Season 1 Episode 8

Project 4-12

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Jun 27, 2003 on Syfy

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
17 votes
  • Flashback episode. but gives good background knowledge

    I enjoyed this episode not as much as others but this one is telling us a bit of background of Cletus Poffenberger, our favorite mad scientist.

    It begins with Larry wanting to do a story about Cletus and asks Tyler about it who starts to tell him the story about Cletus and his 'pet' 4-12.

    Cletus is shown in his living place and his 4-12 escapes him. Cletus follows him (good run for a 65+ year old ^^) and at some point collapse in the desert where Burt finds him. He takes him to Perfection and Cletus starts rambling like a lunatic abount a monster and of course nobody wants to really believe him. Nancy takes him into her home.

    The next scene shows Tyler and Rosalita talking to Harlowe who rides off. The next few minutes show some kind of beginning of a realtionship between Tyler and Rosalita.

    Meanwhile Harlowe encountered the monster who killed his horse. He calls in the others and Burt finally starts thinking about this monsters.

    He picks up Cletus and they go to find 4-12. Cletus tells him about the lab that was hidden and blown up. But Burt doesn't believe him until Cletus can show Burt the road to the lab.

    Meanwhile 4-12 enters the town and kills a biker (someone had to die in the episode, since it happens in every episode ^^). They flee in Tylers car, who can escape from it and pick up Rosalita and Harlowe. Then they meet back in town with Burt and Cletus.

    During the next scenes it is revealed that 4-12 has x-ray vision and that El Blanco won't eat him because of his bad taste.

    With no guns they have to kill 4-12. So they do what Burt does best. 'Do what you can with what you got'. They build a flamethrower and manage to kill the creature.

    Cletus buries it and Nancy brings him back to his home.

    All in all, this episode finally reveals how the folks know Cletus Poffenburger after he showed up in Episode 2 with everyone knwoing him.

    The only thing I wondered about it the timeline this episode appeared in. It must have happened after Episode 1, because Tyler was already there but way before Episode 2 because of Cletus saying "Been long my dear, don't know where to start" which indicates a longer periode of not seeing each other.
  • So many confusing aspects to this episode it ends up being not one of the best by any means!

    The opening scene of this episode shows us the smiling face of my favourite guest star so far……Larry! Yes the hyperactive Graboid superfan is back in Perfection and this time he wants to do a profile on Perfections mad scientist Cletus.

    What happens after that gets really, really confusing! From the point of view of when this episode actually take place. Should this really matter? Probably not, the story and how entertaining it is are the number one priorities. Problem is when something makes as little sense as this it tends to bug me. Not only because of the way I am but also because it involves lazy writing.
    Let’s see this episode has these minor problems:-
    Cletus’ first meeting with the Burt and the residents of Perfection (although from what I remember the rest of the townspeople didn’t know him in ‘Ghost Dance’)
    The lab that Burt believed exists somewhere in the valley during ‘Ghost Dance’ he obviously already knew about!
    The same goes for mixmaster as well!

    That this whole episode is a flashback just seems to be pointless. Why not just show it before ‘Ghost Dance, make it the first appearance of Cletus and be done with it.
    It would mean removing the opening and closing scenes with Larry, which would be a loss as his short appearances are amusing, but he doesn’t really add anything to the overall story. I loved his first appearance and enjoyed this one. I hope he turns up again sometime but not in such a small appearance and not in such a badly structured story.
    Christopher Lloyd is excellent as Cletus, his patented mad professor being used once again and the story of Cletus and his ‘dog’ 4-12 is reasonably entertaining and a mite sad as well, even with all the death and blood involved. It is interesting to see the early genesis of mixmaster experiments and how even then the plans didn’t go quite as they wanted.

    Overall though this is the first episode that I didn’t really enjoy. The plot is okay but the inconsistencies just annoyed me a bit too much to get a real grip with the actual storyline, which wasn’t quite strong enough to break through all the problems encountered. Even more annoying is that this episode and it’s inconsistencies have come just a couple of weeks after the whole ‘missions for the government’ statement from Twitchell. Two situations where something happens that we do not know about, or contradicts something we already know doesn’t bode well.
    Having said that I’ll still be back for the next episode!