"Land for the Locusts" (Season 1, Episode 18)

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

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Locusts are swarming towards Lake Lok-Nor. It is a magic lake that moves around, appearing and disappearing on its own.

The pilgrims are walking along. As usual, Sandy is philosophising about something. Monkey gets a strange feeling and summons his cloud. He sees the swarm of locusts attacking a village. Some of the villagers are being turned into pigs.

Sandy wonders where Monkey is. Pigsy says he can smell a woman. Monkey returns to warn them of the locusts. Pigsy is scared of them. Monkey suggests there must be a queen.

The locust queen wonders why the lake moves around as it does. She tells her generals to wage war, and turn anyone who resists into a pig.

The pilgrims take shelter in a cave. There is a woman in the cave. Pigsy pretends to be unafraid of the locusts to impress her. She says she has had experience with the locusts before in a small country 300 leagues away. The magic lake appeared in her country. The locusts attacked her people and turned them into swine.

By this time, Pigsy has fallen asleep. She tells them about the locust queen. She is cruel and beautiful, and she enjoys the suffering she brings. Sandy worries about Pigsy because of his attraction to women. The locust queen gains power over those who love her.

"Unhappy people often use love as a weapon against others to keep from feeling it themselves" [Tripitaka]

The lake moves yet again. The locust queen threatens to bring plagues of death and destruction as she follows the lake.

The woman continues her story. She says the locust queen is very ambitious. She tried to warn the villagers about her, but they didn't believe her. Tripitaka says the locust queen is worse than an animal, which offends Monkey and Sandy. Tripitaka says he wasn't refering to them. The woman says the locust queen is driven because the lake constantly moves. Sandy wonders why she chases that particular lake. The woman says the locust queen must be stopped before she turns more people into horrid pigs. She hates pigs.

At this time, Pigsy wakes up to hear her say this and he becomes very upset with her. He makes a vow to refuse to help humans any more. The woman's three daughters arrive. They are Chin-Chin, Ai-Ai,and Lin-Lin, and they are all pretty. Monkey and Sandy are charmed and offer to help them as Pigsy looks on enviously. He still refuses to help. Tripitaka orders Monkey and Sandy to help them and they are happy to obey.

Pigsy is upset. He wants to help, but he can't because of the vow he made when the mother indirectly insulted him.

Monkey and Sandy meet the locust queen's generals and fight them. Sandy sees the locust queen and is entranced by her. She tries to turn him into a pig, but only succeeds in giving him a pig snout because her power is low. She manages to catch Monkey in a web.

Lin-Lin, the youngest daughter, is mute. She indicates that Monkey and Sandy are in trouble. Pigsy still refuses to help.

A carver, Kim Hong is making images of Buddha. He is captured and taken to the locust queen. Monkey and Sandy are with her, tied to a pole. Kim Hong is brought before her. He says he carves the images for peace. The locust queen wants war. The lake is starting to move again. The locust queen and her generals leave the room to see. Monkey breaks the bonds. Kim Hong wants Monkey and Sandy to help the family of his girl-friend, Ai-Ai. Sandy is heart-broken because he really liked her. Outside, the lake has moved.

Pigsy finds a locust and faints. Monkey and Sandy return, warning of a locust plague heading their way. Ai-Ai notices Sandy's nose and is shocked. Monkey carries Pigsy to a cold chamber at the back of the cave to revive him from his faint.

Tripitaka prays for Sandy who thinks he knows how Pigsy feels now. Monkey thinks it is funny because there are now two Pigsys. Tripitaka's prayers don't work and he blames himself because he is not pure enough. Monkey tells Tripitaka that he can't save everyone - even Kim Hong said so. At the mention of Kim Hong, the mother asks Monkey to walk with her.

Kim Hong and Ai-Ai are to be married. Monkey asks about her husband but they don't talk about him any more. Kim Hong is the only one who listened to them.

The locust queen wants to destroy the images of Buddha because she thinks they are what is causing the lake to move. She reveals that Lok-Nor is supposed to be evil and that is why she is chasing it. When Kim Hong asks Buddha for a sign, one of the statues begins bleeding from the eyes.

