The Wild Thornberrys

Season 1 Episode 14

Flight of the Donnie

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Nov 17, 1998 on Nickelodeon

Episode Recap

This episode takes place outside of Cuzco in the Andes Mountains of Peru. The episode begins with a baby condor hatching from its egg. The egg fell out of the nest, and the bird is unable to fly to get back to it. It starts to cry. The mother condor flies out from the nest to try and find her missing baby.

Eliza and Nigel watch the condor from the ridge where the convoy is. Nigel calls for Marianne to come outside because they need to go to work. Marianne comes outside. She is not looking very well, and she sneezes after she steps outside. Nigel tells Marianne they need to hurry so they can get footage of the Andean Condor. Marianne struggles to get on her large backpack and starts to sneeze again. Nigel doesn't notice that Marianne is sick and is very excited for the chance to get the footage. Eliza points out that Marianne is very sick. Nigel approaches Marianne and asks if she's really sick. Marianne tries to deny it, but she sneezes again and her voice is very raspy. The sneeze scares Donnie and he runs behind the convoy. Nigel says that she is sick and can't be walking around the mountains like this. He yells for Debbie to boil some eggs, call a helicopter, and get a surgeon to the convoy. Marianne insists that she's fine. She says it's just a cold and that all they need is one shot of a condor. Nigel tells Marianne that she has to stay in bed. He says that one of the girls can fill in for her today. Eliza says that she's willing to and Debbie is fine with that. Eliza runs over to get her mother's pack. It is rather heavy for her and she actually falls down because of the heavy weight. Donnie laughs and imitates what Eliza did. Marianne apologizes, but she tells Eliza that she has to wait a few more years before she can carry the gear. Nigel tells Debbie that she's old enough to carry the pack. Debbie tries to protest, but the bag is thrown at her and she is forced to go with Nigel. Nigel tells Marianne to go inside and get some rest and they'll handle the footage. Marianne heads inside, complaining that her feet are swollen and she can barely breathe. Nigel tells Eliza that she should watch over Marianne while they're away. Eliza agrees to help. Nigel and Debbie take off to get the shot of the condor.

Inside, Marianne is watching some footage. She is trying to get the next episode ready, but she sneezes and the footage ends up falling on the floor. Donnie imitates her, and laughs. Eliza tells Marianne that she promised Nigel she would take care of her and tells her to lie down while she gets breakfast. Marianne thanks her and goes to lie down.

Darwin tries to make Marianne some orange juice. But he forgets to put the cup under the juicer and the orange juice goes all over the counter. Darwin thinks it's broken. Donnie wants an English lesson, but Eliza says that she can't teach him right now. She tells him that they're going to play a new game that involves him stirring the pancake mix. Donnie stirs for a minute, and then throws some of the pancake batter at Darwin. Darwin screams at him. Eliza yells at Darwin to keep stirring. Marianne asks if everything is okay upstairs. Eliza insists everything is fine. She fills up the cup with orange juice and takes it down to Marianne. Marianne tells Eliza to put it on the dresser. She tells her that she took some medicine and it's making her tired. Before she can finish, Marianne is able to fall asleep.

When Eliza returns to the kitchen, she finds that Donnie threw the pancake batter everywhere. He then takes the pancake syrup and pours it all over his head. She grabs it from him and tells him to stop. She opens up a cupboard and finds Darwin hiding in it. Darwin tells her to find her own cabinet because this one is his. She then sees Donnie playing with a pillow and getting syrup all over it. When she goes to take it from him, Donnie won't give it up. The pillow rips and the feathers go everywhere. Many of them land on Donnie, and it makes him look like a little bird. Eliza yells at Donnie and says that she's trying to take care of Marianne and she can't deal with him. She throws him outside and tells him to play out by the convoy.

On a ridge, Debbie and Nigel are attempting to film footage for the foundation. Nigel is trying to explain facts about the condor while Debbie shoots the footage. She is listening to music and having fun. She thinks that something would look good for the show, and starts to play with the camera. She does a close up on Nigel's face, then moves to his hands and finally starts pointing at his feet. Nigel asks Debbie what she's doing. Debbie tells him that she's trying to give the show a new look. Nigel tells Debbie that Marianne usually points the camera at him. Debbie says that she is filming, and this is a Debbie Thornberry production. She throws Nigel some glasses and tells him to put them on so it gives him some Nigel puts them on, but says he can't see anything. Nigel tells Debbie that they have a duty to their viewers and they can't just change the show up like this. Debbie tells him to get with the picture. Suddenly, the lens falls off the camera. Nigel freaks, but Debbie tells him she'll put it back on. When she kneels down, Nigel sees that there's a condor right behind her. Nigel tells Debbie to be quiet and look around so she can get the shot. Debbie says that she'll get the shot soon. But when she looks around, the condor is gone.

