Thunderbirds Are Go – Season 1 Episode 24
“Touch and Go”
Thunderbirds Are Go brings back the underused Kayo and pits her right against her uncle, The Hood as he plans a fuel heist.
Kayo has been largely absent for much of the season which is a shame as this episode proves how valuable an asset she is to the team as well as the show overall. She is shown here to have a problem with authority in the sense that she doesn’t feel comfortable following an order when she knows her way is better. This is shown early in the episode where she brings someone in rather than simply following them as she was told.
This extends the conflict International Rescue had with the Global Defence Force last week as they seem to be extra careful about stepping on their toes. Scott explains to Kayo that there is a defined line that International Rescue has drawn. They will protect people and leave law enforcement to the GDF. Why they even have a spy in their midst is a little confusing but I’m willing to go for it.
Kayo’s scene with Scott gives this show what it often lacks, conflict. Scott’s point of view that Kayo bringing in the man she was tailing was the wrong thing to do because it isn’t their remit to do so and Kayo points out that by acting she prevented a disaster. International Rescue are more of a reactive organisation rather than a proactive one which doesn’t really mesh with Kayo’s ideals. The beauty of this conversation is that both sides are right in their own way. Being reactive doesn’t always work as it means that more disasters can follow but being proactive means that future disasters can be prevented. Scott doesn’t really disagree but he also accepts that International Rescue doesn’t have that kind of authority and could get in a lot of trouble for acting like vigilantes essentially.
This is definitely Kayo’s episode as she gets the majority of the screen time and some strong character beats to go along with it. She is faced with the choice of hanging back or acting when she finds out that the Hood is involved so she decides that it’s better if she acts despite being told not to. What follows is actually a really interesting discussion with the Hood about her role in International Rescue. The Hood thinks she is squandering her potential by being used as a pawn by them when she is a natural leader who could be doing so much more.
Kayo’s response points out that he’s a villain but the Hood actually raises a legitimate point about what he is doing. He suggests that the government is corrupt and hoarding this fuel for the rich when others need it which suggests that the whole thing is a lot more complex than it appears. The Hood even points out that things aren’t always as they appear. I would love it if his organisation were actually onto something in terms of trying to bring down a corrupt system with extreme methods as it would flesh out him as a villain and add layers to his character. It’s clear that Kayo is starting to question her preconceptions even though she is defiant right until the end. I’d like to see her loyalties waver in future episodes.
More complexity is added when the Hood saves her life rather than stopping the fuel container from hitting the ground. The Hood is her uncle so it suggest that he does feel a sense of loyalty to her through their familial connection. How far that goes is as yet unknown but it does give Kayo something more to think about. I really hope this is developed as they are definitely onto something here.
The set pieces were nicely done as always. Thunderbirds 1 and 2 working in tandem to try and stop a plane crashing was exciting and kept raising the tension by having things go wrong. The less than perfect rescues are always the best and seeing the damaged plane hanging off a cliff was a nice reminder of The Italian Job. It did feel slightly disposable but I think it was supposed to be as it was set up by the Hood as a distraction in the first place so it makes sense on a narrative level.
Seeing Thunderbird S in action was really cool as well. I like that the cockpit is also a motorcycle and we get an idea of the limits it has as well as the purpose it can serve within the framework of International Rescue. All in all an excellent episode of Thunderbirds Are Go.
An excellent episode that gives the underused Kayo some much needed character development that manages to give the show some more depth.
Kayo has been largely absent from the show so far but this episode proves how much of an asset she is as she brings some much needed conflict. She is shown to have a problem with following orders when she knows there is a better way and has a really interesting discussion with Scott where she points out that her actions prevented a disaster rather than being reactive all the time as International Rescue are.
It’s a good discussion as both points of view are valid. It also serves as an extension of their conflict with the Global Defence Force last week as Scott is keen not to step on their toes. Law enforcement is the GDF’s problem and International Rescue protect people so overstepping those bounds is very risky for them.
Further depth is given to Kayo when she confronts the Hood and he suggests that the government is corrupt and his organisation are acting against that corrupt system with extreme methods. It adds more complexity to him as a villain and creates potential for Kayo’s loyalties to waver in the future. The fact that the Hood saves her shows a sense of familial loyalty and reminds her that things aren’t all that they seem.
The set pieces were excellent as always with plenty going wrong during Thunderbirds 1 and 2 trying to rescue the plane. It was exciting and tense especially as the plane was hanging off the cliff. The sequence did feel a little disposable but it was established that this was only a diversion from the Hood’s real plan so it makes sense on a narrative level.
It was also cool to see Thunderbird S in action and get an idea of the limits of the vehicle as well as the use of it within International Rescue. This is definitely the best episode of the series so far.