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The Garbage Strikes
Season 02, Episode 02
Air date September 21, 1991
Episode guide
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Mind Pollution
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Domes of Doom

The Garbage Strikes is the second episode in the second season of Captain Planet and the Planeteers.

Main Characters[]

The main characters featured in this episode are:

Plot Synopsis[]

A garbage strike occurs in Paris, where trash is piling up. Upon hearing about a new garbage-eating microbe created by the scientist Dr. Felix Helix, Sly Sludge steals it and releases it in Paris for a sizable amount of quick cash. Unfortunately, the microbes go out of control, becoming huge blobs that eat garbage and anything else (except glass). The Planeteers have to stop the blob before it eats everything and turns the Earth into a planet of living garbage.

Episode Summary[]

At Sly Sludge's hideout, Sludge gets annoyed at reading his mail and decides to watch some TV. Flipping through some channels, he stops at a live news broadcast reporting on an oil spill in France, grabbing his attention. The interviewee, a French scientist by the name of Dr. Felix Helix, explains that he has created an oil-eating microbe and demonstrates by applying a drop of it in the water. Like magic, the oil is dissolved, leaving a pure ocean.

At Hope Island, Kwame and Gi were also watching the same live news broadcast in the Crystal Chamber. Gi gushes about how much of a genius Dr. Helix is to create something to help clean the environment, while Kwame jokes about how the doctor is getting his feet wet literally. Gi takes offense to this and shoots back that at least Dr. Helix is working on ways to use science to help the environment. Kwame apologizes, but also points out that science has yet to solve the real problem: wastefulness. Gaia interjects, agreeing with Kwame, causing Gi to ask if she's also against science. Gaia replies she isn't, but says that they also can't rely on quick fixes.

Back at Sly Sludge's hideout, Sludge shows his distaste at the broadcast for "wasting a perfectly good oil spill", sayin he would've tried making money off of it, Changing the channel, it switches to another news channel reporting a garbage strike in Paris. The Mayor makes a comment that trash collectors could be paid more if people recycled, to which a chef, Andre, comes out to say he has no time for such things when he could spend it on cooking. Once the mayor mentions that at that point, trash collecting would cost a fortune, Sludge immediately jumps on the opportunity. He suddenly remembers the interview with Dr. Helix from the previous channel and decides to pay him a visit.

In France, Sly Sludge goes to Dr. Helix's lab under the guise of "Dr. Sludge", a scientist who "specializes in waste". Dr. Helix then shows Sludge his latest creation: a garbage eater in liquid form. A full bin of garbage was immediately turned empty after a drop of the garbage eater solution was applied, much to Sludge's shock. However, the bin spits out a glass flask, to which Dr. Helix explains that it can't digest glass or otherwise it would eat through the test tubes they're contained in. Still, he required more testing before putting it to public use. As he explains this, Sludge pockets a few of the garbage eater test tubes behind his back. Sludge quickly feins time to excuse himself and Dr. Helix offers to see him out. Unknown to the both of them, right after they left, the garbage bin the solution was applied to suddenly started moving and tips over, where a purple blob jumps out and crawls away.

Sludge goes to the mayor's office claiming he can solve the garbage crisis plaguing the city due to the strike going on. She offers to pay him handsomely if that is true, to which he gives her a contract to sign. When asked how he plans to solve the garbage problem, Sludge says that's his little secret and that he'll start tonight.

Later, Sludge had already sprinkled most of the piling garbage with the garbage eating solution. Coming across his last few garbage cans, Sludge decides to completely empty out his last two test tubes on them. A few seconds later, he's taken by surprise when a tentacle from one of the cans grabs his arm, barely managing to free himself. Sludge realizes he may have overdone it.

Back on Hope Island, Gaia calls the Planeteers to the Crystal Chamber, where the Planet Vision screen displays the garbage eaters have now become tentacled blobs. Wheeler comments making garbage-eating blobs a good idea while Gi likens it to Dr. Helix's oil-eating microbes, but feed on trash instead. Gaia however was more concerned than anything since she has no idea where they even came from in the first place and worries what might happen if they get out of control. Linka understood Gaia's concerns and decides they should go to France to investigate. Gaia approves, saying that this is a mess Mother Nature can't clean up,

During the flight to France, Wheeler offers to treat Linka to fine French cuisine later, like French fries.

Sludge then returns to the mayor's office to collect the payment for his "services". The mayor worries about the blobs becoming a nuisance, but Sludge assures her to just give them some litter to keep them happy before tossing some waste to a blob nearby. He takes a suitcase full of cash and quickly goes to leave, then spots the Geo Cruiser landing nearby, causing him to beat a hasty retreat. Disembarking, the Planeteers are met by Chef Andre, who was happy to see potential customers since the garbage strike ended and offered to serve them at his restaurant. Wheeler takes him up on the offer and asks if he can cook up some French fries, to which the chef refuses out of culinary pride. Linka snarks to Wheeler that maybe he can serve him French toast instead.

