Episode Review

Mr. and Mrs. Mother Brain

Monday, January 14, 2002, 3:47 PM - Friday, February 1, 2002, 7:00 PM

"Mr. and Mrs. Mother Brain" is the second episode script that Jeffrey Scott wrote for this series. There is no unfinished version of the episode or title pun (that I'm aware of), so I can get right into the episode and tear it apart from within.

The narrator says, "In a desperate effort to bring harmony to Videoland, Princess Lana has invited Mother Brain to the Palace of Power to sign a treaty of peace." Um, Mother Brain has been trying to take over to Palace of Power for 7 years, and then, soon after the siege ends (without any explanation of how), Lana believes that Mother Brain will agree to stop fighting? Talk about a lack of common sense. With the siege over, Lana should amass forces from the various video worlds and have them storm Metroid and kill Mother Brain. Of course, Metroid might not be near the Palace anymore, so Lana should amass forces and have them kill Mother Brain when she arrives at the Palace. But does she do this? No, she does not.

Dumb line: Kevin: "We've done it, Duke! Peace in Videoland at last!" Kevin plays video games. He of all people should know better than to trust an alien that wants to take over the universe! And what's with "We've"? Kevin didn't do anything so far except rescue Lana from Metroid (as far as Jeffrey Scott was concerned when he wrote the script), unless he was the one who gave Lana the idea for the peace treaty. If Kevin is the Game Master, shouldn't he have gotten troops together, told them about Metroid's defenses and Mother Brain's weaknesses, etc.?

Lana asks Kevin if everything's ready. Simon pushes Kevin away (and knocks him over from the sound of it) and does his usual kissing up to Lana. He talks about an official document, official pen, and official inkwells. Official document I can understand, but official pen and official inkwells? Also, how is it that the ruler of Videoland, who has a Palace with video surveillance equipment, plans to sign a scroll with a feather pen? I detect a slight clash in the level of technology in this episode.

Anyway, Simon juggles the inkwells. Why does he do this? Is he trying to show how cool he is? What normal person would do this? Duke barks, and the inkwells fall on his head. Ha.

We then see Hippo, Eggy, and Wily carrying Mother Brain to the Palace. Mother Brain is hidden, surrounded by curtains. But that's not what I'm going to comment on now. I want to comment on the background. We see white clouds in a blue sky, but the ground doesn't even seem to be there. Rather, it seems to be a lengthy, multi-colored floor. Weird. They walk up a golden path to golden double doors. Mother Brain, of course, reveals that she'll settle for nothing less than a "very big piece" of Videoland.

It's 7:05 PM. I'll write more later.

Okay, it's Wednesday, January 16, 3:09 PM. Let's get deeper into this episode.

Before I get into the next scene, I want to comment on the room that the team is in. It's obviously some kind of conference room - with a table, chairs, and a viewscreen. It would seem like the room that we see in "How's Bayou", but the colors are different. The room in "Mr. and Mrs. Mother Brain" is the room that we'll see for the rest of the series, which seems to me to prove that "How's Bayou" was animated before "Mr. and Mrs. Mother Brain". However, maybe they're supposed to be two completely separate rooms. But why would the Palace have two conference rooms?

Anyway, in the next room, Kid Icarus is shooting arrows at targets. Mega Man asks, "Why are you taking target practice, Kid Icarus? We are at peace." Gee, Mega Man and Kevin sure are optimistic, aren't they?

Kid Icarus replies, "I need to be ready in case Mother Brainicus is planning another trick." So, Mother Brain tricked them with a false promise of peace before. Why is Lana trusting her this time?

Simon walks into the room, looking at his reflection in his mirror and combing his hair. Kid Icarus shoots an arrow, and it lands in Simon's hair. After a complaint and an apology, Simon takes Kid Icarus' bow and arrow and says, "Here, let me show you how a skilled archer does it." Simon is a skilled archer? Let me rephrase that. Simon is an archer? Let's see: whips, knives, axes, holy water. Nope, no arrows in any CastleVania games.

It's 3:58 PM. I'm gonna record the "Enterprise" episode, "Cold Front", to my hard drive right now. I'll type more later.

