Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Captain Planet: A Good Bomb Is Hard To Find

You guys. You guys. As you may know, I've dealt with Captain Planet on this blog before, but not like this. Never like this. I'll bet you thought the strange, almost careless way the Planeteers dealt with drugs was bad, but this, my friends? This is infinitely worse.

Captain Planet is taking on the Fuhrer. That's right. Motherflipping Hitler. I know what you're thinking: "Oh boy, in which way are they going to fuck up a very serious topic like war today?" The answer is all the ways. They fuck it up all the ways they possibly can.

The title of this episode is 'A Good Bomb Is Hard To Find', so I know have the Culture Club's 'A Good Heart' in my head. Thanks a lot, Captain P. Dr. Blight and MAL are hanging out in their jet, scheming their little hearts out. And you know what the presence of MAL means, don't you? It means more Tim Curry. Be still, my heart. Dr. Blight is unveiling her new time travel transporter, and as a test run, she brings her future self here from 2035 or thereabouts. Note: the good doctor does not age well. She doesn't even have her awesome pink suit anymore! She also has a flying MAL replacement, named GAL. Dr. Future Blight (as MAL calls her) complains about how everyone in her time is peace-loving. There are hardly any wars at all! Doesn't seem fair, does it? Dr. Future Blight gets a brilliant idea -- if she can somehow procure a nuclear bomb from this time period, she can go back to the future (hee!) and create a brand new arms race for Fall-Out Boy to sing about.

Dr. Blight and her motley crew fly to Germany and steal plutonium from a plutonium truck. No, really, they do. There's a plutonium truck going down a road, and they jack it and steal all the plutonium. Germany, if this was your security strategy in the forties as well, it doesn't come as a shock to me that you lost.

Back at Hope Island, the Planeteers are hearing about the stolen plutonium on the news. Linka says something in Russian that sounds like "bullshit" (but very cleverly isn't), and Gaia waxes lyrical for a moment about how the real victims of war are the innocent civilians who have to live on contaminated land and whatnot. I find it very hard to listen to what she's saying, because she's not being voiced by Whoopi Goldberg as per usual. In fact, Dr. Blight is no longer Meg Ryan, either! I suppose this must be a later-season episode, because the Planeteers are wearing new clothes and Gi's had some sort of extreme makeover. I guess she's sick of playing second fiddle to the impossibly sexy Linka.

The Drs. Blight are on their way back home...wherever they live. MAL declares that the ship is above maximum capacity because apparently plutonium's heavy. I wouldn't know; I've never really stolen plutonium before. (I guess I'm old-fashioned that way.) The jet starts to flip out, and Dr. Blight declares that they have to lighten the load, and then for some reason has a bitch-fight with her future self. It's just...I don't even know what happened. One minute they were talking about the jet's capacity, the next they're fighting one another, even though they're the same frickin' person. Then all of a sudden they stop fighting. That's...well, great, I guess, but I'm so confused. Why is any of this happening? To avoid crashing to their deaths, Dr. Blight and her future self transport themselves, GAL and the plutonium back World War II-era Germany. MAL presumably goes down with the ship, exploding in a fiery electrical death. Oh, Tim Curry. You deserve so much better.

The Planeteers make their way to present-day Germany via geo-cruiser, to investigate that whole plutonium-napping thing, I guess. Suddenly they get caught up in an electrical storm, and like always, are forced to call Captain Planet because they can't do anything for themselves. He tells the gang that they're caught in a warp in the space-time continuum, which is actually a really cool thing to know offhand like that. He says, "I think I can repel the storm. Just don't tell anyone about my repulsive personality." Oh, Captain Planet and his puns. Nobody with a mullet should ever be that cocky.

The Planeteer jet lands safely, but is accosted by a bunch of German soldiers. They are told to put their hands up and surrender, and they do so...even Captain Planet. Aw jeez, Cappy, you're a fucking superhero. Fly away already! The commander says that they must be part of the terrorist gang who nabbed the plutonium. They talk about Dr. Blight for a bit, then Captain Planet makes a joke about plutonium and bad doctors that I for the life of me do not understand, and then Captain P finally remembers that he has superpowers and zaps the Germans. Or something. I'm not really sure what Captain Planet's powers are specifically, just that he always seems to have the exact power he needs at the exact time he needs it. How he still manages to fail as a superhero is baffling.

