Monday, February 25, 2008
Adventures in Care-a-lot Episode 12
As is so often the case with this show, we get one truly awesome ep and one really terrible one, too. Which I suppose is better than if they lumped all the terrible ones together, but it makes it hard to single out a half hour episode as a favorite.
Rebooted - "...while I'm stuck here in dumb Care-too-much!"
Like most of the best eps, this one starts in Grizzle's lair as he spies on the Care Bears, promising to get rid of them once and for all (despite being called on his past failures by Mr. Beaks). For today, he has not just a new plan, but a new robot. And not just any new robot, but the Smartest Robot Evah! What exactly does it say about the writers that the smartest robot is also Grizzle's first female 'bot? I'm not complaining, mind you, I just find it interesting. Activated for the first time, the femmebot introduces herself as Big Brain (with even bigger hair) and inquires of Grizzle her purpose. Man, just listening to her dialogue makes me write like that. Grizzle tells her that she was made to help him destroy Care-a-lot, and because she asked, adds that caring is a waste of time. His plan this time is simple in theory: apparently his lair doesn't just look like a bear trap, it really is one(!), so he'll use it to chomp onto Care-a-lot, which will somehow defeat the Care Bears. Big Brain decides this is an illogical plan because Grizzle cares about it, technically making him a Care Bear. So she shoots him with a laser, knocking him out of his suit, and then escorts him out of his lair.
Yes, you've guessed what makes this episode so awesome: the debut of Grizzle's little bear form in 2D. He spends most of the episode out of his suit, which is, dare I say it, super special awesome. Grizzle crash-lands in Care-a-lot, interrupting a game of hide and seek, and ends up stuck in a tree. But at least Big Brain had the decency to kick out Mr. Beaks, too. As the Care Bears try to figure out what he's doing there, Grizzle feigns sleepwalking, despite the lack of pajamas and mechasuit. Grizzle inadvertently tells them everything, so Funshine gets him out of the tree. Back on the ground, Grizzle instantly starts ordering the other bears around (this part was great, especially when he called Grumpy "the most normal one here"). He demands warmth and sandwiches, but gets a Care Bear Stare instead (it has been pointed out that the animators animated Oopsy giving the stare, even though he shouldn't be able to, but I totally didn't notice). Now feeling better, he attempts to thank Share for a lollipop, but it doesn't happen, and he storms off.
Despite Grizzle generally being the bad guy, the core five still want to do something nice for him, so Grumpy proposes they build him a new suit (and by "them" he means "him"), and Cheer suggests writing to Big Brain, asking her to let him back in. And who should show up at that moment but Wingnut, ready and willing to deliver the message. Back at Grizzle's lair, Big Brain has all the other robots working on something, but she takes a moment to read the note. She marvels that the Care Bears really do care about everything, but she is firm: Grizzle cannot come back. As Wingnut flies away, the jaws of Grizzle's lair close ominously.
This does not go unnoticed by Grizzle, who apparently keeps telescope/eyepatch in a rather private place. He fumes that Big Brain is using his plan, but denies being jealous. It isn't brought up in the ep, but he should feel at least partially proud that he succeed in creating such a smart robot anyway. While brooding and licking the lollipop Share gave him, he's surprised by Cheer and Share, who invite him to play hide and seek with them. He agrees to keep them from getting too mushy, but rather than count, he just spies on his lair again, until Cheer goads him into finding them. Which he does. Share lays on the flattery, and Grizzle almost blushes, for serious. But then Oopsy shows up, saying that their surprise is ready. Grizzle, predictably doesn't like surprises, but goes along grudgingly. Blindfolded, even. But it's worth it when he sees his new robo-suit. Grizzle is so touched, he doesn't even notice (or doesn't care) that it's covered in Care Bear symbolism. Touched by the gift, the only present anyone's ever gotten for him (I seriously, seriously want more backstory on this guy! Come on, writers!), he almost says thank you again, and then climbs inside the suit. Or tries to, anyway. But it isn't powered up, so it doesn't work yet. What powers it up? What else, a Care Bear Stare. Grizzle protests, but once the suit is working, he doesn't care again. After performing a few feats of daring-do, Grizzle declares this suit to be the best one ever, and Cheer subtly hints that it's time for him to get a move on. But Grizzle, high on Stares, decides to stick around and play some more hide and seek. But before he can count past three, an dark shadow passes over everyone...
