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Recap / Tintin: Flight 714

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While making a stop in Jakarta on their way to a scientific conference in Sydney, Tintin, Haddock and Calculus happen to run into the former two's friend Piotr Skut, the Estonian pilot from The Red Sea Sharks. He is currently the personal pilot of eccentric aircraft tycoon Lazlo Carreidas, "the millionaire who never laughs", whom he introduces to the rest. After Calculus inadvertently makes Carreidas laugh, twice, the latter decides to give them a lift to Sydney on his private jet. Due to that Spalding, Carreidas' assistant, decides to make a quick call to his accomplice to cancel their secret plan. However his accomplice refuses, even despite the fact that he seems to recognize Tintin from afar.

Turns out that Splading's plan is to hijack the plane, with the two new replacement crew (whom the regulars end up in an "accident" with), and they succeed in this. They land on an abandoned volcanic island in the South Pacific and are held at gunpoint by armed gunmen who, to Tintin's horror, apparently kill Snowy. They are greeted by none other than Tintin's nemesis Rastapopoulos and The Dragon Allan. Having lost most of his fortune in his previous scheme, Rastapopoulos plans on stealing the money in Carreidas' Swiss Bank Account. To do this he hired the services of Dr. Krollspell, who has developed an experimental Truth Serum. Rastapopoulos and Krollspell take Carreidas away while the rest are held prisoner in a bunker. Eventually they escape with the help of Snowy, who turns out to be alive.

Fortunately, Krollspell's Truth Serum is completely worthless. It makes Carreidas start rattling off every misdeed he did in his life instead of answering Rastapopoulos' questions about Carreidas' bank account. Fed up with Carreidas' stories, Rastapopoulos angrily tries to hit Krollspell. However, Rastapopulos accidentally jabs himself with the needle, causing both him and Carreidas to bicker about each other's misdeeds to prove who's the most evil person. In the end, Rastapopoulos, Krollspell and the uncooperative Carreidas are Bound and Gagged by Tintin and Haddock. However, they are intercepted by Allan, after which Rastapopoulos escapes and orders Allan and his Mooks to find them. Knowing that Rastapopoulos plans to double cross him thanks to the Truth Serum, Krollspell decides to help Tintin's group and is freed after he tries to warn the group of Carriedas (who tries to run away) and Rastapopoulos' escape.

Then things get weird... Tintin suddenly starts hearing a "voice" directing them to a secret entrance of an ancient temple to evade their captors. There, they find a strange man named Mik Kanrokitoff, a writer for a space magazine. Apparently the island was visited in the past by Ancient Astronauts worshipped as gods by the natives. Mik himself possesses a device that allows him to communicate telepathically and maintains contact with the aforementioned race. While discussing this, Rastapopoulos' men set off explosives hoping to breach the temple which causes the volcano to awaken. Tintin and his friends are rescued by an honest-to-god Flying Saucer. They are then hypnotized into forgetting everything that happened. Meanwhile Rastapopoulos and his men try their luck by leaving the island via dinghy. However, they are also picked up by the Saucer with their fate unknown.

Tintin's group (apart from Krollspell, who was found in Cairo equally amnesic) then gives an interview claiming they don't remember a thing (apart from Snowy who, of course, cannot talk). Calculus however, shows a mysterious item he found in his pocket (which he had picked up inside the volcano) and claims that according to material analysis that is made of a material not found on Earth.

The story ends with Tintin, Haddock, and Calculus boarding a flight to the Sydney conference, with Carreidas and his two employees tagging along.

This comic book provides examples of:

