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AATAFOVS / Back in Black

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Season 3, Episode 5. Preceded by Circus of Fear, followed by Flight Of The Moths.

The episode begins with the Vampbenders stood around a computer, watching a video message from Professor Udite briefing them on their next mission. All of them are wearing designer shades accompanied by skintight black leather jumpsuits with matching trenchcoats. Sue and Krystal are wearing dog collars.


Udite: The Dark Council have sent a team of their agents to occupy The City. As of yet, I have been unable to discern their motives for doing so. You must fight them back as swiftly as possible.

As soon as Udite has finished talking, the scene cuts to the Vampbenders revving up their motorcycles in the garage and riding through a Story Gate onto a city highway. It is night time and raining heavily. As they drive underneath a bridge, a very wide one, they hear the sound of another motorcycle gang behind them. It is Sturgis Kahn, accompanied by four goons, all garbed in black plate armour with silver horned helmets and weilding chains. An obnoxiously loud rock guitar track plays throughout the entire fight scene.

Sturgis Kahn: Halt in the name of Sturgis Kahn!
Avatar *looking over his shoulder*: We've got company.

As a biker drives up beside Solo, he produces a Desert Eagle and points it directly at the goon's head, blowing it clean off in a graphic shower of gore. The decapitated driver's motorcycle swerves out of control and crashes into the side of the road, exploding violently. Krystal drives toward another goon and swipes at his eyes, clawing them out, thereby causing him to crash into a wall as well, resulting in another impressive explosion upon impact.

Avatar then flicks a switch on his motorcycle before leaping onto the back of Solo's one, his own motorycle entering a slow motion transformation sequence whereby it converts into a large sword that he grabs out of mid-air. Avatar then leaps onto the motorcyles of the two remaining goons and takes them out before activating his jetboots to fly in pursuit of Sturgis Kahn. The motorbikes of the two slain drivers explode stylishly as they crash into the sides of the road. Noticing that he's outnumbered, Sturgis Kahn retreats.


Avatar: After him! Don't get him get away!

However, as the Vampbenders pursue Sturgis Kahn, Avatar suddenly finds himself in an empty white void, faced with a blond, green suited bishonen.

Avatar *confused*: Where am I?! Did you do this?! Who are you?!
Loki *bowing*: I'm Loki. A pleasure to make your acquaintance.

The opening credits roll.

Avatar: Loki?!
Loki *grinning*: As in, the Norse God of Mischief.

An opulent bedroom suddenly appears around Avatar and Loki, though the actual bed hidden behind a screen, where the silhouettes of a man and a woman blatantly engaged in sexual intercourse can be made out, though Loki's deafening techno leitmotif, complete with Latin vocals, make it difficult to discern who the voices behind the screen belong to as they make highly suggestive sounds. Oddly, neither Avatar nor Loki seem to pay any mind to the couple whatsoever.

Avatar: What do you want?!
Loki: Temper, Avatar! What do I want? Simply to warn you, my friend.
Avatar: Warn me? Of what?
Loki: Of what is to come! Dark times are ahead, very dark times.
Avatar: Wait a second. If you're a god and you're so concerned, why don't you just will the Dark Council out of existence right now?
Loki: If only it were that simple, Avatar! There are limits, even to a god's power. There are forces out there, terrifying forces that could destroy us all whilst barely even noticing our existence!
Avatar: Stop right there! That's what that shadow posing as Professor Udite said!
Loki: And it's true! However, the Council don't seek to stop those forces, but harness them for their own purposes! Remember your visit to the future not long ago?
Avatar *look of realization*: You're talking about the Executives!
Loki: Precisely!
Avatar: I'm listening.
Loki: The Dark Council have occupied the City in search of an artifact that will aid them in their quest to breach the veil beyond time and space and contact this awesome power for themselves! They must be stopped at any cost!
Avatar: Hang on a moment. You're Loki. How do I know I can trust you?
Loki: I stand to lose as much as you from this, Avatar! And besides, I'm your biggest fan!
Avatar: In that case, I thank you for the warning, but I'd like to be returned to where I was before. If what you say turns out to be true, then I'll thinking about listening to you further.
Loki: Very well, as you wish!

Loki clicks his fingers and suddenly, Avatar is back beneath the bridge where the fight with Sturgis Kahn's gang took place, no time at all seeming to have passed since his encounter with Loki. He is once more hovering in mid-air on his jetboots in pursuit of Sturgis Kahn with the other Vampbenders. They finally reach the other side of the bridge, where it is still raining heavily. The Vampbenders follow Sturgis all the way to the city museum, where their path is blocked by Plastic Gear, the trademark mecha of Naked Boss.

Naked Boss: This is as far as you go!
Avatar *to the other Vampbenders*: You go on ahead, I'll keep him occupied!

