ANIMORPHS Episode 11: The Forgotten

Here we are again. Rachel walks down the street expositing that she is on her way to gymnastics camp for the weekend and also she is wearing a sweatervest.



She tells us she wanted to cancel her plans due to alien invasion, but the others insisted she go. Before she leaves, she has to check in with Tobias, because birds are like R.L. Stine: they give her Goosebumps. Rachel runs into the wooded glen like the happy schoolgirl she is and stares at the sky and turns into a bird.

Hey bird

Hey bird

She flies around using what I’m almost sure is repeated stock footage…until she suddenly spirals out of control and crashes into the forest below. Woops!

After the intro, Rachel wakes up on a log.

Get used to this sight.

Get used to this sight.

She is still providing voice-overs, but now they have the thought-speak distortion effect applied to them, and also she has a bird arm.

I've heard of bird flu BUT THIS

I’ve heard of bird flu BUT THIS

Her arm becomes an arm again and Rachel wanders off into the woods. By the way, I guess she has amnesia now.

Meanwhile, Tobias is flying around the area searching for her. He’s pissed as shit that she’s late for their date, he’s a bird with a lot to do. Then he finds her abandoned backpack. Detective Bird realizes something is amiss.

In the park, Jake and Cassie are playing baseball while Marco sits under a tree and laughs at them. This reflects the couple’s sexual dynamic: Cassie has the bat, Jake is the pitcher, and Marco awkwardly watches and giggles.


Tobias shows up to ruin their fun. Marco’s hair looks extra stupid today, and I know I say that a lot, but it’s really true this time guys I swear.



Tobias tells the gang that he thinks Rachel is all missing, then flies off to search for her some more.

Typical day of talking to birds

Typical day of talking to birds

In the woods, Rachel is crossing a stream and walking through the trees and other woodland activities. Then she trips on a rock and falls down like a regular Visser Three.



Luckily, she notices a woodland shack while getting back up. She goes to investigate. Hey, did any of you guys ever read Cold River as a kid? That was a neat book about the woods & bears & escaped lunatics & dead dads & bears.


The shack is empty, so Rachel eats some food and plays with a collection of mason jars. Looking at a jar causes her to have a flashback of flailing around in the Yeerk Pool a few episodes back (you know, when Tobias was murdered).

This crazy old broad shows up and locks Rachel in some kind of wooden prison cell room.


Rachel tries to explain, but the woman is convinced she is a Yeerk. Rachel has a flashback to the time she dressed up like a doctor and watched as that oatmeal guy became re-Yeerked. Hey, whatever happened to weaponized oatmeal?

The old lady starts waving the jar around, and I guess it contains the Yeerk that used to be in her head. Spooky.

The others (minus Ax who I guess is at a rave party or something this week) have gathered around Rachel’s backpack and Jake the Dog is attempting to acquire her scent.

morphs9The plan falls through when they realize she must’ve become a bird and flown away. Maroc argues “Rachel hasn’t acquired a bird morph,” and Cassie is like “Yes she has.” It comes out that Rachel semi-secretly got herself a bird morph solely to hang out with Tobias. He tells everyone, “She can be a bird,” and I bust out laughing at that line.

Back in the prisoner shack, the old woman is rocking back and forth and having the time of her life while Rachel experiences further flashbacks and recalls words like “Andalite” and “morph.”

The two pretty much just argue with each other. It turns out that despite being out of her gourd, this old woman knows her shit: she escaped from the Yeerks, knows about the Sharing, etc. Rachel busts out of the shack because, hey, it’s a wooden shack, and runs away.

Jake the Dog is still tracking and Tobias is still flying around birding. Jake picks up the old lady’s scent and the gang run into her as she’s looking for Escaped Rachel.


She’s convinced they’re Controllers, too, which gets their attention. She makes vague references to Rachel, and Tobias says, “Rachel’s hurt. We’ve gotta find her before she talks to anyone else.” Well, nothing about this woman’s dialogue implied that Rachel had amnesia, but whatever. The old lady throws dirt at Cassie.

Rachel trips over a log in like the most spectacular fashion imaginable and then decides to give up, sit down and die alone in the woods.



Jake the Dog and his Human Friends show up at the prison shack. Cassie spots the Yeerk-in-Jar and is like oh okay. Jake smells danger.

"We have the worst fucking props department."

“We have the worst fucking props department.”

Rahcel’s back on her feet again (commercial breaks really fix everything on this show, shoulda known that) and she runs into…this dude.

Oh, him.

Oh, him.

This guy asks Rachel if she needs any help, and she says she’s looking for The Sharing. He’s like oh, hey, shit, it’s not far from here. Rachel nearly faints from poor life choices and the guy agrees to lead to her Sharing Camp.

This old nut is still on her trail.

Tobias lurks around Sharing Camp until he sees Rachel and That Guy walk in. He tries to thought-speak to her, but she has no idea what’s going on. Maybe he should’ve tried saying “I’m that bird you want to fuck.”

Tobias reports back to Jake the Human and his Human Friends. They discuss Rachel heading to The Sharing and Marco wonders if she’s just been infected by the Yeerks. I’m pretty sure this is like the fourth time Marco has accused a member of the group like this. Tobias goes into a bird rage over these allegations. Much like Shawn Hunter, he flies away in a huff.



At Camp Sharing, Rachel lets a bunch of strange men massage her head.


She mentions the word “Yeerk” and they go on alert. Rachel is an idiot. She allows these strange men to use strange alien tools on her head. They scan and find no Yeerk in her brain.

The others hide in the bushes outside the camp. I am hoping this will end with Rachel running toward them, then catching & spiking a football.

The two strange men decide to just let Rachel nap an put an alien in her head later at the Big Alien Bonfire & Snack Party or whatever. Later, the others watch a big oil drum being pulled into the camp. Cassie says it “looks like a Yeerk Pool,” and it doesn’t, but okay. They see Rachel being led out of her tend and toward certain doom, and decide to finally use their power to transform into animals.

Rachel has a flashback to what appears to be a Yeerk-infected Jake shoving his finger in his ear. That hasn’t happened yet, so I’m guessing this was aired out of production order or that no one involved with this show gave a shit about anything ever.



The flashbacks give Rachel a headache, but the strange men trick her into letting them do stuff to her head again.

Outside, someone is a wolf and they spook all of the flashlight goons.



This dude seriously almost infects Rachel by telling her “hey, look over there” and then trying to shove a slug into her head with a pair of chopsticks.

What a plan

What a plan

She sees what he’s doing (shocking right) and tries to run; she’s cornered, but then Marco the Wolf shows up to make the strange men cower in fear.



Rachel runs off into the woods, where Jake and Cassie grab her. Thinking they’re assholes, she breaks free and runs off again.

Guy #1 wants to call Visser Three and alert him that they fucked up, but Guy #2 is like, “he doesn’t have to know.” Pretty funny, even these dorks don’t want to deal with Visser Trent’s bald shit.

