Mind Pollution is the third episode in the second series of Captain Planet and the Planeteers. It was written by Doug Moliter.
Rather than dealing with any environmental problem, the Planeteers face the issue of drugs, and what can happen to a polluted mind. It becomes personal when Linka's cousin, and eventually Linka herself, become "polluted" by Skumm's latest experiment.
The Planeteers are taking a few days vacation. Linka is staying in Washington with her Uncle Dimitri and her cousin Boris. It soon becomes clear that Boris has a drug problem - Verminous Skumm is selling a highly-addictive drug named Bliss.
When Boris slips a pill into Linka's food and triggers an addiction, it's up to the other Planeteers to save her.
The episode opens with a clean-cut young man being offered drug by Verminous Skumm. Skumm claims that "Bliss" will make any difficulties go away. The young man pays a wad of cash for the bag of pills Skumm hands him. After taking one, his expression seems to change intantly. Though he no longer looks as healthy as he did just a few moments ago, the young man laughs to himself, the Bliss taking effect immediately. Skumm claims that "Nothing can bring you down now."
The young man runs out into the street and narrowly avoids being hit by a bus. He falls backwards and hits his head on the pavement, but continues to laugh hysterically. Skumm joins him, delighting in the young man's ruination.
On Hope Island, Linka is holding a checklist, running through a last-minute check of items on the geo-cruiser. The other Planeteers seem a little weary of her enthusiasm. Gi comments, "When you look up 'perfectionist' in the dictionary, it has Linka's picture."
Linka seems very eager to get somewhere, and we soon learn via Kwame that the Planeteers are taking a small vacation. Linka is going to visit her uncle and her cousin, Boris, in Washington.
The Planeteers drop her off, with Kwame telling her one of them will be back in a week to pick her up. She waves goodbye to the geo-cruiser as it flies away.
In a clean, well-kept street, Linka rings the doorbell to her Uncle Dmitri's house. He greets her jovially, apparently surprised by her visit. She asks to see her favourite cousin, and Uncle Dmitri calls Boris down the stairs. He emerges in a blue dressing gown and slippers, looking tired and ill. It is the young man we saw at the beginning of the episode.
Linka is immediately concerned by Boris' appearance, asking if he is all right. He tells her he is just getting over a cold.
Dmitri claims he is going to make a special breakfast of blintzes, and indicates that the problems with Boris have been going for some time, requesting: "For once, please comb your hair."
Boris takes another pill upstairs.
As he is cooking breakfast, Uncle Dmitri admits to Linka that he is worried about Boris, telling her that the young man is moody and stays out late, but does not meet up with his friends. He wonders if Linka could talk to Boris and find out what is wrong.
They are interrupted by Boris arriving in the kitchen in high spirits. He is dressed and wearing sunglass, and claims he has combed his hair especially for Linka.
Linka becomes concerned by a graze on Boris' forehead. He tells her it is nothing, but she moves to clean it up for him anyway. However, Boris knocks the bottle of rubbing alcohol out of her hands, and it lands on the stove, where Uncle Dmitri is still making blintzes. A fire quickly spreads.
However, with some quick thinking, Linka uses her ring and a box of baking soda to extinguish the flames. Boris takes a dazed interest in her ring after seeing her use it for the first time.
Linka and Boris are riding their bikes to a Russian café for breakfast, now that their own has been destroyed. Linka is in good spirits, riding fast and making jokes, but Boris begs for her to wait for him. She stops in amazement, asking if he needs to catch his wind.
When the subject of wind comes up, Boris asks about her ring and she tells him it has the power of Wind, and it was given to her so she could help protect the Earth.
He asks if he can try it sometime, and tells her that if she allows him to use her ring, he'll give her "one of these" - the pills Skumm gave to him.
Linka is outraged instantly, asking Boris if he has lost his mind. They wrestle for the bag, which splits open, and the pills disappear down a drain. Boris is instantly angry, blaming Linka and calling her a "stupid cow" before riding away across a busy road, cutting through traffic. Linka watches on in dismay.
Boris is beside himself when we see him next - he is with Skumm, begging for more Bliss and handing him wads of money. Skumm tells him that the price of Bliss has gone up, and Boris doesn't even have enough to buy one pill. Boris begs him, telling Skumm he is in agony. Skumm tells him that once someone is used to Bliss, "anything else is real pain."
