Mister T “Mystery of the Mind Thieves” (part 3 of 5)

Anyway, cut to the Magic Bus parked underneath the Space Needle. I don’t know, can you really park right in front of the Space Needle like that? Pan up the Needle and cut to the restaurant inside where, surprise, surprise, the gang has to deal with yet another Snooty Maitre-De with a thin mustache. Going solely by this series, it appears that 50% to 75% of Mr. T’s time each day is spent dealing with maitre-des. This one says he can’t find their “guest passes”, then holds out his hand for some money [!]. I wonder, did he do this to all the Pantronics employees? Robin tells Jeff that the guy wants “a tip”. Jeff yells, “Here’s a tip for ya! Try looking under T!”

Mister T "Mystery of the Mind Thieves" (part 3 of 5)

“Dammit! We already spent all our money bribing the hostess at Chili’s!”

Mr. T steps forward. “Yeah, T! As in trials! Tribulations! And trouble! Which is what you gonna get, if you don’t find that pass!” The guy nearly wets his pants, and instantly finds their pass. So when in doubt, kids, always threaten violence to get your way! And if your threats contain alliteration, all the better! Jeff says, “Just goes to show ya! When in doubt, turn on the charm!” Oh, okay. Blatant physical intimidation is now considered “charm”. Gotcha.

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Anyway, we pan across the restaurant, where there are several exhibits set up, and a banquet table, and Rent-A-Cops are stationed all around. Mr. T spots Daddy Nakamura looking out a window at a passing jet, and I must say, that’s one extremely low-flying jet. For no particular reason, Mr. T asks Kim who her dad works with.

This allows Kim to expositionally identify two suspects, I mean, scientists. There’s one guy in a wheelchair named “Dr. Harper”, and a woman named “Dr. Yarbey”, both of whom are speaking to small groups of people. And so, we’ve now seen the two possible candidates for this week’s Bad Guy. And considering one of them is in a wheelchair, that doesn’t leave us with too many possibilities.

Mister T "Mystery of the Mind Thieves" (part 3 of 5)

Okay, that’s… somewhat alarming.

Anyway, now that the exposition is out of the way, Kim goes to talk to her dad, who’s suddenly surprised and ecstatic to see her. He calls her “Kimberly”, so I guess you can forget what I said earlier about her having a Korean name. It’s still kind of weird, though.

Kim is all sullen because of the argument they had last night, but Daddy Nakamura doesn’t remember last night at all. Can we say “alcoholic blackout”, kids? He insists he didn’t even know she was in Seattle. “Excuse me,” he groans, “There’s something I… have to do!” Geez, can’t you come up with a better excuse than that to blow off your own child? He walks away and Kim turns to Mr. T for solace. “WHY?” she sobs. “WHY DOES HE KEEP TREATING ME LIKE THAT?” Well, you’re an emotional wreck, for one thing. “WHAT HAVE I DONE?”

Mr. T, however, is the levelheaded voice of reason. (And you know somebody’s a mess when Mr. T is the rational one in the conversation.) “What makes you think it’s got anything to do with you, Kim? Your dad could have a problem!” The kind that takes a twelve-step program to solve, for example!

Mister T "Mystery of the Mind Thieves" (part 3 of 5)

“This robot lifts weights, and has nothing above the neck! It’ll replace all the Mr. Ts in the whole world!”

Suddenly, we cut to a headless robot lifting a barbell [!] as Dr. Harper looks on proudly. Wow! He’s created the very first android gym bunny! Spike, the resident Mr. T-emulating brat, exclaims how “neat” this is, but Woody says he’d like to see it “do some backward somersaults!” Woody, as far as I can tell, doing backward somersaults is your only skill. So shut the hell up.

Cut to Dr. Harper talking. He’s a white-haired man with a mustache, and apparently also an addled old codger. “I, uh… I can’t reveal how the government w-w-will use these robot arms!” Woody turns to the others and notes he’s acting just like Kim’s dad last night. Say what? Kim’s dad last night was a stern asshole. Dr. Harper is a senile coot. I just don’t see the connection, myself.

