Friday, July 3, 2015

KP EbE - When I manipulate you into doing something, you aren't supposed to excel (Bueno Nacho, part 1)

The episode begins kind of strangely.  I think it's a joke that didn't pan out.

Someone quoted a copy of the script* that says that Kim is supposed to look distraught as she looks at her Kimmunicator and says, "It's criminal," which, if done right, might make it sound like she was talking about something that actually is, or should be, criminal.  The joke would be revealed when it was shown she was talking about the bad taste displayed in the fall lineup of jackets at "Club Banana".

Instead there is no real joke, She says, "It's criminal," in a tone that leaves you with a profound sense of, "Wha?" because no one would ever say something is criminal like that.  It doesn't last long because you quickly see that she's looking at coats:

Kim: It's criminal.  Someone at Club Banana is in major style denial.
*flips through some pictures*
Kim, Now this is me; come to--
Wade: Kim, I've got some bad news.
Kim: I know, I cannot afford this jacket.

Kim being unhappy about this fact will drive the plot.

Anyway, Wade has a quick response:

Wade: I know.  I pulled up your bank account: you're broke.  But that's not the bad news.
Kim: Apparently the bad news is that my friend who runs my website is hacking into my account.
*Sharp intake of breath*
Kim: Have you peaked at my diary?
Wade: Of course not.  Anyway, the bad news is that your arch foe Doctor Drakken has escaped from prison.
Kim: That's major bad.
Wade: Almost as bad as last week at school when you used the boys' room by accident.
Kim: Wait, nobody saw that. *gasp of realization* You have been reading my diary.
Wade: Good luck on the mission.  Bye.

Cue theme song/title sequence.

One of the few bits we get from the excerpts of the script is the original version of this scene.  It was different in that Kim spent more time responding to Wade hacking her account and never brought up her diary.  They mentioned the location (google earth) and Wade's parting shot was to say that, since it would be cold, she'd need a coat at which point he made the coat Kim can't afford appear on the screen.

It is, however, more important to focus on what is there than what isn't there.  So, let's go through things point by point:

1 - Kim is lacking in funds.  Kim gets paid in favors, favors are cashed in for services (almost always a ride.)  This scheme has allowed Kim to have an ungodly (see:Mammon) income without ever having to declare it to the IRS, but it leaves her precious little actual money.

Kim can reach any point on the earth's surface (and certain parts of space) at the highest possible speed, which is something that even billionaires can't afford to do, but she cannot afford to buy a completely superfluous green leather jacket in a style that just came out this year.

Random bit of secondary information: Kim is totally ok with wearing leather.  I'm not going to get into the ethics of leather because I don't think this is the place for that, but for anyone who cares about her position on the matter, she's for leather.  She wants to buy new non-clearance.  That means that it will have to be replaced, that means more leather will be needed.  Additionally she wants to buy it before winter has actually come which means that her purchase will be part of the pre-rush pilot period and determine how many leather jackets the company buys.

I don't think I've ever actually seen green leather in real life, though there is one place I was where I might have and simply forgotten because there was so much to see, but it's not in any way out of the ordinary.  Leather is routinely colored.

For myself, if I'm going to wear dead animal I prefer the other side be out.  I've always thought suede had a nice feel to it.

2 - Wade has completely violated Kim's privacy, hacking into both her bank account to check her balance and her electronic diary.  (Say what you will about writing on paper, but at least it can't be remotely hacked.)

I'm willing to let him off the hook for knowing about the jacket she was looking at (otherwise how could he know that she doesn't have sufficient funds) because she was doing it on the device he designed and built for her free of charge and when he did so he might not have realized that she'd ever use it for personal things, and thus not thought to set up a mode that wouldn't tell him what she was doing with it.

The bank account and electronic diary, though, definitely points off for those.

3 - Wade lied to Kim.  He lied to Kim and he didn't even try to hide it.  He lied to Kim and rather than trying to hide it he went out of his way to let her know he lied to her.  Sometimes the show does a really nice job of showing healthy relationships.  This is not one of those times.  This episode is not one of those times.

