"Village of the Undead" (Season 1, Episode 22)

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

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A man, a woman, and two girls are watching the pilgrims approaching their village. He says the pilgrims must believe in them if they are to have life. In order for the pilgrims to truly believe, they must die.

The pilgrims are resting. Monkey wants to continue while Sandy and Pigsy want to sleep. He gets Pigsy up by kicking him in between his legs. Tripitaka asks them why they are fighting. Pigsy says Monkey hurt him, and Monkey says they are lazy. Tripitaka tells Monkey that he criticizes his brothers too much and should be more tolerant. Monkey just worries about Tripitaka.

Tripitaka wants to go the village to beg for food because Monkey has been complaining that he does all the work. Pigsy fetches his begging bowl and staff. Monkey is annoyed with Pigsy.

Tripitaka walks down the street of the village. It's very quiet. He sees the woman in a door way. As they enter the court yard, he meets the two girls. They are Mai-Pau and Mai-Lau. They go inside where he is introduced to the man. He is Wun-Lung. Tripitaka is asked to sit until some food can be brought him. He looks around nervously before saying he can smell roast pork. He explains that he is a Buddhist and so does not eat meat. The lady offers him bat soup, newt eyes, grilled baby, and snake tongue. Tripitaka is worried. He tries to leave but is ordered to stay. He is to remain there as bait to attract his disciples.

Monkey is worried because Tripitaka has been gone for many hours. Monkey goes after him. Before he leaves, he 'accidentally' steps on sleeping Pigsy's stomach.

Pigsy: "I shall bash that hairy ape the very next time I catch him nodding off"

As he searches for Tripitaka, Monkey feels something is wrong. He sees the woman and two girls, who are talking about frogs, leaving a house. He enters the empty court yard, and the door to the house opens by itself. He sees a bound Tripitaka. Monkey rescues him and they return to Sandy and Pigsy.

Monkey tells them about the female witches. They prepare to leave. Pigsy says he doesn't believe Monkey about the women. He wants to learn more about them so he goes off to find them for himself.

The woman thinks all four disciples believe they exist now. Wun-Lung insists the disciples must be killed so they can live. It is the only way. He uses magic to call Monkey.

Pigsy walks down the street. Wun-Lung detects him and the spirits prepare to receive him. They prepare a wine to turn him into a pig.

Narrator: "The world is a trap for fools. Only those who see are free"

Tripitaka is worried about Pigsy. He wants Monkey to bring him back but Monkey refuses. Sandy, always the second choice, goes instead.

Sandy arrives at the house. He hears a flute playing. From the court yard, he can see Pigsy sitting at a table, being attended to by Mai-Lau. Sandy tries to stop Pigsy from drinking the wine, telling him that it is poison. Pigsy has his pig features. Sandy is introduced to Mai-Pau. They encourage him to stay for a drink and he decides to stay. He reminds them of Tripitaka but says he can wait for a while.

Tripitaka is now worried about both of them. He wants Monkey to go and fetch them. Monkey refuses and goes to sleep.

The woman spirit thinks the drug-deluded Sandy and Pigsy will destroy Monkey for them. Wun-Lung's plan is that the disciples will die because they think they should.

Mai-Lau tells Pigsy that people should have whatever they need, and ladies should please their men. Pigsy agrees completely.

At another table, Sandy is eating and drinking. Mai-Pau and the woman offer him wine. He says he knows it is poison, but he wants more and more, until finally he gets his trout features.

The woman reports that Sandy and Pigsy are transformed. They are to marry Mai-Pau and Mai-Lau the next day at dawn.

Monkey wakes up to find that Sandy and Pigsy have not returned. Tripitaka asks Monkey once again to go. He finally agrees. He summons his cloud and goes looking for them. He arrives at the village and starts calling for them. He is almost shot by a needle.

Sandy comes out and tells Monkey that he and Pigsy are getting married to two girls and don't want to go to India any more. Sandy and Monkey fight. Sandy soon retreats as the woman and Mai-Pau come out and demand he surrender. When he doesn't, they spit poison needles at him. He is soon hit by some of them. Wun-Lung orders him to return to Tripitaka, and eventually he does so.

Pigsy thinks he heard Monkey outside. Mai-Lau says he will return later. They continue to gain life. She convinces Pigsy to be their hostage.

Sandy knows what is going on, but he is too happy to care. Mai-Pau smashes the jar of wine.

Monkey tries to get Tripitaka to leave. Tripitaka thinks they are suffering from illusions. He tells Monkey not to use violence but convince his brothers to return. Again Monkey refuses so Tripitaka says he will go. Eventually Monkey tells Tripitaka to stay and goes himself.

Monkey returns to the village. The woman tells everyone he is here. Once more Monkey fights Sandy as Wun-Lung goes after Tripitaka.

Monkey chases Sandy inside but retreats from the girls' needles. He turns his staff into a shield and blocks them. He turns the shield back into the staff and strikes at them, but they disappear. Sandy wants Pigsy to help but Pigsy thinks they should hide. The woman says Tripitaka has been captured.

Tripitaka is once again tied up inside the house. Sandy and Pigsy enter the room. He asks them for help but they refuse. Pigsy says they fear Monkey. Tripitaka tells them Monkey has been ordered not to resist.

Monkey calls for them. Sandy and Pigsy are ordered out to talk to Monkey, who is still trying to fight the disappearing girls. They go out with Tripitaka and Wun-Lung. They order Monkey to surrender. He doesn't want to. Tripitaka say his only choices are to surrender or run away, so he gives himself up.

Tripitaka and Monkey are both tied up. Tripitaka tells Monkey he can escape if he wants to, but Monkey decides to hang around.

The spirits are fully alive. The woman wants to know whether they will still be alive after they kill those who gave them life in the first place. Wun-Lung assures her they will be. Monkey will die because he will believe he is being dissolved in acid. Mai-Pau overhears them and fears for Sandy and Pigsy. She runs off to warn Sandy.

She tells him about the spirts - they are only real because the thoughts of the disciples made them real. She doesn't want Sandy to die. She asks him for death for herself but he refuses. They care too much for each other.

Monkey is in the acid bath. He claims that it tickles but he soon feels himself burning. Sandy thinks they should help but Pigsy wants to stay drunk. They take Tripitaka closer to Monkey.

In one swift movement, Mai-Pau stabs Wun-Lung. She understands that they cannot live at the expense of Monkey's life. Soon, all the spirits are gone, as is the acid bath and the entire village. They slowly realise that the whole experience was an illusion.

The pilgrims continue their journey.


NOTES:

* There is a sign, in Chinese, outside the house. What does it say?

* This is the first episode where we see Sandy as a trout.

* Why didn't Tripitaka use the headache sutra on Monkey when he disobeyed him?

* This has to be one of the darker stories of the show so far. The atmosphere when Tripitaka was in the house begging for food was first class.

* Contrary to most episodes, there was very little fighting in this one, and an entire cast of only eight people. This must surely be one of the smallest casts of any episode.

* As far as I can tell, the woman was un-named.



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