Sunday, February 19, 2012

Loonatics Unleashed - Cape Duck

While driving my Rolls Royce through the suburbs of Beverly Hills and sipping the finest aged champagne from a wine glass made entirely out of diamonds (disclaimer: the following may be slightly exaggerated), I thought to myself  "How most unorthodox, I haven't talked about Loonatics Unleashed in a while" and I kindly ordered my butler to fetch me my blog writing tuxedo. So here I am.

Well, at least it's not Baby Looney Tunes...
Fans of the show will note that this episode isn't at all within the same season as the previous two episodes ("Going Underground" and "The World Is My Circus") I've done. I'm not one to do shows in order, but even then, this is quite a big jump to go from some of the first episodes all the way to episode 19 out of a 26-episode series.

That's why I'm going to be honest here and say that I chose this episode entirely based off my own self-interest because it's an episode that effectively talks about three major beefs I have with this show. Despite the fact that the two episodes I've done honestly weren't the horrible steaming piles of excrement the Internet made this show out to be (but then again, this is coming from someone who can deprive enjoyment out of such classics as Street Sharks and Creepy Crawlers; I doubt anyone takes me seriously anymore), three things still lingered on my mind.

One, Danger Duck was largely devoted to comic relief in my episodes and he seemed to only exist to be continually crapped on by his fellow team members for being a total screw-up in everything he does. Two, Tech E. Coyote's inventions and how they just instantly saved the day in both episodes I did just bugged the hell out of me and I wanted to see an episode where his inventions actually do the opposite and cause something bad to happen.

Finally, I had to know what happened with Dr. Dare, the main villain of Going Underground. You know, the dumpy, bald little dweeb who loves rocks and the color green? That guy.

I blame the fact that Simon Templeman did his voice, personally. That man can do no wrong.
Luckily, there exists an episode that tries to answer all of these questions and more. And trust me, the way it handles all three of these questions is nothing short of unique. Dr. Dare returns, but it's not handled in the way you would expect (and before you ask if they actually explore some of this character's backstory by giving him heavily severe mental disorders from the sudden transformation caused by the meteor and later, his years of, they don't) and in a way that may surprise you. Tech screws up, but not in the way you would expect. It's a smorgasboard of shattered expectations and makes for quite the delightful viewing experience if you're into coyotes wearing skintight leather clothing and Danger Duck gloating how awesome he is for an entire freaking episode.

Therefore, I doubt anyone's gonna mind if I talk about a Season 2 episode. And so, with an episode name that involves "Ducks" (invoking Disney Afternoon flashbacks), I bring you...

Cape Duck

December 15, 2006

Availability: On DVD

Before I talk about an episode that's obviously going to be Danger Duck-filled judging by the episode name, I might as well address the elephant in the room and mention the intro change this cartoon had. Somehow, Warner Bros. Animation, who employ people who breathe the same air as you and I, decided to mess with an intro with a great guitar solo and vocals to...I have no idea what the hell the second intro is trying to do, other than to drive me to suicide before the cartoon even starts. Oh sure, the animation is a lot nicer in this intro (as in, it actually has animation instead of just official Loonatics Unleashed clip art floating next to superpower descriptions), but the vocals in it are so goddamn painful that you're better off just muting your TV for a minute instead of subjecting yourself to the same torture I did.

To sum this brief descent into insanity in one sentence, the plant from Little Shop of Horrors starts doing freestyle rap about the Loonatics' various powers while people in the background try to imitate the vaguely Japanese-ish feel to the Teen Titans intro and trust me, it's even worse than it sounds. I can't really explain the Season 2 intro's atrocities with mere text, because no thesaurus exists that contains that many synonyms for the words "suck" and "fail". For crying out loud, one of the lyrics is "activate, regenerate, magnetic powers levitate" for Tech E. Coyote. The very core of my being cries out for an exorcism now.

Get it? Because they're like the Looney Tunes!
But enough about an intro so bad that not even fans of the actual show can defend it, it's time to talk about the actual episode itself. It opens, as superhero cartoons like to do, with the main villain committing a crime and letting the audience know just what kind of threat we're dealing with here. In this episode's case, a giant hulk of a man is committing a jewelry robbery with his freakish extendable robot arms and legs, gets spotted by the cops who instantly recognize him as "The Sagittarius Stomper", and, in order to escape from the cops, throws his bags of jewels at the cops (because that's smart, right?) and starts scaling a high-rise building. This prompts the police to call the Loonatics, because it'll be raining chaos soon. Got all that?

Now, before you start dissing this show and its use of really lame villain names, The Sagittarius Stomper is actually a very clever reference to The Shropshire Slasher, a villain from a 1956 Warner Bros. Looney Tunes short called "Deduce, You Say!". The Shropshire Slasher is not a character that appears in merchandise by any means, which can mean only one disturbing, mind-blowing thing; Loonatics Unleashed actually made a smart allusion to their source material. Holy crap. All it took them was nearly two seasons.

And I'm not sure why it'd be "raining chaos" just because some thug with bionic limbs climbed to the top of a building. He can obviously do some damage, but this is the same city that got sucked completely underground by a scientist who can control the very earth itself. They should be relieved that this threat merely has robot limbs and can only destroy one building at a time instead of the insane rockman who pulverized all of Chinatown.

"Elevators are too mainstream."
So the Loonatics arrive and...try to reason with the frightening manmountain with a megaphone first. Huh. Did not see this coming.

While I do admire them for trying
peaceful, nonviolent tactics first, the Stomper had just chucked a bag full of gold at a police officer (and considering how full that bag was, it probably killed that person off-screen) and then started climbing a building just so he can start breaking off and throwing random pieces of said building at the city below. I doubt you can convince him to surrender himself peacefully to authorities.

"It's gonna be okay, Saggitarius! Just come down! I understand what you're going through
but there are people down here who care about you!"
Since that didn't work, it's time for Tech E. Coyote to work his magic. His invention for the day is the Atomic Phase Departiculator, aka "Laser Gun With Unwieldy Name That Supposed to Sound Science-y But Just Comes Off as Pretentious". According to the giant talking vermin, it can phase-shift solids to liquids and liquids to gas. This is one of those inventions that you really shouldn't overthink, because it quickly goes from impressive to horrifying once you apply chemistry to it. If you've stepped into any Physical Science class at all in your life, you're probably aware of the term "melting points", which should say all you need to know as to why I'm now staring at my screen in pure, dumbstruck horror.

Also, well, it's just plain implausible, because it's shooting a laser causes a substance to melt or boil, which can be anything from extremely hot to extremely cold or anywhere in between. Really, I can write a college thesis on why this machine could not exist, but I'll just sum it up in one sentence: This machine should not exist. This is making me miss the goo blaster gun. At least I could sort of buy the science behind that.

