Headscratchers: SWAT Kats
General Kat Stuff
Something that's baffled me for ages about this show.
They have Litter.
While we never directly see it, there's plenty of references to it, from TV personality "David Litterbin" to more than a few passing comments made about Megakat Litter Corporation and/or their factory.
Now obviously, it's intended to be a "lol, they're cats" jokey reference-thing by the writers, but it's apparently treated seriously by dialogue and such in the show itself, which makes me seriously wonder.
A fully technologically-realized civilization capable or micromechanics, rocketry, energy-projective weapons, jet travel, advanced robotics, & countless other scientific breakthroughs... and yet it's implied nobody has ever even thought of inventing flush toiletry despite the fact they already clearly have indoor plumbing?
- That's a good point. The easiest explanation is simply this: they ARE cats, they probably see no reason to do so. From their point of view, using a litter box is just the way it is, the same way using a flushing toilet is in Western Civilization today. T;dr: it's a cultural tradition they see no logical need to dispose of. The other explanation is perhaps more complicated and that would be that, again as cats, they CAN'T use a toilet like we do. But that assumes they behave like cats all the time—which to be honest, has some merit in terms of empirical evidence, since catnip is a controlled substance sold by drug lords and (if memory serves) the term "declawed" is thrown around more than once as a form of punishment. So it is possible they simply don't think like we do. They think like "real" cats.
The Giant Bacteria
- Dr. Viper mentions that the titular bacteria will keep splitting if you try to blow them up. But here's the thing: when Morbulus turned into the first bacteria, it had four eyes. When it was split by Feral's car, it became two Giant Bacterias with two eyes each. Good so far. When one of those was split later, it became two bacterias with one eye each. What would've happened in the next split? Half an eye? Razor immediately makes the assumption that they can split even further, and warns the Enforcers against using missiles on them. You could argue that Viper was lying, but that leads to some Fridge Fridge Logic when you realize he wasn't actually talking to anybody when he said it; just self-monologuing.
- Viper never stated any such thing. Viper's only claim was that the creatures were immune to antibiotics. That they could divide (a finite number of times admittedly) seemed a (pleasant) surprise to him. And when Razor warned Feral not to fire on one of bacteria monsters, it was one with two eyes, so nobody ever claimed a single-eyed one could divide, or that the things could keep splitting indefinitely. The odious clipshow "Special Report" did edit some footage so that a one-eyed bacteria divided, though. Also it was Manx's limo that split the first monster, driven by Callie, not Feral's car, bit I'm just nitpicking now.
- Dr. Zyme apparently getting eaten in is one of the worst excuses for a monster attack in the series. For starters, the attack shouldn't have even happened. When shot and momentarily "petrified," the bacteria monster was facing away from the lab, so having it just arbitrarily turn and smash the glass for no reason was really dumb. Then of course there's the issue with the glass breaking so easily, when the monster's hand barely even pokes it ("practically indestructible," my left foot!), and finally there's the way Zyme and Callie behave. Callie doesn't shout a warning of any kind even though she notices it first, and Zyme just standing there and screaming instead of joining her in running away is the stupidest part of all. And did the thing even get him? Most sources tend to write him off as dead, and in an episode that's already racked up quite a body count I wouldn't put it past them, but why else would we be shown the otherwise pointless shot of the monster getting distracted by Feral's chopper if we weren't meant to infer that Zyme escaped? It's one huge wall banger.
- If the bacteria is immune to antibiotics, why did the stuff start to work? Shouldn't it have done nothing at all? It seems more resistant than actually immune, since "immune" implies the antibiotics wouldn't have started working, which they did. Can someone better at biology explain this here? I know it's strange to call out the show's scientific accuracy when the bacteria in question is fifty feet tall but still. Did they just use the wrong word?
- I can understand Dr. Zyme, a scientist, identifying the bacteria monsters as being bacteria, but how did Razor and T-Bone both know? Neither were present when Zyme made his identification (in fact, Razor called it bacteria before that scene), and the things don't exactly look like bacteria. Just purple, humanoid globs of slime grinning creepily.
- After the monsters are done dividing, there are three: two with one eye, and one with two eyes. The animators couldn't seem to make up their mind which of the three has which number of eyes. When T-Bone notices one missing, we're shown the two single-eyed bacteria, without the two-eyed one. Then the missing bacteria that dies in the subway has one eye. Then, when we cut to the other two arriving at Megakat Biochemical, one of them suddenly has two eyes. Of those two, the SWAT Kats kill one with one eye, and then the final remaining bacteria monster goes from having one eye, to two eyes, then back to only one again when it gets killed. All of this is made absolutely, unforgivably sloppy when the model sheets for the episode clearly indicates which creature is supposed to have which number of eyes.
