Episode 8 – End of Take

 

Suggested Title: Crucified Alien vs. Cyber Predator

 

Premise: When a conceited film director comes to town he locks down the factory to shoot his next film, preventing Team Lyoko from accessing their beloved super computer while providing Xana an improbable weapon to fight our heroes.

 

Summary:

 

For some reason, the principal holds an assembly to screen a movie whose content seems inappropriate for a middle school class, then the director of said film shows up just long enough to explain that he wants to shoot a movie in the factory. Yes, that factory.

 

Ulrich volunteers his services to James Finson as factory tour guide. Ulrich’s attempts to make the place seem inhospitable backfire hard, but he does get offered a consultant position on the movie due to his knowledge of the factory. In a plot contrivance I’m too lazy to explain Sissi also gets a bit part in the movie.

Crucifying something is just asking for it to come back to life, worked for Jesus AND for Arnold Schwarzenegger in End of Days

And Mel Gibson thought the backlash from Passion of the Christ was bad.

 

Finson is worried that information about his movie will leak to the public, probably due to his controversial Alien Jesus protagonist, so he takes the phones of everyone on set. Xana does what he does to everything that anyone ever leaves lying around and possesses the fake alien with his cyber ghost. Meanwhile Ulrich sneaks down to the terminal to keep Jeremie posted about the situation on set, but Sissi has followed him, leading to this unfortunate exchange:

 

 

They could have at least changed the color of the um..."goop".

Considering they had Sissi pulling fan service in the pilot, I fear for the motivation behind this exchange.

Ulrich: “You can’t tell anyone about this, or else!”

Sissi: “Or else what? A monster’s going to squirt goopy goo all over my face?”

Xana Alien squirts goopy goo all over her her face.

Awkward.

 

As the alien chases the pair through an elevator shaft and eventually goops them to a wall (since apparently he can do that), the director wakes up the crew and starts a manhunt for the missing alien. The rest of Team Lyoko takes advantage of the distraction to sneak past the one guard and virtualize Odd.

 

Odd and Aelita get chased onto a giant ice slide by 5 mosquito-like monsters. At the other end, the pair find themselves facing down two identical towers, not sure which one is actually active, Aelita uses the dues ex computer sense to eenie meenie minie mo her way to victory. Is it some Buddhist meditation thing or is it just a full on plot device? It’s impossible to say.

 

As Aelita shuts down the tower, the alien gets Ulrich and Yumi in its grips, but we all know the drill. Shut down just in time, return to the past, much rejoicing. The second time around, Ulrich uses the director’s narcissism to get the director to change his mind about the location. He can’t stand using a location that someone else used for a movie. The day is saved!

 

Reactions:

 

This episode seemed like it was trying to take on the conventions of the horror genre, especially considering that they actually put a horror movie in their story. If that was the goal, they didn’t do an especially good job of this, though. It doesn’t really apply or subvert any of the usual elements of horror movies other than the literal movie monster.

 

On that note, why does the fake alien get real super powers? I mean something like super strength I can buy, cause maybe Xana can optimize its muscle movements, or just throw a punch with unnatural force, since he is the puppet master.  However, the alien gets sticky spider web vomit or something which begs the question: if Xana could bestow that type of power to someone he’s possessed, why not give evil Yumi a dose of Spiderman breath? It just seems odd that he wouldn’t grant superpowers to most or all of his possessions? Clearly it was Xana’s doing, as the fake alien would not have functioning goop launchers powerful enough to trap multiple people to a wall. Insurance would never cover that production!

Besides, considering how much possession happens on this show, there would be WAY more vomit if that was the case.

I suppose you could argue super-vomit is a side effect of possession, like in the Exorcist, but this is some carefully controlled puke.

 

Back in the episode Cruel Dilemma, Jeremie established that virtual beings have two senses: sight and hearing. This episode provides an interesting corollary as Odd complains of feeling cold in the ice sector. This could mean one of many things. Beings who already exist with five senses might retain them on Lyoko. Since Odd knows that ice should be cold, it could be psychosomatic association. Of course, knowing Odd, he may just be cracking wise and making it up entirely. In short, we manage not to learn anything useful from this potential revelation, but if you’ve ever wondered what being inside a supercomputer was like, this is some food for thought.

 

 

Episode 9 – Satellite

 

Suggested Title: Phoned-In

 

Premise: Xana utilizes the least likely method of hacking a military satellite he can manage, possibly in the hopes of avoiding detection. Meanwhile the school has banned cell phones, causing an uproar amongst the students.