I guess Cassie and Jake wrangled Rachel again (or maybe Wolf Marco just took a huge bite out of her leg, crippling her), because they’re all back at the barn trying to convince her to end this storyline. Rachel just keeps trying to run away. She calls them “freaks,” and I guess she got even more amensia and forgot that she had a bird arm earlier.

Jake morphs into a tiger (I don’t know what this is supposed to prove) and it’s exactly the same shot as when he did it in “Underground,” also, they don’t even show the tiger, just the reused morphing shot. Cassie urges Rachel to morph into a lion because I guess that will fix her dumb head.

Rachel has some kind of spiritual vision of a lion, then she gets on all fours (oh boy) and starts being one. And then she remembers everything.

Maybe I should turn into a lion.

Maybe I should turn into a lion.

A couple days later or whatever, Rachel does gymnastics in the park with her friends (how are they going to explain this whole incident to her parents by the way?).


Then there’s a spooky POV shot and it turns out the crazy old woman is watching from the bushes. I’m sure that will totally be brought up again.

Spooky scary

Spooky scary

Also the credits say her name is Fran. Great!

I watched this episode on my shitty old ripped copy instead of Netflix, and the credits contained a VO of Angelica and Chuckie from RUGRATS talking abotu SNICK. Jesus. Also it was apparently recorded from an “ANIMORPH-A-MANIA” marathon. Double Jesus.

Final Thoughts:

This was pretty good, sure. The concept isn’t that interesting (Rachel randomly gets amnesia until she doesn’t have amnesia) but it’s executed pretty well, which I guess in the inverse of most ANIMORPHS episodes. There’s nothing aggressivley irritating, the plot follows and makes sense, all of the characters get something to do (except Ax who is literally never mentioned), Visser Trent made no appearances, etc.

Weirdly enough, this was written by Scott Peters, who also wrote “On the Run,” my most fuck-this episode of the show so far. He has had a solid career of writing spooky sci-fi for TV: before this he did a bunch of ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARKs, and he went on to write for THE 4400 and V. He also did eight episodes of BEYOND BELIEF: FACT OR FICTION. So I guess I can’t hate him for the “On the Run.” I am going to continue hating him, though.

Also weird that we just did two Rachel episodes in a row, right? This combined with the flashback of Jake that seems to come from next week’s episode seem to solidify that something fucky was happening here.

Adaptation Rating: I don’t know. This was based on one of the subplots from MEGAMORPHS #1. Megamorphs was a line of special, longer books with bigger-concept plots (the second one sends them back to dinosaur times for no reason) and multiple POVs. This plot was sort of annoying in the book and I don’t remember much about it. Sorry.

Special Effects: 3/5. I was going to give them a generous 4 but they are losing points for how apparent the stock footage has become.

Character Development: Rachel likes to turn into a bird so she and Tobias can make out. Rachel gets amnesia but then doesn’t have amnesia anymore. Marco is still an asshole.

’90’s Bullshit: Letting strange men touch your head when you’re a pretty teenage girl. Gymnastics camp. Rugrats and SNICK.

Overall Rating: 4/5. Good execution of a boring idea.

Next Week: Another two-parter where Jake does a bunch of stuff.

ANIMORPHS Episode 10: The Stranger

This episode will be guest-reviewed by my buddy Kyle, who, until this point, has never seen an episode or read a book of ANIMORPHS. He has been listening to my constant prattle about this show’s fuck-ups for too long. Today is his chance to experience the things. I will write the captions. I’ll do an actual review next week. Or maybe I’ll review 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd. Who can say in this turbulent world?


Rachel(?)’s dad wants her to move away with him and she considers it because it might be more fun than fighting an interstellar war.

"Sorry about the divorce, but you're SO VAIN."

“Sorry about the divorce, but you’re SO VAIN.”

Then everyone is out in the woods and the blue alien horse puppet gets thrown around and they all get trapped in a net.



Bad guys show up to gloat.



Then a space ghost freezes time to show the kids how shit the world will be if they lose.


Basically everything will be yellow and a bad CGI ship will fly around.


Also Tobias will not be a bird because magic

Tobias will not be a bird because magic

Also Rachel will be a mean old bitch.


The ghost offers them some alternative that would leave Earth yellow and fucked but let them stay OK somehow. They refuse. Then everything is just okay anyway.

As usual.

As usual.

Rachel decides not to move away.



Rachel is a girl. She likes her dad and I think she has a sister. According to others she is really vain. She’s the one who wants to fuck that bird, right?


Tobias is a bird.


One of them is also a girl.



The other one might be called Paul and wears an orange vest. Is he the one with the shitty old brother?

Sure why not

Sure why not

There’s a blue alien who poses as a retarded kid.

And likes bondage.

And likes bondage.

Visser 3 is a terrible, incompetent villain.



Oh, I forgot about Jake. Jake is a character I forgot about.


Favorite Character

Tobias, because he seems pretty happy as a bird.

Least Favorite Character

Old Rachel because she was a nasty bitch.

Adaptation Rating: I’ve never read the book. 2/5. Some of it may have been in the book, but there’s no way it was executed as stupidly. I imagine the space ghost would have been explained more than not at all.

Special Effects: I’ll give it a generous 3/5. They weren’t great, but I wasn’t offended either. From the sound of things, they tried more than usual with their yellow vision of the future.

’90s References: Space Ghost Coast to Coast.

Character Development: All-powerful space entities are actually irrelevant and Rachel is convinced that she needs to stay and fight.

Why Do You Think This Series Failed?

There’s nothing about it that can’t answer that question.

ANIMORPHS Episode 9: The Reaction

We’re at the zoo and Cassie is giving a voice over about how and why Tobias turned into a bird. She warns us that “sometimes a morph can have a mind of its own.” Spooky. We see her looking at crocodiles and Rachel walks up talking about how they’re on a field trip. There’s another kid here, too. His name is Ponytail Ethan. I really think this is the first time there’s been a non-recurring-character kid with lines.



Ponytail Ethan leads our ladies away to look at animals more interesting than crocodiles. Immediately a little shit of a kid surmounts a fence and wanders into the croc den, garnering the attention of our heroes.

He dies, and the rest of the episode is Cassie's guilt.

He dies, and the rest of the episode is Cassie’s guilt.

Rachel sends Ponytail Ethan off to get help while Cassie strolls lackadaisically into the pit and grabs the kid. Rachel joins her and within seconds they are both surrounded by threatening ‘odiles. The camera zooms in doofily on one of them and we go into the intro.



When we get back, Cassie orders Rachel to escape with the kid while she literally throws herself on a crocodile and acquires it to calm it down. There were four crocodiles around them before so I don’t know how this works but whatever. Cassie escapes just before Ponytail Ethan returns…without any help. What the fuck was he doing?