It's Grizzle's lair, coming down to chomp on Care-a-lot. As the others wonder what's going on, Grizzle explains his plan like it's no big deal. "Once my lair bites on, that's it." Share freaks out and the others run for cover. Grizzle takes it upon himself to stop his lair, and uses the power of caring (via his suit) to hold it off. The others are shocked that Grizzle of all people is saving Care-a-lot, but there it is. But Grizzle's power is not enough! So the others join in with a Stare, renewing Grizzle's resolve, and together they drive his lair back, and break it enough to keep it from coming back, all while triumphant music plays. Unfortunately, saving Care-a-lot used up all the power the Care Bears stared into the suit, and it breaks apart, but Grizzle is fine. Cheer lays on the flattery this time, but then Big Brain flies the lair down (no chomping this time, though) and asks Grizzle what is up? She was just following his plan, after all. Grizzle hems and haws, but Share knows why he did it: he cares, plain and simple. She gives him a hug, and Grumpy doesn't seem to mind. Big Brain, impressed by the power of caring, expresses a desire to learn more about it. Cheer subtly tells her to go somewhere else, anywhere else, in this "big world of caring," and Big Brain takes off, vowing to return someday. While the bears are distracted, Grizzle reclaims his lair and takes off, also vowing to return. Grumpy isn't surprised by this turn of events, but Share is disappointed that the episode didn't end with them all being bestest friends, but ah well. Back in the status quo, Grizzle attempts to teach his robots how to play hide and seek, but it's an uphill process. Personally, I think UR-2 would get it right away, but this scene is just here to prove a point, not be realistic. The point being, Grizzle misses the other Care Bears. Bittersweet ending.
Ever since I saw Oopsy Does It, I had a feeling that it would be awesome if Grizzle stopped being evil and was friends with the bears, and this proves it. I'm sorry that Big Brain left; I think she would have made a great recurring character. I kinda think she and UR-2 would make a good couple, but I don't really know if his snide asides would jibe with her cool logic.
Flower Power - "I'm pretty."
Okay, this ep. Really dumb. That's all you need to know. Here's the "as long as I can stand to make it" version:
So, Share has new flowers, and new old friends (they've never shown up before, but she instantly knows them), the Nimbus' (Nimbi?) Bumpity and Tweezel (I hate them both so much, but at least they don't show up too much). One is fast and one is slow, and they can shape shift. I guess they're clouds, because they decide to make it rain on Share's flowers, a rain that will make everyone love her new flowers. Everyone gets rained on and gets obsessed with the flowers. Share is immune for some reason. She gives everyone flowers, and they get obsessed with wearing them and being "pretty" and "handsome." And True Heart gets another speaking role, yay! Oh, and Oopsy is allergic to them, with petal-reducing sneezes.
As the days pass, Wingnut starts to worry about everyone liking flowers too much (which Share deems impossible), espeically when he sees the Battle of the Beehives. And that's not all! Funshine and Tenderheart bicker over who started wearing their flower over their belly badge first, and Love-a-lot refuses to open the library until she picks more flowers, prompting Grumpy to claim a precedent, and he also refuses to fix anything until he gets more flowers, too. Soon there is only one flower left, and no one can agree who gets it. As Share laments how fashion-conscious all her friends have become, Wingnut creates a strong wind and blows all the flowers (and the beehive wigs) away. With the flowers gone, everyone comes back to their senses and goes on a big revelation fest. Which is when the clouds show up again and reveal what was going on. When they hear how their rain really effected everyone, they feel so bad that they vow to leave and never return again (oh, how I wish). The episode ends with Oopsy sneezing the last flower out of existance and everyone laughing.
Painful, painful, painful, although everyone being all vain was kind of funny, but not enough to redeem the episode. Not even the beehive wigs could do that.