Okay, it's 6:59 PM. I didn't record the episode. I had to clean my VCR, then I went for a walk with my mom. I'll record the episode tomorrow. Now back to Captain N (a decidedly inferior series).

Kid Icarus yells, "Stopicus! That's my love at first sight arrow! When you shoot someone with it, the first person they see, they fall in love with."

This, my friends, is something that we call a plot device. It's something (an object or event) that is put in only to create a plot, move the plot along, or end the plot, but which otherwise has nothing to do with the characters. For some of the worst examples of plot devices, look at Unicron and the Matrix in "The Transformers: The Movie". The love arrow is the same. Upon first mention of it, you know that it's going to affect someone, and the heroes have to undo the effect. This, combined with the title of the episode, gives the plot away: Simon accidentally shoots himself with the arrow and falls in love with Mother Brain, leaving the rest of the team to find a way to get him back to normal (or what passes as normal for Simon). If the plot being spoiled wasn't bad enough, the love arrow has been done to death. Couldn't the writer come up with something just a bit more original for an episode? Also, there is no love arrow in Kid Icarus.

Simon gets the idea to shoot Lana with the arrow to make her fall in love with him. What a creep!

It's 12:15 AM on Thursday. I'll continue later today.

It's 11:01 AM. Let's continue. In the next scene, the team (except for Simon) goes to the front door. We see a bunch of trumpeters playing for Mother Brain. Where did these guys come from? Are they Lana's trumpeters, or did Mother Brain send them to the Palace ahead of herself to welcome her when she arrived. We can't see them very well, but they look alien to me. We'll never see them again, so that's one more unexplained thing in this series.

Hippo, Eggy, and Wily set Mother Brain down on the floor, and Eggy opens the curtains.

Simon sneaks up behind Lana and shoots the arrow. He predictably misses. The arrow gets knocked around a bit when it hits various objects. That just can't happen in the real world. The arrow hits Simon in the butt. He looks at Mother Brain and, of course, falls in love with her (complete with animated hearts). Mother Brain, apparently confused by this, decides to attack. She fires at the team with her tank (which she's standing on). Simon gets to Mother Brain. He tells her that he loves her and kisses one of her tentacles. Ew. Mother Brain decides to take Simon back to Metroid and put him in a prison cell.

Eggy waves his hand and magically opens a warp to Metroid. This is something else that I'd like to comment on. Warps (or warp zones as they're called in this series) are another plot device that's used extensively throughout this series. Warps are used to get the heroes and villains into and out of situations. They're also abundant or easy to create.

Dumb line: Lana: "But what about the peace treaty?!" Mother Brain has just attacked them and is taking Simon back to Metroid, and Lana's wondering about the peace treaty? She should realize that it ain't gonna happen and order the team to attack!

Mother Brain, Hippo, Wily, Simon, and Eggy go into the warp. Kevin yells, "Stop!" Why doesn't he go after them? Duke bites Eggy's cape, but Eggy breaks free and goes into the warp anyway. I should point out that Eggy should've already been through the warp after Kevin yelled and Duke growled. But he wasn't. He stayed at the entrance long enough for Duke to run up to him and grab his cape. This is common in cartoons. One of the reasons Egy was able to break away was that Kevin went and pulled Duke, thinking he could help Duke pull Eggy. All it did was tear the cape and allow Eggy to escape. Brilliant move, Kevin.

Kevin then fires his Zapper at the warp, and it closes. Was he firing at Eggy, or did he do it to close the warp? Why didn't he fire at the bad guys when the warp first opened?

Kid Icarus then explains to Lana what happened. Why didn't he (and/or Mega Man) warn her earlier? He says he has to shoot Simon with an antidote arrow "soon", or his love will become permanent. Unfortunately, Kid Icarus doesn't have an antidote arrow. The only place to get one is the old arrow maker that lives at the top of Mount Icarus, which, as Kevin says, "is almost impossible to get to". Two things don't make sense here. Why would Kid Icarus have a love arrow if he can't easily get an antidote arrow? Also, what's with "Mount Icarus"? It's called Angel Land in the games. Oh, wait, angels come from a religion. We can't have that on a cartoon series!

It's 3:00 PM. I'm gonna record "Cold Front" to my hard drive now. I'll continue this review later.

