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Sampo & Erhardt

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Weekend Discussion Thread: rough draft of the Season 12 episode guide: 1206-ATOR, THE FIGHTING EAGLE

Movie: (1982) After his village is destroyed by the Spider King’s forces, a warrior seeks vengeance.

Open: Synthia has delivered the song to Dr. Erhardt.
In the invention exchange, J&tB have come up with the Swiss army cheese wheel. The Mads have created the Totino’s Pizza Roll Popper.
Segment 1: J&tB re-enact Griba’s fighting lessons.
Segment 2: Kiog the bear visits and ends up on Moon 13
Close: J&tB are in Deep 13 and are loaded onto a transport to Earth to begin a live tour. He left the last capsule with Kinga, instructing her to put it in place. When she does, the entire containment vessel descends into a tunnel leading to…a riffing theater, with “Mr. B Natural” playing.
Stinger: Griba’s rule #2: surprise.

• Josh makes his second appearance this season.
• J&tB sing a verse of a parody of a song from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” The authors of the song are not named in the credits.
• The eight bars of “There’s a cut on my hand” was written by Elliott Kalan and Patton Oswalt.
• Kinga breaks the fourth wall with a classic “monologging” speech.
• The tour bus is called “Deep Huting.”
• The song “Your Show Stinks,” sung during the credits, was written by Paul & Storm, a song that includes a reference to a “hamdinger.”
• What was the point of M Waverly retrieving his backpack? Will we ever know, or am I missing something?
• Callbacks: How much Keefe is in this movie? (CAVE DWELLERS)
• Fave riff: “Very hard to ignore that man outside being killed by an elephant.” Honorable mentions: “Sir, this is plastic, and I don’t think—okay, see you in a bit.” “And remember, the winner gets to experience unanesthetized childbirth” and “Slippers for cats.”

58 Replies to “Weekend Discussion Thread: rough draft of the Season 12 episode guide: 1206-ATOR, THE FIGHTING EAGLE”

  1. littleaimishboy says:

    There’s humor in “The Family Circus”?

    Savage, biting, corrosive humor, hiding its sardonic weltanschauung behind a mask of bourgeois propriety. Ambrose Bierce would be proud.


  2. Kenneth Morgan says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves:
    Laura Gemser? Any riffs about her being one of the 1-M Emanuelles but not one of the 2-M Emmanuelles?

    How about this?

    CROW: Hey, she was in those Emanuelle movies!
    SERVO: Yeah, the ones with one “m” in her name.
    JONAH: Wait, how do you guys know that?
    SERVO: Um…uh…Gypsy told us!
    GYPSY: (off-screen) Did not!
    CROW: Did too! Like you told us about Adam West in “Young Lady Chatterly II”!
    JONAH: Adam West was in what?
    SERVO: Um, how about we just watch the movie?


  3. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    A recent re-watching of KTMA-era “The Million Eyes of Sumuru” reminded me that The Joel Era also featured a noticeably larger percentage of racist riffs than The Mike Era. So there’s that, anyway.


  4. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    Lawgiver: It’s “gentle comedy”, according to Rachel Green :D

    A comment used in only a single episode of a sitcom? Even though it’s a popular sitcom, I think that qualifies as REALLY obscure. ;-)


  5. Lawgiver says:

    touches no one’s life, then leaves: A comment used in only a single episode of a sitcom? Even though it’s a popular sitcom, I think that qualifies as REALLY obscure. ;-)

    A sitcom that’s always on tv hehe


  6. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    Lawgiver: A sitcom that’s always on tv hehe

    Well, yes, but as far as I could tell when I googled “Family Circus” “gentle comedy” Friends Rachel (and if you hadn’t cited “Rachel Green” I wouldn’t have known to include either of those two words), it was used in just the one episode and it wasn’t even a particularly “significant” episode. So, nevertheless, obscure/impressive IMHO. :-)


  7. touches no one's life, then leaves says:

    CONTINUED (’cause, again, with the no EDIT function)

    In contrast, “We were on a break” is immediately recognizable to a reasonable percentage of the population. Which reminds me of a certain level of irony in the whole Ross/Rachel deal:

    In “The One with the Morning After,” Rachel straightforwardly tells Monica, “We [Rachel and Ross]…broke up.” Yet, later in the episode, when ROSS states that Rachel had broken with him, she says “We were on a break,” as if this is a completely separate concept. Yet, for the rest of the series, Rachel rejects Ross’s “we were on a break” justification.

