Mister T “Mystery of the Golden Medallion” (part 3 of 6)
Woody goes over and stands on a platform to get his medal. Apparently, the silver and bronze medals were won by members of other teams, so I don’t know why Jeff is so pissed that Woody beat him. It’s not like any of the other Mr. T Team members could have gotten anything higher than a bronze. And while we’re on the topic, all the medals we saw earlier were the same color. What’s with that?
Before Woody can receive his medal, one of the Tuxedo Judges cries, “The medallions—gone!” Okay, so I guess we’re referring to “medals” as “medallions” now. Then one of the female judges stands and yells, “The medallions—gone!” No, seriously, those are the lines. Who would’ve thought the “ooh-ahh” dialogue would be this script’s high-water mark? Robin yells, “Stolen?” T, ever the helpful mentor, adds, “Ripped off! Bagged!” Bagged? What year is this? Sorry, 1983. Right. Okay, so I think we now fully understand that the medallions have been stolen.
But there’s soon a hubbub in the crowd. It appears the two thieves, and we know they’re thieves because of, you know, the jackets and turtleneck sweaters, are shoving people around as they run for the exit. Guys, you’re thieves. The least you could do is sneak out quietly, or try to blend in, or something. Geez.
Anyway, they head out through the fire exit to the alleyway. For unknown reasons, Spike is the only one to go after them. Well, the reason is that it allows him to get kidnapped in a minute, but I’m talking about an in-universe explanation, of which there is none. Anyway, Spike soon discovers the thieves all of ten feet away, and one of them is furiously pounding on the medallions with a hammer. Hammer Goon yells, “It’s not here, either!” Hmm, could this not have waited until the thieves were in a safe place? Like, say, more than ten feet away from the scene of the crime?
Spike, unfortunately, has to butt in. “What isn’t, turkey?” This prompts the two Turtleneck goons to immediately come after him. Strange, but as soon as Spike gets scared, his whole fake “Mr. T persona” completely dissolves and he cries out like a baby. I guess that’s supposed to be a little joke, but I find it more sad than funny. The two goons pick him up by each arm as he screams out for his sister Robin. Way to be tough, little man. Inside, T and the T-inators hear his cries and rush out.
As Spike struggles, he just happens to knock a slip of paper out of one goon’s jacket pocket, which naturally settles on the alley floor, completely unnoticed by the goons as they take off with Spike as their hostage. Gee, will this end up being a clue later? I wonder.
The goons are just about to drop Spike on the next bus to Neverland Ranch, when suddenly T and the gang appear, running right for them. “Put that kid down!” T yells, and he runs directly at the camera. And T keeps running towards us, and you just don’t believe it because he keeps running towards us, until all we see are Mr. T’s lips filling the entire screen [!]. Wow. That’s almost pornographic.
One goon who looks like Lex Luthor yells, “We gotta shake ’em!” Sounds like Goon Talk to me. These are certified goons, alright. Trained at Goon University, Class of ’76. The goons run out of the alley and come to a generic semi truck parked on a hill. Lex Luthor Goon calls out, “You wanna chase something? Chase this!” It’d be so hilarious if we got a shot of him grabbing his crotch on this line, but what actually happens is that the other goon reaches into the truck and does something that causes a bloop-bloop-bloop sound, and next thing we know, the driverless truck is rolling down the street on its own.
The goons run off as the truck barrels down the hill. See, it’s San Francisco. Lots of hills, you see. Lucky break for the thieves, huh? Imagine if this was somewhere in Kansas. They’d look pretty foolish, standing there and laughing manically as the truck slowly lurched forward. In that hypothetical scenario, I bet Mr. T would even pity them. Anyway, Woody sees this and helpfully informs us the goons must have released the emergency brake.
Next comes the first of many annoying ethnic stereotypes in the series. Kim, the Token Asian Girl, suddenly starts calculating [!] the exact rate and speed at which the truck will travel. Wow, those Asians! They have minds just like computers! “At a 60 degree slope,” she says, “A five ton truck, velocity on impact… Oh, shhhhheesh!” Call me crazy, but Kim holds that “shhhh…” sound in “sheesh” just long enough to make me momentarily believe I was about to hear swearing in a children’s cartoon. That sure woke me the hell up.
But help is on the way! Somehow, Mr. T is standing in front of the truck as it swoops past. I’m not sure how he got over there, but anyway, he leaps on the back of the truck, holding onto two convenient handles on the rear doors. For reasons unknown, the dog takes off running too, and for a while he seems to be perfectly capable of keeping up with the truck [!]. Is the dog on steroids, too? There’s a shot of the kids all looking terrified. Um, if Mr. T is taking care of the runaway truck all by himself, what’s stopping these four morons from following the guys who kidnapped Spike? Or is it in their team charter that they have to stand around being useless while Mr. T is doing his thing?
