Episode Review

Simon the Ape-Man

Saturday, November 30, 2002, 12:50 PM - 11:45 PM

Summary (12:50 PM - 2:59 PM, 5:15 PM)

On the "ghoulish world" of CastleVania, the "evil vampire" known as "the Count" has devised a "deadly" plan of conquest. He pours blood onto graves, and zombies come out. He then takes them to conquer the world.

At the Palace of Power, Kevin is skateboarding on skateboarding ramps. Lana wants Kevin to teach her how to do a hand plant. Simon tries to show Kevin up by skating with an ironing board. Kevin follows Simon around. Simon shows off his tricks. Then he crashes into a doorway. He doesn't remember who he or anyone else is. Lana shows Simon his reflection in his mirror, but it doesn't help him remember. The team receives an emergency call from CastleVania for Simon regarding the Count's attack. Kevin has the idea to retrain Simon to help him remember who he is.

In the Palace's library, Kevin tries giving Simon lessons from a book and viewscreen material. Mega Man tries giving Simon lessons in using his whip against suits of armor. Lana tries to help Simon regain his athletic ability through ballet. Simon believes that he is Simon Belmont, prima ballerina. He accidentally jumps into a warp in the floor and gets warped to another world. He knocks some bank robbers unconscious, saving a ninja the job of doing it himself. Then Simon goes back through the warp and ends up back in the Palace. Kevin decides that, for Simon to get his memory back, he's going to need some serious field training.

A short while later, on the "jungle world" of Kongoland, Kevin tries to teach Simon how to jump-kick. Simon sees Kevin use his Power Pad and, on his turn, accidentally opens his belt, drops his pants, and falls over. Kid Icarus tries to teach Simon how to fire a net arrow, but Simon fires a trumpet instead and hits Kid in the face. Mega Man tries to teach Simon how to lift and throw a boulder, but it's too heavy for Simon. Duke tries to teach Simon how to sniff and pick up a scent trail. Simon gets on his hands and knees and enters a cave. He's chased out by a tiger.

After the training, Simon thanks all of them, using incorrect names, and believes that he's Simon Belmont, Kongoland tour guide. He puts on a black hat and walks away, taking into a megaphone.

Mother Brain sees this in her mirror and tells King Hippo and the Eggplant Wizard to brainwash him. Hippo and Eggy demonstrate their brainwashing abilities by washing Mother Brain's glass jar. MB sends them to Kongoland.

Back on Kongoland, the rest of the team huddles to discuss what to do with Simon. Hippo and Eggy come out of a warp and pull Simon into it. The team has agreed to warp Simon back to the Palace and handle CastleVania themselves. When they see that Simon has disappeared, they spread out and search for him.

Hippo and Eggy come out of the other end of the warp with Simon. Eggy tells Simon that he's Simon Belmont, the arch-villain. Eggy says that he and Hippo and going to retrain Simon to be the "dirty, rotten ratfink" he once was. Hippo and Eggy put Simon into a washing machine, Eggy adds in detergent. Hippo puts in two gold coins and starts the machine spinning. Hippo and Eggy show Simon pictures of Mother Brain and the rest of the N Team and convinces him that he's Simon Belmont, the N Team hunter.

King Hippo catches Kid Icarus. Simon handcuffs Kid and fires his emergency flare arrow. The rest of the team sees it and arrives to find Kid gagged and hanging upside-down from a tree. Kevin ungags him, and Kid explains what happened. Simon gives his own version. Lana calls him Simon Belmont, the ape-brain. King Hippo declares tells Lana that they're bringing her to Mother Brain as well. Lana flirts with King Hippo and dances with him, making him fall off of a cliff. Mega man picks up some loose grass and launches the Eggplant Wizard off into the distance. Kevin tries to convince Simon that he's a member of the N Team. When Simon attacks, Kevin dodges and jumps on a log, launching Simon into the air. Simon accidentally lands in a warp. The rest of the team follows. They search for Simon.

Simon's walking by himself, trying to figure out who he is. He sits on a "boulder" and removes the in-grown toenail. It turns out that he had sat on Donkey Kong's toe. DK picks Simon up, yells, and grunts. Simon remembers Lana's words, checks the grunts in his Ape dictionary, and becomes convinced that he's Donkey Kong's "ape-baby". He calls Donkey Kong his "mommy". Simon declares himself to be "Donkey Kong, Jr.". He kisses "Donkey Mommy" on the lips.

