Ignorance is bliss, especially for the credulous ones like Captain Jonathan Fall, who tend to miss out on social cues big time. Captain Fall is the latest addition to Netflix’s gallery of original adult-oriented animated series, which, for a surprising change, is really well done, humorous, and will surely take the viewers on a voyage filled with crime scenes, sex, violence, and ignorant stupidity. The creators of the series, Jon Iver Helgaker and Jonas Torgersen, the same creative duo behind the brilliant period comedy series Norsemen, have used their firm grip on deadpan and situational humor in their debut cartoon gig to full effect. The result is a very topical, unapologetically wild series that uses the advantages of the animated medium in the best ways to showcase the fortunes and misfortunes that befall the eponymous character.
Who Is Jonathan Fall? How Did He End Up On Caribbean Queen?
As the series begins, the captain of the luxury cruise ship Pacific Pearl, Herman Tucker, gets arrested by special agents on charges of smuggling contraband, trafficking humans, killing endangered creatures, and possession of illegal firearms. However, Captain Tucker is just a patsy for a larger crime ring, of which the entire crew of the cruise is a part. Tucker gets killed inside the prison, as the show states, ‘full Epstein style,’ which raises the suspicion of Special Agent Steel. However, his opinion about a secretive scheme at play gets brushed aside by his nincompoop superior and colleagues, who are content with the situation being resolved quickly.
Viewers are introduced to Jonathan Fall, a fairly unremarkable guy whose intellectual prowess makes him seem like an even dumber version of Alan Garner (if that was possible). The only two mention-worthy things about him are the fact that Jonathan is a decent person and that his cluelessness is borderline eerie—to the point that he barges in on his parents while they are making love and even initiates a conversation then and there. Jonathan failed miserably in his career and life too, although the latter aspect isn’t really his fault. Bullied by his lecherous, imbecilic, yet successful elder brother Tanner from a young age, Jonathan did not get any comfort from his parents either, who treated him like the black sheep of the family. The Falls take pride in their legacy of being associated with the Navy for generations, and Jonathan’s ranking last among the candidates at the Naval Academy worsens his already marginalized position in the family. He takes his chance anyway, gets enrolled in a Naval agency, and gets a second-rate job operating ships in an amusement park.
Meanwhile, Mr. Tyrant, the head honcho of the organization that was behind the crime ring of Pacific Pearl, decides to continue his operation by remodeling the cruise as Caribbean Queen and orders his underlings—the crew of the cruise—to find the most gullible person they could be the captain; even a random passerby with a license to command a ship will suffice. The two chief staffers of the cruise, Liza Barell and Pedro, who handle all the illegal operations on behalf of Mr. Tyrant, take it upon themselves to find a suitable candidate and come across the agency where Jonathan had enrolled himself. Knowing that Jonathan qualifies in every aspect they are looking for in a candidate, like being easily manipulated and having no leadership skills, Liza sends him an invitation on behalf of the management, but not before burning the agency to the ground along with killing every staff member working there to keep her operation ‘discreet.’
Jonathan’s fortunes change overnight as he takes up the position of captain of the Caribbean Queen and sets sail. Captain Fall literally becomes the fall guy of the mischievous operations, as every illegal contract and transaction gets sanctioned under his command without his knowledge, thus making him appear to bes the sole conspirator of the shenanigans. Initially, a sordid experience in Rio de Janeiro involving Pedro murdering three thugs to protect him leaves Jonathan creeped out. To not let Jonathan suspect too much and to keep his mental state in its best form, the crew continues to pretend to care about him, which he mistakenly considers to be a genuine form of affection. Liza tries to seduce a traumatized Jonathan to distract him, which Jonathan considers a sign of love, and falls for her.
Misadventures of the Caribbean Queen: How Did Agent Steel Learn About The Cruise Conspiracy?