Wade lied to Kim, rubbed it in her face, and then cut off the possibility of her responding to it.  And there's nothing she can do.  He runs her operation.  He's the one who keeps track of who is asking for help and who owes her favors.  Without him Kim doesn't know where to go or how to get there.

He can't be fired --he's too vital-- and thus he can pull shit like baldfaced lying to his theoretical boss/friend and get away with it with no push-back at all.  In this exchange he seems to be aware of that and take a perverse pleasure in exploiting it.

4 - Last episode Kim met Drakken for the first time.  By now he has become her arch foe.  A bunch of time has clearly passed.  This isn't terribly important, but combined with the fact that there were term papers due last episode and dates that will come in-universe later in later episodes indicate that this episode must have come at the beginning of the school year ... Tick Tick Tick probably happened Kim's freshman year in high school and (if true) would be the only episode to take place then.  This is, thus, the first episode of her sophomore year, a year that will be featured for about a season and a half.

* * *

oil pipeline with a giant laser drill next to it

Drill Operator: One thousand feet.  Laser steady.  Easy; easy...
*fog on window is wiped off*

Drill Operator: Mother of Perl, man!  You scared me half to death?
Drakken: Only half?

Honestly there's not a lot to take from this.  That said, Drakken does manage to be strange and menacing without being un-Drakkenish, which is something that the series can't always pull off.  Also, next time you need to shout an expletive do consider inorganic-organic composites produced by mollusks.

* * *

Our intrepid heroes on dogsled:

Kim: Thanks for the lift Akut.
Akut: No problem, Kim Possible.  You saved my life; it's the least I could do to thank you.
Kim: It was just an itty-bitty ice burg, so not the drama.

Snow covers Ron's goggles and he jumps to the conclusion he's gone snow blind.  Kim is not amused, but neither is she particularly annoyed.  She's more corrective when she wipes off the snow and points out he's supposed to be looking out for signs of Drakken.

Shego, whom Ron calls, "The mad scientist's mad assistant," shows up on a snowmobile and throws dog bones in front of the sled.  The dogs stop to eat the bones.

Akut keeping the sled from flipping when it goes into a spin around the stopped dogs is the last we'll see of him so I'm just going to point out that I'm not really going to be dealing with the various ethnic stereotypes in Kim Possible or the physics of dog sledding.

The characters Kim gets rides from appear for almost no time and say almost nothing.  There's precious little to work with and I'd need to know a lot more about the cultures allegedly being portrayed to know if the snippet is acceptable or way off base.  I don't even know the likelihood that someone would both be in a position to be rescued from an iceberg and have a dogsled.  Maybe it's very unlikely.  Maybe it's perfectly normal.  I don't know, so I won't touch it.

Perhaps more knowledgeable people will address such things.

The dogs being immobilized by the bones forces Kim to hop on her snowboard to continue making her way toward the ongoing crime.  It's not a regular snowboard because her seemingly normal boots can lock into the non-standard bindings with precisely zero effort.

Ron tries to do the same, but he's lacking in talent.  He falls amoug the bones.  Ron warns Rufus the bones could be -- presumably "poisoned" but he's cut off when Rufus gives Ron one and Ron responds with an approving, "Bacony."

Them being thus occupied leaves Kim and Shego some alone time.

Shego is wearing a jacket over her usual catsuit.  On the one hand, it makes a kind of sense given the weather she's out in.  On the other hand, this is the only time Shego will ever wear anything in addition to her catsuit.  Sometimes she'll wear something other than her catsuit, but wearing stuff over the suit not so much.

It, of course, goes without saying that the jacket is the one Kim was looking at earlier.  Shego's is in a matte black, the one Kim wants is green.Other than that, it's exactly like the one Kim wants.

Kim: Nice jacket.  Club Banana?
Shego: The very latest.

Remember when, in the theme song post, I mentioned The Princess Who Saved Herself? (Direct link to that mention.)

It seems like Kim's doing the thing I said she didn't do.  She and Shego are having a conversation that seems to be going well.  Shego is proud of her jacket, she's smiling.  Kim was polite.  Kim opened with a compliment.

