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SHEENA

COMING TO AFRICA


EPISODE NO. 34
Season 2, episode 12
Series 212
1st release: 02-11-02
2nd release: 03-25-02
Production number: 211
Last update: 05-05-02


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REGULAR CAST, GUEST CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMO
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
SYNOPSIS 1 by Sally Dye
SYNOPSIS 2 by Loretta Miller
COMMENTARY 1 by Loretta Miller


REGULAR CAST
Gena Lee Nolin (Sheena)
Margo Moorer (Kali)
John Allen Nelson (Matt Cutter)
Kevin Quigley (Mendehlson)

GUEST CAST
Magalyn Echikunwoke (Janel)
Martin Roberts (Roneko)
Jimmy Roger (Bakari)
Lawrence Benjamin (Kamalu)
Dushawn Moses (Nukada)
Cynthia Calhoun (Takia)
Vicki Phillips (Sheena stunt double)

CREDITS
Written by Robin Burger
Directed by Terry Ingram

Filmed on location in Orlando, FL and Africa.




TV GUIDE PROMO

An African Princess returns from the USA after gaining an education. She is part of an arranged marriage to prevent a tribal war. But the girl is not what anyone expects, least of all Sheena and Cutter. Logline.


AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION

1st RELEASE: 02/11/02
An AA average of 1.8
Competition from Action Hours:
Andromeda (3.1/3.3, -11),
Stargate SG-1 (2.8/2.9, -15),
Mutant X (2.5/2.7),
BeastMaster (2.2/2.4, -4),
Sheena (1.8, +6),
The Lost World (1.7, -15),
Earth: Final Conflict (1.6/1.7, -33),
Relic Hunter (1.4, -18),
Tracker (1.3/1.4),
The Outer Limits (1.2, -25),
The Invisible Man (1.1, -35)

2nd RELEASE: 03/25/02
An AA average of 1.4
Competition from Syndicated Action Hours:
Stargate: SG1: 2.4/2.5 (+ 9),
Andromeda: 2.2/2.3 (-27),
Maximum Exposure: 2.0/2.1,
BeastMaster: 1.9/2.0 (-10),
Mutant X: 1.9,
VIP: 1.8 (-14),
Earth: Final Conflict: 1.6/1.7 (-16),
The Lost World: 1.6 (no change),
Relic Hunter: 1.5 (-17),
The Outer Limits: 1.4 (- 7),
Sheena: 1.4 (-30),
The Bravest: 1.1,
The Invisible Man: 1.1 (-52),
Tracker: 0.9/1.0



SYNOPSIS 1:

This synopsis is by Sally Dye .

Teaser

Two tribes, who have been at war for centuries, are preparing for the wedding of the first born children of the two chiefs. Kali says this will ensure peace for both tribes. The groom's father, Kamalu, is concerned that the bride will not be present for the wedding, which must take place on a certain day of celebration, since she has been gone from Africa for several years. The bride's father, Roneko, says he is certain she will return in time. Roneko's younger daughter, Takia, offers to take her sister's place, but he says it must be the first born. When Takia is alone, a young warrior, Nukada, steps out of the brush and says if their plans are to work, they must see that Takia is made queen instead of her sister. Takia asks if he won't be jealous when she marries Prince Bakari, and Nukada says it is the only way. He says by tomorrow she will be an only child.

Sheena and Kali are anxiously awaiting Cutter's arrival with the Princess Janel. Kali says if the wedding does not take place as scheduled there will be a war. Cutter finally pulls up in his truck. Kali calls out and asks Mendelson why he is riding in the open back of the truck. Mendelson just says he needs a drink. Sheena asks Cutter what's wrong, and he says she'll see. Princess Janel gets out of the truck dressed in hip American clothing and is amazed that she sees bugs the size of Buicks and that Africa still smells like manure. Sheena and Kali stare in amazement at her speech and appearance.

