Then, *sigh*, we cut back to prehistoric times again, thankfully for the final time.
The Turbokat is now by the lake again (reinforcing my theory that it and the volcano are unusually close together), but the jet fails to start up. T-Bone mutters that mabe they should’ve tried “the unleaded volcano,” and Razor says that, hey, at least they didn’t, like, explode or anything.
Suddenly those two Plesiosaurs return. And despite failing to start mere seconds ago, the Turbokat now roars to life without a hitch and lifts into the sky before the two aquatic dinosaurs can take a bite out of it. Razor then spots another time portal opening (calling it a “time hole”), and T-Bone flies towards it. This little phenomenon is “explained” (or at least hinted at) in “Bride of the Pastmaster”: That whenever the Pastmaster opens a time vortex, similar portals open in all time periods, all leading to where the Pastmaster is.
Once again, we return to present-day Megakat City. Callie, Dr. Sinian, and Mayor Manx have evacuated City Hall and are standing out front (Manx with his precious golf bag), watching as, with each flash of red lightening, the buildings are looking more and more medieval.
Manx gets on the radio and tells Commander Feral he’s got three minutes ’till noon to stop the Pastmaster. Muttering that Manx should’ve given that order already, Feral leads a squadron of choppers to engage the Pastmaster’s Pteranodons.
Initially there seem to be about 50 choppers and at least as many Pteranodons, but we only see three choppers destroyed: The first, its tail clipped by one of the winged reptiles, spirals out of control and crashes into a second and they both explode. The third chopper, flown by Feral, mysteriously flies out of control (we never really see clearly what it is that makes Feral lose control of his craft) and crashes into Mayor Manx’s office, much to the Mayor’s dismay. Feral survives, but the Mayor’s office is ruined.
Suddenly the Turbokat emerges from the “time hole,” T-Bone giving a triumphant, “We’re baaaaaack!” Razor comments that Megakat City is having “an identity crisis,” and then Callie, who’d spotted them a moment before, radios them. I’m not sure how, since the communicator got destroyed. She must have a spare. Anyway she tells them have only one minute to “blast the Pastmaster out of the City Hall clocktower.” Razor then gives the inevitable “can’t fight City Hall” line you just know was coming.
The Pteranodons attack, one landing on the back of the Turbokat and refusing to let go. T-Bone makes it “eat afterburner” by pushing the throttle forward, frying the animal with the jet engine exhaust. ‘Scuse me; the volcanic jet engine exhaust. Two more fly in, but T-Bone evades those by spiraling the Turbokat into a deep nosedive. Trying to follow, the two Pteranodons lose control and smack into one another, falling from the sky.
Razor, amazed that he didn’t pass out, tries to inform T-Bone of this, only now it’s T-Bone who’s lost consciousness. Um, why? We never learn. And any suspense that could’ve been milked from the fact the pilot has passed out is thrown out the window when Razor manages to wake him up by simply telling him to, and he pulls them out of their dive. When asked why he didn’t eject and save himself, Razor responds with, “And miss that look on your face? No way!”
And despite the fact that, as I mentioned above, there were about 50 Pteranodons earlier, the SWAT Kats have no more aerial opposition from this point onward. I’ll say it’s possible they’re still fighting with the other Enforcer choppers that suddenly weren’t there anymore, but it’d be nice if they’d made this clear.
Razor then stops the Pastmaster’s fiendish plans by launching a missile (a plain, ordinary one this time) that jams into the clock face of City Hall, between the hour and minute hands and preventing them from coming together and striking 12:00. While this is actually quite clever, and exciting, there’s no way Razor could’ve known that the clocktower was the key component in the Pastmaster’s spell, especially from the extremely scant information that Callie gave them. That, and he’s also completely disobeying the Deputy Mayor’s orders to deal with the Pastmaster himself and not the clock.
The Pastmaster, now riding on another Pteranodon with the Tome of Time tucked under one arm, flies up to the clock face. The Pteranodon tries, without success, to pull the wedged missile free from between the hands, and the Turbokat flies close enough that the resulting sonic boom knocks them both away from the building.
Or something along those lines. I’ll take that back and say it wasn’t a sonic boom ’cause the clock didn’t shatter, but something knocked the Pastmaster and his Pteranodon away from the clock face, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a breeze.
In the process, the Tome of Time flies from the Pastmaster’s hands and is sucked into the intakes of the Turbokat and shredded completely. He and the Pteranodon then get sucked into the still-open time vortex, which closes after them. Down below, Mayor Manx says he wished the SWAT Kats had gotten back in time to save his office, while Dr. Sinian catches an examines the falling pieces of the Tome of Time, lamenting that the book won’t be a museum exhibit anymore. “But, at least we don’t have to worry about the Pastmaster anymore,” she admits. Ha! That’s what you think, lady.
The episode then concludes with the Turbokat flying off into the horizon, the SWAT Kats shouting triumphantly, “Rock and roll!”
Oy. So there you have it. Taken at face value, “The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice” is an okay, but not great, start to the series, clearly letting any newcomers know that SWAT Kats will not be a deep show; it is, in fact, really shallow, existing purely to provide some cool action sequences. Which it does. Still, it annoys the absolute hell out of me that not only does this first episode have way, way too many plot holes and unanswered questions about the villain’s evil plot, but it also doesn’t even try to properly introduce any of the main characters. There are, of course, further problems in this series, but I’ll be covering each episode individually, or at least try to, and tackle the various problems as they arise. Until then, I leave you with “The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice”.