Watership Down: The Invasion

In England there is a big old thunder storm.  One result of the storm is some sheep escape their pen. This tree that was right there next to the pen got struck by lightening and in one of the most poorly executed animations I have ever seen fell over knocking down the wall of the paddock. allowing all the sheep to escape. I am sure these sheep will soon find their way into the adventures of Watership Down. Well, unless this episode is really a hidden pilot for a cartoon about fugitive sheep escaping the authorities. I would call it “On the Lam”.

In a different scene Hazel and Fiver get caught in the storn on their way home from what I am sure was a rousing adventure. Maybe they had to go kill Bluesky and Raincloud before they told Woundwort where Watership Down is. Maybe they fucked. Only the fanfiction writers know for sure. As the two race  home a tree branch is struck and nearly falls on them. This storm be knocking down all dem trees yo. Fiver comment how “strange things happen on nights like this.” Strange things happen to them all the time, making this technically correct.

The next morning the rabbits are awoken to a whole lotta bleating coming from above ground. It leads to the best exchange I have ever witnessed on any TV show.

Blackberry: “Sounds like a flock of sheep followed you home last night”

Hazel: “Not that I noticed.”

 

Brilliant.

That is a flock of sheep

 

So the rabbits go outside and like Blackberry heard there a bunch of sheep on the down. Thats our plot for today, there are a bunch of sheep on the down. This is what happens when you knock off early to the pub and let the intern come up with a story idea. Nah I’m just joshing. There is no way this show could get an intern.

Hazel thinks having sheep on the down won’t be an issue. Captain Broom says it will be a problem and they are all in trouble. He then leaves without giving an explanation as that would make the episode end too quickly. Then a sheep headbutts Bigwig.

In the next scene Dandilion, Hawkbit and Keehar discuss the situation with Campion. They bring up the risks he runs as a double agent and the benefits he would recieve by joining the Downers officialy but the risks he runs working against Woundwort from the inside. Its a fairly long and in depth conversation for a cartoon episode where those characters don’t even show up. Then a bunch of sheep get all up in there shit and push them around leading to more awesome lines such as

Keehar: “Ya you stomp on Keehar’s crabs”

and

Hawkbit: Hey, are you hard of hearing or just deaf?”

Then a sheep head butts Hawkbit in the taint. This might be the best episode of the series.

Ewe baby

Pipkin asks one of the sheep what her name is, but he asks her butt while making goo goo eyes, which is odd to say the least. He then goes and talks to the one lamb, who does speak with him because she has a unique design. Her name is Frost. Frost says she isn’t suppose to talk to Pipkin because he is a rabbit. So sheep are racist. I guess this explains why Pipkin couldn’t get any digets from the other sheep he talked to. That ass he was staring into belongs to a ram, or possible a Welsh.

Hazel is trying to sleep but he can’t because of the sheep. If his insomnia continues he is definitely going to travel to other planes of existence and then stop 9/11. Bigwig tells Hazel to get outside because he has something to show him. Turns out the sheep are tearing the grass out by the roots because sheep are dicks. Hannah and Captain Broom then come over. Hannah mentions how the sheep take big steamy shits all over the place. Broom says that he had warned them about the mob. Nobody ever disputed Broom’s claims, he just wandered off after making them. Captain Broom has dementia. Fiver points out the goat appears to be in charge. Dandelion questions why a goat is in charge of a flock of sheep in the first place. Broom says sheep sometimes follow a goat for no apparent reason. This is a better in story explanation then “Nobody realized goats aren’t male sheep until we were finished with the animation.”

Bigwig tells the goat to take his sheep and shove off. The goat responds with charging Bigwig and sending him flying like 30 feet. You would think this would kill Bigwig, but it doesn’t.

Pipkin asks Frost whats wrong with rabbits. Frost says she doesn’t know, maybe its the ears. So sheep just blindly follow beliefs they are told. Kind of like religious people, right guys? More like religious SHEEPLE!

An eagle shows up so Pipkin and Frost make a run for it. Do eagles eat lambs? I assumed the lamb with be too big, but I guess I don’t really know how much an eagle can carry. Maybe this is one of those eagles Gandalf cruises around on. The goat chases the eagle away. Pipkin goes home and tells the story and the rabbits say that eagles follow sheep to eat the lambs, so I guess they do. I’m glad for the confirmation. The sheep bringing in elil is going to make life harder for the downers. You know whats weird? The farmer hasn’t found the sheep yet. They couldn’t have traveled all that far. Its not like they could have gone far during the storm and they haven’t kept moving. Maybe the storm that freed the sheep also killed the farmer, or he was one of the victims in the Christmas special.

