Ah, yes. It’s time to once again re-visit a beloved childhood television shows and point out just how incredibly stupid it was. It’s time to review another episode of the classic G.I. Joe cartoon!
This will be my fifth episode review, so I’m afraid there’s not much fresh material to discuss. I’ve already established that the Joes are horrifically undisciplined, and usually only succeed either due to sheer luck or because their opponents are more incompetent than they are.
So for this year’s review, I wanted to choose an episode that stood out above the rest. I wanted to choose the craziest episode ever.
This was not an easy task since just about every episode this show is at least little bit insane. But when I was writing the Fear Boger post last week, one particular episode came to mind. In a series that was almost nothing but craziness, this episode stands out as the craziest of them all.
And so I bring you…The Gods Below!
As we begin, we find that Cobra has done what Cobra does best: Kidnap a scientist! However, they’ve decided to show a little bit of variety this time around. Instead of kidnapping a scientist in a long white lab coat, this episode’s scientist – Dr. Marsh – is wearing safari gear.
Dr. Marsh has uncovered an ancient tomb in Egypt, and Cobra suspects that there is treasure contained within. Marsh will have to help them find the treasure, or he’s literally going to get his butt whipped.
Marsh warns Cobra that the Egyptian government will react to his kidnapping and send security to the tomb. But – and this is somewhat surprising considering Cobra’s usual success rate in direct combat – Cobra’s troops are able to easily dispose of them.
But wait! Apparently, the Cobra attack was not unanticipated. A few members of the G.I. Joe team were hidden under the Egyptian vehicles.
They were taking quite a risk hiding down there. They could have easily been killed during the attack.
Sorry, I forgot for a second that nobody ever dies on this show. Still, instead of hiding, it might have been more useful for them to actually, you know, fight the Cobras.
Regardless, the Joes are ready to ambush Cobra, but when they emerge from their hiding spots, they don’t see anyone. They assume that Cobra has already entered the tomb and they follow in pursuit.
Or not. In a rare bit of smart planning by Cobra Commander, he actually anticipated the ambush by the Joes! They were hiding outside, hoping that the Joes would enter the tomb first and set off all the inevitable booby traps within.
Here’s a quick run down as to which Joes have been sent on this mission:
Duke – The brave leader of the Joes. He generally makes tons of bad decisions, but unlike Flint, at least he’s not a dick about it.
Lady Jaye – The token female who provides JUST enough sassiness to keep things loose.
Alpine – The token minority who makes jokes at inappropriate moments.
Bazooka – The token mentally handicapped member of the team. I’m not sure if that’s what the writers intended, but there’s clearly something not quite right with his brain.
Barbecue – The token firefighter. In the past I’ve questioned why the Joes need a firefighter, but he has actually proven useful at times.
These five enter the tomb and quickly set off one of the aforementioned booby traps. As they run to escape, Duke tells everyone to avoid a particular stone, because he thinks it might also be a trap. He deftly leaps over said stone, only to have the floor collapse under him when he lands.
I can understand Duke getting caught by surprise. But considering how much time they had to avoid it, I’m not sure why the four other Joes also fell in the hole.
Outside the tomb, Cobra Commander discovers that there are several air ducts throughout the tomb that allow him to listen in to what’s happening below.
Realizing the Joes are lost and of no use to him, he decides to have his troops fire some missiles into the ground, in hopes of collapsing the tomb and trapping the Joes.
Before the missiles can be fired, the Joes trick the Commander by saying that they found the treasure and it’s a shame that they’ll be buried with it. The Commander freaks out and stops the Baroness from giving the order to fire by tackling her.
The Commander orders some troops to go into the tomb, find the Joes, and bring back the treasure. Despite the Joes being lost in a hidden chamber, the Cobras are able to find them pretty quickly. Apparently, Cobras are excellent trackers. But will their fighting skills prove to be just as strong?
No. The Joes kick their asses pretty easily.