Back on the geo-cruiser, Linka remarks that the way the soldiers were talking made it sound like there were two Dr. Blights. Gaia's big floaty head appears out of nowhere and tells them that there are two Dr. Blights, and one's from the future. Gaia, if you seriously know everything, why don't you be the superhero, huh? So useless. Plus, this new Gaia has a strange, Holly Hunter-esque voice. I find her cold. Then we get this:
Gaia: "They're in the past altering history to ensure a war-filled future. Or is it present?
Captain Planet: "That explains the time warp we were caught in!"

No, Captain P. No, it doesn't. At all. Gaia tells the kids that they have to stop the Drs. Blight before it's too late, and Captain Planet reiterates that the power is theirs and fucks off somewhere. Because -- what? Gaia literally tells the Planeteers that they have to stop two women who are actually the same women who are also in a completely different time period than they are, and Captain Planet's all, "Alrighty then, have fun with that. Let me know how it goes." Is that seriously what just happened? Captain Planet, you're the worst. You are not, as the theme song, suggests, a hero. You're on the Ma-Ti level of uselessness right now. That's the lowest level!

Back in WWII, Dr. Blight and Dr. Future Blight are having a bomb-building contest. Dr. Blight is exceptionally proud of her bomb, which is bigger that her future self's. They plan to sell the bomb to a certain unnamed evil dictator for a shitload of money, even though they're clearly American and the enemy. Why the leader of Germany would ever buy weapons from these people is beyond me.

The Planeteers find Dr. Blight's ship in some Indonesian country. The natives are apparently unused to geo-cruisers landing in their village. Gi leads the way to the wreckage, but all of a sudden, a village girl leaps out of nowhere, pushing Gi aside as an explosion goes off. The girl gets up and explains that it was a landmine left over from a war. Oh, and she only has one leg. Yep, a landmine got her way back when. I'm feeling a whole lot of uncomfortable right now, because Captain Planet doesn't exactly treat sensitive issues like these particularly well. I'm just waiting for it to all go wrong. The girl tells us how she was playing here one day, and she and her friend ran into a landmine. She lived, but her friend died, because what's a Very Special Episode of Captain Planet without some sort of unfortunate death? The girl offers to lead the Planeteers to the crash site of Dr. Blight's jet. None of them think to say, "Oh no, one-legged girl, that's quite all right. You see, we're quasi-superpeople who have rings that control the elements. Please, don't trouble yourself." Of course they don't. They let the amputee lead the way, straight to possible -- nay, probable -- danger. Good lookin' out, guys.

Back in Germany, the Drs. Blight have somehow set up a meeting with a bunch of heads of state, including Hitler. Only he's totally not Hitler, people. Nobody ever calls him Hitler. He just looks and sounds exactly like Hitler, and rules a country that was most definitely ruled by Hitler during this point in history. But he has a handlebar moustache, not that little postage stamp thing Hitler usually rocked. Therefore it can't be Hitler, and nobody gets sued. Dr. Future Blight tells them that this bomb is so powerful, it makes all other bombs look like toys. I'm sorry, but...did Dr. Blight just invent the atom bomb? Is that what I'm supposed to be getting from this episode? Because...wow. That's just wow. Some other European stereotype calls bullshit, saying that such technology hasn't been invented yet. Dr. Blight reveals that they're from the future, and somehow this makes all the dictators trust them even more.

To prove their point, the good doctors detonate a bomb as a demonstration. In...in Germany? Is that really a good idea? You just blew up a village in Hitler's own country. And also, if you can see the mushroom cloud, you're probably standing too close. For some reason, the Fuhrer loves the demonstration. He maniacally says, "I bid seventy-five million deutschmarks on this atom bomb." Okay, so it's definitely an atom bomb. Wrong side, Blighty. Dr. Future Blight's reaction: "Heil Fuhrer, baby!" Dude, if that was the real Hitler, you'd so be choking on about sixty bullets right now.

Back in the little Asian village, Wheeler is oh-so-sensitively asking the village girl what sort of burgers they have around here. Sigh. Wheeler, you can see that they're living in fucking huts. It's a third-world country, and you're making a one-legged girl feel like shit right now. You douchebag. The kids find Dr. Blights ship, and holy day -- MAL survived the crash! After threatening to shut him down permanently, MAL tells the Planeteers about Dr. Blight's plan to sell atomic bombs to Biker!Hitler. Ma-Ti declares, "We cannot let that happen!" Ma-Ti, be quiet and let the adults talk. The gang decide to use the time machine to stop the Blights.