In response, Robin just shushes him. Harper continues. “B-But… I c-c-can say that this device will, will…” Finally, he puts his head in his hands. “I can’t remember. Can’t remember!” Oh boy. This is why Pantronics has got to stop having a fully stocked bar at company functions. Next thing you know, they’ll be hiring strippers to jump out of a cake.

The crowd looks concerned, and creative watermelon, watermelon dialogue is dubbed in like “There must be something!” and “Yes, there must be something!” A Rent-A-Cop announces that Dr. Harper isn’t “feeling well”, and wheels him away. Another Rent-A-Cop comes up and wheels the robot away. The robot has a cord that’s still attached to a device on a table, and strangely, the table gets wheeled away [??], too.

Mister T "Mystery of the Mind Thieves" (part 3 of 5)

“Hey, do you know how hard it is to find a decent table these days?”

Oh, and I don’t know if we’re supposed to recognize that these Rent-A-Cops are the same two guys that were chasing Daddy Nakamura with Roll-On deodorant at the beginning of the episode, but that’s who they are. So, they’re fake security guards, obviously, and somehow, Jeff figures this out because they don’t have stripes on their pants [!!] like the other guards. Uh, Jeff, maybe you’re paying a little too much attention to clothes worn by other men? You don’t consider yourself metrosexual by any chance, do you?

“They are phonies!” T yells. “They are stealin’ that stuff!” But if those two guys aren’t really security guards, wouldn’t the real guards notice this? I mean, it’s not like it’s their job to keep an eye out for things that are out of the ordinary. Like, say, two guys they’ve never seen before suddenly walking around in security guard uniforms.

But when the fake guards are found out, who goes chasing after them? If you said “the real guards”, then you are hereby disqualified from reading this website on a matter of principle. It’s only Mr. T and the gang who go after them. Of course, fool!

The Fake Rent-A-Cops (which is a redundant phrase if I ever coined one) disconnect the Headless Weightlifting Robot from the table, and push it directly at T. Mr. T and the Robot run into each other head on, and somehow, the Robot knows to lift T up in its arms [!!] without anyone actually controlling it. I suppose someone could be controlling it, but we’re never told as much. And we just saw the goons disconnect the robot from that device on the table, which I assume was some sort of control panel. So I guess all Pantronics robots are designed with automatic, built-in instructions to kick ass reflexively.

The Rent-A-Cops also push the table at the kids, and of course, all four kids do backflips to get out of the way. Unfortunately, this diversion is enough, because the crooks make it to the elevator with Dr. Harper. And unbelievably, the kids just give up. I mean, it’s not like that’s a fifty-story elevator or anything that could easily be stopped in the several minutes it would take it to reach the ground floor.

Mister T "Mystery of the Mind Thieves" (part 3 of 5)

“This – Mister – T – doll – sucks!”

Well, regardless, the kids turn their attention to T’s ongoing battle with a robot. Heh. Does it get any better than Mr. T fighting a robot? I think not. Danger, Mr. T, danger! The kids come to his aid, but Mr. T says not to worry about him, and tells them to go rescue Dr. Harper instead. He adds, “No hunk of tin uses Mr. T for a dust mop!” A dust mop? Uh, maybe you should just stick to kicking ass, Mr. T, because metaphors don’t seem to be your forté.

Anyway, they take off as the robot tosses T to the ground. It then picks up Mr. T by the ankle and starts flinging him around. Hah! It’s just like what Mr. T does to that crocodile in the opening credits. How do you like this taste of your own medicine, T? Your spinny, flingy medicine? The robot tosses Mr. T across the room and into the table, and of course, this totally demolishes the table. The robot rolls on over to him, so T kicks it hard in the chest plate and it starts shooting out sparks and smoking and breaking down. Well, he did kick it twice, after all.

Mister T "Mystery of the Mind Thieves" (part 3 of 5)

Yet another example of fine American craftsmanship!

