This article is part of the Cobra After-Action Report series.
Proud to be an American!Rich "Sheriff Lobo" Kyanka has had an illness in the family and will not be updating today. Stifle your groans however, because I bring you one of the few things you ungrateful hellions like; a Cobra After-Action Report! Rich will hopefully be back to his normal schedule next week and you won't have to deal with the sudden rise in the Zack-o-metric pressure.
In my last two installments of Cobra After-Action Report I brought you Cobra's plan to steal "explosive gas" and Cobra's plan to take over the world by destroying all means of oil production. Neither plan really panned out for Cobra, although they both caused unimaginable ruination upon the world including the destruction of an entire mountain in the United States and the start of a new dark age without gasoline. In "Primordial Plot" Cobra Commander unveils a nefarious scheme that is not only his most idiotic and far-fetched yet, but also one without any real goals or purpose. Steal explosive gas, destroy the world's oil supply, these may be hard things to do but at least they have an obvious purpose. Cobra Commander's latest idea is to clone dinosaurs and control them with his mind using a special device created by Destro. That's the extent of his plan. He wants a bunch of dinosaurs, I guess, as fancy pets to menace people who come to his secret evil island.
Regardless of whether or not Cobra Commander is thinking sanely about his plots GI Joe isn't about to let him get away with them. He could try to win a game of checkers against some kid in the park and Flint would parachute in and kick over the checkerboard. In this case it takes Flint along with Scarlet and Gung-Ho to thwart Cobra's vile yen for populating an uncharted island with land-bound dinosaurs. I don't know, maybe there's more going on behind the scenes than what we see in the episode. Maybe GI Joe wants to open its own cloned-dinosaur theme park and they don't want Cobra cornering the market before they can get theirs up and running.
Like any "good" Cobra plan this one involves swarms of soldiers including at least a platoon of the elite Crimson Guard, aircraft, attack buggies, and the trademark painfully obvious castle/fortress stronghold. It also involves the construction of not one, as is per the norm, but THREE ultra-expensive and bleeding edge scientific devices. There is the equipment for cloning dinosaurs which is, say, fifty million down the drain. There is a giant dough-mixer like vat for making the dinosaurs grow faster that I don't even want to speculate as to the cost of. Then finally there is a head piece connected to a super computer that transmits Cobra Commander's thoughts into the brains of the dinosaurs. Oh wait, I forgot one, there's also "mind lamps" that make the dinosaurs receptive to Cobra Commander's brainwaves in the first place. These last two were invented by Destro which means he would rook Cobra Commander out of every nickel he could. With that in mind I'm going to have to say that Cobra's contraptions budget alone for this episode must have topped a billion dollars.
To make all this scientific magic work Cobra needs two things; dinosaur bones and the scientist who invented the clone-acceleration process. I'm guessing you can buy dinosaur bones on ebay but Cobra takes the novel approach of attacking an archaeological dig with a jet fighter and having a pilot land and pick up random bones. With the creatively titled "Plan A" accomplished - they call it that, I'd probably call it "Plan Fucking Go to a Museum Next Time" - Cobra moves on to Plan B, which is to kidnap the scientist at a goddamn press conference so that everyone knows Cobra is responsible.
We'll find out how GI Joe manages to bumble their own incompetent way through trumping these geniuses, but first let's look at how the forces stack up.
Theater Commander: Cobra Commander
Theater Resources: Dinosaur Cloning Equipment, Dinosaur Mind Control Hockey Puck, Dinosaur "Mind Lamps", and Clone Growth Accelerator.
Company Level Resources:
2+ Platoons of Generic Cobra Infantry
1+ Platoon of Crimson Guard Elite Infantry
6+ Cute Little Attack Buggies
1 Cobra Rattler
1 "Fang" Light Attack Helicopter
100% Crimson Twin Homo-Sass
9-15 Dinosaurs (depending on the laziness of the animators)
Full Cafeteria and Salad Bar
Automated SAM Launcher
Known Opposing Forces:
Two Unarmed Archaeologists
Primary Mission Objectives
Make Dinosaurs and Control Their Minds
Alternate Mission Objectives
Possibly Build a Dinosaur Theme Park
Win at Checkers Against a Child
You will notice that I did not include GI Joe among the known opposing forces. Even though he's not expecting any interference from GI Joe, Cobra Commander has positioned sentries all around his base to pace aimlessly while camouflaged SAM launchers scan the sky. One thing Cobra certainly doesn't have is a manpower shortage and this seemingly ridiculous security on a secret island is not out of line with the sort of defenses Cobra has allocated to Major Bludd's Post Office Box. If they were really expecting trouble from GI Joe there would be at least one giant cannon and the fortress would have ramps down which hundreds of troops and HISS tanks could emerge to explode immediately. As you will see by the exciting conclusion of this report the leadership of Cobra makes a crude escape from the island. If this were really a facility that Cobra thought was at risk then they would have built some sort of floating pod with rockets or laser zeppelin or something for Cobra Commander to escape in.
