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SHEENA

BURIED SECRETS


EPISODE NO. 06
Season 1, episode 06
Series 106
1st release: 11/06/00
2nd release:
Production number: 108
Approximate shooting dates:
Last update: 02-06-01


REGULAR CAST, GUEST CAST & CREDITS
TV GUIDE PROMO
AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION
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 Steven L. Sears and Babs Greyhofsky
Directed by Corey Eubanks

Filmed on location in Orlando, FL and Africa.




TV GUIDE PROMO

Sheena searches for her past

When earthquakes rock La Mistas, Sheena finds herself trapped inside a case and confronted with her past.

When earthquakes rock the La Mistas, Sheena finds herself trapped inside a cave and confronted with her past. A discovery leads her to believe her parent's death wasn't as accidental as she had once thought and she finds herself stalked by a cold blooded killer. Official Site.


AIRING AND RATING INFORMATION

1st RELEASE: 11/06/00
An AA average of 1.9
Competition from Action Hours:

X-Files 4.1/4.1 
Andromeda (3.7/3.9) 
Xena (3.4/3.6) 
Stargate SG-1 (3.3/3.5) 
VIP (2.7/2.9) 
Earth: Final Conflict (2.3/2.4)
Beastmaster (2.1/2.3) 
Baywatch Hawaii (2.0/2.1) 
Maximum Exposure and The Lost World (2.0 each) 
Back2Back Action and Sheena (1.9 each) 
The Outer Limits (1.8/1.9) 
The Invisible and Queen of Swords (1.7/1.8 each)
Relic Hunter (1.5)
Battle Dome (1.4) 
The Immortal (0.7) 




SYNOPSIS 1:

This synopsis is by Sally Dye .

Teaser

An earthquake disturbs the peaceful African animals. When the shaking stops, a small leopard is caught under a fallen tree. Sheena rescues it. The cub's mother looks on gratefully. Sheena looks around the area and has a flashback to when she was a little girl, sobbing for her mother. She was standing beside a small sapling and fastened a bracelet around it. Back in the present, Sheena sees the same tree. It is larger now, and the bracelet is stuck in the bark, but she removes the charm, which is in the shape of an elephant.

Act I

Sheena brings the charm to Kali. She tells her that she had put the bracelet on the tree to let her parents know she was all right. She says the cave they died in must be nearby. Kali advises her to remember her parents when they were alive and happy, but Sheena says she needs to give them a Kaya funeral. She leaves and makes her way to where she knows the cave entrance must be.

Kali goes to Cutter and talks him into going with Sheena, even though Cutter knows Sheena won't welcome his company. Kali warns him that the cave is near the site of a rich Kaya village, so there might be rogues around. The word "rich" intrigues Cutter, as Kali knew it would.

Cutter finds Sheena trying to pry a boulder away from the cave entrance. As he had thought, Sheena is not happy to see him, until he tells her he has some dynamite to blast open the cave with. They blast the entrance open, and Sheena remembers her mother waking her up to go exploring in the cave. Cutter says they should come back when the earthquakes are over, but Sheena says she is going in now. Cutter pulls out some lanterns and a huge flashlight. Sheena takes one of the lanterns, saying, "This will do. Size doesn't matter." Cutter just shakes his head and follows her into the cave as eyes from the jungle follow their every move.

Act II

Sheena and Cutter explore the cave. It has many passageways going deep into the mountain. Sheena remembers being there with her parents and hearing them explain that they weren't here to take the diamonds because it was illegal. Cutter thinks he sees diamonds in the walls of the cave, but he still keeps urging Sheena to leave. She just goes deeper into the cave, and Cutter follows. They hear growling, and Sheena says it's probably a rogue. She finds an old satchel that she used to keep her doll in. Another tremor occurs. They are confronted with a rogue panther. Sheena says it has been stalking them and wants to kill it, but Cutter convinces her to try to get out of the cave first. They start back down the passageway, but are stopped when another tremor causes several rocks to fall on them.

Act III

Rashid comes to Kali's village to check on them. Kali tells him that Cutter and Sheena are missing. Rashid says he will take her to look for them.

