This is it. We’ve come to the beginning of the end: the first installment of a 3-part ANIMORPHS series finale. It seems like only moments ago, we were at the BIG HIGH SCHOOL BASKETBALL GAME in the Season 1 finale. Well, I guess that’s because this show fared disasterously and only received a 6 episode second season.
We open on the Museum of Science and Technology.
You know–that famous museum! It’s the middle of the night and a lone security guard is bopping around the exhibits. He notices an odd smell when passing by a display of a vet operating on a dog (?) but keeps on truckin’.
The dog is Jake Dog the dog.
Marco is here, too. He’s a duck.
Both boys morph back to their human state, grab their disposable camera (which Jake had to hide under the operating table..despite constantly being able to carry similar objects into his morphs…), and continue whatever adventure they’re on.
The boys head into the Space Room to examine some doohickey. Apparently Jake noticed this dongle during the day’s earlier field trip, and he’s convinced it’s Andalite technology because, apparently, it features Andalite writing “like on Elfangor’s ship.”
Jake snaps a few pictures before Marco picks it up and sets off an alarm. They really didn’t think this might happen?
After the intro, the boys abandon their new toy and flee the crime scene. The exasperated guard isn’t able to catch them, but he does realize he’s chasing A DOG WITH A CAMERA IN ITS MOUTH AND A MOUSE RIDING ON ITS BACK. Then he says, “I’m so gonna get fired,” and a fucking, honest-to-God, BWAH-BWAH sting plays.
Hey, you know what’s been really nice about this season? A lack of Visser Three and/or his jowels. Lucky for us, he’s watching the news in his Alien Hell Caves. An interview with Security Guy about the attempted robbery is followed by the news that Martin Tessmacher, a TV producer, is still missing. Why does Visser Three have a hologram that gets cable?
Oh, I found Martin!
Visser Three acquires Martin and morphs into him, and I’m starting to wonder, could they not get Eugene Lipinski (Visser Trent) back for this season? Regardless, the Real Martin gets dragged off to “the cells.”
At school, the girls are SO SYKED FOR THE BIG HIGH SCHOOL DANCE. Rachel wants Cassie to ask Jake to the dance, but Cassie is like “oh Rachel we are just friends” and the phrase “fashion emergency” is used and oh, Lord.
While his friends are at school, Tobias the Human is spending his day at the mall, forlornly staring at suits.
Unfortunately, this moment of possible character development gets sidetracked when he notices a hawk emblem painted on a nearby pillar.
Looking at this graffiti gives him flashbacks to his Strange Days at Bird Holsey High, and then we find out that Tobias has taken to wearing the Andalite Disk around his neck on a cord. Don’t really know how that works out most of the day when he’s a bird, but okay.
He then has a weird sepia flashback to some day when all of the other Animorphs had no idea what to do with the Disk, so they put it around his neck and told him to deal with it.
This is really bizarre, considering that the Disk could apparently do goddamn everything a few episodes ago, and since Tobias seemed to just innately know what it could do.
At CyBeria, Jake and Marco look at their photos of the alien doozongle and debate its purpose.
Then Ax shows up and is like “lol guys this is an alien toilet.” So that was silly, but I’ll give the show points here; the book series spent an ENTIRE BOOK on this gag.
The girls show up. Apparently their shopping trip was ruined when Cassie jumped on top of a counter and screamed “Animals are people, too!” at the top of her lungs. Well, that’s stupid. But hey, it segues into an actual plot. Cassie is pissed about this company that tests makeup on animals. She wants to use their Animorphy powers to free all of the animals at the zoo!
I mean, free the animals from the testing facility.
Jake suggests writing a letter instead, which is pretty funny. Cassie doesn’t think so, and she leaves in a huff. I guess Jake’s not getting laid after this dance!
To make it up to his lady love, Jake puts on his best sleeveless sweatshirt and heads to the zoobarn.
The two have a heart to heart while this thing goes fucking bonkers on Cassie’s shoulder.
