Of course, you knew that Callie was talking about the SWAT Kats. Speaking of whom, we cut to them now.
Or at least we cut to their alter-egos Chance Furlong and Jake Clawson, who are in the middle of a pepper-eating contest (remember what I said about them being insanely competitive?). This sequence is actually done well; not the actually eating-of-the-peppers, which the animators screw up, but the faux “suiting up” sequence preceding it, with Chance and Jake putting on headbands and bibs, gritting their teeth in determination. These guys have way too much free time; doesn’t their garage ever get any customers?
Jake, for his part, cheats. He is able to do so because just as he’s about to eat the largest spiciest pepper (Chance actually gasps in amazement), Callie calls. While Chance is answering her, Jake stuffs the pepper into his shirt (!) and makes fake chewing noises. Chance is suspicious, but duty calls as the two are appraised of the situation by the Deputy Mayor, leading us into this episode’s Obligatory Suiting Up Scene.
As they fly out in the Turbokat, T-Bone asks if Razor REALLY ate that last “mongo pepper,” and when Razor lies through his teeth and says he did, T-Bone says he’s “one macho kat.” “Ain’t it the truth?” Razor chuckles, and we see he now has the pepper in his flight suit’s pocket (I smell a plot point!).
Back at the Megakat Nuclear Plant, we see that the creeplings, unaffected by the radiation that must be pouring off of the breached reactor core, are removing the nuclear fuel rods by hand (!) and loading them into that big container they carried in with them. Outside, Commander Feral and Callie hear the sound of the Turbokat approaching and, sure enough, the jet soon arrives on the scene. This leads to my least favorite moment in the episode as Feral demands to know, “What are they doing here?” to which Callie replies, “Your job, Feral.”
"Your job, Feral!"
What in the hell?! He’s been TRYING to do his job the whole time, you stupid bimbo!
There’s no reason for her to snidely rub his own failure in his face after he’s actually put forth an effort to stop the bad guy; unless, of course, she’s, y’know, a complete and utter bitch. Further, while she objected to Feral using force so close to the power plant, she has no problems with the SWAT Kats doing so, when the vigilantes have (as we’ll soon see in later episodes) an annoying habit of causing more damage than the villains!
Anyway, the SWAT Kats take notice of the Doomsday Express and T-Bone notes that “Dark Kat’s back,” but says he “won’t get away from us this time.” Remember what I said about the audience just being dropped into the thick of things? Dark Kat’s the second villain in the series who’s already well-known to Megakat City by the time WE’RE introduced to him.Granted, a flashback will be coming up shortly to kinda-sorta explain Dark Kat’s connection to the SWAT Kats, which is more than Dr. Viper got in HIS debut episode.
"If one million megavolts can’t take out those shields, nothing will."
Razor decides to give Dark Kat his “wake up call” in the form of some Baby Boomer Missiles. Exactly what these do is never shown since they just bounce off the Doomsday Express’ forcefield (which despite being invisible previously can now be clearly seen).
Razor points out the blatantly obvious, i.e., the forcefield, then decides to try and use his “new Scrambler Missiles.”
T-Bone comments, “If one million megavolts can’t take out those shields, nothing will.” The question of whether electrical charges can disrupt a forcefield aside (and if anyone wishes to comment on this, be my guest), the Scrambler Missile here is obviously the Megavolt Missile from the previous episode in everything but name.
Why don’t they (by which I mean both the writers and the SWAT Kats themselves) re-use that missile, which worked fine from what we saw, instead of going to all the trouble of making a new one that basically does the same dang thing?
We cut to the Kat’s Eye News chopper still buzzing around, demonstrating that in Megakat City the press apparently is allowed to just do whatever it pleases during crisis situations.
Ann Gora, being an idiot, instructs Al the pilot to “get in closer.” Al wins my heart by refusing to do so because it’s too dangerous. Not that it matters, because apparently Dark Kat’s not an Ann Gora fan, as the Green Laser of Doom shoots out and blasts off the helicopter’s rotor.
The ‘copter drops like a stone. They’re falling to their deaths and Jonny is STILL filming. That’s dedication. The stricken aircraft heads right towards Callie and Commander Feral, just as we…. CUT TO A COMMERCIAL! Will they be squished? Will the people inside the chopper die an explosive and crappily-animated demise?!
Needless to say, seconds before the Kat’s Eye News helicopter lands atop Callie, Commander Feral, and all those innocent bystanders, the SWAT Kats grab it out of the air using a “Spider Missile” (this Spider Missile is pretty much a rescue bolas/net, and not to be confused with the Spider Missiles used in “The Pastmaster Always Rings Twice”).
Proving to be a pretty smart guy, Dark Kat takes this opportunity to blast the Turbokat with the Green Laser of Doom. Despite destroying tanks with little difficulty, the most it does is nick the jet. However, it does somehow ensure that Razor’s Scrambler Missile jams, forcing the SWAT Kats to beat a hasty retreat before they can be shot again. After they set down the news chopper, I mean.
"The SWAT Kats have failed!"
Looking on, Lt. Steel laughs, but Commander Feral actually defends the SWAT Kats (kinda), telling Steel now isn’t the time to gloat.
Feral then reasons that the only way to stop Dark Kat is from inside the Doomsday Express, and he tells Steel he’s going to sneak aboard (uh-oh), and take along a “signal device” so “you and the Enforcers can follow me.” Steel, proving to be something of a suck-up, tells Feral his plan is brilliant, but the Commander replies, “No. It’s desperate and it’s stupid, but I’ve run out of options.”
Before leaving, Feral tells Steel that if he doesn’t make it back then Steel gets command of the Enforcers. Anyway, Feral’s plan is to wait for the creeplings to come out, whereupon a hole opens in the forcefield surrounding the airship to allow them to enter. Feral contacts one of his remaining pilots and tells him to fire on the Doomsday Express. He does so, and is immediately shot down (but parachutes to safety despite the fact his jet visibly explodes before he can eject!). While the creeplings are distracted looking at the explosion, Feral goes through the hole in the forcefield and slips aboard the ship.
The creeplings enter after him, and then the Doomsday Express takes off. After it’s gone, Callie and Ann Gora approach Steel and ask where Feral is. Steel informs them that he left, and that he (Steel) is in charge. Here’s where the confusion regarding how Steel’s name is spelled kicks in: He tells them his name is spelled “with two E’s,” implying it’s “S-T-E-E-L.” However, in his second episode, “Enter the Madkat,” we see his nametag and it clearly says “S-T-E-E-L-E.” Forced to choose between the two, I picked “S-T-E-E-L” because, um. I dunno.
Feral contacts Steel over a little communicator thing, telling him to “set up tracers while I try to stop him (Dark Kat)!” Steel wishes him good luck, but then grins evilly and adds, “And, uh, break a leg.” Uh-oh. Methinks Steel is about to turn bad!