EPISODE REVIEW: Sym-Bionic Titan: “The Demon Within” (Episode 13)

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“Boy, nothing stays dead today!”

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Lance, Illana and Octus (not in disguise) are tromping through the swamp, looking for a Mutradi ship they observed land in the area. They talk about their love lives. Octus remains confused but intrigued by Kimmy, who tried to kiss him on a date, but he failed to correctly interpret her body language. Illana has never been on a real date. Lance isn’t forthcoming with info, but it appears he has.

They find the ship, and a typically ugly Mutradi within. It attacks them, they kill it, but it’s actually just playing possum until they come out of their armor, then it attacks Illana and burns up her leg with some venom. It runs away.

Illana becomes uncharacteristically pissy, then uncharacteristically more agile and strong, then uncharacteristically taller. It takes Lance and Octus an uncharacteristically long time to notice. Illana is, of course, turning into an alien….no, wait, she’s already an alien. Ok, Illana is turning into a less attractive alien, and of course she’s a thrall of the one that attacked her. She runs away.

Lance and Octus track her down, and we get the typical battle, made a bit more interesting this time out since they’re fighting one of their own, and can’t hurt her. At one point, Octus attempts to trap her in one of his force bubbles, but then she just starts batting his CPU around.

“Ok, I didn’t think that one all the way through.”

Lance kills the alien, and Illana dies. But she gets better, and goes back to being human, and decides to find herself a date when she gets home.

The End.

OBSERVATIONS

This is the first episode not to have the titular Titan in it. They never merge, nor could they since Illana is indisposed through most of the ep.

The whole “Dating” thing and the main plot never really jibe. I think we’re supposed to see some casual association thematically between them, but it never really comes off, so the love life discussions and Illan’s resolution at the end seem rather bolted on.

Gee, the show is quite a bit weaker without its supporting characters, isn’t it? These three really aren’t as interesting when they’re by themselves. Octus is, as ever, the most interesting character, but he’s nowhere near as interesting as he’s been over the last four or five eps, since he’s given nothing really to do here apart from hold Lance’s coat.

Illana, it turns out, has been on many arranged social engagements with various nobles, only one of which she ever really enjoyed, but she never saw the prince again: His country broke up in a civil war shortly thereafter. She had escorts (Plural) on all these “Dates,” and was quite shocked to think Kimmy would kiss Octus in front of their escorts. She was more shocked when Lance pointed out that the whole “Escort” thing is only for Princesses, but she tried to play that down like she already knew it.

John DiMaggio was the voice of the alien. His mission was to kill Illana and, as long as it didn’t run them into overtime, Lance and Octus as well. Interestingly, once he “Turned” her, he decided to violate orders and take her home as a trophy. What kind of trophy? Like the “This is my prisoner” type, or the “This is my trophy wife” type? To be honest, I suspect it was probably conceived of as the latter, but then written out. That’s the only way I can see the plot actually intersecting with the whole romance angle, but it’s also creepy as heck, and I can see why it didn’t make the cut. *IF* that was ever the plan. I’m just speculating wildly here.

Lance comments that the Mutradi don’t seem to be trying very hard these days, and in fact he’s right. It’s been four or five episodes since there’s really been a serious threat.

When Illana transforms back to human at the end, she’s naked. There’s a really nice, quick scene of Lance happy she’s ok, then realizing she’s naked, and quickly taking off his sweater and dressing her in it to protect her modesty. He’s a noble guy, I like that about him. Interestingly, there was no false modesty here on his part: he saw her naked, and doesn’t really seem to have cared much. He dressed her to prevent awkwardness on her part, or so it seemed. And of course we get a not-terribly-leering, but *very* leggy shot of Illana barely contained by said sweater. Hubba.

Just a tiny bit of ‘Will they or won’t they’ awkwardness in this ep. I’m still not clear if either of them are romantically interested in the other, or not.

You know, the title of this episode really doesn't make any sense. Illana's transformation doesn't bring out any inherent evil within her, and in fact she fights heroically against it. And she attempts to sacrifice herself to save the others at one point. Far from demonic, she's angelic.

And that’s about it. A fairly mediocre episode, all things considered.

WILL CONSERVATIVES LIKE THIS EPISODE?

A (Literally) gallant young man rescues a damsel from a troll in the swamp, then dresses her in order to preserve her modesty. Yeah, I think Conservatives might like that….

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