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Bandit and the Smokies
Episode #: 34
Original Air Date: 11/5/1987
Written by: Mark Edens

Episode Summary
Written by J. Cole Weston

Scientists discover an isotope that can defeat the Zone Riders' suits. But who will get the isotope first, and who is the mysterious local both sides encounter in the Smokies?

Episode Notes
Written by J. Cole Weston

In depth: A scientist exposes an isotope which absorbs free neutrons, which means the substance could defeat Neutron-90 suits. Bandit and the other Black Widows quickly attack the facility ad the scientists destroy their data. Reaper grabs a disk and the isotope and destroys the console. Outside, Crook secretly alters something in Bull Whip's engine. As the Black Widows return to base, Bandit falls behind while riding Bull Whip. The Zone Riders intercept the Sledge Hammer tanks on their way back to Intruder, but Bandit is left behind wit the isotope in his possession. The Zone Riders set out on a comprehensive search for him before he reaches the zone. Back at Overlord's HQ, the computer cube is erased that Reaper grabbed. Overlord is furious that the isotope and Bandit were left behind.

Meanwhile, Ned Tucker is over the Smoky Mountains on reconnaissance when we observe a pick up truck with its driver eating an egg raw. At the same time, Ben Franklin finds and blasts Bull Whip but is ambushed by Bandit and his cycle destroyed. The other Zone Riders give chase as Bandit downs Eagle with a shot from Bull Whip. Damaged, Bandit sends it over a cliff with his helmet, to make it seem as if he crashed and perished. Courage then passes the local in the pickup, who uses his vehicle to attack Rimfire. The local forces Courage off the road and into the river. The man bellows "Don't nobody pass Richard Welt! Nobody!!". Richard then returns to an isolated cabin. At Bull Whip's crash site, evidence is found of Bandit abandoning the vehicle.

At the cabin, Bandit tries to use a car to escape, but Richard pulls out the "overhead cam 6" engine and throws it at Bandit! When Bandit attempts to stun him, the giant man shrugs it off. They engage in hand to hand combat and Bandit is disarmed. Defeated, Bandit wants to buy transportation. Max arrives at the cabin to find the smashed car. Kat notices the pickup which passed Courage earlier. When Richard offers Bandit a sandwich, he observes the meat has not been cooked, among other unhealthy habits. Suddenly overhead, Eagle is shot down by Intruder. The Zone Riders on the ground are chasing Richard and Bandit as Courage had a hunch Richard was helping Bandit escape. When they destroy the truck, Intruder comes in from Overhead keeping the Zone Riders at bay. The Black Widows arrive to retake Bandit and Richard fights them all off handily until shot by Overlord. When Crook is about to execute him, Overlord stops him. They escape but Hiro uses a telescope to spot Bandit still on the ladder of the plane and blast him. He drops the isotope but stays on the ladder. Back at Overlord's HQ, they've taken Richard Welt into the Widowmaker. Bandit suggests naming him, as "you are what you eat - Raw Meat".

Items Noticed: When Crook and the others try to subtly create doubt in Bandit, Overlord has a certain amount of faith in him. Not only is Bandit his number two man, but in episodes past he has been the most effective soldier Overlord has. It's nice to see that even the bad guys can reward loyalty a little.

Notes: The ladder is still hanging out of Intruder when it takes off - a nice attention to detail, considering someone is still on it!

When Hiro asks for a dime, he uses the term "onegaishimasu" - a polite version of please in Japanese.

What do we learn? This is the second reference to "computer cubes" - the 2007 equivalent of disks. Judging by the size and shape, they resemble a ZIP disk or an Iomega product. They also appear similar to optical disks produced by NextStep.

Much of the episode takes place near Clingman's Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (as most of the time in SPIRAL ZONE, a real place).

The Widowmaker process may disfigure you, but it seems to have some excellent benefits. Richard Welt appears to regrow some missing teeth and shed at least 30-40 pounds, becoming more muscular as well!

Goof ups: Only that Raw Meat's origin aired one day after he appears in an episode.

Quotable Quotes: "I love nature, don't you Commander?" - Ben Franklin
"That's poison ivy." - Commander Courage

SPIRAL ZONE and related character marks are © 1988 Tonka Corporation