It's 4:35 PM. I didn't record the entire episode. I cleaned my VCR two more times. Let get deeper into this episode and see what other stupid stuff we can find.

When Kid Icarus first explains what happened to Simon, Kevin pokes Kid Icarus and says, "Sounds like you better go find Simon and shoot him pronto." That's a leader for ya - send one team member off on a dangerous mission by himself.

Lana sends Mega Man with Kid Icarus to Mount Icarus.

Dumb line: Lana: "I've got to go to Metroid and find Simon. You don't have to come if you don't want to, Kevin." How does Lana expect to defend herself? As far as we can tell, she doesn't have a weapon.

Great line: Kevin: "Hey, it's either that or go back home and clean up my room."

Duke then looks worried and whimpers. Apparently, Duke can understand what Kevin's saying. This is evident throughout the series. Duke does whatever Kevin tells him to do and reacts to situations like he understands what's going on. No dog is that smart.

In the next scene, Simon is in chains on Metroid. It looks like he's in Mother Brain's lair, not in a prison cell. He's going on about how much he loves Mother Brain. He talks about her nose and toes, neither of which she has. He says he wants to hug and kiss "those cute little wrinkles" on Mother Brain's brain. Ew!

It's 5:53 PM. That's it for today. I'll continue this tomorrow.

Okat, it's Wednesday the 23rd, 1:38 PM. Let's forge ahead, deeper into this episode.

Hippo accidentally calls Mother Brain ugly. She picks him up, he tries to flatter her, and she drops him to the floor.

Dr. Wily gives Mother Brain the idea to have Simon prove his love to her. Simon agrees, so Mother Brain gets him to help her capture CastleVania. Simon replies, "Your wish is my command, you radiant, pickled brain, you." Ew, again.

Back at the Palace, Kevin and Lana are looking at a map of warp zones (similar to the one in "Kevin In Videoland") on the viewscreen. Kevin says, "The most reliable warp zone to Metroid is right here." So, they've got a direct warp to Metroid, and they haven't bothered using it yet to attack Mother Brain? That reminds me of something. In "Kevin In Videoland", Kevin asked for a map of Videoland, but we don't know that that's what Simon provided. It seems to be a map of warp zones in the Palace of Power instead.

Suddenly, a man appears on the viewscreen and says, "Your Highness, CastleVania is under attack by Mother Brain! The townspeople are being imprisoned! Come quickly!" CastleVania is the name of Count Dracula's castle in the games. So, if the castle is being attacked, then why are the people in the nearby town being imprisoned?

Lana decides that they gotta warp to CastleVania immediately and that Simon will have to take care of himself for a while. You gotta admire her for possibly sacrificing a fellow team member in order to respond quickly to the more immediate threat. Although, it's not like losing Simon is that big of a sacrifice. =)

Lana presses a button next to a door. The door opens, revealing a warp to CastleVania. Lana jumps in, followed by Kevin. Duke is scared. Kevin reaches out of the warp and pulls Duke inside. The door closes. Why did Kevin bother to pull Duke if the mutt didn't wanna go? Most fighters would leave their pets at home when going on dangerous missions.

In the next scene, Kevin, Lana, and Duke exit the warp and find themselves in the castle. From Kevin's reaction, we can tell that it's his first time there. A spider lands on Kevin's shoulder and blips out of existence. How was it harmed?

Lana spots prisoners in cells. Kevin draws his Zapper to zap them free. Suddenly, they encounter "the Count" (as Lana refers to him).

Great lines:
Kevin: "Your powers don't scare us!"
Count: "I'm so happy to hear that. You know, fear makes the blood taste terrible."

The Count transforms into a bat and flies around. He grabs Kevin's Zapper and drops it into a warp.

Great line: Lana: "Get away from me, you bad breath!" I only mention this because, for a while after first seeing this episode (on the Family Channel, I believe), I thought that she called him "fag breath". I thought that was so funny! My niece, Jennifer, corrected me.

Simon arrives (with the Captain N theme music playing) and whips the Count, who leaves, apparently. This was probably all staged, since Simon and the Count will be shown to be buddies later in the episode. Simon then picks up Lana and drops her into the warp (with a splash, as in "Kevin In Videoland"). So, the Count got rid of Kevin's Zapper so that Kevin couldn't stop Simon.