The Wrath of Dark Kat
- What made Steele change his mind and come and get Feral? Or did he arrive when he planned all along, and was just surprised to see Feral alive?
- Most likely, Steele realized it wouldn't look good for him if he didn't at least 'attempt' a rescue, but he deliberately dragged his ass and hoped that he would arrive too late.
- Where did the other two jets that arrived with Steele's go? They just sort of disappear. You'd think Feral would want wingmen going up against Dark Kat, especially with the unreliable, cowardly Steele as his gunner.
- The flashback established that Feral is a glory hog that wants to take down Dark Kat himself. Crud, he even pulled the same thing against the SWAT Kats when they had him locked as he did to Jake and Chance back then.
- What happens to the alien-possessed characters? The Enforcer pilots can probably be written off as dead, what with their helicopters crashing and/or exploding (although in fairness this never seemed to do much to Feral) and Dr. Street, we know, survived his fall since he was slated to reappear in the really lame-sounding "Doctors of Doom" (more on this in a moment). But what about all those M.A.S.A. guys? They were all only knocked out. What did Megakat City do with them? To them? Will they continue slowly turning more buglike the way Street did? This is some real Fridge Horror stuff right here. "Doctors of Doom" would've been a perfect way for the show to address the fate of the infected cats, but the plot summary just sounds like a routine (and inexplicable) villain teamup, and likely wouldn't have touched on the issue.
- Ann Gora and her cameraman, Jonny, have some kind of super minor character immunity. While they're running from the alien bugs, they come across a couple of guards and ask for their help, only for the bugs that were chasing them to jump on, bite and convert the guards. The problem here is Ann and Jonny were between their pursuers and the aliens, meaning the aliens jump over their original intended targets to get the new ones. So why didn't the aliens get them first, then the further away guards?
- I'm guessing the bugs saw the guards as the bigger threat, and went for them first. They could've gone back to Ann Gora and Johnny at their leisure later.
Enter the Madkat
- In "The Wrath of Dark Kat," Steele said his name was spelled "with two E's," implying it is "S-T-E-E-L." But his nametag in this episode adds an extra "E," making it "S-T-E-E-L-E." Pretty much everyone uses this episode's spelling, despite what he said in the previous episode, but it's kind of weird nonetheless.
- In fact, let's talk about Steele. Specifically what he is even doing in this episode. Feral knows Steele abandoned him to die aboard Dark Kat's ship in "The Wrath of Dark Kat," or, at least, he strongly suspects, so what is Steele still doing in the Enforcers, much less free?
- Because Feral doesn't have any hard evidence, and it seems that Steele has connections of his own which could easily turn the whole thing into a case of Feral's word against his.
- Seems? Where do you get that from? Feral lacking hard evidence is (kind of) a legitimate argument, but you lose me when you pull these phantom connections of Steel's out of nowhere. Steel having friends in high places is a very popular fan theory, but it's one based on supposition rather than actual evidence. Anyway, even Feral lacking evidence against Steel is a poor theory. Steel crossed him, and Feral seems to answer to no one except Mayor Manx (he takes anything Callie says under advisement and almost never obeys her, but caves to Manx almost all the time), so there's so reason he couldn't fire the little weasel based on suspicion alone. Besides, even if Steel did have these hypothetical connections protecting his job, it's very much in Feral's nature to basically say screw them and fire the guy anyway.
- Viper's katalyst transforms plants and animals into homicidal mutants just by touching them. However, the SWAT Kats go swimming in the stuff for a while and - at least in T-Bone's case - swallow it. It isn't until T-Bone actually gets bitten by a mutant that it has any effect on them.
- Might be it doesn't work on kats; No one else that just goes swimming in the stuff (like Feral, Felina, and Razor) transforms either. Viper has to directly pour the stuff on his head to get any effect on himself. It probably took being bitten (perhaps in addition to swallowing it?) for T-Bone to get exposed to enough of the katalyst to mutate.
- Assuming the kat people do have a resistance to the katalyst, it leads to a bit of Fridge Brilliance when you realize that Dr. Viper isn't even a kat anymore; that's why all he had to do was pour the katalyst on himself for it to work.
- That's all easily explained, really. They were swimming in the stuff, sure — diluted in a massive quantity of swampy water. A tub of pure sulfuric acid will do quite an number to nearly anything. The same tub of sulfuric acid dumped into enough water to fill a few streets and buildings isn't that harmful. Recall in that episode that the place was implied to have been flooded later to turn it into a nightmare swamp. That wasn't pure katalyst they were swimming in.
