Catch up on Silver Surfer
What was this 90’s cartoon from Marvel Entertainment and Saban Entertainment? What is Silver Surfer about? Who stars in Silver Surfer Season 1, Episode 6?
This is a review for “Silver Surfer” – Season 1 Episode 6, ‘Learning Curve (Part 2).’
Viewer beware – Spoilers below!
Missed our Silver Surfer Episode 5 recap? Head here.
Silver Surfer Season 1, Episode 6: Recap
Naturally we started with a recap of the Watchers’ beacons and the events of the last episode. Thankfully it isn’t too dry and gets through it at a decently reasonable pace.
Their ship doesn’t hold up too well and immediately blows up. Thankfully Surfer is able to save them in a bubble and take them safely down to the planet surface. There Mentor marvels at the Universal Library, noting that it looks like one massive computer and that the buildings act as memory chips. The chips themselves aren’t in the best condition anymore, naturally falling victim to time and the fact there was nobody around to look after them.
We then discover that Drax has frozen up like the tin man, something that happens at times but Mentor fears that this may be the last. Mentor then reveals that Thanos was the cause of Drax’s current android form. Turns out Mentor is a vengeful guy, looking to get vengeance on Thanos who just so happens to also be his brother.
Nebula stops any further chance at questions as she charges onto the scene, fleeing massive goop monsters with teeth that then turn upon Surfer. He only has time to consider that they damaged the buildings before he is encompassed by one. The Power Cosmic is effective at first, but the goop adapts quickly, which would be a real problem if Silver Surfer didn’t notice that they are curious. How this matters is unclear, since after this revelation he just blasts a different one and he is let go so they can hug.
Nebula opens discussions by flirting with Silver Surfer and asking for some help getting the information she wants. Lots of goop monsters surround them and flail about a bit, so Surfer bubbles up everyone and decides to find somewhere else to be. In doing so he discovers a structure whose form he recognises from all over the galaxy. They head on down and Mentor instantly knows that it is the index of the library, because he just does. Also, thankfully, almost any form of life can operate it, since otherwise the story would hit a major wall.
Nebula explains how she sent her crew out to scout the area only to not return, and she isn’t too cut up about it. Then we get a lot of dramatic music and electricity that builds up to a greeting from a Watcher hologram. Things get a bit screwy, but Mentor persists only to have a Watcher Prime hologram appear and tell them they should have been faster.
Turns out an intergalactic plague made the Watchers break their ‘no interference’ code and create a cure to distribute across affected worlds. But the Watchers weren’t as intelligent as they thought, they didn’t stabilise the base of the cure and it turned them into the goop monsters. Really makes you question if their race was as great as it was meant to be if they didn’t even observe safe handling protocols or testing of side effects. Also, the Prime Watcher’s name was Oatu, and conveniently the only one immune to infection.
Everyone has their own thoughts on the revelation, tough Geatar has bigger problems as he mutates into goop and soon after so does Nebula. Pip realises that the other goop monsters were Nebula’s crew, and our heroes are in a bit of trouble.
Meanwhile, out in space, we find a massive collection of ships as Lord Glenn meets up with Gamora of the Wanderers. The Wanderers are a collection of survivors who have the goal of, as Gamora unnecessarily shouts, vengeance upon Galactus and Silver Surfer. Then this cutaway ends.
Back in the main plot of the episode, there’s some soft body horror as Surfer attempts to save Nebula and Geatar only to decide they are too intertwined to restore. The Nebula/Geatar goop joins up with some fellow goops as Pip declares that they will share the same fate. Surfer gives a speech about how the Watchers are provably wrong and therefore could be wrong in the hopelessness, right before he starts to melt. Mentor follows, leaving us with Pip and an out of commission Drax. Interestingly Surfer doesn’t turn green like the rest, and seems to resist joining with the Mentor goop.
Surfer continues to be unable to join the rest of the goop while Pip is mighty confused as to why he hasn’t goopified himself. Surfer goes through a crisis of identity as he can still think and feel, but no longer has his same form. The Nebula/Geatar goop split away from the rest just to try and convince Surfer to join them, and he learns that they have a hive mind and that they share knowledge of everything. Surfer is frustrated he can’t join them, and even more so at the revelation that the Power Cosmic both stops him and also keeps him bound to Galactus.
Surfer decides that giving up the Power Cosmic and joining the goop would give him the knowledge he seeks, but would be useless as he could not act on it.
