Robotech Rewatch 65: Legwarmers of Liberty

1653849-dusty_ayres_02Okay everybody up. Robotech is back!

EPISODE 81: Hired Gun

So this is the serial killer episode.

Our heroes, the dishevelled freedom-fighting Robotech bikie crew, arrive in a town where soldiers are being mysteriously killed by a figure called Dusty Ayres. Scott reluctantly agrees to help track the dude down, for no apparent reason. Even Rand and Rook think this is a surreal change in focus for Captain One Track Mind, and wonder how exactly this is going to help with the whole Reflex Point business.

Rook is assisted in an Invid fight by a mysterious long-haired stranger, and patches him up afterwards – only to discover that he has a metal arm. He’s the Winter Soldier! (sadly, he’s not the Winter Soldier)

Rand threatens the dude, suspicious as to where he got his wound from… and the dude (who is Dusty, obviously) shoots Rand’s gun out of his hand with his high-tech cyborg shooting arm.

Rook tries to recruit the mysterious stranger using friendship and let’s face it, a hefty dose of flirtation, but he lone-heroes off into the sunset instead.

Rand and Rook catch up with the rest of their crew at a bonafide Wild West saloon, just as the soldiers are sharing a picture they have found of the killer – and shock, it’s Rook’s new growly-voiced pal!

I especially love that the pic was found on some undeveloped film in an abandoned Polaroid camera. Robotech, your vision of the future is adorably analogue.

Rook confesses to Marlene that she likes Dusty, and then sets off to fix him. The misplaced sympathy of a good woman is enough to sort out any pesky serial killer issues!

Rook and Dusty face off in the rain. She halfheartedly tries to arrest him. He explains his tragic backstory: how he was experimented on by the Invid, who turned him into a cyborg. The soldiers he has been killing off are his former friends who apparently “sat by and watched” while all this happened to him.

Hmm, totally justified murder then?

The Invid attack, and Dusty unexpectedly joins the gang to fight them, then comes close to killing Rook’s friends too, until she makes an impassioned speech to stop him. He resists the urge to murder them all, then gets himself shot by a last surviving Invid, allowing everyone to mourn him as a hero. Though he was totally still a serial killer.

The mortality rate for guest stars on this show is exceptionally high, it has to be said.

EPISODE 82: The Big Apple

Does this mean New York survived the First Robotech War too? Even that time when the whole planet was irradiated by Zentraedi? Worldbuilding, your seams are showing.

Oh no, apparently it’s called Fun City.

The Regis is pretty sure that our favourite freedom fighting bikie crew is nearly out of protoculture again (true) and has set up an elaborate trap for them in a highly populated city (hmm, seems over complicated, but okay).

Lancer, Rand and Annie have avoided the Invid thus far by disguising themselves as two homeless people. They sneak their way to an old concert hall which is currently being used for protoculture storage…

Hang on, Lancer is getting all sad about Carnegie Hall no longer being used for music performances… this IS New York City. Cheaters!

When hiding from an Invid troop, Lancer, Rand and Annie are rescued by a small, sassy black kid. He takes them to meet his friends, who are a rogue theatre troupe. Yes, this is the stage school crossover episode.

The thin-moustached dancing instructor, Simon, recognises Yellow Dancer and is delighted to invite them all to the show. Which they are putting on right here in the barn.

Sera and Korg have a row about their next mission, leading Sera to decide it’s more important than ever that she track down Ariel/Marlene and find out WTF is going on. She thinks that the lifeforms (ie that hot boy she likes and his friends, but also any experimental dance troupes who might be hanging around) should be observed, not destroyed. Korg responds by blowing up Manhattan.

With the theatre in flames around them, Rand and Lancer try to evacuate the dance troupe, but Simon wants to go down with his theatre because the show must go on, damn it.

Legwarmers are hella flammable.

“It’s that Earth Man Who Causes The Disturbance Within Me.”
Sera tries to sum up what Lancer means to her. I hope she finds out his name soon so she doesn’t have to put all that on her tattoo.

Simon responds to the destruction and carnage by putting on a show to provide hope to the rest of humanity, because Minmei taught a whole generation that singing is a legitimate problem-solving technique in a time of intergalactic war.

Yellow Dancer sings, power ballad style. Everything that can’t be fixed by power ballads, can be fixed by legwarmers.

The rest of the crew fly in to fight the Invid over Manhattan, and hear Yellow Dancer’s performance on the radio, which clues them into how to reunite with their friends.

Scott and Marlene have a Meaningful Moment before he goes back into battle. Everyone takes this as evidence that they are going steady.

After five minutes of smug happiness, Marlene is confronted by Sera, who shocks her with the revelation that she is an Invid space princess. Headspin!

Once the battle is done and dusted, the crew bid farewell to Simon, who does not understand them prioritising this war of theirs over show business, but is prepared to tolerate it. As long as they hurry back to help him put on a show as soon as they’re done at Reflex Point.

Dancers, amirite?

In case we missed it, the crew fly over a certain statue symbolising freedom before they leave Fun City. It’s the Statue of Liberty.

Hey you guys, the Zentraedi didn’t blow up the Statue of Liberty! Wooo!

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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