Boris offers to bring Skumm a ring "with fantastic powers" in exchange for Bliss. Discovering that Boris knows Linka, one of the Planeteers, Skumm tells him to forget the ring and bring Linka to him instead. In exchange, he will give Boris enough Bliss to last him the rest of his life. Boris instantly rejects this idea, despite being in pain. He tells Skumm he loves his cousin and will never betray her. Skumm, however, points out that Boris will continue to suffer without the pills.
Linka returns to her uncle's house, crying out for him as soon as she is in the door. However, he has left a note, telling her there is trouble at the embassy. Linka immediately turns on the television to discover that vandals are downtown, high on a new designer drug called Bliss. Linka immediately becomes worried, pleading aloud, "Not Boris."
Boris, however, shows up behind her. Relieved, she embraces him, and he tells her he has now stopped using Bliss. However, behind his back he has blintzes, which are contaminated with Bliss pills. He hands one to Linka. She happily eats it, unaware that there are pills hidden inside the filling.
Boris instantly falls under the spell of Bliss again, dreamily asking her: "Isn't that the best thing you ever ate?"
The geo-cruiser lands on Hope Island, with Gi and Ma-Ti inside. Kwame and Wheeler are waiting nearby. Kwame asks why Linka is not with them, and Ma-Ti replies he thought she was coming back with them. Wheeler says they have not heard from her all week, and Gi is instantly worried.
Gaia appears and tells them to hurry to The Crystal Chamber - there is an answer, but not one they're going to like. On the Planet Vision screen, Gaia shows them how desperate people are becoming to get their hands on more Bliss. They are handing over their possessions in order to pay for the increasingly-expensive drug.
Gi asks why this constitutes as an eco-alert, and Gaia informs her that this is the most "insidious kind of pollution," and that people's minds and bodies are becoming polluted.
Skumm plans to take over one town's "wealth and health" before gradually moving on to the world, getting everyone addicted to Bliss. Eventually, he will be the only one who can think straight.
Kwame asks Gaia if she thinks Linka is also on Bliss, but Wheeler interrupts him with instant denial, saying Linka is too smart to do drugs. Gaia believes that so long as Linka is surrounded by those on Bliss, she is in trouble. The Planeteers hurry to join Linka in Washington.
Gi lands the geo-cruiser behind some bushes, where it won't be seen. They split up to search for Linka.
Wheeler and Ma-Ti are at the Lincoln Memorial when Ma-Ti asks Wheeler who Lincoln was. He states that the statue looks sad. Wheeler tells him Lincoln freed the slaves and paid with his life, and Ma-Ti comments that perhaps he is sad now because his people are enslaved again - this time by drugs.
A crowd gathers behind Wheeler and Ma-Ti. Gi cries out to them, warning them that the crowd is advancing on them.
Wheeler tries to hold them back by causing a fire, but the crowd appears ready to walk through it. Skumm says they do not care about getting injured - only getting more Bliss. Skumm begins to turn the crowd against the Planeteers.
Ma-Ti says they need Captain Planet, but Skumm drags a young woman out of the crowd. It is Linka, and she is dishevelled and dazed, mumbling about needing more Bliss. The Planeteers cry out for her, but Skumm hands her a pill, and she takes it instantly. Wheeler tries to run to her, and the other Planeteers restrain him as the crowd advances on them. Skumm tells them they will not get any more Bliss until they get the Planeteers.
The Planeteers retreat. Ma-Ti cries out to Linka to help them call Captain Planet, but she is a zombie, swallowing more pills and accusing Ma-Ti of trying to bring her down. Skumm encourages her to get high, putting a hand on her shoulder. Wheeler yells at him to keep his "paws" off her.
Kwame realises they will never make it past the crowd of addicts to help Linka. He creates an earthquake, causing the crowd to fall, and Gi uses water from the Reflecting Pool to wash them away. However, encouraged by Skumm, the crowd gets up again, and the Planeteers realise they are in a stand-off.
Ma-Ti asks Wheeler to distract Skumm. Wheeler causes a fire that burns the bag of Bliss in Skumm's hand, destroying the pills. Skumm taunts him by waving a notebook at him, telling him he still has the Bliss formula and can make more in minutes.
