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  Season 4

Episode 3

  Tonight's episode starts with some more stock footage (there's a surprisingly large amount of stock footage on a show about robots), and Tim Green doing his fake announcer voice, talking about family. For Team Loki and Team Toad, family includes BattleBots. I know that Team Toad consists of the whoel family, but are any of the Team Loki members relatives? Or was it just an excuse to use the stock footage?

After the opening clips, we find out that the Final Fantasy X sponsorship has been replaced by 3D's. Taco Bell and 3D's -- one is puffed up with air, the other is puffed up with lettuce.

Bil and Tim prepare us to watch robots fight. Carmen then gets her little segment in, but I'll spare you the pain of even imagining it.

Tonight's first fight is in the heavyweight category. Surgeon General has a horizontal spinning disk, la Nightmare. FrostBite has traded its plow in for a thresher-like device. It's a horizontal spinner versus vertical spinner match. "Fuzzy" Mauldin, FrostBite's driver, wants to see what happens when the spinners collide. He's insane.

The beauty shots of the bots in the box. The camera covering Surgeon General makes a point of shooting every sponsor sticker on the robot. The camera covering FrostBite doesn't make an effort to get a close-up of even one Toad sticker.

Robot fightin' time. Both robots spin up amazingly fast. FrostBite heads directly toward Surgeon General, but Surgeon General weaves out of the way. Surgeon General drives around the box with FrostBite chasing it. The crowd is not happy.

Surgeon General is playing strategy instead of aggression. And it soon sees its opening. FrostBite is turned away from Surgeon General, and Surgeon General rushes for FrostBite's side. It's a direct hit, and Surgeon General takes out FrostBite's very susceptible wheels. But much more visually interesting is the fact that Surgeon General's blade has taken off across the box! Run!

No kidding, that is frightening. The disk, spinning at full power, flies off of Surgeon General, shoots through the air to the corner of the box (I wouldn't be surprised if it bounced high off the wall before hitting the floor), and lands on its hub, still spinning! I am so glad I can't go to watch these in person, as I wouldn't have enough pairs of pants to last the whole week.

FrostBite has lost its right set of tires, so it won't be long before it's declared immobile. Surgeon General drives over to FrostBite and tries to push it, but the upside-down wedge that gave the spinning disk its unique angle gets propped up on FrostBite's rear. FrostBite can't move, and Surgeon General's wheels are off the floor.

The disk continues to spin independently, though.

A quick shot of each team covers the edit made when the bots were separated, and off we go (the disk has now stopped). Surgeon General wisely chooses to use its rear to push the immobile FrostBite around this time. The first thing it does is tap FrostBite into the disk. That doesn't help matters, so it continues to push until it's gotten FrostBite next to a saw.

Fuzzy is pointing and screaming for the hammers. Did I mention that he's insane?

Surgeon General repositions itself and pushes FrostBite's side over the saw. The saw puts a nick in FrostBite's armor. Another push, and Surgeon General knocks FrostBite off the saw. FrostBite is counted out, and I think it's safe to get your hearts going again, audience.

A touch of an interview with Team Loki, and we're headed toward a commercial. There are cheerleaders, this time in white, telling us to stay tuned. Cheerleaders? When did they get those? I thought all the eye candy was supposed to be in Carmen Electra. As did the previous set of cheerleaders, they shake their poms for no good reason.

The 3D's commercial is stupid. So the "next dimension" is the third dimension? I think I'm fairly familiar with that dimension, thank you.

Before the next fight begins, Carmen introduces a segment where some of the builders tell us their favorite bots. None of the builders name their own bot. One of them names Mechadon. Of all the neat stuff Mechadon did in a demo at this tournament, the clip we see is a one-second shot of it walking.

Tim tells us that Timmy knocked out Exodus to make it to the fight we're about to see. I don't think the act of knocking out consists of being nowhere near your opponent while its spinner gets off balance and flips itself.