198X, 3:15 PM Wild Weasel plays amateur archaeologist.This operation opens on an archaeological dig in some random dusty area being supervised by a white-haired man in a hard-hat and his suspiciously Major Bludd-voiced foreman. It's hard to tell where this dig is taking place because most of the people working are dressed in a strange hodgepodge of stereotypical Middle Eastern and stereotypical Asian garb. Hell, the word dig is a misnomer; they're using cranes to lift dinosaur skulls out of lake of oil just sitting there in the middle of the desert. Not for long, though! A Cobra Rattler swoops by overhead and then Wild Weasel opens fire on the dig site, somehow managing to not set the huge puddle of oil on fire. The workers and the archaeologist scatter and Wild Weasel lands his plane to collect a few random bone fragments. It doesn't even look like he cares which parts he's picking up, but he must have some fossil identification training because he manages to grab part of a skull and a leg bone. He doesn't waste time or sweat on collecting a comprehensive set of bones, he just chucks a few in the Rattler and takes off after babbling about
The action cuts to Dr. Massey and his assistant, who are having a nail biting demonstration in front of a large number of press and other scientists. They have a giant egg in a glass box, if it hatches then the cloning worked, if it doesn't hatch DURING THE PRESS CONFERENCE then the cloning didn't work. I don't know many scientists who would take those kinds of risks, but Massey is either really bold or really stupid. It should also be noted that he's cloning a garter snake that hatches and is about four inches long. Roughly a hundred of these snakes could fit inside of the giant egg that the single snake hatched from. Apparently for Dr. Massey's cloning procedure to work they have to build a big fake egg and then ram a baby snake inside. As soon as the process proves successful Dr. Massey's assistant tears his lab coat off in a Clark Kent-like transition into a fully uniformed Crimson Guardsman. He grabs Dr. Massey and then a helicopter crashes through the window into the room and captures both of them in a net.Where's Lois? What is that snake doing here in the Daily Planet office?I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall at the planning meeting where that operation was cooked up. What fucking ideas could they have possibly have rejected as worse than that? "Okay, we'll shrink the Crimson Guard agent and put him inside the egg. He'll have pills that will make him grow and then he'll hatch out of the egg and shout 'Cobra' and then we'll have some guys nearby derail a train and make it crash into the press conference. The Crimson Guardsman will put the scientist inside a rail car and then carry it on his back to the airport and catch a connecting flight at the GI Joe Base in Tulsa. Then we'll release promotional glossies of the kidnapping to all major news magazines."
After Dr. Massey is whisked away in style in the net with his huggy Crimson Guard captor we discover that GI Joe has already completely unraveled this worthless plot. Several Joes stand around a control room and explain everything Cobra has planned, easily making the connection between an attack on an archaeological dig and a kidnapped scientist. Cobra is cloning dinosaurs, and what's worse is Dr. Massey has perfected a technique to accelerate clones growth so much that they reach maturity in 24 hours! The only problem is, where has Cobra taken the Doctor to create this army of dinosaurs that somehow pose more of a threat than 50,000 armed soldiers and hundreds of tanks and attack aircraft? Deep Six radios in with the answer. He was cruising around the ocean being useless as usual when he just happened to spot a mysterious island that isn't on any of his maps! He doesn't mention the fact that a fourth of the island is occupied by a giant fortress on top of a mountain, proving once again just how worthless he is.More certified faggotry courtesy of the one, the only, the Crimson Twins. Cue pyro and "Voodoo Chile".Scarlet, Gung-Ho, and Flint take flight in whatever GI Joe calls F-14 Tomcats that switch intermittently to F-15 Eagles depending on how drunk the animators were at the time. They're just going to go "check things out". Hey! Maybe they should split up! One of them could check the basement, one could check the attic, and Flint and Scooby could look for snacks in the kitchen. Nice military operational planning there fags!
Back at inconspicuous Castle Evil, Cobra Commander and Destro spend an entire scene explaining their plot once again, because obviously it was so complex we didn't get it when the GI Joes stood around explaining it. Adding insult to injury we all know that everything they're talking about doing we're going to get to see played out in roughly two minutes. Tomax and Xamot play "cute" with their banter and offer Cobra Commander the bones and scientist their incredibly inept operation has managed to net.
