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Series / Mech-X4

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MECH-X4 is a Disney XD live action comedy/sci-fi/adventure series that premiered on November 11, 2016. It's about typical teen Ryan Walker (Nathaniel Potvin), a freshman at Bay City High who discovers he has the power of technopathy - the ability to control and manipulate electronics with his mind. His talent mysteriously awakens MECH-X4, a giant 150-foot robot built by an elusive genius-in-hiding to defend their town against impending doom. Using his powers to act as the robot's pilot, Ryan recruits his two best friends, Harris (Kamran Lucas) and Spyder (Pearce Joza), to man the robot's high tech weapons and defense systems, and his older brother Mark (Raymond Cham) to act as the mechanic. When giant hybrid monsters suddenly begin to descend upon their city, the four must quickly learn to work as a team in order to pilot the robot that is their only hope of saving their town, and ultimately the world, from mass destruction.

The series premiered on November 11, 2016, with the second half of the first season premiering on April 17th, 2017.note  The series was already renewed for a second season on September 2nd, 2016, which finished filming in March 2017 and premiered the first five episodes on September 9th, 2017. While MECH-X4 is a Disney XD original series, the first half of the first season premiered on Disney Channel with both networks airing reruns. The second half of the season eventually aired on Disney Channel each Saturday between May 13th-July 22nd.

You can watch the first episode for free on Disney XD's YouTube channel. Disney XD's YouTube channel also has episodes of Unlocking the MECH, a motion comic series set between season one and two that also serves as promotion for the first run of the MECH-X4 toyline. Episode one can be found here and watch out for season one spoilers! Episodes are also available to watch on the Disney Channel site and the Disney XD site, though watching past episode one requires a cable/satellite provider login. Episodes are also available to purchase on Amazon, Google Play and iTunes.

MECH-X4 provides examples of:

  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: In "Let's Get Leo!", Spyder thinks that Harris's mention of "Crush Depth" would be a good band name and calls it for his own use. He also thinks that Harris's mention of "Get Squished and Die" would be a good name for their first single.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: The villains use a substance known as "primorphorous gel" to generate the bodies of their monsters around a stone object known as the heart. It can infect normal humans if ingested and mutate them into monsters.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Grey's argument that humans are the Earth's biggest threat. "We pollute, build bombs, stampede each other over sales..."
  • Bio Punk: The villains create monsters from animal DNA and primorphous gel. It makes them formidable enemies to Ryan who has control over electronics in contrast with Traeger who can control organic creatures like humans.
  • Bland-Name Product: Gramagram for Instagram, EveryVid for YouTube, and Headbook for Facebook.
  • Bottle Episode: "Versus Sabotage" takes place mostly inside MECH-X4.
  • Breather Episode: "Let's Go Clubbing!" serves as this coming off of "Let's Get Some Answers!". The episode takes a minor break from the ongoing Story Arc, with Ryan and Spyder discovering a MECH-X4 fan club at school, Harris reluctantly teaming up with his rival Veracity when their inventions go haywire, and Mark making significant upgrades to his car. Actions taken in the story do progress the story arc with Harris winning the Harper Grant, giving the team the resources they need to rescue Leo from the deep sea base. Lampshaded by Spyder.
    Spyder: Are you sure you're not just frustrated we can't get to Leo yet and you're transferring all that frustration on a small but harmless problem we can solve?
  • Buffy Speak: This exchange about the grappling grip.
    Spyder: What about that "grippy thing"...thing that pulls it in?
    Ryan: Oh yeah, the grippy thingy!
    Harris: I did not agree to call it the "grippy thing".
  • Call-Back:
    • In "Let's Get Some Answers!", Leo-OS says the only data he has close to "Ryan Walker" is professional bagpipe player Bryan McWalker...who was first referenced in Let's Open The Monster Heart in a freeze frame bonus.
    • In "Let's Get The Big Bad!", a skater girl gets flirty with Ryan because of his win at the end of "Let's Be Idiots!" against Jimmy Wilson.
    • In "Let's Destroy Some Ooze!", Harris mentions that they'll be using a large batch of the antidote that was used to cure him in "Let's Get Some Air!" to neutralize the large primorphorous gel deposit under Bay City High.
