Jonathan began collecting Rescue Heroes in 1998, and he continues to keep abreast of all things related to the franchise.
The opening title stayed the same, save for the inclusion of the Fisher-Price logo at the end.
Episode 13: Learning to Make Friends
The new season kicked off on Sunday, November 10, 2019 with this arbitrarily named but fun episode.
When the team goes for a rescue in the French Alps, they chance to meet up with a snowboarding mountain man named Al Valanche and his pet lynx, Clause. They soon realize his value when he helps them solve and complete the mission.
This is the first time that a team member 'dies', so to speak, on the series, when Carlos is forced to leave M.A.N.N.I.E. behind to save himself. The robot is overcome by an avalanche and never seen again in the episode.
Al also has to leave his snowboard behind, but after being invited back for hot cocoa, he is gifted a new one and invited by Billy to join the team.
Al and Clause are likely to be a preview of new toys coming soon, as is possibly a new command center seen at the beginning.
At the end, Al has Rescue Heroes branding on his outfit, and he hosts the closing vlog along with Billy, although it is no longer called such and is no longer numbered. There is also no longer an initial collage of images from the episode, just individually.
After restating the moral of the story, Billy goes on to say that they're always on the lookout for new team members, while flashing images of a few possibilities on the screen, perhaps a preview of stories to come.
Tuesday, November 12, 2019.
While using a device to see whether or not a volcano might be active, Billy's biggest clue is when it starts to erupt.
Oh, and Billy's buns are overcooked.
Episode 14: Recycling Matters!
Saturday, November 16, 2019.
In Al and Clause's first mission as team members, a giant mass of plastic waste threatens a whale migration, besides numerous other creatures caught in it. When the job is harder than anticipated, everyone, including members of the public team up to save the day at the last second.
The final segment again features a collage of images and a vlog number, and this time is hosted by Sandy.
The tense final scene is undercut by an unbelievable, looney-tunes-esque machine that supposedly turns plastic waste into complex manufactured goods like bicycles, basketballs and skateboards.
M.A.N.N.I.E. is also shown to have been retrieved after being left behind in the previous episode.
Tuesday, November 19, 2019.
While assisting with post-flood repair, the team saves a man trapped on his roof by a wandering alligator.
Out in the Cold
Tuesday, November 26, 2019.
When a couple gets a little lost on a hike, with enough supplies and peace of mind to have a full-on picnic, multiple members of the world's most elite rescue team divert their efforts to find them and give them a medical check-up, just to be sure. Totally believable.
Where is the Smoke Song!
Sunday, December 1, 2019.
Yes, that's the official title. In this stop-motion episode, the high-pitched, monotone, grating and precocious voice of the child narrator is traded for a new format, a song. No, not a song in the vein of "We Are Many, We Are One" from Rescue Heroes: The Movie. Oh, how the mighty have fallen, or rather reverted to a small-child-centric, overly straightforward story of a song similar to the franchise's first video game from its' early days, Hurricane Havoc.
The visuals and story were lifted from the previous episode called Where There's Smoke, (a play on the phrase "where there's smoke, there's fire"), but the song, as stated above, was mistitled Where is the Smoke.
Tuesday, December 3, 2019.
Forrest's balance training comes in handy when a truck teeters on the edge of a cliff, and the team needs to save the driver.
Boulder Block Song!
Saturday, December 7, 2019.
The previous episode Boulder Block is immortalized in song.
Tuesday, December 10, 2019.
Forrest and Sandy rescue a mother polar bear and her pup stranded on floating ice.
Update: On March 31 the episode was re-uploaded under the title "Polar float" (lower case f and also apparently a typo of frost) with the ending cut off mid-sentence, just another example of the lack of real regard they have for not only this property but the audience.
Tuesday, December 17, 2019.
In this episode with a title that seems only vaguely connected to the topic, (because it was actually the previous episode's title, yet another glaring title error that remains uncorrected) the team shows how to interact with animals and help them when injured.
Update: On Tuesday, March 24, the episode was re-uploaded under the proper title Mountain Dog Rescue.
Tuesday, December 24, 2019.
In yet another case of the writers fundamentally misunderstanding the purpose of a team like the Rescue Heroes, Billy again wastes funding by going to save a cat from a tree, something even a local fire department probably wouldn't do.
On a side note, we learn that Forrest has a fondness for beekeeping and practical jokes, (perhaps not the best combination).
Ski Lift Rescue
Tuesday, December 31, 2019.
When a ski lift malfunctions, Rocky takes along Carlos (who also wears his helmet) to fix it and save the stranded passengers.
