Tuesday, January 12, 2016

KP EbE - Please direct all apologies to me, even if you were actually mean to someone else (Bueno Nacho, part 2)

First off, there was some confusion when I did the first post, so let me just get this out of the way: this is not a two part episode.  I split the post into two parts because so much happened in the first half it was running more than long enough to be a post in its own right.  Also I needed a break.  Mind you that break was supposed to last days instead of six months, but so it goes.

An episode runs about 22 minutes, and I ended up breaking almost exactly half way through.  So figure 11 minutes for the previous post (link above) and 11 minutes for this one.

I keep on trying to do a quick recap, but there is too much.

Let me sum up:

Kim started working at Bueno Nacho, a fast food place, so she could afford a green leather jacket.  She knew she wouldn't like the job, but thought it would be less bad if she had a friend suffering with her, so she manipulated Ron into taking a job there too even though he emphatically didn't want one.

Kim discovered she was horrible at food preparation and hated it even more than she expected.  She also disliked that Ron discovered that he really liked working there and had a natural aptitude for food preparation.

The first bump was when Ron thought they should focus on their jobs during on-the-clock time instead of saving the world.  Everything went horribly wrong when, after Ron got promoted to be her boss and Kim pretty much immediately ordered Ron to drop everything to leave work and be her sidekick.

Thus we ended the last installment when Kim quit Bueno Nacho and Ron quit being Kim's sidekick.


I said at the time:
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.
That was where we ended then, that's where we begin now.

The person standing next to Ron is Ned.  Ned is just as big of a Bueno Nacho fan as Ron, he lives the standard operating procedures, and right now he is in kind of a funk because in order to promote Ron to assistant manager, corporate demoted Ned.  Given how important Bueno Nacho is to him, it was a powerful emotional blow.

He has done absolutely nothing to incur the wrath of Ron, but at the moment it doesn't matter.  Ron is angry and hurting, the person to set off those emotions isn't there, and Ned is.

Thus we get Ron yelling:

What are you looking at?  I want this floor to sparkle!

and shoving the mop at Ned in a rage.  Mind you, unlike Kim, Ron didn't shove the mop in the other person's face, so Ned can at least take some tiny measure of solace in the fact that he's not the one who has mop water on his face.

As always, our heroes are incredibly classy and extremely considerate of the feelings of others.

* * *

Kim has gone to her room to look through her clothes for no reason whatsoever because she always wears the same mission clothes.

She always wears the same mission clothes to the point that there's an episode in Season 4 (the season after the series had been unnecessarily canceled and then revived via fan mobilization) where ripping a single set of pants forces her to completely reinvent her look (it was the only pair... in the world) which is the plot of an entire episode because ... um, yeah.

While there would be nothing wrong with saving the world in this shirt, Kim will not do so.

We actually get a nice pan which shows us that Kim has a lava lamp and a teddy bear, also while she's going through the detritus on her closet floor she throws two baseballs which, combined with the basketball on the right of the shot above lets you know that Kim is totes sporty.  (Cheerleading is the only team she's on, but she obviously partakes in other things.)

Anyway, while she's looking through stuff she talks to her mom on the phone:

Kim: Mom, reassure me. I just had a fight with Ron. He was all high-horse 'cause I bailed on work ... and I really need to stop Drakken, but Ron thinks I quit because I can't take him being good at something, which would be way pathetic.
Anne: I need a suture here.
Kim: Mom, do you have me on speaker?
Anne: Sorry honey, I've got both hands in a 52-year-old male's temporal lobe.
Kim: Mom!
Anne: Gotta go, honey. See you at dinner. Dad's picking up nacos.

Ron's invention of the naco is so successful that the parents Possible have learned about in spite of both being at work, and have further decided that they'll have nacos for dinner.

So, while Kim utterly despising Ron's success is completely uncalled for and extremely petty, the universe does seem to be trying to rub this thing she does not want in her face.

Anyway, after that ... exchange?  It's not a talk.  Kim's mom, when she's allowed to appear at all (the series had to end twice for her to get a name), is usually pretty responsive, but this time not so much.  Other than Anne saying that they'd be having nacos for dinner she didn't contribute at all.  Kim might as well have been talking to herself.