The condor ends up flying over the convoy and sees Donnie. Because Donnie's hair is covered in syrup and his body is covered with feathers, she thinks that it's her missing young one. Donnie knows what's going on and pounds on the door for Eliza to let him in. Inside, Eliza and Darwin have finished cleaning the convoy. Eliza doesn't pay any attention to Donnie at first, but she then hears the condor screech. Eliza rushes over and sees the condor. Eliza asks Darwin to go get the video camera so they can get some footage of it. Eliza runs downstairs and tries to get Marianne to wake up so she can get the footage. But Marianne is too deep in sleep and Eliza realizes that she's on her own. Eliza and Darwin run outside with the video camera. When they look through it, they see that the condor has grabbed Donnie. They scream, but Donnie is actually enjoying the flight. He flaps his arms that are covered with feathers and it makes it seem like he has wings.

Moments later, Eliza and Darwin are climbing a rock wall in order to get to the condor and Donnie. Eliza tells Darwin they have to hurry so they can get Donnie. Darwin is sad because one minute Donnie was an innocent boy and the next minute he's lunch. Eliza says that won't happen. Darwin thinks Donnie will be saved for dinner. Eliza says that condors don't eat living things. Darwin says that they can slow down then, but Eliza keeps moving at the same pace. Darwin groans and follows her.

Up in the next, the condor cradles Donnie like he's her own. Nigel and Debbie are lower down the mountain and are still trying to get the footage. Nigel notices the condor up on the ridge. He says it's wonderful to see a mother condor caring for her young, not realize that she has Donnie up there. Debbie analyzes the footage and says it'll go great with the guitar solo.

Up above Nigel and Debbie, Eliza and Darwin are walking along a ledge to get to Donnie. Darwin says he thinks the ledge is getting narrower and Eliza agrees with him. She notes it gets wider up ahead and there's a little cave. Darwin says he'd like a running start before falling off the mountain. Eliza insists they need to keep moving so they can get to Donnie. They make it to the other side, and Eliza notes that the cave may take them to the top of the mountain. Darwin thinks it could also take them to a bottomless pit. Eliza tells him to hurry. They walk through the cave, and Darwin hears something chirping. He gets nervous, but Eliza assures him that sometimes rocks just rub against each other and make sounds. Suddenly, they hear a loud squawking sound and they see a huge shadow. They don't want to go anywhere near it and they run away from the cave.

Down below, Nigel hears Eliza and Darwin's screams and notes that he's never heard anything quite like it. He thinks they should go and check it out. Debbie tells Nigel to be quiet so she could think. Nigel starts to realize that Debbie isn't calling her dad, but by his actual name. Debbie ignores him and says there's a rock in the way of their shot, and she wants it moved. Nigel says that this is a nature show and the rock is nature. Debbie tells her that it's old nature and she removes it. As a result, several small rocks start to fall out of place as well. Debbie tells Nigel that she wants to film the shot again. They start to shoot some footage and Nigel starts to recount the motherhood nature of the condor. Behind him, the falling rocks start to get bigger. Nigel realizes that a rockslide is about to occur and tells Debbie to run. Debbie picks up the camera and the two of them run. They are able to get behind a large rock, and the rockslide falls harmlessly down the mountain while they're in safety. Nigel thinks that this kind of nature is splendid.

Eliza and Darwin are finally able to make it to the nest. They see the condor with Donnie. Eliza is so glad that they made it. Eliza realizes that the condor is treating Donnie like it's her baby. Darwin says all they have to do is talk to her. Eliza agrees and heads up to talk with her. She climbs up the rock face and Donnie sees Eliza. He starts to babble at her. The mother condor looks around and looks at Eliza with aggression. Eliza tells the condor she's sorry to bother her. The condor tells her that she can leave because this is her home. Eliza tell her that she'll leave after she gets Donnie. The condor doesn't know what Donnie is, but Eliza says that he's a human boy and tells her that Donnie really isn't her baby. To contradict Eliza's statements, Donnie starts flapping his wings and screeches like a bird. The condor tells Eliza that she may be endangered but she isn't stupid and tells her to leave. Eliza can't believe it. The condor screeches at her and Eliza flees from fright.

Later, Eliza and Darwin are hiding in some bushes. Eliza tells Darwin that she is going to have to go with Plan B. Darwin asks what that is. Eliza says she's going to run there and grab Donnie. Darwin says that plan doesn't even deserve a letter. Eliza sees the condor fly off. She takes her chance and runs to Donnie, who is sleeping in the nest. Eliza is able to wake Donnie and says they have to go. But the condor flies back after seeing Eliza. She smacks her with her wing, and Eliza runs back down the ridge.

The condor tries to teach Donnie how to fly. She shows him how to flap his wings and Donnie imitates her. She moves him to the edge of the cliff. Eliza screams that the condor is going to make Donnie fly. Darwin says that definitely won't be good. Eliza says that if she can't get to Donnie, she may be able to get Donnie to come to her. She pulls a chocolate bar out of her pocket. Eliza signals to Donnie and Donnie is able to see her. When he starts to walk towards her, he ends up falling off the cliff. The mother condor flies down after him. Donnie at first thinks the fall is fun, but he realizes how fast he's falling and starts to scream. Eliza hopes that she'll be able to get to him and both she and Darwin panic. Before Donnie hits the ground, the condor is able to catch him. Eliza and Darwin breathe a sigh of relief.

