JB’S EPISODE REVIEW

                                                          Molly Coddled

                                                4 out of 5 Krakatoa Specials

 

Summary

    A late-night speedboat chase around Cape Suzette’s inner harbour has the debonair jaguar con-artist and thief Covington (Jim Cummings), trying to escape his recently-duped badger partners, an (unnamed) shorter zoot suit-wearing leader (Jerry Houser) and his tall, thuggish cohort Arnold (Ron Feinberg), as they demand he hands over an ancient wooden feline talisman they have had just stolen (or – less likely – found) from an undisclosed location. Looking for a way to stash it (Gidget: I have a suggestion. It’ll hurt, though… ;)), Covington passes by the Higher for Hire dock by chance where he hurls a satchel containing the talisman right over the unsuspecting Baloo, snoozing away in a nearby hammock where it lands into the open back ramp of the Sea Duck.  

   After harrowingly dodging a cargo freighter that blocks his way towards the cliffs corridor, Covington manages to evade his ex-partners by deliberately driving his speedboat over a ramp and crashing atop a patrolling police cruiser along the harbour docks.

Gidget: Guess the donut shops were closed. ;)  

   The crooks overhear Covington loudly insist to the surprised constables that they take him into custody until he can pay the fine for destroying police property; and they clandestinely slink away from the scene, as Zoot Suit vows to catch up with the double-crosser another time.  

 

   Early morning back at Higher for Hire, Covington returns to retrieve the hidden talisman from the cluttered mess inside the seaplane as Baloo still continues to sleep. His rummaging is interrupted by Kit waking up the pilot and alerting him of Rebecca’s impending surprise inspection of the plane. Hurrying on the double to clean it out, the thief overhears everything – in particular to a ‘Miz Cunningham’ in charge of things – dives out of the plane and sets a new plan in motion…    

 

   Half-finished, Baloo and Kit hear Rebecca’s voice as she comes their way. Panic-stricken, they hide the remaining mess inside an already-bulging locker that the large bears forces shut, using his considerable weight as a barricade just in time for the businesswoman and her daughter Molly, in her customary makeshift Danger Woman costume, enter the plane.  

   While Rebecca is impressed by the seemingly “shipshape” ship, Molly is disappointed by the cleanliness until she notices a scrap of paper close to Baloo’s foot. Ever the detailed nitpicker, his employer demands that he picks it up (jb: What an anal retentive :p) which he does so reluctantly, causing the locker door to burst open, releasing the junk all over the deck, much to the little girl’s delight.  

   Disgusted by the mess, Rebecca goes on a rant over the lack of glamour and excitement in the air-freight business, obviously a thinly-disguised complaint over her own personal life (see Commentary on this topic), Molly tries to soothe her to which Rebecca softens and assures her that nothing matters more to her in the world than her precious child, yet longs “to meet someone with charm, with culture, a real man of the world.”

Baloo: Huh! So what am I, chopped liver?

Rebecca: You have more culture in your mouth than in your whole philosophy, Fly Boy.

Baloo: (grinning) Oh, that ain’t the only place where I got culture, Beckers… (reaches around to his backside)

Rebecca: Don’t you dare, buster! ;)  

   Suddenly on cue, Covington – resplendent in a naval captain’s hat and fine-tailored clothing – theatrically bounds from his speedboat, onto the deck and straight into Rebecca’s heart by giving her all the charm he can pour on, much to her delight, Baloo’s revulsion and Molly’s distrust. This is exemplified more when she gives him a swift kick to his shins (a running gag throughout the episode) when he turns his attention to her.

Molly: Believe me, if I was a lot taller, I’d have aimed a lot higher than that!

Gidget (as Covington ): No! Not my family jewels!

Rebecca: Did someone say ‘jewels’? Where? Where?  

   Dismayed by her daughter’s behaviour, the she-bear apologizes to the would-be suitor who graciously smooths things over with his effusive compliments to her and her pilot as Molly stomps off to pout until she discovers the talisman in the satchel that she takes for as a doll and instantly adores it. As Baloo gives a brief tour of the seaplane, Covington is distracted and horrified by the little girl’s discovery and diplomatically tries to get her to show him the artefact, which she refuses and kicks him again. Rebecca scolds her and begs the jaguar’s pardon over Molly’s hostility. The little girl pleads to Baloo if she can keep the doll, to which the pilot more than agrees without much thought.

Gidget: Spoiled brat. She misbehaves and gets rewarded?

jb: If she was Baloo’s child that would be a good argument. But since she’s not and considers the artefact as just some useless junk, she was entitled to have it at his discretion. Besides, finders-keepers, losers-weepers!  

   The con-artist is angered by this setback, but schemes to further woo the businesswoman in order to get back the talisman away from her hellspawn somehow.

Gidget (as Rebecca): Oh Covie, I’m terribly, terribly sorry! (angry aside to her daughter) Molly, what are you doing?

Molly: Protecting my interests, Mother. They call me Hellspawn.

Covington : (grits teeth) I’d like to call you worse than that, but this is a family show. ;3

Gidget: More like the Manson Family. ;)    

 

   Several weeks pass as a whirlwind romance blossoms between Rebecca and Covington in spite of Molly’s disapproval, knowing full well that he’s after her doll, which she calls Kara. Forced friendliness and attempted bribery during outings and visits fail to win any points with the little girl other than casting his spell over the love-struck single mother.  