Regardless, Kim catches a plane to Wisconsin.

* * *

Kim: I can't tell you how much I appreciate this, Mr. Parker.
Parker: After the way you saved my crop-dusting business, I'm only too happy to help.
Kim: No big! Going organic was a total no-brainer.

Kim parachutes down to the cheese wheel:


Kim pulls a bit of cheese off of the roof of the building.

Kim: Funky! A cheese-covered building.
Monorail Guide: Many people assume that this is a cheese-covered building.  In fact, this marvel of dairy-product architecture is a hundred percent pure Wisconsin Swiss.

Why Wisconsin Swiss?  Why not?  This episode gets a lot of flack for the strangest reasons.  There's a giant wheel of cheese with a villain's lair hiding inside and a Disney World style monorail circling around outside while someone who brought Sarah Palin's accent to the masses before it was uncool points out it's not a cheese covered building and makes bad cheese jokes, and people are annoyed that it isn't Wisconsin cheddar.

I'm not making that up.  That's the problem people have with this episode.  That the giant cheese wheel isn't cheddar.

True, based on Google results Wisconsin cheddar is 3.43 times more commonly heard about than than Wisconsin Swiss, but the fact is that Wisconsin didn't become the cheese state based on one type of cheese alone.  In 1910 they took the spot of top cheese producer in the US (formerly New York) and it wasn't because they exclusively produced cheddar.

Hell, Colby is a type of cheese named after the village in Wisconsin where it was created (technically the village near which it was created.)  Wisconsin produces 600 cheese varieties and this is how they represent themselves:


They also make Swiss cheese looking *deep breath* baseball hats, cowboy hats, fedoras, sombreros, crowns, tiaras, party hats, fezes, police hats, fire hats, graduation caps, neckties, bowties, lapel pins, earings, bras, purses, daggers, baseball mitts, footballs, frisbees, bricks, cribbage boards, dice cups, coasters, special Wisconsin-shaped coasters, various of the above in decorative magnet form, antenna toppers, key chains, Christmas tree stars, belts, and rear-view mirror ornaments.

The point is, Wisconsin == cheese with holes.  Why?  Because if it doesn't have holes it just looks like a random garish yellow block of shaped foam (which it is.)

Between this post and the last post I will surely give you all kinds of reasons not to like this episode, but the creators choosing to say it's "Wisconsin Swiss" so that the giant cheese wheel could have holes for Kim to crawl through is not one of them.  Based on Wisconsin merchandising, if they ever did make a massive cheese building it likely would be of a cheese that has holes in it, and that tends to be Swiss-type cheeses.  (Though some Dutch cheese does as well.)

Anyway, back to the cheese wheel:


Kim makes use of one of of the holes to get inside and take a look at Drakken's cheese wheel lair.

Kim: OK, points for bizarre hiding place! Wade, get this! I'm inside the cheese wheel!
Wade: Which surprisingly is not a cheese-covered building. It's 100% Wisconsin Swiss.
Kim: So I've heard. Drakken's got the whole mad-scientist lair thing here. They love the high ceilings.

Kim receives her most iconic item here: her hair dryer shaped grappling hook launcher.  The exact capabilities of it are never given in a Q style briefing, but its standard hook head has reversible hooks so that it can dig in rather than hook on at the user's discretion, and at least sometimes it's outfitted with a harpoon instead of a hook.

In the cheese wheel there's not a lot for it to hook onto, so instead the reversible hook feature is used and it becomes embedded in the cheese, giving Kim a solid grip from which to climb down to the cheese wheel floor.

Not a particularly impressive entrance for the most iconic gadget, but part of why it is the iconic gadget is that instead of being flashy it does work that can pop up in pretty much any episode.  The grappling gun is versatile in a way that a dress that can be used as a parachute (yes, that will eventually pop up) is not.

Random note: Kim's not a hair dryer person, preferring instead to towel off.

Other random note, one that I forgot when I first posted this.  Kim gets the gear the same way she usually does: Wade somehow snuck it into her back pack without her knowledge.  Now then, back to the action.

