LAP 05
Brilliant's Ruse

Jack Levin is sailing to victory in latest F-Zero race; he weaves between opponents, drifts effortlessly around the corners, and is hitting every boost pad there is. One woman in the audience is watching him with interest, but in the heat of the moment, Jack only hopes that Ryu sees how sweet his skills are.

Ryu was watching all right; his arm brace is what kept him out of today's competition. The previous night he found a group of hoodlums vandalising his Dragon Bird outside a dance club, and set out to stop them (with violence, no less). All was going well...

... until he took a staff blow to his arm, knocking him to the ground, winded. The group were about to dismantle his machine, but the sound of police sirens prompted them to beat feet instead. He might not have his health, but at least he still has his car.
Jack is in the final stretch, but Octoman and Bio Rex are there to hinder him: the Deep Claw blocks him from the front, while the Big Fang rams him from behind.

Fortunately, Jody and the Galaxy Mobile Platoon are there to help out; he's got a race to win! EAD and Clash knock the opposition aside, giving Jack's Astro Robin the chance to boost straight past the finish line. And the crowd goes wild! The woman in the audience smiles.

Ryu is keen to visit the winner and congratulate him personally, but Lucy forfeited her spot in the race to look after him. There's no way he's going out with his arm in that condition.
Jack is praising himself to the ends of the earth, claiming he's the only driver the Platoon needs... though the others gently remind him he wouldn't have won were it not for their help. He doesn't take this well, especially when the others decline his offer of a celebration party, and storms off.

Well, he doesn't need them! Superstar Jack Levin can have a grand time all by himself, just you watch! He drives to a quiet dance club and orders a banana juice, boasting that as an F-Zero pilot, he only consumes what's good for him. The woman sitting next to him recognises him from the race...

She's a huge fan of Jack's, and is disappointed to hear he's celebrating alone tonight. After introducing herself, Lisa and Jack decide to make the evening theirs. They share a drink and play some pool together, while Lisa queries him on his F-Zero machine; she'd love to see it. He offers to take her for a drive, but she has one last ball to shoot...

... right into Jack's cranium. Knocking him out cold, she snatches his key and hops in the Astro Robin, taking it out for a spin. She looks through his preset destinations, and is amused to find most of them are women's names. She picks one that interests her...

... and finds the machine driving her towards the police station! She's a trifle confused as to why superstar F-Zero pilot Jack Levin would have business with the popo, but doubly confused where inside the police station it's taking her. Once it finally stops, she gets out to investigate.

Lisa finds herself in the hangar, and identifies most of the machines from this morning's race. Using Jack's key to gain access to the hallways, she stumbles upon a wall of F-Zero trophies, and deduces that not only have these machines had great success, they're all in collusion with the police. Interesting.

Perhaps more interesting, she finds a stockpile of jewels, presumably the police's salary. She gaffles the lot and stows it in the Astro Robin, but hears a noise unexpectedly: It's a drowsy Clash, and he wants to know who she is and what she's doing here!

One punch puts him to sleep, but before she leaves, she one last order of business: machine gunning the entire roster of machines, busting their windscreens and damaging their hulls. Chew on that one, coppers! She hops back in the Astro Robin and peels out.

The Platoon discover one fine mess in the morning, and John Tanaka is close to crying: this'll cost a fortune to repair, but money can't heal their humilation! Jody vows to catch whoever is responsible, though this doesn't appease Tanaka; they get the easy job, while he's the one who's got to explain this to the chief! Ryu enters and removes his arm brace: they can count on his help.

Jack, meanwhile, is pleading to lend his support, but Jody reminds him his slip-up lost his machine and exposed the Galaxy Mobile Platoon's existence; it probably won't be the last time a woman gets one over on him. Ryu tries to stand up for him, but Jody orders Jack to leave the Platoon: he's got no business working with them. Levin leaves in a huff.

The Platoon begin exploring the city; Stewart looking down from the highways while Ryu trawls the streets, remembering what Jody said. Jack makes his own personal investigation, and revisits the dance club to ask if anyone knows a Lisa around these parts.

A gang of punks threaten Jack with a staff; if he wants what's best for him, he'll pretend Lisa never exists. Ryu enters and recognises the gang as the hoodlums who busted his arm. Jack demands to know if they're in league with Lisa, but they make a hasty exit with a smoke bomb.

