The Penguins of Madagascar – “Time Out/Our Man In Grrfurjiclestan” Recap
Time Out: Kowalski invents a device that stops time. It’s so amazing, King Julien wants it badly! When he does get his hands on it, and he breaks it, it gives Kowalski and King Julien all the time in the world. After finding out that King Julien messed with the TimeStopWatch while Kowalski was away, Kowalski realizes that it might have permanently stopped time. Will things go back to normal, or will it be the day the Earth stood still forever?
Our Man in Grrfurjiclestan: Special Agent Buck Rockgut is back! And he has an urgent message: The Red Squirrel brainwashed an agent to infiltrate the zoo. However, the communication is terminated before the name can be revealed. Now, the race is on to find the sleeper agent before it’s too late, which leads to the team turning against each other in an attempt to uncover him. But is there really a sleeper agent, or is there a greater force at hand?
Ay, yi, yi! Can Kowalski ever keep King Julien from stealing and/or messing with his inventions? “Time Out” marks the sixth episode (“The Return of the Revenge of Dr. Blowhole,” “Invention Intervention,” “The Helmet,” “Eclipsed,” and “King Julien For A Day”) that this occurred and yet I am not tired of it because the writers find different ways that this could turn out. However, it seems like it’s a safe solution for a plot or scene just because of the number of times that it’s been used. This episode also marks another “unlikely friendship” episode between King Julien and one of the Penguins (Rico in “Kaboom and Kabust” and Skipper in “Assault and Batteries”) and it works the best here because these two are polar opposites of each other.
Because of those two recurring plot lines, practice made this episode the best one so far to feature King Julien taking one of Kowalski’s inventions. I should have known that there would be a musical number when I saw the title card. But since I did not, let me say that the singing duo of King Julien and Kowalski was one of the pleasant surprises of this episode. The whole “taking over New York” theme definitely works since time has stopped for all but them. It could”ve also fit in the not-promoted-as-a-musical-but-actually-is “The Return of the Revenge of Dr. Blowhole.”
“Time Out” may be the best episode where King Julien steals/ruins Kowalski’s inventions, but that doesn’t make it perfect. Even though I may never get tired of it happening, I still think that it’s wrong for King Julien to steal Kowalski’s inventions for his own selfish needs. Then again, he’s the King. But that’s a minor complaint that detracts little from this episode. It’s a polished episode that may not necessarily work the best with kids, but it aims for a wide audience of both kids and adults (but mostly kids) and hits the mark. And that’s the deal with Penguins. It’s not so childish as to torture parents who watch it with their kids and not too mature for kids to fully enjoy and appreciate.
As for “Our Man In Grrfurjiclestan,” it restates what I said in “Operation: Good Deed.” It’s always nice to see recurring guest characters on the show because it makes them seem less superfluous. And although I was expecting to actually see a sleeper agent among the zoo animals (Leonard the Koala anyone?), I had a feeling that Buck Rockgut himself was the culprit. What I was not expecting, however, was the Red Squirrel making a return for the third time. It would have been nice, however, if they explained what made him Penguin Enemy number one, just to give him a little backstory.
There’s a lot of content packed in this eleven-minute episode, which makes it all the sweeter. You start with Buck convincing the Penguins of having a traitor among them, which leads to so-called evidence of the saboteur, which turns into an all-out brawl between them. The best moment, however, was when the Penguins imitated the Red Squirrel to snap Buck out of his trance. And no, Private, it wasn”t all in the throat, it was all in the fact that Jeff Bennett just so happens to voice both Kowalski and the Red Squirrel that Kowalski’s impression of the Red Squirrel was dead-on. That is a classic moment that I’ve never seen done before on a cartoon.
Let me just say this: the Columbus Day premieres was one of the best premiere events for Penguins that I have seen in a long time. Each episode was strong in their own unique way, which is something I don’t always say about every cartoon. Here, “Time Out” proves that the writers can take two often-used plots on Penguins and combine them together to make one truly memorable episode. Meanwhile, “Our Man In Grrfurjiclestan” shows how great it is to see old characters pop up every once in a while. These two, along with the other episodes that premiered that same day, definitely belong in the upper class of great Penguins episodes. Between these two, I”d have to say that, by the hair on Marlene’s whisker, “Time Out” is the better episode just because of that musical number between Kowalski and King Julien.