Recap: Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 05 E 13 The Brain That Wouldnt Die

These people will be exploring issues that are teens' issues. note 

Film watched: The Brain That Wouldn't Die

This episode is notable for being Mike Nelson's first turn as host.

Editors, please keep this article neutral on the Joel vs. Mike thing. We don't want this turning into a Flame War.

The Segments:

Prologue
  • As the new meat on the Satellite, Mike gets trained on riffing by the Bots. He calls Crow Tom and Mr. Nielsen by Gypsy.

Segment 1
  • Mike shows off his first invention, the Gutter-Bumber-Chute, but Forrester isn't impressed. He shows off his Dreambuster, a balloon popper. Mike is still clueless about the Invention Exchange, Movie Sign and carrying Servo to the theater, but he learns.

Segment 2
  • At a hard hat area of the bridge, Mike's trying to escape by gaining control of the SOL. He finds numerous sandwiches, Servo's multiple heads, copies of the Picardian and gets foam sprayed. Crow and Servo get worried about being left alone on the Satellite, but Mike says that he's not going to ditch them.

Segment 3
  • Mike and the Bots present their ideas of headwear for Jan in the Pan. Among them are a bowling bag, a crown, a Kiate hat, a crown roast, Newton balls and a lazy Susan.

Segment 4
  • After thinking over the film's messages, Crow and Servo tell Mike that they have his trust. Mike then tells about the time when he was in a walk-a-thon, but came home urine soaked with melted ice cream. The two Bots then loudly laugh it off.

Segment 5
  • Crow and Servo introduce Mike to the letter readings, but their interrupted a call by Jan in the Pan. She said that all the stuff in the film were a phase and that she got better in life. Dr. Forrester ends the experiment by trying to chainsaw Frank.


The Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment provides examples of:

