BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD 8-17 & 8-18 ‘Time Machine’ & ‘Massage’

Beavis and Butt-Head attempt to erase Mr. Van Driessen from history before starting some ill-advised hijinks at the mall.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

Episode Titles: "Time Machine" & "Massage"

Writer: Mike Judge

Director: Mike Judge

In the world of "Beavis and Butt-Head," there may be nothing more terrifying than the titular idiots getting their hands on a time machine and destroying the past with their massive ineptitude. Fortunately, there's no sign in Highland of a TARDIS landing or a phone booth manned by a dude who looks a lot like George Carlin.

In "Time Machine," Mr. Van Driessen takes his high school class to Prairie Falls; which is a recreation of a 19th century small town. Van Driessen even takes on the guise of Tobias Van Driessen, his great-great grandfather.

However, that's far too much subtlety for Beavis and Butt-Head to handle. Thus, when they wake up on the school bus, they come to the conclusion that they have somehow traveled back in time… and that Van Driessen really is his ancestor. It's a perfectly sane conclusion to come to… if you're a complete moron.

But even morons can have ideas, as Beavis and Butt-Head notice Van Driessen's attraction to Megan, one of the female reenactors. Beavis and Butt-Head come up with a theory that if they can prevent Tobias from scoring, then Mr. Van Driessen will no longer exist in their present. If Beavis and Butt-Head were capable of truly processing their lives, they might realize that Van Driessen is the only one of their teachers who has any affection towards them. And yet their plan to erase him from existence stems from Van Driessen's lone crime against them: he wants Beavis and Butt-Head to learn.

When it comes to not scoring, Beavis and Butt-Head are experts and they quickly turn Megan against Van Driessen. The boys then decide to strike it rich by taking artifacts from the gift shop back with them to the future by hiding them in their butts. Well… that was Beavis' plan anyway.

It's amusing that the duo can only relate the notion of time travel through its use in "Back to the Future" and that Butt-Head refers to "the space-time condominium." Beavis' attempt to grasp the concept of whether their scheme "is" cool, "was" cool or "will be" cool is also fun to watch. It's about as close to cognitive function as Beavis has ever come. When the duo "awaken" back in their own time, they don't understand why their plan to get rid of Van Driessen failed. And all they have to show for the trip is a tomahawk sticking out of Beavis' pants.

But a scolding from Van Driessen is preferable compared to what awaits Beavis and Butt-Head in "Massage." Because the duo are completely inept around women, their only sexual outlet is at the local mall where they can stare at topless female mannequins, harass pretty girls in the food court and get kicked out of the lingerie store. The boys also come to ogle the women at a massage stand maned by two Asian practitioners; who have little tolerance for the way Beavis and Butt-Head drive away their customers. 
Somehow the duo get the idea to set up their own massage stand and they begin stealing supplies from around the mall to construct a massage chair… which looks like a poorly made torture device. Clearly, they aren't MacGyver; and only Beavis falls victim to the collapsing massage chair they made.

Their ultimate failure leads Beavis and Butt-Head to become disillusioned by the same topless mannequins after coming so close to touching real breasts. The duo see their chance when the Asian practitioners take a lunch break and they co-opt the massage stand for their own use. But just as an unsuspecting female patron sits down, the Asian practitioners return and confront Beavis and Butt-Head.

At this point, events degenerate into a hilarious Seinfeldian sitcom predicament for Beavis and Butt-Head. The Asian duo hire them on the spot to massage a massively obese man just as the mall cops and the real police are about to arrest them for stealing the supplies for their massage chair. So, Beavis and Butt-Head can either pretend to be working for the Asian practitioners by rubbing down the fat man or they can go to jail. Ever the optimist, Beavis notes that at least the fat man has boobs.

The look of horror on Butt-Head's face in that scene was classic and I'm a little disappointed that the episode ends before the title duo make their choice. But it was still a great ending.

For the interstitials, Butt-Head remarked that the star of "16 & Pregnant" resembled a hotter version of Beavis' mom; which Beavis amusingly agreed with. The duo also had some funny lines while mocking the girl's job interview at a pizzeria. Even the "Jersey Shore" clip finally had a truly funny moment as the gang of idiots on that show came up with a chart of their hook ups… which Butt-Head suggested could be traced all the way back to the origins of Herpes. Their commentary for the Porcelain Black video was also hysterical, especially when they come up with reasons why Lil' Wayne would be there in the first place.

Overall, this was a pretty solid episode of the revived series. "Beavis and Butt-Head" may not be the most densely plotted animated comedy, but it rarely disappoints.

Crave Online Rating: 8 out of 10.