Battle of the Bulge

Episode written by Dev Ross and Tad Stones

Summarized by John Nowak, with thanks to Natasha and Julie for telling me Fat Cat's henchmen's names.

 

The show opens with a shot of a large helicopter flying overhead. The copter is steel gray and made of steel plates.

The helicopter hovers over a building in Our City. We see a crowd of people, including police, newsmen, and a stereotypical Society Matron looking up at the helicopter. A ventral hatch on the copter opens, and a winch lowers a safe to the rooftop. Officer Muldoon unhooks the safe, and the copter flies away. A newsman with a microphone begins speaking:

"Chief Marley," he says, addressing a uniformed policeman with service ribbons, "Will these new armored helicopters really do away with jewel robberies?"

"Absolutely," Chief Marley says. "Wealthy citizens like, uh, Lady Richmore here," patting the hand of the wealthy society matron "will be able to transport their jewels in complete safety. Unless, of course, crooks grow wings!"

With these Famous Last Words, Marley and Richmore laugh happily.

Muldoon opens the safe. Muldoon and Officer Kirby gasp in horror as they see the safe is filled with banana peels, apple cores, and the like.

"Banana peels?" Marley asks rhetorically, in shock.

"Oh, my jewels!" Lady Richmore sighs, revealing with her accent that she probably married into the title, pirouettes and collapses into the arms of Marley. Her bulk topples them both over backwards into the safe, and all the icky garbage. The reporters burst into a babble of questions as flash bulbs pop. Marley is clearly annoyed at being photographed on his back in garbage.

We cut to Detective Spinelli at his desk, talking on the phone.

"The pilots didn't see anything," he explains. "And what's more, they swear the jewels were there when they took off." Spinelli flinches under the violence of the reply. "Right, Chief, right away," he says consolingly. He hangs up and slowly runs his hand over his face.

Muldoon and Kirby walk up with grins and a box filled with fruit peels. "More clues, Spinelli!" Muldoon says, and fulfills the fantasy of many a subordinate by dumping a load of garbage on his superior's desk.

Spinelli lifts an apple core. "Yuck. You call this a clue?" he asks.

We pan to see a detective obviously lampooning the main character from the old TV show Miami Vice. He holds a bagel and reads a folder. As he's about to take a bite, a safety pin on a string attaches itself to the bagel and it is snatched ceiling ward. "Hey!" he yells.

The Rangers sit on a ceiling fan, looking down as Monty hauls up his bagel. "Golly," Gadget says. "Thieves who steal jewels in mid air."

"Yeah. Why don't we ever get neat cases like that?" Chip asks, apparently annoyed at the tedium of everyday cases like the ones they usually get involved with (ahem). He also seems to forget that there's nothing preventing them from taking this case.

Dale is watching Monty with the bagel. "Can I have a bite, Monterey?" he asks politely.

"Sure, pally," Monty tells him, tearing off a crumb and dropping it in the chipmunk's hand. "Share and share alike, I always say."

"Gee, thanks," Dale frowns, looking at the crumb in his hand.

"Don't mention it," Monterey says, swallowing the entire bagel in a single, horrifying gulp. "What are friends for?"

Down on the floor, Spinelli's using a dustpan to clean up the last of the garbage on his desk. "What kind of crook snacks on fruit in the middle of a heist?" he asks.

"A hungry one?" Kirby suggests.

"Oh, you're a real big help," Spinelli snaps. "Go on, get out of here." Kirby and Muldoon leave.

"Speaking of hungry," Spinelli says with a smile, opening his desk drawer, revealing a club sandwich, condiments, and a stack of layered cheese. He lifts the top slice of bread off the sandwich, revealing two red onions on a bed of lettuce (sorry - I haven't had lunch yet). He lays a slice of Swiss cheese on the onions.

The cheese fragrance drifts towards the ceiling fan, where Monty and Zipper doze. Monty Cheese Attacks, begins to stand, zombie like, while Zipper gasps "Uh oh" and tries to tug him back down. Monty marches off the edge of the fan, past the two chipmunks who watch but do not interfere, and does a graceful dive onto the sandwich.

"I thought I had a pickle in here," Spinelli says with a frown. He puts the top of the sandwich back on, covering Monty.

