Daily Cartoon: GI Joe Ep.3 “The M.A.S.S. Device, Part 3: The Worms of Death”

Welcome to part three of our into to GI Joe through the original mini-series! I have to admit that I was stepping into this with some trepidation, but – so far – this re-watch has gone splendidly.

When we left off yesterday, Cobra had kidnapped all the world leaders by using the M.A.S.S. Device and brought them all to the mysterious Cobra Temple. Duke, who was being held captive there, escaped and made it back to GI Joe, but is still too out of it to remember anything that could help the Joes find Cobra’s secret base.

Also, GI Joe continues to attempt to build their own M.A.S.S. Device with the help of Dr. Vandermeer, but to do so, they’ll need three catalytic elements and they’ve already failed in being able to acquire the first one: a radioactive crystal in the arctic where they’ve also appeared to leave Snake Eyes for dead.

It’s high-octane excitement from start to finish! You may have an entire seat to sit and watch this today, but you’ll only be needing the edge of it! Let’s go!

Episode 3: “The M.A.S.S. Device, Part 3: The Worms of Death”

Originally Aired: September 14, 1983

The Plot:

Major Bludd is still in the Arctic with his team of troopers trying to refill Cobra’s supply of the radioactive crystals. He sends a robot into the tunnel which had been blasted shut after Cobra ignited their failsafe explosives to give them an opening to retrieve the element, but what this also does is free Snake Eyes who is still alive, but glowing with radiation.

Snake seizes the moment and grabs a container full of crystals to begin walking straight out the front of the cave right past Cobra who look at him as a ticking time bomb because of how much radiation he’s now absorbed. Major Bludd instructs his team to let him go, noting that he’ll be dead soon enough. As Snake Eyes stumbles around aimlessly and obviously weakened, he comes across a wolf whose paw is caught in a bear trap. Snake frees the wolf and it begins following at Snake’s side. The wolf will become his trusty sidekick, Timber.

Back at Joe HQ, Doc has connected Duke to a mind-reading helmet to attempt to jog for memory for any details concerning the location of Cobra Temple. Duke still can’t remember much, but he does have a vivid mental picture of Selina, the slave girl who helped free him. Breaker interrupts noting that they’ve located the second element: a pool of heavy water located in the deepest part of the ocean. Duke tells his team to suit up because they’re going swimming.

Snake Eyes will never be found because Scarlett and her team have left him for dead, but now he gets attacked by a giant polar bear. Timber jumps in the fracas to save Snake, but he’s also tossed to the side like a ragdoll. Luckily, a local blind man just happens to be passing through and scares off the polar bear using the Mountie’s cattle prod.


The Mountie always gets his polar bear.

The blind man can’t see the radiation giving Snake Eyes a glowing aura so he just grabs him under one arm and Timber under the other and throws them both in his sleigh so he can nurse them back to health. I, for one, hope that if I’m ever in trouble it’s a blind guy that finds me because nobody who can see would ever get involved in this kind of shit.

As the Joes underwater team come upon the location of the heavy water, they notice it’s surrounded by numerous thick, stone pillars. Duke tells the crew that he’s seen these before and that they house tubeworms. Obviously, this will come into play momentarily once Cobra…oh look: the Baroness and a team of Cobra Divers has arrived on the scene! All the back and forth laser shooting underwater has now disturbed the tubeworms and they’re very unhappy about it.

The worms attack both Joes and Cobra alike and the two sides are forced to work together to break free from their clutches with the understanding that they will split the heavy water once the worms have been defeated. Duke figueres out their weakness is in the anchor holding the stone pillars to the ocean floor and, after a few laser zaps, the worm trouble becomes a thing of the past. Both sides collect their needed quantity of heavy water, but the Baroness attempts a double-cross forcing the Joes to shoot their way out of the situation. It may all be for naught, however, as the Joes still only have the one element while Cobra has now collected extra quantities of two.

GI Joe is up shit’s creek without a paddle but Short-Fuze and Steeler think they’ve got a pretty good Plan B. Since Cobra depends on the satellite to triangulate the signal for the M.A.S.S. Device, they constructed a smaller, cruder satellite to send into space to blow it up which would ruin Cobra’s plans. Even Dr. Vandermeer thinks it’s a pretty great idea. The Joes launch the new device into space immediately because, I guess there wasn’t any FAA regulations or anything in 1983, but as their hopes and dreams close in on the satellite, Destro – monitoring the situation as always – transports a team of troopers into space to blow the Joes’ unit away before it can cause any harm to Cobra’s best laid plans. That last speckle of hope GI Joe just had has been wiped away in dramatic fashion.

Now that all hope is lost, GI Joe simply gives up and is thankful that everybody tried and nobody got hurt.

Wait…that’s not what happens. What really happens is that Cover Girl drives a fucking tank into base and says, “look who I found,” as she arrives with Snake Eyes and Timber! She claims to have picked them up on the outer perimeter, but let’s get down to brass tacks: I can’t even begin to imagine what  fucking outer perimeter the Joes have in the goddamn Arctic Circle. Whatever. Snake is back and he’s got the crystals. GI still has a puncher’s chance. Dr. Vandermeer begins loading the crystals into his M.A.S.S. Device, but out of nowhere, the canister Snake carried in that was housing the crystals begins smoking, with a radiation plume filling the control center. The fumes begins knocking out the team and we go off the air with the Joes once again in mortal danger.

The Thoughts:

Once again, I’m leaving satisfied with what was presented. It really helps that there’s a very clear storyline they’re following with this being a mini-series so everything we’re seeing has a very distinct direction. That’s something that I’m sure gets away from it somewhat once it gets into the actual syndicated show, but right now it keeps me engaged and looking forward to the next episode.

Also, with what we know about head injuries today, there’s absolutely no way Duke is going to be dealing with some level of CTE later in life. Money couldn’t even remember where he was an hour ago and they plugged him back in the game to go underwater and fight tubeworms. There’s no way in hell he deals with middle age comfortably.

Main Man Standings:

I did enjoy this, but I think it was also the weakest of the three episodes we’ve seen thus far. That doesn’t mean bad, but we’re going to go slightly lower than yesterday at THREE AND A QUARTER MAIN MEN. Three and 1/4 stars. Solid, if not spectacular, but definitely kept me engaged to where I’m still antsy for the next one.

Comments & Concerns?

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