- It was still powerful enough to mutate any stray animals or plants it came in contact with, though. Callie almost got killed by a tree.
- That was earlier in the episode where the flooding wasn't as extreme yet, so the katalyst wasn't that diluted.
- It's established early that Chance can't swim. Yet by the end of the episode, without anything remotely resembling practice or training, he dives down at least 25 feet and rescues a drowning Razor. As cute as the rescue was, the Hand Wave ("Yeah, well I didn't know how to be a mutated frog either until today.") was rather lame.
- This is, however, an example of Truth in Television. Near this troper's home is a lake, and a boat capsized with a family in it. A girl who had never been in the water before and had never been taught to swim nevertheless swam to shore. In Chance's case, it was most likely an instinctual thing, a rush of adrenaline because a family member was in danger.
- Also, he had just been a mutated frog. Maybe he picked up some swimming instincts from his amphibious time?
When Strikes Mutilor
- Why did Mutilor begin his water-stealing operation just offshore of the mainland, instead of out at sea, giving the locals (who he had to have known had aircraft) a chance to attack his ship? Some of Mutilor's dialog later would seem to suggest he wants a challenge from some real warriors, but every time the SWAT Kats or the Enforcers try and stop him, he gets really angry at his work being interfered with. Well, Mutilor, they wouldn't interfere if you weren't a stone's throw away from their city.
- Traag apparently can't count. After the SWAT Kats shoot down the last of the alien fighters, he whines, "That's our entire squadron!" and when the Enforcers show up, the mothership flies to a higher altitude to escape them, implying that, indeed, the SWAT Kats just destroyed the very last fighter ship Mutilor has to throw at his enemies. Yet when the Turbokat flies into the hangar later, it's filled with more fighters. One's first thought is it isn't a lack of ships but lack of guys, but immediately upon landing in said ship-filled hangar, the SWAT Kats get mobbed by Mutilor's goons. He seems to have at least twenty or thirty left aboard, so why didn't they just hop in those spare fighters and engage the SWAT Kats and Enforcers?
- Because being a fighter pilot is a completely different job from being an infantryman, and you can't assume that those trained for one of those roles are also trained for the other? Just because the Swat Kats and the Enforcers are so badass that they can do both doesn't mean that everybody can.
- Then what are all the extra ships for? Why have more ships than guys to fly them?
- It never hurts to have spares.
- Actually, it's made quite clear that that the Enforcers are somehow some sort of multidisciplinary force—hell, even they function essentially as just some militarized police force with it's own army, naval, and air arm. There's clearly a lot of cross-training involved, and even the Swat Kats themselves were ex-Enforcers.
- The entire sequence with the Thunder Truck is ultimately pointless and affects the plot in no way whatsoever. Mutilor destroys it very quickly and it doesn't even damage his ship. The in-story excuse for it is flimsy, too: supposedly it is because the Turbokat isn't finished being repaired, but in the time it took to strip down and convert a three-axle tow truck into a two-axle monster truck and arm it, they could've, I dunno, finished repairing the Turbokat. When they finally head back and finish with the jet, they rush the job and it makes no real difference ultimately.
- I always chalked this up to a lousy attempt at Padding.
- Alternatively the amount of offscreen time for converting the truck and repairing the turbokat could have been different. They seemed to have equipment ready to convert the truck already available and didn't seem to be taking too long for the conversion. However in the time it took to launch the Turbokat enough time passed for the Enforcers to send search parties for downed pilots and prepare a second wave of fighters for an attack against Mutilor's ship suggesting that hours, maybe even days could've passed while the SWAT Kats completed repairs the Turbokat.
- Mutilor's ship must have an automatic forcefield that kicks in whenever the hull is breached. Otherwise everyone on the bridge (including the SWAT Kats) would've died when Felina crashed through the windshield.
- Almost certainly it does. It's a standard cliche of sci-fi (see Star Trek) that ships will throw up a forcefield around a hull breach to prevent the scape of oxygen/gravity.
Razor using the ash-tray to destroy Mac's body seemed to work very effectively, so why didn't he build a "sand-blaster" gun of some sort for later Metallikat encounters? Granted in Metal Urgency it was unknown that the Metallikats had been rebuilt/gotten loose, but it would have made sense to have that around for second season encounters.
The Darkside of the Swat Kats
The Dark Swat Kats may have been defeated, but the Dark Kat in their world is still on the loose. What's stopping him from creating another bomb? I don't think their enforcers are enough to stop him since they suck at their job in the regular swat kat universe.
- Chances are the Dark Swat Kats killed their world's versions of the other villains save Dark Kat.