This article is part of the Cobra After-Action Report series.
Another excellent allocation of Cobra resources.In the 1960's the United States government seriously considered a plan to detonate a large atomic bomb on the moon as a demonstration of our nation's power. It was decided that, while dramatic, it was not worth soiling the moon just to show off to the filthy commies. The reason I mention this ambitious and bizarre scheme is to help you put Cobra Commander's own plan in "Lasers in the Night" into a little bit of context. It's still a pretty horrible plan, but it isn't much worse than the "nuke the moon" plot that the US government cooked up a few decades ago.
I'll stop beating around the bush because there is no softening the stupidity blow with this one. Cobra Commander's plan is to steal the control codes for a "laser guidance system" which, contrary to what you might think, actually is used to guide a laser. Alright, that's not so bad, and for once Cobra has a concrete goal to work towards. The reasoning for stealing the guidance codes is that Cobra Commander has a laser but no guidance system, and he desperately wants to use the laser to achieve dominance of the world. Great, a huge space laser could cut a swath of destruction and strike terror into the hearts of men. It would be sort of a futuristic Sword of Damocles that Cobra Commander could use as a bargaining chip. Then we find out that he, uh, wants to use the laser to draw his face on the moon. This plan is so dumb that Destro actually screams at Cobra Commander and the Baroness shakes her head with disgust.
Watching Cobra Commander's plot unfold on screen I was pleased to see that he had for once selected a secret base that did not consist of a giant Cobra-headed fortress surrounded by SAM launchers. In "Lasers in the Night" Cobra has based its operations inside an inactive volcano located on a small island off the coast of the United Sates. Not a trace of habitation exists on the island and by all evidence Cobra seems to have done an excellent job with constructing a hidden redoubt for its forces. Unfortunately, Cobra planners failed to take into account that the island was dismayingly named "Snake Island" on maps and was located within about five miles of a GI Joe base. Cobra also goes to great lengths to undermine even this dubious secrecy, but more on that later.
Theater Commander: Cobra Commander
Theater Resources: A super laser beam of some sort that's missing a guidance system.
Company Level Resources:
1+Platoon of Cobra Infantry
1+ Platoon of Televipers
1+ Platoon of Crimson Guard Elite Infantry
1 Cobra Rattler
3+ Cobra Attack Helicopters
Some Useless Glowing Whips
Known Opposing Forces:
Potentially the US Coast Guard or Harbor Patrol.
Primary Mission Objectives
Secure the guidance system and carve Cobra Commander's face into the moon with the super laser.
Alternate Mission Objectives
I don't know, maybe shoot the laser at something useful.
For its part GI Joe is certainly nothing to write home about in this episode. Not only are they no more effective at catching intruders than Cobra is, they are also prone to blabbering to anyone who will listen about top secret security codes. We also get an unusual look at how the command and control structure of GI Joe works and find it lacking to say the least. Apparently every system in the GI Joe base is slaved to a single computer which can be deactivated from the outside by entering a four-digit code. Radar, vehicles, alarms, space lasers, all of them are compromised if someone knows a four digit code that low-ranking generic technicians just spout out to anyone who will listen to them. It's the security equivalent of assigning all of your bank cards and passwords the same four digit PIN and then walking around with this number written on a t-shirt. GI Joe's computer might just be broadcasting an IP address.
198X - Day 1, 9:00 PMOne moral of this episode is that chubby and stupid girls are sluts.Sorority sisters Amber and Sandy are attending an evening lecture on Greek mythology. In a span of seconds we learn that the hot, clean-cut Amber is smart and good-natured, while the overweight and frumpy Sandy is a total slut with no brains. Amber sees that a GI Joe demonstration of martial arts is taking place on campus and decides to go while Sandy remarks that she's going "hunk hunting". Inside the auditorium we see Quick Kick awkwardly shoulder-tackling opponents and karate chopping chains. His performance is met with scattered applause but when he asks for volunteers Amber races down the steps and practically straddles Quick Kick so that she can ride him into the sunset. An uncomfortable and sexually charged sparring match follows with first Amber and then ultimately Quick Kick resorting to dirty tricks rather than martial skill to defeat their opponent. After they've worked each other up into a lather Quick Kick asks Amber out on a date and she seems all too eager to agree.
