SpongeBob Reviews: Season 2 (Pressure/The Smoking Peanut)

Sorry this post is so delayed. It’s been a long couple of weeks of packing and travelling and getting over jetlag and visiting people and job hunting and trying to find a few hours to myself somewhere in between all of this. Things should be getting back to something resembling normalcy soon, at least.

Pressure

This episode is about SpongeBob and Sandy getting into an argument about whether sea creatures are better than land creatures. Better at what, exactly? Well, anything I guess. They challenge each other to a couple of different activities and tricks to figure out which is better in general.

Patrick, Mr. Krabs, and even Squidward join into the debate as well, and they all gang up on Sandy, who it turns out can’t do many of the things they can. Not through any fault of her own, but simply because her body doesn’t work that way. She doesn’t have six limbs so she can’t do Squidward’s trick, she doesn’t have eye stalks or a shell like Mr. Krabs does so she can’t do his trick, etc. But of course they all make fun or her anyway, and Sandy gets frustrated with their teasing. So much so that when SpongeBob makes a crack about how she couldn’t even live underwater if not for her helmet, she snaps and smashes the helmet on the ground.

She doesn’t last too long before she has to put a pickle jar over her head so she can breathe. Which doesn’t make any sense. Where did the air in the pickle jar come from? Everyone laughs at her, so she challengers them to go up on dry land and see how long they last.

After some hesitation, the four of them go on land.

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There they are, on land. They do pretty well until they’re attacked by some puppets seagulls. Sandy goes up to check on them and saves them from the seagulls. When they all return to the sea, SpongeBob apologizes to Sandy for goading her into taking off her helmet and Sandy apologizes for making them all go up on land. They agree that neither of them can be good at everything and they shouldn’t compete.

So, this is an episode that I really love. I think the idea of the characters getting into a silly argument about land vs sea, and having that argument escalate, is a lot of fun. I also like the sense of comradery between the characters. I mean, Sandy is pretty much on her own. She’s the only land creature so everyone gangs up on her and it’s not particularly pleasant. But the sea creatures have a nice comradery in this episode. I like that they’re having fun together and making each other laugh, even if it is at Sandy’s expense. Even Squidward is having fun. It’s kind of cute.

SpongeBob and Sandy are often competitive with each other, which isn’t a problem as long as it stays friendly. It’s actually one of the more fun aspects of their relationship. But SpongeBob is prone to being a sore loser, and he’s also not a particularly gracious winner, and Sandy is very prideful (but note, she’s actually quite a gracious winner, which I’ll get to later), so their competitiveness can get ugly if they don’t keep themselves in check.

About Sandy, something I find interesting is that while she is really cocky, she doesn’t seem to mind being beaten as long as it’s a fair fight. She reacts poorly when SpongeBob beats her in a foot race because she didn’t view it as fair (even though she didn’t play fair either with the rock climbing race), but at the end of the episode when she thinks SpongeBob and company managed to stay on land longer than she lasted without her helmet, there’s no bitterness there at all. She’s impressed that they managed it and she cheerfully goes up to congratulate them, which is when she notices that they’re being attacked. She does look pretty smug after she saves them all, but when she thought they beat her fair and square? She’s perfectly happy for them. It’s an interesting trait, that she can be genuinely happy for her friends when they beat her despite her competitive nature and cockiness, so long as she believes they beat her fairly.

So yeah, I think this episode is a lot of fun. I like the plot and the way the characters play off each other and the jokes are pretty funny, it’s really enjoyable and one of my personal favorites. Like, definitely in my top ten.

Rating: 10/10

The_Smoking_Peanut

In this episode, SpongeBob and Patrick visit the zoo to see the giant clam that is famous for being able to do impressive tricks. It’s sleeping when they get there so Patrick wanders off in boredom. SpongeBob stays behind and attempts to wake up the clam by throwing a peanut at it. The clam does wake up, and it starts wailing so loudly that everyone in Bikini Bottom can hear it, and no one can get it to stop.

The police are investigating who made the clam cry, and Patrick has taken it upon himself to investigate too. SpongeBob feels incredibly guilty but he’s terrified of confessing, at least until Patrick is somehow accused of the crime. SpongeBob then confesses, but as it turns out neither he nor Patrick are guilty. The clam was upset because Mr. Krabs stole her pearl, which was actually an egg.

I like this episode, but I tend to forget about it a lot because I don’t think it has a lot of replay value. A lot of the story and jokes rely on playing with the viewer’s expectations and taking them by surprise, so when you knows what’s coming it loses its punch.

The twist at the end is pretty good, and it was actually foreshadowed quite nicely. At the beginning of the episode, we see Mr. Krabs in a very bad disguise stealing various things around the zoo. It’s treated like a throwaway gag and we don’t see Mr. Krabs again until the reveal at the end, so I don’t think anyone would have guessed he had anything to do with the oyster, but it was setup and not something that comes completely out of left field.

The biggest problem with this episode, for me, is its lack of replay value. It’s not a bad episode by any means, but it’s just not as fun when you’re seen it more than once. I rarely watch this episode because of that, but it is a pretty decent one.

Rating: 7/10

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