Mister T “The Playtown Mystery” (part 3 of 5)

Mayor Cokenstein shows up with park security (holding a ridiculously small umbrella, I might add), and incoherently begins to make some sort of statement. Unfortunately, she slips and falls down the hill. Mister T gets a priceless look on his face as the coked-out mayor slams into him, sending them both into the water. They surface, and she turns to him with this gem.

Mayor Cokenstein: I hope your vest is wash and wear!

Caption contributed by Ed

I can’t think of a joke here that isn’t completely wrong on all conceivable levels.

Yes, but what will you do about the contact high he probably got just from being near you? To say nothing of the emotional trauma caused by seeing your fat ass coming right at him. Man’s gonna have some real fucked up nightmares after this, I tell you!

Caption contributed by Ed

”God, this your way of getting even with me for Penitentiary II. Isn’t it?”

T echoes my thoughts with the look on his face.

Robin asks Spike what happened, while looming over him like it’s a scene from Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Naturally (since it was telegraphed in the opening), Spike can’t get anyone to believe him, because otherwise the episode would be over and the obvious moral would not get rammed down our throats.

Mayor Cokenstein points out Marvin and Dingy over by the frontier area, which proves nothing, since it has to be at least a few minutes since Spike’s encounter with them, to say nothing of the fact that the guys were in a car. To be fair though, this is a woman high off her ass, so we probably shouldn’t expect brilliant deductive reasoning from her. Especially with the flying dwarves she’s no doubt hallucinating during all of this.

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Spike says it’s impossible, since they were just on the hill a minute ago. Yeah dude, in a car hauling ass. So far, the show isn’t really doing a good job of making its moral plausible. Hell, if some kid dressed like Mr. T started babbling about duplicitous mascots trying to kill him, I wouldn’t take him seriously either. I would, however, back up several feet, very slowly.

Woody makes a smartass remark about them learning to fly, and Jeff remarks, “What do you expect from a kid?” T says maybe Spike’s eyes played a trick on him, and the mayor replies that anything is possible in the park. Given that they let a woman who’s stoned to the point of not being able to keep her balance around little kids, I’d say she’s right.

Caption contributed by Ed

I don’t get this episode either, man.

Spike throws his hands up in a “What the hell do you want from me?” gesture. We next go to Marvin and Dingy as they talk in the entryway to what looks like a mine. Dingy removes his mascot head to reveal a standard Saturday morning hatchet-faced creepy guy.

Marvin, who conspicuously keeps his head on, notices part of his own costume is torn. He remarks it must have happened when he pushed the kid. From what I recall, he pushed a pole with ribbons, not Spike. This means the writers couldn’t figure out what the hell that pole with ribbons was supposed to be either, and decided that at 8AM on a Saturday the average kid doesn’t give a shit about the finer plot details. The scene ends as they begin digging with a pick ax and a shovel.

Elsewhere, Spike and Dozer are sniffing around for clues. Literally. Spike is actually right down there with Dozer, but thankfully, the dog is doing most of the actual sniffing. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if they did show Spike sniffing at the ground, too. Remember, no amount of strangeness is beyond this show.

After combing through the grass where Marvin and Dingy were standing, Spike rears up and sneezes. In a mind-scrambling shot, this causes a huge clump of dirt to fly through the air and hit Dozer, who reacts with annoyance. Damn, get that kid some sinus medication! Either that, or give him something to correct his balance issues, because if you’re sneezing so hard your face is slamming into the ground, it’s time to see a doctor.

Caption contributed by Ed

Holy crap.

Dozer turns and comes back with a scrap of fabric, which is obviously the very scrap missing from Marvin’s costume. They run off to find Mister T, and we next cut to some guy in a vulture costume on a unicycle entertaining spectators. Well, maybe they’re being entertained, or maybe they’re just as gob smacked as I am at the utter weirdness of what they’re seeing.

Spike and Dozer run past, causing the guy to spin out, much to the amusement of the onlookers. He finally crashes into a huge vat of taffy and gets stuck. Yep, it’s official. The writers were on some seriously trippy drugs.

Caption contributed by Ed

”Hey, guys, D.C. Cab is on HBO!”

Cut to “The Monster Funhouse” ride, where T and the gang are in line. Spike and Dozer run up and stop at the end of the line to yell for Mister T. So if I have this right, on a Saturday morning cartoon it was expected that while a kid might run around by himself tracking down criminals, he won’t cut in front of the other people in a line? That’s some deeply messed up ethical logic there.

But I do get a chuckle out of the fact that even though this kid is screaming at the top of his lungs, the entire team just ignores him. Sadly, this will be the most intelligent thing the gang does all day.

Dingy is watching this with a pair of binoculars, and remarks that he found the lost piece of Marvin’s costume. Now is as good a time as any to say how much of a stretch it is that tipping over that pole could in any way damage Marvin’s costume. Let me put it this way: Plastic Man would get a severe groin pull if he tried to make that kind of stretch.

Marvin is holding some kind of golden jackhammer, and we’re a third of the way into this episode, with no clue as to what these guys are trying to do. Dingy remarks that Spike is trying to ruin everything about their vague unspoken plan that they’ve evidently spent a long time planning. Marvin says that he’ll handle it.