It ends with Jake deciding to help Cassie free all the animals for the pursuit of sweet teen barn ass.
Jake and Cassie turn into lil’ monkeys and get brought into the facility in a Monkey Shipment, where they’re caged up.
Cassie turns back into a Cassie after letting herself out, but Jake continues to monkey around. Apparently the show decided to remember that plot point about new morphs being hard to control. A scientist comes out and drags Jake into the EXPERIMENTATION ROOM.
Luckily, Cassie follows them in as a roach. She hitches a ride on Jake’s cage as they stick stick him in a van and drive him off unveiling of a new January Rose Cosemetics building, hosted by January Rose herself, that conniving bitch.
Here’s another quote from Jake: “I love this monkey business! This is great! This is so great! MON-KEY BUSINESS!”
Her cut-the-ribbon-with-oversized-scissors shtick (you’re such a cliche, January Rose!) is interuppted when the van carrying Jake and Cassie cruises up onto the scene, honkin’ and honkin’.
The scientists–actually Animal Rights Freedom Fighters in disguise–leap out and start fighting for freedom. Cassie morphs back to human and looks on from the crowd as the Caged Jake is bandied about on stage as an example of cruelty. She’s mad worried, because if they don’t free Jake soon, he’ll be monkeying around…forever!
Meanwhile, Rachel is getting ready for the big school dance and also she looks like Minnie Mouse.
Tobias flies into her bedroom unexpectedly and, disappointed that she is wearing clothes, turns into a real boy using some recycled stock footage. He’s still wearing all black and a leather jacket, by the way, which is so silly. Tobi breaks the bad news to Rachel: HE CAN’T GO TO THE DANCE. An argument ensues, and it turns out he’s bein’ a doof because he’s a BIRD and before the dance is over he’ll have to go be a BIRD and they’ll never get to share THE LAST DANCE. Rachel is like, “That shit don’t mean ass to me!”. Tobias flies out the window in frustration.
In a series of insane coincidences, Marco calls as soon as Tobias leaves, and he’s watching the animal protest on TV. He’s spotted Cassie and MonkeyJake, so he and Rachel go to their rescue.
At the protest, Cassie steals the JakeCage during the hoopla, only for a security guard to see her and take it back. She yells ineffectively to MonkeyJake that’s he only got two minutes left.
But then, a green-screen bear.
Rachel the Idiot Bear scares everyone away….except the security guard, who catches Cassie making a monkey of herself for a second time. Thankfully, Dog Marco the Dog (a Different Dog than his last Dog) scares him off.
Then Dog Marco saves January Flowers from being hit by a car. She gives him an emotional stare to reflect a change in her life’s direction.
Cassie frees Jake just in the nick of time.
Cut to CyBeria, where Rachel, Jake, and Cassie watch January Rose announce the end of her animal testing on the TV. They all toast to “changing the world,” then wonder where the fuck Marco is at.
Turns out Marco is still a dog, running around in the woods and looking for a safe place to demorph. Why the hell he couldn’t just do so at the protest where Jake did, or wherever Rachel did, I’ll never know.
A step down from the previous two episodes. It’s fitting that the beginning of the series finale calls back to one of Season 1’s biggest recurring flaws: so much of what happens here is just meaningless. The intro at the museum is meaningless. The animal testing plot isn’t interesting, it’s resolved in a contrived manner, and it’s just a device to get us to Marco being caught demorphing. And that conclusion could’ve been tacked onto literally any plotline–in fact, it doesn’t even make sense connected to this climax. Not a great start.
Special Effects; Did you already forget the glory of Green Screen Bear?
’90s Bullshit: Sleeveless sweatshirts. Animal rights. Perverts with videocameras in the woods.
Character Development: Tobias can fly, but he can’t dance.
Overall Rating: 2/5. Boring days.
Next Time: I fulfill my non-existent contractual obligation to this series once and for all!
Thanks for reading. Please come back next Friday to see the culmination of my life’s work.