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SHEENA

DOING AS THE ROMANS


EPISODE NO. 09
Season 1, episode 09
Series 109
1st release: 01/08/01
2nd release:
Production number: 105
Approximate shooting dates:
Last update: 05-02-01


REGULAR CAST, GUEST CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMO
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)

CREDITS
Written by Craig Volk
Directed by Jon Cassar

Filmed on location in Orlando, FL and Africa.




TV GUIDE PROMO

Sheena rescues a girl from the N'Gama's troops who kidnap her. ExciteTV






SYNOPSIS 1:

This synopsis is by Sally Dye .

Teaser

Kali agrees to marry a young couple, Jamila and Sekani. She says she will prepare for the ceremony. Just then jeeps full of soldiers drive into the village. They say they are there for Jamila, that she is to marry President N'Gama. The groom objects, and they take him prisoner. The soldiers depart with the couple.

As the caravan moves through the jungle, we see Sheena changing into the darak'na. She follows the jeeps. Jamila pushes Sekani out of the jeep and shouts at him to run. The soldiers in one of the jeeps give chase. Just as they are about to catch up to Sekani, the darak'na leaps down into it and fights the soldiers. The jeep is about to crash, and the darak'na leaps into the trees. The one remaining soldier jumps to safety just as the jeep explodes.

Act I

N'Gama is preparing for his wedding to Jamila. He wants to marry as a Catholic so that trade sanctions against his country will be lifted. Jamila pleads for Sekani's life, and N'Gama says he will grant her wish if she will be a dutiful wife. But once Jamila is taken to her quarters, N'Gama orders his men to find Sekani and kill him. He also orders his other wives not to speak to Jamila and to stay out of sight until after the wedding. He intends to be married by a visiting cardinal and doesn't want the church to know he has more wives.

Sekani is determined to get Jamila back. Sheena says no, she will do it, but she will need help -- Cutter.

Cutter is negotiating with a reporter named Sims to provide guides and transportation for her and her film crew, who are there to cover the cardinal's visit and the wedding. Mendelson comes in to tell Cutter that N'Gama's troops are here. They are searching for an escaped fugitive. Cutter tells them that if a dangerous fugitive were within fifty miles of him, he would know it.

Cutter returns to his house to find Sheena and Sekani there. He wants to know who Sheena's friend is, and she says it's the dangerous fugitive who's not within fifty miles of him. She tells Cutter she wants him to take her to N'Gama's palace, and Sekani will stay there at Cutter's. Cutter says he will help her, but she will have to take a crash course in civilization, because growling is not allowed in N'Gama's social circles. He pulls a bra out of a drawer and hands it to Sheena. Sheena: "Wherever that thing is worn, I'm not wearing it." She takes the bra and uses it as a slingshot to bean Cutter on the head. Cutter: "We've got a lot of work to do."

Act II

Cutter tutors Sheena in grace and deportment (putting books on her head) and fashion (the use of make up and lacy underwear). Sheena is not receptive to his advice and tosses the lipstick away. He says to at least lick her lips, then, because men love that. Also, "talk little, listen much." He tells her she will have to wear a formal gown, and Sheena says it must be natural fibers ot it won't change with her. Cutter says there will be absolutely no changing. Sheena says she will take her own clothes, too, then, and hide them nearby. She is curious as to where Cutter got all the underwear and makeup. Cutter: "Oh, you know, friends leave it behind."

Mendelson manages to obtain a gown for Sheena, and she knocks Cutter's socks off when she comes into the room wearing it. Mendelson has to stick Cutter with a pin to get him to close his mouth and stop staring.

At the reception for the cardinal, Cutter introduces Sheena as "Mona", who is taking time off from being a model. Cutter barely keeps Sheena from saying something cutting to N'Gama. At the first opportunity, Sheena slips off to reconnoiter.

Sekani handcuffs Mendelson and leaves Cutter's house to go find Jamila himself.

N'Gama introduces the cardinal to the assembled guests. Meanwhile, Sheena morphs into a housecat and goes into the palace to find Jamila's room. N'Gama notices that Sheena is gone, and Cutter says he will go find her.

Sekani is spotted entering the palace, and soldiers capture him.

