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Recap / Odd Squad S 1 E 26 Robert Plant Game Time

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You wouldn't believe us if we said that this was Olive's doing, would you? Yeah, about that...
Robert Plant
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Airdates: May 27, 2015 note , May 2, 2015 note , June 7, 2015 note 

Olive and Otto must find a way to stop Obfusco's plant, Robert, from taking over headquarters and, eventually, the world.


Tropes:

  • Big "NO!": Olive gives one when Robert seals her in.
  • Character Development: Compared to past episodes like "Skip Day", Otto is much more confident on solo missions, something that manages to surprise Olive in this exchange:
    Olive: I know this is dangerous, and you're nervous of leaving me behind-
    Otto: Nah, not really. [runs off as Olive looks utterly confused]
  • Comm Links: The front of Olive's badge phone is able to be detached to create a small portable device worn in the ear, which is how she communicates with Otto.
  • Continuity Nod: Obfusco's office was briefly seen in "Hold the Door".
    • This isn't the first time (or even the second time) someone who isn't a tube operator has operated the tubes — although Otto only operates the computer connected to them, and not the tubes themselves.
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  • Cool Horse: Obfusco apparently has one, fitting with his Cowboy theme. However, it disappears entirely the first time he does his Stealth Hi/Bye act.
  • Determinator: Briefly inverted when Otto remarks that he can't keep up with Robert because he's growing too fast. Luckily, he has Olive to help set him back on the right path.
  • Derailed Train of Thought: Otto takes the time to point out a few landmarks that show up on the map of headquarters before Olive sets him straight.
  • Foreshadowing: Olive manages to pry apart a plant (with rather thick vines) with her own bare hands — strength that is only seen in Directors such as Ms. O. As it turns out, Olive becomes an Odd Squad Director in the Season 1 finale.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Olive uses pots and pans from, well, the Pots and Pans Room in order to hold back Robert.
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  • Gilligan Cut: Olive believes that getting to Obfusco's office will be easy. One transition and an Orbital Shot later, she and Otto quickly find that most every route is blocked except for one.
  • Here We Go Again!: As thanks for caring for Robert, Obfusco entrusts Olive and Otto with his other three plants...all of which have instruction books in varying thicknesses.
    Olive and Otto: No way...
  • Hidden Depths: Like Olive and Ms. O, Otto can also operate the tube operators' computer with ease despite working as an Investigation agent and having never worked in the Transportation department.
  • I've Heard of That — What Is It?: When Olive asks Otto to give her some landmarks, he responds with "Absolutely! Who are landmarks?"
  • Looking Busy: Olive and Otto do this in order to escape Obfusco. It doesn't end up working.
  • Magic Antidote: When Obfusco's antidote is placed on Robert, the plant immediately shrinks and goes back to normal.
  • Medusa: Obfusco mentions that he danced with her sometime in his past, and that she was an excellent dancer.
  • Minimalist Cast: With the obvious exception of the client in the Cold Open, only Olive, Otto and Obfusco get speaking roles.
  • Musical Theme Naming: Obfusco's plants are all named after the band members of Led Zeppelin — Robert, Jimmy, John and John Paul. When introduced, the plants have their own Leitmotifs that represent what each band member plays. The episode's title falls under this as well.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Olive pouring the entire cup of water on Robert instead of following the instructions causes him to grow out of control and nearly take over headquarters.
  • No Sense of Direction: Otto doesn't know his left from his right. Luckily, Olive helps set him straight with the "L" trick — whichever of your open palms makes an "L" shape with the index finger and thumb is your left.
  • Not Me This Time: Inverted and lampshaded by Otto.
    Otto: I can't believe this!
    Olive: I know, it won't stop growing...!
    Otto: No! I can't believe that it's your fault and not mine! I'm so happy!
  • One Crazy Night: A majority of the episode takes place in the course of a night, as Olive and Otto stay late reading Robert's instruction book and stopping him when he grows out of control.