   Rebecca has a talk with Molly in her bedroom sometime later, trying to explain her “very special” relationship with Covington as her daughter still expresses her reservations over the man that has entered their lives through Kara and her other doll Milly who “think he’s creepy.” When her mother begs her to try to be nice to him, she reluctantly agrees much to her mother’s elation, but goes back on her word and pledges to Kara as “Danger Woman” to protect her and her mother from the slimy smooth operator.

Gidget: (singing as Sade): Smooooooth operator…smooooth operatooooor…    

 

   That evening, Rebecca and Covington enjoy an intimate candlelight dinner alone at her apartment. The jaguar discreetly inquires into Molly’s whereabouts which she informs him that she’s convinced her to stay in her room and play with her dolls. Little do they realize that the girl is hiding underneath the dining table, concealed by a long tablecloth, plotting sabotage. When he decides to make a polite gesture to briefly greet Molly, she’s already tied his shoelaces together and as he stands up to move, he stumbles and trips, falling flat on his face. While Rebecca rushes to his side to help him back in his seat, the she-bear cub has already placed a well-positioned fork on the chair. Covington howls, shooting upwards and crashing onto the table spread, losing his toupee, much to Molly’s amusement.  

   Her giggles get her busted by Rebecca when she discovers her under the table and angrily drags her off to her bedroom to reprimand her. Now completely out of patience, Covington becomes determined to get the artefact immediately and come up with a diversion. Interrupting Rebecca’s scolding, he tells her that Baloo just called to report a robbery at Higher for Hire. In shock, the businesswoman takes up the liar’s offer to watch over Molly so she can get to the office. Molly objects in a panic and begs to come along. Having had enough of her misbehaviour, Rebecca refuses and assures her daughter that she’ll be fine with Covington for a while.  

   No sooner does Rebecca leaves the apartment that Covington traps Molly and menacingly demands that she gives up the doll to him. Refusing, she races to her room and locks the door, scoops Kara and Milly into a satchel and plans her escape. Terrified by his bellowing threats and pounds loudly at the door, Molly has already placed some toy blocks directly in front of the door, yanks it wide in time for Covington to come charging through, then he trips over them and crashes into her canopy bed, destroying it.

Gidget: LOL! At first I thought that was ‘crappy bed’! And isn’t Molly too old for blocks? 0_o Moving on…

jb: I just call ‘em as I see ‘em, G. I didn’t write this episode.

 

   Running back to the foyer, she tries to open the door, only to have the jaguar tauntingly dangling the key ( Covington : Leaving without your babysitter’s permission? Naughty, naughty!”) telling her that the wooden talisman is worth a fortune. After a few shin kicks and swiftly grabbing a nearby umbrella which she easily trips the bounder with the handle behind his ankle, Molly hurries to the balcony via the kitchen door, climbs onto the ledge, hooks the umbrella handle onto the connecting telephone line and safely slides down to the nearest pole. Covington follows her in the same fashion, only he shimmies along the cable with his bare hands causing some serious friction, collides with the pole and falls onto the ground as Molly makes a clean getaway to Higher for Hire.

Gidget: I wonder what the distance is between the apartment and H4H? Rebecca always seems to get there by car. Molly’s not Danger Woman, she’s Spider-Man!

jb: Or in Covington ’s case, she’s Venom. ;D  

  

  Meanwhile at the office…
Baloo: Fer da eighth time, Rebecca, we didn’t call!
Kit: Honest, Miz Cunningham!
Rebecca: (confused, then suspicious) Something’s not right.
Baloo: (Puts arm around her shoulder and leaves H4H) C’mon, we’d better check this out.
Gidget: B&Bers…all together now…WA-HOO!!
jb: Hold on, hot-breath! ;) Kit’s with them! Are you suggesting a ménage a trois or something to scar the kid for life? 0_o
Kit: (slobbering) Naw, I’ll just watch…
B&Bers: We’ll get the popcorn!
jb: (sighs) Perverts. ;D

Gidget: Oh, give them a break. Television hasn’t been invented yet.

jb: What do you think adult cinemas are for? ;3

 

    Molly, with the feline crook in hot pursuit, just misses them by a few seconds after they drive away from Higher for Hire. Hiding in the Sea Duck, she quickly finds a safe place to hide Kara when Covington draws closer. Baloo, Rebecca and Kit make it to the apartment during all of this, but find it empty and return straight back to the office. Just as they return, the girl uses the seaplane’s clothesline connected to the plane to the mooring dock, swings across onto the dock and runs for it. Covington tries to follow her in the same way, but crashes into a pier and splashes into the water.  

   The jaguar finally corners Molly into a dead-end alley and grabs the satchel from her, when at the very moment his peeved ex-partners show up ("Gentlemen!  What an opportune arrival!") and apprehend the satchel only to find Molly’s other doll Milly inside as it bleats: “Mama!” Furious, the badgers grab hold of the petulant thief and prepare to beat him up; Covington thinks fast and hatches up a new plan in getting the artefact back by using the captured little girl as bait...  

