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"The Space Race" is the thirteenth episode in Season 8 (and two hundred and thirty overall) of Regular Show. It first aired on October 10, 2016.

Synopsis

The guys race through space.

Plot

The episode begins in a room marked "Authorized Personnel Only". Inside, a discarded mop and bucket are lying in the room while Mordecai and Rigby are playing a video game called "Space Race Deluxe". It is the last lap and Rigby informs Mordecai of a right turn approaching. Mordecai takes the turn and tells Rigby to boost him. Rigby does so, and their car blasts past another car just before crossing the finish line. A high score list appears with Mordecai and Rigby at the very top. The duo celebrate their victory, but are caught by Colonel Rawls.

Some time later with the park crew, Rawls berates the two about not understanding what "authorized personnel" means and orders them to give him fifty push-ups. They begin to comply, but Rawls stops them, saying that's what he would have said if they hadn't gotten the best score in Space Race Deluxe he had ever seen. Confused, Mordecai asks him what he means.

Rawls explains that Space Race Deluxe isn't a video game, but a simulator for the station racing league: the Interstation 5000, which all the space stations in the area participate in for a giant milk can as the prize. For five years, the Space Tree's rival, Space Bush, has been the champion, but Rawls believes this year will be different. He wishes for the milk to be poured all over his body, which will make him feel like he's been born again as a champion. He asks Mordecai and Rigby to participate in the Interstation 5000, and they reluctantly agree.

Benson cuts in, asking Rawls what the park crew is doing here. Rawls answers that they will be Mordecai and Rigby's pit crew. Benson replies that they know nothing about being a pit crew, which is why Rawls says they will be trained.

Later, Rawls introduces the park crew to the Space Tree's best racers, Hans and Lars. When Hans and Lars hear the news about Mordecai and Rigby beating their score in the simulator, they are shocked and beg for Rawls not to replace them. Rawls firmly replies that, despite being the Space Tree's best racers, Hans and Lars have not brought the milk can to the Space Tree for five years. Rawls believes now is the time for something different if the Space Tree is to win. With that, he leaves Mordecai and Rigby to their training. But, outraged at being bested in the simulator, Hans and Lars refuse to train the duo and leave as well.

Fortunately for the park crew, Toothpick Sally comes out from underneath a racing machine, saying she will train them instead since she spent some of her childhood around racetracks. With her in charge, the park crew gets to work. Their efforts are sloppy at first, with Mordecai and Rigby's BHM racing vehicle crashing into some crates and the pit crew messing up on their end, but as time goes by, everyone starts to get better. At the end, Toothpick Sally reports to Rawls that Mordecai and Rigby are ready.

Later, the Interstation 5000 is about to begin. With the commanders of all the space stations, Carlton Tanner of the Space Bush sees Mordecai and Rigby and taunts Rawls about them being the Space Tree's best team. Rawls retorts that this year, the Space Tree will win the milk can. Down on the track, Mordecai sees that Space Bush's racers haven't appeared and guesses that they won't be racing. Just then, the Space Bush competitors appear, who turn out to be Hans and Lars.

Shocked, Mordecai says that Hans and Lars work for the Space Tree. They retort with that they now race for the Space Bush. Rawls sees this as well and furiously confronts Tanner, who just replies with "May the best team win". With that, the race announcer orders a racer roll call, to which all of the station racers check in. The track railgun engages and the racers take off, looping around the track to gain speed and momentum. The light turns red, then yellow, and finally green as the track shifts out into space. The race is on!

Mordecai and Rigby are baffled at the scene before Rigby snaps back into focus and alerts Mordecai of a turn. Hans and Lars take the immediate lead while racers from Space Log and Space Mushroom try to close the gap. Mordecai and Rigby hit the guardrail while the racers of Space Log- Jolene and Bruce- notice them. The ram Mordecai and Rigby, pinning them against the guardrail. Mordecai hits the brakes and drops back behind Jolene and Bruce. He accelerates and cuts their vehicle in half. Jolene and Bruce are sent careening into space and explode, eliminating Space Log from the race.

The racers reach an ascent and Mordecai asks Rigby what awaits them on the other side. Rigby looks to his screen and sees a bunch of blobs, which leaves him confused. Meanwhile, the other racers engage shields. Mordecai asks Rigby if they have one, to which Rigby replies he doesn't see a button for it. The racers drop down the slope into an asteroid field, and a tiny asteroid cracks their vehicle's windshield. Mordecai nervously says that one little hole is nothing too serious until the oxygen inside their vehicle starts to drop.

