Cobra uses kidnapped scientists as bait to lure G.I. Joe into a deadly Cobra-themed funhouse!
Our story opens with Zartan zooming through a swamp on his swamp-skier. As ever, not only is it night, but he's up to no good, breaking into "lab central." Using his chameleon powers, he sneaks up behind the night security guard and knocks him out. When he gets inside, Zartan interrupts Dr. Hibbentrope, who is excitedly using a microscope to study some electrons. Zartan ignores the doctor's requests to be left alone and instead uses an aerosol can of green gas to knock him out.
At G.I. Joe HQ, Flint has become aware of the doctor's kidnapping, as well as those of several other scientists. He wonders why Cobra would want to kidnap so many of them. Alpine and Bazooka suggest that they might just be collecting them like baseball cards. Breaker calls over from his monitor screen and announces that he's picking up a signal. He puts it through to reveal Cobra Commander, who quickly gets to the business of demanding a $60 billion ransom for the scientists. Lady Jaye quite reasonably asks where they're expected to get $60 billion from. Alpine suggests they put it on his credit card. Cobra Commander doesn't think the Joes are taking him seriously, so shows footage of Dr. Hibbentrope and tells them they have one day and ends the call. Breaker traces it to South America. Despite Lady Jaye claiming that it's too easy, Flint asks for volunteers for a strike force.
At the Cobra HQ, Cobra Commander gloats and thanks Dr. Hibbentrope for his performance. The doctor unmasks to reveal Zartan, who reminds Cobra Commander that he charges extra for acting services. While the Baroness is less than impressed, Cobra Commander claims he's getting value for money, as Zartan's acting will get him revenge!
Three Skystrikers and three Dragonflies fly in formation over the waters of South America. Ace, in the lead Skystriker, warns the other Joes to stay low under Cobra's radar. They find an Incan style temple and identify it as Cobra's base. Ace decides to greet them with a couple of missiles, taking out a detachment of H.I.S.S. tanks and smaller Cobra defenses, with assistance from Wild Bill in the lead Dragonfly. A couple of W.H.A.L.E.s arrive at the shoreline, with an A.P.C. that disgorges Lady Jaye, Flint, Alpine, Bazooka, Airtight, Gung-Ho and Dusty.
The Joes immediately open fire on an approaching group of Cobra Troopers and H.I.S.S. tanks. Alpine mentions to Bazooka that he's been itching for a good fight all day. This immediately sets Bazooka off scratching. Flint calls for Bazooka to lend some back-up, so he quickly runs over, trips on an exposed branch and fires his bazooka at a H.I.S.S. tank, managing to destroy it. The Cobras fall back and the Joes manage to subdue them completely. As they survey the battlefield of fallen Cobras, Alpine is less than impressed at how easy they went down. Flint warns him not to be too cocky, as they've still got to go inside the temple and clear it out. Zap uses some dynamite to blow an entrance in the temple walls. Flint orders Zap to wait outside for Gung-Ho and the support team to arrive and takes the rest of the present Joes into the temple.
A few paces into the temple, a door slides down, trapping the Joes. Suddenly, a panel appears from the ceiling with a large electro-magnet on it. It pulls all the Joes' weapons away before disappearing. A monitor then appears, showing Cobra Commander. He welcomes the Joes to his funhouse and reveals three doors. Two lead to dead ends, while the third leads to him. To give them some incentive to follow the doors, he reveals that the entire island the temple is on is a bomb and the only way to disarm it is in Cobra Commander's control center.
Flint decides to the split the Joes up. Dusty and Airtight take the door on the left, Alpine and Bazooka the one on the right and Flint and Lady Jaye take the middle one. Dusty is immediately encouraged by their corridor being empty, but Airtight is dubious that there even is a right choice. Suddenly a barrage of party balloons, all with a picture of Cobra Commander's battle mask on them, drops down and fill the corridor. The two Joes are bemused more than anything, so Dusty pops a balloon before Airtight can warn him not to. It releases a cloud of sparkly pink gas that causes Dusty to hallucinate. He sees Airtight turn into Cobra Commander, who then erupts into a horde of actual cobras. Airtight tries to explain that Dusty is hallucinating, but his team-mate is beyond listening, so he punches Dusty in the face, knocking him out. He leaves Dusty in the corridor and carries on alone.
Alpine is less than thrilled that he's been left with Bazooka again as they set off down their corridor. They arrive upon a robotic fairground barker that bids them to take a ride on the Cobra Express, a snake-themed rollercoaster. Meanwhile, the support team has arrived, so Gung-Ho is hurrying Zap to lay some charges that will open the door that trapped the first team. Zap warns him that it'll take some time. The rollercoaster is proving entertaining for Bazooka and for Cobra Commander, who is watching on a monitor and controlling things remotely. He sets off a series laser-armed Cobra Trooper automatons to fire at the coaster cart. Bazooka is hit before he can take cover in the cart, so Alpine leaves him at the end of the track and goes it alone.