Act III

Cutter sees N'Gama eying him suspiciously, so he starts up a conversation with the cardinal. Sheena -- still a cat -- finds Cutter and bites him on the ankle to get his attention. He follows her to an empty room where she morphs back, minus the gown, which was apparently not made of natural fibers. Cutter gallantly offers her his coat, after he stops stuttering incoherently: "There are a number of things I can do with a naked woman. Having a conversation is not one of them." Sheena tells him where Jamila is and he goes to check it out.

Sheena fashions an outfit out of some sheets and climbs down a rope to the courtyard, where she disarms some soldiers and frees Sekani. Before they can escape, though, they are surrounded by N'Gama's guards.

Act IV

Cutter sees one of the guards bring Sheena's gown to N'Gama and knows they are becoming even more suspicious of him, so he attaches himself to the cardinal again.

Sheena uses feminine wiles to get free from her cell, and she and Sekani make it to Jamila's quarters. Jamila protests that N'Gama promised no harm would come to Sekani, but Sheena brings in one of N'Gama's wives, who tells of N'Gama's promise to her when they were married. He had promised her freedom, but then scarred her face and refused to let her go. Jamila agrees to leave with Sekani.

Sheena finds Cutter and tells him to create a diversion so Sekani and Jamila can escape. He pops some balloons and distracts the guards. Jamila and Sekani run to the edge of a parapet, but are stopped by a moat filled with crocodiles. When the soldiers approach them, they join hands and leap into the crocodile infested water. The guards see them sink under the surface. They ask N'Gama what he will say about his bride-to-be's disappearance, and he replies, "That she couldn't swim."

N'Gama's wife gives an interview about the practice of scarring wives to prevent adultery. N'Gama interrupts to say the practice will no longer be tolerated in Multaka. The cardinal approves, but looks suspiciously at N'Gama. N'Gama tells the wife to leave -- she has taken her freedom.

The wife leaves the palace and sees Sheena watching from the jungle. She bows and continues on.

Epilogue

Cutter finds Sheena in the jungle and asks about Sekani and Jamila. Sheena says she convinced the crocodiles that they weren't hungry. Crocodiles, she tells Cutter, "talk little, listen much." Now Jamila and Sekani can live their lives in peace because N'Gama thinks they are dead. Cutter says what about Sheena -- how will she cope now that she's tasted the forbidden fruit of civilization? He predicts that it will be hard for her to go back to the jungle. Sheena says, "Watch me". She turns and walks into the La Mistas with Cutter gazing after her. Cutter just sighs: "How can I not?"



SYNOPSIS 2:

This synopsis is by Loretta Miller .

A jeep full of N'gama's militia arrives just as a couple has agreed to marry with Kali officiating on a future date. The leader of the militia announces that N'gama, their president for life, wishes to honor her as his wife. The laws permit N'gama to have as many wives as he wishes. Jamila, the wife-to-be, wants no part of this and her fianc?, Sekani, pleads that they choose someone else. The soldiers threaten trouble if she doesn't comply and go with them. Sekani claims that they are acting out of their fear of Ingama and the soldiers take them both.

As the couple is whisked away, Sheena transforms into the Darak'na. After a moment where the couple use sign language to silently communicate their love, Jamila pushes the one soldier forward and pushes Sekani off the truck and yells for him to "RUN!" The soldiers see the escape and circle back as they give chase, their onslaught of bullets fired miss the rapidly fleeing chap.

Suddenly, the Darak'na jumps into the jeep from above and slashes at the soldiers and tosses them left and right, leaving the driver with several grenades in a satchel. The Darak'na leaps from the jeep only moments before the soldier as the jeep hits an obstruction, flips over and explodes.

N'gama, meanwhile, prepares himself for his first holy sacrament in marriage to Jamila, doing so only for the sake of the visiting Cardinal. Jamila is brought in and he calls her his "princess". The soldier escorting her tells N'gama they encountered trouble and is told the man is not dead. He wants the man brought to him. Jamila pleads for his life and N'gama grants this as her "first present", however there is a condition: she must behave as a proper fianc?e and he tells her he'll "treasure her beauty forever."

Another veiled wife appears and N'gama tells her that the other wives are not to speak to Jamila and must remain out of sight until the Cardinal has left. After both women are out of earshot, N'gama orders the fianc? not only killed but also "ripped apart" and left for the vultures.

