Two Heads. Coincidentally, Casey Kasem was in a Thing with Two Heads knock off movie w/Bruce Dern that was called "The Incredible Two Headed Transplant". It was, at one time, on Netflix, but on DVD. I don't know if its still on Netflix or if you can even stream it. It's one of those movies that is so awful, it's pretty hilarious. There's an entry for this on IMDB.com.  

Tiny agrees. Keyop says, "Go Mark!"

Mark has to get his plane to get the sharp thingy out by melting the snow with the heat of the plane's jet engines (even though the snow should have already been melted by the salt that Spectra put in it.)  Snow melts to uncover the wreck of some Spectran air craft/space ship much to G-Force's surprise/chagrin/shock.

Tiny: It looks like the hull of a wrecked ship.

P: How could a boat end up on top of a high mountain like this?

J: Easy. Noah's ark did it.

He'll be here all week, folks. Be sure and try the veal. 

I know Jason is fond of bad jokes. I like to think of it as his way of getting even for all the put-downs, not giving him credit for good things, backhanded compliments, and general Condor-bashing he must endure.  

Mark: Spectra!  

Cue dun-dun-duuuuuuun music.

Mark informs Zark. Zark instructs him to "gather samples and return".

Samples of what? When someone "gathers samples" doesn't that usually involve depositing some type of bodily fluid into a cup?  Couldn't he have called this "evidence"?

Cut to submarine. Cmdr. Bumbleray has a girlish figure. I can't help but notice how wide-hipped for a guy he is.

Back to the mountain. The wreck ain't so wrecked, as there are blinking lights coming from the inside of it, which means it may be bait for a trap or something.

Cmdr. Bumbleray orders a goon to home in on the signal. Goon replies, "the syncrographic scanners indicate the wreck on Mount Camella have been uncovered."

Cmdr. Bumbleray: G-Force!!

How does he know it's them? What if it was a mountain goat that uncovered it? Or maybe thrill seekers? Or a sherpa?

G-Force returns with the samples. Zark has analyzed it. The results are disturbing, he says.

Disturbing? I'll be the judge of that.

Zark: Extensive computer cross-analyses (analisseeez), indicate that Zoltar is not working alone in this operation. Spectra has a tightly knit espionage network that has salted the reservoirs (resevwahs) of the entire galaxy. The head agent is known as "Barzock".  

How was he able to determine this from scrap metal? Did Barzock leave some DNA evidence behind?

While Zark is talking, the Chief is looking either terrified or incredulous and then a printer of some kind spits out a picture of this Barzock person, who looks like a seedy Hollywood nightclub owner in one of those cautionary tales about the Dark Side of Hollywood who hires the ingénue to replace the former ingénue, now strung out on reds, Vitamin C and/or cocaine.  

Z: This man is a very dangerous character who is the mastermind of Spectra's intergalactic slave system. We also know of Spectra activity on Paradise Island Asteroid. (Camera pans over map of Asia). G-Force must locate the Spectra spy network.

Wait. I thought Paradise Island was supposed to be a planet. How can a planet be an asteroid?

Zark is talking us through the launch of the Phoenix, even though this is unnecessary. 

Z: It was a beautiful lift off. G-Force is now well on its way through our solar system (they hang a left at Saturn), out of our galaxy the Milky Way, into the wild black yonder. Attn' G-Force. Switch to automatic. I am now transmuting you to time warp. You are approaching PI Asteroid (which looks like the moon).

I'm not going to transcribe the rest of Zark's soliloquy b/c I'm honestly sick of hearing his voice right now and I am trying to pay no attention to the robot behind the curtain because he's giving me a headache.

They're supposed to be patrolling some resort, except that Mark is being a slacker and is sitting under a tree in his swim trunks.

Meanwhile, Jason is outside the airport security fence, next to the runway, standing by his car and reading the paper.  

And suddenly, it's night and Princess is downtown with a camera.

 

Zark says to Chief A, "G-Force is in position."