"I can invent glorious contraptions that warp the very fabric of space itself and yet I choose to
play second fiddle to a rabbit with a bad Brooklyn accent. What am I doing with my life."
But instead of Danger Duck going "So, what would happen if that invention hit a human being, Tech? Would that person melt?" or wondering why the hell his coworker would bring what is essentially a very lethal weapon to a battle they can more or less win (let's see anybody survive being turned completely into liquid), the cartoon decides to take the safer route and instead have the waterfowl make a fart joke. Stay classy, Loonatics Unleashed.

"I keep desperately trying to fill the void inside of me with food."
So the plan is of course to use the very terrifying piece of machinery to melt a piece of the building The Saggitarius Stomper is standing on top of so that he falls over thirty stories, somehow survives the fall, and is later captured by the police. A plan that unsafe and dangerous is bound to work, right?

As you might expect from the way I phrased that last sentence, it so does not work. Instead, thanks to Danger Duck's powers of teleportation being about as well-coordinated as a WoW Mage's Blink spell, the quacker actually accidentally knocks the
Atomic Phase Departiculator out of Tech E. Coyote's hands and it's starts firing lasers all over the place. Well, we're screwed. I wonder how many people Tech E. Coyote reduced to nuclear piles of liquid complex molecules with his invention.

I like how Tech E. Coyote can design a laser that can turn any solid into a liquid and yet he can't
build weapons with decent safety procedures to prevent this sort of thing from happening.
Then my horror subsides a bit once I see the Atomic Phase Departiculator in action and see that it's merely incredibly, utterly implausible in its execution. It doesn't really turn solids into liquids, therefore killing people with what is essentially spontaneous magma; it actually "just" turns solids into water. Nice to know Tech E. Coyote likes to completely and utterly bend the laws of nature in his spare time. In order to turn, say, a car, into water, you'd need to break apart the atoms of the complex molecules that car is made of (from the pistons to the gas still sitting in the tank to the engine to the plastic in the seats...), make them hydrogen and oxygen, and recombine that in the correct molar ratio to make water while ending up decaying isotopes and a crapload of radiation.

And yes, I know I shouldn't keep griping about this one single, solitary plot point in a cartoon that has giant talking animals gain superpowers from a meteor, but you have to understand my frustration. At least with gadgets like the Gluco-Gel 9000, you can just write it off as "science fiction" and go home.

By the way, if Tech can invent a laser that can turn anything into water, then surely he can invent a laser that can turn anything into gold, solving any problems the Loonatics might have with finances. I'm just thinking outside the box here.

How is this man still alive.
But really, as frustrating as it is, Tech's invention is really just a plot device to effectively explain why Dr. Dare, who is still at the park by the way (with a bench right in front of him, meaning he got to watch quite a few couples go to second base in front of him), is free and terrorizing the city again. Too bad this explanation only confuses and bewilders me, because the Dr. Dare statue got hit by a goddamn laser that turns solids into liquids and somehow this didn't kill him. Does this mean that he didn't turn into rock back in his original episode, but rather was encased by a delicious rock coating? How the hell does this work?

Really, based on what we know about Tech's invention, two things should've logically happened. Either Dr. Thaddius Dare (and I'm depressed that I remembered his first name) should've turned into a giant liquid puddle, ridding the world of his stout little presence forever, or he should've gotten seared to death by liquid rock falling on top of him. Although with the second scenario, he'd probably end up living through that. This is the same man who survived a meteor blast destroying half of his face and one of his arms.

That should wash away some of the chewed bubblegum and pigeon crap at least.
It only gets worse when you hear that Dr. Dare's reaction is "At last, I'm free!" instead of "Wait, what? What the hell just happened? Wasn't I just in my lair?" or something of that nature, because that answered one of the questions I had about the ending of Going Underground; Dr. Dare was aware while he was a rock statue. He was totally sitting there for at least a year, watching every godforsaken day pass on by without being able to do anything but think, feeling every bird turd, hearing every inane conversation from the people who sat near him, smelling every hobo that passed out drunk by his feet. Not even sleep could bring him respite; the only thing that he could do for satisfaction was think of revenge against the horrible little mutants that did this to him.

...course, they never actually do anything with this and add to Dr. Dare's character by making him slightly more unhinged or something. For all intents and purposes, this is the exact same idiot they fought in his introductory episode. Dr. Dare's such a trooper if not even a little petrification can faze him.

Oddly, despite this very spectacular entrance, this is actually the last we see of Dr. Dare for the rest of this scene, because the focus shifts all the way back to The Sagittarius Sillyname and we're lead to believe that the Loonatics honest to god did not see Dr. Dare get freed from his prison. You gotta love how they have a superhero team with six members (one of them with superhearing) and yet not a single one saw the villain that nearly destroyed the entire city get released from his stony prison. For crying out loud, the statue was clearly close enough to get hit by Tech's laser! This is sloppy superheroism there, guys!

In fairness to this cartoon, what we get instead is still pretty interesting, because that Atomic Phase Departiculator that keeps making my head hurt honest to god causes a huge explosion (because that's safe, having a laser gun that can melt an entire goddamn city street) that sends Danger Duck flying. And, through a series of odd and contrived coincidences, The Sagittarius Stomper crashes to the ground and it looks like the water bird stopped the dangerous criminal all by himself.

Hmm, I bet this will somehow affect Danger Duck's ego, which happens to be his biggest character flaw and one of the main reasons this character is often used as comic relief in the show. Just a hunch.

"The dauntless Danger Duck deftly defeats the demon's devious deviltry!"
This gets the attention of Billy West the reporter (and it's extremely fitting to hear a character with Fry's voice in a show that takes place in the future) and wouldn't you know it, Danger Duck takes all of the credit and allows for the press to totally blow this out of proportion in his favor. Who would've guessed this would happen? I'm going to allow this anyways, because I grew up with egotistical, bragging ducks for my role models. Now, if I squint and use my imagination, I can pretend that this is an long-lost episode of Darkwing Duck. I can dream, can I?

So, about that Atomic Phase Departiculator that's supposedly still wildly firing liquifying lasers all over the place...

I'm totally waiting for this guy to turn into The Creeper.
After Danger has his ego stroked by strangers and he drinks the intoxicating alcohol of fame, an old lady with an odd, eye-devouring haircut totters up to the Loonatics and insists that the Stomper is really a good boy. Stealing bags of jewelry is just how he expresses himself! As you can probably guess, she happens to be his mother, and she's also another reference to "Deduce, You Say!". I can't help but wonder what happened to Stomper's dad now.

I love how subtly unsettling this scene is, because she starts to show them pictures of Stomper right after he had his operation (which happened in his infancy), because it leads you to wonder just what the hell happened to that poor baby that caused cybernetic engineers to rebuild his arms and legs. I came up with at least twenty different scenarios in my head just from this scene alone, because I'm a horrible person.

The painkillers they gave to that child were probably loaded with hormones too, judging by the body hair.

