Animal cruelty is one of the biggest problems facing our society. Always has been, and sadly, might always will be. I'm sorry to say that today's episode deals with this controversial topic. It deals with animal cruelty in one of its bleakest forms, for you see, there exists human beings who would willingly name their dog Tralfaz. That's right, Tralfaz. Cruel and unusual, I know. Now in this case, Tralfaz is Astro. Not metaphorically, Tralfaz is his real name...poor dog. The Jetsons consider Astro a permanent member of the family since Elroy found him and brought him home. Sure there are times when he throws crying fits when George tries to take him out on the dog-walker, but no dog is perfect. Now on one fateful day, a man by the name of Withers paid the family a visit. He represents local mega multi-gazillionaire J.P. Gottrockets, whose dog had gone missing and was currently residing with the Jetsons. Astro? Yes, except Withers claims his real name is Tralfaz. He wants to take Astro home to his real manager, but George tells him to get lost; Gottrockets is none too happy with this and orders Withers to do whatever it takes to get ol' Tralfaz back. If not, he'll have to go back to Night Court, and not the one with Harry Anderson; Withers returns to the Jetsons' apartment and chases Astro outside to the dog-walker. George stops that crazy thing, sending Withers over the edge...don't worry, he hasn't committed homicide. Withers' car had a calling mechanism so it caught him in mid-air...and then crashed into a building.
Well, no more Mr. Nice Lawyer. He delivers George a summons, and the family has to appear with Astro in the courthouse the next day. Judge Moonbeam presiding; Gottrockets states his case, the Jetsons state theirs, but Astro isn't allowed to state his, on the grounds that he's a dog. It takes the computer jury a full minute to compute its verdict and it rules in favor of J.P. Gottrockets. So now Astro...er, Tralfaz would spend the rest of his life in a dull, depressing life of wealth and luxury. Fur-lined fire hydrants, his own personal dog walker, freshly prepared meats of every variety made daily just for him. Something tells me there isn't a Mrs. Gottrockets; But all is not completely lost for the Jetsons have visitation rights. After spending a lovely day with Astro, it came time for George, Jane, Elroy and Judy to bid their tearful goodbyes. Gottrockets watches them, seeing how happy Tralfaz was with them and how miserable he'd been at his current home, so, in a bout of sheer generosity, almost unheard of in multi-gajillionaires, he gives Tralfaz to the Jetsons as a gift, so they all fly home together and sing the praises of Astro Jetson, and everyone vows to never mention the name Tralfaz ever again.
Pretty good episode. It's the unofficial sequel to "The Coming of Astro" and explains his back story...though it doesn't clarify exactly why he ran away from Gottrockets in the first place. I guess he was tired of Lifestyles of the Rich and Pampered and wanted a change of pace. As for J.P. Gottrockets, I believe there was a variation of that name on The Flintstones, as Gottrocks. I think he was Fred's look alike and they switch places. Good episode, but boy does Fred land in hot water over Gottrocks' exploits...but that's another story; Check out Millionaire Astro. It's funny, it has some nice twists, even a little shout out to the dog walker mishaps during the end credits. Good episode. Sit. Stay.
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