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Super Late Ass Review: Back to the Future Part III and Episode III: Citizen Brown

July 18, 2011

Alright, let’s get down to business. We’re all here for one reason, and that’s to tie up the trilogy in suitably epic fashion. Before I start, though, there are just a few things I want to say about Part III. Now, it’s nothing against Gale and Zemeckis, but I never really understood the whole idea of the genre shift in this one. And after the way the first two parts dealt mainly with a sixty year time span (1955, 1985, 2015),  it’s only more jarring the way that we spend almost the entirety of this movie a century from where we left. And adding to the problem, the movie always feels rushed to me, despite it’s hour and fifty-three minute run time, although that could just be a natural effect of the nostalgia filter and a secret desire to not see the series end.

Anyway, nevermind all that, let’s get on to the story!

We open on the clock tower scene that is in both other movies (with good reason), picking up at the end of part II. The Delorean hits the wire and disappears in a flash of light, leaving only twin fire trails and celebratory Doc Brown behind. And then, Marty (that is, the Marty who came to 1955 to keep Biff from becoming all-powerful in 1985A) rounds the corner, tells Doc that he’s come back from the future, at which Doc promptly passes out in shock. Marty drives him home in Doc’s Packard, starts a fire in the fireplace, and puts their socks and shoes (and the note that 1985 Doc sent Marty from 1885) in front of it to dry.

When Doc wakes at seven (thanks to the TV that Marty left on), he begins to record his notes about sending the Delorean back, until the immediate aftermath which he can’t remember. When Marty wakes up and gathers Doc’s letter to show him, 1955!Doc completely loses it and begins treating Marty like he did in the first movie, even back to calling him “Future boy”. Marty has to explain the events of the second half of Part II to Doc through the door to convince him, and eventually shows him the letter. 1985!Doc reveals through his letter that he has set up a blacksmith shop as a front to try to repair the time circuits, but was unable due to a lack of proper replacement parts.

Doc fixes up the time machine, and Marty takes it back to 1885 to rescue 1985!Doc from being shot by Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen over a matter of $80 (Tannen shot his horse after it threw a shoe that Doc put on, causing him to break a bottle of whiskey – $75 for the horse, $5 for the whiskey), and in the process save schoolteacher Clara Clayton from going over the ravine to her death. Marty gets in a duel with Tannen, which he survives thanks to a cast-iron stove door (inspired by his namesake in 1885, Clint Eastwood), and use special fuel to push the Delorean up to 88 MPH with a train. Doc saves Clara from falling off the engine by using Marty’s hoverboard, and the Delorean jumps back to 1985, rolling across the Eastwood Ravine Bridge.

A freight train bears down on the Delorean, and Marty barely escapes with his life, picking up Jennifer and showing her the wreckage to prove that she wasn’t dreaming, at which point Doc reappears in the train that pushed the Delorean, refitted for time travel. He tells Marty and Jennifer that the future is malleable, and reveals that he and Clara are married with two boys – Jules and Verne. He also reveals that he’s already been to the future, as his train lifts off the ground, turns around, and flies straight into the camera.

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At the end of Episode II, things were looking good for the timeline. Artie McFly was alive and well, Trixie Trotter had turned on Kid Tannen, Danny Parker had sobered up and taken Kid into custody, and young Emmett Brown was well on his way to a career in invention. And with Marty flying the Delorean, Doc begins to fade out of existence. Marty comes back to an eerily calm version of 1986, where Doc First Citizen Brown has married Edna Strickland, Hill Valley has become an oppressive police state, George has reverted to his old, wimpy self, Lorraine has reverted to her liquored-up self, Marty (that is, 1986B!Marty) is a major geek, and Jennifer is a punk rocker who has broken up with him.

In order to get back to the Hill Valley that he knows, he must get a personal meeting with First Citizen Brown (by racking up demerits for things like possession of alcohol, having a dog, and public displays of affection) and convince him to revert back to the old Doc by pointing out Doc and Marty in the gazebo in a picture taken at Kid Tannen’s arrest. The major obstacle to all this is Edna, who seems hell-bent on using Doc’s science for what she sees as the greater good (where have I heard that before?), and is even willing to brainwash her husband when he begins to go against her, a rescue that will be picked up in Episode IV.

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One comment

  1. I liked your article is an interesting technology
    thanks to google I found you



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