"I never should've let my pit bull babysit."
So the policemen haul The Sagittarius Stomper away (...somehow, even though this man can destroy buildings), but the terrifying man with the vaguely British accent promises that he's going to "get the duck". How vague. Stomper, we're all adults here. You can say that you're going to use your metallic fists of death and destruction to brutally pulverize Danger Duck so badly that all of his organs will rupture and that they'll have to use DNA samples in order to properly identify his bloodied remains.

...and somehow, this murder threat loses his punch when it happens right after we saw his baby pictures.

And to think, he used to be such a cute little baby.
But Danger Duck apparently isn't too worried by that threat, because our next scene (which happens after the godawful intro, and no, I'm not talking about it for a second time) is him giving an interview to an entire crowd of news reporters within the superhero headquarters. It's cute how they've taken down villains way more dangerous than The Sagittarius Stomper and yet it's this press conference we get to see. What, did no one have anything interesting to say about the time they saved an entire legion of children from those scary clowns with the Sonic DNA Scramblers?

And you better believe fame went to Danger's head. For some reason, this small incident was the thing that made me notice that there's a large number of cartoons where the duck out of the group of talking animals is the most egotistical, selfish one. Donald, Darkwing, Daffy, Plucky, that one duck from PB and J Otter...this is a really bizarre stereotype. Are ducks just narcissistic in real life?

"So, Danger Duck, what is your position on America's foreign trade policy?"
Tech is pretty pissed by this, because it was his gizmo that nearly killed everybody saved the day! Geez. If anything, he should be thankful that no one's suing him for the liquidification of their car and that, with Danger Duck in the spotlight, he'll get all the blame for the gross amount of property damage. Remember the melted street? That's bound to make commuting hard in Acmetropolis for the next couple of days.

Also, if Tech wants credit for inventing the machine that took down the Stomper, then why doesn't he just walk up to the podium and say so? Seriously, this entire scene, the other Loonatics just stand there and look cross at Danger Duck while he spreads lies about them, when nothing's stopping them from walking up there themselves and telling their side of the story. Oh sure, Danger might pull the "you're just jealous" card, but it'd be way better than standing back and hoping that the conceited jerkass of the group is going to actually give credit where credit is due for once.

In short, yes, Danger Duck is the root of the problem, but the Loonatics are in a way enabling his behavior by allowing this. 
"Don't make me invent a time machine and cause a very crippling accident to
happen to you when you're a small child, Danger Duck! God help me, I'll do it!"
But with that problem aside, I have to admit, this little press conference is actually, for the show it's in, pretty funny. This scene where Darkwing Danger Duck totally sells his fellow team members short while basking in his own glory and letting his mouth write checks his skills can't cash makes me smile like you wouldn't believe. I love any show where someone on a "team" basically just goes and craps on all of their friends for the sake of fame and fortune, even if I'm not sure what that says about me as a person. 

And according to Danger Duck, Ace drives him to the action, Lexi cheers him on, Rev blabbers on, Tech fixes up backed up toilets, and forget about Slam because he does nothing. I love how it never occurs to Danger Duck that his friends happen to have superpowers and he lives in the same building as them. I sure hope he likes drinking his coffee with urine in it for the next couple of days.  

"I am on a drug. It's called Danger Duck. It's not available because if you try it, you will die.
Your face will melt off and your children will weep over your exploded body."
But there's a small hitch to his ill-gotten glory. Turns out Mr. Hyde has consistently broken out of every jail he's been in (so what, do the prison wardens in Acmetropolis not take into account the fact that The Sagittarius Stomper has hideously strong cybernetic arms when putting him in his cell?) and he's always killed the person who put them there. Who saw this coming?

Of course, like any sane person would do, Danger Duck freaks out over this news. This is supposed to make him look like a coward, but having a fear of psychotic murderers that can escape any prison and have killed people like you is a pretty valid fear to have. It only gets worse when said murderer also has giant steel fists of skull-crushing doom. I bet Danger Duck wishes Acmetropolis practiced capital punishment right about now.

"I'd like to issue an apology from Warner Bros. for the existence of Space Jam. It seemed like a good idea at the time."
Oh, and in case you were feeling sorry for Danger Duck's friends for what he's said about them to the press, they actually smile when Danger Duck starts losing his composure in front of national television. They're not at all worried that Danger Duck might get killed; they just figure he deserves it or that they can just replace him with a Marc Antony descendant or something.

Well, that seems kind of harsh. Look, Loonatics, I know your friend's kind of turned into an asshole (although how this is different from Danger Duck in any of the other episodes is yet to be seen) but it seems a bit cruel to be wishing death on him. How is this reinforcing the lesson on teamwork that's been crammed down my throat while I was watching several of your episodes?

Although I can look on the bright side. The fact that these characters are being huge jerks to each other is actually more fitting to the Looney Tunes name than the whole "working together" thing. Remember, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck were perfectly willing to set booby traps out just so the the bald, mentally challenged hunter would shoot the other person. A little comedic sociopathy never hurt anybody.

After all of the reporters are gone, the heroes, with their fists firmly clenched and their righteous jaws set in anger, later confront the bragging waterfowl and let him know just how they really felt about his little press conference. Which basically involves them repeating things that Danger Duck had already said in disbelief, because rabbits aren't known for their expertise in flinging swear words.

Danger Duck's response? "I was quoted out of context!" Thanks to this line, I can now write "I laughed at a joke in Loonatics Unleashed" on my list of reasons why I hate myself.

I also have to admire the restraint of the other five superheroes. They're all armed with superpowers and yet only Lexi actually attacks Danger Duck. If I were Rev Runner and one of my friends did this to me, I'd be giving him supersonic atomic wedgies so powerful his genitals would catch on fire from the friction.

"Look, guys. What the hell did you expect? I'm descended from Daffy Duck. Being a jackass is in my blood!"
Meanwhile, they find out through the trusty television that happens to be on (why look, it's my favorite "television advances the story" plot device that appears all the damn time in this blog), that Dr. Dare has been released from his statue, has created new "bots", and has robbed a museum on Greek history. And this all occurred off-screen, because it was way more interesting to hear Danger Duck constantly lie about how great he is compared to the rest of his friends as opposed to a man with a glowing rock arm leading an army of sentient golems into a museum and mercilessly crushing innocent museum goers into gooey red splatters in their wake.

And with this scene alone, you can probably catch on to the reason why I find this episode so unintentionally hilarious. Dr. Dare is the B plot of his own comeback episode. Unlike most superhero shows where the comeback of a villain that had disappeared near the beginning of the show is treated like a big huge deal (like the Steerminator episode of Darkwing Duck), our loveable little rock lover is pretty much ignored in favor of a plot that teaches us the lesson of taking credit for things that aren't yours and the perils of an overinflated sense of one's self-importance. Which is such a damn shame, because they could've used this episode to add some actual character development for this guy and make him more interesting. Oh well, I guess they felt The Goddamn Sagittarius Stomper was a better threat.

