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Season 1, episode 17
Series 117
1st release: 04/16/01
2nd release:
Production number: 118
Approximate shooting dates:
Last update: 06-06-01

SYNOPSIS 1 by Sally Dye
SYNOPSIS 2 by Loretta Miller
COMMENTARY 1 by Loretta Miller

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

Written by Babs Greyhosky
Directed by Terry Ingram

Filmed on location in Orlando, FL and Africa.


This synopsis is by Sally Dye .


At a sidewalk cafe in Paris, a young research scientist named Tulie Batika is talking to her boss, Dr. Armand. She is planning to go back to her homeland, Maltaka, to find a rare plant which she hopes can be used to reverse radiation poisoning. Dr. Armand surmises that she will be very rich if she succeeds. Tulie says she just wants to help people and sets off in a cab for the airport. Dr. Armand then gives an envelope full of money to a mercenary type named Smith, whom he has hired to kill Tulie and bring back the plant.

In the LaMistas, Tulie is looking for Sheena when she trips, falls down an embankment and ends up draped over a tree limb. Sheena hears her cries and comes to see if someone needs help. She is amazed to recognize her old friend Tulie.

Act I

Cutter is flirting with an attractive young woman who says she has an early flight in the morning. He strikes out when he assumes she is a stewardess -- she is actually the pilot. Mendelson thinks it's funny.

Tulie is very glad to see Sheena, but Sheena is a little standoffish and kind of offended when she learns that Kali told Tulie where to find her. Sheena is a little bitter that Tulie left Maltaka when they were both in their teens.

Cutter rents a jeep to John Smith and his associate, Jones. Cutter pegs them as "professionals", but Mendelson deadpans that they look more like stewardesses to him.

Sheena takes Tulie to her cave home. They talk about Sheena's lion friend Shebetha, who was killed by mercenaries. After that, Sheena refused to associate with outsiders and felt abandoned when Tulie left to go to school in the world Sheena hated. Sheena accuses Tulie of trying to get rich using the Sonobo plant, but Tulie says she would never harm her home or anyone in it.

Kali says Sheena doesn't want to see Tulie as a civilized woman because she hates civilization. Kali tells Sheena that she and Tulie are alike -- they both want to make the world a better place; they are just doing it in different places.

Tulie gets in her jeep and heads out to find the Sonobo plant, closely followed by Smith and Jones.

Cutter checks Smith's credit card and finds he has a Swiss bank account, which makes him even more suspicious. When he realizes that Smith was heading for the LaMistas, he gets in his truck and heads there, too.

Tulie arrives at the spot in the LaMistas where she hopes to find the Sonobo plant. She is making her way on foot to the location when she trips a snare and is caught up in a net trap. She struggles to get free and falls to the ground. Jones comes out of hiding and runs to her body, only to be tackled by Sheena, who leaps out of a tree and knocks him to the ground. They fight, and Sheena throws Jones into a sharp tree branch, killing him. Cutter comes upon Sheena and Tulie and helps carry Tulie to his truck.

Act II

Kali determines that Tulie has internal injuries. They call for an ambulance and Kali accompanies Tulie to the hospital. Cutter tells Sheena that there is another man involved, and Sheena sets out to find him.

Smith finds Jones' body and a map that Tulie apparently dropped, showing the general location of the Sonobo plant.

Dr. Armand arrives in Maltaka and comes to find Smith. Smith says he hasn't got the plant yet, and Jones is dead. Dr. Armand is not happy. Smith gives him the map, which seems to pacify him somewhat.

Sheena and Cutter find other traps, and Cutter recognizes them as ones the CIA might use. Sheena plans to find the Sonobo plant and set traps of her own so no one can get to it. But she does plan to take one plant back to Tulie.

At the hospital, the doctor tells Kali that they had to do surgery but that Tulie will be alright. Kali says she is going back to the village but will return. As she leaves, Dr. Armand enters the hospital.

