Land of the Lost
Season 3, Episode 6
Air date October 16, 1976
Episode Guide
Flying Dutchman

Cornered was the Sixth Episode of the Third Season of the Land of the Lost.

Summary[edit | edit source]

When Will is poisoned by Torchy, Enik offers the cure, but asks a steep price for his help.

Plot[edit | edit source]

At the Lost City, a creature resembling a dimetrodon, but far larger than any suggested by fossil evidence discovered to date, approaches the entrance, and begins discharging flames from its mouth into the Sleestak caves.

Predictably, the Sleestak are not pleased with this development. Big Alice approaches the new arrival to her territory, but quickly retreats from the monster's fiery breath, an event witnessed by Jack and Will.

Concerned for where Big Alice will migrate to if she's driven out of her domain, Jack and Will resolve that this new arrival must be removed. They devise a plan to first wait for the creature to deplete whatever fuels its flaming discharges, then taunt the slow-moving beast away deeper into the jungle, hoping that Grumpy will deal with it.

But even when its ability to shoot flames is temporarily exhausted, the creature is not without defenses. As Jack and Will attempt to taunt the beast into pursuing them, the creature knocks Will down with a sweep of its tail. Jack quickly rescues Will and brings him back to their shelter in the Temple. In examining Will's wound, it soon becomes apparent that the creature has envenomed spikes on its tail, and Will has become infected. Holly and Jack put Will to bed, treating his injury as best they can.

In the Lost City, the Sleestak Leader confers with Enik. Irrationally, the Sleestak Leader blames the Marshalls for the creature, as no fire-breathing monster had ever appeared in the Lost City prior to the Marshalls' arrival. The Skull of Wisdom, aware of the Will's predicament, directs Enik to approach the Marshalls' advising them that Will can only be cured if they get rid of the creature. The Skull further makes a dire prediction: if Will falls asleep, he will "sleep until the end of time." Whether this is a euphemism for death or perhaps lapsing into a coma is never made clear.

Enik goes to the Marshalls, warning them that if Will does not receive the cure by nightfall, he will sleep "until the end of time." Enik then claims that he alone knows the cure and will give it at nightfall, only if the Marshalls have driven the "flame-creature" from the Lost City. Jack protests that the requirement is completely unreasonable, given the creature's immense power, but Enik remains immoveable.

After Enik leaves, Will, possibly falling into a delirium due to the poison, tries to stand up, urgently declaring, "We gotta get to Torchy! We haven't got much time!" Thus the "flame-creature," as Enik calls it, is given its nickname.

But Jack and Holly vehemently insist that Will is to stay in bed, as increased activity will cause the poison to spread through his system. And that Will is not to fall asleep, as Enik warned. Jack, Holly and Cha-Ka then leave to find a way to remove Torchy from the Lost City.

Jack, Holly and Cha-Ka survey Echo Canyon, which conveniently has only one entrance with a boulder precariously balanced on a ledge above that entrance. Jack's plan is to lure Torchy into the entrance to Echo Canyon, then drop the boulder onto the entrance, trapping Torchy within the canyon.

Jack then assigns Holly and Cha-Ka the task of constructing a mirror, using sheets of mica (or isinglass) for the reflective surface, and bamboo trunks to construct a frame for the mirror. As they gather the materials for the mirror, Jack (having deduced that coal is probably a significant part of Torchy's diet from an observation Will made earlier about Torchy smelling like a coal stove), finds Torchy dining on coal, confirming his hypothesis as to Torchy's eating habits. Jack then enters the Sleestak caves and begins to break off chunks of coal, placing them in a sack he carries.

Holly and Cha-Ka have completed gathering the necessary materials and hurriedly carry them to Echo Canyon, narrowly avoiding Grumpy's approach.

In the Sleestak caves, two Sleestak have discovered Jack and apparently were about to descend on him to capture him, but they are warned off by the Sleestak Leader, who reminds them that Jack is to rid them of Torchy.

Outside, Jack begins tossing pieces of coal to Torchy, luring him toward Echo Canyon.

At the temple, struggling to remain still in bed while staying awake, Will has nearly fallen asleep but is startled fully awake by Grumpy's nearby roaring (probably at Holly and Cha-Ka).

At Echo Canyon, Holly and Cha-Ka have begun construction on their mirror. Holly has gathered some sort of cloth-like material to support the sheets of mica within the bamboo frame.

Jack continues to coax Torchy toward Echo Canyon. When he arrives, Holly and Cha-Ka have completed the construction and have placed their mirror (around a dozen sheets of mica on a cloth backing stretched taut within a bamboo frame) before the entrance to Echo Canyon. Jack deposits the rest of his coal before the mirror, then joins Holly and Cha-Ka on the ledge next to the boulder they will use to close off the entrance to the canyon, trapping Torchy within.

As Torchy finishes eating the coal, Jack yells into the canyon, counting on the echoes from the canyon to convince Torchy that he is inside the canyon. Torchy, believing his own reflection is another creature, charges through the mirror and into the canyon. Using a bamboo trunk as a lever and a large rock as the fulcrum, Jack, Holly and Cha-Ka topple the boulder into the canyon entrance, sealing Torchy inside.

Having fulfilled their end of their bargain, Jack demands the cure for Will's condition from Enik. Enik reveals that the cure is simply to lie still, allowing the poison to work its way out. When Jack protests that that's precisely what Will was doing, Enik simply departs without another word. Jack quickly realizes that they were conned, and Will would have recovered on his own without Enik's advice.

Meanwhile, defying the Marshalls' expectations, Torchy clears the shattered boulder and rocks from the entrance and escapes his confinement.

Will very quickly makes a full recovery, in stark contrast to the weakened, febrile state he was in only hours before, and is quite exuberant. At Cha-Ka's request, Will even performs an original song, which he dedicates to Holly, accompanying himself on a crudely-fashioned guitar as Holly, Jack and Cha-Ka sit by and listen.

Message[edit | edit source]

"Nothing is impossible."

Cast[edit | edit source]

Dinosaurs[edit | edit source]

Quotes[edit | edit source]

  • Coming Up

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Torchy is the only creature to date that has repelled Big Alice. Even Grumpy has never forced Alice to retreat.
  • Will Marshall sings a brief song at the end of this episode. Wesley Eure (the actor who portrays Will) also performs the theme song for the series.
  • Torchy is one of the few creatures in the series that was not given its nickname by Holly. The sobriquet "Torchy" was first used by Will.
  • Implausibly, Will's crude guitar, although fashioned from indigenous materials, has an excellent sound.
  • Holly and Cha-Ka display a sibling-like habit of teasing one another, much like Holly and Will. When Cha-Ka sees Holly's reflection in the mica sheets that they use to make a mirror, he remarks that Holly is "much pretty. Like Sleestak." When Holly mocks Cha-Ka for his clumsiness, despite his bragging about being "half-monkey," Cha-Ka retorts by calling Holly "whole monkey."
  • Although Torchy escapes the canyon, it seems the Marshalls have at least altered his hunting patterns, and he is no longer a threat to the Sleestak.
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