Also, I hate how Tech E. Coyote and the others blame Danger Duck for the fact that Dr. Dare is free from his prison. Yeah, because it was totally Danger's fault for inventing a very unstable gadget that starts randomly shooting lasers the moment someone drops it to the ground. Right, Tech?

"In retrospect, maybe storing him out in the open where things like my
Atomic Phase Departiculator can free him from his prison was a bad idea."
They hit the museum, and wouldn't you know it, Hans Moleman Dare already left. So, do you think that maybe, possibly, the man with the hideous glowing arm (come on, it's not like Dr. Dare can blend into a crowd and escape detection) could've been spotted by any security cameras or any bystanders that can potentially give the heroes a clue as to where he's currently hiding? No? We're supposed to treat this as if he's current whereabouts are completely unknown? Okay, I guess we're supposed to buy that Dr. Dare is a ninja now. Alrighty then.

Danger Duck also invited the Billy West reporter along on this mission so that he can record any potential heroic encounters that may arise. I freaking love that this character is going to frequently appear throughout the entire episode, even if the reason I love him (he's voiced by Billy West) is incredibly shallow. There's just something about his raw giddiness that's infectious. He even keeps referring to Danger Duck as "Danger Danger Duck" on account, at one point during the episode, Danger Duck used the ever original "Danger is my middle name" line. If this character is only in this episode, I'm going to incredibly disappointed with both the writing staff and Warner Bros. in general.

In Dr. Dare's rather tidy little rampage (despite the broken wall, he made sure not to smash any valuables other than the one he was targeting, showing an odd respect for Greek history), the baldy took only one thing; The Shield of Perseus. For those who slept through their Mythology class in high school, Perseus was the guy that killed Medusa, and he did so by using a mirrored shield he got from Athena, the Greek Goddess of Wisdom. Medusa also happens to be that buttugly Greek monster that can turn people into stone. I wonder if that's relevant to Dr. Dare's villain theme.

Also, wait, there's an honest to god Shield of Perseus? You mean that myth was real? But if Medusa is real, then that means the Greek Gods were real in this universe (since the reason the shield exists is because Athena made it), which just opens a whole can of mythological worms and instantly makes me question how belief systems work in Loonatics Unleashed if there's undeniable proof of powerful deities, and that's really not something I want to think about when I'm watching neon-colored animals running around and shooting lasers from their eyes or ears at mutants.

...unless we just didn't hear the whole story here and the reason Medusa looked like that is because a meteor struck the Earth long ago and turned some people into monsters back in ancient Greece.

And why was the Shield of Perseus in a giant jar?

Because, yeah. The Shield of Perseus was in a giant, ceramic jar. That makes sense.
So we check up again on Dr. Dare, now armed with the Shield of Perseus, and apparently he still has a working villain lair after all of this time!

Or, rather, he knows how to make a evil villain lair with glowing runes and hanging wires and crap like that in an incredibly short amount of time since this layout looks a lot different from the one in Going Underground. I guess you can chock that up to Dr. Dare wanting a change of scenery, just as long as it kept to his very strict rock theme he has going on. Or the layout artists just plain forgetting what the original floor plan looked like.

And, even though he doesn't have the Jade Serpent Crystal in his grasp, the palette for this room is still limited to a rather sinister shade of green. His odd crystal keyboard, his machines, his staff, and his rock attachments all have the same markings and pigmentation, which means that either there's some connection to all of these contraptions (and, as always, Loonatics Unleashed will not elaborate because developing characters is for losers) or this man really, really likes to color-coordinate.

"There is no escape from The Fortress of the Moles!"
I hate to say this, but this scene where Dr. Dare is spewing villain cliche after villain cliche at his leisure is oddly depressing to me. Oh sure, Dr. Dare is ranting about how he's going to take down Acmetropolis, and sure, he's doing it while sounding like he's giving himself a boner over how evil he is, but remember, he's completely alone in this entire scene. Normally, when these kind of villains rant about their evil plot, there's either a captured good guy or an evil minion within earshot. Dr. Dare, on the other hand, is talking to himself and making rock puns to himself.

That, combined with what you know about this character from his previous episode (like how the scientific community exiled him and how he was living underground all by himself for years), surrounds this character with a thick aura of patheticness. A better cartoon would've used this to their advantage and would've made Dr. Dare a tragic villain, a person suffering from terrible personality flaws and mental disorders that have destroyed his life. Not Loonatics Unleashed. I've probably had a similar rant in the Going Underground write-up but words cannot describe how frustrated this makes me. For crying out loud, writers! You have half of the material just sitting right there and you're not taking advantage of it in order to make something compelling out of this guy!

But I digress. While I was busy ranting, he somehow managed to conjure up the reflection of the Medusa from the Shield of Perseus just by waving his hand in front of some crystals and shooting the shield with a laser. I guess in this universe, lasers can do anything. Like turn cars into water.

That awkward moment when Dare realized he was totally flipping insane.
And then, completely on a bizarre little whim, he turns a rat into stone and then laughs about it while it fades to black. Cue commercial break.

Remember this scene later, because, without giving too much away, what happens in this episode is only going to make this that much funnier and that much more depressing. Think Dr. Dare essentially ranting to himself is pathetic? Wait until you see what happens to this guy!

I also wonder how you work the lasers on that thing. All Dr. Dare does is hold it up and it fires at the target he wants it to hit. Is there a switch or something on the back of the mythological artifact of doom?

"This is way funner than setting out traps!"
Despite the fact that Dr. Dare has the Shield of Perseus and we just saw a scene of him talking very loudly to himself about how Acmetropolis is going to rue the day they ever messed with Dare, when we cut back to the Loonatics, they're basically taking their sweet time. I like how they're in absolutely no hurry to stop the dreadfully insane man with an ancient Greek shield. You know you're a terrible villain when not even the heroes can take you seriously.

But wait, Danger Duck got a bouquet of flowers in the mail with a death threat from The Sagittarius Stomper attached to them. Awww, that's so poetic of that hulking, jewelry store-robbing thug with the brutish accent. I wonder if they're poisonous like the flowers Shredder gave to April O'Neil in that one episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that I totally need to talk about in this blog because it was absolutely absurd.

Also, this scene is kind of mean-spirited. Lexi knew that the flowers were from the Stomper but she totally handed them off to Danger anyways. She even addresses Danger Duck as Danger Danger Duck in a mocking tone while handing them to him, meaning that she read the note and knew what it contained ahead of time. Damn, that's cold.

...and yet somehow that makes me like Lexi all of a sudden.

"Dear, Danger Duck. I'm your biggest fan. Tell me, when are you going to admit your feelings
for Ace Bunny? My fanfics require validation."
Right when Danger Duck's done reading the note on the flowers, a washing machine crashes in front of him. Well, it's nice of the Stomper to know when the feathery superhero happened to be reading his note! Seriously, how the hell do you time something like that?

