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"The Real Thomas" is the eighth episode in season six (and the one-hundred and sixty-first episode overall) of Regular Show. It first aired on November 20, 2014 as a half-hour special.

Sypnosis[]

Thinking he is up to something, Rigby sets out to find out who the real Thomas is.

Plot[]

Late one night at the park, Rigby is woken up by his grumbling stomach. Heating up a pizza pouch in the kitchen, he hears rustling sounds and an inaudible argument being exchanged just outside the house. When he goes to investigate, he sees the shape of Thomas in a ninja outfit fighting an agent in a suit, witnessing Thomas defeat the man. Rigby approaches Thomas about this, who feigns ignorance. As Rigby keeps questioning, Thomas knocks him out with a neck press (the same method he used to knock out the agent).

Rigby is woken up in his own bed by Mordecai the next morning, remembering what he witnessed the night before after a brief after sleep drowse. During the morning staff meeting, Benson announces that the staff’s only jobs are to stay out of his way while he shows his date, a preschool teacher named Natalie, around the park. (This leads to a humorous exchange about what happened to Audrey, no one remembering her break-up with Benson.) Rigby, desperately trying to get a word in about Thomas, finally is able explain what he saw that night. Though they don't believe him, he takes them to the site of the attack, but they are still unconvinced. When Thomas arrives, acting his normal self. Rigby pounces on the duffel bag Thomas had with him that night, but it proves to be just full of laundry. Rigby nevertheless remains undeterred and sets out to find the truth about Thomas.

Spying on him, Rigby follows Thomas to a lone sprinkler, where he takes a call from "Mom"; Rigby distinctly hears Thomas say the word "Russian" before he departs. Investigating the sprinkler, Rigby finds "Осторожно!" ("Carefully!" in Russian) etched into its head. He takes his evidence to Mordecai, Hi Fives, and Muscle Man. (Noticing Benson with Natalie, Rigby comments disbelievingly, "He actually had a date.") The still skeptical three are finally convinced after Muscle Man goes to a cabinet for chips and the suited man whom Thomas defeated the night before (a CIA agent) falls out of it and on top of him. At that instant, two Russian-accented men arrive looking for Thomas, claiming to be reviewers from the "American Intern Society of America." Mordecai and Rigby set off to find Benson while Muscle Man and High Fives stay to stall the two Russian men.

Mordecai and Rigby make their way to the AV room. Inside, they find a secret room full of high-tech equipment, along with Skips and Pops tied up. When they go to free them, Benson is heard just outside flirting with Natalie, only to be handcuffed and thrown inside. As they wonder what to do, Natalie walks into the room with a dramatic slow clap, revealing herself to be a Russian spy by the name of "Natalia." She asserts that one of their own was working under their nose for the past two years; Benson, ever more confused, questions who it was, and, on cue, Natalia reveals "Nikolai" – Thomas, who reveals himself as a Russian spy as well.

Nikolai (as he is known for the rest of the episode) explains how he became a Russian spy. One cold winter night in Kyiv, the child Nikolai was abandoned by his mother; he was quickly adopted by government officials and declared property of the State. Raised by the K.G.B., he was trained to be a ruthless elite agent, pledging loyalty only to Mother Russia. Years later, the K.G.B. farmed Thomas out to the "Ministry of Medo-Management” (or MOMM), an organization dedicated to park research and espionage, struggling to modernize the outdated Russian parks which make Russia a laughingstock for the world. To that end, General Romanoff assigns Nikolai and Natalia to Operation Park Lift, in which they both had to infiltrate U.S. parks. The pair obtains fake identities and profiles to avoid suspicion, enters the U.S. with no resistance, and complete the various phases of the operation, while also eliminating potential threats. When Skips questions how Nikolai successfully managed to carry out all of his spying activities without anyone even noticing, Nikolai explains that, since an intern was considered so negligible of a person, it proved the perfect cover for him to implement his plans. Mordecai and Rigby plead with "Thomas," asking him how he could betray his friends, to which he tells them that it's his job. Natalia announces their new orders from Roman off and they depart, taking the park crew hostage.

