Ahoy readers, and welcome back to the world within a supercomputer within a cartoon show: Code Lyoko! Last time we learned that Canada has some sort of problem with short circuits and that the most sensible person within the protagonist ensemble is the one who’s not even technically alive. What uncomfortable truths will we uncover today? What, you expect me to just tell you? Keep reading and find out!

We’re going to try something a little new this week, since I’ve realized both of the episodes on my slate for the week are not shining examples of exciting story writing, thus making them less than compelling subjects for synopsis. I’ve received a few suggestions for a different style of doing things, so be sure to give me some feedback on which you prefer.

Suggested Title – Bad Gas

Summary:

The episode opens with the men of Lyoko (there’s a calendar I could do without, even ignoring the nine missing months) involved

Oh yes, ladies, he's single.

in a dog and pony show to get Jeremie suspended to lose his privilege to leave campus for an unnamed holiday break. When Sissi eavesdrops on one of Team Lyoko’s conversations and learns Jeremie wanted to get in trouble, she also decides to forgo her Blanksgiving Break.

While chaperone Jim forces Jeremie and Sissi to clean Jeremie’s graffiti off the wall, Sissi tries to get Jeremie to spill the secret she knows he’s keeping, even bringing up the name Xana, which she overheard earlier. “Is she your girlfriend?” Sissi asks, “Maybe I know her”. Personally, I feel like I would remember a girl named Xana, but what do I know?

Later that night, Jeremie is working on WeirdScience.exe, the name I’m attributing to his program to make Aelita into his real life girlfriend. He discovers that he needs the power of a supercomputer to do his calculations, but rather than using a standard extreme scooter and skateboard montage, he decides to take the long way through a supply closet in the school. This proves to be a huge error as the room is full of an unnamed toxic gas that Xana has possessed using science or something. If you haven’t figured it out by now, Xana’s plans don’t often make a ton of sense.

As Jeremie escapes the poison closet (my school had one of those, didn’t yours?), Jim catches him and drags him back to his dorm room. The next morning Jeremie sneaks out to the factory and we catch a montage of Lyoko warriors receiving text messages and abandoning their Blanksgiving Day plans to rendezvous with Jeremie.

Did you guys ever stop to think that maybe Xana just wants a hug?

Jeremie tries to warn Jim and Sissi of the perilous “smoke with arms”, but ends up getting attacked in the process. Luckily Ulrich, Odd and Yumi show up just in time to drag him out of the smoke. I’m not so sure a plan that can be foiled by slowly dragging someone away from it was the best choice. Ulrich volunteers to save the comic relief characters while the rest head off to the factory and Lyoko.

Ulrich’s plan of rushing into a building saturated with toxic gas…without a plan surprisingly doesn’t pan out, and almost gets him killed, but luckily Aelita invents a new superpower in Lyoko, allowing her to reach the inaccessible tower and save the day.

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So when I said the guys involved themselves in a dog and pony show to make sure Jeremie could keep tabs on Xana, I was

Odd's dog has a face only a mother could love.

exaggerating the ponies, but not so much the dog. Meet Kiwi. Kiwi is Odd’s dog. Now I will admit that I’m not the biggest animal lover in the world, but Kiwi is a pretty ugly dog, and I doubt he’s worth the trouble of smuggling him into his dorm. Yeah, he’s got to break school rules to have that creature around. I guess he’s hoping chicks dig ugly dogs…or that his ugly dog will make him look more handsome by comparison.

There’s a weird amount of eavesdropping that happens in this episode. Sissi and her lackies conveniently overhear Jeremie’s friends congratulate him on getting confined to campus for the generic holiday break, then just a few minutes later she’s eavesdropping on them discussing concerns about Xana. Then, just a few seconds later Jim is eavesdropping on Sissi butting in on their conversation. It’s like the writers wrote the whole rest of the episode and forgot to actually put Sissi and Jeremie in the same plot together until the very last minute.

But you know what the real sticking point is for me in this episode? Most episodes have one, for example last week’s episode of Code Lyoko involved Xana’s suicidal nuclear attack plan. How would that plan have helped even if it had succeeded!? Well, once again I have an issue with Xana’s plan du jour.

So Xana’s plan was to electrically possess a cloud of gas and use it to kill everyone, right? First off, why does the school keep a dozen unlabeled, uncovered barrels of toxic…SOMETHING in a random supply closet? Secondly, towards the end of the episode, Xana’s killer gas has engulfed most of the city. That’s all fine and great, except doing that in a concentration that would still be dangerous to people would require more poisonous gas than you’re going to find in an irresponsible supply closet, which means Xana has the ability to generate more of the gas with his nebulous supercomputer powers. But if he can just make the poison gas in the first place, why bother with the whole nonsensical gas possession thing at all? Why not just have Xana make a bunch of poison gas!?

And then there’s the SOS montage, where everyone cancels Blanksgiving. Ulrich’s is pretty straightforward: he sneaks out of a boring tutoring session. Yumi was sitting in the backseat of her parents’ car, waiting for her mom to finish packing a dress or something while her father complained about it. Then she gets the text and apparently just walks out of the car without saying anything to her dad. His reaction? When Yumi’s mother gets out to the car, he asks, “Have you noticed someone missing from the back seat?” As if there was nothing he could do to stop her. That’s some top notch parenting.

Your bag looks fine, but I'm going to have to ask you to throw out your water bottle.

Odd’s is the worst, though. Odd tries to smuggle his dog through airport security, by stuffing her in his bag and just running it through the x-ray machine. Not only is this needlessly irradiating his dog, but it’s a moronic plan that has exactly no chance of working. The weird thing is when the x-ray operator at the airport sees a dog’s skeleton in his luggage they’re not concerned by it until it moves. You learn something new every day and today I learned that serial killers are a-okay to fly Air Canada.

In Lyoko, Yumi makes her first appearance, and utilizes her digital telekinesis for the first time, but she does so in a really confusing way. She tells Odd and Aelita she has a plan to provide them cover so they can head to the tower. Her plan is to lift a large rock, place it next to the monsters which are attacking them, then stand on the rock so that all of the monsters can shoot at her. Somehow this plan works, but probably just  because the sheer idiocy of it confused the monsters into submission.

Aelita is a devout expositionist. Her faith is rewarded with the gift of wood.

Once they’ve made use of Yumi’s “cover”, Odd and Aelita discover a gap too large to jump between them and the active tower. Aelita utilizes a never-before-mentioned ability to magically generate tree trunks so she can cross the gap. Good thing we made that up, I mean…good thing she remembered that in the nick of time!

One last weird thing is that after this episode’s return to the past, we see Jeremie and Ulrich tagging school property once again, just so Jeremie can have time to work on WeirdScience. However this time we see Jim chase Odd’s dog right past them, instead of seeing him stop after noticing their crime. Is this supposed to be some weird commentary on how fate is malleable? Cause I was pretty sure the fact that Xana hadn’t accidentally managed to destroy or take over or…whatever it is he plans to do to the world was proof of that already.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Blanksgiving Day celebration, join me next time as Xana continues to make weird use of school property. Also, be sure to let me know how you liked this new style of entry either in the comments or via Twitter. You can follow me @VascoDaGamer not just to keep in touch, but to be notified when I update the Cove of Solitude.

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