Mortal Marathon Part 8: Quan Chi

April 22nd, 2011 by | Tags: , ,

Guest article series by Gabriel “TheJoker138″ Coleman.

Holy shit, there’s an on-screen title that’s actually accurate. I’m seriously amazed. Anyway, we open up this week’s episode at a restaurant in the marketplace, where our trio of heroes are having dinner. Taja is still dressed like a golfer/tennis player in her pink polo shirt, Siro is hitting on the waitress and Kung is getting ready to leave, as he needs to rest up before going to the monastery the next morning. After he leaves, Taja and Siro have a brief discussion about why Siro is always so polite. He says the ladies love it. By the way, the waitress he’s hitting on is actually pretty conservatively dressed for this series:

What, are you a member of the Young Earthrealm Republicans or something? Prude.

Outside, Kung is on his way home when a woman runs up to him begging him for help, because another woman is being killed in an alley. They get there and two women are indeed attacking another one. These two are dressed more in line with the norm of this series:

Hey! It’s Jaime Pressly!

The woman who brought Kung to the alley ends up snapping the neck of the woman who was being attacked and reveals herself to be the third in this little group. The three of them all attack Kung, one of them even doing the Liu Kang flying kick attack from the games. Also, there’s kind of a creepy amount of upskirt shots in this fight, to the point where it kind of feels like I’m watching some creepy anime. Kung takes out two of them easily, but the third gets the upper hand on him. As she’s about to go in for the kill, Taja runs up and punches her square in the face. It’s nice to see Taja not being totally useless for once. Siro is with her and they scare the trio of women off. They ask Kung what happened and why they attacked him and he has no clue. Siro goes off to tell the guards about the murder, while Kung and Taja head home to deal with his wounds.

It cuts to a large temple, with a yin yang symbol on the front, set against a stormy background and there’s a man chewing the women out for failing. He calls them all “miserable sluts” at one point, which seems a bit harsh. We pan back and the dude yelling at them is in fact Quan Chi. He looks almost exactly like he did in MK4 and I’m actually quite impressed by how close it is. Although, to be fair, that look is goofy as hell in the games and is even goofier in live action:

It’s also a pretty obvious bald cap

They also reveal the names of the women here. Jaime Pressly is named Mika, the brunette is named Sora and the redhead who almost took out Kung is Siann. These three are obvious counterparts to three characters from MK Mythologies: Sub Zero, right down to their costumes. Mika would be Sareena (who was also in the handheld version of MK: Deadly Alliance), Sora would be Jataaka and Siann would be Kia. I wonder why they changed their names?

Anyway, Quan sends them back to kill all three of our heroes, using something called the dust of the Netherrealm. The dust will bring out the worst aspects of their personalities and it’s his hope that this will cause them to destroy themselves, so he won’t even have to do any real work.

The next morning, Kung is on his way to the temple and tells Taja he’ll be back in a day. Siro is getting a shave to look good for the waitress from the last night, but in a shocking twist, the barber is Sora. She “accidentally” cuts him while shaving him, administering the dust. Taja is out buying roses from the stall of a vendor named Cassie that she knows. But instead of her friend it’s Siann, who says Cassie is out sick and she’s replacing her for the day. When she hands Taja the roses, she also cuts her with one of them. Out in the woods Kung hears a woman crying for help and finds Mika tied to a tree. As he cuts her down she grabs his shoulder and cuts him as well. How did none of them recognize these women? It was less than 24 hours ago that they were fighting them and Kung even talked to Mika before the fight.

The three women (who are now dressed in different, color coded outfits) report back to Quan Chi, where we learn that they’re all actually dead and under his power because he has a potion that stops them from turning into hideous zombies and could send them back to the Netherrealm whenever he feels like it. For those of you who don’t know, Netherrealm is essentially Hell in the Mortal Kombat universe. It’s where the souls of the dishonored dead go to suffer for all eternity. Scorpion and Noob Saibot in the games (but not this show) are both locals. Also, the guy playing Quan here is trying to do the thing Meek does as Kahn, by being over the top and evil, but he’s just not very good at it. Quan Chi is always lame, no matter what form you put him in, it would seem. At least he actually made it into this though, instead of ending up on the cutting room floor like he did in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.

The next day Kung gets back and you can tell something is wrong with him by the fact that he is rude to a kid. At the training post, Taja and Siro are arguing and Kung asks them why. Siro, who is drunk and surly, accuses Taja of stealing his coin purse, which is true. Kung says that they both make him sick and all three of them storm off.

Siro goes to the restaurant from the last night to get even drunker. When he gets there he starts acting like a huge asshole to the waitress, who totally blows him off. Out in the alley behind the bar he goes as far as trying to rape her, but he’s so drunk that she’s able to easily knock his ass over and tell him that she never wants to see him again.

Taja heads into the marketplace where she starts stealing from shop keepers. Her method is the “can I see X object from behind you” and then grabbing something from the counter and running off. She eventually gets to the stall that her friend Cassie runs and finds out that she’s been killed (by Siann). She goes over to the body, but instead of mourning, she steals the ring off of her dead friend’s finger and runs off.

