"Monkey Swallows the Universe" (Season 1, Episode 4)

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Narrator: "The five have come together and their journey began... They think they want the Scriptures, but they seek the end of the way... Like us, the Master has travelled life after life, the treacherous muddy road of illusion... 'Joyfully follow the way', said Buddha, 'The quiet way to the other country'... The Master goes beyond the boundless land and nothing in all Creation can hold him..."

The disciples are travelling a winding hill path in a valley when they suddenly stop. You would think that Pigsy, with his pig's snout, would be the first to notice the smell, but it is Monkey who stops the group and asks if anyone else can smell something. Tripitaka spots a set of human bones on a wooden tripod. The source of this awful scent is the remains of some unfortunate travellers. It appears as though they have been eaten by some other humans on a fire.

"Unburied bones, how untidy", says Pigsy holding a femur. Monkey picks up some brown robes and a string of rosary beads from the tripod. From the remains of their clothing Tripitaka can tell that these were once fellow Holy Men (Priests).

Before the pilgrims can gather their thoughts, they spot a bearded man nearby. As soon as this man sees the group he begins to run away. Monkey gives chase as the man climbs up an embankment, abandons his bags and wades across the creek, but Monkey is already on the other side and quickly grabs his arm and captures him.

He demands to know why he ran. "Please don't kill me... I'm a married man. I feed seven mouths, Sir; they'll starve if you eat me". Monkey tells him he should know that monkeys are vegetarian so he's not going to eat him, but Monkey also wants to know why he's so scared, "Do you have lice in these molehills? Outlaws hiding out in your so-called mountains".

"Something worse", the man tells Monkey, "Horned demons and cannibals". Monkey always looking for a fight, and any possible danger to Tripitaka, asks to hear more about these cannibals.

The man explains that when crossing the mountain ranges, all travellers must pass the Lotus Caves where the cannibals reside. They are a married couple of horned demons named Golden Horn and Silver Horn. They drink souls and think that the holier the man they eat the stronger it makes them. Monkey is excited and shouts, "Then this is their lucky day," and runs off, startling the man.

Back with the others, Tripitaka wants to simply go around the mountain, but Monkey rules out bypassing the mountains because it's, "not worth the trouble". He tells Sandy to stay with Tripitaka and the horse, and orders Pigsy to go north 10 leagues to look for water for the horse while he finds a way to beat these demons. However, Pigsy stops him.

"Hey! Hold on a minute, Monkey. You always make me do all the work. Sandy just sits lazing around." Monkey explains that he's working, but Pigsy thinks Monkey is up to something: "Monkey volunteering to go ahead... Tell me the truth. There's something good up there and you're keeping it to yourself." Monkey seizes on this opportunity to play a trick on Pigsy, "Pigsy how did you guess (broad smile)? A beautiful lady the man said". Sandy looks on strangely at Monkey.

Pigsy's animal nature has been sufficiently aroused. With a shout of "Ladies here comes Pigsy", he charges up the mountain, and into possibly very real danger towards the cannibals' lair. Tripitaka wonders what has happened and Sandy deduces that Monkey has played a trick on him. Monkey claims that what he's done is in Pigsy's best interests. Monkey reasons that if Pigsy defeats the monsters, then he will get all the credit from Tripitaka (and we'll be delighted for him) and if not, Monkey can "always" rescue him. Tripitaka is horrified and then berates Monkey for tricking his best friend, wagging his finger and calling him a wicked beast. "Anyway, you've got to admit I'm crafty", says Monkey as he defends himself, claiming that Tripitaka is biased and that Pigsy is actually quite intelligent.

At the top of the mountain, Pigsy is exhausted, but picks up the scent of a woman, which rejuvenates him. "A woman, I can smell her from here I can. The scent of Orianda, silk and petticoats and ankles. Yes I'm here my little honey pot!" From behind a rock Pigsy can just see a pair of "shapely" ankles. He rushes to rescue the woman.

Pigsy's rescue technique is rather creative. It involves a lot of stroking and touching of the shoulders and hand rubbing as well as thoroughly checking how soft the lady is. Strangely, the girl doesn't seem to mind Pigsy's advances, she even looks at him, "What is it? Why did you look at me? Ah ha, am I handsome? Eh? Well you're just as good looking". Pigsy reveals to her that he's a one-of-a-kind Pig God.

