Robotech Rewatch 48: Spy Hijinks Among the Clones

Hold your position, Robotech transmissions will now resume.

Another double episode as we race towards the conclusion of the Second Robotech War, the one where the army is mostly run by teenagers.

This one has a few dubious Alice in Wonderland visual metaphors, to make up for the fact that Dana and her boys obviously never took a class on covert operations in their lives.

Shut up, it's a great disguise. Look at me, I'm a clone!

Shut up, it’s a great disguise. Look at me, I’m a clone!

55. Dana in Wonderland

According to the Robotech Masters Dana’s very presence in the flagship is having a detrimental effect on the clones – which is put down to her erratic emotional state as a half-breed.

Dana is learning this for herself when Zor starts madly shooting at her – Angelo is very gallant and throws Dana to the floor to protect her with his body (aww) and then tries attacking a befuddled Zor by shooting at him from a hovertank (slightly more effective) but Dana has to yell instructions to him because he has it on the wrong setting. Poor Angie, he just can’t get anything right.

Zor fails to destroy them for no apparent reason, and Dana and Angie flee, meeting up with Louis, Bowie and Sean. Team WTF Are We Doing is back together again!

They attempt to sneak into a clone gathering by acting innocent and pretending they’re not interlopers, but Sean stuffs up their espionage attempts by chatting up women who turn out to travel only in threes.

His chat up lines really don’t work in triplicate. But he really does give it the old college try.

The clone women decide he must be faulty and perform a traumatising physical examination on him. It involves tickling and him getting his shirt off, because Sean.

Cover blown!

“What were you trying to DO?” Angie, pursued by a clone.
“Pass myself off as an alien, of course.” Sean, unrepentant.

Meanwhile, Musica medicates her emotional turmoil with her magical rainbow harp. Her sisters tell her of the recent alien incursion and she acts casual, then sidles off to investigate.

Some of the angry Robotech Masters look a lot like Jem and the Holograms. Or maybe the Misfits, whose songs are better.

Dana lies down randomly on a piece of alien technology (never do this) and falls asleep, then is woken up by Bowie and Louis. This plus the Wonderland title led me to think for some time that the whole episode was going to turn out to be a dream. It doesn’t. Hiding under the medical beds, they over hear some clone women complaining about how they had to touch one of the aliens. I think they’re talking about Sean, and I don’t blame them for being traumatised.

Dana, Bowie and Louis disguise themselves in blue cloaks and sneak into what they think is a coffee bar, but turns out to be a medical dispensary that provides them with a blue liquid they are supposed to consume before being bio-scanned.

So, and this is extraordinary, they VOLUNTARILY GET BIO-SCANNED. Isn’t that going to be a dead giveaway?

A clone nurse then announces she will cure their medical problem, and lures them into glass cases that will ‘fix’ them.

Dana continues to drink everything given to her (Drink Me!), and lie down helpfully on further pieces of medical equipment. NEVER DO THIS.

They are the worst spies ever.

A whole lot of unconscious clones react to Dana’s presence, turning into an unexpected zombie flashmob. After she and her boys escape that, we’re back in familiar ground with the being shot at, but Dana ends up falling down a tube (like Alice into Wonderland but faster) and collapses on a clone who is terribly polite at her.

She realises to her horror that these particular clones are here to be destroyed, their consciousness moved into other bodies. Particularly Polite Clone was found guilty of Original Thought.

Dana is furious at how no one is acting like humans, which does not do much to support her cover. This is basically a lesson in what not to do when performing intergalactic spy stuff.

Meanwhile, Sean and Angie have found some new outfits, sort of sexy armoured togas, and a couple of space mopeds. Ready for a rescue!

Bowie and Louis steal a small pod vehicle, but Bowie crashes it gently when he spots Musica, and runs after her. They finally get to hang out! For a romantic interlude, they sure do spend a lot of time sitting back to back and not looking at each other.

Still, they seem happy.

Louis ships it.

Oh, no, the inconvenient spurned fiancé turns up and starts shooting at them. They end up at a control centre which Louis tries to destroy, only to be CAPTURED BY LIVING PROTOCULTURE.

You guys, here’s a new definition of protoculture: it’s zappy tendrils that will mess you up!

Dana and Particularly Polite Clone are shot at (again) and run away, pursued by the Shoulder Pad Police. (Now I know where Sean and Angie got those costumes from!)

Her polite new friend is shot and killed, which Dana does not take well. Most of her friends are jerks, so she can’t afford to lose the only nice one.

“Please do not feel badly. You are Freedom, and my life means nothing.” Amazing last words from the Politest of Clones.

Sean and Angie finally run out of bullets and get captured, only to be hurled into a brig with the rest of their team. Everyone is cranky about their mission failure.

The Robotech Masters are intrigued by the cranky.

56. Crisis Point

The Robotech Masters’ fleet has taken a lot of serious damage. Inside the flagship, Louis and Sean lament the lack of air ducts which a) means no one should be able to breathe and b) they have no convenient escape route. I agree with Louis that we should really be concentrating on a)

Angie’s priority is giving Dana shit about the fact that Zor, the most obvious spy in the history of all humanity, turned out to be a spy.

Sean suggests that love is blind and Dana kicks him around a bit, which is fair enough.