"Oh, no!" Gadget gasps in horror.

The Swiss cheese vanishes. Spinelli lifts the sandwich to his mouth, and notices Monty's swishing tail. "What?" he asks, removing the top of the sandwich to reveal Monty. Monty's eaten the Swiss cheese, and in a continuity blooper, is now laying on a layer of many small round red things, which resemble sliced cherry tomatoes.

Monty begins to run. He can't get traction on the tomatoes and sends them shooting backwards with each step. He goes off the sandwich and hits a stack of papers, and continues running. He's still having trouble getting started; page by page, he scatters the paper.

"Why, you," mutters Spinelli, and tries to crush Monty with a slap.

Monty has by now made it off the paper. Spinelli's hand slams down. Monty hits the phone, pressing a few buttons at random, and grabs the handset. He leaps off to the floor, using the handset as a bungee cord. Monty gasps out a relieved "Whew!" immediately before the rest of the phone, drawn by the yank on the handset, drops off the desk and lands on him.

"Gotcha now, mouse," Spinelli chortles with glee. Monty's off like a rocket, evading a rolled up copy of a paper. "Get that rodent!" Spinelli cries out. Instantly, Muldoon, Kirby, [and the detective who looks like Crockett] join their boss in a mad race after Monty.

Monty crashes into a garbage can held by Muldoon, who upends it with a triumphant "Gotcha!" He has not reckoned on the power of the burly Australian. To his astonishment, the garbage can races away.

The other rangers have not been idle. They have set up a simple tripwire trap with a power cord. "Here they come," says Dale.

"Get ready," orders Chip. Gadget nods.

Monty's garbage can zips over the slack cord. "Now!" Gadget yells. The Rangers pull, putting tension on the tripwire and lifting it several inches off the ground. Dale is on belay on one end while the others tug at the other end; we focus on him as four cops hit the tripwire, which lives up to its name. As Our City's Finest crash to the ground, Dale looks at us proudly.

Spinelli is sitting on Kirby. "That does it," he snaps. "We gotta get a cat."

We zoom in on the Ranger tree. Monterey is emptying the refrigerator, and carrying the contents to the table.

"Hey, there's nothing left," Dale says, astonished. Gadget and Chip get annoyed.

"You've just got to stop all this snacking, Monterey," Chip snaps.

"Yeah," Dale agrees. "We could all get caught on account of you."

"You're exaggerating," Monty claims. "I'm as thin as I ever was." He sprinkles salt on a cupcake. Ugh.

Chip drums his fingers on the table, with a sarcastic "Uh-huh."

Zipper flies into Monty's stomach, penetrating in like a finger pressed into a stress ball. "You mates are mistaking my muscularity for fat," Monty says. Monty sits backwards and smashes a chair.

"Uh-huh," says Chip, Dale, and Gadget in a horrible chorus of sarcasm.

"You know that I have large bones," Monty says, sitting gingerly on a second chair, which holds a moment and collapses.

"You're right," Monty finally admits. "My tummy's got a mind of its own. This is no way for a Rescue Ranger to look. From now on, Monterey Jack's on a strict regimen of diet and exercise." Monty throws a few punches at the air.

"Oh boy, oh boy," Dale chortles with glee, and makes a grab for the food. Monterey snatches it away from him.

"Sorry, mate," Monty explains. "But the first thing we Rangers got to learn is moderation."

"Really?" asks Dale.

Monty holds out something green to Dale, while Gadget watches in horror. "Here," Monty says, "have a parsley sprig."

Dale wrinkles his face in disgust.

We cut to the gym. While Zipper works out on suspended rings, Chip and Dale do road work on a record turntable. Since Chip is further out from the center, he's working harder than Dale. Monty is working on a punching bag, while Gadget jumps rope. A TV news program plays in the background:

"Police are still no closer to solving the mysterious midair robberies. However, the helicopter transport company has no plans to discontinue service. That's it for the news. Now back to Aerobic Dancing with Dev."

The image on screen turns to a woman in a leotard. "Cool jets, everybody," she says. "Let's start with the basics." Note the first names of the writers of this episode; this is presumably an in joke which would be hilarious if we knew Dev Ross.

