The sixth episode of Big Hero 6 season 2 saw Go Go learning Honey Lemon was planning to move out of her apartment now that she was able to return to SFIT’s dorms, and realizing how much she was going to miss living with her: it also saw the return of the deranged game show host Mr. Sparkles, now hosting giant RC car races on the streets of San Fransokyo.
1. The Secret Origin of Heathcliff
During the cold open, we see Fred’s butler pulling some pretty deft manoeuvres with his limo while driving him and Mini-Max to avoid Sparkles’s cars, which was very stylish. Afterwards, it dawned on me that given how unfazed Heathcliff was during the movie when Fred and friends decided to become superheroes, and the reveal that his boss was Boss Awesome, meant he was probably a sidekick. And lo, a guest appearance from the late Stan Lee establishes Heathcliff was a master of disguise who helped Fred Senior a lot during his adventures. While Heathcliff isn’t the main focus of this episode, it was great seeing him actively participating in Big Hero 6’s exploits by infiltrating Sparkles’s racing circuit, and getting some backstory.
2. Where is the Rent?
I know this must be a popular episode for Go Go/Honey Lemon shippers, I just do, but I found its whole theme of “not knowing what you have until it’s gone” pretty humdrum. It’s a good message for kids, teaching them sometimes you might have to say goodbye to a friend, or that it’s normal to really love someone even if they annoy you. For me, the most fascinating part was how Go Go initially expresses resentment at Honey Lemon for leaving by asking if she’s going to stiff on her share of the rent, but Honey assuaging her by revealing she’s already paid it for the next three months: when I was growing up, nobody raised the issue of paying rent in kid’s cartoons. Nobody.
3. Those Extras Get Around
A couple of extras in this episode are visibly used twice, probably for budgetary reasons, but they become amusing with the repetition. First, during the cold open, we see a mother crossing the street with her baby in a carriage, who almost falls victim to the reckless driving of Sparkles’s racing contestants, and they appear in danger again during the episode’s climax. Likewise, we see an old woman with her walker who remains blissfully unaware that she’s been saved from a crashing car by Big Hero 6, and later in the episode she holds up a squad of police cars pursuing the racers by crossing the street. I can imagine kids watching the episode groaning, “Not her again!” I suspect she’ll accidentally cause more trouble for our heroes in future episodes.
4. No Catharsis in Climax
I found the climax of the episode pretty empty, because it doesn’t have an emotional payoff: it’s just a car chase. Go Go unveils a cool new motorcycle (that feels like a big extension of her armor) to pursue Sparkles in his getaway car, and despite the villain unveiling another characteristic vehicle (a big flying chicken), it’s still boring. Afterwards, Go Go decides to tell Honey Lemon how she really feels about her moving out, after being reminded by how Sparkles stiffed his partner-in-crime (Yama) that she needs to be honest, and Honey Lemon decides not to move out. I feel the script could’ve been a lot tighter, with this realization coming during the climax: as is, there’s no emotional catharsis to it.
5. Gotta Push the Plot Forward
Sparkles arrives at Sycorax in the end, bribing Amara with the money he’s stolen in exchange for an upgrade. I felt, “can’t we have some villains who don’t get involved in the main story arc, this was a perfectly fine standalone episode,” but then realized, Sparkles was completely absent from season 1 after his first appearance. I just don’t see how the character would be improved by turning him into a giant cat or anything like that, he’s meant to be a weird game show host and anything other than means you’re just casting Patton Oswalt as a new character. Anyway, we’ll see how it works out.Continued below
– Sparkles’s cars look like Tron: Legacy rejects.
– Honey Lemon’s painting of Go Go brushing her teeth – albeit dressed as an 18th century captain – is a fun spin on Go Go always blowing bubblegum.
– Gosh, Go Go’s really bitten that pencil through Hell to back.
– Fred’s really taken to being a baby daddy to Mini-Max, it’s absolutely adorable.
See you next week for some “Muira-Horror!”