Amphibia: Fixing Frobo/Anne-sterminator
October 30, 2021 2:51 PM - Season 3, Episode 5 - Subscribe

Fixing Frobo: Polly tries to fix Frobo, the frog robot made when they found the factory way back in early Season 2. As a result they almost die. Anne-sterminator: The other frog robot, the advanced model sent to kill Anne, is given an ultimatum by Andrias: kill Anne in an hour, or be self-destructed. It finds the Boonchuy residence and attacks. As a result, yeah, you get the picture.

Fixing Frobo, written by Jenava Mie, storyboarded by Silver Paul and Alexa Swanson, directed by Roxann Cole and Kyler Spears
  • Anne: "And now: the internet!" Sprig: "The answers to the mysteries of the universe, right at your fingertips!" Remember when we all used to regard the internet like that instead of as a flood of bullshit unleashed through social media? Good times. Of course Anne and the frogs are watching cat videos, which I admit is also an appropriate use of infinite information availability.
  • Years ago, when I was posting Steven Universe synopses, I expressed some delight when I figured out that Steven''s phone must be an iPhone, due to the display when he played music back in Alone Together. Well I feel the same delight today when I notice, due to the iconography and the shape of her computer's dock, that Anne probably has a Mac.
  • When Anne presses that button, cat videos whoosh around like they were in that old starfield Windows screen saver. Why doesn't my computer have a whooshing cat video button?
  • The first video they watch is obviously intended to be a reference to Keyboard Cat! A song that now apparently has ASCAP representation and copyright claiming on its original videos. Where was I? Amphibia. The second video they watch is of a cartoon cat dancing to a "meow" song. My guess: Nyan Cat is too distinctive to reference.
  • Here's Polly: "I fixed Frobo!" She plugs the head of her robotic friend directly up to mains, and the resulting lasers blast holes in the walls and roof. Ooh, expensive.
  • Anne's dad apparently plays computer games (I refuse to call a person a "gamer" that term is dead to me) and twice in this episode gets hopes dashed by frobot-related malfunctions.
  • Watch carefully: it's only visible for a split second, but when Frobo's shooting the lasers, their eyes display skull symbols.
  • Domino's sleeping on the roof.
  • Spotted: on a shelf on the wall in the Boonchuy family garage is a Grunkle Stan toy.
  • Anne, Hop Pop and Sprig are all adamant that Polly stop trying to fix Frobo, which seems responsible, but also denies that Frobo is Polly's friend. I'm kind of on Polly's side that she keeps trying to fix them, but yeah, it's another case of a character being willfully disobedient in service of the plot. Of course, Polly is rebellious by nature. Rock on, little pollywog!
  • Anne suggesting that Polly wait until they get back to Amphibia to find "someone who knows robots" is actually a terrible idea. Frobo was made by an ancient culture and no one living in Amphibia now, which has become agrarian, seems to know how they work. Earth is Polly's only realistic chance to get Frobs fixed.
  • Anne's Teddy Lumpkins doll is pretty creepy. "I eat... eyes.... cream. I eat ice cream." Anne: "Loggle would like this thing." Um, would he? "I want to nibble your FEEngers. Hee!"
  • Polly: "Maybe you guys are right." Anne: "That's surprisingly mature of you!" Polly: "Hey, can I borrow your laptop?" Anne: "I don't see why not!"
  • We are introduced to the IT Gals, two women who run a robots Toob channel. This seems to be a mechanical-focused version of something like Adrian's Digital Basement, and really Disney should give these ladies their own show.
  • Polly is disobeying her elders, but she is being responsible about it, deciding the way to do this is through education. Maybe Anne has been a good role model for her.
  • Currently, the head image of the "Big Ol' Wiki" article page for Robotics has a picture of a robot hand. The head image on the real-world Wikipedia page for Robotics also features a robot hand. This cannot be accidental. The second page Polly visits though is NeoPals, and the art style is calculated to click with a certain age of internet native. The third page seems to be a Doogle Images search for robot+frog that someone in production must have put a lot of work into, and one of the images has a frog with a Cloud Strife-style sword on its back. Page #4 is for an eBay-style auction for a pink robofrog model titled "Fundai Deroro Gunpo Palm Collection Series 13 Deror Robo Mk III." It costs $20.00 + $45.85 shipping from "Japan Store," arrives "when it can," and fastest delivery is "never." Page #5 is just a dancing rabbit GIF. Then Polly scrolls up a list of Toob videos, for channels like "Angry Gamers," and with videos like "New Epic Robot Skin Forknife" (1M views, posted two seconds ago), "Robot Dance Meme TigTog Competition #100," "Robot's are cool. i'm 5 years old" (who has on his wall a poster reading "My Hero Macadamia Nut") and "Top 10 Robot Creepypasta Stores." Polly: "Well! That was two hours of my life I'll never get back."
  • The IT Gals call themselves girlfriends in the description of their video with a rainbow flag emoji! Rock!
  • Polly calls the IT Gals herself using Anne's laptop; her username (probably Anne's Doogle login) is "Anna_Banana."
  • IT Gal A: "But Polly, I definitely wouldn't turn him on in your garage." B: "Yeah, you'd need to be in a big space, like a warehouse, and have tons of fire extinguishers. That thing looks like it's capable of a lot of output." A: "I'll say it again. DO NOT DO THIS AT HOME." B: "Heck, we could actually help you rent a space! It'll take a couple of weeks but we..." Polly: "Thanks girls I'll take that into consideration BYE!"