Zipper strains to lift two cherries on a toothpick. He takes a few large bites from each and presses the remaining weight with ease.

Chip and Dale are obviously starting to collapse. "How's about practicing a little moderation now, Monterey?" Chip asks.

"Yeah," Dale agrees. "I'm pooped."

"Perk up, lads, remember," says their merciless taskmaster. "No pain, no gain." He gives the bag a mighty wallop. It swings back and knocks him flying onto the chipmunks. Somehow, the five Rangers end up in a pile on the floor. "So much for the pain," Monty decides. "How's about a bit of lunch?"

Instead of responding directly, the other four sprint to the table leaving visible contrails.

Monterey, wearing a chef's hat, is slapping together a hot meal. "The strongest bloke I ever knew lived off this stuff for a year," he explains. "Whilst engaged in a finger-wrestling match with a Himalayan gorilla. Kept him from going bananas."

He carries it to the table, where the other Rangers watch with sparkling, hungry eyes. "What are we having?" Dale asks.

"Dried Boll Weevil in wheat germ granola," Monty tells them. The enthusiasm dies. "Have a try," he coaxes them, forcing a spoonful down Dale's throat.

Dale displays nausea. Gadget dubiously gulps a bit. "Ew," she says. "This stuff tastes terrible."

"That's the whole idea, love," Monty tells her. "That way, you don't eat too much."

Dale, deprived of a major reason to live, falls unconscious to the floor.

Monty is in a hammock, asleep. Apparently Monty likes to sleep in a hammock. Noise from the kitchen wakes him. "Crikey! Sounds like burglars to me," he hisses, eyes narrowed with rage.

He leaps into the next room, swinging a pencil. "Hee-yah! Gotcha, you thieving blackguards!" he snarls.

Gadget, Dale, and Chip sit around the table, in night clothes, looking ever so innocent. "Uh - golly, Monty. This isn't what you think it is -" Gadget begins.

"Nuh-uh," Dale agrees. We're just, er, uh..." he looks at Chip for help.

"A dream!" Chip decides. "You're dreaming, Monterey!"

Monty shrugs and yawns. "Well, if this is a dream, I'll just finish it back in me bed where it's warmer." He turns back to his hammock. Despite what Monty says, hammocks are cold. Zipper turns on a light. The other Rangers take out food.

"If my dream knows what's good for it," Monty goes on, "it had better be going back to bed, too."

The Rangers sigh in despair.

Morning. Two chipmunks slip fitfully in their bunk beds. Until they are awakened by a blast from Monterey on a long, curved, horn.

"Rise and shine, mates!" Monty grins. "Nothing like a morning jog to work out the kinks!"

The chipmunks are soon cussing out Monty in Chipmunk. "Morning, guys," Gadget's voice floats in.

Gadget walks into shot, wearing her leotard. Cue saxophone. "Ready, guys?" she asks.

The chipmunks drool briefly, race off camera, and return, bright eyed, bushy tailed, and in jogging togs. "Ready!" they proclaim.

This seems to be a scripting problem. Their reaction (as well as the shot composition) implies this is the first time they've seen Gadget in her leotard; but it's the same one she was wearing in the gym earlier.

We cut to a truck with an open door. A yawn emerges from the radio. "And now for the Incredibly Early Morning News." We slowly pan, and see the truck was loaded with fruit. "There was yet another mid-air jewel heist last night. Police are still baffled by the fruity clues being left behind. And in other news." The Rangers jog past, Chip and Dale bringing up the rear. If you've seen Animalympics, you'd understand why. Chip and Dale sneak back, looking at all the yummy fruit.

They look at one another. "FOOD!" they shout.

They quickly scamper up into the truck and into an apple crate. The contents lower noticeably as the chipmunks engorge themselves.

They sit, sated for a moment, when the crate begins to shake.

"This one will do," comes the familiar Peter Lorrie impression voice of Wart, Fat Cat's lizard lieutenant. "I'll grab some bananas."

Fat Cat's three chief henchmen are in the fruit truck, swiping fruit. "Do you think this is enough?" whines the cat, Meps.

"It's good enough for those fools the boss is using," gripes Wart.

Chip and Dale emerge under the (not) watchful eyes of Mole. They quickly dive for cover again. "Boy, this fruit must be really fresh," Mole observes. "It's still moving."