Kevin yells, "Simon, no! That's the warp zone to the Forest of Forgetfulness!" The what?

Dumb line: Kevin: "You traitor!" Kevin knows that Simon is under the influence of the love arrow. Why call him a traitor?

Simon introduces Kevin to "Mr. Bones", a skeleton wearing a backwards red cap, a yellow bandana, a black jacket, and yellow-and-black-striped shorts. Uh, why are CastleVania monsters suddenly "in tha hood"? Mr. Bones opens his mouth and shoots out fire or something. Kevin presses Left on his Power Pad to dodge. There was one unit missing, and now there are two units missing. That's how it should be!

Kevin tells Duke to "fetch the bone", so Duke pulls out one of Mr. Bones' leg bones, and Mr. Bones falls apart. How does that happen from one missing bone leg, and why do all of Mr. Bones' clothes (except for the cap) disappear? Oh, yeah, we see white shoes for a moment, too.

Simon, ticked, wraps his whip around Kevin. Duke bites the whip. Simon pulls Kevin into the warp. Duke, loyal dog that he is, follows Kevin into the warp again, although it was probably by accident this time.

A door opens, revealing Mother Brain, who was listening to the whole thing. Simon calls her "you luscious lump of grey matter". Yet another "Ew". Mother Brain is convinced that Simon really does love her. Simon says he wants to marry her. She tells Hippo, Eggy, and Wily to prepare the castle for "a hundred ghostly guests".

It's 2:56 PM. Gonna try recording "Cold Front" again. I'll continue later.

9:54 It's Friday, February 1, 12:10 PM. Let's continue.

We then go into the episode's featured song, "White Wedding" by Billy Idol. This song sounds like it was sung by the same guy that sang "Born on the Bayou" and possibly "Shakedown". This is the shortest song, I think, running less than 30 seconds. The scenes consist of wedding preparations: shopping for the ring, wedding cake, etc.

In the next scene, the narrator says, "On the other side of CastleVania, Kevin and the Princess search desperately for the way out of the Forest of Forgetfulness." Oh, so CastleVania is the name of the world, not the castle. I guess the King of Videoland named the world that for easy reference, but the locals probably call it Earth. At least, I hope they do.

Kevin, Lana, and Duke arrive at a canyon. Kevin says, "I've played CastleVania before, but I sure don't remember this canyon." Kevin and Lana don't remember where they're going, and neither of them are sure if Kevin is Kevin, yet Kevin somehow remembers that there's an invisible bridge there, and they cross it. Very selective amnesia?

The next scene is Mount Icarus, where Mega Man and Kid Icarus shoot enemies. Kid Icarus carries Mega Man sometimes, since the robot can't fly. They finally reach the summit and enter Particus' (the arrow maker) house / shop. Particus says that he's been trying to invent the pepperoni pizza arrow all day. That's just dumb. Why would anyone need / want such a thing? After Kid Icarus explains the situation, Particus shoots some arrows to see if he has the antidote arrow. Um, why does a "wise arrow maker" not label his arrows? He fires a super grass grow arrow, a cow arrow, and an angry arrow (which is proven by hitting the cow in the butt and making it angry). Since when does a cow have horns? For that matter, since when do people need arrows to create cows or make grass grow? Particus gives Kid Icarus three angry arrows, and Mega Man and Kid Icarus leave.

In the next scene, we see Mother Brain on CastleVania, getting her glass jar powdered and her gown put on. After a lot of slapstick goof-ups by her minions, we go to the next scene, where the Count is helping Simon with his wedding suit. "White Wedding" is reprised during this scene (the one time a song reprises in the whole series), and Simon describes what married life will be like: "Mother Brain and I, living in a cottage in the country, raising a family of cute little baby brains. And when they grow up, they'll all be doctors. Better yet - brain surgeons!" Baby brains? Ew! How disgusting! The cottage also looks like in on Metroid, not "in the country". Also, I don't care if Simon is under the influence of the love arrow. That's a dumb reason for him suddenly being friends with his enemy, the Count. He could tolerate him if Mother Brain wanted him to, but why is he friends a vampire?

In the next scene, the narrator says, "Meanwhile, as Kevin and the Princess continue across the deadly invisible bridge..." You notice how, in both scenes, the narrator ignores Duke? Heh, heh.

