Fire up those scanners and get ready to virtualize, it’s time for more Code Lyoko! Last time our big bad Xana possessed a teddy bear to destroy his enemies…so it’s got to be all uphill from here in the evil scheme department, right? Let’s find out!

 

This episode starts off with a riveting presentation about the workings of a nuclear power plant by some sort of nuclear engineer. Those French-Canadian writers sure know how to grab our attention! Jeremie asks the engineer if it’s possible to use nuclear power to materialize virtual matter. Rather than shrugging this question off with a laugh or something sensible, the engineer becomes deeply upset, as if Jeremie had insulted his mother. Perhaps the exchange lost something in translation.

 

I bet just to spite me the kids of Lyoko WOULDN'T call Johnny Five a short circuit.

Just before class ends, the projector on which this presentation was displayed goes dark and their teacher is unable to fix it. Jeremie suggests Xana may be behind it, but Odd brushes it off saying it’s probably just a short circuit. I’m really starting to wonder if anyone on this show knows how circuits work.

 

The principal appears from nowhere and gives the group permission to start a band with a terrible name, the Pop-Rock Progressives. He insists that the group must be open for anyone who wants to play, however, which seems to defeat the purpose somewhat. Having suitably initiated a subplot for the episode, the principal vanishes from whence he came. I suspect he may be a follower of the Church of Exposition.

 

Jeremie heads back to his dorm to check on Lyoko and see if there are signs of a Xana attack (that would be a much better name for a band, by the way). He contacts Aelita who very generously offers to listen to his problems if he ever wants to talk, and he literally ignores her. Men.

 

Jeremie starts a scan of Lyoko to look for an active tower and heads to the cafeteria for Brussels Sprouts. Spoiler alert: Jeremie is not the cool one. When he returns to his room, Jeremie learns that his scan hasn’t yet found the tower, but he interrupts the band tryouts to tell the others that he detected an overcharged power pylon just outside the school that seems to be responsible for the school’s power outages.

 

Before they can do anything about it, Sissi brings her lackies in for tryouts and it turns out that Franime Shaggy (whose name is apparently “Nick” but you can bet I’m not going to call him that) plays the drums. He plays them well. Odd is outraged that Yumi and Ulrich are cramping his style by picking a talented musician over a girl he wants to date and now both Yumi and Odd are threatening to quit the band.

 

Well, the band's musical genre is right in the name, but I can't see a reason not to let you audition with your trombone.

Side note: this scene has the first joke to genuinely make me (intentionally) laugh.

Ulrich: If Sissi’s idea was to cause trouble, she’s done a great job.

Trombone sound. Cut to Jim at the back of the room.

Jim: Would you guys need a slide trombone by any chance?

 

Jeremie goes to the factory and discovers that Xana has activated a tower. Aelita heads off to find it and calls the others to come help. In the time it takes the gang to extreme montage their way to the factory, Jeremie has inexplicably deduced Xana’s plan. He’s storing electricity in that pylon outside the school so he can direct it at a nuclear power plant and “create a short circuit” and a nuclear explosion. I guess Xana doesn’t realize that the electromagnetic pulse from such a blast would certainly destroy his computer and kill him in the process.

 

Yumi rightfully freaks out, saying they need to warn the authorities in case they fail in Lyoko, even though exposure means shutting down Lyoko to kill both Xana and Aelita. The group’s in a deadlock, clearly none of these people have seen Spock’s performance from Wrath of Khan.

WWSD: What Would Spock Do?

 

Oh wait, Aelita has! She joins the conversation via computer screen, breaks the group’s tie, and gets Yumi to go warn the principal and that nuclear engineer from earlier who is conveniently still hanging around. It doesn’t matter, though, because nobody believes Yumi’s completely insane-sounding story.

 

Meanwhile, Ulrich and Odd join up with Aelita in Lyoko’s desert sector. She leads the boy-Samurai and the mutant furry to where “Xana’s pulsations all converge” but none of them can see an activated tower. If they can’t find the tower, they can’t stop Xana’s plan, and a nuclear explosion will kill them all, so it’s time for a frantic blind search, right?

 

Wrong. Very wrong. Apparently it’s time to chill out on the shore of a virtual oasis. Ulrich stands around practicing his sword technique, Odd skips stones on the water and Aelita…just seems to be scanning the horizon…for an invisible tower. Luckily when one of Odd’s rocks hits the surface of the water, he discovers a hole leading down to a lower level of Lyoko where they find they tower.

Uh...Aelita? We've already concluded that we can't SEE the tower.

 

A trio of crab monsters attack and Odd gives his virtual life to save Aelita. This results in our first devirtualization, which means some stock footage of odd stumbling out of the scanner in the factory, looking bewildered. Get used to this, because Code Lyoko has no shame when it comes to stock animation.

 

With Odd’s devirtualization, it’s now three crabs versus one Ulrich, a perfect configuration for him to show off his ability to make two clones of himself, an ability which would make much more sense if his Lyoko avatar were a ninja and not a samurai.

 

As Ulrich works to dispatch the crab monsters, Yumi tracks down some emergency workers near the overcharged pylon. She warns them of the nuclear threat and when they ask how she knows about it she decides to give the entire backstory of Lyoko, a feat that the pilot didn’t even manage to do!

 

I have two problems with this plan of hers. Firstly, there really has to be a more plausible lie she can tell to convince these people to help. I mean, even if the story would get them to help, it’s not exactly a brief anecdote and time is of the essence!

 

Secondly, they never really did explain how Jeremie determined what Xana was going to use the electricity for, and since the secret of Lyoko doesn’t really explain why he should help, I don’t see why you should try and tell the emergency worker all about it!

 

In true camp fashion, Aelita gets access to the tower in order to deactivate it just as the pylon reaches full power and threatens to destroy everything, but she shuts it down just before the surge reaches the power plant and causes that short circuit Jeremie mentioned earlier.

 

“Ready for a return trip to the past, Odd?” Jeremie asks, as if praying to the god of Exposition.

 

And thus we are treated with the stock footage of the flash of light from the factory filling the sky. Then we are “treated” to the Pop-Rock Progressives playing an insufferable song with the help of Franime Shaggy and Jim’s trombone. With the return to the past program, they had two chances to find a way to get rid of Jim. Are you telling me they were actually looking for a slide-trombone to accompany their pop-rock band?

 

I’ll let you ponder that one, as this adventure is now completed. Join me next time to see what else Xana can short-circuit!

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