How come Mark isn't getting yelled at for slacking off? Oh, that's right. Mark never gets yelled at.

Chief A places some markers on the map of Asia.

Chief: Tiny & Keyop? 

Z: They should be checking into the hotel by now. (camera zooms in on a big D. Not "the" Big D).

Cue the goofball music. A limo pulls up to a hotel and a bellboy/valet opens the door. Keyop & Tiny exit the car, in disguise. Keyop looks like a tourist about to go on safari and totally overdressed for the trip. Is a pith helmet really necessary? Tiny is wearing a fez and sunglasses.

I sense a weak attempt at comic relief coming.

The hotel manager, who looks kind of like the racist propaganda caricature of a Japanese person used by the Allies during WW2, and speaks with Zark's voice, is giving them the best room he has.  

Tiny says, "Dr. Keyopop is a famous etymologist from Earth. He's here to collect insect specimens."

How did a ten year old get a doctorate? Even Doogie Howser wasn't that smart.

Racist Caricature Guy grovels and brown noses. Keyop looks as if all the sucking up is going to his head.

Why are they leaving the espionage finding to the comic relief portion of the team?

Then Tiny slips and says they're looking for "large spies as well as little ones" instead of specimens.

Again, why are you leaving the spy-ring busting to the comic relief? 

Then, as Tiny is trying to cover for his gaffe, he asks if Racist Caricature Guy could recommend a guide to help them. There is one condition. Dr. Keyopop (I Presume) says she must be pretty.

Forgiving the fact that asteroids are rocks and not capable of supporting life (Empire Strikes Back excluded), she has to be pretty? She doesn't have to know a damn thing about bugs?

Racist Caricature Guy leaves and then comes back within two seconds accompanied by an attractive blonde woman. Keyop was caught in the shower. The guide has a gravelly voice for a pretty young lady. Keyop is suspicious.   I would be suspcious as well. A woman who appears to be in her twenties or thirties shouldn't speak with the raspy tones of a 70 year old with a 60 year five pack per day filterless Camel habit. Or maybe she likes to gargle a mixture of battery acid and thumbtacks. I'm convinced that this is what the singer from Nickelback does to grate on my nerves the way he does with such finesse.  

Cut to the docks/warehouse district. Raspy Blonde Lady is walking with Tiny following behind her. His demeanor can only be described as very much like that of anthropomorphic cartoon animals from the 1940s and their reaction upon seeing a hot chick. Goofy music plays in the background. Then Tiny finds "space ants" going into a crack in the wall and he is happy. 

I get the bug thing is a cover for why you're really there, but you're laying it on a bit thick, there, aren't you? Space ants?

I'm also wondering what ants have to do with pollution and espionage. It's not like salt attracts ants or anything like that.

He tells Raspy Blonde Lady that he doesn't need her anymore (or words to that effect) and then she leaves. Tiny giggles like a maniac and then walks into the wall. Cue Sad Trombone.


 Commercial Break

Ad 1: Graco Car Seats. 

Ad 2: Gary Busey for Amazon Fire TV Stick

Neither ad is relevant to me. Gary Busey is the human version of a train wreck. Plus he's watching himself on his laptop playing the President of the United States. The idea of Gary Busey in charge of anything scares me. 


Zark is worried, as evident from his pacing. "I know it's impossible for robots to have indigestion," he says, "but I have a burning sensation in my parometer."

Um, that's not what a parometer is. Antibiotics should clear that up in 7 to 10 days. 

He knows he shouldn't worry, but G-Force means a great deal to him.

Then Rover flies over to console him. Zark then says that since espionage is a dangerous business, he has to know how G-Force is doing.  Then we find out why Zark is so concerned.     

"Of all the members of G-Force," Zark explains. "Tiny is the strongest. But-"

Wait for it...wait for it...

"He's also the weakest when it comes to pretty girls."

Back-handed compliment at the ready...he shoots...

HE SCORES!!!    

So, in other words, Tiny is your typical red-blooded American heterosexual teen-aged boy. 

