Episode Number: 7
Season Episode Number: 7
Production Number: 106
Airdate: October 28, 2006
Writer: Bob Forward
Director: Franck Michel
Voices: Hiro Kanagawa (Mr. Fantastic), Lara Gilchrist (Invisible Woman), Brian Dobson (The Thing), Christopher Jacot (Human Torch), Sam Vincent (H.E.R.B.I.E.), Laura Drummond (Courtney Bonner-Davis), Unknown (Frankie Raye), Unknown (Mrs. Monet), Unknown (Bartleby).
Plot: A small bug is left behind in Reed's lab after Johnny and his date, Frankie, get sucked into the Negative Zone. The bug begins reproducing and pretty soon Reed, Sue and Ben have to deal with a bug problem of epic proportions!
Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Like all of the episodes in the series so far, Zoned Out is fairly amusing. While the story itself is not something that is new or unique, what makes the episode, as well as the entire series, enjoyable is the interplay between the characters. Humour is definitely the writers' strong point and it is very apparent in every episode. We have yet to see an episode that is devoid of humour.
I find that it is often the case with this show that too much time is spent setting up the story with not enough time left at the end to get to the actual meat of the issue.
For instance, I thought too much time was spent watching the FF shrink in World's Tiniest Heroes, and I thought that too much time was spent discovering that their neighbours were Skrulls in My Neighbor was a Skrull. And in this episode, I thought that too much time was spent on rounding up the little bugs. If they had gotten to the mother bug quicker, there could have been some potential for more action, something that this superhero show seems to downplay.
This is only a minor issue as the story played out just fine otherwise, albeit a little slower paced than I would have liked.
Even though her last name was never spoken, I believe Frankie to be the one-time girlfriend of the Human Torch, Frankie Raye, who grows up to be the third Human Torch, and then Nova, a herald of Galactus. Her superficial and whiny personality is typical of the type of girl Johnny brings home in this show and may come off as annoying, but her character goes through the biggest character development out of everyone in the episode. Not bad for a throwaway character.
This is the last episode to be aired by Cartoon Network before being pulled from their program schedule. While the show didn't perform was well as they would have liked, it isn't a bad show at all. It would be over six months later that they would start showing new episodes, and even then they didn't air all twenty-six.