In this fight, Hazard will face Timmy. I don't think Hazard's going to go off balance and flip itself.

Here's an interesting factoid for you: Hazard has never lost a battle in BattleBots. I don't know if it's competed in other competitions, but if it hasn't, then Hazard is undefeated. No matter how you feel about Hazard, you have to admit that that's impressive.

Hazard is still a box with a killer spinning blade and a wedge. Timmy is just a wedge-box (wedges on front and back) with two large wheels. This is either going to be an upset or very destructive.

Game on. Hazard spins up and Timmy kind of wanders around the box. Hazard drives into Timmy. Timmy drives into Hazard, stopping the blade. Timmy doesn't seem to be driving itself too well.

Hazard cares not for its spinning blade and instead works on scooping up Timmy. It takes a few tries, but Hazard succeeds and drives Timmy into the wall. Timmy gets away and Hazard gets that blade working again.

Hazard drives up and delivers a direct blow to Timmy's front wedge. The metal plate making up Timmy's wedge flies off, exposing vital robot parts. Timmy drives itself into a screw.

Hazard comes over and hits Timmy again. Timmy drives into Hazard and loses the corner plate that used to support the front wedge.

Hazard backs off, keeps the blade going, and drives into Timmy's rear. The back wedge is ripped off. Timmy quits moving.

Hazard stares at Timmy for a second, then drives into it again for another painful blow. The hit sends Timmy spinning right under a sledgehammer. Pete is immediately on the button and begins to wail away at the robot carcass.

Hazard comes in to push Timmy, but instead of keeping Timmy under the hammer, Hazard pushes the dead robot back too far so the handle of the hammer is the only part to hit it.

The hammer quits falling and the countdown begins, which means that Timmy has tapped out. Hazard pushes around some of the pieces torn off of Timmy, then does the victory spin. Hazard wins.

In an amazing turn of events, Carmen doesn't ask her usual default question of "What happened out there?" Instead, she asks Tony Buchignani a legitimate question about what Hazard's blade is made of that it can dish out such a punishment without being scratched. (the answer is hardened steel). And then we go back to the main studio. Holy cow, a good interview segment. I might have to lie down for a minute.

While I go take my temperature, here's a segment featuring the family of middleweight flipping bot Short Order Chef. They use the robot to fling hamburgers around outside of a restaurant. It's like a dangerous version of "Double Dare." The robot also drives a hamburger over to one of the customers (hope it wasn't the same hamburger they were tossing around). Short Order Chef is a great waiter, but woe unto you if you don't leave it a sizeable tip.

Short Order Chef will be facing T-Minus in this fight. This time, T-Minus actually uses the red wheels we saw in the first episode.

Box, lights, fightin'. Both robots drive toward each other in the center, but hesitate to come too close to one another. T-Minus approaches Short Order Chef, then backs off. Short Order Chef also backs off a little.

Short Order Chef tries to turn to go at T-Minus' side, but it doesn't seem fast enough to do that effectively. T-Minus tries to get under Short Order Chef's low body, but almost stops over Short Order Chef's flipping arm. T-Minus escapes before it can be flipped.

While T-Minus is away from Short Order Chef, it activates its arm for no discernable reason. Not quite as powerful a lift, as T-Minus is lifted onto its corner, but not completely flipped over.

Short Order Chef has its back to T-Minus, and T-Minus recognizes this as a very good opportunity. T-Minus gets under the hinged skirt, but when the arm goes up, it doesn't catch anything but the skirt. T-Minus goes onto its back while Short Order Chef stays on the ground.

Time for the spectacular self-righting move. T-Minus launches itself into the air and lands on Short Order Chef! Well, I guess that's one way to attack your opponent.

A little bit of driving, and T-Minus tries it again. Again, nothing but skirt as T-Minus lands on its wheel, which it then turns to land on its back. Another beautiful flip with a very solid landing. 9.9, 9.8, 9.9, 9.9, 9.7.