War time again. France and Germany are locked in a bidding war for the atom bomb, and Hitler yells, "Stop bidding against me or I will invade YOU!" Is that supposed to be a German invasion joke, really? Besides, I'm pretty sure France is already invaded by now. France surrenders to Hitler like the cheese-eating surrender monkeys we know they are. The Planeteers arrive just in time, and Linka, queen of the understatement, calls Hitler a barbarian. Hitler says nothing, I suspect because she's relatively Aryan-looking. Eventually he arrests them all. Like you didn't see that one coming. I mean, two of them are black and one of them's an Asian, for goodness' sake! Oh, and he arrests the Blights as well, because why wouldn't he? He's bloody Hitler. Why would he pay over a billion dollars for a bomb he can just take? After all, "Ze Fuhrer does not barter. He CONQUERS!" And yells out words at the end of his SENTENCES! Dr. Future Blight yells at her younger self for telling her they could trust this guy. Hey Dr. Future Blight, if you're from the future and all, how did you not know this was going to happen? And also, trusting Hitler? Even I could've told you that was a bad idea. They get into another tussle, and this one ends in Dr. Future Blight accidentally setting turning on the timer for the atom bomb. Um, well, fuck, I guess. That can't not end badly.

The Planeteers call on Captain Planet, but not before Ma-Ti elbows Hitler in the head. Think about how ludicrous that is for a second. Ma-Ti, ruler of Feeb World, just tried to knock out the Fuhrer. Captain Planet arrives and comes face-to-face with Hitler, who isn't unconscious or anything. Ma-Ti didn't even bruise him. Suddenly Captain P gets the sweats and doubles over in pain. You know why? Because "I wasn't prepared for the level of hate radiating from that monster!" Read a fucking history book every once in a while, Cappy. And also, I can't believe that his kryptonite is hate. Hate! Doesn't that mean his enemies can kill him just by being there? I'm pretty sure they don't exactly love him.

Captain Planet manages to muster up enough strength to grab the bomb and take it to outer space before it explodes. Because fuck Mars; what has it done for us lately? The bomb explodes in space, and sends Captain Planet hurtling back to earth, spouting some lame bullshit about there being no such thing as a good bomb. Not even an atomic blast can shut this guy up. The Germans surrender to a bunch of American soldiers who just appear out of nowhere, and I guess Hitler gets arrested. Captain Planet just unashamedly rewrote history. I sure hope no kids watched this and bragged to their teachers at school the next day about how World War II was ended by a shiny silver man with a green mullet.

The time portal opens, and the Planeteers (and the Blights) rush back to the future, but not before the village girl writes a note and gives it to one of the soldiers. Was she there the whole time? Why did they even bring her? She only has one leg; was it really necessary to drag her to a war zone? Before Captain Planet pushes her into the portal, Dr. Blight offers the American soldiers a look at her atomic bomb recipe book for a price, but drops it just before they're all teleported back to the future. The American soldier picks it up and says that he'd better give it to their "science boys", because it could be important. Wow, okay, are you trying to imply that Dr. Blight is directly responsible for Hiroshima? Because that exchange can't mean anything but that...right? It's like one of those cute little scenes in time travel movies where someone accidentally alters history in a cute little way that makes the audience go, "Ah! I see what you did there!" Like Marty McFly giving Chuck Berry 'Johnny B. Good', except ha ha, this time it killed tens of thousands of people. Nice freakin' going.

Back in the present, Captain Planet makes the Drs. Blight de-mine the village, and they actually do it for some reason. Oh, and MAL and GAL fall in love, even though GAL is MAL's upgrade in the future, so he's kinda making out with himself. (Yes, the robots make out. That is so not the weirdest part of this episode.) The village girl tells the Planeteers that she'll guide them back to the geo-cruiser, because apparently she hasn't done quite enough for them today, and -- holy crap, she has two legs now! Everyone's like, "How in pluperfect hell did that happen?" and the girl tells them that the letter she gave to the soldier was to be given to her grandparents, warning them of the dangers of the minefield. I hope that means her poor friend's alive now, too. Gi ends the episode by reminding is that if we pay attention to the future, we don't have to repeat our mistakes. Or something. She completely missed the point, but I was pretty much expecting her to.

And...well, that's it. Captain Planet meets Hitler. I'm not buying that there was actually any substantial message in that episode, though. I'm pretty sure they just discovered that someone in the cast could do a gnarly Hitler impression, and wondered how they could profit from it. In any case, that episode actually aired on normal person TV at some point. Just...just think about that for a second. Humanity is well and truly doomed.


  1. Captain Planet and...HITLER? Oh my.

  2. Don't all world leaders buy their bombs from time travelers? This is like a political exposé... with some robots making out with themselves thrown in for fun.

  3. I was under the impression that world leaders actually bought their bombs from immortal Highlanders, so this was really an eye-opener for me.