Mister T “Cape Kennedy Caper” (part 4 of 7)

The team is back in the tram. The last time we saw them, they had no particular destination in mind. So I presume they’re just driving aimlessly, and doing donuts on the tarmac.

Caption contributed by Jordon

Take Your Shuttle To Work Day proved to be a resounding success.

As they drive, they pass a shuttle on a crawler. That can’t be the same shuttle that’s about to take off, because we already saw that one mated to the gantry. They also pass another shuttle just sitting on the taxiway. I assume there are another eight or nine space shuttles just out of view. Yamato and Lexington were space shuttles, weren’t they?

Brace yourselves for the next bit of dialogue. It is an extraordinary mélange of factual errors, logical fallacies, unsubstantiated guesses, and non-sequitors unlike anything I‘ve ever seen before. Well, maybe I’ve seen something similar in Southland Tales. And the Patriot Act. Seriously, what do my library books have to do with terrorists?

Anyway, good luck living through this:

Robin: Dozer doesn’t run off just like that.
Kim: He could have chased after the guy in the g-force chamber. Remember how he kept growling at him?
Jeff: Or, he could have gone after the person who took your camera, Robin.
Woody: Have you considered that whoever took Robin’s camera has probably already used it to take a picture?
Robin: Which means they would have to develop the film!
Kim: And I know where. There’s a lab inside one of the compounds. I remember it from our tour.
Mr. T: I would have been surprised if there wasn’t one around.

I just… I’m just… I have nothing. That conversation smothered my soul. Whatever I was before is gone forever. Can a children’s show induce PTSD?

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Mr. T abruptly stops the tram out on the tarmac and says, “It’ll be faster to walk from here.” Walk to where, Mr. T? Kim hasn’t told you where you’re supposed to be going yet. Maybe Mr. T has finally come to terms with the fact that trams are just not particularly speedy. In general, it would be faster to walk anywhere from anywhere rather than taking a tram.

Caption contributed by Jordon

Nice seatbelts. Was the animator drunk?

Unfortunately, “faster” doesn’t mean “easier”. Wherever they’re headed, they’ve got quite a hike in front of them. The reason I know this is that the entire Vehicle Assembly Building, the fourth largest building in the world, is visible ahead of them. And it’s the closest building to them. It’s so large that if the police began running from one corner, Tom Sizemore would still have time to smoke meth, eat a sandwich, beat his girlfriend to death, and solve a Rubik’s Cube before they tased him. That’s how big the Vehicle Assembly Building is.

The bad guys pull their own tram up to a building marked “NASA Chemical and Electrical Supply.” Apparently, the villains have spotted Mr. T and the team. Cruela tells her partner to develop the film while she keeps their unwanted company busy. He tries to take Dozer, but she stops him, saying, “Leave the mutt with me. I’ve got plans for him!” Holy crap, she really is Cruela de Vil!

Caption contributed by Jordon

Their specials today are hexavalent chromium and static.

Cruela floors it, driving the tram straight at Mr. T and the team. And of course, she’s doing the tram maximum of 9 MPH. Mr. T yells for everyone to get out of the way, but it’s not very suspenseful. They all cartwheel off in that bored kind of way people cartwheel sometimes.

Caption contributed by Jordon

“Hey, Joe. Cartwheeling hard or hardly cartwheeling? I kid. Anyway, back to work. Another day, another cartwheel. I’ll cartwheel you later.”

Mr. T doesn’t cartwheel anywhere. He runs directly at the tram, does a front handspring, launches himself into the air, and lands on the roof of the tram. He then jumps off the back, doing a forward somersault just for good measure. That was… completely unnecessary.

Cruela gets mad. She says, “Mr. T better think twice if he thinks he can outdo me!” Outdo you in what, crazy lady? Also, how do you know Mr. T?

It’s kind of a question I’ve always had about this series. Is Mr. T famous in this universe? Sometimes people know him, sometimes they don’t. Sometimes he’s treated like a celebrity, sometimes he’s ignored. Sometimes, he’s downright insulted.

