Tripping the Rift: S02E05: Benito Returns
It’s hard to come to a firm conclusion about this episode. It started off great, and had some of the best scifi cliché jokes the show has presented to date. But soon after it degraded into a poorly organized mess. I’m not sure if this was intentional or not, because this episode was a spoof of The Matrix. And since the Matrix is widely considered to be a movie that is all over the place, this episode might be spoofing the absurdity of the entire trilogy.
Similar to how my Cool Whip review was a half-assed POS, because it so perfectly reflects the quality of that episode. I’ll let you decided if you think the choppy story was intentional or not.
One of the surprises of this second season was the amount of explicit sexual content that was included in the many episodes. Benito’s Revenge is no exception. The episode starts off with Six and Chode in the middle of a heated screw. But nothing kills a boner like a blaring alarm. The SOS detector has gone off and is spoiling their fun. But no worries though, in this universe the oversexed engineers have thought of everything, including a snooze alarm for the SOS detector. But their reprieve is short lived because T’Nuk comes over the intercom demanding that Chode show up to the bridge. Her obnoxious voice kills his woodie, and any hope he has of getting off.
Chode and Six report to the bridge to find out what’s going on. Bob didn’t answer the distress call at first because the caller ID was blocked, and he was going to let the machine get it. But T’Nuk answered first. The “Pull My Finger” has five faint life signs aboard. Chode wants to shut off the lights to pretend no-ones home, but Six insists on doing the right thing. Chode doesn’t give a fuck. But soon the ship comes alive, and snares the Jupiter 42 in a tractor beam and connects with the Jupiter’s cargo bay. The crew are forced to defend themselves.
They make their way down to the cargo bay and the enter the tube that connects the two ships. The first few moments on the other ship appear to have been taken from last weeks’ episode; dark, spider webs and looking abandoned. I actually shouted at the TV “Saw this already!”. Immediately after my remark a pirate figure slowly come into the light. But there’s nothing to fear there, it’s Benito and his friends. Chode wants to know what Benito is doing out of his home.
Benito tells him that the home is sucking their brain waves so they escaped in the middle of the night. The crew all think he’s senile but to placate them, Chode says that he will rectify the situation immediately and orders the Jupiter to head toward Fun City, their nursing home. What Chode really wants to rectify is how they escaped. Chode is paying to make sure that they never escape.
Fun City is located behind 7 1/2 Flags Amusement Park. The nursing home seems like a nice enough place. Sure the residents are a bit depressed because of their imminent death, but the staff do all sorts of fun things. Like wear big floppy shoes, juggle meds and make balloon animals out of rubber gloves. Despite the staff’s normal appearance, we at home (and Six) know that the place is being run by clowns. The rest of the crew are oblivious. They drop off the geezers and leave for the amusement park next door.
We at home are treated to seeing the geezers being hooked up the brain sucker gizmo’s and Darph Bobo at the controls. He flips a switch and electricity is generated from their prone bodies.
Seven and Half Flags is an even bigger hint that the whole planet is under Dark Clown control. Besides the obvious clown environment, the place is even operated by costumed clowns! Again only Six notices. The rest of the crew are too busy having fun at the attractions and rides. Whip and Chode decide to go on the Madness Ride.
The attendant is an apathetic Clown who like most carnies, don’t care if they are in their seatbelts or not. Whip gets into the first car and takes off into the clown mouthed cave. Chode tries to enter a shoe car too, but the clown lets it loose before Chode has a chance to get in properly. Chode manages eventually though.
This is when things get confusing.
Inside Chode is nearly decapitated several times by the robots in the tunnel. They swing falchions at his neck, forcing him to duck. Later other robots try to stab him with daggers. Up ahead Whip travels straight down one path, but Chode gets turned down a detour. He is on a turbulent hilly track over lava that ends suddenly.
Chode is thrown from the car and lands into an old chair. The chair is identical to the one in the Matrix when Morpheus offers Neo the pills. In this case though Chode sits opposite The Orifice (a cool parody complete with reflected pince nex sunglasses). He offers Chode two pills:
The red pill will bring you to a world of tomorrows, giving you the ability to control your destiny. (Cinamon flavoured)
The blue will take you a netherworld where you will see things beyond your imagination. (wintergreen)
Unlike Morpheus in the movie, Chode really doesn’t have a choice to back out. With no good flavours, Chode decides to eat both at the same time. Before Chode leaves the land of the conscious, The Orifice tells him that if he needs a way out to call him on a phone.
I’d like to take a paragraph time out to point out a plot flaw. Was is the Orifice who diverted Chode’s ride to a more hazardous track? Does this also included the blades that tired to kill him (but not Whip) at the beginning of the ride? Or were the death attempts a Clown plot? I don’t know. Maybe the writers or director knows.
Perhaps this was just a way of parodying the Matrix by having a plot point without explanation.
