To The Rescue Part Two
Our nimble heroes avoid becoming street pizza, clinging to an obliging overhanging light. As the light pole starts to swing, Chip sagely advises, “There’s got to be a way down.” Dale comes back with one of his better lines, “I know there’s a way down, but I don’t want to take it!” The light pole gives way and the two chipmunks fall and land in a municipal waste receptacle.
This landing turns out to be good timing, as they observe Fat Cat and the Goon Squad leaving the cat food factory via a secret exit hidden by a fire hose. This particular exit never comes into play again in the series, making me wonder why the Rangers never took advantage of it. Another of the Great Unanswered Questions.
Nonetheless, Chip and Dale didn’t have time to sit and ponder, as they watch the bad guys hitch a ride via a pizza delivery truck. Chip and Dale at first use a spare tire to chase the crooks, then they get bounced out and right into an expensive car. Here we learn why chipmunks were never given driver’s licenses ;-)
After a merry chase through the city, the ensemble stops at a local Chinese Laundry. Note the name: DIMSUN Laundry. That of course is also the name of the emperor in “Song of the Night ‘n Dale”. I wonder if he was franchising, or more likely it would have been his nefarious sister Su Lin. Someone really ought to tell him about that.
Fat Cat and his goons meet up with an old cat with a very strange-shaped head inside the laundry, who directs them the laundry’s rear section. Like Fat Cat’s casino, this place is also a gambling establishment, where cats are betting on the outcome of fights between Siamese Fighting Fish. (Note: Siam is the old country name for Thailand). Again, we see money exchanged, lending further credence to the idea that the animal culture has its own monetary system.
Meanwhile, Chip’s gone and berated Dale for his tomfoolery, upsetting the fun-loving chipmunk. Chip, now solo, is determined to get the ruby back and has created a makeshift fishing rod to do just that. He watches while Fat Cat sweet-talks the Siamese Twins. These two felines are a wink at the original Siamese Twins in “Lady and the Tramp”. The two cats repeat each other, talking just out of sync, making them slightly challenging to understand at times. But Fat Cat has no problem understanding them, or the reason he’s there.
“Mister Fat” has come to purchase the talents of Juice Lee, number one Siamese Fighting Fish. The fish’s name is a parody of the legendary Bruce Lee, kung-fu artist extraordinaire. Juice Lee is able to defeat a tank full of piranhas, showing his mastery of the fighting arts. Chip again tries for the ruby, but snags one of the Twins’ dresses instead. It looks bad for him, but then Dale comes surfing to the rescue! This shows Dale’s good nature, when he could have easily left Chip to be cat chow. And here we have one of the great mysteries of the series—Chip’s hat.
One moment the chipmunks are in this washing machine and Chip has no hat. The next they’re out and there it is on his noggin. You can just make it out in this blowup to the left. From there on, it’s on his head like it was always meant to be there. Stranger yet, Dale makes no comment on the hat! This would lead to the possibility that Chip already had the hat but had it stashed away in his jacket. But if he did, why did he? He wore it constantly after this incident, so it makes no sense that he’d decide all of a sudden to start wearing his favorite hat. Another of the Great Unanswered Questions.
The fedora-wearing chipmunk and his friend follow Fat Cat to a cargo ship down at the docks. Here we see Fat Cat’s plan in action. Juice Lee takes care of the seamen guarding the cargo ship. Meanwhile Fat Cat’s arranged for a suction pump to suck all of the fish out of a nearby boat and into “his” ship. One must cite Fat Cat for shortsightedness here—clearly the cargo ship wasn’t abandoned and there were bound to be more humans showing up. Stowing his stolen fish there was a pretty bad choice from the start. But it got even worse when he decided to tangle with the next character to appear.
In the cargo ship’s hold we find the traveling “home” of one Monterey Jack, Australian adventuring mouse. This is the only time we see Monty’s own preferences in terms of living quarters and decoration, for it’s quite likely that Gadget handled those things at their treehouse headquarters. Zipper is traveling with him as well, and at this juncture the fly acts more like a faithful dog than someone who would be a full-fledged Ranger later on. We also see why Monty chose this ship to travel on when he pulls out a crowbar and exposes a huge amount of cheese. Monty has the first of many, many cheese attacks here—the mouse’s Achilles Heel. We also learn Monty’s overriding philosophy, “There’s only one thing I like more than cheese…nothing.”