Airtight reaches a large room where he ambushed by a series of Cobra Commander themed giant Jack-in-the-Boxes. Dodging attacks from their various weapons, Airtight slides seemingly to safety, only for some rubble to land on him and knock him out. In his next corridor, Alpine slips over an overly smooth floor. A light comes on to reveal a set of giant bowling pins at the end of the corridor. A panel appears behind him, blocking him from backtracking. It fires out an electrified bowling ball towards the pins. Alpine tries to outrun it, but gets clobbered by a falling pin and is knocked out. Cobra Commander gloats that he scored 11, even better than a strike. The Baroness though is concerned that while there are only two Joes left inside, there are still several at the door.
Their progress though is severely impeded. Zap sets off his explosive charge, but it barely even marks the metal door. Lady Jaye and Flint are making better progress and have yet to encounter any traps. This of course jinxes them, as a group of Cobra Commander robots appear and start shooting at them. Though they manage to neutralize many, one robot sneaks up behind Lady Jaye and knocks her out. Flint checks on her, concerned when he can't find a pulse. More robots appear, but hold off attacking so Cobra Commander can gloat through them, much to the Baroness' chagrin. Flint takes out the robots, grabs a pistol and heads off at a run. He manages to evade the robots and destroy some of them before reaching an indoor sports arena, with Cobra Commander's control center overlooking it like a commentator's booth. Flint declares loudly that he'll get Cobra Commander and destroys the two laser turrets that are deployed at him. The Baroness finally convinces Zartan that it might be a good idea to escape the island before the bomb goes off, but the Commander refuses.
Back at the entrance, Zap manages to blow down the main door, allowing the support team access to the temple. Cobra Commander and Flint are still shouting at each other when the remaining robots arrive. Cobra Commander fires some rockets at Flint, but they end up destroying the robots instead. Angered, the Commander sets the bomb off and flees with Zartan and the Baroness. Flint shoots down one of the floodlights in the arena, which falls against the window of the control center. He scales the floodlight and enters the control center just in time to see the Cobras escape in a Firebat. Flint tries to disarm the bomb, but the control panels have been damaged from the floodlight. His attention is grabbed by the sound of Lady Jaye calling for him. On a monitor he sees her, Alpine and Airtight roaming the corridors looking for him. He tells them over the loudspeaker that the building's about to be blown up and that he can't stop it. Jaye asks him if there's a scrub switch. He says there's an unmarked button and on her instruction, flips it. It resets the countdown from one minute to three minutes. He orders all the Joes in the temple to escape and runs for it.
As the support team bolt from the temple, Flint comes across the prone Dusty and carries him out. Airtight, Lady Jaye and Alpine find the rollercoaster that still holds the unconscious Bazooka. They clamber on, wake up Bazooka and shoot out the emergency brake. They don't know where the coaster's going, but it ends up leading to an exterior wall that Jaye breaks down with a javelin. The rollercoaster cart bursts from the temple and Jaye orders the occupants to make for the Skystrikers. Flint emerges from Zap's custom-made entrance with Dusty over his shoulders, just as Gung-Ho laments from the safety of his own Skystriker that Flint won't make it. The island goes up in a huge explosion, witnessed by Lady Jaye in another Skystriker. She too thinks Flint can't have made it, but somehow another Skystriker appears from the billowing mushroom cloud, containing Flint and Dusty. He tells the Joes that their work isn't done yet.
In another Cobra temple control center, Cobra Commander gloats on his plan, with Zartan agreeing, and points out that he still has the world's greatest scientists and that there is no limit to the power he can now possess. Typically, this rant is ended by some explosions, as the Joe Skystrikers appear and fire missiles at the Cobra base. This is followed by a full-on battle between the base's contingent of H.I.S.S. tanks and not only the Skystrikers, but some Dragonflies and a full complement of GI Joe ground forces. The Baroness suggests to Cobra Commander that another retreat might be in order. He agrees and orders Zartan to ready some vehicles, but Zartan's already on his way out. The Joes subdue all the Cobras, but are unable to stop Cobra Commander and the Baroness from escaping in a Rattler.
The Joes rescue the scientists, who quite reasonably ask how they were able to find them. Flint explains that he simply had Wild Bill keep an eye open for any aircraft leaving the island and was able to follow the Firebat to the proper Cobra base. Alpine observes quietly to Bazooka that Flint likes to talk a lot, which Flint overhears. He asks Alpine what he was saying. Alpine is saved by Lady Jaye asking if someone wants to take her for a stroll on a moonlit beach. Bazooka is quite keen, but Alpine nudges him and offers to take Lady Jaye himself. Flint says that if he does, he'll be scrubbing bathrooms for a week.
Both Alpine and Bazooka decline and Lady Jaye remarks that Flint sure knows how to keep a girl single. Everybody laughs.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Featured Vehicles & Equipment
"How come Flint always gets Lady Jaye to go with him and I always get you?"