Act I

Sheena, Cutter and Kali transport Janel and her multitude of suitcases and CD's to her father's village. Janel informs them that she is not down with arranged marriages. Kali says her father has commanded, but Janel says she has "Daddy" wrapped around her little finger. Daddy, however, does not approve of Janel's dyed hair extensions, her nose ring, or her use of incomprehensible American slang, even though Cutter translates every time she says anything. Kali interrupts to introduce Cutter and Sheena and Janel's rebellious reply is averted.

Roneko asks Kali to speak to Janel in place of her mother, who died years ago. Kali agrees. Cutter asks if Janel needs a ride to the wedding, but Sheena explains that it is customary for the bride to walk to the wedding, even though it is some 20 miles. Prince Bakari will have left gifts along the way for her. Their conversation is interrupted by a loud blast of rap music coming from Janel's hut.

Kali turns off the music so she and Janel can "groove". Janel says if she came to talk about the facts of life, she doesn't need to bother. She turns the music back on.

Sheena is assuring Roneko that Kali will talk to Janel about her responsibilities, when Kali emerges from Janel's hut and says that Janel told her to "speak to her hand". Cutter laughs, but he's the only one who gets it. Just then smoke billows from the hut, which seems to be on fire. Sheena throws a bucket of water on the fire, and Cutter runs in and pulls Janel out. She has apparently been smoking what Cutter calls an "interesting blend." Roneko is angry and decrees that she must go to the stone hut. Cutter: "How appropriate."

Sheena escorts an exasperated Janel to her new quarters. She tells Janel she thinks she's afraid because of the responsibility of stopping centuries of war between the two tribes. Janel just tells her to "ghost". Sheena eventually deciphers this and leaves.

Sheena counsels Roneko to speak to his daughter and show her he still loves her. But when they return to the hut, Janel is gone.

Act II

Janel is headed back to the airfield when she is ambushed and thrown in the river. Sheena arrives just in time to pull her out and revive her.

Sheena decides she will accompany Janel when she walks to Prince Bakari's village. She tells Cutter he has to come, too. When he wants to know why, Sheena says it's because she can't understand a word Janel says. Cutter laughs and agrees.

Prince Bakari asks his father if he can go to meet Princess Janel halfway along the trail. Even though this is not traditional, his father finally agrees and presents him with the sacred wedding spear to take with him. As he leaves the village, another warrior slips along the trail behind him.

Sheena, Cutter and Janel come upon the first wedding gift -- a cloak hanging in a tree. Cutter and Janel go to retrieve the cloak, and Sheena disappears into the jungle. As Cutter and Janel enter a clearing, a concealed archer aims an arrow at them.

Act III

Before the man can fire, Sheena leaps out and fights him, killing him with his own knife.

When Janel reaches for the cloak, a trap springs that almost impales her with wooden spikes. Janel is upset, thinking Prince Bakari is trying to kill her, but Sheena says Bakari didn't set the trap. She shows Janel a note left by Bakari. Janel grabs the note and reads it. Cutter and Sheena wonder who is trying to kill Janel.

Bakari is ambushed on his way to meet Janel.

Sheena, Cutter and Janel make camp for the night. Sheena and Janel have a heart to heart, and Janel admits she missed Africa while she was in America. She wonders if Bakari will be disappointed when he meets her.

Sheena keeps watch over the camp and senses someone sneaking up on them. It's Nukada. She knocks him down and pulls a spear from his grasp. Janel and Cutter arrive and Janel recognizes the spear as the sacred wedding spear. Janel: "Bakari?"

Act IV

Prince Bakari regains consciousness to find Takia with him. She tells him that Janel has been killed by a rogue lion. She says she is willing to take her sister's place in the wedding.

Nukada tells Sheena and Cutter that he will escort Janel the rest of the way to his village himself. Janel says she needs to talk to Sheena first. She shows Sheena several letters and reveals that she and Bakari have been corresponding for a few months. She says this man doesn't sound like Bakari. Sheena says he's probably just nervous, too. Sheena reads in one of the letters about a dream catcher, and Janel says she told Bakari about that Native American custom.

Kali doesn't believe that Sheena, Cutter and Janel were all killed by a lion and says she will not begin the ceremony until Sheena returns, despite Roneko's insistence that they begin.