We then see a shot of that vile focal point of greed and malice: Happy Cat Cat Food.

"Here's the fruit like you ordered, boss!" says Meps, as they bring the box into Fat Cat's office. Chip and Dale silently peek about. They hadn't expected to appear in the middle of the spider's web; their only chance is that the spider hasn't noticed them.

"Excellent, excellent," purrs Fat Cat, going through the fruit. Chip and Dale sneak away, out of his view. "Let's see, now. Apples, oranges, bananas... very good." Chip and Dale duck into a conveniently hollowed out pineapple.

"And a pineapple. You've really outdone yourself." He holds the pineapple, packed with chipmunks, aloft. Fat Cat smiles at his cronies, who simper back. "What?!" gasps Fat Cat, abruptly enraged. "No pears?!" He advances savagely on the trio, holding the pineapple above his head threateningly. "I told you ninnies they like a wide selection! How can you have variety ... WITHOUT PEARS!?"

The three tremble with fear. The doorbell rings.

"Saved by the bell, gentlemen," Fat Cat informs them.

Fat Cat walks to the door, and tosses the pineapple back into the fruit crate. Chip and Dale spill out. "Whew -" says Dale. "That was close!" Chip slaps a hand over his friend's mouth.

With the usual "Star Trek" sound effect, the elevator door opens, to reveal three bats hanging upside down. "If it isn't my little winged messengers now," says Fat Cat. "Entre vous, won't you?"

The three henchmen boil in the corner. "Gosh, he never speaks French to us," Mole sniffs.

The three bats flip into the office, and Caribbean steel drum music starts playing. The three Jamaican Fruit Bats speak with broad Jamaican accents which I will not try to transliterate, and I'm rather surprised that they weren't midwestified like most everyone else. Since they are not explicitly given names in this episode, I'll call them "The first one, the fat one, and the small one." If anyone has official names, please let me know.

"You sent for us again, Mr. Fat Cat the boss man?" asks the first.

"Is too early for us Fruit Bats, man. The sun it still shines." says the second, a chubby one.

The third, the little one, says, "And I didn't get a chance to... eat..."

The three look intently at the crate of fruit, which Fat Cat gestures to. They sprint towards it, but Fat Cat deflects them off his stomach.

"Nah - ah ah," Fat Cat says. "Not until you agree to take care of another teeny, tiny, little job for the boss man."

"Jamaican fruit bats do anything for the fruit, man" says the small one.

"Yeah, man," agrees the fat one. "Anything."

"Yes, I know," chortles Fat Cat. "And I love it. Go for it, boys!" he says, pointing at the crate.

The little one grabs the pineapple Chip and Dale are hiding in. "How I do love the pineapple fruit, man. Hey man, this is the most righteous fruit I've seen for a long time. Watch this - one bite."

The pineapple and its contents are snatched from certain doom by the fat bat. "A fruit this fine must be shared," he says.

A scuffle breaks out over the pineapple. Chip and Dale abandon the fruit.

"Gentlemen, gentlemen," coaxes Fat Cat, tapping at his wrist. "It's time to be going." He musters himself for a howl. "RIGHT NOW!!"

The fruit of contention lands on Mole. Fat Cat takes an apple, spins it like a basketball, and uses one claw to slice a long, spiral peel.

"It would be such a shame if you missed the appointment I've arranged for you," he says gently.

The fruit bats get the gist.

"Right away, Mr. Fat Cat," says the first. He starts scooping fruit into a sack.

"We'll take enough fruit with us, just to keep the energy up," says the little one, scooping Chip and Dale accidentally into the sack.

"Hurry back," Fat Cat says gently as they creep off. After the door closes, he snorts at the camera. "That's the problem with foreign imports - it's a pain getting decent service."

The fruit bats, with their sack, fly off. "Man, that is one crazy cat," says the first one. We move close to the sack, and see Chip and Dale opening a patch. "You got that right, man," the first bat says (oddly, replying to his own statement!) "His banana boat is short one bunch."

Chip and Dale silently poise for a jump, and leap off. They grab a TV antenna, which bends, breaking their fall, and lowering them to the roof. They let go.