    • In "Let's End This! Part One", Mark mentions Harris hiding from the first monster, being infected by the ooze, and knocking himself out during the fight against the Leader's goons to support his claim of Harris often being a a Distressed Dude.
  • Chekhov's Gag: In "Let's Survive In The Woods!", the trap Ryan, Harris, and Spyder originally set to counterprank was eventually used to trap and knock out Park Ranger Jeff.
  • Clock Punk: In "Versus Sabotage", a bomb planted in Mech-X4 has no wires, just gears. It was revealed that Leo made it and several other weapons specifically designed to not be affected by Ryan's technopathy. But it turns out that he didn't make the bomb; a Trager-controlled Harris did to set him up.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Harris creates a weapon to destroy Season 2's invincible Big Bad and when it's mentioned that there's only one weapon, he activates a revolving wall with three more duplicates of the weapon mounted on the other side. Spyder's reaction? He's impressed they have a revolving wall.
  • Cool Car: The Markmobile, a green car that Mark tweaked to become a super-fast hover car using the gravity pucks and other parts from MECH-X3.
  • Darker and Edgier: Those used to the idea of live-action Disney shows being lighthearted, comedic affairs might be surprised to see characters physically injured in dangerous situations. They also don't shy away from death actually being a possibility for the characters and mention death instead of using euphemisms. And deaths actually do occur. MECH-X4 is more like Disney's other action-oriented live action shows, like Disney Channel's K.C. Undercover and Disney XD's Lab Rats.
  • Disney Villain Death: Principal Grey falls out of the robot and into a small lake's worth of monster remains. The team never find an actual body, however...In the first episode of the new season, it's revealed she survived, and was given the power to shift between her human form and a smaller version of the Clawboon monster.
  • Driving Question: Why did Leo build Mech-X4 and how does he know about Ryan and his technopathic abilities? Also, what's the story behind The Leader and why is he holding Leo hostage?
  • Easy Amnesia: Grace after being Brainwashed and Crazy in "Let's End This!", the whole school after turning into red ooze zombies in "Versus the Outbreak".
  • Easily Forgiven: The major reverses his opinion on MECH-X4 once they save civilians from Harper's monster.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The pilots are in agreement that they'll stop anyone else who uses the "primorphorous gel" to make monsters and that there are still unresolved questions about Ryan's powers and real parents. Things look to be fine for now for now...except that that they haven't found Harper and at the end, we see a hand coming out of the leftover red ooze from Harper's monster...
  • Enemy Mine: The MECH-X4 crew team up with Principal Grey to stop the Leader. It ended up being a trap by Grey to get back into her boss' good graces by giving them both Ryan AND the robot. Everyone saw it coming from so far away that they let her think that she was going to get away with it in order to one-up her.
    • In Mid-Season 2 the team has to work with Harper to fight Trager. Despite clear distrust they do not out think him and when they believe Trager to be dead and they went to turn him in he'd already escaped.
  • Flashback Cut: In "Let's Be Idiots!", Ryan gets multiple short flashbacks to past monster battles due to being overwhelmed by combat stress. More positively in the same episode, Ryan is reminded of his victories in MECH-X4, his friend's happiness, and the gratefulness of people he's saved when Harris asks him what would really make him feel like a winner.
  • Foreshadowing: There were more than a few hints that Seth Harper knew more than he led on: His extreme desire to know about Mech-X4 and who the pilots were in the first episode, then in "Let's Open The Monster Heart!" he stares at the primorphous core for a suspiciously long time in front of everyone, and on top of that, it's a little too convenient that he had the one tool that can cut it open when nothing else in the world could. Then by "Let's Get Leo!", we find out he's the Big Bad.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: "Let's Open the Monster Heart!" had a lot of freeze frame bonuses.
    • The search engine that Harris uses is called "FindyMcSearchSite" and you can quickly see search results with legible site names and what looks to be descriptions that aren't just dummy text. Findy McSearchSite returns in "Let's Dig Deep!" near the end of the season.
    • Harris's search brings up an entire article/interview with Seth Harper done with Bay City News.
    • Harper Futuristic's security access list includes fake names, real athletes, and other real people with ties to science. While the show only names what alias Ryan and Harris got to use, a shot of the laminate printer shows what names Spyder and Mark got soon afterwards. The software also has a copyright of 2003-2017, implying that Harper Futuristics is at least 14 years old and that the show takes place a year after its real life premiere.
