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Dusty helps Cobra develop the new armor treatment, but it is discovered to be useless, rendering any plated vehicle susceptible to the gaseous form of the chemical. Duke recovers and reveals that Dusty's turn was a plot to trick Cobra into stealing the worthless treatment.
On an episode of television series Twenty Questions, Hector Ramirez asks the viewer what caused "Dusty" Rudat, an outstanding solider on the G.I. Joe team, to become a traitor and caused Conrad "Duke" Hauser to fall into a coma after the destruction of an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. Ramirez suspects that the large number of medical bills for Dusty's mother may have compelled Dusty to betray the Joes and his country. Then, Ramirez asks the most important question - what has Dusty told Cobra since his escape from the Joes?
A helicopter flies over a mountainous region and lands inside a temple with Cobra decor. Dusty is led out of the helicopter, has his blindfold removed by a Cobra agent and is greeted by Cobra Commander, who places a hand on Dusty's shoulder and offers him a position in Cobra in exchange for information on the Joes' new armor treatment. "Dusty" Rudat, who emphasizes that he wishes to be called simply "Dusty," walks beside Cobra Commander and explains that since he has nowhere else to go, he will join Cobra.
Tapping a few buttons on a keyboard, Lady Jaye changes a code and tells Shipwreck, who places a stack of records next to her, that she now only has 6,437 left. Pounding a fist into his hand, Shipwreck promises to break Dusty's neck, however, Lady Jaye reminds Shipwreck that he shouldn't judge someone until he walks in that person's shoes. And the reply makes Shipwreck not only angry but extremely annoyed.
Dusty is told by Cobra Commander that the armor treatment is being added to their vehicles, and because he provided the formula, Cobra Commander offers him the command of the work detail. But the current leader objects and demands a trial by combat with Dusty in the arena to decide who will lead the detail. Cobra Commander welcomes the entertainment since the fight will demonstrate Dusty's ruthlessness.
Holding a "rocket nunchucker," Dusty is told the rules of the game while in the arena - the one who lives, wins. To make the game more interesting, Cobra Commander opens gates in the pit so that water and piranhas fill the arena. The Cobra officer whips the chain around Dusty's feet and causes him to collapse back-first into the water, but Dusty climbs back to his feet after knocking three piranhas off his arm and tackles his opponent to the ground. As the piranhas munch on the meat and flesh of the Cobra officer's back, the officer brings a foot up and kicks Dusty off his chest.
Dusty grabs his weapon, knocks off the piranhas and dodges his enemy's swinging chain. Dusty then whips his rocket nunchucker around his opponent's feet, tugs and the officer falls into the water. Dusty climbs out of the piranha tank and when he hears the officer's cry for help, he swings his chain out to the officer and pulls him out. Cobra Commander asks Dusty why he saved his opponent and wonders if the Joe still has vestige of decency in him. But Dusty replies, "We can always use extra help in K.P." Cobra Commander laughs and claps Dusty's shoulder and tells him that he is Cobra Commander's kind of trooper and places him charge of stealing the chemicals from the Leary Chemicals plant.
Shipwreck complains to Flint that their current operation is not too sane. After all, the Joes are all over the world trying to protect potential targets, however, Flint tells Shipwreck to cease his complaining. Shipwreck apologizes and explains he didn't mean anything by his rant. Meanwhile, with a gun behind a tugboat pilot's head, Dusty tells the pilot to drive slowly and that he shouldn't try to be a hero. While the tugboat drags a barge of garbage, a small fleet of Water Moccasins drive behind one side of the barge and cut the barge's cable after Dusty believes they have passed by the Joes' potential hiding spot near the plant.
Cobra blocks three W.H.A.L.E. hovercrafts, which are driven by Flint, Shipwreck and a generic Joe, and steals several red drums. Dusty decides that rather killing the employees of the plant, his men should save their ammo for the Joes. The Cobra agents board their Water Moccasins and drive away into a three-way fork in the bayou.
After pushing the barge out of their way, the three W.H.A.L.E.s split up and follow Cobra, but nets catch the Joes and prevent them from pursuing. Flint fires rockets at the Water Moccasins, however, the armor treatment prevents Cobra's vehicles from being damaged. And Flint comments that Cobra may now be invincible.