Janel and Nukada set out for his village. Soon she notices they are not heading in the right direction. He says he is taking her to his diamond mine first. When they reach a deep pit, he tries to push her in, but she sprays him with mace from her purse.

Sheena and Cutter decide something is phony about "Bakari" and double back to catch up with him and Janel. They are ambushed by Nukada's men but defeat them. Sheena gets to the mine as Nukada is struggling with Janel. Nukada and Sheena fight and Sheena throws him into the pit, breaking his neck.

When Sheena, Cutter and Janel arrive in Bakari's village, Roneko and Bakari run out to meet them. Janel: "Are you sure you're Bakari?" Bakari gives her a hand-made dream catcher, and Janel knows it really is him.

Epilogue

Takia confesses to everything and is taken away by tribal guards. Mendelson, the caterer, offers everyone crab puffs. Sheena asks Janel how married life is, and Janel replies that it's only been 3 hours but so far, "it's pretty dope." She tells Sheena to slap her five. Sheena starts to wallop her, but Cutter intervenes and demonstrates a high five. Sheena says things turned out pretty well, and Cutter responds that Africa will never be the same.



SYNOPSIS 2:

This synopsis is by Loretta Miller .

Janel, the eldest girl of Roneko, a tribal leader, returns to Maltaka to commit herself to a traditional arranged marriage to the eldest boy of the opposing tribe. The marriage is to prevent a war between the two groups.

The bride-to-be had gone to the United States at the age of 8 to return ten years later utterly a stranger to her father and speaking in her own brand of "native tongue".

Janel irritates the normally calm Cutter and even more sedate Mendehlson, forcing him to ride in the bed of the truck on their return from the airport with their latest guest. Immediately she is griping that the bugs are the size of Buicks, it being hotter than Cleveland in July and it "still" smells like manure. Cutter dryly tells Kali and Sheena, "the princess is in the house."

Janel reunites with her father and it's evident they are now from different universes. Her dyed hair extensions and stud in her nose is repugnant to him and not their "custom".

Well, Daddy-o, customs are about to be in a face-off.

Cutter bridges the gap for everyone as an interpreter as she flings the slang rapid-fire. Janel's father tries to ignore her obvious "changes" and proudly shows her her dowry. She wrinkles her nose as she discovers it is a huge pile of manure, a plow, 18 goats, 22 chickens, 15 Watsui cattle, 4 parrots and an armadillo. While she tries to protest, he won't let her get a word in edgewise and suggests that she rest in the ceremonial hut.

Roneko seeks out Kali who approaches her as a Mother figure to answer any of Janel's "questions". When Janel tells Kali that she already "read" the book (of facts of life), Kali tells her that she wants to make sure she hasn't skipped any chapters.

Outside, Janel's stepsister from hell, Takia, meets with Nukada and plot to make sure the wedding doesn't happen.

Roneko tells Sheena and Cutter that his daughter is a stranger to him as Kali comes out of Janel's hut enraged that Janel had told Kali to talk to her hand. When Janel's cigarette (or joint) starts a fire in her hut her father calls her irresponsible. Sheena thinks she's afraid of the marriage that is to prevent a war and tries to talk to her. That's the last thing Janel wants. "Ghost, let me chill, jet, bag out, burn rubber," she tells Sheena who just sits there. "Leave," Janel finally says and Sheena says, "why didn't you say so."

Talk of postponing the wedding is only talk. The wedding MUST occur on the Holy Day of Celebration, following tradition.

They go to chat with Janel and find her gone.

Nakuda, meanwhile, tells his men that Janel is to be hit but it has to look like an accident. Sheena finds Janel's purse on a trail as one of Nakuda's men hits Janel and tosses her unconscious body into the lake. Sheena finds Janel a moment later and lifts her from the water and springs into action using her formerly unused "Baywatch" training by pumping on her chest. A moment later Janel spurts out a bunch of water and can't figure out what Sheena is doing to her. "Trying to save your life," she replies.

