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"Quick and the Fed" is the third episode of Season 1 of ReBoot, and the third episode overall. It originally aired on September 24, 1994 on YTV and ABC.

DVD Log Line

When Bob lets Enzo handle Glitch, he accidentally partially deletes Dot, and Bob must get her Slow Food to reverse the effects. —ReBoot: The Definitive Mainframe Edition

Synopsis

At Silicon Tor, Megabyte's virals are using a magnetic field emitter to open a way to the Supercomputer. Bob shows up, cuts the emitter's power, and stows its magnet in a shielded container. Evading Megabyte, he leaves.

Bob joins Dot and Enzo at Dot's Diner. Enzo asks about the magnet; there is a brief panic among the patrons before Bob assures them that it's shielded. Bob allows Enzo to try using Glitch. Enzo turns Glitch into a hammer, a flashlight, and a jackhammer; this last shakes up the entire Diner, and Bob recalls Glitch. The shaking causes the magnet's case to fall off the counter and be knocked open, and the magnet is attracted to Dot. Bob re-stows it, but Dot has already been partially erased. Cecil tells Bob that Phong would know how to reverse the damage, and Bob goes to consult him.

In the Principal Office, after being required to beat Phong at Pong, Bob tells him the problem. Phong advises him that Dot needs "slow food" to return her to normal, and warns him that "any shock or sudden movement could completely destabilize her."

Back at the Diner, Bob says that Phong directed him to Al's Wait 'n' Eat on Level 31. Dot says that it is too dangerous, and tries to tell him to vidwindow someone, but her speech is too impaired to get through the sentence. Enzo wants to go with Bob, but Bob tells him to stay and look after Dot.

Bob arrives at Al's and attempts to place an order, but Al's Waiter tells him to take a number. Bob takes number 4096 (in binary) just as number 3 is called.

At the Tor, while the magnetic field emitter is being repaired, Megabyte sends Hack and Slash after Bob.

At Al's, Bob loses patience with waiting. Hack and Slash arrive looking for him, although Al's Waiter initially assumes they are there as part of a protection racket. In exchange for food, Bob reveals himself and leads them on a chase back to Level 1 of Baudway. During the pursuit, a Game arrives. Bob makes it into the Game after tricking Hack and Slash into stopping long enough to crash into the descending Game wall.

The Game is a medieval fantasy, Castles & Knights. Bob reboots as a knight, as is the User, the White Knight. Dot's voice can be heard calling for help from a distant castle. Bob acquires a dragon from a nearby barn and rides it out of the starting town, but the White Knight jumps onto it from the town wall. Bob knocks him off, but another dragon swoops in and catches him. The White Knight chases Bob along a canyon, shooting fireballs at him. Bob's dragon, which is mechanical, turns out to be operated by Al's Waiter and Al.

After Bob's dragon manages some counter-fire, the fight changes to jousting and Bob knocks the White Knight into the canyon. Telling Al's Waiter to keep the White Knight busy, Bob enters the castle and finds himself in a room with a skeletal warrior impaled with a sword. Bob takes the sword, but the skeleton comes to life and attacks. They swordfight until a spike pit opens in the floor; Bob is disarmed and forced to jump into the pit, but catches the edge and commands Glitch to form a large vidwindow inside the skeleton's rib cage, exploding it.

Bob follows Dot's cries for help up a staircase to a tower. At the top, he discovers that the "damsel" is in fact Enzo, who is equipped with a megaphone which makes his voice sound like Dot's. Dot turns out to be rebooted as another knight, and bursts into the tower room, perfectly healthy and locked in combat with the White Knight. Bob attempts to assist, but the White Knight's mace breaks his sword. Throwing the broken sword, he discovers the White Knight's weak spot is his icon. Dot targets it until she tires, whereupon Enzo throws his megaphone at it, finishing the White Knight off and winning the Game.

Back in Baudway, Dot explains that she and Al are business partners, and she simply vidwindowed for a delivery. Megabyte appears with Hack and Slash, having seized Enzo. Megabyte demands Bob return the magnet; Bob uses Glitch to throw it at him, partially erasing him and knocking him off a ledge into the lower levels. Hack and Slash jump after him. Bob asks whether there is anything in Mainframe that Dot doesn't own; Dot's answer is evasive.

Computer References

  • In the days of magnetic tape and floppy disks, exposure to a magnet could easily erase the magnetically encoded data. (Magnets can also distort the image on a CRT monitor, since it uses internal magnets in its workings and an external magnet can cause interference.) Nowadays, other storage media and monitor technologies are prevalent, and it is unlikely for a sufficiently strong magnet to get close enough to something sensitive to do any damage, though care should still be taken with the magnetic stripes on credit cards.
  • 31 in binary is 11111, the highest value that can be represented with five bits.
  • A logic error is a bug that causes a program to produce incorrect output or behavior, but not actually crash or freeze.

Cultural References

  • The title refers to "the quick and the dead", whether the idiom or one of the many books or movies of that title.
  • The egg 7 is eating resembles the Ovomorphs from Alien, and 7 himself extends pharyngeal jaws like a Xenomorph (or a moray eel).
  • The foot of the bed in the tower room is engraved with the word ROSEBUD, always a reference to Citizen Kane.

Trivia

  • The title is presented as "Quick and the Fed" on the title card but "The Quick & The Fed" in the Shout!Factory collection.
  • Glitch commands:
    • cutter
    • auto-stow (robotic arm to put away the magnet without direct handling)
    • hammer
    • flashlight
    • jackhammer
    • stop
    • summon zipboard (touch activated, no verbal command)
    • communicator (touch activated, no verbal command)
    • BSnP (warp through a window without breaking it)
    • vidwindow, large icons
    • tongs (same robotic arm as auto-stow)
  • First time we see Megabyte's legs when he's not wearing them.
  • Dot's hair, eyeballs, icon, belt, and bracelets remain opaque when the rest of her is semitransparent.
  • The data sprites briefly seen in Al's are called Stripe and Rasta Mon, according to the trading cards.
  • In the Game, Bob's shield bears two lions combatant, Dot's is a phoenix displayed, and the White Knight's is a griffin rampant.
  • BSnP gag: "Glitch: BSnP!" allows Bob to move the pieces of a rose window out of his way and restore them after he passes, instead of smashing his way through. Let's see impressionable children emulate that!
  • The same image of an open-mouthed skull appears as a tattoo on Al's Waiter's upper arm, on the skeleton's shield, and on the shields decorating the wall of the skeleton room. (It will later appear on Bob's shoulder in the combat Games in "Identity Crisis: Part 1" and "When Games Collide", and on the biker chick binome's upper arm as well as her hat.)
  • The "WHAAM!" vidwindow Glitch generates says "Glitchenstein" in the bottom right corner.

Music

"The Quick and the Fed - Giant Magnet" by Bob Buckley

Gallery

Scenes

External Links

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