It's Day #4 of A POP CULTURE ADDICT'S ADVENT CALENDAR, and while I wanted to make this entry a Christmas themed one...I can't. You see, I'm smack dab in the middle of the New Archies Reviewed series of posts, and I didn't want to take a three week hiatus from that. So, I'm continuing the series through the calendar.
Though, I'll try to make a couple of Christmas references in this piece so it's not a complete loss. Like, for instance, check out this comic book cover. This was the first issue of The New Archies Digest from the winter of 1988. I figure that will make the Christmas quota for today.
So, last week, Archie did everything possible to do good with a rope. Let's see what this week brings.
Episode 10B: Change of Minds. Why do I get the feeling that this is one of those personality transplant episodes?
Oh, one more note. For some reason, the speakers on my computer decided to stop working and the source of my video doesn't seem to want to play on my iPad...so I'm working with a video that has no sound effects. I think I remember enough of the dialogue to formulate the story, but there will be some parts that I'm not clear on.
Such as...when did Eugene get a pet dog and a budgie? I mean, we've gone through nearly ten episodes without even mentioning this fact. I mean, we've been to Eugene's house at least three different times during this series, and it never came up? I wonder why?
Oh, wait. Eugene wants to perform an experiment using the dog as a guinea pig. Wait, WHAT? You're seriously telling me that Eugene tests his projects on animals? Oh, you can bet that members of PETA will probably be picketing his front step the moment they found this out.
Now, the frustrating thing about watching the video without sound is that I am drawing a blank as to what Eugene's invention is supposed to do. I'm guessing that it's supposed to be a translator so that he can understand what his dog is saying. But for all I know, it could be a machine that makes his dog talk.
But I'm guessing that nowhere in the instruction manual does it call for a budgie to fly into the machine at the same time that the dog does. When the budgie enters the machine, he accidentally pushes a lever that causes something to happen. Bolts of electricity surround both animals, and at one point, it looks like an electrical current is linked between both dog and budgie.
Yep...Eugene's in trouble with PETA for sure.
And Eugene hears a knock on the door (or a doorbell, I don't know), and runs upstairs to face the music from the angry animal rights activists that he will likely face.
But when Eugene leaves, something strange happens. Both the dog and the budgie start to spin right round baby right round like a record baby right round round round until they somehow end up acting not like themselves. For one, the dog can actually fly and whistle. For another, the budgie can bark and eat bones.
Hmmm...if I didn't know any better, I'd say that machine swapped both of their personalities. Gee...I hope no HUMAN ends up in that machine.
Oh, by the way, it's not PETA at the door to arrest Eugene. It's Archie, Moose, and Jughead.
And Jughead just happens to be eating a four scoop ice cream cone which makes me as the viewer a little disgusted and Eugene as the spectator to open his mouth extremely wide. I don't know why Eugene should be so shocked. This is the same boy who ate a banana without peeling it and enough hamburgers to bankrupt both Reggie and Veronica.
But we don't have time to find out much more about what Archie, Jughead, and Moose want because all of a sudden, a bird acting like a dog and a dog acting like a bird come charging up the stairs, with the dog actually gobbling up Jughead's ice cream cone! You know, I have to say that the scene would probably be funnier had I had sound, but you know, you take what you can get, I guess.
The four boys rush downstairs to Eugene's lab to try and catch the animals to find out why they are acting so strangely. But when Moose ends up tripping over his own feet, he crashes into Eugene and both Moose and Eugene fly into Eugene's machine.
Moose's foot accidentally pulls the lever, and with a flash of light, Moose and Eugene quickly discover that the machine doesn't just work on budgies and dogs.
With a little tornado action, Moose becomes Eugene, and Eugene becomes Moose. And Archie and Jughead become totally confused.
But, if you needed any clarification that Moose and Eugene have switched bodies, look no further than the 87-pound Eugene being suddenly able to lift the very device that did this to them in the first place, and hear Moose suddenly saying words without a D-uh and with more than three syllables.
You know, just for now, let's change their names so we know who is who. For Moose trapped in Eugene's body, let's call him "Moogene". And for Eugene trapped in Moose's body, we'll go with "Eugoose" (pronounced like you-juice).
Anyway, it looks like Moogene and Eugoose will be that way forever, as Eugoose totally throws the machine on the ground, blowing it up. Gee, that was smart.
And it turns out that this switching of the minds couldn't have come at a worse time! Not only is Moose supposed to be playing a football game against some team known as the Vikings, but Eugene is supposed to appear on a quiz show with Archie and Amani! What are they going to do?
Well, at school the next day, it seems as though people are noticing that something isn't quite right about Eugene and Moose. After all, Moose is answering every question correctly and giving MS. Grundy a nice shiny apple while Eugene is...
...balancing a fish bowl on top of his head. How random. Of course, we know Eugene is really Eugoose...but it makes me wonder if Moose really would distract the class like that.
Oh wait...he killed a student in MS. Grundy's class four episodes ago. Nothing would surprise me.
So, after class is over, it's time for the football practice, and right off the bat I have to nitpick on something. I get that this is supposed to be a junior high school, but since when is red an official school colour? I've read the comic books for years. I know the school colours for Riverdale are blue and gold. The only football team in the Archieverse that wears red is Central High. And Riverdale HATES Central almost as much as the kids from Bayside High hated Valley. I know I'm nitpicking here, but having the Riverdale football team wearing red just seems so...wrong.