Inside Cobra's base, Dusty pulls down a face mask and Cobra Commander orders a small squad of Cobra agents to fire at Dusty. When the lasers and dust clear, Dusty is still standing and comments that the uniform needs more chest padding, however, he wasn't seriously injured. As the squad of Cobra soldiers raise Dusty onto their shoulders, Cobra Commander raises his hands in the air and declare Cobra is now unbeatable since the armor treatment can protect the Cobra soldiers from the Joes' laser fire. Meanwhile, while Dusty is carried away, Tomax and Xamot note that the officer who lost in the battle with Dusty, Lt. Clay Moore, continues to sweep the room and is not cheering. But Clay Moore doesn't say anything to the twins and continues to sweep.
At Owsley Chemical Compounds, the Joes guard the plant with several Sluggers, Maulers and A.W.E. Strikers, and in the air, the Cobra Helicarrier pumps out black smoke to disguise itself while hovering over the Joe forces. As Flint notes that the plant manufactures the last ingredient for Cobra's mind control gas, Cobra Commander tells his troops that he will lead them to victory with Cobra C.L.A.W.s, which prompts Dusty to ask Cobra Commander, "Don't you trust me anymore?" Giggling softly, Cobra Commander then responds: "As Stalin said: 'Trust no one. Not even yourself.'"
Cobra C.L.A.W.s glide down from the sky and as the Joes hit the Cobra troops they then watch Cobra's agents stand back up and continue to advance. Lady Jaye asks Flint if there is some weakness in the armor treatment formula. Flint wracks his brain and vaguely remembers Doc or Duke mentioning some weakness - then he remembers. Calling down from a Slugger, Flint yells: "Blowtorch!"
"Can do, Flint!" the yellow and red clad man with the flamethrower yells back before spraying fire across the land. Shipwreck, Roadblock, Gung-Ho and several other generic Joes place incendiaries on their guns and fire at Cobra as per Flint's orders. Cobra retreats and Barbecue and the other Joes raise their guns in the air and yell with pride in their voices -"YO JOE!"
Cobra Commander and his forces fly back to the helicarrier, and Dusty, who is standing at the entrance of the flying base, comments that Cobra appears to have gotten their fangs scorched. Tomax and Xamot tell Dusty that his comments may be considered traitorous.
While Flint, Lady Jaye, Shipwreck and several generic Joes chase Dusty, who is driving a Cobra Ferret, Cobra Commander leads a squad into the plant, steals a few barrels of the chemical and radios Dusty that his part of the mission is complete. Dusty signals the Cobra demolitions team and several large explosions create a crater in the earth, and the Joes drive AWE Strikers, Silver Mirage motorcycles and V.A.M.P.s into the hole. As Cobra troops surround the Joes, Flint orders a cursing Shipwreck to stand down.
Cobra Commander congratulates Dusty and promises him a position in the new Cobra order, but Dusty simply salutes and replies that his service under Cobra Commander has been a pleasure. Tomax and Xamot then suggest that the mind control gas be tested on the Joes, an idea that makes Cobra Commander very happy and Dusty to clench his fist and involuntarily reply, "No!" Cobra Commander asks if there anything wrong with Dusty and the ex-Joe says that nothing is wrong.
In front of a door that says "Gas Laboratory No Admittance," Dusty looks over his shoulder and then enters the lab, however, Lt. Clay Moore, who is sweeping in the hallway, pulls out a radio and contacts the Crimson Guard Commanders stating that their opportunity to prove that Dusty is a traitor may be at hand. As Dusty is reading the instruments in the lab, Tomax and Xamot enter the room and attack Dusty, but just as he is about to defeat them Tomax tosses a barrel into Dusty's stomach and the ex-Joe collapses to the ground.
Dusty is dragged into Cobra Commander's room and Cobra Commander demands to know what is going on. Tomax and Xamot explain that they caught Dusty in the lab, but a smiling Dusty listen to Cobra Commander shout at the twins: "Fools!" Cobra's leader explains that he ordered Dusty to prepare the gas and would not betray Cobra because the convicted felon doesn't have anywhere else to go. Placing his hands on Dusty's shoulders, Cobra Commander explains that Dusty will prove his loyalty tomorrow by gassing the Joes personally.
Cobra Commander addresses the "warriors of Cobra" by explaining that the world now belongs to Cobra, and his troops raise their hands and shout three times: "Cobraaa!" The Joes are led into the arena and Dusty seals the arena off from the Cobra spectators, closes the temple vents over the Cobra agents and opens the arena vents as per Cobra Commander's orders. But when Cobra Commander orders the gas to be pumped into the Joes tank and leans over to watch the results, Dusty opens the vents above the Cobra agents, closes the arena vents and pumps the gas into Cobra Temple.
