"The Fires of Jealousy" (Season 1, Episode 24)

[Contributed by Chris Hadgis (chrish@mincom.com)]

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The pilgrims have entered the land of Lo-Chun, Queen of Fire. Here it is so hot that the birds are cooked as they fly. Monkey plucks some hair, throws it up, and spears some of the cooked birds so that when they land he has shishkebabs! They meet some villagers who offer the pilgrims a place to rest.

Inside, the chairs, the food, and even the water are very hot. The villagers say it is hot all the year round. Pigsy asks why, and is told that this is the kingdom of the Queen of Fire. Her home is in Fire and Flame Mountain which is in a range of active volcanoes that is blocking the pilgrims' path. Nothing natural can live there. The disciples can use their magic to cross, but Tripitaka is human and cannot cross.

No-one has succeeded in passing through the mountains. The pilgrims look like they are stuck there. The fires only stop burning when it rains, and it only rains when the Queen uses her fan. She sees no-one but her servants. She is beautiful and alone. This gets Pigsy's attention. The fan is magic. She lets it rain in sprin in return for offerings. "The ususal racket" Monkey says. He thinks he'll be able to borrow it and flies off to her castle.

He demands to see the Queen but the maid says she see no-one. The Queen refuses to see him but can hear him yelling outside. She goes out to tell him to leave. He asks if he can borrow her fan. She says no. The fan was part of the dowry when she was wed and is a treasure. She would be powerless without it.

Monkey: "You asked for it, you half-baked little ash raker"

He challenges her to a fight and she accepts. After a brief fight, one in which no-one gets hit, she agrees to lend it to him. It's a small fan, but with her magic it grows very large. With two waves, she conjures up a storm which blows Monkey away. It was all a cunning plan of hers to get rid of Monkey!

Tripitaka is worried about Monkey but Sandy thinks he will be okay. Pigsy is dreaming about beautiful women. Monkey returns without the fan. He found out that she hates all things male. Her husband, the King of the Water Buffaloes, deserted her and ran off with a human woman who has no magic powers. Her name is Jade Face. Monkey thinks they should try and get them back together. Pigsy is more interested in how beautiful the Queen is. Monkey warns Pigsy to stay away from her. Together, they come up with a plan.

The King of Water Buffaloes and Jade Face are in the Grotto of the Magic Carpet playing games. She is bored. She tells him she wants a new jewel. He says the don't seem to have much money since they have been together. She suggest he ask his wife for money but he refuses.

A messenger from the Queen (Sandy in disguise) has arrived to take him back to his wife. The messenger tells him that he should return because the Queen is ill. Using his magic, the King realises it is Sandy and he is telling a lie. Sandy tells him the truth, but the King does not think his wife will listen to him. Sandy makes a veiled threat to the King and the two of them fight. Monkey, who has been watching everything from his cloud, flies off.

The Queen's maid is collecting strawberries. Monkey turns himself into one and jumps into the basket. The maid returns. As the Queen is about to eat one, "Monkey" jumps into her mouth and she swallows "him". He jumps up and down inside her stomach. She becomes sick and finally gives in. She puts the large fan on the table and coughs up Monkey. He takes the fan and leaves.

The maid thinks she should fetch the King to help her, but the Queen thinks all he would be interested in doing is selling her fan for money to spend on his mistress. However, it appears that she has another cunning plan. Outside the castle, Monkey chants and waves the fan. Alas, there is no rain. Monkey has been tricked again. He calls his cloud and flies off.

Monkey and Sandy are back with Tripitaka. Sandy says he won't go back to the King. Tripitaka says he is hot, so Sandy waves the fake fan. The wind blows Tripitaka into a wall where he lands on the sleeping Pigsy who is dreaming of women again. Monkey says Jade Face is silly, and orders Pigsy to seduce her. Pigsy is ecstatic. He yells for his "motorcycle cloud" and flies off to her.

Narrator: "On a borrowed cloud, Pigsy set off to meet a lady with an air of studied negligence which belied that beating heart beneath that sack-cloth"

The King is going to a stag party. Jade Face is upset. She allows him to go, but wants him to steal a jewel for her. He refuses. She says he would if he loved her. He is angry with her and strikes her. She becomes furious with him.

Pigsy, flying along slowly, eventually arrives at her house. Adopting a human disguise, Pigsy passes himself off as a friend of her father. He asks her if she is married and she says yes. He asks her if she is faithful and she says sometimes. She is interested in the jewel in the ring Pigsy is wearing. He is about to kiss her when a gong sounds and dinner is served. Pigsy eats with her blessing.

The King is flying along, but not to the stag party. He is feeling guilty and flies back to Jade Face.

Pigsy is still eating. One of the dishes he likes is pork! He gets upset, and he sprouts his pig ears. The King returns. Using his magic, he sees the real Pigsy.

King: "When your comrades fail, they send you. Scraping the bottom of the barrel"
Pigsy: "You wouldn't demean yourself hitting a pig"

They fight, and eventually the guards drive Pigsy outside. The King and Jade Face argue some more, and she ends up saying she'll leave.

Monkey goes to the Queen, disguised as her husband. She is secretly happy but says she doesn't want to see him. The "King" marches in and apologises to her. He asks her about the fan. She says she has it, and she tricked Monkey by giving him a fake one. She shows it to him. Monkey reveals himself and takes her fan.

The King is flying to his wife. He sees Monkey. He disguises himself as Sandy and asks Monkey how he managed to get the fan. Monkey tells "Sandy".

Monkey: "She's just as stupid as he is"

Monkey gives it to "Sandy" to look at. He shrinks it and swallows it before revealing himself as the King. He is upset tha Monkey cheated his wife. They fight.

The Queen arrives at Tripitaka's hut. She is taking him prisoner to get her fan back. Sandy tries to stop her, but she fans him with the fake fan, blowing him down.

Monkey and the King are jousting. After the first pass, the King flies away.

The Queen ties up Tripitaka. He tells her they only want to borrow the fan. The Queen says she has been hurt. Tripitaka tells her to stop the hurt, she must ask the King to forgive her for her jealousy.

Monkey returns to the hut. Sandy says the Queen has taken Tripitaka. Monkey tells him the King has the fan.

The King has returned to his wife. She thinks he is Monkey but he convinces her otherwise. He notices the bound Tripitaka. She says he is a hostage until her fan is returned. The King releases him and gives his wife the fan. He goes to leave. She forgives him and wants him to stay with her. He says he has already left Jade Face. They are reconciled.

Monkey arrives and demands the fan. The Queen loans it to him willingly. He is suspicious, but she says she is generous now. They wave the fan three times and it rains. The fires are out. The three of the dance to the full version of Monkey Magic. The villagers are happy too.

The pilgrims continue their journey.


NOTES:

* I don't know if there really were strawberries in ancient China.

* The inside of the Queen's stomach resembles a "jumping castle", much like those seen at children's carnivals.

* When Monkey chants before waving the fake fan, is it the original actor's voice, or does the translating actor speak Japanese?

* The explosions when Monkey waves the fake fan look impressive.

* When Monkey and the King are jousting, we can quite clearly hear another Godiego song ('Havoc In Heaven'), the one that goes "thunder bolts shooting left and right". It replaces the Monkey Magic song that usually plays during the fight sequences.



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