LAP 09
Jody's Secret

It's a crowded race at Mute City today, and Ryu is fighting with Zoda for first place and vengeance. He's acting particularly rash, and Jody tries to call him back before he hurts someone.

The rest of the Platoon agree, he's behaving too dangerously, especially on such a narrow track. That doesn't stop him and he ploughs on ahead after Zoda, forcing Jody to follow after. She gets on the other side of Zoda while Ryu prepares to ram him...

... but the Death Anchor collides with Jody in the process, sending the White Cat hurling into the wall and flipping over, crashing nose-first into the track. Zoda takes first place, but the Platoon clearly have other concerns.

The emergency team rescue Jody from her machine and take her to an ambulance. Jack socks Ryu for being such a reckless ass; Jody wouldn't be in this condition if he hadn't acted so stupidly! Dr. Stewart is aboard the ambulance with Jody, and despite her injuries, her number one concern is arresting Zoda. Not to worry, there's a police blockade out to stop him before he reaches the warp gate.

... unfortunately, that blockade is helmed by John Tanaka. Zoda and his entourage do show up, and they do escape the authorities, but not through Tanaka's doing - Zoda calls a flying battle station to open fire on the police, destroying their cars and dispersing the officers.
Tanaka returns to headquarters to find Jack calling Ryu on his big blunder: not only are Lucy and Clash working overtime trying to fix what's left of Jody's machine, but the Platoon had petitioned a huge cash prize for the last race in an attempt to lure out their foes - and now look where that's gotten them! Ryu's answer? "I'm very sorry."

Well, there's nothing they can do about it now. Tanaka encourages them to practise some more, but Jack and Ryu are curious to know where Jody is - he's very coy about answering and tells them not to worry, saying she's in Dr. Stewart's capable hands.
Ryu visits Falcon House to wind down, and Burt tells him not to worry too much about Jody; he's got a good feeling about her recovery. Ryu's still uptight about it, though - he already lost one friend to Zoda, he doesn't want to lose another!

He receives a call from Dr. Stewart, telling him that Jody is doing fine, but has something important she wants to tell him. Ryu makes his way to the location, and it seems to be highly top-secret: there are cameras everywhere and multiple identification points for his car, his key and his eyeballs. At the end of it, he finds laboratories full of work-in-progress robotic bodies.

Dr. Stewart welcomes him and introduces him to the facility: this is the Cyborg Graduate School for the Galaxy Police, where he once worked in the field of robotics research. Ryu is confused: where is Jody and why has she been taken here, of all places? The doctor shows him:

Her body is part-machine!

Jody enters and takes it from here. Only Dr. Stewart, her superiors and now Ryu know of her condition; she figured it's not something people need to know, but given Ryu's connection to Zoda, she explains how she came to be like this...
It was three years ago. Jody and her brother Andy Summer were both in the police force, and Mute City was almost at peace. However, Black Shadow's criminal organisation, Dark Million, still held a reign of terror over the city...

The Summer siblings were in a shootout between the police and Dark Million, the criminals packing heavy artillery. Their courage was enough to help them hold their own, until Zoda made a surprise appearance with a handheld rocket launcher aimed right at Jody. With no time to flee, Andy threw himself atop of her sister and shielded her from the blast.

It was only through Dr. Stewart's medical prowess that Jody was able to be revived. Her brother was not so lucky. Eager to take down such despicable criminals, she became captain of the Galaxy Mobile Platoon. Ryu is even more enraged; if only he had defeated Zoda 150 years ago, the Summers would not have suffered like this!
She goes on to tell him that Zoda was not revived just for funsies: when she became captain she looked into the Mute City archives, and Zoda's reputation as the criminal who wrought terror upon New York could not be ignored. Black Shadow no doubt sought him out.

The archives also mentioned Ryu Suzaku was the man who arrested him; he was not to be revived until the year 2251, but Jody was the one who requested his revival be pushed forward. She believes modern pilots rely too much on their machines, but Ryu's driving technique was renowned in his day, and that may be what they needed to stand a chance against Zoda. And, well, here they are now.