So the rest of the goop monsters, which I should note at this point are called ‘virals’ but ‘goop’ just feels better, merge into a kaiju Silver Surfer and start blasting the goop Surfer, as one might expect. Surfer summons all of his will and Power Cosmic, reforming himself even if it means he must forever be the Silver Surfer.
Regular Surfer battles the Kaiju Surfer and declares himself a free man as he throws them down. The Prime Watcher declares Surfer as both victorious yet also a loser. Drax has recovered and saved Pip, and Surfer assures him that Mentor is gone but found what he seeked so it’s all okay, I guess.
They take Nebula’s ship and Surfer reveals that the reason Pip and Drax were spared was because they were not there for selfish reasons (though I’d argue Drax not being fully organic probably also helped), and Drax notes that the Watchers were also selfish for hoarding knowledge and that the virus was triggered by selfish thoughts.
The Watchers’ beacon is leading them somewhere else, but Surfer decides he needs to leave that journey to Pip and Drax. He’s all broken up over how far he was willing to go to find Zenn-La, so decides being alone is the better decision. Surfer takes what fragmented clues the goop gave him and uses it to continue his search.
Eternity then reveals to us that Uatu is kind of to blame for the goop monsters since he convinced his people to cure the plague, though, again, I’d blame that more on them having poor handling practices rather than Uatu’s altruistic nature. Uatu admits that that is why he continues to provide information to the people of the galaxy. Infinity also admits that she is impressed with the Silver Surfer, and that he might just be the saviour they need.
Silver Surfer Season 1, Episode 6: Review
This episode was alright, nothing spectacular but nothing particularly bad. It just never felt like it had any real weight behind itself or any of the events within. All these characters, an entire race as well, have been turned into these formless goop monsters (with teeth for no real clear reason) and the end reaction is just ‘well, they got that knowledge they wanted’. I understand the episode is about selfish motivations, the only one who doesn’t seem entirely okay with it is Drax and even then it seems more so because he’s now directionless without Mentor to guide him. It just makes the characters all feel a little lacking in morality, or at least empathy.
I also really dislike the choice to have Surfer go off on his own again. We hadn’t even really gotten a chance to fully see Surfer and Pip together before they were split apart. This might only be for a couple of episodes, and perhaps Surfer will be given a decent supporting cast in those episodes to make up for it, but to me personally it feels bad to take away a consistent character for Surfer to bounce off.
Silver Surfer’s internal monologue thus far has largely consisted of brooding and makes me like the character less than when he’s talking with another. This also feels like a choice to do towards the end of the season, to have him develop an internal conflict, go off by himself to grow, then return to them when they need to be together most. For me this only adds to a, somewhat ironic, consistent lack of consistency within the series.
This episode also brings back my dreaded foe of this series, the cutaway scene to set up things for later that aren’t terribly relevant to the current plot. Now, I don’t mind when a show sets up hooks for future stories or introduces characters to turn up later, when they’re done well. My problem in this series is that it’s always a single scene, which is jarring, they rarely establish enough to justify themselves, and they interrupt the current pacing instead of working with it.
Even worse in this case since the last time we saw Lord Glenn he and his people were looking for resources to build their ‘advanced technology’ and now he’s just joining up with some other refugees. We don’t need Lord Glenn to just focus on the former plot, but given the sudden switch here we should at least get some reference as to why he isn’t still actively seeking out the resources.
All that being said, the animation in this episode was great. From the way it looked when Surfer was first enveloped by a goop monster through to the transformations themselves. While not as disturbing as Surfer being trapped in the plasma jump last episode, it still delivers a nice amount of body horror to make the transformations feel more impactful. The gravitas they still manage to give to ships in space also remains impressive, it makes everything feel that little bit more real even as the story sometimes goes entirely spiritual or philosophical.
Who are the Silver Surfer Voice Actors?
The voice actors who appear in this episode of Silver Surfer include:
- Paul Essiembre as Norrin Radd /Silver Surfer
- James Blendick as Galactus
- Colin Fox as Uatu/The Watcher
- John Neville as Eternity
- Elizabeth Shepherd as Infinity
- Robert Bockstael as Pip the Troll
- Cedric Smith as Mentor
- Jennifer Dale as Nebula
- Norm Spencer as Drax
- Howard Jerome as Geatar
- Denis Akiyama as Watcher Prime
- Marc Strange as Lord Glenn
- Alison Sealy-Smith as Gamora
What did you think of this Silver Surfer Episode?
Did you enjoy this episode? How do you feel about Silver Surfer deciding to go off on his own again?
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