The following is a review of Red vs. Blue season 1, episode 7, “Check Out The Treads on That Tank”.
“Dear God, doesn’t that thing ever run out of bullets?” Church wonders as he and Tucker remain trapped behind the boulder. Tucker says that they should have taken the tank. Church disagrees, saying that it wouldn’t do them any good if neither one can drive it. Tucker says it’s better than the alternative, which is them crouched behind the rock forever. Church concedes he has a point.
Back at Blue Base, Caboose enters the tank. An AI with a stilted female voice introduces the tank to Caboose and tells him he can call her Sheila. Sheila explains that she is there to teach usage of the tank to non-certified personnel. Caboose activates the tutorial, and the tank starts moving.
Cut to Grif and Simmons. Simmons fires constantly toward the Blues with no apparent success. Grif calls for Simmons to stop, but his voice is drowned out by the gunfire. Grif bellows Simmons’ name, and then Simmons stops. In the background, the tank drives around erratically, but neither of them notice it. Grif tells Simmons the new plan: to sneak around the cliffs and take the Blues by surprise.
We cut to Caboose in the tank, who has maneuvered it up a boulder. The tank spins around as he tries to get it down. Sheila tells him that now that he’s “mastered driving” it, she’ll move on to the safety features. Caboose frantically tells her to go back to the driving section.
Up on the cliff, Church notes the Warthog stopped firing. Tucker sticks his head out, sees that the Red left the jeep, and thinks they should try to steal it, but Church thinks it’s a trick. Tucker peeks and confirms they’re gone. Church still isn’t sure, but agrees to give it a shot, and they start running for it.
Back to Grif and Simmons. They find that the path they chose won’t let them get up to where Church and Tucker are hiding. As they talk, Caboose pulls up in the tank. The two freak out, and Grif tells Simmons to stay still because he doesn’t think it can see them. We see from the tank’s perspective, however, and see the crosshairs focus on Grif.
Next Time on Red vs. Blue
At the end of the episode, a little promo plays. It promises that “Someone. Will. Die.” All indications point to Grif. Grif is constantly shown. At the end, we see a shot of Sarge saying “I sure hope it’s Grif.” In the background, Lopez nods from the driver’s seat of the Warthog.
Full of action, this episode builds tension as we approach the arc’s climax. It introduces Sheila, who becomes a real character later on even if she’s a simplistic computer program at this point. It also introduces, via the title, the concept that her treads are a sexually attractive characteristic… to people who are attracted to tanks, I guess. It’s cute that Rooster Teeth play up the idea that Grif will die in the next episode, which is a blatant lie.
I love the part where Caboose has driven the tank up a rock and Sheila says “Now that you’ve mastered driving…” There’s more to the scene, and it’s funny, but just that little part cracks me up.
Sheila: “Hello, and welcome to the M808B. You may call me Sheila.”
Caboose: “Hello… Sheila… Big tank lady…”
Sheila: “Now that you’ve mastered driving the M808B, let’s move on to some of the safety features.”
Caboose: “No, wait, go back! Why are there six pedals if there are only four directions?”