Meanwhile, the kids reach the bottom of the Space Needle just in time to see a blue van pulling out of the parking lot. They know it’s the bad guys, because if there’s anything previous episodes taught us, it’s that dark colored van = crooks.

Jeff runs after them, doing cartwheels over a parked car [!] until he’s standing in front of the van. Remarkably, they don’t just run him over, and the van screeches to a halt. In the back seat of the van is NWG, with Dr. Harper sitting next to him. NWG tells the goon driving to “Run him down!”

“No way!” the driver says. “I ain’t facin’ no murder rap!” Well, damn. It’s true what they say about not being able to find good goon help these days. So, the van pulls off in another direction, but Woody uses the same parked-car gymnastics to block the van from going in that direction, too. Woody yells, “Face it, you guys! It’s a standoff!” Let’s see, several tons of metal versus four skinny teenagers. Sure, that sounds like a standoff to me. Robin comes up and demands Dr. Harper.

Mister T "Mystery of the Mind Thieves" (part 3 of 5)

Getting carjacked by Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. That’s got to suck.

The rear doors of the van open. “You want him?” NWG says, wheeling Dr. Harper to the back of the van. “Go get him!” He totally pushes Dr. Harper out onto the pavement, and there’s no ramp, so Dr. Harper’s wheelchair comically bounces [!] when he hits the ground. Harper is totally catatonic during all of this, so either he’s been injected with more Roll-On deodorant, or he’s just really old. His wheelchair goes rolling towards a busy street, which is surely about to lead to one of the more creative recreations of Frogger ever staged.

Thankfully, Jeff takes a moment to shout, “He’s gonna run right into the traffic!” Wow, that made all the difference in the world, didn’t it? Soon, we get the very hilarious image of an old man rolling across a busy street, with cars whizzing past him, honking like crazy. Finally, a couple of cars stop, so the kids chase after Dr. Harper. By the way, if you watch this part closely, it’s clearly a two-lane street that Harper is rolling across, and he’s already come across the center dividing line about three times.

But, what’s that? A big semi truck approaching? Who would have thought, huh? There’s a shot of the approaching truck, Dr. Harper in his wheelchair, and Jeff close behind. Where did the rest of the kids go?

Jeff leaps forward and grabs Dr. Harper out of his chair in mid-leap, and they both go rolling forward. He’s just in the nick of time, because the truck immediately runs into and completely smashes the wheelchair. Oddly, the truck driver didn’t even hit the brakes there, and doesn’t so much as slow down [!!] after hitting the wheelchair. That guy must be one moving violation away from deportation. I mean, what was his thought process there? “Whew! Almost killed that guy! Thank god for random teen gymnasts in the streets saving people! Well, off to work!”

Jeff and Dr. Harper land on the sidewalk as one of the wheels from his wheelchair bounces past. They end up next to two people who are so motionless, for a second I thought they perhaps had wax sculptures on sidewalks in Seattle. For no particular reason, the two people have on roller skates, and the guy is carrying a boombox on his shoulder, and the woman has a huge afro and is wearing nothing but a leotard. Are these the streets of Seattle, or Venice Beach?

Mister T "Mystery of the Mind Thieves" (part 3 of 5)

Come and knock on our door … We’ve been waiting for you … Where the kisses are hers and hers and his, T’s company too!

Back outside the Space Needle, Mr. T makes his exit. Woody runs up to explain that the crooks escaped, but the sounds of honking horns from nearby traffic make it hard for T to hear Woody. So Mr. T yells, “Wait a minute!” We then get a distinctly surreal moment as T runs into the street, leaps up on the roof of a car [!], runs across the roofs of two other cars [!!], then stands on one car and yells, “QUIEEEEEET!” [?!?!?] This is what really happens, I swear. And if you don’t believe me, you can listen to it here. All in all, quite a freaky, magnificent, bizarre, wacky, random, fantastic, any other word you can think of to indicate total confusion, bewilderment, and awe, moment.

Multi-Part Article: Mister T "Mystery of the Mind Thieves"

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