Jean and Phillippe of Space Flower is hit by an asteroid, destroying their vehicle. Phillippe lands on Mordecai and Rigby's windshield before freezing up in the vacuum of space and shattering. Now starting to panic, Mordecai shouts at Rigby to fix the hole. Rigby sees the vehicle's speed stick and tries to plug it into the hole, but finds it difficult due to Mordecai constantly avoiding asteroids. While Rigby tries to fix the hole, the oxygen levels in their vehicle reach critical.

From their own vehicle, Hans and Lars deploy a small ratchet-bot that attaches itself to Mordecai and Rigby's vehicle. Just as Rigby plugs up the hole with the speed stick and stabilizes the oxygen levels, the front grill of the vehicle falls apart and bursts into flame. One of the vehicle's back wheels falls off as well and Mordecai and Rigby start to spin out of control. Seeing this on the camera, Sally orders the pit crew to their stations and everyone activates their helmets.

The racers launch off a ramp to descend to the surface of the nearby planet. Just as they enter the atmosphere, the pit ship arrives and the crew get to work, remaining onboard thanks to their magnetic boots. While Muscle Man replaces the wheel and Pops refreshes Mordecai and Rigby with drinks, Eileen finds Hans and Lars' ratchet-bot and tells the duo they have been sabotaged. Just then, the ship nears the planet's surface, and Benson says that they need to leave before they get too close. The pit ship pulls out while the racers prepare to dive underground. While most of them dive into the planet's crust, Takeshi and Kokei of Space Mushroom crash into the ground.

Hans and Lars see Mordecai and Rigby in the rear-view mirror and ready "car insurance", aka a harpoon gun. They fire at Mordecai and Rigby, but hit Angel and Boxer of Space Rock instead. The vehicle explodes, leaving Space Tree and Space Bush as the only two racers remaining. Meanwhile, the racers travel so deep into the planet that the race officials lose their signal. There's nothing but the audience to do now but wait to see who comes out the other side and crosses the finish line.

Mordecai tells Rigby that they need more speed. Rigby ejects the main body of their vehicle, allowing them to catch up to Hans and Lars. Mordecai asks them why they're being such jerks, and Hans and Lars reply that Mordecai and Rigby beat their high score in the simulator and that they refused to train the very people that would replace them. They slam against Mordecai and Rigby, saying this is now between the four of them.

Mordecai loops around and quickly turns the tables on them, asking Rigby how they beat Hans and Lars in the simulator with a taunting tone. Rigby mockingly guesses that they used a speed stick to win. Rigby pulls out the speed stick from the hole, breaking the windshield in the process. He jams it into a hole, giving their vehicle a burst of speed. Hans and Lars do the same to their own vehicle, trying to catch up to Mordecai and Rigby.

On his viewscreen, Rigby sees the finish line coming up. Mordecai shouts at him to go faster, and Rigby pushes the speed stick further into the hole. Even as they suffer from the g-forces and wind in their faces, Rigby manages to completely push the speed stick inside. Suddenly, Hans and Lars manage to overtake them just as the finish line draws nearer.

Mordecai says the gravity is pulling their vehicle back down, but Rigby objects, saying they will make it since their vehicle is lighter than Hans and Lars'. He climbs out of his seat and onto the front of the car. Seeing this, Hans orders Lars to do the same and Lars begrudgingly does so. Their two vehicles come out into the open and both racers jump for the finish line...

Rigby cuts the line in half with his hand, making the Space Tree win the race. He and Mordecai bail from their vehicle while Hans and Lars plummet back down underground, screaming in denial as they fall.

Back with the others, everyone celebrates the Space Tree's victory and Mordecai and Rigby are presented with the milk can. They dump it all over Rawls, who appears to tense up in anger. The duo freeze, fearing Rawls will yell at them. Instead, Rawls laughs victoriously and proceeds to rub the milk all over himself.

Characters

S8E13 The Space Race Credits.png

Trivia

  • Other Space Stations are revealed: Space Mushroom, Space Log, Space Rock, and Space Flower.
    • They also appear to be from different countries and cultures.
      • Space Rock is Country, Space Mushroom is Japanese, and Space Flower is French.

Episode Connections

  • This is Carlton Tanner and the Space Bush's second and final appearance in the series, since their debut in "Ugly Moons."

Pop Cultural References

  • The whole space racing theme could be a reference to the game and show, F-Zero.
  • The milk can presented to the winners could be a reference to the Indianapolis 500, which presents the winning driver with a bottle of milk.
  • The ending of the race could be a reference to the 2009 film, Red Line.

Production Notes

  • This is the first episode to air during the sixth "Regular Show Bomb."
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