One of the first episodes I remember seeing, 'Leisure Lawsuit/Purred it Through the Grapevine' is a strong pair of episodes that are certainly a solid way to be initated into the series.
'Leisure Lawsuit'--Lucky, Cadpig, Rolly and Spot must find a way to reveal Cruella's insurance scam through an 'injury' she got on the farm.
While the plot was a little thin, I enjoyed this episode quite a bit. Cruella's scheme is well-thought out and the various attempts by the pups to reveal Cruella's scam were entertaining to watch.
It does a nice job establishing the point of views from the pups and from the humans', I enjoy seeing multiple points of view from the different characters. It gives some depth to the proceedings and made it more than fun to see.
It also has some strong character development; we get to learn more about characters like Mooch, Lucky, Cadpig and Cruella. This episode is a strong vehicle for Lucky in particular; it is understandable and clear that Lucky is the leader and gets to make all the decisions. Cadpig is also quite strong for her size.
The ending, I also felt was appropriate; Cruella now having to work off her blackmail by working as the Nanny while Nanny was off visiting her sister was an appropriate end and it made sense.
The only foreseeable problem that I could see with this episode was the fact the plot was a little threadbare; there wasn't much to it other than 'Let's expose Cruella's scam.'
Beyond the plot issue, a strong episode.
'Purred it Through the Grapevine'--Lucky, Cadpig, Rolly and Spot must translate a barking code message that was given during Bark Brigade.
While I don't tend to care much for the 'Lt. Pug and the Bark Brigade'-based episodes (kinda like I tend to prefer to skip over Spaceman Spiff strips when I read Calvin and Hobbes), this was actually another episode that I honestly liked very much. While I am indifferent to the Colonel and Sgt. Tibbs, I would prefer they be in charge of the Bark Brigade. Regardless, this episode actually has Lt. Pug in one of his more bearable moments and he doesn't interfere much with this episode's quality.
The plot was a little stronger than the plot in 'Leisure Lawsuit' and message of the episode--pay attention in class--is a good message to be sending.
Other bit parts that I liked included the pups' rendez-vous with Mayor Ed Pig, his 'vote for me' running gag is good for a laugh. And to be honest, Mayor Ed Pig tends to get good parts anyway (better than Dumpling, at least). Another bit part that I liked was when Lucky, Rolly and Cadpig paid Swamp Rat a visit for barking code translation. His official code book turned out to be an issue of 'Eratica' (and I think this episode confirms that any question about the pups' sexuality would be answered in this ep...given how they react to Swamp Rat's magazine, it's safe to say the pups are all straight).
And I'll admit--I adored Cadpig's perky little response to Pug getting her name right.
While the emergency turned out to be nothing serious, this episode is still a strong installment.
And yes. I would strongly reccommend this pair of episodes. They did not disappoint me in my viewpoint and they both rank as some of the series' best.
'That's right! Cadpig! See what happens when you try?'
--:) Never fails to make me smile, 'Purred it Through the Grapevine'