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Season three, episode seven

With tonight's episode, we begin the journey into the quarterfinals. My goodness, we're that far already? How time flies when you're watching robots kick the snot out of one another.

Okay, technically there's one more fight before we learn all of the quarterfinalists. Ziggo versus Shrike. This is really just a formality.

Before the inevitable slaying, we get an interview with Jonathan Ridder about his championship (Jonathan, people don't feel sorry for you and go easy on you when they fight, they just plain can't hurt you). Then we learn about Steven Levin and observed trials, where you ride a motorcycle slowly over obstacles. Aren't there FDA regulations against filler?

Oh yeah, forgot to describe Shrike to ya. Shrike is a large green ogre that lives by itself because it's so ugly... oh. I mean, Shrike has a weapon of a pecking beak. I say beak because the head is painted to look like a bird. Hence the name "Shrike." See how it all ties in?

Let's play "Taps," because it's robot fightin' time. Ziggo gets up to full speed, then leaves its square, driving toward Shrike. Shrike is just sitting in its square, barely moving. Admittedly, Shrike has no useful strategy it can employ against Ziggo, but this is the one it's chosen to use? Maybe Steven's hoping Ziggo drives over a hazard or something.

Ziggo makes its way over to Shrike. Shrike remains in the blue square, where at least there aren't any hazards. Ziggo sits just out of striking distance of Shrike. Shrike slowly inches forward... and Ziggo launches forward, slamming into Shrike and tearing off a wheel. Shrike ain't sitting in the blue square now.

Shrike just sits there, pecking away at the spinner. Ziggo drives over and tears the body armor off of Shrike. Shrike is so very, very dead now.

Ziggo drives toward Shrike again, but since Shrike is a goner, Ziggo shows mercy and just drives in circles in a victory spin that looks better than its previous attempt. Or else it's off-center and is about to fly off its wheels, through a wall, and into the audience. One of the two.

I'll bet you can't guess which big hit they show when they plug the web site this time. Bet you can't! What? You say it's Nightmare versus Slam Job? Oh. Then you're right. That makes the count nineteen.

Before we see any new fights, it's time to look at past fights while Bill Nye describes the best-engineered robots. T-Minus gets Bill's, or the writer's, or somebody's pick. So there you go.

Before this next fight, BioHazard beat up Incoming. Incoming was a robot that looks a lot like Blendo. And apparently is getting just as much air time.

BioHazard's opponent is Tazbot. Bil brags that BioHazard is starting from the blue square, where it's 9-1. Of course, BioHazard has only had two losses in its career, so that means nothing more than it starts from the blue square more often. Put that in your statistics pipe and smoke it.

When Tazbot is introduced in its square (the red square, if you're slow about these things), we see the little Tazbot Grip 'n Grappler perched on top. The extra fourteen ounces make Tazbot exceed the weight limit and it's disqualified.

When BioHazard is introduced in its square (I trust you remember which one), it doesn't have the BioHazard Battle Basher perched on top. Actually, maybe it does under all that duct tape. Those things are small. I was playing with one while I was eating dinner, swallowed it, and nearly choked to death. The worst part was when my esophagus started to spasm, causing the little robot to "explode," further lodging it in my throat.

Anyway. The fight begins. As we know, these robots are controlled by two very good drivers. Unfortunately, the drivers are so good that neither robot can use its weapon to do anything to the other, resulting in a lot of driving around with little effect. Tazbot swings its arm around and it deflects off of BioHazard's skirt. BioHazard tries to get under Tazbot, but the little legs get in the way. I noticed that one of the spinners has almost completely lost it radioactive triangles. Did this fight take place right after Black Paint Spiller had a match?

With a little more than a minute and a half to go, BioHazard is finally able to push Tazbot into a wall. Tazbot retaliates by repeatedly whacking BioHazard's lifting arm with its arm. BioHazard responds by pushing Tazbot toward the hammer. The hammer lands on the end of Tazbot's arm. BioHazard pushes a little further and Tazbot is directly beneath the hammer. The hammer whacks Tazbot right in its rotating head at least twice, and whacks it in other places too, like the tail. Tazbot escapes and is completely unharmed. For such a breakable-looking robot, it's as sturdy as the Rock of Gibraltar.

While I think of more clichés to randomly place in this summary, Tazbot goes over the killsaws, followed by BioHazard. BioHazard drives over another set. That's the way the cookie crumbles, don't count your chickens before they hatch.

Tazbot gets its lifting arm under BioHazard's lifting arm, but when Tazbot tries to lift, it's the one that tilts into the air. The bots release and continue to drive.

With seven seconds left on the clock, BioHazard finally gets under Tazbot and flips it. With all the maneuvering Tazbot needs to do to self-right, the clock reaches zero while it's still on its head.