Ryu wonders why Zoda isn't their number one objective: he's responsible for the loss of his girlfriend and the death of Jody's brother, doesn't she hold a grudge against him? She says she once did, but Zoda is small buttons in the grand scheme of things - unless they took down the leader, Dark Million would still be a threat. Jody reminds him that they are part of a team, and to never forget that.

Meanwhile, Zoda is celebrating his victory with mountains of ice cream and sprinkles, only to be intruded with a surprise transmission from Black Shadow. He reminds him not to get too full of himself, and he should never underestimate his enemies; today's race was a close call.
While trawling the hallways, Zoda mutters to himself over what a bossy boots that Black Shadow is. Sure, he granted him his new body, but that doesn't mean he can act like he owns him. Why, if Zoda were in charge--!

Miss Killer heard his whole tirade, but promises not to tell Black Shadow... for now. Zoda mutters once more; what good does the boss see in her anyway?
Jody speaks to Dr. Stewart, mentioning planet Alcatrand to him, the prison facility where Zoda was freed from. Stewart says no one's been there, not since Black Shadow totalled the place, but Jody has a bad feeling about it. Her White Cat is finally patched up, so she takes it for a spin in that direction.

She takes the warp gate to the Alcatrand: a frozen tundra of a planet, whipped by a furious wind and totally untouched since Black Shadow's assault on it all that time ago. She steps out and looks inside the delapidated fortress.

Inside are a stack of empty cold sleep pods, the very thing Zoda had been contained within for nearly 150 years. Hoping to find more clues she begins a further investigation, but the ground begins rumbling beneath her...

... and from the ground rises a Dark Million battle station! Zoda steps out to greet his old antagonist - she's just stumbled upon his secret hideout! Who'd ever think of looking here, eh? Of course, now that she knows, the only thing left to do is kill her. Bio Rex lunges towards her...

... but gets a blow across the snout in response. Jody is brought to her knees by a group of Dark Soldiers, however, but she's in no mood to give up: she demands to be taken to Black Shadow! Zoda is amused, but in no mood to comply. He'd much prefer to blast her face off.

It's a good thing Ryu is here! Octoman's surprise distracts Zoda long enough for Jody to elbow him in the gut, while the Dragon Bird sends the robots scattering. The villains quickly hop back on their battle station for a quick getaway...

... but not if Ryu can help it! He tries to give chase despite Jody's orders not to, only for it to open fire, and Jody is in its line of fire. He swerves back to protect her and find she's taken a nasty blow to the shoulder already. The battle station looms menacingly overhead and rains lasers upon them, Ryu protecting Jody with his body; its reminds her of Andy's last noble act.

The battle station leaves and the two rise to their feet, mostly uninjured. Jody commends Ryu for what he did; he obviously didn't want Zoda to escape, but he did the right thing. Ryu remarks he was simply following orders. This surprises Jody, so much so that it's the first time Ryu has ever seen her smile.

Burt's F-Zero Classroom: A little about the aliens of the F-Zero universe. Earth made first contact with extraterrestrials 100 years ago, and now 30% of the Earth's population is alien.
Notable aliens include Octoman from planet Takora, and Baba from planet Giant; Bio Rex, however, is an Earth-made science experiment.

4Kids broadcast: Chain Reaction was shuffled earlier to be broadcast as episode 6. Due to this, Miss Killer is introduced before her actual debut episode... and she's been renamed Luna Ryder, did you know?

Jack's punch is cut.

A real gamut of colourful guns this episode! The guns used by Tanaka's police blockade are all painted orange, the guns in the Mute City firefight are tinted green, and Zoda's pistol is a lovely red.

Two shots of Jody's nude body are covered up; one by adding more froth and bubbles to her medical tube, the other by simply editing the footage so it doesn't fade between clothes-on and x-ray.

Some narration from Jody is added over her flashback to the attack on Alcatrand that freed Zoda.

The animation in this episode is noticebly sub-par, the characters ranging from merely off-model to straight-up ghastly. That said, the battle at the end has some really great, lively animation... it's a pity you don't notice it until you're frame-skipping!

The preview from the previous episode uses placeholder backdrops for a couple of shots, using a cityscape for Zoda's attack on the police and Platoon HQ interiors for the Cyborg Graduate School grounds.