This is of particular interest to the Robotech Masters, because of the human tendency to turn on each other in a crisis. They are obviously craving reality television to become a thing.

Zor is reported missing! How do you lose a Zor? He’s the one in the red Bioroid!

Musica is sad, and even jamming with her sisters can’t cheer her up. The magical rainbow harp can’t fix heartbreak! She suggests she needs some personal space from her sisters, and laments the loss of their lives before the triumvirate system.

They freak out, because she is thinking bad thoughts like independence and love. Then they freak out even more when they hear the news that Zor has gone rogue.

Musica takes the opportunity to weepflee, a skill she is even better at than harping.

Zor, whose inner thoughts are in a squeaky electronica voice instead of his usual deep “human” sound, is having hallucinations of Dana. When he wakes, still squeaky, he finds himself in Musica’s arms.

His memories are screwed up all over again – he barely remembers his time with the humans, and the mere mention of Dana from Musica sets off all kinds of psychedelic flashbacks which he thinks are nightmares.
She tells him: “You are Zor Prime, the clone of the First Robotech Master.” But then adds that if he knows too much, they will reprogram him. Only slightly helpful, Musica!

A mob of Thought Cops turn up on their hover discs and capture Zor. Musica tries to convince Carno, the reddest redhead, to spare Zor, but he is relentless on the grounds that she refused to be his lifemate that one time.

Her sisters turn up just in time for another emotional meltdown, and they watch in quiet awe as Musica does more weepfleeing. It is totally her best thing

In the brig, Dana tries to get the clones to stick to some prisoner of war ground rules, but they ignore her, so she smacks them around and weapons up.

Musica joins Bowie, and proves to be a source of really useful information. Angie considers that they now know how to completely trash the ship, but Musica is horrified. He points out that they are at war.

Bowie insists that their priority should be rescuing Zor, and Angie is very offended that no one wants him to blow anything up. Dana, unsurprisingly, sides with Bowie.

They find Zor stuck in a medical bay, about to be filled with a memory matrix which the Masters are hoping will allow him to pass on all that intelligence he collected during his spy mission.
Under Louis’ advice, Dana waits until the matrix is fully restored, and then they march in to collect Zor.

I think it’s important to note that many of these clones look like members of Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and others look like David Bowie on an off day.

Zor awakes slowly in the escape jeep, and is talking back at a human register again. He seems mildly surprised to have been rescued. Sweetie, we’re all surprised that Angie hasn’t shot you yet.

Angie’s getaway driving ends in a mighty crash, and they find themselves surrounded by Bioroids. Zor doesn’t recognise anyone at first and then starts remembering even more stuff. He begs Musica to explain why he is so important and she tells him he was a spy – there was a sensor in his brain, making him the eyes and ears of the Robotech Masters.

How embarrassing!

Emerson, meanwhile, out in space is about to attack the flagship despite being completely outmatched by the Robotech Masters on every other previous occasion.

Inside the same flagship, Sean laughs off the possibility that this might happen, on the grounds that they have Bowie with them, who is Emerson’s godson. Bowie insists that Emerson only thinks of him as another soldier and wouldn’t give him special treatment.

Oops, better get out of here fast, then.

As her new human friends shoot at her old clone friends, Musica tries to get to the barrier control, which is inconveniently located up a spiral staircase (the occupational health and safety issues in this place must be immense). She is knocked down by an explosion, and Bowie heads for the control himself. Teamwork.

The humans are taking some steady fire from the Bioroids, only for Zor in his own Bioroid to rescue them. He stays behind while they flee, but Dana promised to wait for him.

(Notably, Angelo does not promise to wait for him)

“Louis about how much time would you need to repair five hovercraft?” Dana gives her engineering genius a ticking clock and a near impossible task, to accomplish their escape. He puts up a mild argument then achieves it in the split second between scenes.

Emerson is preparing to shoot out the flagship in five minutes’ time (it takes a lot of time to stretch out your fingers and stuff before pressing the red button), and Marie Crystal interrupts him, reminding him that the 15th Squadron are still on board. Yes, he’s aware.

Zor is having an existential crisis, because he has to betray either Dana or his own people. He blows himself up, to solve the problem.


Or as Dana puts it: “Zor, you stupid alien, you said you’d catch up with us. Oh no!”

Angelo manages to express some awkwardly unconvincing sympathy for her loss… but then Zor emerges from the blast zone, fit as a fiddle.

Emerson is relieved when the 15th are located, in the nick of time. Aren’t we all?

Oh did I mention that Musica escaped on the back of Bowie’s hovercraft? As if it’s not enough that she has just abandoned everything she ever knew for the cute pianist, the flagship containing everyone she’s ever cared about (ie her sisters and her magical rainbow harp) is destroyed by Emerson before he drops his mic and heads back to Earth.

Looks like the humans finally figured out what the big red buttons in their ships are for, after being pounded for the entire Second Robotech War thus far.

How will their highly militaristic human society react to Bowie’s alien clone civilian girlfriend? Tune in next week to find out.

robotech rewatch dana

This weekly rewatch of classic animated space opera Robotech is brought to you as bonus content for the Musketeer Space project.

Thanks to everyone who has linked, commented, or sponsored me.

You can support Musketeer Space at Patreon.