Well, T-Minus is still faster than Short Order Chef, so why not try it again. This time, T-Minus is successful in getting under the body of Short Order Chef, and Short Order Chef is flipped onto its back. T-Minus remains right side up.

Short Order Chef starts to try to right itself, but it doesn't look like the arm is powerful enough to do it. Just in case, T-Minus is in position to flip Short Order Chef right back over should the bot be able to get on its wheels.

T-Minus drives around. Is it going to flip Short Order Chef back over? Nope, it just pushes Short Order Chef over a set of saws (that's as sporting as you'll get from Inertia Labs). With the arm up, Short Order Chef manages to avoid being hit the first time, but the second appearance of the saws pushes the still flipped Short Order Chef off.

The countdown starts, and T-Minus spins. That's all she wrote for Short Order Chef.

The winner gets the interview. The losers will probably be heard from in the "Update."

Commercials. Buy a Bowflex. Use it to see how much weight your bot can pull.

When they come back, it's over to Carmen in the pits to give her some more camera time. She informs us that robots in the pits must be stored so that they can't go anywhere if they accidentally are turned on. Ooh, riveting information. Glad we learned that.

Once again, Mouser's name has changed. Now it's Mouser Classic Mecha-Catbot. It was all a clever plan by Fon Davis to create a Mouser that the fans didn't like, then reintroduce the "classic" version to mask his switch to corn syrup in the robot's production.

Okay, it just means that the shell no longer has metal parts painted on the right side of the cat face.

It also has its own music video, created in what I assume to be Flash. Mouser bounces up and down while being sung about. It's easy to picture Mouser as a cartoon character, what with it's got a face painted on it and all. When they turn a robot like Greenspan into a cartoon character, that's when I'll start worrying.

Pink! Is the color of her Mouser face. Blue! Is the color of her kitty cat eyes. Upon reading those words, one of two things will have happened to you. You either will have no idea what I'm talking about, or those two lines of the "Mouser Mecha-Catbot" song will now be stuck inside your head for the next half hour. Glad to be of service.

Mouser will face Slap 'Em Silly in this fight. In the last tournament, there was a lightweight called Patriot that didn't make it to the TV rounds. Patriot's team put the robot up for sale on eBay, and Andy Sauro bought it. A new shell and a big spike on the back, and the robot is now Slap 'Em Silly. I could make inferences about this all being a metaphor for how American soldiers were treated after Vietnam, but that's stretching it, even for me.

So let's fight. Mouser drives straight for Slap 'Em Silly, but Slap 'Em Silly dodges. A couple tries by Mouser to flip Slap 'Em Silly, but no luck. Slap 'Em Silly tries to drive its spike into Mouser's back. But Slap 'Em Silly drives right up the dome of Mouser, and Mouser starts using the tail. Tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap.

Slap 'Em Silly escapes and positions itself. The two robots meet, side-by-side, and begin to turn in the same direction. It looks like they're slow dancing. Mouser tries to activate the flipping arm a couple times, but Slap 'Em Silly isn't on the arm.

Mouser gets the arm under Slap 'Em Silly, activates it, but doesn't do much of anything to Slap 'Em Silly. Slap 'Em Silly tries to drive its wedge under Mouser's rear, but again, drives over the dome and into Mouser's tail. Tap tap tap tap tap tap tap.

While Mouser is tapping, Slap 'Em Silly is pushing the catbot forward. Mouser turns, and Slap 'Em Silly slides off. Mouser fires the arm and Slap 'Em Silly tries to take advantage of the vulnerable front, but Slap 'Em Silly's wedge is higher than Mouser's dome, so Slap 'Em Silly achieves nothing.

Tap tap tap tap tap.

