February 16, 2009

Treehouse attack in Crusoe

In Review of Crusoe, I criticized the pilot episode of the NBC series. Here are some additional thoughts on the episode's big finish, which makes the rest of the show seem intelligent by comparison.

When the pirates and Spaniards unite to attack Crusoe, we learn just how flimsy the treehouse defense is. The bad guys light one tree trunk on fire. The only reason the place doesn’t go up in flames is that it happens to be the tree with the water tanks. Crusoe and Friday use them to douse the conflagration.

Why don’t the bad guys light several more tree trunks on fire? Or launch flaming arrows into the trees? Or throw flaming torches if they don’t have bows and arrows? Because these so-called civilized men aren’t as smart as the average Native or bear.

Proving they can be as faux-inventive as Crusoe, the bad guys bring up a large catapult out of nowhere. (Imagine the planning and effort needed to unload that from a ship and carry it half a mile through the jungle.) They attempt to launch gunpowder bombs at the treehouse. Naturally this plan blows up in their faces--literally. They’re hoist on their own petard--again, literally.

For more on the subject, see Robinson Crusoe and Friday.

Below:  The catapult that Crusoe's creators think is clever and cool and I think is stupid and ridiculous.

No comments: