Tripping the Rift: S01E08: Power to the Peephole
I think I set myself up for a disappointment with this episode. When I read the synopsis, I expected a lot of Florida 2000 election jokes. But instead this episode was mostly filled with dated election and Monica Lewinsky jokes that might have been funny a few years ago, but today barely even get a smile. Kinda makes me wonder what those creative consultants are being paid for. The one redeeming value of this episode was Six. Lots of her, in great positions.
The Jupiter 42 has been stuck in a plasma storm for the last 9 days. And the crew it starting to get antsy. By the crew I mean Chode, and by antsy, I mean going through beer withdrawal. To escape the cabin fever and get some more booze, he decides that the crew should take a vacation on the nearby planet of Floridia 7, the spring break planet. Six warns Chode that the plant in a heated political debate. The presidency is up for reelection and the two major players are the Dark Clowns and the Confederation. Six feels that it’d be best to avoid the tense political situation. But all Chode can think about is the hot college booty he’ll find there.
He should have listened to her. Because as soon as they transport down, the entire crew is arrested. We don’t find out why exactly, but its probably just because Chode is a wanted (or rather unwanted) criminal in this part of the galaxy. one of the candidates, Klak Klownman decides to use Chode’s arrest to his advantage. He offers to free the crew and hire them to dig up some garbage on the other candidate George Goodman. I thought Goodman would have been a play on Dubya, but he just turned out to be some corrupted southern conservative with a high libido. Chode agrees, but only after Klak agrees to pay for the minibar in his room.
It’s scheming time: In the tradition of another short lived scifi series, Firefly, Chode comes up with a great plan to uncover some dirt on Goodman. His plan is to have Six pose as a speech writer, and get Goodman to sleep with her. Gus will act as a chamber maid and open the curtains to his room, while Chode and Whip will pretend to be window washers and take pictures of Six and Goodman getting funky.
T’Nuk is ordered to do nothing and stay out of the way. Instead she tries to become an “Monica Lewinsky”-like intern for Goodman. I feel sorry for the animators who had to waste their time animating the T’Nuk/Monica scenes. They were not funny, and contributed almost nothing to the A plot of the episode.
The plan goes off without a hitch. Well okay their were some hitches. Six does a fine job of seducing Goodman, and wearing a terrific outfit while doing it! She takes him up to his room and demonstrates on him all 650 of her sexual positions that she’s programmed for. We even get to see her having sex with the politician! No more implied sex on this show. She would’ve only done a few except it took a while to figure out how to control the lift to get Chode into position to take the pictures. Just as Six starts to leave, Goodman realizes that she’s a sex cyborg, and decides to keep her for himself. He places a love-slave mini-disc in her data port, in the back or her neck, not in another slot like orifice of her body, and she’s instantly reprogrammed to love and obey him. Six loves him so much that she returns to Chode only to destroy the pictures and originals of the blackmail footage.
This leaves the crew in a tough position. Klak will bust their asses if they don’t turn up any evidence soon. So the crew is relianing on T’Nuk to dig up some dirt on Goodman. She digs up some dirt alright. She goes outside and starts digging holes in the ground. Stupid alien! But in the process she accidentally discovers that Goodman is taking bribes from the NRA and that he’s locked up family and replaced the with androids for the election. T’Nuk tells Six about this, which prompts Six to investigate for herself.
Of course Goodman denies that his family has been locked up and replaced. And he reminds Six that he’ll divorce his wife after the election and marry her. Six isn’t programmed to lie, so she confronts Mrs. Goodman and tells her what is to come, and that there’s no hard feelings. Mrs. Goodman doesn’t care too much. But only because she really is an android who happens to be malfunctioning. Six realizes then the Goodman must’ve reprogrammed her. She reaches into her data port and finds and removes the love slave program. With the minidisk gone, she has her free will back. Her first task is to free the real Goodman family.
Meanwhile Goodman has conquered the election. He’s giving his acceptance speech, when Six and his family barge in a tell everyone the truth. Goodman is arrested, and Klak Klowman steps up to take his place and all of his bribes. To conclude the episode, Klak refuses to pay Chode for services rendered. Well unless you count the three photon torpedoes he launched at the Jupiter 42 as payment…
Meanwhile Six is depressed about what happened between her and Goodman. She knows that what she felt wasn’t true. But at least she felt something. Remember that synthetics can’t feel any emotion, but oddly enough Six did have some sort of feelings. She misses those emotions. Chode says something to cheer her up a little, or sexually degrade her depending on how you look at it, and we can tell that her mood improves a little bit. I’m not sure if Six loves Chode, or just feels some need in her programming to care about him. I have a feelings that Six’s emotions will be a reoccurring theme in the show.
So that’s the episode. Six was the only good part of the show, and I’m not even that much of a Six fan! Gina Gershon did an excellent job voicing Six tonite. A much needed improvement over the way she normally voiced the sex cyborg. Six’s character growth was also a much needed boost to the series. There hasn’t been a lot of character growth in the series so far. This is something the writers and creative consultants should put more thought into. Well that and coming up with contemporary jokes!. Come on guys, your on Floridia during a hotly contested election and not one butterfly ballot joke?! Not even a recount quip?!
I’d rate this episode a disappointing 27,358 out of 10.
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Tripping the Rift reviews are © 2005 Ryan Bechtel.
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Tripping the Rift names, characters and everything else associated with the series are the property of Chris Moeller, Chuck Austen and Film Roman, CineGroup and the Sci Fi Channel.