The girl tells Pigsy that she has fallen and sprained her ankle and asks him to check the damage. He kindly agrees to massage her ankle, but naturally Pigsy can't stop, and has soon uncovered her legs and thighs. Still the girl does not complain, telling Pigsy that when he touches her, "my heart flutters" and "you overwhelm me". Pigsy is convinced that the old touch, the Pigsy magic, is in full effect. Slowly manoeuvring the girl onto her back he gropes her in the chest region and begins kissing her, "Down, down, down. I've still got it! I'm irresistible".

Unbeknownst to Pigsy, whose eyes are closed, the girl changes appearance. She has put on a lot of makeup in the eye region, is no longer in a pink robe, and then magically passes rolls underneath Pigsy's body and stands up next to him, in a mini-skirt, an open-necked outfit, lots of eyelash makeup and a crown. With an evil laugh, it's revealed that Pigsy it now trapped - caught up and tied to a straw dummy. He's been captured by Silver Horn and lets out a loud scream!

Tripitaka has begun to worry about Pigsy, while Monkey sleeps and Sandy sits around forlornly. He hasn't returned yet and Tripitaka fears that "... he could be in very real danger". Tripitaka tries to shake Monkey out of his sleep, but he simply shoves Tripitaka and says "No!" Tripitaka then awakens Monkey from his sleep with a sharp burst of pain from the Headache Sutra. Tripitaka apologises for this, but could not wake him any other way and tells him that he is worried about Pigsy, whom Monkey criticizes for sleeping too much, so they set off to look for him.

We see some footage of a three-storey villa overlooking a lush cliff in the mountains. These are the Lotus Caves. (It is also the same monastery from which Tripitaka originated in "Monkey Turns Nursemaid" in episode 2). We see that Pigsy is in the control of Silver Horn and her husband Golden Horn at their lair in the courtyard of the Lotus Caves. For entertainment, the guards are pushing around and beating Pigsy, who is still tied to the dummy. Silver Horn calls on the guards to stop and orders that Pigsy is hung in the cellar, declaring that "We won't eat him until he's well hung". As Pigsy is dragged away, Silver Horn discusses with her husband the strength (and crackling) he will get from eating a Pig Spirit's body and soul.

Pigsy has made the error of revealing the existence of the pilgrims - the monkey and the priest sent by Buddha to collect the Holy Scriptures, threatening the guards with reprisals for catching him and torturing him. Golden Horn is really excited about a priest, but is worried that the monkey they speak of is the "really terrible" King Monkey who tried to conquer Heaven by force. Silver Horn isn't worried though, reminding her husband "You are an old warrior, aren't you". She hopes it really is Monkey because she is looking forward to eating Monkey's soul too. She goes off to take a look.

While trekking north in search of Pigsy, Tripitaka, Sandy and Monkey come across an old lady lying on the ground begging for help. This old lady has twisted has also her ankle and cannot make it back to her own home up on the mountains. Tripitaka tries to get Monkey's attention, to which he plays blind, replying "It's a nice day isn't it?" While Tripitaka talks to the old lady, who apologizes for holding them up and thanks him with "Buddha, bless you priest", Monkey takes Sandy aside and bets that he can tell what will happen next. Putting on a mock posh accent, silly facial expressions, and an awkward gait that's supposed to be Tripitaka) he "predicts" that Tripitaka's next words will be, "Wait and see if I'm right.... Great sage? Do you think you could give us a hand here? Could you carry this dear old lady? You'll see". Monkey is dead right - "What a surprise!" he says when Tripitaka tells him to carry the old lady back to her home. Monkey is taken aback by her weight, "... the riders heavier than the horse..." but carries on. Sandy stands there cackling at Monkey, who tells him to carry on, and he'll catch up with them later.

Now Sandy and Tripitaka carry on alone. Sandy comments on the coincidence. First Pigsy disappears and now Monkey. Three were ordered by Kuan Yin to protect him. He considers the possibility of a plot to catch Tripitaka, and wonders whether it is wrong to refuse an old lady. The pair of them stop in the middle of the road. "There's as much chance of good things as bad", says Tripitaka optimistically. "It's a cheerful philosophy. And I've heard it from people before. They're all dead now though", replies Sandy. From the mountain Golden Horn watches Tripitaka and Sandy approach, noting that he "looks nice and holy."

