Suggested Title: “Speed 3: School Zone”

 

Summary:

 

Ulrich panics when his diary goes missing, but quickly learns that Sissi is responsible and wants to blackmail some nebulous sort of relationship out of him. His friends see this begin to transpire and understandably freak out. Ulrich explains the situation and Yumi goes to search Sissi’s room while she, Ulrich and Odd take a class field trip to a pool. With some sheer dumb luck (emphasis on dumb) Yumi retrieve’s Ulrich’s diary from the girl’s bathroom and brings unnecessarily swift resolution to this subplot.

 

Meanwhile, thanks to Xana, the school bus is out of control! Oh no wait, it’s the opposite of that, it refuses to break 20 miles per hour…or 20 kilometers per hour I guess, since this is Freanch-Canada. After several minutes of whatever the exact opposite of a thrilling car chase is, the Xana school bus finally puts pedal to the metal and races for the petrochemical plant. Odd jumps off the bus when it’s traveling at upwards of 100 speed units and is completely unharmed as he heads to the factory on foot.

 

On a side note, who is the city planner for this unnamed French-Canadian city? Why is there a nuclear power plant, a petrochemical plant and a factory with an evil sentient computer virus within a supercomputer all within commuting distance of a boarding school?

Why does a virtual world even need sand?

Since Xana can apparently control the virtual weather, I bet he can make it rain.

 

On Lyoko Xana uses multiple strange and never before seen or mentioned powers to hassle Yumi and Aelita, but Aelita fights back with her ability to create digital terrain by chanting and praying. Odd shows up and literally throws Aelita across a chasm so she can deactivate Xana’s tower, bringing the bus to a safe stop just feet, er meters, away from…whatever part of the petrochemical plant Xana was aiming for.

 

Our heroes return to the past and use their knowledge of Sissi’s scheme to be a jerk to her and this whole mess of an episode is capped off with an 80’s style freeze frame.

 

Reactions:

 

Where do I begin? This episode is one big crazy mess. Firstly, at least half of the major character’s voices sound slightly wrong in this episode. And I’m almost positive that the cameo bus driver is voiced by the same actor as the principal…doing the principal’s voice.

 

And then there’s the pacing of the episode. Seriously, whoever wrote this episode needs extra strength Ritalin. In the first half of the episode, there’s barely a scene that lasts longer than thirty seconds. We resolve the entirety of the episode’s B-Story before Xana even begins messing with the bus!  Ricochet rabbit would have a hard time following this garbage.

Sure I could have gone with Speedy Gonzales, but then you would know what I was talking about.

That's right, I’ve got my finger on the pulse of popular culture.

 

Let’s address the diary debachle. So Sissi steals Ulrich’s, then Yumi goes looking for it. Instead she finds Sissi’s diary, reads it (inducing a poorly animated flashback) then calls up Sissi from the girl’s bathroom to blackmail her about the location of Ulrich’s diary. It turns out she hid the diary in the very bathroom stall that Yumi called from. Well isn’t that creepy, weird and convenient? Why hide something so important in a public place? Why did Yumi call from there in the first place? Did they tire out the animation staff with all of those fifteen second scenes from before?

 

That brings us to Xana’s plan, and this may actually be the least sensical yet. I mean, it’s hard to top the nuclear explosion plan for sheer stupidity, but I’m really having a hard time figuring out the goal of this one. So Xana wants to ram a speeding bus into a petro-chemical plant. His goal doesn’t seem to be killing the Lyoko warriors, because only two of them were ever on the bus, and he simply could have run the bus off a cliff or into a building if that were the case.

 

Now granted, I’m no expert on petrochemicals, but since they make a point of calling it a petrochemical plant and not an oil refinery, I imagine it’s not just a big Michael Bay explosion tank, so if you ram a bus into it what even happens? Maybe a small explosion? Maybe a ruined bus and an invoice for some repair work? Even if it did create a massive explosion what good would that do? Does Xana just have some grudge against the city? His motivation makes no sense, he literally just wakes up in morning on Lyoko and tries to devise the most annoying thing he can do that morning. I submit that he’s just trolling Team Lyoko.

Seriously though, if Xana has these kinds of powers it's a miracle that he hasn't...accomplished whatever his goal is.

At this rate I have to wonder if Xana's planning to posses an interior designer and ruin the boarding school's decor.

 

After Xana magically conjures two different weather phenomena at once, he lures Aelita and Yumi onto the edge of a cliff, which suddenly splits apart and starts floating in multiple directions. Hold on, if Xana has the ability to manipulate Lyoko on this scale, ripping apart the landscape and then moving the pieces at will, then how have the Lyoko Warriors ever stopped his plans? Why not just isolate every tower in Lyoko from the rest of the world and make it so anyone trying to enter Lyoko falls straight into the digital sea? Xana is all over the place in the episode, pulling out all the stops to ensure that his really poorly conceived plan succeeds.

 

And I’ve already touched on Odd’s two very suspicious moments from this episode. First he escapes a speeding bus without a scratch, and then later he uses his super furry strength to toss Aelita across a canyon. I don’t know anything about Canadian comic books but after that performance I suspect Odd may be Quebequois Superman…if such a thing exists.

 

I’ve leave you with a strange series of rapid fire advice we hear from various characters over the course of about a minute:

 

“Take off your backpacks and use them as airbags!” shouts Ulrich, demonstrating he knows about as much about airbags as he does short circuits.

It is strongly implied that I crashed into these cars!

This is the only shot we get of the crash, it's like they were trying to cut their special effects budget...but this is an animated series.

 

“Yumi, things are getting tough here. Come straight to the factory after class” Jeremie tells Yumi, as the bus is already in excess of 140 speed units, but we can’t go missing school now can we?

 

“Now hurry up and get your seatbelts fastened!” Jim advises, closing the proverbial barn door after the horses have escaped, since the bus has already plowed through two cars. Or at least, it’s implied that the bus plowed through two cars, probably because of the animators being tired out from the thirty different settings in the first ten minutes of the episode.

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