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Recap / Time Squad S 01 Ep 16 Big Als Big Secret

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On the satellite, Otto is hanging out with Tuddrussel, watching him target practice with his phaser. Tuddrussel fondly tells Otto how his dad taught him how to shoot when he was just about Otto's age, and that he came from a long line of marksmen. We come to find out also that Tuddrussel came from what used to be the state of Texas, before all of the nations on Earth became the Super Nation previously mentioned in Eli Whitney's Flesh Eating Mistake. Tuddrussel then tries to show off his own shooting skills but ends up misses every target. Embarrassed, he tries to make up for it by powering up the phaser to its highest setting and ends up blasting a giant hole in the satellite. Luckily, Larry arrives and activates the Emergency Airlock before everyone is sucked into space. Before he can tell off Tuddrussel and Otto, the History Instability Alarm goes off. The team sees that the next mission is Albert Einstein, who is mysteriously located in Texas. Otto claims that Einstein is supposed to be one of the most brilliant physicists the world had ever known and wonders why someone of his intelligence would be somewhere like Texas.

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The team arrives in front of a TV store in a small town in Texas, where Otto is clueless about where to start looking. He asks Larry to print a photo of Einstein, and as he looks at the photo a commercial for "Big Al's Car Barn" plays in front of them. The man looks A LOT like Einstein, but speaks with a Texan accent and is decked out in a big Western getup. But the team does not notice the resemblance. The guys set out, asking everyone in town if they know of Albert Einstein. Nobody knows him, and the last place to look is “Big Al’s Car Barn.”

Big Al greets them, asking if they are looking for a car. He starts explaining the science behind the power in one of his cars, puzzling Tuddrussel and arousing Otto’s suspicion. Big Al offers Time Squad a chance to ride in one of his cars, but it is too small and then explodes. Before Big Al can offer another car, Larry shows him the photo of Einstein and asks if he has seen him. Big Al nervously says he hasn’t, and leaves.

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Time Squad gives up and heads to a Steakhouse at Tuddrussel’s request. Otto is upset by the lack of luck they've had in finding Einstein, not interested in eating when he overhears a man complaining to a waitress that she overcharged him, giving an advanced mathematical explanation. Otto realizes it is Big Al, who must be Einstein. He rushes over to his table and demands to know why he is a car salesman instead of a physicist. Diners nearby overhear him and start to glare at their table. Einstein nervously tells Otto that a physicist doesn’t make much money. When Otto makes an angry outburst, Tuddrussel comes and takes him away, apologizing to Big Al. Einstein’s wife then comes and is reassured that the commotion was nothing.

At Big Al’s sale the next day, Larry is disguised as a farmer and tells Einstein a “theory” he made up. This theory is so wrong, that it infuriates Einstein, who, in a German accent, edits the theory and creates an equation for it. Otto then jumps out, having heard all of this exclaims that they have just proved that he is Einstein, making the latter cry and run inside.

Time Squad follows him inside, and Otto asks why Einstein is a car salesman. Einstein says he barely made any money as a physicist, but as a car salesman, he is a millionaire and a celebrity. He says it is too late for him to tell everyone the truth, as they would be furious and would tar and feather him if they found out. He then goes back outside as Big Al, disappointing Otto.

Big Al starts telling his customers about how great the savings are when he notices a miserable Otto in the audience. He stumbles in his speech and then in a moment of shame he can no longer keep up the charade and drops the accent to his natural German to tell everyone he is a fraud. Everyone is shocked, and they are angered when he says he is a math genius. They are about to attack when Otto intervenes, saying that intelligence is a remarkable trait and that he is not ashamed of being a “history whiz.” The audience is amazed, and people start admitting their intelligence to each other.

Einstein is later seen receiving the Nobel Prize for being a math genius, and Time Squad leaves. Tuddrussel is deeply saddened, because he missed Einstein as Big Al.


Tropes present in this episode include:

  • Age-Appropriate Angst: Otto, who has an outburst in the restaurant after getting so worked up over Big Al's identity that Tuddrussel has to carry him out.
  • Be Yourself: The overall message of this episode, though it's not Anvilicious. It's more humorous as the adults in the mob start to shout out their special interests, whether it be marine biology, or reading Chaucer and Shakespeare, or fun facts on Igneous rocks, or cheese.
  • Everything Is Big in Texas: Big Al has the qualities of a bigger than life rich Texan including the white suit and matching giant ten-gallon hat and cowboy boots, and all the while boisterously trying to sell you a car.
  • Everytown, America: Takes place in a normal town in Texas, perfect for German physicists to disguise themselves as a red-blooded American used-car-salesman.
  • Honest John's Dealership: Big Al's Car Barn is this, right down to the corny commercials advertising the dealership and the cars that are of shady quality with prices too good to be true.
  • Insane Proprietor: Big Al's whole persona is this. He wants you to buy a car so bad he'll eat a bug to prove it!
  • Kitschy Local Commercial: Commercials for Big Al's Car Barn feature the guy wrestling alligators, riding elephants, doing stunt work on airplanes, and telling the audience to not do drugs, all in the name of selling you a car. All with a catchy jingle too.
  • Mistaken from Behind: Early on in the search for Einstein the guys believe they found him based on a suspect they found walking in a parking lot, solely based on their gray hair and similar haircut from behind. Tuddrussel grabs their shoulder and the person turns around...cue the scream from a poor old woman who thinks she's being harassed by three strangers. The guys scream, terrified by the woman and the mistake and run away.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Einstein slips out of his Texan accent whenever he's upset.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Einstein has got such a memorable face that it's quite the accomplishment that the guys didn't recognise him as Big Al at first despite his cowboy persona.
    • Larry as a farmer is pretty weak as well.
  • Revealing Skill: Einstein can't help but solve advanced mathematical equations when the opportunity arises.
  • Southern-Fried Genius: When Einstein admits that he's a math genius and with Otto's encouragement, the whole audience begins to admit that they all have interests that make them all pretty brilliant in retrospect.
  • Tar and Feathers: Einstein is worried that if he reveals his true identity to the townsfolk, he'll be tarred and feathered for it. Sure enough, when he does finally admit to it, someone in the crowd actually does have a bucket of tar and a bag of feathers on hand!


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