- --Alpine and Bazooka have a special relationship
"Watch your tongue while you still have it!"
- --Zartan, to the Baroness
"You venal mercenary! Your acting couldn't get you onto a soap opera."
- -- Baroness showing what she thinks of Zartan. And teaching kids the word "venal" at the same time.
"Woo-wee! This is just like cleaning a stable back home!"
- --Wild Bill, after firing a brace of missiles at some H.I.S.S. tanks. This is why he's in the army and not a rancher.
"Let's get it over with!"
"What's the hurry? The Commander's having fun."
"I forgot, you're paid by the hour."
- -- Baroness and Zartan sniping at each other.
Alpine: "Flint sure likes to talk a lot, doesn't he?"
Flint: "What? What was that you said?"
Alpine: "Oh, we were just discussing what a--"
Lady Jaye: "So, does someone here want to take me for a stroll on a moonlit beach?"
Bazooka: "Sure! (*nudged by Alpine*) Hey!"
Alpine: "Please excuse my friend here. I'll take you."
Flint: "You do and you'll be scrubbing bathrooms for a week."
Alpine: "On second thought, why don't you take her, Bazooka?"
Bazooka: "No way."
Lady Jaye: "You sure know how to keep a girl single."
Flint: "That's right, she sees right through me."
Animation and/or technical glitches
- The A.P.C. appears on the shoreline from the water as though it floated there with the W.H.A.L.E.s, rather than disembarked from them.
- Gung-Ho's hat is missing when the Joes run up the beach, appears as he fights some Cobras, and is gone again when he gloats about it.
- The size of Zap's first explosion (and all the rubble it throws up) in no way matches the hole and rubble it makes.
- Zap's final explosion has a strange effect on the door, just warping it slightly and making it fall inwards in one solid lump, rather than explode outwards away from the dynamite.
- Zap appears from nowhere to blow open the temple, though it is possible he arrived in a second wave of troops between the Joes taking out the Cobras and fully pacifying the battlefield. That though doesn't particularly gel with Flint's instructions for him to wait for Gung-Ho and the support team to arrive.
- When the three Cobra Troopers jump Bazooka, one of them had to be visible while he was walking up - the guy was on the same side of the rock as him!
- Flint looks at his wrist to find out the time, but isn't drawn with a watch.
- The electromagnet, of course, doesn't actually strip the Joes of all their metal objects, just their weapons and Airtight's helmet. They all keep their belts, boot eyelets and Flint's bandolier of ammo.
- Why do the rollercoaster tracks just end against a brick wall? There's not even a brake buffer or anything.
- Flint has trouble locating Lady Jaye's pulse after she is knocked out by a Cobra robot. It doesn't help that he tries to do it while wearing his gloves.
- Hang on, so it takes Zap a bundle of dynamite and a huge explosion to get into the temple, but Lady Jaye can break down an exterior wall to get out just with a javelin?
- The explosion of the island is quite blatantly nuclear in appearance, but no one is affected by it – Flint is even able to fly through the fallout with no ill effects.
- In fact, Flint's escape should be completely implausible, even by cartoon standards. There was no way he had enough time to carry Dusty to a Skystriker, get in and get airborne before the island blew up and his Skystriker would have been completely destroyed by its proximity to the explosion.
- The Baroness and Cobra Commander escape the large Cobra base in a Rattler that appears to leave from the very hangar that the Joes entered through and are rounding up the Cobra rank and file in.
- Zartan's chameleon-like abilities are used as invisibility for the opening scene.
- Lady Jaye uses an explosive javelin in this episode to take out a wall.
- Bazooka takes a laser blast to the head, but it is blocked by his apparently laser-proof helmet.
- The Joes may use helmets designed to withstand low level laser blasts.
- A Cobra Firebat, which would formally be released in 1986 with the Terror Drome playset, makes its first appearance here, albeit in a blue/gray color scheme.
- Zartan's can of knockout gas is branded with a Cobra symbol, for maximum discretion.
- $60 billion ransom? Well, aim high and negotiate down, I guess.
- Breaker traces the call to South America, which is more than a little vague. He's supposed to be a communications expert; you'd think he'd be able to trace a call more specifically.
- How do the Joes ID the temple as Cobra? By the giant, gold Cobra stuck on the top of it. Now that's branding.
- When Bazooka punches the Cobras, his fists manage to dent their helmets.
- Helmet strength was sacrificed for budget and cost saving measures.
- Man, Flint is a complete dick to Alpine at the end of the episode, using his higher rank to threaten him out of spending time with Lady Jaye.
- Several shots from this episode made it into the closing credits, including Bazooka tripping over the log, the missiles curving toward the temple, and the roomful of balloons.
- Alpine carries a "G.I. Joe Express" credit card, a reference to American Express. It even has the same design, and he starts to quote its famous advertising slogan, "don't leave home without it."