There's a guy in the audience wearing a Heinz ketchup shirt. He of course is supporting Tomato and Vinegar Mixture Bot.

It's a 27-18 decision, and it goes to BioHazard. Great, that means I get to miscapitalize its name for another fight.

Coming out of commercial, Bil tells us not to build a battlebot without supervision while we look at a police car with its lights flashing. The cops heard that there were a bunch of guys congregating with code names like "Vlad the Impaler" and "The Judge," so they decided to investigate. They take no action, though, when they see that the vast majority of people there are white males.

Before we get to the upcoming super heavyweight quarterfinal match, it's time to look at the brackets. Here's a badly-spaced schematic of how I think the rest of the matches are supposed to be arranged:

 Techno Destructo |
                  | Techno Destructo |
    Vladiator     |                  |
                                     | Techno Destructo |
    Rammstein     |                  |                  |
                  |    Diesector     |                  |
                  |                                     |
    Diesector     |                                     |
                                                        |       Toro       
      Minion      |                                     |
                  |                                     |
                  |      Minion      |                  |
  Electric Lunch  |                  |                  |
                                     |       Toro       |
       Toro       |                  |
                  |       Toro       |
       Phere      |

As you can see, Toro will be the winner. But I get ahead of myself with my love of Toro. Right now, we have to see it defeat Phere.

Before that, we're shown Alexander Rose's home in a houseboat. This is the third segment we've had on Inertia Labs, is it not? I think Reason and Alexander can officially become members of SAG now.

Now the fight. Phere is a wedge in front, a spinning dome with blades in the back. Toro is my choice for president in 2004.

Your guess is as good as mine as to why Reason Bradley is wearing headphones to drive Toro. Perhaps he's piping soothing music into his head to relax him during the fight. Or maybe he just thinks he has ugly ears and doesn't want them seen on TV.

The lights turn green, it's robot fightin' time. Toro rockets across the box, rams into Phere's wedge, knocks the wedge around, and activates its (Toro's) lifting arm, sending Toro into the air. That's in the first two seconds of the fight. Toro runs into the wall, turns around, gets under Phere's dome, and flips Phere onto its head. That happens six seconds into the fight. By the time ten seconds have elapsed, Toro has backed into its square, back in the same position it was before it started the match, with Phere on its head. Game over.

Best super heavyweight fight in the world.

After the commercial, it's time for Bil to interview Mark Setrakian, builder of awesome-looking robots that unfortunately can't fight very well. But they do look and move so impressively. The interview was edited really choppy, unfortunately, making it look like both Bil and Mark have absolutely no social skills, speaking in the shortest of sentences that don't quite flow naturally. Then again, I guess that makes this interview no different than all the others on the show this season.

To start the second half of the show, it's Rammstein against Diesector. The robots are introduced. Why is it I find German accents so funny? Instead of "Diiiiiesectooor!", Mark Beiro should've introduced it in a German accent, too. Man, that would've been great. I have problems, don't I?

When the robots are introduced, one of the members of Team Loki is standing on Rammstein. Not to be out-glorified, Donald Hutson stands on Diesector. He also has the Diesector Grip 'n Grappler on the real robot's jaws, because the more people buy toys based on his robots, the more different toys are made, which means more money in royalties for him.

Seriously, it's got to be cool to have a major toy manufacturer make something based on your design. It would be like there were a line of action figures based on my superhero, Candleman -- he has the head of a candle and the body of a man!

Okay, enough. The fight is beginning. The two robots come at each other. Rammstein misses with its spike, and Diesector misses with its jaws. There's a lot of positioning going on, with Diesector's axes pounding away more than usual. Bill Nye appears on the screen, which means that nothing interesting will happen while he speaks.

When Bill finishes telling us some specs on Diesector, Rammstein has gotten underneath the bot against the wall. Diesector pounds away with its hammers and Rammstein leaves, having nothing that it can do in that position.

Rammstein goes over some saws. It then tries to drive straight for Diesector, but flies up the wedge created by Diesector's jaws. Axe axe axe, Diesector is happy to leave the jaws in wedge form while it taps away at Rammstein.

Rammstein drives away, but ends up driving underneath a sledgehammer. Diesector quickly blocks Rammstein in, hitting Rammstein with a yellow hammer while a big metal one hits Rammstein's corner.

As Rammstein gets pounded, Diesector lifts its jaws a touch. It backs up slightly, gets its jaws around Rammstein, and déjà vu! Diesector clamps Rammstein and holds it in place under the same hammer as last season. All Diesector needs to do is get the sledgehammer to break off Rammstein's side again to make this a complete trip.

Nope, Diesector carries Rammstein around in a circle and takes it over to the killsaws, where it creates some new dings with the saws while its axe/hammers batter away at the top.

