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"The Hole"

Episode 09

Airdate: 1974/11/02
Writer: Wina Sturgeon
Director: Dennis Steinmetz

When Dad and Will arrive at the quiet plaza of the Lost City, Big Alice appears to have gone out hunting. Dad still warns Will about the dangers of the Sleestak, and urges that they get into the city before the allosaur returns. They have nearly reached the central cave entrance when Big Alice shows up at the other end of the plaza. Will was sure that the beast had been out hunting, so Dad reminds him not to make assumptions when their survival is at stake. After Dad also reminds his son to watch out for the Sleestak, Will asks his father about their chances of opening the time doorway. Dad cannot make any guarantees, but stresses that they simply have to keep trying. They make no haste as they head for Enik's cave.

Back in the Marshall's cave, Holly grumbles about being left behind to do housework. She sets down her broom for a moment to remember her pet horse Comanchee, fretting that she would rather be in the company of horses than dinosaurs, when at that very moment Dopey squawks outside. She steps out of the cave to find her baby brontosaur friend hiding in the bushes, so she assures him that he can come out safely and climbs down to greet him. With a sly smile and approving tone of voice, she gently asks her friend why he is not down at the swamp where he is safe from Grumpy. Since she has a soft spot in her heart for the mischievous little brontosaur, she allows him to stay if he will stay quiet.

As the Marshall men move cautiously through the Lost City's tunnels, Dad suggests they peek into the Sleestak Pit room just ahead to see if any are around. Will doesn't understand why they should take such a risk until Dad explains that they will be better finding out now than to get trapped again in Enik's cave. The chamber appears empty, even the god of the pit is quiet, but as they leave the room, a Sleestak shows up. Dad commands his son to run for dear life while he attempts to hold off the creature. He grapples the green giant, who has the advantage, and soon is hurled into the foggy pit. (You can tell that a mattress hides just below the fog, since Dad's foot bounces back up just after he falls in.)

Down in the foggy pit, Dad is lucky to be unhurt, but just after getting up on his feet, a Sleestak shuffles ominously toward him. Dad pulls out his knife in self defense, but the Sleestak addresses him, "put down your weapon, Rick Marshall". Dad is surprised not only that the creature can speak, but that he knows his name as well. The Sleestak conveys in his wise, gentle voice that any battle would be pointless since they will both be dead soon regardless. He goes on to identify the roar as their god, and the pit as the Hole of No Return. Dad is suspicious and defensive, questioning how the creature knows his name and language; the Sleestak replies that his people know more than Dad thinks. The creature explains that in the past, many humans have come to their City, though all of them have either disappeared or died. Dad angrily states that he is not about to die, that he will work to find a way out of the pit. The Sleestak agrees that it would be nice to go on living, but notes that only once did someone escape from the Hole. Dad then asks how the escape was pulled off, but the creature does not know; it is only a Sleestak legend that supposedly happened before the new god was hatched. Just then, at the top of the pit, Will peeks into the room, calling out to his father, where Dad lets him know his location. Will wants to know what the Sleestak god looks like, but Dad informs Will instead that he is in the company of a Sleestak. Without even explaining, Dad assures his son that he is safe for now, but as the Sleestak god roars, he instructs Will to fetch the long rope from their cave. The Sleestak is pessimistic about Will making it back in time, since the god grows hungrier every minute.

Will has made it out to the Lost City plaza, where he hides in an eggshell by a pillar to escape from Big Alice. Down in the pit, Dad asks the Sleestak about the god's last feeding, but the creature replies that he does not take part in the ritual. At Dad's request, the Sleestak identifies himself as S'latch. He asks Dad if he thinks his son will make it back in time; Dad is confident that he will, if he doesn't run into trouble with other Sleestak or Big Alice. S'latch is unfamiliar with the Marshall's name for the allosaur who frequents the plaza, and identifies her as "Selima", meaning "protector", since she keeps out animals trying to get at the Sleestaks' eggs. Dad confronts S'latch on why his people treat the Marshalls with hostility, whereupon S'latch explains that they are defending their home. The Sleestaks' only security is the Lost City; they know that their ancestors built it, but do not know how or why. Some of his people have tried exploring the other side of the crevasse, but since none ever returned, they cling defensively to their home. S'latch goes on about how his ancestors became warlike; eventually only the strong and uneducated survived. Dad offers to make peace with the Sleestak race, but S'latch notes that they are unintelligent -- he is only a freak. Very infrequently, an intelligent Sleestak is hatched with enough of their ancestors' traits to bestow an innate knowledge of the universe. The other Sleestak regard S'latch as a threat, so as all others born like him, he was cast into the pit to die. The Sleestak god roars, reminding them of their impending doom.

As Will rushes across the crevasse, Holly plays with Dopey, trying to get him to fetch a stick. She reminds baby brontosaur not to eat the stick, but dim-witted Dopey doesn't seem to understand. Back in the Lost City, S'latch estimates that the top of the pit is seven metres up. When Dad tries free-climbing the wall, S'latch considers the effort useless, believing they are fated to die. Dad says that they could use some pitons, and once he explains their purpose, S'latch proposes that they try his crossbow bolts. Dad becomes excited about the plan to drive Slatch's bolts into the wall, and hastily asks his companion to hand him a rock from the floor.

