Mister T “Mystery of the Mind Thieves” (part 4 of 5)

Having achieved a state of total silence on the street, as well as within my own mind, Mr. T strolls on over to Dr. Harper. He’s laid out on the sidewalk with Robin and Kim attending to him. And here, Kim is now wearing her red gymnastics outfit, whereas not more than one minute ago she was in the same white jacket and jeans as everyone else. “I’m no nurse,” Robin says. “But I think he’ll be okay!” And if you’re no nurse, what would you base that on, exactly?

Mister T "Mystery of the Mind Thieves" (part 4 of 5)

“I pity dudes who get old!”

Anyway, the addled old coot wakes up and doesn’t know how he got there, and the last thing he remembers is being in his hotel room. This prompts Kim to inform Mr. T that Daddy Nakamura had the same odd memory lapse. Which just means they’re both alcoholics. And possibly enabling one another.

Mr. T, however, puts it all together and says that Daddy isn’t mad at Kim, after all. Robin pipes up. “Right! I think somebody’s fooling with these scientists’ minds! And erasing parts of their memory! [sic]” Well, of course. Duh. It would only follow, right?

Kim exclaims, “I never thought of that!” Yeah, and it was so obvious, too. You big dummy. Mr. T picks up Dr. Harper and shouts, “Course you didn’t! You were too wrapped up in how your feelin’s was hurt!” Yeah, Kim, how self-centered can you be not to notice totally obvious mind control and memory erasure?

Mister T "Mystery of the Mind Thieves" (part 4 of 5)

“I think he’s disoriented by my cameltoe!”

“Your dad’s in trouble, Kim,” T says as they all run off. “You gotta think of him first, not how that trouble affects you!” Hey, I think we just learned something. That’s not fair. Nobody told me this would be a learning experience. I was promised no learning!

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They run back to the Space Needle and, to waste more time, they wait for the elevator. And Mr. T actually puts Dr. Harper back down on the ground again [!], complete with a thud on the soundtrack. Robin notes that Prime Suspect, I mean, Dr. Yarbey could be in trouble too, so T says they need to find her. T then tells Woody and Jeff to make sure Dr. Harper gets to a doctor. And I hate to butt in, but maybe the best time to call a doctor was when Dr. Harper was lying unconscious on the other side of the street. In this kind of situation, perhaps it’s not wise to pick up an injured person and carry them around for no reason whatsoever.

Mister T "Mystery of the Mind Thieves" (part 4 of 5)

“Damn! This Vincent Price dude is heavy!”

Cut to the Magic Bus rolling along, as the team (minus Jeff and Woody) goes to find Dr. Yarbey. Robin asks if Dr. Yarbey was at the Space Needle. Um, if she were there, would they be riding around in the bus right now trying to find her? “Unh-unh!” T grunts. “But I got her address out the phone book!” [!] Mr. T, stalkerrazzi extraordinaire. And who says he’s not resourceful?

The stalker-type behavior continues when Mr. T gets to Yarbey’s office. Instead of knocking, he just pushes the door open, and finds her barking orders to someone on the phone. (Conveniently for T, she just happens to be talking with her back to the door.) She demands “no slipups this time” and mentions a plane that’s been sitting around for twenty years. She wonders if it’ll still fly after all this time.

Mister T "Mystery of the Mind Thieves" (part 4 of 5)

“No, woman! Not in my erogenous zone!”

Mr. T then makes his presence known by, um, opening the door a little wider. Which, for some reason, makes a big thwack noise. Yarbey demands to know who he is. Uh, what? How many six-foot black men with Mohawks and forty pounds of gold chains does she know? He says he’s a friend of “Tom Nakamoro [sic]”, and wanted to check up on her. She tells him to get out, then removes a can of Roll-On from her desk drawer and jabs T in the arm with it. So, it’s pretty clear that Dr. Yarbey is Neighborhood Watch Guy, right? I mean, I can’t imagine anyone would consider that bit of information a surprise after this. Except, the episode actually assumes we can’t make that connection, and when NWG is unmasked later, this will all be presented like a big, shocking reveal [?].

“What was that?” T yells, “What did you do to me?” And a short moment later, the mighty T is felled. He lands on Yarbey’s desk, and the weight of his body shatters the entire desk [!!] into a million wooden shards. Mr. T really needs to lay off the Little Debbie snack cakes, I’m thinking. Yarbey hovers over him and snarks, “Next time I tell you to do something, you’ll do it! I’ll see to that!” And the only thing missing here is the hearty, evil cackle to close out the scene. I’m surprised they left that out, actually.

Mister T "Mystery of the Mind Thieves" (part 4 of 5)

“Okay, BA is ready to get on the plane now!”

Outside, Kim gets suspicious, so she and Robin and Spike head inside. Miss Bisby calls out to them that if they’re not out in five minutes, she’s coming in after them. Well, great. It’s always good to know a post-menopausal etiquette teacher’s got my back.

They enter Yarbey’s office, only to find a mind-controlled Mr. T standing there. And how do we know he’s mind controlled? Why, he’s cross-eyed [!], that’s how. What else could that mean? Spike calls out to him, but T just ignores him and walks toward a lamp stand, then picks it up over his head. Eventually, the kids surmise that T is being controlled just like the scientists. Kim cries, “Oh boy, are we in trouble!” No kidding. Can you imagine the awesome power of Mr. T harnessed in the service of evil, instead of good? The whole world would be in trouble.

