Robotech Rewatch 52: You’ve Run Out Of Protoculture

yellow dancer gets physicalKeep your scanner tuned to this station. Robotech is back!

Episode 64 – Survival

The narrator continues to be big on telling us stuff we haven’t actually found out from the main show, such as Rook’s name (Rook Bartley, if you were wondering, though very few people in this post-Invid wasteland can afford last names), and the fact that Lancer is actually a freedom fighter who was in disguise as a rock star (though that could have been inferred from last week’s bare chest).

The gang (except Lancer who is sadly waiting by the Veritech Alpha for the rest of them to turn up) are now being chased by Invid, and Rand decides it’s time to go ‘cross country’ which means riding directly up a cliff. Unsurprisingly, while the bikes are just able to accomplish this, Lunk’s jeep is not up to the task.

When Lunk stops to gather the fallen supplies from his jeep, including protoculture energy cells, the Invid destroys them and nearly him in the process.

I missed part of this episode because my honey came home and I had to explain to him how this was an entirely different version of Robotech. He was almost as bewildered as I was in the early nineties.

Meanwhile, Rand has had a lightbulb moment about the Invid and their ability to sniff out protoculture. That’s a thing they can do! He also has another fight with Rook, largely because he’s a sexist pig and she basically hates everyone. I’m not entirely sure why she’s in the gang. She’s not a people person.

She’s also completely correct about there being something freaky in the forest but everyone thinks she’s paranoid until leeches rain down on them. Rook has a panic attack and Rand refuses to let Scott pull the leeches off her, using Link’s cigarette to burn them off instead.

Weirdly, only the girls had the leeches stuck to them. Even the leeches are sexist in this show.

After teasing the ‘city girls’ and showing off his leech whisperer skills, Rand continues to show off his wild man credentials by fishing for their lunch. When the Invid turn up, everyone hides except Rand because he just got a bite on his line and priorities, man.

Diving underwater at the last minute, Rand finds himself getting too close for comfort with the Invid as they wade through the river. Once the Invid’s gone, everyone dives in with their clothes on to rescue him and there is a mouth to mouth incident.

The Invid come back, of course, because always, and this time it’s Lancer (on yet another bike, where do they get these marvellous toys?) who rescues everyone.

Phew.

Finally properly bonded as friends, the crew have a delicious fish barbecue at the side of the river. They even do the sitcom laugh at the end.

Episode 65 – Curtain Call

Rook and Annie pull that classic scam of being helpless damsels by the side of the road (“It appears that you’ve run out of protoculture, ladies”) only to steal some poor sap’s truck.

Rand is grumpy at their moral flexibility and fair enough too considering that the truck driver was scared of losing his job. Scott doesn’t care because he is at war with everyone, including truck drivers.

Yellow Dancer is about to give a concert near a protoculture storage facility, and the chap in charge has decided to take most of the security off said facility to keep Yellow Dancer happy.

This wouldn’t be leading up to a heist, would it? Protoculture’s Eleven!

While Lunk sneaks Rand, Scott and Rook into the storage facility in the back of his stolen truck, Annie continues her career as a hustler by encouraging the crowds to jump on stage and party with Yellow Dancer.

Inside, meanwhile, Yellow Dancer reminds the security people how important it is that NO ONE gets to dance on stage with her. Courtney Cox, you are not invited, don’t even try.

Gotta say, for all the huge disparity between original Robotech and the New Generation, they definitely have the whole ‘using popular music as an unusual resource in times of war’ theme down.

While Yellow Dancer shows off her best Olivia Newton John outfits and brings techno to the post-apocalyptic wasteland, Rook gets to show off her Leverage-style cat burglary skills. They’re all pretty pleased with themselves…

But no, it’s a trap! They might have evaded the modern security systems but not the “ancient” ones that were built in which means Scott, Rand and Rook get stuck in a storm drain with water filling up to dangerous levels.

Yellow Dancer is basically a genderfluid version of Jem, isn’t she? Love that she’s managed to pick up back up singers and roadies no problem despite having spent the last several weeks hanging out in the wilderness with rebels.

Lancer’s friends have picked up the habit of referring to his separate personalities as if they are different people – Lancer being the one who came up with this plan, and Yellow being the one who is currently helping them carry it out.

Yellow is starting to worry that the others aren’t back yet. There are only so many times she can sing the same song before the crowd gets suspicious, and I think that many times is three… (to be fair, Minmei could have done it at least six times before anyone even noticed there was something wrong)

Luckily, Rand still believes in fairy tales and one secret passage later, they are free and clear!

The whole crew make their getaway in the back of a police van, thanks to a man on the inside… and using an elaborate plan involving balloons, manage to get off scot free (ha, Scott Free) with their shiny new protoculture power cells despite the inevitable arrival of the Invid. The Invid are basically Wile E Coyote to their Road Runner.

Despite the morally dubious actions of our heroes, I am starting to see the appeal of our post-apocalyptic bikie gang. They’re basically Blake’s 7 in a forest…

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

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