GIDGET’S TALESPIN REVIEW

Save the Tiger

5 out of 5 Krakatoa Specials

Summary

Khan's private plane malfunctions and is about to crash and nearly collides into the Sea Duck.   Baloo responds to the distress call and helps the falling plane to land safely on a remote island.   In gratitude, Khan offers Baloo whatever he wants.   The pilot protests at first, but when prodded, he stammers that he wouldn't mind buying the Sea Duck, some gas... "and maybe one of them air fresheners?"

"Take all the time you need.  Only one stipulation --- you must keep our little arrangement a secret.  I may be indebted, but I don't want it known to everyone."
Gidget as Baloo:  "Oh, is that what you call it?  An 'arrangement'?  You brute!"

Later, Rebecca sees a brand new ice box in the office and demands to know where Baloo got it.
Baloo stammers, "I, um... bought it?"
Rebecca folds her arms.  "With what?"
Molly pipes up, "Did you find some money, Baloo?  I found a quarter in the gutter once."
Relieved, he smiles.  "Yeah, that's it... I found it in the gutter."
Rebecca scowls.  "Which was probably where you were all day instead of delivering cargo."
"Hey!  I was on time... uh, before I got late."

The tycoon is as good as his word.  With $50,000 in a briefcase, Baloo buys back the Sea Duck from Rebecca, claiming the money is an inheritance from a favorite uncle.  He quits H4H and bids Rebecca farewell, although Kit says in surprise, "But you two are friends!"
The pilot gathers both in a group hug.  "Aw, we'll still be friends!  It's not like I'm movin' to the other side of the world.  Just the other side of the tracks!"

At first Baloo is intimidated by the grandeur of Khan's opulent office, too timid to really come up with any real requests.  Then the tiger's words come back to haunt him. 

"Well, you said I could take all the time I needed."
Khan (sighs):  So I did."
Baloo:  "Great!  Then I'll be back tomorrow." 

The next day, Baloo innocently tortures Khan for hours by reading a long wish list, keeping him from getting any work done.  that Khan, of course, has had enough and makes a call.  "Send in Garth.  I have a job.  I do deplore pests!"
Gidget:  Or Mrs. Snarly.  She'd make a great goon! 
Cody:  I love Mrs. Snarly.  She’s cool.

While Baloo and Kit are living high on the hog, Rebecca's business suffers.  She hires a neurotic former crop duster, only to find that he flies dangerously low and has a host of phobias, including strawberries.  He's even more unreliable than Baloo and he causes them to lose customers at an alarming pace.  He quits, leaving her in the lurch.  At least Baloo always tried to fix his screw-ups.  She's starting to really miss him. 
Cody:  It’s not him she misses.  It’s the Sea Duck. ;)

At first Kit enjoys the wealth, but he starts to miss Rebecca and urges his friend to visit her.  
"Know what I'd really like to do?" Kit muses wistfully.  "Visit Miz Cunningham."
Baloo is barely listening. "Who?"
"Rebecca... your ex-boss."
"Oh, yeah, I kinda miss ol' what's-her-name too.  Let's invite her to my party." (He likes to celebrate his birthday every hour) 
Cody:  LOL!  I loved that.  Ol’ Beckers is real memorable, ain’t she?
 

When they get to H4H, they find the place in shambles from Joe's reckless flying and rotting strawberries on the docks.   
"Baloo!" squeals Molly, running up to the big pilot, who sweeps her up in his arms.
"Hiya, sweetcakes!  How ya doin', Beckers?"
"Why, I'm doing fine, Baloo.  Though I'm kind of looking for a pilot."
Self-centered Baloo can never take a hint, much to Kit's disgust.  "Well, good luck.  There's plenty of them out there."
Kit tries to ask questions, but she's too proud to ask for help and Baloo is too oblivious to the dilapidation of H4H to offer.
Baloo:  "So, ya wanna come to my next birthday party?  It starts in fifteen minutes."
"Thanks, Baloo, but I'm not much in the partying mood."
He shrugs.  "Aw, some people have no sense of priorities.  Let's go, Kit."
Kit reluctantly follows him as they leave the girls to an uncertain future.

Meanwhile, upon Khan’s orders, Garth, a scruffy gray panther and his partner, a short-but-tough unnamed tiger, kidnap Baloo in order to teach the pilot a lesson about greed.  Baloo is bound to a chair and is very hard to control, chair-hopping on the unnamed tiger’s foot and making him yell. Garth is the taller, more urbane one and obviously the second-in-command.  However, he narrowly escapes getting his kneecaps broken during a telephone conversation with his ominous boss when he yells at Baloo to shut up.
"Oh no, not you, sir.  Yes sir, I like my knees very much, sir!"