Further up the mountain, Monkey is labouring with the old lady. An immortal sage who has been under a mountain for half a millennium shouldn't be perspiring under the weight of a short old lady. He comments "By the five pillars at the end of the universe, you're heavy. I've never carried anyone as heavy as you. You should try slimming." The old lady simply continues laughing like a clucking hen. Just as Monkey realizes that he's been tricked by a cunningly disguised Horned Demon, the old lady's hands and legs turns into stone. Monkey turns around and sees Silver Horn sitting on him, and she materializes a giant rock on top of Monkey and walks off in her "action" uniform, cackling and leaving him to be "crushed to a revolting pulp". Monkey begins to sweat profusely.

The horse neighs. Simultaneously, Golden Horn and his men attack Sandy and Tripitaka. Without Monkey or Pigsy to help, it isn't a very even fight, with about 20 onto one. However, Sandy does a good job, floors about three of the bandits, and connects a couple of times to Golden Horn, who hides behind a rock. Silver Horn returns, and Golden Horn figures they can't beat Sandy, so while Sandy is distracted, Silver Horn drags Tripitaka off his horse while he is watching Sandy, putting a sword to his throat, they force Sandy to surrender. Sandy throws his staff down in disgust, shouting "Shit." Golden knocks out Sandy with a couple of blows to the head and stomach. The two are taken back to the Lotus Caves and hung up alongside Pigsy in the cellar. Sandy lashes out at Pigsy for getting caught, calling him "Big Ears" and "Great Lover" and guessing that he either ate himself unconscious or got trapped by a pretty girl. Tripitaka gives Pigsy a dirty look and he tries to deflect attention by greeting The Master. Sandy and Pigsy continue wrangling for a while until Tripitaka tells them to stop, saying that he has a headache.

Silver Horn is hitting a gong and lunch is being served to Golden and Silver Horn by a young servant boy. Silver Horn displays her sadist tendencies by telling him that they will let him live one more day for serving well. The servant is dismissed. Hearing that her rock has not yet killed Monkey, Silver Horn calls two servant-soldiers, giving them a weapon that "heaven did not possess" and is unaware of. It is a gourd-shaped golden coloured magic bottle with a stopper and magic paper seal which will swallow "body and soul" anyone it is pointed at who replies to their name and hold them there forever, and dissolve them. The two soldiers discuss to themselves how they could fit a Monkey in a bottle and ask Silver Horn. She calls the servant boy, who comes and answers, and is sucked by a vortex into the bottle. Silver Horn says that they will share the same fate if they don't capture Monkey, and she despatches them on their task.

A very angry Monkey - "I've gone mad," who has already had 500 years buried beneath a mountain - escapes from under the rock, and throws it away, just as Silver Horn's servants approach along the path, with the magic bottle. These two men are very comically dressed, to match their IQ. One is a tall fellow in an orange bodysuit, beard, and Soviet style fur cap, while the other is short and fat, wearing green, with black spots and a red collar and black hat; he looks like an ornamental watermelon.

Monkey sees the two men happily approaching and quickly transforms himself into an old Taoist magician (who looks exactly like Monkey except is wearing a brown robe, black cylindrical hat and a crooked walking stick) by walking behind a tree and intercepts the guards. He tells them that he is just an old Taoist magician and asks them for news, and asks them what the golden gourd could possibly be for. The two servants dismissively brush Monkey off "Push off," and foolishly brag about going to use the bottle to trap the Great Sage Monkey in the bottle for good. Monkey gets a bit uncomfortable and then materializes a red gourd of his own and says that his bottle is more powerful because it can swallow the entire universe. He whacks them and tells them to close their eyes and he will start a demonstration of the bottle swallowing the universe, claiming the bottle is a bit of a slow starter. He comments that he is lucky that the two servants are "such a stupid pair." He actually pulls a hair out of his body and then blows, causing a black cloud, which covers the two idiots' heads. They open their eyes and are terrified by the vacuum around them before Monkey "lets the universe back out of the bottle". The guards are amazed and eagerly swap bottles with Monkey. Now Monkey has Golden Horn's magic bottle, but has no idea how to use it. He wanders across the fields and chucks the bottle up in the air a few times, and then tries to physically push a pig into the bottle, to no avail.

Golden Horn is very displeased to learn that Monkey now has his magic bottle when the two idiots return to the Lotus Caves. The beating entertainment being given to the two stupid guards still doesn't amuse him. Silver Horn reminds him, though, of the golden rope he gave his mother-in-law. He simply has to invite his mother-in-law to join them when they eat Tripitaka and bring the rope with her. Golden Horn is reluctant because she eats too much and then calls two more servants "who like to fight" to deliver the invitation and ask his mother-in-law to bring the Golden Rope with her.

