Dinner and a Groovy is an episode of Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars.
- Sparks Nevada - Marc Evan Jackson
- Croach the Tracker - Mark Gagliardi
- The Red Plains Rider - Busy Philipps
- Barkeep - Joshua Malina
- Folksy Hal (Narrator) - Hal Lublin
With The Red Plains Rider having completed the martian maturation ritual in Wild, Wild Quest, The Troubleshooter (Harriet Alcott-Jiminy) and The Barkeep (Mordecai Benmont Jiminy) invite Sparks Nevada, Croach the Tracker and Red over for a dinner party to celebrate.
The Barkeep is preparing a souffle when Sparks, Croach, and Red arrive. The Troubleshooter insists that her guests call her Harriet, as they're at home, while the Barkeep tells Sparks to stop swooning over his wife, who has long been Sparks' hero since saving his life in Danger 2.0. Harriet asks everyone to take off their shoes, but when Red and Croach balk, she tells them she was just kidding and knows about martians not wishing to show their feet.
The doorbell rings again, and Mordecai and Harriet inform the others that it's Harriet's new Troubleshooter partner. Red and Sparks quickly figure out that part of the reason for this dinner party is to set up Sparks and Virgina West, Harriet's new partner. Harriet insists the dinner is still a celebration for Red's ritual, but it's a little bit a setup, too.
Ginny enters and after introductions are made, Sparks explains that it's a blind date setup for the two of them. After a quick evaluation of Sparks, Ginny decides she is agreeable to the proposition of the blind date. Harriet then admits that Ginny is also there to work, as well as it being a blind date and a celebration for Red. Red, put out that her celebration is not entirely focused on her, hopes that there's burgers and ice cream. Mordecai says there is a paella, the Earth Kid's recipe, and a souffle.
Mordecai explains how, even though normally he don't want no trouble in his place, mostly due to how Harriet deals with trouble all day in her job and doesn't want her to have to deal with more at home, in this case there's trouble heading right for their home. Croach announces that what is coming has already arrived.
Fondal enters the home, and explains that she is from the Violens Nebula. When the Troubleshooters won the war against the MurderMen, Harriet helped develop the weapon that shot the trouble out of the MurderMen. The techno-virisus are mecha-organic, and a strain of the virus adapted. Those newly afflicted with the new virus are now the Pleasure Beings. They are lovers and not fighters, yet are still as deadly as MurderMen. Harriet explains that The Pleasure Beings are targeting the creators of the cure of the MurderMen strain, and she was on that team.
Fondal explains she knew that Harriet was aware that she was coming, but wanted Harriet to set a trap as the Troubleshooter's intelligence is based on two generations past of the virus. Barkeep runs to the kitchen to check on his souffle as Harriet explains that they're multitasking today, but Fondal says that the Troubleshooters will fall while she watches her friends succumb to the power of love.
From the kitchen, the Barkeep uses The Force Galactic with Harriet's permission to project his voice into everyone but Fondal's brains. Barkeep says that since Sparks and Red had already been MurderManned and cured (in Murder In His Place), they are immune to the virus. Harriet and Ginny are immune due to Troubleshooter Anti-Nanite Patches. Harriet needs to get close to the Pleasure Being to zap her, and thus needs Ginny, Red, Croach, and Sparks to play along and pretend to be falling for her love powers until Harriet can get close to Fondal.
Sparks and Ginny pretend to start falling in love, and so do Croach and Red. Mordecai returns from the kitchen and asks Fondal to join them for dinner. Sparks and Ginny get to know each other. Ginny is from Earth and was a United Solar System Alliance brat as a kid. Sparks explains that though he wasn't looking for something serious right now, Ginny seems like he is someone he could get to like, and Ginny agrees. Fondal doesn't think that they're doing falling in love right, so Ginny and Sparks kiss a few times.
Fondal then says it's Mordecai and Harriet's turn, but they can't kiss each other, since they're married. Fondal insists one of them must kiss her, and Harriet volunteers. Once they are hugging, Harriet zaps Fondal, stopping her powers and her desire to kill Harriet. Fondal thanks them, and leaves.
Harriet and Sparks then notice that Croach and Red are still being very affectionate with one another, and realize that they are still infected. Ginny deduces that their Nah Nohtek neutered the inoculated anti-nanites and now they both are truly infected, as Red now also possess Nah Nohtek. Harriet realizes that the new virus strain could bond with their Nah Nohtek and be so adaptable to the vaccines they could never be able to cure it. She asks for ideas, and rules out The Force Galactic, as using it could cause a worse problem.
Ginny gives a pill to Sparks to feed to Red, as she feeds one to Croach. The pill is a mini EMP which disables all but the most entrenched nanotech, which should still be immune to the virus strain. The good nanotech will replicate, repair itself, and ensure Red and Croach's Nah Nohtek is fine. Harriet and Sparks agree that Ginny's quick thinking was impressive.
Red, now herself again, admits that feeling those forced feelings for Croach stirred up some real feelings in her for him. Croach admits that he has never ceased having feelings for Red. Red asks if Croach would like to explore these feelings outside of the effects of the virus, as now that she's trying to reconnect with the tribe, she would like to reconnect with Croach, as well. Croach quickly agrees.
Ginny and Sparks also admit that they also would be agreeable to getting to know each other better. Before they can start, though, Harriet says that she and Ginny have to head to HQ for debriefing and mission planning. She gives Mordecai permission to use The Force Galactic to make burgers and ice cream for Red. Ginny says she's stationed on Mars now, so she'll be back soon. Sparks, glad to hear the news, babbles before Ginny cuts him off, calling him "Sparky." Sparks is okay with the misdesignation.
- Although the Nerdist website and podcast feed say the episode title is "Dinner and Groovy", it has been confirmed with Ben Blacker that the episode title is indeed "Dinner and a Groovy" as is spoken in the podcast introduction and Folksy Hal.
- This is Yvette Nicole Brown's third and so far final appearance as The Troubleshooter.
- This is the 181st episode of The Thrilling Adventure Hour.
- The previous episode is the Nerdist Podcast Network Super Panel.
- The next episode is Amelia Earhart, Fearless Flyer - Democratic Unconventions.
- The previous episode in Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars canon is Wild, Wild Quest (TAH #177).
- The next episode in Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars canon is The Once and Future Thing (TAH #184).
This episode was recorded at Largo on August 2nd, 2014 and released on September 15th, 2014.