    • The Bay City High student database has Ryan, Mark, Spyder, Harris, Jimmy Wilson, and Cassie on it. Spyder wears a Don't Kill My Vibe snapback that hasn't been seen elsewhere in the show and Harris is the only one who strikes a pose.
    • In "Let's Get Our Robot Back!", Harris accesses Leo's laptop through the command line, leading to a few freezeframe bonuses. He's referred to by the computer as 1337Haxor Harris, there are a few programs related to MECH-X4's abilities...but there's also LEO PAINT v2, a Headbook program, and several oldschool games, including Plumber Bros, Dooom, and Battle Rats.
    • In "Let's Get the Big Bad!", the room that Principal Grey and the MECH-X4 crew fight in has posters for a school production of "The Scottish Play" and public service announcement posters on avoiding monster attacks. Some of the PSAs show up again in "Let's Go Clubbing!" in the MECH-X4 Fan Club room. There's also an ad for the Harper Grant, which becomes a plot point in the next two episodes.
    • "Let's Go Clubbing!" features another Bay City News freeze frame in the form of Harris imagining it. It's not exactly humble, but it also reveals that he has an IQ of over 200. Also, Cassie has a DJ Live-Rat$z poster in her locker.
    • In "Let's Dig Deep!", the first four numbers on the Leader's Seth's Quick Call list are Lab 6, his mom, Morris, and the Undersea Lair.
  • Funny Background Event: While Mark and Spyder are discussing that his participation in a skating competition is supposed to help him relax, Jimmy Wilson is in the background bragging about his skill at performing a difficult skating trick backwards, forwards, and backwards blindfolded.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Son!: Said verbatim by Harris in "Let's Get Leo!" when he slaps Spyder, who was getting worked up about Harris neglecting his friendships because of winning the Harper Grant. Unlike other examples, it's played for humor and Harris isn't shown physically slapping him due to being in stealth mode.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: MECH-X4 had to deal with some questionable press from the likes of Godfrey, but this really kicks in after the events of "Let's Destroy Some Ooze!", after they're conned into blowing up the school. Thankfully, this is brief, as they regain their good standing at the end of "Let's End This! Part 1", when they fight Harper's monster.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Ryan is able to get Leo's location because Leo-OS gave all of the energy that was keeping him running in order to trace Leo's location. He managed this through a chip that Leo had implanted previously to transfer personality data into his AI counterpart.
    • Though he survived in "Versus the Arctic" Ryan stays on the destroyed Mech X-4 to confront Trager in person in order to ensure his friends escape, despite a high chance that he could have died.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Harper and his monster are stopped by having the monster heart that was going to be dunked into the huge deposit of primorphorous gel thrown right at them.
  • Hollywood Chameleons: One of Harper's monsters had chameleon DNA, which allowed it to literally be invisible.
  • How We Got Here: "Let's Get Some Answers!" starts with the crew being confronted by drones and an angry Leo OS wanting to harm them. After the opening credits, we jump an hour before to find out how they got in that situation.
  • I Ate WHAT?!: Ryan isn't pleased to find that Harris's 3d printed sandwich, while delicious and edible, was made from an old shoe. Spyder has no such qualms.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming:
    • The episodes are all titled in the format "Let's [action]!" (e.g., "Let's Call it MECH-X4!", "Let's Open the Monster Heart!")
    • The episode title conventions are similar to anime style Excited Episode Titles in that exclamation points are involved and the titles serve as a summary of the episode, but lack the second descriptive part common in anime.
    • The second season episode names released so far have the format as "Versus the [threat]"
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Ryan says this near verbatim to his mom, under Harper's control.
  • Jerk Jock: Jimmy Wilson believes himself to be the king of skating, and doesn't think anyone can compete.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Ryan undergoes this in "Let's Dig Deep!" to find more information about Seth Harper's plan through his memories.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The MECH-X4 toyline and the Unlocking the MECH webisodes don't dance around Seth Harper being the Big Bad.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Discussed: Harris mentions the trope as Ryan and Spyder go to get firewood without him, asking if any of them had ever seen a horror movie.