What I can only assume is a montage of their passionate dates in the following days is then shown. Their first date is a night of dancing, with Amber twitching spasmodically like a recovering junkie and Quick Kick performing some sort of bizarre mixture of break dancing and teleportation. Then they hit the ballet, which a tuxedo-wearing Quick Kick snoozes through. The third date shown is the hot couple at a baseball game with Quick Kick cheering wildly and Amber sound asleep next to him. What amazing fucking chemistry! Two out of three dates were slept through by one person or the other. For the fourth and final date shown Quick Kick and Amber drift on a pond in a canoe making smoochy. Amber reveals her desire to join the GI Joe team and when Quick Kick voices his concern she observes very astutely that "if you can handle Cobra, how dangerous can they be?" This emasculating comment is probably one of the most intelligent things ever said in an episode of GI Joe as it cuts to the core of the pathetic slap-fighting struggle between Cobra and GI Joe.Amber assumes the position for Quick Kick.Meanwhile, on a mysterious tiny island with a volcano on it, Gung Ho is running through a jungle punching snakes in the head. He is almost immediately ensnared by some sort of glowing rope that we later discover is one of several "laser lashes" just entering service with Cobra. It should be noted that "laser lashes" have no difference to normal rope or a whip other than they glow blue. They don't shock people, they don't paralyze them with lasers venom or something, they just glow. TECHNOLOGY! Gung Ho is hauled off to the brig by the Cobra troopers and Cobra Commander instructs the Baroness that she needs to obtain a device for him from GI Joe! Uncharacteristically Cobra Commander decides not to go on a detailed exposition rampage.
Day 2, Midnight
Cobra has struck at a GI Joe "electronics lab" and set it on fire. Duke, Lady Jaye, Scarlet, and Bazooka fly down in helicopters to check out the conflagration. What happens when they run inside is a bit confusing because it's so poorly animated. Lady Jaye leads the way, followed closely by the rest of the Joe team. From off screen we hear the Baroness trying really badly to disguise her voice and calling out to Lady Jaye for help. Lady Jaye yells back "Duke, Scarlet, is that you?" even though less than three seconds earlier Duke and Scarlet ran in behind her. Even if they had sprinted into the building they could not be more than ten fucking feet away, yet she falls for the Baroness's retarded ruse and gets clobbered over the head by the Baroness who has somehow disguised herself as a blue mannequin for "mysterious plot reasons".Way to go using that LAW rocket as a fucking fire ax.Bazooka, who is so smart that he just ran into a raging fire carrying a huge anti-tank weapon, proceeds to beat down timbers with the obviously loaded rocket launcher and rescues "Lady Jaye" from a fiery death. The Baroness is just fortunate that her little switcharoo wasn't foiled by Bazooka's moronic fire fighting methods accidentally discharging a missile into her face. With everyone back outside a Cobra Rattler launches skyward in an effort to convince the feverish and retarded that the Baroness did not just assume Lady Jaye's identity. Duke comments that Cobra must have been looking for GI Joe's laser guidance system that they had just relocated to their less flammable main base.
After a brief and hammy interlude around fake Lady Jaye's hospital bed in the GI Joe infirmary we see a black-clad female scaling the exterior wall of the Joe base. Mainframe detects the intruder and sends Duke to intercept her in the "map room" where we learn…dun, dun, dun…it's actually Amber trying to impress the Joes with her ninja sneaking skills. Quick Kick does a horrible John Wayne impression that somehow gets her off the hook and Duke even allows him to take Amber on a tour of the base. Almost immediately Quick Kick begins explaining how the security codes are being changed and then a loose-lipped female Joe named "Alice" never seen before or since says "we change the security code every day. Tonight's security code is 1069." Great job Alice, I assume you never appear in a cartoon again because you were shot for treason you daft cunt.
Amber runs around some more pissing off Quick Kick and acting like she wants to get shot by guards and we find out that Gung Ho has been captured while investigating a potential Cobra base on "Snake Island". GI Joe should just preemptively bomb every geo-political region with "snake" in the name, but until they wise-up sending one shirtless and unarmed marine to check out islands within walking distance is probably their best bet.
Day 2, 2:00 AMNice secret code GI Joe. Ten seconds after you program it in the damn thing is on the Cobratron on Snake Island.Destro and Cobra commander share a worthless conversation over the amazing helicopter communication screen. The action then cuts back to the Joe base where Duke is explaining how the laser guidance system will allow the Joes to shoot mysterious space insects. This scene is only really notable since Lady Jaye is already out of the infirmary and listening in on secret GI Joe conversations. Amber also crops up to make the impending disappearance of the guidance system point even more in her direction. Before the scene can get much more sinister Cobra Rattlers attack the landing strip dropping bombs on all but one of the planes conveniently lined up outside. Fake Lady Jaye manages to get to the remaining aircraft and take to the sky in fake pursuit of the Cobra Rattler. She then calls in a distress signal right away and fake crashes into Snake Island. This is obviously displayed on the GI Joe radar and the time interval would imply that the Cobra base is within sight of the GI Joe base.