You want to know what else is wrong? Coach Kleats obviously playing favourites. He practically shoves Eugene to the bench while fawning over his star player Moose. I don't know...a good coach would support and work with his whole team...but I guess since the more reasonable Coach Clayton isn't a part of this show, we have to deal with Coach Kleats' old-fashioned attitude.
Of course, if Moose and Eugene were the same people as they were 24 hours earlier, nothing would be said. But we're talking about Moogene and Eugoose here! And let's just say that the new "Moose" isn't improved. At all.
But when Eugoose takes to the field and kicks a field goal that seems to land on Jupiter (it's only a cartoon, it's only a cartoon...), Kleats is now sorry he every treated Eugene so badly and starts to treat him with more respect. Ah, Coach Kleats. Always so transparent. I hope Santa Claus drops a lump of coal as big as his house on his head.
(See what I did there? Made a Christmas reference?)
(See what I did there? Made a Christmas reference?)
Back at Eugene's house, the budgie and the dog are still acting incredibly crazy. The budgie comes across a cat and scares the cat half to death with its barking. Wait, Eugene has a cat too? Why are we now just seeing this menagerie of domesticated creatures? Maybe those rumours of Eugene testing on animals really are true!!!
But just as the dog and the budgie decide that they want to kill each other, they spin around like Kylie Minogue did back in 2000 and change back to their old selves. So, we know that the effects of Eugene's mind switching machine are temporary. I wonder if this could impact the plot in any way.
Well, it's time for the quiz show portion of the game, and it looks like it's similar to Whiz Kids or Reach For The Top, where two schools compete against each other for the trophy. Mr. Weatherbee and MS. Grundy are standing in front of a wheel that looks like the one used in the old Match Game 74 series. Ooooh, I wonder if the team that Riverdale is playing against is made up of Charles Nelson Reilly, Richard Dawson, and Brett Somers?
And, hold everything. Notice how the banner on the Riverdale side says ELEMENTARY? Oh, so we're supposed to now believe that this is an elementary school? Although that does explain why they have a sandbox and recess...but it doesn't explain why there aren't any kindergarten kids wandering the halls.
You know what, I don't care. It's Riverdale JUNIOR HIGH. That's the only way to explain why they have a football team and quiz shows.
And speaking of quiz shows, Riverdale is doing badly. Though it doesn't help that Eugoose keeps pushing the answer button before MS. Grundy can even read out a question. And after a tongue lashing by Archie and Amani, Eugoose decides that the quiz show is boring, and wants to spin the wheel. Hate to break it to you, but this is not The Price is Right. You don't win $10,000 by landing on the dollar wedge.
But if you're suddenly able to spin the wheel with such force that it rolls off the stage, then you have a problem.
Luckily, there must be a little bit of the old Eugene still in there as he manages to land on the wheel and steers it away from the crowd so that it doesn't turn MS. Grundy into a pancake. That's fine, but with only two players on the Riverdale team, will they have to forfeit?
Enter Moogene, who decides that he must fill in for Eugoose. And after answering a ridiculously easy question that a kindergarten kid could answer, Riverdale wins the game and earns the trophy...
...which gets squashed by Eugoose and the wheel of death. But it's a funny sight gag that follows when Moogene folds up the squashed trophy like an origami creation and sticks it in his pocket.
So, the quiz show was a complete near-disaster. Let's see how the football game is unfolding.
RIVERDALE 0, VIKINGS 26. Ouch. Let me guess...Coach Kleats is still being a jerk again and relying on Moose. Figures.
We see the teams about to launch another play - and the other team is in blue and gold?!? COME ON!!!
Sure enough, Moogene is doing terrible in the football game, actually trying to score a touchdown by running in the wrong direction! Fortunately, he fumbles before he can score for the opposing team, but seriously...put Eugoose in the game! We know he can do it!
Frustrated, Coach Kleats decides that Moose is useless, and throws Eugene into the game. Only Eugene is really Eugoose...are you confused yet because I sure am!
At any rate, Eugoose's fancy footwork and no fear leads him to bring the score up to twenty. It's the last play and all Riverdale needs is another touchdown to win.
And right at that moment, Eugene and Moose get so dizzy that their heads are spinning, and switch back to who they were before the machine scrambled their brains. This normally would be a good thing, but now that Eugoose is just plain Eugene, the game is certain to be over. Especially since Coach Kleats has now decided that Eugene would be his MVP after all.
Yep, the game is doomed.
Or, is it? Somehow, Kleats notices that Eugene has lost his touch on the field just a minute later and substitutes Moose in Eugene's place just before the time runs out in the game. Moose just barely scores the touchdown needed to win the game!
Now, after all that, you'd think that Eugene would just stop with the inventions and just focus on dating Amani, but no. He's just decided to stop testing on animals. Instead, Archie and Jughead inevitably activate another one of Eugene's inventions...
...and suddenly they become the newest celebrities to appear in the Chicken Tonight commercials.
Okay, so this episode wasn't as strong as the first half of Episode 10...but I did like quite a few parts to it. It was nice to see supporting characters like Moose and Eugene get the lead roles for a change, and to be fair, the storyline did seem believable, even if it really wasn't meant to be. Though, I think Eugene being a stronger character than Moose helped a bit.