4:00 PMWe have to finish this stunt for the airshow and then we can eject!Flying in formation over the mysterious island the three Joes in their shape-shifting aircraft are almost immediately fired upon by the SAM launcher concealed in a bush. All three aircraft are hit in the exact same spot, yet remain perfectly in formation until the GI Joes can exchange some radio chatter saying "uh oh" and "I'm going down". Gung-Ho and Scarlet eject but Flint has other plans, like forgetting that his ejection button isn't located in his control stick and crashing his plane into a swamp. Scarlet and Gung-Ho get briefly maudlin thinking Flint finally bit the big death donut when they see his plane blow up in the swamp, but he had jumped to safety. After making some quip that I don't' even want to try to remember the three Joes see a Cobra patrol driving towards the crash site on their cute little bright blue four wheelers. The Joes hide and the Crimson Guardsmen see the burning plane and decide there were no survivors.
Why the fuck did they even bother driving out there? They heard the explosion and if all they're going to do is look at a burning plane then they might as well just stay home and relax. The answer to this question drives too deep to the core of Cobra's overall defeatist psychology to really delve into here.
After this inauspicious beginning to the Joe reconnaissance mission we had back to Mount Hisssss to see that the baby dinosaurs are already beginning to hatch! Wow, that was some fast fucking work professor Turbo Science. Dr. Massey proceeds to have an embarrassingly excited moment almost making the screen sticking with joy at seeing the dinosaurs hatch.
5:00 PMYeah, great find there Magellan, see if you can circumnavigate your own front yard next week!Flint and company have spent the last hour hacking their way through the jungle that covers a one mile across island while Gung-Ho bitches about being hungry. For a Marine Corps hardass he is a pretty big whiner. Then he complains about being tired, then makes some creepy comment about "satisfying primal urges" while ogling Scarlet's leotard. Flint invites him to go fuck himself in slightly less offensive terms. Amazingly they eventually manage to hack down enough trees to catch a glimpse of the dominant terrain feature on the island; the Cobra base on top of a goddamn mountain.
While all this has been going on Cobra Commander and Destro have been mixing up some adult dinosaur margaritas in a huge science fiction blender. Once they heard all the dinosaurs into a pen Destro turns the mind lamps on them while the Crimson Twins act like fags. After a few seconds in the purple glow of science the dinosaurs get an expression on their face like someone just called their mama a bad name and their brains change colors on some sort of future scanner Destro has. A few beep sound effects later and Cobra Commander sticks a hockey puck, I mean "cybernetic control disk", up to his head and commands them with "dinosaurs, do my bidding!".If he throws it then it will make controversial red trails on the screen!Conveniently the GI Joes choose this moment to trip a sensor connected to a security camera, informing Cobra Commander that they were not in fact all killed in those plane crashes that the Crimson Guard thoroughly investigated. Since the dinosaurs and hockey puck seem to be working pretty well Cobra Commander releases them out onto the island to take out Flint and his crew. Confronted with the dinosaurs the Joes spend an embarrassingly long time ineffectively shooting laser rifles at them and enraging them further. Cobra Commander sees Gung-Ho on the monitor tells instructs one of the dinosaurs with "dinosaur, destroy him".
Realizing that they are on candid camera the Joes destroy the surveillance unit. Cobra Commander believes this means he can no longer give the dinosaurs vital and timely orders like "destroy him" and "attack". Luckily he has supreme confidence in the instincts of the dinosaurs to eat GI Joes. Destro is not so sure and makes a joke to this effect that I will not repeat here because I do have a little dignity left. He then laughs dramatically for far too long at this joke and I had to pause the video and meditate to calm myself.
After that hilarious outburst Destro has a managerial issue with the Crimson Guardsmen who are sitting around the control room lounge area drinking coffee and eating donuts. He chides them for their laziness in the face of this GI Joe onslaught and instructs them to get out and find the Joes. They reply with some hilarious Union-related back sass but Destro ain't havin' none of that and sends them yelling at them to move it.
5:15 PMOur lazy-ass attitude is in direct contrast to our figure's file card and I demand a refund!The Joes have fled from the dinosaurs and escaped into a cave by the time the lollygagging Crimson Guardsmen catch up with them on their fun buggies. The Guardsmen observe as the dinosaurs try to get into the cave but prove too large to directly attack the Joes. Thanks to a clever move by the dinosaurs a small dinosaur magically appears unexplained in their midst and walks into the cave to assault the Joes. After one of the most clumsily animated leaps in the history of animation of this episode so far the dinosaur sort of slides through the air and rotates on top of Flint. A struggle ensues but the Joes discover that without Cobra Commander to control them the dinosaurs are seeking food. Through some dubious science the writers for the episode have decided that dinosaurs prefer the mysterious bread balls that pass for GI Joe rations to the juicy hunks of red meat that pass for GI Joes. Realizing this nonsense Scarlet proceeds to fire a chunk of ration on her crossbow to where the Crimson Guardsmen are watching. This triggers eight or nine towering carnivorous Tyrannosauruses to stampede towards the bread ball, even though there is no conceivable way they could actually bend their bodies to pick up the bread ball even if they really did want it.