In the funhouse, Spike yells out for Mister T… while strolling casually through the funhouse past a cackling witch. Guess he’s not in that much of a hurry to find T and the others.

Spike is startled by some lobster-type monster, and Dozer leaps into his arms ass first. Dozer really should appear on Stupid Pet Tricks just for the sake of weirding out Letterman.

Caption contributed by Ed

The Apocalypse Now theme park exhibit proved to be surprisingly effective.

Meanwhile, the rest of the gang is frightened by a tiger, which leaps out at them from some bushes, which are surrounded by some bubbling volcanoes. This is a really random funhouse, thematically speaking. You’ve got the haunted house stuff, the bug-eyed monster stuff, the jungle/primordial Land of the Lost stuff, and even more random stuff, as we’re about to see.

Outside the funhouse, Marvin walks through a door into a control area, which is currently unmanned. Yes, a highly sophisticated theme park being run entirely by computers. Basically, Michael Crichton’s wet dream. Marvin flips a lever that literally puts the system on “OVERLOAD”. Oh, that can’t be good.

Caption contributed by Ed

Not an actual still from the episode, but rather a look inside my brain during this episode.

I’d question the wisdom in programming your system so that one random lever can cause the entire thing to go apeshit, but then again, I’m talking about a show featuring Mr. T swinging an alligator around in the opening sequence every week. Logic has no place here.

Caption contributed by Ed

The Devil’s Rain: The Animated Series!

Spike finally catches up with the others, and is about to present the evidence, when a giant Frankenstein’s Monster-looking dude crashes through the wall. Robin somehow guesses that the robotic displays have gone haywire, while a freaky looking goat-snake guy who looks like a rejected He-Man villain appears. And then a giant lizard appears, and all the robots corner them as we fade to commercial.

Back from the break, T leaps into action, tossing the big dude into a wall head first. Apparently, this park really shells out the dough. Rather than chintzy cardboard walls, they have actual solid rocks.

Caption contributed by Ed

When threatened, the Idiotus Gymnasticus will curl up in a ball and roll away.

The lizard goes after Jeff and Kim, and for some reason Kim is standing on Jeff’s hands. She flips away, and then Jeff tumbles away, in midair no less (because they’re gymnasts and all). Mister T grabs the lizard by the tail and begins swinging him around (for a robot, this thing is quite flexible), decapitating goat-snake guy in the process. He lets go, sending the lizard through the wall.

Caption contributed by Ed

”That’s right! Mess with me again and you get what I did to the shark!”

T quips, “Ride’s over, everybody out!” They run off, while in the control room, Marvin slams the control panel in annoyance. Funnily enough, the team is seen walking casually on a monitor, though with all the crap they’ve experienced on this show, I’m sure this is like any another day for them.

On the monitor, the team gets to the exit (helpfully pointed out by Jeff for anyone watching who’s had a lobotomy). Spike says with a great deal of relief, “We made it!” As we all know, this statement never leads to anything good, so it’s time for a little more madness.

A giant T-Rex comes in (see what I meant about randomness?) and shoots fire from his mouth at them. Whoa. What the hell kind of park is this, again? Seriously, they must have some serious insurance premiums to deal with. Not even taking into account the live alligator and flame-spewing dinosaur, how about the robotic exhibits that can apparently go haywire with a simple flick of a switch? Christ, even Jurassic Park took a little bit of meddling to cause things to go to hell. This place apparently has everything except safety protocols!

Caption contributed by Ed

Can you believe this shit?

T tries to ram the beast, but bounces off it. The backlash from the impact sends him into the wall, but he’s up quickly for another try. He does a Superman-level leap onto the T-Rex’s neck and begins grappling with it, while Robin cries, “We’ve got to help Mr. T!” Really? Because from the rest of the series, he needs you goons to help in a fight like he needs a raging case of herpes.

But getting back to the T vs. T-Rex duel (and damn, watching this makes me smile every time), the beast shakes T off and he remarks, “This is gonna take brains, not brawn!” Oh crap, I thought they’d have a chance. Guess not.

T stands up and taunts the T-Rex. It’s always a good idea to piss off a huge fire-breathing robot, kids, remember that. The T-Rex shoots more flames at T, toasting the floor and revealing wooden beams. Mr. T backs away, and when Marvin moves the T-Rex forward, it falls through the damaged floor.

Caption contributed by Ed

”I pity the Balrog who tries to cross my path!”

A piece of the T-Rex’s tail flies up out of the hole and lands on T’s head, making him look like a wizard. He doesn’t really seem too concerned about this, and says, “That’ll teach him to mess with me!” Am I the only one who feels he should never be allowed to end a sentence containing “me” without following it up with “…Mr. T!”? No? That’s what I thought.

Ed Harris

A fan of less than great cinema since childhood, Ed divides his time between writing scripts, working an actual paying job and subjecting himself willingly to some of the worst films society has produced.

Multi-Part Article: Mister T "The Playtown Mystery"

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