After she gets to ground level, Kim tries to sneak in but is almost immediately spotted by Shego.  Shego is now wearing a the green leather version of the coat/jacket/[is there a meaningful distinction]/thing.  In fact, it was stealing this coat (the only thing that was stolen from the cheese wheel mall) that made Kim sure Drakken and Shego were here.

Shego: Welcome, Kimmy. May I take your coat?
Kim: You already did! Don't worry, it'll look better on me.

For those keeping track, this is the third time Kim has failed stealthy infiltration of a Drakken lair in two attempts.  This feat was pulled off because Drakken, like most (but not all) Kim Possible villains is the kind of traditionalist who leaves the hero alone to die.

She can't fail twice here because there's no deathtrap in the cheese wheel so she can't get noticed, get caught, be left to die, escape, and get noticed again in the course of a single attempt.  The first time she failed stealth it was because automated security noticed her, which makes this only the second time Shego has foiled Kim's attempts at stealth.

We don't see a lot of what happens, I think because there was worry (based on some details of an early script that were released) that if they showed too many punches or kicks connecting on screen they'd run afoul of moral guardians.

Regardless, Kim briefly looks like she might accomplish something, but she finds herself completely surrounded having, apparently, done exactly what Shego expected, and then we get the first time Shego uses a pet name for Kim:

Shego: Face it, Pumpkin, fashion isn't the only thing in which I'm a step ahead.

And then in the next shot Kim is being hauled away, having been captured, while still struggling.  The fact that she's still struggling implies that she didn't give up without a fight, but we didn't see the fight.

Back to the pet names thing.

Tick Tick Tick was the first episode.  The most obvious sign of that was that Tick Tick Tick was the episode where Kim first met Drakken and Shego, and in episodes like this one she already knows them.  However, they worked on multiple episodes at once and this one actually got finished before Tick Tick Tick.  As a result of that and the way they number episodes (order finished) this is episode one.

Technically it's episode 101.  The leading digit is the season number (1) and the following two are the number in the season (01).

I bring up this largely meaningless artifact of numberclature because it means that the roots of this now-seminal Kigo work by the famous semi-deified Four Eyed Cat Lady in a Pink Hat were there from episode number one.  Granted, at this point any anyone-anyone shippers were pretty much making something out of nothing (except Kim's Mom-Kim's Dad) but Kim/Shego (Kigo) has roots that go way back.

Also there's evidence of time passed if you want it.  In Tick Tick Tick Shego called Kim, "Kim Possible," while here Kim is "Kimmy" "Pumpkin" and "Princess."

Anyway.

*Drakken enters dramatically, via an elevator that comes through a hatch in the floor*
Drakken: Well, well; Kim Possible. How nice to see you again.  Especially now that you're helpless to stop me! *evil laugh*  Shall I tell you my plan? It's quite impressive.
Kim: You're using the world's most powerful laser drill to tap into the molten magma deep beneath the earth's crust.




*Pause*
Drakken: Ah! That's phase one. In phase two, which you did not guess, my magmachine will melt the entire state of Wisconsin. Which I will then rebuild and rename... Drakkenville!
[snip]
Drakken: Any second now I will strike swiftly and without mercy!
Shego: Actually, make it more like half hour.
Drakken: Fine! Whatever. In roughly 30 minutes Wisconsin will surrender to me and the kingdom of Drakkenville will be born!

Um... I question the wisdom of this plan.  He's going to melt Wisconsin, which would naturally melt the people in Wisconsin, which would leave who, exactly, to surrender to him?  And why would he want to rebuild the melted state?  Isn't that, you know, a lot of work?

And if he's up for the work, why not build up from scratch somewhere that's not in use instead of reducing Wisconsin to scratch and then doing the same thing afterward?

I'm not convinced he thought this through.

* * *

Meanwhile, back at the ranch:


Ron is angry with Ned, who seems to be  afraid of him, because, and I quote:

Step it up, Ned. These customers have been waiting for over 30 seconds. *pulls out stop watch* 33. 34. Andale!

Ned isn't taking this particularly well.  Fortunately for him, Wade can apparently hack into those headsets.

Wade: Ron!
Ron: Welcome to Bueno Nacho. May I take your order?
Wade: Ron! It's Wade!
*Ron looks out the window*
*Ron looks around*
Ron: Wade, where are you?
Wade: Not important.

