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Recap / Mystery Science Theater 3000 S 05 E 17 Beginning Of The End

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Beginning of the End already? Just started!

Film watched: Beginning of the End

The episode is available to stream here.

The Segments:

  • Mike, Crow and Servo sing some old standards, but are interrupted by a lady calling from the Hexfield. Mike tries to clarify, but she still thinks that "Arnie" is there.

Segment 1

  • Mike stealthily hangs up on the lady, much to Servo's amusement. For this week's Invention Exchange, the Mads present the re-comfy bike, a cozy recumbent bike, which Frank sleeps in. Mike, Servo and Crow show off their new playing cards, the Eight of Chris Lemmon, Todd and the Crow of Diamonds.

Segment 2

  • Despite Crow and Servo's objections, Mike calls up the Mads. Dr. Forrester and Frank, when they aren't terrorizing the SOL with bad movies, act like a married couple. This gets Mike and the Bots really uncomfortable really fast.

Segment 3

  • Crow shows off his new screenplay, Peter Graves at the University of Minnesota. Mike and Servo then get annoyed from Crow's redundancies.

Segment 4

  • Servo shows off his locust themed stand up routine, but Crow and Mike are unimpressed.

Segment 5

  • Mike and the Bots read some letters, including a postcard from members of the Kim Cattrall Fan Club. This leads to other postcards used with a plastic grasshopper as in Bert I. Gordon special effects. Meanwhile, The Mads duke it out with some manly boxing.


The MST3K presentation provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Ineffective Barricade: Crow's assessment of a wooden sawhorse blocking the road.
    Crow: That wouldn't stop a kid on a big wheel!
  • Ambiguously Gay: Forrester and TV's Frank when they don't realize the S.O.L. is on the line.
  • Brain Bleach: After seeing Forrester and TV's Frank in disturbingly domestic bliss:
    Mike: (weirded out) So I guess we can call the Mads, then... but you know what? I don't think I'm going to do that for a while.
  • Brutal Honesty: Crow's reaction to Tom's overly-cerebral locust stand-up routine.
    Mike: Wow, Tom, that... that really, really, uh...
    Crow: Sucked!
  • Call-Back:
    • When the army stops by the locusts,
    Servo: What would Mitchell do right now?
  • Department of Redundancy Department: Crow's screenplay about Peter Graves. Fifteen acts were devoted to reminding people that Graves went to the University of Minnesota.
    Servo: Crow, I'm not criticizing here, but were you worried about the redundancy factor or not or--?
    Crow: Well, I thought my point was important enough to risk that.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: A lot regarding Peter Graves.
    • Later, when Audrey is driving with Graves sitting next to her:
    Mike: (as Audrey) Wait, this isn't a stick-shift... AAAAGGHH!
    • One opening shot of Peter and his deaf-mute assistant has some unfortunate scene composition and foreshortening to make it look like impromptu proctology.
      Servo: Ooh!
      Crow: (as Peter) Okay, okay, you can have your raise!
  • Have I Mentioned I Am Heterosexual Today?: The Mads overcompensate a little, boxing and proclaiming it's the sport of MEN!!!
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Mike and the Bots discover The Mads are these, resulting in a bit of Brain Bleach all round.
  • Idiot Ball:
    Servo: Hey Diane Arbus, why don't you take a picture!?
  • Inherently Funny Words: Tom gets a chuckle out of "Wacker St."
  • Jaw Drop: Crow's reaction when Mike and the Bots interrupt The Mads' "Us Day". Mike helps Crow out and lifts his jaw back.
  • Karma Houdini:
    Servo: Hey, this guy caused the whole thing! He should be doing time in Joliet!
    Crow: Nah, the grasshoppers ate Joliet.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Frank does this to Forrester during their boxing match after the movie ends.
  • The Mountains of Illinois: The MST3K episode is the Trope Namer.
  • Nausea Fuelinvoked: Crow finds the bizarre transition effects in the credits to be this. Mike doesn't really help.
    Mike: Honey, do you think you could keep down some 7-Up and soda crackers?
    Crow: *gag* No...
    Mike: Some lukewarm pork?
    Crow: ...Blurgh!
    Mike: I'm sorry, I'm sorry...
  • Noodle Implements: As the general asks what Wainwright needs for his proposed locust trap:
    Tom: A tennis ball, an accordion and a picture of Don Ameche!
  • Oh, Crap!: Forrester realizing the S.O.L. is peeping on him and Frank watching daytime TV and discussing weight loss.
    Forrester: Oh my God — Frank, switch on the game! SWITCH ON THE GAME!
  • Overly Long Gag: Crow being nauseated by the credits. By the end, Tom yells "One more time!"
  • Parental Sexuality Squick: Mike, regarding the couple making out in the Cold Open of the film.
    Mike: You know, it might be sexy, until you think: It might be my parents! Oh my God!
  • Running Gag:
    • "Yellow?"
    • Frank's signing.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Many towards the Chicagoland area.
    • Servo points out Norman Taggert's resemblance to Frank Nelson by letting out a "Yyyyyyeeeeesss?"
    • At the part where the high frequency weapon is used.
    Servo: When Brian Eno ruled Chicago.
    • Mike refers to the Mads as "Benny & Joon".
    • As one of the locusts chows down on a hapless soldier:
    Servo: (evilly) "When you wish upon a star..." Heh heh heh!
  • Society Marches On:
    • Mike tells Tom that his amazingly unfunny standup act has a good chance of being on The Chevy Chase Show, which is considered one of the worst late night shows in television history. It was still on the air at the time the episode aired.
    • The episode also aired after the Oliver Stone miniseries Wild Palms aired.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: This is Albert Glasser, after all. "bum-bum-bum-BAAAAAAAAH-DAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!"
    Mike: She's got her car radio tuned to the Marching Band Station.
    Servo: "All Sousa, All The Time."
  • Stylistic Suck:
    • Servo's standup act is truly unfunny.
    • Crow's Peter Graves at the University of Minnesota similarly sucks, too.
  • Take That!: When there is a news story about the giant locusts:
    Newsreader: The screech increases in intensity, until it reaches ear-shattering proportions.
    Crow: Sounds like Mariah Carey.
    • When they test the high frequency sound on a captured locust, one of them compares it to "a long Kathleen Battle aria".
    • The film cuts to a screaming crowd,
    Mike: The Cubs don't win the pennant! The Cubs don't win the pennant!
    • When Peter Graves assesses damage made by the giant locusts:
    Crow: Savages, worse than British soccer fans!
    • Then, as the characters consider nuking the swarm:
    Crow: "Hmm, no Chicago... well, why not?"
  • Technology Marches On: invoked Tom makes a reference to the Radio Shack computer, the Tandy.
  • What an Idiot!: Invoked by Servo, when Audrey encounters giant locusts.
  • White Dude, Black Dude: Servo's standup is this to grasshoppers and locusts.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: Servo after Graves easily guns down one of the locusts: "Hey, I got it; we could just shoot 'em!"
  • You Have to Believe Me!: Peter Graves invokes this at one point, prompting Servo to immediately follow up with a stream of panicked gibberish about "giant crickets".

Col. Sturgeon: [sounding unusually bored] All right, men, into the woods.


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