Monkey, in the form of a wasp on Golden Horn's chair, overhears all of the conversation, muttering that he is very lucky and intercepts the two guards in wasp form as they leave the cave. They shoo him away but think nothing more of it. Monkey transforms into his usual self with an extra over-robe and runs after the two messengers into the fields. He pretends to be an extra fast messenger from Golden Horn, claiming that he can run to Mongolia and back twice in one day and pretends to be surprised that they don't know who he is. He gets the other two to point the direction to the mother-in-law's house, which is at the end of the woods on the right and then knocks out the guard on his right with a right fist to the head, "Right, I don't need you anymore." The other one doesn't seem to have noticed his fallen comrade, so Monkey goes and knocks him out with a left fist to the head. He then takes control of the second guard's body by lying into it.

Monkey (disguised as the guard) arrives at the mother-in-law's house and checks that his magic wishing staff is securely in his ear, before he delivers the invitation to Golden Horn's mother-in-law. She is excited when she hears that the "holiest priest in all of China" is on the menu. She wants to eat him with ginger. However she is less forthcoming about the Golden Rope, which she claims has been permanently given to her. Monkey threatens to withdraw the ginger priest, so she agrees to return it.

Golden Horn's mother-in-law arrives at the Lotus Cave to meet her daughter and son-in-law. After greeting one another with insults, with Golden Horn saying "You're uglier than ever," Silver Horn leads them to the cellar to inspect the food and reserve the best cuts. Pigsy listens in horror and turns away wincingly as the old lady talks about how young and beautiful she will become after eating the Pig Spirit's pickled ears, walking up to Pigsy and pointing at his pointy ears. Sandy though, has noticed something strange about the old lady's shadow, and points it out to Pigsy who sees it too. The shadow does not fit the lady's profile - she has a walking stick, while the shadow does not. Before they can react anything, Golden Horn bursts in, the guards have informed him that the "old lady" is an impostor! This is because they are the two that were knocked out by Monkey and they have regained consciousness. He vows to kill her, while Silver Horn is perplexed and asks him if he is certain that it isn't really her mother. Tripitaka says questioningly, "Monkey?"

The old lady reveals herself as Monkey. Now exposed, Monkey has no choice but to fight. He fends off a few guards bare fisted and leads all of them, Golden and Silver Horn into the courtyard. A great fight ensues between Monkey, Silver Horn, Golden Horn and their guards. Monkey fights off the two demons bare fisted and then knocks out a few guards and grabs a lance (seems to have forgotten about the Magic Wishing Staff) from one of the guards and starts mopping them up some more before leading them out into the open country. He cleans up more of them and fends off the demons again, who spend most of the fight hiding behind a rock, with Golden Horn worrying that his "darling" might get hurt while in her best clothes. Monkey evades her knife, then charges back into the courtyard and attempts to use the Golden Rope to capture Silver Horn simply by throwing it, however she seizes control of it with her magic and uses a U-turn to lasso Monkey from four directions and Monkey is captured instead, dropping the magic bottle in the process. The remaining guards limp back to carry Monkey to the cellar to be hung up along with the others.

Narrator: "When what is indestructible meets what is irresistible, the female all too often wins. Monkey has been roped by a woman."

"Monkey, if they've caught you too then there's no escape", says Tripitaka.

However Monkey isn't content to throw in the towel. He tells Sandy to blow a wind in his direction, using it to sneeze up a piece of his own tail, he turns the chunk of hair into a file (he was actually trying for knife!). He passes the file to Pigsy mouth-to-mouth and uses it to cut through Monkey's ropes.

Golden Horn and Silver Horn have been celebrating their victory with a toast of wine and discussing their future together as immortals, wondering if they could put up with one another for an eternity. They think that Tripitaka's flesh will make them immortal. Golden Horn says that he could live forever with his "pretty witch". It is revealed that the magic bottle only works if the person it is pointed at, answers to their own name, explaining why Monkey couldn't get it to work. Monkey, now free from his ropes, bursts in and tells them the only way to immortality is through vegetarianism. Silver Horn taunts that he will be trapped in the bottle, but he claims that the bottle is useless and foolishly ignores the magic bottle being pointed at him by Silver Horn. "Is your name Monkey?" asks Silver Horn, "Yeah", Monkey replies contemptuously and is immediately sucked into the bottle. In a very short time he will begin to dissolve.