Not understanding why dinosaurs would want a ball of bread the Crimson Guardsmen flee in terror, leaving their vehicles behind to be overturned and exploded by the dinosaurs as per standard Cobra procedure. The Joes scavenge through the buggy wreckage and find enough dynamite to blow up Mount Rushmore.The dinosaurs thirst for bread balls. Their dark craving cannot be denied them.Cobra Commander has been watching this all on camera, despite his earlier lamentations about not being able to, and he bitches about the cyber hockey puck not working. However, now that they're satiated on bread balls Cobra Commander can boss them around again and instructs them with "dinosaurs, destroy the GI Joes". I guess they understand this order because they sort of gather in a circle around them while Flint and crew scale the cliff up to the Cobra base.
This is where the usual poor animation of a GI Joe episode really begins to degrade. Scarlet fires a grappling hook up the castle and manages to somehow land the hook and rope so that it passes seamlessly through the middle of a stone block. She and Gung Ho climb up to the control room and burst through the window while Flint lights a bundle of dynamite with a ridiculously long fuse. A fight breaks out in the control room and the animation continues to get worse when Scarlet fires what I assume is an exploding arrow dramatically at a group of Crimson Guardsmen. They fly through the air as if struck by the force of an explosion, you hear the sound of the explosion, yet there is no explosion or even the arrow on screen. Great work GI Joe animators. Gung Ho wrestles really badly with Cobra Commander on the floor trying to get the cyber hockey puck from him but the struggle is brief when they realize they are totally outnumbered by the Crimson Guardsmen.Way to go on that entrance Mr. Dinosaur. Your reward shall be the untold riches of the bread ball bin on the buffet.During the very short interrogation that follows Cobra Commander asks if they planned to bring the dinosaurs to the base with the hockey puck. Gung Ho, who is apparently a master of judging the timing on dynamite fuses he didn't even see being lit, responds that "we didn't plan on bring the dinosaurs to the fortress, we planned on bring the fortress to the DINOSAURS!" He shouts the word dinosaurs, in case you didn't understand the Internet English meaning of me using all capital letters, right as the dynamite explodes. What remains a mystery is why he even said what he said. All the dynamite did was cause some cracks to appear in the base and some rocks to fall off the mountain. The dinosaurs DO come to the base when the Scientist grabs the hockey puck and tells them there's food inside.
The dinosaurs proceed to break into the base and beat up some Cobra troops, including an entire cafeteria full of them that remained eating while the base half fell apart from explosions. The best part of this sequence is that when the dinosaurs burst through the wall into the cafeteria (remember, they're looking for bread balls not meat) they do so with such force that they cause the animators to forget to include the tables in several frames of animation. And the soldier's legs. That's quite an entrance! I was half expecting the dinosaur to pause with a strange smile, its head half immersed in shadow, while dramatic zither music swells in the background. Instead the dinosaur and his compatriot proceed to the tables and salad bar and eat the food the fleeing soldiers left behind.The judge from China is really bringing Destro's score down today in the homo cling dive event.One particularly spry T-Rex bursts into the control room with a roar. This motivates Destro to activate his wrist rocket pods and fly out the window with Tomax and Xamot clinging to his legs and laughing like retards. Flint and Cobra Commander agree that discretion is the better part of valor and follow suit only minus the wrist rockets and plus a bone-shattering fall down the entire mountain. Luckily everyone is unhurt and Cobra Commander has mysteriously disappeared. Dr. Massey briefly splutters about his investors wanting to run the island as a park but Flint sternly advises him that his investors can "suck eggs". Such language! I hear sailors vomiting into gutters in horror around the world. No, the operation draws to a close with the GI Joes stating their intentions to leave the dinosaurs on the island and Gung Ho "hilariously" bitching some more about being hungry. Yo Joe.
The resolution to this operation leaves me feeling pretty empty. First of all you have the question of what exactly Cobra Commander's goal was after cloning the dinosaurs. There's no conceivable way he could have put them up against anything but the most inept of modern militaries. While GI Joe might fill this description perfectly it can be assumed that no other military would be as worthless as them and should make quick work of a dinosaur invasion with a few tanks and aircraft. If Cobra Commander's goal was just to clone the dinosaurs in the first place then he succeeded completely. Not only that but if he did have some other ill intent for them the Joes hardly did anything to stop him in the long run. They left the dinosaurs behind, the facility essentially intact other than some damage to doors and some structural cracks, and all of Cobra's forces free to return. All Cobra Commander would have to do is buy another cyber hockey puck from Destro for a billion dollars and he's good to pick up right where he left off when he jumped out the window.
The mission was either a failure or at best a Pyrrhic victory for GI Joe.
Cobra After-Action Report for "Primordial Plot"
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