Race to the Oasis Song!
Saturday, January 4, 2019.
Another song, and I use that word loosely, based on the aforementioned episode.
Carlos & His Kit Bag
Tuesday, January 14, 2020.
One of the most un-educational, patronizing and child-insulting episodes to date starts off well enough. A dam (although they refuse to call it that) that has an impossibly thin thickness of less than a foot has somehow developed a hole in it by the front of a long sunken boat touching it. When Carlos repels down, things begin to take an ugly turn.
After a comedy skit of him pulling things out of his pack that couldn't possibly fit there, he plugs the dam hole with . . . a rubber ducky. After which he seals it. Sandy then pulls the duck out from the other side and uses it to float to the surface. Because apparently her jet propelled mini-sub isn't as practical. Before you say, "But it's a kids show!", watch season one again and see if this still works for you.
On Thin Ice
Saturday, January 18, 2020.
In this episode that shares its' title with one from season three, Rocky calls the others to action when a televised race he's watching shows one of the entrants stranded amidst frozen water. They rush there to assist, narrowly escaping the same fate themselves.
The episode was mistakenly named as part of the "Music for Kids" category, but on Tuesday, February 18 was uploaded a second time under the correct "Cartoons for Kids" category.
Tuesday, January 21, 2020.
Yet another written-on-the-fly 'song' based on a previous episode.
Tuesday, January 28, 2020.
Sandy and Reed not only save a trapped diver dangerously low on air, but help her to finish retrieving a valuable statue that belongs in a museum.
Saturday, February 1, 2020.
Billy and Sandy go to extract a group of people stranded at a playground after a flood, but then high winds complicate the situation.
I enjoyed this episode, especially its' use of visual effects. The storyline was believable as well, but this should be a given.
Under the Sea Song
Tuesday, February 11, 2020.
I'm not even going to dignify it by giving a synopsis.
Out In The Cold Song
Saturday, February 15, 2020.
I'm done with this.
Hope Springs Song
Tuesday, February 25, 2020.
Is that a fish in that tree?
The Leaning Tower Song
Saturday, February 29, 2020.
Remember that old cartoon that featured fantastic action and technology, but kept it grounded in reality by teaching real scientific and safety lessons and showing the relatable struggles in the characters' lives, all while being fun for kids yet not talking down to them? Yeah, Fisher-Price doesn't remember it either.
Tuesday, March 10, 2020.
That's right, this is the official title, though sadly not surprising. Lightening has been defined as "a drop in the level of the uterus during the last weeks of pregnancy as the head of the fetus engages in the pelvis", or alternatively in its' basic sense as a form of the verb lighten, referring to color or weight. I have a feeling they meant lightning though.
When Rocky, Forrest and Carlos are out recreating, they need to put out a fire started by a lightning strike.
I thought they did a good job on the lighting and effects in this episode.
Na Asa e No Reparo
Thursday, March 12, 2020.
This episode was released on the Portuguese Fisher-Price channel followed by the Spanish one two days later, and the automated translation literally means "on wing and repair" in one and "rescue on high" in the latter. It involves Sky and Carlos saving a plane mid-flight.
Oil Clean-up Song
Saturday, March 14, 2020.
Among the first lyrics are "Rescue Heroes think sponges are cool". Need I say more?
Abrupt Eruption Song
Saturday, March 28, 2020.
Another lyric selection:
"Billy made it. The lava's hot, it burned his bum. He's okay, in the end . . ."
All hope is lost.
Saturday, April 4, 2020.
You know the drill.
Dangling in Danger Song
Saturday, April 11, 2020.
Fogo e Furia
Thursday, April 23, 2020.
Literally meaning Fire and Fury, this episode was again released on Fisher-Price Brazil instead of English. In it, Billy saves an old man's dog from a burned-out building.
Alligator Alley Song
Saturday, April 25, 2020.
I wonder how long they're gonna pour money into these stop motion shorts and songs . . . unless they were already made and need to be unloaded? Wake me up when the episodes with the new characters from the 2020 lineup get here.
Update: It appears that any planned future episodes showing the new characters have been cancelled, along with the revamped Rescue Heroes line as a whole. Would it have been more successful if they had followed the quality example of the original series? I honestly believe it would have. Instead, they took the quick and easy way, summarily flushing one of the most underrated franchises just as it was getting started again. If Rescue Heroes ever tries to come back again for another generation, those in charge will need to correct two main things: Respect for the franchise itself and respect for the audience. Until then, this is Jonathan Jeopardy signing out.
© 2019 Jonathan Sabin