Will is on his way to High Bluff through the jungle when he ends up getting chased by Grumpy. Down in front of the cave, Holly tries explaining to Dopey that she must get back to doing her chores. The baby brontosaur at first squawks but then exits hastily upon hearing Grumpy's roar. Will just barely makes it over to hide behind the boulder at the base of High Bluff; he asks Holly up in the cave to shoo away Grumpy with the Flyswatter. Holly replies that she cannot lift it alone, but manages to frighten off the tyrannosaur by tossing an explosive combination of light crystals at him. Will then dashes up to the cave, explaining frantically to Holly about what has happened to Dad. As he snatches the rope and heads out of the cave, Holly says she will be going along. Will insists that she stay behind due to all the dangers from Grumpy, Big Alice, and the Sleestak, but once Will has left, she decides to follow her brother anyway.

Dad drives a Sleestak crossbow bolt into the wall, assuring S'latch, standing on a bold just below him, that they have almost reached the top. S'latch informs Dad to beware of his people once they are out, since they will not comprehend his and Dad's cooperation. Dad identifies such cooperation as "brotherhood", recommending that all creatures make it a part of their lives; S'latch the Sleestak wisely agrees. Dad asks S'latch to pass him another bolt, but when the Sleestak reaches for one, he falls from their ladder. Dad climbs down to find that S'latch has hurt his leg; the Sleestak asks that Dad go on without him. Dad refuses to leave the injured Sleestak to die; as S'latch is helped over to the ladder, he calls Dad a true friend.

Will sprints madly through the sparse jungle growth; he stops once he hears Holly calling from behind. He scolds Holly for following him, and lets his sister know that he will not wait up for her. As S'latch takes a rest while climbing the crossbow bolts, he confesses to Dad below him that he feels he can go no further. He believes it is better that he perish now in the pit, since his people will only reject him once he is free. Dad stresses to S'latch that he must teach his people harmony, that he was born with great knowledge to help his people help themselves; if he does not do so, he is no better than his intelligent but aggressive ancestors who destroyed the Lost City and left it for the remaining barbaric descendants. S'latch is inspired by Dad's wise words, and so continues his difficult climb to freedom.

Outside the Lost City, Will and Holly meet up with Big Alice, but since she is eating a kill, they manage to slip past. Meanwhile, S'latch and Dad climb out of the pit, where S'latch calls Dad "a man of great courage". Dad humbly replies that he is only trying to survive in a hostile world; S'latch agrees that that is unfortunately what it appears to have become. Dad then notes that he must return to Will and Holly, and asks the Sleestak if he will be alright; S'latch assures him that he will, and thanks him for the inspiration to help his people. The two friends part by bidding "until we meet again".

Dad meets Will and Holly while trekking though the tunnels; the kids are amazed that he got out by himself. The kids want to hear the story, which Dad says he will relate on the way home, but when Sleestak show up, the Marshalls are forced to flee into the pit room. Dad calls out for S'latch, but he is not around; Holly points out a hole over at the side of the room, so they have no choice but to escape through it. Two Sleestak chase them into the hole, but the stooping green giants turn around instead of following the Marshalls through. The family finds themselves in a chamber of thick fog; when Dad says it reminds him of the pit, Will notes that they must have descended at least seven metres. Holly whines that she wishes she had stayed home; just then Will discovers a Sleestak crossbow bolt sticking out of the wall. When the Sleestak god roars, Dad realizes they are at the pit's bottom; since they cannot see where they came down, he frantically urges his kids to climb the bolts. Will gives it a shot, but quickly ends up falling; as the god's roar slowly approaches, the Marshalls fear that they are doomed. Miraculously a rope is dropped down to their rescue, so Dad tells his kids not to worry where it came from but to just climb out. When Holly reaches the top, she scoots back against the wall in fear; when Will reaches the top, he looks up to see a Sleestak! S'latch assures Will and Holly not to worry, promising to explain later once their father has been rescued. The Marshall kids scream desperately for Dad to climb the rope; as he does so, we see the shadow of the Sleestak God against stalagmites down in the pit. Once Dad is out, he thanks S'latch for saving his family. S'latch warns the Marshalls that they had better leave quickly, that he will remain behind to help his people. When other Sleestak enter the chamber, however, S'latch's pleas for peace fail; in a struggle Dad shoves a Sleestak into the pit and calls for everyone to flee with him.

The Marshalls rest a moment after rushing through the jungle, where Dad feels it is safe that they are no longer pursued by the Sleestak. Will is frightened to see that one of them did follow, so Dad introduces his friend; S'latch assures the kids that there is no reason for fear. When Holly asks the Sleestak if he is from Enik's time, S'latch is unfamiliar with the name of their Altrusian friend. Dad informs S'latch that Enik is one of the Sleestaks' ancestors who fell through the time doorway. Will asks how S'latch knows so much if he is not from Enik's time, whereupon Dad replies that S'latch was simply born with innate knowledge. Holly asks S'latch to confirm Dad's claim, where he maintains that he holds the knowledge of his ancestors, but when Will asks him to work the time doorways, S'latch replies that unfortunately such knowledge is not included. The wise, benign Sleestak says he must be going, so Dad shakes his arm goodbye, promising that they will meet again. S'latch bids them long life and hops off stooping through the jungle. When Will admits that the Sleestak may have some good in them after all, Dad maintains that all things have good in them, that you only need to look for it.

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