Meanwhile, Muscle Man and Hi Fives are still stalling the two Russian men at the house door, who lose patience and start to ram the door, until Muscle Man (in a classic cartoon manoeuvre) opens it for them to rush inside, crash into the wall, and knock themselves out. Making their way through the park, Muscle Man and Fives find the crew being held hostage and are forced into a van. Nikolai digs into his duffel bag, reaching into a secret compartment to reveal a control pad with a detonator. As the driver plays the Russian national anthem, Nikolai initiates the countdown for Phase 8 of the Operation. On 1, the park explodes along the borders, freeing it from the surrounding terrain and showing the engine and some boosters Nikolai had installed over the two years to make the park aerodynamic. He uses the control pad to direct the now airborne park in the direction of the Russian border. Nikolai then tells the crew they're heading to Russia, and they will be slaves in a hard, labor camp. After finding out from Natalia they must both hop on the chopper, Nikolai ensures the crew they will be safe with the driver on the ground. However, unbeknownst to Nikolai, the van driver reveals he's going to drive them off the edge of the Park to a watery doom.

Meanwhile, at a UN conference of world leaders (mainly American and Russian), President Davis of the U.S. and President Koshkov of Russia confront each other; just then, U.S. Intelligence delivers urgent national security information to the President: radar has picked up the land formation of the park is heading straight to the Russian border! When President Davis asks the meaning of the situation, General McMurphy accuses the Russians are stealing a piece of the U.S, though President Koshkov denies his claim. President Davis is warned that if the land piece reaches Russian territory, the Russian military will claim it for themselves.

Back at the park, Rigby manages to cut his rope with one of the sprinklers Thomas installed, and unties the rest of the crew, to which the driver notices. Just in time, Muscle Man and Hi Fives appear with the cart and the crew manages to escape the van before he drives it off the edge. Now safe, the park crew follow the chopper by means of Carmenita.

On the chopper, Nikolai rants to Natalia how untreated he felt just for being an intern, to which Natalia tells him the park crew are dead, leaving him aghast. To his relief, however, they suddenly appear in the rear-view mirror. As Mordecai, Rigby, and Benson make it on board, Natalia reveals that she intends to circumvent the U.S.-Russia Nuclear Arms Treaty (in which Russia swore never to fire any missiles against the U.S.) by bringing chunks of U.S. territory directly to the Russian warheads and blowing them up.

Back at the UN conference, American and Russian relations worsen, causing alarm and outrage in all of the world leaders. Despite President Davis and his diplomats accusing Russian leader Koshkov of acts of aggression and violation of the Treaty, President Koshkov asserts that the Russians haven't actually fired any missiles; when President Davis then points out that the Russians only blowing up parts of their own territory, Koshkov responds "It's a big country."

Meanwhile, Nikolai, completely unaware of the ulterior motive behind the park operation, is horrified – he never intended to hurt anyone: Natalia responds coldly that the U.S. can use the ruins to rebuild the park again. Rigby tries to remind Thomas that even though he's a Russian spy, he was also their friend, to which Natalie reminds Nikolai of all the terrible things they have done to him, just because he was an intern. Nikolai finally expresses his anger to the guys for being so mistreated to the point he admits he didn't feel comfortable speaking around them. Rigby admits although they found him boring, he should recall the good times they've had together. Moved by this, Nikolai begins turning the park around, but Natalia stops him; they struggle, Natalia breaks free of Nikolai and goes for the control pad, but she inadvertently manages to kick him toward the chopper controls awry, causing it to swerve and Natalia to fall out the open hatch to her death (she is swallowed by a whale). Rigby manages to catch the falling control pad, Nikolai saving him from falling as Rigby hits the override. The park is saved barely in time from making contact with the static Soviet missile. With the prevention of a conflict, the U.S. and the other world leaders rejoice as Koshkov and Russia are humiliated by the failure of their plan.

Back home, Benson offers Nikolai a job full-time at the park (something Benson had intended to do at the morning staff meeting), but Nikolai regretfully declines: he must go on the run now that he's a traitor to the U.S. and to Russia. Nikolai tells the crew that although he'll be in hiding for the rest of his life, this won't be the last they see of "Thomas." At this, he runs off into the sunrise (just as he takes out another CIA agent) as the crew tearfully look on. Rigby ends the episode, saying "До свидания ("Goodbye" in Russian), Nikolai; you'll always be 'Thomas' to us."