Sheena and Cutter crawl out from under some rubble. They are separated by a wall of rocks. Sheena calls out that she will try to find a way to him. She goes off into the passages. She finds a crude calendar on the wall of the cave. She realizes her parents were alive for two months after the cave-in that trapped them. Suddenly a pickaxe is thrown at her, but she doesn't see anyone. She calls out, but no one answers.

Mendelson comes looking for Cutter, too.

Cutter finds a crate full of supplies. He realizes that the supplies are not old, so someone has been there recently. He hears growling nearby. He hopes it is Sheena, but the growling is not very reassuring.

Sheena is still looking for a way through the wall. She meets an old prospector-type who looks familiar to her. She remembers that he was her parents' guide and his name is Roberts. He was with her parents when they went into the cave. She figures out that he threw the pickaxe at her. She remembers seeing him in the cave 20 years ago, planting dynamite. She knows he caused the cave-in that killed her parents. They fight, and Sheena is hit in the head.

Cutter is planting dynamite at the cave entrance when the rogue panther appears. They stare at each other.

Act IV

Cutter calls for Sheena as the rogue panther stalks him. He throws one of the lanterns down between them and hopes Sheena gets there before the fire goes out.

Sheena recovers from the blow to the head and realizes that Roberts must have wanted to take the diamonds that her parents were determined to leave in the cave. He confirms this, and they fight some more. Sheena pushes him through the rock wall just as the rogue panther leaps forward. It attacks Roberts. Sheena lights the fuse of the dynamite and it blows the entrance open. She and Cutter stumble out and find Kali, Rashid and Mendelson waiting for them. Another quake seals the cave entrance. Sheena just looks sad.

Epilogue

Back at Kali's village, Cutter tells Kali what happened in the cave. Then he goes to talk to Sheena. Sheena tells Cutter about the calendar she found. She feels she could have done something to save her mother and father. Cutter asks if she wants to hear some philosophy. He says his mother told him that the past gets longer and the future shorter, but all the sorrow of the past never outweighs the hope of tomorrow. Then he laughs and says his mother didn't really tell him that, that her only philosophy was "a clean room is a happy room." He says his mother is a nut, and maybe Sheena will meet her someday. Sheena just looks sad and says, "Well, you'll never meet mine."



SYNOPSIS 2:

This synopsis is by Loretta Miller .

The earth shakes, steam rises from the ground and the animals stir as an earthquake occurs.

Sheena uncovers a leather satchel while rescuing a baby tiger that is pinned by a fallen tree. She recognizes it as being one that her parents had used twenty years earlier. Suddenly she remembers herself as a small child, frightened and scared calling out for her parents and coming to a small tree. She places her prized charm bracelet around the small tree trunk as a sign to her parents that she's okay.

Back to the present, Sheena looks over the area more closely; she finds the same bracelet now long embedded in the thick trunk of the tree. Sheena can only retrieve the sterling silver elephant charm off the bracelet.

Sheena shows the charm to Kali. It had been a birthday gift from her parents. They chose an elephant, as her first charm, because of their good memories. She reasons that if she now knew the location of the tree, the cave had to be close by. She tells Kali that she wants to give her parents a proper Kaya funeral. Kaya questions why she would want to stir up such bad memories as it could be very painful. Sheena tells her that nothing was more painful than waiting at the base of that tree for her parents to return. Kali cautions Sheena that if she has good memories of her parents doing what they loved, for her to hold on to that and let them rest in peace. Sheena tells her that she doesn't know if they ever have.

Sheena goes back to the same area and quickly discovers a cave entrance grown over with thick brush. She works to pull it back while Kali seeks out Cutter for his help. Kali reveals Sheena's plan to find her parent's bodies and Cutter wonders why she is asking for him to assist. Kali tells him that she has done everything she can to teach her how to defend herself in the wild but to defend her emotions, in that she is unable to help her. She knows that Cutter can. Cutter is dubious of Sheena's reaction to his interference, and figures that she'll likely sever a limb or another body part that frankly, he's grown quite fond of. He reminds Kali, that there have been earthquakes and what on Earth would he be doing in a cave of all things while Mother Nature is stirring things up. Kali says that he'd be helping a friend. Cutter agrees that he'll go to her, and tell her that it's okay to feel pain and be back before noon. Kali then tells him that area was formerly a rich Kaya vil! lage and there could be rogues. While Cutter's attention is piqued by the word "rich", he is equally "thrilled" to hear the warning about the rogues.