Simon dresses in a loincloth and hangs out at Donkey Kong's tree hut. DK teaches Simon how to live as an ape, such as picking each other's fleas, swinging from vines, eating bananas, yelling, and beating one's chest.

At night, the rest of the N Team finds DK sleeping on a giant hammock, and Simon's sleeping on puffs of DK's breath, rising into the sky and falls towards DK's mouth every few seconds. The rest of the team has to rescue Simon before DK swallows him. Kevin and Mega Man get on a treee branch and grab Simon. Simon wakes up, and they get down from the tree. Simon says that he realizes that he's "been an ape all along". DK wakes up, and Simon introduces the rest of the team to his "mommy". The team runs away, and Kevin pulls Simon along. The team jumps into a warp to CastleVania.

The N Team arrives in a graveyard. The Count's zombies attack. Simon doesn't help until a zombie messes up his hair. Then Simon defeats the zombies ape-style - picking up, spinning, throwing, swinging, and kicking, and knocking over. The Count orders his remaining zombies to turn the N-Team into zombies. Simon uses ape-speak through the warp. Donkey Kong reaches through, grabs the zombies, and puts them into a tomb. The Count turns into a bat and flies away. Lana leans her head on Simon's left arm. Simon says he's not Simon and goes back to Kongoland over Lana's protests.

On Kongoland, Simon is drinking coconut juice from a coconut with a straw. He asks Donkey Kong for another coconut. DK elbows the tree that he's lying under. A coconut falls down and hits Simon on the head. He regains his memory, wonders where he is, and wonders what he's doing in "these ridiculous shorts". DK kisses Simon on the back. Simon sees DK and runs away, looking for a warp zone. DK walks after him.

Misc. Tidbits (3:07 PM - 3:12 PM)

"Simon the Ape-Man" is the eighth Captain N episode script that Jeffrey Scott wrote and the ninth episode that aired.

The title is in pink letters and has quotes around it for some odd reason.

I don't remember seeing this episode on NBC or The Family Channel, so I probably first saw it on "Captain N & The Video Game Masters". Maybe this was the last Captain N episode that I saw.

Great Lines (3:12 PM - 5:50 PM)

Lana: "But Simon, that's an ironing board."
Simon: "Yes, and how appropriate for flattening my competition."

Simon: "Who are you?"
Lana: "Quit kidding. You know perfectly well who I am."
Simon: "No, I definitely would remember someone as cute as you. I'm afraid we've never met, Miss..."
Lana: "It's me, Princess Lana."
Simon: "A pleasure to meet you, Miss Lana."

Simon: "Who am I?"
Kevin: "You're Simon Belmont, the vampire hunter."
Simon: "No, no, I'm definitely not him. I'd never forget a name like that."

Lana: "What do you see in the mirror?"
Simon: "You mean I'm a...Prince Charming?"
Lana: "No, Simon! I mean you're an arrogant, self-centered ego-maniac!"
Simon: "I'm that good, am I?"

Simon: "Perhaps this Simon fellow is out to lunch."
Kevin: "You can say that again."

Ninja: "I never knew there were dancing ninja warriors."
Simon: "Neither did I!"

Kevin (in a drill sergeant's voice): "'ten-tion! All right, Private Belmont, we're gonna train you to be the baddest bat hunter in CastleVania! You got that?!"

Simon: "Thank you, Captain M. And thank you, Kid Licorice, Mega Mutt, Princess Lea, and you, too, Puke."

Simon: "Between these hills, boys and girls, you'll see the deadly vast forest."

King Hippo and Eggplant Wizard: "The stains of brains stay mainly on the veins."
Mother Brain: "I'll stain your brains if you don't get yourselves to Kongoland now!"

Lana: "We've got to get to CastleVania before it's too late."
Kevin: "Yeah, but Simon isn't ready to handle the Count yet."
Simon: "Don't be silly. Of course, I can handle the count. Watch me. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Need I go on?"
Kevin: "No. That was terrific, Simon. If there's a math quiz on CastleVania, I'm sure you'll pass."

Simon: "What's the meaning of this? Have you any idea who I am?
Eggplant Wizard: "Yeah."
Simon: "Really? Who am I?"

Eggplant Wizard: "Well, anyway, me and Hippo here are gonna brainwash, er, uh, I mean retrain you to be the dirty, rotten ratfink you once were."
Simon: "You'd do that for me? Gosh, you guys are swell."