Characters[]

S6E08 The Real Thomas Credits

Locations[]

Trivia[]

  • Benson and Audrey have broken up for reasons still unknown, though no one seems to remember this but Benson himself.
  • Thomas is revealed to be a Russian spy and his real name is revealed to be "Nikolai," which is the Russian form of the English name "Nicholas".
  • This episode is considered to be pro-American propaganda by the news blog Russia Today (RT).
  • Muscle Man reveals that he has a fear of being trapped under an "unresponsive person," suggesting that he is both claustrophobic and necrophobic.
  • As of this episode, Thomas is no longer considered part of the main cast.
  • Thomas doesn't really have a mom, because she abandoned him when he was a baby. The "Mom" contact who talks to him via phone is actually a Russian organization named MOMM; "Thomas' Mother" who appeared in "The Thanksgiving Special" was actually a robot.
  • The helicopter used by Thomas and Natalia appears to be an Mil Mi-26 heavy transport helicopter.
  • This episode shows that the Soviet Union never collapsed in Regular Show universe.
  • Taking into account the previous statement, there is a further detail insinuated in the conference/summit scene between the two global superpowers. Russia's flag, besides Koshkov, has "СССР" written on it, alluding to the possible fact that the Soviet Union never collapsed. If so, then it would explain the heavy Cold War implications in this ⅓-hour special.

Episode Connections[]

Pop Culture References[]

  • This episode is seen by some as a commentary on the then-current political situation between the United States and Russia. References are made to various nuclear arms treaties, and the Russian commander's reaction to being accused of stealing U.S. land is similar to Russian President Vladimir Putin's reaction when accused of assisting pro-Russian Ukrainian separatists in the Ukraine crisis (the crisis later escalated to a full invasion of Ukraine by Russia that, as of March 2024, is still ongoing). As a result, this episode was labeled "pro-American propaganda" by the news blog Russia Today (RT), and was banned in Russia.
  • When Nikolai and his comrades try to steal the park in order to replace Russian parks with it, it could possibly be a reference to Russia's seizure of Crimea in March 2014.
  • The Russian anthem that plays during the Phase 8 of the operation is Patrioticheskaya Pesnya (Cyrillic: Патриотическая песня , translated in English as "The Patriotic Song") which served as the national anthem of Russia from 1991 to 2000 before it was replaced by Gosudarstvennyy Gimn Rossiyskoy Federatsii (Cyrillic: Госуда́рственный гимн Росси́йской Федера́ции , translated in English as "State Anthem of the Russian Federation").
  • President Davis resembles 42nd U.S. President Bill Clinton, while Clifton resembles former First Lady, Senator, and former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, both in appearance and name.
  • Fictional President of Russia, Premier Koshkov resembles Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, the eighth and last leader of the Soviet Union.
  • Karpov resembles Zangief, a character from the Street Fighter video game franchise. His name may also reference Karnov, a 1987 platform arcade game (and also a character from a fighting game called Fighter's History Dynamite).
  • When the Russian private talked about the fact that the park's landmass will reach Russian airspace within an hour, the commander exclaimed "Great Scott!", which is a reference to Dr. Brown from the Back to the Future franchise.
  • General Romanoff is presumably named after either the Romanov family of Tsars (Russian emperors) who ruled the Russian Empire from 1613 to 1917, or to Marvel's Black Widow, whose real name is usually given as "Romanoff."
    • Anatoly may be a reference to the DC Comics character "KGBeast," whose real name is "Anatoli Knyazev."
  • The initials K.G.B., where Thomas works as a spy, stands for Komitet gosudarstvennoy bezopasnosti (Cyrillic: Комите́т госуда́рственной безопа́сности (КГБ), translated in English as "Committee for State Security." The K.G.B. was officially disbanded at the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and was replaced in the Russian Federation by the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB) (Federal'naya sluzhba bezopasnosti Rossiyskoy Federatsii, Cyrillic: Федеральная служба безопасности Российской Федерации (ФСБ)) for domestic affairs and by the SVR RF, the Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation (Sluzhba vneshney razvedki, Cyrillic: Слу́жба вне́шней разве́дки (СВР РФ)).