Cutter leaves his jeep behind after just hearing about the "serious threat" of earthquakes and to avoid the area on the radio. He comes up on Sheena as she tries in vain to use leverage to move the mountain of rock, one boulder at a time. She tells Cutter to leave after presuming Kali sent him out there to talk her out of her mission. "You're not wanted or needed," she tells Cutter. He mentions that Kali had told him that the Kaya village had had an economy based on diamonds, Kali had said, "As numerous as seashells". Sheena tells him that they didn't place the same value on the rocks that he did. Sheena cannot budge the massive boulders and Cutter suggests she needs dynamite for the job and he just happens to have some.

A blast opens the mouth of the cave. While Cutter reminds Sheena that he likes to avoid places where he may get killed, it brings back a flood of memories for Sheena. She can recall as a child being awakened by her young mother and her asking for a story to be read to her. Her Mother explains that it's already morning and that they'll have fun exploring the cave.

Time had changed her perspective and while it wasn't quite what she expected, Sheena is intent on going inside. Cutter tries to convince her to return at a later time when Mother Nature is much more agreeable. Stubbornly Sheena insists on going in fearing that another earthquake would bury her parents once more. Cutter, expecting this from her, reveals what is hidden in his backpack: two lanterns and a Xenon beam flashlight with twelve million candle power. Sheena takes one of the lanterns and quickly heads inside while a rogue watches from nearby. Cutter follows as more steam escapes from the ground above.

Inside they find a huge cavern that Cutter chides, "could easily fit a family of four" only to receive a look of hurt from Sheena. He stammers his response, explaining that it didn't look like a tomb but realized regardless of the size, it still was.

Sheena remembers her Mother sifting sand and her father busy off by himself and how she was called Cheryl, her given name. Her parents were studying fossils. Back to the present, Cutter is very antsy to leave. Sheena tells him that if he wants to leave he can. He argues that they should both leave and return on a better day when rumbling from above stops him in mid-sentence. Steam continues to escape from the surface, as they argue underground.

Mendelson listens to the radio warning of the continued threat of earthquakes and to stay away from the Tigamondo Crater region as he tosses darts at a dartboard. As the narrator continues its warning an earthquake begins sending the radio off the counter, a bird flies toward an exit all the while Mendelson continues to play darts, utterly unaffected by the turbulence all around him.

The rumbling stops for Cutter and Sheena who are on their way out only to spot a message in the Kaya language written entirely in diamonds. Sheena recalls showing several diamonds that she had found in the cave to her Mother who told her that that was not what they were looking for and it would be illegal to remove them. Back to the present, neither one can read the message but Cutter takes a stab saying it probably reads, "The Old Diamond Mine Entrance" or "Beware of rogue". Cutter tells Sheena that Kali told him to beware of rogues, as they are likely to be in the area. Sheena asks him what else did Kali tell him. She figures that Kali is worried but more hurt that she realizes that Sheena has never stopped her search for her parents. Cutter confirms Kali's worry and that she asked him to check up on her. Sheena believes he came out only looking for diamonds. While we see that that's not entirely true, he has to confess: "Like that's a bad thing," Cutter counters, "Like a! dog looking for a bone." Meanwhile, a rogue watches their every move.

Sheena explains that her life as Cheryl ended in this cave. "How do you think that makes me feel?" "Angry, real angry," Cutter replies as they hear a growl within the cave system. They spot a rat but dismiss the tiny animal as a threat, even if it were a rogue. Another growl makes Cutter want to leave again but only then does Sheena find a satchel that once was "home" for her childhood doll. Even the jellybean stain remains as solid evidence that the satchel was hers. The jellybeans, she tells Cutter, was the doll's food. She asks him if he ever had dolls and he said, "guys don't have dolls, we have action figures."