   

   At Higher for Hire, a frantic Rebecca calls the authorities to report her missing daughter; the trio hears noises coming from the Sea Duck and discover that it’s Covington rummaging in the plane, having just found the talisman hidden in the onboard first-aid kit. Baloo angrily demands what’s going on and Molly’s whereabouts, so the thief “informs” them that the little girl had been kidnapped in return of retrieving the doll.  

   Quickly deflecting the pilot’s questioning over his obsession with Molly and the artefact, he proffers to get her back from the kidnappers’ clutches on far-off Skull Island but Rebecca insists on them all coming along with him, much to his dismay.    

 

   En route in the seaplane, Baloo questions the artefact’s worth to the kidnappers while the businesswoman just wants to get Molly back, feeling guilty that she put her own needs ahead of her daughter’s welfare. In a small hut on Skull Island , Molly is holding her own against the badgers with a never-ending series of shin kicks until they place her in a wooden barrel.

Gidget: (hopefully) Is it full of wine?

jb: (in a Sideways rant) So long as it’s not Merlot, because I am not drinking any @#*%ing Merlot! ;3

 

   Carrying the barrel together at the exchange point upon hearing the Sea Duck’s arrival, they unknowingly put her in a bottomless one which the girl easily scampers off her escape.

Gidget: That. Was. Dumb. Who makes an open-ended barrel?

jb: Writers with a lack of an imagination? ;P  

   At the rendezvous on a pier, Covington gives Baloo the satchel and Rebecca demands that Molly be released first. The kidnappers agree, but discover to their mistake that the girl is gone so they make a mad dash for the satchel and wind up with Milly the “Mama” doll again. Baloo turns to Covington to tell him he gave them the wrong doll, but he had already given everyone the slip during the heated exchange. The bears and the crooks then come to an uneasy alliance to find both missing parties together.    

 

  Dashing through the jungle, Covington makes off to the base of a mountain. Coming to a sealed cave entrance, the jaguar fits the wooden artefact into a stone slot as a key, unlocks it and opens up the cave, entering into a long tunnel inside with Molly cautiously tailing him all the way. Surviving a series of perilous booby traps (one that includes swinging on an annoyed python’s tail that he mistakes for a vine) and wading though bubbling hot mud, Covington finally finds a huge carved ruby idol in the size, shape and likeness of the talisman. His triumph is soon deflated as Molly swoops into action, kicks him (where else?) and takes the idol from the thief.

Gidget: Oh, gee…where could she kick him?

jb: Might I make some suggestions?

Covington : (shudders) Oh, please – don’t. ;)  

   Trapping her inside in a small-sized tree cavity, Covington and Molly fight over the idol. Seeing Rebecca, Baloo and Kit behind him without his knowledge, she gets him to confess his true intentions and that he had no romantic interests with her mother – much to Rebecca’s horror that she was used as a pawn – and snatches the idol from her.  

   Now facing the very wrathful businesswoman along with her righteously angry flight crew for endangering Molly and their lives, the flustered jaguar stammers his explanations over his actions, even boasting the fact that he could fool his ex-partners, who then suddenly dive at him in a greedy attempt to grab the idol, but causes it to accidentally fly from his hands and into a deep, boiling hot mud pit, now lost forever. 

  Infuriated over the loss of the ruby, Covington also faces a more pressing issue to worry over – his safety from his ex-partners and pleads with the badgers to pardon his clumsiness but they’re going to get their payback when they haul him out of the cave, knocking off his toupee in the process. As the crooks leave the others behind, Molly runs into her much-relieved mother’s arms.

Gidget (dramatic announcer’s voice): Find out his fate in that overblown fanfic epic, A Fair to Remember at http://www.baloolagoon.com/gid_fic_files/tsfanfics_gidget.htm. (Evil plug) ;)             

 

   Heading back to Cape Suzette with Baloo and Kit at the controls and Molly in Rebecca’s lap in the cockpit, the little girl bravely tells her mother that there was nothing to worry about as long as she’s “Danger Woman,” but is regretful that she was unable to keep the idol for her. Rebecca realizes that the real treasure she could ever want is her daughter’s love as the Sea Duck flies off into the promise of a new day dawning and the comforts of home.  

 

 

Quibbles and Bits

 

-       Why would Baloo be sleeping outside (especially when it shows the bed bunks are lowered down a little later) and leave the plane’s back ramp open for all the world to see to have Covington stash the talisman? Did he come back from a night run and was too tired to bother lumbering into his room inside Higher for Hire?

Gidget: That, or else his pseudo-wife Rebecca made him sleep outside…again.

jb: Why? Did she have a “headache”? ;3

-      Speedboat/car crash audio effect sounds like the boat hit the police cruiser about two seconds before Covington collides into it.  

-       How did Covington manage to bail himself out of jail, get his speedboat repaired and recovered after trashing the police cruiser in time before Baloo and Kit got to work cleaning out the Sea Duck?

Gidget:
He’s rich. My guess is that he’s a bored aristocrat who turned to crime for kicks.

-      Covington dives out the Sea Duck’s already-open portside door and splashes into the harbour as Baloo and Kit prepare to clean it out. It’s seems too convenient to have it open like that. Wouldn’t it have been better to have him open the door and escape afterwards?

Gidget: And how did he get all dried and duded up in time for his dramatic entrance?

jb: Same point I make a little later during his chase with Molly in the alley, but onwards…

-      Why didn’t Kit notice Covington ’s speedboat docked on the moor when he goes to wake up Baloo or either one of the bears hear him splash into the water afterwards?

