Episode Twenty-Three – Cousins

Episode Synopsis

We join the action as Flint’s state of the art military team is at the firing range…and they are joined by Heavy Duty, real name Herschel Dalton.  Flint immediately brings Dalton into his office and begins giving him the rundown on Roadblock and lets him into “The Falcons” permanently.

The Renegade Joes meanwhile end up in Biloxi, Mississippi, and Roadblock quickly leads them to his neck of the woods.  He notifies the others that he has a family issue to take care of, and Duke gives him until 1200 to take care of it.

A gathering is taking place to remember Jefferson Hinton, a former Tuskagee Airman, and Roadblock finds his way there, watching from afar.  He cannot resist coming to talk to his Grandmother, trying to make sure to keep in the shadows.  A big guy like Roadblock is easy to spot, and his cousin Heavy Duty is there, and he quickly takes Roadblock down and cuffs him.  The family reunion doesn’t last long as they find themselves under fire…from Major Bludd.  The cousins take cover and leap in Heavy Duty’s jeep, trying to take Bludd on face-to-face, but the fight doesn’t last long.  The Cobra mercenary is hot on their heels with his souped up streetcar and they exchange fire through the back swamps of Biloxi.

The gunfight leads to a demolition derby as Dalton forces Bludd’s car into a tree…but before Roadblock and Heavy Duty can get too far, Bludd fires a rocket that sends the two crashing into the water.

As the jeep slides into the depths, the two military men swim to the surface, with Bludd making a hasty retreat.  Roadblock and Heavy Duty tangle with an alligator, but find themselves outside of communications range.  That becomes an even larger problem when Bludd shows back up in a swampboat rattling off some shots.  The two make themselves scarce.  Meanwhile the Joes see a wrecker pulling Heavy Duty’s jeep from the water as Roadblock radios in.  Of course Bludd has his own communicator and intercepts the signal.  The Major radios back to The Baroness and it turns out they still have an ongoing deal.

We find out a little bit about the conflict between Roadblock and Heavy Duty…the city boy versus country boy dynamic brings them to blows in the swamp.  The two are evenly matched, but end up tiring each other out so Major Bludd can waltz right up and nail them with a stun gun.

With Roadblock and Heavy Duty in captivity, Bludd lets out that he’s working for Cobra, which triggers realization in Heavy Duty’s mind…while the Renegade Joes continue their hunt.  As the cousins continue bickering, they manage to get themselves free of the chains.

Out in the swamp, Bludd moves quickly, taking down the other Joes with well placed explosives.  But eventually the mercenary is outnumbered and Duke lays him out, just in time for Cobra to appear, riding slick looking river boats.  The Joes find themselves in a deadly crossfire as Bludd takes over the controls of the large boat and makes a bee line for the Joes.  Roadblock and Heavy Duty, freed from Bludd’s cabin, show up just in time, rattling off gunfire from the swampboat, and take out the pursuing Cobra’s, including Bludd and the Baroness themselves.  Bludd recovers quickly and turns his weapon on the Joes, but suddenly a massive alligator roars from the river and takes him down, latching onto his arm.

As the Baroness climbs free of the water, Bludd is close behind her, obviously besting the ‘gator…but not without losing his right arm.

With this small victory behind them, Roadblock and Heavy Duty return to the Hinton homestead and face up to their grandmother.  We find out the conflict started with their grandfather’s inheritance.  The Hinton grandmother reveals that no inheritance has been given yet, and they have a family moment.  Roadblock’s grandmother calls in the Joes and reveals the hilarious source of Heavy Duty’s code name as the episode ends.

Episode Review

Magic.  Pure magic.  From the first minute of the episode when we get a look inside “The Falcon’s” training center, I had a feeling about this one.  Heavy Duty’s early swagger into the base, his conversation with Flint, and the fact that we didn’t get 5 minutes in before laser fire and quick-witted back and forths permeated the episode.

Bludd was just as classic as he was in his initial appearance in The Package, though part of me wished he had his eye patch.  Instead he sported a nasty scar across his face and a disturbing vacant staring eye.  Pretty nasty look.

Again, Major Bludd came across as a very credible villain, trading blows with Heavy Duty and Roadblock shot-for-shot, and even coming out ahead.  I will admit, when Bludd was trying so hard to kill the two, when he finally captured them, I’m really not sure why he elected to chain them up from the ceiling rather than just pop some caps in their asses.  Dialogue was flawless as usual, and I absolutely loved the country vs. city “educated” dynamic between the two cousins.  The Renegades writers took the idea of Roadblock’s Biloxi origins and Heavy Duty’s background in Chicago, and really ran with it, creating an awesome pair of characters that totally validated both of them.  We spent so much time in the early 20th century with Roadblock and Heavy Duty essentially being replacements of each other and interchangable, that it was truly awesome to see the writing staff create these totally unique and individual characters.  Brilliant.

Then we have the Cobra boat attack.  Fantastic!  The vehicle designs continue to shine in this series, I just wish I had some confidence that we’d see them in toy form.  Baroness once again donned her awesome combat suit, and the firefight was surprisingly intense.

Speaking of intense, the scene that everyone will be talking about for sure is the Bludd vs. the Alligator scene.  I mean WOW.  Of course the series cannot show graphic events, but it is completely clear what happens, as Bludd staggers from the water, holding his arm above the elbow, and hoping the gator “chokes on it”.  The reaction from the Baroness’ face only confirms that in the Renegades universe the metal arm is NOT armor, it is a replacement.  I LOVE it.

From start to finish, I was geeking out.  Truly.  I love the Falcons’ logo (can’t honestly remember if we’ve really seen it before).  Love the fact that Flint’s team is a very clearly defined established unit.  Love the look of Heavy Duty, really dug the family conflict, and every single scene with Major Bludd was terrific.  The entirety of the combat in the last five minutes was infinitely entertaining, and as we near the end, I am starting to feel things building.  Terrific episode.  Considering it was written by Henry Gilroy and directed by the master Kevin Altieri, I shouldn’t be surprised.

Screenshot Gallery

Episode Details

Original Air Date: June 25, 2011
Writer: Henry Gilroy
Director: Kevin Altieri

Easter Eggs

  1. At the end of the episode, Bludd clutches his right arm, apparently injured by the crocodile attack.  The action figure version of Major Bludd had a metallic covering on his right arm, so apparently in the Renegades universe that is due to injury.