Zark continues. "I wonder if that blonde tourist guide is trouble."

From the way he says the words blonde, tourist, and guide, Zark has become the Mother-in-Law from Hell. Because it's clear that Raspy Blonde Lady is nothing but a tramp and not good enough for Mother Zark's baby boy. 

Between this and the helicopter parenting, Zark should be involuntarily committed to Quanto Tobor Repair Labs for a complete overhaul. I don't think there is an anti-anxiety medication in existence that is strong enough to help 7-Zark-7. 

"Will Tiny be able to keep his mind on serious business?" Zark asks.

Well, let's find out, shall we?  

Back at the warehouse, Tiny sees more ants. In fact, there's an entire column of ants. As he's investigating, he hears voices. The voices belong to two guards, who then jump him. Tiny takes them out and then he starts to investigate what they were protecting. Turns out that the "precious" is in a tank. Tiny jumps in, lands in some white stuff, tastes it, and realizes that it's salt. Then the opening to the tank shuts and Tiny is trapped in the salt vat.   

Could someone tell me what the ants have to do with this? 

Blonde Tourist Guide knew Tiny was G-Force. How she knew this, I do not know. Maybe she became suspicious when two members of G-Force tried to pawn off a ten year old as possessing a doctorate in etymology? 

Then Keyop shows up. He peeks in the warehouse window and then contacts Tiny, who tells K that he's trapped and that he should go after the tour guide.

Blonde Tourist Guide gets on a boat. Keyop follows her. He goes below deck to find a swanky looking wood-paneled lair of sorts. Then he spies a hatch.  He goes over to open it and climbs down a ladder into what appears to be this boat's sewer system.

Cmdr. Bumbleray and a goon are talking about loading the salt. It's at this point where I notice that the Cmdr. Bumbleray's uniform has a belly button.  

For real.

Keyop spies on Captain Belly Button who is now in a meeting with Barzock. It seems that Barzok is planning a coup d' etat against Zoltar. Barzock promises to make Capt. Belly Button "very rich" as a reward for doing all of Zoltar's dirty work.

Suddenly, someone's sticking a gun into the back of Keyop's head. "Now we have number 2!" Blonde Tourist Guide cackles.  

Tiny tries to contact Keyop. No luck. This salt tank is a centrifuge, which starts spinning.

Meanwhile, back in the bowels of the ship, Cmdr. Bumbleray orders, "All motors full ahead...THRUST!!"

Oooookaaaaay...

Turns out, the boat is actually a submarine. That still doesn't explain the weirdest command to launch a sea vessel I've ever heard.

Meanwhile, the others are in the Phoenix looking for Keyop and Tiny. Mark tries to contact Keyop, who answers.  

"What is your present location?" asks Mark.

"Jail."

Then Mark tells Keyop to "hang tight" and then asks him where Tiny is.

Keyop: "Salt shaker."

Mark is not amused. "How can Tiny fit into a salt shaker?" he wants to know.

Um, he didn't mean that Tiny literally could fit into a salt shaker. And I thought that Ken could be dense at times.  

"Maybe Tiny got into the Spectra salt tank," Jason says. "And he was loaded aboard the sub with the salt."

Again, it's obvious who the smart one on this team is. But does he ever get credit for it?

Nooooooo. 

After a brief discussion, G-1, G-2 and G-3 track the submarine and set out to rescue the others.  

After a bit, the sub goes into a base. "Surface and dock!" orders Capt. Belly Button. The Phoenix sees this.

Back in the base, once the sub has surfaced and docked, we see bags of salt with Spectra's logo on them as they ride from the sub onto a conveyor belt which goes into the cargo hold of a plane. They're not going fast enough for the Cmdr. Bumbleray.

Suddenly, an alarm goes off, alerting the base to an approaching ship.  

"It's the Phoenix!" shouts Blonde Tourist Guide with the Smoker's Hack.

Barzock's cigar falls out of his mouth and then he says something that, after repeated use of the 10 second rewind button on Hulu, I still can't make out.