"What do you think they're going to do for Fat Cat?" Dale asks Chip.

Chip replies, "Let's get the Ranger Plane and find out."

Monterey and Zipper are doing deep knee bends on the landing branch.

"Hey, you guys," Dale says.

"Let's go!" Chip adds, "We've got a case!"

He grins. "Why, it's the slackers. Couldn't take the pace, eh?"

Chip and Dale sprint across the branch, pulling on their work clothes. "No time for exercise now, Monty," Chip says. "We need the Ranger Plane to-" They stop abruptly. "Oh, no!"

Gadget, wearing her goggles with her back to the camera, is converting the Ranger Plane to bicycle power. "I had Gadget fix it," brags Monty, "so we can exercise, even when we're on a case."

"Golly," says Gadget, now wearing a headband instead of her goggles, "I was just trying to be helpful." The pants of Gadget's leotard are the same color as her overalls, so from behind, with her hair blocking her shirt, it's hard to tell which she's wearing. The goggles are a giveaway, though; I suspect they used stock footage of her in her coveralls for the first scene.

The Ranger Plane, pedaled by the five Rangers, flies over the city.

"How can we tell which way the fruit bats went?" Gadget asks.

"We just follow their trail," Chip says, pointing at a line of fruit rubbish on the ground. "Those fruit bats are flying garbage disposals."

"This will have us thinner than weasels in a washtub in no time at all," Monterey says proudly.

A bit later, Monty is having trouble. "What say we take a break, eh, pallies? Everything in moderation, you know?"

"We're never gonna catch up to them," Dale gripes.

"We might as well give up and go home," Chip admits, hopelessly.

"Well, okay," gasps Monty. "If you can't take it."

Suddenly, they are flying through a rain of apple cores.

"Hey," says Gadget, "Who ordered the fruit cocktail?"

"It's those bats!" Dale points out.

The fruit bats are hanging upside down, crunching the last of their fruit.

"Now I am ready for a righteous fine nap," says the fat one.

"No chance of that, man, here comes our date," says the first one. We see one of the armored helicopters, flying towards us. The scene is inverted because the bat is upside down. "And she sure is looking fat for the plucking, man."

The bats drop away, and fly to intercept the helicopter.

We return to the Ranger Wing. "Wonder why they're going after that helicopter?" Dale asks.

"That's the kind that was robbed..." says Gadget.

"It's Fat Cat! That's what they're doing for Fat Cat!" Chip triumphantly concludes.

"Then let's go! Start pedaling!" Dale snaps. They put on some speed.

"Rescue..." gasps a terribly overexerted Monty, "...Rangers (choke) Away!"

"We'll head them off," Chip says, as the Plane comes up under the copter.

"You betcha -" Dale begins, before the Ranger Plane is caught in a terrible crosswind. They're soon spinning completely around.

"It's the downdraft from the propeller," Gadget explains.

"Keep pumping," Chip orders.

Gadget has a better idea. She leaps off her bicycle and onto the controls. She extends a pintle-mount suction harpoon launcher. "Try to keep it steady," she orders, as she fires the dart to adhere to the bottom of the copter. She turns on the winch, which draws the Plane close under the helicopter. Throughout this sequence, Gadget drops her normally friendly and fun demeanor and shows an edge that would score diamond. If the eyes are the window to the soul, here she shares hers with a Clint Eastwood character on a really bad day.

"The wind shouldn't bother us under here," Gadget points out. She uses the suction landing gear to grab onto the side of the copter.

"But, uh, what happened to the bats?" Dale asks.

"I'll find out," she says, tying suction cups to her feet. She takes a plunger harpoon with an attached cord, and walks along the bottom of the helicopter. Peering out from behind the landing gear with a suddenly black nose, she sees the bats cutting into the side of the helicopter with a blowtorch.

"Easy as slicing key lime pie," the fat one chortles.

Gadget attaches the harpoon to the landing gear. Chip and Dale scoot hand-over-hand down the string. "You were right, Chip," Gadget says. "They're the jewel thieves."

"So what are we going to do about it?" Dale asks.

Monty is trying to make his way over the line. He's exhausted, and he doesn't have a safety line. He gasps something I can't quite make out, grabs for the line, misses, and drops like a stone, with a scream.