Sludge is stuck in a traffic jam, annoyed at the hold up. It's revealed the reason for the traffic jam was because a very large blob was in the process of absorbing one of the cars ahead.

On the street, the Planeteers and Chef Andre see a blob following and eating a trail of spent peanut shells a tourist was littering. An amused Andre comments how the scene was like something from a Jerry Louis movie, but Wheeler likens it more to Revenge of the Blob. Linka gasps when she sees another blob break into a car to get at more trash. Kwame wonders if the blobs are now breaking into cars, what will be next? To Chef Andre's horror, more of the blobs began to attempt breaking into his restaurant. He tries to beat them away, but the blob simply grabs and throws him aside. He begs the Planeteers for help, even offering to cook French fries, which Wheeler accepts. Ma-Ti tries to turn away the blobs using his Heart power. However, after using his ring on them, Ma-Ti felt faint, saying he couldn't connect with the blobs because they have no heart, just endless hunger. Wheeler, Linka, and Ma-Ti go behind the restaurant for entry. Chef Andre suggests luring the blobs away with more garbage, but Kwame asks what they will do if there isn't any left. Gi then suggest they get to Dr. Helix, hoping he may have a solution. Andre informs her that Dr' Helix's lab is down the road. Gi runs off to meet Dr. Helix while Kwame goes with Andre to try and save his restaurant.

Gi makes it to Dr. Helix's lab, where she notices a garbage-eating blob nearby getting bigger as it eats several trash cans. The scientist opens the door, to which Gi begs him for help. Briefly introducing herself, Gi tells Dr. Helix about what is happening, to which a blob splats itself on a window, surprising the scientist. Dr. Helix is shocked to see the blob, saying that it's impossible for his garbage eater to have escaped. Gi is also shocked to learn that Dr. Helix was the one who created them, but he assures her that he never used them. In fact, no one else even knows about them, aside from Dr. Sludge. That got Gi's attention, realizing Sly Sludge caused this.

Back at Andre's restaurant, Kwame, Wheeler, Linka, and Ma-Ti barricade themselves in the building. Unfortunately, a big blob break in anyway, but was quickly ejected by Linka who blew it away with her wind power. They go outside to see a huge blob attempting to absorb a car, which happens to be Sludge's who was still inside screaming for help. Wheeler uses his ring to burn the blob, causing it to drop the car. Sludge crawls out of the wreckage before the blob absorbs the wrecked car. The incident causes toxic smoke, which Linka was unable to blow away because of the concentration of pollution. Kwame leads the others to find Gi so they could call Captain Planet.

At Helix's lab, Dr. Helix shows Gi a method to reduce the garbage eater to a dormant state by spinning it down via a centrifuge. However, Gi mentions the blobs outside are too big for that, but Dr. Helix assures her he will think of something. A second later, a large blob breaks through the wall and corners the two. Gi uses her ring to hit the blob with a blast of water from the sink, splitting the blob down the middle. She quickly grabs Dr. Helix and escapes past the two halves before they reattach into one.

They meet up with the other Planeteers, but were now cornered in the street crossing on all sides by the blobs. The Planeteers quickly combine their powers to summon Captain Planet, who quickly flies them and the doctor out of reach of the blobs. He then turns to fight the now gigantic blob, but is soon engulfed. Before he could get absorbed, Captain Planet barely escapes it grasp by turning himself into a body of fire before crashing painfully. Captain Planet apologizes that he couldn't stop the blob and tells the Planeteers that they must find another way before splitting off into the rings again. For now, the Planeteers retreat to think of another way to deal with the garbage-eating blobs.

Inside the Geo Cruiser, Dr. Helix admires the crafts technology that runs on solar power. Ma-Ti notices that all the blobs were now heading out of the city. Linka uses the ship's computer to calculate where they were heading to, which she pinpoints to a certain spot. Dr. Helix reacts with horror that the spot on the map was the city's landfill. Ma-Ti suggest consulting with Gaia, in which Linka patches a connection to Hope Island. Through the connection, Gaia informs everyone that if the garbage eaters reach the landfill, they'll become unstoppable, She shows a predicted scene of what will happen, which shows the garbage eating blobs have grown gigantic then crushing the city to rubble before absorbing it (including landmarks such as the Louvre Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Eiffel Tower). It doesn't end there as the garbage eating blobs would eventually spread across the continent, then overseas until it engulfs the entire Earth, a planet of living garbage. Dr. Helix is horrified by the vision and laments how he may have caused the end of the world. Linka and Wheeler tries to assure the doctor that this wasn't his fault, it's Sly Sludge's. Suddenly, the Geo Cruiser gets plucked out of the sky by a blob that has grown gigantic due to the other blobs fusing into one. Kwame uses his ring to open a big enough fault line in the earth to swallow up the blob, causing it to drop the Geo Cruiser. They quickly get out and make a run for it before the blob climbs out.

