Unlike the previous two episodes, “Giant Bacteria” in particular, I don’t really care for this one due to the fact that besides introducing the SWAT Kats’ main adversary/arch-enemy and delving (kinda-sorta) into their pasts, not much seems to happen and the whole thing seems like a big waste of time.
I dunno. It just seems to me that after dinosaurs, wizards, and giant rampaging germs, the nuclear plant heist and subsequent bomb scare in this episode seems kinda dull.
Don’t get me wrong, Dark Kat is a pretty decent villain, arguably my favorite out of the recurring “rogues’ gallery” types on this show, but his evil plot on this outing leaves a lot to be desired.
Anyway, as noted in my previous review(s), while this was the second episode aired in the series, it was the fifth produced. And whether or not I like “The Wrath of Dark Kat” I’m gonna get it recapped!
We open with a shot of Megakat Bay, as something vaguely jet-shaped flies overhead, casting a shadow down on the water. As it approaches a suspension bridge, a green laser shoots out and cuts through it for no readily apparent reason. I’m not spoiling anything by going ahead and saying that this is an airship, which means it could’ve flown safely over the bridge. And, in fact, that’s exactly what it does. So they zapped the bridge just to be mean, which won’t make much sense once we find out how our star villain operates.
Anyways, the various cars and trucks on the bridge skid to a halt just in time and avoid falling through the enormous crack left by the airship’s laser. Y’know, just in case we were worried about the nameless feline extras driving them.
We cut to the Megakat Nuclear Plant, which looks like your basic nuclear power plant with cooling towers and whatnot. It sits, apparently, all by its lonesome in the middle of the desert, making me wonder why the airship was flying over the bay just two seconds ago. A sign at the entrance informs us this is a “security area,” and sure enough we do focus on two uniformed security guards. As the shadow of the airship (which we’ve yet to see) falls over them, these two idiots actually pull laser pistols, and one of them says, “Halt, or we’ll shoot!”
The green laser beam hits, and melts, their little tollbooth/checkpoint thing, prompting the guards to turn and run off. The airship continues and we finally get to see what it looks like as it lands in the lot in front of the power plant. It resembles an ordinary jet with a scary skull design for the front, and a row of black spikes down the back. As we’ll find out later, this little puppy is called the Doomsday Express.
"Halt or we’ll shoot!"
As a small army of security guards (strangely dressed in uniforms differant from the guys at the entrance) comes out to meet this threat, a few in Jeeps, a really cheesy-looking hologram of Dark Kat (voice of Brock Peters) is projected from the front of the Doomsday Express. Dark Kat is a very large, imposing kat who for some reason has purple fur, and wears a scary red and black cloak. Apparently this little message was pre-recorded, because Dark Kat addresses the guards as “citizens of Megakat City.” Granted, they ARE citizens of Megakat City, but, ah forget it.
He explains that “my business at this facility will be brief,” and warns them not to interfere. The guards in the two Jeeps respond by driving forwards, whereupon TWO green laser shoot out and strike the vehicles. The guards bail out as they glow bright green and explode. The rest of the guards (who all look exactly alike, by the way) then turn and flee as Dark Kat reiterates his warning, and then the green laser of doom blasts a hole in the side of the building.
A disembarking ramp lowers underneath the Doomsday Express and, get this, a bunch of little pink, batlike critters come flying out carrying a large container of some sort that would normally be way too heavy for them to carry. They fly into the power plant through the hole in the wall, knocking over some employees in radiation suits before busting down the door to a control room of some sort, where they encounter more guys in radiation suits.
One of the suit guys tries to prevent them from getting to the control panel, but but two of the pink guys (who are called creeplings, by the way) pick him up (!) and toss him aside. One creepling turns a knob that drains water from a cylindrical tank nearby, exposing a bunch of glowing yellow nuclear fuel rods. Using the container they brought in with them, the creeplings smash the glass of the tank. Alarms go off, and the suit guys run from the room, one of them yelling that the reactor has been breached.
"This is a restricted area!"
Outside, the Doomsday Express just sits there as it is surrounded by a bunch of Enforcer commandoes (the SWAT team guys in riot gear last seen in “The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice”) and three tanks. A helicopter for Kat’s Eye News flies overheard, carrying reporter Ann Gora (who briefly appeared in “The Giant Bacteria” previously), and her cameraman, Jonny K. (although Jonny has no lines in this episode he’s regularly voiced by Mark Hamill). Flying the ‘copter is Al (Frank Welker), who’ll become important shortly.
After some reporter-type blather from Ann about being first on the scene (and to tell the truth, besides the “Inside Megakat City” van we saw in the previous episode, Kat’s Eye News seems to be the only news show in Megakat City!) and noting that Deputy Mayor Briggs’ green sedan is driving up, we cut to Lt. Commander Steel trying to keep back a ludircrously small crowd of pedestrians by himself. Steel is voiced by Hal Rayle, who is my third Repeat Offender since he was also the voice of Hammerhead Hannigan in Darkly Dawns the Duck (and there’s some confusion as to just how Steel’s name is spelt, which I’ll get to when it comes up).
Callie tries to push her way through the crowd, but Steel holds her back. But, it’s Commander Feral to the rescue as he tells Steel to back off and let her through. After apologizing for his young assistant being “a little too ambitious” (although what THAT has to do with him trying to keep Callie back is beyond me), Feral appraises the Deputy Mayor of the situation and explains that the tanks that we saw previously are “just about to move in, if you’d like to stay and watch the fireworks.”
Callie, indignant, tells Feral that he can’t fire this close to the nuclear power plant: “One mistake and the whole city could be poisoned by radioactivity!” Firstly, the reactor was already breached so I’m amazed there hasn’t already been a meltdown; secondly, Feral’s tanks are pointing AWAY from the power plant, so the danger of them shooting the building is practically nonexistant. Strangely, Feral doesn’t point this out to her, instead saying he’s not waiting for Dark Kat to swipe all the nuclear material. He orders the tanks to fire.
The tanks do so, but it seems there’s a (mostly) invisible forcefield surrounding the Doomsday Express, and the shells bounce harmlessly off it. The Green Laser of Doom shoots out and hits two of the tanks; their two-man crews quickly bail out before they explode. “Blast that Dark Kat!” Feral curses, then calls in three Enforcer jets, saying, “Dark Kat will never be able to hit three targets travelling faster than the speed of sound!” Dark Kat quickly proves him wrong, and down go the jets; although they were rather easy to hit considering that, Feral’s claims notwithstanding, they weren’t flying very fast.
And, yes, all three pilots do bail out and parachute to safety before their jets go kaboom, something I find rather disconcerting after the writers had no problem killing off a whole trainload of innocent people in the previous episode…
Feral, shocked, says those were the best pilots he had. Callie says she knows “two better ones,” and slips away while the Commander is still sitting there gawking at the destruction. Hmm, whoever could she be talking about?