When they receive the ransom note demanding $200,000, Rebecca and Kit manage to raise the money, with just enough to put them over the top.  When they go to the alley to make the drop, Kit struggles with the bag of loot, tripping over a conveniently discarded mattress.

Rebecca scolds him. “Shh!  You wanna scare away the kidnapper?”
“Sorry!  But all of Molly’s pennies are heavy.”

They see a shabbily dressed canine searching through trashcans for food and assume he’s the kidnapper.  Through a misunderstanding, Kit gives the hobo the ransom money!

Garth emerges from the shadows.   “You got the money?”
Realizing their error, Kit excuses himself and off-screen, roughly recovers the money (we hear the hobo’s loud, sobbing
protests “No!  My fish sticks!”)

Rebecca snaps,  "It’s all there!  Now where’s Baloo?”

But before Garth can answer, Baloo escapes his partner from on top of a low bridge, blindfolded and still bound to the chair --- and hops off the bridge, shouting, “You’re not takin’ me alive!”  He lands on a motorboat, accidentally knocks the ‘on’ lever and lurches forward, unable to control it.
Gidget:  The boat, right? 
Cody:  Man, I hope so.

Lassoing Baloo with a rope and unfurling his air foil, Kit and Rebecca are both dragged a short distance like water skiers behind the runaway boat, narrowing missing slamming into a low bridge.  The rope snaps and they both land in the water.  The pilot manages to free himself from his bonds, but now he’s about to collide with a barge!  Climbing onto a rowboat, Rebecca thinks fast and grabs an abandoned fishing rod and casts it --- fly-fishing style --- hooking Baloo’s collar.   She reels him in and Kit helps him aboard just as his boat hits the barge and explodes.
Gidget (as Rebecca):  Well, that’s one way to catch a husband.

Baloo is grateful to her for saving his life.  “Hey, thanks, Beckers!  You really saved my anchovies!”
Kit tells him, “You don’t know the half of it.  Miz Cunningham sold the Sea Duck for the ransom money.”
Gidget as Rebecca:  “Squealer.”

The big pilot is incensed.  “You… sold the Sea Duck?”
(he makes a fist and Rebecca actually looks terrified of him).
Kit adds, “And Higher for Hire.”
“What?”  This so surprises Baloo that he forgets his anger.
Rebecca tries to act brave.  “Hey, I was getting tired of the silly old business anyway.” (sniffs and wipes her eyes) “Now look at me --- all this running around in the wet night air --- I’ve caught a cold.”

They dock and Baloo ties up the boat.  He leaves them, saying, “Now wait one second… there’s someone I have to see!”

Shere Khan is drafting a contract when Baloo arrives.  “I was expecting you fifteen minutes ago.”
“I gotta ask you another favor.”
Khan’s tone is casual, but there is undeniably an undercurrent of menace in it.  “And this is the last one… correct?”
“I just want everything back the way it was.”
Khan hands him an envelope. “There you are.”
Baloo is confused. “What’s this?”
“Everything the way it was,” Khan answers.
“Oh yeah.  I guess I should be on my way.”
“Yes.  A wise decision.”

As soon as Baloo leaves, Garth and his associate, now attired in expensive business suits, emerge from Khan’s jungle of plants.  They’d heard the whole thing.

Garth is jubilant.  “He didn’t suspect a thing.  Thought we were real kidnappers.”
His tiger partner adds to Khan, “You taught him a lesson he’ll never forget.  But why not just bump him off?”
“I always pay my debts and I never go back on a deal,” Khan sternly answers.  He takes out his pocket watch and adds in a pleased tone, “And this one is…ten minutes ahead of schedule.  Now, shall we move onto more important matters?”
Then, dramatically swiveling his chair like a vampire’s cape, he turns his back and disappears from view.
 

The next morning, as Rebecca prepares to board a taxi and leave the now-empty office, Kit tries to comfort her. “I’m really sorry, Miz Cunningham.  But at least we got Baloo back.”
Gidget as Rebecca:  Let’s see… I lost my business and my airplane, but at least I’ve got a fat lazy pilot as consolation.  Greeeeat.” (starts to cry)

Cody:  LOL!  I know I would.

