When grave robbers desecrate an ancient burial ground, a long slumbering evil awakens with a new fire burning in its dark heart. The sleeping dragon reduces one of the robbers to a pile of ash and a pair of Nike sneakers. On the rampage this dragon searches not just for food, Gnomes, it is also looking to to avenge what happened to it many years ago. Carl the only known Dragon Slayer must lead the charge against this beast, only for a couple problems to arise. The dragon he slewed once before was purely accidental, and this dragon is not exactly after what everyone thinks it is after. If the world is to remain peacefully ignorant of the truth Carl and Special Unit 2 must come to terms and discover what is really going and stop the dragon before anyone is hurt.
Let me start by saying "the Drag" was a pretty fantastic episode, except a couple little things that hampered its stellar potential. Remember I am brutally honest in my reviews; however, I always make suggestions while being respectful of the work in every aspect of an episode. Sometimes things work, sometimes they don't, but if you did your best then that is something I respect more than anything else Sometimes, the little things don't effect my opinion on an episode too much, but every once in a while they stand out prominently in an otherwise fabulous episode. That is what happened here with "the Drag."
The first of those things is the interrogation scene when Kate found herself in the dark on Nick's intentions with the second suspect. She has been a partner with him for so long and then she does not see something coming like that just goes against her character. She can see things other people do not, that also goes for the people she knows and trusts. The wily confession of the suspect salvaged the sequence but it is still fresh in my mind. Kate not seeing the setup coming is setting Kate back in her relationship with Nick a bit. She could have said after the first suspect left the room that she expected Nick to shoot the other suspect in the arm not the chest as he did. It hurt the integrity of Kate's intelligence and the relationship she has with Nick.
The other small little factor, I was not too fond of, was the flying shovel of doom that killed the dragon. We all expect Carl to be the one to kill the dragon, even though we all have a fleeting second where we thought Nick might get his wish to permanently destroy the dragon. When he missed with the bazooka, you knew Carl would finish him off but you did not know how. Gnomes are cowards by nature, so their antics by nature would lead to a dragon's death while chasing after their food supply. So, while everything was setup just right for Carl to accidentally kill the dragon, the shovel flying extremely high into the air and into the dragon's mouth just did not quite feel right. I am not saying it was bad outright it just felt like something was missing, like perhaps the bazooka, that was crushing his shoulder earlier in the episode. Despite these little things, this was an otherwise fascinating episode.
Danny Woodburn quite simply stole the show. More than anything else in the episode, Danny did a great job from the smart-ass remarks to actually seeing Carl pull a job for Special Unit 2. My favorite scene with Danny was probably at the end when the dragon tore off the trunk lid of the car and Carl screamed his head off. I really bought that he was in danger, and it was a great moment to see Carl have a near death experience and unveil his true vulnerability to the audience. Finally, Danny got to play with a Carl who experienced a broad range of emotions from bravado to absolute fear to having a blast robbing the millionaire. At the same time is was nice to see Carl develop a little more and learn more about his past. I guess Gnomes have a life span of a few hundred years. We had hints about that in first season but now we have some confirmation about that. We discovered Carl had slayed the dragon that started the 1660 London fire. I rather enjoyed the real story behind the first dragon's death. It seemed just like Carl in every way and to actually have everyone look at Carl, as the only person who could save the city was a great development in every aspect of the characters and their relationships with Carl as not everyone was pleased with it.
Despite the phenomenal performance of Danny Woodburn, Michael and Kate helped bring up the other part of the core of this episode with their banter with each other. The side bets about Jessie asking nick out was a good touch and aside from the interrogation scene they played bad cop worse cop very well. The scene I think stands out most is when Nick is dangling George Armstrong off the edge of his own mansion. Nick finally snapped like he has only done once before in the series, just totally, losing his patience and putting his sights on doing the right thing no matter the cost. Given that the last few episodes have been Nick and Kate heavy it was nice to see them get a little bit of a break and let one of the other rich characters take hold of an episode and show off the star power they have. There is more to Special Unit 2 than just Nick and Kate, and we are getting to see that potential develop before our eyes right now. Now if Jonathan and Captain Page could get a little bit bigger roles in an episode or two to develop I would really be happy.
The other thing I liked a lot about this episode was the mythological elements while exploring a culture like the Native Americans. It was similar to what we saw in "the Wraps" and "the Brothers" from first season. I love myths, legends and folklore so I was pleased with the story. It was like watching a myth come alive. The previous episode "the Rocks" partially did that. We just did not explore much of a real culture while discovering the truth behind that myth. The Drag was an episode that allowed to step into history like the first season episode mentioned above did. The Koaichi Basin movie gave us a history not just about the Mummy but about the culture as well. The Brothers rather did the same, perhaps not as deep as this episode and "the Wraps," but it was close enough.
The other notables of this episode include the loss of not one, but two mobile commands. The MasterCard commercial parody really added a nice flavor to the episode. One thing I would like to have seen would have been Jonathan interact with Carl just a little bit more. We have not really explored their relationship yet. Sean and Carl seemed to get along without too much problem. It would be interesting to see where the writers take this. I am confident in them that we will get to see something really special develop this season and for them to put their hearts into this show. All I could possibly say to them and everyone involved is thanks and keep up the great work. In the end, "the Drag" was a very solid and well-rounded episode than except for a couple minor quibbles is a definite must see on many different levels. It was a normal fantastic SU-2 episode, with a more real history integrated into the story.
Copyright 2001 - DrkAngel_113
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