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Talkin' Trash
Season 04, Episode 10
Air date November 13, 1993
Written by Nick Boxer
Sean Catherine Derek
Laren Bright
Episode guide
I've Lost My Mayan
The Energy Vampire

Talkin' Trash is the tenth episode in the fourth season of Captain Planet and the Planeteers. It is based on a concept put forward by Joey Dedio, who provided the voice for Wheeler. It was written by Nick Boxer, Sean Catherine Derek and Laren Bright.


Plot Synopsis[]

Wheeler receives a letter telling him his father's health is not good. He takes time away from the Planeteers to visit his parents in Brooklyn, only to discover his old circle of friends has fallen under the influence of Verminous Skumm. Wheeler has to convince his old girlfriend, Trish, to change her ways before she and the neighbourhood are in Skumm's grips forever.

Episode Summary[]

The episode starts with Los Angeles city fire that has spread rapidly, evidently set by someone from the neighbourhood. After Ma-Ti and Kwame save a small girl from a burning building, the five summon Captain Planet, as the fire is getting out of hand, and extremely close to an oil tanker. Unbeknownst to Captain Planet, who lifts the tanker in the air, the hose had caught fire, and leads to the tanker like a wick, causing it to explode. Hurt and polluted, Captain Planet uses one last superpowered breath to blow out the flames, before returning to their rings. Afterwards, a news reporter reveals the fires were caused by rioters. Verminous Skumm watches the news and reveals his intent to cause worse panic than that in New York City. Back at an L.A. Mission, the Planeteers are helping rescue efforts. Linka jokes to Wheeler, who poorly receives it. The others, knowing he is acting odd, inquire as to the problem. He tells them that his mother had called, telling him that his father's liver has failed. He scoffs, sarcastically stating it is a 'big surprise'. His mother wants him to come back to visit, but Wheeler does not want to, as he and his father never got along. Kwame reasons with Wheeler and he agrees to go back to visit. We also learn that Kwame never knew his father.

As soon as he arrives, he is jumped by a group of gang members, who rob him of his ring, although he does not seem to mind that the ring is missing. He walks home, and is greeted by his mother, and then belittled by his father, who tells him to get out. He does so, and goes walking in the city, finding fresh spray paint reading "Trash". A man is flung through a window, who insists he's OK. He says he was at a rave party, which Wheeler is unfamiliar with. Wheeler enters inside and finds that a boy he once knew named Franky was one of the gang members that attacked him. He then grabs the woman who took his ring and demands it back. She, in turn, heckles him but uses his name. It is then revealed she was his ex-girlfriend Trish, who now goes by the name of Trash. Wheeler is surprised to find Trish as a gang member, remembering her as a terrific artist with a bright future. However, he got his ring back, and Trash goes to the back and secretly meets Skumm.

Wheeler tries to talk to his old friend about Trish, but he says that it was just the same as everyone. After trying to juggle work and school, only the life they live now is easier. They can't clean up the hood, so they just trash it. Trish (still known as Trash) comes back and invites Wheeler and his friend to go 'trashing' on the west side. Although hesitant, Trash heckles him into it. While there, they trash a car, and Wheeler tries to reason with her. He almost gets through to her, but she remarks on his father's alcoholism, and he backs off. His father watching, angrily from a window above. The group of people then go to a railway and climb up a post, to jump off, so they can catch the train uptown (by riding the roof). Wheeler does not, and they make fun of him, telling him to just go home. He goes home, his father makes a remark, and he immediately leaves, without even fully coming inside. Skumm questions Trash about her relation to Wheeler, and ironically states that he's a bad influence on her. Skumm then sends his minions after Wheeler, who takes him into a warehouse or factory. After causing a fire, Skumm comments on how destructive he is, and that he should join Trash and the gang. He then leaves him in the burning building, which he narrowly escapes. The scene cuts to Skumm handing out severe weapons such as dynamite and Molotov Cocktails to the gang members. It cuts back to Wheeler, now at home, talking to his mother about his father, but again, Wheeler can't stay and goes out for a walk.

Wheeler meets Trash and her gang, attempting to jump another train. Trash, particularly agitated, reveals that Franky, Wheeler's friend in the gang, died in the tunnels. They argue, before jumping on the train, which Wheeler almost misses. He chases after Trash on the roof, who slips off to the side. She pleads to Skumm to help her, but he says she's disposable, just before Wheeler saves her from smashing into the tunnel walls. Trash realizes who her real friends are, and she tells Wheeler about Skumm's plan to torch the convention center hosting delegates to clean up the inner city. Later, at the convention center, Trash calls off the gang's trashing, but Skumm says he never expected them to do it in the first place, but used them as scapegoats to blame after he does it. Wheeler stops his fireball attacks, and Trash attacks Skumm's helicopter, causing it to crash into the Hudson. Wheeler saves her from drowning, and they share a passionate kiss.

After what looks like a length of time, the gang has disbanded as a gang but formed a project to clean up the city. Grass and plants are visible, a mural, and clean streets. She says the project was dedicated to Franky. Wheeler still does not have any intention of talking to his father. Trash (once again named Trish) uses the same convincing speech he used on her, and he agrees to go home, but in fact, his father came to the park. (Trish invited him) He starts off as if he's going to complain again, but reveals he's happy with the work Wheeler's done, calling it a miracle. After awkward pleasantries, Wheeler embraces his father. The episode ends with Wheeler departing and Trish signing her name on the mural.

Planeteer Alerts[]

First Planeteer Alert

Wheeler: Environments aren't just where plants and animals live. Wherever you are is an environment, whether it's your bedroom, or school yard. ...and your environment is more than the physical things around you; it's also about people, and how they interact. People who sell drugs and fight create a negative environment, but if those same people change their attitudes, they can help create a healthy environment.
Captain Planet: Don't be part of the pollution, be part of the solution. The power is yours!

Second Planeteer Alert

Ma-Ti: Today's wasteful habits can become tomorrow's problems.
Kwame: But there are easier ways to conserve our planet's limited resources.
Wheeler: Mop up spills with sponges instead of paper towels.
Gi: Save paper that's used on one side, and use the other side for phone messages.
Linka: Pack your lunch in a reusable container; in a year, you will save hundreds of bags!
Kwame: See, you and your friends can come up with other ways to reduce, re-use, and recycle.
Planeteers: The power is yours!

Significant Moments and Facts[]

  • This is one of the few episodes where Wheeler actually kisses a girl, rather than just flirting.
  • It is primarily only focused on Wheeler, though the other four Planeteers are around in the opening.
  • No actual New York landmarks are shown, which is unlike the other episodes depicting New York City.
  • Wheeler's parents have speaking roles but aren't named.
  • Special guest stars include George Hearn and Marcia Wallace as Wheeler's parents, Marilyn McCoo as the TV News Reporter and Kath Soucie as Trish.


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