Slap 'Em Silly drives up and onto Mouser. Mouser tries to flip, but just pushes Slap 'Em Silly off instead of toppling it. Slap 'Em Silly keeps trying to get under Mouser. Tap. Mouser's tail is briefly stuck in the seam between the wedge and body of Slap 'Em Silly.

Mouser drives over a set of saws, but sadly, does not go flying. Slap 'Em Silly gets its wedge front high-centered on the side of Mouser. Mouser runs off, putting Slap 'Em Silly back on the ground.

Slap 'Em Silly drives onto the top of Mouser again, but again, Mouser can't flip the bot. Slap 'Em Silly drives around and teases Mouser into activating the arm again. When Mouser does, Slap 'Em Silly drives up and gets itself in the way of letting the arm come back down. Mouser escapes.

Mouser drives around and goes over another set of saws. They don't fling Mouser as far as we're used to seeing, but they do send Mouser crashing into Slap 'Em Silly.

Mouser continues to try to flip Slap 'Em Silly. Slap 'Em Silly tries to push Mouser into a nearby sledgehammer. Neither robot is successful.

The two separate, and meet again in the middle of the box. Mouser tries another flip and misses. Slap 'Em Silly still can't get under Mouser.

Mouser drives near some saws. The saws pop up and nick Mouser in the side, sending a small chunk of the pink shell flying to the other side of the box. Mouser almost flips Slap 'Em Silly, but not quite. Actually, it's a fairly good-sized chunk of Mouser's shell that's missing now.

Tap tap tap. Mouser gets two successive lifts in on Slap 'Em Silly. Slap 'Em Silly pushes Mouser over the saws. Mouser doesn't get tossed (again). Slap 'Em Silly, on the other hand, flies to the other side of the box.

The two bots meet again. Another good lift, but not a flip by Mouser. Tap tap tap tap tap tap.

Slap 'Em Silly seems to get its spike jammed into the slot for Mouser's tail spike. As Mouser goes tap tap tap tap tap tap tap, Slap 'Em Silly pushes her toward the saws. All Slap 'Em Silly can do is push the cat into the flat side of the saw blade, though.

Time is up. We're going to need the judges' help on this one.

It's a 24-21 decision, and it goes to... Slap 'Em Silly! Andy Sauro is the most surprised of anybody there.

After the commercial, they give us the "Battle Stats" and an interview. Despite his clear introduction of himself as "Andy Sauro" at the qucikie profile of his bot, Andy is called "William Sauro" in the graphic during the interview. Carmen Electra's name is spelled correctly.

The same ol' "tell 'em what they just saw" at the end of the half hour, and an arbitrary lightweight recap of some of the robots that we've seen win in that division so far.

To start the second half hour, they more or less go right into a heavyweight match (after the sponsorship plugs, of course). They use Carmen to give us the name of the show and the weight class, then they go to the introductions. See, now that's a good use of the talent. To inform and then get out of the way.

The combatants are El Diablo Grande and Slam Job. El Diablo Grande is simply a bigger version of El Diablo (it's also a lot of fun to say for some reason, especially if you roll the R).

The fight begins, and both robots are not shy about ramming face-first into the opponent. The collision sends El Diablo Grande up Slam Job's wedge. Slam Job fires the spike, but doesn't connect.

Some pushing, and Slam Job rides over the saws. El Diablo Grande takes a hit as the saws retract.

El Diablo Grande gets the spinning drum under one of Slam Job's side skirts and stays there to attack the components hidden underneath. Slam Job gets away before any apparent damage is done. Slam Job then pushes El Diablo Grande over the saws. It takes a couple seconds, but the saws pop up and throw El Diablo Grande into Slam Job. Slam Job takes another crack with its weapon, but still doesn't connect.

Driving. El Diablo Grande uses the drum to bend the side skirt of Slam Job. Slam Job hits El Diablo Grande with the spike, though no damage is done.

Slam Job keeps going after El Diablo Grande. One hit and a couple of misses. El Diablo Grande isn't having as much luck.

