Can a Leopard Upgrade Its Spots? is an episode of Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars.
- Sparks Nevada - Marc Evan Jackson
- Croach the Tracker - Mark Gagliardi
- The Revival tent AI - Annie Savage
- Folksy Hal (Narrator) - Hal Lublin
- Pemily Stallwark - Molly Quinn
- Techs - Garrett Dillahunt
- Robot Congregation - Jeremy Carter, Matt Gourley, and Mark McConville
The episode opens in the Marshal station, where Croach and Pemily are bickering and Sparks is in the middle. Sparks reminds Pemily that he checked with the USSA Academy headmaster, and she's there as a deputy, not as marshal as she'd previously claimed. Pemily had been sent to Mars by Gene Peeples in hopes the wilder atmosphere would suit her better. Pemily hopes that Sparks will soon promote her to the rank of "best friend".
Pemily had set up an appointment for Sparks, so the three head out to the plains of Mars. They come to a revival tent and head in. Techs is inside, preaching. Pemily had found him and set up this meeting so Sparks would have the chance to beat him in a showdown finally. Techs, having found religion, says that he had only tried to kill Sparks originally as a glitch in his programming. He was caught and jailed by Cactoid Jim after he left Mars but before Sparks got his badge back. In the jail library, he found a Martian religion that fixed his glitch.
Sparks is itching to kill Techs, but hearing that Techs' glitch is fixed causes Sparks to reconsider. Pemily urges him to kill Techs anyway. Pemily kills Techs' congregation for objecting to her raising pistols at them and Techs. Sparks still isn't convinced Techs means well, and really wants to show down with him, so he has Pemily give Techs her gun. Techs attempts to decline, but is forced to take it under threat of getting shot. Techs tells Sparks he might as well just shoot him, but Sparks decides not to.
Pemily draws on Sparks for refusing to shoot Techs when she's sure he hasn't changed and can't change. Techs draws on Pemily. Sparks then draws on Techs. Croach draws his quantum bow and techno arrows, but isn't sure where to point them.
Pemily wonders if she won the Punishment Soccer because she's been a killer all along, and being a killer doesn't go back inside someone once it's out. She believes people (and robots) really can't change. Techs tells her how he really has changed.
Sparks then tells Pemily how he has changed as well, ever since Rebecca Rose Rushmore's book about him came out and he's trying to be more emotionally available. He says if Pemily puts her gun down, its a step in the right direction to show that she, too, can change. After some consideration, she puts her weapon down.
Techs praises Nah Nohtek for Pemily's soul being saved, and both Croach and Sparks object.
- According to Fan Questions Answered #1, this episode was also performed at San Diego Comic-con in July 2013.
- Although this isn't the first instance we've seen of Croach wielding a bow, this was the first time his bow and arrows were given designations.
- This is the 144th episode of the Thrilling Adventure Hour.
- The prior episode is A Halloween Beyond Belief.
- The next episode is The Thrilling Adventure Hour panel from LA's Comikaze 2013.
- The prior episode in Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars canon is Natal Attraction (TAH #141).
- The next episode in Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars canon is Carbonite-mare (TAH #148).
This episode was recorded at Largo on September 7, 2013. It was released on November 25, 2013.
- Writers: Ben Acker and Ben Blacker
- Director: Aaron Ginsburg
- Music: Andy Paley & the Andy Paley Orchestra
- Sparks Nevada theme: Eban Schletter