And great security for the Loonatics Headquarters, by the way! It's a shining beacon to let the citizens of Acmetropolis know that the pinnacles of good will always protect them with the slimy claws of evil, and yet somehow a falling washing machine can crash through the roof and narrowly kill an occupant inside. The defenses of these headquarters are impregnable!

I also just want to point out the really lame running gag here. Everything that the Sagittarius Stomper throws at Danger Duck has an anvil symbol printed on the side of it. You know, because in the Looney Tunes shorts, there were falling anvils. Get it, it's a joke!

"Who throws a washing machine? Honestly!"
Since Danger Duck reasonably believes that the Stomper is out to kill him (because hey, someone did just try to squish him with a household appliance, I'm not sure why they treat this like Danger Duck's overreacting), they decide to visit the prison to make sure the Stomper is still locked up. The prison he's in is no Arkham Asylum, but it's still reasonably designed, from the use of silly-looking electric fences to the fact that, much like the prison in the first Kung Fu Panda (in fact, so much like Kung Fu Panda that I kept expecting to see Tai Lung), all of the cells are deep underground.

This also shows how deprived I am, because when I saw that the prison was entirely underground, with a rocky structure and everything, I kept thinking to myself how that would be a much better use of Dr. Dare than the plot we have now. Why do we need yet another fossilization weapon when Dr. Dare can reenact Knightfall? Backbreaking used on Ace Bunny optional, but preferred.

Acmeham Asylum
They meet with the bionic monstrosity in his maximum security cell (which looks bizarrely like a futuristic snowglobe, because I guess he can't break out of that), and this is when the mystery of the episode arises. How can the Sagittarius Stomper send death threats to Danger Duck if he's safely behind bars a plexiglass dome? Clearly something is amiss here, with either someone taking up Sagittarius Stomper's mantle and claiming his gimmick as their own (hey, it happens all the time in DC Comics; there are like five different Clayfaces) or Sagittarius Stomper somehow being able to escape his maximum security cell in secret. It looks like we have a mystery on our hands, gang!

While this conversation is going on, Danger Duck all but pees his pants in front of Stomper (so, what the hell is his real name anyway?), but in fairness to Danger Duck, he did narrowly avoid getting killed by a washing machine. This is a very reasonable response. Ace Bunny views this in contempt, probably because he's an asshole.

By the way, Billy West Reporter was in this scene too. Now this is a man dedicated to his work. Doesn't this guy have a social life or something? I'm a bit worried about him now.

"So, shank any of your prisonmates lately?"
The Terror that Flaps in the Night finally lets his, and I can't stress this enough, very reasonable fear take control of him and he runs away, taking April O'Neil with him, and that's when Ace notices something odd in the cell. A pink toothbrush and pills! Jinkies!

Hey, don't discriminate, rabbit. Just because Stomper has metallic limbs doesn't mean he doesn't suffer from headaches like normal human beings. And this villain's already proven himself to be manly enough to use a pink toothbrush without anyone questioning his sexuality. 

"Pink? But that's a color for girls!"
While we ponder on the strangeness that is the toothbrush and the pills, we cut to Acmetropolis at night and...


...oh for the love of god, look at Danger Duck's room. Look at it!

Like a Where's Waldo picture or one of those I Spy photos, Danger Duck's room is one of those things that gets crazier and crazier the longer you stare at it. It's like one of those puzzles where you try to spot as many hidden Danger Ducks as possible within a given time frame. There's narcissism and then there's this, where this character basically has a fetish for himself. The best part has to be the golden Danger Duck statues (I wonder where he got those made; that'd be a pretty odd request to have for room decor), which are basically recolors of the Danger Duck clip art that was present in a lot of the show's promotional material, resized and copypasted in every available space.

You also gotta admire Danger Duck and his ability to comfortably sleep in a bunch of pointy weapons too. Clearly this is a character too complex to exist in any show but this one, because in order to fall asleep, he needs to be gently lulled by both the sight of his own grinning mug and the gentle tickle of incredibly dangerous martial arts weapons.

If he rolls around in his sleep, he gets stabbed in at least ten different areas.
And that's when the Stomper, in a second murder attempt, throws a cow on his bed.

...yeah. Don't question it. This is the show's attempt at random humor.

I'm not sure how the cow survived landing on top of all those maces and sais either.

Okay, they're in a highly metropolitan area with no farms in sight. Where did Stomper get the cow?
Danger Duck understandably panics by this sudden assault of bovine animals and that wakes up and subsequently annoys the other team members. Before you ask, no, somehow they didn't hear the falling cow bursting through the roof of their home (not even Lexi, the one with superhearing) and they just think Danger Duck is just being annoying. Yet they were able to hear the terrified screams of one of their teammates. I can't even deal with this; my brain's gonna dribble out of my ears if I contemplate the implications of this for much longer.

To keep myself sane, instead of wondering how they can't hear a goddamn cow flying through the air, I might as well point this out since I didn't have time to say so in any other episode. When the characters are not in costume, they actually look like their normal counterparts. I'm not sure how the outfits make the inside of their ears and their muzzles neon-colored like their costumes, but I guess that's part of the mystical superheroic armor they have to wear in order to mask their identities or something. know, even though 90% of the city's population is human, and I'm positive it'll be easy to narrow down which six-foot-tall bunny in the phonebook happens to be the one with the magical sword and the laser eyes.

To be honest, I actually like them better this way. They're not as silly-looking.
So they head in Danger Duck's room to humor him (because remember, in cartoons such as this, the complainer is always wrong), but sure enough, the cow is gone, leaving behind only a giant indentation in Danger's bed and quite possibly a steaming pile of cow crap on the carpet. But, despite this evidence, everyone else writes it off as a bad dream, with Tech E. Coyote, still bitter about the fact that he didn't receive any credit for his devastating lasers of liquifying doom, says that the dreams were brought on by a guilty conscience. Who knew coyotes were so whiny? one heard the giant eight foot tall guy walking around (at one point, you see The Sagittarius Stomper's shadow on a wall, meaning he was inside the building without tripping off any alarms), and no one heard the cow? It's not like cows are the stealthiest of creatures...

...guess not, then. Luckily the Stomper doesn't strike again that night (good thing this killer isn't too motivated) or else Danger Duck would really be screwed.

And where the hell did all of the weapons on his bed go? That poor cow needs to go to a vet if it's walking around with at least twenty different sharp, pointy objects stuck in its belly.

"Huh, there's a weird, cow-shaped indent in his bed and the smell of methane in the air.
Must be all in Danger Duck's head."
The next morning, we catch up on Dr. Dare, and he's...well, there goes my ability to take this character seriously. Pardon me for the following sentence, because trust me, this is going to sound incredibly nonsensical. He's flying around on a little levitating rock like one of those really cheesy 8-bit videogame bosses while shooting rock lasers from that shield at random crap while screaming "At last, I'll have my revenge!".

