|Mainframe at War|
|To Mend and Defend|
|Written by||Marv Wolfman|
|Story by||Gavin Blair, Phil Mitchell, Ian Pearson, Micheal Skorey|
|Original Airdate||20 August 1997|
|Prev.: Web World Wars | Next: Between a Raccoon and a Hard Place|
|View Episode List.|
The Web War is over and Bob is gone. The Viral Wars are just beginning. The ABCs are shooting the CPUs out of the sky. Hexadecimal has recharged the Hardware, uses it against the Principal Office. Inside the War Room, Dot is shaken by the magnitude of their losses. She commands the remaining nine CPU ships to take vector "niner seven zero one" and to fly single file. She wants to lure Megabyte's Armored Binome Carriers into a trap.
Specky looks to Phong, but that ancient sprite tells the little binome he better do as Dot says, Phong believes his military advisor has a plan. The Mainframers reject Megabyte's demand for unconditional surrender.
A binome guides the CPUs along heading 1138 down the skyscraper canyons in single file. The ABCs oblige by lining up on either side in a classic crossfire formation, making them sitting ducks for the Principal Offices' guns. They open fire and obliterate the ABCs. One ABC bursts into flames and crashes into the Principal Office shield generators. The CPUs dock and Dot orders the shields raised, but the Principal Office's shield generators are damaged and remain down.
Megabyte figures he has won, but Hexadecimal wants to destroy the Principal Office, even though destroying its core would wipe out Hex and Megabyte as well. Megabyte tries to stop her but she easily flings him away like a bug. Luckily her shot is blocked when Mouse diverts Core energy to raise a partial wall.
After an emotional moment thinking of Bob, Mouse and Dot switched into battle gear. They head out on Zip Boards, just in time to see the big gun being bisected by an incoming Game Cube, zapping Hex with excess energy. Enzo can't help but follow the Guardian protocols and races to the game with AndrAIa at his side. But the girl, being a Game Sprite, will leave when the game leaves, which is why Mouse holds her back.
The inside of the game cube is a foggy cemetery with interesting headstones. They're on the final level of Malicious Corpses, and they have to find the Manual of Mortality before dawn. The scenery includes a wooden truss bridge, a cabin in the woods. There is also a headstone with the inscription "Here Lies The MAINFRAME JOINT VENTURE, An Unholy Alliance".
The binomes don't like taking orders from Enzo, saying that he's just a boy, not a real Guardian. This sentiment is echoed outside the Game Cube by a female Sheriff in a TV interview.
Dot and Enzo watch as the User's avatar - a lantern-jawed man with a chainsaw in place of one hand, and a shotgun in the other, wipes out a small platoon of skeleton game sprites with gunfire. When told that the zombies on the next level have flesh on their bones, the appalled Dot asks what kind of creature would derive enjoyment from a game of that sort.
The User collects the last page from an evil tree, needing only The Book to win. Frisket tries to take down the User by brute force, but is stopped dead by a shotgun blast. Enzo is horrified and tries to help his friend until Dot reminds him the only way to help Frisket now is to win the Game. Hiding in the cabin doesn't work, as the User comes through the wall with the chain saw. Enzo uses some dance moves to use up the User's ammo. The piano wires stop the chain saw, Frisket crawls in to trip the User, and Enzo uses the tape from a Welman tape recorder to tie him up. They toss the User into the cellar, producing a swirling cloud, and a statement of "I'm Dead Before Dawn!". Game over.
Back in the Principal Office, the young Guardian is bowled over by an enthusiastic AndrAIa. Phong praises Mouse's abilities, then turns noticeably red when she returns the compliment. Enzo promises to locate Bob and bring him back home. Mouse and AndrAIa say they have a surprise. They went to the remains of Dot's Diner and brought back Cecil, hanging from a Zip Board. Dot is over joyed and hugs Cecil and tells him she thought they'd lost him to.
- To Mend and Defend is the first episode of the Third Season of ReBoot.
- A new narration by Megabyte replaces the narration by Bob used for the previous two seasons.
- The title sequence serves to recap the events of the previous episode, Web World Wars.
- This is the first episode of ReBoot that did not include Bob.
- Dot tells the CPUs to approach from vector 9701, this episode's production number.
- The CPU pilot says, "Well, ya heard the little lady. Single file. Proceed heading 1138. Stay frosty," a reference to THX 1138, an early George Lucas movie. A similar line was previously mentioned in The Tearing.
- Enzo says "You treat me like I'm BASIC", a reference to the computer programming language (Beginner's All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) designed by John George Kemeny and Thomas Eugene Kurtz in 1963.