On her way to her room, Jamila catches a glimpse of a room full of veiled women, all of his wives.

The fianc? has returned to Kali who consoles him, as Sheena stands by. Kali warns that Ingama will crush Jamila's spirit.

Sheena wants to set out on a rescue mission but Kali tells her that in order to do that she must enter the civilized world.

Cutter is schmoozing a possible client, a reporter and cameraman from Interspan, there to cover the arrival of Cardinal Righetti. They want to see the area. He tells her he can offer an aerial tour, as he is the "cutting edge of accessibility". The woman doesn't appear to be very interested when Mendelson arrives to tell Cutter that there's a problem with his truck: N'gama's troops are swarming all over it. The woman reporter is livid and runs out to show the militia leader papers signed by N'gama himself allowing her safe passage in his country. The Militia leader advises that there is a dangerous fugitive loose in the area and Cutter boasts that if the fugitive is within fifty miles of his place, he would know it and then N'gama would know about it. Cutter steps back, beside Mendelson and looks at this whole chaotic moment as a publicity opportunity that he doesn't want to pass them by.

However, the opportunity never gels as Cutter re-enters his office only to find Sheena and the "fugitive" (Jamila's fianc?) inside.

Sheena tells Cutter that the fugitive will stay right there at his place while she and Cutter leave. She tells him about the enslavement of girls by N'gama and convinces the reluctant Cutter to help her by saying, "what if was your sister or a woman you loved." The idea makes him quickly pale and he says its a color he has when he's about to do something stupid.

Cutter verbally fantasizes his "007 moment" _ he in a tux, Sheena in a gown and he jokes, "when we are riddled with bullets, we'll die in style."

Then Cutter puts Sheena through a crash course of Civilization 101.

He steps to his desk and extracts a bra to which Sheena is surprised, a bit appalled, and tells him, "wherever that's worn, I'm not wearing that." She takes the bra and promptly uses it as a slingshot - her target: Cutter. He responds to the impromptu assault with, "we have a lot of work to do."

Lesson one: Sheena stuffs her feet into clear plastic high heels and then lesson two: she walks stiffly with a pile of books on her head, while Cutter cajoles her to "find her balance." Then on to lipstick and its proper application which Sheena grabs the tube and tosses aside. He suggests that she "lick her lips a lot then" as its something men like. He also adds, "bite your lip" as it makes her look "sexy" and "hungry". Sheena asks if they'll in turn feed her. Cutter realizes that the concept isn't hitting home just yet, suggests that she "talk little and listen much."

Onto the gown portion of the transformation, the material she tells Cutter has to be of "natural fibers" as any other fiber would keep her from changing into an animal.

Cutter goes to a chest and pulls out an assortment of items he calls, "gifts, that guests left behind": including lingerie and even a pair of handcuffs. Sheena is uncomfortable and deems all of this "a mistake" but Cutter counters with, "this isn't the La Mistas, its N'gama's court with soldiers that will have a clear shot and will shoot to kill."

Cutter asks Mendelson, as he enters, if he knows anything about fashion. He instantly offers a solution: "soiree.com" where they can get anything from around the world in twelve hours but "it would cost them". Cutter asks Mendelson to keep Sekani out of sight and he tells them that that would cost them more.

Sheena appears later in a blue gown, her hair pulled back and her beauty visibly stuns Cutter. Mendelson comes in from behind her, pins in hand and one in his mouth like a professional tailor, obviously having had a hand in the creation before them.

Mendelson steps over to Cutter and pokes him in the shoulder with a pin and tells him, "wake up Cinderella, you have a ball to get to."

N'gama greets his guests and sees Cutter walking in with Sheena on his arm. Well, he offers her his arm_and she awkwardly grabs his bicep. He quickly takes her hand and walks up to Ingama and is introduced to him as "Mona", a European model.

All eyes are on Cardinal Righetti as he arrives. Cutter is surprised by N'gama's fawning over the Cardinal and mentions this to Sheena. Unfamiliar with the term, she replies, "a fawn? He's more like a scorpion."

Cutter quickly explains that if N'gama can get the support of the Vatican, he can get trade sanctions lifted for Multaka. Sheena, talking to Cutter, suggests that N'gama lick his lips saying, "I hear men like that." Touch?. Cutter reaches for 2 glasses of champagne offered to him only to turn back and find Sheena is gone.

