“The Wild Thornberrys” – Operation Valentine (EPISODE REVIEW)
Written by Jambareeqi
In this Season 3 episode of “The Wild Thornberrys”, which is set in Australia, Eliza goes in search of fenced off Dingos, while Debbie gets ready for a date with her internet friend, and Marianne finishes building her Valentines gift for Nigel. Tragedy strikes though, when Eliza’s stomach starts hurting, and Darwin doesn’t know what to do.
What I enjoyed about this episode, is that it celebrates love in a variety of ways, not just limited to romantic. Sure, there’s talk of dates and gifts, but the real gestures of love come from the family’s support of Eliza, who may have something worse than a tummy bug. Everyone pitches in to save Eliza: Darwin protects her while help arrives, Donnie tries to tell Nigel, Marianne diagnoses Eliza with Appendicitis, Debbie sacrifices her date to make transport easier, and Nigel bravely flies his daughter to the nearest hospital. It doesn’t always matter if you’re alone on Valentines Day, because your family can be just as special as a date.
I really felt for Eliza too, her pain seems so real, I totally wanted her to be safely taken to hospital, and didn’t like seeing her suffering. Imagine feeling searing stomach pain in the Australian outback too! The humid scorching weather wouldn’t be helping the unbearable ache in your tummy. This is what makes the race to the hospital so intense, we want her to get there so bad, and any hindrances are infuriating.
However, that’s not to say that this episode is completely devoid of any romance, because we do get to see a big happy smile on Nigel’s face when his Valentines’ gift is unveiled, and Nigel himself does talk about his first ever love (the big twist will make you grin warmly). Debbie’s preparation for her date is kind of cute, from her clumsy baking skills leading to awful cookies, to trying on possible dresses that may impress her friend.
In terms of animal characters, wildlife interaction is played down, because Eliza is too sick to talk to any critters, but we get to meet some Emu who are afraid of being turned into shampoo. The real guest animal star though, is an eagle, who serves as a recurring antagonist, and boy did I end up despising him! He brings the most conflict to the episode, even getting in the way of Nigel’s flight, and I’ve never hated a bird as much as this Eagle haha!
To Conclude, if you want a Valentines Day special episode of “The Wild Thornberrys” where romantic love is the main focus, you maybe disappointed, because while there’s elements of romance here, the central theme is familial love, and there are other episodes of the show that are far more romance heavy. It’s a sweet and touching episode though, that teaches how Valentines Day can also be about showing love to your family, which still manages to include animals even with Eliza suffering from appendicitis.
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