DOOMLANDS

CHAPTER FOUR

Pilot_Episode_1080p_TEST.00_19_31_00.Still008.jpg

CHAPTER FOUR

STOLEN VALOR

 Leaving the Wilding Festival, the entire crew is still highly intoxicated, including Danny at the wheel of the Oasis. After some impressive swerving across the highway, police eventually pull them over. Danny’s able to get off with a stern warning and a ticket, but the officers quickly find something that upsets them much more than a DUI: Jep. Though Jep has not officially been a police officer for years, he’s insisted on wearing the uniform, and according to the cops, that’s impersonating a lawman. They strip Jep of his valued garb and tell him if he wants to get it back, he’ll have to be readmitted to the force. Being a cop is all Jep has ever known, so he is both furious and naked (“They’re the only clothes I needed, Danny!”), but he becomes determined to sober up and requalify as a police officer. It’s a rough process, to say the least. After his requisite days in the Sober Cage, Jep has an epic montage of pilates with Xanthena, kickboxing with Tetsuo (with obvious results), and target practice involving Danny tossing small boom toads in the air as skeets. Danny is sceptical that Jep needs to do this much prep. (“I’ve seen people on the force, Jep. The test can’t be that hard.”) Jep insists the test is one of the most gruelling, dangerous, and physically demanding experiences in the world conducted on a deadly obstacle course. Danny pats Jep on the head, “Sure it is.” The gang drives Jep to police HQ confident that they’ve helped prepare their friend for success. Jep enters the Testing Facility, but his friends are not permitted to watch. Jep does finally emerge, bloodied and bruised, but he has passed and is readmitted to the force.

 But with the return of his uniform, his friends notice a change in Jep. A suspicion in the eyes. A terseness in his voice. Soon, Jep’s new police friends are questioning him as to why he associates with outlaws like the Oasis crew. When a squad of cops begins searching the Oasis for infractions, a conflicted Jep stands by and watches. But when contraband in the form of an illegally imported foreign brew of Doomshine (Japanese Doomshinku, made with a wormwood-like substance that causes hallucinations) is found onboard, Jep reluctantly slaps cuffs on his old drinking buddies.

 In lockup, Danny and the gang argue about whether Jep is fully lost to the system. Danny thinks they can win him back, but Xanthena and Tetsuo are less convinced. One thing they all agree on, though, is that they can’t stay locked up. They decide to spring a jailbreak. After tricking the sweet, elderly guard of their cell to give them the keys, the gang follows Danny into the vents. Danny insists he knows where he’s going until they emerge in the Testing Facility. The Facility, sensing humans inside of it, instantly flickers to life and the crew see a terrifying labyrinth of spinning blades, bursts of flame, and giant acid-spitting spiders before them. Danny mutters, “Shit, I could never be a cop.”

 In the police control room, the Chief of Police can see Danny and the crew on the security cameras. He enlists Jep to go into the Training Facility to get them back and return them to prison. But the Chief doesn’t trust that Jep won’t go soft on his old friends, so he sends one of the newest CopBots along with him. Being a robot, the CopBot is impervious to the nostalgia that might overtake Jep. Jep and the CopBot enter the Training Facility and see the Oasis crew leaping between the various hazards. CopBot and Jep deactivate most of them swiftly and impressively (“Jesus, Jep, I didn’t know you could do the splits!”). As Jep is cuffing Xanthena and Tetsuo, CopBot begins to get rough with Danny. Danny, not one to back down to a robot, continues to mouth off. The conflict escalates until CopBot grabs Danny by the throat and begins to force him into a still-spinning blade. Lhandi pleads for Jep to do something. Jep looks upwards and sees the Chief of Police watching him through a large window. The Chief shakes his head and tugs on his uniform reminding Jep what’s at stake. As Danny screams in fear, Jep finally springs into action, lifting CopBot over his small frame and tossing him to the giant spiders. He then leads his friends out a side exit. Danny beams. “I knew I could count on you, Jeppy.” “I’ve known you ten years, Danny, I couldn’t let you go down like that. Let’s get out of here before they take my clothes!”