Picking up right where Whiteout left off, the Joes are in the frozen North, and we see two Cobra Arctic Troopers discussing the benefits of their current gig, only to be interrupted by the Coyote. Apparently these two snakes aren’t informed about the Joes as Scarlett waltzes up to them asking for an aspirin. Just as they ask her why she needs it, they find out they need it themselves thanks to Duke and Snake Eyes.
The guards unconscious, the Joes sneak into an abandoned Cobra waste dump facility, which Scarlett reports supposedly houses some illegal material. The Joes find a canister and liberate it, only to be suddenly trapped inside. Quickly rescued by Tunnel Rat, they attempt to make their escape in the Coyote, but are confronted and pursued by two Cobra attack vehicles. Roadblock navigates the beastly Joe truck over an ice flow, but the pursuing Cobras are not nearly so lucky. Scarlett determines that they must bring the material to General Abernathy, and the Joes decide taking the canister by boat is probably the quickest option.
We soon meet Captain Delgado and his first mate “Moon” who are leading a fishing boat. The Joes (mainly Tunnel Rat) offer up their Coyote in trade for a ride to the Mid-Atlantic Coast and Washington, DC. Delgado agrees. They stow the material below deck, and get a tour of the boat, discovering that it’s named “Courtney” after the famous model Courtney Krieger. Just before takeoff, the Joes hear that Delgado’s nickname is “Shipwreck” though they don’t as of yet know why.
As the boat begins its trek into open water, the canister rolls over below, draws some electricity into itself and suddenly, the mysterious material inside escapes!
Up above, the Joes are working on menial tasks around the ship (except for Tunnel Rat, who is too nauseous to do much of anything), but the boat is misbehaving. Shipwreck orders Moon to check things out below, and he runs into the mysterious contents of the canister. Up above, the phone has gone dead and Shipwreck grows more concerned.
Duke decides to check below, and is narrowly saved by Snake Eyes, who notices a live electric cable in the water. They work around that and find the canister below… empty. Shipwreck is performing his own search, and he isn’t so lucky…there’s no empy canister there, he ends up face-to-face with a monstrous, tentacled Bio-Viper, who seems to be feeding off of the electricity and energy of the ship itself.
Scarlett reveals some more intel about the creature, calling it a “Techno-Viper” and offers up a backstory involving a blend of Bio-Viper material and nano technology. The creature is a prototype and apparently can absorb energy to grow more powerful. Cobra gave up on the experiment. As the Techn0-Viper continues to take over more and more control of the boat, the Joes decide they have to sink it to prevent the creature from reaching the mainland.
As the Joes are gathering up fire extinguishers (the Techno-Viper hates the cold), Shipwreck and Roadblock have a little heart-to-heart, where Shipwreck tells him he used to work for Cobra. After he refused to dump Bio-Viper material, Cobra sank his ship and blamed him, essentially ruining his career. He’s only too happy to help the Joes fight against Cobra Industries. But he’s decidedly NOT happy about sinking his boat to do it.
Working together, the Joes lure the Techno-Viper above deck to try and force it into the sea, but it’s a tough task. Shortly, the creature has taken over the Coyote itself, and is sending the Joes scattering with weapons fire. In the near distance, Duke spots an Aircraft Carrier inbound and decides that they have to act now. If the Techno-Viper gets a hold of it, things could get very hairy.
He and Tunnel Rat make their way to the lifeboat where they attempt to detonate explosives on the ship, but Delgado has retrieved them and is tossing them in the sea. Realizing that the Techno-Viper has taken control of the Coyote, Roadblock leaps into the truck and backs it off the ship, apparently destroying the Cobra creature…but he himself is now sinking like a stone.
Acting quickly, Shipwreck drops his net and snags the Coyote, bringing it and Roadblock back on board, leaving the Techno-Viper sinking to its doom.
As Shipwreck is convincing the nearby USS Flagg aircraft carrier that he’s okay, Scarlett notices that the Techno-Viper programmed a destination into the ship’s GPS system…and the boat is on the way to Scotland.
More than willing to go along for the ride, Shipwreck elects to leave the route as is, and the Joes coast towards Europe and Destro’s Castle…
Well, maybe I’m just too keyed up waiting for the awesome looking Castle Destro episode, but this episode was just… I dunno. It didn’t rock my world. It was fine, but it definitely seems to be following a familiar formula, and unlike many of the other recent episodes, we didn’t get a whole lot of progression here. Yes, the Joes are now heading to Scotland (where the real fun will be) but beyond that, it was another Bio-Viper, another episode without much human Cobra action, and another Joe guest star who ended up being a great character, but ultimately was just passing through.
From a pure story perspective, it was pretty decent. Like Whiteout, it seemed to have some real horror movie elements, and the Techno-Viper creature was imposing and a serious threat…but in the end, it seemed extremely similar to the Whiteout episode, with just some minor points swapped out. We were kind of stuck with this formula at the beginning of the season, but seemed to really be coming out of it as of late. However, with this episode, we seem once again kind of in a rut. Thankfully, we already know that the rut will end next weekend with Castle Destro, and by all indications, the action is really going to pick up from here, but as a standalone episode, this one was a bit weaker than I had been used to over the past 4 or 5. Not horrible, but not quite as impressive either.
I will say I did like the character of Shipwreck. He wasn’t nearly as dramatic and obnoxious as he was in the Sunbow days, but he was definitely a bitter, angry sea faring guy, and in my opinion, he fits the personality of Shipwreck to a “t”. They did a pretty good job emulating Shipwreck’s “look and feel” without going totally YMCA on us, and I think the translation worked really well. And whether or not I have a problem with the episode formula or some of the specifics, I cannot argue that the dialogue and writing isn’t as crisp as ever. Maybe it’s because I have such poor examples to pull from (like Sigma 6!) but the dialogue in Renegades is just…well… perfect. Everyone talks like a normal person, the interactions between team members works well. It doesn’t feel at all dumbed down. Good stuff.
There were some other good points, of course…I loved that the ship was named after Courtney Krieger, who was name dropped as a model (and who we know as Cover Girl). It was awesome to see a glimpse of the USS Flagg, too. It had some fun to it, but just wasn’t quite as cool as stuff like Knockoffs, Brothers of Light, or even Whiteout. I eagerly await next week, though, as things really look like they’re going to pick up!
Original Airdate: April 16, 2011
Writer: Stan Berkowitz
Director: Scooter Tidwell
- Delgado’s ship was named “Courtney” after the model Courtney Krieger. Joe fans, of course, know her better as Cover Girl!
- In Delgado’s ship, the Joes are approached by an Aircraft Carrier in the distance. When it hails them over the radio, it identifies itself as the USS Flagg, a name we all know only too well.