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Bugs: Hot Metal

Otherwise known as "The Episode When Absolutely Everything Explodes". I've got to admit that this isn't a particularly good episode. It really isn't. The plot is rubbish, there's no real tension created either by the script or by the direction, and the bad guy is about as scary as a koala bear. You certainly can't fault it for its bang quotient, though.

Two men lurk in a warehouse. One of them is Nickolas Grace! Hurrah! The other man isn't. The man who isn't Nickolas Grace blows something up. Just a something, for no particular purpose. He then deploys a special sound-dampening device, which cleverly plays an inverse sound wave at a noisy object, in order to cancel out its sound. Once that's switched on, he blows something else up, this time completely soundlessly. Which leads me to wonder if he really needed that first explosion. Did Nickolas Grace not know that bombs are noisy? Did he honestly need it demonstrating? But I shouldn't really complain. Anyway, the silent bang (as it were) pleases Nickolas Grace immensely, and they make some kind of deal involving lots of money, and something called R6. And not, as it might at first appear, Arse Ix, although admittedly that's how half the cast seem to pronounce it. The man who is not Nickolas Grace, but who seems to be called Da Silva instead, then goes and blows up a door in order to steal said R6, soundlessly. Except he gets chased away before he can. And then the episode starts, by which time three whole things have blown up already.

This is the kind of statistic I can get behind.

Boom! You see, just in case you needed it underlined, explosions are really quite loud.

Except when they're not.

It's Nickolas Grace!

Something else explodes, because it's there, and they've over-ordered the explosives, and there's only two more episodes to go after this, and why the hell not.

And so, in come the Bugs team to protect the R6. What is R6, they ask? Turns out it's a superconductor that's also supervolatile. Be noisy around it, and it explodes - with extra vigour if it's played sound at a particular frequency. We get this demonstrated, just in case not quite enough things have exploded so far this episode yet.

There it goes. :)

The team begin a security overhaul, which mostly involves doing a lot of typing, looking at a lot of security camera footage, and going "Wow!" at soundless explosions. Ros rather annoyingly describes the science of said soundlessness to Beckett, even though he's just said that he knows all about it; but then that's the downside of being the techie genius's sidekick, I suppose. See also Doctor Who. The team then set out to discover who has perfected the technique, and why they're after the R6. Fortunately for them, as usual there's a really obvious suspect - the inventor of the stuff, who wants to use it as a weapon, rather than letting the spoilsports stablise it. Electrical conductor or bomb... electrical conductor or bomb... It's a tough choice really, isn't it. Said inventor is Nickolas Grace, who isn't really a bad guy at all, so had to hire a bad guy to do his bad guying for him.

Ros ponders something scientific, whilst simultaneously figuring out this week's plot.

Da Silva makes another noiseless (but pretty) assault on R6 HQ.

Ed does something brainy, just to offset the utter idiocy that he feels obliged to demonstrate in most of the rest of the episode.

The gang soon get a lead in their investigations, when it turns out that a guard who was supposed to be protecting the R6 is working for Da Silva. Beckett sets out to interview him, but even though he helpfully gets himself beaten up by Da Silva, he doesn't manage to find out anything useful. He does plant several bugs on the security guard though, which enable him and Ros to follow the bad guys to a bad guy conference, whereupon the security guard gets himself murdered by Da Silva, before he can be of any real use to anybody. Beckett gives chase, only for Ros to bellow at the top of her lungs that "It's all right, Beckett! He's got the guard's bag with him! You know, the one with the bug in it!" Oddly enough, Da Silva abandons the bag shortly afterwards, a move that seems to surprise Ros no end.

Whilst all of this is going on, Ed has been busily tracing Nickolas Grace to his lair. He finds him somewhere nicely secluded, and immediately proceeds to act like a brainless oaf, squashing his nose up against windows, bouncing around on noisy wooden platforms, and generally shouting that I'm outside, and would somebody like to come and kidnap me please. Clearly an obliging bloke, Da Silva eventually comes along and whisks him into the basement for a quick intimidate. Actually it's not really very intimidating at all. I don't think he's trying, the director isn't helping, and Nickolas Grace seems to be on the verge of giggling half of the time. Then they have a severe attack of the Hooded Claws, and leave Ed sellotaped to a chair in the middle of a light trap, with some R6 ready to explode if the telephone rings; Da Silva clearly coming to us courtesy of Hanna-Barbera.

A not-at-all-obviously soon-to-be-dead security guard, and a not-at-all-obviously-intending-to-kill-him Da Silva.

It's Nickolas Grace again!

Nickolas Grace's secrety secret hide-out.

Ed bangs on the window, and asks if he can please be abducted. Maybe he's trying to follow Beckett's example, and get the bad guys to explain their plans? Except if so, he's overlooked the fact that we already know their plans. So it's not going to be very useful.

Oops. Why he has his microphone up his nose, I have no idea. Why the team have switched back to the giant kind, I have no idea. Maybe the neat little small ones didn't show up well enough on camera.

Some not remotely threatening behaviour, with arty red lights, and Nickolas Grace in no way being camp in the background.

Penelope Pitstop faces another deadly, if utterly pointless, trap set by the dastardly Hooded Claw.

Elsewhere, the head of the R6 research institute has decided to abscond with the lot, because if Nickolas Grace intends to sell it for weapons use, then what the hell, he might as well too. Ros and Beckett give chase, wondering loudly every few minutes where Ed is. Eventually they arrive at a dock, but having stolen Ed's hands-free gizmo, Da Silva and Nickolas Grace have heard everything and arrived first, and Da Silva has offed the opposition. Realising that the end of the episode is fast approaching, Nickolas Grace then decides that being a bad guy is no fun after all, thus neatly saving himself from certain death at the hands of the script writers.

Beckett demonstrates his unique interpretation of the Highway Code, whilst tracking the stolen R6.

Then helpfully gets himself into bother with the bad guys again. Nickolas Grace meanwhile glares intently as only he can, before breaking into song, and performing the rest of his lines whilst wearing a tiara and a little pink tutu. Ros then runs over shouting "Well done, you've found them!" to Beckett, presumably not realising that having a gun pointed at you isn't usually something to celebrate. There's some scuffling at their end, whilst back in the basement, Ed makes his escape along a ceiling pipe, just as Da Silva starts to ring him up. Nickolas Grace actually tries to stop him from doing that, which is nice, if useless. The telephone flies away during their struggle, and Ros somewhat unfathomably begins chasing it all over the television screen, as though somehow she can untelephone Ed before he explodes. Behind her, the others have a bit of a tussle for appearance's sake, before Da Silva helpfully shoots himself with his own gun, mid-scuffle. And then some more stuff blows up, because what better way could there be to end an episode than that? Except with some actual tension, and perhaps a little less brainlessness from the regulars, obviously.


Next time, super sportsmen and suspect clothing. Also, to everybody's immense surprise, a huge explosion. Who'd have thought it?

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