TEC: Chapter 53: Yet Moar Arabs

“So why is it the action sequences slow this movie down?”

-Tom Servo, MST3K, Episode 516 – Alien from L.A.

Even Phillips, it seems can only take so much banal observations on international air travel (“Sitting up isn’t the most restful sleep position,” Murphy agreed.), so as soon as we touch down in Baghdad, we head off for an action scene.

Just to reassure you of Michael Murphy’s care and protective instincts towards the woman he loves: he is warned by their military escort immediately upon landing that leaving the Green Zone means they are no longer under U.S. military protection, and could be “extremely dangerous.”  They’re also told that Jassim Amram isn’t allowed inside the Green Zone due to the fact that “security has tightened down” (what, and the word of Michael Murphy buys him nothing?).  So they meet him just outside the checkpoint, and he takes them out to dinner.  Despite Murphy’s lip service to “Isis with her red hair,” Jassim assures them they’ll be “very safe.”


Great job, Murph.

The men turn out, unsurprisingly, to be a set of insensitive brutes at dinner.  Isis has covered up, but still feels uncomfortable the whole time, with men staring at her and women talking about her.  And just as Jassim is matter-of-factly informing them that they should get back to the Green Zone, what with the “hair trigger on anyone who approaches the zone after ten p.m.,” Isis sees a guy with a Talon Tattoo in the restaurant.  She tells Murphy, who seems to not care at all, since they just leave the restaurant as they had planned, companionably chatting about the Writing on the Wall.

And then a care drives slowly by and they are shot at.  As you might expect.  They all hit the deck and nobody is hit, so they run to the safest place they can see: a dark alley.

Nope, not making that up.  Hey guys, this way, where we can be cornered!

But luck is on their side, as they see an opening into a courtyard in the alley.  (???)   They dodge and duck and dip and dive and dodge through streets until they dash into a restaurant, where “pairs of dark eyes followed them, focused on the three white faces.”

A random Moar Arab leads them out the back into yet another alley, where they decide to SPLIT THE PARTY and let Jassim go back for the car.  Me, I’d head back on foot.  And what’s with taking the party so far from the Green Zone, anyway?

After Jassim leaves, four Moar Arabs, all armed, come upon our heroes and start speaking Arabic.  Of course, Isis can translate, and all they’re doing is debating on whether to kill them right now, or take them back to “their leader.”


In their first smart move, Murphy and Bingster take the opportunity of the Evil Debate to rush their would-be assailants.  Of course, despite one of the Arabs being armed with a automatic weapon, the two brave American men make quick work of the silly Moar Arabs, and Murphy then threatens one of the Arabs still left standing, as Isis translates who-are-you-working-for questions, to which you’d think the answers would be obvious when the Arabs sport Talon Tattoos.

Finally the Arab spoke.  “The man with the razor finger wants you dead,” Isis translated.

Well then, for the thousandth time, why doesn’t Talon just shoot him or falcon him to death some morning on Murphy’s apparently completely unsecured campus, or some night at Murphy’s apparently completely unsecured home???  GEEZ

“He says he people the works for need you eliminated.”

“What do you mean, the people he works for?” Murphy asked, pressing his knee into the Arab’s belly.


Again Isis translated what was said.  “The Seven.”

“The who?  Who are the Seven?” Murphy asked.

Of course, the Arab won’t (or can’t) say who exactly they are, which should come as a surprise to nobody, so Murphy just THROWS A REVERSE PUNCH.

So finally it all sorta comes together, even though it should have come together for Murphy like, last book.

And then Jassim shows up with the car.  Because I guess you can’t trust the one non-white member of the party to fight the Evil Moar Arabs.


Posted on November 6, 2016, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Man, there’s never a fruit cart around when you need one.

    Why has Talon been blabbing to his bottom-layer thugs about his employer?

  2. “In their first smart move, Murphy and Bingster take the opportunity of the Evil Debate to rush their would-be assailants.”

    Do you mean the first smart move of the chapter, the book, or the series as a whole here? Because honestly, I could see all three.

    Also, while I know it’s not actually what it means, every time I hear about someone performing a ‘reverse punch’ in these books, I can’t help but imagine them deliberately turning around so their back is to the opponent, then either making a backwards punching motion to elbow the guy behind them, or straight up swinging their arm around to punch the guy without looking at him. I don’t know why I keep making that mistake in visualization every single time, but if I was reading the book, I would imagine the ridiculousness of it and the frequency that the punches happen would jar me right out of the scene whenever they come up. And if they never actually explain what a reverse punch actually is in the books, I’m betting it would do the exact same thing to the target audience.

    • But it sounds so much cooler than “a right-arm punch with the left leg forward, or vice versa”. I mean, if the readers knew what it meant, they might wonder why it’s such an amazing fight-winning move.

  3. Of course Americans are all mobbed and murdered by Most Arabs minutes after leaving the green zone.

  4. Given the MST3K quote up top, I’m now thinking of the old writing advice for pulp thrillers (from Raymond Chandler), “When in doubt, have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand.” The point being, obviously, that when the pace of the story starts to flag, even if it seems irrational just inject some violence or the threat of violence and worry about explaining it later.

    So of course Phillips repeatedly finds a way to screw that up, too.

  5. Even the chase and fight scenes are stupid. One of these Arabs is holding a gun on Murphy and Bingster, and they decide to just charge them? I was kinda hoping the Arab with the gun would just shoot these two idiots when they did that. Can’t have the bad guys be less stupid than the moronic “heroes” in this series.

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Roundup for November 11th, 2016 | The Slacktiverse

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