Watership Down: The Mysterious Visitors

Dandilion, Hawkbit, Fiver, and Pipkin are at the farm eating various produce, and denying the farming a source of income so that he can support his family. This is why the farmer’s daughter is not receiving much needed chemo therapy. The fence that was in the last episode where they took food from the farm is gone. The farmer had to sell it to pay his mortgage. Sadly this means he has no way of protecting his crops from the rabbits, which will simply result in fewer vegetables to sell, further leading him into poverty. Also his wife is cheating on him with a shepherd. A Scottish shepherd.

In the bushes, watching the Downers, are Bluesky and Raincloud. These will be the antagonists for today’s adventure. These two plan on pulling a con game on the Downers. Step one is to wake the sleeping dog and get him to chase everybody out of the open. When you think about it this is pretty dark. Sure everybody escaped because this is a cartoon, but what if they hadn’t? The wandering rabbits where willing to potentially murder strangers just to get them in the right position to set up the con.

The Mysterious Visitors

Bluesky and Raincloud jump from under crest in the hill. I suppose sort of makes it look like they came out of the rainbow, like if you’re an idiot, which most of the rabbits are so it works. They claim to be messengers from Prince Rainbow with a message for the leader and his captain of Owsla. This makes Pipkin say “Oh, you mean Hazel and Bigwig,” and those two flim flammers act like they knew who they were talking about the entire time. They also cause overly dramatic music to play, which gives them legitimacy.

Despite the entire series centering on keeping the location of Watership Down a secret  the B team Downers are completely willing to bring two strangers making outrageous claims to Watership Down. even going as far as to push Raincloud (the fat one) up the hill. No need to worry, they all know its a filler episode with no longing consequences. Might as well attack a weasel head on while they’re at it.

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At the top of the hill Blackberry is teaching Primrose’s kids the names of plants. Oddly enough the kids are not the same color as before. Did her old children die and she got new ones? Yes, but who cares, its Blackberry! She is consistently awesome. I don’t know why she doesn’t show up more often. Blackberry pretty much always is the smartest and most competent rabbit on the team. Clover is also hanging around with Hannah and gets a few lines in. Clover is the hutch rabbit from a review I did fifteen years ago. Fuck, I don’t know what is sadder, the fact I’m still doing these reviews or the fact that I’m too lazy to have finished the series by now. I guess it would help if it didn’t take me five months to finish each one.

Hazel Bigwig and Pipkin enter the scene. Hazel in understandably cautious about two strangers finding the secret hide out. Pipkin assures they are trust worthy because they know all about Hazel and Bigwig, in the sense they know their names. Then Pipkin steals Clover’s carrot. I wasn’t aware that meeting a messenger from god gave you permission to be rude!

Bluesky and Raincloud get to the top of the hill and hop right past Hazel and Bigwig without acknowledging them. This does little to dissuade Hazel and Bigwig’s misgivings on these rabbit’s honesty. The two leaders confront the hoodwinks, wanting to know what the message is. Bluesky and Raincloud insist that the message they have can only be given after they rest and get some tasty food. So they go inside and eat all the food in the house and fall asleep in Hannah’s bed. Hannah is not happy about this, but who really cares what she thinks. Blackberry is also upset which engages me as a viewer.

The B team thinks that traveling along rainbows is just tiring work and runs off to get some more flayrah for the messengers from god. Pipkin to his credit defends then two, but doesn’t run off to get them more stuff. He just acts like he will but doesn’t go anywhere. He’s smart enough to make others do the work and I bet he slips in behind them when they give them the food, thus making them think he helped. Later on while eating Bluesky and Raincloud tell stories of cabbages that grow on trees and flying. The flying story makes Keehaar suspicious as he has never seen rabbits fly before. Also, cabbage on trees? Thats the most amazing thing they can think of? The Watership Down rabbits have witnessed prophecies come true, seen an endless body of water, and one fucking episode ago used elaborate costumes and animal alliances to trick somebody into thinking a messenger from a god was coming. Why are they falling for this? Wouldn’t it have made more sense for this episode to have come before the last one?  Why are they falling for the trick they just did? What are Campion and Woundort up to this entire time? Why did I skip the Christmas special?

