Monday, February 11, 2013

Ain’t NASA-Sarily So

Episode 24

The Real Ghostbusters head into space to battle an unknown entity.  Isn’t that all that really needs to be said for an introduction?  It’s the first time in the series they head into outer space and that combination itself leaves me on the edge of my seat!  As a kid this was one of the episodes I grew an extra big smile for upon seeing the title appear after the theme song ended.  It’s the first taste of Craig Miller and Mark Nelson’s writing as well so we’ll see what they came up with.  Without further ado let’s get to it.

Ordering some take-out
Appropriately we begin in space as the captain (or ‘kiptan’) is making sure the spacecraft is functioning properly.  The crew tends to make you think of other specific space type characters from another show but I’ll refrain from detail as I was never a fan of that series anyway.  Star Trek, we’re talking about freaking Star Trek, nerds!  I don’t like Star Trek, there I said it so shoot me but this is about the Real Ghostbusters.  The crew gets a good thump and the alarms go off while some of them claim to have seen a ghost in the spacecraft.  A ghost you say?  The captain picks up a phone as one of his crew asks what we’ve all wanted to ask in our lives, “Who ya gonna call?

Peters money talk not impressing Egon
Ecto-1 promptly bursts from the firehouse and the excitement is on.  Who knows how long training took for the guys to get approved to be flown to space but that’s boring and it’s skipped anyway.  The shuttle blasts off immediately and they’re on their way to bust some space ghosts.  “Hot-diggidy a government contract big bucks here we come.”  I like to see Peter always thinking about the money aspect of being a Ghostbuster, stays so true to character.  Meanwhile Egon and Ray ponder over whether the equipment will work in space or not.  “Don’t sweat it no company with a government contract ever knows what it’s doing.”  Peter adds the humor no matter what the guys with the brains say, at the expense of the American government this time, zing!  Winston, in common sense, as he usual sees things wonders what’ll happen if the gear doesn’t work.  “If it doesn’t work then you just charge more and do it again.”  One last Peter line before they board the haunted spacecraft.  Of course what if the gear failing costs you your life Peter?  It’s all about the Benjamin’s with this guy!

Her hair needs to make a comeback
The meeting of Ghostbusters and crew is of mixed quality.  The guys overplay the whole ‘don’t these guys look familiar’ gag, in reference to Star Trek, which we already know I don’t like while adding to the previously proven fact I’m not a fan of referencing too much.  Peter does comment that neither rain, sleet, snow nor depth of space can keep them from their expensive rounds, which is riding his characters money thought process but it’s still acceptable.  Then we find out it’s only the second day of the crew’s mission.  I’m guessing the ghost arrived on the first day and the Ghostbusters on the second day?  That seems preposterous so I’ll throw a spin to it.  Perhaps they’ve finished up a previous mission and just received a second one that the Ghostbusters have arrived at the beginning of?  I don’t know the time frame still seems off and it bothers me.  I know it’s a cartoon but it gets me.

Tracking down the 'space ghost'
Egon pops on the PKE meter and it goes off immediately.  He says he is getting ectoplasmic readings from the apparent engineering room, where the ghost was seen.  However he goes on to say its empty ectoplasm with no psychokinetic energy with it, meaning technically it’s not a ghost.  That’s the stuff that tickles my science fiction nerve; it makes for an interesting life form or ghost.  The ghost taps into the power supply causing most systems to go offline while draining the overall power faster than can be converted from the solar rays which means bad news for any actual life forms aboard the spacecraft.  Winston questions that this ghost is power hungry while Peter chimes in, “Maybe he used to be a politician.”  Funny but time is running out!  McTavish leads them off to the engineering room.

Uh guys you forgot someone
You guys ever consider paying your electric bill?”  Peter says as they are running through the flashing corridor.  Is it necessary to have such an awful joke at a time like this or at any time?  Upon arriving to see the monstrosity of a ghost lamer Star Trek jokes surface while Egon does manage to at least classify the ghost.  Meanwhile the ghost is feeding on the power supply which is similar behavior to Killerwatt from episode two.  The Ghostbusters all fire upon it but the ghost absorbs all the proton streams, again similar to Killerwatt.  The ghost grows in size as a result.  The good news is the throwers work in space and the bad news is the throwers work in space.  After the ghosts temporarily taps the gravity supply then releases it causing temporary loss of gravity on the spacecraft, Egon concludes that the ghost is after the proton packs since they seem to taste better.  The ghost begins to chase them down a corridor and grabs Winston by his pack.  He slips out of it since they now know what it craves.  It’s a good thing they got this big government contract now because that proton pack can’t be cheap.