Ma-Ti grabs Linka's wrist and pulls her away from Skumm.
Skumm realises she is gone, and sees Ma-Ti pulling her away into the trees. He sends the crowd of addicts after them.
Ma-Ti races to get Linka to safety, but she trips and lands in a large puddle of water. She laughs hysterically, and Ma-Ti pleads with her to hurry up, because Skumm is chasing them.
Wheeler, Kwame and Gi have managed to race ahead of the crowd of addicts. Kwame and Wheeler grab Linka under the arms and race away with her, quickly followed by Ma-Ti and Gi, as well as the crowd of addicts.
As they rush to find a hiding place, Linka begs for them to take her back.
Inside, Kwame calls for someone to help them, but there is no one within earshot. Wheeler makes a remark about never being able to find a cop when the city is under seige from zombies.
Ma-Ti uses his ring to search the city and discovers that everyone has fled. The only people left are the Planeteers, Skumm, and his addicts.
Boris leads the group of addicts towards the Planeteers, who are barricading themselves inside The Capitol.
Wheeler turns around and begs Linka to help them call Captain Planet. She is huddled on the floor, digging around in her pockets for more pills. Wheeler kneels in front of her and pleads for her to stop taking the pills, claiming they are poison. She tells him she needs it - "Without it, you cannot imagine the pain."
The crowd is about to break through the doors into the building. The Planeteers block the door with memorial statues and desks. Boris makes his way to a window and pleads for Linka to let him in, telling her that Skumm will give them more Bliss.
Wheeler turns around to discover Linka gone. He decides to try and think like a zombie in order to track her down.
He finds Linka in the Vice President's office. She has unlatched the window and is about to let Boris in, but Wheeler slams it shut again, locking him out.
Wheeler grabs Linka by the arms and shakes her, asking her how could she help him, and didn't she know what the crowd wanted to do to them? Linka laughs, and tells Wheeler she was afraid like him, too, and that Boris had to slip Bliss into her food. She tells him she is glad he did.
Linka then tries to coerce Wheeler into taking a pill with her. "Oh, come on, please try it, Wheeler. For me?"
He leads her to a mirror, begging her to look into it and see what "this junk" has done to her. She giggles at her reflection and tells him she looks beautiful.
Boris crashes his way through the window, which causes him to start bleeding profusely.
Wheeler struggles to hold Linka back as Kwame rushes in and causes a tremor that knocks a bookcase in front of the shattered window, blocking the rest of the crowd out. He realises it is only a matter of time before the crowd breaks through, so he and Ma-Ti carry Linka out of the room. Wheeler follows them, dazed, before running suddenly back into the Vice President's office, where Gi is bandaging Boris' bleeding arms. Boris tries to get up in search of more Bliss, but Gi orders him back down, stating he's badly hurt.
Wheeler asks what Gi is doing: "What are you doing? That traitor is the one who got Linka hooked!"
They hear the crowd barge in the front entrance. Wheeler helps Gi carry Boris to safety. Wheeler is worried that they'll never find a way out, claiming he has never even taken a tour of The Capitol. Kwame says he has, and he knows where the door is. However, with the crowd following them, the Planeteers are forced to escape through a window onto the roof. Skumm watches from below.
Linka and Boris are hunched up on the ground, hugging themselves and obviously feeling ill. Both are dirty and dishevelled. Linka is moaning about needing more Bliss.
The windows are broken out by the crowd of addicts, still intent on hunting the Planeteers down. One of them grabs Ma-Ti and starts to haul him backwards. Ma-Ti cries to Kwame for help, and Kwame tugs him back, only to fall. Wheeler catches Kwame's foot, and the Kwame and Ma-Ti are dangling over the edge with Wheeler trying to pull them back up. Skumm arrives in his Skumm-O-Copter, hovering over them. He gives instructions via a megaphone - a whole bottle of Bliss to anyone who gives the Planeteers a push.
Boris calls out to him, demanding the bottle. Skumm throws it to him and Boris downs half the pills in one go, only to have Linka snatch the rest. Gi tries to stop her, but Linka threatens that anyone who tries to stop her will be blown away with her ring.
Wheeler has managed to pull the others back up onto the ledge.
Linka attempts to use her ring against Gi, but the Planeteers realise her mind is too polluted for her ring to work.
