Dirty Pair episode 20 Nostalgic Blues Make a Killer Soundtrack is a glorious bait-and-switch episode. It teases massive collateral damage in the finest traditions of the Lovely Angels, and then delivers a complete subversion.
The episode opens with Kei and Yuri overlooking a volcano. Kei has half a set of handcuffs locked onto one wrist, and the Lovely Angels are in something of a sombre mood.
That right there is the bait: the promise of massive damage from a volcano, but how did we get here?
STOP, FLASHBACK TIME!
Gooley’s voiceover as the scene pans into Damocles Tower and over a gratuitous shower scene for Yuri is talking about an urgent dispatch to the planet Saladeen to catch the notorious assassin Blues. To assist in the capture Gooley has sent along some accessories: a set of handcuffs that explodes a minute after being cut, and for which the key is held in 3WA headquarters.
Saladeen is the volcanic planet seen earlier, and to their disgust the Lovely Angels are ordered to land far, far, away from the Hotel Volken. Apparently they have this reputation for disaster…
Kei and Yuri get a lift on a dinosaur like beastie from what I presume is a local farmer type. On the way into town the Lovely Angels are harassed by a biker gang on hover bikes. Again, much to their disgust.
Whilst asking around for Blues, particularly his advanced prosthetic arm, the bikers show up in the same bar. The inevitable brawl ensues which the Lovely Angels win comfortably. As the bikers call for reinforcements, a tough guy who wasn’t involved drags them out of the bar and onto a hoverbike.
Cue the inevitable chase scene, which might have turned nasty when the helicopter gunship shows up. Fortunately the man has an advanced prosthetic arm with a fairly impressive gun in it, which rather puts an end to the helicopter.
Kei immediately recognises the arm and cuffs herself to Blues. Retiring to an inn the Lovely Angels and Blues have an… interesting conversation complete with Mexican stand-off and tragic backstory.
- That gun is still in the prosthetic arm and hasn’t actually been disabled in any way.
- The local magnate Melpot murdered Blues mother, a blues singer, 30 years ago.
Blues intends to kill Melpot tomorrow on the monorail and then turn himself in to the 3WA. The Lovely Angels reluctantly agree and Blues goes to the toilet.
The next day a disgruntiled Kei and Blues are setting up to chase the monorail whilst Yuri is infiltrating it by impersonating one of the stewards. Along the way Yuri discovers, and bugs, the biker gang leader who is also onboard the monorail with Melpot.
The gang then discover that an unusual variation of insurance fraud is afoot. The biker gang have, on Melpot’s orders, set explosives that will trigger a volcanic eruption. The explosives will be triggered by the monorail running over a detonator.
The eruption will destroy the Hotel Volken, forcing the insurance company to pay out. This will damage the stocks of that company, and send the stocks of the insurance company that Melpot has shares in up.
That’s an unusual level of subtlety for this sort of caper, and it kicks the final action sequence for the episode into gear. All the usual great train robbery clichés are in effect: the chase over the roof top, the standoff inside the train, the front of the train being separated.
It’s when this happens that Blues shoots off the cuff so that he can fly his hoverbike straight into the escaping front carriage. The explosion destroys Melpot, the front carriage, and the rails over the lava before it reaches the detonator.
Of course Kei and Yuri then have to stop the back of the train before it runs out of rail.
The next scene is Kei and Yuri looking out over the volcano saying that Blues wasn’t all that bad after all.
Nostalgic Blues Make a Killer Soundtrack is a fun episode. It is fast paced, and subverts the Lovely Angels association with collateral damage by making that the goal of the villain. So to solve the case, the Lovely Angels have to prevent the damage, and do so in the shadow of a volcano. The bait-and-switch of the flashback set up is nicely handled, and the western train robbery clichés are also well managed.
The battle bikini percentage rises to 75%.
Next Up: No Way! 463 People Disappeared?
 That would be me demonstrating the fine art of tautology.
 Although what, exactly, he’d be farming on that planet doesn’t really bear thinking about.
 Bit of an oversight that.
 Interestingly only one half of the cuffs is set to explode.