"I'll draw the battle between Weatherman and Captain Rock Man for the time capsule. It's going to be epic!"
"The Battle for Rock Mountain" is the fourth episode of season 1 of the Rides Again series, and the fifty-sixth overall in the entire canon.
In exactly four hours, Walker Elementary will be hosting a time capsule ceremony, and Ms. Frizzle's class has contributed. Carlos brought a gecko call, Keesha brought her favorite bangles, Ralphie and Arnold brought some comic books, and Jyoti made a 50-year auto-lock to lock the capsule until 50 years comes. But Tim hasn't done something yet. Ralphie offers to share his Weatherman comic books with him, but Arnold says Captain Rock Man (the comic books he brought) is the better series to read. (probably because Arnold likes rocks) Ralphie and Arnold argue over the better superhero, until Tim gets an idea. His contribution will be to write about what a duel between the two superheroes will be like, but he has four hours until the ceremony starts.
In the classroom, Tim starts writing. In "Kicks Up a Storm" he wrote a good story, but now he has writer's block and can't start the story right. Ms. Frizzle enters the room in a superhero costume and gives Tim some inspiration—in the form of a field trip. On the Helicopter School Bus, Tim starts drawing the main characters: Captain Rock Man—half man, half rock, all hero, and Weatherman—the RAINING champion. The kids land in the rocky, rugged, and rigid mountains of Iceland—a perfect inspirational setting for Tim's book. Arnold's rock-collecting instincts kick in as he picks up a piece of granite, an igneous rock he calls "a thing of beauty", but Keesha thinks it's a boring old rock. Arnold says that weather can't hurt this rock. But then it starts to rain. Dorothy Ann contradicts Arnold's statement by showing the kids some pictures of Icelandic mountains being eroded by rain on her frizPad. Ralphie calls this "the power of weather" and gives Tim an idea as he starts writing the first part of Weatherman v. Captain Rock Man. The class goes back in the Bus (which has reverted into a bus) and a cutscene happens.
Weatherman vs. Captain Rock Man: Act I: Weatherman
In the mountains of Iceland, Captain Rock Man (Arnold), a rock golem, emerges from the ground and introduces himself as Captain Igneous Rock Man. Then Weatherman (Ralphie) flies ahead and says that he's trying to get through the mountains, and he's tired of Captain Rock Man blocking the path. Captain Rock Man dares him to pass, which prompts Weatherman to, like in his previous episode, make a thunderstorm and try to erode him. Captain Rock Man withstands a few lightning bolts, so Weatherman decides to whip up a strong gale to wear him down. Captain Rock Man is still not hurt, calling Weatherman's powers feeble and meager. Weatherman calls his sidekick, Boy H₂O (Carlos), a being made entirely out of water, and he shoots water at the golem. Weatherman lowers the temperature and makes it cold so Boy H₂0 could turn into ice and freeze Captain Rock Man, causing him to crack and crumble.
The kids think the story is epic, and they liked adding in Carlos as Ralphie's sidekick. Tim says he's all done and he's ready for the ceremony. Ms. Frizzle says that there should be more to the story, because there's more that happens to rock once it disintegrates. Tim starts writing Act II, and Ms. Frizzle helps Tim out by showing him what it's like after the rock disintegrates. She turns the Bus into a huge boulder and tumbles it down the mountain as it cracks and erodes. Ms. Frizzle transforms the Bus back and asks the class how they are doing, but calls them "clast" (as in parts of rock). According to Dorothy Ann's research, clast is bits and pieces of eroded rock, which was exactly what happened to Captain Rock Man. Jyoti shows the kids a rock that looks just like the granite Arnold found, but different. Tim then starts to write Act II of The Adventures of Weatherman: Weatherman vs. Captain Rock Man.
Weatherman vs. Captain Rock Man: Act II: Boy H₂O
Boy H₂O, having seen what he has done to Captain Rock Man, shows major remorse. He makes it up to him by trying to rebuild him. He uses his water body to dissolve some minerals to use as a "glue" to hold Captain Clast Man together. Weatherman flies by and tells Boy H₂0 he has to cause some weather so there can be at least some storms on Earth. Boy H₂0 tells him he's in such a hurrycane, causing Captain Rock Man to yell "BOY H₂O!" As the years go by, the anthropomorphic water rebuilds Igneous Rock Man into Sedimentary Rock Man, which surprises Weatherman. "NO!" he yells, shocked to hear that Boy H₂O has joined Captain Rock Man's alliance, and that Captain Rock Man has been reborn as a sedimentary golem.
Ralphie thought Captain Rock Man was defeated, not reborn! He thought Tim was just making this stuff up, but the others have gone to see a mountain with sedimentary layers. When Ralphie and Tim arrive, Jyoti shows them the clast of the rock from which this mountain was made. According to DA's research, "Sedimentary rock is the most common kind of rock found on the Earth's surface."
