Saturday, August 18, 2007

Superhero?: Taken to the curb


This post contains details from the fourth episode
of Who Wants To Be A Superhero?

This weeks' episode was like watching a KO punch in slow-motion; at the moment of impact you could see the eyes glazing, the mouth going slack and you knew that fighter was going down and wouldn't be getting back up. Once the simple - but fatal - mistake was made, it was obvious who would be booted off Who Wants to be a Superhero?

Picking up where last week's episode left off, the heroes went back to the lair to find the place ransacked and worse, the safe holding their secret identities emptied and the Pencil Stan Lee Started His Career With gone.

(Quick aside: Is it me, or does that pencil look an awful lot like a modern mechanical pencil? Wouldn't he have used a Ticonderoga or something?)

In typical fashion, Defuser took charge and started giving out orders. He's been warned about this before, but it looks like he can't help himself and that's going to end up hurting him if he can't rein it in. Then, Stan Lee popped up on his monitor and tells them Dr. Dark (is it wrong to root for the villain?) has had the stuff stolen and they need to intercept his courier to get it back.

Oh! Almost forgot! Whip-Snap cracked (pun alert) under the pressure and started crying, saying she isn't sure she can go on with the competition. From what I can tell Whip-Snap is estranged from her family and getting close to people only to see them sent away is taking a toll on her. She did manage to get mad at herself and shake it off, though. She needs to get mad more often because when she does she is both awesome and slightly scary.

While trying to nab the courier, the heroes got a message from a commercial that tried to sell the audience auto insurance. Which was pretty annoying. Product placement is a fact of film and television, but do we really need animated shills giving the heroes their assignments? Like I said - annoying.

To make the challenge more difficult, the heroes had to borrow clothes from strangers to create a disguise that would allow them to approach the courier, say the password and get the stuff back. And this is when the mistake was made.

Everyone was doing OK (Parthenon in particular is turning out to be focused, clever and fun; Hygena's getting a little annoying), and then there was a curve-ball. With time running out, a woman approached each hero and asked for help finding her daughter. All of them stopped what they were doing and started looking for the little girl - except for Basura.


Maybe she was thrown by the criticism she got in a previous episode for stopping in the middle of a mission, but Basura looked lost. And before she could get herself together the woman was gone and her opportunity went with it.

Once the mission was completed (retrieving the files, but not Lee's pencil) everyone got a look at what their comic book covers will look like if they win, then headed back to the lair where Whip-Snap totally kicked Hyper-Strike's ass in an arm-wrestling contest! Later, Defuser was called on his criticism of his colleagues in his mission report which, again, earns him points for honesty but isn't really doing him any favors. Tact, Defuser, tact! They're supposed to be your teammates, not your sidekicks.

Finally, it was time for the chopping blocks. Lee had a little crow for everyone to chew on, but this week it was Defuser, Hygena and Basura in the bottom three. And while Defuser is risking things by failing to learn how to lead without bossing people around, and Hygena is seemingly on the verge of a breakdown most of the time, Basura made an obvious screw-up and was eliminated.

I liked Basura, but indecisiveness and a willingness to be overshadowed by stronger personalities caught up to her, and I really can't argue that she didn't deserve to get the ax. Rubbish!

Current favorites: The Defuser, Whip-Snap
Most improved: Parthenon

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