Back at headquarters, the Platoon look over a F-Zero machine that's been registered: it looks like the Astro Robin, though its deco is cutesy and pastel. Jody deduces it must have been stolen for use in High-Jump, a race course with a colossal cash prize. Her machine isn't powerful enough to keep up, so she's counting on Ryu and Stewart to pursue it. If they can't catch the Astro Robin... they'll have to destroy it!

Perish the thought! Ryu almost lost his Dragon Bird to those punks back when he got injured. He wouldn't want to trash Jack's treasured racer in the name of justice. Stewart gives him a spiel about injustice being like a disease that they cannot cure, but only remove what they can. Nuts to that; if they get Jack's machine back, Ryu believes Jody should let him back to the squad. The doctor reminds him his arm is still tender and in no shape to race... but if they make a few modifications to his machine...

Clash sets to work making adjustments on the Dragon Bird, vowing to keep it hush-hush from Jody. With his skill and the doctor's wisdom, this race will be a piece of cake.
Jack, meanwhile, is moping on the side of the test track; he's despondent without his Astro Robin, and tells Ryu he can think of nothing but revenge. He's told he can still participate. But how?

A second seat! Ryu can't do it alone, and Jack's machine handling is second to none; if they partner up, they can take on that thief.
The race on High-Jump is about to start, and the announcer, Mr. Zero, is filling the audience on all the thrills and spills the racers will have to endure.

Lining up on the grid, Jack gets an eyeful of the Astro Robin's new paint job, making him angrier than ever. He's got to win this.
And they're off! Ryu accelerates and Jack steers, but Lisa is quick to cut them off to prevent them from overtaking. This'll be a tough one.

A feature of the track gives them an idea: this course features a pitstop on a separate lane, fit for only one vehicle at a time. When they give the signal, they want Dr. Stewart to turn in there.
The Dragon Bird and Astro Robin fly over the high jump, still neck and neck with Lisa.

Ryu asks Jack for advice: if he were driving the Astro Robin, what would he be doing by this point in the race? He admits he'd need to make a quick repair on his machine, and they signal the doctor to hit the pitstop. As expected, they find Lisa making her way to that lane...

... only to find the Golden Fox parked, blocking the road! She screeches to a halt, and the Dragon Bird pulls up behind, boxing her in. She calmly reminds them this is against the rules, but she's one to talk, having stolen Jack's machine.

Lisa snorts; surely they're the ones cheating, working in collusion for the police like that. Jack begins arguing over her choice of colour scheme, but Ryu tells him to cool off and just book her already. He has one last question to ask, but she's got no time for it: her getaway is here! A machine flies over all three racers...

... and Lisa hops right into the cockpit, driving off and leaving the Platoon in the dust. Try harder next time, the pilot calls after them. That was Samurai Goroh and his Fire Stingray! It only hits Jack now; that Lisa was Lisa Brilliant, Samurai Goroh's wife! Boy, does he feel like a dope. What's worse, Jody was watching the whole thing from afar.

Jack returns to the police station hangar to offer one last goodbye to the Astro Robin, but the whole Platoon are there to welcome him back. They went through so much trouble getting it back for him, and he's not even going to take it for a spin? Jody orders him to drive it and enjoy it before she suspends him again. This is great news; Jack's back on the force again! He thanks Ryu for his help, and believes this calls for a celebration party! Lucy tells him to catch himself on.

Burt's F-Zero Classroom: Burt talks warp gates: these are large gateways in space that allow transport between planets. They've made transport very convenient, but improper usage can cause wormholes that can destroy entire planets, so they're closely regulated.

Besides being renamed A Risky Rendezvous, what changes were in made the 4Kids broadcast? I'm asking you - nobody recorded and posted this one online, it seems!

Jack's surname is misspelt as "Lebin" when Lisa gets access to the police station. This error doesn't happen that often during the series, surprisingly!

The eyecatch shows off Lisa's real vehicle, the Panzer Emerald, which won't show up for another dozen episodes.

For whatever reason, the preview from the previous episode shows the Astro Robin with a blue stripe instead of a yellow one. The blue stripe still sneaks into one shot during the opening race.