This obviously isn't going to lead to Kim and Shego starting a band, but it's a show that kindness can cross--

Kim: Get a lifestyle, Shego.

Oh, nevermind.  It was setting up a put down.  No reaching out to the other side going on here.  No chance that Shego's apparently genuine smile at Kim paying her a compliment could lead to a less antagonistic relationship between the two.  The bridge that was briefly built was built for the sole purpose of burning it.

Kim: Green is the new black.
Shego: And this advice comes to us from a fashion don't in fleece.

They're back to insulting each other; the natural order of the world is restored.  They're both pissed off.  That moment of what appeared to be mutual ... not joy but up-emotion of some level has been utterly destroyed by the revelation Kim's compliment was in fact the set up for an insult.

Kim doesn't get to enjoy making the insult because there's an immediate comeback.  No one is happy.

Good work, hero.

Also, Shego doesn't need to be told that green is in.  Note her helmet.  Note her left glove and right sleeve.  Shego wears exclusively black and green.

She paints her vehicles in black and green.

Hell, she's green.  Her skin is a very light green; her hair is a very dark green.  (It looks black, but whenever there's a need to show a part where it's not thick, like the outer edge in the shot above, it's shown to be green,)

Thus Kim's insult served no purpose except for doing a, "You think I'm complementing you, but I'm actually setting you up for a fall," trick.  Shego doesn't need to be advised she should be into green, Shego is into green.

The moment of rapport over, Drakken's theft of the laser drill enters its final phase as three helicopters begin to lift it off the ground.

Shego pulls out dynamite and says it's going to blow the pipleline as she straps it to the snowmobile before jumping to the lifting-off laser drill.

Kim diverts the snowmobile and it blows up harmlessly, just as expected.

There's a certain elegance to creating a diversion that the hero knows is a diversion yet is none the less diverted by thus creating a situation where you get away clean and nothing bad actually happens because the hero, just as you planed, averted whatever potential bad thing was used to divert them.

Kim lands atop the pipeline.  Ron smashes face first into the pipeline.

The drill operator is never heard from again.  Was he kidnapped?  Is he standing off to the side just waiting for the heroes to notice and rescue him?  We have no idea.  He's one of the little people; the show doesn't care what happens to him.

* * *

The next morning in the Possible house, Kim's dad is working on a rocket design.

Kim: Morning, Dad.
Dad: Good morning! How's my teen hero?
Kim: Moderately bummed. Drakken got away.
Dad: Well, I'm sure you'll get him next time.
Dad: *to self* Oh, these launch vectors are all wrong!

Now I'm no rocket scientist, but I'm pretty sure that "launch vector" refers to the vector of a rocket's launch (basically direction plus acceleration, velocity, or both depending on which part of the launch we're discussing) and not the tail fin he's been erasing and redrawing or the engine that he erased part of while erasing the most recent iteration of the tail-fin.

The thing is, I bet they could have found a rocket scientist who would have loved to help them out.  There are probably ones who would help just for the sake of helping, but failing that there's enormous pull at people's disposal because they work at Disney.  Admittedly this episode was being made at the same time as the pilot so it's possible that the show hadn't even gotten the green light yet (generally companies like to see an episode or two before they commit to things) but the offer of, "Help me not have my rocket scientist sound stupid and, if this airs, I'll work in a character with your kid's name," is still a pretty decent non-monetary payment.

Regardless, this is a good way to reinforce that Kim's family is supportive of her hobby of saving the world instead of, say, ordering her to devote her time to less dangerous pursuits and leave the world saving to others.

An astute observer might notice that Kim has a picture of the jacket out on the table  She's going to try to get her dad to buy it for her.

Dad: Eh, cost value ratio aside, Kimmy, don't you already have a functional coat?
Kim: It's a good thing fashion sense isn't genetic. My jacket from last season. It's red!
Dad: Didn't you say red was the new black?
Kim: Red's dead, Dad. Green is the new black.

The twins interrupt to find out the combustion temperature of the J-200 fuel Dad-Possible developed ("47 Degrees Celsius, Tim, Why?") they don't admit to whatever it is they're doing, but when an explosion is heard in the background you get an, "Uh, gotta go!" which tends to be their response to such things.