It’s worth noting that despite both sides being heavily armed, not a single shot is fired. Then again, the Joes don’t seem to need any weapons since Duke is apparently able to lift up two Cobras by himself and slam them into a wall.
The Joes steal the Cobras’ uniforms, tie them up (in their underwear naturally!), and head to the surface to rescue Dr. Marsh.
The disguised Joes return to the surface and tell Cobra Commander that the Joes escaped, but they found the treasure. For some reason, the Baroness doesn’t believe them and threatens to whip them.
This amused me: In the picture below, the disguised Joe on the left is Alpine. Alpine is clearly African American, yet when he’s disguised as a Cobra, his neck became white. I admire his dedication to his disguise that he took the time to apply makeup to his neck.
The Joes lead the Cobras back into the tomb, and despite a few attempts, are unable to escape. Eventually, they wander into a chamber where Cobra Commander sees a golden crown. Upon grabbing the crown, the chamber fills with gas, finally giving the Joes an opportunity to escape.
Before I began this review, I talked about how insane this episode was. But up until this point, it really hasn’t been too bad. Sure, there has been some wackiness, but nothing that isn’t par for the course in a typical G.I. Joe episode.
Well, here is the point when things go off the rails. I apologize in advance, because I don’t think my attempts at reviewing the action will come close to capturing just how nuts this is.
Once the gas clears from the room, the Cobras find themselves face to face with a giant manifestation of Set, the Egyptian god of evil.
Yes, apparently the ancient Egyptian gods are real, and have been living in this tomb for thousands of years.
Set and Cobra Commander soon realize they have quite a lot in common. The Commander has a bit of a snake fetish, and Set sometimes takes the form of a snake. They soon agree to team up and take out the Joes, who Cobra Commander claims are servants of Set’s brother Osiris. (Who, of course, is also real.)
To prove their loyalty, Seth takes the form of a giant snake and forces the Cobras to bow before him.
Meanwhile, the Joes are still attempting to escape the tomb.
Approximately half of this episode consists of the Joes getting lost, and I feel a lot of the blame lies with Dr. Marsh. He was supposedly an expert on this tomb (remember, that’s why Cobra kidnapped him in the first place), but he doesn’t seem to have any idea where he’s going.
After another wrong turn, the Joes enter a chamber in which the floor drops out from under them. When they reach bottom, they appear to have been transported into outer space. And perhaps most alarming, there is a giant, glowing Egyptian god in the room with them.
The god introduces himself as Osiris, the Egyptian lord of the underworld. He is soon joined by several other gods who accuse the Joes of being servants of Set. The Joes claim innocence, but to prove themselves worthy, they must participate in a trial to weigh their hearts.
They are lifted into space on a giant ankh where they are greeted by the goddess Maab. She tells them that for their trial, they must battle Sekhmet – the fiercest of the gods.
Similar to Gozer the Gazarian, Sekhmet has taken a form that would frighten even the bravest of mortals: A fire-breathing bear with wings.
Alpine is immediately knocked off the ankh and falls into space. Showing his usual level of brilliance, Bazooka jumps after him.
Like I said, it’s nice to give the mentally handicapped an equal opportunity at employment, but I have to question why Bazooka is a member of an elite military unit.
The rest of the Joes take on Sekhmet, and the battle doesn’t go so well. Lady Jaye gets squeezed in a crippling bear hug (pun intended!), and Duke and Dr. Marsh are burned to death by his fire breath. (This is getting kind of grim for a cartoon.)
Finally, Barbecue has the brilliant idea of just shooting the damn thing. (I told you he was surprisingly useful!) One shot from his laser rifle drops Sekhmet to the ground, and Maab announces that they have passed the trial.
The trial was supposed to be about measuring their hearts, but from what I can tell, the Joes only passed because they had a weapon capable of hurting Sekhmet. Without that rifle, the Joes are probably going to have the hearts devoured. (Did I mention the part where a giant snake told them that failure results in their hearts being devoured? Sorry, there’s just too much craziness to keep track of.)
