Monday, May 21, 2018

Lost in A Series of Unfortunate Events- Episode 4: The Robinsons Were Here

Netflix re-imagines the legendary 60's sci-fi series of the same name.

Rather than deluge you with a rapid-fire reconnaissance flight take on the show, I thought I'd try  something a little different and take things episode by episode.

This level of detail will involve heavy spoilers for each episode. [Danger Pun Goes Here].

- Our episode begins with John "Action Hero" Robinson getting shone up in front of his son by Deus ex Robot. The Robot shoves the fence posts in with its bear hands in one swift move. I've seen this move before. Robot is strong. Duly noted.

- This Alpha Centauri propaganda ad / training guide is brought to you by the letter "W" for Well Defined Abs.

- Now we get the joy of watching a snarky teen and her half-pint brother set up a space RV! I think the Action Generator is on low battery after being drained by Episode 1.

- Sensor data that can map a planet from orbit. AI programs that can perform emergency shuttle landings. Working eyesight. The kids have all these things and somehow still manage to miss the giant rock that will block the extensions from opening on the space RV.

- Robot moves a rock. Seen this move too. Robot is REALLY strong.

- Dr. Smith lounges in the shadows, drawing the Robot's name in her notebook over and over again, plotting to make little half robot babies with it and rule the galaxy as Queen of Air and Night.

- John and Maureen take a road trip with Judy to meet up with other survivors, one of whom is injured. John has seen one of the Frankenstein movies and thinks it's a Bad Idea (tm) to tell the others about an alien killing machine.

- Hey, Don West is alive and so is the chicken! Dr. Smith is going to be so happy!

-The rest of the Jupiter 11 crew is in good spirits and has communications and locations for other survivors, but NO ONE HAS FUEL. Because eels. Despite no one else being in water...
Someone forgot to close the plot hole...

- Unconscious Angela, whom Don rescued, is alive and stable, but clearly traumatized.

- Remember the transmissions from the Resolute? Well they're a regularly scheduled program, apparently, but they aren't getting return calls.

- John notices a different sort of crash site on the map. Maureen thinks that could be components or supplies from the Resolute.

- Don wheedles to get invited along on the inevitable Side Quest. How kind of him to volunteer!

- Middle Kid Penny wants to wander the killer planet aimlessly. Apparently, she has forgotten the last three episodes.

- Angela is awake and remembers the attack on the Resolute. Judy "Action Heroine In Training" Robinson naturally she freaks out and runs to see if the Robot has killed her siblings.

- Will is drawing in the dirt. Robot draws...something. If this doesn't turn out to be important...

- Judy reaches home and wants Will to stop playing with the Alien Death Machine. Naturally, Will decides to cycle power on the comms to keep her from informing John so he can keep playing with the Alien Death Machine. I mean, did you see how fast he put up that fence? Besides, I'm sure we won't have an emergency that can only be solved by our comms. Look at our history with this planet so far!

- Will has a plan to hide the Robot in a cave. Dr. Smith has a plan to 1) Follow Will to the cave 2) Swipe the only gun on the planet and 3) Begin laying the groundwork for her seduction of the Robot. Guess which one plans better?

- Will stops at the fence to see if the Robot's Spidey-Sense is tingling. "No danger. Yet." Well, he's kinda paying attention.

- Judy: Why are you trusting this thing? Will: We're connected! Judy: Riiiiiiight. Look, let's hide it in a cave so I can tell Dad and he can nuke it from orbit. Will: Did you say something? Judy: Nope, not a thing.

- Crash site. BIG chunks of the Resolute. Blast damage evidence of the Robot attack.

- Episode paused for floral arranging.

- Possibly dangerous wildlife in the woods on the Terror Planet. You don't say?

- How did Will miss the river on the map? Not to worry, we'll cross on this newly felled log! Did we mention the Robot is strong? Onward!

- Looking through the supplies. Don is here to dump cold water on Maureen's Utopian fantasy by reminding us of the fallen state of the human condition. Cause he's a smuggler.

- Maureen is ticked that the parts are missing and the whiskey is here. She takes a walk and sees the Resolute's receiver has crashed to the planet as well. There is no hope of the Resolute hearing them.
Whiskey doesn't look so bad now, huh Maureen?

- Hey, let's hide from the bureaucrat and his group so they don't see the Robot...or we can wait, like, four seconds and then reveal the Robot to his son, and then blackmail the son into secrecy. This plan is Great!

- Look, we made it to the cave! But it's getting late. How will we get back home before Mom and Dad? Good thing Maureen and John RAN OUT OF BATTERY in the Chariot.

Yes, you heard me. All this advanced tech and nothing tells them to top the Chariot off before they take a drive.

- Penny is much better at lying than Will.

- Camping! In a cave! With no gear! On a hostile planet! With an alien murder-bot as a bunk mate! This plan is GREAT!

- Dr. Smith is even more creepy in the dark.

- A brief tangent into philosophy of art, followed by peer pressure. This is the worst After School Special I've ever seen, but the Robot seems to be buying it. Does he consider himself a Robinson?

- John tries to give Maureen a pep talk and they watch schools of flying, bio-luminescent jellyfish take to the night sky. They will probably attack the humans at dawn.

- John and Maureen reminisce about their honeymoon. Maybe these people DO care about each other.

- Wait, nope, momentary lapse. Maureen is right back to anticipating John's failure.

- EARTHQUAKE! This planet is cursed!

- We're trapped under a giant satellite dish. Let's hash out our marital problems!.

- So, let me get this straight. ::Deep breath:: John volunteered to go fight to stabilize some government (probably a U.S. ally given he's a Marine) during the anarchy of a dying planet. Maureen feels he chose others over his family. John felt it was his duty and that it was best given their already simmering relationship issues.

Gonna shock the audience and agree with Maureen on this one, John. Family first. Also, Maureen FINALLY makes sense.

Also Also, why am I watching a SOAP opera and not a SPACE opera? Did someone switch the labels around?

- Don West is a smuggler with a heart of gold and blasts John and Maureen free. Still best Han Solo in years.

- Kids leave the cave. Robot stays. Dr. Smith channels Mr. Burns.

- Bureaucrat learns that the Resolute is missing a dish and has a plan B. I'm rethinking the nickname. He's far too efficient to be a bureaucrat.

- Mom and Dad are back. Go Go Gadget Bluff Check! I can only assume Penny came up with this.

- Dr. Smith makes the Robot an offer he can't refuse.

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