Mystery Science Theater 3000

Season 5 Episode 12


Aired Unknown Oct 23, 1993 on Comedy Central
out of 10
User Rating
47 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


The crew says goodbye to Joel Robinson when a misunderstanding leads to Gypsy plotting his escape with the help of temp worker Mike Nelson. The movie is Mitchell, starring Joe Don Baker as the stereotypical maverick cop.

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  • We will miss you Joel.

    In this episode of MST3K we are treated to a double whammy. Not only is there a God awful horrible movie, but Joel leaves the SOL as well. The episode begins with the bots destroying Joel's Monticello made of toothpicks he worked on for 3 years, and while that occurs Gypsy hears some troubling news. She believes that Joel is going to be killed by the Mads, but in reality it's the Mads temporary worker, Mike Nelson, who is going to be killed. While she tries to help Joel escape the Mads send up the experiment, a movie called Mitchell. It stars Joe Don Baker, a veteran actor whose talents are severally hampered in this movie. The plot is very confusing. It's apparently about a drug ring, but the plot is so paper thin, and it relies on subplots or other time fillers for this movie. Mitchell himself has got to be the worst cop protagonist if not the worst protagonist in a movie ever. Mitchell is supposed to be like a James Bond, but instead of the cool and suave agent we are treated to the complete opposite. Mitchell is a slob, an idiot, a drunk, and has no charm or good characteristics to him at all. In every scene Mitchell is in he walks so awkwardly, but considering how much he drinks I am not surprised. He also looks like he's ready to punch someone or something, and he is such a jerk to everyone. A good example is when a kid approaches Mitchell and talks to him about what his mom said about him. Mitchell has the audacity to yell at this kid, and looks like he's ready to kill him. Our hero ladies and gentlemen a selfish jerk of a cop who is borderline psychotic. Whenever I see Mitchell being beat up by the bad guys I don't fell the least bit sorry for that guy, and it's sad when the main character getting beat up is a good thing. The movie has very little action or suspense to it. Most of the movie involves Mitchell going to some guy's house, and waiting out there for him like he's gong to pick him up and take him out on a date or something. I also have to point out how bad the cinematography looks. I know it's the 70s, but the screen looks so dirty, and awful to look at. We are even given a XXX scene with Mitchell and a hooker and Joel and the Bots feelings about how disgusting it was summed up my feelings about it. The movie also has the worst car chase scene ever in a movie. Mitchell and the bad guy go at speeds of only 25 MPH in the chase. That has got to be one of the most underwhelming chases ever to be shown. Finally the movie remembers it needs a plot, and the climax occurs with Mitchell chasing the drug ring members. Mitchell eventually wins (after having a helicopter pilot friend get killed), and he goes home. Mitchell runs into the hooker in his apartment and thankfully the movie spares us another XXX scene and Mitchell takes the lady into police custody. During each segment of this episode Gypsy and Mike work together to help Joel escape, and after the movie ends Joel is sent into the escape pod and launched from the SOL. Joel gives the bots a plaque with some words of wisdom, and Joel and the bots have a sad good bye. Back in Deep 13 Dr. Forrester is furious about Joel escaping and find out he landed in the Australian Outback. Just as things look bad for Dr. F and TV's Frank Mike comes up, and asks for his time card to be signed. Dr. F and TV's Frank laugh and after Frank pushes to button Dr. F prepares to send Mike to the SOL to replace Joel, and continue their experiments. This movie was just awful and dreadful. Mitchell is just an unlikable hero who has no redeeming values, the plot is paper thin and all over the place, the sub plots are pointless and the production value looks awful by 1970s standards. Joel and the bots rightfully ripped this movie apart and made it is entertaining. It was so sad to see Joel leave, but his legacy continues on through Mike and he will never be forgotten. Unless you are a masochist who wants to go insane avoid seeing the Un-MST3K version, and only see this movie with Joel and the bots. Farewell Joel you will not be forgotten.moreless
  • Joe Don Baker is Mittens!


    From 1975, the "classic" action film staring Joe Don Baker as Mitchell. A sleazy police cop who's ordered to… um, who's ordered to… stop a bunch of drug dealers on ships or something like that. It's a flick that's oiled up with holes in the plot and lame to abysmal car chase after another, probably being the most greasy cop film on the list.