...why this guy isn't more popular. I know he's campy as all hell but I think he's a blast. He's one of those characters that's so over-the-top and so ridiculous that he manages to become endearing in his sheer insanity. I mean, for crying out loud, at one point he says "And when I'm done, Acmetropolis will rock, but not roll!" without any subtlety. How are you supposed to take that seriously?

Plus, again. Simon Templeman. I guess this is a compliment to the casting directors. Good job, guys. 

"Hell freaking yes!"
And his method of attack is turning random people into stone. There's nothing I don't love about this scene. When the civilians are turned into the stone, they don't just halt in place; they actually tumble along the ground as if the sheer inertia of them running and then suddenly stopping is propelling their statuesque bodies. It's the simply most ridiculous thing you could ever see out of a rock-themed villain in a superhero cartoon, and I've seen quite a few Disney Afternoon cartoons so I know my ridiculous.  

Maybe it's me, but this seems like a massive downgrade from his previous world domination attempt. In Going Underground, he got his revenge by using a MacGuffin so powerful it flips an entire city upside down. Here, he's just randomly shooting people on a city street with a magic shield. No offense, Dr. Dare, but from the looks of it, just using your "bots" (I hate that the show called them that) would be more effective in killing people while at the same time keeping to your theme.

Also, how sturdy are the people when they turn into stone? I've probably asked this very same question in a previous post I've done, but I live near public buildings that do have rock statues, and noses and fingers have broken off just from wear and tear. A statue tumbling down a street sounds like a recipe for a broken limb or two. These citizens are, at the very least, going to be crippled for the rest of their lives when that spell is reversed. The worst case scenario is, of course, the ever lovely "someone gets turned to rock, is shattered into little bits" thought that always comes up with spells such as these exist in a fantasy world.

Are you bored, Dr. Dare? Is this what you do on your days off?
The Loonatics, of course, arrive to stop Elmer Fudd from his very ineffective, very slow plan of revenge. And, since Dr. Dare is a massive idiot, he summons some golems to fight the furries instead of, you know, using that mirror he stole. Yeah, why steal something if you're not even going to fight with it?

Or he actually caught on with the whole "Ace Bunny can refract lasers back at him" thing that happened the last time and he doesn't want to take any chances. In which case, why the hell did he steal something that had a laser? Just steal the right TM and teach yourself Stone Edge, Dr. Dare. That'll teach 'em.

And, unrelated, but I like how Dr. Dare has had at least a year to think about his plan of revenge while he was rockenized and yet it's really unorganized and uses the exact same enemies they thought before. There is a very good reason why he's being upstaged by The Sagittarius Stomper right now. At least the Stomper can get creative at times.

*insert rock pun here*
But then, Tech E. Coyote to the rescue! The moment he saw that the golems were basically repeating a fight that had happened in the first season, he decided that he has had it with Dr. Dare's bullcrap and flips the hell out with his Atomic Phase Departiculator, using it on the crazy little scientist's rock monsters and destroying them all instantly thanks to the magic of awkwardly used chemistry. Hah hah, screw you, Dr. Dare; this team won't tolerate your rather limited villain theme for much longer!

He even howls just like a coyote when he does his heroic deed. Sometimes, when I'm doing an episode for this site, I like to check the comments (if they exist) of the episode I'm watching to see what other people are commenting on so I can steal their ideas for jokes so I can get a sense of what other people thought and if they had the same opinions I did. 80% of the comments for the episode Cape Duck were about Tech's howl or his dog-like whining he does in another scene. Good to know that Loonatics Unleashed vastly appealed to their main demographic, which happens to be the furry fandom, with this episode.

Okay, this is pretty badass, cartoon.
And, to add insult to injury, he uses the laser on Dr. Dare.

No, he doesn't turn the rock-themed mad scientist into a pile of liquid; that would probably be considered too violent for this show. Instead he uses it on that lame floating rock doohickey (okay, seriously, how the hell does Dare keep his balance on that thing?) so that Dare can merely fall several stories, where he'll break several of his bones, including both of his legs, against the unforgiving sidewalk and die from both the shock and the internal bleeding. That's more keeping with the Looney Tunes spirit!

...can Dr. Dare see out of that right eye? They never really explain that either, don't they?

This is why, when you pick a vehicle for your rampages of evil, you go with something with a little bit more armor.
That's when Dr. Rocky McRocksrocks lands on the Shield of Perseus, which somehow magically landed on the Medusa side during his fall, and turns into stone, thanks to the wonders of the writers completely failing their high school math classes. Okay, seriously, while this is a minor thing, this is bugging me almost as much as the lasers that can perform spontaneous shapeshifting. Both Dr. Dare and the shield fall off the rock at the same time. It makes absolutely no sense that the Shield of Perseus would fall a lot faster than Dr. Dare. Considering the height they fell, they'd both hit the ground at the same time; the shield would not magically teleport right underneath him. Sorry guys, but you fail Physics forever!

And, as you can probably guess, the reason this happened (and maybe the physics fail happened was because of divine intervention) was so that Dr. Dare can once again turn into stone. This is just a suggestion, but maaaaaybe he should probably stop using evil schemes with petrification spells if this keeps happening to him. The first time was poetic justice, but for it to happen a second time is just sloppy on his part.

However, I do like to think that this episode was setting up somewhere where, whenever this villain appeared in an episode, he'd keep on getting petrified in more and more ridiculous poses, sort of like how Baxter Stockman from the original TMNT cartoon kept on getting sent to different dimensions in his episodes. Had there been a third season, there could've been like a quick gag where something inane unfreezes Dr. Dare, and he gets turned into stone again while he's pulling his pants down and mooning the Loonatics Headquarters.

This is a very dignified way to die.
And that's the last we see of Dare for the rest of the series.

No, I'm serious. This is how they resolve this character arc. Dr. Dare, who gets no development even though he's one of the few early villains that actually has a decent enough backstory (at least compared to The Ringmaster, who's just a jerk for the sake of being a jerk), gets thwarted in no time at all and is only
treated as a minor annoyance and everyone is all ho-hum about it. His fight isn't at all climatic; it just advances the plot of a bigger villain. And all that talk of turning Acmetropolis into his own rock garden and all of that posturing with the Shield of Perseus in his evil lair of green doom amounted to nothing; it was basically coming from the mouth a very mentally disturbed man with no friends and family who not even the heroes of the actual show care about. They need to invent a new word for that level of pathetic.

I have mixed feelings about this. Dr. Dare had a ton of potential and, in this writer's opinion, a very neat design, but at the same time, he never actually fulfilled the things I was expecting from him. So my mind's trying to figure out whether I should be saddened by such a waste of what could've been a neat villain or just shrug my shoulders and continue through life as normal. I'm personally going with the latter. 

