Jack and Kirgo are taking part in the positively riveting activity of collecting rubber from the sap of trees. It's a boring task, but Jack reminds his buddy that it gives them the material they need to make some essential motoring components, such as fan belts. When an adventure never goes by without somebody's car exploding, you can never have enough fan belts.
Not far away, a poacher known as Lassard finds his way to a cave stocked with gas, technology and all manner of fun toys that will give him the essentials to becoming a mechanic! However, the first thing he's gotta do is blow up the wall so he can get better access to it...
The explosion not only catches the attention of Jack Tenrec, but also disturbs a family of wahonchuck living inside the cave! In a move befitting of only a genius, he lights another stick of dynamite in an attempt to ward them away, but is approached by Jack, who reprimands him for blowing the crap out of an animal's habitat. Lasard disagrees and the two wrestle, though the dynamite is dropped in the process and rolls into a crevice.
With no chance of fishing it out in time,
Jack and the slithers get their asses out of there, taking Lassard with them,
though the poacher refuses to leave without his stuff. The bomb goes off and
cave collapses, burying the poor sap inside. Kirgo arrives only in time to
witness Jack's escape, who comments that Lassard's greed was what got him
Sometime later in the City in the Sea, Wilhelmina Scharnhorst has called upon Mustapha to oversee a recovery project - an air-tight freight car belonging to the ancients lies submerged in the subway tunnels, and it bears the markings of one of the greatest scientific teams known to man. Naturally, Scharnhorst wants to get her paws inside and make the most of the technological goodies, though Mustapha refuses to help out unless it can be guaranteed that the contents inside aren't harmful.
Meanwhile, Jack and Kirgo set a new record for long-distance radio transmission! Rock on. Mustapha contacts Jack and Hannah to inform him of the freight car, and Hannah recalls that the people in Wassoon discovers something very similar after an earthquake - it contained silver canisters that unleashed a plague upon being opened, and nearly wiped out the tribe in the process. However, they were able to develop an antidote using flowers that grew in heavy shade. The two of them decide to gather some of them now rather than lose valuable time later if such an emergency happens.
The moles have developed a machine to pump the water out of the subway, though Mustapha's attempt to urge Scharnhorst not to open the freight car until Jack returns falls on deaf ears. Once Mustapha leaves, Scharnhorst contacts a bounty hunter to keep Jack Tenrec out of her hair - Lassard! Now with mechanical components replacing some of his bodily features, he implies serious harm to the mechanic with a dramatic audio cue backing him up.
Jack isn't too enamoured with how today's attempt to save the population from Scharnhorst's power-hungry schemes is by picking flowers, but he knows he has no choice. Lassard watches them from afar, and flashes back to his run-in with the mechanic, even though we just saw it a mere six minutes ago. There hasn't even been a commercial break yet!
The moles begin pumping the water, moving them ever closer to their radiation-fuelled doom.
Getting one step ahead of Tenrec, Lassard
finds a grazing mack and sprays a cloud of smoke nearby, causing it to
Right into the path of Jack's Cadillac! With some deft driving skills he manages to avoid collision...
Only to end up teetering on the edge of a cliff.
Veeeeery slowly, they begin crawling up over the back of the car...
Only for a tiny pebble bouncing against the
car to be what pushes it over.
They manage to get back onto solid ground just in time, though now they've lost their wheels. Not only that, Hannah dropped the box of flowers, so they have to head down there and recover them. It's just one of those days.
Lassard isn't stopping there, so he drives down there and spurs a herd of hornbills into a frenzy, causing them to stampede down the path into Jack and Hannah's way! Accepting the fact that there's no way of salvaging anything from the car, they grab the box and make their way to higher and safer ground.
The moles finally unearth the freight car and, against Mustapha's wishes, pry open the door. The Wassoons had the privilege of finding canisters inside, but the radioactive content inside the car has already leaked, contaminating the air! Mustapha closes the door as quickly as he can and rams it into the moles' heads about what they've unleashed, before ordering them to weld the door shut.
Already suffering from the biohazard exposure, he stumbles back to Scharnhorst's office and collapses, demonstrating just how dangerous her "great discovery" is. Upon remembering that Mustapha said Jack and Hannah were the only people who could solve this problem and that she's just sent a crazy bounty hunter after them, she realises how grim the situation is.
She tries to contact Lassard to call off his hunt, but he just smashes his radio and continues stalking them. He isn't halting his personal vendetta!
Jack, thinking about their trails so far, comes to the conclusion that they've got a human hunting them, who's been trying to make otherwise peaceful slithers into obstacles for him, and stumbles upon Lassard's jeep...
... and his pet cutter!
Fortunately, the cutter is tied to the jeep on a chain and can't get too far. Planning to hijack the car, Hannah distracts the slither with insults and rocks while Jack tinkers with the engine, but the cutter is just too watchful for that plan to succeed. Realising the plan can only work once the owner returns, they set up camp in the branches of a nearby tree.
Back in the City in the Sea, Governess Dahlgren is sad to say that the radiation is serious business - the hospital beds are all filled and they can't do a thing for them until Jack returns. Scharnhorst remains in her office, bitter at herself for causing this mess.
The next morning, Hannah wakes up from her uncomfortable snooze to the sight of several cutters watching her hungrily.
This is the work of Lassard, who has scented the tree with a slither scent so they'll be waiting on that tree for days until they can gobble them up. He holds Jack responsible for the loss of his arm, his eye, his tools and his workshop, though all Jack can do is express insincere relief that he survived and lecture him about the dangers of dynamite. Laughing like cartoon villains do by nature, Lassard strolls away to leave the two to their death...
Only for Hannah to shoot his bag of slither scent with her crossbow, dousing him in the stuff. The cutters now have a new target in mind, prompting him to hop in his car and start the engine...
Prompting Jack to reveal that he pilfered the distributor cap, preventing the car from starting. Lassard makes a run for it, dumping all of his weaponry and armour to lighten his load, though Jack goes after him in the car to save him, just because he's not a jerk.
Hannah lassos him with a bola crossbow bolt while Jack herds the cutters off a cliff and into the ocean, where they grumpily swim away to dry land. After totally beating the snot out of him with some impromptu kung-fu skills, Hannah ties him up with the chain, and they all return to the City in the Sea.
With the flowers in tow, they concoct the necessary antidote to cure all of those diagnosed with radiation poisoning, and Mustapha is very pleased with that. Hannah, however, continues to tease Jack about his frequently dubious comments regarding whether her idea would work or not; he merely states that if he truly doubted her, would he have worked so hard to get the antidote in the first place? Hannah is shocked that even the vaguest implication of praise came from his mouth.
The first episode in the series written by David Wise, one of the story editors, and I would probably consider it his best. I suppose it helps the animation is a notch above the usual quality.
In a world where the technology has not progressed much beyond the late 20th century, where on earth does one get a mechanical arm with a built-in pump-powered smokescreen function?