Saturday, April 29, 2017

Monkees--"The Case of the Missing Monkee'

     The Monkees certainly run into an awful lot of gangsters and spies. They face off against the latter in "The Case of the Missing Monkee” and strike a blow for the good guys in the Cold War. At least I assume they do. It is not made obvious whether the ambiguously foreign villains are from the Communist bloc. They sound vaguely Eastern European, so I am going with them being dirty, rotten commies.
     The episode begins with the Monkees waiting to play for reception of scientists. Peter is compelled by the end of Professor Schmitzler's speech in which he declares “War is war., peace is peace, and science is science.” It is one of those phrases that ssounds deeply meaningful, but actually says nothing. Aybe ne needs to smoke pot in order to grasp it. Peter approaches Schmitzler to gush, but is passed a nte by the professr which warns he is about to be kidnapped to the Remington Clinic. Peter asses the note to ike, but he ignores it until after the kidnappers realize they need to take peter, too, now that he is onto the plan.
      Schitzler and Peter are spirited away to the Remington Clinic by the aforementioned ambiguously foreign spies who I am considering to be dirty, rotten commies from the Eastern Bloc,, Dr. Markovich and Bruno. After Mike finally reeads the note, the guys head to the clinic, but get no where the legitimate way. Nor are th police any help after narkovich and Bruno successfully cover their tracks. So the guys must gt in their own way. When posing Davy as a potntial patient fails, they just plain break in and all pose as patients and eventually doctor in order to find Peter. The Monkees commit enough criminal acts to put themselves away for decades.
      The antics involved in rescuing Peter and Schmitzler are more reminiscent of the Marx brothers than those featured in any previous episode. The guys goof around in the physical therapy gymnasium before posing as surgeons to sneak Schmitzler out of the operating room before he can be smuggled out via ambulance. It is interesting mike borrows Micky's usual shtick of pretending to have more authority than he does in order to pass himself off as a surgeon. After the musical romp, the bad guys are captured and Schmitzler is saved.
      There is only one musical romp in “The Case of the Missing Monkee” to make room for what passes for plot development in the midst of all the anarchy. The plot is more involved than usual without losing the sight gags and warped reality of the series. As a comic book geek, I appreciate the references to Batman and Captain Marvel. The Monkees earn the geek credentials here. The pattern of isolating peter from much of the action is repeated. I am more aware of it occurring now than when I watched the show in my younger days. Is Peter's lack of involvement a reflection of his general distaste for the silliness involved with his character and the Monkees in general?
     “The Case of the Missing Monkee” is a decent episode. The formula work by this point, but it is still a formula. There is not much here, including the gags, the show has not already done before and we are only on the seventeenth episode. The absurdity is still fun, but it is beginning to go stale already.
      Rating: *** out of 5)

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