Maab claims that the Joes passed because they showed bravery and came to each other’s aid, but I think she only stopped the trial to avoid having their great “champion” get embarrassed too badly.
In Maab’s defense, the presence of a laser rifle probably threw her for a loop. Back in her heyday, most people probably didn’t come armed with anything worse than a sword.
The Joes are taken back to Osiris, who tells them they may continue to the underworld. The Joes object based on the fact that they’re still alive and all. They ask to return to Earth, but Osiris is having none of that. Instead, he calls for Anubis to ferry them to their final resting place.
Meanwhile, Cobra Commander has told Set that to properly fight Osiris’ helpers, he needs money to raise an army. So Set conjures up a large pile of gold and jewels which the Cobras happily place into bags and take to the surface.
Once they exit the tomb, the sky erupts into a sudden thunderstorm, and the ground begins shaking to the point that even the Joes in the underworld can feel it. They’re all like, “WTF?” and Anubis explains that the treasure of Osiris must have been removed from the tomb. Once that happens, the world is no longer under Osiris’ protection.
The Joes assume that Cobra Commander was the one who stole the jewels, and they ask Anubis to take them to the surface to help stop him.
You might think it would be difficult and require great effort for gods to enter the mortal plane. But much like Thor in the Avengers movie, Anbuis just kind of ignores this for the sake of plot convenience.
Anubis flies his ferry boat out of a river and into the sky in pursuit of the Commander’s jet. The Joes quickly shoot him down, and Anubis deftly catches the fallen bag of treasure.
Duke praises Anubis’ catch, and “endearingly” calls him “Dog Face.” Anubis apparently takes offense at this and dumps the Joes in the river.
He was probably just pissed because he has the face of a jackal and not a dog.
Either way, Anubis returns to the underworld with the treasure. The world is saved, and the Joes have returned to the land of the living.
All is well, right? Well, maybe not…
For years, people have questioned if there is a god. But now we know the truth: There is a god, and his name is Osiris. Apparently, not only are Osiris and the other Egyptian gods real, but they are actively protecting the world against evil.
You’d think this discovery would have had major repercussions throughout the world. Wouldn’t this essentially discredit all other religions? Wouldn’t humanity be left with no choice but to become Osiris worshippers?
I’ll assume that there was a concentrated effort by the world’s governments to cover this up. They’d probably be worried that it would cause too much trouble. I’m sure the tomb was summarily destroyed and the existence of it wiped from record.
Of course, this plan requires the Joes to keep it a secret. Unfortunately, we’ve seen that their security protocols aren’t necessarily the best.
I also found it troublesome to learn that Osiris – the almighty ruler of the universe – is a bit of a liar. He told the Joes that by entering his realm, they forfeited their lives and couldn’t return to the surface world. Yet, Anubis had no trouble going up to the real world and leaving the Joes there.
Did Anubis just disobey the wishes of Osiris? Did he feel like he owed it to them for helping to save the world? Or maybe he just didn’t feel like taking them all the way to the Land of the Dead. It’s been shown that he gets lazy sometimes.
This is pretty deep stuff for a cartoon. I’d better end things on a lighter note by watching a PSA.
The girl is having a stomachache, so her brother helpfully offers to give her some of her father’s medicine to make it better.
Not so fast! Doc is outside the bathroom and warns them that it might not be a good idea to take medicine designed for other people.
That’s perfectly good advice. But I have just one question: What the hell was Doc doing right outside the bathroom window? I’ve been trying to think of an innocent reason for him to be standing outside the bathroom window, but I can’t think of any.
So yes, the advice about the medicine is good, but I think the real message learned from this PSA is this: Close your bathroom window or else Doc is gonna watch you pee.
Now you know. And knowing is half the battle!