Meanwhile, Sly Sludge manages to find a garbage truck and uses it to escape. He sees the Planeteers and Dr. Helix in front of him and immediately hits the gas with the intent to run them over. Linka however uses her ring to force the truck to drive in place long enough for Kwame to take the truck key from the ignition. The blob appears and converges on them, then Gi pulls Sludge out of the driver's seat which Kwame takes over. Gi throws Sludge into the back where everyone else was and tells Kwame to step on it while she and the other toss garbage to lure the blob away. As they throw trash, Dr. Helix stops Wheeler when he was about to throw some glass bottles at it, saying that the blob can't eat glass. When told this, Gi realizes that with enough glass, they can trap it. Ma-Ti tells Kwame that they must summon Captain Planet now that they have a plan. Once Captain Planet is formed, Kwame resumes driving the truck away from the blob. Captain Planet flies alongside the truck where Gi tell him that the blob can be stopped with glass. Telling Kwame to keep trucking, Captain Planet flies off to the center of the city and uses his powers to attract all glass shards towards himself.

With the Planeteers, Kwame was still driving as fast as he could, but Ma-Ti notices that they had already used up all the garbage in the truck. Wheeler says they're not all out just yet as he looks at Sludge, who gets fearful that he intends to throw him out. Wheeler was tempted to, but settles with throwing out Sludge's suitcase of money to the blob, much to Sludge's horror.

After gathering enough glass, Captain Planet turns into fire to melt it all down and reform it into a giant test tube before flying off with it. Kwame kept driving the truck, but unfortunately runs out of gas, forcing everyone to make a run for it on foot before the blob absorbs the truck. Luckily, Captain Planet manages to scoop up the giant blob inside the giant test tube. The crisis over, Dr. Helix says that it's only a temporary fix as they need something to spin it down to revert the blob to be dormant. Gi mentions they do have a way and Captain Planet rapidly spins the giant tube himself. Seconds later, the blob is turned into a giant pile of trash before Captain Planet sets it down, telling the doctor to grab the garbage eater, which had now been reduced to a grape-sized sphere. Dr. Helix quickly contains it in a glass jar, saying it will stay contained until he can find a way to keep them under control, but Gi tells him that it would be best to just recycle. Chef Andre suddenly appears with a serving platter, agreeing with Gi's sentiment. He then serves up a platter of French fries, which Wheeler happily eats. Andre confesses that he had gotten the recipe from an American tourist.

Sly Sludge gets caught and get an earful from the city mayor, angrily reminding him that the city paid him a fortune to take care of the garbage problem. She forces him to do it, even if it meant he'd have to recycle it piece by piece. Sludge is then seen being forced to clean the Geo Cruiser, then notices a franc bill in the trash, which he pockets. Everyone else notices this, and Captain Planet jokes that Sludge is earning his money for once, getting a laugh out of everyone else.

Planeteer Alerts[]

First Planeteer Alert

Gaia: You can recycle just about everything.
Wheeler: Like plastic. It's practically indestructible and stays around forever.
Linka: But scientists do have ways to recycle many kinds of plastic.
Ma-Ti: Still, recycling starts with you.
Gi: Technology can do many things, but it cannot make our garbage problem disappear.
Captain Planet: Only you can make less trash. And remember the three R's: reduce. Reuse. And recycle. The Power is yours!

Second Planeteer Alert

Gi: Most everything we buy will someday be thrown away.
Ma-Ti: So, try to buy things that can be reused or recycled.
Linka: Lots of packaging material may make something look better on the store shelf, but doesn't make a better product.
Kwame: More packaging only means more garbage in overflowing landfills.
Store clerk: Paper or plastic?
Wheeler: Save it. We brought our own.
Captain Planet: The power is yours.

Significant Moments and Facts[]

Captain Planet says, "I'll be Bach" (back), but this episode takes place in France. Bach was German, so a more appropriate pun would be "I'd better get Bizet" (busy).

Quotes[]

Sly Sludge (after seeing the garbage blobs): I have a bad feeling about this... (upon looking at his case of money) ...but I have a good feeling about this!

Wheeler (after tasting Chef André's French fries): Nobody makes French fries like the French!

Chef André: I had to ask an American tourist for the recipe.

Captain Planet: (seeing Sludge pocket one of the franc notes) For once, he's earning his money!

Gallery[]

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