That was really strange, and, sadly, not very good. Marie was surprised to learn we were watching the final episode of Gold Monkey tonight. She thought that the previous one was the final episode, and it certainly felt at the time like it was going out with a bang, but I knew there was one more on the disc.
Wikipedia says that “Mourning Becomes Matuka” was first shown two months after the previous one, in the middle of the summer repeats, so I initially thought that this might be a case like Eerie, Indiana‘s “The Broken Record”, where an episode was skipped – in most of the country anyway – in the original broadcast order and shown later on. There aren’t any continuity issues, but unusually, the episode doesn’t have a single scene in Boragora, so the Monkey Bar set isn’t used, and neither is the part of the backlot where the facade of the hotel was located. Roddy McDowall isn’t in it either. I wonder whether ABC might have asked for an additional episode after they’d already dismantled the Monkey Bar set and McDowall had taken another job*.
Whichever’s the case, last time they tried going out with a bang, but they ended with a whimper. Jake gets blackmailed into acting as Princess Koji’s bodyguard, but after she is murdered – no, there aren’t honestly any continuity issues with her death because she isn’t really dead – he insists on staying on Matuka for the five-day funeral even though his friends are desperate to leave. He can’t tell them the real reason he’s staying – Koji has a document proving that Sarah is a spy – but nor does he take a quiet minute to say “Please trust me, I’ll explain when we’re home.” What’s left is a “hero must do it alone” story that feels very long and not particularly exciting. None of us were impressed, and not even one villain getting dropped in a pond full of black and white stock footage of piranha got our son’s attention. Was Jack the dog the best part? Of course he was. He almost always was.