-      The Sea Duck – according to available diagrams – has only on onboard locker, yet the flight crew finds another empty one and fills the remaining junk with it. Where’d that extra locker come from? 0_o  

-      Baloo moulds right into the locker when he’s holding back the bursting garbage when the ladies enter the plane, then reverts back to its original form when everything piles back onto the deck. Is it made of rubber?

jb: Duh, it’s an animated locker. Remember, everything defies physics in animation.
:D  

-      When Baloo, Rebecca and Kit state in unison: “A clean plane is an efficient plane,” Kit’s mouth stops talking at ‘efficient.’  

-      How did the satchel with the wooden talisman end up all the way at the end of the Sea Duck’s back ramp, when the collapsed garbage stayed all in one heap for Molly to discover it?

-      One strange thing about Covington’s introduction: He’s obviously not a customer, yet Baloo’s willing to give him a tour of the plane and Rebecca blissfully overlooks the fact she’s not making a dime right now (Rebecca: (dreamily) Who needs business when you can get romance?;)). Wouldn’t that be a red flag into why he’s really here to anyone except Molly?

Gidget: That always bothered me. He says he’s looking for “Miz Rebecca Cunningham,” but sucks up to Baloo, gushing about the Sea Duck and “the tales I’ve been told!” (Baloo probably got drunk and droned on about his ‘baby’ at Louie’s Place, torturing the barflies)

jb: *sniffs* Poor little flies ;). Seriously, it’s probably obvious that he can cater to people with large egos, as quickly demonstrated with Baloo as the pilot later boasts that the Sea Duck can “look a hurricane in da eye an’ never blink” when he detects Baloo’s skepticism with his intentions.  

-      Romantic vignette #1(Walk in The Park): Where’s the park flower vendor when Covington slyly snatches a rose and presents it to Rebecca a la Charlie Chaplin? Not a very smart way to do business where you’re allowing your product to be openly stolen in broad daylight…;)

-       Romantic vignette #2 (Sidewalk Café): Notice that a) there’s only two coffees between Covington and Rebecca, but nothing for Molly. No wonder she spills his coffee on him. He’s a meanie for not ordering anything for her!
Molly:
Yeah! Not even as much as a Frosty Pep either, that cheap creepface! ;D

b) the coffee stain on his shirt goes white for a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it second then turns brown and c) when Rebecca scolds her bad behaviour, her lips never move – just an open mouth and wagging finger.

Gidget (as Baloo):
That’s what she looks like if I plug my ears…
 

-      Romantic vignette #3 (Teddy Bear bribe): Covington unsuccessfully tries to bribe Molly with a large teddy bear in exchange for Kara in the apartment when Rebecca previously places his coat on a rack in the foyer, but she’s missing in the foyer background when Molly refuses his gift (or was that intentional?).

Gidget: Easy way to show Molly and Covie in a quiet, hostile “real” moment in the middle of all that wooing.  

-       Romantic vignette #4 (Ballroom): The dancing scene is so completely lame-o when it only has a bruin couple just standing there like a background piece (probably was); a canine couple jerking back and forth and the swine couple constantly twirling around in a circle. Talk about your cheap animation jobs! :P  

-       Curious to note for this one time in the series, Molly’s regularly-toted around doll Lucy doesn’t make an appearance, just the “Mama”-speaking doll Milly with Kara. It probably was for humorous effect to foil the thieves during the latter-half of the episode.

Gidget:
Hey, your right! I think Lucy should have been featured. Except she wouldn’t be able to bleat “Mama.” Wouldn’t be the same.
 

-       During the candlelight dinner sequence, it looks like they’ve finished their meal already because the plates look incredibly spotless (did they lick them clean? ;)) and there’s no food spread on the table. And why a long dining table? Wouldn’t a shorter one been more intimate and practical?

Gidget:
I never understood the appeal of a long dining table for two. It’s just awkward.
      jb: It’s to avoid contact with really…bad…breath. ;D  

-      As Covington gets up from the floor after his shoelaces had been tied together, they have already come undone after Rebecca helps him up.  

-       During dinner, Covington sports a purple bowtie and cummerbund and a magenta shirt with gold buttons (the same outfit he wore during the Ballroom vignette, BTW), yet when he places his toupee back on his head as Rebecca takes Molly to her room he’s back to wearing his customary blue jacket and red jabot for the remainder of the episode.    
Gidget: I didn’t notice that!  

-       There’s a telephone in the background on the stand all alone during the dinner scene behind Rebecca, but as Covington schemes his diversion during the reprimand, the next POV shot cuts to a notepad and pen that suddenly appears next to it.  

-      Covington says that Baloo called, but neither mother nor child bothered to register the fact that they didn’t hear the phone ring, yet Rebecca believes that a call was made. And why does it take eight times for Baloo and Kit to convince her that they didn’t call? (Okay, I know Baloo’s a habitual liar, but even so…;3)  

-       When Baloo, Rebecca and Kit return back from her apartment (very quickly, mind you), it looks like Baloo has gotten out the driver’s side of her car. Rebecca didn’t believe him on the “phone call” at first, yet she still trusted him enough to allow him to drive? 0_o
Gidget: Oh, that bugged me on so many levels. It’s her car, and he drives like he’s the ‘man of the house’?

jb:
Perhaps she was feeling too panicky to drive in her state with Molly gone. Besides, would you have allowed Kit at the wheel?
 