Mister T "Mystery of the Mind Thieves" (part 4 of 5)

“Take it from Mr. T! A Karen Black impersonation always lightens the mood!”

When we return from the commercial break, we get a quick little recap in dialogue to remind us that T is being mind-controlled. In the series’ worst animation mistake yet, Mr. T’s shadow appears on the kids as they talk, and then the kids scatter, but the shadow stays in the same exact place. It just hovers there for a few seconds like a freaky black smudge on the lens. They just didn’t care, did they? They just didn’t care.

Mister T "Mystery of the Mind Thieves" (part 4 of 5)

Now you see his shadow…

Mister T "Mystery of the Mind Thieves" (part 4 of 5)

Now you… do?

Spike trips on a coffee table (I think) and falls face-first on the floor. He looks up to see T right above him with the lamp stand. Smash him, T! Do it! Smash his stupid head in!

But, what’s this? Something inside T is overcoming the mind control? “No!” T yells. “No! Nobody can make me hurt my friends!!!” Or the annoying brats I barely tolerate, either!! “Nobody!” he screams, flinging the lamp stand through the air.

“OHHHHHH!” he groans, collapsing to the floor. Mr. T is out cold, just as Miss Bisby shows up. “My stars and garters!” she gasps. Luckily, Spike has chosen this moment to return to his flippant Mr. T impersonation. “Tried to go upside my head with that lamp! But he passed out! Somebody’s been messin’ with his mind! I wasn’t afraid though! I knew nobody can really turn Mr. T against us!” Yeah, we could tell you weren’t afraid, Spike. Now, what’s that yellow puddle you’re standing in? Miss Bisby fishes something out of her purse. “These smelling salts will wake him up in a jiffy!” Smelling salts? What is this, 1932?

Mister T "Mystery of the Mind Thieves" (part 4 of 5)

“This cocaine will wake him up in a jiffy!”

Meanwhile, Woody and Jeff watch as an ambulance pulls off. Presumably, inside the ambulance is Dr. Harper, and the paramedics are surely attending to the massive spinal injury he just received after being picked up, moved across the street, and dropped back down on the ground for no reason. I mean, I’m starting to get an inkling of how he ended up in that wheelchair in the first place.

Woody and Jeff see Daddy Nakamura leaving the Space Needle—hmm, where’s he been all this time?—so they walk over and hassle him. Unfortunately, Daddy is back in Jerk Mode, yelling at them to “Leave me alone! Just leave me alone!” Actually, considering who’s bothering him, I suspect no mind control is involved here.

Woody and Jeff just stand there as a limo holding Mr. Eyes Without A Face shows up. He tells Daddy to come along—and yeah, now we know that NWG is really a “she”, but for the time being I’ll just play along with this episode—he tells Daddy to come along, but Daddy clutches his head and yells, “No! No, please! Not again!” NWG says, “Perhaps you’d prefer another injection!” I guess the thought of another of those painless injections with no breakage of skin horrifies Daddy, because he goes along peacefully.

Before getting in the limo, however, he turns to Woody and Jeff. “Tell… Kimberly… I love her!” This earns him another injection, and in a hilarious close-up, a rapturous, almost orgasmic look crosses Daddy’s face. Oddly, the guys just stand there, and it’s not until the car pulls away that they even move. And when they do move, what do they decide to do? They walk into the street and they both point at the car. And Jeff yells, “Hey! Wait!” and Woody adds, “Stop!” That’s real helpful, guys.

Mister T "Mystery of the Mind Thieves" (part 4 of 5)

Look in the dictionary under “useful”, and you might see this picture.

The two run after the car for, literally, half a block, before they both stop, completely out of breath, and you’d think gymnasts would be in better shape than this. The Magic Bus pulls up right at that moment and the boys hop on, telling Miss Bisby to follow that limo. She says, “You know how much I dislike this sort of thing!” She sighs, however, and finally relents. “But! If we must!”

And so, the incredibly brief chase is on. They come to a railroad crossing, and the limo goes through. In exactly 0.5 seconds, the gates have been lowered and a train is roaring past. This blocks the bus, so Robin and Kim do their usual bitching and moaning and wonder what to do next.

Mr. T suddenly remembers something. He clasps his hands behind his back and walks to the back of the bus, all introspective and everything, and says, “Wait! Before she ducked out, Yarbey said something about, about a plane! A plane that’s been outdoors for twenty years!” He then turns around and says, “Only you and yo’ photographic memory can help yo’ dad now, Kim! Only you can tell us what that means!” Well, I highly doubt Kim is the only person who could figure out what that means, but as usual with this series, the kid who’s the focus of the “lesson” has to be the one to solve everything.

After trying to wuss out of it for a while with liberal uses of the phrase “Ah geez!”, Kim finally remembers an old magazine article she read about a “jet exhibit just south of town!” So, that must be it, and that’s where they head. But not before Mr. T wisely takes over the wheel from Miss Bisby, saying, “We’ve got a creep to catch!” See, it’s a little pun, like instead of having a plane to catch, they have… ah, forget it.

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

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