Goofs[]

  • Thomas claims he was born in Kyiv, but Kyiv is not a city in Russia. Instead, it is the capital of Ukraine. However, in the flashback, it is shown that Thomas was actually born in Moscow near the "St. Basil's Cathedral," which is in Russia and was also in the Soviet Union.
    • Despite this, Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union.
  • In the flashback to "Pie Contest," Promise Pie can be seen chasing Mordecai and Rigby, but in the actual episode, there isn't a single moment where P.P. was chasing them.
  • During the flashback scene from "Journey to the Bottom of the Crash Pit", when Mordecai, Rigby, Muscle Man, and Hi-Five Ghost needs to borrow rock climbing equipment from Thomas, Thomas was wearing a blue baseball cap owned by a CIA agent, but Thomas wore a red baseball cap in the original episode.
  • Throughout most of the episode, Natalia is seen wearing lipstick. When Thomas reveals himself to be a Russian spy named Nikolai, Natalia's lipstick is missing.
  • When Thomas reveals himself to be a Russian spy named Nikolai both Pops and Skips have duct tape over their mouthes, but when it cuts back to them for a third time, the tape is no longer on their mouthes.
  • In "Expert or Liar", Thomas says he was friends with a guy named Cody in collage who appears in the episode. If Thomas was a Russian spy, how did he know Cody then?
  • When Thomas tells his story, Benson is chained but when Natalia says "Let's move", he's tied up.
  • Each of the goofs/errors above were due to the idea of changing Thomas' background. Because of how lame and mundane he was seen as, the creators needed to kind of repurpose his character. The truth is that they never had a keen plan for a revelation that Thomas was a Soviet spy, it was decided unanimously amongst the creators sometime after the episodes including Thomas. The creators constructed ideas from the fanbase of his character and some even wanted to suggest them to make a revelation of him being a spy directly. That eventually was decided upon and even now, it still remains as one of the best revelation-based/twist episode specials.
  • When Benson says that everyone had a role in his lengthy healing process, he is holding a pen in his right hand and a clipboard in his left. After Skips says he doesn't remember such events, Benson turns red but now the objects swap positions, though he is only holding the clipboard in his right hand while the pen goes missing. In the next shot, however, the clipboard is back in his left hand and so is the pen in his right.

Alternate Versions[]

Europe[]

  • This episode is banned in RSEE, due to its uncomfortable similarities with the then-current Ukraine Crisis (that, as of 2023, is now an open war between Russia and Ukraine), as well as demonizing Russia as an evil empire willing to use ludicrous methods to circumvent mutually-assured destruction (MAD) and destroy the United States so it can conquer the world unopposed.
  • Russia is replaced by a fictional country called "Druznia" and "Russian" to "Druznic". This was most likely done to avoid insulting Russian (and/or pro-Russian) viewers, particularly at a time of political tension in Europe involving Russia and its neighbor Ukraine.
    • It may have also been done to prevent children from becoming scared of Russia.
  • In the opening titles of the episode, every Latin letter is simply transliterated to its Cyrillic counterpart (not translated into Russian), however, this could be to coincide with the episode itself. This doesn't appear in the European version.
  • The line "Sweet dreams, Cartwright." was cut when Thomas was fighting an agent.
  • When Rigby checks out the sprinkler heads, there is Russian text on it saying "ОСТОРОЖНО!" ("Ostorozhno!"). Translated to English, the word means "Caution!" In the European version it was removed.
  • When Romanoff showed Thomas and Natalia's plan in the flashback, the line says "Операция парк лифт" ("Operatsiya 'Park Lift'") which means "Operation 'Park Lift,'" the European version is replaced with the English translation.
    • It also replaces "CCCP" ("Союз Советских Социалистических Республик" which stands for the Soviet Union) with Druznia.
  • When Benson is about to punch Natalia, Natalia snaps Benson's hand. In the European version, it was cut (though, it also looks like that she's slowly crushing it instead).
  • When Natalia runs towards Thomas/Nikolai, she says to him "Imperialist Dog!". In the European version, she instead says "Nikolai, you traitor!". Come to think of it, it was not such a bad substitute of a line.
  • At the end of the episode, Rigby says, "До свидания" ("Do svidaniya", which means "goodbye" in Russian). In the European version, it was changed to "goodbye".

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