EPISODE REVIEW: GI Joe Renegades: “Brothers of Light” (Episode 13)

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Three hours of TV, six shows, four of which I have to review myself. I haven’t even gotten started and my fingers hurt, and I’m suffering the profound psycho emotional discord that comes from having foolishly attempted to watch “33 1/3rd Revolutions Per Monkee” today. We’ll see how this goes:

PLAY BY PLAY

Acting on a tip from Breaker, the Joes head to the desert to kidnap Mindbender. They find a catatonic woman, and take her back to the cult she escaped from, which seems exactly the wrong thing to do in that kind of circumstance, but, hey, I’m a Republican. Maybe Blue Staters see it differently. The Cult is run by creepy Corsican brothers Tomax and Xamot, who enthrall their followers with your typical Sri Bagwan Ragneesh hoo-hah (Barracks, palaces, bean fields, forbidden barn, the promise of trips to Blisstonia, etc), and manipulate Duke into having the team stay the night.

The next day, while Tunnel Rat is out looking for ‘Bender, the rest of the Joes are enthralled, and become happy slaves. They get Snake Eyes too. Rat gets captured and thrown in a cell with the catatonic woman (Much better now, thanks), who explains their powers only work when close together. Snake Eyes (Only pretending to be possessed) breaks out Rat, and with this intel they bring down the cult and escape.

MEANWHILE, Mindbender is trying to find actual psychic powers, and after several charlatans (A really funny scene) he visit’s the brothers, who quickly brainwash him, and he signs over all of Cobra’s funds. After the Joe Revolution, he rescues them, but only so he can figure out how their powers work. The torture begins….

The End

OBSERVATIONS

This episode was dedicated to Clement Suave, the artist who did the character redesign on the show. He died a few months ago at the horribly young age of 33.

This is a major re-thinking of Tomax and Xamot. In previous versions they were sort of a parody of the yuppie corporate raider types from the 80s. Though they had the Corsican thing going on, the had no psychic powers per se, and their main role was as Cobra’s financiers. They ran a perfectly legitimate business by day, and on one occasion they actually took over Cobra when the Commander couldn’t make his loan payments. Then they fired him and started liquidating his assets. Yeah, it was a goofy show. Just the same: this is like re-imagining Star Wars with Darth Vader as a whiney beanpole of a Canadian instead of the Dark Lord of the Sith, or Battlestar Galactica with Starbuck as a chick or something crazy stupid like that. Oh…wait….

No, seriously though, I see why they did this, and I’ve generally been over-the-moon with everything else they’ve done on this show, but this one seems a bit much. I mean, I was even ok with Zartan as a Mexican Biker, rather than a master of disguise mercenary Australian. But, eh, we’ll see. They’ve earned my trust.

Tunnel Rat is officially my favorite character now, and I never liked him before this show. He’s funny, he’s smart, he’s resourceful, he’s kind of a well-meaning jerk, and kind of unrepentant about it. Given that he’s a private, Rat is probably only 18 or 19 years old.

“No thank you, I’m very happy being paranoid.”

“And my paranoia saved our butts. Again.”

“If there was ever a time for the ninja man to show up, it would be now.”

So what did Roadblock get accused of that he didn’t do?

The whole “Rescuing a guy from a collapsing statue” thing was very, very cool. Completely impossible, but very, very cool.

WILL CONSERVATIVES LIKE THIS EPISODE?

Of course. We fear new agey cults. Seeing them taken down by a smart-mouthed Chinese-American Jew is enjoyable not only because of our cult phobia, but also because it makes us feel tolerant of minorities and different legitimate religions. This episode is a threefer!

Ok, on to my next review….

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