|The Garden of Delights|
|Original Airdate||September 19, 1985|
|Writer(s)||Barney Cohen & Julian P. Gardner|
|Previous Episode||The Tower of Traps|
|Next Episode||Mandora - The Evil Chaser|
|All Episodes||Episode Guide|
While investigating a series of earthquake tremors, Tygra falls beneath a split in the earth and confronts a giant worm head in the subterranean world of the Mole People. Following the beast, Tygra enters the "Garden of Delights" where Silky (half woman, half flower) feeds him a strange fruit. Blinded to the fact that both Silky and the Worm are Mumm-Ra in disguise, the dazed Tygra abducts the Sword of Omens and aids the devil priest in imprisoning the ThunderCats. Willa and the Warrior Maidens narrowly escape Mumm-Ra's hypnotic powers and again ally themselves with the ThunderCats to foil the evil plot and return the Eye of Thundera to Lion-O.
In this episode, Tygra yields to the temptation of enjoying immediate gratification, represented by the mind altering fruit given him by Mumm-Ra in disguise. The offering proves addictive and its effects lead Tygra to a distortion of his responsibility as a ThunderCat and to a different moral struggle between his allegiance to the Eye of Thundera and a misplaced allegiance to Mumm-Ra's powers of suggestion.
At times, like Tygra, we are faced with choices between our own illusory personal pleasures and our real interpersonal and social responsibilities. The conflict over right and wrong moral choice demands we use our intact power of reasoning and be on guard against distractions from forces unduly influencing us. Person’s intent on doing evil or mind-altering substances can alter our perceptions and judgments and weaken our ability to make right choices. A purity of spirit and a sound moral judgment, as represented by Willa, are strong defenses against evil forces and temptations and their consequences.
As the area around Cats Lair is rattled by a series of earth tremors, Panthro and Tygra use the computers to analyze them, concluding that while not normal, the minor earthquakes aren't a big threat. Just to double check, Tygra heads out and is immediately attacked by a Giant Worm. Tygra retaliates by lashing it with his Bolo Whip but the slimy creature grabs the Bolo and pulls Tygra with it underground before disappearing out of sight.
Following the worm's slimy trail, he runs into a pair of Molemen, anthromorphic moles who assure him that they are not responsible for the earthquakes. Tygra carries on his pursuit of the worm but instead ends up in the Garden of Delights, a strange botanical paradise, teeming with all kinds of plants and insects. There he encounters Silky, a friendly, human-faced plant, who gives him a yellow melon-like fruit. A bit hesitant, Tygra starts eating the fruit and at once starts experiencing hallucinations and feelings of euphoria. So addicted is Tygra to the fruit that he does not even notice when Silky changes into her true form, that of Mumm-Ra. Mumm-Ra promises to give Tygra more fruit but only if he brings hime the Sword of Omens.
When Tygra returns back to the Cats Lair, he is in such a stupor that Panthro almost hits him with the ThunderTank. Surprised by Tygra's overall behavior, Panthro nevertheless continue the work of cleaning up all the trees that were uprooted by the tremors. He lets WilyKat take control of the tank but it gets out of his hand and they tumble down into one of the cracks in the ground. Neither of the two are injured by te fall and they call Lion-O and Cheetara down as well to explore the web of tunnels.
Back inside the lair, Tygra tries to sleep but his craving for the fruit prevents him. He gets up, takes the Sword of Omens and hands it over to Mumm-Ra in his Black Pyramid in exchange for the fruit. Well aware of the fact that the sword cannot be used by or for evil purposes, Mumm-Ra uses the Mutants to bring him a "pure spirit", who turns out to be Willa. Once Willa is teleported inside the Black Pyramid, Mumm-Ra entices her with the promise of unlimited power, placing the sword in front of her. When Willa looks between the swords crossbars, the "Sight Beyond Sight" vision reveals the truth about Mumm-Ra's evil plan to her. However, Willa pretends to play along.
Willa, the Warrior Maidens, the Mutants and Mumm-Ra attack the ThunderCats, locking Lion-O, Cheetara, and Panthro inside Cats Lair, leaving only the addicted Tygra remain with them. Panthro detaches his belt insignia, which is actually a video recorder, and flies it out of the lair via a remote control. By listening to the recording of the talks between Mumm-Ra, the Mutants, and Tygra, the ThunderCats finally get a grasp of the situation. Tygra is trying hard to fight the addiction by only pretending to eat the fruit, fooling Mumm-Ra but Willa secretly notices it.
With all the ThunderCats captured and Willa and the Sword of Omens on his side, Mumm-Ra is confident that he has succeeded. But before he can begin the festivities, the tables turn. Tygra has now broken free of the fruit's addiction and Willa throws the sword to Lion-O after freeing him. The ThunderCats, united once again, make quick work of the Mutants. Mumm-Ra, as a last resort, fires energy bolts at Lion-O from his hands, but the young lord deflects them using the Claw Shield, sending Mumm-Ra reeling back to his pyramid.
- Originally, Silky was to be designed as a girl-pony hybrid with a rich mane and tail, hence the moniker "Silky".
- This episode marks the first time that Tygra becomes addicted to something. While here it was Silky's fruit, in Crystal Canyon (episode), he becomes addicted to the Keystone. In the episode Turmagar the Tuska, Tygra is shown to succumb to the Vampire Mermaid's mesmerizing voice.
- After the ThunderTank drops into the crevice and Panthro proceeds to pull WilyKat out of it, the lighter shade of gray surrounding his mouth disappears briefly.
- While in his Ever-living form, Mumm-Ra's bandages constantly flicker between red and black.
- After Panthro and Tygra have been tied up by the Warrior Maidens, Willa walks right through Tygra's legs.
Mumm-Ra: You can have all the fruit you wish.
Tygra: Thank you, Silky.
Mumm-Ra: But first, you must bring me something in return: the Eye of Thundera! Bring it to me,Tygra! To Mumm-Ra!
Mumm-Ra: Nothing is without a taint of evil spirit.
Mumm-Ra: The Sword works for Lion-O, but perhaps it will work in the hand of some other pure spirit as well.
Slithe: That leaves all of us out.
Mumm-Ra: Apparently, the Sword does not respond to the evil touch.
Slithe: Yes. We have learned that the hard way
Panthro: You're thinking logically, son. And sometimes logic doesn't work.
Lion-O: What does?
Panthro: Ingenuity! The time to prepare for a rainy day is when the sun is shining.
Tygra: Obviously, I have a lot to apologize for.
Panthro: Not you, Tygra. That was some other person. We're just thankful you had the strength to pull yourself out of it in time.
This episode was released on the following media:
- ThunderCats Vol. 1: The Tower Of Traps and The Garden Of Delights
- The Tower of Traps and The Garden of Delights and The Slaves of Castle Plun-Darr (VHS)
- The Garden of Delights on IMDb
- ThunderCats 1985 cartoon series on Wikipedia
- Dan Maruschak's Review of "The Garden of Delights"
- ThunderCats on ThunderCats.org