Slam Job drives El Diablo Grande into the wall. El Diablo Grande drives into Slam Job, lifts it a little, and starts pushing. This takes place over the saws, which separate the two.

El Diablo Grande tries to attack the rear side of Slam Job. Slam Job simply starts pushing El Diablo Grande backward, forcing El Diablo Grande to run away.

Another attack from Slam Job, but it glances off of El Diablo Grande's drum. El Diablo Grande keeps trying to do some kind of damage with the drum, but isn't too successful.

Slam Job pushes El Diablo Grande over some saws. The saws pop up and dislodge one of El Diablo Grande's treads. That's going to hamper El Diablo Grande's movement quite a bit.

Slam Job gets a whack in, then leaves for a moment. El Diablo Grande decides to try out that lifting arm in the rear. Yep, it works.

El Diablo Grande can't move much, and Slam Job pushes it around and tries to pierce its armor. Still can't get that spike to penetrate.

El Diablo Grande drives around in a circle. The tread is broken and almost entirely off the bot now. Slam Job pushes El Diablo Grande over the saws and holds it there. The saw blade that should be hitting El Diablo Grande isn't turning, so less damage is being done than possible. Slam Job pushes more of El Diablo Grande over some functional saws, and little pieces start spurting out all over the floor.

Time is up. Here's a good spot to roll the opening sequence.

Here are some replays. And oh yeah, Slam Job won, 33-12.

Then Scott Kincaid gives the viweing audience a tour of his house. Aside from the zip line, there's really not much to comment on.

Yes... yes... here it is! Did you know that Slam Job was a competitor at last season's BattleBots as well? And did you know that it faced Nightmare in one of its fights? In fact, they're going to show a clip from that fight right now. And so, here's a clip you may have forgotten, since they only showed it once or twice last season. Apparently Nightmare hit Slam Job with such force that not only did Slam Job flip over, but parts went flying off of it as well. I had completely forgotten about that one!

Commercials.

Carmen leads us into some tips from the pits on how to repair your robot in the short time between fights. Several builders recommend duct tape. In fact, that's about all there is. Um, back to the fights.

No, wait. First we're going to Iowa to watch Neil Muzzy use M.O.E. to destroy a computer and to watch him drive a car into a mailbox. Hey, there's the family's license plate number! That was a wise video decision!

This heavyweight fight is between M.O.E. and PyRAMidroid. I hope this fight is short if for no other reason than I don't want to have to type those two names over and over again.

M.O.E. has traded in its useless spinning weapon for a big, blunt bar that spins in its place. PyRAMidroid is a box with wedges on all four sides, resembling a pyramid with the upper two-thirds chopped off.

The box has been locked, the lights have been turned on, it is now robot fightin' time. M.O.E.'s blade hits the very top of PyRAMidroid and goes over. PyRAMidroid is low to the ground... M.O.E.'s blade will barely hit it. In fact, M.O.E.'s blade goes over PyRAMidroid the next two times.

PyRAMidroid has two metal strips along its top designed to hold bots that get on top of it. M.O.E. gets up there and breaks both of them. I don't think they worked.

A couple more hits from M.O.E.'s blade and PyRAMidroid stops moving. M.O.E. continues to hack away, barely getting the blade to touch PyRAMidroid.

No, PyRAMidroid isn't dead. It drives away after a few more blows. M.O.E. uses the blade to bend up the corner of PyRAMidroid's top armor.

M.O.E. backs off, which means that it's tap-out time. PyRAMidroid definitely does not look as pretty as it did before this fight. Buzzer.

Brad interviews the winners, and begins with the line, "Well, you got your M.O.E.-jo working." He then waits to absorb the riotous fits of laughter that will surely ensue from such a witty joke. He is so lucky that I'm just watching him on a television screen.

These commercials will help me to forget that line.

They reuse Carmen's line about being turned on by "hot bot action" that we saw in last week's episode. Look, it didn't arouse me then, and I'm no less sickened by it this time.

