Tripping the Rift: S01E09: Nature vs Nurture

This episode doesn’t waste any time at all, it literally jumps right into the action. It starts off with Bob narrowing avoiding fire from Bobo’s battle-cruiser. A sweet action sequence ensues for the next 8.47 seconds and then we see Bobo telling Chode that he’ll spare him and his crew if they surrender now. Which is surprising since Bobo is STILL on that bloody vengeance kick. I’d really love to know what Chode did to deserve all this hassle. But that joker Bobo was just playing mind games with Chode, and tells him to prepare to die. The resourceful captain offers to give Bobo his precious cargo of ice cream to buy some time. Except this is special ice cream, the photon torpedo flavoured kind!

Anyhoo, the resulting explosion forces the Jupiter 42 to crash on the nearby planet of Muldavia. The crash is so terrific that it attracts the attention of the local military force, and as soon as the crew exits the ship to survey the damage they are summarily held at gunpoint. That is until the army spots Chode, and then lower their weapons and bow their heads. The buffoon captain thinks that “looking at your shoes must be how they say hello on this backward planet” and then orders his crew to do the same. The Muldaviansoffer to repair the ship free of charge. Chode doesn’t care why they’re doing it for nothing, but Six assumes it’s a trap. She recommends that they stay behind to stand watch. Chode agrees, and leaves the four of them behind while he sees what else he can get for free on this planet.

Chode is taken with much fanfare to the castle, where all of the servants and guards bow before him as he enters. Chode is really digging this. Inside the palace, Chode is walking by what he thinks is a mirror and starts grooming himself, how vain. His “reflection” does the same stuff for a while, except for a small variation at the end. Y’know how cartoon joke works. It wasn’t his reflection at all but really his lost twin brother Regis Philbrick, King of Muldavia
Philbrick explains that he was adopted, and that is true parents couldn’t afford to take care of two children, so they sold one. A quick run though of their childhoods shows just how different their early life was. Philbrick has it all: friends, toys, education. Meanwhile Chode had to play with a dead rat and whore himself at age 16 to help out his family. But while Philbrick loved his childhood, he’s getting stressed from his current bureaucratic lifestyle and would rather be a starship captain like Chode. He even suggests that the two switch places (Prince and the Pauper style) so they could both enjoy new lives. This sadgeezer thought immediately that Philbrick is up to something. Seriously who’d permanently give up a life of luxury to be the captain of some derelict? Chode agrees to the deal without any hesitation.
Chode quickly discovers that it isn’t good to be the King. Most of his day is spent dedicating buildings, touring ministries and doing the baby kissing politician thing. By the end of his first day he’s exhausted, and just wants to relax. He orders his majordomo to draw him a bath, only to find out that all of his staff has quit because he’s out of cash. Apparently Philbrick spent it all on booze and phone sex. And now Chode begins to understand why Philbrick gave up his life so easily.

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Meanwhile back on the ship, Philbrick is really enjoying his new life. He’s thinks the most mundane ship captain stuff is so cool. While Philbrick may have a more refined voice then Chode, its apparently not enough to make the crew truly suspicious. Even his vocabulary is different too, but its still condescending so the crew doesn’t think much of it. Everything is going fine aboard, until Bobo shows up again, traps the ship in a tractor beam and starting slowly sawing it into tiny pieces. Philbrick cracks under the pressure and reveals to the crew his true identity and admits that he doesn’t know what to do.
Well actually he does, he calls someone who can help him, and that person is Chode. Chode tells Philbrick to offer Bobo some chocolate, and when he lowers the tractor beam and shields, to transport over a thermo-nuclear weapon instead. Chode just so happens to have both under his bed. Gawd I love that Chode, he’s got all the fun toys: Six, a starship, nuclear weapons, Six…

Chode is having his own life or death problem now too, the people of Muldavia are revolting and want his head. Actually they want Philbrick’s, but since they think Chode is Philbrick, they’ll take his instead. The ever resourceful dictator knows exactly what to do in this situation too. He dresses up in drag (35 points to anyone who noticed that his outfit is the same as the original Six of one outfit) to avoid the lynch mob. Hey nobody said it was a good plan. He then gets his majordomo, and tells him that he’s changing some laws: Prostitution is now legal, drinking age is 10, and a lottery will be set up to refill the royal coffers. All these things pacify the populace just long enough for him to escape back to the Jupiter 42.

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Chode arrives in enough time to help the crew with the nuke, and get Philbrick the hell off his ship before it hyperjumps away. The twin brother leaves without too much emotion and Chode sends over the chocolates to Bobo, which he describes as “da bomb!” And boom! The battlecruiser is blown in half, and the J42 jumps the hell outta there!

The episode ends with Chode and Philbrick having a goodbye chat on the view screen. Philbrick is grateful for all of Chode’s help, and agrees to send Chode some cash from the lottery. Not bloody likely, Chode won’t see a cent! Despite their dissimilar up-bringings, their both the same person. Nature 2, Nurture 0.
Random comments: As always the Chode and Bobo interact so well with one another. And much like Sidewalk Soiler, it was there interaction that made the episode that much better. The space battle scenes were cool, if not short. Actually the entire episode was too short. There was a lot more potential for jokes in this ep, that probably had to be omitted due to time constraints. The reason of course being that Sci Fi Channel wants more advertising time. Speaking of which, this weeks commercial rant is Van Helsing. TV has been saturated with these ads for the last month. I was thinking of seeing this movie 6 weeks ago, but from experience: over advertisement = over compensation = horrible movie. So I’ll probably hold off on it now. on the bright side, the movie came out today, so I won’t be seeing all those ads anymore!

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The animation this week seemed different. Not in a good or bad way, just different. Toward the beginning of the episode the characters seemed more 3 dimensional. Or maybe the backgrounds were really 2 dimensional. But then again I could have just imagined it, this has been a rough week for me, and I was watching other 3D cartoons earlier so it could have changed my perception.

I’d rate this episode an ass-kickin’ 38,519 out of 10.

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Tripping the Rift reviews are © 2005 Ryan Bechtel.
Not for reproduction without the authors express permission

Tripping the Rift names, characters and everything else associated with the series are the property of CineGroup.

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