Simon: "Now, I know who I really am - Simon Belmont, the N Team hunter.
Lana: "Oh. Simon Belmont, the ape-brain is what you are."

Lana: "Oh! I never realized what a macho kind of guy you were!"
King Hippo: "Huh?"
Lana: "Well, you seem like a pretty hip hippo. Before we go,...how about you and me do a little...dancing?"

Eggplant Wizard: "Oh, no."
Mega Man: "Yes."

Simon: "Never mind my fleas! I'll get a flea collar!"

Simon: "I guess I've been an ape all along."
Kevin: "You mean you finally remembered that you're Simon Belmont, vampire hunter?"
Simon: "No, I mean I've really been an ape all along! You know! Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh!"
Lana: "I think he's gone bananas!"
Simon: "You guessed it! I'm Donkey Kong, Jr.!"

Simon: "Stop! I belong in the jungle!"
Kevin: "You belong in a cage, maybe, but not the jungle!"

Kevin: "One more step, and you guys are gonna be cheeseburgers!"

Simon: "I don't know the first thing about zombies. Yuck. These guys are digusting."
Kevin: "Now, you know the first thing."

Simon: "All right, you deadbeat. You can squeeze me, you can choke me, you can shake me, but mess my hair? No way!"

The Count: "You may have stopped my zombies, Simon Belmont, but you'll never stop the Count. You can...count on it."

Simon: "Oh, my gosh! Get away from me, you big ape! Mad gorilla! Mad gorilla! Where's a warp zone when you really need one?! Help!"

Dumb Lines (4:03 PM - 5:48 PM)

Lana: "But you're Simon Belmont."
Simon: "Me? No way. I don't even like zombies?"
So, Simon Belmont is supposed to like zombies? He just heard someone telling him to come over and defeat the zombies. I know that Simon's more absent-minded than usual in this episode, but this still is a dumb statement.

Kevin: "Maybe, if we retrain him, he'll remember."
Lana: "You mean from scratch?"
Kevin: "Yeah. I saw it in a 'Star Trek' episode once. It'll be a cinch."
Kevin's saying that, if things are done easily on television, they can be done easily in real life. He really oughta look at his own adventures and think about them.

Kevin: "Bat. You know, like Batman and Robin."
Kevin is expecting an amnesiac from another universe to know who Batman and Robin are. Besides that, this is a stupid comparison.

Simon: "Ew. Bats are disgusting. No way am I a bat hunter!"
By Simon's logic, you should hunt only things that don't look disgusting.

Simon: "Yuck! What an ugly sucker!"
Kevin: "That's right! He's a bloodsucker!
Simon: "You mean he sucks real blood...as in...mine?"
What else would "bloodsucker" mean, idiot?!

Simon: "I'm Simon Belmont, prima ballerina."
A "ballerina" is a female ballet dancer. What, exactly, is Simon implying?

Mother Brain: "When you get him, I want you to retrain him properly."
Eggplant Wizard: "You mean sit and lie down and roll over?"
Eggy's in a vegetative state. That's the only way to explain this.

Simon: "What in the world is this thing?"
Eggplant Wizard: "Why, that's a brainwashing machine."
King Hippo: "Yeah. We'll have your brain cleaned, pressed, and on a hanger in no time."
Not only is this dumb, it's pretty sick, too.

Lana: "Has anyone ever told you you're very light on your toes?"
King Hippo: "Why,...no."
Lana: "Too bad."
For her joke to work, Lana should have said "heavy" instead of "light".

Simon: "Lemme see. Eggplant Wizard says I'm an N Team hunter, while Kevin says I'm an N Team member. Of course, I could be a B Team player, or maybe I'm a football team cheerleader!"
What's a B Team? And why would Simon think he's a cheerleader. This episode is from 1989, when all cheerleaders, especially in video games, were female. What, exactly, is Simon implying?

Simon: "Hmm, that's odd. I've never seen a boulder with an in-grown toenail before."
First of all, Donkey Kong's big toe isn't big enough to be considered a boulder. Second, why would Simon ever come to this conclusion. Oh, never mind. The question answered itself.

Simon: "Hmm, the Princess did say I was an ape-brain. You wouldn't, by any chance, happen to be my...mommy?!"
One stupid conclusion after another.

Simon: "Huh? Where am I? And what is Simon Belmont, vampire hunter, doing in these ridiculous shorts?"
How could Simon mistake a loincloth for shorts?

