Big Hero 6 season 2 is back! And with a filler story no less. Episode 11 of the season saw Hiro struggling with his tasked assignment of creative writing, which led to every member of the gang pitching their own take on a Big Hero 6 adventure to him. Meanwhile, Noodle Burger Boy was back with a vengeance, or to be more specific, an army of duplicates.
1. Arts & Humanity
It seems a little contrived that Hiro would have to do an English assignment at the San Fransokyo Institute of Technology, but as Professor Granville helpfully explains, a creative mind is necessary in science. It’s a nice riposte to the fallacy in STEM or business that arts and humanities are useless, and encouraging kids to think outside the box, or see why everything they learn at school is important, is always to be commended. After all, Disney’s technical accomplishments could only go so far without their strong storytelling.
2. Lots of Terminology
Hiro struggles with his assignment, becoming a sleep-deprived zombie staring at his desktop at night (I know the feeling). Of the gang’s attempts to help him (which basically turn into them trying to take over), Fred’s is the most fun, with him explaining terms like AU (alternate universe), TBC (to be continued) and OOC (out-of-character), it started to feel relentless. More strikingly, all this talk of online nerd slang really made me keenly aware of how, unlike the cartoons I watched this kid, someone my age is now in the writers’ room.
3. Lots of Filler
This episode’s two threads – of Big Hero 6 taking turns to “improve” Hiro’s story, and Noodle Burger Boy’s attacks – feel like two subplots from other scripts joined together to make a stronger episode. However, it still feels like we’re marking time before the next episode begins wrapping up the Sycorax story arc: the stories feel like excuses to have the cast do impressions each other, and tellingly, they’re all rendered in the same chibi style first introduced in “Fan Friction,” instead of unique ones that would be reflective of each character.
Meanwhile, Noodle Burger Boy’s attacking to distract Big Hero 6 from his “sister” Trina’s plotting, yet this half of the season has been so focused on Liv Amara’s mutants that I didn’t even realize they were looking for her. The show tries to liven up his attacks by giving each duplicate a different personality – depressed, old-timey gentleman, Sea Captain – but it still feels he’s here because every episode has to have some action to it. I did enjoy Noodle Burger Boy getting in on the fanfic action at the end, if only because it’s the classic gag of villains monologing brought to its logical endpoint – ultimately every villain monologue is them conceiving an alternative ending before their inevitable defeat.
4. Maybe a Lot of Foreshadowing Too?
That said, Noodle Burger Boy’s half of the episode does set up the notion Trina is plotting something big to avenge their “father,” which we should expect to dominate the second half of the season. There are couple of moments during our heroes’ brainstorming too that might foreshadow some big moments later in the season: Honey Lemon thinks Hiro has a crush on Karmi, and will probably start trying to pair up the two soon. Also, we learn Fred has a soft spot in his heart for Noodle Burger Boy, given his origins as the mascot of his favorite restaurant, so maybe we might see a redemption arc play out for the messed-up robot.
5. Missing the Movie
At the end, Hiro decides to live up to the motto of writing what he knows by writing about him and Tadashi, and Baymax – basically the plot of the movie. It’s a lovely callback that unfortunately draws attention to how weak this episode is, and how generally less emotionally affecting the show is – this isn’t a criticism of the show, but it is generally more comedic and less poignant than the movie.
– In her fanfic, Karmi uses the phrase “reverse the polarity,” so she’s clearly a Whovian.
– Noodle Burger Boy hijacks Kentucky Kaiju, which is hilarious since I didn’t even realize it still existed.
– During the later chibi segments, everyone has black eyes resembling Funko Pop! figures. (Shudder.)
Stay tuned for our look at the two-part finale to the season’s first arc, “City of Monsters.”