  • The Living Dead: In "Let's Get Some Air!", the reveal that the team makes it out alive thanks to the oxygen coming back online in time is spoiled by paying close attention to Mark before the reveal. His actor is noticeably breathing.
  • Make My Monster Grow: Defied: Harper wanted to use a huge amount of primorphorous gel to make a monster larger than the entirety of Bay City to destroy the world. The pilots destroy the monster heart defeating Harper and the monster he was controlling, which never gets a chance to grow.
  • Matter Replicator: Harris installs a 3D printer that reconstitutes garbage into food with laser FX.
  • Mega-Corp: Harper Futuristics manufactures a lot of cutting edge technologies and products, including for government use.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: All of the giant monsters are fusions of existing animal DNA, such as gibbon and crab, or snake and squid.
  • Never Say "Die": Subverted in most episodes, and Lampshaded here:
    Leo: Well, you're a kid, so I usually avoid saying things that are... horrible. But yeah, they've been left for dead.
  • New Media Are Evil: Averted, part of Cassie Vine's character is showing that digital journalism is as valid as traditional journalism. While her investigation into the identities of the MECH-X4 pilots comes close to revealing their identities, she's portrayed as non-malicious and just wanting to find the truth about the city's protectors. This is contrasted with Godfrey, who sees Cassie as unprofessional competition, using his position to force his narrative about MECH-X4 being evil. It's also contrasted with Seth Harper. He only pays attention to Cassie when it's to his promotional benefit. He's also mad enough about her reporting right in the middle of his final monster attack to strike phones with video out of appearing in his "new world".
  • Nigh-Invulnerable: Harper's monster in the Season 1 finale is a lot tougher than any previous monster, because it doesn't use a primorphous core—Harper is the brain and heart. Additionally, Harper genetically engineered it to be impervious to even Mech-X4's most powerful weapon. The only thing that can destroy it is the big missile carrying the giant primorphous core.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Lampshaded by Mark in "Let's Dig Deep!". When Harris tells him that removing Ryan's helmet during the mind exploration could kill him right as Mark was about to do it, he asks him "You guys ever give anybody the full details of anything before you do it?" While Ryan made it out alright, Leo and Harris only explained the mere basics of the mind exploration technology before Ryan dove in.
  • Powers in the First Episode: The first episode clearly establishes Ryan's technopathy and introduces MECH-X4.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Our heroic robot pilots are two bickering siblings, a giant nerd, and a slacker who may have done a stint in juvie and still laughs at the word "flush".
    Ryan: (to Grey) Yeah, this is the team that's beating you. How do you live with yourself?
  • Real Men Hate Affection: Discussed. When Ryan and Mark pull back from a hug after they find out each other are still alive, Harris tells them that it's okay to show emotions.
  • Shoe Slap: Principal Grey kicks her shoe off hard enough to bury the heel in the wall to silence Davage when he almost reveals they've learned MECH-X4 has at least three pilots.
  • Spoiler: It seemed rather unusual that Seth Harper appeared in the end credits of episodes where only the Leader appeared. It definitely wasn't an error.
  • Spoof Aesop: In "Let's Be Idiots!": You should play sports for the fun of it and not cheat in order to settle petty grudges...unless the person you're trying to one-up disrespects your friends, in which case all bets are off.
  • Stock Footage: Footage of the head of the robot on an overcast day is used sometimes to transition to scenes outside the robot to inside the robot.
  • Super Robot Genre: MECH-X4 is a giant robot invented by a lone scientist that Ordinary High-School Student Ryan is able to control with his mind. Also, it eventually gets a Chest Blaster called the "X Weapon" and a drill.
  • Technopath: Ryan is one of these, using it to control MECH-X4. He also uses it to interfere with technology, usually to get him and the crew into places or to help them escape. It's revealed in "Let's Survive in the Woods!" that there's a limit to it: Ryan can't affect technology that isn't already turned on.
  • Tempting Fate: In "Let's Destroy Some Ooze!", Spyder starts to ask if things could get any worse, Mark stops him and then explains that saying that phrase makes bad things happen. Unfortunately, he says the phrase while explaining it to Spyder, which leads to Ryan getting a call with some really bad news. It's from their mom, who was unknowingly kidnapped by Seth Harper under the guise of him taking her to safety from MECH-X4.