When they first showed up, Kim described what she's doing (trying to get her dad to buy her a jacket) as "working" in an attempt to get the twins to go away.  Jim said they were too.  All things considered, I'm more inclined to side with the twins.  Jim and Tim are designing and testing rockets.  Kim is trying to cajole money out of someone.

If Kim made a living as a con artist then maybe this could be considered work, but she doesn't.

Dad: You know, Kim. Your predicament reminds me of the time I applied for funding of a new propulsion system. The university told me money doesn't grow on trees! Well, I told them money's made of paper and paper comes from trees so in point of fact money does grow on trees.
Kim: And this relates to me how?
Dad: Not sure exactly. But no new jacket.

This is one of two things that sent me off on a tangent when I tried to write this earlier but wasn't able to focus.

Kim's dad is an American.  I know little of currency in the rest of the world, but I do know that the paper US money is printed on is made from cotton.  Cotton doesn't grow on trees.  I'm not sure what he fails forever, but something went wrong.  Biology? (Cotton=/=Tree)  Logic? (By using "paper" to refer to different things in order to reach a false conclusion he's indulging in a fallacy called 'equivocation'.)  General knowledge? (It's made from cotton!)  Vocabulary? ("Is manufactured from [plant]" is emphatically not the same as "grows on [plant].")

Regardless, good thing he's a rocket scientist and not someone who needs to know any of the above.

Really, though, what this is showing us is what fathers are like.  As the series goes on we'll gradually get a much fuller picture of what the creators think fathers and mothers are like.  It's beginning already.  Fathers don't know about fashion and go off on long rambling speeches that have little or nothing to do with the situation at hand.  They're easily distractible and distant from the toils of their children.

Kim's mom shows up to give us the alternative parenting style.  She immediately recognizes the jacket as cute (no "cost-value ratio" stuff) so she's already showing that mothers are more likely to get fashion.

When Kim claims that she needs it, mother Possible doesn't say, "No new jacket," like Kim's dad, but she also doesn't pay for it.  Mind you, Kim never asks her to pay for it.  Hopefully it's because the writers didn't want to rehash the same thing and not because they think that Kim's dad, as paterfamilias, is the only one who can authorize such an expenditure.

Regardless, mothers might not give you what you want, but they're sympathetic to your plight and will try to help you find the way forward on your own.


Before I get to how Kim's mom does that, let's be clear about something.  Kim's father is Dad.  Kim's mother is Mom.  I'm not talking about their names, though it is worth noting that Mr. Dr. P. didn't get a name other than "Possible" until the original end of the series and Ms. Dr. P. didn't get a name other than "Possible" until the final end of the series.  (For her to get a name the show had to end, be the subject of a successful campaign to be returned to TV, have an additional season, and then end for the final final time.)

What I am talking about is that Mom and Dad Possible are stand ins for all mothers and all fathers respectively.  Ron's parents are disconnected and weird (which, hopefully, has nothing to do with them being Jewish, but when you've only got one Jewish family on your show...), Wade's mom appears in two scenes while his dad shows up never, Monique's parents are never seen.

That covers the regulars.

If we expand then we can add Felix's mom who exists solely to tell Kim to fucking relax and treat Felix like a normal person (if Kim had been in Mad Max: Fury Road the entire two hours would have been spent with her utterly focusing solely on the fact Furiosa had 1.5 arms.  When we eventually meet Felix in season two he'll be great, Kim will be painful to watch.)

We can also add Bonnie's mom who is exclusively defined as "embarrassing".

Kim's uncle Slim gets to show up in two episodes but in only one of them is he there as a father and the cowboy stereotype far outweighs anything he might teach us about parenting.

Drakken's mother shows up for cringe-comedy comedic purposes.

That may cover every single parent in the entire damned four seasons and two movies.

My point here is that Kim's parents are the only exemplars of parents.  When the show wants to make the point, "This is how dads are," it uses Kim's dad to do it.  When it wants to say, "This is how moms are," it uses Kim's mom to do it.  But more than that, it says, "This is how [moms/dads] are," even when it doesn't want to because Kim's parents are basically the only parents to look for an example.