 

The goat is eating the tree over Watership Down. Fiver asks him not to because it will die and fall over. The goat ignores Fiver. Fiver brings up the fact that the goat is eating the tree throughout the rest of the episode but is never really acknowledged by anybody else. Its like the rest of the characters decided this plot line would be boring and are ignoring it.

Pipkin and Frost have a conversation about farms. Frost gives the backstory about them escaping their paddock. The goat told them to do it. Frost says they don’t really talk to goats but he talks to them. Then the eagle appears and the bunnies run for it. Dandelion and Hawkbit hide under a sheep, which is funny. Its like My Name is Earl when Earl was in jail and he hid behind fat people to avoid being noticed and raped. That season of My Name is Earl where he was in jail was pretty odd, what with all the rape and all.

 A dramatic leap

The goat is unconcerned about the eagle and continues to eat the tree which prompts Fiver to say “We’ve got to make him stop eating our tree.” How many shows could contain that line and have it make sense? Not many. Hawkbit and Dandelion run from sheep to sheep until they get to the warren. This shit is seriously happening. They jump and there is a shot that is reminiscent of when Bigwig totally leaped at that weasel. I don’t know if its a homage or they just reused the animation or what, but its brilliant. Hawkbit and Dandilion knock Hazel, Fiver and Bigwig over and they fall into a pile in the warren. They are all on Bigwig and it is probably seriously straining his already injured spine. They’re all like “We gotta get rid of these sheeps.”

Broom tells all the rabbits in da house that the only way to deal with a sheep is with a sheep dog. Pipkin explains how the sheep escaped  during the storm. Once again Pipkin shows himself to be one of the more useful rabbits. How many problems has he resolved with his animal friends? Like, at least four. Possibly less. Its decided they need to get the sheep dog to come and heard these sheep away. Bigwig thinks its ridiculous how they already got sheep and an eagle and now they are trying for more random animals, but it appears to be the only way.  They soon set off for the farm, although Pipkin is left behind. I guess because he is too slow to outrun a dog but more likely this is just like in the Christmas episode where Pipkin decides to hang at home instead of going on the suicide mission.

The rabbits get to the farm and find the sheepdog. Hazel tries to tell her he knows where her sheep are but the dog  just chases him around. After getting away Hazel forms a plan. They will lead the dog to the down by having it chase one of them for awhile. Then they will switch off with another rabbit who will lead the dog further. This is the plan they use in the conclusion of the book and movie when Woundwort’s army is going to defeat them. This is a lot less dramatic since the invading force isn’t their mortal enemies who are out for blood, but rather a bunch of fucking sheep.

This is what best friends do

At the Down Frost head butts Pipkin in the butt and knocks him over. Frost tells Pipkin she knocked him over because she decided she likes having other animals as friends and wants to be friends with him. That is the same behavior all the other sheep have been showing this entire episode. I guess they are actually a bunch of friendly blokes, going around ramming themselves into their new friends. Here here, my pal, let me lower my cranium and deposit it into your buttocks, chip chip cheerios, this is how we do it in Britannia it is. Pipkin  shows Frost how to play tail tag. This results in Frost headbutting Pipkin in the ass. All this head on butt action makes me  think somebody making this episode just had a weird fetish they were trying to work through.

Hawkbit baits the dog and is chased of a little while. Dandelion and Fiver are next. Dandelion says he could have handled this by himself but Fiver points out that he is the slowest rabbit in the warren and Dandelion is barely faster then he is. Dandelion the proves that he would have ruined everything by immediately freezing up when the dog comes after him, necessitating that Fiver save him. They make it to Bigwig and it looks like the dog is tired and just going to leave until Bigwig uses sexual slurs like “Man licker” to goad her into going after him. Hazel finishes off the run. He falls and the dog almost eats him, but then she sees the sheep and runs off to herd them.

In the next scene the sun is setting and the sheep are slowly walking away in single file. That dog works slow but he is organized. Frost tells Pipkin the next time she meets a rabbit she will talk to it even if she is not suppose to. As the sheep leave Bigwig says good riddance. Pipkin says he likes Frost and Broom admits that lambs are okay, but the trouble with them is that they grow up to be sheep. Then one of the sheep walking by says “A good deal better then growing up to be a rabbit I venture”

That my friends, is what we call a burn.

Final Thoughts

Halfway through the episode you would think that the rabbits would save the sheep somehow and Frost would explain how learning to get along with others is important and we would learn a lesson about not being so judgmental. Instead nobody learns anything.

Final Score 5/10

Of all the episodes of Watership Down this is definitely one of them.