Cut to Yeerk Labs and Visser Trent is watching TV and bitching about how stupid it is. He’s hanging out with Tom. Apparently they’ve infested “Jason John McCole,” a popular celeb amongst tweens. He’s supposed to be a Jonathan Taylor Thomas riff, but the dude they have playing him is about thirty-five—Tom can relate. Anyway, Jonathan Jason John Taylor McThomas is going to be on a talk show soon.

No screencaps of Visser Trent this week. You're welcome.

No screencaps of Visser Trent this week. You’re welcome.

At the barn, Cassie’s been feeling sick ALL DAY. Well at least she isn’t a bird. The Barn Phone rings and she answers. Apparently it was The Talk Show. They heard about the girls saving the boy from crocs, so the show wants to have them on as guests. I guess they don’t need to discuss this with their parents or anything because Cassie accepts.


Then her arm starts crocodiling. Uh-oh, yo. It fades, and Cassie blows it off as nothing.

please see a dermatologist

please see a dermatologist

The girls meet up with Jake and Marco at THE CYBER CAFE. Jake is pissed at them for putting themselves on display in public, although it’s not like they even did any Animorphing. He doesn’t want them putting themselves on display like that, much less on a TV show.

The girls don’t care. They check out an article about themselves on the probably-terrible talk show’s definitely-terrible web page.

Where is the link to Rollerblades?

Where is the link to Rollerblades?

Marco eats chips.


The girls realize they are going to be on the same show as John Jason Thomas and have a Typical Teenage Girl Freakout. Then Cassie’s arm crocodiles again.


Jake comes over and he’s mad jealous that Cassie’s got a crocodile boner for someone else. Also, it’s occurring to me that the Cyber Cafe is a business built around teenagers operating computers while goofing off with food and drink in hand. Anyway, Jim Jason John Flying Jimmy is going to be on the show to talk about The Sharing. All boners in the room subside.

Rachel wants to save Jeremy Josh Peck if he hasn’t already been infested by Yeerkos. The girls decide they’ll talk with Ax later and get some advice. Marco’s mouth is full of chips.

Marco's chip-eating subplot is my favorite.

Marco’s chip-eating subplot is my favorite.

Cassie goes to the library and reads a book about reptiles that is definitely aimed at eight year olds. Hey, you know, this is the time to talk about something. The girl playing Cassie constantly does this thing where she walks with her hands on her hips and her elbows pointing backwards. It gives off the feeling of a pregnant woman. It’s bizarre. She did it in the croc scene, she does it here, and she’ll do it again in the very next scene.

The Nadia Waddle

The Nadia Waddle

Then Tom comes around the corner, prowling for young girls as usual. While she makes awkward small-talk with him, she starts growing crocodile scales first under her shirt, then on her arms.



Tom asks Cassie if she wants to bang his little brother; she manages to avoid both exposing her crocodile skin and her teenage yearnings. After some talk, Tom realizes he is not gonna get laid and peaces out. Cassie itches her arm.

In the barn, Jake has drawn a plan on a whiteboard. That is way more than I expected from these kids.

"So first, Marco is gonna buy a boombox. If you see a pipe, WARN ME."

“So first, Marco is gonna buy a boombox. If you see a pipe, WARN ME.”

Tobias is here. He still is alive. So. Okay. Cassie continues to not tell everyone about her problems until she collapses in a bale of hay and painfully morphs into a crocodile.

Yep. Painful

Yep. Painful

Everyone watches with mild interest, then the camera does the same stupid zoom-in again. Then she turns back into a girl. Then she turns back into a crocodile. Then she turns back into a girl. What a day, you guys.

Ax explains that Cassie is displaying “an allergy to a morph.” There’s nothing they can do, but apparently Cassie’s body will eventually “burp out” the animal she is allergic to. Cassie is going to burp up a crocodile. She is going to create new life. This is the thing that is going to happen. Maybe she burped up our Replacement Tobias after his death so Rachel would stop writing poems about him and listening to Evanescence.

There’s an argument about whether or not Cassie should cancel the TV appearance because of her crocodile gas. They want to go to find out if Jeremy Jackson Jones is a controller or not, but Jake bans them from appearing to protect their secret morphing power/so John Jackson Jane won’t feel her up in the dressing room.

The night, Cassie calls Rachel. Rachel picks up and immediately assumes Cassie burped up her crocodile. She does that thing where she just keeps talking and never gives Cassie a chance to explain otherwise. So they’re gonna be on the show.

Typical girl talk

Typical girl talk

At the TV studio, Cassie has decided to wear overalls to her television appearance.


The girls head inside while the boys go into Action Mode. Cassie gets makeup applied to her face for the first time in her life and the girls meet JTMC. He’s kinda got this Emilio Estevez thing going on, if Emilio was a shitty actor. He turns out to be a total asshole and mocks them while Cassie’s arm goes scaley, revealing her lie to Rachel.

"You girls ever want to fuck Simba? Okay okay okay."

“You girls ever want to fuck Simba? Okay okay okay.”

Rachel concludes that Jason MUST be a Yeerk, because why else would he be a dick? Oh, and by the way, the third guest on the show is some dude who works with animals. So Marco’s morphed his llama and is llamaing around while Ax and Jake skitter by as roaches.


The girls wait in the audience while the show is set up on stage. Cassie starts having labor pains so I guess it’s time to shoot a croc out of herself. Rachel takes her to the restroom, where Cassie locks herself in a stall, burps out a crocodile, then crawls out and runs away. So that’s dealt with, I guess.



They head back on stage, and so does the croc, freaking everyone out. Jonathan Taylor Notmas faints, and according to the guys in morph, it’s because his Yeerk has slithered out of his head in order to escape the crocodile. That doesn’t really make any sense at all.


PICTURED: Me after writing an ANIMORPHS review

The croc makes a beeline for unconscious Jason, so the girls wake him up and save him. Marco the Llama sits on the floor.


Then the croc eats the Yeerk slug.


Cut to the Cyber Cafe, where everyone is celebrating their success (?). Rachel says that Jeremy Jason has decided to quit show business and move out of the country. I mean they should probably have a chat with the guy considering he’s now a survivor of Yeerk infestation, the first person like that they’ve encountered, and if they don’t step in to protect him, he’ll probably be hunted down and reinfested or killed by the Yeerks—oh, they have a food fight instead.


Cassie has a voice over about how important trust is and how she shouldn’t have lied to her friends. That’s a real bullshit moral lesson, Cassie. In fact, lying to your friends directly caused the Yeerk to be expelled from JTT, saving him from infestation. Who knows what their plan was going to be otherwise, other than that it involved Marco being a llama.

Final Thoughts:

It wasn’t terrible like other episodes I’ve faced. It was mediocre, I guess. An okay story bogged down by a lot of weird choices. What was the point of Ponytail Ethan? What even was the original plan to save Jason John McCole from the Yeerks? Why did they try to shoehorn in a lesson about being trustworthy when Cassie’s lies led to the day being saved (in a completely bizarre way)? }

The writer on this one was Carl Ellsworth. He wrote two more episodes of Animorphs…then went on to write for major movies including Red Eye, Disturbia, and the remakes of Red Dawn and The Last House on the Left. Good on him. His current project is the screenplay for the Goosebumps movie. Full circle.

