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SHEENA

BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE


EPISODE NO. 18
Season 1, episode 18
Series 118
1st release: 04/23/01
2nd release:
Production number: 121
Approximate shooting dates:
Last update: 06-06-01


REGULAR CAST, GUEST CAST & CREDITS
SYNOPSIS 1 by Sally Dye
SYNOPSIS 2 by Loretta Miller
COMMENTARY 1 by Loretta Miller


REGULAR CAST
Gena Lee Nolin (Sheena)
Margo Moorer (Kali)
John Allen Nelson (Matt Cutter)
Kevin Quigley (Mendehlson)

CREDITS
Written by Babs Greyhosky
Directed by Terry Ingram

Filmed on location in Orlando, FL and Africa.








SYNOPSIS 1:

This synopsis is by Sally Dye .

Teaser

Kali stands atop a large cube-shaped rock, the Masabana. She is having visions of her past -- her wedding, Sheena as a small girl, natives of many tribes surrounding the rock. Sheena calls to her, asking if this is where the peace summit will take place. Kali says no, that Tuma, the new leader of the Kiptalami tribe, told her where the meeting would be held. Sheena offers to escort her, but has a sense that they are going in the wrong direction.

At the real meeting place, representatives of three tribes -- the Aragai, the Manir and the Karugu -- are gathered. They are wondering why Tuma has not arrived yet.

Kali and Sheena reach the place Tuma had directed them to and no one is there. Sheena takes off at a run into the jungle.

At the meeting place, warriors of the Kiptalami tribe attack the others, killing many of them. Sheena arrives and fights the warriors. The Kiptalami retreat, but most of the others are dead. Kali arrives and they find one Kiptalami warrior still alive.

Act I

Cutter and Mendelson are taking supplies to Kali's village when they see a group of Aragai natives returning from the market. They slow down while they pass. Suddenly the natives are attacked by Kiptalami warriors. Cutter grabs his gun and jumps out of the truck to defend the natives, but is shot in the leg with an arrow. Another arrow hits one of the truck tires. The warriors run off, having massacred all of the Aragai. Mendelson pulls the arrow out of Cutter's leg and they go to Rashid to report the attack. Rashid says under Ingama's law, the tribes can make war if they want to. Cutter doesn't think much of that law. Rashid says he will "clear the area" of the dead bodies but, other than that, he can't intervene.

Kali and Sheena take the wounded warrior to Kali's village. Sheena says he will make a good hostage. Kali says she will speak to Tuma. Sheena doesn't think that will accomplish much.

Ingama is notified by his soldiers that the tribes are at war. He says he will not get involved -- they can just kill each other.

Cutter comes to tell Sheena and Kali about the attack on the Aragai. Sheena says she will go with Cutter to retrieve the truck and the medical supplies because they are going to need them. On the way, she explains that the tribes are fighting over the Masabana, which was once holy to the Kaya. Kali had given the sacred rock to all four tribes as a worshipping place. When Tuma came along, he wanted the rock just for his tribe.

At Masabana, Tuma addresses his people. He says they will erase all the other tribes until only the Kiptalami are left. He forces the Aragai captives to chisel the carving from their side of the rock. He asks where Juranji is, and one of the warriors says he did not come back from the raid.

At the site of the massacre, Sheena finds a little girl hiding under a basket. She and Cutter take her back to Kali's village. Sheena says the only way to stop the war is for her to go after Tuma herself. Kali informs them that the hostage is Juranji, Tuma's son.

Act II

Representatives from the Manir and the Karugu tribes come to Kali's village to see if Kali will lead them into battle against Tuma. Kali refuses. They say they have heard a rumor that Tuma's son is missing and wonder if Kali may be hiding him. Kali says to look if they want to. They search but don't find Juranji because Cutter has covered him with a tarp. After they leave, Cutter says he will hide Juranji at his place. Sheena tells Kali that they should evacuate the village just in case. They decide to take the villagers to Sheena's cave.

Ingama's soldiers refuse to give Tuma's warriors grain, so the warriors blow up the truck carrying the grain. Ingama is enraged when he hears of this and instructs his soldiers to give guns to the Manir so they will destroy the Kiptalami. He says to get someone to be a go-between so it won't be apparent that he is involved.

Cutter and Mendelson are tying Juranji up when Ingama's soldiers arrive to propose a deal to Cutter.