The kids go back on the Bus and Tim decides to go home, but Ms. Frizzle says there's even more. She quotes her great uncle, Grunt McBruiser, who said: "We need some more fighting!" and Keesha agrees with Uncle Grunt. Wanda then pitches in and mentions the lack of gender equality in the comic, and says she needs some superheroines in the book, too. Dorothy Ann and Wanda can't take the pressure and temperature, which gives Ms. Frizzle an idea to teach the kids about how metamorphic rock is formed. She shows them a metamorphic rock formation. DA uses her research to tell the kids that "metamorphic" comes from a word that means "change". when a sedimentary rock is exposed to heat and pressure from tectonic plates, it becomes metamorphic rock.
Weatherman vs. Captain Rock Man: Act III: The Tectonic Duo and Scarlet Scorch
Suddenly, the ground cracks in between Captain Rock Man's legs. He falls into the hole and meets the Tectonic Duo (Dorothy Ann and Wanda)—a dynamic duo that can cause immense pressure with their psychokinetic abilities, and Scarlet Scorch (Keesha) a superheroine with fire for hair and pyrokinetic powers. Together, over millions of years, they heat and crush Captain Rock Man into Metamorphic Captain Rock Man.
Dorothy Ann, Keesha, and Wanda can't believe they lost, but Arnold still knows that that would happen to Captain Rock Man—because he's rock and Arnold knows all about rocks. Ralphie points out that they haven't defeated Captain Rock Man—but they've changed him. Arnold claims victory to Captain Rock Man. Tim says it's the end, but the Friz still disagrees. Jyoti says she's missing from the story as a superheroine on Weatherman's team, and Tim doesn't know how to put her in the story.
It's getting hot in the Bus, and Ms. Frizzle says it feels like an inferno. DA corrects her and tells her that infernos have very intense heat, whereas in the Bus, it's very uncomfortable. The Friz shows Tim and the kids what happens to metamorphic rock—by pressing the Bus' dreaded, rarely used, volcano button. The Bus drills a hole underground.
Underground, the class notices magma among them. It's getting hot in the Bus due to the fact that it's hot in the Icelandic underground. The Bus gets swept away by the molten magma as the kids get erupted out of a volcano! This gives Tim an idea for Act IV.
Weatherman vs. Captain Rock Man: Act IV: Mighty Inferno
Deep under the Earth's surface, a fiery figure emerges from a volcano—Mighty Inferno (Jyoti), a fiery humanoid with the power to erupt herself, who gives Captain Rock Man a taste of Weatherman's revenge. Captain Rock Man cannot resist Mighty Inferno as he starts to melt—and later cool—as an igneous rock again. Weatherman returns from his weather appointments and arrives back in Iceland, where he and his red-hot ally watch as Captain Rock Man cools into Igneous Rock Man again.
Tim is happy with the story, and Tim decides to put "to be continued" on page 1. He puts the book in the time capsule as the ceremony starts.
- Ralphie's alter-ego (Weatherman) from "Kicks Up a Storm" returns in this episode. Also, Tim writes a comic book, to further the reference.
- The kids get erupted out of a volcano for the second time. The first time was in "Blows Its Top", where Carlos, Arnold, and Liz didn't get erupted. So this is the first time Carlos, Liz, and Arnold get erupted out of a volcano.
- This is the TV companion to The Magic School Bus Inside the Earth. (not the Reading Rainbow episode)
- Dorothy Ann defines a word for the first time in the TV series, which is something she only did in the 1986 book series. The word she defined, "metamorphic", is also what she defined in the book "Inside the Earth".
- This is one of the few episodes in which Arnold enjoys a field trip and/or doesn't complain about it, like in "Holiday Special", "The Busasaurus", or "Frizzle of the Future".
- When the kids jump out of the Bus in Iceland, it is a helicopter. But when Tim returns to the Bus to write the first part of his comic, it is a normal bus. Ms. Frizzle might have transformed it back, or, since the Bus is sentient, it might have transformed back itself.
- References from "Kicks Up a Storm" and "Rocks and Rolls" are used in this episode.
- Ralphie's "The power of weather" quote could reference "The power of water" from "Rocks and Rolls".
- Ms. Frizzle uses her "be what we see" catchphrase for the first time.
- The Bus turns into a boulder, tumbles down a hill, and gets eroded for the second time. The first time this happened was in "Rocks and Rolls".
- Tim makes a pun in this episode (the RAINING champion). This is one of the few episodes in which someone else besides Carlos makes a pun or tells a joke. However, the others don't say "TIM!" afterwards, like in "In the Haunted House".
- Weatherman has gone on to become an in-universe published comic book series since "Kicks Up a Storm".
- This episode reveals the kids are in fifth grade in this series.
- The other students (minus Tim) are given superhero identities.
- This is the second episode to be a sequel to a previous episode and have similar events to one, that being "Kicks Up a Storm". The last time this happened was "Goes Cellular" being the "sequel" to "For Lunch" because they both focus on Arnold's digestive system.
- When Carlos says "Hey, everybody!" in the beginning, he is talking with the voice of Ralphie. But when he says "Here it is: my gecko call!", it changes back to Carlos'.
Cast of The Adventures of Weatherman II: Weatherman vs. Captain Rock Man (In Order of Appearance)
Ralphie - Weatherman
Arnold - Captain Rock Man
Carlos - Boy H₂O
Dorothy Ann and Wanda - Tectonic Duo
Keesha - Scarlet Scorch
Jyoti - Mighty Inferno