S1E03 - The Wrath of Dark Kat

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S1E03 - The Wrath of Dark Kat

Postby Felony » Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:41 pm

In this third episode, it is revealed how and why Chance and Jake became SWAT Kats. Via flashbacks, this is their origin story of sorts and some feel it should have been the first episode to introduce the series. This is also the first episode featuring Dark Kat, one of their major, if not main, nemeses. He had a hand in their creation, a fact if he knew he would most likely regret. There is a bit of insight on Commander Feral and how he has to deal with kats like Steele on top of an already stressful and dangerous job as well as the ongoing tension with Briggs as they disagree on how to handle another situation.
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Re: S1E03 - The Wrath of Dark Kat

Postby MoDaD » Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:02 pm

In this episode, Dark Kat seems to be established as one of few contemporary adversaries that precede the debut of the SWAT Kats (I don't really count the Pastmaster in this regard as he's been locked up in a box still and not heard of for 800 years). Dark Kat also makes an interesting statement:
Now I’ll destroy the justice machine that protects Megakat City!

Which makes me wonder if he had a personal vendetta against the Enforcers as an organization, or if, as later circumstances would suggest, he only focused his attention on them because of their position as "protectors." This protector position would seem to later shift to the SWAT Kats, and if this episode marks the first official altercation of the SWAT Kats vs. Dark Kat, it's really a kind of watershed moment for how things operate in-universe (in combination with Callie Briggs' support, the SWAT Kats are acknowledged by representatives from both sides of the law as the "new sheriff in town").

Dark Kat, the already established bad guy who was a major threat before the SWAT Kats, has to now change his priorities and mission. In all of his subsequent appearances, his tactics heavily involve either destroying, discrediting or demoralizing the SWAT Kats, with his other aims of conquering or destruction playing a secondary role.
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Re: S1E03 - The Wrath of Dark Kat

Postby AkaneKitty » Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:02 am

Ah. This episode. The one where I feel Feral's character was treated unfairly and damaged. Damage in the sense that it seem like Feral was two or three different characters in this episode alone.

We get a flashback of the event leading to the boys becoming SK's. It was cool in first views, but things started bothering me later on. First we get a T-Bone flashback, which is probably biased, so Feral isn't shown in the best light. Then we get no flashback from Feral himself of at least a neutral flashback to so we only get T-Bone's point of view to see what happened that night. This leads to an issue of Feral and/or Enforcers not being able to have their views expressed to balance the SKs, or not being able to defend themselves.

It seems like Feral was made to look the way he does to justify the SKs treatment of him. Which would have been fine if Feral's personality didn't shift so much in the episode. And to be honest Feral probably shouldn't have lead to the SKs creation at all. Dark Kat should have been plenty motivation. DK could have manipulated events so Feral would kick the boys out. SKs could be miffed at this, but their anger and motivation to be SWAT Kats should have been directed at Dark Kat.

Second, Feral's infamous stand down order. At first blush you're siding with the boys on this. But thinking about it later, it wasn't that bad of an order. It might be suspect, but not bad. Bad, to give a morbid example, would be to be ordered to fire upon unarmed civilians. There i could see someone saying no way. Granted Feral's stand order came with them breaking off to fire the shot, and like I said it's suspect, but we don't know what Feral was thinking or saw. Maybe he did want glory. Or maybe he saw something that would cause more damage. But the order itself shouldn't paint Feral as the bad guy the show wanted us to see.

Also in line with this is that Feral has the right to give that order. He's the commander and they give orders. Rank and file usually suck it up and move on if they don't like it, or go through proper channels to challenge it. No one is rewarded for breaking an order (disregarding Felina's issues here for a moment). So why did the boys think they could just walk away him? It was insubordination, and it wasn't even justified insubordination.

