Hey pals. I know what you want. You want more of that Alien Fighter goodness, and I’m gonna give it to you like DMX.
EPISODE 2: “The Note”
Tireface is stressing about about the teens and declares that he needs a new monster. That’s the entire scene. It’s a gripping opener.
We transition to the hallway of the (so far) unnamed high school, where Drew is discussing her qualms with being a superhero with Gordon. She points out that they were kind of forced into the whole thing and didn’t join the fight at their own free will. She doesn’t like the idea of being pressured into doing something. This would be a really great character bit, but they’re in the middle of the hallway of a public school. Not exactly the best way to keep your identity hidden.
Laurie shows up, wishing that she’d show a little more enthusiasm about being part of a team. Drew protests, claiming “discontent is the first step in the progress of a person or a nation.” This is where I gotta give credit where it’s due: this is pretty deep talk for a dumb kid’s show.
And then Gordon Fucking Henley ruins everything, declaring her philosophy “mumbo-jumbo.” Also, let’s talk about his goddamn outfit.
Gordon obviously has a closet full of pink dress shirts. Today, he complemented it with blue jeans, a tie, and suspenders. Ravishing.
Drew calls Gordon a conformist in so many words, because all he does is follow rules and traditions. It’s a little strange given that they didn’t appear to know each other very well in the last episode, but maybe they did. Or a bit of time passed between this episode and the last. Whatever. Gordon denies these accusations but can’t make a case for himself otherwise.
Back at Tireface Central, Emperor Gorge Anus is still contemplating his next monster. Shitbird suggests something mean, so Tireface summons Neuragula (a name I actually had to look up how to spell on the TTAF Wikipedia page) and the monster causes some sort of sonic disturbance that hurts Shitbird’s shitty shit ears. It’s kinda funny, but why is a brain monster using sound as his main technique?
I didn’t mention this in the first episode, but there’s this dumb shot of a Beverly Hills sign that they use for transitions sometimes. You know, in case you forgot that the show takes place in Beverly Hills.
The sign takes us to the cafe, where Laurie is chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool and Drew is working. She works at the cafe. Huh. Apparently Laurie was just sitting there with a list of her accomplishments, because Drew comes over and picks it up, reading it out loud. Honor’s society, student council president, et cetera.
Laurie takes off because who cares, and Gordon Fucking Henley sits on the couch and proceeds to be a dipshit. He claims his way of following rules is just the right way to do things, while Drew is conforming simply by being nonconformist.
Suddenly, a wild Swinton appears in the cafe. Drew claims that Swinton won’t congregate with them to maintain the notion that they’re not friends despite the fact that they were all sitting in that same area one episode ago.
Swinton comes to say hi.
He comes bearing big news, and Gordon Fucking Henley asks if it’s that he’s singing lead vocals for the Smashing Pumpkins. If you weren’t aware, the Smashing Pumpkins were an alternative rock band led by Billy Corgan, a bald, glow-in-the-dark-pale husk of a man. It’s a reference for the sake of a reference and it’s stupid and I don’t like it. 0/10
The actual news is that the school is opening an organic salad bar in the cafeteria. Gordon “disses” him a few more times for being a socially awkward Melvin and then his “electronic date book” beeps because Gordon Fucking Henley is a super important guy in his colorful suspenders.
Gordon bails and shortly after Laurie shows back up with a book for him, asking Swinton to return it. Swinton swoons over Laurie because apparently that’s a thing now, and Drew mocks him for it. I guess it’s the novelty of having the hot popular girl ask you for a favor.
Drew finds the napkin where Laurie wrote down all of her achievements earlier (I guess? Nobody made that clear at all) and plots to copy her handwriting and prove a point to Gordon about peer pressure. Swinton agrees to help using a program he developed that can copy handwriting, effectively scheming to betray the girl that he was just fawning over not even a minute ago. I guess it was more to get back at Gordon Fucking Henley for being a dickweasel.
Swinton and Drew begin writing the note:
To the man I most admire,
While I’ve always thought of you as rigid, uptight, and a rule-follower, I now realize you’d break loose and forget the rules to be at my side if you knew I needed you.
Swinton has reservations about going through with this, but Drew peer pressures him because that’s what good teammates do and they agree to meet at Gordon’s locker. Drew needs to meet up with some geek named Duwayne from the AV club to borrow a projector for a poetry reading because Drew can’t find enough hobbies that make me want to gag myself.
The next scene takes place at Gordon’s locker, and… wait a fucking second.
Clearly this scheme occurs during school hours, correct? There’s kids in the halls, so that’s the implication I’m seeing. But Drew was just working at the cafe. Does she work there at the asscrack of dawn before class? Is she volunteering her time to a struggling business? Either she’s extremely dedicated or she really needs the hours to pay for her hobbies. Like renting projectors for poetry readings.
Okay, I can’t get over that. She needs a projector for a poetry reading. What, are you going to put an overhead of your poem on the wall? Christ.
Fuck it. Swinton shows up with the counterfeit note and they put it in Gordon’s book. He returns the book and does so with the nonchalance and confidence that somebody who looks like Swinton would have: none.