Kim's dad is a rocket scientist, but he's also an every-dad and thus when we see him acting like Charlie Swan as the eternal guardian of the hymen it sends the same toxic messages about fatherhood and daughterhood.

And we will see him acting like Charlie Swan.  But for now he's merely distant, distracted, unable to comprehend fashion, and stuff like that while his wife is immediately able to connect on fashion, sympathetic, and offering advice on how Kim can get what she wants.

Surely I'm reading too much into things if I say that Mr. Dr. P. being all logical and rational and pragmatic while Ms. Dr. P. is nurturing and bullshit-gender-roles feminine things is indicative of something.

Why, if I were going to go down that road I might ask why Kim's dad works with machines, equations, and impersonal science while Kim's mom specializes in helping people, instead of the other other way around.


So, Kim's mom isn't going to get Kim the jacket either, but she has an idea.  She points to a "Now hiring" ad as her suggestion for Kim if she really needs the jacket.

Kim: A job?! At Bueno Nacho?!
Dad: That's the way forward!
Kim: Between a rocket scientist and a brain surgeon, the best idea you people can come up with minimum wage?
Mom: You practically live there anyway.

Kim: Come on, Ron! We practically live here anyway.
Ron: Kim, never work where you food.

Ron doesn't feel the need for more money and if he is going to get a job he very specifically doesn't want one here because of his particular beliefs about the separation of work and food.

Kim: It's the only way!

It's the only way for her.  She could apply for the job on her own because she alone wants the reward, but she's trying to pressure Ron into joining her even though there's basically nothing in it for him.  He appears to live within his (nonexistent?) means.

Kim: The 'rents were totally neg on just buying me the jacket.
Ron: Did you try the puppy-dog pout?
Kim: No affect. If I want the jacket I have to earn it.
[massive snip]
Kim: I did the math. Two weeks of drudge work and I'm in green leather.

In the part I snipped Kim insults Ron's food (he has invented a taco nacho combination he calls the naco; Kim calls it "gross beyond reason") and Rufus.  We'll get back to the Naco because it's the first time we see Ron as a food innovator, but for now I want to look at is instead Kim's trying to get Ron sign up for a job that he does not need and actively wants to not have.

Ron is all for suggesting ways to help Kim get the jacket, but he's not up for working at Bueno Nacho himself.  We only get one of his suggestions because Kim asks about the Naco right after that.

Note that Ron isn't trying to convince Kim not to work, he's just asserting his right to self-determination.

Also, I think this is the only time that the puppy-dog pout fails, and it happens off screen.

Ned: Uh, Miss Possible? I'm Ned, assistant manager here at Bueno Nacho number 582.
Kim: Hola, amigo!
*Ron makes faces while Ned speaks*
Ned: Your bilingual wiles will hold no sway with me, Miss Possible.  I am management.
*Ron stops making faces when Ned turns to him*
Ron: Is that a clip-on tie, Ned?
Ned: For quick removal in case of a grease fire. *demonstrates* When can you start?
Kim: Born ready, sir!
Ned: And you?
Ron: Me what?
Ned: Isn't it your application, Mr... Stoppable?
Ron: What?! I didn't... *turns to Kim* You didn't!
Kim: It'll be more fun if we both work here.
Ron: Oh, no! No! No, not the puppy-dog pout!

Since the puppy-dog pout is one step closer to mind control than the Jedi Mind Trick (it works on non-weak minded people all the time) the next scene has Ron in uniform.

But let's review.

Ron does not want this job.  Ron does not need this job.  Ron is actively against this job.

Kim, knowing these things, signed Ron up for this job without his knowledge and then used her ultimate manipulation method to get him to take the job she knows he DOES NOT WANT.

Why?  Because it will be more fun if they both work there.  What will be more fun?

Kim says that it's going to be two weeks of drudgery.  She doesn't think "it" will be more fun for Ron.  He's going to have to do drudge work where otherwise he would be free as a bird (cue Lynyrd Skynyrd) so she definitely doesn't think it will be more fun for Ron.

