Sunday, 22 May 2011

Monkey Challenge: Outrageous Coincidences

This episode does not get off to a particularly auspicious start, when in the first 10 minutes (give or take) not much happens beyond the pilgrims hiding in a cave from a blizzard and then bickering about which one of them should self-sacrifice so the others can eat him.

Tripitaka volunteers to be eaten. Pigsy is very much against it being himself that is chosen. Guess which one ends up going out for a walk in the snow?

"Pigsy is learning too. A coward and a cheat; he is growing more human. He is a long way from the enlightenment which transcends humanity. He is a long way too from the bottom of the cliff, down which he is about to fall."

While Pigsy survives the cold and the cliff by cloud-flying - the first time he has demonstrated this ability in the series - the others believe they have eaten him when, in fact, they have eaten the body of a real pig.

Monkey and Sandy hid the fact that it was "Pigsy" from Tripitaka, since he would have died had he not eaten anything, but when the priest finds out and thinks he has eaten Pigsy then he goes a little mad and starts believing - and acting as though - he is possessed by Pigsy's ghost.

This leads on to the delightfully bonkers second half of the episode, when Tripitaka goes off and acts like Pigsy - stealing things and chasing girls. This eventually leads to a scene where Tripitaka visits a disco and dances with a group of women to the Monkey theme tune.

This scene is quite the highlight of the episode. And the fact that Tripitaka has gone to a disco in ancient China is only overshadowed by the fact that the only song we hear them play is the Monkey theme.

(As an aside, I think that the first time I saw this episode was the first time I ever heard the second verse to the theme tune.)

After this, the real Pigsy, who has been looking for the impostor who has been pretending to be him - and having much more success with the girls while doing so - finds Tripitaka and, after a bit of thinking each other to be ghosts, everyone is reunited.

A very thin plot, but definitely worth watching for the disco scene alone.

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