But back to the actual cartoon. Wouldn't you know it, Danger Duck actually says that it was Tech that saved the day. This sounds like a friendly gesture until you hear, in Danger's words, that he "deserves all the blame I mean credit". Danger Duck is essentially hoping that The Stomper will change objectives, essentially putting one of his own friends in harm's way. What a dick.

"Oh, and Tech E. Coyote has a phobia of spiders, snakes, and clowns, just in case
some psychotic killer happened to be watching this interview right now."
I love everything about this news report though, despite its rather sinister underlying issue. From Tech's awkward smile to the fact that Dr. Dare's new petrified state keeps rocking back and forth like a very bad toy on account Tech planted his foot right on Dare's ass, there's nothing about this that I don't like. I think I found a new screensaver.
And then they put Dr. Dare back in the park, starting the cycle all over again.
As expected, the very next thing that happens is that Tech E. Coyote gets a death bouquet (I'd like to see Sagittarius in a flower shop buying these bouquets) with a threat. Way for the postal service to not track things like that!

Although, why the flowers? Are they some sort of deep metaphor on how, like the merciless florist that sells what is essentially plants that are slowly dying on account of their cut stems and how a bouquet quickly decays no matter what precautionary measures you take to preserve them, their lives are extremely short? Or does Sagittarius have a sensitive side? And what kind of flowers do you send to your worst enemies anyways? You obviously can't send red roses; that would just send the wrong message...

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Before you think that Danger Duck is now completely free from danger, Stomper writes on his flower letter of doom that he's still going to get the duck. Because if cartoons have taught me one undeniable truth, it's that the universe hates waterfowl. Just look at anything Donald's ever starred in.

"These flowers cost you HOW much?"
You know what that means. Another monotonous prison visit to basically reinforce the whole "Stomper is locked away, how can this be? It must be a mystery!" aspect of this cartoon. Only this time, instead of just Danger Duck acting like he's crapping his pants, now Tech E. Coyote is there too. Presumably also crapping his pants.

Look, Stomper even knit (spoiler alert: this is another clue) a little memento this time. When I saw the blanket, a cold chill ran down my spine because that was when I realized that I was actually honestly laughing at this cartoon's jokes. And not in a "wow, that was so lame that it's still somehow funny" way; I'm actually enjoying the humor. Never in my life have I wanted to start drinking than this moment right now.

This is art.
One comedy style cut later, and we see Danger and Tech hastily packing all of their belongings and deciding to take a vacation on the other side of the world until the heat blows over and they can stop fearing for their lives. Silly duck and coyote, thinking they can outrun a cyborg. I just hope their friends and family will be able to properly identify their bodies after The Terminator is done with them.

Meanwhile, while they're having an episode, Ace, Lexi, Slam, and Rev just sort of stand off to the side and look confused. Ace even insists that they already saw Stomper in prison, so what's the problem? Not once does it occur to them that there's a serious problem that they should help with, lest two of their team members end up dying. You gotta love how completely, insultingly useless these characters are throughout this entire episode. They saw the bouquets and the washing machine! For the love of god, somebody get off of their ass and help!

Totally random, but why is this cartoon named Cape Duck anyways? Is that supposed to be a pun on "Cape Fear"? No offense, cartoon, but you're way off base if you're trying to reference that movie. For starters, you need a Robert de Niro caricature somewhere in this episode.

That's me whenever I pack for the college dorms.
To make matters even worse, while they're talking, two more things show up to try to squash them, which causes them to scream in terror and run out of the building. Again, none of the other Loonatics offer to help them, choosing to instead watch their friends suffer from mental breakdowns. How heroic.

It is kind of cute how their suitcases have the upside down Loonatics triangle. You know, just so they can instantly spot their luggage at the baggage claim.

But instead of going to the other side of the world like they said they would, they're merely hiding out in the very spacious, very clean sewers. I bet they're silently praying for the descendants of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (and not the actual Ninja Turtles transported to the future, because TMNT: Fast Forward was a terrible assault to my eyes) to come to their aide. They're world-renowned for fighting villains with too much metal grafted to their bodies, after all.

Whatever happened to their suitcases anyways?

"There's nothing more relaxing than sleeping next to giant rivers of fecal matter."
The Stomper ends up finding them pretty quickly, because they barely have time to relax before a giant mountain of meat and shiny metal crashes down from above. So, are the police in this city just super incompetent or something? I'm still not buying the idea that this man has been, well, stomping around the streets of Acmetropolis completely undetected.

In order to catch the hideous beast off-guard, Tech activates a booby trap that involves...him and Danger hiding out in a glowing hamster ball while a safe lands on the bad guy. Huh? Huh?

...wait, nevermind. This is the guy that invented a gun that can turn cars into water. This is expected.

Yep. This makes total sense.
This doesn't work (because the safe has a door, on account Tech is a freaking idiot), so they use Plan B; running around like idiots in the sewer until the Saggitarius Stomper grabs one of them. So much for that strategy. And we're supposed to be entrusting the safety of the entire planet to these guys?

Now would be a good time to point out what a great help Ace, Lexi, Rev, and Slam have been in this entire episode. No, really, it's great that Tech E. Coyote is inches away from projectile vomiting out his own organs towards the ceiling on account his teammates were too lazy to help.

It's also a good time to point out that if Danger Duck didn't say anything about Tech back when he defeated Dare, he'd wouldn't have someone trying to kill him right now. Poor Tech. His coworkers suck.

"So, how do you want to go? I was thinking Ozzy Osbourne style for you."
Danger, when he sees Tech captured, goes through some really superficial soul-searching that, if you squint and tilt your head to one side, almost looks like actual honest to god character development. Wow. And from a show that simply refuses to give such luxuries to their villains too!

In this episode's case, Danger Duck, instead of learning the dangers of excessive hubris and how his own bragging is what got both him and an innocent party into this mess in the first place, decides to use his pride as an actual weapon and, after hyping himself up as the best damn action hero on the planet, saves Tech. Meh, close enough.

What makes this scene awkward is that, the way it's set up, it's making out Danger Duck's cowardice as his greatest flaw, not the fact that his an egotistical dumbass that lets fame blind him and cause him to do terrible things to his friends. You know, because being afraid of someone like the Stomper is totally unreasonable.
I guess you can say him conquering his fear is, in a way, solving the problem about his egotism because he's finally doing something he lied to the press about, but that's a really, really big stretch in this context.

"Yeah, this is way more satisfying of an ending than me learning my lesson!"
This doesn't defeat the Stomper though, but it does distract him enough to drop Tech and for them to escape just long enough to put some distance between them and a face-destroying fist made out of steel alloy.

Sooner or later, the villain not as cool as Dr. Dare catches up to them again, and here we have another actually good line. Stomper says their actions make him angry, and he likes being angry, to which Danger Duck quips "That statement is rather ironic and profound if you ask me." Insert metaphor on stopped clocks here, because calling the writing "competent" would be rather hypocritical at this point considering how poorly they're handling the whole Stomper plot.