-      After Covington splashes into the water after swinging from the Sea Duck to the dock, he’s suddenly dry again when he chases Molly into the alleyway.

 
jb: Again, ‘toon physics. Why ask why?  

-       Got to wonder from escaping Covington’s clutches in the apartment right to the final confrontation in the Skull Island cave, wouldn’t Molly’s toes get awfully sore from shin-kicking three bad guys all in one night?

Molly:
Danger Woman doesn’t feel pain! I bruise on the inside! ;)  

-     Comical gag works when the badgers place Molly in the bottomless barrel, but then a bottom appears very briefly as they approach the bears and Covington at the exchange point.

Gidget:
Like I said…dumb.
 

-       Upon arrival at the cave door, there’s a touch of light green lighting that’s supposed to simulate the light coming the bottom at a poorly-placed diagonal slant, but after Covington unlocks the entrance, it’s gone until he enters the tunnel.  

-      As Covington opens up the cave, there’s an already-lit torch inside to illuminate the tunnel. If it hadn’t been opened in ages, how did it get lit?  

-       There’s an accidental voice switchover of Zoot Suit’s dialogue into Arnold ’s voice and vice versa when he grabs Covington and asks him after he let the ruby idol slip into the boiling mud in a louring tone: “The question is – can you take it?” followed by Arnold ’s line with a sadistic “Yeah!” (see Funny Stuff/Quotes)

Gidget: I remember that. It was very distracting.

   (And we really don’t want to know what Covington ’s going to “take” from them, either. Reminds me too much of that line from Pulp Fiction of Marcellus Wallace’s off-screen plans to do with his emaciated rapists “with a pair of pliers and a blowtorch.” Oooh, that line still makes me cringe every time I hear it! >_<)

Gidget:
That was wicked. Bruce Willis is my hero. :D  

-       If the talisman was “worth millions” according to Covington earlier on, why didn’t anybody bother to get it back from the cave entrance lock and return it for a reward from where it came from and/or sold it for a tidy profit when they left?

H4H Crew: (smacks foreheads) D’oh! ;D  

-       Notice there’s an extra pilot’s hat above Rebecca and Molly in the cockpit that is almost similar to Baloo’s in the epilogue scene.  

-       Who is Rebecca referring to at the end on the Sea Duck after Baloo’s condolences over Covington ’s deceptiveness (see Funny Stuff/Quotes) “And I’ve found out that you’re all the adventure and romance I need”? Is it Baloo or Molly?

Gidget:
Exactly! Somehow I think it’s Baloo. Why would she want romance from her daughter? 0_o

jb: Not unless you want to report this to Child Welfare Services. ;P
 

 

 

      Neat Little Details

 

-       Nice dreamy effect on Rebecca’s face when Covington woos her and goes into a love-struck pose before fading to black for the forthcoming pastels-and-pink romance vignettes; the one she usually gives Baloo before she bats her eyelashes at him to get her way. What a flirt…;3

Gidget: “Flirt” is a euphemism, right?
;)

jb: Last time I checked, I think it was a noun and/or verb. ;D  

-      Molly’s shin-kicking moments throughout the episode. Hilarious! ;)  

-      Simplistic, if not slightly saccharine, nausea-inducing romance sequence that’s vivid in colour, complete with a thematic score to accompany it.  

-      As Molly’s scolded for scalding Covington with his coffee in the sidewalk café vignette, there’s a mock shameful look on her face before secretly exhibiting a wickedly satisfied grin that’s so priceless.

Gidget: “Scolding for scalding?” Scandalous! :D

jb: Try saying that six times fast!
;-)  

-      Molly’s ever-present disapproval scowl throughout the romance sequence, but more so in the Ballroom vignette where’s she made to wear that hideous pink dress and bow – and what’s with that uglified hairdo? 0_o

Gidget: What? Rebecca couldn’t get a babysitter? And putting the kid in a little boat, excluding her – I think that’s abusive!

Molly:
Why do you think I looked so P.O.’d? ;D

jb:
Calling Child Welfare Services! ;)

-       For once, Rebecca is wearing an evening gown (and matching choker) that isn’t pink. Actually, if you look at it very carefully, the design is near-similar to the Disney version of Cinderella’s ballroom gown ensemble, just minus the cocktail gloves (the long sleeves almost match), earrings and hair ribbon.

Gidget: Ugh. It’s still a hideous prom dress to me. Why can’t Rebecca dress like a grown woman instead of a little girl playing ‘Princess’?

jb: She got it on sale at The Disney Store’s costume section? ;D  

-       Covington unsheathes his claws and growling menacingly at Molly when he traps her in the apartment. It’s almost as intimidating as Shere Khan’s air-slicing talons moments. That’s really freaky stuff! 0_o  

-       Good action choreography with Molly’s escape from the apartment.  

-       Great (and real creepy) skull rendering of the mountainous rock formation on Skull Island . Brrr…0_o

 

 

Funny Stuff/Quotes

 

-      During the speedboat chase, Covington vainly inspects his fingernails, then grabs his toupee quickly before it gets blown off his scalp.  