While they watch a sunset, Monkey tells Ai-Ai to have faith. She wonders how magic can help them solve their problems. She thinks they should do something themselves, but doesn't know what.

The locust queen decrees that Kim Hong is to die, and is to be left tied up and denied food and water.

Monkey and Sandy are told to thaw out Pigsy, but Monkey thinks two days in there will do wonders for him.

Ai-Ai has run off to find Kim Hong. Monkey wants to go and rescue her. Lin-Lin wants to tell them about her father. She lost her voice when he defied the locust queen and was turned into a pig. Her mother suggests they should negotiate with the locust queen to stop the war. They want Monkey to go, but he is against it. Tripitaka and Sandy think it is a good idea, but Monkey does not. Instead, he goes off to fight her. Tripitaka responds by chanting the headache sutra.

He goes to rescue Kim Hong but the locust queen is waiting for him. As he fights her generals, Tripitaka continues with the headache sutra. She tries to turn Monkey into a pig, but misses him and gets one of her own men. Monkey continues to fight despite the headache sutra.

Pigsy starts to recover.

The fight continues. The locust queen tries a magic spell on Monkey. He catches it with his staff and sends it off towards Sandy. When he is zapped by it, his nose returns to normal.

Pigsy is still recovering.

The locust queen creates a pit which Monkey falls into. She catches him with her web.

Tripitaka wants to go to the locust queen with Sandy and the thawing out Pigsy. Pigsy remembers his vow and refuses to go with them.

"Pig and horrid don't go together" [Pigsy]

Tripitaka tells him to stay which makes Pigsy feel unwanted. Tripitaka and Sandy head off to the locust queen with a white flag.

Monkey, Kim Hong, and Ai-Ai are tied up. Tripitaka is talking to the locust queen. This upsets her generals who think she is becoming weak. They decide to murder her.

Sandy finds Monkey, but he says he can't help because Tripitaka thought it would jeopardise the negotiations.

The locust queen says everything she has she worked for with her own two hands and life is not easy. Tripitaka tells her everyone suffers. The locust queen admits she cares for her locusts. Tripitaka says it is love. He suggest they find a home for her near a lake which doesn't move around so her locusts can be safe.

The locust queen wonders if Buddha will protect Tripitaka if she tries to turn him into a pig. Tripitaka replies a good disciple should not resist evil. The mother, Chin-Chin, and Lin-Lin are praying for him, as is Pigsy.

The guards are ready to kill the locust queen. Tripitaka tells her Buddha is not for protection but to lean on in time of need. Monkey tries to free himself to help, but Tripitaka says it is not time yet. The locust queen tries to turn him into a pig.

The locusts are swarming towards the queen.

She can't turn Tripitaka into a pig and collapses from the strain. A general comes in and is about to kill her when Tripitaka stops him. Now he calls for Monkey and there is another fight.

After they win, Monkey takes Sandy with him to help with a cunning plan he has. They find another lake. Monkey tells Sandy to tap a distant water source and bring it where the locusts can do no harm to others. Sandy digs a tunnel and creates a second lake. The locust queen finally has her own land.

Lin-Lin goes to Pigsy, who is still feeling sorry for himself.

Eventually, the pilgrims are ready to go. Chin-Chin is told that the locust queen will restore all the people who were turned to swine and she can find her father. She says goodbye to Monkey. Ai-Ai says goodbye to Sandy and even kisses him. Lin-Lin has recovered her voice and says goodbye to Pigsy.

The pilgrims continue their journey.


NOTES:

* The 'natural ice cavern' at the back of the cave has a steel door, complete with hinges.

* Why exactly are the locusts chasing Lok-Nor?

* Why does the locust queen settle for an artificial lake when she so desperately wanted Lok-Nor?

* Tripitaka doesn't want Monkey to use violence, but calls him when he needs him. Isn't that being a little hypocritical?

* Once again, Sandy uses his magic powers.



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