Episode Twenty-Four – Going Underground

Episode Synopsis

The Joes are traveling in their Coyote, investigating random Earthquakes on the Eastern Seaboard.  Scarlett suspects Cobra is behind it, but Duke does not seem at all convinced.  As luck would have it, just as they stop to grab some chow, an earthquake strikes.

As the diner they’re eating in threatens to fall from a jagged slope, Tunnel Rat and Roadblock lasso it with the Coyote and using all of the possible power from the vehicle, slowly pull the restaurant back onto solid ground.  The rest of the Joe team lends their unique talents to the rescue as well.

Convinced that Scarlett knows what she’s talking about, the Joes find a nearby well disguised Cobra facility, and using chameleon mode on the Coyote, they infitrate and start scouring for these underground tunnels that seem to be leading in all directions.  An underground network, built by Cobra.  Soon, the Joes see the driller machine responsible for creating the tunnels, and the Coyote narrowly escapes its path.

Scarlett isn’t quite so lucky, and ends up buried under the rubble, with Duke frantically trying to save her.  As he tries to dig her out, she comes to the realization that Cobra is actually creating a national network of these tunnels.

Back inside the Cobra doors, the Baroness is encouraging her Cobra agents to speed up their process, but the lead technician is concerned about seismic activity.  The Baroness decides to remove him and proceed…  then she runs into the Joes!  She frantically tries to chase them down with the magentized drilling apperatus, but they manage to slip past in the Coyote.  But their victory is short lived, and soon enough, they find themselves also buried in rubble.

On the other side of the rubble, Duke is trying to help Scarlett, who is fading in and out of consciousness by getting her to talk about her friends and family, but that is a quick conversation.  Meanwhile, the Baroness is controlling the driller and fires a beam at the Coyote, thinking the Joes have been incinerated…but Ripcord has performed one of his timely rescues, and him, Roadblock, Snake Eyes, and Tunnel Rat are safe.  Safe…and planning their next attack.

Inside the control room, The Baroness is joined by Cobra Commander quite by surprise, and the Commander is not happy about the excavator.  The Commander reveals Cobra’s plan to build a network of underground tunnels in order to transport whatever they want and do whatever they want with no knowledge from the outside world.  As he gives his speech, Snake Eyes shows up on camera, and the excavator goes tunneling after him, only to have Tunnel Rat and Roadblock jump into the massive vehicle.  Roadblock is trying to help Tunnel Rat disable the excavator as it nears the Joe ninja.  Suddenly the vehicle pulls back and reconfigures its targeting system…  on Roadblock in the Coyote.

Ripcord rescues the large Joe machine gunner, only to once again become a target of the driller’s plasma pulse.

On the other side of the rocks, Scarlett gives Duke her pendant, telling him it was a gift from her father…she doesn’t want it buried with her.  Saying that, she collapses.

Back at the Coyote, Ripcord throws himself in the path of the plasma bolt, and Cobra Commander recognizes him as “Patient X”!  Ordering the Baroness to only shoot to wound, the plasma blast slams into him and drops him, but then refocuses on Roadblock.  From within the excavator, Snake Eyes elects not to take a chance and slices several cables in the console, hoping one of them will do the trick.  It does, and the firing system is disabled.

Using the excavator to break down the rock wall, Tunnel Rat and Snake Eyes find Duke and Scarlett, who are sharing a protective embrace, afraid of the rocks collapsing around them.  Snake Eyes seems none too pleased.

Inside the control room, Cobra Commander threatens to finish of The Baroness once and for all, but she informs him of a back up plan for this transportation system…the Commander is quite curious.

Back outside of the underground tunnels, Duke and Scarlett are talking, with Duke revealing that he stole a Cobra device with maps to all of their mag lev systems and where they connect back to.  Scarlett thanks him for everything, embracing him again.  Snake Eyes witnesses the act, and once again looking none too pleased, he boards his motorcycle and roars off into the distance.  Duke is certain he will be back, but Scarlett doesn’t look to sure, as her pendant glows mysteriously…

Episode Review

Hmmm…a bit of a mixed bag here.  On the one hand, we have another episode that was basically the Joes battling a piece of technology instead of actually fighting other people.  As usual, the writing was really crisp, very realistic, and intelligent, but there didn’t seem to be a whole lot of real action.  Lots of dialogue, some great drama, but really no knock-down drag out challenges.

Granted, you can’t have that every episode, but as episode 23 showed us, the Renegades writers do that exceptionally well, so when they veer from that, it always leaves me a bit disappointed.

But anything action-wise was totally overshadowed by the story and the plot progression.  We first heard specifics about this underground tunnel system from Destro in Episode 22: Cutting Edge, but it goes even further back than that.  In the first two-part episode remember, the Joes end up in the basement of a Cobra facility, and even way back at the beginning, a strange mag lev tunnel was underneath the factory that trains roared across.  Very cool how the writers took that idea and basically brought it to life throughout the entire season.  Even better, though, was the drama and suspense throughout the episode.  Certainly, nobody really thought Scarlett’s life was in danger, but it was written incredibly well throughout, and it certainly seemed like Scarlett thought she wouldn’t make it through.

Her reluctance to talk about her family was extremely interesting, and her final resolve with handing over the pendant came across as very emotional.

Speaking of emotional, Scarlett and Duke’s sudden closeness is another pretty big surprise to me, and I absolutely love the reaction it is getting from Snake Eyes.  I’ve been wondering all season long just how close Snake Eyes and Scarlett are and what their relationship really is, and it certainly seems to be a close one at this point, though still somewhat in mystery.  It’s a very interesting relationship dynamic that I really love.  Again, not something you often see in kid’s cartoons.

Lastly, once again, even with a somewhat abbreviated appearance, I LOVE Cobra Commander in this series. His whole speech about Rome was just damn inspired, and I really enjoy that we get a sense of his intelligence, gravitas, and sense of history, not that he’s just some crazed megalomaniac with delusions of grandeur.  He was awesome in this episode.

We were somewhat short on action, but long on drama and plot progression, so in the end, I’m quite satisfied with the episode.  I was so ramped up about the action from Episode 23, though, I do miss it here, but something tells me the next two episodes just might make up for that.  We’ll find out shortly.

Screenshot Gallery

Episode Details

Original Air Date: July 9, 2011
Writer: Eric Karten
Director: Scooter Tidwell

Easter Eggs