Review: Back to the Rock S2 – Episode 11 ‘Lost and Found Fraggles’

Published: June 12, 2024
Categories: Feature, Reviews

Barry Blueberry: [Pops up, startling everyone] Wellll, previously in Fraggle Rock, we dug down deep beneath the surface in search of a way to save the radish. But the Gorgs raked up a dust storm, we had to hide down here, and after a cathartic cry, we discovered this mysterious hall filled with dioramas and cave paintings.

Thanks, Barry!

Continuing from last episode’s cliff-hanger, we now meet the Lost Fraggles and the Fraggle Five’s doppelgängers: Leader, Wrigley, Soupy, Run-and-Jump, and Slowpokey (but alas for Mokey, she’s only seen at the very end and they never get to meet). As the F5 excitedly learn about the Lost Fraggles and their culture, Wembley discovers that the Lost Fraggles don’t have radishes anymore, but their ancestors did.

This directly contradicts Traveling Matt’s story about discovering the radish. When Wrigley shrewdly observes, “Naw, you can’t discover something that’s already existed,” I cheered “YAAAAAAY there’s that anti-colonialism we love to see!” But because Gobo has been getting inspiration and strength from his Uncle Matt’s story, Wembley struggles for half the episode to keep this secret from Gobo.

Sprocket, meanwhile, is keeping a secret of his own from Doc. He accidentally breaks her model offshore wind turbine, making it output inaccurate readings, which in turn gives Doc false hope. When Sprocket finally tells her the truth, Doc, like Gobo, is momentarily disappointed but relieved to know the whole story, “Even when that knowledge feels inconvenient.” This tongue-in-cheek nod to An Inconvenient Truth at first made me chuckle, then shudder when I realized that film came out in 2006 and climate change is still being debated and ignored.

In another meanwhile, the Gorgs are also learning about the importance of knowing the whole story, realizing that they’d actually been working from the chapter titled “What Not to Do” in the book written by their great Gorg-cestors.

Luckily, Ma is having some much-needed girl talk with Marjory. Through a brand-new bop, Marjory helps Ma remember her inner strength, and Ma ends the episode brilliantly stepping into her power to be the leader the Gorgs desperately need.

When the truth finally comes out, we learn that the Lost Fraggles have lived here ever since their ancestors were driven underground by a dust storm caused by the Gorgs, just like the Fraggles of today are facing. As Leader observes, “History tends to repeat itself when lessons aren’t learned.” But history also holds the solutions that the Fraggles have been seeking, and Cotterpin lays out her ideas for “learning from old methods and pairing them with new technology.”

In a season that kinda sagged in the middle, I’m impressed at how this episode manages to deftly weave together themes of history, honesty, and leadership in three different plots. For good or ill, leaders are writing the future history with their actions today. To do it well requires being honest about the past and present for the sake of the future.

Strongest Moment: Sprocket’s adorable little panicky daydream where Doc calls the President of Science, learns that her data is wrong, and gets sent to Science Jail.

Weakest Moment: When Leader is explaining their history, she says “the Gorgs of old started using a chemical in the garden that scorched the Earth and caused a nasty dust storm,” with the emphasis on “chemical” in a disgusted tone. Literally everything is chemicals, y’all. We don’t need more stigma against that word.

MVF (Most Valuable Fraggle): I’d say it’s a toss-up between Leader, Wrigley, and Soupy. I hope we get to see more of the Lost Fraggles in seasons to come!

The Grand Return Of…: Doc’s uniform (which she admits she actually loves) for her job at the pirate diner.

Classic Musical Moment: “Is It True,” originally sung by a scam artist in “The Wizard of Fraggle Rock,” gets rebooted in a way that feels less evangelical, both in musical arrangement and slightly altered lyrics, and it feels more inspiring than ever. BONUS: Lost Fraggle Rock theme song!

New Musical Moment: “Be a Queen” is a bop that will absolutely get stuck in your head, immediately went into my “You Got This” playlist, and feels especially appropriate for Pride Month.

Special Appearance By… The incredible Catherine O’Hara, best known for Schitt’s Creek and the Christopher Guest mockumentaries (Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, etc.) voices Leader, Gobo’s Lost Fraggle “twin.”

Coolest Puppetry Effect: This story barrel music box crank thingy?? I love it.

Darkest Moment: Somehow the same as the strongest moment! While Sprocket’s worst-case-scenario made me guffaw, it’s also heartbreaking to see Doc in an orange jumpsuit, only able to speak to Sprocket through the phone with a pane of glass between them.

Fraggle Lore: I am a sponge for Fraggle lore, so this episode was a veritable feast. You can imagine my excitement when in the first few moments we get enough implied lore to spawn head-canons in the Discord chats for eons to come, including:

Fraggles hanging out with whatever Beastie’s species is called, whatever Skenfrith’s species is called, and a dinosaur:

This nice Fraggle who’s giving Rock Hockey Hannah vibes, and a possible Columbus metaphor Fraggle “discovering” a “new” land?

And a Fraggle riding what I can only conclude is a giant furry-tentacled chicken:

One More Thing…: “The rule is: if you’re trying to scare us, you gotta tell us, eh?” is honestly a good rule. Thank you,

Okay, One More Thing…: [Reluctantly adds goo-tine to the Fraggle Foodie’s ever-growing list of recipes to try to replicate]

Click here to get lost and found on the ToughPigs Discord!

by Beth Cook

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