Siro gets home, still drinking and Kung asks him where he got the scarf that he’s using to soak up blood from the split lip the waitress gave him. The scarf belongs to Jen and this sets Kung off. He knocks the bottle from his hand and says that he’s nothing but a freeloading bodyguard who couldn’t even do that job right when he had it and is responsible for Jen’s death. Siro fights back, but with his fists, not words. This fight is actually pretty cool. Siro uses a lot of furniture as weapons and there’s a lot of them throwing each other into dressers and such. It ends when Siro has a moment of clarity and asks what they’re doing. Kung’s response to this is to kick him out of a second story window.

Raiden appears and says that he thinks Siro might be dead and asks Kung what happened. Kung blames it all on Siro, saying that he has no real friends, just people trying to hurt or kill him, like Siro. He says Raiden is just as bad and rushes off. Raiden tends to Siro’s wounds and for the first time in the series isn’t acting flip about the situation. He brings Siro inside, finishes field-dressing him and goes off to look for Taja.

Back at the temple, Quan is gloating about how he’s gotten one of them and sends Sora to help speed things along with Taja. Whatever she does works, because we next see her in an angry mob that has Taja strung up to be hung for her thieving. Raiden is watching all of this, wearing an outfit that reminds me quite a bit of some of the disguises Christopher Lambert wore in the first movie:

Still a badass

He scares off the crowd with a lightning bolt and cuts Taja down. He leaves the noose around her neck, though, and uses it to drag her behind him. She promises to give everything she took back and he assures her that yes, she will, but first he has to go visit an old friend. This old friend is Sora, who he finds in an alley. He demands to know what Quan Chi’s plan is, but she says that he’ll send her back to Netherrealm if she was to tell him. Raiden assures her that he’ll send her into nothingness if she doesn’t and she cracks, telling him everything. He teleports away.

He rematerializes at Siro’s side back at the training post, where he has Taja locked in a cell. He lets her know what’s happened to them, vis-à-vis the dust. He lets her out and teleports the three of them to the monastery, where he hopes the monks will be able to save Siro’s life.

When they appear, they find the monks beaten, with Kung Lao about to behead one of them. Raiden electrifies the sword, which causes Kung to rush at him, saying he’ll kill him. He gets about 3 steps before Raiden hits him with your standard electricity from the hands and knocks him on his ass. Raiden tries to explain what Quan has done and talk him down from his murderous frenzy. Quan’s plan is to make him dishonor himself, so that his soul will go to the Netherrealm when he dies and he’ll have power over them.

There’s a nice scene here with Raiden explaining to Kung and Taja that everything they’ve been doing is something that deep down they want to do. The acting from everyone in this scene is spot on, even Loken’s, but Meek is the stand out, as always. Taja seems shocked and disheartened that she has the urge to steal for more than survival in her and Kung acts like a petulant jackass. Raiden tells them that all they need to do is look at themselves and realize that what they’re seeing right now is only half of the picture. But they need to do it fast, because Quan will surely be on his way.

Back at the temple, the three women are back in their outfits from the first fight scene and arguing amongst themselves over what should be done about Sora telling Raiden everything. Mika, who seems to be the self-appointed leader of the group, takes charge just as Quan appears. She tells him that she has heard Kung Lao has been on a killing spree and Quan is overjoyed, leaving to go collect his soul.

He appears at the temple and faces Kung Lao, bringing out the trio of women to fight him, but Raiden holds them all back. He is allowed to interfere here because the three women aren’t mortals and demands that they back off. Quan also reveals that the exact reason he wants Kung’s soul is so he can sell it off to the highest bidder, whether that’s Shao Kahn or someone else. He’s also willing to fight for it himself and calls out his green skulls from the game. Raiden tells him if they’re to fight, it’s going to be fair and Quan agrees, saying that Kung’s rage is enough to give him the upper hand and make this an easy victory.

It’s… It’s like someone who was involved with this episode actually played the game or something…

This fight is also pretty good. Other than that very first one, in fact, all of the fights in this episode are good. There’s a lot of acrobatics from Quan Chi, who’s flipping and spinning around and even pulls out a splits at one point to dodge one of Kung’s hits. Unfortunately while he’s down there he doesn’t punch him in the balls, but I guess that’s a Cage thing. We also get another thing in this fight that I missed last episode

That being a shot of the villain where he looks really smug

Kung wins the fight and Raiden explains that there has been no dishonor to his soul, as Siro has lived and none of the monks were killed. Quan says that if he can’t have his soul, there’s no reason for him to stay and teleports away using his green skulls. Kung and Raiden have a talk about how Kung needs to accept the dark parts of himself to create balance within and Taja and Siro have a similar conversation themselves, as the episode ends.

Well, we’re back to having episodes that verge on being good here, instead of the boring crap that the last couple offered. We’ve had 4 characters who were actually in games introduced (although the women have different names), one of whom at least will be back in a semi-recurring role. They were also all handled pretty well, with Jaime Pressly being the stand out. She’s also one of the only actors from this show to go on and have a career later, so that’s something. Also, watching the heroes acting like assholes for half an hour was pretty fun, except for the Siro: Rapist section.

Up Next: Unholy Alliance… featuring the Deadly… er… Unholy Alliance of Shang Tsung and Quan Chi. I’m guessing they aren’t nearly as successful here as they were in the games.

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