Cutter finds the rental jeep outside a hotel. When he gets to Smith's room, he finds Smith dead. A maid discovers Cutter standing over Smith's body holding a gun.

In Tulie's hospital room, Dr. Armand injects something into a spare bag of plasma.


Sheena morphs into a hawk to be better able to get through the jungle to the location of the Sonobo plant. She finds a clearing and begins searching, relying on the description of the plant Kali gave her.

Dr. Armand coerces a native into taking him into the LaMistas, following the map Smith found.

Kali and Tulie are discussing Sheena and how she is afraid of happiness, thinking it might soften her somehow. While they are talking, a nurse hooks up the spare bag of plasma. When the serum drips into the IV, Tulie goes into convulsions.

Cutter is cleared of Smith's murder when his gun doesn't match the murder weapon. He says he will tell Rashid when he finds out more about why Smith was there.

Sheena finds the right plant and picks some of it, wrapping it up in its own leaves. She notices an odd movement of the vines surrounding the area as she leaves. When she returns to her cave home, Kali is waiting. She says that Tulie is not doing well. She apparently has radioactive cesium in her bloodstream, and they think it must have come from her research somehow. The Sonobo plant could be her only hope. However, they see that the berries of the plant Sheena picked are already dried up. Kali says that some plants must only be used in their natural habitat, so they must take Tulie there.

Sheena and Kali go to see Cutter supposedly to borrow his jeep. When he asks who is going to drive it, Sheena says if he can do it, it must not be too difficult. This gets the desired reaction, and Cutter gives in and agrees to help them get Tulie from the hospital and take them into the jungle.

Act IV

At the hospital, Mendelson distracts the doctor while Sheena and Kali go to Tulie's room. When they turn out the lights, they see the plasma bag glowing in the dark and realize that the cesium must have been injected into it.

They get Tulie into Cutter's truck and set out for the LaMistas. When they get close to the meadow, Sheena warns them that she set up traps around it, so they get out and walk, with Cutter carrying Tulie. Dr. Armand is not far behind them, and through his binoculars, he sees the group heading for the meadow and follows them.

Kali begins applying the juice of the Sonobo plant to an incision in Tulie's arm. Sheena senses danger and slips into the jungle. Kali says that it will take millions of berries for Tulie's purpose, assuming that it would even work if taken from the LaMistas. Tulie says she has decided she will not spoil the place by taking the plants. Dr. Armand interrupts to disagree, pointing his gun at Cutter and making him drop his weapon. Suddenly the darak'na leaps from the jungle and fights Dr. Armand. Cutter takes on the native guide. The mysterious vines reach out and pull the native into the ground and then attack Dr. Armand, killing him too.


Tulie comes to Sheena's cave home to say goodbye and to thank her for saving her life. Sheena says she hopes that Tulie will return someday, and Tulie says that she will on one condition -- if all they do is laugh together like they did when they were little girls. Sheena agrees.


This synopsis is by Loretta Miller .

Dr. Tuli Batika, a childhood best friend of Sheena's returns to Maltaka in search of the Sonobo plant, a key to her research to reverse radiation poisoning. She is part of a research "team" but her male colleague (Dr. Armand) will do anything to get the wealth and fame that will no doubt follow the "find". Just as Tuli is whisked off by car to the Paris airport for the first leg of a long trip "home", Armand tosses an envelope with 25,000 dollars to the man seated at the next table. The man has been hired to "take out the girl and get the plant" but he tells Armand that he needs a partner to accomplish it and that requires another 25,000. Armand tells him that if he paid the entire amount up front that they might "forget" the mission. He snubs out his lit cigarette in the back of the hit man's hand to ensure he won't forget.

In Africa, Tuli traipses through her old haunts, the jungle she knew as a child and calls out to Sheena. There is no response. She takes a misstep and falls down a hill and only is stopped by a large limb that has blocked her path. She calls out for help and Sheena hears the plea and comes running. Sheena is taken aback that Tuli has returned.

