The Wild Thornberrys

Season 2 Episode 29

Gift of Gab

Aired Tuesday 8:00 PM Feb 26, 2000 on Nickelodeon

Episode Recap

This episode takes place in Nigeria. The episode begins with Eliza and Darwin hanging out in a tree picking some fruit. Eliza notes that today marks their two year anniversary of when they met. Darwin can't believe it's really been that long. Eliza says it was before she could talk to animals. Darwin notes that he remembers that day, and says that Eliza almost didn't live through it.

Eliza and Darwin start to remember that day, and they both have a flashback to two years ago. Eliza roams through the jungle and sees an animal up in the tree. It stares at her in a very weird manner, and Eliza asks it if it wants anything. The animal continues to stare, and Eliza pulls a carrot out of her pocket. The animal gets scared and leaves. Eliza continues to walk and eats the carrot as she continues. She comes across a large snake in the woods. Eliza starts backing away while the snake looks at her menacingly. Eliza asks the snake not to eat her, but it doesn't listen to her. It slithers up to her and swallows her whole. Eliza screams for help and says she's not for dinner. Suddenly, a tribe of warriors throw a net over the snake.

The warriors bring the snake back to their campsite and they put it on a platform. They dance around it, and Eliza's screams and struggle helps the snake regurgitate her. Eliza falls to the ground, disoriented. The warriors surround her and put a crown of feathers on her head. They put her on her own platform and carry her towards a volcano. Eliza is scared and pleads for help. The warriors hold a spear at her and force her to jump into the volcano. Eliza continues to plead for help. Suddenly, we see a larger, more muscular Darwin appear in the bushes. He flexes his muscles and grabs onto a vine. He swings across and is able to grab Eliza. As they fly away, Darwin sticks his tongue out at the warriors as the volcano explodes.

We go back to reality and realize that Darwin was just making the whole scenario up. Eliza tells Darwin there was no fiery volcano. Darwin insists that there was because he was there. Eliza says she was there too and didn't remember that happening. Darwin assumes that Eliza is going to give him a different version. Eliza says she's going to give the real version. She starts to tell it, but Darwin needs to grab a fruit first.

Eliza has a flashback to two years ago. This is also before they found Donnie, so it is just Nigel, Marianne, Debbie, and Eliza. Nigel has longer hair and a full beard. He is driving the convoy and it shakes back and forth because he has a lot of trouble controlling it. Eliza notes that they were in West Africa shooting their first documentary for the Foundation. Nigel signals to everyone to look at the tree and look at all of the creatures inside. The convoy shakes again, and Debbie falls off the couch while she was painting her toenails. Eliza sits at the table bored and with nobody to talk to. Marianne notes that the convoy is shaking a lot, and notes that Nigel would probably enjoy the sights better if she was driving and he was in the passenger seat. Nigel thinks that would be a great idea, and let's go of the wheel to pat her on the shoulder. When he does, he almost runs into a calf. Marianne is able to swerve the convoy out of the way before it hits the calf.

Later, the convoy has made camp. Nigel and Marianne are busy shooting their first segment. Eliza walks near the jungle and sees Darwin for the first time hiding in the bushes. Eliza waves to him and wants to get closer but Darwin is afraid. Eliza starts acting like a monkey, and Darwin is initially confused. After imitating Darwin's moves, Darwin gets the joke and starts laughing. He comes closer to Eliza and starts to follow her. Eliza brings him back to show Nigel, Marianne, and Debbie. Nigel admits that he is amazed because chimpanzees usually aren't this social. Darwin goes over to see Debbie, and Debbie is freaked out. She throws a container at him and tells him to get away. Darwin is very afraid and runs away from the campsite. Eliza yells at Debbie and says that he didn't do anything wrong and that's not how someone should treat animals. Debbie notes that Eliza leaves when she throws things at her. Eliza runs off to go see if she can find Darwin. Marianne tells Eliza to be careful.

Eliza still hasn't named Darwin yet so she still refers to him as a chimpanzee. She attempts to find him. She instead hears something wailing in the jungle. She follows the noise and sees a warthog lying on the ground hurt. It is caught in a huge trap. Eliza tells the warthog she'll help him, but it is afraid of her. Eliza insists that she's only trying to help. She walks around and is able to open the trap long enough for the warthog to get its leg out. Eliza is happy that she was able to help him. The warthog starts walking towards Eliza, and something bizarre happens. He suddenly sprouts a skirt made of flowers. His front paws turn to arms, and his back paws turn to legs. He suddenly starts to lose his warthog appearance all together, and the warthog is transformed into a man. He looks like a man from some kind of tribe. He has two tusks in between his nose that makes him look unique. Eliza is amazed at what she has just seen.