Boris suddenly collapses, and Gi moves a panicked Linka aside in order to see what is wrong with him. She takes his pulse, and tells Linka that Bliss has killed him. Linka starts trying to wake Boris up, convinced that Gi is lying. Wheeler pulls her up gently and tells her that Boris is dead. She starts crying, hugging Wheeler and crying denials into his shoulder. She tells Wheeler that she knows Bliss killed Boris, but without the pills, she cannot stand the pain.
The windows are punched out by the crowd. They are almost right on top of the Planeteers now.
Wheeler takes Linka's arms and begs her to stop taking the pills, as she needs to use her ring now to call Captain Planet. She tells him she cannot.
He pleads for her to do it for Boris, and after a few seconds, she takes the pills out of her pocket and throws them over the edge of the building. Kwame starts the process of summoning Captain Planet.
Captain Planet rescues Ma-Ti and Linka from the top of the building first, and then flies back for Kwame, Wheeler and Gi, just before the crowd surges out onto the ledge.
He spots Skumm in his helicopter, and tells him he's "gone way too far, this time."
He says he ought to give Skumm a taste of his own medicine, and Skumm begs for Captain Planet not to force him into addiction. Captain Planet says he'd never play by those rules, before creating a whirlwind and then a fire that sucks the remaining pills - and Skumm's notebook - out of the helicopter and destroys them. The formula for Bliss and the remaining pills are all gone.
Captain Planet then forces Skumm to fall from the helicopter and into the river.
The next scene is of a medical camp, where Linka is lying on a stretcher bed. Tents are set up around her, indicating many other people are also being attended to. Gi comments that the road ahead is still long and difficult.
Wheeler kneels by Linka and tells her it's okay to cry: "They say withdrawal is the worst kind of pain."
She tells him it's not as bad as losing Boris.
Skumm is shown crawling from the river, swearing revenge against Captain Planet. He takes a piece of cheese from his pocket and takes it, only to realise too late that it contained a Bliss pill. He realises he has polluted himself.
Linka: Some drugs are good for you, but many can be harmful.
Kwame: Only use medicine you get from a doctor or your parents. These can keep you healthy.
Gi: Illegal drugs are dangerous. They can damage your mind, as well as your heart, your lungs, your whole body.
Wheeler: Only a fool thinks drugs are cool.
Captain Planet: And if you have a drug problem, get help. You can choose not to take drugs. The power is yours.
Captain Planet: The health of our planet relies on the health of its people.
Wheeler: To reach the highest heights...
Linka: ...and win the fight to save our planet...
Ma-Ti: ...we must have strength...
Gi: ... and courage!
Wheeler: Our minds...
Linka: ...and our bodies must be in shape!
Commander Clash: Stay fit!
Captain Planet: The power is yours!
Did You Notice?
- At the beginning of the episode, Linka is anxious to have everything 'just right' as the geo-cruiser prepares for take-off. The other Planeteers seem used to her 'perfectionist' behaviour, with Gi even stating: "When you look up 'perfectionist' in the dictionary, it has Linka's picture."
- Boris and Linka have the same hair and eye colour.
- Uncle Dmitri is making blintzes for breakfast - a thin pancake, similar to a crêpe.
- Uncle Dmitri states that Linka and Boris were always close, and Linka refers to Boris as her "favourite cousin".
- Boris becomes aggressive when Linka tears the bag of pills and they fall down the drain.
- Skumm claims that when someone is used to Bliss, anything else - such as reality - is real pain.
- Despite being in pain, Boris initially refuses to hand Linka over to Skumm, telling him that he loves his cousin and will never betray her.
- Dmitri's note to Linka and Boris: "Trouble at embassy. Back Later. Dmitri."
- Linka does not contact the Planeteers during the week she is gone, and she does not return to Hope Island when she is supposed to. Wheeler and Kwame assume she is coming home with Gi and Ma-Ti, and they assume she is coming home with Wheeler and Kwame.
- Wheeler needs to be restrained by the other Planeteers as he witnesses Linka taking a Bliss pill.
- Bliss changes both Linka's and Boris' eye-colour from blue to a reddish-brown.
- Wheeler is enraged when Skumm puts his hand on Linka's shoulder, crying out to him: "Take your paws off her, you rat!"
