Moonbeam City didn’t air last week, along with South Park not airing. I’m not sure why exactly they didn’t air, but I’ll pretend it’s because they didn’t want to go up against AHS: Hotel’s premiere, which I may get to reviewing later. Luckily, this gives me the chance to catch up on the Moonbeam City reviews, and be primed and ready for Episode 4.
The Strike Visualizer Strikes Again feels like a step forward for the show, as it went in a slightly different direction than the previous two. Dazzle actually participated in police work (kinda), and Rad got to hang out with him and Chrysalis. Pair this with an absurd and specific premise, and you got yourself a very solid episode.
Besides Rad getting to hang out with Chrysalis and Dazzle, what I really liked was Dazzle’s almost vulnerable admiration of Nocturne Von Groff, who winds up not being the hero Dazzle thinks he is. Well, Dazzle still thinks he is, but no one else does. Or ever did, really.
Our episode begins with Dazzle, Chrysalis, and a newly introduced cop, Flash, who’s one minute away from retirement (you can guess how well that goes for him) on stakeout, hunting for an elusive mass murderer dubbed the Moonbeam Maniac.
Flash, once his retirement kicks in, decides to quit the uneventful stakeout and go down to the bar below their stakeout location, and is promptly smashed along with nine others by a wrecking ball of all things by the person they were hunting for. As Dazzle was sleeping on the job instead of taking his job seriously, which resulted in the death of an officer, Pizzaz is as angry with him as ever. But Dazzle, in vague memorium, decides to avoid getting chewed out by continuing on ahead with Flash’s retirement party, but because Flash is dead and will be unable to join said party, the retirement party will instead be held at Dazzle’s favorite restaurant– a trapeze themed nightclub.
It’s here that the plot really kicks in, with Dazzle meeting one of his childhood heroes, the artist Nocturne Von Groff. Now, Von Groff’s artform is so mind bogglingly specific, and Dazzle’s attachment to them so bizarre, that you can’t help but just go along with it (Nocturne’s peculiar line delivery helps). Chrysalis even comments on Dazzle’ very strange childhood, but somewhere out there, there really is someone making those cheesy bowling animations, so I guess there also has to be someone out there who appreciates them.
More interesting than Dazzle’s emotional attachment to poorly rendered CGI bowling pin cartoons, or “strike visualizations,” as Von Groff calls them, is his reveal that his mother died when he was a young boy. Any piece of information that expands the character’s backstories is a good piece of information.
When the Moonbeam Maniac continues his murderous rampage of ultra violence, Pizzaz is pressed by the mayor to assemble a task force and puts Chrysalis in charge of Dazzle and Rad, who are against the idea, but only because Chrysalis is a girl. Nevertheless, the two at least are present in body, if not in spirit, while Chrysalis is investigating a serious crime scene, but quickly get distracted by a 241 emergency before Chrysalis can get any real detective work done. The emergency of course being a two-for-one sale on glitter dogs at the bowling alley. While there, Dazzle gets to bask in the majesty of the strike visualizations, while talking down to Chrysalis, who doesn’t quite understand the draw, and Rad, who is too much of a casual observer for Dazzle. After Chrysalis charms Dazzle with some bowling metaphors, he gets on board to help solve the case. Also Rad is there.
Rad is just as childish as ever in this episode, but he seemed to genuinely enjoy being able to hang out with Dazzle, instead of just being forced into the rival role. That was a nice side of him to see. He was still as looked down upon as ever, though.
Chrysalis eventually pieces together who the Moonbeam Maniac is after visiting Von Groff’s art exibit with Dazzle (Spoiler alert, the bad guy is always the new character introduced). Dazzle vehemently refuses that Von Groff could ever be guilty of such a thing, even after repeated admissions of guilt, but since it’s obvious to everyone else, he’s forced to go along.
The conclusion felt a little rushed. The group pieces together the method for learning Von Groff’s final plan, which requires a perfect game to be bowled. You’d think they could just cheat or something to get the perfect game screen to appear, but the bowlers they gather up aren’t all that important, and there’s some really funny Rad scenes that come out of it, so I’ll give them a pass on that. If it had eaten up more of the episode, instead of just being a quick gag, I might not have, but it was only a small part of the episode.
The stinger was the scene that Comedy Central advertised in its commercials, so its impact was lessened, but it was still pretty funny with the added context from the rest of the episode.
This episode gets a solid B from me. Its format wasn’t quite the same as the other episodes, but it worked out well.
Catch Moonbeam City Wednesday nights on Comedy Central, right after South Park.
The Good, The Bad, and the Miscellaneous
Genesis Jones is quickly becoming my favorite animated news anchor.
I loved Trapezio’s background music.
More dramatic shutter shadows on Pizzaz.
The eyeglasses joke was spot-on in execution.
Nocturne Von Groff’s pronunciation of “gwilty” and intrigwing” was funny.
Nice callback to the pilot episode with Rad’s #2 Cop mug.
Von Groff’s exit from his art presentation was amazing. There’s no other word to describe it.
I don’t know about the way Dazzle so casually shrugged off Von Groff shooting two cops and killing the badge bunny.
They were only on screen for a second, but whenever Dazzle’s car is shown parked, it’s parked really badly.
I hope Rad continues to be with Dazzle and Chrysalis in future episodes, rather than being off to the side doing his own thing.
So what if he’s got a clown’s brain? You’ve got red hair, have you been tested?
Typical Dazzle. When he’s in charge a stakeout becomes a mistakeout…because he sucks.
You just don’t get it. He’s my hero. It’d be like you meeting the president of a glasses factory.
Glitter dogs are awesome. They’re meat in rainbow colors!
I thought art was for everyone.
- Everyone but you.
Ah, a bowling metaphor. Now I’m interested!
I AM helping. Look how fast I’m driving!
What’s more important, Chrysalis, murder or art?