-      Kit: Baloo! Papa Bear! Miz Cunningham is gonna have a surprise inspection.

      Baloo: (wakes up with a start) Huh? Wha? An inspection?!

      Kit: Yeah. She’ll be here any minute. And you know what she said about, “a clean plane is –”

      Baloo: “– an efficient plane.” I know, I know. We’d better git movin’, Kit boy!

   Covington hides in the garbage as Baloo and Kit busy themselves cleaning the Sea Duck.

      Baloo: Say, howja know ‘bout this inspection, anyway?

      Kit: (slyly) Uh…I “accidentally” read it on her calendar.

      Baloo: Ya mean, the very private “trespassers will be shot” calendar that she keeps locked in her desk?

      Kit: (cheerfully) That’s the one!

      Baloo: (chuckles) Heh-heh! I love that boy!  

-       Rebecca: (complains) I thought the air-freight business would be full of adventure and romance. All I get is clutter and disorder! Where’s the glamour?! Where’s the excitement?!...

      Molly:  Don’t worry, Mommy. There’s always clamour an’ incitement when Danger Woman’s on the job!  

-       Covington : (stands majestically on his speedboat, then leaps onto the deck and comes towards Rebecca) I beg your pardon, but I’m looking for a Miz Rebecca Cunningham.

      Rebecca: (automatically swoon on sight) I…I’m Rebecca Cunningham.

      Molly looks at him with instant dislike.

      Covington : Ah, Rebecca. A name for royalty and it suits you so well, my dear. My name’s Covington (ever the gentleman, kisses her hand)

      Rebecca: (blushes and simpers) Oh…my!

      Baloo: (rolls eyes) Oh, brother!

      jb: My sentiments exactly. *gag!* Do women really fall for this type of crapola?! >_<

      Gidget: That would explain the female visitors to Death Row. ;)

 

-       Covington (turns his attention to Molly and coos) Who is this darling little girl? And how did she get to be so cute?...

      Molly: You stay away from my mommy! (Kicks him in the shin)

 

-    Sometime later in Molly’s bedroom:

   Rebecca: Molly, I want to talk to you about Mister Covington…you do realize that Covington has become very special to me? (jb: How “special,” we won’t ask…;P)

      Molly: I know, Mommy. But Kara and Milly thinks he’s creepy.

      Rebecca: They want me to be happy, don’t they?

      Molly: For sure, Mommy, but…(resigned sigh) oh, they’ll try real hard to like Mister Covington.

   Rebecca: (kisses Molly happily) Oh, thank you, honey. (Leaves bedroom and closes door)

      Molly: (darkly) But I won’t. (Vows to Kara) “Creepy” isn’t getting you or my mommy.

 

-       Cool audible/visual “ting” of the fork Molly places on Covington ’s chair before he sits down.

-      Molly: (giggles after seeing Covington ’s toupee fall to the floor) Look, Kara – his haircut fell off!

 

-      As Rebecca prepares to leave to investigate the H4H “robbery”:

Covington : (kissing Rebecca’s hand) Don’t worry, my dear, I’ll have everything under control…(closing the door as she leaves, he locks it, turns to Molly and menacingly unsheathes his claws at her with a sadistic growl)…just as soon as you hand me that doll!

Gidget: This always gives me the willies…it’s frightening (if you don’t count the doll). I have to wonder at Rebecca’s willingness to leave her child with a guy that Molly finds creepy. The kid even told her so!

jb: Love can cloud your judgement, even among the smart and/or economically-dependant (not in Rebecca’s case here). Can you explain why some parents can leave their children in the care of someone who’s (potentially) abusive?

 

-       After colliding with a telephone pole, peels off and slides down to the ground after chasing Molly down the wire:

      Molly: Just wait ‘til I tell my mommy! (Scoots off down the road)

   Covington : (rises briefly and groans) Don’t six year-olds ever get tired?...(collapses again on the ground)

 

-       Confronted in the Sea Duck after he discovers the artefact and goes nose-to-nose with an angry Baloo:

      Covington : Oh, well, I… (theatrically sobbing) oh, Rebecca darling, forgive me. Molly has been kidnapped!

      Baloo: (grabs him by his lapels, growling) Kidnapped?!

      Rebecca: (remaining calm, restrains him by pulling them off each other) Baloo, I’ll handle this…(then grabs Covington , reacting in the same manner)…kidnapped?!

      Gidget: I love the way they form a united front under stress. It reminds me of the how they both yell at the mailman at the end of Your Baloo’s In the Mail when they’re crying in each other’s arms about the late lottery ticket: “Go away!” or when Kit asks in I Only Have Ice For You, “Can I fly? Can I?” They bark at him: “No!”

 

-      Covington : (dramatically) Oh, it my fault she’s gone. If only I wasn’t allergic to pain! I shall deliver it [the talisman].

      He starts to leave, but Baloo holds him back by the arm.

      Baloo: (suspiciously) Now hold it! Haven’t you been sniffin’ ‘round after this doll?

Covington : I-I have no notion what you could mean! I feel responsible for Molly, that’s all.

Rebecca: Don’t worry, Covie. We’re all going. We’d never make you do this by yourself.

Covington : (unenthusiastically) Thank you so very much.

Gidget: I love that guy. He’s slimy, but his dialogue is so much fun!

