UNNATURAL HISTORY “Public School Enemies” Review

Unnatural History (Cartoon Network)

Henry has a few problems in UNNATURAL HISTORY‘s sixth episode, “Public School Enemies.” Hooded hooligans are vandalising lockers. Public Enemy No. 1, gangster John Dillinger, has a car on display in the museum which reveals clues to a whole lotta mullah and Henry has to overcome a traumatic childhood incident involving a car crash in Turkmenistan before earning his driver’s license.

Jasper’s laptop is stolen right out of his locker by the vandals and despite Henry’s best efforts to track them down, they escape. It turned out to be a surprisingly sweet storyline at its conclusion, when he confessed to Henry that, saved on his laptop is his precious diary, containing his loves, hates, thoughts and dreams. It was great to see he was more than just the resident screwball screw-up.

Chasing the hooligans, Henry pops open John Dillinger’s car which, of course, reveals several unknown clues leading to a treasure. The trio suss out that Hoover (Dillinger’s FBI nemesis) used the Dean’s office way back in 1934 when the FBI briefly occupied the Smithson. Henry channels Sherlock Holmes and they find a secret room and a recording of Hoover interrogating Dillinger’s driver, Edward Z. Macintosh. This was not the first time Unnatural History has slipped in some humor for adults or kids with older loudmouth siblings. After Maggie frantically stopped the recording of the interrogation, Jasper’s horrified exclamation “Hoover cut off his instrument?” and Henry’s (holding up a valued clarinet) wry “If you mean this instrument, yes,” were nice additions to a growing list of mature innuendo.

The coolest clue had to be the bullet holes in Dillinger’s license plates given to them by Macintosh Yes, he’s still alive, working in a garage at 90 years of age. Of course, age doesn’t really matter, not on a kids television show. Why, at that age I figured anyone over 30 was nearing the bright light at the end of the tunnel.

Milo, a student who claimed to be the target of the vandals, reaches out to Jasper who, not so surprisingly, clues him in on the Dillinger case. He turns out to be the ringleader of the vandals. He cracks his knuckles. He locks Maggie and Jasper in the trunk of Dillinger’s car which was very mean, but led to some comic scenes that were funny enough to kind of, sort of, almost fully forgive the fact that, as Maggie herself later put it “Henry Griffin saves the day, yet again.” This was after all three escaped from yet another car. That was about to be crushed. That they locked themselves in…I suppose you can’t fault them for being imperfect. Or dumb.

Anyways, Henry comes to the rescue (the first time) on all four wheels, overcoming his fear and driving from the donut shop to school, right into the elevator and through the hallways. Don’t worry, it was a Saturday, so there were no kids in Henry’s way, which of course was brilliant. He just learned how to drive; I think operating the windshield wipers simultaneously would’ve been a bridge too far.

All ends well and it was another entertaining installment of Unnatural History, which for the most part lacks the sickening melodrama of some other kids shows whilst still trying to impose a moral message on its impressionable audience. Occasionally of course you do get the old fortune cookie wisdom but maybe I’m being cynical (a trait, I promise, that will never wane.) I finally watched the show with my younger brother who is in the age range of the show’s target audience, so I think I’ll let him have the final line:
The credits began to roll and he turned to me and said, “When’s the next one on?”

Share your thoughts below about this UNNATURAL HISTORY Episode “Public School Enemies” by leaving a comment below.