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Episode-A-Day! MASK, Ep. 14: “Assault On Liberty”

Welcome back to another episode of MASK. Two full weeks into this with plenty more to go, but you know how things end up going by quicker than you imagined.

Today’s episode is titled, “Assault on Liberty” which is another really intense title for an episode. Like I said before, some of these titles are just really great and it’s a shame that the writing doesn’t live up to them in a lot of cases.

That seems to be the case in a lot of older cartoons, however. There wasn’t a lot of episodic storytelling as most shows featured one and done storylines. Multi-parters, such as the initial five-episode debut of “The Adventures Of Teddy Ruxpin” or the multi-episode arc in “Thundercats” where they discovered that there were more Thunderans who had lived were awesome in the way they kept you wanting more simply because it was so different from the standard fare being presented at the time.

I’m very vocal about my love of “The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” and the reason for that has a lot to do with the episodic storytelling of the first season. It also served as my introduction to almost all things Avengers since I was never a big comic guy, but the writing was awesome and, as the story progressed, you couldn’t help but want the next episode right away.

We’ll see if we get any multi-part arcs as we go (I genuinely don’t know whether we do or don’t) with MASK, but for now, here we are finishing out our second week!

Plot:

Matt, Scott and T-Bob are at a live magic show at the Statue of Liberty where Wondro, the magician, will attempt to make the Statue disappear. He does indeed make it vanish, but when he attempts to bring it back, the Statue is gone and his magic proves futile.

Trakker begins talking with government officials to figure out a way to find the statue when it is shown on the news in the middle of a cornfield in Iowa.

MASK is dispatched to Iowa, but it becomes immediately evident that it’s a well-disguised trap by VENOM. It’s not a real statue, but a hologram and the area is rigged with explosives to try to put an end to MASK foiling VENOM’s plans over and over again.

Gloria is able to use her mask to provide a force shield to protect MASK from the explosion, but Miles Mayhem is demanding $3 billion in ransom money in a three-hour timeframe which gives MASK almost no time to get back to NYC from Iowa.

Oh, I’m sorry, did someone say “Ransom”?

Somehow, MASK is able to get back to NY in time to try to thwart VENOM, and are able to find that the Statue is being hidden underground in an unfinished subway tunnel. MASK heads there to find it, but Matt finds an energy signal in a building in Manhattan that he follows up with.

The subway tunnel is rigged with traps and explosives designed to keep MASK away, but they’re able to soldier on only to find the Statue rigged with explosives and an antenna that suggests that it will be detonated remotely. Matt traces the energy signature and surprises Miles and Vanessa in a control room.

MASK is trying desperately to deactivate the bombs attached to the Statue and Gloria is using her mask to try to scramble the radio frequencies from allowing the remote detonator to work. MASK barely beats the clock as they are able to use Lifter to throw the final bomb harmlessly into the sky just before the time runs out.

Thoughts:

Easily the best episode to date. There were genuine stakes and VENOM, ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS, tries to kill MASK with bombs! MASK is able to pull through with teamwork and ingenuity, but not before having to overcome what appeared to be a stacked deck against them. A very nice roller coaster of emotions in these 22 minutes.

PSA:

Matt and Scott recall an earlier PSA about crossing the street from the corner, but add that wearing bright clothing makes you more visible to drivers, especially when it’s dark out. Solid advice.

Final Grade:

**** on the Meltzer! Like I said, easily the best episode. Had a heat, babyface fire, a hope spot and a comeback. Great elements in a great episode.

Tomorrow we begin Week 3 as we continue the march to 65! This was a great way to close out the week and hopefully, we get a lot more like this one. See you tomorrow.

❤ Joe

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