Sheena goes to Tuma's camp, but Tuma is not there. She leaves a message with a guard that Kali wants to meet with Tuma. The guard says Tuma will not come, and Sheena says he'd better becuase Kali has his son.

Act III

Sheena returns to her cave to find Cutter telling Kali about Ingama's proposal, which was for Cutter to take the weapons to the Manir. Sheena suggests they put empty shells in the guns and hope that Kali can arrange a truce with Tuma.

Cutter takes the guns to the Manir, who take the weapons but insist that Cutter show them how to fire the guns.

Sheena and Kali bring Juranji to a clearing after sunset. Tuma finally shows up. Kali says she will return Juranji if Tuma stops the fighting. Tuma says he will not be driven from his destiny. Suddenly he throws a knife, killing Juranji. Then he and his warriors run off into the jungle.

Act IV

Kali says Tuma apparently sees himself as a god, so the time for negotiating is past.

Sheena asks Cutter how the weapons were received by the Manir. Cutter says they made him show them how to shoot the guns so he had to make the first four rounds live. However, he doesn't think any of them will be able to hit anything with their first four shots. Sheena asks Cutter if he has any dynamite. She is planning to destroy the Masabana to prove to the Kiptolami that Tuma really doesn't care about it -- that all he wants is power.

The Karugu confront the Manir about the weapons. The Manir warriors say that they will take care of the Kiptolami and then they will overthrow the Karugu as well. A scuffle breaks out, and one of the Karugu is shot. The Manir are glad that their weapons work.

Sheena prepares the dynamite while she and Kali reminisce about their experiences at the Masabana. Kali remembers her wedding day, and Sheena remembers the day Kali brought her into the spirit of the Kaya. Kali says the object may be destroyed, but their memories never will be.

The Manir arrive at the Masabana and start shooting at the Kiptolami. The Karugu also arrive and join in the fight. Cutter flies over in his plane and drops smoke bombs. Sheena plants the dynamite, and the Masabana is blown to pieces. Sheena says there is no reason to fight any more. Tuma calls out that she cannot stop his destiny and tries to rally his warriors to keep fighting, but they don't want to fight anymore. Enraged, Tuma attacks Sheena and they fight. Sheena finally kills Tuma with his own sword.

Epilogue

Sheena brings Cutter a small piece of the Masabana. She says Kali presented a piece to each of the tribes -- or what's left of them -- to remind them of the cost of war. Cutter tells Sheena the story of a special hill that he and his father would go sledding on. Cutter had mourned when a shopping center had been built on the spot, but a friend had told him to go there and remember, and the hill had still existed for him. Cutter advises Sheena to do that.

Kali stands amid the scattered rocks that were once the Masabana and remembers. In her mind's eye, she is standing atop the Masabana again.



SYNOPSIS 2:

This synopsis is by Loretta Miller .

Tuma, the new chief of the Kiptalami tribe has told Kali of the meeting place for a tribal summit of which she has been invited to attend. Sheena cannot dissuade Kali from attending and provides her with a protective escort, although Kali does not believe it is necessary.

The other two tribal leaders (from the Manirs and Karugus tribes) have arrived at the appointed locale, a very different location than Kali has been given. They are hopeful with the news that Kali is to attend as one tells the other that with Kali among them she will be able to keep their heads clear and the participation equal. They are troubled, though, that both Kali and Tuma are very noticeably late.

Kali and Sheena arrive at their "meeting site" only to find that they are alone in a very large open field. Sheena feels something is very wrong and that Kali had been sent deliberately in the wrong direction to keep her from stopping "something".

Back at the true summit site, masked warriors attack those present as Sheena races full speed toward them, but she is too far away to provide immediate assistance. Even still, Sheena arrives and attacks the warriors, kicking and slashing at them fiercely and throws one warrior into a tree. She looks around, the evidence is startling clear: it's been a bloodbath_an all-out massacre. Kali arrives and manages to find one of the warriors still alive.

Meanwhile, Cutter and Mendehlson are returning in their jeep with "medical supplies" that include three boxes of alcohol, and one box twice as expensive and Cutter tells him that that alcohol is for drinking_purely for medicinal reasons. It's cheaper for Kali to use that are sedatives. Mendehlson remains dubious figuring she doesn't inhale either. They enter a version of a jungle rush-hour, a gridlock of carts and villagers loaded down with baskets of fruit.

