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Bugs: A Sporting Chance

Ed squares off against a bloke named Jason at a karate class, only to have his opponent go nuts on him, and start fighting like he's possessed. Seconds later he collapses, and is immediately whisked away by some shadowy paramedics. Something peculiar is going on, which is why the Bugs team are already on site. It seems that there's a new, undetectable drug under development, which supercharges athletes, before causing them to collapse when their heartrate hits 180. Called Trimescalin, it's the brain child of a dodgy boffin with dodgier associates, who dwell in a lair with some spectacularly dramatic lighting. Concerned for the integrity of sport, or just because they're hoping it'll give them a chance to blow some more stuff up, the Bugs gang are eager to get investigating.

Ed and Jason prepare to do battle.

Shocked by the sudden collapse of his opponent, Ed chooses to spend the rest of the episode dressed in orange pyjamas, as a mark of respect.

Evil henchman excitement! This is Brett Fancy, who many many years ago was in Rockliffe's Babies. This automatically makes him cool.

The boffin meets with his dodgy assistant, quite convinced that His Dodginess is desperate to further the interests of the sporting community. In all fairness, it would be quite hard to guess that what he's really intending to do is create a new race of super-soldiers. Nonetheless, that's exactly the conclusion that the Bugs team jump to, as soon as they find out who he is.

I suppose creating a new race of super-soldiers is actually quite normal behaviour to them.

The gang split up to do their various investigations, which as usual involves talking quite urgently, and pushing little plugs into little sockets in a very earnest manner. Ros tries to pass herself off as the boffin's assistant, in order to break into his computer, but when challenged she looks blank, and takes five minutes to come up with an excuse. Nice foreplanning there, Ros. She's chased all over the shop by a very grumpy athlete on Trimescalin, who fortunately collapses just prior to killing her. And while we're on the subject of Ros's mad dash for freedom, why do people on television always run up to the roof to get away? Where do they think they're going to go?! Anyway, after she gets back together with the others, they decide that this is getting personal now, and they're going to put an end to it all, damn it. So, tracing the bad guys to their lair, they find a huge, seemingly empty skyscraper, cunningly disguised as a half-built shell. Hidden inside is a barrage of computers, and an army of sedated atheletes, all previous victims of Trimescalin. Creeping about in the splendidly dramatic lighting, the Bugs gang don't actually achieve anything, but they look good doing it. Or something. Then the bad guys come back and chase them away, with the traditional Bad Guy Bad Aim™ curse that comes supplied with all known forms of weaponry.

Ros is chased by a Trimescalin guinea pig, who proves entertainingly unstoppable.

At Evil HQ, Ros and Beckett test-drive the dramatic lighting.

Then discover a nest of kidnapped athletes, including Ed's karate opponent, and Ros's attacker.

But - oh no! - there's a bad guy on the prowl, with a rather fascinating gun.

Ed and the dramatic lighting take a quick trip off-world.

And Hoody from Rockliffe's Babies decides to re-enact scenes from Blade Runner.

Ah yes. Back at Good Guy HQ, the gang have a quick meeting with their client, the truly annoying Lady Of the Yellow Anorak. She's some sort of sporting expert or something, but whoever she is, she needs shooting. Happily, on this show that's not a problem.

A boffinly boffin being boffinly, as he hurries to iron out the unfortunate user issues of Trimescalin.

With the drug apparently finished, there's only the testing left to do - and having identified the Bugs gang from surveillance photos taken over at Evil HQ, the bad guys have decided to find themselves a nice new guinea pig. Ros is kind enough to hang around with the bad guys' pet boffin, completely undefended, so they decide she'll do nicely. Oddly enough they take the annoying client along as a hostage, as though threatening her could possibly worry anybody. Back at Evil HQ, they give Ros a dose of the new drug, and immediately we're back in Hooded Clawsville. To test the drug, she has to keep running on a treadmill, and if her heartrate drops below 140, lots of weights will squish Annoying Yellow Anorak Lady. Ros, being all Trimescalined, whacks her heartrate up to 190-odd just for kicks, and everybody celebrates when she doesn't collapse. The drug is perfected, which means it's time for a good bit of gloating. "And now I have you in my power!" cackles the bad guy, and explains that he's set up a complicated system of ball bearings, connected to lots of jars of flammable liquid. When the last ball bearing prettily clicks its way down a ziggy-zaggy system of levers, the jars will explode, and it'll be goodbye building and goodbye everybody in it. Because bullets are no fun at all, and clock timers just don't go with the décor. Horrified to discover that this isn't about helping Britain win more gold medals after all, the boffin runs off with the Trimescalin, but since he's heading for the roof, we can safely assume that he's not going to get very far. Ros tries to get away as well, but it's a really rubbish escape attempt, and soon Yellow Anorak Lady is good and blasted, and Ros is taking her place under the weights. Cue more gloating.

This week on Bugs, it's Ros's turn to get kidnapped. And fair enough, she needs the practice. Meanwhile, Hoody is dispatched to deal with Beckett and Ed. Okay, so he fails, but I really can't fault his method. The man has guided missiles in his luggage rack. How awesome is that?!

This is most definitely what those little boxes on top of cars were invented for.

Another random bit of London explodes.

Elsewhere, the client is told that the weights will squish her if Ros misbehaves. Except how? They're behind her! Drop as many on the pile as you like, they're still not going to do a lot more than sit there.

Evil henchmen should always point guns in as dramatic a fashion as possible.

This week's Hood Claw pretender unveils his amazing Screwball Scramble bomb. Then shoots the client, because she's annoying.

Hoody models a little more of the local dramatic lighting, as Ed and Beckett come to join in the fun.

The boys encounter a groovy electric-laser-barrier-thing.

Upstairs, having escaped the weights trap by typing with her feet, Ros decides to revive the sedated athletes, by cheerfully injecting them with a random red chemical that she's found lying around. I suppose the plan is that they can then try to evacuate the building, but it's largely impregnable, and there's men with guns in it. And it's about to explode. They might conceivably have rather been left asleep.

Then Ed goes and electrocutes Hoody, the mean sod.

Whilst upstairs, the head bad guy chases Beckett and the boffin in another bit of dramatic lighting. Downstairs, however, Ros is being clever, and having been unable to defuse the bomb, she puts into the lift instead, and sends it upstairs. Since the bad guys can listen in on the team's hands-free sets, she doesn't warn anybody about this, despite having just sent it right up to where Beckett is. You really don't want to get on the wrong side of this woman.

Grabbing the Trimescalin, the head bad guy leaps into the lift, cackling about how he can now escape, and Beckett and the boffin will be left behind to blow up. Then he notices what's in the lift with him, just as the last ball bearing clicks into place.

So in actual fact he wouldn't have had time to escape anyway, the pillock. See, this is why it's not a good idea to wire your headquarters to explode.

Then the lift blows up, right next to Beckett and the boffin, although by clever means of Good Guy Immunity, they're not actually bothered by it.

Then it all blows up some more. The building apparently doesn't, though, so it wasn't such a great bomb after all. Mind you, the gang are presumably now trapped on various floors of a giant, half-exploded skyscraper, with only a red herring staircase for assistance, so it's not all looking good for the white hats.

Next time... you'll never believe it, but something explodes. Also, far more importantly - Anton Lesser!

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