- Skumm keeps the Bliss formula/recipe in a notebook. Apparently, he does not have it memorised.
- Linka tells Wheeler that when she stops taking Bliss, the pain is unimaginable.
- Wheeler has little sympathy for Boris, stating that he's "the traitor who got Linka hooked." He also appears incredulous when Gi attempts to bandage Boris' arms, stating that taking the drug in the first place was Boris' own fault.
- Wheeler has never taken a tour of The Capitol - Kwame has.
- Linka would have killed Gi by blowing her off the top of The Capitol, but her mind was too polluted for her ring to work.
- Gi takes Boris' pulse after he collapses, and tells Linka he's dead. "Bliss killed him. I'm sorry."
- Linka admits to Wheeler that she knows Bliss killed Boris, but without the pills, she cannot stand the pain. He asks her to do it for Boris, and she finally throws the pills away, and the team can summon Captain Planet.
- Captain Planet seems particularly outraged by this eco-villain scheme.
- We never see Captain Planet return his powers in this episode.
- Linka says the pain of withdrawal is overshadowed by the pain of losing Boris.
- Uncle Dmitri is not seen again during this episode - the last scene he appears in is the one in which the fire starts in his kitchen.
- Skumm is never apprehended properly, though he does cause himself to become addicted to Bliss.
Skumm: Come on. Get Blissed out.
Gi: When you look up 'perfectionist' in the dictionary, it has Linka's picture.
Linka: Wheeler, make sure the bolts are not loosening up.
Wheeler: (muttering) I know someone who could use a little loosening up.
Linka: I heard that, Wheeler! Ma-Ti, double-check all his bolts.
Wheeler: Oh, man!
Linka: Is everybody ready for take-off?
Wheeler: Oh no! Linka, I forgot to put the wings back on!
Linka: I have missesd my cousin Boris so much! (She looks pointedly at Wheeler) He is charming.
Dmitri: Boris worries me. He is moody; does nothing but stay out late - but never meet his friends. Linka, you were always close. Perhaps you could talk to him.
Linka: You need to catch your wind?
Boris: Speaking of wind - how could your ring blow out a fire like that?
Linka: My ring has the power of Wind. I was given it to help protect the Earth.
Boris: These drugs can make you happier than you've ever been in your life.
Linka: Drugs! Boris, have you lost your mind? (She attempts to wrestle the bag of bills from him.)
Boris: Give those back! (The bag tears and the pills disappear down a drain.) You stupid cow! I needed those!
Boris: I need more Bliss...
Skumm: Sorry, kid, but the price of Bliss has gone sky-high. This isn't even enough to buy one pill.
Boris: Please, give me some! I am in agony!
Skumm: Now that's the funny thing. When you're used to Bliss, anything else is real pain.
Boris: What if I bring you a ring? With fantastic powers? A ring that controls the wind itself?
Skumm: A ring? You mean you know one of those Planeteers?
Boris: My cousin Linka.
Skumm: Forget the ring! Bring me the girl and you can have enough Bliss to last you the rest of your life.
Boris: No! I love my cousin - I will never betray her to you.
Skumm: Then go ahead and suffer.
Reporter: The vandals fled just seconds ago. The police suspect they were high on a new dangerously-addictive designer drug called Bliss.
Linka: Boris! I was afraid you were in that Blissed-out mob.
Boris: I have seen now that Bliss is bad news, so I have stopped using it. Thank you for setting me straight.
Linka: You should never have used drugs in the first place. I am so glad you've stopped.
After handing Linka a blintz contaminated with Bliss:
Boris: Isn't that the best thing you ever ate?
Kwame: Isn't Linka with you?
Ma-Ti: We thought she was coming back with you.
Wheeler: We didn't hear from her all week.
Gi: This isn't like her. What could have happened?
Gaia: You won't like the answer, Planeteers. To The Crystal Chamber, and hurry!
They gather around the Planet Vision.
Gaia: Something terrible is happening in Washington.
A heavily-graffitied street is shown.
Wheeler: Man, what went down on that street?
Gaia: What went down, Wheeler, was people's self-respect. They no longer care about their neighbourhood, or themselves.
Wheeler: That's terrible!
Gi: But why the eco-alert? Is this pollution?
