Mister T “U.F.O. Mystery” (part 2 of 4)
Back in Rapid City, Mr. T and the gang discover that Woody never made it back to his improbably large hotel room. They find Woody’s address book, conveniently open at Professor Andrews’ page. They decide to drive out to the Menlo Park of the Black Hills, to see if perhaps Woody spent the night there. Once on the scene, they check the barn out just like Woody did.
Inside the barn, Kim notices the circular burn mark on the floor. Mr. T thinks that “somebody had a big weenie roast”. But it probably involved tentacles, given the Hentai Love Monster machine shown earlier. Kim, however, thinks that the burn mark looks just like U.F.O. landing circles she’s read about.
As she’s talking, Spike stiffly turns around and begins to walk out of the shot, exiting stage left. Before he gets to the edge of the frame, though, he starts to manifest his mutant powers. Three or four feet before he’s out of the shot, BAMF! He’s gone! There’s no puff of smoke or smell of brimstone, but the kid definitely just blinks out of existence.
Sure, I know this series was apparently edited and animated by palsied monkeys, but Spike BAMFs more than once in this episode. Makes you think about what might have been: Mr. T plus the X-Men! Oooh—or maybe Chuck Norris plus the Transformers! Just imagine!
As the saying goes, “A man’s dreams are an index to his greatness.”
While Spike teleports through alternate dimensions, Robin and Jeff chide Kim for suggesting that the burn on the floor could be related to a U.F.O. Only then do the numbskulls look up and notice the giant hole in the roof of the barn. Jeff seems convinced; He says that he sees “little green men” in his future. Spike, now back in our reality, pokes his head out of a side room and calls the team over.
Holy carp! Forget Chuck Norris and the Transformers—I should have suggested Mr. T plus the Terminator! Inside the room, they find a life-size, robotic duplicate of Mr. T! It even has a remote control that looks somewhat familiar. Spike pushes a button on the remote. The robot comes to life, crosses its arms, and says, and I swear I’m not making this up, “I pity the fool who messes with my buttons!”
The robot speaks in a slightly mechanized version of Mr. T’s own voice, which doesn’t sit well with the real Mr. T. However, Mr. T’s insults are not really up to snuff: “Junkyard reject”, “metal man”, and “pile of tin” are the best he can come up with. But the robot shrugs off the verbal abuse, and introduces itself as “Mr. T-2”. Mr. T-2 offers his help finding Woody, but the team blows him off and leaves the barn.
I must say, they’re amazingly jaded. Finding a sentient robot in a South Dakota barn would knock my socks off, but Mr. T and the gang don’t seem to be the least bit impressed. They act like the robot is a cheap party favor. Spike, at least, has some sense. He puts T-2 into sleep mode, and then pockets the remote.
By the way, I’m pretty sure this confirms the notion that Professor Andrews is a wee bit bent in terms of his sexual preferences. Not only does he have a hentai tentacle porn machine in the barn, but he also built himself a to-scale robotic Mr. T. Complete with mohawk, gold chains, and clothing which one must admit wouldn’t be out of place in a Village People revival. I’m having a lot of trouble coming up with a non-pervy reason for that.
Outside the barn, Dozer has spotted Woody’s motorcycle tracks—which were clearly not there before—in the farm’s driveway. Now, based on everything we’ve seen, the gang doesn’t know that Woody rented a motorcycle in the first place, and they have no real evidence that Woody was ever at the farm. But Mr. T pities the fool that relies on logic or evidence! They decide to follow the tracks.
Mr. T’s tracking skills are just as awesome as every other aspect of him, because he’s able to follow Woody’s tracks even on pavement. The bus pulls up to the fork in the road that Woody “couldn’t see”, and they figure out that he missed the turn. So, T and the kids follow the tracks to the left, toward the location where Woody encountered the I.F.O.
Apparently, the huge tree that was blocking the road the night before has been helpfully removed—South Dakotan beavers, dontcha know—because Mr. T and the posse never encounter it. Or maybe Mr. T shoved it off the road in a scene they didn’t show us. Either way, they come to the cliff that serves as the end of the road, and oh no! There are buzzards circling over the edge of the cliff. That is seldom a good sign.
Throughout the scene, dramatic music that sounds like it’s from Star Trek: The Animated Series has been playing, but a quick check shows that this show’s production company was Ruby-Spears, not Filmation. However, I’m not sure the person responsible for choosing the music read the script, because the “high drama” music usually doesn’t fit action scenes.
Upon peering over the edge and seeing Woody hung up on the tree (species: dues ex machina picea glauca), Mr. T has Jeff tie a rope around the bus’ bumper, and then he starts to rappel down the cliff to rescue Woody. For a show about gymnasts, there’s going to be an awful lot of rappelling in this episode. T trusts the kids to slowly play out the rope, which is a decision I wouldn’t have been real comfortable with.
About halfway down, the buzzards begin to get irritated that Mr. T is trying to take their lunch away. Did you know that buzzards can hover? I didn’t. Thankfully, Mr. T’s badassery extends even to the animal kingdom: He bellows, and the buzzards flee in abject terror.
Back at the top of the cliff, Spike has stopped helping with the rope, leaving Jeff, Kim, and Robin to bear the entire weight of Mr. T and Woody. Jerk. Instead of holding onto the rope, Spike is peering over the edge, along with Dozer, and waving. Does he expect T to wave back? The little brat should just BAMF down there and rescue Woody himself.
Once Mr. T reaches Woody’s branch, Woody miraculously regains consciousness. Right before the commercial break, Woody’s wiggling causes the branch to begin to break. The suspense! Will Mr. T rescue Woody, or will Woody fall to his death? At least Woody wouldn’t see it coming.
It actually turns out to be a closer call than I thought it would be. Right after the commercials, the branch breaks, and Woody does indeed begin his death plunge. T dives after Woody, and manages to somehow catch up and grab Woody by the wrist. Mr. T pities the fool that believes in Galileo! As the rope snaps taut, the kids (now including Spike-crawler again) let go, but thankfully, the knot on the bumper holds.
Ms. Bisby backs the bus up, pulling both T and Woody toward the top of the cliff. But the rope is fraying on the jagged edge! So, with one arm, Mr. T hurls Woody something like thirty or forty feet straight into the air, and Woody lands safely. Riiiiiight.
The kids helpfully yell “Mr. T!” just in time for the rope to break. Of course, the indefatigable T simply digs his mighty fingers into the cliff face and climbs back up. As he pops up over the edge, he quips, “Mr. T’s not at the end of his rope yet!” Ouch. That’s seventh-ring-of-Hell material right there, folks.
Everyone suddenly remembers Woody, the guy who was dangling from a tree for hours. He says he’s fine, but he’s worried about Professor Andrews, who’s “been kidnapped.” Look, writers: Unless you show the characters seeing what’s going on in the rest of the story, they have no way of knowing about it! We know that Andrews was indeed kidnapped, but none of the characters here would know. All Woody knows is that Professor Andrews wasn’t home, and there was a big hole in the roof of his barn. A more logical guess would be that the Professor blew himself the heck up.
Before they can get down to the business of finding Andrews, they decide to take Woody to the hospital for a checkup. As they leave, two figures watch them silently from across the ravine. I’m sure they’ll never have anything to do with the story. But if so, why was there an ominous musical sting when they were shown? Huh. That’s weird. Moving right along…