"Monterey!" Gadget screams. "MONTY!"

Like a bolt out of heaven, Zipper flashes down. He grabs Monty's collar and starts to fly, slowing him considerably and unbelievably. {Consider this Exhibit 1 in the "Why Zipper Should Be Replaced by Foxglove" class action suit.}

Chip and Dale grab the plunger harpoon free, and with a cry of "Rescue Rangers Away!" so they don't think about how they're doing something Really Reckless, they jump after their friend.

"Crikey!" shouts Monty as the chipmunks flash past him.

"Grab on, Monty!" they tell him as they bounce back up. He complies. Soon the three of them are dangling at the end of the string.

This description doesn't do any justice to this entire 40-second sequence. It's designed beautifully, with vertigo-inducing shots of clouds and birds below us, and a forced-perspective shot of the string and the boys dangling way, way down at the end of it. In a series with a lot of falling scenes, this is the best I've watched. They really outdid themselves here. The Odessa Step sequence from Battleship Potemkin; and the Monty Plummets sequence from "Battle of the Bulge."

"I'll have you up in just a sec, guys!" Gadget screams down from the Ranger Plane. She is distracted by a sound. The ventral doors of the copter are being opened. "Golly, that was handy," Gadget says. Using her suction cups, she creeps up on the open doors.

The fruit bats are carrying loaded sacks out of the copter. "That be the most of it. Come, get back to Fat Cat."

"That loony cat better have some righteous fine fruit to pay for this work," the fat one says as they leave the copter, leaving the doors open.

"I got my wind back now, mates," Monterey tells the chipmunks. Adrenaline is amazing stuff. "But they're getting away."

"Not if we hitch a ride," Chip points out. "How about it, Monterey?"

"I say, go for it!" The massive mouse starts swinging their line.

Gadget has gone through the ventral doors, and presses a button to lower the winch. "Elevator coming down," she says. "Oh no!" she yelps. "What are they doing?"

They're gathering momentum for a jump. "My days at the circus taught me the two rules of acrobatics," Monty explains. "One: try not to look down. Two: don't fall on the clowns."

They leap through the air and land in the bats' swag sack. The little one looks angrily at the fat one. "Hey, what's the matter with you? Stop shaking the load, man."

"Me?" asks the fat one, annoyed. "You're the one not carrying the load."

The bats fly off to Fat Cat's. Zipper flies back to Gadget.

In his office, Fat Cat lifts a piece of fruit off a pile and contemplates it serenely. "This'll do," he snaps, flinging the fruit to hit Mole. "Isn't commerce wonderful?" he asks. "Imagine, exchanging nectarines for necklaces. Bananas for brooches. Tangelos for tiaras. Oh, I'm sooooo shrewd."

"You're the shrewdest, boss," agrees Meps.

"You're the most tip-top, Fat Cat," agrees Wart. Mole nods enthusiastically to what must is probably the only homage in Disney animation to Hanna-Barbera.

"But it can't last forever, you know," Fat Cat says sadly, toying with a jewel. "The cops will wise up and find another way to ship the jewels. And then I'll ship those batty fruitcakes back to Jamaica!"

"Really?" asks the lizard.

"Gosh! We thought you liked them better than us," Mole says.

"What? Better than you?" Fat Cat asks, horrified. "Who've been with me through thick and thin, boom and bust? You?" He lifts a gently smiling Mole. "Mi amigos? Compadres? Mon frers? You?"

"Hello, Fat Cat, we come back, man," says one of the fruit bats.

"Gentlemen!" cries Fat Cat joyfully, dropping Mole and stepping on his head. (Personally, I think this entire sequence more than justifies Roy Neal's take on Mole in "Consummation.") "What have my favorite fruit bats brought me?"

Enthusiastically, Fat Cat goes through the sacks, tossing the contents in the air as he names them.

"Pearls! And diamonds! And Rescue Rangers! And emeralds!" The Rangers scramble out of the sack.

Doink.

"RESCUE RANGERS?!" Fat Cat bellows. "GET THEM!!"

The Rangers rush past Fat Cat's cronies. Soon, the chase is on. The Rangers make for the pile of fruit. "Hey, they're after our fruit!" cries a fruit bat in indignation. And they go after our heroes.