Cameron Graham, who played Jason John McCole, was also on a Goosebumps episode. He also had a role on the ’80s Degrassi High series playing Dale, a character who apparently never did anything of note.

Adaptation Rating: 2/5. They took the Rachel-centric THE REACTION and made it into a Cassie episode, I guess because most of the Cassie books are pretty annoying. Then they trunucated the plot and resolved the climax in a completely asinine way. Seriously, “The Yeerk crawls out of his head in order to escape a crocodile and then is eaten by a crocodile” reads like the first draft of a script before someone comes in and points out all of the clear problems with the idea.

Special Effects: 3/5. Compared to some of the shit I’ve put up with, the croc-arms weren’t the worst.

Character Development: Cassie learns that lying is the worst except she didn’t actually learn shit. Marco gets to be a llama.

’90’s Bullshit: Ugly web pages. Jonathan Taylor Thomas. Cyber Cafes. Boys with ponytails. Lying to your friends.

Overall Rating: 3/5. Not that great, pretty stupid, but not irritating, either.

Next Week: A horrible episode.

ANIMORPHS Episode 8: The Alien

Human Ax, Marco, and Jake are at the movie theater. Ax doesn’t get it; he thinks the previews are themselves movies, and can’t follow the plot. The move starts and it’s some old black-and-white public domain alien thing, though based on the audio and video we get of it, it seems like just another trailer.


But anyway, the gist is, Ax doesn’t get human culture. He doesn’t know what “sci-fi” is, doesn’t understand how to laugh, you know. Then he eats candy and popcorn and goes fuckin bonkers over it. Andalites don’t have mouths, so having taste buds is the bomb diggity to them. He starts eating popcorn off the floor and terrifies everyone in the theater, but at least he isn’t texting. Then he sees an alien on screen and eye-stalks grow out of his forehead, scaring a child and ruining his cognitive development. The guys drag him out of the theater.

I'm so sick of annoying teenagers at the movies.

I’m so sick of annoying teenagers at the movies.

After the intro, we’re outside the theater. Jake yells at Ax, who says that seeing the alien planets on screen reminded him of home and freaked him out. Ax is homesick. When Ax moves offscreen, Jake and Marco talk about how much it must suck to be an alien stranded on Earth. Well, at least Ax doesn’t have it as bad as Corny…

Ax gets a voice-over. He wants to accept the friendship of his, uh, friends, but he has been taught to not trust other species and “never tell our race’s terrible secrets.” He wishes Elfangor was there. Heavy.

He also has popcorn in his hair. Less heavy.

He also has popcorn in his hair. Less heavy.

Marco is like, well, we took him to the mall AND the movies, I give up, fuck him. Jake decides that since Ax misses his own family, they should let him hang out with theirs. Sounds great. He and Marco’s dad can bond over their unflinching depression and guilt; he and Tom can bond over secretly being aliens. They decide that they can’t bring him to Rachel or Cassie’s house because they’re busy doing irrelevant shit. Marco notes, “Yeah, and Tobias lives in a tree.”


Tobias lives in a tree.

Tobias lives.



Jake exercises his brain muscles and decides it would be a shitty idea to bring Ax around his Yeerky brother Tom, so they take him to Marco’s place. He immediately tries to eat wax fruit. What the fuck is the point of wax fruit? Ax immediately questions Marco about the photos of his dead Dead Mom who died. They bond over the hopelessness of their shared existence.

But based on Tobias Bird Christ, things are looking up for Dead Mom.

But based on Tobias Bird Christ, things are looking up for Dead Mom.

Marco’s dad comes in all, “Hey, finally, I’ve been waiting for you to cook dinner and make sure I don’t kill myself for three hours.” They try to introduce him to Ax, but have not even taken the foresight to come up with a name for him. They decide he is Max, Jake’s cousin. Turns out Marco’s dad has snapped out of depression long enough to make chili hot enough to make you hallucinate Johnny Cash space coyotes. Despite the boys warning him against it, Ax eats the chili after being bullied into it by Marco’s Alive Dad. He screams out, “THIS IS A WONDERFUL FOOD.”


Ax’s human antics are probably one of the best elements of this show, and this episode showcases that pretty well. All of these scenes where Ax is freaking out over stuff/not understanding humans are pulled off pretty well. It’s funny, a rare treat for this show. Ax eats the entire bowl of chili.

Then Marco’s Dad gets an e-mail on his ’90s laptop. He is pumped. Apparently, he and his coworkers are about to finish work on a “radio telescope” at the observatory. This fascinates Ax, who suddenly leaves to mull over the implications of this technology. Jake and Marco get a little suspicious over how Ax “never tells us anything about himself.” They follow him out the door, leaving Marco’s Dad to eat three bowls of ice cream by himself. Truly he is the most relatable, tragic figure in this story.

"I'm so glad no one is abandoning me tonight."

“I’m so glad no one is abandoning me tonight.”

At the satellite radio telescope observatory house, the boys show up to find some poorly-made footprints of Ax transforming from human to Andalite to whatever. They both turn into lizards and we get some of the ridiculous special effects the last few episodes were sorely missing. They lizard into the building, then turn back into humans absolutely immediately to investigate the radio-scope.


The boys hide and watch as Andalite Ax types nonsense into a computer. I’m just absolutely shocked that they didn’t have him be a human in this scene; I think we’ve seen Andalite Ax all of once since his first appearance. He uses the telescope to successfuly make contact with Andalite Dad Homeworld and videochats with his Andalite Dad.

Andalite Dad is too scrambled to screencap. Here's Ax.

Andalite Dad is too scrambled to screencap. Here’s Ax.

Andalite Dad wants to talk to Elfangor, obviously, and Ax informs him of the bad news. Anda-Dad takes little time to mourn and immediately assigns his remaining son the task of revenge-murdering Elfangor’s killer. To underscore what a challenge this will be, we immediately cut to Visser Trent stuffing popcorn in his fat face.


Some guy in a Business Suit comes in and tells Visser Popcorn that someone somewhere is making a space phone call. Visser Calories is like FUCK SHUT UP UGH and throws his food to the floor. Good scene.

Back at the space payphone, Andalite Dad pretty much tells Ax that Earth doesn’t matter to their people; by the time they can spare soldiers to send there, it’ll have been too late. Ax brings up the small resistance of humans with morphing powers and Andalite Dad gets really pissed off that someone shared the secret morphing technology with them. He demands to know whodunit. Not wanting to shame Elfangor’s memory, Ax takes the blame.


A bunch of unthreatening cars show up at the Hubble Space Skype Center while the dial-up signal goes out. Ax morphs into his human form and tries to stroll out of the building, followed by Jake and Marco. Outside, Visser Suit and an army of suits are trying to get into the building, but can’t because…the door is locked.



