Robotech Rewatch 54: Lost in Translation

lunkKeep your scanner tuned to this station. Robotech is back!

I’m going to give the show the benefit of the doubt and agree that something must have been lost in translation, because this is the weirdest and most disposable episode of Robotech I’ve ever watched.

Episode 67: Paper Hero

I’ll admit that I was kind of hoping this would be the episode where Hugh Jackman is a truck who writes romance novels and falls in love with his best friend, Claudia Karvan. That would have SO been a better Robotech episode than this one.

Apparently the dirtbike riding Robotech gang have a date with destiny. I have to say, chatty narrator, making statements like that does rather raise the expectations that this is going to be an episode in which something actually happens.

The gang’s current Invid fighting style involves most of them riding bikes furiously at the enemy, Scott shooting from above in his Veritech (AKA the Invid magnet), and Lunk driving up with Annie afterwards “just in time to celebrate.” Way to contribute to the teamwork there, Lunk and Annie.

Since last week was Rook’s tragic backstory, this one is all about Lunk. He has a book to deliver to an old man called Alfred Nader on behalf of his son, Lunk’s friend, who died horribly. While he does get a bit emotional and lip-wobbly while telling his story, let’s make two things very clear: Lunk knows and cares very little about the book he is delivering, nor the man he is delivering it to. The book is not important. Don’t get attached to the book.

The town they head for for is full of angry white people people with tiny moustaches and dodgy Mexican accents. It’s like we have wandered into an old style Western, only slightly more racist.

Lunk’s quest to give a random book to the mysterious Alfred Nader requires he and Rand to level up through several fight scenes with mobs of villagers, pitchforks and more dodgy accents. Strangely, no matter how much Lunk intimidates the locals with his headband, no one will spill the beans about who and where Nader is.

There’s a whole thing about Rand and Lunk being separated from Lancer, Rook and Annie, and finally rescuing them from more angry villagers, princess-in-the-tower style. But no one seems overly invested. And where is Scott, anyway?

Oh, there’s Scott, being attacked by Invid again! Why is this always happening to him?

The villagers claim they want to keep the Invid (and the fighting of said Invid) well away from their village, and they are not especially impressed when Rook patiently explains to them why they should be grateful that she and her friends brought the Invid directly to them, in order to fight them.

Finally the truth is revealed! Lunk gets Jose to confess that the Mexican villagers all murdered Alfred Nader because he was a filthy pacifist. They then promptly decided he was right to try to not fight the Invid and have been following the Way of Nader ever since.

I don’t think I can emphasise enough how little Lunk cares about this grisly news, or the fact that his quest has come to an end, or the book he will now never deliver. He borrows the villagers’ guns and kicks some Invid ass, then drives off into the sunset, planning vaguely to catch up with his friends who he totally lost track of at some point.

Oh and he never bothered to learn the name of the town. Which makes the fact that he found the right town in the first place quite surprising.

Lunk has hidden talents. But no depth.

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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