Baloo runs up to them, just before Rebecca is about to leave. “Hold on!  Hold on!”
Panting, he hands her the envelope. “This is for you, Becky.”
She opens it, her brow furrowing.  “I don’t understand… i’s the deed to Higher for Hire.”
“Yeah that’s right --- it’s all yours --- along with the Sea Duck.”
Kit asks him, “But where’d you get it?”
“I can’t say.  But it’s all perfectly legal.  You know me…”
Rebecca crosses her arms and gives him a look.
Baloo shifts uncomfortably.  “Well, anyway, it’s still perfectly legal.”
“But… why?”
“Because I owe you everything.”
“Aw, you’d do the same for me… right?”  She playfully jabs him in the stomach.
He flinches, but his reply is sincere as the three of them walk back to the office together.  “I would now… I would now.”




Quibbles and Bits

When Baloo and Kit visit Rebecca at H4H in a fancy limo, why is Baloo driving?  According to A Wing and a Bear, he never earned his driver's license. 
Cody:  It’s ‘cause he’s rich.  Rich people don’t have to follow the something as plebian as rules, y’know.

When the goons kidnap him, how'd they get a sack over his head?  He's taller than both of them and it wouldn't be a loose fit.  Also, there’s no way he’d be able to make that chair hop all over the place.

Kit seems shorter in this episode, like about Molly’s height when standing next to Rebecca during the “but I’m only a kid” scene. 
Cody:
 I noticed that, too!  She had to kneel to be face-to-face with him!

Rebecca is terrified of rats in The Incredible Shrinking Molly.  So how come she just flinches when she sees one in the alley?  I know she doesn’t want to scare away the kidnapper, but she’s got a major phobia here. 
Cody:  Plot hole, anyone?

When blindfolded
Baloo chair-hops off the bridge onto the motorboat, the fall would have broken several bones.  And even if the boat wasn’t there, he would have plunged into the water and drowned, since he was tied up. 
Cody:
  Naah.  He’s well insulated and buoyant.

I don’t like the implied violence when Baloo makes that fist after he hears that Rebecca sold the Sea Duck.  He really looks like he’s about punch her lights out!  He did the same thing when arguing with her in P&L just before Molly climbs through the window, asking, “Mommy, do I still have to stay in the car?”

Baloo, Kit and Rebecca all get drenched.  After Rebecca swats the excess water from Baloo’s hair, everybody is completely dry.  Then Baloo goes to Khan’s office to request that he change things back; as he’s talking, Baloo keeps shaking off water --- in fact, more water than he had after he was rescued and pulled
into the boat!

Garth says that Baloo didn’t suspect a thing.  But when Rebecca asks the pilot about the envelope, he clams up as if he knows.  Besides, if Khan gave him an envelope returning H4H and the Duck, wouldn’t he put two and two together? 
Cody:  This is Baloo we’re talking about, here.



Neat Little Details

The pilots flying the Khan craft are probably the same guys who Douglas Benson used to attack Louie's island in Louie's Last Stand.

When he quits H4H, claiming that "Strawberries give me the willies,"  Joe the Barber climbs back aboard his plane and hooks an umbrella in the door handle, as if he's afraid of touching it.  Although I remember Baloo closing the door in a similar way in some episode.  Maybe All's Whale That Ends Whale. 

The money changes Baloo:
T
he Sea Duck is Painted white with racing stripes and a tennis net is set up across the wingspan.
Baloo starts wearing a blue tux, top hat and a monocle.  

The hobo in the alley is wearing a big cooking pot on his head.
Gidget:  A senior member of the Jungle Aces? 
Cody:  (as Kit) Hey!  I thought I told you the meeting wasn’t till tomorrow at midnight!


Funny Stuff

Baloo keeps spilling all those bottles of soda, leaving a pile of recycling in the cockpit!

Khan's 'yes-man' (the gangly tiger who attends to all of Khan's personal needs): 
-dusts off the platform before Khan disembarks
-opens and holds his watch for him

-Baloo holds Khan hostage in his own office, writing down a wish list. 
In the beginning, he starts with a simple request:  The Sea Duck, gas, ice box (stocked with soda pop), bottle opener, air fresheners
Gidget: After the gas, an air freshener is definitely in order! 
Cody:  Yeah, between the gas and his natural BO, he needs to hang air fresheners off his ears.