Warriors come out of the bushes and ambush the villagers to the horror of Cutter and Mendehlson who are innocent eyewitnesses to the massacre.

Cutter lunges from behind the driver seat and into the open with his pistol aimed at the attackers and he lets several rounds go. He manages to hit at least one warrior just as the warrior makes a grab for a child hidden under a basket. Mendehlson stays put as he calls out for Cutter to get back inside the jeep just as an arrow hits the passenger side front tire and it immediately goes flat. Cutter is himself hit in the calf with an arrow and as the warriors scatter, he hobbles to a rock and breaks off the arrow as Mendehlson yanks on the shaft, removing it from his leg. Mendehlson asks him what was he thinking to jump into the middle of the fray and he tells Mendehlson that he had to do something and he believes he "evened it up a bit".

Cutter goes to Rashid who informs him of the tribal law that Ingama brought about to keep outsiders from interfering from tribal affairs. Cutter is incensed. He tells him that that law brought about a massacre: woman, child, everyone had fallen victim. Rashid tells Cutter, "you don't even know what provoked the Kiptalami attack." Rashid says that the Aragai tribesmen will handle the clean up of their own dead. Rashid hands Cutter a crutch as Cutter hands Mendehlson the arrow that had made such an impact on him. Mendehlson says he'll add it to the "collection": the knife, the bullet and the bobby pin.

Rashid gives him a curious look to which Cutter tells him, "it's a long story."

The warrior is held as hostage in the Kayan village. Kali needs to see Tuma. Sheena and Kali strongly disagree on this as Sheena feels there is no more time to talk that there has been enough killing already. Kali tells her that there is always room for talk and the need for talk is even more important now after the killing has begun. While Sheena is still continuously concerned for Kali's safety, Sheena pointedly tells Kali that Tuma is smart enough to know if he did kill you, he wouldn't stand a chance.

Cutter approaches shore onboard a boat; his boat is noticeably empty. Within Ingama's palace, Momboto meets with Ingama and tells of the war that has obviously begun. Ingama won't step between the warring tribes telling his right hand that these tribes need to work it out.

Cutter meets with Sheena and Kali at the shore. He WAS to bring medical supplies and tells of the arrow in the jeep's tire. He adds his own leg wound to the story as Sheena asks him if "it can be fixed?" Cutter tells her that he only has to stay off of it for awhile and it should be good as new. Sheena, seemly frustrated tells him that she was speaking of his jeep tire. "The tire_yeah, sure" it can be fixed. Cutter realizes Sheena's concern is not for him and only for her villagers. Sheena once more visibly shows her on-going disapproval of Kali's handling of things as she figures aloud that with more talk there will be more wounds and an even greater demand for those medical supplies.

Sheena accompanies Cutter back to his jeep via the boat. Enroute, Sheena tells Cutter how not just the Kiptalami and Aragai tribes but also the Manirs and Karugus tribes used to hate one another. Cutter says that since Tuma has taken over as leader of the Kiptalami tribe, he hasn't been too "comfortable

With peace". Sheena agreed and said that Kali gave them the Masabana, an icon to the Kayan people. The "rock" was a temple that nature made: a symbol for the Kaya. Kali offered it to them as it had four equal sides and a flat top, the four sides to represent the four winds. This icon offered each tribe a side to equally pray at and they did so peacefully for ten years until Tuma took over the Kiptalami tribe. He has used the Masabana as his excuse for power. The Masabana is clearly more than just a mere "rock" to Sheena. She tells him it was where Kali was married and Sheena first became Kaya.

Cutter fixes his jeep tire and all the dead has been covered with tarps. Sheena walks slowly, reverently around those deceased and takes in the scene. Baskets are everywhere. Fruit is strewn about. Sheena hears a goat and goes toward an overturned basket and uncovers a tiny child that was hidden underneath.

Sheena rides in the rear of Cutters truck and when they arrive at the village, she helps the child out of the bed of the truck and turns the child over to the Ukiah women. Sheena tells Cutter that she will go after Tuma and will cut off his head. They walk together toward Kali who is outside with the still unconscious warrior's head, now unmasked, in her lap. Kali tells them that they are holding Tuma's son.

Sheena calls Tuma's boy a "bargaining tool" but "only if no one knows they have him." They can't let anyone know they have them until they are ready to confront Tuma.