The man starts to jump around with joy and says that he's finally human again. He says he's been a warthog for years. Eliza doesn't understand and says she saved a warthog and asks why he became a human. The man tells her that he was put under a spell, and she broke it when she saved him. He starts remembering everything, and he starts to feel human again. He asks if she has anything to eat. Eliza says she only has an apple. The man eats it, and Eliza says she doesn't mind sharing it. Eliza wants to learn more about the spell. The man tells her that a few years ago he used to be a shaman in the Sirimba tribe. He tells her that their tribe believes that humans and animals spirits join together. Eliza says she believes that too. The shaman walks by a dead branch and it suddenly sprouts flowers from it. Eliza is impressed. The shaman admits that he wasn't the most animal loving person of the tribe. He used to be unable to stand them and the other members of the tribe were not happy about that. He angered the shaman when he ate his prized sheep and turned him into a warthog as punishment. Because of Eliza, he was finally able to turn back into a man. The shaman says the spell could only be broken if a human truly cared about him enough to help, but since he was a warthog it wasn't likely that someone would help. Eliza says she was glad to help. The shaman says that because she helped him, he is going to grant her a wish. Eliza is excited, but doesn't know what to wish for. While she is thinking, she is able to see Darwin in the tree again. Eliza goes over to see him, but he is afraid after what Debbie did. Eliza insists she won't hurt him and is upset that he can't understand. Suddenly, Eliza realizes what she wants. She tells the shaman she wants to be able to talk to animals. The shaman admits that's the first time he's heard that one. A magical wand appears in his hand, and he says an ancient spell. The first one doesn't work, but then he adds that she can talk to animals at the end. This time, a blue twister swirls Eliza with pictures of animals on it. Darwin is freaked out by what he sees and flees. After the spell, the shaman tells her that he has to go. Eliza tells him to wait, but the shaman is gone.

Eliza starts walking through the woods, and she sees two squirrels arguing. She tries to talk to them, but they are very frightened that a human can talk to them and flee. Eliza walks by another tree and asks if anyone can understand her. From above, she hears a voice that says there's a bug in her hair and asks if he can have it. Eliza laughs, and looks up to see Darwin in the tree. Eliza realizes that Darwin is talking to her. Darwin says that he didn't realize she spoke chimp, and then is actually amazed that she can. Eliza says she is, and Darwin is glad he can finally talk to someone civilized. Eliza is glad that she can talk to someone uncivilized.

Eliza and Darwin run off to have fun. Darwin climbs on some vines and Eliza tries to follow her. She notes it isn't as easy as it looks. Darwin says that he isn't surprised and says that her hands are the problem. Eliza introduces herself and asks what his name is. Darwin tells her his name, and is sounds like he is wailing like a monkey. Eliza notes that is very hard to pronounce and asks if she can call him Darwin. Darwin likes that name. She notes that it's after Lenny Darwin, her cousin that looks like a monkey.

Eliza and Darwin head back to the convoy. Eliza says that they have so much to talk about like music, and Darwin notes that he has to show her his favorite hiding places. Eliza wonders if maybe he can stay with them. Darwin thought she would never ask, and says he would be glad to stay. He worries though that her parents won't let him. Eliza says she'll talk them into it. Darwin says that as long as they don't make him eat bananas, he'll be fine with staying with them. Darwin notices the clothesline next and sees all of the clothes on it. He spots the tank top that he wears regularly in the future and likes it. Eliza asks if he wants to dress like them too, and she gives him the tank top and some shorts to wear. Darwin looks in the mirror and likes what he sees. Nigel, Marianne, and Debbie arrive home from shooting footage and Eliza is ready to show them Darwin. Marianne tells Eliza that they got some great footage today for their first episode. Debbie says if they're into aardvarks, then it was a fun day. She throws some equipment on the ground and sees Darwin wearing her lucky tank top. Debbie is angry about that and starts chasing him to get it back. Darwin is able to jump around the picnic table in order to avoid her, and she allows him to keep it. Eliza gets ready to take Darwin to Nigel and Marianne. But when she tries to talk to them, her voice sounds raspy and sounds like she's speaking like a monkey. Marianne asks Eliza if she's kidding and asks why she's croaking like a frog. Debbie thinks she's a loon. Eliza continues to try and talk, but she is unable to sound like anything but a chimpanzee. She turns to Darwin and realizes that the shaman's spell will only allow her to talk to animals, but not to people. They rush into the jungle to try and get him to fix it. Marianne tells her to be back by nightfall because they're leaving for Kenya.

In the jungle, Eliza and Darwin continue to search for the shaman, but dusk is approaching and she has to go back soon. Eliza asks Darwin what she's going to do, and says she can't go her whole life without talking to people. Darwin tells her that she can always talk to him. Eliza starts to cry and says she wanted to talk to animals so badly. Darwin and Eliza both start to cry. Suddenly, a large bus drives past them and they see the shaman seated in the back seat. Eliza says she's found him and tries to run after him. The bus is going very quickly and Eliza says they're going to have to find a shortcut through the jungle. They go through the jungle, but Eliza quickly realizes she doesn't know which way she should go. She says that she may not be able to talk to people, but that the animals might be able to help her. Darwin says the animals might eat them. Eliza doubts it and thinks that they might love them instead.

