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The, Salvage Yard

Salvage Yard - The Giant Bacteria Reviewed
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We then wipe to the Megakat City Salvage Yard, with the Turbokat approaching. T-Bone uses a remote control the looks for all the world like a garage door opener to open the entrance to the secret tunnel that leads into/out of their underground hangar (which they’d used previously in “The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice”).

The remote seems kind of silly, especially to use when flying directly towards the tunnel entrance. What if it didn’t work, or delayed, like practically every garage door in the history of garage doors? It’d be morbidly amusing to have the Turbokat slam into the door and blow up. But, alas, they make it in safely.

Once inside, they exit the jet and remove their masks, and we get our first look at their alter-egoes, Chance Furlong (T-Bone) and Jake Clawson (Razor). Unlike most other characters in the show, they have only “headfur” as opposed to actual hair, and, in fact, their character designs are startlingly simplistic compared to most of the other characters like, say, Callie and Commander Feral. Once unmasked, they do a bit of congratulating one another (“Nice flyin’!” “Nice shootin’!”) and I swear that Chance actually winks at Jake here. Hmm, the upcoming scene where Chance flirts with Callie notwithstanding, it’s not difficult to see why these two are popular with furry slash fans.

Chance grabs a rubber stamp and goes over to a wall covered in skull-and-crossbones marks, obviously a record of their victories. This is confirmed when Chance stamps another one on and goes, “Chalk up another for the SWAT Kats!” They then change out of their SWAT Kat flight suits and change into the outfits they wear for their day jobs as mechanics/junkyard maintainers, which consist of bluish jumpsuits and backwards red baseball caps. Yes, mechanics. I know I’m only one episode away from the one that actually explains how the SWAT Kats came to be, but what the hell.

As I noted previously, Chance and Jake are former Enforcers. They were indirectly responsible for the destruction of Enforcer Headquarters whilst in pursuit of criminal mastermind Dark Kat, and when they mouthed off to Feral about it he kicked them out of the Enforcers. Since then, they’ve been working as mechanics in the city salvage yard, with, yes, a secret hangar/base underneath the salvage yard where they store the Turbokat and all their SWAT Kat stuff. I’ll go into more exact details about this in the next review.

Salvage Yard - The Giant Bacteria Reviewed

Anyway, Chance says the “Fun’s over,” and then he and Jake climb up a ladder to the surface, with Jake mumbling, “Back to the greasepit.” Precisely where on the premesis this ladder comes out at is never revealed in the show. Once upstairs in the garage, which also serves as their home, Chance grabs a couple of cans from the fridge of what appear to be beer at first but it’s actually milk. Hey, they are cats after all.

Tossing one over to Jake, he tells him to turn on the TV to see if their latest adventure made the news. Jake, popping his can open with his claws, turns the TV on to find an angry-looking Commander Feral being interviewed by one of the reporters from before. Apparently, the volume isn’t turned up, because we can’t hear what they’re saying. A word about the guy interviewing Feral. He’s a short, orange-haired guy witha polka-dotted necktie, and is never seen again after this episode. In all future episodes, anything involving the news or a reporter is generally handled by Ann Gora.

Chance comments that Feral “looks like he hasn’t hit the litterbox in a week,” (ah, yes, scatological references in a kid’s show) and tells Jake to turn the volume up. He complies, and we hear the reporter ask Feral whether or not he’s got Morbulus in custody. Shoving the guy aside (!!), Feral holds up Morbulus’ empty clothes and declares, “Due to the interferance of the SWAT Kats, this is all we have of Morbulus at the moment.” Chance and Jake are so shocked by this that they actually spit their milk out (even though they were never actually shown taking a drink), and Feral says, “No one asked for their help and they allowed a dangerous criminal to escape!” So, I guess Feral changed his mind about the guy drowning after they didn’t find a body, or something. Either he drowned or he got away, make up your mind, Feral.

He then goes off on a tangent about what a menace the SWAT Kats are, etc., prompting Chance to throw his milk can at the TV screen, breaking it (the TV, not the milk can). Okay, I dunno about anybody else but so far I can’t say I find Chance/T-Bone to be that good of a role model. He’s short-tempered, not to mention in denial, as he claims, loudly (to Jake) that they “practically handed Feral a gift package!” Um, no, stupid, you dropped the guy in the water and gave him the opportunity he needed to escape. And this isn’t the last time that the show will deliberately (?) dance around the SWAT Kats’ screwups so that they remain, supposedly, completely blameless.

Salvage Yard - The Giant Bacteria Reviewed

Jake tosses the now useless remote away as smoke pours from the busted television screen, saying, “Aw, great. Morbulus is gone, and so’s our TV!” At this point, Callie Briggs pulls into the garage in her dark green sedan.

We immediately notice two things here: one, that her car is making weird noises, and two, that, thanks to an animation screwup, she’s driving on the wrong side (the right-hand side, like one would in the UK, when at all other times in the show the steering wheel is on the left-hand side of the cars in this show). Getting out, she tells the two mechanics that “this crate pinged all the way from Megakat Bay.”

Yes, it seems that, in addition to being the SWAT Kats’ civilian contact, Callie also knows their alter-egos. And due to the fact that this would raise way too many questions about whether or not she knows Chance and Jake are really the SWAT Kats, this is the only time we see her interact with them in this fashion (and only one other episode, “Night of the Dark Kat,” even so much as aludes to their aquaintance).

Salvage Yard - The Giant Bacteria Reviewed

Chance removes his hat, fixes his hair…. and then puts the hat back on before approaching Callie and asking her what she was doing “way out there.” In a decidedly flirtatious fashion, too. Callie simply relays the day’s events, gesturing broadly while describing the aerial battle, saying the SWAT Kats “shot down Morbulus,” which they didn’t, then contradicting herself by saying they “tore him right out of his plane.

All the while, Chance is feigning ignorance of all this, and doing a really crummy job, too. On purpose, maybe? Jake, now taking the busted TV apart nearby in an apparent attempt to fix it, chimes in with, “Yeah, so we heard….when we had a TV,” making Chance’s acting like he didn’t know about the whole Morbulus issue in front of Callie all the more mystifying. Oh, and yes, Callie does once again blame Commander Feral for Morbulus’ escape.

The subject changes to Callie’s car, and she asks when it’ll be fixed. She hands Chance the keys, and he promptly (not to mention carelessly) tosses them to Jake without even looking. Luckily Jake manages to catch them. Chance says, “Jake’ll start on it right away,” offering her “some milk” while she waits.

Callie however has to return to town, since she has to help Mayor Manx write a speech for the grand opening of a new city park that’s going to take place tomorrow. I smell a plot point! Chance offers to drive her in the tow truck (the only vehicle that he and Jake seem to have between them), but Callie shoots that idea down when she reveals that there’s a limo waiting for her outside. She thanks him anyway and departs, and we see the white limo from the refinery sitting out front, the chauffeur holding the door open for Callie (and saluting for some reason).

Salvage Yard - The Giant Bacteria Reviewed

When she’s gone, Chance turns to Jake, now back to dismantling the TV (in fact he’s got his head clean through it, having removed both the shattered screen and the back panel), and says that Callie is “crazy about me.” As though she overheard (and she probably did, but I’m not sure how since she was already halfway to the limo), Callie pokes her head back in and seductively says good-bye to Jake, then leaves for real, leaving a smiling Jake and an open-mouthed, flabbergasted Chance. Haha.

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