    So Rachel twice defines the terms of the discourse and then twice refutes her own terms. Yeah, hard not to win an argument when YOU’RE the only one who gets to decide what the words mean…


  8. Danzilla "Cornjob" McLargeHuge, Student of Kaijuology says:

    “Season finales are easy. Nothing surprising ever happens!”


    And so, another season of MST3K comes to an close. The Gauntlet has been run (and survived), and once again, MSTies are confronted with the very real possibility that they have just watched the last episode of the series. That feeling never gets old, does it?

    When I first found out that Season 12 would be tacking the first Ator movie, I was ecstatic. Cave Dwellers is one of my all time most beloved episodes, and going back to see where the epic saga of the shinny beefcake began was exciting, to say the least! Of course, Rifftrax had already supplied a pretty great riff of this flick, but seeing Ator return to MST – and getting an excuse to hear all new jokes – was still a special occasion. And in my opinion, they nailed it. At the end of the day, I find this episode (tied with Mac & Me) to be the most consistently funny of the season. Strange how The Gauntlet ended up being bookended by my favorite S12 episodes. It’s hysterical all the way, and a great note to end the season on. And speaking of endings… boy howdy, does this episode ever have a doozy of a climax. More on that in a bit, though.

    Some thoughts:

    -The episode begins with Larry finally getting “Idiot Control Now”, and taking off to planet Mearth. The thought of J. Elvis flying through space with his mouth open is kind of priceless. Farewell, Larry. We hardly knew ye.

    -After the theme song, Jonah tell the Bots that, if their plan is a success, “no one will ever have to watch a bad movie ever again.” It remains to be seen just how true this statement ends up being (both within the show’s universe and in real life), but there’s something rather… definitive about it, especially considering the currently murky future of the series.

    -The cheese wheel is a cute idea, and a fun prop, to boot! Also, this might be a dumb question, but is Totino’s an actual sponsor for MST3K? Those damn pizza rolls are everywhere: in the live show last year, in the comics, and now as the Totino’s Pizza Rolls Mortar invention. Is it just a joke, or possibly a series of references that Totino’s is in on? What’s the deal?

    -The movie riffing starts out, appropriately, with Tom asking, “How much Keefe is in this movie?” It simply had to happen. Jonah’s response is “Oh hush.”

    -WOW, I feel bad for the mother of that megalithic infant. Ouch!

    -The “advancing horde on horseback” shots in Cave Dwellers were apparently stock footage from this film. Huh.

    -Anyone else involuntarily go “saaaay” when the horse kidnapping the sister turned around to reveal her obviously modern underwear? Not trying to be creepy, it’s just symptomatic of having seen Cave Dwellers so many times.

    -Segment 1 feels like something the classic series would’ve come up with. It’s a little unsettling how accurate Jonah’s wig is to the real deal.

    -The “Shroud of Turin” shoutout was first made by Tom back in Cave Dwellers. Nice to see it repeated here, although I’m sure it’s a coincidence rather than an intentional callback.

    -Speaking of callbacks, there’s only one in this episode: “Hi-Sheeba!” Well played. Aside from the “How much Keefe” line, most of the callbacks appear in this episode’s final segment and credits.

