Sunday, July 09, 2017

Earthworm Jim 2.3 - Darwin's Nightmare

Plot: Bob's attempt to flood the universe by backing up the Cosmic Commode fails utterly when Jim jiggles the handle. Bob decides he's going to have to meet the universe on its terms if he's to conquer it, and builds a device that will steal the evolutionary energy from those around him, and transfer it to him. Thus, by the time Jim and Peter confront him on the Planet of Man-eating Socks (thanks to Jim receiving a page from the episode's script), Bob is a dinosaur. Once he adds Jim and Peter's energy, he becomes a human, and our heroes are reduced to cavemen. They are only saved from being chewed up - but not swallowed! - by the socks thanks to Princess What's-Her-Name.

While the Princess futilely tries to re-educate Jim and Peter, Bob begins conquering Earth. Our trio tries to catch him by surprise, by this fails as well, and Bob de-evolves the Princess to some tiny ladybug, while he advances to the state where you have brain so large it exists outside your cranium. He could have finished things right there, but got a little too involved with evil laughter, giving Jim and Peter a chance to clumsily fall out of his warship. Jim tries one last time to be a hero, only for Peter to wind up de-evolved to a trilobite, which pushes Bob further up the evolutionary ladder, where he changes into. . . his original form, which releases the stored up energy back to its original hosts, after which things are settled rather swiftly.

Quote of the Episode: Jim - 'My head is floppy.'

Times Peter turns into a monster: 0 (16 overall).

Cow? A missing link between fish and bovine, but I'll allow it.

Other: Peter does an extended Three Stooges riff, after being re-evolved which just feels like stalling for time until the end of the episode. Jim and Peter, in their cavemen states, do a couple of Beavis and Butthead references, laughing at the word 'but'. There's a couple of Baywatch jokes, a stuffed crust pizza reference, a whole thing with a knock-off of Jacque Costeau who is kind of loopy. It's kind of a strange episode.

They did warn us of at the start, this episode contained scenes of graphic strangeness. I'm just not sure it's strange to me in the way they intended. The whole thing with Bob evolving himself and de-evolving everyone else would seem weirder if we weren't watching a show about an earthworm that was mutated because an alien supersuit fell on him. A supersuit that was built by a guy with a monkey for a head.

The start of the episode also warned us not to sit too close to the TV, because it was bad for our eyes. Then during the massive battle of Earth's militaries against Bob, the picture goes blurry because we've ruined our eyes. By the time we back up to a proper distance, the battle is over. That was a good gag.

Bob being defeated in part because it turns out he was right about fish being the highest form of life in the universe was a good twist.

In the opener, Jim refers to Peter as a 'kettle drum', which sets Peter off with accusations that Jim is saying he's fat. And Jim seems thoroughly annoyed by Peter during it. I thought there was going to be some hostility between them, maybe one of those episodes where the heroes struggle because they're too mad at each other. That's a pretty classic action cartoon plot. But no. Peter must have directed his insecurities about his figure inward, which is going to no doubt manifest in unhealthy fashions. Hopefully not with interpretive dance or the use of puppets.

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