Manirs and Karugus tribal leaders come to Kali_in an alliance to rid themselves of Tuma once and for all. They have agreed to go into battle to eradicate themselves of their menace. Kali tells them that there cannot be any more violence. "If you destroy your common nemesis, will that insure peace?"

Sheena tells them that Tuma wants power, the stone icon is just his excuse. They search the huts in their village for the hostage and the boy is not there. They tell her that she (Kali) is a foot not to join. Unable to locate the boy, they finally leave. Cutter reveals that the boy had been hidden under a tarp that looks remarkably like a large stone, he's still unconscious.

Tuma discusses something in the distance with a man near a truck, it's loaded with grain in large bags. He walks away and tells his troops that he refuses to share his crop with the Kiptalami tribe and won't align himself with any tribe. Tuma wants to show that man the error of his ways. With a simple nod, a warrior races unseen to the truck and leaves behind an explosive. He races away and a moment later the truck blows up, the entire truck is instantly an inferno.

Sheena guides her fellow villagers into her cave, her own home and Kali calls it a "generous gesture" considering how private a person she is. Sheena knew she had to do something to save her people from the Kiptalami. Sheena turns to Kali suddenly, her patience at an absolute end, and bolts past her. "You wanted to talk to Tuma," she tells her, "I'm going to find him."

Ingama is enraged when he is informed of the recent circumstances. The vehicle that had been blown up was one of his own military vehicles and the grain was destined for his own storehouse. Suddenly, for him, its personal. He asks Momboto, which of the tribes is the weakest. It's not his intention to attack the weakest, but to arm the weakest with enough firepower to displace the Kiptalami. He says aloud that the palace "cannot take an open role" and asks him "who would do anything for the right price?"

Cutter is with Tuma's son who is tied down to a bed, his limbs tied securely. He proudly boasts his support for the casue and every act of theirs is justified, a symbol for a superior tribe. He tells Cutter that the opposing tribes must die. They must die because they are not Kiptalami. This is their destiny. Unworthy masses were allowed once to worship at the Masabana and because they are not their equals, they must die. Mendehlson looks at him just like any other teenager, "always making demands" and someone who won't listen. He goes off on the kid realizing after his tirade that he himself still has "issues". Cutter tells Mendehlson to go get more rope and he does so only to have him call out to Cutter a moment later.

Cutter goes to the stop of the stairs and looks down to see Mendehlson surrounded by Ingama's militia. "Ingama's associates would like to propose a deal."

Sheena approaches a warrior on the road and asks to see Tuma. She identifies herself as the Kayan daughter of Kali. He tells him to tell Tuma to meet them at the top of Bassa Point one hour after sunset. The warrior scoffs and tells her that she cannot make such demands, "he won't listen to them." Sheena attacks him and puts a knife to his throat. "Maybe he'll listen this time, Kali has his son."

Cutter tells Sheena and Kali that his reputation for "profit" has led Ingama to give him weapons to give to the Manirs. The weaponry that lies before her in several crates stuns Sheena. Sheena thinks a moment and then asks Cutter if the guns can be rigged not to fire. Cutter tells her that he can put empty shells in the magazine. He questions that if they test the weapons, they'll know they have been rigged. Sheena remains hopeful, "if all goes well, his son will be turned over without incident."

Cutter gives the guns to the tribe and Cutter wishes them luck. They are dubious at the transaction but he tells him that he's merely in it for the bucks. He readies to leave when one of them asks him to show him how to fire the weapon.

At Massa Point, Kali and Sheena arrive, it's dark and several large torches light their meeting place. Kali doesn't believe Tuma will come. "Tuma wants to prove his power by letting everyone else wait." A warrior speaks up saying that he doesn't have to "prove his power". The Masabana is his power, he says, "the cause is his power".

Tuma arrives and asks if Kali has joined in the battle. Kali tells him that she has his son and will return him only if he stops fighting. Tuma is incensed as he says, "you have my son to hold my mission hostage?" The Kiptalami had a different leader, and it was at a different time. While Tuma bellows on, Sheena realizes that a warrior had a dagger and it is thrown at its intended target: Tuma's son, hitting him in the chest.