Great lines:
Kevin: "Stay close. I think the bridge goes this way."
Lana: "What if you're wrong?"
Kevin: "Then we'll be getting some free skydiving lessons - parachutes not included."

Kevin makes a wrong step and falls off the bridge. Lana tries to grab him, loses her balance, and falls off, too. Duke grabs her skirt with his mouth and holds her for a few seconds. Yeah, right. He falls off, too.

Kevin presses Pause. He, Lana, and Duke stop falling. Both Kevin and Lana can talk. Duke can whimper. They're conveniently right next to a warp zone, so Kevin gets the idea to press Left right when the pause wears off. I'll note here that, before the pause, there were 2 empty units. After the pause, there were 3 empty units. No, wait. He had 5 units of power left. Now, he has 4. So, either his Power Pad lost some capacity after "Kevin In Videoland", or Kevin used 1 unit of power in the Forest of Forgetfulness. Personally, it does look like 4 units of power are missing after the pause to me.

Anyway, they make it into the warp safely. They end up in the cemetary near the castle. They run to the castle. They arrive at the castle and witness the wedding ceremony.

Dumb line: Lana: "Then we'll have to slow them down and give Kid Icarus time to get here." You've gotta be a great conversationalist, Lana, if you wanna slow 'em down that long. You never told Mega Man and Kid Icarus that Simon is on CastleVania.

Lana interrupts the ceremony and explains to Mother Brain what happened. Simon denies it, so Mother Brain orders King Hippo to get rid of them. Duke rips part of Hippo's new suit. The ceremony continues.

The wall above a balcony is destroyed, and Mega Man and Kid Icarus arrive. How the heck did they know to come there? They first would've gone to Metroid (or perhaps the Palace and then Metroid). Perhaps they went to the Palace and found out that Mother Brain has attacked CastleVania, so they assumed Simon was there? But it still seems weird.

It's 1:53 PM. My mom wants to watch Part 3 of Stephen King's "Rose Red" from video tape soon, so I'll continue this later.

It's 4:55 PM. I wanna finish this before dinner - lasagna, mmmmm.

Mega Man informs Kid Icarus that there's only 30 seconds left. I'm gonna time it.

Kid Icarus fires the first arrow. He misses. It bounces around, like the love arrow did. It ends up hitting Dr. Wily in the butt. He looks at Eggy, gets mad at him, and uses a freeze ray on him.

Duke bites on Hippo's glove. Kevin zaps a chandelier. It falls on Hippo.

Kid Icarus fires the second arrow and hits Simon. Simon looks at Eggy and gets mad at him. How can Eggy talk while frozen? How can vegetables pop out of a frozen Eggy? Simon whips the ice off of Eggy. Uh-huh.

Mega Man says that there's only 5 seconds left. The previous 25 seconds lasted for 1 minute.

Kid Icarus fires the third arrow and hits Simon before he can say, "I do." The 5 seconds lasted for 17 seconds. So, "30 seconds" took up 77 seconds of screen time. Sheesh. And we were never told how long "soon" is.

Simon insults Mother Brain, so she orders the Count to "destroy him". The Count tries to scare Simon. He isn't scared and takes off his cape, suit, and shirt, revealing his usual outfit underneath. Man, he must've been sweating with all that stuff on. He then quickly folds the clothes and tosses them aside. He whips the Count and sends him into a coffin.

Kevin then zaps the floor, which causes it to rise somewhat and break apart. Huh? The ghosts are sent up and disappear. This makes no sense.

Mother Brain, Hippo, Eggy, and Wily head for a wall, where a warp opens. Where did this warp come from? How did they know that it would appear? Also, the warp is red, which is odd. They enter the warp, and it closes. Mother Brain says that the team will pay for this.

Simon says, "Looks like I saved CastleVania, eh, Princess?" Is Simon now Canadian? That's not my reason for bringing up this line. All Simon did was put the Count in a coffin. He didn't save CastleVania. He's just trying to take credit again, like he did in "Kevin In Videoland".

Dumb line: Lana: "Tell me, Simon. Did you really love Mother Brain?" What the heck? She knows that he was shot by a love arrow. She must've heard him call Mother Brain "positively disgusting". Why is she asking him this? She should be yelling at him for causing this mess in the first place and for trying to shoot her and make her fall in love with him!

