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A Stake in the Serpent's Heart

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RAH mini20
"A Stake in the Serpent's Heart"
Attribution
Writer(s)

Ron Friedman

Production company

Sunbow Productions

Production code

#4009

Original airdate

September 16, 1983

General information
Continuity

A Real American Hero animated continuity

Series

A Real American Hero

Preceded by

Duel in the Devil's Cauldron

Followed by

In the Cobra's Pit

Everything comes together in this finale to the mini-series as the Joe Team make their big push against Cobra.

Detailed summary

The shuttlecraft Destro is piloting spins out of control. In order to survive, both he and Scarlett have to work together. She instructs him to use one of her arrows and load it onto her crossbow. After some struggle, Destro manages to load the tractor arrow and aim it by the panel, pulling him forward and regain control of the shuttle. They proceed to the Cobra Castle where Destro hadn't thought it would seem like home after the troubles he's been through.

Once there, Destro learns from the Baroness that Cobra Commander attempted to disintegrate New York with what remains of the elements. He becomes upset at the Commander's poorly conceived strategy. The Commander is more happy that they now possess all three M.A.S.S. elements and victory will be theirs. Unusually at first, Destro wholeheartedly agrees until he takes carte blanche authority to make their plans succeed and, with his bare hand, crushes the scepter head that Cobra Commander holds. The Commander is enraged at the show of insubordination but no one else seems to mind.

RAH mini15

The Joe Team itching to get back at Cobra.

Incidentally, Scarlett finds herself sharing the same cell as Selina, the slave girl who helped Duke and sabotaged the M.A.S.S. earlier. She saw the ring that Duke gave her and realizes who she is. Meanwhile, the military leaders are brought out of their forced duties. They are forced by Destro to make pronouncements of surrender to Cobra and recognize Destro as the leader. Destro tells Cobra Commander that one can only demand respect if one has the power to back up one's speech making. Something to which the Commander agrees though he seems to know something.

Scarlett and Selina are put into servitude soon enough. Selina gave Scarlett the same metallic strip that allows her to overcome Cobra's control. They serve water and food for the other slaves. One slave in particular, the giant Ramar is itching to give some payback.

Back at Cobra's conference, Destro is infuriated at the world leaders' responses such as taking his threats into consideration. Cobra Commander is secretly amused at his weapon supplier's frustration. With the M.A.S.S. at full power, Destro aims the device to disintegrate New York. The Joes intercept the signal from the Relay Star satellite and realize Cobra is planning another attack. Gung-Ho suggests using their own M.A.S.S. against Cobra's and Dr. Vandermeer agrees. Just as the M.A.S.S.'s energy beam is about to hit New York, it is countered by a beam from the Joes' M.A.S.S. The Joes rejoice but the joy is short-lived until Cobra realizes that the Joes must have their own M.A.S.S. machine and any further display would just as immediately countered. Destro makes another threat, this time taking the military leaders and executing one of them every half hour until his demands are met. He begins by having General Flagg pulled and be the first to be executed.

Meanwhile, Scarlett and Selina start the revolution by freeing the slaves. It is, however, cut short by the better trained Cobras and by Destro's intervention. Both are soon chained to a wall to keep them from doing anything more. At Joe HQ, Doc tries one more session with Duke, placing him in a sensory deprivation chamber to help him remember Cobra's true whereabouts. A monitor feeds out in visual form random memories from Duke's youth to his time in the Cobra Castle. Everyone sees an image of Selina and how Duke gave her his ring. Doc recalls that the ring is really a specially built transmitting device which Breaker deduces they can use as a homing device. In no time, the Joe Team mobilizes their force outside Cobra's mountain castle.

RAH mini17

Cobra Commander can't believe everything is falling apart. It's something he'll never get used to.

With the aid of J.U.M.P. jet packs and spider platforms, the Joes overcome Cobra's initial defenses. Soon, air support from Skystrikers, Dragonflies and Falcon gliders very much renders Cobra's air capability useless. Cobra Commander unleashes his battle robots but the Joes eventually overcome them too. Destro had hoped to still execute General Flagg only to have this action cut short by Gung-Ho and the others finally breaking through the walls. Scarlett and Selina are rescued by Duke and all join in on the action, including Ramar who more than holds his own thanks to his strength and size.

Cobra Commander and Destro flee and barricade themselves. Destro activates the M.A.S.S. and aims it to the ground, a move the Commander realizes will displace the Earth's core and possibly blow the planet up. Destro admits it was the general idea and leaves the Commander to his fate. The Joes break through the barricade. The Commander tells them what Destro has done. In order to shut down the M.A.S.S. quickly, Gung-Ho shoots the controls and power supply. The M.A.S.S. stops running and the Joes stand triumphant.

RAH mini18

Everyone's happy. Cobra is defeated. Duke gets both girls. Snake-Eyes has a pet dog... wolf.