The other Vampbenders drive off in various directions whilst Avatar flies up to the head of Plastic Gear with his giant motorbike sword. The cockpit opens, revealing Naked Boss. He leaps out of Plastic Gear, a freeze frame of his backside shown before he lands on top of the mecha. Naked Boss then tears off his shirt as Avatar lands on Plastic Gear's head to face him.

Avatar: You're that war vet turned terrorist, right?
Naked Boss: Terrorist is such an ugly word, but yes, you're correct. I'm Naked Boss.
Avatar: Ugly?! What other word is there?! You were a hero! And now you associate with the Dark Council and work to destroy everything you once fought for! And for what?! Power?!

The scene cuts to the other Vampbenders inside the museum. They stand before an elevator.

Krystal: Agreed.
Solo: I'll take the first floor. Nerdly, you take the second floor. Sue, you take the third. And Krystal, you take the fourth.

As the gang runs off in different directions, the scene cuts back to Avatar's conversation with Naked Boss outisde, where it is still raining.

Naked Boss: Avatar, you and your comrades have fought the Dark Council time and time again, but if and when you finally succeed, do you believe the world will be any better for it? That you'll be free from war?
Avatar: Of course! I've seen what the Dark Council's rule would be! Not long ago, I saw that outcome and it wasn't pretty! It wasn't a paradise like you would have me believe!

Naked Boss extends his hand to Avatar's and the scene cuts to Solo navigating the first floor of the museum, wherein the exhibits seem to lack any coherent theme. He hears the sound of a swinging chain behind him. He turns around to find Sturgis Kahn. Solo draws his gun and begins firing wildly as he dodges Sturgis' chain, destroying many of the exhibits in the process, all of which explode when shot.

The scene cuts to Nerdly, who is, in the blink of an eye, suddenly confronted by a character that fans of the comic will recognize as Nucleus.

Nucleus: Greetings, Nerdly.
Nerdly: Nucleus! What do you want?
Nucleus: The key that will allow us to break the veil and gain the power of the Executives!
Nerdly: The Executives?
Nucleus: Beings with the power to reshape all of reality according to our whims! Now, surrender to me and bring us the key!

Nerdly grasps ahold of his head and falls to his knees trembling.

Nerdly: No!
Nucleus: That's it! Give in to me!
Nerdly *screaming*: Get out of my head!

The scene cuts back to Avatar and Naked Boss, who are now sitting at a fold out table on top of Plastic Gear with an umbrella to shield them from the rain, talking over coffee.

Avatar: I see where you're coming from, but I can't knowingly support someone who is willing to work with the Dark Council to accomplish their goals.
Naked Boss: Please understand. I don't like them any more than you do, but they're a necessary evil needed in order to bring about revolution.

Naked Boss pauses, draining the last of his coffee mug.

Naked Boss: I hate to cut our conversation short, but we have what we came for. Please, think on what I said.
Avatar *shocked: What?! NO!

After Avatar drains his mug too, Naked Boss packs away the table. As Avatar takes flight on his jetboots, Naked Boss gets back into Plastic Gear and takes off. The scene cuts to Nerdly weeping on his knees in the museum entrance, surrounded by the other Vampbenders. Avatar gets down on his knees and places a reassuring hand on Nerdly's shoulder.

Avatar: It's okay. Nobody's blaming you.

The scene cuts to the same room that Avatar and Loki were in earlier with the same couple copulating behind a screen. This time, there's no sound at all, so there's still no way of working out who the couple are.

Credits roll.

Fan Reactions:

  • Opinion of the new Darker and Edgier format have been mixed. Some feel that it's simply exchanged good plotting for sex and gore to appeal to the Lowest Common Denominator, whilst others feel that the show has gained a newfound seriousness and sense of credibility that it lacked before.
    • Nucleus' sudden appearance, his first in the TV show continuity, was a point of interest to many, especially given the implications that he isn't a super-clone from the future at all, but a split personality of Nerdly's like he was to Nerdly's future self in comic continuity. In light of this development, some now speculate that Nucleus' role in Season 3 was the reason why Omen from the Future was canceled at the last minute.
      • However, there has been even more interest in the identities of the couple behind the screen. Some speculate that the reason that Avatar paid no mind to them was that Loki was showing him a scene from his own past or future, which would hint that he is having an off-screen relationship with another character. However, the female figure was neither muscular enough to be Sue, nor possessed the feline features of Krystal, so this theory falls down unless you accept the suggestion that Krystal's hair was so ruffled that her cat ears couldn't easily be made out from behind the screen. Aside from that, though, the silhouettes were both a bit indistinct. As a result, practically every female character in the series (as well as Bent) have been suspected of being the mystery girl, and that's even if you accept the premise that the male silhouette was Avatar, which not everyone does; many insist that the guy is someone else too, with Loki being the most common suggestion.
      • Fan commentary on the amount of Naked Boss cheesecake in this episode led to the start of the internet meme "Everyone Is Gay For Naked Boss".


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