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Gaz: Taster of Pork (Invader Zim)

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Gaz: Taster of Pork (Invader Zim)
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Wasted potential at its finest.
Part of Season: 2
Episode Number: 5
Air Date: August 12, 2006
Writer: Jhonen Vasquez
Previous episode: The Voting of the Doomed
Next episode: The Frycook What Came from All That Space


Gaz, Taster of Pork is the 5th episode of the second season of Invader Zim. It first premiered on December 27, 2003, in Australia. In the United States, it was first released as part of the Horrible Holiday Cheer DVD on October 12, 2004, and it made its TV debut on Nicktoons on August 12, 2006. It is the 25th episode overall.

Many fans consider this as the weakest episode of Invader Zim, besides Bolognius Maximus.

Bad Qualities

  1. Dib and Gaz are somewhat flanderized in this episode.
    • Sure, Gaz's rage is justifiable, but it is pretty over the top for her quiet yet mischievous character. She is also sympathetic because having a pig-taste curse is pretty horrible.
    • Dib is somewhat of a coward in this episode, he is also sympathetic since he tries his best to cure Gaz.
  2. Gaz's speech to Dib is graphic as she actually threatens to kill Dib, she says: "I've never missed a new pizza day at Bloaty's. If this next one is ruined by your magical stupidity I would make you wish you had rabid weasels teleported into your skull instead of having a sister! I'll wait until you sleep and stuff all of your paranormal junk into your big, giant, paranormal head and chew on your eyeballs after I pluck them out!". Sure, she can be cruel, but she wasn't THIS cruel!
  3. Professor Membrane is unlikable as he starts observing Gaz as the pig-girl, it started a merchandise of her, meaning he is using his daughter as his cash cow! Experiment tours, plush dolls, storybooks, and even a theatrical film! Even though he did apologize to her in the end, it still doesn't makeup how cruel it was to Gaz.
  4. Plot Holes: Why did Gaz program her robot toys to feed on human flesh?
  5. Bad Ending: Gaz leaves Dib in the pig dimension while Dib's punished to clean the piggie dookie with his entire head. We know it's his fault that he cursed Gaz with the piggy-tasting curse, but this isn't the punishment he deserves!
    • Even worse, Gaz ignores his crying guilt and leaves him to his fate. Gaz replies to Professor Membrane that Dib is still in a pig world netherworld cleaning out toilets with his head, only for Membrane laughs saying "You're my funny child!", and then we hear Dib’s pleading of guilt as the toilet burns down to the ground, unknown what happened to Dib whether he made it out or not.
    • To add salt to the wound, there was a scrapped ending where Dib defeats the Shadowhog in hand-to-hand combat thus saving Gaz and ending this episode with the two Membranes eating pizza together. However, when Vasquez considered this ending "pretty boring", only for Eric Truehart to come up with the ending that made it into the finished version of the episode.
  6. Like Bolognius Maximus, the episode's disturbing and gross-out nature isn't that good. Gaz burping a disgusting pig breath which knocks out Dib, Gaz fantasizing herself as an obese woman with hotdogs surrounding her and still has the piggy tasting curse only for her to explode, Dib imagining her as a pig monster, and the scene where Dib screams in horror when he sees the piggie dookie in the toilet.
  7. Zim and GIR only appear in this episode for a small amount of time and are wasted potential for the episode.
  8. Filler scene featuring a drunk hobo, which doesn't even fit into the episode.
  9. When Dib and Gaz try to escape the Membrane-Lab from the security and they are surrounded, it just cuts to the siblings driving to Mystical Hill. It’s unexplained how they actually escaped the laboratory once they made it out.

Good Qualities

  1. Dib and Gaz having their episode instead of focusing on Zim are pretty interesting.
  2. The animation, art, and color palette are still beautiful to watch.
    • Gaz's robot toys have neat designs.
    • The Piggy Dimension looks amazing.
  3. Funny moment where Professor Membrane laughs maniacally and returns to normal immediately after saying "There are no curses son!".
  4. The first couple of minutes of the episode was decent.
    • Dib's squee at the beginning of the episode is adorable.
  5. The concept of a Spelldrive is interesting; if the show was continued and never canceled, we could see more of the Spelldrives. Also, Dib thinking of giving Gaz powers after claiming the drives is very nice.
    • In fact, this pig curse situation wouldn't have happened if Dib would've read the entire spell if the Spelldrive didn't go static or if he cast the spell onto someone else or Zim instead of Gaz.

Reception

Despite positive reviews and ratings for giving Dib and Gaz bigger roles and its Spelldrive concept, it was disliked by many Invader Zim fans for making Dib and Gaz out of character and its ending. In a commentary, Steve Ressel (the director of the series) has admittedly stated this episode that it's his least favorite in the series, even Nickelodeon also disliked this episode.

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