No, she's saying that it will be more bearable for her if he suffers alongside her and thus he is getting this job even though he does not want it.

Ron is a tool to ease Kim's self-imposed suffering.  (Because a green leather jacket is totally worth it.)

Of course, things are going to go somewhat sideways.

* * *

Ned takes his job as Bueno Nacho assistant manager very seriously:

Ned: Bueno Nacho SOP.
*hands Kim and Ron each a green book*
Kim: Excuse me?
Ned: Standard operating procedures. Learn them. Know them. Live them.

And this is actually where the shot of happy Kim and unhappy Ron from above comes in.  Ron says, "I'm gonna get you for this," while Kim happily chants "Two weeks to jacket" to herself.  I broke sequence for thematic continuity.

I'm kind of surprised that Kim doesn't know what "SOP" is given that she's, well, Kim, but that will soon prove to be the least of her problems.

The passage of time in Kim Possible is almost impossible to gauge, so it isn't clear whether Ned's attitude toward Kim is him being overly harsh to a new hire, or him being at the end of his rope after spending hours trying to get her to learn this one simple thing.

Whatever the case is, she can't get the amount of lettuce or salsa right and what she does with the beans is apparently unmentionable.  Ned doesn't sugarcoat the the way he delivers these assessments.  Like I said, it's difficult to tell if he's being harsh to someone on her first or second try or if he's just tired because they've been over this a thousand times.  There's no indication how much time has passed.

Ron, by contrast, "sculpts the frijoles evoking the majesty of a Mayan temple."  His invention of the naco (which is seriously just nachos and nacho cheese in a soft shell taco and thus not nearly as big of a deal as the show makes out) is not the only area where he excels in food preparation.

Ron is ready to graduate to burrito folding, which he excels at.  Kim also moves to burrito folding, but it's probably maybe more of a, "Maybe she won't fuck this up."

After that disaster, Ned puts Kim on Nacho cheese dispensing because all it requires is pushing a button.  He figures she can pull that off without disaster.

In the fandom it's a common trope that putting Kim in the kitchen is equivalent carpet bombing a lake with potassium, her performance here is part of what leads to that trope.  It's not, actually, accurate though.  Eventually Kim will, quite against her will, get tutoring from Ron and become not-catastrophic in the kitchen.

For now, though, Kim really is a culinary disaster, and she's not particularly happy about the fact that she's reduced to "even you can push a button" while Ron is doing wonderfully.

Kim tapes a picture of the jacket to the nacho cheese dispenser to keep her motivated.

Wade picks this moment to call to say ... nothing.  He literally calls up to show Kim an empty map of the United States that represents the lack of a trace he has found of Drakken.  It's Lucky that Drakken is, in fact, in the US.  I can believe that Wade has been able to rule out the drill being moved overseas or making it to the southern hemisphere, but not scanning Mexico and, especially, Canada seems a terrible oversight.

Kim was glad to have the distraction, but it quickly backfires on her.  Ned mistakes the Kimmunicator for a video game (Kim doesn't correct him) and docks her an hour's pay for goofing off instead of doing her job.  Kim's mantra becomes, "Two weeks and one hour to jacket."

That's not what really pisses her off though.

Ned goes to check on his other new hire and finds that Ron is continuing to exceed expectations.

Ned: Excellent, Stoppable.
Ron: Just doing my job, Ned.
*Ned exits stage left, Kim enters stage right*
*Kim waves her hand in front of Ron's face*
Kim: (pissed off voice) Hello!?  Kim to Ron.  You didn't even want this job.
Ron: I didn't know what I wanted, Kim.  I was lost --adrift in the wilderness. But that was then. Now, I belong. I belong to Bueno Nacho!

The reason for the subtitle is that he says, "I love this place," in Spanish.  Rufus pops out of his pocket to add, "Si."

Presumably this is an expression of how he feels because he's taken to the job too much to run outside while it's his shift.

Back inside Ron is making sure people's orders are perfect and then joyfully bringing them to the pickup counter while Kim looks on in disgust.  It's the scene from the opening credits.

