Episode 71: The Secret Route
The crew are stranded in the mountains looking for a safe way across. Annie goes wandering off in town and crashes into a teddy boy called Eddie who doesn’t seem to object to her blatant sexual harassment.
Yellow Dancer calls on the creepy mayor Donald, looking for employment in his nightclub. Karla, the mayor’s obviously abused fiance, is shocked to recognise her old boyfriend Lancer. Turns out that she was the one who first helped him disguise himself as a woman in his early freedom fighter days.
Yellow Dancer sings “an old Minmei song” (must have been from her more than three songs days because I don’t remember this one) in honour of the “happy couple” while he and Karla recall their tragic backstory, including that one time he abandoned her on a train to save her from his terrible life choices.
As Lancer and Karla have an awkward reunion in the dressing room, Annie interrupts and tells Lancer all about her new boyfriend. Distracted, Lancer totally lets her run off after her “dreamboat” without questioning how old the dude is and whether Annie is likely to get into trouble here.
Eddie actually seems to have the same mental age as Annie despite being three times her height. There’s a whole plot going with a secret map (of the only safe route through the mountains) that the mayor controls, and makes available via bribery. Eddie’s Dad acquires a copy of the map and is totally fine with having Annie as a daughter in law. Weirdos!
Later, the bike crew have dinner together (except Annie who has obviously been abducted) and Rook displays her complete lack of empathy towards the quiet, still-traumatised stranger in their midst. Scott suggests they name the new girl Marlene without mentioning to anyone that it’s the name of his dead girlfriend which is SO CREEPY I can’t even tell you.
Karla actually plays a genuine Minmei song on the piano, which makes me go awww.
When Lancer tries to convince karla to run away with him, she confesses that creepy Donald makes a living from selling fake maps that lead travellers to certain death – there is no safe way through the mountains.
Annie, meanwhile, has smuggled a copy of the map to the bikie crew, before driving off happily with her new family. Lancer ditches Karla to warn the others just in time, but they’ve missed Annie, Eddie and his Dad. Mercy dash!
Marlene actually says something of her own volition, warning danger just as the Invid attack. So… useful? Turns out she is listening to mysterious voices in her head.
Having rescued Eddie, his dad and Annie, they all head back to town to find a brute squad waiting for them, led by Donald. Because of course, he can’t afford to have anyone reveal his secret.
He wasn’t however, expecting to be shot at by three mecha suits piloted by Scott, Rand and Rook.
Donald, freaking out a bit, promises them a genuine escape route if they just leave. Also weapons and supplies. They grudgingly do a deal (even though, um, do they really trust him?)
Lancer goes back to town to fetch the supplies and Karla, who wants to join him in the fight though he’s still being super patronising about that.
To their shock, Donald sends his collection of antique fighters on autopilot to shoot a safe path through the mountains and help Karla escape, making a grand sacrifice. As it snows around them, Karla realises that her creepy fiance really does love her, and returns to him while Lancer leaves with his friends and a power ballad in his heart.
Oh, and Annie’s boyfriend Eddie ditches her politely. Thank goodness.
Episode 72: The Fortress
Continuity! They’re still in the mountains, and that snow we saw start yesterday is everywhere now. Rand is heading out on reconnaissance (possible violent reconaissance with explosives) and Annie wants to come too, but he suggests it would make more sense to have a fellow adult come along – and he describes the person we know he wants (Rook) thus: “Blue eyes and blonde hair and a team spirit that we all admire…”
I love that Rand is sarcastic about Rook’s terrible attitude.
They’re all actually dreadful teammates – their joint reaction to Scott’s depression over the death and destruction of the other survivors from the REF showed us that, because come on, the boy deserved a day or two of gloom – but Rook is especially bad.
She’s written as a cardboard ‘men are terrible’ 80’s straw feminist which is deeply annoying as she responds to everything Rand says with righteous anger, regardless of whether he is genuinely cracking on to her, or asking her to pass the salt.
Rook is basically Jessie from Saved By the Bell, ruining feminism for the rest of us by making it look like it’s 99% killjoyness to 1% having a genuine point.
Rand reluctantly takes Annie with him on skis (where did they get the skis?) and when some Invid arrive, their luggage is interfered with, allowing for a comedy routine about Annie’s bikini having a bomb in it.
Okay, maybe Rook has a point about Rand being constantly on the verge of being sexually inappropriate.
After some surprise mountain-climbing, Rand and Annie find a mysterious Invid fortress, walk right up into it, and wander around all the glowing alien walls, despite the huge number of Invid guards in the vicinity.
At one point, Rand says ‘boy that was dumb’ about Annie tripping over. Sweetie, I think you passed the point of dumb before the ad break.
Annie’s determination to be the one to set the explosives ends in disaster when she drops the bomb and falls over again.
Back in the camp, Marlene screams in pain as the others admire the big poof of black smoke coming out the side of the mountain.
Everyone is really judgy about her sensitivity because they are assholes.
Lunk: Hope your stomach’s stronger than your head, Marlene. (Drives chaotically)
Everyone rides to Rand and Annie’s rescue, flying into the Invid fortress and tracking their friends. It’s quite nice to know they’ve all microchipped each other.
They find Rand and Annie buried in heaps of goopy plasma, and discover that the Invid have all vacated the premises. When Rand shoots at a bunch of what look like alien incubators, Marlene screams again. Huh, is it me or does that happen whenever anyone commits violence against Invid? Might be a clue.
Scott cowboys up and does all the heroics while everyone else flees “back to the ranch” i.e. the next bit of mountain with a lot less snow.
He must be good at it because he manages to completely trash the fortress, which goes up in flames.
Afterwards, Rook and Annie (in makeshift swimsuits) have a splash fight in the water (wow they MUST have travelled far if the water is warm enough to swim in, OMG). They encourage Marlene to join them, and she promptly whips off all her clothes, giving Rand a heart attack.
Lancer grabs Rand’s ear and gives him a polite talking to about when it is and is not polite to stare at a naked lady..
Speaking of naked ladies, I guess it makes a change to flash the female character’s nudity during a swan dive rather than a shower, but did they have to freeze frame? Did they really?
Thanks to everyone who has linked, commented, or sponsored me.
You can support Musketeer Space at Patreon.