Gordon reads the note, appearing pleased. Laurie comes by to make sure he got it even though if she was going to do that then she may as well have returned it herself and none of this nonsense would be happening in the first place. He makes it very clear that he got it. There was an “indeedy” involved. Gross.
Before Gordon Fucking Henley can make it to first base, Laurie’s tattoo flashes. Gordon decides it’d be a good idea to go with her to Nimbar’s place to prove that he can break loose sometimes. His definition of “breaking loose” needs some tweaking.
A portal appears in the middle of the hallway which is stupid and dumb and lame for many reasons and Laurie and Gordon hop on through. Drew and Swinton celebrate their success, noticing that Nimbar didn’t call them. But hey, they found the dropped note on the floor and high-five. Cowabunga!
Upon arriving at the Imaginarium – the show has yet to provide a name for their “command center” so I’m just going to make it up as I go along – Nimbar immediately chastises Gordon for joining Laurie when he wasn’t summoned. Instead of flipping his shit, Nimbar explains that a solar storm is fucking his surveillance up but he thinks Tireface has unleashed a monster. He sends Laurie and (reluctantly) Gordon to “search and identify,” instructing them not to engage. They do their morphy thingy on the Transo Discs and head on their merry way.
Back at school, Drew approaches Swinton, explaining that Duwayne is going to let her borrow his personal equipment instead. Swinton thinks that means he really likes Drew, which will probably evolve into some crazy shenanigans later on. She tells Swinton to let him know where she lives so that he can deliver it, even though that’s an awful thing to tell some strange guy who has a huge crush on you.
Meanwhile, get a load of this shit.
Anyway, Laurie and Gordon are sneaking around but then Neuragula catches them. Gordon Fucking Henley, being Gordon Fucking Henlier than ever before, attacks it instead of retreating back to the Batcave like daddy told them to. I understand that he’s trying to prove that he can break the rules sometimes, but maybe he could do it when the planet isn’t under attack by a giant brain monster. It doesn’t matter anyway because Neuragula knocks him on his ass.
Meanwhile, we’re introduced to Duwayne, who’s hanging out with Drew and Swinton. He looks like this.
Duwayne to Swinton is like Screech to Zack Morris. He talks exactly how you would expect. Whatever voice you’re imagining, I can say with 90% certainty that’s what he sounds like. I promise. Would I lie to you?
A graceful, majestic beast, Duwayne gets off on the right foot by sneezing on Drew, explaining that he can’t swim because of an ear infection, and letting everybody know about his sun allergy. Inconveniently, their tattoos glow and they attempt to come up with flimsy excuses to bail on Duwayne. Leaving him alone at Drew’s house where he definitely isn’t sniffing her panties or anything, they hop through a portal to the Hall of Justice.
Nimbar tells the pair about how Gordon broke a rule and caused a clusterfuck. Swinton nervously begins to explain that it was probably their fault because of the note, but Drew cuts him off as they quickly go to help their pals.
A quick fights scene follows and nothing cool happens except bad sound editing, no voiceovers, clumsy fight choreography involving strange out-of-place gymnastics, and Gordon getting tossed like a bitch.
The kids return to base and try to justify the fact that they lost with a bunch of technobabble involving left brain/right brain stuff and Neuragula’s sound wave attacks and decide that they need to trick each half of the brain into behaving differently so that it’ll throw off the sound frequencies? I’m not entirely sure and I don’t care because this scene completely throws off what little momentum the fight scene had.
Returning to battle, the teens use their weapons as lasers once again because that’s the only thing bladed weapons have ever been used for in the history of ever. I suppose these lasers fuck up Neuragula’s brain hemispheres or some malarkey because he gets really pissed. The Sentinels form Knightron and fire a bunch of lasers and kill him. Fantastic.
Back at Titan Tower, Drew confesses her sins to Gordon. Laurie surprisingly has nothing to say about this little scheme that her teammate cooked up. Nimbar scolds him for acting like a douchelord and they leave before they can suffer any further embarrassment.
Later that night, Drew is doing her poetry reading at the cafe, where she utilizes exactly none of the AV equipment that she borrowed from the dopey kid. Gordon asks for the note so that he can tear it up, but it turns out Duwayne is hanging out at the cafe too, reading the note and assuming Drew wrote it for him.
“The Note” is a stupid episode. The entire Duwayne subplot was useless. The sudden obsession that the boys have for Laurie makes very little sense, especially when Gordon did nothing but talk about how lame his teammates were last episode. The second he thought that she was interested in him he turned into a giant tool. It’s okay to make your characters assholes, but at least make them consistent assholes.
I do like that Drew fucked around with Gordon, though. It’s not her fault that he’s an easily suggestible idiot.
I think the most deplorable thing in this show so far is the damn fight scenes. They’re so clunky and slow that it makes a tortoise race look like the fights in Dragon Ball Z. I understand that this is a very low budget show, but the battles have no charm to make up for these shortcomings. I would honestly be surprised if they created a unique monster costume for each of the 40 episodes, and I’m predicting that they’re going to reuse them a lot. Maybe we’ll get to see that beautiful Ninjabot costume again.
Next time, we’ll take a look at episode 3, entitled “How Time Flies.” Maybe Drew will change Gordon’s alarm clock and he’ll be late for his job at the douche factory.