Oh, for the love of…see, episodes like this are why I watch this show in the first place.
I mean, what else do you say to an episode where the most serious thing that happens (aside from the Niles subplot) is Rita gaining confidence in herself after taking advice from a beekeeper and then foiling a mugging in a beekeeper suit? That’s just…that’s just nuts.
Likewise, Cliff rather easily survived the fall from orbit and now has to walk home (good thing he’s on the right continent), doing his usual grumbling and heavy cursing along the way. It gets all the more surreal when a random slacker shows up and will only loan Cliff a phone if Cliff does some shout-outs to the slacker’s friends. Not that that gets Cliff home any faster or even gets his legs to start moving again, but that still happened.
No, the real issue is the painting Mr. Nobody and the Beardhunter were trapped in shows up, in a crate marked “DO NOT OPEN”. Larry, Miranda (Jane’s current name), Vic, and Vic’s girlfriend Roni are all there, they all inhale some pink fumes, and then they all, save Miranda, think opening the box is a really good idea. The others seem…happier? Miranda is a bit worried.
And then the bad ideas start happening. Larry wants to see his injured grandson in the hospital and convinces Miranda to let Flit out to take him. And when security shows up to arrest the pair, they try posing as doctors by putting on lab coats…over their usual clothes…and with Larry’s face obviously still bandaged.
Obviously it doesn’t work.
Vic, meanwhile, tells Roni he loves her and they decide he should perform some surgery and fix her cybernetic implants himself. Hey, Larry has a lab coat! He can help!
Yeah, not a one of those three see this as a bad idea. Miranda does. So does Willoughby Kipling. He says they were infested with Scants, tiny pink lifeforms from the painting that make people have bad ideas and do dumb things. The only cure is to kill the Queen, so with a butt-shaped gasmask on, Kipling goes to take care of that by going into the painting. And because Larry, Vic, and Roni are having bad ideas, they decide to follow before Miranda can come up with a plan that might work.
Oddly enough, Mr. Nobody isn’t in there anymore. The Beardhunter is. He’s hiding in there in his tighty whities and a coat of baby powder to blend into the background because Scants aren’t friendly. Nobody, he says, went off to another, more animated universe.
That’s a clever meta joke right there.
So, what to do when a Scant patrol comes by? Sure, they could hide behind the Beardhunter whom the Scants really can’t see, or Larry and Vic can walk out and say they are there to kill the Queen if the others can point them in her direction.
Yeah, they went with Option #2.
Yeah, they all got captured (except the Beardhunter).
And yeah, Kipling shows up, having been infected somewhere himself.
The Queen, she says the Scants infect people to harvest Uma Jelly. That stuff seems to give Scants superpowers. Also, extraction is fatal. Probably. Whatever it is, it didn’t seem to be bothering any of the victims.
Well, except for Miranda, and it seems odd she’s immune…
Oh, she pulled out that personality that turns her own words into razor sharp blades and killed the Queen.
Well, everyone is fine now. Heck, Cliff gets back to the manor to find his daughter there to see him since Niles sent files proving Ciff is Cliff. Rita got some confidence. Larry learned his grandson is doing better. Jane, deep inside the Underground, isn’t sure why Miranda is getting a celebratory parade for doing what she did but…
Hmm. This is a lot of good news for this show. So, naturally, the other shoe has to drop.
So, here are some other shoes.
Vic and Roni aren’t sure why declarations of love are a bad idea but Roni swiped a jar of Uma Jelly.
Jane discovers at least one of the other personality’s stations is boarded up, and that shouldn’t be.
And the Chief, well, he went to the Yukon to try to find Dorothy’s mother, instead getting a nasty vision from the Candlemaker and he has to call Kipling for back-up because the Dorothy problem is getting a whole hell of a lot worse…
Weekend Trek “Chain Of Command Part Two”
Vikings: Valhalla “Towers Of Faith”
Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #51 (August, 1967)