This episode really could have shown a lot of insight into the Feral's character, but it shortchanges him to put the SWAT Kats as in the right. We don't know if Feral was a gloryhound and that he changed since that time (or not) or that the SK's were in the wrong that night. A simple Feral flashback could have fleshed him out and revealed his motivations also.

And to be fair, the boys weren't in the beset light during the flashback either. On another forum I wondered if they had friends while they were Enforcers. Because when your wingkats break off, why would you nearly belittle them by saying go get a donut? They were just flying with you! In heated combat! Wouldn't your first words to them be to give them a pat on the back?
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Re: S1E03 - The Wrath of Dark Kat

Postby Furlong29 » Sat Aug 16, 2014 7:47 pm

What confuses me about this episode is that Feral is unable to figure out that they are the Swat Kats. He meets them face to face, has a good look at Chance and Jake's physical appearance, most likely was there personally when they were officially thrown off the force, and he STILL can't figure out who the Swat Kats are?!! I don't get it!
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Re: S1E03 - The Wrath of Dark Kat

Postby Leon Mane » Sun Aug 17, 2014 12:11 pm

I think Feral didn't piece it together because of a few key points. First, while the SWAT Kats are great at what they do by the show's start, maybe they weren't quite that good as Enforcers, due to their experience. Second, I doubt they were all that high in rank, given their attitudes toward the other pilots and their general apparent disdain for the chain of command, two things that would all but limit them to the lower ranks. Third, given Feral's dislike of the duo, his quickness to use his jet to try to get them off course, and the likely fact that he hasn't seen them in probably several years, he forgot what they look and sound like, both by choice and not, choice because he didn't like them, and not by choice because it was likely a few years since he'd seen or heard much of them. All this working together, his forgetting what they look and sound like, combined with the improved abilities and disguises, Feral might just be unable to remember Jake and Chance. Though if he were ever to take his car in, it might spark a few memories, and he'd either remember on the spot, or wonder about their faces and voices for a few hours, and realize it on the way back or put a detail on the two to keep an eye on them.

Callie, on the other hand, has seen the SWAT Kats up close as well as Jake and Chance, so how she hasn't pieced it together is what really confounds me.

On a side note, they explored the Pastmaster a little, they showed us how Viper came to be, and some of the other villains were easy to figure out because you got some information about them, but Dark Kat, you never learn of his past, or what drove him to be who he is. Without that, he's just a villain out to destroy the city, and he happens to be very brilliant at it, if also a miserable psycho.
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Re: S1E03 - The Wrath of Dark Kat

Postby MoDaD » Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:38 pm

This episode also marks the debut of Dark Kat's signature minions, the Creeplings. Just like Dark Kat, their origins are mysterious, but their obedience to their leader seems to override their own sense of self preservation (and it's demonstrated on several occasions that Dark Kat considers them to be expendable). With that in mind, I'm willing to bet that Creeplings are just as susceptible to radiation poisoning as anyone else, and that all of the ones who handled the nuclear fuel rods probably perished shortly thereafter:

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Re: S1E03 - The Wrath of Dark Kat

Postby Kooshmeister » Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:30 pm

I always hated that Callie refuses to allow (or tries to) Feral to fire on Dark Kat so near the power plant. She objects because "One mistake and the entire city could be poisoned by radioactivity!" Nevermind that the core has already been breached by the Creeplings and that the Enforcer tanks are facing away from the building, so the chances of them accidentally hitting it are practically nonexistent.

What's especially galling is that when the SWAT Kats show up, Callie not only has no problems with them doing what she attempted to prevent Feral from doing, but has the nerve to tell him they're doing his job for him. More than any other episode, this one really made me feel for Feral. The flashback showing what a reckless, blame-shifting fool he can be aside, I got the impression from this particular scene that there is a really ugly double standard going on. If Feral does something dangerous, it's reckless and needlessly dangerous. If the SWAT Kats do it, it's dangerous but has to be done. Even if it's the exact same thing! Feral can't attack Dark Kat because he'll risk endangering the power plant... but the SWAT Kats can bombard the same target, in the same location, with all the same risks, and Callie not only won't mind, but she'll rag on Feral because of it.

