This is an episode I simultaneously love and am eternally frustrated with. The lower-end animation bugs me. I wish it'd been one of the four Hanna-Barbera slated for the Mook treatment in season one. I think the bacteria monsters would've benefited greatly from improved animation, being somewhat amorphous in nature.
The violence and death doesn't bug me, except when it comes to Dr. Zyme. If this had been his only appearance, I can't say I'd care much... but since he got developed so well in The Origin of Dr. Viper
, it feels like such a waste he gets gobbled up here. But that's a discussion for that episode's thread, I suppose. Suffice it to say his is the one character death in this episode I'd change if I could.
As for stuff I did like? The opening chase sequence is great (if a little under-realized because of the animation), and I like the sequences with Dr. Viper, and how there is general air of unease and creepiness in every scene he's in, especially in the swamp scene. That scene of Morbulus being mutated scared the dickens outta me as a kid! Viper is so evil and sadistic in that scene. I think they toned him down a lot
in later episodes. The farm scene is well done in terms of suspense and scariness, especially now that the DVD includes the retored bit where Viper feeds the farmer to the monster (what did I say about Viper being one sadistic dude here?).
Other things, though, like the mixup with the monsters' eyes and Feral (for some reason) being blamed for Morbulus' escape when it's the SWAT Kats' fault and the show's refusal to acknowledge it, do hamper my enjoyment of it a little. I also find three scenes involving them really dumb:
1. The scene of Callie driving through the first one (the one that used to be Morbulus) and splitting it in half is poorly animated, in fact, more poorly animated than anything else in the episode. Also... why does she just stop? She could've kept on going, but stops. Why? Even a single line about how the purple gunk has clogged the engine somehow would've sufficed. It makes her look like an idiot.
2. The subway scene. The shot of the bacteria monster engulfing the train is very poorly done. The creature(s) suddenly gain the ability to morph into blobs for this sequence, and I don't think they got the idea that it was eating/absorbing the train across very well. It looks like it just flows over it and moves on. Razor's "Oh no, too late!" is the only thing suggesting it's actually eating the train.
3. The attack on Zyme. It's quite possibly the worst excuse for a monster attack in the series. Okay, so, the petrified (as the model sheets describe it) bacteria monster is standing facing away
from the building. But upon returning to normal, it decides to ignore Feral's helicopter just to turn and reach in to get Callie and Zyme? Why? The thing is the size of a skyscraper now. Why does it care about two teeny morsels suddenly? Also, if you frame-by-frame it, Callie sees the hand coming before Zyme does, but gives out no warning, and when the glass smashes, she basically runs and leaves him to die. Not that he's entirely blameless, as his response to this is to basically just throw up his arms, go "Aggghhhh!" and die. Also it seems to change from the creatures hand, to its mouth (or the animators accidentally added eyes to the hand for the shot of it coming down over Zyme), to its hand again between shots. Heck, the fact it's its hand that comes through the window, added to the fact the thing suddenly turns and goes after the copter, make it seem like it almost
got Zyme, but then was distracted, despite the fact he disappears from the story after this and is never mentioned again. All in all, possibly the worst sequence in the episode. Not only do they kill Zyme off, they do it poorly.
And yet for all this it remains a favorite of mine just because it was the first one I ever saw. It left an impression on me, and I've been a SWAT Kats