Okay. Inside, Ax…strolls right back up to the telescope, where is confronted by Marco and Jake. They’re pissed at him for calling Planet Dad in secret. He tries to lie his way out of it, which only makes them pissier.

Also Jake has clearly gone insane

Also Jake has clearly gone insane

Outside, the Suits arm set their flashlight lasers to KILL LOCKS.

Set phasers to Fuck This

Set phasers to Fuck This

Jake tells Ax that he’s one of them, but he can’t keep being a secretive dickhead.

Terrible laserbeams melt the door open.


Jake and Marco call Ax out on being a species-ist dumb dick and thinking humans are below him. They also ask why he lied to his father about being the one to give them morphing powers, so I guess they’re shitty at reading context clues. Ax can’t bring himself to tell them anything, because it’s super against Andalite culture to share secrets–and especially technology–with other races. He says Elfangor was wrong to give them the morphing technology, which really pisses them off.

Ax keeps ranting about how dumb human are, calling them “children.” He calls the guys out on not even being able to keep Elfangor’s magic plot disk from the Yeerks. They have no argument for that, let me tell you.

Our three bickering heroes hear the door getting lasered open and stop fighting long enough to start escaping. The Suits get inside. Ax hears Visser Trent yelling some bullshit, recognizes his voice, and decides to stay and revenge-murder him.

The untalented leading the unpaid

The untalented leading the unpaid

Ax turns back into his Andalite form and confronts Visser Trent in the telescope room. He’s real mad about everything. All of the Suits draw their laser-lights on him, but Trent tells them not to interfere. He morphs back to Andalite for to do battle. This shot is supposed to be threatening, but it’s so fucking silly.



So basically, the Andalites confront each other while Jake, Marco, and the goons watch. Everything is shot drenched in shadows as two puppety torsos grapple with each other and the director grapples with his motion blur tool. It’s incomprehensible. Luckily, Visser Three is eventually attacked by Tiger-Jake, who is clearly green-screened in. And for like the fifth time in as many episodes, the leader of the Yeerk invasion falls over like a chump.

Basically this

Basically this

Ax is mad impressed that Jake came back for him even though he was being a dick. Visser Three does his whole GET THEM, YOU FOOLS thing, and instead of just shooting Jake and Ax like they planned to before, his goons all give chase. Also Marco was a wolf but I don’t think he did literally anything.

Cut to the guys standing by a lake, so I guess they escaped.

I don't wanna wait

I don’t wanna wait

Ax feels shitty that he didn’t get to murder Visser Three. He cries about, well, everything, and apologizes for being so secretive. He tells a story. It turns out that the law of not sharing technology, the law of Seerow’s Kindness, comes from Prince Seerow, an Andalite who felt pity for the Yeerks–once just a race of useless slugs who couldn’t get off their own planet–and gave them space travel tech, unleashing their parasitic shittiness on the universe.

Jake and Marco surprise Ax by using compassion. They tell him that yeah, Prince Seerow fucked up, but you can’t just give up because you made one mistake. You have to learn from it and do better next time. Ax decides that he’s not just an Andalite, but a human, and that he will never keep anything from them again. They all decide to go for ice cream, provided Marco’s Dad hasn’t consumed the town’s stock already. The end.

Final Thoughts:

It was good. Human Ax is funny, the plot made sense and wasn’t as full of unresolved cliffhangers as usual. The climax was poorly shot and unfufilling, but it wasn’t as bad as the Useless Yeerk Pool Assault or Tobias Gets Gunned Down During a Water Balloon Fight.

Speaking of which, yeah, I guess Tobias is alive now. There’s absolutely no explanation given for him going from a clearly dead bird underground last week and being mentioned as alive (but off-screen) this week. So I have absolutely no clue what the writers were thinking with that. Also, pretty funny that he, Cassie and Rachel are just totally MIA this week. Guess the budget must’ve been a bad time.

This episode was written by Mark Scott Zicree. He has two more episodes later in the series (spoiler: one of them is a fucking disaster) and went on to write for the later seasons of SLIDERS. And if there’s ever a comparable show to Animorphs, God, SLIDERS is it. Please don’t make me write a SLIDERS blog.

Adaptation Rating: 4/5. Sure. This based on THE ALIEN, and it’s not 1:1 but hey, it distilled the book’s plot and character development pretty well. It’s not as good, obviously, but whatever.

Character Development: Ax learns to trust his friends and not be a dickhead; also, swears revenge on Visser Three, loves food, we learn about Andalite history, he gets a lot here. Also, Tobias returns from the dead, cementing his status as an allegory for Jesus Christ. Marco’s Dad eats three bowls of ice cream.

Special Effects: 3/5, I guess? The Hork-Bajir and the Biofilter look dumb, but those were the only real effects, and there was no stupid Visser hologram this week.

’90’s Bullshit: Sci-fi movies from the ’40s. Space radio telescope video phones. Hideous laptops.

Overall Rating: 4/5. Totally solid, funny, develops the plot and the characters–pretty much has all I could ask for, leaving out the dumb Andalite wrestling match and Tobias’s inexplicable return to life.

Next Week: A Cassie episode based on a Rachel book. Maybe Tobias is murdered again. Who knows.

ANIMORPHS Episode 7: The Escape

Marco, Rachel, and Human Ax are hanging out at a bizarrely non-cyber Cafe. They’re talking about (I think) using their Animorphy powers to attend the opening of a Planet Hollywood that “Arnold” will be at. I have a feeling the “90s references” section of this review will be fat and juicy. Ax doesn’t know who Arnold is because is a fucking alien, Marco, leave him alone.


The gang gets milkshakes and Ax loses his ever-loving mind. This fun time is quickly sidetracked by the slow-motion dramatic camera as Marco notices a sobbing drug addict eating oatmeal at the counter.

Animorph Oatmeal: A Missed Branding Opportunity

Animorph Oatmeal: A Missed Branding Opportunity

He’s had four bowls of oatmeal. He’s eaten the entire diner out of oatmeal. He starts licking the bowl. This is very dramatic. Ax eats his milkshake with his fingers.

The entire time, this scene keeps cutitng back to a fan, which is really fucking weird.

Spooky Scary Fanningtons

Spooky Scary

The Addict has a fit, knocking stuff over and screaming that he needs more oatmeal until the police (they exist???) show up and drag him away. Then Rachel starts a voice-over and a cliffnotes of the entire seen replays AND THEN THAT DEADLY FAN AGAIN. So this is by far the weirdest episode yet.

In the barn, Jake and Cassie are like “Yo that shit sounds mad crazy. Was there a creepy fan?”.

Tobias remains a bird.

Tobias remains a bird.

Rachel shows up to tell them she recognized The Addict, named Edelman, in one of her lawyer-mom’s recent cases. His family’s trying to lock him up for being insane/eating all the oatmeal. Apparently Edelman is convinced there is an alien called a Yeerk in his brain, and he’s been locked up in the psych ward. Despite Marco’s protests, everyone agrees to go on an adventure. Ax is not in this scene so I guess he is just drinking milkshakes somewhere.

