Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2005-04-26 Entry: "Ending With Locusts"

After an almost-exciting Formula 1 race (there was a small amount of interest in the last 13 laps as Schumacher tried to pass Alonso for his first win of the season... which he failed to do) it was on with the show, and we're back to The Greatest American Hero.

They're definitely in a more lighthearted mode with the storylines here, and we kick off with "Train Of Thought" which sees the theft of a train filled with toxic waste, which is really just a Macguffin for Ralph to lose his memory. He forgets everything from the time he got the suit and Pam and Bill have to persuade him that he can do all those amazing things so they can stop the train.

"Now You See It" has Ralph seeing things that haven't happened yet, in this case a plane crash. After discovering that it's going to occur in the future he and Bill set out to prevent it. There's a slight complication when they find out Pam is on board... and the military have orders to shoot it down if they can't get it to land.

"The Hand-Painted Thai" sees the awakening of a group of US soldiers brainwashed by the Cambodians and their attempts to blow up a dam. Unfortunately for the plan, one of the soldiers is now an agent in Bill's office, and his strange behaviour leads Ralph and Bill to look for answers. Bill manages to get himself hypnotized while looking in to whether the hypnosis of the soldiers was possible, falling asleep whenever the word "scenario" is said.

"Just Another 3-Ring Circus" sees Ralph undercover as a human cannonball when he and Bill are looking in to the disappearance of a Polish clown. Pam has to investigate a dating service, while Bill nearly gets killed by a tiger and has his new car (work are fed up with the number of cars he's wrecked so he ends up with VW beetle) sat on by an elephant.

On to Wonder Woman, and "The Queen And The Thief" sees Diana and Steve undercover at an embassy looking for a top jewel thief who is planning to steal the crown so that the queen has to abdicate the throne. Of course, he's a pretty smooth guy, as all international jewel thieves are, and he's being paid by the Ambassador (Boltar from Battlestar Galactica). The vault that the jewels are in is completely over the top here, and why does Wonder Woman give a pause and gymnastic set up every time she does something the least bit acrobatic? Is it so they've got a chance to match up the stunt double?

"I Do, I Do" opens with Diana getting married which seems a bit sudden, especially considering we've never seen the groom before. Of course, it might not be a long wedding when they guy nearly gets killed after taking on a couple of guys going through their luggage at a garage and diner where they stop... of course, Wonder Woman intervenes, and the groom appears to be slightly smitten.

Fortunately for fans of the show, it's just a big cover-up so that Diana and the guy can infiltrate a spa where they believe state secrets are being leaked to foreign powers. It turns out the guy running the place puts the female guests in a trance and they recite all the stuff they've overheard at their husbands parties (assuming he's a state senator or somesuch).

The final Wonder Woman is "The Man Who Made Volcanoes" and we have a guest appearance by Roddy McDowell as a government scientist who wants world peace and has gone off the deep end to achieve it - he's created a laser that can create volcanoes, and he's using it to force China, Russia, and the US to negotiate for peace. However, they send in their best agents to stop him... and now Steve has a promotion, Diana gets sent off on her own.

With an hour and a quarter, there isn't enough time to get two episodes of something in, so I settle for the episode of Dark Angel I'd been delaying, "Art Attack" which is one of my favourites. Max gets invited to Logan's brother's wedding and steals a dress to go. Meanwhile, Sketchy screws up the delivery of a painting and Normal gets taken hostage to retrieve it. When Cindy finds it was swapped with some plans for a meat packing plant, she calls in Max to retrieve it from the locked building.

Suffice it to say, Max gets to do a whole bunch of her usual acrobatic stuff (as well as beating up a ship full of Koreans) while in evening gown and heels... of course, this does trip her up briefly, and she does have to take it off to dig through a dumpster, so it's not all roses.

Then there's an episode of Charmed and it's all about Pandora's Box... although the episode feels like a pilot for a spin-off series pretty much all the way through. I'm not sure why, but if the WB decide to end Charmed after this season (which is what it's looking like) they've almost got a spin-off all ready to go.

And then, because I'm a sucker for punishment I decide to watch Locusts... it's not a very good film, but Lucy Lawless is in it, and I can just about survive creepy locusts without feeling too creepy crawly.

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