That means it's already uploaded and it would be easy for me to stick it in this post, but I already feel like this is an image heavy post and we haven't even gotten to the giant cheese wheel in Wisconsin.

Besides which, the only important thing to take away from this is that Ron hasn't done anything wrong.  He will, very soon.  Seconds from now even.  Just not yet.  All that Ron is doing is taking joy in his work and doing said work well.

That means that Kim's disgust is wholly unjustified.  She finds it revolting that he could do well and enjoy himself.

That's what friendships are made of, apparently.

Wade calls up to say something (this time) but Ron cuts him off.  He thinks that Kim should be doing her job.  Kim thinks that a possible lead on Drakken is more important.

Kim and Ron: Sometimes I feel like I don't even know you anymore.

Kim gets Rufus to take over for her as an unpaid naked mole-rat laborer (her job does consist of merely pushing a button while Rufus is capable of programming a VCR so he is over-qualified.)

* * *

Ok, we have to talk about something.  Events in Kim Possible happen fast.  Really fast.  I'm not just talking about getting from point A to point B impossibly fast.  I'm talking about A happens, then B, then C, D, E, F, and G and you're convinced that it took a whole week, at the very least, for that to transpire but then event H happens and you realize that it's still late afternoon on the day that A happened meaning what you thought took a week happened in the first half of a single afternoon.

It's not that bad here, but it takes Kim less than a minute to call Rufus, get him to take over for her, call Wade back, find out Drakken's probable location, verify to her satisfaction that it is his location, and decide she needs to swap shifts so she can go to stop him.  That's all well and good.

In that same less-than-a-minute corporate decides that they love the naco, Ron is promoted and changes into a manager's outfit (orange shirt with clip on tie instead of white with no tie), Ned is demoted and changes into an non-managerial outfit (white with no tie instead of orange with clip on), Ned becomes despondent as he does whatever Ron has set him to, and Ron has cooked up several nacos which weren't even on the menu until corporate called up to say they approved and and promote Ron.

* * *

Rewinding a bit, Kim puts Rufus on cheese duty and calls Wade back.  Wade reports tremors in Wisconsin centered at the world's largest cheese wheel.  Kim looks up petty crimes in the area and finds that someone broke into Club Banana at the cheese wheel mall and stole only one thing: a green leather jacket.  Wade doesn't get it.  Kim is sure it means Shego is there.

Kim runs to find Ned so she can get off of work and finds him despondent.  She does take enough of an interest to ask, "What's with you?" but the interest ends there.  As soon as she finds out that Ron is her boss now, Ned leaves her mind entirely and she has visions of being able to come and go as she pleases.

Those hopes are quickly dashed because Ron is concerned with the fact that her shift isn't over.

When you spend enough time looking at Greek myth you come to understand that a lot of the intractable problems would have been perfectly tractable if things had been slightly different.  Agamemnon and Antigone were completely screwed no matter what they did, but Oedipus could have been an exile who was happily ignorant of what he'd inadvertently done, and the Greeks would have had a much better in time the Iliad if Odysseus had been allowed to take Achilles and Agamemnon aside to hash out their differences in private instead of having the confrontation happen while everyone was watching.

Kim approached Ned saying that something had come up and she needed to switch shifts.  Then she learns that Ron is the decision maker now and she approaches him with a dismissive, "Good for you," about his apparent bright future and a command, "Now let's go, Drakken's in Wisconsin."

If that doesn't sound like a command to you, consider that it's said while walking passed him, grabbing his wrist on the way, and trying to pull him along behind her.

He's having none of it.  "But your shift isn't over," he says.  Her approach with Ned took that into account.  She wasn't asking to not do her work, just shift things so that she could do the work another time so she could save Wisconsin right now.

Her approach with Ron, her boss, is to order him around in a way that would make him a bad boss if he went along with it.  If she'd tried the same approach she had intended to use with Ned (i.e. not skipping out on her shift entirely, but switching the rest of her hours in this shift to a different shift) it might have worked.

She doesn't and it doesn't.