Simon says, "Don't be ridiculous. There's only one person I could ever really love." Lana blushes. Simon says, "Me." Lana asks, "Huh?!" Why was Lana blushing? Why was she upset that Simon didn't say, "You"? It makes no sense for Lana to have any interest in Simon after what's happened. She should be kicking him off the team at this point.

Simon pulls out his hand-held mirror and kisses his reflection. He then admires himself in the mirror, and the episode ends. Finally. Now, a brief comment on the:

Lesson: I guess it's supposed to be something about how love can blind a person or how love has to be true instead of artificial.

Now for my rant. ^_^

This episode sucks. The basic plot was built around an overused plot device. It was also yet another example of Simon putting them in danger. There were the Kongoland scenes in "Kevin In Videoland" and the mountain lion in "How's Bayou". Only now, the entire episode exists because of Simon's idiotic choice. Did he really expect that, if he shot Lana from behind, he'd be the first person that she'd look at? What kind of hero would attempt something like that in the first place, anyway? What's worse is that he did it solely to have her love him. He admitted that he loves only himself. She should've thrown him off the team without a second thought.

This episode is made even worse by focusing mainly on Simon and Kid Icarus, two of my least-favorite characters (on the show, not in the games). The only parts worth watching were the Kevin / Lana scenes.

This episode shouldn't have been made at all. Mount Icarus and CastleVania are covered well enough in later episodes. Still, I'm going to accept, for the moment, that this episode was needed and will try to identify what could've been cut. The scene with Particus could've been shortened. This episode was cut in half to air in Season 3. Unfortunately, I think I don't have it on tape anymore. Still, I remember that they cut out the super grass grow arrow and the cow arrow. So, that's 18 seconds right there. The pepperoni pizza arrow could've also been cut (in my opinion; I'm not sure if they did in Season 3), freeing an additional 15 seconds. That's 33 seconds from one scene alone. Mother Brain's gown scene didn't add anything. Removing it would've freed 56 seconds. Simon's suit scene could've been cut. We already know from earlier scenes and the "White Wedding" montage that he loves Mother Brain. We didn't need to find out about Simon's mating plans. Cutting the scene would've freed an additional 33 seconds. That's 89 consecutive seconds of unneeded scenes. Cutting the wedding march would've freed 34 more seconds. The ring part was pointless. Why show them buying a ring if none of them are smart enough to realize that it should go on one of Mother Brain's tentacles? Cutting that part would've freed 6 seconds. The Hippo / Duke part was of no consequence. Cutting it would've freed an additional 16 seconds. 56 seconds of that scene could've been cut. In all fairness, 47 seconds should've been cut from the "30 seconds", so that means that 103 seconds could've been cut from that scene. In total, 225 seconds (3 minutes and 45 seconds) were wasted, not counting the Mount Icarus fight scene. That 3:45 could've been given to Kevin and Lana, perhaps showing them fighting monsters in the Forest of Forgetfulness, or a real CastleVania locale, and the episode would've been better. Personally, I'd prefer more Kevin and Lana and less Simon and Kid Icarus.

Usefulness ratings:

Kevin: 5 (finding the invisible bridge, getting them into the warp, stalling Mother Brain, trapping King Hippo, getting rid of the ghosts)
Lana: 1 (stalling Mother Brain)
Simon: 1 (getting rid of the Count)
Mega Man: 1 (shooting some enemies)
Kid Icarus: 3 (shooting some enemies, carrying Mega Man, shooting Simon)
Duke: 2 (defeating Mr. Bones, distracting King Hippo for a bit)

The running total usefulness ratings so far are:

Kevin: 13 (3 episodes)
Lana: 2 (3 episodes)
Simon 4 (3 episodes)
Mega Man: 3 (3 episodes)
Kid Icarus: 4 (3 episodes)
Duke: 4 (3 episodes)

That's the end of my review of "Mr. and Mrs. Mother Brain". It's not quite as long as the previous two, but I guess they will all be long. I'm gonna eat dinner now and then watch one of my new "Street Fighter II V" DVDs. Next up: "Videolympics"!

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