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Recap / Guardians of the Galaxy (2015) S 1 E 9 "We Are Family"

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"Rocket Raccoon and Groot are abducted and taken back to his home planet Halfworld. Rocket finds that all the animal life including his family have become just as enhanced as he is. When the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy arrive on Halfworld, they end up helping Rocket Raccoon to fight the evolved turtle Pyko who leads his fellow evolved creatures Ranger (who is Rocket Raccoon's brother), Blackjack O'Hare (an evolved hare), and Wal Rus (an evolved walrus) on a rebellion against the Halfworld Robots that evolved them."

Tropes featured in the episode:

  • Adaptation Distillation: The original plot surrounding the events of Rocket Raccoon's homeworld of Halfworld are incredibly distilled and compressed into something that could tie in with the already existing plot, as well as something that could be introduced and resolved in the span of a single episode. As a result, a lot is changed or cut out completely.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Uncle Pyko, the leader of the Halfworld Rebels. While in the original comics he wasn't completely innocent either, he was ultimately a good and peaceful man by the end, not like his portrayal here.
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  • Amplified Animal Aptitude: Everyone on Halfworld.
  • Aw, Look! They Really Do Love Each Other: Rocket and his family, just before they start to de-evolve.
    Rocket: Listen, Ma. Before we turn back into woodland critters, I just gotta say, I... I know I'm just a runt, but... I love you, Ma.
    Ma: A mother loves all her children. Even the runts, Rocket.
  • For Science!: About the only reason given for all the things the robots do on Rocket's homeworld of Halfworld, including forcibly engraving a complete history of weaponry and mechanics into the brain of a raccoon, buying a sentient, regenerating tree monster from space pirates, or using mysterious ore to evolve the entire population of fauna on the planet. About the only time any of their science makes sense was when they decided to reverse said population evolution, and that was only because said suddenly civilized fauna decided to rebel against them.
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  • Gone Horribly Right: The science robots of Halfworld used strange ore tainted by energy from the Cosmic Seed to super-evolve the animals of the planet. It works ... however said animals then turn on their creators and rebel, successfully go into hiding, and their leader, Uncle Pyko, uses the robot's own technology against them to further evolve the animals into unstoppable juggernauts bent on the robot's destruction.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Rocket, in order to save the planet, operates a machine that will turn every sentient being back into their natural state - including himself. He remains unaffected though as the machines uses "completely different process" on him.
  • The Napoleon: Rocket Raccoon was also the runt of his family back on Halfworld and it's insinuated that even as normal raccoons his family gave him grief over his height.
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  • Shout-Out: Rocket Raccoon's brother is named Ranger, obviously a nod to another famous raccoon character Ranger Rick (amusingly, Ranger is Rocket's older brother; Rocket was created in 1976, while Ranger Rick first premiered in 1967, so Ranger is the older of the two).
  • The Unfavorite: Rocket feels he is this to his family.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Uncle Pyko. He wants to lead the animals of Halfworld in a rebellion against their tyrannical robot overlords, which of course everyone (especially Rocket) can get behind. However, his methods of rebellion involved using the same technology the robots used to further evolve and mutate the animals into unstoppable juggernauts, which was quite obviously crossing the Moral Event Horizon (in-universe) regardless of any good intentions. Especially considering that the robots had seen the error of their ways and were trying to undo the damage they had done to the animals on Halfworld.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: After being called "Runt" or variants of by his family, they finally call him "Rocket" as they start to de-evolve.

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