EPISODE REVIEW: Generator Rex : “Rampage” (Season 2, Episode 1)

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…And they’re back! It’s season two!


After a brief recap of the first season finale (Maybe you should review it, too, http://www.republibot.com/content/episode-review-generator-rex-%E2%80%9C... ) we discover that Providence is still rebuilding after the pantsing they took. Rex and Bobo are living with Noah, and Six is living under his Jumpjet “Like some kind of Ninja Hobo.” Rex is still trying to master his new build powers, but apart from the whip it isn’t working.

Van Kleis attacks the port, where Providence’s new generator is being brought in. Various fighting things happen, and Van Kleis turns Noah into an Evo. A big, dumb, happy, dog-like thing. Rex goes chasing after his only friend, while Van K. gets away. Lengthy comedic/adventurous chase sequences ensue, accompanied by vaguely klezmer-like music that doesn’t quite work. Comes close, though, it’s just a little too guitary. This results in a showdown between Rex and Van Kleis which he loses, but seems irritatingly unconcerned.

“Why so happy? Is this the part where your buddy Breach rescues you?”
“No, this is the part where Breach steals your inadequately-defended Power Core. [Cut to scene of that happening, then cut back to Van Kleis talking] and *this* is the part where she rescues me.” Zwoosh, he’s gone. He played them from start to finish.

The End.


I never really liked Van Kleis as a villain. He was all style, no substance, all moody vampire posturing and hair gel, and no real menace. And he never made a whole lot of sense, if we’re honest. And they just used him too much. An overused, under-defined villain who gets knocked over with no effort every week is really no villain at all. Think of the 80s Cobra Commander. But where as Cobra Commander at least had some very solid comedic chops (“The new fall line of weapons is in!”) and some occasional unexpected pathos (“once a man, once a man”), Van Kleis just kinda’ sucks.

Made worse by the whole “He’s dead, now he’s not, he’s got powers, now he doesn’t, now he does again” crud. So: basically we’ve got all the problems I listed above, coupled with a writing staff that just never knew what to do with him. Consistently the weakest part of the show.

That said, Troy Baker’s performance got *really* good as the show progressed, and he kind of found the character. He had kind of a self-conscious Cam Clarke thing going on in the first couple episodes, but by midway through the season, he’d found what he was going for, and it totally works. And in *tonight’s* episode, Van Kleis actually is a significant force of menace.

The episode starts out kinda’ weak and rambly, with Van K literally just walking by, and I’m thinking “Oh, come on, not again! I have to review this show, I can’t *JUST* talk about how lame the main villain is, give me something to work with here, people!” And you know what, they did! This is the best episode involving him ever (Not much competition there), and I almost feel like the unimpressive intro was almost like an in-joke about how poorly he’s been handled up until now. By the end, he’s actually imposing. So maybe they’ve got a handle on him, finally.

“Biowulf’ is a variation on “Beowulf.” Oddly, I just this minute got that. Gosh, I’m stupid.

Sadly, the plot really wasn’t up to the re-introduction of the main bad guy. It just felt kind of slapped together and fillery. We don’t get any of the shades of character we usually get. The bit with Bobo’s toenail was pretty good, though.

The scene of Rex realizing Noah was playing tag was really good, though the fakeout of his inability to cure him was irritatingly forced. Van Kleis hit by a train: cool. The arbitrary "Must save by" time limit, again, forced.

There's one scene where three Providence guards are shooting at the Noahmonster, and Six runs right through the line of fire. I mean right through it - the guns are like chest high to him - that's a pretty stupid mistake for a Hobo Ninja to make. And an animation director.

Not a bad season premier, but certainly not a stand-up-and-cheer one, either. Next week’ll be better, I’m sure.


Sure, why not?