I know she gets better in later episodes (and so does Feral), but for a long, long time, this scene, and her insistence on heaping the blame for Morbulus' escape on Feral in the previous episode, left me with a very low opinion of Callie.

In unrelated topics: clone army alert! The Enforcers aren't the only example of the animators recycling the same model for multiple characters. All of the guards at the power plant except the two at the main gate are identical. Absolutely identical. And there's about fifty of them.

And speaking of the guards at the gate, don't you love how those two react to the sight of the Doomsday Express by... drawing their little laser pistols and going "Halt, or we'll shoot!" Yeah because when I see a giant airship, I immediately think my little handgun is gonna make all the difference. The other guards aren't much better, going out to meet the ship with only slightly more useful laser rifles. I get that plant security has to work with what it's given, and I certainly commend their bravery, but come on.
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Re: S1E03 - The Wrath of Dark Kat

Postby AkaneKitty » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:43 pm

*Slow claps for Koosh regarding Callie in this episode*

This is the one episode to avoid if you're writing any sort of Feral centric fanfic that deals with Callie, or pairing them together like I do, because you will get mad. Especially if you are a Feral fan.

What's especially galling is that when the SWAT Kats show up, Callie not only has no problems with them doing what she attempted to prevent Feral from doing, but has the nerve to tell him they're doing his job for him. More than any other episode, this one really made me feel for Feral. The flashback showing what a reckless, blame-shifting fool he can be aside, I got the impression from this particular scene that there is a really ugly double standard going on. If Feral does something dangerous, it's reckless and needlessly dangerous. If the SWAT Kats do it, it's dangerous but has to be done. Even if it's the exact same thing! Feral can't attack Dark Kat because he'll risk endangering the power plant... but the SWAT Kats can bombard the same target, in the same location, with all the same risks, and Callie not only won't mind, but she'll rag on Feral because of it.

I know she gets better in later episodes (and so does Feral), but for a long, long time, this scene, and her insistence on heaping the blame for Morbulus' escape on Feral in the previous episode, left me with a very low opinion of Callie.

You know what really makes me mad, other than the "Your job" line from Callie? Feral's non verbal reaction to it. Now he might be biting his tongue and trying to be the better kat, and I would applaud him for it. But that sort of line from her, adding up against the previous episode of what she has done and said to him? She would get chewed out in a heartbeat. I'm non confrontational and I would still chew her out.

I've complained about this in the Pastmaster thread but I hate it that Feral and the Enforcers don't get chances to defend themselves, especially when the situation calls for it. This situation calls for it, and it would be a perfect time for Feral to open Callie's eyes on few things.

As for the double standard, when you take this and add Modad's observation that the universe adds in Hard Mode against Feral and THEN turns it up to eleven, is why I disregard T-Bone's flashback as being the absolute truth. Especially in absences of another viewpoint of that night.

Feral's character gets twisted around so many ways to fit the plot and it's very annoying. Well, maybe not his character, but the universe it self tends to bend so Feral looks bad when it's needed so the SKs can have justification to be the heroes and laugh at him. I like a good antagonist to root against but they did it the wrong way with Feral.
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Re: S1E03 - The Wrath of Dark Kat

Postby LowdogCraft » Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:19 pm

Hang on... quick question. where is kooshmeister's review of this episode? has he simply not found it yet?
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Re: S1E03 - The Wrath of Dark Kat

Postby Kooshmeister » Tue Sep 30, 2014 12:42 am

LowdogCraft wrote:Hang on... quick question. where is kooshmeister's review of this episode? has he simply not found it yet?


Trying to find it. I posted it to the Agony Booth's forum, but I dunno if it's still there as it was years ago. As soon as I dig it up, it'll get put up, I swear.
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