At the Psych Ward, a man is flying around like an airplane. 

Classy depiction of mental illness.

Classy depiction of mental illness.

Then…son of a bitch. Marco and Rachel are sneaking into the Psych Ward by dressing up like doctors. YOU CAN MORPH INTO ANYTHING. YOU COULD BE DOCTORS. You could be Arnold. You could be on a better show.

Okay, maybe you couldn't be that, Boris.

Okay, maybe you couldn’t be that, Boris.

The airplane guy flies by them and stops to yell, “GETTING GIDDY AND HIP. NA NA NA NA NA.” This reminds me of Twin Peaks.

"Those '90s kids' books you like aren't going to come back in style."

“Those ’90s kids’ books you like aren’t going to come back in style.”

Marco insults the mentally ill and the camera goes into slow-motion for no reason until they find George Edelman’s room. Edelman’s staring out the window, but even he’s sane enough to realize these two teenagers aren’t his usual doctors.

"I thought you'd be dogs or something."

“I thought you’d be dogs or something.”

Marco makes some actually-funny jokes before they start asking about the alien in his head. Edelman thinks they’re just fucking with him, but they get him to provide an accurate description of the Yeerks. Then we learn that apparently, Edelman broke free of his Yeerk’s control…by eating Instant Maple Oatmeal, which essentially gave the brain-slug an allergic reaction. He then has another fit as the Yeerk tries to assert control. Tobias-bird outside the window warns Marco and Rachel that someone is coming. Edeman tells them about the Yeerk Pool, and Rachel asks “where is this Yeerk Pool?”, even though she’s fucking been there. The kids escape as two thugs show up to put a new, healthy Yeerk in Edelman’s head. Watching this, Rachel says, “They’re replacing the Yeerk.” Thanks, Rachel. Thachel.

Bird Tobias watches Edelman and some goons head into a fast-food joint. Cut to inside and, ugh, it’s Yeerk Stupid Labs, and UGH, there’s a Hork-Bajir here with Chubby Scientist and Visser Three.



Basically, they’re testing out a force-field that destroys with lasers anyone who isn’t a Yeerk. They test it out on a Hork-Bajir and everything looks like shit.

My sanity dissolved similarly

My sanity dissolved similarly

Edelman shows up, back under control again, and Visser Three demands he find the Andalite Bandits. Isn’t that always the goal, dude?

In the barn, Rachel is feeling guilty about Edelman being re-infested.

Note Ax mimicking Marco.

Note Ax mimicking Marco.

Marco wants to weaponize oatmeal (oh my God) to strike against the Yeerks. Tobias is morally opposed, as Edelman shows that this has a pretty bad effect on the human host as well, but Tobias is a bird. Rachel argues that they should be trying to kill all of the Yeerks they can, but Jake and Ax bring up that this doesn’t KILL the Yeerks–it just gets them to lie dormant in their host’s head while also fucking up the host psychologically. He says that he wouldn’t want to do that to Tom. Jake brings up the Civil War, and how the Union ended slavery not by killing the slaves, but by fighting the slave owners. He decides they have to go back to the Yeerk Pool and mount a direct attack.

I don’t know. This is a nice moral issue, but the thing is, we’ve established that the Yeerks need to feed at the pool every three days to live. So couldn’t a controller just go on a 72 hour oatmeal bender until the Yeerk dies of starvation? I also don’t know about the slavery analogy–it’d be more apt if they were considering killing humans just to kill the Yeerks inside. Regardless, this is a pretty good scene. This whole episode has actually been good, minus how ridiculous the oatmeal idea is in concept.

Jake meets Marco and Cassie and Rachel at the fast food joint, which Tobias has ascertained is an entrance to the Yeerk Pool (I guess they couldn’t use the stupid door in the school again?). While Rachel creeps around trying to figure out the secret password to get in, Marco and Jake have a very un-Animorphs-TV conversation about how ridiculous the whole oatmeal idea is. “World War II–neither side used oatmeal.” It’s great.

"And then I was like, 'Hey, baby, I'm on after Are You Afraid of the Dark.'"

“And then I was like, ‘Hey, baby, I’m on after Are You Afraid of the Dark.'”

Rachel discovers that the code is to order “a cheeseburger, hold the cheese.” I believe the phrase from the book was “a Happy Meal, with extra happy,” but I guess McDonalds would’ve yelled .

They head up to the counter to talk with Chip, who is an asshole.


They deliver the password and he sends them to the secret door in the most suspicious way anyone has ever done anything. Classic Yeerks.

The gang heads into the storage closet, and then to the secret door……and the Yeerk forcefield. Rachel steps through, but confusingly, it doesn’t fry her to death, but sets off an alarm.

morphsssssssssssssssBy the time Chip gets there, they’ve all transformed into bugs and headed back out. What the fuck. Chip finds no one there and just grins. This doesn’t make any sense.

Back in the barn, they explain to Ax that they “snuck under the door before the light could hit us.” Whatever. Ax explains the finer points of the “biofilter,” a stolen Andalite technology that will disintegrate you…on a convienent three-second delay. Cassie decides they should all be ferrets.

Note Ax not knowing how to sit.

Note Ax not knowing how to sit.

In the Ferret Field, Rachel turns into a ferret and heads down into a ferret-hole. This happens all off-screen, I guess, and we see everyone else standing around and talking about it. Ferret-Rachel pops her head back out to announce that she’s dug all the way into the Yeerk pool caverns. Oh my God, this is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

Move over, cats!

Move over, cats!

Off-screen, they all Ferret their way into the cave. We catch up with them as humans again. Also, Tobias is down there–what the fuck? Did he fly down into the Earth through the ferret-hole? The kids sneak around, armed with…water balloons full of oatmeal. Oh. Ohhhhh. Oh.

There’s a funny bit where Marco asks Human Ax, “You can throw, can’t you?” and Ax assures him that he can before asking, “Marco, what is THROW?” The Ax humor really does work, guys, this kid can totally sell it.

"Marco? What is ANIMORPHS?"

“Marco? What is ANIMORPHS?”

A Hork-Bajir spots Cassie, so Tobias squawks and distracts him….and then a controller shoots and kills Tobias. Tobias, hit, falls from the sky as a limp, dead bird.



Rachel screams out in agony and runs after him. She’s shot at, too, which sends her flying into the Yeerk Pool.


Well, shit.

Visser Trent shows up (fantastic). He and his goons watch the Yeerk Pool, waiting for Rachel to resurface. As he gloats, Rachel thought-speaks to Jake that she’s okay and that she’s already made it out. Ax threatens to poison the Yeerk pool if Visser Trent does not let them go. Trent’s like fuck that, there are five of you and thousands of us, I’ll let all of these Yeerks die to catch you. Then Rachel-Lion shows up, who knows how she got out of the Pool, and runs by Visser Trent, and for what seems like the fortieth time this season, he falls over like a doofus, this time landing in the pool.

morphsssssssssssssssssssssssThe Animorphs launch into action, tossing their balloons of oatmeal into the pool, and there’s no way to make that dramatic. After being pulled out of the pool, Visser Trent is hit in the face with a balloon. His soggy face wobbles as he bellows, “STOOOOOOP THEEEEEEEM.”


