“When I became heavy weight champion of the world it was my dream that an astronaut might take me to another world and I’d be heavy weight champion of those worlds too!”
A humble enough beginning is seen here where it seems like the stakes this week might be on the smaller scale of things. We see Tyson and crew seeming entirely content with this week’s mystery simply entailing going to the airport and finding out who needs to be picked up from their flight, as well as the myriad of mini mysteries such as whether they brought luggage with them, had a carry-on package, and other air travel minutiae. When the person they’re picking up just so happens to be Buzz Aldrin, suddenly the episode’s slant begins to take shape.
Aldrin’s goal here is simple enough, he’s supposed to be meeting up with Elton John to sing a duet of “Rocket Man,” which is something that really should have happened at some point by now. Through all of this we see that Tyson drives quite defensively and is in fact a pretty timid driver, which is in complete opposition to how he acts in every other facet of life. Driving safety is important though, especially when you have an apparent fender bender problem, which has set a record for killing astronauts.
A lot of fun is had in the first half of the episode, like how apparently Tyson and company’s resident vehicle is called the Mystery Mobile due to the confusing, uncalculating nature of the car’s air conditioning, not their propensity for solving crimes. Tyson’s digression on Daylights Savings Time being a secret (one of the few that he’s aware of) that the clock on his car never learned about is pretty cute too. There’s such a fine line with the nonsense that Tyson spouts out being genuinely brilliant in its idiot savant-ness, or just lazy and stupid. The show has done a commendable job on keeping it as the former so far, with Tyson’s child-like demeanor being a constant high point for hilarity up to this point.
While they’re driving him, Buzz Aldrin keeps enticing Tyson by telling him that he knows the biggest secret in the world, nay, the universe, and that it involves Tyson himself even! This sees Tyson getting pretty wrapped up in all of this, and trying to drag Marquess and Yung into a rocket ship to go to the moon and crack this infernal code. An act that should be far beyond Tyson’s comprehension (even though he knows how to drive a car).
Soon the bigger mystery of the episode becomes Tyson trying to figure out why he’s killed so many astronauts, naturally coming to the conclusion that the government has put a chip in him to make him kill astronauts (an idea which Marquess repeatedly tells him has no bearings). While there’s not much to it, it’s pretty wonderful seeing Tyson get lost in this astronaut fugue, as everyone else is essentially indifferent to all of this.
Just letting Tyson run loose with a concept has worked exceptionally well in the first two episodes, and this one is no different. If anything it’s the best example of such, with this one focusing much more solely on Tyson, rather than splitting its view on Yung or Pigeon accordingly. In spite of this, the best moment of the episode might be Pigeon trying to concoct a joke over Tyson, Marquess, and Yung all entering a cab together. The show knows how to perfectly use Norm MacDonald, and even just a few random lines an episode has been very satisfying so far.
As the run time begins to run out, it doesn’t seem like any of this is going to amount to much at all rather than some disconnected space silliness. Surprisingly, the episode pulls off a pretty sturdy landing with the reveal that Tyson hasn’t been killing astronauts in all of his fender benders, but rather astronomers, and with Tyson no longer being an astronaut killer, that’s good enough for him. Even if his astronomer killing happens to be part of a much, much bigger conspiracy that could have implications for the entire planet at large.
In the meantime, hopefully one day Tyson will figure out what that big, beautiful blue and green planet is.