Don't mess with the kiptan!
As they report back to the captain in safety it’s apparent the ghost has given up chase to devour the proton pack in solitude.  The captain isn’t pleased with the turn of events considering the ghost is still on the loose with the clock ticking on their power supply.  “Calm down little Ivan Kiptan we’ve just gotten started hey we’re government contractors man you gotta allow us a couple of muff chances it’s in the fine print.”  Peter milking the government gag to appease the captain for now, not sure it worked all too well.  The ghost taps the life support systems but the crew manages to get four hours of power through rerouting I’m guessing.  The guys head back to the ghost as the captain is none pleased; he demands a quick result that’s for sure.  He also mumbles another language there at the end of the scene I think.

Save us with supernatural negotiations Winston!
While heading back to the engineering room, the base of operations for this ghost, they discuss the ghost being too big to trap now then Winston gets the fool hardy idea to talk with it.  Do you think that’s going to work man?  It does have about six mouths but still.  He removes his pack and heads out alone on the walkway to initiate operation useless communications.  Peter gives him a hard time on what to be asking since its obvious this plan is stupid.  After some banter Peter offers Winston to buy his next of kin since Winston revealed he has none, it’s a nice jab at Peter’s father from a couple episodes back.  The ghost doesn’t do anything to Winston since he isn’t wearing his pack.  Ray then comes up with a plan after the captain pressures them into thinking fast.  He wants the energy converter shut off, probably to lure the ghost out of the engineering room.

Ray carry out your own plans! Winston's already failed!
McTavish goes outside the spacecraft to deactivate the energy converter.  Ray huddles the guys to explain the plan.  Winston asks what they will do when it’s turned off as Peter adds, “We run.”  Where to man?  Sometimes he needs to be turned off, every joke isn’t hitting this time around.  Ray continues that to lure the orange slug out they’ll use their ion rifles, which they call them a couple of times this episode.  He wants Winston to be the bait to drag the ghost to the central walkway for the capture but they all shoot down anyone doing it except for Ray.  Ray argues that Peter never has to share or perform his own plans but that can’t be entirely accurate.  How would Peter make someone else do his plan if he doesn’t share it first?  It’s a bit muffled but funny enough overall, it’s nice to see the team interacting with one another in conversation.

Ghost point of view is fantastic!
Ray heads to the engineering room while floating, the gravity must have deactivated as well when the shut off occurred.  It’s a fantastic scene as Ray blasts the ghost then gets propelled backward on the kick to lure the ghost through the darkened corridor.  As a kid I shuttered at this as it seemed Ray was going to be caught alone.  He holds his cool as the ghost gains on him just before he reaches the central walkway.  The theme music switches on and takes the scene to maximum excitement!  As Ray comes zooming by Egon and Winston hold hands to form a catch for Ray, Peter says, “This is no time for dancing men.”  I swear Peter says that mocking homosexuals with his tone.  As the guys recover and the ghost nearly enters Ray barks out orders for them to spread out and toss a trap each.  The ghost storms in and the guy’s all fire at once to keep it satisfied with the proton streams.  Ray then shouts for all the traps to be opened to capture the ghost.  It won’t fit into a single trap so they spread it into four different ones, clever.  The music shifts during the trapping sequence to complete a well done finale.

There's only one way to bust a ghost, trap it.
They inform the captain that the ghost has been caught and the mission saved.  Peter asks him to tell Houston to have a check ready for them when they return.  The captain is not without a sense of humor though by telling his crew to deduct travelling expenses out of it.  I’m sure Peter will understand that completely.  The guys then do a space jig in midair not realizing when the power returns so does the gravity, they all topple downward after being excited they successfully tapped a high income client.  After one final Star Trek joke the real Ghostbusters head home in a transport.

It’s an off and on episode for my liking in the end.  I didn’t enjoy the Star Trek references in the least and the part when Winston wanted to talk to the ghost wasn’t good either.  Peter’s jokes hit and missed.  I did fancy the capture sequence though and that really saved this episode for me.  I can see how others would love this episode for its Star Trek jabs so I may be in the lower echelon as far as how much I liked this one overall.

Rating: 5.5 of 10
Next Up: Who’re You Calling Two-Dimensional? – Coming Soon!

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