This strategy is so horrible I'm reluctant to even discuss it. First off you've got the Cobra base right next to the GI Joe base. Then you've got the Baroness in disguise visibly crashing onto the island. Even a military organization as wholly inept as GI Joe would be remiss if it didn't send a rescue team out to try and save one of their elite soldiers. When the laser guidance system turns up missing Duke very mildly chews out Quick Kick, blaming him for bringing the treacherous Amber into the Joe facility and exposing her to closely guarded secrets like the security codes for everything in her base. It can be assumed that a full inquiry of the incident conducted outside the framework of the episode indicated Alice as the actual weak link in the GI Joe security plan. Regardless of Alice's ultimate fate, Quick Kick does a Mae West impression that sounds suspiciously like his John Wayne impression and hurries off to track down Amber.
Negligee-wearing sorority girls flee screaming from Quick Kick inside Amber's sorority house. Amber's slutty room mate Sandy shows him Amber's room and they listen in to her answering machine message explaining that she has gone to Snake Island. Seemingly more evidence of her guilt, Quick Kick and the other Joes prepare to mount an attack on the almost very slightly secret base on Snake Island.
Day 2, 3:00 AMUntrained college girls are capable of sneaking into both Cobra and GI Joe bases.Using a rubber insertion raft, scuba gear, and an array of equipment, Amber sneaks into the Cobra base on Snake Island via an underwater tunnel. She sneaks through a ventilation shaft all the way to the control room of the base where Cobra Commander is about to finally explain his plans to the Baroness and Destro. Just as he's getting to his point some random scientist guy spots Amber hiding in the ventilation duct and she is thrown in a dungeon with Gung Ho and Lady Jaye. Neither of them recognizes her, which is no big surprise since Lady Jaye was replaced with the Baroness before Amber tried to sneak into the GI Joe base and Gung Ho hardly even remembers his own name. Amber alerts the Joes to the danger of the Cobra "laser machine" and then demonstrates the strength of her kung fu by breaking the chains securing Gung Ho and Lady Jaye to the wall.
Back in the sort of secret control room Cobra Commander shoots a laser at the moon as a means of explaining his plan to Destro and the Baroness. Quick Kick beats up a few guards as his makes his way solo into the control room in a matter of seconds. As strong as he is though he's no match for the amazing glowing whips which quickly render him "wrapped in glowing rope". Shortly after being tied up Cobra Commander's face takes shape on the surface of the moon and Destro rightfully get really pissed off that "[Cobra Commander has] wasted millions on this cosmic graffiti". Luckily Gung Ho, Lady Jaye, and Amber break into the control room and free Quick Kick. In turn Quick Kick knocks over four guards which is sufficient reason for Destro and the Baroness to flee. Realizing he has been abandoned, and in the face of such tremendously overwhelming odds as four GI Joes armed with a total of one gun in a room full of guards, Cobra Commander starts waving his hands over his head and runs out in a tizzy.Cobra Commander in one of his less heroic moments.The unholy trio escapes Snake Island in those cute little black helicopters Cobra has, but Quick Kick and Amber are in hot pursuit. This pursuit consists of them getting immediately shot down by a remarkably aggressive Destro and then saved by a shitty Deus Ex Machina flight of Joe jet fighters being led by Duke. Back at Joe HQ we learn that the Cobra leadership once eluded GI Joe. Duke apologizes for suspecting Amber of being a spy and offers her a position, which she declines, on the GI Joe team. The final scene of the episode takes place on a park bench with a little gag-inducing romantic comedy-relief and a shot of the repaired moon.
All-in-all "Lasers in the Night" was a comedy of errors. Cobra Commander's massive ego drove him to embark upon an ill-conceived and worthless operation to carve his face into the moon. The Joes demonstrated some of the worst security this side of a Lee Harvey Oswald prisoner transport along with their usual strategic ineptitude. The lesson that military strategists can learn from this is that when two well-funded teams of heavily armed morons go toe to toe the losers are the tax-paying public and the moon.
Memorial Day Blowout!
In honor of our nation's fallen heroes Korean war veteran Cliff Yablonski has updated his emotionally moving web site with four new pages of terrors from the deep.
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Go there now and celebrate America's proud heritage of military service. Oh, and our incredibly shallow gene pool that breeds horror upon horror until you want to gouge out your eyes with an awl-pike.
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