Heinous business deals, racketeering, animal exploitation, human trafficking, and all other forms of deplorable crimes are conducted right under Jonathan’s nose without him having a hunch. Exceedingly crazy situations take place one after another, beginning with a filthy rich Russian tycoon getting his shipment of Amazonian tribals delivered by Liza and Pedro as part of the latest exhibit of his human zoo. The situation goes haywire when Jonathan mistakenly infects the natives with flu, which later leads to the captives of the human zoo escaping. The self-deprecating humor of the showrunners is perceivable in the way two Norwegian adventurers turn out to be escaped captives who get eaten by the lions due to one of them foolishly arguing against taking refuge in a nearby town when they have the chance. Another such hilarious instance was when a Norwegian couple was lamenting being ostracized for being ‘too white,’ only to get reeled up into the cruise’s operation of mass production of albino finger lockets for Tanzania’s superstitious populace.
The scene at the cruise gets wackier as for the next situation, tiger genitals are being used on the ship to create potent sexual performance enhancers, which only end up killing the consumers in a horrible way. Agent Steel starts investigating the case and comes across the paw emblem consignment, which supposedly marked that particular type of drug. However, Steel mistakenly leads a raid party into a zoo, which leads to wild animals escaping and killing and injuring numerous people. Steel is confused as to how that happened because clearly, how can the same emblem signify two different things? Because of this stunt of his, Steel gets demoted, his wife leaves him, and like the clichéd lone agents he is emulating, Steel resorts to alcoholism.
Meanwhile, on the cruise ship, Jonathan unwittingly sanctions and even successfully conducts a business deal between African warlords providing child soldiers to a Chinese underworld boss for his mining operation as a part of a so-called ‘cultural exchange.’ Days later, Jonathan cluelessly helps Liza and Pedro on a mission to deliver a nuclear device to a Russian oligarch who is hell-bent on orchestrating a global crisis. Fortunately, getting on the wrong side of Liza results in the oligarch’s death, and during the course of the mission, Jonathan starts considering Liza as his girlfriend, who is happy to pretend as long as the operations run smoothly. On the other hand, Tanner gets fired from his duties and stripped of his naval officer license due to the increasing instances of sexual harassment at work.
As the holidays begin, Jonathan returns to his home with Liza, who quickly realizes how horrendous his family really is. Being the captain of a luxury cruise ship, Jonathan is now treated in a vastly different manner and is allowed to go on a trip with his parents for the first time in his life, but they use his vocation to get their Naval Club membership reinstated instead. Tanner, like the basic creep he is, tries to make advances toward Liza and gets what he deserves when Liza threatens him with his life by holding him captive. However, the most important incidents that take place during this segment are Jonathan acknowledging how much of a family Liza and the rest of the crew are to him compared to his own blood and a drunken Tanner overhearing Liza’s conversation with Pedro on the phone, rife with details of the entire crime operation.
Is Agent Steel Going To Take Down Captain Fall?
Elsewhere, Agent Steel reopens the tiger drug smuggling case after he sees one of the invitation posters for Caribbean Queen at a bar and recognizes Liza. He realizes that it’s the same ship whose captain his special agent team busted earlier, and he goes on a solo mission to gather evidence. Steel infiltrates the cruise while a singles party is being conducted and witnesses firsthand the shady dealings of the crew as women are being trafficked for a Sheikh’s harem. Steel reaches the inner quarters of the cruise and discovers evidence with Jonathan’s signature and photographs, which purportedly point to Jonathan as the chief culprit of the entire crime operation. Before leaving the cruise, Steel comes face-to-face with Jonathan and warns him of the repercussions. Liza notices the situation from the control room and alerts the rest of the crew members to intercept, but they are too late as Steel jumps into the ocean and disappears, leaving Jonathan as clueless as he always was.
Captain Fall‘s ending leaves a number of plot points to be explored in the second part of the series, which will release later this year, and the most obvious of them is the fate of Captain Fall. His luck will run dry if Steel really manages to pin down the case on him, but with his astoundingly stupid colleagues on the scene, along with the deadly crew of the cruise trying their best to cover up their tracks, it will not be an easy task. Tanner’s knowledge about the truth can be another side plot that will get attention in part two, and we are sure that after a first watch, viewers will eagerly wait for the next installment of this laugh riot.