Other than a nameless Venom appearance, I can’t really figure out what the point of this episode really is. We have a wild goose chase, with little logic to the plot, if there is one. It’s fun, yes, but nowhere near as much fun as the first few episodes of “Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.” Meet me after the hyperspace jump for my brief thoughts on “Hitchin’ a Ride.”
First things first, please decide on what the McGuffin is called. It seems that every other episode this space map that is directing the Guardians of the Galaxy through the galaxy has a new name. BoomBox, Cosmic Seed, CrytoCube, just pick one, okay? Whatever it’s called, it inexplicably sends our heroes to a world where Symbiotes, who are very obviously part of Spider-Man foe Venom, have taken over and attack whoever lands there. There’s your plot, that’s it.
This oddly built complex on this world has a weird rollercoaster below it, leading Star-Lord to make indirect references to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. In essence, that much-maligned sequel saves the Guardians. I did however love hearing Peter Quill trying to explain the concept of movies to literal minded Drax. Yeah, movies are lies you pay to see. Cool and ironic when you actually give it some thought.
The Music Is Back
The music is finally back, one of the few good things about this episode, and one of the things that have raised less-than-stellar episodes to a higher level in the past. Of course the song is less than classic rock, definitely more in the disco era, but it’s still fun. There’s nothing like hearing the always contagious “Shake Your Groove Thing” by Peaches & Herb while riding an alien rollercoaster, right?
And while that’s cool and everything, wouldn’t it have been more appropriate to use the song the episode is named for, and has just a bit more to do with the half-plot? Nothing against Peaches & Herb, I think it would’ve been cooler if it had been the title song, “Hitchin’ a Ride” by Vanity Fare, and covered by many other folks. Nah, on second thought, keep “Shake Your Groove Thing.” Some oldies are better than others.
Yondu and the Ravagers return in this episode, playing the same game. The formulaic bits in this series are getting old. I’m beginning to feel that rut of why-am-I-watching-this? that I get every other episode of “The Walking Dead” for the last three to four seasons. The only twist here is the creative side-taking to prevent the Ravagers from becoming Venom-ized. They don’t, and to me, that’s a missed opportunity for some real fun.
Fulfilling the episode’s title, some of the symbiotes stowaway on the Milano when the Guardians escape. There’s some tomfoolery with the dimensional pocket Rocket stole from the Collector, but again, potential for fun that fails in the attempt. It almost feels as if someone behind the scenes was very specific about not disrupting the status quo. And I also wonder about the continuity again, if this is in fact a dream or an entertainment, as opposed to being in sync with the Marvel Animated Universe, why would it matter if they went off-script a bit?
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