In this second season episode of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, the heroes are charged with escorting the Rigellian Princess Tana home, but the rebellious little devil doesn’t want to go, hilarity ensues, we talk 1980s music, and I go to an underage bar. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”
Girls Just Want to Have Fun
Just a few words first regarding the song that gives this episode its title (and unlike many of the first season, we don’t actually hear in the episode) but probably has little to do with the episode itself as per usual. Cyndi Lauper, at the time blonde and not named in her original band Blue Angel, was the first act I saw at a club as an underage teenager. I don’t remember much as I was worried I’d get caught, but there it is. I never got to see her in concert once she was a solo sensation, but maybe I will someday. I still have hope.
Robert Hazard, who wrote the titular song and Lauper’s first hit, was a legend in the Philadelphia music scene, and ironically one of the first bands I saw in a club when I was of legal age. “Girls,” which was rewritten to be sung by a female, was a minor part of his set list, overshadowed by hits of his own like “Escalator of Life” and “Chain Reaction.” This guy was awesome, and even wrote an entire album based on the film Blade Runner, he is still missed.
Surprisingly as we open on the Guardians trying to retrieve Princess Tana from a bar, Gamora is nowhere to be seen. Wouldn’t a female touch help in such a situation? Nope, apparently not. It is Drax the Destroyer that goes after Tana while Quill and the others deal with old frenemy Lunatik. When Gamora does show up, she proves to be more of a bulldozer than Drax.
As the girl escapes and runs away, intent with her ‘right to party,’ one can’t help but wonder how desperate her father must have been to hire the Guardians in the first place. As usual, it’s all played for laughs, but even I have to confess to a small chortle when Drax refused to follow the princess into the ladies restroom.
Hot Child in the City
As Drax pursued Princess T through the city and across a freeway of refugee cars from Tron, we learn that she is specifically running from the ‘centering,’ a coming of age ceremony. The whole city looks a bit like Tron actually, could this be a sneaky crossover? We’re never told what planet it actually is…
Once the Guardians capture the princess and are their way back to Rigel-3, her father, in his brisk need-to-know fashion, warns the heroes to watch out for the Rigellian rebels called the Empathetics. Nice heads up, dad, and now we know they’ll definitely be showing up. In the meantime, the telekinetic Princess T is throwing a tantrum in the Milano’s hold.
On the longer than usual trip to their destination, Princess Tana does her best to make the Guardians’ lives hell. Drax however maintains the patience and the understanding to get to know her. His daughter would have been her age now, and it would seem the Destroyer has a heart beneath his tough tattooed exterior.
While Drax tries to break through with the Princess, Gamora, who was raised by the heartless mad Titan Thanos, has had enough and gives her a piece of her mind. Yeah, Thanos’ daughter, you just know she‘s gotta be good with kids. As expected with her soft touch, Gamora blows her into space when the Princess throws a tantrum.
When Tana flees to the planet of the Empathetics, led by Jukka (the wonderful Khary Payton from Young Justice, The Walking Dead, and the voice of Cyborg in everything), Drax and Gamora follow only to find these rebels running out of control with their telekinetic powers. One might even say they were ‘uncentered.’ And Tana, well, she just wants to have fun.
When the Rigellian fleet arrives and the Guardians take a backseat in their own adventure, we learn that the centering not only controls their powers but strips Rigellians of their emotions as well. The Guardians step aside for the most part as the two Rigellian factions go into battle.
It’s a happy ending but essentially not really a Guardians story, as the events happen around them for the most part. I enjoyed it, had fun watching, and writing about it (as well as other things), but wanted something different. Maybe I’ll get it next time.
Next: “Black Helmet Woman!”