Janel wants to leave before someone kills her yet Roneko keeps tells her that this marriage is her destiny. While she has never met Bakari, her father tries to reassure her that while he never met her mother until their wedding he eventually fell in love with her. Janel is to take a trail to her husband's village, alone per tradition. But, Sheena asks Cutter to join them. Sheena can go as she isn't associated with either tribe and Cutter needs to act as Sheena's interpreter. Cutter is given a map and Kali says a prayer as they set out.

Nakuda's men sets out, as well.

Bakari wants permission to meet Janel halfway down the path. Going against tradition, he has always been a rebel. His father finally approves and gives him the wedding spear that is to be a symbol at their wedding.

Meanwhile, on the path, Janel gripes that her "dogs are biting", calls Sheena "Marilyn" and then stops to "hawk" something adjacent to their path. A cloak hangs up in the bushes, in her favorite colors. While Cutter follows Janel, he notices that Sheena has disappeared.

A Nakuda marksman takes airm only to be attacked by Sheena. In the fight, she kills him. She races back to Cutter and Janel and throws her knife at the cloak, which disengages a catapult with wooden spikes that missed Janel's head inches. Sheena finds a letter and Janel begins to read it and is completely enchanted by its words.

Elsewhere, Bakari walks on the path while Nakuda and his men know they have one more opportunity. Bakari rests on a rock and is attacked.

Sheena suggests that they camp overnight and she offers a lighter to get a fire started and talks about missing the U.S. but likes that she can see the stars and hear the birds. She tells Sheena that she's afraid that she may be less than what he expects. She tells her that Bakari and her have been writing letters back and forth for months

While Cutter and Janel sleep, Sheena is standing watch and notices an assailant in a tree and the fight is on. Nakuda passes himself off as Bakari and the wedding spear seems to be th selling point but Janel is doubtful.

Takia finds Bakari and tells him that a rogue lion had killed Janel and he mourns her loss greatly. Takia suggests that she take Janel's place and Bakari is against it.

Janel tells Sheena that she doesn't like Bakari and shows her all the letters.

Bakari tells his father that he'll take Takia, for the sake of their people, but she will never have his heart.

Janel tells Sheena that Bakari's penmanship was difficult to read, as he is left-handed. She tells of their using a dreamcatcher as a symbol. Sheena calls it romantic.

Rumors of Sheena and Cutter both dying with Janel reaches Kali who won't believe it.

Janel is taken by Nakuda down the path but quickly detours offering her own choice of a diamond from his diamond mine, something she knows nothing of. While dubious, she follows.

Sheena and Cutter discuss the letters and that Bakari is left-handed and "small in stature". They know the man with Janel is an imposter. They head back to intercept Janel.

Nakuda shows Janel a small opening to a well and tells Janel that the diamonds are down inside. When he tries to push her into the well he admits that upon her Takia will become queen and he will ultimately be the power to the throne. Janel grabs her pepper spray and PFFFFT! aims at his face as Cutter and Sheena fight him and Nakuda's henchmen.

Sheena grabs Nakuda in a death struggle throws him toward the well where he loses his balance and falls. His neck is caught on the rope inside and is hanged.

Kali is elated to see Sheena, Cutter and Janel return unscathed.

Roneko introduces her to Bakari and she isn't sure it's actually him until he gives her a dreamcatcher.

Both Nakuda and Takia are taken away after total confessions.



COMMENTARY 1:

This synopsis is by Loretta Miller .

This very funny episode is about tribal tradition meeting west-coast values head-on and it's a slang-fest like you haven't seen before.

My man Mendehlson offers everyone crabpuffs as he seems to be catering the wedding. Cutter smiles and Mendehlson says that he is a man of many talents. MENDHELSON! MENDEHLSON! Always coming through! Again, only two scenes but GREAT ONES, Kevin.

At 3 hours post-wedding, Sheena asks Janel how it feels and she says, "so far pretty dope." Cutter has to interpret "in this case, it's a good thing". "Slap me five," Janel asks of Sheena who has a different interpretation and hauls back her arm to slap her across the face. Cutter stops her and demonstrates what Janel means by slapping Janel's hand and clasping it tight. Sheena and even Kali then join in.

Cute episode but I hope Bakari has a slang-English dictionary. He's gonna need it!




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