Then he gets greedy...
Baloo:  "I think I'll start with a set of trains, a rolly-coaster, a platypus, a purple kite, 7 snakes, a pinball machines, and carton of chewing gum."
Khan:  "Granted.  Is that it?"
Baloo (incredulously):  "It?  I haven't even warmed up yet!  A monogrammed hammock, 2 pairs of snowshoes, a blue kazoo, a bag of goobers, 1000 ping pong balls...

(At this point, the sun goes down and they're still in Khan's office.  By now
, poor Khan looks like he's about to have a stroke.)
Baloo:  ... a peck of pickled peppers, 12 dozen snorkels, an electric bow tie, 2 baseball bats --- one for each team --- 100 pairs of wax lips --- no --- 200 pairs of wax lips... boy, my mouth is dry.  Whew, askin' for stuff is hard work.  I'll break and be back tomorrow with more."
Gidget:  Then Khan reaches into his desk drawer and takes out a gun to end it all... 
Cody: 
LOL!  I could see it.  Then, he’d make his yes-man clean up the mess.


Unlike his friend, Kit isn't enjoying the rich life; he's in hell.  He narrowly escapes getting beheaded by a speeding tennis ball.   And he has to listen to that damned
song 'I'm Gone' over and over...
"Spin it again, ol' buddy o’ mine.  That song makes my feet happy." 
Cody:  (as Kit) Yeah, I’ll spin it again.  Spin it right into the bay and you with it.

Baloo proudly opens a door on the Duck and lets all his new toys fall out. "Boy, I love havin' all this stuff."  Notices that Kit is missing.  "Kit?  Kit, where'd ya go?"
The boy pops out from under the pile of junk, looking dazed.
Of course, the pilot doesn't realize that he did the burying. "Hey, good idea.  Maybe we can play hide-and-go-peep."

Kit tries to shame him into helping Rebecca with her money problems
"Baloo, you gotta help Miz Cunningham!"
"She said everything was hunky-dory."
"But you saw the place!"

"I gave her fifty G's, even invited her to my party.  What's the big deal?  Just because I'm the galoot with the loot!"
While he's talking, Baloo plays with a ball-and-paddle and accidentally whacks himself in the head.  "Ow!  Hmmm... must be defective." 
Cody:
*snorts* Idiot.



Quotes

Baloo:

When he's nearly sideswiped by Khan's falling plane:  "Sunday flyer!"

"Hey, do you know who you are?  You're Khan!"

Khan checks his watch.  "At this moment, Khan Industries is worth $3.7 billion dollars."
Baloo checks his own watch. "Hmmm... my watch must be runnin' a few thousand slow." 
Cody:
  *taps her watch* I want one of Khan’s watches!


"Where do you think you're going, mister?  Baloo!  I'm yelling at you, Baloo!"
She follows him past Molly and Kit, who are playing dolls. 
Cody:  Oh, no!  Kit’s being—girlified!!
Molly asks Kit, "Is Mommy mad at Baloo?"
"No, she really likes him.  And he really likes her.”  He glances over his shoulder, distracted by the yelling and door slamming. “There's just times they like each other better than others."
 

After the shouting match, we hear the door slam... then silence.  It is never made clear whether the door was slammed in Becky's face or after they both go into the bedroom.  (evil grin) 
Cody: *groans* Don’t even go there.


Explains his sudden 'inheritance' by glancing at an idle vacuum cleaner.  Yet another fictional 'relative':  Uncle Happy Huey Hartley Hoover.  
"But enough with the past.  Oh baby, now that I'm an heiress I'm gonna take the Duck and fly!"
Rebecca is surprised.  "You're going to quit Higher for Hire?"
"I'm gonna do all the things I've only dreamed of --- like nothin' --- and I plan to work at it every day!" 
Cody: 
An heiress, huh?  I always knew there was something odd about that bear…

Baloo goes down Khan's elevator, chuckling to himself, oblivious to the fact that the cage is bugged:
"I never figured Khan so dumb as to promise someone anything he wants!  Sometimes I don't think he's playin' with a full deck of marbles!"
Furious at his predicament and being laughed at, Khan rakes the desk, no doubt wishing it was the pilot's face. 
Cody:
(as Khan) Take that, Mr. Balloon.

Arrives at Khan's office, ready to make requests.
"Hey, just the typhoon I'm lookin' for!"

"Hey, isn't it grand bein' rich?  They're right... money does buy happiness!"

The cuckoo clock strikes three.  Baloo is pleased.  "Oh, look, it's time for another birthday!"
Kit:  "But you've already had four birthday parties, Baloo."
"Yeah!  If I keep this up I'll be old before my time!"