"I'll be giving the orders around here now," says Blonde Tourist Guide. "You've outlived your usefulness to Spectra, Barzock! Step aside!"

Then she orders Keyop to be brought out from his cell because he will be the bait to lure G-Force.

Except they're already in the area and I don't think they need "bait" to come any further.

"Who do you think you are??" demands Barzock.  

His answer is a familiar and masculine evil cackle. Blondie is actually Zoltar.

The look on Barzock's face at this moment suggests that he just wet ‘em.

Then Zoltar calls out Barzock for his coup attempt.

The look on Barzock's face indicates that he's now both wet ‘em and pooped ‘em.

And while Barzock changes his undies, let's have a word from our sponsors. 


Ad 1: Same Gary Busey Amazon Fire TV Stick Ad from the first break.

Ad 2: Fly Emerites Airlines. I still think this is bait and switch. Especially since the countdown timer suddenly disappears before the ad ends. 

Neither ad is relevant to me. 


And we're back.

Cmdr. Bumbleray goes to fetch Keyop. Cmdr. Bumbleray is wearing a gas mask. Keyop is hiding under his Dr. Keyopop (I presume) costume and when he comes out, he's transmuted and then he gets Cmdr. Bumbleray with is bolos.

What's with the gas mask? Was Barzock's pooping his pants that horribly smelly?

Meanwhile, down in the salt shaker, Goons are looking for Tiny. They are also wearing gas masks.

Apparently, Barzock's digestive problems are seriously foul.    

A hand pops up from beneath the salt. It's Tiny. He grabs both goons and then makes his escape.

He encounters more goons. These goons have no gas masks. Tiny just tosses them around. 

Then Keyop kicks a goon and apparently, he has this neat trick where his boots make a richochet noise when his foot makes contact with a goon.

In a predictable attempt at comic relief, G4 and G5 back into each other, are ready to attack, and then embrace each other. Reunited and it feels so good.  

Zoltar readies for his escape. He says something about thrusters. Right on cue, the Phoenix busts into the base. Tiny and Keyop get on board. Zoltar wants to escape.

There is a chase scene. Zoltar fires missiles from his craft towards the Phoenix. Tiny maneuvers the ship and dodges them. Zoltar's missiles blow up his own base.

Then Zoltar's ship is wobbly because it's overloaded with salt. All the meters are wonky. Zoltar orders evasive action and goons release the salt.

As Zoltar is getting away, Mark orders, "Release the cybernetic rockets!"  

Could the writers of this show PLEASE SETTLE ON ONE NAME FOR THE MISSILES???  Is that too much to ask?? One week, they're nukes. Another week their TBX Nuclear missiles. And another week, they're calling them Bird Missiles.

Pick one. Please.

Jason needs no further prompting to fire the missiles. "Outta sight!" he says as he pushes The Big Red Button. The missile hits its target and the S.S. Morton explodes. Zoltar escapes in his escape pod and he's dreading the meeting with Oh Luminous One.

Tiny is sad because he thinks he's a "dumb spy". He's hard on himself because he fell for Blonde Tourist Guide and didn't see she was Zoltar.

"Those outer space romances never last," quips Mark.

What romance?

Tiny is lucky he found out that Blondie was actually Zoltar before things went any further.  Cue the theme from "The Crying Game"... 

Cut to Zark, who is riding up his habitrail into his ready room. Tiny shouldn't feel bad for being duped because Zoltar is so "wily". Then he goes to take a ten-second oil break when suddenly, his phone rings.

Oh no...

He answers the call and as I brace myself for the forthcoming barrage of icky flirting between Zark and Susan, I'm caught off-guard by lots of synthetic barking coming from Zark's phone.

Turns out the phone call is for 1-Rover-1. He has a bunch of friends on Sirius, also known as The Dog Star.

Oh thank goodness for small miracles. 

Chapter End Notes:
I am aware that there are different names for the mountain featured in this episode. I did that on purpose. ;-) 
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