    -Segment 2’s Kiog puppet is another winner! The little guy has a lot of character. Max’s cut-off song obviously brings Frank and Nummy Muffin Cocobutter to mind. Also, Kinga mentions in this segment that she hired Dr. St. Phibes as the creature handler for the live tour. They really did a lot of setup for the live show this season, which I can only imagine confused a lot of more casual viewers who didn’t realize that the tour had already happened by the time the season hit Netflix. More on that in a minute…

    -Did they really think they could get away with using a name like “the Shield of Mordor” without anyone noticing? Could you imagine being a Tolkien fan in the 1980’s and hearing that name in this film?

    -Okay, so… the ending. *cracks knuckles* Its obvious this season was supposed to air before 2018’s live show. Apparently a lot of changes occurred behind the scenes to make pushing the date back to November work better for the show, but it’s still weird to see so much of this episode’s finale dedicated to setting up an event that had already happened. Still, tying the actual series to the tour is a really cool idea, and seeing things occur in the “canonical” order would’ve been fascinating.

    -That said, as someone who saw the 2018 live show, it’s interesting to get context for certain things that happen in those shows, including Dr. St. Phibes, the introduction of Travel Cambot and the “Deep Hurting” spacecraft, and just why Kinga and Max don’t appear in the tour. One thing hinted at in this ending that didn’t go anywhere during the tour was a bit of flirtation going on between Jonah and St. Phibes. Maybe this is something that will be explored in a future season?

    -The “Deep Hurting” is definitely a cool ship, and J&TB deliver a classic “it stinks!” once inside. Two references for the price on one!

    -And then there’s Kinga’s speech. Maybe it’s the creepy music box tune in the background, but as silly as I’m sure it was intended to be, it was actually quite affecting. I’ve seen several commenters with the opinion that the speech was talking down to and insulting viewers, but I didn’t get any such impression. If this ends up being Kinga’s final Mad moment in the series, it’s an appropriately “evil” sendoff.

    -Finally, there’s the theater at the end of the tunnel, AKA: this season’s “Reptilicus Metalicus” cliffhanger. Upon my first viewing, this entire chain of events left me baffled (I’m assuming it was from the fatigue of having just watched all six Gauntlet episodes in a row), but upon a second viewing (and taking into account the events of the live tour), it made perfect sense. It’s obvious that Jonah found out about the existence of the Moon 13 theater from the plans Crow and Tom stole a few episodes back, and that this is where Kinga and Max were during the tour, explaining why they couldn’t be contacted. Just what this theater is doing there, who made it, how long it’s been there, or why it’s apparently been playing Mr. B. Natural on a loop for God knows how long are all mysteries. The somewhat frustrating thing is, these are all questions I’d love to have answers to, but I’d be fooling myself if I honestly expected to get any. Chances are, if a new season is to be produced, these mysteries will be written off like Jonah’s survival was in this season. This new iteration of the show has thrown so many teases and mysteries at us: the enigma of Moon 13, the weird presence of multiples of the bots on the SOL, the random “other guy with the bots” glitch, Ardy’s “paranormal manifestations” in Moon 14, and, of course, the eternal question of how the bots got back on a new SOL. At the end of the day, it is only just a show, but sometimes it’s nice to reward longtime audience members with answers. Just sayin’…

    -The episode – and the season – ends with the Deep Hurting heading to Earth, set to another new song: “Your Show Stinks”. Once again, there’s an odd feeling of finality to this ending, almost like it’s acknowledging the possibility that this could, once again, be the end. However, I’m choosing to be optimistic. After all, this season was originally supposed to set up the live show, so it was put together with the expectation that there would be, in one way or another, more MST3K. Either way, it’s a catchy song! Also, be sure to listen for Jonah mentioning a “cold Hamdinger”!

    -My name is in the credits of this episode! I feel pretty lucky to have gotten my name in two episodes of the show, both of which (the other being Avalanche) are two of my top favorites of the new era. 20 revival episodes in, and I’m still a happy MSTie.

    -Favorite Riff: “I have twice the headbands of most men!” Honorable Mentions: “This is before they invented Ewoks.”; “Dog ponies!”

    So… whither Season 13?


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