  • Third Party Stops Attack: The dinoscorpion monster tries to crush a soldier rescuing a civilian when Mech X 4 catches the descending limb and pushes the monster away.
  • Third-Person Person: Jimmy Wilson, Ryan's skating nemesis. Ryan even asks if he knows how to use a pronoun.
  • Urban Legends: In "Let's Survive in the Woods!", Harris is afraid of "The Bay City Slasher", claimed to be a disgruntled cafeteria worker that murders high school freshmen in the woods. The legend isn't real but Park Ranger Jeff intended to use the legend as a cover story for him offing Ryan, Harris, and Spyder.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: Subverted. The team still has to juggle school along with saving the world from giant monsters, but they're frequently in danger treated as more significant than high school. To make matters worse, their principal is one of the villains who is aware that one of them is a student. The Principal is taken care of, but the team are going to have trouble in school not knowing who to trust with the revelation that anyone in the school faculty could be the Leader's agents.
  • Walking Techbane: Inverted. The failed technopaths get sick in the presence of electronic devices.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: Harris uses some stored tech to build the X-Cannon inside the torso of Mech-X4. A direct hit from this weapon will reduce the target into a pool of superheated goo. And that was an monster designed specifically to defeat Mech-X4. The weapon can only be used once before Ryan has to recover from the effort of using it, but considering the result, he won't need to fire it for a second blast....
  • Wham Episode:
    • Let's Get Some Air!: Principal Grey is revealed to have a boss, who has MECH-X4's creator captive.
    • Let's Open the Monster Heart!: The villains learn Ryan's identity.
    • Let's Survive In The Woods!: Grey and Davage now know every MECH-X4 member's identity...and Davage mech-jacked the robot with Mark in it!
    • Let's Get Our Robot Back!: The Leader wants to decimate the entire planet. Now they have to team up with Principal Grey to stop him!
    • Let's Get The Big Bad!: Principal Grey is the first on-screen death (presumably) and Ryan discovers he's adopted.
    • Let's Deal With Our Stuff!: Ryan discovers that Leo, the creator of MECH-X4, was the one who anonymously delivered him to the adoption agency.
    • Let's Get Some Answers!: Thanks to the heroic sacrifice of Leo-OS, the MECH-X4 team now know where Leo is being the bottom of the ocean. Unlike the ambiguity of Principal Grey's death, Leo-OS doesn't look like he's coming back.
    • Let's Get Leo!: Seth Harper is the Big Bad.
    • Let's Destroy Some Ooze!: Mech-X4 accidentally levels the school while battling a monster, gets labeled public enemy number one, and the military manages to track the robot retreating to base. Harper also manages to get his hands on a huge supply of the ooze.
    • Versus the Dark Night: Trager is born; a man made of red Ooze who, while man sized threw Mech X-4 a good mile.
    • Versus Trager: Trager can turn into a recolored version of Harper's Monster. Furthermore Harris admits his injury is hindering the team so they recruit Veracity.
    • Versus the Arctic: The Robot is destroyed, Ryan is MPD and the rest of the team are left Stranded in the arctic.
    • Versus the Wolves at the Door: The team forge a temporary alliance with Harper.
    • Versus Miami: Ryan and Mark tell their mother their secret.
    • Versus Sabotage: Harris is under the control of Trager and he planted a bomb and framed Leo, causing him to flee.
  • Wham Line: "It's me, Randall. I got the ore...but more importantly, I got something else too."
  • Wrench Whack: Discussed: Spyder is excited to find a wrench specifically because he can hit stuff with it.
    • The wrench gets used by Mark against Park Ranger Jeff in "Let's Survive In The Woods!"
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: In "Let's Get The Big Bad!", the team comes so close to catching the Big Bad through a reluctant Enemy Mine with Principal Grey. His presence was confirmed at the location they found him in, but Principal Grey's betrayal prevents the team from getting to him, and he gets away after Grey falls into a puddle of goo and disappears too.
    • "Let's Destroy Some Ooze!": The heroes fail to destroy the ooze, are conned into destroying the school, and made public enemy number 1, whilst Harper is given free reign to do whatever he wants with the ooze and more or less has Grace as a hostage.