Steam rumbles above and it makes Cutter very uneasy, knowing it's a signal of an impending earthquake. Moments later the ground begins to shake and boulders fall all around them. They head out only to encounter a rogue panther, the one that has been stalking them. Sheena pulls out her knife, as she knows it's dangerous and she must kill it. Amid the boulders that continue to crash around them, Cutter tells Sheena to forget it and head out.

Outside in the Kaya village, Kali steps out of her hut to see the villagers running past, screaming. She cautiously lays face down on the ground. Back inside the cave, a boulder crashes into Cutter in a huge cloud of dust.

The 6.8 quake made a mess of Cutter Unlimited and Mendelson busily phones first the Kayan Motel then the Kayan Medical Clinic looking for a good janitorial service. After all, he reminds them that while the Clinic offers a cleansing of the mind and spirit, "Would they also clean floors and windows?"

In the cave, as the dust settles Sheena and Cutter realize that they are now separated by a wall of rock. Cutter has a hurt shoulder, while Sheena is okay. Cutter thinks that the entrance collapsed. Up above, Mendelson sets out to find Cutter.

Cutter has a stick of dynamite that he realizes he could use to open the entrance but leave Sheena behind, trapped. On the other side, Sheena finds a wall full of hash marks all separated in seven strokes each for a total of fifty-nine days. Marks that had to have been placed there by her parents long ago. She realizes that her parents were alive for nearly two months. Suddenly she hears something and turns only to duck and narrowly escape being hit by a pickaxe that was aimed for her head. Sheena calls out to the person who hides in the shadows and says she can help him get out of there.

Mendelson comes across Cutter's zebra striped jeep and calls out to him that there is one heck of a mess back at the office and if he has to clean it himself, he'll charge him for it. Mendelson dons an old army helmet and begins to look around.

Cutter checks out his own side of the cave by his single lantern. He finds a crate full of stored items including rat jerky. He finds the jerky is fresh and wonders who's been in there recently. He finds and takes a packet or two of lighter fluid "in case the lantern goes out" and then he hears a growl. He calls out Sheena's and says, "if that's you, give me some sort of sign." Another growl makes him even more cautious but he still calls, "Sheena?" He turns lantern up to full brightness and heads toward the growl.

Mendelson finds what he assumes is the entrance of the cave; its entire mouth sealed shut with huge rocks. Using an Army shovel, Mendelson begins to dig at the rocks.

Inside, Sheena turns to see a silhouette of a longhaired man who approaches from further inside the cave.

As the man comes from the shadows she vaguely recognizes him but when she hears him declare "don't you worry your pretty little head about it. You hear?" it triggers a memory and she instantly recalls that he was the man her parents had hired as a guide years before and was with them during the time of their disappearance. She asks him about twenty years ago and when he claims not to know what she's talking about, she asks, "why are you still alive?" She lunges at him in a furious rage.

Sheena attacks the man and lands several strong punches saying, "you tried to kill me with that pickaxe." Downed by a blow to the temple that draws blood, Sheena recalls as a child finding this same man placing dynamite inside some rocks in the cave.

Mendelson sees Rasheed and Kali approach and ask if he has found them and he sarcastically tells them, "hours ago, I'm just putting back all the dirt I moved." Aftershocks continue as Kali finds Cutter's hat. Rasheed says that the aftershocks will continue and Kali says that they'll have to dig faster.

Sheena realizes that her parent's death wasn't caused by an accident, it was murder. She realizes the longhaired man is actually "Mr. Roberts", the guide they had employed, while he realizes that the woman he's looking at is Cheryl, all grown up. On the other side of the cave, Cutter carefully places his only stick of dynamite when he hears another growl. He calls out for Sheena and gets no response only to be face to face with the rogue panther. He throws his lantern between him and the panther making a temporary wall of flame knowing that when the fire burns itself out he'll have to use that stick of dynamite to open the mouth of the cave freeing himself but leaving her trapped.

