The Black Dragon helicopter lands amongst a group of Cobra Troopers as The Baroness steps out and we hear a scientist’s voice overhead. As The Baroness enters a mysterious facility, Snake Eyes is watching.
Within this secret lab, Destro watches scientists on screen, who are revealing the secrets of the “MASS Device”, a remarkable piece of technology which uses a crystal to power this device. Destro immediately reveals the lead scientist in the video is “Professor O’Hara” no doubt with a connection to Scarlett.
The Baroness arrives and informs the two that the Commander is losing patience with their progress. Destro has been using his own piece of technology to try and replicate the crystal used in the video, but so far all tests are proving ineffective. They try once again with a hapless test subject, and he disappears with a Cobra ATV, yet does not seem to re-appear…a point that Mindbender says is Destro’s fault.
As the Cobra agents try in vain to replicate this mysterious crystal to power the MASS Device, we soon see that there is another crystal out there…and it is hanging around Scarlett’s slender neck.
Mindbender elects to upload the coordinates of this “echo” signal to their satellites, and quickly locates Scarlett! Destro wonders aloud why no one ever thought to look to her, considering she is Professor O’Hara’s daughter, but Mindbender seems quite surprised by this little tidbit of information. They do, of coer Jurse, dispatch some drones immediately to track down the Joes, while Scarlett has a strange vision of her father.
As the other Joes ask her about her strange glowing locket, Scarlett starts flashing back to some familial issues with her father. It seems their relationship is not quite as rosey as one might think. Her father reveals he works for Cobra, and that they are very “demanding”. Scarlett, finally sick of her father devoting more time to Cobra than to the family takes off in her car, vowing never to return. As we come back to the current day, we find out that there was an explosion at the facility a week later, and Scarlett reveals her father passed away during that incident.
Of course the Joes immediately suspect that her true motives for taking down Cobra are personal, while Scarlett insists that they are not.
Duke senses something else is going on here, as the Cobra Drones grow closer. But the Cobra agents’ signal is disrupted before they can see where the Drones are, as Snake Eyes leaps into action, stealing a piece of technology and battling his way out of the facility, with Cobra Troopers hot on his heels. Baroness and Mindbender desperately try to recover from the attack and locate the drones.
Back at the Joe’s camp, Duke tries to reassure Scarlett as they decide to pack up and move out, but the Drones get there first, pounding the Joes with knock out gas. The Joes make their way to the Coyote, and flee from the drones, under heavy fire. Ripcord knocks them out of the sky with the rear cannon. As drone pieces fall from the sky, Scarlett asks to be taken home to Atlanta. Meanwhile, Snake Eyes continues to fight off Cobra Troopers. The Joes receive some video files from Snake Eyes, which reveals Professor O’Hara demonstrating the power of the MASS Device. Professor O’Hara proclaims the MASS Device is a “gift to humanity”, an idea that Cobra no doubt disagrees with.
Back at the facility, the Baroness finds that Snake Eyes has escaped, and obviously is not happy.
Within the Coyote, the second video file begins to play, and shows Scarlett’s father destroying his home laboratory. A mysterious man in a trenchcoat arrives, and O’Hara explains that Cobra has darker motives for the MASS Device…motives he cannot support. The masked man removes his hood…and it is SNAKE EYES. An unscarred Snake Eyes at that. Scarlett is none too happy that Snake Eyes apparently knew her father and has not revealed this fact to her, and she tells him to meet them at her family home. But Mindbender is tracking her, and quickly finds out where they’re headed.
The Joes break into the home, now run down and abandoned, searching the rooms for something, though they’re not precisely sure what. Scarlett immediately goes to a safe in the basement and opens it…but it is empty. Snake Eyes has gotten there first. Hooking up a projector, the Joe ninja plays another video recapping what happened within the Cobra facility as Snake Eyes attempted to help Scarlett’s father destroy the MASS Device. Professor O’Hara asks the mysterious mercenary to look over his daughter, and Snake Eyes can hardly say no.
As Cobra Troopers bear down on them, Scarlett’s father must destroy the MASS Device personally, and as a result, the facility explodes violently, with everyone inside. The video shows Snake Eyes pulling himself from the wreckage, his face now a smoking ruin.
Outside Scarlett’s family home, a Cobra transport swoops in and delivers a squad of Mechanized Bio-Vipers, who begin making quick work of the Joes.
Duke and Scarlett, in the midst of battle, see a strange apparition of Scarlett’s father…an apparition that simply says “safe”. But before they can explore it any further, the Baroness arrives, and blasts Scarlett with one of her flame gauntlets. Flipping easily through the room, she snaps the locket from her neck, and before Snake Eyes can get close, blasts off through a hole in the roof using her jetpack.
The Joes narrowly escape as rockets demolish Scarlett’s family home, but The Baroness has the crystal and they are travelling back to the mansion.
In the Coyote, Scarlett and Snake Eyes have a heart-to-heart, and Scarlett shows a measure of forgiveness…but Duke interrupts to tell them that the time has come to take the fight to Cobra.
To Be Continued…
Man. See, this is what this show is capable of when it really clicks. As much as there have been ups and downs over the past handful of episodes, I don’t think it can be argued that the first part of this Season finale was perhaps one of the best episodes that G.I. Joe: Renegades has blessed us with this season.
As we have come to expect, the writing was immaculate, showing some amazing depth, conflict, and moral ambiguity that isn’t typically seen within children’s programming. Everything came across very authentic, very real, and quite normal, which is also unusual for cartoons written for the 7 year old set. Scarlett’s anger with Snake Eyes wasn’t forced or out of character, it flowed naturally. Snake Eyes’ uncertainness and guilt over what happened to Scarlett’s father was equally dramatic, well written, and believable.
The Baroness, Destro, and Dr. Mindbender were all perfectly in character and unbelievably well written, conflicting with themselves all while trying to track down their common foe. Scarlett’s palpable guilt about leaving her father shortly before his demise was perfectly conceived, and the writers managed to seamlessly integrate Snake Eyes disfigurement into this whole new back story. We immediately understand why the Joe ninja has such strong feelings for Scarlett, and how he feels like he must protect her. We start to understand why Scarlett as a deep rooted hatred and anger towards Cobra Industries, even before she knew the true story of what her father did there.
Among all of this fantastic character development and amazing writing, the action scenes were incredibly well choreographed and the animation was near flawless. The battle between Snake Eyes and the Cobra Troopers on the motorcycle was so awesome…yet it didn’t even come close to matching the beauty of the hand to hand combat within the facility during the flashback. Heck, I didn’t even mind when the Mecha-Vipers came crashing down from the Cobra Transport. Snake Eyes was absolutely brutal in the way he dispatched them, and I found myself not caring that they were Bio-Vipers at all, it all felt right within the confines of the story.
By the end of the episode, I was incredibly conflicted. Though I was totally enthralled by 22 excellent minutes of G.I. Joe animation, I also know there are only 22 minutes left, and as awesome as the episode was, it only led to extended disappointment that we won’t see these characters evolve further. Still, taken for what it was, this was one of the best episodes of the entire season. There truly were “revelations” and as I expected they would be, they were written seamlessly into the story, and the writers and producers should be damn proud.
Original Air Date: July 16, 2011
Writer: Greg Johnson
Director: Nathan Chew
- The safe combination contains numbers of Marvel Comics issues that focus on Snake Eyes: 12 – 91 – 26 (thanks to Tolan for that!)