 

Summary:

 

The episode begins with every cell phone in the school ringing simultaneously. I’m not sure what’s less plausible, all of those calls ringing without crashing a cellular network or the fact that every student tries to answer their phones in the middle of class. The students pick up and hear no voice on the other end, but then the teachers confiscate every student’s cell phone and lock them up

 

The kids react variously to this digital age injustice. Sissi organizes a protest to have the cell phones returned, which Yumi actually joins. Jeremie launches a scan to find a tower and Ulrich and Odd try to break into the teacher’s lounge or something to retrieve their phones.

 

The principal’s reaction is simultaneously startlingly oblivious and bafflingly nonsensical. Oblivious in his ignorance to the unusual nature of the incident and nonsensical in that his retaliation is to shut down the school’s antenna so even if kids replace their phones they can’t use them on campus.

 

At this point Jeremie starts performing generic science to figure out Xana’s plan. And get ready cause this is convoluted. It seems Xana took control of the cell antenna to try and take control of “the main TV dish” which should allegedly allow him to control satellites out in space, including military satellites. The team heads to the factory to save the day and Kiwi conveniently breaks out of the room after them so he can act as a plot device.

 

Jeremie figures out that the specific satellite that Xana wants to control has some sort of space laser on it. The boys reason that Xana’s target won’t be the factory since he could hit himself, but rather Yumi who’s still at the school with the protestors. To warn her, Jeremie stuffs a note under Kiwi’s collar then sends him to find her.

 

Waspsters (those mosquito things from the previous episode) stand in the path of Aelita and the others. She nearly has poison sprayed on her, since apparently that’s something waspsters can do. Odd acts as a distraction, letting Ulrich and Aelita get to the spot where the tower SHOULD be, but as usual they can’t find it.

 

In fairness to him, though, I definitely wouldn't have predicted quite this preposterous level of accuracy from the space laser.

I bet Jeremie's the kind of guy who says "How hard could it be", "What could go wrong" and "At least this day can't get any worse!"

Yumi rallies the protesters and suggests they get the support of people in town to grow their movement. I think the plan is to avoid the laser, but doesn’t moving Xana’s target into a highly populated area just jeopardize more innocent lives considering his weapon fires from space?

 

In an astonishing moment of self-unawareness, Jeremie muses “I wonder how accurate that laser really is”. As if answering this question, Xana locks in on an infared image of Yumi, specifically. Sort of brought that one on yourself there, didn’t you?

 

Why is it that Yumi's always the one in the most life-threatening situations? First the digital sea, now this!

Good thing this laser has airbrakes. Too bad that doesn't make sense.

Aelita finally tracks down the tower, which wasn’t being hidden at all, it was just inside a cave beneath them the whole time. Maybe we should actually make a map of where all these towers are some time, so we don’t flail around and nearly get killed by space lasers for no good reason.

 

And this just in time moment was the most laughable yet! A laser beam (a beam of LIGHT, mind you, traveling at LIGHTspeed) stops in midair when Aelita enters the code, rather then annihilating Yumi and a good chunk of the school’s track.

 

Reactions:

I will refrain from accusing Xana's French origin as a scapegoat for his ineffectual strategic planning.

So the French have a military laser satellite and a factory that seems to produce only trouble and supercompter viruses? I always knew they were holding back on us!

Another fun world-clarifying fact for the day comes from Jeremie’s computer as he monitors Xana’s targeting laser zoom in on Yumi at school. It starts from a global map then narrows in…on Europe, where it finally focuses in on France and then Kadic Academy! That’s right, this French-Canadian show turns out to be about French France! I don’t think I ever knew that, but anything that makes this show more absurd is a welcome addition in my book.

 

There was once an episode of the NBC show Heroes that my college friends and I watched and never forgot. Two high school students were in a science class where they set up bunsen burners for some kind of experiment before the teacher wrote the word “Evolution” on the board and moving on to that subject for the rest of class (the scene ended with a class bell ringing). Even though those are both subjects in the field of science, you wouldn’t teach them in the same class session, not even if you were in some sort of general science course.

 

I bring up this scene because something similar happens in today’s second episode of Code Lyoko. The teacher asks about what happens when two neutrons collide, which would be a question for a physics class…which you probably wouldn’t be studying in Junior High School (unless France is way ahead of us in the public school department). However, the board only has “y = ax + b” written on it, which would be pretty basic algebra, a subject that makes perfect sense for these students to be studying, but is unrelated to the question. I can’t tell if this is physics class or algebra where the teacher is a being a jerk, but I CAN tell you that this moment seems even sillier in light of something from next week’s episode. Stay tuned to find out why!

Advertisements