  • Accidental Misnaming:
    • Newcomer Mike is variously addressed as "Mr. Nielsen" (by Gypsy), "Mark" (Crow), "Mitch" (Dr. Forrester), and "Marv" (Forrester again).
    • Mike himself offends Crow by calling him "Tom" at one point.
  • Berserk Button: Don't leave Dr. Forrester waiting...
    Dr. Forrester: Ah, Mr. Nelson. Mr. "El Relax-o". That's nice. Maybe I should make you do your INVENTION EXCHANGE FIRST! FIRST, YOU HEAR ME?! FIRST!
  • Bilingual Bonus: Servo's line of "Do you think a gaffer is someone who messes up a lot?" That is exactly what the French word gaffeur (pronounced the same) means.
  • Brick Joke: Two episodes ago Frank had a gigantic lollipop, and when Dr. Forrester tried to psychically make his head explode, Frank hit Forrester over the head with the lollipop, shattering it. In this episode, Frank has an identical lollipop, and this time Forrester snatches it and breaks it over Frank's head.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: During the opening scene in the operating room.
    Mike: Just a normal Tuesday for Cher.
  • Call Back:
    • When Kurt walks armless.
    Servo: MITCHELL!!
  • Church of Happyology: During one of the host segments, Mike claims to have "achieved a state of Clear."
  • Continuity Nod: While trying to escape, Mike finds several of Tom's old heads.
    • When reassuring the Bots that he won't leave without them, he notes that there are no more boxes marked "Hamdingers" on the ship, alluding to Joel's escape in the prior episode.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Mike waiting to answer when Dr. Forrester calls, demonstrating he will resist at every opportunity.
  • Foreshadowing: One of the films used in Mike's training gets riffed properly in season 6: The Beast of Yucca Flats.
  • Hey, That's My Line!: Leading into the first commercial break:
    Servo: And we'll be right back.
    Mike: Isn't that my line?
    Servo: Don't push it.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Kurt gets an arm yanked off (his good arm, no less), and the "arm" jokes fly thick and furious.
    Mike: And, ironically, he collapses into an armchair.
  • Hypocritical Humor: While demonstrating his "dream-buster" during the invention exchange, Dr. Forrester begins to describe its technological properties before stopping himself saying, "Well, it would take a scientist to explain. Just watch."
  • I Have My Ways: They have a field day with this one.
    Dr. Cortner: I've got to find (Jan) a body.
    Kurt: How are you going to go about getting one? (Cortner turns and walks off, Kurt seizes his arm) Bill, how will you do it!?
    Cortner: There are ways.
    Servo: (Evil Laugh, with a side of Large Ham)
    Cortner: (after shaking off Kurt's hand) There are ways.
    Mike: Lots of... ways, many... ways... Did I mention there are ways?
    (As Cortner is leaving the lab, he turns around and looks back briefly)
    Crow: Ways.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade: In addition to introducing Mike as host and a reworked opening theme, this episode debuted the newer, more visually impressive door sequence that would be used for the rest of the show's run.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The Gutter-Bumber-Chute. It's an umbrella with gutters. The Bots are actually impressed with it while Forrester is cheesed off at how excited they are.
  • Plug 'n' Play Friends: Subverted. Crow and Tom convince Mike to open up to them by sharing a particularly embarrassing Potty Failure episode from his childhood... and then they mock him mercilessly for it.
    • Also played straight-ish earlier, when Tom and Crow break down crying while watching Mike try (and fail miserably) to get control of the Satellite of Love, because they're afraid that Mike might leave them, too.
  • Rearrange the Song: "So they conked him on the noggin and they shot him into space..."
    • "Get...me...dooowwwn!"
    • "Now keep in mind Mike can't control when the movies begin or end / so he'll try to keep his sanity with the help of his robot friends."
  • Running Gag: When Dr. Cortner's suddenly in a close-up shot filmed against a blank background that doesn't match the previous scene — "Help me, I'm in another dimension!"
    "Ooo, there's cocktails in this dimension..."
    • Jan's neck juice.
  • Selective Enforcement: When "Jan in the pan" calls Mike and the bots, she cracks a bunch of jokes about her condition as a disembodied head, to show that she's gotten over her earlier angst. Crow and Tom Servo chime in with their own jokes, and she laughs along. Then Mike makes a joke ("So, when you were in that fire... did you make your own gravy?"). Jan immediately gets offended and cuts the call short.
  • Sexophone: Prompts several comments from Mike and the 'Bots.
    Servo [as Radio DJ]: It's a sleazy morning out there. You're listening to K-PORN, Holmes and Reems in the morning… sleazy, slutty music all morning long. Here's one from Skinny and the Sweat Beads.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Take That:
    • When Kurt is trying to decide,
    Servo: Bill Clinton in the Oval Office.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: After the experiment, Mike states that being forced watch bad movies with two wisecracking robots while trapped in space by mad scientists "kinda bites". Crow approves: "You're startin' to catch on, kemo sabe!"
  • Title Drop: Jokingly done by Tom in the movie's first scene. ("Look at this brain. See, it won't die!")
    • Later, Crow sees the title "The Head That Wouldn't Die" in the end credits, and corrects, "You mean, The Brain That Wouldn't Die."
  • Training from Hell: Tom and Crow apparently put New Meat Mike through a crash movie-riffing course in the period between Mitchell and the start of this episode, involving watching The Beast of Yucca Flats and Night of the Lepus.
  • Wangst: invoked Another running gag has Mike and the Bots' complaints towards Jan in the Pan's whining.
    • They even cheered when Dr. Cortner tapes her mouth up.
  • What an Idiot: invoked Near the film's end, Servo notes that Dr. Cortner opening the monster's closet would been the stupid thing he would do.
  • Wire Dilemma: Part of Mike's first escape attempt by gaining control of the inertia system:
    Servo: You have to cut the big red wire!
    Mike: Which one? There's four of them.
    Servo: The green one.


“I told you … you should have let me die. Hee hee hee!”
Jan "in the Pan" Compton