The boy dies almost instantly and Kali says that Tuma is consumed by his own power. The boy was willing to die for a madman's cause. Negotiations have ended, Kali tells Sheena. Sheena asks Kali what she will do and she tells her that "it's just enough to bury this poor boy."

At the village, Sheena is with Cutter and he tells her that the exchange of weapons occurred and that he was forced to show them how to shoot. He told her the first four rounds were live and the rest were empty. He tells her that even if they "test" their weapons, the first rounds will be everywhere but their intended target. Sheena asks Cutter if he has any dynamite and he tells her that he does. She'll blow up the Masabana_to take away the cause and expose Tuma for who he really is. Cutter asks Sheena if Kali approves of this plan. Sheena tells him that she's protected the La Mistas from outsiders all her life and now she has to protect it from her neighbors.

Sheena finds Kali in her cave crying and this greatly disturbs her. She wants to talk to Kali about the pain in her heart and Kali walks on by, not saying a word.

Warriors have their weapons and they show the other tribe. They can now kill without being seen. Manirs tell the other tribe that they will fight alone and they will then overthrough the Aragai. He lets a round go and shoots the leader and his happy to see the weapons "work".

Kali stands by the Masabana and recalls her marriage and Sheena recalls being brought into the Kayan tribe as a youngster. Kali stands by Sheena telling her that their memories will remain in their heart. Sheena readies the dynamite and hopes that Cutter will be on time. They stand united in this common effort.

A warrior begins to shoot his weapon, the empty shells ricochet off rocks, trees and the ground without doing any damage.

Cutter is high above in his airplane as he prepares and drops a number of smoke bombs.

The weapons either jam or empty out quickly and they are forced into hand-to-hand combat with the other tribesmen. Sheena comes out to fight and hits two warriors. Sheena grabs a sack and goes to a rock and while the tribesmen busily battle each other; she plants the dynamite on all four sides of the massive rock.

The explosion blasts all sides of the Masabana and it is no more.

Only a remnant stands eerily alone among the rubble.

Sheena stands amid the debris and tells the warriors that there is nothing to protect, nothing to pray at, nothing to fight over.

Still, Tuma is there and tells her, "I tell them to fight. The Masabana is nothing." The warriors, overhearing this, show dissension. Tuma and Sheena fight and she manages to disarm him of his weapon. She stabs him with his weapon, lifts him up by the handle of the knife that is imbedded in him and tosses him to the ground. "Go away," she tells them, "leave!"

The warriors comply and head away. The battle is over.

Cutter finds Sheena kneeling atop his desk. She hadn't seen him for a few days because she had been helping Kali settle the villagers that had lost their homes. "So few members of each tribe, there's no one to fight." Cutter suggests that they band together but he knows that he's dreaming. Sheena holds a small rock in her hand and tells him that Kali wanted people affected by the conflict to have a piece of the Masabana. Sheena presents it to him and he tells her of his sledding ritual that he had had with his Father as a young boy. That is, until one day a housing development came in and leveled that hill and killing the locale where the ritual had taken place year after year. He tells her that it was his girlfriend at the time who took him back to where the hill telling him "to be very still -- you can still hear it. It's still there." Sheena knows that Cutter understands what she's going through.

Kali goes to the demolished site alone. She closes her eyes and she is once more atop the Masbana and once again it is intact. She revels in the deep spiritual feeling that remains just as strong as it had before the icon had been destroyed. Her memories are forever intact.



COMMENTARY 1:

This synopsis is by Loretta Miller .

Kali is forced to use a tribal leader's boy as a bargaining tool to help bring a stop to the senseless violence at the hand of the new leader of the Kiptalami. The large rock, a religious icon to all of them, and the new leader isn't satisified any longer with sharing with the "unworthy masses" that are the other tribes. Even though the icon offers four faces, facing four different directions and four definite sides on which to pray -- that isn't good enough for a man who is obsessed with power and ruthless enough to brainwash his own son into a madman's justifications for violence.

The only way out on this one was to destroy the very thing that was at their center: the Masabana.

Once it was destroyed, there was nothing left to fight over and the all the warriors picked themselves up and went home. Too bad Sheena had to resort to leveling something that meant so much to her and Kali in order to restore peace. We see another side to Sheena and an even more resilient side to her character: she'll do anything to insure peace for her people.

Bottom line: while things may be destroyed all around you, your fond memories will never be hurt and they will forever remain intact within your heart.




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