I hate him.

The Animorphs make their escape while they are shot at and this happens:

Oh. Oh. Oh, no.

Oh. Oh. Oh, no.

Jake grabs Dead Tobias’s Dead Deceased Bird Body Corpse and is about to be evisicerated by a Hork-Bajir (man, there have been like four sightings of them in this episode) when Marco nails it with another balloon.

"I never got a chance to tell him he was creepy."

“I never got a chance to tell him he was creepy.”

The kids all escape up the staircase (which is definitely the same set from the firrst Yeerk Pool visit), Jake carrying dead Tobias like a football. They off-screen morph into ferrets and crawl up through the ferret-hole…which also raises questions about how Jake carried a dead bird up and out of the ground as a ferret.

The episode closes with an insane sequence of Rachel voice-over set to shots of the ocean, Visser Trent laughing maniacally, and Bird Tobias flying through the air.


Well, I guess that’s it, guys. Tobias is dead.

Final Thoughts:

Wow, this episode sure was a real mixed-bag.

The oatmeal idea itself is completely ridiculous–you can’t use the word OATMEAL in a serious fashion–but the larger plot is pretty interesting, and a lot happens in this single episode. Edelman’s acting is not bad and he’s an incredibly interesting character who ends the episode still under Yeerk control despite all of his struggles. All of the “off-duty” scenes with the kids just hanging out or coming up with plans are very well done and feel authentic–this is the best job the show has ever done of nailing the feeling of friendship and camradarie present in the books. Ax’s humor continues to be great, and because there is no on-screen morphing, the dumb special effects are limited.

On the other hand, parts of it just absolutely make no fucking sense, which is really infuriating. Why did Rachel and Marco dress up like doctors when they could’ve easily morphed into adults/doctors (which they’ve been shown to do in other situations)? Why did the Biofilter vaporize a Hork-Bajir in seconds, but later it set off an alarm and took so long to function that the entire cast was able to morph and get out of the way? How the hell did Tobias get into the Yeerk pool, WHY did he even go there, and why was he SHOT AND KILLED, and how did they smuggle his corpse back out? Why did the episode end with shots of the ocean? Why was that fan so menacing, and WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CYBER-CAFE?

This episode was written by Jessica Scott and Mike Wollaeager. This is Jessica’s first episode of Animorphs, but she wrote two two-parters later in the series. Mike doesn’t seem to have an IMDB page. I hope Jessica’s later work shows the same quality this episode did.

Adaptation Rating: ?/5. Sorry guys, but this is based on THE UNDERGROUND, one of the few Animorphs books I don’t have in my collection. If anyone wants to talk about how well this episode was adapted, please do so in the comments, as I’m pretty interested.

Character Development: The characters actually have an ethical dilemma worth discussing. Ax drinks his first milkshake. Tobias is shot and killed.

Special Effects: 3/5, I guess? The Hork-Bajir and the Biofilter look dumb, but those were the only real effects, and there was no stupid Visser hologram this week.

’90’s Bullshit: Planet Hollywood. Arnold. Water Balloon Fights. Instant Oatmeal.

Overall Rating: 4/5. This is up there with “My Name is Jake, Part 1″ and “Best Friends” as being the better episodes of this series so far. The good parts here are better than those episodes, but it also has a lot of utter nonsense that those two avoided.

Oh, by the way, here’s a picture of a Hork-Bajir flipping you off.

morphsssssssssssssssssssssssssssNext Week: We get an Ax-centric episode. I’m cautiously optimistic, because Human Ax has been great, but the Andalites look like shit all the time.

3 A.M. Netflix Nights: Bernie

Lately I’ve been going to bed at 5-6 a.m., so I’ve started watching all those movies on Netflix that I always pass up in favor of watching, I don’t know, Animorph-ass ANIMORPHS. So I thought, why not start posting little write-ups about them? I’m not going to take screencaps or anything, but if you wanna know what I thought, now you will know what I thought.


Bernie is a Jack Black movie released in 2011, so Black’s mustachioed mug has been staring out at me from the Netflix selection screen for a while now. I really had no idea what this movie was about before going into it. Something in my brain had related it to the Black/Ben Stiller movie Envy from years ago, but not for any real reason. It’s not like that.

Bernie is a dark comedy done mockumentary-style, focusing on black as the title character: a chipper, flamboyant small-town funeral assistant who befriends the local Old Rich Bitch. And hey, this is probably one of Black’s better acting jobs, from what I’ve seen. Bernie is way more subdued than your average Jack Black cartoon-character, and all of his eccentricities are pretty memorable. Matthew McConaughey shows up now and again as the town sheriff.

The movie presents itself as a series of interviews in which the townspeople discuss Bernie’s life, which pulls you in pretty well. You start off just wanting to know about this offbeat character, and once that wears off, the narrative has dropped enough hints about the larger plot that you want to follow those threads and put things together. There are some “Oh, shit” moments, and the movie made me chuckle throughout, though honestly none of the gags really stuck with me enough to recall them today. And hey, it’s based on the true story of a real-life Bernie, so that puts a little more doc into the mock.

It kind of tapers off as it goes, though; once the “big oh shit” occurred, my interest waned more and more. The climax itself ends up being pretty dull, though the conclusion fit the movie well.

Should You Watch It? Yeah, sure. It’s something different, it’s Jack Black playing against-type, McConaughey does his whole shtick, you get it. Even if the last quarter is dull, this is a pleasant movie that you can watch on Netflix with your eyeballs.

ANIMORPHS Episode 6: The Message

Oh, it’s Friday, I guess.


We start with a hawk’s-eye (read: brown-tinted) view of a field and a rabbit as Tobias the Bird flies around and considers eating it. This goes on for three years or four. Then at the last second before Tobias eats that bunny from the inside out, it screams out in Cassie’s voice: “Tobias, it’s me”

morphsOh, great, it’s a Cassie episode.

Cassie is always interesting.

Cassie is always interesting.

Cassie suddenly has a migraine as her brain is assaulted by a voice-over and footage of a spaceship falling out of the sky. It seems someone or something or whatever is crashing out of the space. Cassie falls over and goes into a coma and I am jealous.


After the intro, Cassie and the the boys & bird are in the barn. She’s told them all about this spooky happening and OH WHO CARES, MARCO’S ORANGE JACKET IS BACK.

My special effects budget now matches the show.

My special effects budget now matches the show.

Also Rachel isn’t here. Guess she’s dead.

Cassie thinks the thing calling out to her dumb brain is an Andalite calling out to them for help. Marco and Jake aren’t so on board, afraid they’re going to end up going on a mall-ass mall adventure like the last time an alien contacted them.

