Plot: The school mascot, a lobster named Lobstee, has been stolen before a big boccie ball game. Without him, the morale for the team will tank and send X Middle School to their first loss against Gilby Middle School in over a decade. Who stole Lobstee and why?
Breakdown: I was a little meh about this episode. It’s another one of those episodes where the major plot point is very silly but not in a particularly funny way. Like, seriously, the team is so down due to their loss of their lobster mascot that they start doing so poorly they have no other choice but to lose horribly?
Wanna know something else? That’s not the first time I’ve heard that plot. I’ve seen that on about five other sitcoms and cartoons. Why is it such a major morale blow for a mascot or whatever important school spirit icon to be lost before a big game? If anything, wouldn’t it make you want to beat the other team even worse considering that mascot thieves are almost always the rival school?
I liked that we got a bit of a glimpse into Fillmore’s home life, though. They even lend another LEO trope to him – having to skimp out on family time because the job comes first. It’s nice to see him have loving parents and not the bad home life you’d expect this ex-troublemaker to have, though that begs the question of what really made Fillmore so ill-mannered before.
I will fully admit that I didn’t catch onto the culprit this time until about two minutes before Fillmore and Ingrid did. Though, being fair, his reasons make no sense.
I first thought it was going to be the obviously fake psychic, Alistair. They put clear focus on him before the crime was ever committed, he comes in on the second act seeming like he’s going to take over the case, but he’s scrapped by the end of act II because, well, they ‘caught’ him.
It turns out that Harrison, a journalist whose sole job is to report on Alistair’s predictions and the stories that follow, was the culprit all along. He had been feeding Alistair emails ‘predicting’ events that he was causing so he could literally make headlines. Alistair gets the fame and Harrison gets a quick beeline to the editor-in-chief job. However, Harrison clearly expressed disdain at his job earlier in the episode. He stated that he wanted to write articles that would change lives and impact people, but he’s stuck writing column after column of stories about a psychic making predictions, which, when you think about it, is really the same article over and over.
“Alistair predicted (event) and it happened. By Harrison.”
If his job was so menial and his columns were so, if you’ll forgive the pun, predictable, why would doing all this be a straight shot to the editor-in-chief job?
The climax was….good. Even if the chase kinda fizzles out and the revelation of Alistair getting his ‘powers’ back was silly even for this show. Neither Ingrid nor Fillmore believe in his abilities, but they make it a point to show Alistair continuously having ‘visions’ and following a path outside of school to Lobstee’s exact location.
The main lesson of the episode was in both Harrison and Alistair, in that they were both so obsessed with obtaining their goals that they were more than willing to scam people and cause harm to others and the school. Alistair even quits pursuing his dream of being a great psychic because of it all.
Taking the silliness of his ‘powers’ out of the equation, and while they don’t outright say it, he started losing his ‘powers’ when he started using them for personal gain, IE making a career out of it. He gained them back when he used them for good again, IE Finding Lobstee. That is a rather adult lesson to learn, and it’s easily applicable to kids. Some people get very caught up in pursuing their career goals or just goals in general that they don’t care who they hurt as long as they achieve them.
All in all, it’s an okay episode built around a tired as hell plot, but with a clever twist, nice background on Fillmore and a good life lesson.
As a final note, Harrison, you stupid son of a bitch, why the hell were you speaking your next ‘predictive’ email to Alistair out loud in the announcement booth during the game? I know there’s that dumb TV logic of ‘someone obviously talking to themselves and no one else can hear them because I said so’ but come on.
Next episode, Ingrid goes undercover as a Red Robin to find out if they’re behind a big theft case. But is Ingrid starting to sympathize with these known criminals?