    Gypsy overhears the Mads' plans to kill their hired temp worker Mike Nelson into thinking that the Mads would kill Joel! That's what happens in the host segments of today's experiment. Meanwhile the SOL crew gets to rip apart Mitch-head and it's a blast. Crow gets it right when he predicts the movie will have sex (hence the production company's stupid name), and Tom yells at the conversation with our cop bonehead and a kid. Those are great quips, but J&TB has fun with the action scenes (like in 212-Godzilla vs. Megalon), and there's character insults here and there ("My Dinner with Mitchell") that's top notch. And there's something special during the My, My, Mitchell song. The riffing is widely funny and is lots of fun. The host segments were good, as they haft to do with Gypsy's attempt to get Joel outta the SOL. Well she learns there's an locked escape pod, and with the help of Mike the temp, she gets Joel off the SOL leaving the Bots behind. Dr. F gets angry at Frank about Joel's departure and successful landing, until they realize to send Mike the temp in his place! This ends the Joel era and beginning the Mike era, so memorable episode, so so.

  • Slovenly lug walks around, growls, does nothing much.

    To say that Joe Don Baker's title character is unappealing would be a profound understatement. Even when he smiles, it's repulsive. Baker spends the whole time lumbering around and either hitting things, or looking like he wants to. It's downright laughable the way he walks around sore at everybody, yet has so little important to say.

    The sound quality in this aimless attempt at a cop drama is horrid. The film quality is horrid: you'd need a diver bell to get through the layer of grime on what you're supposed to see. Baker imagines himself a James Bond figure, yet has none of the class, intellect or charm of that character.

    When the film starts, you don't know what it's about. When it ends, you're not going to be much better off.

    This film should not come with a rating. It should come with bug spray.moreless
  • The Joel era ends and the Mike era begins with the Joe Don Baker movie Mitchell.

    Joel Robinson says good bye to the SOL and the 'bots at the end of the movie. It all comes about as a misunderstanding when Gypsy over hears the Mads plotting to do in their temp worker Mike, but she thinks they are talking about Joel. After he refuses to leave and Crow and Tom are of no help, she gets Mike to help her gain control of a hidden escape pod and she gets him off the ship. The Mads respond by replacing him with Mike. The movie stars Joe Don Baker as the slovenly Mitchell, who is supposed to be the stereotypical maverick cop who only cares about catching the bad guys, but a sleepy performance cancels that out. Linda Evans, in her 'pre-Yanni days', as Joel says, Martin Balsam and John Saxon(who disappears midway through because his character dies; we don't see that scene) are also in it.moreless
  • And so we say goodbye to Joel

    I must say, Mitchell is a good example of why movies use to suck!

    I watch this and I try to understand what the director was trying to do. Let’s look at the main character. He’s a slob, a jerk, an idiot and in no way shape or form can you like him. He’s not even one of those characters you love to hate, he’s just . . . Mitchell.

    Now, I’ve watched this episode about 5 times and I’m still not sure what the plot to this movie is. It has something to do with a murder . . . I think. I’m really not even sure who killed who.

    There’s some side plot with a hooker and something to do with her . . . I really didn’t get it, lol

    But the main focus for me in this episode was Joel leaving the satellite of love and leaving the bots all alone. The mads however, soon shoot Mike into space to be the new human on the satellite of love.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Actor Joe Don Baker was supposedly irate at being the butt of the crew's jokes in this episode and never forgave them for that.

    • The continuous repeat of the main character's name ("Mitchell !") apparently stuck in the mind of videogame "Wing Commander 3"'s creators: they made it the key to enable the cheat mode who lets you destroy enemy ships at will. When you enable it successfully (and you have to do it before every mission), a sound clip yelling "MITCHELL" confirms it! Nice homage.

    • Joel points out a boom mike slipping into the shot during Mitchell's dinner with Cummins.

  • QUOTES (20)

  • NOTES (2)

    • This episode was available on both VHS and DVD from Rhino Home Video. It was originally a VHS tape released in April 1996, then as a standalone DVD(with the movie's trailer as a bonus) in November 2001, but both are now out of print. In November 2013, it was included as a bonus episode on the Mystery Science Theater 3000 25th Anniversary DVD set from Shout! Factory. The bonus from this episode is a Ballyhoo documentary about the making of the episode called Last Flight Of Joel Robinson.

    • Joel Hodgson's last episode as Joel Robinson, until the season 10 premiere. Mike Nelson's first episode as Mike Nelson.


    • I'm Not Rappaport:
      When Cummins talks to Galano on the park bench, Tom says, 'I'm not Rappaport.' This refers to the play and movie which is about two old men who sit on a park bench.

    • 2001:
      When Dr. Forrester and Frank were speaking back and forth about getting rid of Mike, the close up of Gypsy's eye indicating she's hearing everything. This is refers to the scene in 2001: A Space Odyssey when the two astronauts talk of shutting down a watching HAL.

    • Eegah:
      Tom said, "Eegah", Crow said, "Stemblo" and Joel said, "Watch out for snakes." These quotes are all taken from the movie previously MSTed movie "Eegah".

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