  • Actually, That's My Assistant: Haddock mistakes Carreidas' dapper right-hand man Spalding for the billionaire himself, under the impression that the actual Carreidas is a homeless man.
  • Alien Episode: The final act's twist is that the island was the base for Ancient Astronauts that come back for a short visit, saving everybody.
  • Analogy Backfire: Rastapopoulos tells Tintin he will crush him like he crushes a spider. However, he proves unable to stamp on the spider.
  • Ancient Astronauts: The twist at the end of the story, aliens have been visiting Earth since ancient times and are acting through selected mediators until they deem us ready for official introductions.
  • Answer Cut:
    Tintin: ...our own death sentence is only suspended, until Carreidas talks. But I wonder, will he talk?
    [next panel]
    Krollspell: He'll talk, Mr Rastapopoulos, he'll talk all right.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Of all Carreidas' unethical practices, the one that gets the Captain riled up is the fact that he cheats at Battleship, probably because it's the one that he personally experienced.
  • Artistic License – Martial Arts: The savate kick Calculus tries to demonstrate in the airport, which he names coup de pied de figure in the original text, doesn't resemble the real technique from the art (which is actually just a roundhouse kick to the head; savate actually discourages jumping attacks). If anything, it looks more like he was trying to do a stationary Kamen Rider style Diving Kick and lost his balance while high in the air. This confusion is strange, as Hergé had already portrayed an interestingly obscure but accurate savate kick in Tintin: The Black Island, although he might have included this error intentionally in order to show Calculus's savateur days were well behind him.
  • Berserk Button: Captain Haddock is about to tell Calculus to stop acting the goat, but wisely changes his words on seeing his Death Glare. And yes, Calculus heard that clearly without his ear trumpet.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Tintin attacks several mooks when he thinks Snowy has been shot.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The sailor cussing the low-flying aircraft, the guards talking about food, the gunmen noticing the symbols at the cave's entrance.
  • Broke Episode: Flight 714 is one for Rastapopoulos. Tintin and Haddock nearly wiped out his fortune in The Red Sea Sharks, and he's reduced to a glorified armed robber.
  • Butt-Monkey: Rastapopoulos becomes one as part of his Villain Decay, ending up as the butt of the joke regularly throughout the album and enduring a good load of Amusing Injuries.
  • Cataclysm Climax: The climax is the island's volcano going 'boom', tearing it apart and forcing everybody to run for safety.
  • Chekhov's Volcano: Which erupts on the third act, destroying everything... in particular the evidence of the aliens.
  • Clothing Damage: Rastapopoulos, after Alan accidentally tosses a hand grenade at him.
  • Cool Plane: Carreidas's private jet. It has variable geometry wings and can fly to Mach 2 at top speed!
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Implied with Carreidas, who has over ten million dollars in a secret bank account.
  • Curse Cut Short: Kanrokitoff sends a telepathic message to Tintin after he races back into the erupting volcano to save Calculus. Apparently Tintin's response was rather rude, telling Kanrokitoff to "Go to..."
  • Cut Lex Luthor a Check: The truth serum is a subversion. It's a good idea on paper, but Krollspell's formula is completely worthless. It made the subject talk about everything but the answer to the question he was being explicitly asked... Though it could still be very useful, it's just Carreidas had so many things to be truthful about due to his life of crime.
  • "Die Hard" on an X: Die Hard in a tropical island, with a lot more humiliation for the Hans Gruber stand-in and a very weird third act. Rastapopoulous even does a move worthy of the Gruber brothers by allying himself with terrorists to gather the funding and manpower for what is essentially a very complicated heist and then planning to stab them all in the back and run away with the loot.
  • Discreet Drink Disposal: Haddock dumps Carreidas' "chlorophyl fortified" Sani-Cola soft drink in a plant pot. The plant dies instantly.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Don't hit Calculus' hat off, for he will give you a thrashing that you won't forget!
  • The Dog Bites Back: Implied to be Spalding's primary motive for kidnapping his boss, as well as the money.
  • 11th-Hour Ranger: Mik (the man who is in contact with the aliens) doesn't appear until the third act of the story.
  • Epic Fail: Krosspell hypes up his Truth Serum as a concoction that makes people tell the whole truth uncontrollably. The serum is actually worse than useless, as Carriedas rambles on about everything except the information Rastapopulous actually needs. Krosspell could have injected Carreidas with Rajaijah juice and gotten the same result. Rastapopolous is justifiably angry at Krosspell's incompetence.
  • Eviler than Thou: Played for Laughs with Rastapopoulos and Carreidas. After Rastapopoulos also gets jabbed with the serum that makes him confess his misdeeds, they get into an Escalating War argument about which of them is more evil.
  • Evil Is Petty: Many of the evil boasts of Rastapopoulos and Carreidas consist of cruel pranks and petty theft. For instance Carreidas starts off with his first theft: a pear. Allan also jabs a hat down on Haddock's eyes, then laughs at how Tintin has to lead him everywhere.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The adventure takes place over the span of roughly one day, as it begins sometime during the day, the protagonists escapes the villains and leaves the island sometime during the night and are found and rescued the next morning.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Or maybe just ignorance on Rastapopoulos's part; he thinks the island is safe, but a volcano that could be set off by plastic explosives was only a day or two—at most—from going off anyway, and he's missed other warning signs.
