- The search for three precious elements begins as the Joe team races to complete their own M.A.S.S. Device!
In the Cobra Arena of Sport, Duke is forced into a battle with the giant. Cobra Commander and Destro control the two combatants via the mind controlling headbands. With joysticks in their hands, the Commander controls the giant while Destro controls Duke. Cobra Commander chides Destro's lack of gaming skills as the giant proceeds to beat Duke up. Furious but calm, Destro lets go of the joystick to let Duke fight the giant on his own will.
At Joe HQ, Dr. Vandermeer tells the Joes that he can build a M.A.S.S. for them but to power it, he will need three essential elements. The first of which is a red radioactive crystal that can only be found in the Arctic region, specifically in an area called the Sea of Ice.
While Duke is dwarfed by the giant's size and strength, his combat skills allow him to put up a good fight and knock the giant down. In a defiant move, he goes towards the controllers' direction. Destro would have none of that and immobilizes Duke. The giant is about to pummel Duke when a Cobra Officer has to interrupt the game with information from their spies. Cobra Commander is furious that the world refuses to surrender before him while Destro is upset that the Joes will be building their own M.A.S.S. and is on the way to obtain one of the catalytic elements. With the bad news, they both leave the Arena to attend to the distressing matter. The slave girl Duke met before enters the arena to give him water. She introduces herself as Selina and gives him a gold strip to place between his headband and his forehead. She warns him it may hurt but he will be able to move of his own free will.
In the Arctic, Snow Job, Scarlett, Snake-Eyes, Flash and Tripwire arrive in the area of the Sea of Ice. Their radiation tracker leads them to a cave. What they don't know is that Major Bludd is in the area and is watching them. The Joes arrive at the cave and proceeds to walk in. Further inside the cave, S.N.A.K.E. robots lie in wait.
Cobra Commander gives another ultimatum to the world. In another demonstration of the M.A.S.S. Device, he has Destro teleport a battalion of Soviet troops to their headquarters. Destro becomes increasingly distressed at every demonstration of the M.A.S.S.'s power as their supply of catalytic elements are running low. The Commander is unconcerned, satisfied at another showing and confident in their ability to find more of the elements.
Cobra Commander and Destro go back to their game. Duke has had enough of being toyed around and inserts the gold strip between his headband. Somehow, the result shorted the joysticks in the two evil leaders' hands. Duke takes the headband off and runs to escape. He is assisted by Selina and led to a hangar. She couldn't go with him but assures him that she knows her way around the Cobra base. Duke gives her his ring and promises to come back for her. He escapes in a Viper glider with several Cobras in hot pursuit.
Back at the cave, the Joes trigger a booby trap that seals them in the cave and now has to face the S.N.A.K.E.s. At first menacingly dangerous, the S.N.A.K.E.s turned out to be poorly programmed and slow to respond to changes in tactics. They are soon taken care of enough. Snake-Eyes gets in a rail car to get the crystals.
Flash melts the blast door sealing the cave's entrance only to find Bludd and the Cobras waiting outside. Bludd sets off an explosive charge in the mine, releasing a cloud of radioactive gas. Snake-Eyes manages to come back from deep the cave with the radioactive gas following him. Rather than let his teammates be caught in the poison cloud, he seals himself behind a blastproof glass. Scarlett begins to cry. Reluctant to leave Snake-Eyes, the Joes have no choice but to leave him behind.
In a forest, Duke shook off the Cobras but passed out and was somehow found by some of his fellow G.I. Joe's then brought back to base. Meanwhile, A conference in an island in the Pacific discusses how to deal with the threat of Cobra. General Flagg assures a reporter that they remain firm in their stance: to never surrender. This is tested as they are abducted by being teleported to Cobra's base and turned into mindless prisoners.
After hearing Cobra's threat, Scarlett sees Doc and Cover Girl bringing an injured and unconscious Duke over. Seeing this, the G.I. Joes rush to Duke side just as he reigns consciousness. However, Duke becomes confused as to how he was brought back to base and Stalker explains to him that he hoped he would tell everyone in the room. Stalker explains to Duke that was captured by Cobra and hoped that he knew where their base was and they would be able to end the fighting fast. However, due to the trauma, effects of the headband and exhaustion from the escape, Duke doesn't remember anything that happened during his imprisonment or where Cobra is actually located, expect his meeting with Selina.
(Numbers indicate order of appearance.)
"The first element we need is a radioactive crystal, which can be found buried near the Arctic Circle, not far from a glacial expanse known as 'The Sea of Ice.'"
- --Dr. Vandermeer introduces the first plot coupon.
"The M.A.S.S. Device is not a toy for your amusement!"
- --Destro is right, it wouldn't be a toy for another 25 years.
- --Destro doesn't think very highly of .Cobra Commander
Animation and technical errors
- Flash is portrayed with a flamethrower, rather than a laser rifle.
- Flash is also missing his blue visor during one of the close-ups.
- Cover Girl has blonde hair in this episode - a trend that will continue for the duration of this miniseries.
- Major Bludd refers to a Blueshirt as "lieutenant," but the Cobra troop spoken to lacks the "V" chevron helmet device worn by other officers.
- At end of the first episode, Ramar destroys two giant stone pillars by spreading his arms (a preposterous notion in and of itself). At the start of this episode an overhead shot of the Arena of Sport shows the pillars about a hundred feet apart from each other.
- When they enter the cave Tripwire states that he cannot read any human life but he's carrying a metal detector and supposed to be sweeping for mines.
- Snake-Eyes brings down the protective shield by tripping an electric eye with his pistol. The electric-eye is on his side of the shield, though. Which means that in the event of an emergency, someone would have to stay on the side with the deadly radioactive gas and sacrifice himself in order to activate it. Doesn't sound like a very well thought-out safety measure.
- After Snake-Eyes activates the protective shield, Tripwire starts pounding on it with the butt of his rifle, trying to save his teammate by busting him out. Needless to say, that would flood the cave with the radioactive gas, killing all of them and making Snake-Eye's sacrifice a moot point.
- The world's leaders refuse Cobra's order to surrender, yet stupidly follow Cobra Commander's order to show up at Tanu Island. Did no one take a moment to think that they were possibly walking into a trap?
- The S.N.A.K.E.s are treated as robots, rather than armored suits.
- Destro says he developed the M.A.S.S. technology, when it was really created by Dr. Laszlo Vandermeer.
- The action figures of the Viper Pilots, Cobra troopers who operate the Viper Glider, bear silver Cobra insignias, rather than the red shown in animation. They are otherwise indistinguishable from regular Cobra Troopers.
- Just like last episode, this episode features at least one death: a Viper Pilot crashes his glider into an outcropping of rock, and after clinging to the cliff briefly, he falls off the mountain.
Real world references
- The Russian delegate at the Tanu Island conference looks like Leonid Brezhnev.