Sick Moments (7:00 PM - 7:03 PM, 11:10 PM - 11:14 PM)

Simon describes himself as a female twice.

King Hippo talks about putting Simon's brain on a hanger.

Lana flirts with King Hippo and feels his muscles.

Simon kisses Donkey Kong on the mouth.

Kevin wants to make cheeseburgers out of the zombies. Geez, first, he wants to make french-fried burgers out of King Hippo and the Eggplant Wizard, then he wants to make a pizza out of Duke, and now this? Kevin has some really weird tastes in food.

Donkey Kong kisses Simon on the back.

Rant (7:04 PM - 11:45 PM)

Oh, geez, where to begin? Jeffrey Scott was really lazy when he wrote this episode. Its entire plot is based on Simon forgetting who he is and then believing that he's someone different every few minutes. It's also yet another example of Simon putting the N Team in danger. There was the Kongoland trip in "Kevin in Videoland", the mountain lion in "How's Bayou", the love arrow in "Mr. and Mrs. Mother Brain", the giant spiders in "Nightmare on Mother Brain's Street", and now this. This is the second whole episode that exists because of Simon's stupidity. It's getting just a little bit repetitive.

The episode started out okay enough. The Count opens a tube of blood (yes!) and pours it on graves to make some zombies rise up. There's only one problem: he pours it straight down, and it flows quickly over some graves. Huh? This completely defies the laws of physics. Of course, so does corpses rising out of graves, but still.

The next scene shows Kevin showing off his skateboarding skills to the rest of the N Team. You know, for a guy that was chosen to help lead the team to victory against Mother Brain, Kevin has somehow managed to find the time to set up skateboarding ramps in a room in the Palace.

Simon loses his memory in the stupidest way possible. Eager to beat Kevin and show off to impress Lana, Simon skateboards using an ironing board and crashes into a wall above a door. He deserves it for being so stupid. One of Simon's skateboarding tricks was "blowing the nose", which involved him blidning Kevin with a curtain and causing him to fall. Mega Man caught Kevin. Another one of Simon's tricks was "pressing the shirt", which involved him taking off his coat and any other upper garments (yet somehow managing to keep his backpack on) and ironing them while sitting on the board.

When Simon sees the rest of the team upside-down, the "N" on Kevin's jacket is missing. Oops.

I do like how Lana insults Simon. Of course, Simon isn't insulted by her remark. It looks like he considers being an arrogant, self-centered ego-maniac a good thing.

This is the second distress call from CastleVania in the series. How could a world have video communications equipment but be otherwise medieval in their technology level? Of course, the guy that calls in this episode is wearing a suit and tie, and one of the zombies is wearing a cap, so I'm guessing that CastleVania in Videoland is at the 1980s. This definitely contradicts the games, but it's not like the show's depiction of Simon hasn't contradicted the games already anyway.

The training is of no help. It only misleads Simon. I like the ballet scene with Lana, though. She wears black boots and a pink ballet outfit. No bracelets and, perhaps for the first time, no necklace. She still wears her tiara and earrings, though. Of course, she somehows changes back to her regular clothes a few seconds later. Did she quickly strip and put on her normal clothes?

I like the ninja scene, too. Did Simon land on the world of Ninja Gaiden or something? If Simon jumped into a warp in the floor, though, then why did he come out sideways? Also, why would the N Team have a large, uncovered warp in the middle of the room that anybody could accidentally fall into? And how come no one from the ninja's world ever accidentally went through the warp and ended up in the Palace?

During the close-up of Simon, after he lands on the floor in the Palace, his coat is light-blue. Oops.

I like Kevin's drill sergeant act. Most of the training is worthless, though. Why would Simon needs to know how to shoot arrows, pick up boulders, or sniff for a trail? Also, we never see Lana train Simon to do anything.

When Simon walks off as a tour guide, the "N" on Kevin's jacket is missing again.

The whole "brainwashing" thing on Metroid was stupid. Hippo and Eggy were washing Mother Brain's glass jar, not her brain itself. It seems that the Eggplant Wizard can make a brush appear, too, not just vegetables. How can he do that?

When the rest of the N Team gets into a huddle, the shoulders on Lana's shirt are pink instead of white.

Why does Simon suddenly trust Hippo and Eggy? Why does he want to become evil?

The whole "brainwashing machine" thing was stupid, too.

