OK, time to strap in for the third installment of the new show from Yahoo! Screen starring Joel Hodgson and Trace Beaulieu and created by Paul Feig of “Freak and/or Geeks.” This episode is really heavy on the ART, so get excited, people!
Warning! Here be spoilers! Yaaarr!
We rejoin our intrepid crew on the bridge. The ship has somehow wandered into a thick soup of some kind and everyone is being really snarky about it. Natasha the computer sprite at least has an excuse because Captain Stewart has accidentally activated her snarky mode. First officer/sister Karen is just being herself while AT&T’s Tina has become the “Oooh!” cat from “Puss ‘n Boots.”
Stewart decides to send a message out to the aliens who keep attacking the ship. Unfortunately, it turns out that the ships ansible has become disabled because ART and his human Zalian are screwing around with ART’s incredibly powerful magnetic balls.
The crew splits up into two teams. Since ART broke the ansible, he has to go outside to fix it. Karen is supervising and Michael is also there for some reason. The episode really highlights how Michael kind of has no reason to exist other than for people to snark on him for being useless. Oh, and he’s also in charge of lubing ART which I guess is valuable.
The other team, consisting of the Captain, Tina and science officer Kent, are working on the message that will be sent to the aliens. We also get some insight into why Karen wasn’t made Captain as she calls Tina and Kent terrible right to their faces. Not exactly inspiring stuff there, Karen.
But Karen isn’t really wrong, either. At the team meeting to discuss what kind of message to send, the Captain reasonably wants to stress the old “We come in peace” angle. Tina, on the other hand, wants to try to scare off any aliens by bragging about the giant weapons then don’t actually have like “laser mops.” Kent… whoa, boy… Kent wants to be totally submissive to any aliens. In pretty much every sense of the word including advocating that they present like a submissive bonobo. Stewart isn’t down with either of these approaches causing the others to claim he’s acting like Karen.
Speaking of Karen, she and Michael are chatting with ART as he repairs the ansible. Unfortunately, he manages to get himself stuck. Whoops!
Things back at team message making have rather broken down so they all decide to make their own videos. Tina goes first since Kent’s weirdness has filled her with rage that she wants to use. Kent is still being super weird and talking about how dilated he is.
Karen and Michael suit up and go out to retrieve ART. Michael is being ridiculously needy (as usual) and keeps bugging Karen about how much everyone on the ship likes him, because he’s in junior high school, apparently. Karen tries to be nice but Natasha keeps telling Michael that Karen is lying for no good reason. Karen being Karen, she reacts to all this by getting very angry and ends up accidentally kicking ART off the ship to drift away into the void of space. Noooooo! Well, actually, I’m not worried because I’m thinking they’ve already demonstrated that ART has a powerful magnet that he can turn on whenever he wants to to get back to the ship.
Back inside Karen is really shaken up about killing (she thinks) ART. Michael is, of course, being a wiener and completely lies to Zalian and tells him ART is in the bathroom when Karen is too upset to tell the truth. Since no one is the wiser, it’s off to view the videos that the team members have made.
First up is Kent, who offers complete submission to the aliens, including “our women” which is super not cool, Kent. But then again… I’ll let this still speak for itself.
After everyone is made super uncomfortable, especially me, and also Michael and Karen after Kent uses the phrase “don’t kick us into the void”, they decide they’ve had enough of this and switch over to Tina’s video which is basically like an ad for a monster truck rally.
Tina ends by telling the aliens that if they dare to step into the Akron Civic Center on June 23rd, they will be in for a world of pain and will end up drifting alone in the void of space where their only solace will be death (PS, I love you, Ted.) This makes Karen completely break down and admit her horrible crime.
Zalian takes this news surprisingly well, rushing out into the void of space to call for ART. Fortunately for him, an oxygen atmosphere has formed around the ship. Unfortunately for everyone, the reason an oxygen atmosphere has formed around the ship is that the ship is at the center of a rapidly coalescing planet. This is a bad thing.
After Karen retrieves Zalian, they have to come up with a plan for getting out of there. Stewart calls ART on the radio because, duh, he’s a robot and they use that signal to orient the ship. Zalian suggests dumping all the fuel so that they can be light enough to escape. This is a great plan and everyone feels good about coming together as a team, except it doesn’t work.
Now Chekov’s magnet finally comes back into the story. ART absorbs the energy the Cruiser has just dumped to fire up his magnet so that the planet forms around him instead of around the ship. His narration of his death is perfect, starting out heroic and grandiose before degenerating into piteous screams as the pain sets in.
Everyone is super bummed until Zalian reveals that he’s got another ART and activates him to the horrified screams of the crew. In fact, he’s got 15 of them hidden around the ship, including under their beds. Karen takes it well.
We close by watching the final video, which is mostly based on the default video which was created by Monsanto, former parent company of UMP. It’s, frankly, delightful with a pumpkin the size of a barn and a real corporate feel-good air to it. And they completely left Michael out of it because, let’s face it, Michael sucks.
Overall, this episode was a step up and much better than the first two. Captain Stewart is settling in as the straight man surrounded by a crew of lunatics. The show has desperately needed a straight man for all the lunatics to play off of and previously the Captain was acting just a goofy as everyone else. It’s a real improvement.