Kim: Ron, an evil whacko is in the Dairy State with a giant laser drill! I'm going. And I was hoping you'd come with.
Ron: To be your sidekick? That's this is all about, isn't it? You just can't stand that I'm better than you at something!
Kim: You wouldn't even have this stupid job if I didn't fill out your application!
Ron: Kim, we could argue all day but it's not gonna get this floor mopped.
*Ron pulls the mop and bucket to Kim with his foot*
Kim: Mop it yourself, boss!
*Kim shoves the mop into Ron's hands splashing mop water onto Ron's face*
*Kim jumps over counter*
Kim: And find a new nacho-drone! I quit!
Ron: Yeah? Well, find a new sidekick!

This is taking forever.  I'm just going to break here.

There are various things to look at in this exchange.

Kim wasn't hoping that Ron would come with.  Kim was expecting Ron to come because she told him to.  She was so sure that she was in control that she felt it was ok for her to grab onto Ron and try to physically pull him along.  She was surprised when that didn't work.

Ron has found a place where he feels like he belongs, where he enjoys his work, where he excels, and where so far he's done a pretty damned good job.  Kim, as a friend, should be happy for him.  Instead she's been ping ponging between disgusted and pissed off about his joy.

Ron suspects that the reason for Kim's reaction is that he's doing better than she is.  That's definitely a valid theory.

Kim thinks that Ron's new-found calling is stupid, and says it with emphasis (I wasn't sure whether to italicize or make it bold, to be honest.)  Then she points out that he didn't want it initially which ...

I don't even.

Kim is right that Ron wouldn't have the job without her, but he wouldn't have the job without her manipulating him, ignoring his desires, and ordering him around.  She's essentially reminding him of a time when she mistreated him by doing exactly the the things she's doing now.

If she were making the argument, "I was right about getting the job, so consider that I might be right about going to Wisconsin," then that would be one thing.  But she's not doing that.  She's calling the job stupid, she's dismissing Ron's aspirations.  She's saying, "This thing I manipulated you into doing sucks, even though you think it great, so let me manipulate you into something else," which doesn't form a coherent argument.

Finally, the first thing we see Ron doing as manager is trying to shift Kim into a job where she'd be more useful.  Her pressing of the nacho cheese button was essentially Ned trying to find something Kim couldn't mess up in food service and ending up assigning her to a largely unnecessary job.  It was a waste of time and money.

Ron has a different approach.  He recognizes that there's more to a restaurant than food and that Kim would be more useful mopping the floor.  To Kim it probably seems like the ultimate indignity, but it really is a more reasonable allocation of her labor than having her press a single button repeatedly when the place got by just fine with other employees pressing that button as needed.

This moment will mark the end of Ron the reasonable assistant manager.  Kim insulting him, shoving the mop in his face, and quitting on him will push him into "pissed off and venting at whoever is nearest" mode.

Before this point his problem was a lack of perspective (saving the world outranks getting people their orders as quickly as possible) after this he'll be an asshole.


So, that's where we break for now.


* Apparently the creators used to send out autographed copies of random scripts when replying to fan mail or something.  None of them have ever been made public, but one enterprising profit seeker realized that theirs could be photocopied and the photocopies sold on ebay and, since there's nowhere to get the scripts, people would be willing to pay well over what a photocopy of something would normally be worth.

The script in question was this one, and one of the buyers posted some excerpts.



  1. Ok, we have to talk about something. Events in Kim Possible happen fast. Really fast. I'm not just talking about getting from point A to point B impossibly fast. I'm talking about A happens, then B, then C, D, E, F, and G and you're convinced that it took a whole week, at the very least, for that to transpire but then event H happens and you realize that it's still late afternoon on the day that A happened meaning what you thought took a week happened in the first half of a single afternoon.

    ...and until I checked, I thought this post was a summary of the first part of a two-part episode. There's a lot to cover, here.

    It feels like Kim is modeling people as one of two things: either allies who will do whatever helps her, or obstacles to be dealt with.

  2. Nice decon. Hope Kim grows and it isn't just a 'set Ron up as jerk and have him apologize' type episode. Don't really remember it very well myself.