- Dot has the ReBoot icon with wings tattooed on her right shoulder.
- As Hexadecimal prepares to fire upon the Principal Office, she says "Say hello to my little friend" a quote from the 1983 film "Scarface", directed by Brian De Palma.
- The 'Malicious Corpses' Game and log cabin in this episode are clearly modeled off Sam Raimi's Evil Dead 2.
- All the Game's tombstones are in-jokes regarding Mainframe Entertainment Inc.'s employees such as: 'Andrew "Spanky" Grant', 'Morgan Ratsoy - Planted like a potato', 'Big Andy Doucette - Passed wind, passed out, passed on', 'Ian Pearson – Finally a hole-in-one!', 'Phil Mitchell', 'Frank Belina', 'Walter Hsieh', 'Mark Ralston', 'Galvin Blair - Swearless', 'Phil Peterson', 'Bob Buckley - Unplugged' and 'Scott Baltjes – Bought the farm'. Other employees' names are also visible such as 'Barb Dawson', 'Alberto Garcia' and 'Mark Schiemann' but curiously these were reversed.
- The zombie Binomes icons have all turned into black and white skull emblems seen in "The Punisher" from Marvel Comics.
- The missing pages from the 'Manual of Mortality' is a spoof of the Evil Dead's "Necronomicon" aka "Book of the Dead".
- A tombstone inside the "Malicious Corpses" Game reads "Here lies the Mainframe Joint Venture, an unholy alliance". Another in-joke to ABC Network for not renewing 'ReBoot' for the third season.
- Enzo's appearance in the Game is a parody of Michael Jackson from his 1984 music video, 'Thriller' complete with his dance moves.
- The Game character Dot reboots into is directly modeled after Morticia Addams, from the television show 'The Addams Family'. There was also a brief musical jingle from the Addams Family show when Dot Rebooted.
- Dot is forced to rip her dress so she can move, resembling the American actress Cassandra Peterson, best known for her on-screen horror host persona "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark".
- The User character with chainsaw is modeled after 'Ash Williams' the protagonist of the Evil Dead films, played by Bruce Campbell. The User continually recites his catchphrase "Groovy!"
- Female Sheriff Binome on the interview emulates the protagonist from the 1996 American neo-noir film "Fargo" by the Coen Brothers.
- When Dot exclaims "I mean, what kind of sick creature gets enjoyment out of playing this sorta game?!", Enzo and her both glare at the camera, breaking the fourth-wall. A clear joke aimed at gamers addicted to violent First-person Shooter titles.
- Enzo hides the Manual of Morality between a copy of "A Time To Die" and "The Great Cosmic Mother" with its text reversed, published by 'HarperOne' in 1987.
- Dot distracts the User by saying "Over here, big boy!" imitating American actress Mae West.
- Enzo grabs tape from a reel-to-reel tape machine labeled "Welman" an in-joke on Chris Welman, VP of Software Development at Mainframe Entertainment Inc.
- The zombie User chants "Undead before Dawn!" wordplay on Evil Dead 2 subtitle "Dead by Dawn".
- When Phong opens the VidWindow message the sign in the background displays: "Mainframe's Pet Hospital – we make sick animals all better ...or screamin"
- The doctors tell Frisket "Back! Back! We have no diskettes!" referring to the computer floppy disk, a data storage medium composed of a thin, magnetic, flexible disk encased in a plastic square or rectangular shell. Invented by IBM.
- Mouse says, "Uhh, sorry to break up this Photoshop moment" a clear reference to "Adobe Photoshop", or simply Photoshop, the well-known market leading graphics editor developed and published by Adobe Systems.
- This reference to Photoshop is a spin on the slogan used by Kodak at the time, who coined the term "Kodak Moment" which is now part of popular lingo.
- This is the one of two episodes of Season 3 which was not repeated in the UK after its original air date in 1997, the other being "Between a Raccoon and a Hard Place".19 viewers complained that the violence was unacceptable and the characters inappropriate in a children's program shown at the time (see http://www.ofcom.org.uk/static/archive/itc/itc-publications/complaints_report/programme_complaints/show_complaint.asp-prog_complaint_id=12.html ) For more information, see ReBoot in the UK.
- Enzo losing his right eye is foreshadowed twice in this episode: His eye is shown to hang loose outside its socket shortly after rebooting, and a deer head mounted on a wall in the cabin states "It's only funny until somebody loses an eye.".
- No explanation is given for how the War Room was upgraded so quickly, assuming that the episode takes place immediately after Web World Wars.
- There are several display screens in the War Room with an interface reminiscent of the LCARS interface from Star Trek.
- This is the first appearance of Christopher Gray as Enzo.