  • Failed Attempt at Drama: After Tintin insults him, Rastapopoulos threatens to crush our hero "like this spider!" Said spider repeatedly avoids his boot.
  • Fake Faint: Rastapopoulos collapses while being marched through the jungle at gunpoint. Haddock isn't having any of it, and jabs a thorn into Rastapopoulos' backside to get him moving again.
  • Far East Asian Terrorists: Rastapopoulos's mooks are a group of Sondonesian nationalists, whose cause he has promised to help. Turns out he's planted bombs under their ships, though they leave the island before the eruption and without the explosives.
  • Funetik Aksent: Allan after his teeth get knocked out during the earthquake.
  • Gag Nose: Allan notes the similarity between Rastapopoulos's nose and that of a proboscis monkey. Rastapopoulos, who was beside him, is not amused.
  • Gainax Ending: The series had its fair share of weird moments before, but it had explanations such as people being on drugs. Who would expect a kidnapping plot to end with freaking real aliens saving everybody?
  • Genre Shift: From hijack thriller to sci-fi with Ancient Astronauts and telepathy with no prior warning, starting when Tintin gets a mental message from Kanrokitoff as he's leading his friends away from Rastapopoulos and his goons.
  • Good is Not Nice: Rastapopoulos collapses, feigning unconsciousness. Haddock jabs him in the backside with a thorn to see if he can still walk.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Krollspell once he discovers the fate in store for them.
  • Hollywood Board Games: What better way to show that Evil Is Petty than to have the villain, Carreidas, shamelessly cheat at Battleship. Played for Laughs because that's what enrages the Captain the most.
  • How Unscientific!: The alien encounter is one of the more strange things that has happened to the whole cast, and this is a series that includes surviving Incan civilization and going to the Moon.
  • Human Aliens: The aliens never appear on-panel, but the island's depictions of them imply they look like this.
  • Humiliation Conga: Allan and Rastapopoulos are subjected to a long, escalating series of painful and embarrassing mishaps over the course of the story.
  • Hypnosis-Proof Dogs: Snowy is the only one who remembers the whole ordeal but it's unclear whether this trope is in effect, or if the Aliens saw no need to as Snowy can't tell. (Funnily enough, Snowy decides to keep quiet because they'd never believe him.)
  • I Don't Pay You to Think: This is what Carreidas tells Spalding when Spalding makes an excuse due to Carreidas' decision to let Tintin's gang into his aircraft.
  • Island of Mystery: Secret Villain Base (taken from the remaining ruins of a World War II base), Ancient Ruins, Volcano, Aliens, the island has it all. Or had.
  • It's All About Me:
    • In the interview after the return to civilization, Carreidas is asked why he has needle-marks on his arms note  but not the others, his response is: "I'm entitled to special treatment, aren't I?"
    • Carreidas keeps complaining about his hat and risking everybody's lives over it. Tintin is unable to make him come along while he is under the influence of truth serum, to the point he has to be Bound and Gagged so he can be taken along, and later hypnotised by Kanrokitoff to believe he's wearing his hat.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: While Rastapopolos escaped at the end of "The Red Sea Sharks", here it's revealed that Tintin and Haddock's ruining his slave trade operation has nearly bankrupted him. He is then reduced to a Butt-Monkey trying to steal another man's fortune and is abducted by aliens.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • The introduction of Skut's co-pilot has him stepping on Snowy's tail and complaining about the mongrel getting underfoot. This is our first indication he's a villain.
    • The villains try to shoot Snowy.
  • Left Hanging: Due to this being the penultimate book, we never find out what became of Rastapopoulos and his men after they were taken away by the saucer. note  As Doctor Krollspell is dropped close to the clinic he was from with amnesia, it is likely that the villains may have been mind-wiped and dropped elsewhere.
  • The Load: Gino the steward. Says, "Mamma Mia!" a lot, but doesn't do much.
  • Manchild: While under Truth Serum, Rastapopolous starts crying when Carreidas insists that he's eviller.
  • Meaningful Name: Carreidas is a homophone for "Carré d'as", a four-ace hand in poker. The Carreidas company logo even has the four symbols in it.
  • Mistaken Confession: The millionaire Laszlo Carreidas is injected with a truth serum in an attempt to force him to reveal the details of his Swiss Bank Account. But instead of revealing the relevant details, Carreidas engages in boastful rants about his underhanded exploits, much to the annoyance of his captors. Hilarity Ensues when Rastapopoulos, the mastermind behind Carreidas' capture, is accidentally injected with the serum in a struggle.
  • Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal:
    • While Spalding's primary motivation was greed, it's strongly implied Rastapopoulos was able to get him to betray Carreidas because he was fed up with the man treating him like dirt.
    • Later onwards, Dr. Krollspell betrays Rastapopoulos after realising that he would be killed after his job is done.
  • Must Make Him Laugh: Calculus is able to make Carreidas laugh despite being known as The Man Who Never Laughs, which is why he invites them onto his private jet.
  • Never My Fault: Rastapopulos starts ranting during his Humiliation Conga that he never hurt a fly.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • Laszlo Carreidas was to a large extent inspired by French industrial mogul Marcel Dassault. There is an urban legend that a French photojournalist doing a feature about the homeless in Paris took a picture of him thinking he was one.