Eggy describes Mega Man as Lana's "right-hand man". Didn't Simon say that he was the highest-ranking officer of Lana's court in "Kevin in Videoland"? Maybe Lana demoted him for betraying Kevin? Of course, Eggy might just be making guesses (he does say that Duke is Lana's dog), but wouldn't the villains' intelligence (ha!) tell them who Lana's right-hand man is? Of course, logically, it should be Kevin - unless Kevin is the leader of the team, which he might be. We'll have to wait and find out.

When Simon draws his whip and strikes, Hippo and Eggy suddenly disappear.

Lana insults Simon twice in one episode. Nice. =)

I love how Lana flirts with King Hippo! It's funny, if a bit sick. This is the only time in the entire series that Lana flirts with anyone. Too bad it's her only real weapon.

Mega Man picks up a loose, lengthy patch of grass and launches Eggy into the distance. This is physically impossible for two reasons. Try to guess what they are.

Kevin launching Simon into the air by jumping onto the log that Simon's standing on is physically impossible, too.

When the N Team arrives in another area of Kongoland after going through the warp, the sleeves of Kevin's jacket are orange.

The giant flea was impossible. A large ape doesn't have large fleas.

I find it hard to believe that Kid Icarus' fire arrow (he has one now?) could provide that much light as shown in the scene where the rest of the N Team finds Donkey Kong and Simon.

Kevin's weapons don't lose power in this episode. Not only that, but the buttons that Kevin presses to achieve certain effects are inaccurate. Kevin's Zapper beams are red.

Lucky for Simon that Donkey Kong just happened to be near the warp to CastleVania. But how did he know where the tomb was? And how could he lift the roof off of the tomb without causing any damage?

It's amazing that getting hit on the head with a coconut just happens to restore his memory.

Lesson: Don't do stupid stunts? Believe in your abilities?

This episode is almost as bad as "Mr. and Mrs. Mother Brain". The two games featured are CastleVania and Donkey Kong, but nothing in the Kongoland scenes in the story are from the game. The CastleVania part is all right, I guess. Mother Brain and her lackeys seem added only to fill up time. This episode is kind of a "Tarzan" rip-off.

Interesting notes:

Lana shuts her mouth really tight just prior to Kevin taking off after Simon on his skateboard. You can't even see her lips.

The Palace of Power has a skateboarding room.

Kevin watches "Star Trek". This is because writer Jeffrey Scott is a fan of the original "Star Trek" series and movies.

The Palace of Power has a library with bookshelves, a desk, and a viewscreen.

Simon wears a red sweater under his coat and yellow boxer shorts with hearts on the front.

It sounds like Simon calls Lana "Princess Lea", but could it be "Princess Leila"? Also, could "Puke" be based on Barf from "Space Balls"?

You can see Eggy's naked butt as he runs into the warp to Kongoland.

You can see a zombie's (or something's) naked butt after Kevin tells Simon to help them.

It's interesting that, even though Simon forgets who he is, he still takes his hair very seriously. Is it that much a part of his personality?

Lana calls Simon "my Simon" and later leans on his left arm? Is it simple pride in a hero or something more? I hope not! The girl's naive, but she's not that naive. Is she?

Lana apparently holds onto Kevin's left arm after the zombies near them are knocked over.

This episode shouldn't have been made at all. I can't think of much to cut out, though, because the entire episode was meant to be silly and stupid without even an attempt at a serious adventure. I suppose the giant flea would go. That was stupid. Removing it would have freed 36 seconds. But replace it with what? Maybe 36 more seconds of Lana in her ballerina outfit. I fully support seeing more Lana, whether it's screen time, skin, or both. ^_^

Overall, this was a stupid but sort of fun episode. It feels oddly slow-paced, which is nice. Most of the N Team doesn't do anything useful. I could have done this review in record time, probably, but I kept taking breaks to do other things.

Usefulness ratings:

Kevin: 1 (saving Simon from Donkey Kong)
Lana: 0
Simon: 2 (defeating the zombies; calling Donkey Kong for help)
Mega Man: 1 (saving Simon from Donkey Kong)
Kid Icarus: 0
Duke: 0

The running total usefulness ratings so far are:

Kevin: 30 (8 episodes)
Lana: 7 (8 episodes)
Simon: 16 (8 episodes)
Mega Man: 10 (8 episodes)
Kid Icarus: 12 (8 episodes)
Duke: 10 (8 episodes)

That's the end of my review of "Simon the Ape-Man". I'm gonna go to bed now. Next episode - "Wishful Thinking"!

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