Some years ago Tunnel Rat, Snowjob, and Frostbite were in the same unit, and were thick as thieves. Happy, silly-named insubordinate thieves. Snowjob and Frostbite went out skiing, there was an avalanche, and Frostbite died. Overcome with guilt, Snowjob left the army, dropped out of life, and moved to a cabin in Canada, which - I would be remiss in not pointing out - is what most people do to get out of having to join the army in the first place. Snowjob would seem to have some cause and effect problems.
Anyway, the Joes cross over into Canada. Somehow the Baroness knows this, and has Dr. Mindbender use his new Tomax/Xamot tech to make a kind of hive-minded bio-viper for Stormshadow. These are basically drones for him doing what he wants them to if he so much as thinks it. Stormshadow decides to test it out by killing Mindbender, but Baroness intervenes and sends them off to the great white north, eh, to kill the joes and, time permitting, Snake Eyes.
Snowjob is very standoffish, but lets the Joes stay the night, and swaps war stories with Rat. Snakeyees goes off to rescue a timber wolf in a bear trap, and gets attacked by the Bioninjas and Stormshadow. Various chop-sockey ensues, the fight comes back to Snowjob’s cabin, where they’re bottled up like fish in a barrel, waiting to be killed. Snowjob sends the joes away, and attempts to suicide while taking out the biovipers, but inadvertently survives. The team gets away, though Snowjob’s cabin is destroyed. They buy him a snowmobile (How? Where are they getting money from?) and ride off with another ally.
Snakeyes leaves Timber, the Timber wolf (Who is, by the way, a wolf, I don’t know if I made that adequately clear before) with Snowjob, who’s not entirely thrilled with it.
Evidently Tunnel Rat is older than 18. His conversations with Snowjob indicated that he was in a lot of covert operations special forces prior to the start of this series, and he’d been with that unit for quite a while. Never stated, but implied to be several years. This is a little odd since they mentioned that Rat is, I think, a mere private (E-1 or possibly E-3) in an early episode. However, traditionally, the character is a sergeant (E-5). This might indicate some confusion on the part of the writers, since, in general, military rank is handled all wrong on shows anyway. (Remember that early episode of SG1 where a guy with sergeant stripes is referred to as “Colonel?” I may have hallucinated that, actually.)
“Snowjob,” we’re told, got his nickname because he lies a lot, particularly in card games.
“Frostbite” is the second “Oldschool” Joe to die in the course of the series, the first being “Ripcord.”
“Timber” was Snakeye’s animal sidekick in the comics and original cartoon series.
This is still a kids' show, but it's definitely an older kid's show: They make it very clear that Snowjob is borderline suicidal, and they imply that while Duke himself isn't, he very well could become that way.
Tomax and Xamot turned up surprisingly in this episode, and they are apparently hating life: bound, gagged, and (As we saw last time) tortured for Mindbender’s medical experiments.
I liked Mindbender a bit better this time out. They’ve dialed back his over-the-top Wheedonism, and now he’s a hair more menacing.
Stormshadow’s deal with Cobra is that they will turn his clan into the most powerful Yakuza family if he kills the Joes. And, time permitting, Snakeyes.
Snakeyes goes kinda’ livid when Sormshadow mentions he’ll kill Scarlet first. He calls her “Your woman.” They havent’ done much with this yet, apart from the simpatico ‘twixt the two, but traditionally there’s a romantic triangle between Snake, Scarlet, and Duke. Thus far there’s been nothing between Duke and Scarlet, but it could still be in the future.
There’s a nice moment where Duke is talking about what’s obviously wrong with Snowjob without realizing that he’s obviously talking about himself: Both are eaten up by the death of an innocent that they, themselves caused. Duke wraps this up by saying Snowjob needs to find something new to live for, which, of course, is what Duke has done for himself without realizing it: his goal is to take down Cobra.
One of my kids: “Is Sormshadow a snow-ninja? Why else would he wear those duds?”
So we’ve got a fair passel of allies for the Joes now: Breaker, Steeler, Doc, Law (And his dog, Order), Barbecue, Snowjob, and, while we haven’t seen him in quite a while, General Hawk. I’ll give ‘em until the end of the season to recruit, but after that they really need to start actually *using* these people for some solid function. Otherwise it’s gonna’ feel like a tease drawn out for no good reason.
WILL CONSERVATIVES LIKE THIS EPISODE?
Yeah, I liked it. It was pretty good: Moral, decent folks win out over monsters. Military are good people. Bad guys are using our freedoms against us. Broken people recovering the will to live. All good stuff.