Below, Nigel and Debbie hear the calls of the condor. Nigel tells Debbie to keep climbing because they're getting very close. Debbie doesn't understand how Marianne does this type of activity. Nigel admits that Marianne is reluctant to do some of the dangerous things that he is daring enough to do.

Eliza and Darwin are still trying to think of a way to get Donnie. She realizes that condors don't eat living things and she has a plan. Darwin asks what they're going to do. Eliza admits that it's more of what Darwin is going to do. The condor comes back to Donnie, who is sleeping in the nest. Down below, Darwin pretends that he is dying, and finally falls on the ground dead. The condor thinks that Darwin will make a nice meal and she starts to circle around him. Nigel is able to see her from where he's at. He tells Debbie to hurry up so they can set up at the nesting area before she gets back. The condor starts to swoop down at Darwin.

Eliza heads up to the nest and is able to get Donnie to wake up and come with her. Darwin sees the condor swooping down and ducks in order to get out of her way. The condor flies past him and Darwin runs. The condor, realizing she's been duped, flies away.

Debbie and Nigel are able to make it to the nesting site. Debbie says she can work with this and tells him that she's going to film him from this spot while turning around in a circle. Nigel tells her that that shot won't work. Debbie is upset that Nigel won't follow her lead. Nigel informs Debbie that the spot that she's standing in is what the condor uses for a nest. The condor returns and noticing Debbie is in her nest, she hovers above her. Nigel is excited and tells Debbie to shoot the footage. Debbie grabs the camera and starts shooting the footage. The condor stays there for a moment, and then notices Eliza and Donnie running down the mountain. She flies after them so she can get Donnie back. Nigel is happy that Debbie was able to get the footage. Then, he notices that Debbie was shooting the camera backwards and had the lens pointing right at her eye. He says they got a good shot of her right eye, and is very let down.

Further down the mountain, Eliza sees Darwin. Darwin asks how his performance was. Eliza screams. Darwin didn't think that his performance was that bad, but Eliza yells for Darwin to run. The condor is chasing after them and Darwin turns tail and runs. Eliza asks if they've lost her yet. Darwin says no because the condor is right behind him. She pecks him on the head, but is unable to grab him. She flies higher in the air. She swoops down again and tries to grab Donnie, but she misses. The three end up coming to a ridge with a small cliff and water beneath it. They realize they are trapped. The condor corners Eliza and orders her to give Donnie back. Eliza stands up for herself and tells the condor that she's supposed to take care of him and that's what she's going to do. The condor tries to grab Donnie, but Donnie falls over the cliff. They both scream, but Donnie is okay as he splashes into the water below. He gets out and comes out on shore, the syrup and feathers washed off of him. The condor now sees that he is just a boy and she can't believe it. Eliza apologizes to her and tells her that she knew that she thought he was her baby. The condor admits that she knew Donnie wasn't her baby. She tells Eliza that her son wandered off and when she saw Donnie alone outside she took responsibility for him. Eliza says that she was looking after Donnie. The condor squawks in shame. Eliza realizes that she heard that sound before and tells her that she knows where her baby is.

The condor flies with Eliza, Donnie, and Darwin, and they land in front of the cave that Eliza and Darwin went into earlier. The condor walks inside and starts making the screeching noise. Her screech is responded by another screech. The little condor comes outside of the cave and is glad to see his mother. She picks him up and starts kissing him all over. Darwin actually sheds a couple of tears at the sight of the two reuniting.

Later, the condor and her son fly the rest of the group back to the convoy. Eliza and Donnie ride on the mother condor, while Darwin is being carried by the young one. Darwin is a little heavy for him, and there are times when he actually has to drop to the ground in order to fly with Darwin.

Inside the convoy, Marianne wakes up from her nap. She hears Darwin screaming upstairs and wonders what is going on. Marianne wonders what's going on. She walks into the kitchen and Eliza has baked a cake for Marianne. Marianne appreciates it and she notes that Eliza did a wonderful job taking care of the convoy. She says it was nothing major. She sees a feather flying in the air and she grabs it. Outside, Nigel and Debbie arrive back from their adventure. Marianne looks outside and notices the condor and her son outside on a ledge. Debbie is outside complaining that she didn't get the shot. She thinks that filming a condor is the hardest thing ever. She says there were big birds, rockslides, and Nigel didn't do a thing she asked. The whole time she complains, Nigel is able to get perfect footage of the condor and her son. Debbie runs inside to go get a shower. Nigel congratulates Marianne on getting the footage. He asks if she's feeling better. Marianne she feels much better, and notes that Eliza did a good job taking care of everyone today. She then notices that Donnie isn't around and wonders where he is. After the condor and her son fly off, Eliza thinks that the condor may have taken him again. She screams Donnie's name and runs out to the ridge.

What nobody sees is that Donnie is inside the convoy. He eyes the cake, and then plants his face right into it. The episode ends with the sounds of Donnie eating the cake.
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