  • Meanwhile, Anne is watching TV with Hop Pop and Sprig! Some guy on TV: "I hate gravel. It's bumpy and bothersome. And it gets everywhere." Some lady talking to him: "I love you." Anne: "I still can't believe you guys like the prequels more." Have I gushed about how much I love this season enough yet?
  • Anne's dad playing some MMORPG: "One more hit and this ten-hour boss battle will finally be over!" (Frobo-induced power failure) There is a name for the game he's playing, something beginning with a V and with "Online" in it, but I can't make it out.
  • Frobo starts up without any memories; they use rockets to shoot up into the sky to try to find its headquarters (where did they get those? he was just a head before!), but runs out of power nearly immediately and begins a long fall to the ground with Polly on board.
  • The IT Gals pull up, both riding one scooter. I guess it helps that they're A. local, and B. Polly gave them her address? Or maybe they just "hacked the interwebz" or something.
  • Apparently Polly's tears getting into Frobo was enough to shock their memories back. That's how electronics work, sure! Frobo's memories are in filmgrain, BTW. In the flashback we get to see some old friends: Sasha, Grime and Marcy.
  • In the end, Polly is safe from the fall, but Frobo is just a head again, although an alive one now. The IT Gals promise to help rebuild him, and Mr. Boonchuy is dismayed at the giant crater in the family backyard.
  • Speaking as someone who knows a little bit about electronics... what the Gals and Polly discuss after sounds like a lot of gibberish to me YES I KNOW RELAX ARGH NEXT EPISODE
Anne-sterminator, written by Michele Cavin, storyboarded by Drew Applegate and Eddie West, directed by Joe Johnston
  • The evil frog robot is more beat up this time than before, but has added some extra parts to its construction. It now has an earth-moving-style claw, and a (literal) nail gun. Apparently it can't cloak any more. Andrias rings it up, calling it "Cloak-Bot." He asks if it got the book. ("That's book three! You rusty bucket, I need book two!" "BOOK TWO OUT OF STOCK.") Andrias gives the bot an ultimatum: destroy Anne in an hour, or be self-destructed. I guess the robot has a sense of self-preservation, because it seems to have an effect. It finds a signal given off by Frobo, allowing it to track it down to the Boonchuy residence.
  • TV: "A blood-thirsty predator meets all-American engineering in... FUMIGATOR 4." I see The Asylum exists in this version of Earth too. A billboard later advertises the release of Fumigator 5.
  • While people watch TV, Anne does... chores! Pretty well too, I guess monster fighting skills translate into housework.
  • Anne getting complimented on her responsibility causes to feel guilty about things she hasn't told the folks, and considers that maybe she should... but, before she can, the Cloak-Bot attacks. Action time.
  • Mrs. Boonchuy's workout room is one more insight into what the family went through when Anne went missing. On the inside of the door is a sign reading "ANNE AWAY 89 days." Remember: Anne was gone for five months. Mrs. Boonchuy must have given up hope of seeing her again.
  • The workout room also various models and creatively-made representations of Anne. Anne's mom kind of went a bit crazy, it seems. Some hold makeshift accomplishments, like a trophy with #1 on it, a law diploma, an A+ report card, a sheet reading "Scholarship to BIG School," and a grown-up Anne wearing a crown and scepter. One life-sized representation even wears a sash saying Anne ♥ Earth, which indicates she may have been doing this a bit even after Anne got back. There is more detail in this scene than I can describe here, it's fun to pause on and take it all in.
  • Anne: "The thing is, and I was totally going to tell you, the King of Amphibia kind of has it out for us." Sprig: "She punched him in the face!" And how did she do that....
  • The rest of the episode is mostly one long action scene. The Fumigator sign explains why the police aren't investigating: they think it's filming for the movie.
  • The chase eventually leads to the junk yard. People who've paid attention to the new opening can guess where this is going....
  • "Anne Savisa Boonchuy! What is going on!" The full name treatment, ooh. At least we know Anne's middle name now. We also find out that it's been a few weeks since Anne's returned to Earth.
  • The plan: since the frobot is bad with faces, Anne's mom makes decoy Annes that confuse the robot while the others attack it. Mrs. Boonchuy also crushes its head with a sledge hammer, and Anne stabs it with the end of a road sign then smashes parts of it apart with a metal pipe. Uh-oh, that's a fair bit of strength for a 13-year-old girl, it's happening again....
  • Hop Pop asks if Mr. Boonchuy was surprised by the sudden display of ferocity from Anne's mom. The response: ".........no."
  • The robot's only got ten seconds left, and gloats that it's about to self-destruct. Just one chance left. Anne's eyes glow, and an aura of energy envelops her....
  • She kicks it into space.
  • There's no keeping it a secret any more, but for now, Anne passes out. The Cloak-Bot is gone, but another threat may be immanent. At an FBI office in an "undisclosed location" (but in a building marked Conspicuous Inc.), agents looking at traffic camera footage see three frog people riding in a car, and discuss calling in "Mister X."
posted by JHarris (1 comment total)
 
Can you smell what Mrs. Boonchuy is cooking?
posted by Marticus at 2:13 PM on November 1, 2021


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