Flame Effigy Reviews: Moonbeam City, Quest for Aquatica!

Moonbeam City

Every 11 seconds in moonbeam city, 10,000 people get shot. 8,000 get stabbed, and a ludicrous number of people get shot by a knife fired from a gun. There might be even more, but a lot of the victims are statisticians.

But none of that matters, because it’s the birthday of  Moonbeam City’s number one policeman, Dazzle Novak!

The premise seems awfully familiar, as just last episode we had a crime be tossed aside for party time. That time Pizzaz was of course upset with Dazzle for not doing his duty as a police officer, but he slinked out of responsibility all the same, and just happened to buddy up with the mastermind behind the whole operation.

This time, Dazzle’s not so lucky. Well, he is lucky because he still weasels his way out and solves the “crime”, but he’s still forced to do some real police duties this time, even if it’s just in body and not in mind. But more importantly, he spends a lot of time underwater in a high tech mechanical dolphin vehicle allowing him to live among the majestic creatures of the sea, and apparently fall in love with one of them. Dazzle is a strange man.

Now it’s a party!

During Dazzle’s rip-roarer of a party, Chrysalis introduces Dazzle, and us, to her father, Commander Blade H. Tate, whose voice is instantly recognizable– mostly because Patrick Warburton only has the one voice. It’s a good voice, but it’s just the one voice.

Pizzaz catches Dazzle in the hallway as he’s getting some more party in a bottle from his office, and is having none of his shenanigans this time. He’s to report to mandatory CPR training, and that is that. While in there, Commander Tate’s words echo through his head, and through the intercom in a classic gag that lands perfectly; A man ain’t alive until he’s felt the warm embrace of the sea. Dazzle takes these words to heart as he sees one of Moonbeam City’s beautiful dolphins, and he decides that he needs to be free, not cooped up like an animal.

You gotta give Dazzle credit for at least looking for sea-crime while sea-bound. He very easily could have decided just to hang out at the bay, but he wouldn’t be the number 1 cop if he did that. This being Moonbeam City, he finds what he’s searching for within a few minutes, and jumps on the opportunity to investigate sea-based crime. To his horror, it’s a drowning case that has already been “solved” by the dastardly Rad Cunningham.

Looks like another case closed.

Dazzle refutes Rad’s claim that the case is solved, not because it’s obvious that Rad has done some poor police work, but because he desperately doesn’t want to go back to CPR training.

After inexplicably throwing the woman who drowned back into the bay, he sets off to find the only witnesses to the crime: The dolphins of Moonbeam City. And as if by fate, he knows just the seafaring person to help him on his quest. That’s right, Chrysalis.

Despite having no idea how Dazzle could possibly interrogate a dolphin, she helps him build quite a sophisticated piece of machinery. After failing to convince the dolphins that he is indeed one of them, possibly because he’s speaking english and is made of metal, he spies a dolphin that immediately entrances him. Not wanting to lose sight of what may be the one he saw in the bay, he swims out of range of Chrysalis’s communication range, and is spotted by an illegal dolphin fishing boat.

When back on dry land, Dazzle decides to forego the “investigation”, instead intending to frolic among the sea life during his next trip down. Pizzaz tries again to get Dazzle to complete the simple task of attending a 15 minute CPR class, and once again, he escapes, heading straight for the ocean with Chrysalis and Commander Tate in tow. For someone so against Dazzle’s miscreant behavior, Chrysalis sure falls victim to his charms a lot. The group spies Splasha, the dolphin of Dazzle’s eye, and he sets off into a dream-fueled sequence worthy of being air brushed on the side of a van.

This time Dazzle attracted more than just the attention of a dolphin fishing boat, and gets captured. The owner of the boat, Howligan, attempts to coerce Dazzle into helping him capture Splasha, who he wishes to race, but Dazzle’s thickheadedness  is too much for the owner’s poorly worded threats. But Howligan has an ace up his sleeve, Rad Cunningham in a marine animal suit of his own. The two kidnap Splasha, and Dazzle seeks his vengeance.

At least he kept it tasteful.

Despite his complete disregard for human life, public property, police protocol, or anything else really, Dazzle saves the day with the help of his CPR training. Splasha earns her freedom while everything else goes up in flames,  a happy enough ending for Dazzle, and a happy enough ending for the audience. Not a happy ending for Rad though, who winds up in sort some of Russian aquarium, but I have a feeling that everything will go back to normal by next week.

Quest for Aquatica earns itself a solid B.

Catch Moonbeam City Wednesday nights on Comedy Central, right after South Park.

The Good, Bad, and the Miscellaneous:

I’m coming around on Will Forte as the voice of Rad, if only because we really see how truly pathetic Rad is as time goes on, but I don’t think I could get used to Patrick Warburton as a regular cast member. Luckily he was just a special guest as the voice of Chrysalis’ father.

Speaking of, he didn’t really play much part in this episode, and wasn’t very necessary to anything that happened in the plot beyond setting it in motion by telling Dazzle about the sea. He mostly stood in the background and gave some lines. They were funny lines, but still.

Poor Rad, he doesn’t get to be buddy buddy with Dazzle this week.

The underwater musical sequence was not only unexpected, but amazing. Just in case you forgot it was the 80s.

Double shutter shadows for Pizzaz this time.

This is the first episode where I noticed how fat Rad is under his slimming jumpsuit. Was he shown without it before this episode?

The transitions between Dazzle’s CPR training and underwater scenes were kind of jarring. They alternated back and forth as though the CPR training was the B plot, but I can’t recall many times when the same character was the center of both the A and B plot.

I would have liked to see Rad’s scenes in this episode expanded a little bit, that would have made for a better B plot.

Memorable Lines:

*sarcastic laughter* That’s so funny I remembered to laugh!

You’ve got us cooped up in here like animals! We should be out there swimming free, like animals!

I solved the case in ten minutes, and I’ve been working on my tan ever since. When I got here I was pale white. Now I’m a healthy ivory.

Your mother would be so proud. Of me. If I scolded you for your filthy workspace.

We ain’t in Kansas anymore. This ain’t your daddy’s Kansas…anymore. Kansas, we have a problem.

Deploy the dolphin penis!

It’s a beatiful day for a race…of creatures to be forced to race.

The losers will be eaten, while the winner will be awarded $1000, and then eaten!

I have a similar key on my computer.


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