Bigwig shoos everybunny from listening to the strangers by reminding them they have chores to do. Chores? Rabbits have chores? What kind of chores do rabbits even have to do?Apparently Dandelion and Pipkin are suppose to take Primrose’s children for a run, but why can’t one of the parents do it? I guess Hazel might be busy but Campion isn’t anywhere nearby for Primrose to emotionally manipulate so she should be free.

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Also there are four babies now. I guess the animation budget suddenly shot up to the point where they could animate all the kids at the same time. In all those scenes where we only saw two kids what were the other two up to? I’m going to invent a back story. You see, its dangerous to have all the kits in one place because if a predator attacked an entire generation could be wiped out. Clover has always been good with children so she would watch two of them while the other two spent time with Primrose. Then they would switch off so Primrose could bond with her other two children. Now that the kids are older they can all spend time together, as its believed they can successfully take care of themselves in case of danger. This also means Clover can come spend time on this side of the hill, which makes her happy because she missed gossiping with Hannah. This is much  to the dismay of Blackavar who was trying to build up the courage to make a move on Clover. He doesn’t like spending time around Primrose due to all the PTSD he has from Efrafa. Primrose reminds him of that dark place and serves as a trigger. Eventually Blackaver is driven mad and jumps in front of a bus which is why he stops appearing in episodes.

Tired of dealing with the hoodwinks Bigwig gives an ultimatum to the new comers, give Prince Rainbow’s message or die! The message is that Prince Rainbow thinks Hazel and Bigwig are so totally awesome that they could be the next El-ahrairah and Rabscuttle. Hazel is all like “Okay, well thats the message, get off my lawn,” but the messengers says they need to stick around and watch them to make sure it is true. Bigwig appears to have failed his sense motive check and is happy about the idea of being Rapscuttle. I should also probably explain who Rapscuttle is. He was El-ahrairah’s captain of Owsla. His name is also way easier to spell then El-ahrairah. I swear half the time I spend on these reviews is simply checking the spelling of rabbit words. Also I forget if Hanna has an H in it or not. It does.

Pipkin tries to fly but can’t due to gravity. Keehar points out that gulls are the ones who fly, rabbits hippity hop on the ground.  Then he flies away just to stick it to Pipkin. Take that mammals! Bummed out, Pipkin decides to talk to Bluesky and Raincloud in order to get the inside scoop on how to fly. Inside those two are discussing the situation. Raincloud thinks everybody is fooled except that sexy bastard Hazel. Bluesky points out that Watership Down is awesome so they should just live there, however Raincloud is unwilling to give up the life of a confidence man. Pipkin comes in and whines at them about wanting to fly until Raincloud gets annoyed and feeds Pipkin a bullshit line about needing some ingredients for a spell. This makes Pipkin all excited and he runs off to get the goods.

Hazel invites Bluesky and Raincloud on patrol but they don’t want to because they are lazy Americans. Not hard working British folk with dandy accents and teeth that don’t need no fancy dental work. Hazel points out that they have to come with if they are going to watch them and make sure they are good enough to be the next El-ahrairah and Rabscuttle. This gets the bums up since they have to keep their con running. Hazel says that they are going to do something especially dangerous today to impress them

Meanwhile Pipkin is gathering ingrediants the fat rabbit told him were needed to be able to fly. A bird tells Pipkin that the best way for nestlings to learn to fly is to jump from someplace high with the wind. This doesn’t sound like its going to end well.