Eliza and Darwin later try talking to some other monkeys. They start tickling Darwin while Eliza tries talking to them. Eliza asks them again where the road is, but the monkeys start tickling her too. They realize this isn't going to work and they grab a vine and swing off the branch to find someone else. Darwin notes that he never met a lower primate that he liked. A vulture lands next to them. Eliza greets her, and the vulture asks if they're alright. Eliza says that they're fine. The vulture actually wishes they weren't fine because they're too fresh to eat. Eliza thinks that is very disgusting. Eliza tries asking the vulture where the road is, but the vulture doesn't want to pay any attention to them and ends up pushing them off the branch. The vulture asks if they're starting to rot yet. Eliza says that isn't going to happen and yells that she didn't need to do that. The vulture tells her to try and find a scavenger that cares and flies away.

Eliza is starting to realize that not all animals really are that friendly just like people. An antelope comes out of the bushes and says that some animals are charming. Eliza asks the antelope if he knows what a road is. The antelope says that he knows that it's a thing where lights come at you and all you can do is stare at them and not move. Eliza asks if he'll take them there. The antelope says he will and tells them to hop on. As he walks, the antelope admits that he knows what a road is but he isn't sure where it is. Eliza realizes they're all lost, but that they might be able to find out where to go next. She spots three birds in the tree.

Later, Eliza, Darwin, and the antelope are able to find the road. The birds fly away and thank Eliza. Eliza tells them to have fun in Cairo. They are able to find the bus parked by a rest stop. Eliza thanks the antelope for helping them. Eliza and Darwin arrive at the rest stop where they find the shaman eating some food and resting in a mud bath. The shaman greets her, and Eliza can't believe that he can understand her. She asks why he disappears, and the shaman responds that he was only coming back to his favorite hot springs. Eliza tells the shaman that he goofed up, and his spell won't let her talk to people anymore. The shaman can't believe that's a problem. Eliza says he needs to fix it. The shaman tells her that he can only make her talk to humans or animals. He admits that he's never done something difficult to allow anyone to talk to both so she has to make a decision. Eliza says that she made a great friend in Darwin, and they talk about everything. But she admits that she can't go her whole life without talking to her family. The shaman realizes she's made her choice, and Eliza asks him to give her a minute. Eliza spots Darwin enjoying a mud bath. Eliza tells him that this has been the best day in her life and it could go on, but that it can't. She tells him that she needs to be able to talk to her mother and father, and says that after this he won't be able to understand her anymore. Eliza says that there's nothing that they can do despite Darwin's sadness. The shaman grabs his wand and reverses the spell that he made on Eliza. Eliza falls back into the mud and she in unable to understand what Darwin says anymore.

Eliza is ready to leave and she takes Darwin with her. But Darwin refuses to leave and starts screaming and yelling at the shaman in chimp. His fury makes him slip in the mud and he starts to slide down the hill. He goes over a cliff, but is able to grab a branch on his way down. Eliza lowers her foot down to Darwin, and Darwin is able to grab hold of her foot. Unfortunately, the root that Eliza was holding onto breaks and she falls as well. She is able to grab onto the branch as well, but she can feel it breaking. The shaman runs over to the cliff and extends his wand down so that they can grab it. She grabs onto it, and the shaman is able to pull Eliza and Darwin up.

Eliza thanks the shaman for helping her out. The shaman notes that he couldn't just let her fall. Eliza hugs Darwin and is glad that he is safe. The shaman realizes just how much Eliza likes Darwin. Eliza says she does, and tells Darwin that it's time for them to go home. The shaman starts to break out in tears and tells the two to wait. He says that he shouldn't be doing this, but he heard about a spell that they could try and says that if she's willing to try it he will do it. Eliza asks if she'll be able to talk to Darwin and humans. The shaman says yes, but admits that if he doesn't do it right she'll grow an extra head. Eliza says she's willing to give it a try. The shaman gets his wand out and gives her the deluxe spell. The spell doesn't make her grow an extra head, but it does allow her to hear what Darwin says. Eliza and Darwin are so happy that they can understand each other again. The shaman gets back in the mud hole and starts to eat his meal again. Eliza thanks him and tells him that he changed her life forever. The shaman tells her that she has to remember one thing. He tells her that she can never tell anyone about her power because if she does, the spell will go away. Eliza understands and promises.

As night falls, Nigel, Marianne, and Debbie are packing up the campsite. Eliza brings Darwin into the campsite, and she is able to talk to them this time. She says that she made a friend in Darwin and asks if he can stay with them. Nigel and Marianne walk up to Darwin and they tell Eliza that Darwin can stay with them, much to Debbie's dismay.

We see the present day next. Eliza tells Darwin that ever since that day, things have turned out great. Suddenly, the tree branch snaps and Eliza falls. Darwin reaches out and is able to grab her before she hits the ground. He admits that he thinks so too. The episode ends with the two of them laughing, happy to be in each other's lives.