 

-      Flying to Skull Island :

Baloo: (looking down at the talisman in his hand, worried and annoyed) Why would anyone want this ugly ol’ doll, anyway?

Covington : (innocently) Sentimental value?

Gidget: LOL!


-     After escaping from a large scimitar slicing, yawning floor booby trap underneath a boiling mud pit and inadvertently swinging on a python’s tail from harm:

      Covington : I-I hope that someone somewhere is enjoying all this…

      Gidget: Do pythons have tails? They’re nothing but tail!

      jb: Flunked biology in high school, did we? ;3

 

-      Molly jumps on Covington ’s head as a stepping crossover in the boiling mud after he lands in it and then crawls exhausted to the nearest shore:

      Covington : (whimpers) No more…please, no more…

-      Trapped by Covington in a tug-of-war with the ruby idol, Molly sees her mother, Baloo and Kit unknowingly behind him, seizes the moment to expose him:

      Molly: You can’t have her [the idol]! You never loved my mommy!

      Covington : (snort derisively) Hah! Don’t make me laugh! She was just an easy way to get to you and the doll. Now give it to me!

All three bears behind him react to these cruel words with shock. Finally Covington snatches the idol and stands up triumphantly.

      Molly: No!

Rebecca: (hurt and enraged, fires off her wrath on him) Easy way? Why, you two-faced, thimble-headed, no-account…man!

      Covington : (shocked and embarrassed) Uh…Rebecca, my peach! I was only thinking of you!

      Gidget: What’s that supposed to mean?

      jb: He meant...“Easy like Sunday morning” ? (Worked for Lionel Richie) J

      Rebecca: (fold arms across her chest) Oh? Hah! And what about your partners?

Covington : (contemptuously) Those hairy imbeciles? Oh, I could lose them in a phone booth!

      Zoot Suit: (tackles Covington with Arnold ) Surprise, “partner!”

The ruby idol slips from Covington ’s hands and it falls into a lava pit. The badgers look at him furiously.

      Covington : (weakly pleads) Gentlemen, please! It was a just a joke! Can’t you take a joke?

      Zoot Suit: (grabs Covington and snarls) The question is – can you take it?

      Arnold : Yeah!

 

-       Baloo: (picks up Covington ’s toupee after the crooks haul him off) Too bad these things don’t come with brains!

      Gidget: LOL! I love that line!

 

-       Molly: Aw, Mommy, you shouldn’t have been scared. Danger Woman always wins. But I’m sorry you didn’t get the millions.

      Gidget (as Rebecca): Yeah, me too.

Baloo: (chuckles bitterly) Yeah, an’ I’m sorry that Covington cat turned out ta be so low-downed an’ dog-dirty!

Rebecca: (smiling gratefully at him) Thank you, Baloo…but I got what I wanted. And I’ve found out that you’re all the adventure and romance I need.

   

 

Commentary

 

   Writers Alan Burnett and Eric Lewald with episode producer/director Jamie Mitchell did practically would be the most impossible mission of all to accomplish in the Tale Spin fandom: actually come up with the best Molly story in the entire series. Among the coterie of TS villains, the suave and prissy Covington poses as a well-heeled and cultured suitor with a concealed mean streak as he wines and dines Rebecca and tolerates Molly’s antics, yet is offended at the very thought that a child could outsmart him easily. It’s mainly ego and greed that leads to his downfall – from his overconfidence in cheating his partners; the fact that he can’t keep himself from blurting hurtful confessions and his uppity attitude (almost as bad as Her Chance to Dream’s Captain William Stansbury) over those whose manners, intellect and refinement doesn’t match to his own level like Baloo’s messiness of the Sea Duck to the perceived belief that the badgers wouldn’t appreciate the true value of the talisman and its treasure that would have been flittered away on impractical things while the wealth he would use on more sensible things…namely himself. So therefore, nobody really feels sorry for him when he gets him comeuppance at the end.  

   Molly truly shines here in every way – she thinks very quickly on her feet in outwitting her mother’s faux boyfriend and his partners. She demonstrates a protective side, like most children of single parents do when she tries to make Rebecca sees that Covington is not what he seems. However, she realizes that as a child, she hasn’t the power to tell her mother what to do and feels helpless, but is determined to save her.  

   One of the best aspects in Molly Coddled is the firm establishment of the surrogate father figure Molly sees in Baloo when she excitedly charges up to him during the Sea Duck’s surprise inspection being playful with her when she tells him she’s “here to inspect my secret headquarters,” that her mother dismisses as silly child’s play. When Covington shows up and sweeps Rebecca off her feet, she sees him as a threat to her already-chosen male role model and fears that he would be replaced. Here Baloo displays a paternalistic, unconditional love for the little girl when he nonchalantly allows her to keep the wooden talisman as a doll; the feral rage he shows when he later confronts Covington in the seaplane (Rebecca actually has to hold him back!); reacting with instinctive parental rage when he’s told Molly has been kidnapped and his suspicions about the shady beau that you can feel his anger, rather than from his employer. He’s also more observant about Molly as if she was his own flesh-and-blood daughter, a touching characteristic seen in other episodes Plunder and Lightning – Part  2; Jolly Molly Christmas; Flight of the Snow Duck; From Here to Machinery and in the comic book, F’reeze A Jolly Good Fellow!.