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Pipkin goes to the edge of a cliff but is spotted by Keehar who tells him this is all crazy. When Keehar is the voice of reason you know the situation has gotten out of hand. Pipkin is pretty accepting on giving up on his dream of flying when a stoat comes out and corners him. Luckily the patrol just happens to be at the bottom of the cliff and hear the commotion. Hazel questions what Pipkin is doing and the con men admit they told him he could fly. Hawkbit tells them to fly up and save Pipkin. This is when they have to admit they just made up everything. You know, for rabbits who appear to do this sort of thing often you would think they would pick an ability that wouldn’t be super useful. Like, they could say they can ride rainbows like a slide and thats how they get to earth. The rabbits being tricked aren’t going to ask them to do that ever. Its not helpful. The ability to fly is super useful for rabbits. Keehar himself basically is the reason Watership Down can take on Efrafa and its not because he is a brilliant tactician. If you tell rabbits you can fly then they are going to ask you to fly.  At the very least don’t go around telling people a fake way to fly. How did they think that would end? With Pipkin not realizing he can’t fly?

Hazel has everybody gather grass, moss, pillows, oversized novely marshmellows and other soft things. Pipkin doesn’t want to jump but they all tell him he can fly. Pipkin leaps and falls like a rock. The small pile of soft things fails to do anything and breaks his spine and dies several days later.

 

Bright eyes burning like fire. Bright eyes how can you close and fail.

 

 

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In the next scene they are all back at the down. Pipkin is telling Primrose’s kids what flying is like. Somebody should probably tell him he can’t actually fly because otherwise he will jump off another cliff. The two impostors explain to the adults how they go from warren to warren telling tall tales in exchange for food and board. The Bluesky assures that they will be keeping their tales firmly on the ground from now on. Ha ha ha what funny word play. You almost got somebody killed.

Hazel extends an invitation saying that they always need quick witted rabbits, but the travelers say no. Then they mention that they have heard of a warren nearby named Efrafa that they might go check out. Bigwig asks if they should warn them, but Hazel says its Woundwort he is worried about, then there is a sitcom style laugh by everybunny.  Dude, they know where Watership Down is. They have no reason to not tell Woundwort that. Oh well, there won’t be any consequences, filler episode baby.

 

Final Thoughts 

Bluesky and Raincloud are actually pretty entertaining characters. They play well off each other as well as off the rabbits they fool and even Hazel. Its really a shame they are in such a pointless episode. Everybody is just acting out of character and with reckless abandon because nothing that happens will matter. Sure reveal your secret base to the strangers, sure let them go to Efrafa knowing your secret. Who cares. Whatevs man.

The shame is with a few tweaks this episode could have some relevance. Put it before the one where they use the same exact trick on Vervain. Hell, have these two stick around for another episode and have them help fool Vervain. That would lend a little continuity and explain why the downers can’t repeat the trick after Bluesky and Raincloud move on. Or go the other way, make those two real villains, wouldn’t it have been intense if we were given reason to believe they would reveal Watership Down to Woundwort and had to be stopped somehow. Maybe if anything happened, anything, it wouldn’t be such a waste of time.

At least we got to see Clover and Blackberry. That was cool. Whats up with this show and pushing female characters to the background. The one woman we see on a regular basis is Primrose and she mostly just uses Campions loves for her to get him to betray Woundwort. When she isn’t doing that she is getting busy giving birth to Hazel’s  babies. That isn’t really a strong female role model. There’s also Hannah. She is kind of annoying but she does get this story line later on where she feels bad about being useless and learns magic or something. That’s in the weird third season I never actually finished where the colors are all off and Pipkin stops being cute. Blackberry ends up with a story line where she falls in love with Campion after meeting him for five minutes and then does something reckless. I don’t remember. I’m not saying Watership Down is sexist, but all the female characters are either defined by their relationship with a male counter part or are a witch.

Rating 4/10

One point for Blackberry, one point for Clover, and two points for Bluesky and Raincloud. All entertaining bunnies in an boring episode.