In compliance with the rules, Diesector releases Rammstein, but still whacks away with the hammers. Rammstein sits there, motionless. So Diesector gets under Rammstein with the jaws, lifts, and flips Rammstein onto its back. Diesector pushes the dead robot into the spike strip, then goes to the center for its victory dance. The only thing that would make that dance better is if they lowered a disco ball lowered from the ceiling.

In a bold, daring move, Comedy Central doesn't show the you-know-what versus you-know-who fight during this half hour's plug. Instead, we see Ziggo tear the body off of Shrike from earlier in this episode. Ha ha, Ziggo ricocheted into the side of the screw! A few inches to the right and my dream fight would have been completed.

In a future episode, Diesector will fight against either Techno Destructo or Vladiator. The upcoming fight will tell us which robot it will be.

Holy cow, Mark Beiro pronounced "Vladiator" correctly!

Android combatin' occasion. Vladiator quickly drives across the box (but not as quickly as Toro did) and doesn't hit Techno Destructo. Techno Destructo doesn't flip Vladiator. Repeat a few times.

Vladiator rotates on the floor, setting itself up for a run at Techno Destructo. Techno Destructo simply comes forward, gets under Vladiator's side, and flips it.

While Gage is setting himself up so he can drive while inverted, Techno Destructo pushes Vladiator over the killsaws. Vladiator can't seem to harm Techno Destructo.

Techno Destructo's flipping arm is lower to the ground than Vladiator's. Every time Vladiator tries to get its puny little stick under Techno Destructo, it's just brushed off to the side. Then again, Techno Destructo has only gotten the one flip in. All other attempts have been failures.

Both robots receive a good whack from the sledgehammer.

Vladiator does manage to get its spike under the front of Techno Destructo. Even more miraculously, Vladiator successfully lifts Techno Destructo with that spike and pushes it into the wall. Unlike Vlad the Impaler's method of actually physically pushing the opponent, Vladiator's spike slips off before it can get that far. But Techno Destructo, on its back, slides all the way from the spinner into the side wall. It's really cool looking, though it gets a bit scary when you realize that Techno Destructo weighs over 300 pounds and slid across the floor like it was on ice.

Techno Destructo's back end is against the wall. Which means that when it activates its lifting arm to right itself, its wheels run into the wall, leaving it on its back. Unless Vladiator pushes it away, Techno Destructo is helpless.

Vladiator does take a few more runs at Techno Destructo, reinforcing its newfound relationship with the wall. One good hit from Vladiator and Techno Destructo's black panels come off again. Vladiator tries to make one last run, but runs into the spike strip protruding from the entrance ramp instead. Techno Destructo is counted out.

The commercial immediately following this segment of show displays numerous clips from next week's episode. Fortunately, I didn't notice until after I saw next week's episode, or I would be royally cheesed off. Just a warning for future episodes.

Now it's time to look at the brackets for the lightweights. If I may...

      Ziggo       |
                  |      Ziggo       |
      Sallad      |                  |
                                     |      Ziggo       |
 Dr. Inferno Jr.  |                  |                  |
                  | Herr Gerpoünden  |                  |
                  |                                     |
 Herr Gerpoünden  |                                     |
                                                        |      Ziggo       
  Wedge of Doom   |                                     |
                  |                                     |
                  |  Wedge of Doom   |                  |
     Backlash     |                  |                  |
                                     |   Gamma Raptor   |
   Gamma Raptor   |                  |
                  |   Gamma Raptor   |
 Mouser...Catbot  |

I haven't picked on Tim Green lately. Hey, Tim, "countless of hours" is bad grammar! Take that!

Next is a segment on "bot widows," the show's term for the female companions of fighting robot builders that spend lots and lots of time building these complex machines. The solution for these women? They're told to "feel some of his tools" and "put [their] hands all over [his robot]." I don't know if that was intended to be funny, Comedy Central, but it came out really disturbing sounding.

Ah, this is the segment that has no fights in it this time. The final segment will have yet another ChinKilla fight.

But before that, a short interview with Sean Irvin, builder of Techno Destructo. It sounds like he was surprised that there were fast super heavyweights, since they all weigh over 300 pounds. Cars move faster than battlebots, and they weigh over a ton. Makes sense to me.

Once again we have to see Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel in an episode of "Battlebots." But at least this season they're doing something. Specifically, they're operating Trey Roski (Battlebots founder)'s Ginsu, which is back in its flatter form this time. Trey tells them how to drive. Adam and Jimmy make jokes. Just gotta fill those extra seconds of time.

Okay, now for the introductions. In the center of the arena is ChinKilla, which weighs something like 400 pounds.

