G.I. Joe is placed under the command of a new computer, Watchdog, which directs Joes to Cobra targets. The computer is under Cobra's control, being used to spread Joe forces thin and leave headquarters vulnerable to attack.
In the middle of the desert and under a dark sky, lights are ignited on a stone mesa and a runway is revealed at the top. Cobra Rattlers, Trubble Bubbles, H.I.S.S. tanks and Ferrets then launch from the fortress to attack the Joes. Breaker, who is snoring while in the communications room, is awakened by the perimeter alarm and starts a red alert.
Flint, Lady Jaye and Heavy Metal catch sight of the mesa on a monitor and Lady Jaye wonders how the base was built without the Joes knowing about its construction. Flint decides to adopt a "shoot first and ask questions later" policy and the Joes rush out to intercept Cobra.
A.W.E. Strikers parachute to the ground, land near the mesa and Flint tells the Joes to go ahead and knock on the front door. As Cobra Rattlers approach trio of Skystrikers, Lady Jaye asks Ace if he would like to accompany her into enemy territory.
Cobra's weapons are destroyed by the Joes and suddenly the entire Cobra army disappears. A computer voice announces that the computer simulation has ended and a confused Flint drives with Bazooka into the base. Lady Jaye, Ace, and Airborne land on the roof of the base and enter the base as well.
Both groups of Joe teams meet in the control room and Flint demands that they get the Pentagon involved, however, Colonel Sharp appears on a monitor in the room and explains that the Pentagon is already aware of the base since they authorized the construction. The base is known as Watchdog and is the most sophisticated computer in the world. After Col. Sharp explains that the Cobra army the Joes fought were holograms and Lady Jaye realizes that the base was never encoded as hostile and therefore not recognized by the Joes' satellite system, Col. Sharp straightens his tie and nervously explains that Watchdog is the new commander of the Joe team. Dr. Hamler, the inventor of Watchdog, enters the room and explains that his creation is a powerful and efficient intelligence network that scans the globe "and beyond" for Cobra activity.
Dr. Hamler also adds that the Joes will receive their orders from Watchdog via a communicator, which he pulls from his coat pocket. Flint is unhappy, and Dr. Hamler suggests that the Joes need a demonstration.
Watchdog finds a yacht called Cerebus in the Indian Ocean and notes that Cobra Commander and Destro are aboard. Breaker tells Flint that there's no need for a personnel review since Watchdog has dispatched the U.S.S. Flagg to intercept. Dragonflies and S.H.A.R.C.s take off and attack.
After the Skystrikers, which are led by Ace, complete their strafing run, the Cerebus sinks into the water. Admiral Ledger congratulates the Joes and tells them to travel back to the Flagg since Watchdog has transmitted new orders. Flint radios the aircraft carrier and asks if Destro and Cobra Commander were aboard. Shipwreck flies his S.H.A.R.C. back into the water and discovers that the Cerebus has disappeared.
After Breaker decides that the ocean's current could not have carried the ship away, Watchdog reports that the ship was covered in sediment. Watchdog orders Shipwreck back to the Flagg, but Shipwreck places his communicator into a torpedo tube and launches the communicator into the ocean, where it is swallowed by a shark. Flint asks Shipwreck what happened since Watchdog reported that the Shipwreck abandoned his ship, but Shipwreck replies that he doesn't know and suggests that it could be a computer error. Promising to look into the matter, he switches his radio off and begins to look for the Cerebus.
Flint leaves with Gung-Ho on a search-and-destroy mission in the Everglades, but before Flint leaves he orders Breaker to let him know if Shipwreck finds anything. As a Cobra submarine docks, Destro walks with Cobra Commander, who is laughing uncontrollably, and explains that their Watchdog scheme is quite funny since the US government paid for the Cobra base. Destro then introduces Cobra Commander to a weapon that will destroy the Joes' headquarters, a drill on wheels called the Pit Viper.
Scarlett visits Breaker in the communications room and she learns that Watchdog is not a very successful project. After Flint reports that his mission in the Everglades is a wild goose chase, Watchdog tells him that there is a high probability that Cobra is in the sector and orders Flint to find them.
Heavy Metal leads an Armadillo unit into the desert to find an abandoned H.I.S.S. tank which is filled with sand. Heavy Metal radios Breaker and asks if he has any kids since the H.I.S.S. tanks looks like a sandbox. Meanwhile, Lady Jaye travels with Frostbite and a squad of Snow Cats, blows open the doors to a Cobra arctic base and learns that it has been abandoned for some time.
Scarlett tells Breaker that she doesn't like their present situation since the Joes are spread too thin and Watchdog is constantly "barking up all the wrong trees." Asking about Shipwreck, Breaker jokes with Scarlett that Shipwreck is getting a suntan on a beach. However, Shipwreck finds Cobra's underwater base and is attacked by a group of Eels. He flies to the surface but before he can radio headquarters, a Rattler shoots his S.H.A.R.C. down. Shipwreck's head slams against the canopy and he falls unconscious.
Shipwreck awakens and he thanks Dr. Hamler for designing a computer that could find and save him. Explaining that the Joes need to be told about the Cerebus and the Cobra base, Shipwreck is lead by Dr. Hamler to the Pit Viper's construction room and learns that Destro designed Watchdog and Dr. Hamler, who rips off his mask to reveal himself as Zartan, sold the program to the Pentagon. Destro also adds that since the Joes' base is now virtually deserted and Watchdog can turn off the base's automated defenses, the Joes' headquarters will be destroyed by the Pit Viper.
Shipwreck immediately shoves the guard nearby to the ground and runs from the Cobras, however, Destro shoots a wrist rocket that explodes in front of Shipwreck, causing him to be thrown back and knocked to the ground. As he is unconscious, Cobra Commander orders the Joe to be brought to the control room so that he can watch Shipwreck squirm as G.I. Joe headquarters is destroyed.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Featured Vehicles & Equipment
"Blow in my headphones and I'll follow you anywhere, Lady Jaye."
- --Ace (who is asked by Lady Jaye if he would like to accompany her into battle)
"We're supposed to take orders from a pile of silicon chips?"
- --Sorry, I can't talk right now, Flint, I have to check my World of Warcraft account.
"'Sediment' my left barnacle!"
- --What do you call the right, Shipwreck?
Animation and/or technical glitches
- Ace is seen piloting the Skystriker without his helmet and flight mask on throughout the episode.
- Flint gets blown back by a well-placed shot from Watchdog that should leave him, if not dead, then at least critically injured. This being a kid-friendly show, he just dusts himself off and gets back to work.
- Similarly, Destro shoots a wrist rocket at Shipwreck that detonates directly at the sailor's feet, an explosion that should leave Shipwreck missing some limbs if not outright dead.
- This is the only episode where Heavy Metal has any speaking lines.
- Story by Flint Dille and script by James M. Ward.
- One of the rare instances when a character is addressed by his rank and name, as Watchdog refers to Shipwreck as "CPO (Chief Petty Officer) Delgado"
- The "Now you know..." attached to this episode, had Snow Job teaching kids not to walk upright on a frozen lake.
- S.H.A.R.C. torpedoes are loaded from the cockpit.
- The plot of a computer taking over command operations is similar to the 1968 Star Trek episode "The Ultimate Computer."