It's a running thing that they never meet Wade in person.  When it finally does happen for the first time midway through season two the timeline in which they meet him collapses under its own paradoxical weight and the meeting is erased from history, the only remnant of the timeline being Ron Stoppable's sudden irrational dislike of Norway.

They finally have a non-erased meeting in Season 3 by which point Ron has become so convinced that it'll never happen that he mistakes Wade for a hologram.  In season four, after the original creators had moved on because the series had been canceled, Wade gets out more.

Anyway, Wade called for a reason:

Wade: Kim's in trouble. She found Drakken inside a giant cheese wheel but I lost contact. She needs help. Your help.

I am, at best, unconvinced of the veracity of these words.  Wade is tapped into everything everywhere and surely he could find some law enforcement agency or mercenary group that could manage.

Someone once wrote a fiction based on the idea that Kim was intentionally sabotaging Ron's successes so he'd be trapped in the role of sidekick because he couldn't pull off anything else.  It's disturbingly easy to get to that place from canon, but unless Kim intentionally tossed the off-screen fight to force Ron to choose her instead of his career at Bueno Nacho, it's Wade's reasoning or motives I question.

I definitely don't question both.  Either he's not thinking this through and instead falling back on past experience and weak assumptions (Kim and Ron win, Kim lost, thus need to return to Kim and Ron to fix things) or he has an ulterior motive.  Not a sinister ulterior motive, mind you.  True, Wade started this episode by revealing that he'd hacked into Kim's bank account and electronic diary apparently just because he could, but I'm not suggesting that he's being a jerk now.

It could be that he wants to get the team back together, save Kim, and save Wisconsin, and correctly sees this as an opportunity to do all three in one go by reaching out to Ron.  Manipulative, yes; evil, not really.

Regardless, Wade hacked into those headsets, and Ned's wearing one too:

Ned: Well, well, well. Looks like you've got a choice to make, Stoppable!
*western duel music starts*
Ned: What's more important? Your sacred duty as assistant manager or your pathetic role as goofy sidekick?
*music grows louder*
*tense eye contact*
*the two circle each other, hands poised to draw the guns that they very much do not have*



Ron: Well, that's no choice at all. I guess it's time to say buenos noches, Bueno Nacho.

Ron hops the counter and runs out the door.

* * *


Kim is still restrained, the drill is still going, but apparently 30 minutes has passed because Drakken doesn't think he should be waiting.  Observe:

Drakken. Shego! I'm still waiting!
Shego: So read a magazine. I'm working!
Drakken: Excuse me. I have to make a scene.

Drakken is not, in fact, going to make a scene with Shego.  He's usually smarter than that, but in this case I know because I know that when he gets there he's not going to be yelling at Shego, but one of the two other people in the drill control room.

I do not know this because it is in any way indicated in the show itself at this point in time because, honestly, there's nothing to indicate that.  It looks like he's stalking off for a confrontation with Shego.  The sequence is badly handled.

Anyway, cut to outside of the cheese wheel:

Ron: Question, is this some kind of cheese-covered building?
Monorail Guide: You know you would be surprising how many people think that.

So glad we cleared that up, because I was wondering.

Back inside Drakken reaches the drill control room where Shego no longer is because she's proactive in dealing with problems other people don't even see coming, yelling at a hapless hench:


Drakken: Can't you drill any faster? I've built an entire army of evil robots in the time it's taken you to penetrate the earth's crust!

Back at Kim, Ron shows up:

Ron: Everything's OK, Kim. I'm here to save the day!
Shego: Hi. Is that tie clip-on?

Like I said, Shego's dealing with problems before other people see them coming.  Especially since she's apparently had time to gather a couple of henches to back her up even though that's entirely unnecessary given the relative abilities of herself and Ron.

The clip-on question is a callback to something Ron asked Ned in the first half.  (It is clip on, so it can be quickly removed in case of grease fire.)

It kind of goes without saying that Ron ends up secured to the wall by his hands and feet just like Kim.


Ron: That wasn't much of a plan.
Kim: Not as great as your Bueno Nacho bathroom-break chart.
Ron: I gooned on assistant manager power. You were right.