Middleweight fight now, El Diablo versus Turtle RoadKill. El Diablo is the same as it was a year ago. Turtle RoadKill is an octagonal sloped box on wheels.

Jim Smentowski is driving Turtle RoadKill since the builder couldn't be at the competition. While explaining this, the show takes the time to show us that good ol' clip of Nightmare exploding Slam Job again. 'Cause it's really relevant to this fight.

Action! El Diablo heads drum-first for Turtle RoadKill, which tries to attack El Diablo from the rear. El Diablo turns and Turtle RoadKill gets a face full of drum.

El Diablo tries to continue attacking Turtle RoadKill with the drum while Turtle Roadkill tries to get under El Diablo and push it around (since that's really all Turtle RoadKill can do). Both are able to do so -- first, El Diablo's drum hits Turtle RoadKill, sending El Diablo up. Turtle RoadKill then gets underneath El Diablo and pushes it until it falls off over the ramrods, which make a rare cameo appearance.

To be honest, not much interesting happens. El Diablo gets some glancing blows in, but nothing horribly damaging. At one point, Turtle RoadKill goes over the saws. More driving and scraping by El Diablo.

El Diablo starts to push Turtle RoadKill closer and closer to a sledgehammer. When Turtle RoadKill gets right next to the yellow dot, it chooses to spin in place. This way, it'll be disoriented when it tries to escape from the corner.

The sledgehammer hits one of Turtle RoadKill's sides. El Diablo pushes Turtle RoadKill further under so the hammer can land squarely on Turtle RoadKill's top. Turtle RoadKill keeps fidgeting to escape, but absorbs several blows before managing to do so. Turtle RoadKill then drives over the saws.

Bil decides to take this time to share his knowledge of turtles' long life spans. Unless they're in an aquarium as a child's pet.

Again, El Diablo works Turtle RoadKill toward the sledgehammer. And again, Turtle RoadKill gets underneath a solid whack. Turtle RoadKill quits moving. The hammer comes down again and dents the shell.

Turtle RoadKill pops back to life and tries to escape. Figuring out which way is forward is kind of tough on the robot, though, and it drives under the hammer again. Finally, it more or less escapes, and begins to spin in place again, hoping that will deflect El Diablo.

Some more driving around. Turtle RoadKill is much more dented than before. El Diablo puts the wheel to the shell again, with minimal results. Time is up.

El Diablo is the winner, 31-14. This calls for a Comedy Central web site plug, followed by a commercial or six.

They've switched the sponsor to 3D's because they then can tie it in to their "good hit from this episode" bit. Show the hit one, two, three times, "that's another 3D's crunch." Maybe I should be wearing special glasses for it to work or something.

In the studio are Zach Bieber and Heather Kyseth of the El Diablo team. Considering the length of some of the interviews on this show, they get a surprisingly large amount of air time. Still no explanation why there's a monitor over in that area, though.

And that ends the episode. Hey, did you know that this show is tightly edited? Well, no duh, but I've managed to get a hold of some very rare raw footage. Here are some of the quotes that never made it to the final broadcast:

"Well, our motor overheated and the bot just quit working. Go ahead and touch it, you can feel the problem."

"When I interview you, could you kind of spontaneously say, 'Wow, you're the funniest stand-up comedian I've ever seen! I'll definitely be watching you at the Laugh Shack February 10th through the 16th!'? Thanks."

"Oh! Giant nut refers to a metal tool!"

"And in the blue square... I. P. Freely. Hey!"

"Yeah, 'BabbleBots,' whatever. Get me some more booze, I'm still sober enough to realize I'm here."

"Doesn't he remind you of Donny Most?"

"You know, there are other robot shows besides this one. I had a chance to sit down with the host of 'Robotica' over coffee. Here's my interview with Ahmet Zappa."

"Blue driver, are you Helen Reddy?"


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