In the red square is Ginsu, which I believe is somewhere in the super heavyweight range (maybe it's just in the heavyweight range). Ginsu looks like it got two of its saw blade wheels right from the killsaws.

In the back of the box is Christian Carlberg's Dreadnought. Super heavyweight Dreadnought has the wedge and tires of Overkill and two of the spinning disks of Minion. And lots of art from Magic: The Gathering, of course.

In the blue square is LaMachine, driven by Trey Roski. LaMachine is one of the oldest and most famous fighting robots. (In fact, the Battlebots rules have a clause that clearly states that all other robots are required to have a kneeling mechanism built in that can be activated when LaMachine comes near.) It's pretty much a big scooping wedge. Now it has a pneumatic spike sticking out of the top of the scoop in a completely inconvenient place. I would guess that it's in the heavyweight range.

This is a three-minute fight against ChinKilla, with all box weapons active. It begins with ChinKilla going after Ginsu. Ginsu is flipped via its back wheels, then flipped via its front wheels. As Ginsu finds its way, ChinKilla drives over some saws. Dreadnought misses ChinKilla. A little turning, though, and Dreadnought's spinning wheels come in contact with some of ChinKilla's spinning blades. Hard to tell who did what to whom there. Dreadnought uses its wedge to get under ChinKilla. Those danged lights on the side of the battlebox keep obscuring the action.

Dreadnought tries to hit ChinKilla with wheels that aren't spinning, but LaMachine pushes Dreadnought away. Ginsu drives up over a screw. At least they can't get hurt that way.

Peter Lambertson goes a little ramp-happy. ChinKilla tries to flip LaMachine, but LaMachine gets itself under ChinKilla's upturned face and pushes it around. I believe LaMachine is the lightest robot there, and most likely only half the weight of ChinKilla, so that's no small feat.

The four robots all drive around. LaMachine can't get itself to turn to face the correct direction. Dreadnought tries to make spinning wheel-to-spinning wheel contact, but nothing happens. Ginsu runs into Dreadnought.

Dreadnought disables one of ChinKilla's blades with its spinning wheels while LaMachine pushes ChinKilla a bit. Ginsu is lost.

Dreadnought uses its wedge to push ChinKilla into the wall. LaMachine charges at ChinKilla, but misses and hits the wall. Ginsu quickly drives in a straight line from the back of the box and crashes into the same wall, nearly breaking through the Lexan and harming the drivers in the blue square.

Dreadnought trails ChinKilla around the ring. LaMachine tries to wedge in from the other side and deploys its spike. Ginsu randomly drives around.

LaMachine tries to get under ChinKilla, and Dreadnought smacks LaMachine with its wheel. Ginsu, dragging a chain, takes another run at ChinKilla, and this time makes a direct connection with Jay Leno's face. It really scratches up the drawing.

ChinKilla is surrounded -- a robot on each side, and the wall in the back. Dreadnought pushes Ginsu away, though, and LaMachine backs off. ChinKilla pushes the front of Ginsu over the saws. As Ginsu sits over the saws, gamely trying to push ChinKilla but failing, no saws pop up. Nor does ChinKilla raise its face now. Whassa matter, poor 400-pound robot can't operate its simple weapons?

Dreadnought gets on the other side of Ginsu and pushes both Ginsu and ChinKilla forward. The saws pop up about five seconds too late.

Ginsu pops out of the middle by going out above Dreadnought and ChinKilla. Dreadnought is doing all of the pushing here, moving ChinKilla ever closer to a sledgehammer. The hammer is waiting, and Dreadnought and ChinKilla are in a deadlock. LaMachine tries to help, but only succeeds in pushing Dreadnought out of the way, freeing ChinKilla before the hammer could do anything.

The last ten seconds consist of robots randomly running into each other. Time runs out, and none of ChinKilla's weapons are functioning anymore. If they were going to pick a winner, it would be Dreadnought.

Oh, they are going to pick a winner. They say there's a 23-22 judges' decision for ChinKilla over all the other robots. Much booing ensues.

Traci Bingham interviews Adam and Jimmy. Jimmy makes jokes about Traci's breasts. "Ha ha!," Traci agrees. I could make a really sick joke about building robots based on anatomy and what their weapons would be, but I'll refrain. You're welcome.

To end the show, Bil says, "If you'd like a transcript of tonight's episode of 'Battlebots,' call your therapist, because you've got way too much time on your hands." See, that's not technically true. Wanting a transcript requires no effort and probably means you don't have enough time on your hands to do it yourself. Whereas, say, writing wordy summaries of each episode means that you have no life and need to get out more. Just thought I'd clear that up.

So that's the end of another episode. Remember to help control the robot population, have your wedges spayed or neutered. Good-bye, everybody.

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