  • Out-of-Character Moment: Olive, who has finally had enough of Obfusco and snaps in this episode. She becomes frustrated with his antics enough to act irrational and not follow the care instructions for Robert, pouring the entire cup of water on him instead of a few drops, which causes him to grow out of control. It gets to the point where Otto — known for being a Cloudcuckoolander and the rookie of the pair — tries to talk her out of doing it.
  • Police Code for Everything: A rather confusing example. Olive gives Otto a "10-4" (or "okay") when he tells her where to go — however, Odd Squad doesn't serve as a police force for the town, and don't arrest people (although they do have some police-like procedures, such as interrogations).
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Olive has one hell of a badass one as she breaks free of Robert's trap and nabs the antidote.
    Olive: Show's over, Robert Plant.
  • Rage Breaking Point: After spending the majority of two episodes dealing with Obfusco's Cloudcuckoolander antics (and possibly more than that, considering Obfusco was her teacher when she was an agent-in-training), Olive becomes frustrated enough to break when she sees how complicated caring for Robert is — never mind the fact that she and Otto have been at Headquarters for enough time to be the last agents there. When Otto attempts to reason with her, Olive dismisses him, saying that Robert is just a plant, and simply needs to be watered the same way one would any plant. Unfortunately, this has disastrous consequences in the form of Robert growing out of control. She is also seen later on growing frustrated at Obfusco when watching his instruction video.
  • Rambling Old Man Monologue: While Obfusco isn't elderly, his instruction video is mostly comprised of him recounting various stories from the past, to the annoyance of Olive and Otto, who have to fast-forward Rule of Three-style just to actually get to the point where he tells them how to beat Robert.
  • Shout-Out: The painting of Ms. O and the three horses with her (a Unicorn, a Winged Unicorn, and a normal horse) is reminiscent of the painting of George Washington crossing the Delaware.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Obfusco, natch. And both times he does it, he manages to scare Olive and Otto. The latter agent lampshades it the second time around.
    Otto: It is kind of impressive how he just disappears like that.
    Obfusco: [popping up behind Olive and Otto] Thank you!
    [Olive and Otto yell in shock]
  • Stop Saying That!: When Otto repeatedly says "oh boy" as he's tracking Robert and the route to Obfusco's office, Olive asks him "Can you please stop saying that?!"
  • Super-Strong Child: Olive manages to break free of Robert blocking her in by pushing him back long enough to create a hole she can fit through. She is able to reach the vial of antidote and throws it on him before he can capture her again.
    • Similarly, Otto is also seen pushing a file cabinet — likely full of files — back up after Robert knocked it to the ground.
  • Tempting Fate: Olive and Otto remark how watering Robert is going to be easy. Not a second later and Obfusco throws a large, dictionary-sized instruction book down on the desk for the partner pair to follow, much to their chagrin.
  • Tracking Device: Olive's suit is embedded with a homing beacon, which allows Otto to track her through headquarters and guide her to Obfusco's office.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Since Ms. O is absent in this episode, Obfusco — who is, by technicality, the second-in-command (his department symbol is a heptagon while Ms. O's is an octagon) — takes over as the leader figure for the episode. He is heading out on vacation, and flexes his status in the hierarchy by making every single employee, including Olive and Otto, handle his responsibilities for him while he's gone. It's implied that he's been doing this for a long time, but it's left ambiguous if Ms. O herself approves of it.
  • Understatement: Otto gives an instruction to Olive to pass by a small park. Cut to a patch of grass with a bench, a wastebasket and a streetlamp and zoom out as the much-larger Olive jumps over it with ease.
  • When Trees Attack: Robert grows and spreads across headquarters rapidly, and it's strong enough to the point where it can pry open the double-doors in the tube lobby — something only Ms. O was shown to be able to do before.

