Morty, UTC’s first (and best) antagonist was named after the villain from my favorite computer game as a kid, “Midnight Rescue: A Super Solvers Reading Adventure”. I even directly referenced the game in the title to page XXIII.
In the game, Morty Maxwell, the Master of Mischief, threatens to make his old school disappear at midnight USING ROBOTS AND INVISIBLE PAINT and the only thing that can stop him is your trusty 35mm camera and READING COMPREHENSION.
It’s a great little game, and thanks to Archive.org you can play it right now for free. Unfortunately you can’t save your score and reach the 500,000 Champion ranking like I did on my Tandy 1000, but hey, the real fun comes from peeking at Morty’s creepy diary entries and FIGHTING PAINTBRUSH ROBOTS WITH A CAMERA.
Morty and Cass come closer to completing their character arcs in this office scene. At the start of UTC, Morty considered Cass his rival. In Chapter 3, Morty came to realize the error of his ways and made an honest effort to restore Cass, but his failure simply made Cass so angry she decided she would invert their relationship and become the means of Morty’s destruction. This was basically a balancing act: instead of going right to being on the same side, the characters overshot their targets and went to the opposite extremes. Here, they begin to settle into their final roles as peers.
Flint is showing the squirrel the video game Psychonauts. Josh suggested the reference when I couldn’t think of any video games that featured squirrels besides the adult-rated Conker’s Bad Fur Day.
I like titles with double-meanings. This has a double-meaning as well as being a pop culture reference. Jen is telling Morty he’s expelled, so he’s “burned,” and Flint is literally burning squirrels in a video game. On top of those, Burn Notice was the title of a tv series I was watching during the time I made this page.
Another clear distinction between Cass and Flint is the different reactions they have upon discovering they can talk to animals of their new species. Cass was shocked, frightened, and disturbed. Flint only seems to be concerned that squirrels don’t have names.
The goldfish bowl on Jen’s desk is a nod to CJ Craig’s fish from The West Wing.
Flint’s subplot with the squirrel was added to the script when I decided the lengthy meeting scene needed to be broken up. Flint wasn’t originally planned to meet other squirrels until Phase Two, but the series was so Cass-centric at this point, I was aching to find ways to include him.