Gidget: Baloo is scary when he’s mad. In Save the Tiger, when Rebecca confesses that she sold the Sea Duck for the ransom money, his expression darkens and he makes a fist. He really looked like he was going to hit her!  

   Rebecca’s role seems a bit secondary here with her penchant for sophisticated (and financially-secure) gentlemen to make better mates with as the hopeless romantic mode in her kicks in to the point of ignoring Molly’s – and on a much lesser level, Baloo’s – reservations about Covington and doesn’t add too much to it, otherwise. This episode must have taken place in a short time after the events of Plunder and Lightning as she complains over the fact of running an independent business that promises travel and adventure has (momentarily) lost its appeal, feeling the burdens of responsibility and confesses her own loneliness in a roundabout way until “Mr. Right” just happens to show up that Covington caters to that need easily (seen also in Her Chance to Dream). Eventually she realizes her selfishness when Molly gets abducted and appreciates the fact that family does mean more to her, from her biological and extended ones at Higher for Hire.

Gidget: Practically the same lesson she learns in Her Chance to Dream. No matter how much she wishes to be with her handsome sea captain for all eternity, that little blue hair ribbon ties her to everything she holds dear.  

   The other thing examined subtly here is the B&B relationship. Although he is baffled by Rebecca’s questionable taste in men, Baloo really doesn’t show much jealousy over her attraction for Covington , other than getting disgusted with the effusive charm showered on his employer with by the jaguar and the suspicions he has about him; yet he knows her personal life is none of his business. It’s treated more as an afterthought until the end of the episode when he insincerely offers condolences that Covington “turned out ta be so low-downed an’ dog-dirty,” looking like he’s somewhat pleased that he’d been right about him all along and not just because of Molly’s dislike for him. Did some feelings for Rebecca surface here? There is that possibility to consider.  

   If there’s anything discerning about Molly Coddled it’s when Covington reveals the artefact’s worth to Molly, to which the girl replies: “Millions? My Mommy needs millions more than you do!” and spends the rest of the episode securing Kara in the hope that the wealth promised it will safely pass into her mother’s care. This is a bizarre behaviour for her to adopt, considering her charitable side shown in Jolly Molly Christmas to disregard her own wants for those of others. Is this a learned trait she’s picked up from Rebecca’s materialistic needs and occasional selfishness or just basically the universal credo of the do-gooder “Danger Woman” role that exemplifies of selflessly giving to the well-deserving rather than those who’s hearts are filled with greed (like the villains in here) that Molly feels obliged to establish as a “crime fighter” and good citizen? She even apologizes to her mother at the end for failing to secure the ruby idol, even though Rebecca dismisses that as unimportant.

   Gidget: That’s an interesting point. Molly may well have learned her more generous behaviour from Danger Woman. You know, this is the first time I’ve seen Rebecca not go off the deep end over a jewel. I would have liked her to go a little nuts, Daffy Duck-style, like she did over truffles in The Bigger They Are…

jb: As materialistic as she is, I’ve never known Rebecca go gaga over jewels in particular to treasure, as it’s always been a bone of contention between her and Baloo in the past. Besides, a) she’s more worried over Molly so that’s inconsequential at this point and b) it would show she’s a poor excuse for a mother if she placed riches over her own child (hadn’t she learn that lesson in this episode already?).

Gidget: Yeah, but it is fun to watch. ;)  

   On a similar footnote: even treasure-crazy Baloo eschews the thought of treasure-hunting pastime – again clueless to the doll’s importance – for the sake of Molly’s safety, putting aside his own personal pursuits which deepens the father/daughter relationship further.

   Gidget: Aw…I think I gonna puke up my cornflakes. ;) But seriously, you do have a point. Their bond is a lovely thing, though different from the primary bond he shares with the Kit-ster.

 

   Molly Coddled gets four out of five Krakatoa Specials since the things that keep it from earning more points is that some animation designs could have been better (that awful pink dress and ‘do on Molly during the ballroom vignette – ugh! What a fashion casualty! >_<); the depiction of child endangerment and kidnapping of Molly in the apartment and at Skull Island, plus it never mentions any kind of history or legend behind the treasure to explain its significance, compared to other archaeology/treasure-related episodes of For Whom The Bell Klangs; Polly Wants A Treasure; In Search of Ancient Blunders and The Idol Rich that would have given it a more in-depth background

Gidget: Yeah, I’d give it four Krakatoas too, for the same reasons you describe. The treasure doesn’t give enough of a build-up to warrant all this trouble. I’m frankly surprised that the dainty Covie leaves the house to look for it. That guy should live in a plastic bubble so he doesn’t kill himself mailing a letter.

      jb: Are you kidding? He probably would go into a coma if he paper-cut himself just licking the edge of the envelope! ;D  

   On the whole, it’s an excellent package of an (ill-fated) romance/chase/adventurous comedy even Mollyphobes would find entertaining as one of TS’s best episodes that could have explored more of her potential as herself and/or “Danger Woman” had the writers been allowed to be a bit more creative that just making a fluffy character to show Rebecca’s gentler nature, as our young heroine would put it Batman TV narrator-style:  

Molly: Yeah? Just wait ‘til you tune in next week – same Danger-time, same Danger-channel!

Rebecca: (chuckles) I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Gidget: For a billion shaboozies maybe, but not the world! ;)

   

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