How many gymnastics coaches can you recognize on sight? There’s only one I can even name, and I wouldn’t recognize him unless he was carrying Kerri Strug. For that matter, I wouldn’t recognize Kerri Strug unless she was being carried by that coach.

Caption contributed by Jordon

These two should never be apart.

The announcer tells us that it’s t-minus 40 and still counting. Which means NASA now has evidence of actual sabotage on the grounds and they’re still going ahead with the launch. Now that’s dedication. It’s completely stupid, but it’s dedication.

Cruela drives into a large warehouse of some sort. Jeff observes, “Going into outer space has got to be the easy part around here.” Shut it, Jeff. You haven’t done a damn thing, so just shut it.

Mr. T takes a moment to empathize with Cruela, saying, “I pity that gal. I pity her.” I pity the person whose entire life can be boiled down to a single catchphrase.

The gang takes off after Cruela. But Robin sees the bad guy sneaking into a side door. She muses to herself, “That guy’s got my camera. I’ll keep an eye on him until Mr. T and the others can help me.” She breaks off and follows him. First of all, Robin has no reason to believe he has her camera, or anyone else’s. Second, Mr. T and the others won’t know they’re supposed to help her, because she didn’t tell anybody what she was doing. This episode could be on the logic portion of the GRE:

What fact, when added to the above, makes Robin’s actions logical?
a) Robin is high
b) Robin is hot
c) Robin is omniscient
d) Robin is omnipresent and omni-benevolent
e) I pity the fool who goes to grad school

Mr. T and the team (minus Robin and the dog) are wandering through a huge warehouse. I expect the Ark of the Covenant is in here somewhere. Bisby warns, “Everyone be careful. These boxes are marked dangerous.” Thanks, Ms. Bisby. Wouldn’t it have been safer if you and the only other adult hadn’t brought the children into the warehouse in the first place? Also, the Ark is only dangerous if you take the lid off. Otherwise, it just sort of sits there.

Caption contributed by Jordon

The National Aeronautics and Storage Administration

The team rounds a corner to find Cruela speeding at them in her tram. And the tram, as usual, is going a modest 6 or 7 miles an hour.

Cruela jumps from her tram, letting it rocket toward the team. I’m not sure why she jumped, because she could just as easily have stepped off. Also, she must have been really far away, because Kim has time to say, “That runaway tram’s going to hit us!” Come on, Robin, that’s time that could have been spent cartwheeling.

Three of the team members scatter. Mr. T and Kim, though, they… well… they do synchronized backflips that somehow propel them twenty feet into the air and on top of a stack of boxes. And now there’s no need for pretending anymore. Kim and Mr. T can fly. We just saw them fly.

Mr. T then jumps down onto the roof of the tram. He’s hurtling towards a wall of boxes that have big skull and crossbones symbols all over them. He flips himself into the driver’s seat and stands on the brakes. The tram screeches to a halt, just inches from the crates of death, or whatever they are. And, sadly, that’s that. It’s just all so… tame. Nobody’s throwing crocodiles or punching dinosaurs. I really wish something utterly insane would happen.

Caption contributed by Jordon

Dun dun daaaahhhh!!!

Cruela is dragging her huge sack of Dozer around the warehouse. She leaves him in the middle of the floor and then rigs up some sort of tripwire. She exposits, “When the acid crashes out of these barrels, poochie, it’ll give Mr. T and your friends a real slow burn!” Now she’s delivering exposition to a dog. Look, Cruela, you might as well just break the fourth wall and talk directly to audience. Everybody knows you want to. And it’s not like discarding narrative structure could make this show any worse. It’s already worse.

Mr. T and the team hear Dozer and begin running after him. They’re headed straight into Cruela’s trap. I wonder what will happen?

Cut to the other bad guy developing film in a dark room. Damn, this show knows how to build tension.

Jordon Davis

B.A. Political Science, SUNY Albany - 1991
Master of Public Administration, University of Georgia - 1993
Juris Doctorate, Emory University - 1996

State of Georgia - 1996
State of New York - 1997

Fields Medal (with Laurent Lafforgue and Vladimir Voevodsky) - 1998

Follow Jordon at @LossLeader on Twitter.

Multi-Part Article: Mister T "Cape Kennedy Caper"

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