Episode Ten – Firefight

Episode Synopsis

(This Episode was originally aired as “Episode 12″, even though it’s actually “Episode 10″ in continuity)

The Renegade Joes open up this episode by arriving in Greenville, a small former resort town that is now under the firm foothold of Cobra.  Cobra has built a large, all encompassing dam, and promising the revenue to the town, the Mayor agreed to let them do it.  As a result, the resort town is now dried up and a dustbowl.

Recognizing it as a Cobra township, the Joes disguise the Coyote in Cobra colors, only to become the focus of the angry mob protesting Cobra’s involvement in their town.  Within minutes, the Joes are joined by The Baroness and a handful of Cobra Troopers, though they make a much more dramatic entrance.

While the Joes slink away and dream about ways to capture the Baroness, the mayor informs Cobra that a court order has won them back some form of freedom, freezing Cobra from finishing construction on the dam.  The Baroness, and a member of Cobra’s emergency personnel attempt to convince the town that they will be better off with Cobra’s presence, but to no avail.

Recognizing some Cobra double crossing in the works, Scarlett and Snake Eyes leave on the motorcycle to recon the dam.  Meanwhile, The Baroness decides to take matters into her own hands, and discusses some potential plans with the malevolent Firefly.

As Snake Eyes and Scarlett arrive at the large dam, Cobra Troopers join them, but they manage to stay just out of view.  They are able to recon and discover that the lion’s share of the power from the dam is actually being routed to a building not on the map…a Cobra lab.

Back in town, Cobra agent Firefly is fulfilling his part of the bargain, and soon the mayor’s house is engulfed in flames.

Before long the Joes arrive, as does the Cobra fireman, who we have now found out is actually an homage to G.I. Joe member Barbecue!  He arrives on a 4-wheeler to assist with putting out the fire,  but leaves the vehicle too long, as Duke leaps aboard, attempting to pursue Firefly, who escaped on motorcycle.

While the Joes try to rejoin Duke in pursuit of the Cobra agent, Barbecue has boarded the truck and Baroness has ordered the Cobra saboteur to incinerate the entire town.

As Firefly starts another blaze, Snake Eyes and Scarlett catch up with the Baroness and Mindbender, resulting in some fierce fisticuffs.  The end result has Scarlett hanging by her fingers with Baroness threatening to drop her off a trolly, which is raising towards the peak of the dam.  Snake Eyes has Mindbender as well, but Baroness is unwilling to negotiate and stomps on Scarlett’s fingers.  Casually dropping Mindbender from the roof of the trolly as well, Snake Eyes dives down to rescue his teammate.

The Cobra agents manage to escape, and while the town looks on at the growing fire, a helicopter arrives.  At first looking like a water drop, they soon realize Firefly is piloting it, and soon he has engulfed even more of the town in a raging inferno.  The Joes decide they have no choice but to use the dam to flood the town.  Barbecue and Roadblock work on using the flood valves while Duke and Snake Eyes go after Firefly.  The battle is quick as Firefly is apparently blown up by one of his own grenades.

Inside the dam control center, after finding several useless valves, Barbecue realizes that Cobra had never intended to use the dam to help the town and purposefully dried it up to divert power to their Bio-Viper lab.  They decide to blow the dam.  As they fly away in a helicopter, Barbecue reveals some mysterious details about his past history with fire, and that something happened to some folks that he cared about.  Meanwhile, Firefly appears inside the copter!

Trading blows with Firefly while the copter swerves in the air, the Joes soon are forced to jump free as stray plasma fire has fried the controls.  Roadblock and Barbecue are hanging from some rebar in the dam as the helicopter slams into the mountainside, with Firefly on board.  Hanging helpless from the dam, yet still with the detonator in hand, Barbecue and Roadblock prepare to make the “tough choice”.  Thankfully it’s taken out of their hands as the Joes arrive in the nick of time, pulling them free as the dam explodes around them.  The dam floods, and the town is saved.

As the Joes leave, Barbecue elects to stay with the townsfolk to help them rebuild, realizing finally that the Joes are the good guys and Cobra must be stopped.

Episode Review

Wow.  A pretty exciting episode.  I know several people were somewhat concerned about how Firefly might end up being portrayed, and I will admit he is pretty different than most incarnations we’ve seen.  But not different in a bad way.

I hypothosized that perhaps he would have a fire angle, mostly due to the name of the episode, and in a way, that was correct.  While, in appearance, he was much the guy that we’re familiar with, his twisted and malicious fascination with fire was downright disturbing.  The cackling hiss of his voice and the tone of his speech was perfect.  He didn’t have the gravelly growl of the Sunbow version, but he sounds just as evil, and just as obsessed with his job, which works perfectly for him.  While his mask looked a bit funky in places, it worked for the most part, and I loved his bomb suit collar with explosives pretty much anywhere and everywhere.  Very well done.

The story itself was a surprisingly mature one.  Faking a power plant to purposefully dry up a local resort to fuel your own weapons lab is a pretty twisted concept, and the more I see of Cobra the more I can tell how subversive they are, and how they’ve injected themselves into every angle of American life.  I loved seeing the Baroness and the Cobra Troopers here, and was extremely impressed by the fight scene between the two ladies on the ski lift.  Very nicely done.  The casual effort with which Snake Eyes tossed Mindbender to his certain death was pretty cool, even though the weasely lab rat managed to save himself.

Loved the Cobra helicopter, and I really enjoyed the twist to Barbecue’s story.  A former Cobra fireman who realizes the error of his ways is a pretty neat way to look at it, and they took a somewhat minor character and gave him some real life.

While many would consider this another “filler” episode without much more depth to the overall Cobra arc, it was still a great one.  Excellent dialog, good action, a very serious story, and some nice ties to continuity.  We now see where the protesters who supported the Joes in Homecoming came from!

According to the folks at Hasbro Studios, we are now officially caught up with Homecoming, which is cool.  We should be able to watch future episodes without worrying about where it fits within continuity, and judging by the change in tone over the course of the first half of the season, I think we’re up for some very cool things in the future.

Screenshot Gallery

Episode Details

Original Airdate: February 11, 2011
Writer: Alexx Van Dyne
Director: Scott Bern

Easter Eggs

  • Cobra Fireman “Kelly” is actually a tribute to G.I. Joe team member Barbecue