No.  No, she wasn't.  Well, yes she was, but not at the time.  She wasn't right at the time but since that time the situation changed in such a way that she would have been right had she said it later than she did.

In all real ways she was not right.

She knew he was an assistant manager for less than a minute --all on screen so no space for off camera jerkishness-- before quitting with the mop to his face.

He did have extremely screwed up priorities because saving the world (they didn't know it was just Wisconsin) takes precedence over "no electronics on duty" rules, but that started before he was promoted and after his promotion he didn't have time to misuse his power in her presence.

She was ordering him around, telling him to break the rules and not even using the reasonable approach she took with Ned (trying to swap shifts) but instead telling him to outright ditch and using force to actually try to physically pull him where she wanted him to go.

The only thing he did to her as assistant manager was move her from an unnecessary agonizingly-pointless job that she was only put on because Ned couldn't figure out anything else Kim wouldn't screw up to a job that actually involved doing something that needed doing.

Ron was a horrible assistant manager and does need to apologize to Ned.

He didn't do anything wrong to Kim as assistant manager, Kim didn't see him do anything wrong as assistant manager.  He didn't start doing things wrong until Kim ran off in an acrimonious parting of the ways.

Also, how does Kim know about the Bueno Nacho bathroom-break chart?  Seriously.  It's not in the show and every interaction Kim has with Ron at Bueno Nacho is covered.  The simple explanation is that the writers didn't give a fuck about continuity, and that's probably what we want to go with because the alternative is that Kim was spying on Ron (presumably with Wade's help) after she quit.

Kim: I did resent your superior burrito technique. You're entitled to excel. Forgive me?
Ron: Duh! Forgive me?

And this is where the title of the post comes from.  Ron needs to apologize and ask for forgiveness, but not to and from Kim.  Kim wasn't the one he mistreated.

Spoiler for the rest of the episode: He never apologizes to Ned.  Well, he might, but definitely not on screen.

Anyway, the good news is that Kim accepts the apology that shouldn't have been necessary:

Kim: Totally.
Drakken: Aw! That's so sweet. Friends again just in time to be fried in magma!
Ron: Remind me again why I rushed over.


At this point the drill hits magma chamber.  The magma is under zero pressure and the chamber is half full of air.

Time for Drakken's magmachine.  The magmachine is an incredibly impressive bit of technology because first it vacuums up the magma, then it stores it, and eventually it's supposed to fire it, all without itself melting.

Ron has this to say:

That would be so cool if it wasn't gonna hurt us.

WEREN'T!  "That would be so cool if it weren't gonna hurt us."  This is not that difficult.  You're already in a subjunctive state of mind because if you were doing indicative you'd say, "isn't" but you know that's not right so you're almost to correct and all that you need to do is use the word "were" instead of "was" and this is not that difficult!

For fuck's sake, people.

Wait, I'm supposed to be talking about the show?

Ron's going to repeat variations on that phrase a fair amount.  He can appreciate the beauty of things, even ones that are trying to hurt or kill him.  He just doesn't think that things that are about to hurt and/or kill him are cool.

Anyway, at this point the true savior of the Kim Possible verse wakes up.




Rufus sets them free (since he can't reach the button with his hand, he just throws his whole body at it), and we see a combination of good strategy:


Kim: Ron, get to the laser drill. I'll take care of Shego.
Ron: Great plan! What exactly is the plan again?
Kim: Ron, you're the genius who invented the naco! You've got a building made of cheese here. Get creative.
Ron: It'll be my masterpiece.
Kim, Ron: Be careful.
Kim: Jinx. You owe me soda.

And bad strategy:


Drakken: They've escaped!
Shego: *full saracasm* No! Really?
Drakken: The buffoon is nothing. Find Kim Possible.

Kim and Shego fight.
Magma enters the magmachine.
Kim and Shego fight.


Ron: Rufus, this is a precision instrument. Incredibly complex. Better mess with everything.

Ron starts firing the laser in random directions.

Soon, though, the magmachine is full and thus presumably ready to fire.

Drakken: Ah-hah! It's magma, Milwaukee!
*hits button*
*magmachine is clogged with cheese*
Drakken: Why isn't Milwaukee eating magma?