Sekani, meanwhile, is with Mendelson and they talk about his love. Sekani asks Mendelson if he understands what he's going through. He tells him that he once lost his love to a "Culligan" man with a '58 Vette. He didn't stand a chance against that. Sekani excitedly clasps Mendelson's wrist saying, "you do understand." He leaves with Mendelson now wearing the handcuffs that Sekani had on his wrist.

N'gama introduces the Cardinal calling his country a "democratic" one. The woman reporter is there with her cameraman and she talks to the Cardinal briefly while Sheena is seen in hiding.

N'gama tells Jamila to leave to await the ceremony and asks Cutter of Sheena's whereabouts. N'gama, suspicious, wants him to find her. Sheena, meanwhile, turns into a cat, her blue dress falls to the ground, the shape of a cat moves out from underneath.

Sekani is outside the compound, desperate to get inside. Sheena, as the cat, finds the room where the other wives are held and Sheena overhears them talk about their lives of misery.

Sekani climbs a downspout up the side of the compound wall and is quickly captured by two guards who spot him. Cutter is being watched closely by both N'gama and his soldiers. Cutter spots the Cardinal and talks with him, eager to ease the heat on himself. Cutter finds out that the Cardinal is actually from Indiana and they fall into an impromptu duet of the Notre Dame fight song. Cutter, still uneasy with eyes on him, quickly chatters to the Cardinal about football and a recent Notre Dame/UCLA clash as Cutter is happy to find the Cardinal is an ardent fan.

A cat, (Sheena?) is captured by a soldier and released into the brush outside followed by a Doberman pinscher who has an unseen entanglement and the Doberman is heard yelping off. Yep, it's Sheena.

Back inside, the cat finds Cutter and rubs against Cutter's leg. He motions for it to move along when it attacks his leg. He squats down and quietly asks, "Sheena?" The cat races off and he follows to a door. Into the room, she quickly morphs back into her human self and Cutter shuts the door and turns to find a very naked Sheena standing before him. He flushes with embarrassment, saying, "there's a lot of things I could do with a naked woman but conversation ain't one of them." He pulls off his coat and quickly covers her up. She tells him what she had seen, the wives reporting a life of pure misery, and that Jamila has to be rescued immediately.

Cutter tells Sheena to stay put, he'd see what was happening outside, and leaves. Sheena pulls open a metal cabinet and finds several white tablecloths folded up neatly inside.

Outside, the woman reporter, now suddenly eager to interview Cutter approaches him. She asks where Sheena is and he says, "putting herself together." Cutter reluctantly gives in to the interview while Sheena, now wearing two tablecloths in an impromptu outfit, hears some voices through the window in the room she's in.

Outside, several soldiers are taking Sekani to N'gama. Sheena grabs the tapestry that frames the window and uses it to lower herself behind the soldier that remains stationary below her window.

Sheena handily takes out soldier #1 and the other soldiers escorting Sekani hear the skirmish behind them and return to assist. Sekani manages to break free but the guards stop them both at gunpoint.

Cutter is still being interviewed telling the reporter of his refusal to seek public office five years before telling that he had found himself in "trouble". He once again sees the Cardinal and heads his direction and talks football once more.

Sheena and Sekani are in being held in adjoining cells. Sekani tells Sheena that he is to be killed when the Cardinal leaves. He says that the men holding them have no hearts so Sheena says she'll appeal to something else. She seductively sticks her leg out of the cell and attracts a guard at the end of the hall. When he approaches, she grabs him by the shirt and yanks him in against the bars and is knocked out, she grabs the keys as he falls to the ground unconscious. Sheena unlocks the door and frees Sekani saying, "I know where Jamila is."

Sekani and Jamila are reunited as Sheena hauls in the soldier that she's knocked out in the hall and looks for an escape route from the room.

Another wife hears the couple talking from the other side of the now closed door and Sheena, sensing this, opens the door quickly sending this veiled wife off-balance and stumbling into their room.

Jamila tells Sekani that N'gama had promised to keep him and her family safe if she became his wife. Sheena tells the veiled wife to tell Jamila what it's like "bargaining with the devil." She tells Jamila that she'll never leave Ingama as he makes many promises and once valued her beauty as well. He told her that I would never have anything of value, he took her beauty away. She removes her veil and shows that she has been horribly scarred across both cheeks and nose. Jamila says that if they're found here that they'll die together.