Oh, and Danger Duck also happens to have the power to control water by shoving his fists into a source of liquid (eww, and in a sewer too!) and sending his flaming fists into the liquid. Not going to question this too much (I'm just assuming an episode took place where he received this magical gift) since this scene also happens to have Tech cheering Danger on. Aww, they're bonding after Danger was such a jerk to Tech. And all it took was a near death experience.

Danger Duck's a waterbender.
That's when Stomper gets mysteriously frozen by a laser.

Faster than you can say "ass pull" or "what the crap", turns out Ace and Lexi were right behind Tech and Danger the whole time, and they happened to have the Atomic Phase Departiculator with them! Turns out they kind of do give a rat's ass about what happens to their avian and canine coworkers; they were just off-screen for the last two minutes while Tech and Danger narrowly avoided death. Not buying it.

...wait a second. When Tech introduced that thing, he said it turned liquids to gases! It turned a liquid into a solid! Make up your mind, crazy laser-shooting contraption!

"You make one ice pun, just one, and you're ending up like that guy too."
But wait, how did the Stomper get out of jail when that cell was completely secure?

In a revelation that I couldn't summon enough energy to care about, it turns out it was his mom in a giant cybernetic copy of her own son the whole time, because it was Stomper's mom that was the cybernetics scientist that build his robot limbs in the first place. That's why the Stomper in prison had a pink toothbrush and knew how to knit all of a sudden. He was really just a hollow robot husk with a wizened little lady lodged in his chest cavity. Creepy.

So, how the hell did they switch places? This is never explained! And neither is it explained how the police never noticed that their captive was a big, hollow robot. I want answers, cartoon!

Stomper's mom is part Dalek.
Man, this episode sure had a lot of character development, from Danger Duck getting over his fear of serial killers to Tech actually having a friendly bond with someone who, thanks to his actions, nearly got him killed. Teamwork, learning to conquer one's fears, giving credit to the people who deserve it (even if it means doing it in a selfish manner), the danger of one of the Seven Deadly Sins...this sure was a packed episode. Let's throw that all out at the last minute and have Danger Duck take all the credit for everything, therefore taking a big steaming dump on the rather poorly written lesson learned.

Oh, go to hell, cartoon. You don't pull an ending like this! You're not talented enough for a bait-and-switch ending!

"Character development? What character development? I'm just the comic relief and nothing more.
My personality can never grow and evolve in a way that makes me a compelling member of the cast!"
And so ends this episode on a rather bizarre note.

Now I can't help but wonder what they did with Dr. Dare after he was petrified. Is he still at the park, or did they stick his lifeless body in a prison cell and call it a day?

The Moral of this Cartoon
If your friend is being pursued by a vicious madman with a reputation for killing people, it's best to just completely disregard everything he or she says if your friend also happens to have a character flaw you find annoying.

Also, if petrification has proven to be an effective weapon against you, don't keep using the same petrifying spell in your evil schemes for a second time.

Final Verdict

The Good
*This was largely a Danger Duck themed episode. I'll be honest; I like Danger Duck. While he is, for most of the episodes, strictly comic relief, it is really fun to see his actions affect the plot in a way that he has to problem solve and fix what went wrong.
*Tech and Danger's interactions with each other. It was interesting seeing two characters of this group actually work together beyond fight scenes. Plus it was nice seeing them actually being positive to each other, when normally, when Danger interacts with another Loonatic, they're telling him off for sucking.
*Tech was pretty likeable in this episode. Normally, he just comes off as either a magical plot-fixing pixie or an egotistical know-it-all, but here, he genuinely had a good reason to complain (he didn't really realize Danger was in trouble, for some plot hole-related reason) because someone else took the credit.
*Dr. Dare is fun to watch because he's so stupid it's amazing.
*The pacing was pretty competent. I can't think of a single scene that dragged on for too long.
*Animation was slightly better than the Season 1 episodes and the characters didn't have those annoying light blue highlights.
*Sagittarius Stomper and his mom were nice references to an old Looney Tunes short.

The Bad
*The character development was all over the place. It was hard to figure out what they were really going for with this episode. Is Danger Duck suffering because of his pride? No, it's because he's a coward! Oh wait, maybe it's because he takes the credit for someone else's work? No, it's because he acts without thinking or something like that.
*Okay, seriously, cartoon. You don't erase an entire episode's character development for a quick gag unless if you're skilled enough to properly pull it off. It was great to see Danger Duck working together with Tech E. Coyote and it was great to see him come to grips with his cowardice and save his friend from danger. You don't go from that to "oh, I didn't really mean all of that from earlier!" It doesn't work!
*Hate to say it, but Dr. Dare really didn't need to be in this episode. It was kind of nice to see the character come back, but his encounter really doesn't affect the plot that much and he feels largely like he was stuck in the plot at the last moment as a Season 1 reference.
*Sagittarius Stomper wasn't that interesting, but this is a personal preference.
he Atomic Phase Departiculator. Might as well add it here.
*This is more of a minor pet peeve than anything, but I hated how no one took Danger Duck and later Tech E. Coyote's fears seriously. There was plenty of proof. You could chock it up as "Rule of Funny", but still...

The Final Decision
I actually liked this episode. It's probably because I entered this episode with low expectations (because while "Going Underground" and "The World Is My Circus" were not horrifically bad, they still had a ton of flaws) and wouldn't you know it, for the show it takes place in, this episode managed to be really solid. The dialogue is actually funny in places instead of just being lame, they explored two of the team members in a way that I liked seeing them interact with each other, and they were actually playing with the whole "this is a Looney Tunes-themed show" by having Looney Tunes-style villains with Looney-Tunes style weapons and gags. There were still major WTF moments (
The Atomic Phase Departiculator), but they were considerably less of them than in, say, "The World is My Circus".

That being said, it wasn't without its major flaws. The best way to describe this writing is "schizophrenic", because it's like this cartoon can't make up its mind as to what it's going for. Like I said, while this cartoon has character development, you really don't know what it wants as far as the character development goes. Are we supposed to be rooting for Danger Duck or hating him? Like I said earlier, I guess you can say him conquering his fear was solving the problem about his egotism but that's feels more like me feeling in the blanks as opposed to the cartoon actually saying that.

Plus, on top of that, writing is still weak, villains still pretty undeveloped, and a lot of the team members were essentially just useless. You know, basic problems the show still carries.

But I guess you can say this is a great episode by Loonatics Unleashed standards. Is this good? No. Is this terrible? Also no. I can totally get the hate this show gets, but at the same time, this episode proved that there is some enjoyment to be had out of this cartoon. If I was ever starved enough for entertainment that I'd watch a Loonatics Unleashed episode, I'd probably choose this one out of the three I've done so far, which is the best compliment I can give for this show.

Even if cars turn to water and serial killers send death threats through scented bouquets.