Most of Sheena's memories come back to her as Roberts calls her parents fools for exploring the cave for bones when the cave was full of diamonds and they could all be rich. He tells her, "They knew it was illegal" to take the diamonds. Sheena realizes he killed them because of the gems. He says, "I'll kill you little girl." She says that he killed that little girl years ago, now he has to deal with her. They fight and Sheena pushes his head down into a water-filled hole. Cutter calls out to Sheena to hurry as she continues to fight with Roberts. She throws him up against the rocks that separates them from Cutter and the wall gives way as Cutter is forced to pull his small pocket knife as his only defense against the angry beast. Suddenly the man's body is thrown through the wall and the panther attacks him and another aftershock hits. The shaking ground makes Cutter fall and he drops the lighter he has in his hand. Sheena races to his backpack as Cutter wonders how they ar! e going to light the fuse on the dynamite. She breaks the lens on the Xenon flashlight and turns on the light using the batteries inside to power a spark that ignites the fuse. Impressed, Cutter tells her, "I think I love you." "Love me later, get down." An explosion opens the mouth of the cave and the two step out unscathed to meet Kali, Mendelson and Rasheed. Another aftershock seals the cave once more.

Back at the village, Kali administers first aid to Cutter's shoulder. Cutter tells Kali that her parents could have traveled well into that cave system and met with a horribly slow demise, but didn't tell Sheena that to spare her feelings. While the diamonds interest Cutter, it's not worth it to him to go back into that cave. Sheena tells Cutter of her finding the calendar and her guilt for not having told her parents of what she had seen Roberts doing inside that cave. While he admits he's not great on emotional support, he offers philosophy that he confesses wasn't his mother's but something he read in a fortune cookie: The past only gets longer, the future only shorter, and all the sorrows of yesterday will never outweigh the hope of tomorrow." His mother's philosophy was "a clean room is a happy room." He says, "maybe you'll meet her one day." "Well, you'll never meet mine." The episode ends as we see Sheena as a small girl placing the bracelet on the tree once again, a! s a marker for her parents.



COMMENTARY 1:

This synopsis is by Loretta Miller .

The mystery of the "incident" that sparked the beginning of Sheena is revealed. Sheena, originally Cheryl, was with her parents when the tour guide they had hired to take them through the caves came across diamonds. Avarice took the guide by storm and eventually he killed the parents when they were "fools" not to want to take advantage of the situation and become rich. They were only there to study bones. Cheryl wound up outside the cave and calling out to her parents and leaving a charm bracelet around the trunk of a small tree as a marker to let her parents know she was okay.

Maybe it's just me but I never truly got how Cheryl/Sheena got outside the cave in the first place and away from the guide turned evil marauder. But that aside, it was a good episode. Plenty of dramatic tension with the earth rumbling all about them every few minutes. I personally understood her drive to locate her parent's bodies but I was with Cutter and his reasoning. It's not like they were going to be moved any time soon, however, she feared that once the cave was open, that the earth would once again seal it shut and entomb them. All she wanted to do was give them a proper funeral. Mendelson and his dry sarcastic wit makes me laugh out loud and he is a great part of the ensemble cast. Kali has to ask Cutter to step in when she feels she is unable to help Sheena, particularly in the "emotional needs" department and Cutter is surprised. I don't know Kali well but she remains stilted, and I'm sure that is conforming to their culture and customs. Naturally I would think t! hat Kali would have an instinct about Sheena's needs after having raised her for twenty years_emotional or otherwise. But, regardless, there had to be a device to get Cutter into the picture and this was an okay choice. The interaction between Sheena and Cutter continues to be as shaky as the earthquakes in this episode. Sheena remains distant, guarded, shielded from Cutter all the while he continues to refer to himself as a good friend. She questions his motives always figuring he's out for capitol gains wherever he can find them. Cutter is quick to confess that while that's true, it's not his true reason for traipsing into the cave behind Sheena and support her on her mission to recover her parent's bodies. She acts as a person that is wholly afraid to get close to anyone for fear that they'll leave her. Ah, perhaps that's what they're aiming at for future episodes. We already know that she feels more comfortable with animals than she does the human animal.

The episodes continue to slowly unravel and show us more about each character. Like a camera lens that slowly comes into focus, each episode reveals another layer to the characters and brings them even more to life.




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