Meanwhile, Cutter back at his place, is entertaining a pretty blond. He tells her he has a "good eye" for things and figures that she's there on a layover. The woman is surprised at how accurate he is. She tells him that she flies out the next morning at 5 a.m. Cutter, pulls out all the stops in his charm, tells her that no one should have to be anywhere at 5 a.m. He tells her the bed feels its best at that hour. What could it take to get the drink trays filled and the seat belts together? He gives her his best smile as she tells him that the stewardesses put that stuff together and Cutter is a bit confused. You see, she's the pilot_not the stewardess. Mendehlson calls out "Mayday-Mayday-Mayday" as they watch the blond leave very quickly. He just crashed and burned on final approach.

Tuli tells Sheena that Kali had told her where she could find her in the jungle. Tuli recalls as a child watching Kali apply the Sonobo plant to a child with chemical burns. She tells Sheena that she took a plane, a bus, a taxi and oxcart to get back "home". Sheena is surprised that she still refers to Maltaka as her home. Tuli tells her old friend that she may now hold a medical degree but she is still the clumsy friend from the village from long ago.

Back at Cutter's, two men have approached Cutter for a jeep rental. Cutter is dubious about these men and what they're up to. The I.D. on the first man, the only one who speaks, as "John Smith" and that cinches it for him. As they board up in the jeep, Cutter suggests that they take him on as a tour guide if they want a tour. They drive off leaving him standing there.

Cutter remarks to Mendehlson that those two are completely nondescript. He pegs them as "professionals" - i.e. assassins. Mendehlson tells him he pegged them as stewardesses. Cutter says that these men are completely forgettable, nothing memorable about either of them. Mendehlson counters with "except for the purple birthmark on the palm of the guy who didn't speak and a chicken pox scar on the forehead of the guy who did." Cutter gives Mendehlson a curious look.

Tuli is impressed by Sheena's large cave home. She asks her if it's the same cave they played in as children. Sheena tells her that cave collapsed years earlier as she gets a small canister and opens it as she brings it over to Tuli.

Tuli recognizes the smell of genema oil that Kali and Sheena had to rub on her frequent wounds so many years before.

Tuli and Sheena talk about Shebetha's death from their childhood and Sheena's reaction to it by shutting out the world, all but Kali. Tuli tells her that she did not abandon her but Sheena had grouped her best friend with those on the outside that had come in and killed her lion. Tuli tells her that not everyone on the outside is the enemy. Sheena doesn't believe her. She knows Tuli will likely get rich when she takes the plant and fears that every fortune hunter will want a hand in it and the plant will be no more. Tuli tells her that she'll only synthesize the plant in their lab. She is hurt that Sheena's opinion of her has changed so much. She has not come to Maltaka to hurt anyone or anything, only to help. Sheena tells her that she stayed in the Kayan village to help, too. Tuli doesn't buy it. She tells her that she stayed to get even.

Kali apologizes to Sheena for had she known that she didn't want to see Tuli she wouldn't have told her where to find her. Kali says that Sheena just doesn't like to see Tuli as a modern, civilized woman. Sheena tells her that they no longer have anything in common. Kali disagrees. She sees them both as intelligent, intuitive women with a great passion in what they believe in to make this world a better place to live. Sheena asks Kali why did Tuli leave Maltaka? "There are other places in the world that need help, too." "I don't live in other places, I live here." Kali tells her, "yes, in your own little world. Be careful that you don't allow that world become so small that makes you judgmental. Sheena asks her, "are you suggesting that I should leave the La Mistas?" Kali turns her back to her and won't answer. After a moment Kali tells her in response to the silence, "I wanted you to hear the sound of a closed mind."

Tuli is headed out in her own jeep the "nondescript men" follow in their rental.

Mendehlson fishes out a 20 out of their jar to examine the money as Cutter finds out that their credit cards have a Swiss bank account. Mendehlson tells him the men didn't say where they were headed but they headed in a northwest direction toward the La Mistas.