I love this shot! Actually I love all the shots in this scene!
Chode finds himself in a white hallway with many doors. He’s dressed… in sunglasses and a black leather trenchcoat. He backs into one door to find Stinky, one of Benito’s friends. He explains to Chode that he’s in the Ratmix, an alternative reality between limbo and hell. He also tells him that Benito’s (and his) physical form is in the generator room. The generator room is used to power the amusement park. Chode now believes his grandfather’s ranting and wants to help. Chode must find the Interior Decorator to end the geezers’ enslavement.
Up on the surface when Whip returns from the lame ride and Chode’s car is empty, the crew get suspicious and run into the cave to find him. They find him in the decrepit room. He’s sitting in the chair and is non-responsive to their attempts to wake him.
But things are only getting worse for Chode who is back in the white hallway. And almost immediately thereafter clowns flank him on either side throwing explosive pies and shooting acid seltzer water at him. Chode catches onto the physics of the Ratmix quickly and pulls all sorts of Neo-esque stunts to evade the clown fire and use it to destroy the Dark Clown instead.
Chode runs into a large room, and finds himself up against an Agent Smith-like Bobo. As expected more cool fighting occurs, but Bobo is quickly kicked into a wall where he explodes into a pile of smoke. …Which reforms into a few dozens more Bobo’s who attack en masse. Chode evades them too, pulling some crazy moves. In the middle he laments, “I admit this is all very visually stimulating, but it doesn’t make a stitch of sense”
Chode’s comment makes me now think the episodes story jumping is intentional. And looking back I probably should have seen it before I started writing this. However I’m going to leave the comments in, just to convey what I thought initially.
When the Agent Bobo’s surround Chode, he flies away up into the white hallway. He finds a phone and connects to The Orifice. He’s gets his voice mail. Meanwhile the Bobos start to close in on him. Chode has to listen to a list of options before hearing which one will have him exit the Ratmix. When it comes up, Chode quickly dials the right buttons.
Chode awakens in the dingy room with his crew standing over him. He immediately starts ranting abot Bobo’s plan and the Ratmix. The crew think that he is also starting to go senile. Luckily Whips finds some candy (special pills) nearby, so now Chode can prove the Ratmix exists to them. He orders Gus and T’Nuk to go rescue the geezers from the generator room, while he, Six and Whip enter the Ratmix to find the Interior Decorator.
T’Nuk and Gus sneak into Fun City with a nurse and old lady costume. They enter the generator room to see the extent of Bobo’s plan. The devise a way to get the old fogies out in a hurry via a flatbed hovercraft.
Meanwhile, the cool members of the crew are in the Ratmix, and quickly find Benito’s gang in there too. Benito leads them to the Interior Decorator’s room. In that room we see that the walls are covered in TVs featuring headshots of the heroes and geezers in Ratmix clothes rotating on the many screens. Behind those headshots are smaller screen with similar headshots in a fractal pattern. After a full revolution the headshot will change to another random character. It’s cool enough that I thought it was worth writing it out.
The Interior Decorator is a spoof on the Architect in the Matrix. Expectedly it’s Bobo. We learn that Bobo is using the geezers as cheap source of electricity so he can power 7 1/2 Flags. Between ticket sales and electric bill savings, Bobo has nearly enough money to put a down payment down on his Death Orb. Geezers were used because they are a cheap source of power that no one cares about. Benito has an idea to deal with Bobo, but need Chode to distract him.
Chode asks Bobo some technical questions about the Ratmix. Bobo gives half answers that prove he has no idea what he’s talking about. When Chode pushes the issue, Bobo pulls out a manual (its really an Ikea furniture instructions, but Bobo is too dim to realize) and reads it aloud to them. Meanwhile Benito is behind Bobo’s chair affixing a time delayed explosive. When he’s done the heroes pick up the phone and dial out of other there. Seconds later Bobo explodes, taking out the Ratmix and carnival ride with him.
Luckily the crew escaped the ride in time, and T’Nuk and Gus were able to get the geezers out of Fun City before they were all killed in the explosion.
At the end of the episode, Chode drops off Benito and his friends at a roadside casino. They think its only for a few hours but Chode doesn’t plan on going back for them. But it’s all good anyway since old people love to spend time in casinos anyway!
This was a pretty cool episode. Graphically it was great, but the story and direction were a bit off. The visuals made this episode, and kudos’ to the animators on this episode and whomever was directing the animation.
To them, I’m sorry is I couldn’t point out every background joke, or cool looking shot in this review. However I’ve tried to include them all in the downloads section. And even then I couldn’t get them all. I know how tedious these animations are, and your efforts are very much appreciated.
I’d rate this episode a visually stunning 38,708 out of 10.
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Tripping the Rift reviews are © 2005 Ryan Bechtel.
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