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Recap: Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 05 E 13 The Brain That Wouldnt Die
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 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.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: During the opening scene in the operating room.
    Mike: Just a normal Tuesday for Cher.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Pun: 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.
  • Rearrange the Song: "So they conked him on the noggin and they shot him into space..."
    • "!"
    • "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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

"These people will be exploring issues that are teens' issues."
—Mike's first riff in the theater, as the movie's cast is listed in the credits. (Servo congratulates him for getting off a good one right out of the gate.)

"Who's to tell me to blow if I don't want to?"

Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 05 E 12 MitchellRecap/Mystery Science Theater 3000 Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 05 E 14 Teen Age Strangler

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