Later, the Cobras, including the Baroness and Major Bludd, are all taken into custody. Cobra Commander put on a peasant's disguise to make his escape, only to be foiled by Snake-Eyes's pet wolf, Timber. Gung-Ho puts the Commander under arrest and pulls him away. The Commander swears Cobra will survive to defeat G.I. Joe. Only Destro managed to elude capture as he flies away in a F.A.N.G. helicopter, he swears vengeance.

At the final stage of the mop up operations, Breaker combines what little of the M.A.S.S. elements they have with Cobra's in order to send the Eiffel Tower back to Paris. Unfortunately, a miscalculation in coordinates send it to London instead. The Joes end up having to tow the structure all the way to Paris. Breaker apologizes for goofing it up and admits nobody's perfect.

Appearances

Featured Characters

(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)

G.I. Joe Cobra Civilians Others


Featured Vehicles & Equipment

G.I. Joe Cobra Civilian



Memorable quotes

"Success? You dare speak to me of success? You psychotic, sibilant, serpent of a dolt!"

--Destro, furious that Cobra Commander failed in his attempt to disintegrate New York City.


"Not one nation has surrendered! This one must take a vote; that one wants to take it under consideration. Don't they realize they're dealing with Destro?!?!"
"Oh I'd say they know that! And it doesn't frighten them in the leasssst!"

-- Destro gets chided by Cobra Commander over the lack of respect by the world to his surrender ultimatum.


"Ssssssyou are a fool, Destro!sssssss"

--Oh, now come on, Cobra Commander! There isn't even an S in that!


"It looks like the Hotel Dracula!"

--Clutch, upon seeing the Cobra Temple for the very first time.


"Goodbye, Commander. Or as you might say, ssssssssssssso long!"

--Destro gets in one final jab on his way out the door.


"Well, nobody's perfect."
"No, but we do okay."

-- Breaker and Duke pat themselves on the back.

Other notes

Animation and/or technical glitches

  • After Scarlett's failed rebellion, when the scene switches back to the Joes, Breaker has a blonde beard.
  • There's an unusually high number of Cobra Officers, even for menial jobs. Where did all the Troopers go?
  • As Cobra Commander calls out his robot cobras, he has little red "eyes" in his faceplate.
  • During the flashback to Duke's childhood, he is incorrectly colored the same as another kid (with brown hair and a green shirt) for a few frames (before his hair turn blonde and his shirt turns blue).
  • A coloring error has Gung-Ho sporting brown hair when attacking the Cobra temple.
  • Just an observation, but the animation and character models look sloppily drawn and not as crisp as the animation in the first four episodes of the mini-series.

Continuity errors

  • Scarlett and Selena have a conversation about the gold strips and resisting Cobra's mind control, a conversation that somehow goes undetected by the Cobra officer and hooded slavemaster walking right behind them.
  • Scarlett is shown at Joe Headquarters when she should be in Cobra's dungeon.
  • Destro threatens to execute a world leader "every half hour, on the hour." Something about that expression seems wrong. Which leads to...
  • Destro threatens to execute the world's leaders. Fair enough. But he decides to start with General Flagg? Why not kill the Russian premier? Or another country's president? You know, an ACTUAL leader, as opposed to Flagg who, despite being an Army General, is nonetheless a relatively low-ranking prisoner.
  • All the flashbacks from Duke's memory should be in first-person perspective, instead of third-person. In other words, we should be seeing everything through Duke's eyes instead of a detached observer.
  • The Joes all teleport from G.I. Joe HQ in one beam from the M.A.S.S. Device, yet two beams touch down in front of Cobra HQ.

Miscellaneous trivia

  • In a cute bit, the Joes leer at and comment about Selena when Duke (hooked up to the sensory deprivation tank) recalls his escape from the Cobra Temple. We wonder how Cover Girl, who is standing there with the rest of the boys, feels about that!
  • In the same vein as the "proto-S.H.A.R.C." and the "proto-Rattler" from earlier in the miniseries, a three-wheeled ATV, similar to the later Ferret A.T.V. is seen toward the end of the episode.
  • Doc mentions Duke as having grown up in Iowa. According to his filecard and Order of Battle entry, he was born in Missouri. Perhaps his family moved to Iowa when he was a kid?
  • The flashback to Duke's youth was cut from the FHE home video release.
  • More deaths this episode. The Joes shoot down a ridiculous flying Cobra battle platform, and the four Cobras manning it go sliding down the mountainside to their doom.
  • At one point, you see a Joe at the Cobra Temple with black hair wearing a white shirt, blue pants and black boots. This is actually the civilian character model for Torpedo (as seen in the G.I. Joe Field Manual). It pops up again in the two-part Season 1 finale, " There's No Place Like Springfield" and in the Season 2 episode, "Computer Complications".

Real-world references

  • No references.

References

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