- The Red Plains Rider - Busy Philipps
- Gene Peeples - James Urbaniak
- Erica Peeples - Annie Savage
- Croach the Tracker (Intro only) - Mark Gagliardi
Croach, still drunk, appears before the theme song, mumbling to himself about onus. Reggie Watts appears, asking where O'Toole's is and wondering if they still have open mic night. Croach tells him that it has been discontinued due to immoderate terribleness. He suggests Reggie sets up "over there" to sing and narrate instead. Reggie begins the theme song.
The episode begins with USSA Captain Gene Peeples making a journal entry. He, his daughter Erica and his wife (Erica's stepmother) Linda are fighting the MurderMen on the starcraft Olivia. The Olivia has been boarderd, most of the crew has already been ManMurdered, though some have been MurderManned. Gene is stranded on the other side of the ship from Erica and Linda, who are waiting for him in an escape pod. They can speak via sound travelling through the vents. Gene says that Ensign Bambrill has gotten off of the ship safely. Erica tells Gene that Linda has made a run for more weapons, but they are currently safe.
Gene reports that he was saved by Cactoid Jim, who, after leading a cavarly of mayors against the MurderMen, teleported onto the Olivia.
Jim promises that they'll make it through this, but he is asked to make the statement again by his new campaign manager, Chicky Sullivan. Chicky is a cyborg who once almost elected President of Earth but the Earth was not ready for a cyborg president. Jim attempts to figure out a way to get Gene, Chicky, and himself to the escape pod where Linda and Erica are. Gene laments that he had to kill his nephew Sal today, who was also his first mate and godson. Using some of Chicky's cyborg technology, they are able to start making their way towards Linda and Erica.
They encounter some MurderMen and are almost overrun before they are saved by The Red Plains Rider, who is extremely mad at Jim for not rescuing her, Croach the Tracker and Sparks Nevada during Mutiny on the Bounty Hunter. He kisses Red in apology and her anger subsides, but when she realizes he's running for President of Earth in 3012, she's mad again.
They keep moving, Red shooting MurderMen along the way. Red explains her anger is because she doesn't really belong among humans or martians, she just belongs on Mars. This is the first time she's ever been off Mars, and she really can't imagine living on Earth. After consideration, Jim decides to stop running for President to stay with Red on Mars. Red, so touched that Jim would do that for her, realizes that her home is wherever Jim is, so she agrees that he should run for president and she'll stay with him.
MurderMen then converge on their position, but are killed by the auto-turrets in the vents. More head their way through the plumbing system. The four heroes run, and make it to the escape pod with Erica. Unfortunately, Linda had been MurderManned on her way to get more weapons, and Erica was forced to kill her. Even more unfortunately, Erica was also bitten by Linda before blasting her.
Realizing that Erica is also going to turn into a MurderMan, Gene thinks will have to kill his own daughter after already blasting his nephew that day. Jim offers to kill Erica instead, but Chicky won't let him as he's broadcasting live to all of Earth while also trying to launch the escape pod and blow up the Olivia. Chicky won't be able to shut off the feed in time to not show Jim killing a teenage girl, which would finish his chances for election.
Erica calls Linda, her step-mother, "mom" for the first time, and Gene is touched.
In order to save all their lives and Jim's chances at winning the election, The Red Plains Rider kills Erica, while still on live TV. Since Erica still wasn't fully MurderManned, Red is now a wanted criminal. Chicky is then able to cut the broadcast feed. Gene thanks Red, and offers to put her into a coffin that will be jettisoned into space and will land on Mars so she can escape prosecution. Jim and Red declare their love for each other, and Red tells Jim to win the election before getting in the coffin and going back to Mars as a fugitive.
A boy loved a gal, it was written in the stars
The gal, she did love on him
But hearts get broke, even when love is true
That's the end of Mrs. Cactoid Jim
That Earth-saving, campaigning, new-world-braving Cactoid Jim
Cactoid Jim Descriptors
- Thank the good Lord(?) it's Cactoid Jim
- That's his Mrs. Cactoid Jim
- That legal gambling Cactoid Jim
- That Earth-saving, campaigning, new-world-braving Cactoid Jim
- While Croach is only in the introduction, Mark Gagliardi was in Croach makeup, as can be seen here.
- The Tales of the United Solar System Alliance episode T-Minus and the Sparks Nevada episode Mercy Killing should be listened to before this episode.
- This entire episode can be seen on the Castle Season 4 DVD's special feature on The Thrilling Adventure Hour.
- Reggie Watts and Nathan Fillion revealed on The Late Late Show with James Corden that during rehearsal for this episode one of the actors had a seizure and started to topple over, prompting Nathan Fillion to swoop in, catch the actor, and cradle them in his arms.
- Cactoid Jim running for election in 3012 is the main indication that the entire Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars continuity takes place more or less one thousand years after the episode's recording.
- This is the 92nd episode of The Thrilling Adventure Hour.
- The previous episode was #91 Mutiny on the Bounty Hunter, which is also the previous episode in Sparks Nevada canon.
- The next episode is #92.1 A Word From Our Characters and #93 Beyond Belief - The Haunting of Howard Schroeder.
- The next episode in Sparks Nevada canon is #95 - Red Alert.
This episode was recorded at Largo on May 12, 2012 and released on October 15, 2012.
- Writers: Ben Acker and Ben Blacker
- Director: Aaron Ginsburg
- Music: Andy Paley & the Andy Paley Orchestra
- Cactoid Jim and USSA themes: Andy Paley
- Cactoid Jim theme performed by: Reggie Watts, Sean Watkins, Sara Watkins, Paul and Storm
- USSA Theme performed by: Andy Paley Orchestra and Annie Savage