The worst Drunken Barn Dance since '99.

The worst Drunken Barn Dance since ’99.

Meanwhile, in Dumb Yeerk Labs, Chubby Scientist and Visser Trent are still trying to unlock the secrets of the Andalite disk.

And the cure for baldness

And the cure for baldness

Chubby tells Visser Trent that his human morph is pretty hot, so Visser Three transforms into an alien’s arm on a stick and chokes him out, presumably as foreplay.

"I have the weirdest boner right now" - Visser "I know, it's on my shoulder" - Scientist

“I have the weirdest boner right now” – Visser
“I know, it’s on my shoulder” – Scientist

Cassie walks through the woods and continues getting mind-messages from the alien. Visser Trent receives them as well, and while Cassie just keeps making a headache face, the Visser responds by seizing about the lab and burbling “hrmrmrmrmrmrmmrmmrmrm”.

"hrmrmrmrmrmrm" - a paid actor

“hrmrmrmrmrmrm” – a paid actor

It’s a thing that was shown on television. Visser Trent surmises that “another one has landed.”

Cassie finds Jake and Marco at the Cyber Cafe. The Cyber Cafe.

"Another day of rollerblade shopping ruined."

“Another day of rollerblade shopping ruined.”

They all decide to discuss Cassie’s imaginary alien brain-buddy in a public setting. She tells them that her visions included “a forest…a fence…some kind of pipe.” That last bit really freaks Jake out, so I think we all know how this will end.

"Ah, pipe jokes, we meet again"

“Ah, pipe jokes, we meet again”

A convenient news broadcast tells the kids that a local area befitting that description has been closed off to public access.

The news, I guess

The news, I guess

Then a helicopter flies overhead for whatever reason. The gang assumes this must be the alien crash site, so they head off into the woods. Marco puts the hood up on his orange jacket, but the power it bestows is too much for him and he has it off by the next shot.

"Haha, Jake, look, a talking bird, lol"

“Haha, Jake, look, a talking bird, lol”

Cassie, Jake and Marco (seriously, did Rachel’s actress abandon the show?) find the abandoned woodland warehouse district and Cassie gets another headache. It seems someone has already cut open the fence, so they head inside. Unfortunately, Tom and his gang of Yeerks with flashlights show up and they have to hide. Tobias shows up and says he’ll keep a lookout for controllers as the others explore because renting that bird for another hour of filming would’ve been too much for the budget.


The kids explore the building and I have to note that we’re halfway through the episode and the only “morphing” that has occurred was Cassie pointlessly being a rabbit at the start. Well, whatever, a shadowy Andalite grabs Cassie from behind, holding her captive or sexually harassing her.

Look at that cardboard-ass tail.

Look at that cardboard-ass tail.

Marco is like “Visser Three” and the Andalite is like “Racist orange asshole.” Jake name-drops Elfangor, which puts the Andalite at ease before he starts stroking out. Jake tells the Andalite that the Animorphs were Elfangor’s BFFs, but Visser Three starts calling out “Andalite cousin” over and over again, and the Andalite runs off to find him. The kids hide, at which point Cassie remembers that she can turn into animals. She becomes a skunk.


The Andalite and Visser Three confront each other and it’s shot entirely in shitty silhouettes while musclehead extras stand around in the background questioning their purpose in life.

I'm blue, if I were green I would die...

I’m blue, if I were green I would die…

Jake and Marco do nothing while CassieSkunk skunks all over Visser Three and the Controllers, completely incapacitating them with her stinky asshole. The Animorphs escape by having a production assistant throw a stuffed skunk toy into Marco’s waiting arms. It looks fantastic. This show is fantastic. My life is fantastic.


The kids and the Andalite escape into an enclosed alley between a bunch of abandoned buildings. The Andalite is like “yo this sucks” and the Animorphs are like “yeah that’s pretty much par for the course on this show.” They all acquire and morph a convenient butterfly (because I guess none of them have ever acquired any flight-capable animals because they’re all dumb assholes) and fly away.


Then probably the most ridiculous scene so far happens, and for reference, the alien overlords were just a moment ago defeated by a skunk being too smelly. Visser Trent, in his human form for no reason, off-screen morphs into his Andalite form for just long enough to break down the door separating him and the Animorphs. Then he steps through the broken door in human form for no reason, and finds them gone, butterflying into the sky to go twice as high. He raises his stupid hands to the air and screams, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”



The Animorphs hang out with their new Andalite buddy in the barn. They ask if he can help Tobias become a real boy but he is like Nawwwwww lol. Then he asks if they can take him to Elfangor, and they are like Nawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww ROFL. The Andalite flies into a rage and Tobias starts squawking for bird reason.

The kids chase the Andalite out into the woods, where Cassie has a heart-to-heart with his torso (since like all Andalites, his legs don’t seem to exist).


Turns out Elfangor was the Andalite’s brother. Shit sucks. The Andalite tells them his name is Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill (holy shit) and that’s he sorry for screwing up their day. Then, I’m not fucking kidding here, Rachel just strolls up out of NOWHERE and is like, “…what the fuck.”

"We were filming this week?"

“We were filming this week?”

They decide to shorten the Andalite’s name to Ax because no one can figure out how to pronounce that shit. Then Ax does this really weird thing where he absorbs the DNA of all four of them, and stirs it together in a cocktail to make one human morph that looks nothing like any of them. Then this happens. Forever.









After all that shit, we end up with the kid from Road Trip. Totally worth it.

There’s a pretty good bit where Human Ax can’t comprehend walking with two legs or speaking with a mouth or only having one set of eyes. Jake promises that they’ll take of his dumb alien ass since all of his friends are dead. Ax bows down and pledges his loyalty to “Prince Jake.” He awkwardly shakes the hands of everyone involved EXCEPT TOBIAS BECAUSE HE DOESN’T HAVE ANY HANDS. A butterfly butterflies by. Whatever.

Final Thoughts:

Reading this review makes it seem like this episode wasn’t the bad I guess, but it was pretty stupid. It looked and felt a lot like a bad high school student short film where you just grab your buddies and a couple of props and film in whatever locations you can find that kind of look like the places you wrote about in your script. It should be sufficient to say that in the book, the kids morph into dolphins and swim to the bottom of the sea where they rescue Ax from inside of his crashed ship while fighting sharks and undersea monsters. In the show, they found him sitting in a warehouse and turned into butterflies.

Adaptation Rating: 0/5. Pretty much the opposite of the book.

Character Development: Ax is now a character who exists. Rachel vanished for a week and none of her friends noticed. Marco put the hood up on his orange jacket.

Special Effects: 0/5. Shadows: The TV Show

’90s Bullshit: Abandoned Woodland Warehouses, Cyber Cafes, Poorly Adapting Popular Scholastic Books

Overall Rating: 1/5. Gutter trash but that scene at the end with human Ax was kinda funny.

Next Week: I keep reviewing Animorphs.