Tripping the Rift: S01E10: Aliens, Guns, and a Monkey
This was another decent episode. It started off great, and got me very excited about the rest of the episode by the first commercial break. Unfortunately the episode didn’t remain as consistently funny as it did in the first fifteen minuets. Toward the end, all of the humour could came from the background jokes which carried the episode in place of horribly predictable plot.
One of the strong points to this episode was that it returned to some of its more computer short roots. Most obviously by changing the opening credits a tad. Much like the computer short, the final “t” in Rift fell over in the final seconds of the intro. And the similarities do not stop there, we were treated to more senseless cursing and even the beginnings of a fight between Gus and Chode…
Our story starts off with Chode showing off his newest acquisition: a monkey diamond. This odd gemstone has a singing monkey trapped inside. Oddly enough the monkey doesn’t require food, water or fresh air, but who ever said cartoons were realistic. The monkey is aptly named Spankey, because of what he likes to do when he’s not singing. Chode plans on selling Spankey to the highest bidder and make millions. It appears that for the first time we’ll actually get to see Chode et al smuggling and trading warez.
Well it would only appear that way. The Jupiter 42 is quickly approaching the planet of Harmonia 7, and the useless ship AI, Bob, lacks the initiative to move around it instead of crashing into it. Chode instructs him to go around it, but then Bob questions which way to go: left or right. After consulting his trusty advisor: a magic eight ball, Chode orders Bob to go left. Well that was the wrong choice, stupid eight ball never works, because the planetary defense system kicks in a fires a mess of stuff at the ship. With many of Bob’s vital systems damaged, Chode is forced to land the ship on the planet. Even worse, Chode has to land the ship while sober. No self respecting starship captain would ever be without his booze in the future…
The too sober captain crash lands the ship on the planet, and then Six surveys the damage. A giant section of the ship has been blown off. The major losses include: the masterbatorium and T’Nuk’s Martha Stewart action figures collection. After a period of crying for their losses, the crew learns that the damage is even worse. Bob need a new pink tuscadaran cord, or he’ll die.Lucky for them they can purchase a new one 10 km away. Unluckily for them, they have to pass through gun-utopia to get there. Harmonia 7 is the gun planet. Because science fiction loves to over generalize worlds as being only one thing and not diverse like a real planet! All of the citizens love their weapons and sleep with them in more ways then one. Chode orders T’Nuk to stay on the ship to watch over Bob, but more importantly for their own safety. Chode figures that the trigger happy populace would have mistaken her for some game beast and killed her, potentially getting one of the crew shot by accident. After hearing Chode’s explanation T’Nuk is overly pissed and calls him a “fucking asshole”. Chode won’t stand for that kind of disrespect and shouts at her: “That’s Captain Fucking Asshole to you!”. Gotta love this show!
The rest of the episode is filled with lots of background jokes. It’s mostly things like signs and posters dealing with asinine gun jokes, but all good stuff. To the powers that be: please include more background jokes in the future.The crew is forced to go through customs, which is a process somewhat similar to entering the United States. They are forced to undergo scans and surrender urine and DNA samples. They have tracking collars attached to their bodies and suffer a few other indignities. Oh yeah they’re also forced to have a Voyeur 6000 follow them around to track their activities, but the official reason is for their own safety and protection. A brief rundown of the planet and its customs are told to the crew by a recording of the planet’s governor: Smith N Wesson, some military bloke who looks remarkably like NRA president Charlton Heston. …Really digging the NRA jokes.
The crew make way to the store, but encounter some resistance along the way. The peacenik resistance that is. Some left wing teenagers are disgruntled with the gun culture and have decided to rebel. …the only way they know how, with VIOLENCE. The peaceniks, led by Aidan Wesson, do some random terrorist violence against places of gun related significance like Gun World, a theme park devoted to guns. Gus points out the irony in using violence to end violence, but all it gets him is a gun barrel pointed in his direction.
To escape the gun toting pacifists the crew hauls ass away in a taxi. Chode is rather peeved by the Voyeur 6000 and wants to be rid of the thing. He and Six have a cool conversation in pig latin. This was really funny, there was lots of hidden cursing in pig latin, but what was funnier was the polite translation at the bottom of the screen. “Ucking-fay ite-ray” (fucking right!) became “It is agreed”, amongst other clever things. Even Six’s dialogue was masked a little. Six has a plan to destroy the Voyeur 6000. She has Chode exit the cab first and run around a corner. Then when the rest of the crew exits the cab with the spybot, it won’t be able to locate him. Six tells the Voyeur 6000 that Chode flew up to the sun and if it looked closely at the sun it’ll see him. The stupid bot looks up at the sun for too long and catches fire! With that problem out of the way, the crew enters the store to buy the part.
When the locals in the store realized that the crew no longer have the Voyeur 6000, they decided to take advantage of the situation. The storekeeper will only take cash for the part, and since Chode only has some random garbage in his pockets (condoms, bong, grocery list etc) he’s forced to use the ATM outside to get some cash. Waiting outside for him are some punk kids who summarily rob Chode of his cash and monkey diamond.
Everyone is in a tough place. Tensions are high, and the aggressiveness of the planet is starting to affect the crew. So much so that Chode and Gus start to duke it out. It was great! Just like in the computer short. But Six had to be a wuss and end the fight before Chode could pummel Gus with a baseball bat again! With Bob about to die, they must think up another plan to save him. Chode decides to visit the governor to complain and try to get their stuff back.
Wesson isn’t very helpful to the crew. He gives them the run around, because he’s in cahoots with the kids, but does offer them a job. He’ll pay Chode to have Six give him a “massage” and he also contracts the rest of them to bring his estranged son Aidan back to him. Quickly everyone gets to work on their jobs.Chode, Whip and Gus accidentally find Aidan and his peaceniks in a vegan diner. He too easily convinces Aidan to come back to father by telling him to be the bigger man. Meanwhile Six massages the governor, only to realize that he stole their monkey diamond and money. She plays along just long enough to get their cash back, and then some.
Chode returns with Aidan in tow. It’s a tearful reunion, interrupted only by Chode’s greed. Upon realizing the Wesson has his monkey diamond, he breaks apart the reunion and demands his property back. Wesson accidentally reveals his master plan in front Aidan while denying his involvement to Chode.Wesson explains, “Are you suggesting that I would start a crime wave in order to stoke the flames of paranoia which would create a gun culture so powerful that even sensible gun laws could never be passed?!” I love America jokes!
Aidan realizes what his father has done to their world and pulls a gun on him. Wesson replies in the same manner. The crew escapes just before the two of them light up the room in gunfire.
The story jumps a bit here. Off camera, the crew purchses the part for Bob, and installa it successfully. Elsewhere Aidan has killed his father and taken control of the planet and started enacting incredibly tough guns laws. It appears that peace has been brought to the world of Harmonia 7, finally earning the world its namesake.
Back to “on camera” stuff, the Jupiter 42 takes off from the world never to return. Bob is healthy and Chode still has his monkey diamond. Too bad those punks kids dropped it, because now its worthless. It has a small hole, but just big enough for Spankey to squirt T’Nuk through it!
Again this was a pretty good episode. Not as good as last weeks, but it was nice to see a return to some of the proven humour of the computer short and the great background jokes of the pilot episode. The American gun culture jokes, while quite funny, were told too many times and ultimately lost their effect. But either way, the writers proved their point about the ridiculous reliance on violence and guns in this country.
I’d rate this episode an gun slingin’ 28,493 out of 10.
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Tripping the Rift reviews are © 2005 Ryan Bechtel.
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