Tuli pulls her jeep to a stop and with map and knapsack in hand heads out on foot.

The men pull their jeep along the same road and past. Cutter is in his own jeep, finds Tuli's vehicle abandoned with a pile of open books on the passenger seat.

Tuli has only gone a few yards when she is trapped up in a net that hoists her up of the ground a good ten feet. She cries out which gets Cutters attention, he draws his gun and heads out to investigate. She struggles in the net and finally climbs out and falls to the ground but the assassin's accomplice (Jones) finds her first.

Before he can get his hands on her, Sheena attacks him and after some vicious kicks and throws and Sheena being clubbed in the side by a large log, he is thrown into a limb and is impaled in two places by it.

Cutter is right behind them as Sheena races over to Tuli. She is hurt very badly from the fall and she asks Cutter to help take her to Kali for medical treatment.

Kali tells Sheena that Tuli's injuries are internal and very serious, she needs hospitalization. Cutter radios for an ambulance while Sheena feels guilty that she didn't accompany her. Kali tells her that there is no time to think that way and that she is in the hands of the Great Protector now. Kali will accompany Tuli to the hospital. They watch them put her in the ambulance and Sheena tells Cutter that she is glad she got the man responsible she just has to find out why. Cutter tells her the bad news: she only got one of them.

The assassin finds Tuli's map and a few moments' later finds his partner dead, still impaled to the tree.

Armand has arrived in Africa and meets with Smith. He thought the girl had been taken care of and that Smith had the plant. But, he tells the Doctor that things didn't go as planned. He shows him the map and tells him that once he hears the rest he may join him in a drink.

Sheena cuts a "trap" and stands back as the ropes hoist a net up in the air. Sheena tells Cutter villagers didn't build the nets. He takes a closer look: definitely "company issue" (CIA). Sheena tells him they didn't make a good trap if Tuli could squirm herself out.

Cutter wants Rashid to take care of this and Sheena tells him there is no time. When he returns the rental, he'll turn him in. Sheena doesn't believe they'll live up to their rental agreement. She takes documents off Jones' body and heads for the location where the Sonobo plant grows. She will set traps to keep the others out but she'll bring back a sample for Tuli. A bit to offset the guilt she's feeling and she tells Cutter that she believes Tuli won't disturb the area and if it can help others, well, she's all for it.

At the hospital, Tuli has made great progress. Kali hears that the internal bleeding wasn't nearly as bad as first thought and she returns to their village as Tuli's colleague shows up at the hospital.

Cutter spots the jeep and looks around. He knocks on the nearby motel door but there is no answer. He pulls his gun and enters to find Smith dead. He is standing over him with a gun as the housekeeper enters and presumes he did the deed.

Dr. Armand enters Tuli's room and puts a blue substance into Tuli's back-up I.V. bag.

Sheena struggles through the thick brush to get through and makes eye contact with a passing bird. She'll fly the remaining distance.

The good doctor has arrived to the area on his own, armed with the map.

Sheena flies into the area where the plant grows and is surrounded by beautiful wild flowers. She has to find it by its scent (smells like the sea) and the leaves are corrugated like a cardboard box.

A tribesman is fixing his jeep tire when Armand approaches with a gun drawn. A fight ensues and the doctor demands him show him where this location is on the map. The tribesman wants to know why they're to go there. "To find a plant that will make me enormously wealthy." The man has no choice but to comply.

Kali is visiting with Tuli in the hospital and tells her that Sheena thinks Tuli's life is in danger and Kali believes it, too. A nurse changes the I.V. and leaves. Thinks Sheena is afraid of happiness that it'll soften her "edge". Tuli says Kali needs to help her lose her useless anger.

It only takes a moment and Tuli goes into a seizure.

Rashid releases Cutter when the wound doesn't match Cutters weapon. Rashid returns his gun to him. Rashid wants Cutter to tell him anything and Cutter promises to do so, the moment he learns anything.