Cobra Commander declares Dusty a traitor and attacks him, but Dusty throws him into the approaching Tomax and Xamot, opens the glass cover over the arena and tells the Joes that there are weapons in the ready room. Cobra Commander yells that Dusty was a triple-agent and simply says, "You guessed it, chromedome!"
With pistols drawn, Tomax and Xamot walk toward Dusty and tell him to "have a nice death," but the Joes climb into the control perch and slug it out with the Cobra agents. As Lady Jaye kicks Cobra Commander to the side and Shipwreck swats Cobra agents with a pole, Cobra Commander flees from Flint and Lady Jaye until he runs into some of his agents and then orders them to destroy the Joes, and Flint and Lady Jaye quickly retreat.
Literally and figuratively with his back against a wall, Flint listens to Dusty's offer for help and wonders if he should trust the ex-Joe. Dusty pleads with Flint and asks how he can afford not to trust him. Lady Jaye tells Flint that Dusty has a point and the Joes retreat to the lab. Shipwreck closes the lab doors and watches as lasers slice through the door just inches over his head.
Flint asks Dusty what he is doing while tapping a control panel and Dusty explains that everything was part of Duke's plan. "Duke's what?!" asks a surprised Lady Jaye. Suddenly, the door to the lab is knocked down and a Cobra HISS rolls into the lab. Dusty grabs a barrel and throws it against several glass containers. Fumes float out of the lab and flood the temple, and as soon as the fumes touch the Cobra tanks and uniforms, they fall to pieces. Dusty explains that Duke knew the mind control gas could be used to neutralize the unstable armor treatment formula and could cause the armor protection chemical to corrode anything it touches when mixed with the mind control gas.
After Flint knocks three Cobras against a wall and Lady Jaye accidentally rips a pair of boxers off an agent while tackling him to the ground, Cobra Commander watches Tomax and Xamot tell him to call the corporate office sometime for a lunch appointment. Saluting and simultaneously saying "Ciao," the Crimson Guard Commanders fly away in Trubble Bubbles and leave Cobra Commander at the mercy of the Joes. Cobra Commander turns and hisses at the Joes as they find him, but before the Joes can nab Cobra's leader, the Joes are fired upon and are forced to scatter. A Cobra F.A.N.G. enters the flight bay, Cobra Commander grabs a rung on the helicopter and the F.A.N.G. then flies out of the bay. Cobra Commander then looks up at the pilot, sees Lt. Clay Moore and tells him that it is nice to know who his friends are in life.
At the G.I. Joe hospital, Duke announces that Dusty is reinstated with full rank and privileges on the Joe team. While Duke shakes his teammate's hand, Dusty's teammates clap and welcome him back to the team. But Dusty's mother whistles sharply and asks what happened to her son. Duke explains that when Cobra approached Dusty, Dusty went to Duke, explained what happened and the two created a plan that would allow Cobra to receive the unstable armor treatment formula and give the Joes have a chance to defeat Cobra. Unfortunately, Duke was the only other person besides Dusty who knew that his defection to Cobra was never for real.
"You poor, poor boy," Dusty's mother tells her son, who wraps his arms around his mother, smiles and tells her, "Aww, Mom."
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
Featured Vehicles & Equipment
- None yet.
Animation and/or technical glitches
- Hector Ramirez's hair is incorrectly colored gray instead of black.
- In one scene, Tomax's shirt is white instead of blue.
- Duke is seen jumping into battle with Cobra while he's still recuperating at the hospital.
- The episodes "Captives of Cobra" parts I & II specifically state that the real identities of the Joe team are top secret and yet Hector Ramirez calls Duke and Dusty by their real names, Conrad Hauser and Ronald Rudat, on the air!
- When the Joes lock themselves into Cobra's gasworks, Cobra decides to use H.I.S.S. tanks to blast their way in. In other words, they're discharging their laser cannons into the most volatile part of the building where a stray shot could send them sky high. Hope their insurance is paid up!
- Instead of the usual "last episode" recap, Hector Ramirez recaps the previous episode as "a Twenty Questions special."
- Cobra Commander wears the purple cloak that hasn't been seen since the original miniseries.
- In the "Now you know..." attached to this episode, Alpine says that if you get separated from your group in a large crowd, you should stay where you last saw them.
- "Leary Chemicals" is a reference to counter-culture drug advocate Timothy Leary, who coined the phrase "tune in, turn on, drop out."