Monkey is trapped inside the magic bottle and can feel his feet tingling as he begins to dissolve. The two demons begin to shake the bottle, much to Monkey's annoyance. He can hear Golden Horn and Silver horn explaining that the bottle only works if you answer to your name. Golden Horn is worried that a stone monkey might not dissolve in the bottle and the two demons listen in and giggle as they hear Monkey writhing in discomfort as he tries to prop himself upright with his staff. When the muttering from the bottle stops, Golden and Silver Horn consternate about whether to take a quick look, but Golden Horn can't resist taking a quick look in the bottle to see if Monkey has gone. Monkey seizes the opportunity to escape by transforming into a wasp and escapes from the open bottle, without the demons noticing.

"These two. Silver Horn and Golden Horn, must go!" vows Monkey, after transforming back into human form in the courtyard.

Golden and Silver Horn are slumped in their room enjoying an afternoon nap, with Silver Horn resting her head in his lap. Monkey creeps in and attempts to steal the magic bottle, but Golden Horn sits up and begins to stir so Monkey picks up a lantern and stands still pretending to be a statue. Golden Horn goes back to sleep, but when Monkey makes a second lunge for the bottle, a bell on the Golden Rope goes off to wake up the demons. Silver Horn commands the rope to chase Monkey, so he runs away and puts on a moustache and shouts from the courtyard. He claims to be Monkey's brother, Kung Woo Sun and demands to know what happened to his brother Monkey. The two demons claim that his brother Monkey is in the bottle and Monkey Brother will join him there. They taunt him for giving his name to strangers and call his name with the magic bottle. "Kung Woo Sun" says that he is much too big for the bottle and answers impatiently to Kung Woo Sun when Silver Horn calls it out. Nothing happens, so he puts his head against the bottle and puts on a bit of show to annoy the demons. Golden Horn blames him for breaking the bottle, throws it on the ground in disgust and they call an attack on Monkey. Monkey fends off Silver horn's rope and fights a few of the guards bare-fisted before charging into the cellar to rescue the others. He tells them to hold on while he releases Tripitaka, but has to abort it when the guards slash at him. He spots the bottle and runs back into the formal dining room and picks up the bottle and points it at Golden Horn.

"I know the magic!" Monkey exclaims.

"Ha! It's not working... out of the way wife ... right lets see you try. Call my name!" taunts Golden Horn,

"Lord Golden Horn??" asks Monkey.

"That's me!"

Lord Golden Horn is quickly and dizzily sucked into the bottle and after a few gleeful cocktail shakes from Monkey, he puts the seal on and chucks it on the ground as Silver Horn lunges at him in disbelief. As she gets up, she has transformed from her "action" outfit into her robes. She rushes to open the bottle and let Golden Horn out but he has been instantaneously been dissolved. Silver Horn is overcome with grief at the death of her husband, "He's gone the Yin to my Yang" and "Oh, my dearest".

Tripitaka stops Monkey from finishing off Silver Horn while she is grieving and they decide to let her live, "Some people are trapped, not merely in magic bottles. Whatever you do, you do to yourself. She loved him, now she feels she is nothing," while she wanders away into the field. Monkey is unimpressed, "Oh well, if it's love, then it's alright to eat people." Somehow Sandy and Tripitaka have been released. They congratulate each other on overcoming some more demons. Sandy thanks Monkey for volunteering to carry the old lady; otherwise he would have been squashed. Monkey and Sandy try to leave without Pigsy who is deemed useless, but Tripitaka forces a reluctant Monkey to free Pigsy. Monkey runs back into the cellar, to a complaining Pigsy and begins to free him with the file. Monkey threatens to leave Pigsy there when he remarks that Silver Horn was beautiful.

We see Silver Horn wandering forlornly across the plains into the sunset.

Narrator: "Love is no excuse... Like a mountain a good man is visible from afar, said the Buddha... What is goodness? You already know! If goodness is like a mountain, sometimes it is equally hard to achieve, and someone must first find a way... The master goes beyond the boundless land, and nothing, neither men, nor demons, nor gods, nothing in all creation can hold him. Monkey is magic, a god and immortal, but he is less than the Buddha in you".

We see Monkey scouting ahead and scaling a mountain as the others look on. The pilgrims continue on their journey.



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