Sheena uproots a plant and wraps it carefully in a large leaf when creeping vines encircle her feet.

At her cave, Kali meets Sheena and tells her of Tuli's seizures and that they had found radioactive properties in her blood. They fear it may have come from exposure from her own research and the surgery triggered it. Sheena wonders if she did something wrong and Kali assures her that she didn't. The very research she had been doing may save her life. The curative properties are found in the buds of the plant. Sheena squeezes one and the bud oozes a milky substance.

Kali and Sheena approach Cutter and he is stunned when they suggest he help them kidnap Tuli from the hospital. Cutter tells them about the killings but reluctantly agrees to assist when he's told the trip back into the LaMistas will save her life.

Armand and his captive follow a map toward the meadow and he tells the captive that he wants every last one of the plants.

Mendehlson approaches a doctor in the surgical ward as a diversion for the others and tells the doctor he has a mobile mole that perhaps it's a new strain looking for someone to discover it.

Tuli is better. She reveals that she did all this so that Sheena would talk to her again. They have to work fast; Mendehlson is buying them some time but not much. Cutter is outside in the jeep. Sheena flips the lights on and off several times as a signal and they note the liquid in the I.V. glows a blue color in the dark.

In the jeep, Kali reveals that Cesium had been placed in her I.V. Cutter tells them to hold onto the bag for Rashid. Sheena directs them to the meadow and stops them just shy of a line of wooden stakes that she had buried in the ground as a trap.

Cutter carries Tuli and they enter on foot past another trap: snakes under a cover of thick brush.

Armand is on the top of his jeep with binoculars when he spots Sheena and crew headed away from him.

Cutter lays Tuli down as she cuts her forearm. They realize they'll need millions of these little bulbs to extract enough liquid to work on her. While the first sample held a milky substance, in the wild the substance is clear. Kali explains that the plant had begun to disintegrate. Tuli tells them that she won't spoil this place for the sake of a cure. Nature did not create radiation poisoning, man did. Nature sometimes will not take part in man's mistakes. Men must find their own solution. Sheena hears something and runs off.

Dr. Armand shows up with gun drawn and has Cutter toss his gun into the bushes as Sheena changes into the Darak'na. Cutter tells Armand that the plant is useless anywhere but here when they all hear a menacing growl. Cutter tells him that if the plant falls into the wrong hands really strange things begin to happen. The Darak'na attacks Armand as Cutter takes on the "accomplice". Armand shoots at the Darak'na as she races away. Creeping vines grabs the accomplices leg and is dragged off and down into a culvert. The Darak'na attacks Armand again and with a kick to the gut, he is sent reeling backwards into the brush where the vines, mounted with spikes, squeeze the life out of him.

Cutter says, "this is not your typical vegetable garden."

The Darak'na runs off as Kali tends to Tuli.

Later, Tuli is out of the hospital and enters Sheena's cave looking to say farewell before she leaves for Paris. Sheena wants her to promise that she'll return. Tuli isn't so sure as she feels her visits only fuels her anger. Sheena assures her that that is all behind them and Tuli agrees to come back on one condition: that they act like silly girls and giggle. She tells Sheena "don't lose the laughter". She wants Sheena to say goodbye to Cutter for her. She'd take him back to Paris herself but she feels that he's more her type.

Tuli leaves and Sheena picks up a joke book she had lying around, begins to read and laughs.


This synopsis is by Loretta Miller .

We meet Tuli Batika in this episode, a childhood friend of Sheena's who Sheena thought had abandoned her when Shebetha, her pet lion had been murdered. Tuli had left the jungle and settled in Paris and became a doctor researching the cure of radiation poisoning. This very research winds up saving her own life.

One question: with Tuli's lack of reaction to the Darak'na and "its" assault on the bad guys, has Sheena been converting into the mud covered monster since childhood?

It's a very interesting premise and I feel one that was well executed.

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