A soldier updates N'gama about capturing Sheena and the fianc? only to confess that they had then escaped "only minutes ago". Ingama tells him to "cut off their path" and that "the Cardinal is not to know anything of this."

The same veiled wife as seen earlier approaches Ingama with "news" about Jamila and Sekani. She asks him to honor his earlier promise of freedom. He threatens to kill her asking, "is that freedom enough?" The wife then asks of him which does he value more: to satisfy his vengeance or her death. He tells her that if they die, she'll go free.

Cutter is still with the Cardinal who seems to be a bit annoyed that he has become his shadow. Cutter hears a cat loudly yowls and he backs away to meet Sheena. She needs him to create a diversion. Cutter is surprised by her request after all she was the one that had made a dress out of tablecloths. She could easily be the diversion. She doesn't find him funny and once again disappears in the blink of an eye leaving Cutter to fend for himself. Diversion_

He looks out in the court and seemingly for the first time really "sees" the balloons that have been placed all around the courtyard attempting to give the event a festive air. He takes a handful of toothpicks and begins popping balloons. The resultant "pops" send people diving for cover, screaming. A perfect diversion.

Jamila and Sekani escape, and make a mad dash to the roof. They are spotted and several soldiers give chase. The couple is quickly trapped on the roof with no escape except for a fall into a crocodile infested moat that surrounds the compound.

They have no choice; they clasp hands and jump.

The two guards race to the roof edge and look down to see a crocodile with a piece of Jamila's clothing in its mouth. Ingama watches from above and is asked what he'll tell the press about his new wife. The answer is a flat, "she can't swim."

In the courtyard, the first veiled wife is being interviewed and she quickly tells of the slavery that the women are forced to endure and reveals the scar across her face. N'gama returns to overhear this and calls it a "barbaric practice" and a deeply misguided tradition. The Cardinal, appalled by all of this, tells N'gama that he hopes that this change is only the beginning of changes that need to be made. The Cardinal's once cordial attitude toward N'ngama has disappeared.

N'gama tells everyone that the practice will be banned that very day and anyone with complaints to see him. The crowd applauds however the Cardinal isn't swayed by the words.

The veiled wife, no longer fearful, approaches N'gama saying, "I believe you promised me my freedom." N'gama says, "I believe you just took it."

Now outside the compound and free, the woman starts out into the jungle with a cat in arms. She sees Sheena watching her in the jungle, they make eye contact and smile and the woman bows to her in silent thanks and continues on her way: her life restored.

Cutter goes to find Sheena as he had heard that the couple had died from the crocodiles. Sheena explains that she convinced the crocodiles that they weren't hungry then tells him that the crocodiles don't talk but they listen much. She makes an animal sound and the couple comes out of hiding across a small lake. The couple would be just fine, allowed to live their life together because N'gama believes they are both dead.

Cutter thinks that Sheena would have a hard time returning to the jungle once she's had a taste of civilization. Sheena smiles, turns her back and walks into the jungle saying, "watch me."



COMMENTARY 1:

This synopsis is by Loretta Miller .

The whole premise about N'gama and his wives was wholly believable and well executed. I found Sheena's indoctrination into the "civilized world" by learning how to walk in high heels and to find her balance walking with several books on her head very funny. John Nelson has very good facial reactions to the antics throughout this episode_especially when Sheena as a cat "attacked" him. His reaction to finding her suddenly naked, also was a hoot.

Mendelson (Kevin Quigley) continues to be the understated assistant who in this episode was the "man of the hour". Mendelson sure showed a knack for tailoring, didn't he? But, heck, Sheena ranked right up there, actually getting a couple extra points for throwing tablecloths together into a nice outfit.

N'gama, called "president for life Ingama"_I'm beginning to think, is that part of his title? Or does Ingama insist on that being said to A) remind the people that they are stuck with him FOREVER and B) the troops will never forget, either? Suffice my personal comments to that I would believe that he would do anything not to be forgotten.

Whether Ingama keeps his promise to ban the "barbaric practice" of taking on a plethora of wives and treating them like slaves remains to be seen, but I enjoyed this one.




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