Because you made a machine that was capable of sucking up, storing, and firing magma, with all of the ability to deal with the temperature, mass (it shoots fucking rock), and so forth associated with such that still required and open air barrel to fire.

It's not quite as bad as when you will have made the earthquake machine lair non-earthquake proof, but it's an interesting short-sight no less.

As the cheese flows down from above, Drakken is well and truly beaten.  The end.

Wait, we can't be done yet, not when we have no idea whether this is a building made of cheese or a cheese covered building.  Please, enlighten us on this thing that we have wondered about so much and so deeply.


Drakken: Please do not tell me that this place is actually made of cheese! I thought it was a cheese-covered building!
Monorail Guide: Oh golly, no! You'd be surprised blugh....

Thank you, but I'm still not completely sure I understand.

As the upper parts of cheese wheel collapse in to fill the lair Ron is forced to the roof of the drill control chamber, the laser blasts a crate that Kim and Shego are both standing on putting an end to Shego largely dominating the fight.

Both go flying but since Shego doesn't have a hair dryer grappling hook she lands in the cheese while Kim swings safely over it, grabbing Ron on the way to an exit hole.

Drakken: This... is not... over,... Kim Possible! *sinks into the cheese*
[snip]
Kim: Drakken's plan is so foiled.
Ron: Oh, it's over. I call it bad-guy con queso!



* * *

All roads lead back to Bueno Nacho.


Ron: What's wrong, KP? You won.
Kim: *completely flat voice* I'm very happy, really.
Ron: You don't sound happy.
Kim: OK, I know this is beyond shallow but I saved the world and I'm no closer to owning that Club Banana jacket!

It's not shallow to want something, or feel bad that your efforts don't leave you any closer to having the thing that you want.  It's totally fine for Kim to feel this way.  She did, in fact, make a choice to save Wisconsin (or was it just Milwaukee?) rather than continue to pursue the jacket, but just because you make a choice (the right choice in this case) doesn't mean that you can't feel bad about what you've given up.

So it's totally ok for her to feel that way and it's not actually shallow.

No, the shallow part is coming up in a moment.

You see Ron got a naco bonus that gave him the money to buy her the jacket.

Kim: You are too sweet! I love it! Thanks!


Kim: Ned?!
Ron: Dude, what are you wearing?!
Ned: Somebody left this picture over the cheese machine. And I just had to have it. Viva me!
Ron: Exchange it?
Kim: Oh, yeah!

That's beyond shallow.  One person that they consider too ... uh, Ned-like I guess, gets something and now suddenly, in spite of it being your heart's desire, you can't be seen in the same fashion?

But the real question is what we aren't shown.  Did Ron ever apologize to Ned for being such an asshole to him?  He apologized to Kim in spite of not actually doing anything bad to her.  Is Ned worthy of basic human respect, or is Kim the only one worthy of getting apologies?

Ned is someone who actually cares about and takes seriously the "drudge work" Kim despises, he wears glasses, his voice is a bit nasal, and he's a friend of Kim's dreaded nerd cousin Larry.  He's such an anathema to the very idea of cool that him owning a style marks all clothing in that style as a class of thing that the likes Kim should dispose of posthaste rather than actually wear.

So... does Ned get an apology?

He certainly doesn't hold a grudge, but that could be a reflection on his character instead of Ron's actions.

Oh, and the picture on the cheese machine was something Kim taped there to keep herself motivated in the first half.

-

End of episode summation:

Day saved by:
Kim - 0
Ron - 1
Rufus - 1

Kim's Ride Reason:
Saved Akut from iceberg
Saved crop dusting business

Real Friends:
Hack your bank account
Read your diary
Sign you up for jobs you don't want
Envy your success
Rescue you from evil schemes
Buy you a Jacket

Insights into Parents:
Dads don't get fashion while Moms get it at a glance

Times we learned the building wasn't cheese-covered but actually made of cheese:
Four

Gear:
Hair Dryer Grappling Hook Launcher
Clip On Tie

-

[Previous][Kim Possible: Episode by Episode - Index]
[Kim Possible Index]

1 comment:

  1. Saving the world takes priority, but saving Wisconsin doesn't, because melted by magma cheese tastes better.

    ReplyDelete