    • Kanrokitoff is basically Jacques Bergier under a different name. Bergier, a famous Russian-French scientist and UFO researcher, even founded a magazine named Planète, just like Tintin says in the text. (Contrary to popular belief, he's not based on Erik Von Daniken, the popularizer of the Ancient Astronauts trope, despite the character's original name, Ezdanitoff, looking like some kind of anagram; see Punny Name for the real pun of his name.)
  • Non-Indicative Name: The book is named after a flight which the protagonists didn't take (they are only seen boarding it in the very last panel).
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: The helicopter pilots rescuing Tintin and the other people on the raft. Making this even more frustrating, the rescue scene was actually drawn: however, Hergé noticed Flight 714 had two more pages than usual and thus decided to remove the two pages showing the rescue.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    Carreidas: That's the third time I've laughed today. What's the matter? If I go on like this, I'll have to see my doctor.
  • Out of Focus: Detectives Thomson and Thompson are completely absent from the story.
  • Painful Adhesive Removal: Tintin and Captain Haddock are keeping Dr. Krospell and Rastapopolos as adhesive tape- muffled hostages as they hide from Rastapopoulos' henchmen (they also keep Carreidas muffled because the latter was drugged and can put them in danger). Rastapopoulos eventually magages to escape and be found. Moments later, Tintin and Haddock hear a string of bloodcurling shrieks in the woods, with Tintin commenting that "It's enough to make your hair stand on end." It's Rastapopoulos, having the tapes "carefully" peeled off by Alan, his incompetent right hand man.
  • Playing Possum: Rastapopulos pretends to pass out to give Allan and his mooks time to catch up. Haddock gets him going with a thorn stuck in a tender place.
  • Poke the Poodle: Allan kicking around Carreidas' hat and jamming it over Haddock's eyes.
  • Punny Name:
    • Carreidas sounds like carré d'as, which means "four aces" in French.
    • Sani-Cola; French equivalent of "Santa Claus".
    • Mik Ezdanitoff (Named Kanrokitoff in the English translation.). His last name references the phrase Is dat niet tof? ("Isn't that swell?") in Dutch. Hergé would often use words and expressions from the Marol dialect, Flemish spoken in Brussels.
    • Dr. Krollspell's name is also Flemish. The word krollspell sounds like krulspeld ("curler pin").
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Rastapopoulos wears a pink shirt in this comic. Which makes him look like an evil Camp Gay cowboy. According to Word of God, this was to let him appear as a ridiculous person.
  • Secret Underground Passage: This is given away when Carreidas' hat gets stuck under the door.
  • Single Tear: Tintin sheds a tear for Snowy when he's still under the impression that Snowy has been shot dead.
  • Skewed Priorities: Carreidas' obsession with his hat, to the point he keeps insisting they go back to look for it, and even when there are criminals close behind them and gas is coming through the tunnel he keeps running back for his hat, only being stopped by lava. At the end when his new plane, secretary and two of the crew have vanished he says what really upsets him is losing his hat. "It's a pre-war Bross and Clackwell... And that is irreplaceable!"
  • Spoonerism: The name of the makers of Carreidas' prized hat is based on the British food production company Crosse & Blackwell, with the first letters of the two words reversed.
  • Telepathy: Mik's device and the aliens both have the capacity for this. It becomes important in the final act, both leading Tintin to the Ancient Astronaut ruins where he and his friends can be saved and for wiping everybody's memories.
  • They Have the Scent!: Averted; Snowy sniffs Carreidas' hat so the heroes can find where he's being held prisoner, but just goes straight to Haddock, who's been made to wear the hat.
  • Tropical Island Adventure: This story takes place on a tropical island called Pulau-Pulau Bompa.
  • Victory-Guided Amnesia: The aliens mind-wipe everybody, hero (and implied villain) alike and release them. As far as the people on Carreidas' flight will ever know, the plane went down in the ocean because of a mechanical malfunction and they survived miraculously.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Rastapopoulos completely loses it when the interrogation of Carreidas fails.
  • Villain Decay:
    • Infamously done to Rastapopoulos who spends the entire book wearing a pink shirt and cowboy boots (or rather boot, as one gets knocked off part way through the story), is introduced wearing a stetson hat, and is on the receiving end of slapstick comedy. Hergé claims the latter naturally followed the former: he just couldn't take him seriously after putting him in that outfit. Aside from that, Rastapopolous is reduced from having a large trafficking syndicate and a rich fortune, to being nearly broke and having only a few thugs working for him.
    • Allan gets all his teeth knocked out by the escaping Sondonesians, and spends the latter half of the book mumbling through his gums.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It is not clear what happens to the two guards outside Rastapopoulos' bunker, who are left Bound and Gagged by Tintin and Haddock. It gets darker when you consider there was a volcanic eruption soon after. It is possible they were found by the others and left the island with the other Sondonesians.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Under the truth serum, Rastapopoulos boasts that he plans to kill off all his minions (with the exception of Allan), including Dr. Krollspell, who is understandably alarmed and willing to help Tintin after that point.
  • Your Other Left: Tintin to a blindfolded captain, when Rastapopoulos has caught them on the island.