Gaia: It's the most insidious kind of pollution. These kids are polluting their minds and bodies with drugs.
On the Planet Vision moniters, Skumm is busy peddling his drugs.
Skumm: You say you broke up with your boyfriend? Flunked that test? Didn't get that job you wanted? Just plain bread? Come on, don't get stressed out. Get Blissed out! I got Bliss - but the price has gone up.
People are shown handing their belongings out to Skumm in the hopes of receiving more Bliss.
Gaia: All they live for now is more Bliss.
Skumm: That's it, you Blissed-out morons. First I take your town's wealth and health. And then, I get the rest of the world hooked on Bliss. And I'll be the only one who can still think straight!
Gi: They're polluted, all right.
Kwame: Gaia! You do not think that Linka...?
Wheeler: Nah, she's too smart to do drugs.
Gaia: But as long as those around her do, she's in a world of trouble.
Ma-Ti: Then we will get her out of it!
Wheeler and Ma-Ti are at the Lincoln Memorial:
Ma-Ti: Wheeler, who was this man? He looks sad.
Wheeler: That's President Lincoln. Long ago, he freed the slaves, and paid with his life.
Ma-Ti: Maybe he is sad - seeing his people now enslaved by drugs.
Skumm: They don't care about injuries! Just running out of Bliss.
Ma-Ti: Verminous Skumm! We need Captain Planet.
Skumm: You bet you do! But you'll never be able to summon him again!
Linka: I need more Bliss...
Skumm: Come on, druggies! No more Bliss until you get those Planeteers!
Ma-Ti: Linka! Help us call Captain Planet!
Linka: Oh, you're just trying to bring me down.
Skumm: That's right, my little Bliss-brain. Go on, get high.
Wheeler: Take your paws off her, you rat!
Ma-Ti: Linka! Skumm is coming!
Linka: Oh Ma-Ti, do not be so uptight. Skumm is not such a bad guy.
Wheeler: Why is it when the city's under seige by zombies you can never find a cop?
Wheeler: Linka, you gotta stop taking that stuff. It's poison!
Linka: Oh no, Wheeler. I need this. Without it, you cannot imagine the pain.
Wheeler: Okay Wheeler, think. If you were a zombie, where would you go? The Vice President's office!
Linka: I was afraid like you, Wheeler. Boris had to slip Bliss into my food. But now I am so glad he did. Oh, come on, please try it, Wheeler. For me?
Wheeler: What's wrong with you? Take a look in the mirror and see what this junk has done to you!
Linka: What do you mean? I look beautiful.
Wheeler discovers Gi bandaging Boris' wounds.
Wheeler: Gi, what are you doing? That's the traitor who got Linka hooked!
Gi: The drug made him do it!
Wheeler: Oh yeah? Well nothing made him take the drug. He did that to himself.
Skumm sees the Planeteers on top of The Capitol:
Skumm: Well now they've got nowhere to go but down.
The Planeteers are on top of The Capitol:
Ma-Ti: I bet this is one place your tour did not take you.
Ma-Ti and Kwame are dangling over a high ledge:
Kwame: Ma-Ti, hold on!
Ma-Ti: I plan to!
Gi tries to stop Linka swallowing more pills:
Gi: Linka, don't!
Linka: Nyet! If anyone touches my Bliss, I will blow them away!
Gi takes Boris' pulse after he collapses:
Gi: Bliss killed him. I'm sorry.
Linka: No! You are lying! Boris! It's me, Linka! Wake up!
Wheeler: Linka... He's dead.
Linka: No, no, no! Oh, Wheeler. These things killed Boris, but without them, I cannot stand the pain.
Wheeler: Linka, you have to stand it! You have to use your ring, now!
Linka: I cannot...
Wheeler: Concentrate! Do it for Boris!
Captain Planet: You've gone way too far, this time, Skumm! Polluting people's minds is a new low, even for you!
Captain Planet: I ought to give you a dose of your own medicine.
Skumm: No! Please don't make me an addict.
Captain Planet: Lucky for you, I don't play your games, Skumm. But according to my house rules, dealer always loses.
Wheeler: It's okay to cry. They say withdrawal's the worst kind of pain.
Linka: Nyet. It's not as bad as losing Boris.
Skumm: I'll get my revenge, Captain Planet. You're not the big cheese here.