Gumball finds himself hassled by Teri, the school’s resident hypochondriac, over his general uncleanliness. Her unwelcome intrusion into his life soon proves to be a blessing, however, as he becomes the target of a virus set on world domination.
When this show returned from a two month break in the beginning of the year, I expressed hope that it would stick around for a while before the next break. Sadly, that didn’t happen. After “The Authority” aired on February 12th, the show entered hiatus again, one that it only just now returned from. I understand the network’s reasoning – the show takes a long time to produce and they need to stretch the episodes out – but it doesn’t help when they wait so long that foreign Cartoon Networks manage to air half-a-dozen new episodes first. Perhaps this time will be different and we can enjoy new episodes throughout the summer.
“The Virus” was an episode that I was particularly looking forward to, as it is about the paper bear girl, Teri, whom I adored since the early days of the show. In a world full of wonderfully designed characters, I found her to be the most wonderfully designed. Her paper effect was well animated to boot. So did this episode live up to my expectations? For the most part, I would say so. I’m not exactly thrilled with the idea of Teri’s defining character trait being that she’s afraid of germs – something that we saw before in “The Words” – as I always imagined her being more afraid of physical injuries. She is made out of paper, after all. Of course, we saw in “The Words” that she somehow has organs as well, so she’s a hard one to figure out. I think her mysophobia worked in both of these episodes, but I’m hoping that she’ll be less of a one-trick pony moving forward.
The episode itself was well done. So many things in Elmore are actually alive, so it should come as no surprise that a virus would be as well. The foundations for this were even set up in one of the Elmore Stream videos, where Rocky unwittingly killed an army of bacteria. Of course, having a virus pose a physical threat is challenging, to say the least, so the show decided to have the virus mutate into a computer virus of sorts. It was a bit cheap, especially since it went unexplained, but having the characters be hunted down by various electrical devices, as well as cars, brought a smile to my face as it seemed like one big homage to Maximum Overdrive. Sadly, there were no epic climaxes to be found here, as the episode ended in an abrupt joke where Gumball challenged the virus to a fair fight and merely stepped on it. That wasn’t enough to hurt the quality of the episode, however, and I am pleased with the show’s return.