as reviewed by kalinara via the Pretty, Fizzy Paradise Blog
Originally aired September 16, 1986

Note: This review was originally posted by kalinara on March 12, 2009 and is being used here with permission.


Hi everyone! I took a break, but now I'm back to my recaps.

Today's episode is called Mindnet! This is notable because there was a device called the "Mindnet" introduced last episode. Isn't that convenient?

I mock, but to be fair, we ARE talking about an 80s show here. I think it was generally more common for our Suddenly Very Important MacGuffins to be introduced in the episode directly focused on it. So the fact that the Mindnet is introduced an episode before is actually fairly significant.

Of course, this is cancelled out by the fact that the episodes were shown in such a haphazard order (and are STILL occasionally misordered in certain the DVD sets, which occasionally ends up very obvious) that I'm stuck relying on fan timelines for episode order. Oh well.

It IS worth it to see it in order. Now, mini-rant aside: onto the recap!

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This episode begins with Goose flying into "Longshot airspace." We've actually heard mention of Longshot in a previous episode or two, but this is the first time we see it. It's a fairly standard science-fantasy research place. Lots of big computers and people in lab coats.

One such labcoated person, who has a vaguely German accent, walks the halls with an armed fellow in what looks like a slightly inappropriate amount of leather. They're discussing Mindnet. Apparently leather-man is not happy about Mindnet being stored in a research facility rather than somewhere "maximum security."

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The doctor, I presume, actually agrees with him, but takes more of a "what can ya do?" attitude. Apparently their job is to keep testing it until the Board Leaders makes up their mind about it.

Good to know that bureaucratic inconvenience is still strong and hale in the next hundred years or so.

Leather-man kind of has an Animated Richard Hatch-in-new-BSG thing going on. Which is pretty impressive considering that new-BSG is about twenty years from being invented yet. Still he totally looks like Tom Zarek. Which is what I'll probably call him until I hear a name.

Which I do, actually, just after I finish typing that last paragraph. Not!Zarek is actually "Security Chief DeSilva." So the trick to getting this show to give me character names is to resort to annoying nicknames! Works for me!

Anyway, DeSilva gets a call on his nifty wrist thingy, and we learn why Goose is there. Apparently the Board of Leaders has sent him with orders to collect Mindnet. I'd bitch about poor security, but Goose is usually fairly effective as long as he's not crashing his spacecraft.

They greet Goose, who's surprisingly abrupt. Goose isn't the most sociable guy, granted, but he's usually fairly polite when not pissed. Early Clint Eastwood-tip the hat, give a one-liner, and ride off into the sunset, kind of thing.

Also, his voice sounds a bit higher pitched and more breathy than usual. Kind of like when an inexperienced drinker downs their first shot of whiskey, and feels the burn for the first time, and spends most of the next few minutes trying not to cough. (This happens to me a lot when I try to drink.) It's a little peculiar.


When DeSilva demands identification, Gooseman leans into his personal space and pretty much shouts "ID? Get serious?" It's more than a little peculiar now. Goose decides to verify his identity not by presenting his credentials, but by walking straight toward the electric shock field, grinning maniacally, and shoving his hand into it. His fist gets all bio-defense-y, naturally.

DeSilva's smarter than your average bear though and points out that while they worked on the Series 5 Implant that the Rangers use to access their powers (exposition: mine), they ought still get confirmation. I may love you Not!Zarek. The Doctor agrees and leads them down a nifty walkway past huge climbing multi-story vines in a tank, toward the Mindnet lab.

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As they pass the tank, the Doctor points out two dolphins as "your friends." I believe this is the first time we've encountered the pet dolphins. Awesome. Their names are Icarus and Winter (why does everyone name things after Icarus? Naming things after Daedalus makes sense, because he invented the damn things, but Icarus was just an idiot who flew too damn high. Why make overstepping your abilities to lethal consequences worthy of immortalization?)

Goose doesn't acknowledge the dolphins as he passes, causing one of the dolphins' weird harness thing to light up and a high pitched voice to protest being ignored. The two humans in underwater gear look at each other. One queries that he thought Goose was their friend and the other agrees and decides to contact security just in case.

Heaven help us all, COMPETENT underling characters, taking their own initiative even! You'd think I'd be used to it in this show, but it still feels like a sign of the apocalypse. :-)

Anyway, the diver taps a button and blasts out of the water.

The Doctor leads Goose over to Mindnet. Apparently Mindnet is the helmet, rather than the weird thing that got shoved inside last episode. That's good to know because I wasn't completely clear on that. Goose picks it up.

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Suddenly, an underling announces to DeSilva that Security's on line one. Goose doesn't take too kindly to this, and does a nice leaping kick, knocking the gun out of his hand, and punching poor Not!Zarek across the room. The Doc picks up the fallen gun, and calls for security.

Okay, while I do think you guys are unexpectedly competent through most of this opening sequence, it might have been good to verify his orders BEFORE letting him into the room with the Mindnet!

Mindnet 020000000.jpg

Goose exhales in the poor Doc's face, and the Doc keels over. That's some breath! Goose, in his -just-drank-whisky-for-the-first-time high voice tells him to enjoy the nap and heads over to the Mindnet.

They really SHOULD have realized that something was off when he didn't growl at them. Hmph.

Anyway, he picks up the helmet and runs to the hanger bay, which seems like an impractically short distance to run if this Mindnet really is as powerful an dangerous as they say, wouldn't it be better to keep it under more security? But then, perhaps that's DeSilva's problem.

The entire facility starts firing at him, but he gets away. Mindnet in hand. Eek. Once free, "Goose" gleefully explains that not only did he get the Mindnet, but when they look for the thief, they'll go straight to Gooseman. Then he pulls off his face.

This fellow is decidedly NOT Goose. In fact, he's clearly quite a bit older. Dark haired. One dark blue eye, and one cloudy eye with a big scar running through it. He has a strong jaw and a blinding grin...and naturally a much deeper voice.

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I have to compliment the people planning this show for the voice thing actually. A lot of shows would have had the original character's voice actor do the voice for the impersonator as well. This is fine if they have naturally similar voices, but a deeper voiced person affecting a higher pitched voice tends to sound very different than someone naturally speaking in that range. He sounded so weird because he was a baritone trying to speak in falsetto.

On the other hand, I have to gripe about the mask thing. Sure, it LOOKED cool. And the two characters have slightly similar facial structures. But there are some differences. (The impersonator looks like he has a thicker jaw and more protruding nose. Goose has sharper cheekbones. Et cetera.) And I have doubts that even the best mask would look right stretched over a different set of bones.

But then I'm probably being nitpicky and should file this in the same part of my brain that enjoys Mission Impossible episodes. :-) [And honestly, there probably is something ridiculous about bitching about MASKS in a show with robot horses, psychic bugs, and emotion dolls.]

So anyway, the impersonator continues his monologue by declaring that soon everyone will know that Goose is not the best of the Supertroopers, and he gives us his name: Ryker Kilbane.

Two episodes after the initial, un-dramatic reveal that Shane Gooseman is indeed a Supertrooper, we get our first renegade counterpart. Awesome!

Also, I hate to say this but while Ryker Kilbane might have some sort of recognition complex, he certainly lucked out namewise. "Kilbane" is kind of an awesome name. Certainly more awesome than "Gooseman." Where the hell do genetically engineered supersoldiers GET last names anyway?


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