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"Tag Team"

Episode 05

Airdate: 1974/10/05
Writer: Norman Spinrad
Director: Dennis Steinmetz

The Marshalls' attempts to exploit Dopey as their beast of burden just aren't working well; though Holly asks for them to give the baby brontosaur another chance, Dad "fires" him. Before Dopey can decide to follow them around again, they push their cart away.

Not after long, the family stops at a giant carrot patch to harvest a few. Dad slings a rope over an outstretched tree branch; Will ties the other end to a carrot top. Dad and Holly pull down on the rope, while Will pulls up on the other end, and after some struggling, they manage to unearth the three-foot long orange root. When Dad mentions that he knows of a turnip patch about 50 yards away, Holly whines that she doesn't like any of these vegetables, but her father reminds her that it certainly beats starving.

After the three of them go to fetch a basketball-sized turnip, they return to find that their carrot has been stolen off their cart! They decide to replace it with another turnip, but after leaving the cart unguarded, they witness the first one being pilfered by the Pakuni. The family chases after the monkey people, who dash off through the jungle. Meanwhile, hungry little Dopey, grazing nearby, accidentally nips at Grumpy's foot and gets chased himself.

The Marshalls catch up with the bumbling Pakuni, with Will demanding the rightful return of their vegetables. The largest one shouts back in his own tongue, defiantly refusing. Dad attempts to shout them down, screaming at them as loud as he can, but it doesn't work. Their dispute, however is interrupted when Dopey barges through at top speed as he flees from Grumpy. Everyone soon sees the approaching Tyrannosaur, sending them all on the run. Holly points out that they can't outrun the carnivorous beast, but luckily come to a fork in the path. Unintentionally, they split up: the Marshalls and Cha-Ka head toward denser jungle, while the other Pakuni run along the shoreline of the swamp. Grumpy stands halted at the fork, confused and roaring in both directions, though Cha-Ka, upon seeing his own kind over by the water, sprints straight over toward them.

When the tyrant lizard begins chasing the little Paku, Holly runs after the beast to create a diversion; Will soon joins her, too. They manage to pull away Grumpy's attention, and end up getting chased themselves. Cha-Ka then comes to their rescue, distracting the huge predator; again the chase flip-flops. Holly observes that they can't keep this up indefinitely -- they've got to get rid of Grumpy somehow. When Will sarcastically proposes pushing the beast over a cliff, Holly points out the crevasse across the meadow. Will considers it too far away at first, but then decides to give it a try, declaring a game of "tag". After Cha-Ka falls, Grumpy reaches down to gobble him up, but the kids save their Pakuni friend just in time by nailing the beast with their thrown spears. Will, Holly and Cha-Ka escape for the moment; meanwhile Dad bumps into the other Pakuni and joins them in the chase after their respective family members.

Cha-Ka and the children come upon another fork, this one near the crevasse; Will heads one way, while Holly and the Pakuni boy go the other. They all taunt Grumpy, who is stuck at the branch in the path and utterly confused. To everyone's surprise, all of this ruckus has drawn Big Alice's attention; she stands bellowing just across the chasm, at the boundary of her own territory. Will sassingly proposes that the two great beasts "have a little fight", but he's bit off more than he can chew when Grumpy charges, trapping the kids between the angry T-Rex and the crevasse. Cha-Ka and the kids slide down into a crevice to the chasm, which brings them to a ledge about 20 feet below.

To get out of their predicament, Will suggests three alternatives: climbing out to play more tag with Grumpy, jumping off the ledge in hopes of landing in the river below, or simply staying put until Grumpy and Big Alice grow tired and go away. Cha-Ka doesn't like the first idea, Holly doesn't like the second, and with the arrival of Dad and the other Pakuni, they may not have to settle for the third, either. While hiding behind a large rock along the bluff face, Dad tries to explain to the Pakuni (the female identifies herself as "Sa" while "Ta" is never introduced; it must have been edited out) that he'll need a diversion while he pulls the kids up from the ledge with his rope, but the furry monkey-people just don't understand. Dad courageously tries anyway, hoping that Sa and her friend will figure it out (which of course they do). Grumpy chases after the two Pakuni, giving Dad just enough time to pull Holly, Cha-Ka, and Will out. The Marshalls and the little Paku briefly hide behind the large rock, then head back to get their vegetables. The two beasts continue their shouting match; Cha-Ka's companions are nowhere in sight.

The family runs into Ta and Sa back in the jungle; the larger two Pakuni still treat the humans in a hostile manner. Cha-Ka insists that the Marshalls are friends, and with a little coaxing Ta accepts Dad's outstretched arm for a handshake. After Will spots their stolen carrot stashed in the brush nearby, Dad decides to teach the Pakuni how to harvest their own vegetables, and leads everyone over to the carrot patch.

Back by the cart, Ta tries to pull the confiscated carrot from Will's arms and falls back with the huge orange root laying across his chest after Will lets go. Before Ta can get up, Dopey chomps down on the carrot; the brontosaur's neck and jaw moving like a steam shovel as it picks its up pivots over to place the carrot on the cart. The Marshalls demonstrate how to use a rope and tree branch to uproot the giant vegetables, and with a little guidance, Ta, Sa, and Cha-Ka learn how to pick their own. Ta gestures "amura" from his heart, offering his friendship to the family; with each clan holding their own harvest, everyone treks home for dinner.

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