Unfortunately for Monty, his cheese dinner is interrupted by Chip and Dale falling on him. They’d been hiding when Mepps pulled the rope that was their cover, dragging them along. They fell right on top of the Aussie, making him none too happy. He catapults Chip and Dale on top of another crate, which opens up an unusual chain of events. We see Chip lose all sense of wanting to find the ruby and “reverts” to the old mischief-plotting Chip. This could be an argument that this Chip and Dale are the classic Chip ‘n Dale after all.
The chipmunks splat him with a cheese wheel, which Monty takes real offense at—wasting cheese after all is sacrilege to him. He chases the chipmunks into an empty crate and proceeds to wallop them out of camera view. The chipmunks come back, push a piano, and really flatten Monty this time. One might think Monty would be mad at this point, but he senses a kindred spirit in these two and says, “You know, I’m beginning to like those guys!”
Monty calls a truce just before Chip and Dale could use a forklift on Monty—good thing, or they might have punctured the ship’s hull and caused a whole other set of problems. Just as their alliance is formed, Fat Cat raises Monty’s makeshift house out of the cargo hold, making room for the fish that are to go in there. The Goon Squad proceeds to suck the fish out of the other boat, while Monty manages to salvage a ship-in-a-bottle from his possessions. The foursome “sail” on the ship, reminding one instantly of the classic Chip ‘n Dale short “Chips Ahoy”.
A note here: If Monty only salvaged this ship, which promptly sank, where did he get the family scrapbook and other knick-knacks he showed the Rangers in “Parental Discretion Retired?” A possibility would be that he traveled home during some off-time with the Rangers. Another could be that Gadget helped him salvage some of his possessions—of course for the scrapbook to have survived it would have had to have been wrapped in a water-tight substance. Monty’s never shown that kind of forward thinking.
Monty promptly climbs the cargo ship’s anchor chain, leaving Chip and Dale to deal with an angry Juice Lee. The Siamese Fighting Fish ends up slicing Fat Cat’s suction pump tube, allowing the chipmunks to suck him into it. Up on deck, Monty is fighting with Fat Cat. Interesting to see the two of them close up like this—I think they made Monty a little big compared to the crime kitty here. Their war of words stops when Chip and Dale swing in on the end of a hook and chain, knocking Fat Cat into the cargo hold with the fish.
Fat Cat climbs out in time to see Chip, Dale and Monty swing back and strike his suction pump, reversing it. All the fish go sailing into the air, the reverse pressure of the pump sending them back into the original boat’s hold. Juice Lee is expelled also, ending up in someone’s drinking glass where they put their false teeth—smile pretty now! (Another note: As you can see up above, that first boat the fish went back to had a hole in it. Why didn’t it sink?).
In the middle of their swinging around, Chip, Dale and Monty manage to knock the ship’s controls on half astern. They didn’t notice it at the moment, but they will. Fat Cat threatens the do-gooders, then suddenly turns tail and runs. Zipper squeaks a warning to Monty, and the guys turn around to find the ship apparently heading for certain disaster. This part has to be commented on, because it’s one of the biggest bonehead mistakes of the whole series. First, they were at anchor dockside. Now granted, they had moved some, but the last shot (below) shows them in open water next to a buoy! That’s pretty far-fetched. To make it even more far-fetched, the controls were set at full astern—backwards! And yet the ship is clearly going forward. And the ship somehow regrew one of its anchors! Tanka, that’s one for the books right there. (Btw, at the start of part three, the speed control has magically moved to “Slow Ahead”).
Evaluation: I give this episode a 3/5 of the Acorn Scale. Like the first episode, a lot happens in a short time and frankly it has to. Looking in hindsight, you can clearly see how the writers were setting the audience up for accepting Fat Cat and his Goon Squad as legitimate foils for Chip and Dale. The Siamese Twins added a nice touch to this episode, I thought, and I would have liked to have seen them again. Of course, Monterey Jack and Zipper did their share, and the show wouldn’t have been the same without them. One thing the writers have to be patted on the back for is realizing that Chip and Dale couldn’t carry the show alone—they would do okay for pure comedy but a semi-serious show needs more interaction.