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Perhaps what's more impressive than Otto failing to read the obvious sign is his amazing dexterity.
Game Time

Airdates: May 27, 2015 note , May 2, 2015 note , June 7, 2015 note 

When Otto gets trapped inside a video game, it's up to Olive to rescue him.


Tropes:

  • Bait-and-Switch: Ms. O, natch, which gives Olive and Otto a bad fright.
    Ms. O: Hundreds of futuristic robots have flooded the streets, destroying everyone in their path.
    Olive and Otto: WHAT?!
    Ms. O: In a video game.
    [Olive and Otto sigh in relief]
  • Can't You Read the Sign?: Karla has Robo-Blast-Bots roped off so no one can play it. However, the "rope" is nothing more than a small stanchion rope with a poorly drawn "do not enter" sign, which Otto bypasses with ease as he begins playing the game (believing it's some sort of an exclusive game).
  • Comically Missing the Point: Otto takes Ms. O's instruction to go to the arcade as her telling him to play video games all day. Olive informs him that that's probably not what their boss meant.
  • Comical Overreacting: When Otto hears that video games aren't a hobby of Olive's, he gives a Big "WHAT?!" and nearly breaks the tubes as he tries to hold a conversation with her about why she doesn't like them. He gives up when O'Toole — surrounded by sparks flying everywhere — yells at him to let the tubes do their thing, prompting a What the Hell, Hero? reaction from Olive as he tells her they'll talk about the situation later.
  • Continuity Nod: Oscar manages to trap himself in an ice block similar to Ms. O's in "Dance Like Nobody's Watching". Unlike Ms. O, however, his upper body is still exposed while the rest of his body is encased in ice, which leaves him able to communicate with Olive freely (albeit he can't play the game to free Otto).
  • Dirty Coward: When finding out that Otto is trapped inside Robo-Blast-Bots, Karla is quick to pull a Screw This, I'm Outta Here! and retreat instead of helping him out, much to Olive's chagrin.
  • Dragged by the Collar: Otto drags Olive by the wrist all the way down to the tube lobby.
  • Friendship Moment: The time spent with Olive rescuing Otto from Robo-Blast-Bots definitely counts as this, as she's genuinely worried about him dying in-game (and in real life) and willingly plays the game to get him out when Oscar cannot, despite her having no experience with playing video games. She also isn't afraid to give a verbal smackdown (as well as some riddled with Facial Dialogue) to Karla for being completely nonchalant about Otto nearly dying for good.
  • Gamer Chick: Olive becomes one over the course of the episode despite having never played a video game in her life. She slowly improves and manages to rescue Otto from Robo-Blast-Bots, the arcade game he's trapped in. At the end of the episode, she and Otto rush off to play more games in the arcade instead of immediately going back to headquarters.
  • Homage: A few in this episode, with one being the side of the Robo-Blast-Bots arcade cabinet, a reference to Donkey Kong.
  • Karma Houdini: Karla never gets her comeuppance for acting like a Jerkass and demanding money from children even when lives are at stake.
  • Konami Code: Olive uses this to defeat the final boss.
  • Layman's Terms: Oscar explains that Otto can get out because he found a weakness in "the fabric of the vector lines." Olive asks him to explain it in "not-Oscar talk". The scientist then clarifies that if the duo can get Otto to the end of the first level, then he can get him out.
  • Meaningful Echo: Before Olive and Otto head to the Shmumbercade, the former tells the latter that video games aren't her thing. At the end of the episode, after getting Otto out, she remarks that "I guess video games really are my thing."
  • The Most Dangerous Video Game: Otto becomes trapped in Robo-Blast-Bots, where he is at the mercy of being controlled by Olive — a person who has never played a video game in her life. If Otto dies in the game, he dies for real, and Olive must get to the end of Level 1 and enter the fortress at the end in order to free him.
  • Never Say "Die": Par for the course with PBS Kids, even in a video game-related episode. The word "die" is never used, and instead is alluded to with various terms.
  • Once per Episode: Olive and Otto discuss their usage of "What's the problem, Ms. O?" (a Catchphrase repeated nearly every episode with a few variants) and who should say it.
  • One-Hit Kill: The large Ventrillion Olive faces in the Boss Battle manages to hit Otto and deplete his Life Meter entirely in one fell swoop.
  • Only in It for the Money: Karla, an employee at the Shmumbercade, only lets Olive and Otto do things if they pay her $1 — getting into the arcade itself and getting tokens being the two biggest examples. It gets to such an extent where she is portrayed as a complete Jerkass who has a Lack of Empathy for Otto — a child — potentially dying in a video game (since if he dies in the game, he dies for real), something that Olive becomes increasingly upset over. She also charges money for completely mundane things, such as 10 cents for a card listing the amounts of each coin.
  • Percussive Therapy: Olive shoving the joystick in her frustration as to what to do about Otto being unable to move...well, causes him to move.
  • invoked Play the Game, Skip the Story: An in-universe example occurs when Oscar begins telling Olive the mythology behind Robo-Blast-Bots. However, she cuts him off to continue focusing on the game.
  • Power-Up: One exists in Robo-Blast-Bots that is shaped like the Settings gear found on phones and mobile devices. It's implied that if a player collects enough of them, the character gains the ability to fire a blast of energy that can break walls.
  • Spontaneous Crowd Formation: As Olive is playing the game, a crowd begins to form behind her, despite the fact that no one was looking in her direction in the previous shot. Soon, she has an audience watching her (not that she notices).
  • Rage Breaking Point: Olive gets close to outright snapping at Karla throughout the episode, to the point where her face and words scream Tranquil Fury when she gets a Game Over while facing the final boss, has to go and retrieve a token, and Karla begins to count her money to make sure she has a dollar.
  • Shout-Out: One of the arcade cabinets seen is Tekken 2, although the name on the cabinet is blocked out.
    • Oscar name-drops Rattata at one point when he explains the game.
  • The Snack Is More Interesting: When Otto gets sucked into Robo-Blast-Bots, he begins to panic about how he's trapped in the game forever, then gets sidetracked by Karla's sandwich that was also sucked into the game.
  • Stereotype Flip: The episode busts the "women can't/don't know how to play video games" stereotype that was popular at the time the episode aired, by having Olive play Robo-Blast-Bots and become surprisingly skilled at it.
  • Tempting Fate: In response to Otto saying that Olive has never played a video game in her life, Olive remarks with "Ahh, How Hard Can It Be?" Five seconds later, she ends up getting a Game Over and has 60 seconds to revive Otto before he dies permanently.
  • To Know Him, I Must Become Him: Olive's response to Oscar's question of how she was able to use the finishing move in the Boss Battle.
    Olive: Well, if you allow yourself to think like a Ventrillion, you quickly come to understand how their struggle for a home planet has created many years of anger and frustration.

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