With a terrifying war cry of "Banana! Banana! Banana!" the chipmunks leap on three bananas, sending them flying under the feet of Fat Cat's minions. They topple, and the fruit bats scramble over them. If I were a toon, I'd follow two rules: avoid conveyer belts (they're bad news) and always carry a banana.

A short, spirited fruit fight ensues, which ends with the Rangers surrounded. "Fire up the Cuisinart, boys," Fat Cat commands. "It's time for some Rescue Rangers preserves!"

The room begins to shake. "What in the world -" Fat Cat begins.

We see outside, the helicopter has caught Happy Cat's nostril on its hook. It would hurt if it wasn't a hollow statue.

"What's happening? We've snagged on something!" cries out the pilot.

Meanwhile, in the cargo bay, Gadget presses the "Up" button on the winch.

Soon, Fat Cat's office is vibrating like a set in "Earthquake." Debris falls from the ceiling. "Get under cover!" Chip yells, ducking under a table.

Gadget slides down the rope to the statue. "Here, kitty, kitty," she coaxes. "Say 'Ah!'"

The mouth of the statue is wrenched open. Fat Cat's cronies and the fruit bats tumble out, in a cascade of fruit, and land in dumpsters and garbage cans. Fat Cat falls out. The sacks of jewels crash to the pavement, while the feline crime lord lands in the gutter and clings to the lip of the sewer.

"You know, man," says the little fruit bat, "I think I am getting tired of the fruit."

"Yeah, man," says the first bat. "Maybe we can eat something softer."

Kirby and Muldoon drive up, and pile out of the police car.

"The missing jewels," Kirby says, astonished.

"Where'd they come from?" Muldoon asks.

"Oh, drat," snaps Fat Cat, as he is whisked down the sewer.

Kirby and Muldoon stand with the jewels, on a TV screen. "The stolen jewels were recovered," says a TV announcer, "but the identity of the thieves remains a mystery."

Monterey is watching, sitting in a teacup filled with (presumably) hot water. "Not to mention the guys who recovered them," he says. "Another bromide tablet, Zipper me pal?" he asks.

Zipper drops an Alka-Seltzer into the cup, turning it into a Jacuzzi. Monty sighs with contentment. "Nothing tops a little time in a hot tub," he says.

Chip, Dale, and Gadget walk in, wearing their workout gear, and looking tired.

"Hey," says Chip.

"What do you think you're doing?" Dale accuses.

"I thought maybe we've had enough exercising," Monty admits.

"Right!" yell the chipmunks gleefully. The three rush Monty, leaping into the hot tub, fully clothed. "Everything in moderation," they cry out, and start laughing.

 

Personally, I've got a major prejudice against cartoons which end with everyone laughing together. Still, "Battle of the Bulge" (History note: the title is a reference to a major battle in Western Europe at the close of World War II - it could be called "Kursk West.") is a rather nifty episode. Like "Three Men and a Booby" it emphasizes situation over individual lines of clever dialogue and puns. It has a few plot holes, some literal: why didn't the police notice the holes blowtorched into the copters, why didn't the fruit bats close the doors on the helicopter, isn't it amazingly lucky the flight path of the armored helicopter happened to carry it directly over Fat Cat's, didn't Gadget think that tearing apart a building her friends were inside was just a little rash - but despite its problems, it works well.

Chip and Dale actually work together throughout the episode, which lacks even a single bonk. On the other hand, Dale's personality is almost submerged into Chip's - it's as though they were scripted as "the chipmunks" instead of "Chip and Dale." There's good interplay between Fat Cat and his cronies, and between the Rangers. The episode is aware that helicopters produce a ferocious vortex of circular wind. Gadget's solution may seem bizarre, but it is similar to a device used by Navy ships to assist helicopter landings in bad weather.

I'm surprised that hot tub scene remains in the episode - sure, Gadget and the chipmunks remain fully clothed, but I seriously doubt Monterey was wearing anything but a helmet. If "Three men and Gadget in a hot tub" sounds like a pretty foolish thing to protest, let's remember that Mighty Mouse was actually sniffing a flower.

 

Rescue Rangers and all characters and episodes copyright the Walt Disney Corporation and used without permission.

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