Plot: Danny is having trouble managing his time as he tries to juggle studying with his ghost-fighting. He decides to write a report on a nearly-extinct purple-back gorilla named Samson to help get his grades up, but he’s continuously interrupted by his newest foe – the ghost collector, Skulker.
Breakdown: This episode is a little mixed. The first half is quite weak as there aren’t many jokes that work and the story is pretty slow paced. Skulker literally has no reason to be shadowing Danny as much as he is. Right before the mid-way commercial, he just captures Danny in a net anyway. He could’ve done that from the start.
The side-plot with Jazz and their parents is also weak. She’s trying desperately to get her parents to seem normal by having them do an interview for Genius magazine, which focuses explicitly on female geniuses, but Maddie insisted Jack be a part of it because they’re a team. They keep getting sidelined by ghost stuff because of course they are. I really wish Danny Phantom had gotten another season so maybe we could learn why Jack is so enthralled with ghosts.
This B-plot seems to tie into the A-plot by having Danny’s discovery end up as the main article in one of the issues of the magazine, but it’s still flimsy – especially considering Genius magazine is meant to be about genius women. The discovery isn’t even ‘genius’ – he just glanced at a gorilla’s junk.
You could’ve easily amputated that entire side-plot and nothing would matter. No one would question how Danny had the connections to get a main feature in a magazine considering the importance of the discovery.
The second half shines enough to make up for the first since the pacing picks up quite a bit, the jokes land better and the story improves. Skulker repeatedly getting whisked away by Tucker’s PDA schedule is very memorable and hilarious, and Sam stopping Skulker in his tracks to chat his ear off about how wrong it is to keep living…..err….to keep beings in cages was also very funny.
There were some little details that irked me, like why couldn’t Skulker just rip off Tucker’s PDA? He did it to the last one. He’d be without a CPU, but it’d be better than being forcibly jettisoned into doing whatever activity is on the PDA.
It took Danny way too long to figure out that Skulker was being affected by his schedule.
I know that this is part of the joke in the episode, but SERIOUSLY no one was ever able to get close enough to Samson to figure out their gender? When they’re one of the only two of their species left? You’re really willing to let the species die out because you’re too lazy or scared to even try to get a peek at their fruit basket? Come on. That’s what tranquilizers are for.
Even then, it’s a goddamn gorilla. They’re not exactly modest. Their bait and tackle is usually on proud display. And if, indeed, no one was ever able to tell, why would you advertise that they’re both male when you don’t know?
Actually, if they never checked Samson, then they likely never checked the other gorilla either….so, they might very well both be female – making this revelation moot because they still can’t breed. Good job, scientists.
Tucker was also annoying me more than he usually does in this episode. His slip-ups, usually caused by arrogance, made the situation worse, not once, not twice, but three times in this episode.
Rating: 7/10 Overall, though, this was a pretty solid episode. I’ve always liked Skulker – he has one of my favorite ghost designs – and while the first half was a little trying, the second half definitely made up for it.