Anyway, people scatter and there’s a near accident as the truck barrels through an intersection. You know, I think I just realized something about this cartoon: If I stare at any given frame for more than five seconds, I’m bound to find something dumb that I didn’t notice before. Or a lot of dumb things. Check this out.
So, that driver was going straight, and had to brake to avoid hitting the truck. Just one question, where the hell was he going? If he went straight, he would have run right over the median! Obviously, he should have been turning at that intersection, in which case he wouldn’t have come close to being hit at all. Amazingly stupid animation, isn’t it? I mean, now it almost seems like a good thing that those goons sent the truck flying. They just saved that guy from running over the median and totally ruining his undercarriage!
Back to Mr. T, who’s climbing up the back of the truck, and then is on top of it. He eventually makes it into the cab and stomps on the brake, but the truck continues hurtling over steep hills and doesn’t slow down at all [?]. I guess the brakes are out, or the truck is going too fast to stop, or some damn thing, but it sure would have been nice if Mr. T had exercised his ability to yell out unnecessary exposition the one time we actually needed it.
Finally, the truck bursts through a parking gate, and is suddenly on a pier. And the pier is concrete [?]. Odd, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a concrete pier in my life. Nor have I seen one that’s as wide as a freeway. Must be a San Francisco thing. In a supposedly comical moment that goes nowhere, a fisherman sees the truck coming, and then dodges the truck. Then Mr. T opens up the driver’s side door and jumps out. And he actually lands flat on the ground, not rolling or bouncing or doing anything to suggest he had any forward momentum after jumping out of a moving vehicle. I sure hope kids weren’t watching this cartoon to learn about physics, either. Or about life in general, really.
Well, in a replay of the opening teaser, the truck goes flying into the ocean. Two seconds later, the dog walks up to Mr. T [!]. How fast can that dog run, anyway? The dog growls and T says, “Save it for the dudes who got Spike!” Yes, soon enough you’ll be able to… growl directly at them. Don’t use up all that growling energy on nothing!
Anyway, back with the young gymnasts now, who are helping crack the case by… picking up shards of medallions in the alleyway. Correction: Jeff is picking up shards of medallions, and the other three are just standing there watching him. Can you spot the inefficiency problem in this picture? Robin is a worried mess over her brother’s disappearance, and wonders if there’s “some kind of evidence that we can piece together!” Well, allow me to get you started: You saw the guys that kidnapped Spike. As a matter of fact, everyone at the gymnastics meet got a good, hard look at them. Shouldn’t you all be at the police station right about now getting a sketch drawn up?
Of course they won’t, because there are no police in this world. I’d fault the makers of the cartoon for this, except they’re obviously just taking a cue from Mr. T’s other series on the air at the time, The A-Team. I mean, how often did you see the A-Team get into a big shootout, compared to how often police ever showed up on the scene? In response to Robin’s wish for evidence, Woody exclaims, “Maybe there’s something on the ground!” Well thank god he said that, because all that searching in mid-air wasn’t turning up anything.
Jeff, currently on the ground on his hands and knees, looks up and yells, “Great thought, Sherlock!” Okay, now. You know and I know and every adult watching this knows that line was inspired by the saying “No shit, Sherlock!” So next I’m expecting a character to say, “There’s a party in my mouth, and everyone’s invited!” Jeff then asks, “So why do you think I’m on my knees here?” Uh, Jeff? A guy who competes in gymnastics should not be inviting those sorts of comments.
Anyway, Jeff sarcastically mouths off to Woody that the pieces of the medallions are “evidence”. Woody says, “What’s that?” And Jeff says, “It’s a clue!” Which I think was a little joke. Like an Airplane!-style “this woman needs to get to a hospital,” “what is it?” sort of thing. If it is, that’s pretty pathetic. But what Woody is really talking about is that sheet of paper Spike knocked out of the goon’s pocket.
Woody hands the paper over to Jeff and Jeff exclaims, “I knew I’d find something!” Yeah, isn’t it just like The Man, always taking credit for a brother’s work? But Woody says, “Yeah! You found me! Holding that list of addresses!” Right on, Woody! The revolution will put Woody in the driver’s seat! It turns out the first address on the list is the hotel they’re currently standing behind. Robin, kind of dense it would seem, yells, “We gotta find out what this means!” Uh, the first location on the list is the scene of the first robbery. What do you think it means?