Baloo: "After you."
Kit:  "Nono... after you."
Baloo: "After you..."
Kit: "Nono... after you."
 


Khan:  

Khan is displeased with Baloo's tardiness for their meeting:
"I thought you'd be here ten minutes ago.  Sit."
"I woulda been here earlier, but I had trouble with my tie."
"How dreadfully uninteresting."

"My motto is, always repay your debts and never break a deal." 
Cody:
  Khan is so cool.


Kit:

Rebecca (sadly):  “There’s still one thing that hasn’t been sold.”
Kit (panicked):  “But I’m only a kid!”
Rebecca:  “No, Kit.”
Kit:  “But what else is there left to sell?”
Rebecca:  “Higher for Hire.” 
Cody:
  I laugh every time I hear that exchange.

Kit:  “Excuse me, mister… but I think I have what you’re looking for?”
Hobo:  “Fish sticks?  Mmmm!”
Kit:  “No.  $200,000.”
Hobo:  “Oh yes!  Yesyesyesyesyes!  This’ll buy a lot of fish sticks!”


Rebecca:

Meets Joe the 'Barber':
"Crop duster, ma'am.  Had to give it up... my nerves." 
"Well, in the future I'll expect you to fly... higher!"
"Can't.  I've got this pesky fear of heights.  I suppose I could wear a blindfold---!"
"Blindfold!"
"You're right.  Got this pesky fear of the dark too."
"Is there anything else you're afraid of?" 
Cody:
  Don’t you love her stunned, “Oh my God, what have I gotten myself into?” look here? 
"Not really.  But you don't have any platypuses around here, do ya?"
Rebecca shakes her head no.
As he walks away, muttering, "Good.  I just hate platypuses..." Molly speaks up.
"Mommy, I miss Baloo."
"Oh, me too, Molly.  Me too."


After causing H4H to lose 3 customers in one week, the 'Barber' quits:
"Sorry, lady.  But you never told me I'd be delivering strawberries."
Rebecca picks one out of the crate, mystified.  "But that's just cargo!"
"Strawberries give me the willies."  He climbs back aboard his plane. "Joe's gotta draw the line somewhere."



Commentary

Gidget:  I'll bet Rebecca never dreamed that there's a worse employee than her lazy bum of a pilot, but then she meets Joe, the multi-phobic former crop duster pilot who's afraid of heights, among other things.  He's a fun one-shot character.  

Cody:
  Oh, he’s a trip.  It was hysterical that he came so highly recommended, yet was an incompetent wuss.  Garth was cool, too.  There’s just something about hit men…I love a man who can take care of business. ;)  Anyway, I’d have to disagree with your rating.  This is an entertaining episode, but it doesn’t really stick out in my mind enough to make me give it the full five Krackatoas.  I’d give it a four.

Gidget:  The animation is gorgeous --- brilliant colors, attractively drawn characters (compare this ep to the hideous way Baloo is drawn in P&L, for example).  Rebecca has a pretty face too. 

Cody:  Really?  I didn’t notice.
J

Gidget:  This is also a perfect example of Shere Khan’s ambiguity.  He won’t be taken advantage of and he’s ruthless in the way he teaches Baloo that lesson.  But he also knows that the pilot doesn’t mean any harm.  Baloo didn’t purposely search for a loophole in their ‘deal’ and then blackmail him --- he just took the wording at face value and too late, Khan realized his mistake.  Khan doesn’t screw up often, but when he does, it’s because he underestimates people, namely Kit and Baloo.  Kit is a kid, so the tiger was surprised and impressed when he moved the dynamite in Louie’s Last Stand.  Baloo he considers a harmless buffoon.   Baloo’s like a kid in a toy store and just gets carried away.  Khan is furious when he overhears Baloo gloating in the elevator, but he never lets his anger impair his judgment.  Instead, he plans an ingenious way to stop the gravy train and return things to normal without loss of face.

Cody:  Total agreement.  This is probably Khan’s best episode.  He’s not a passive tycoon who got where he was on inheritance.  He’s shrewd, manipulative, and nobody’s fool.  He does whatever it takes to get what he wants and that makes him an intriguing character—one who’s morally ambiguous.  I’ve always wondered what his background was like to make him the way he is.

Gidget:  More importantly, Baloo again realizes what a good friend he has in Rebecca when she unselfishly gives up H4H to save him.  It’s more than he would have done for her, and it changes their relationship to one of mutual appreciation.

March 2003


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