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The River Rising

Episode #025 (385-632) - The River Rising
Original Airdate - August 3rd, 2002

Zee and Ro find temporary asylum from Bennet, among a clan of technology-fearing people called the Noteks. But while Bennet works on getting a warrant to enter their land, the Noteks discover that Zee is a synthoid -- and try to destroy him.

Media by Borg4of3
Review by Matt Zimmer
Credits:
Producer Liz Holzman, Robert Goodman
Associate Producer Haven Alexander
Story by Paul Diamond
Teleplay by Joseph Kuhr
Directed by Curt Geda
Music by Lolita Ritmanis
Animation Services provided by DR Digital Co., LTD.

Voices:
Diedrich Bader as Zeta / Zee
Julie Nathanson as Ro
Scott Marquette as Young Zee
Kurtwood Smith as Agent Bennet
Michael Rosenbaum as Agent West
Dominique Jennings as Agent Rush
Mae Whitman as Amy
Richard Mcgonagle as John
William Schallert as Judge Linden
Miles Marisco as Mulie
 
Video

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Pans

Review

An anti-technology community is shocked to discover there is a robot in their midst in this mediocre and ultimately forgettable episode.

Zeta and Ro are on the run from NSA agents when they happen upon an Amish-like anti-tech community. Disguised as a boy Zee and Ro are welcomed there if they agree to do their fair share of work. Bennett arrives and asks the community leader to let him search the village but he tells him he must get a warrant before he allows it. Meanwhile a storm is brewing and the villagers are building a dam. Zeta says he doesn't think the dam will hold but since he looks like a kid he isn't taken seriously.

As the storm worsens the dam of rocks starts to break. Zeta saves some of the villagers from falling rocks but his holoemitter is damaged and is revealed to be a machine. The village leader is terrified and leads the villagers to tie Zeta to a block of wood so they can smash him with rocks to Ro's horror. Just then the dam breaks flooding the village and freeing Zeta. Zeta and Ro see the leader and his daughter are trapped in the current and will be killed if they don't do something. Zeta fashions a raft out of a house's roof and saves the leader and his daughter. After the storm passes the leader says he isn't sure what to make of Zeta but he is sure he isn't a soulless machine.

This is another "The Fugitive" type episode that suffers from the audience not really being invested in the guest cast. The story was predictable and most of the anti-tech crowd besides the leader and his daughter were bumpkins who you could predict what would happen with at each turn. Rather than being worried about what happens to the village once Zeta is tied up and almost destroyed any sympathy you had for the anti-techs is evaporated and you don't really care what happens to them. The ending was predictable as was every twist and turn in the episode.

The only enjoyable part was West flying the NSA hovercar and Bennett and Rush's increasing frustration with him. I loved Bennett telling Rush to let West crash his single hoverdevice and Rush telling him not to toy with her like that. Other than that the episode is pretty forgettable.

The animation though choppy in places was decent. The flood despite its choppiness was drawn well at least. Although unlike "Eye of the Storm" the animation here is not good enough to save the episode. I wasn't really fond of this episode and thought it wasn't a story worth telling.

Story: **
Animation: ***
Average: **
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