Episode 1.08 : The Name of the Game

  • Crusoe
    • Episode Premiere : December 20, 2008
    • Distributor : NBC
    • Genre : Drama
    • Seasons : 1
    • Show Period : 2008 - 2009
    • Production Company: Moonlighting Films, Muse Ent., Power Television
    • Official Site :

Cast and Crew

  • Director Helen Shaver
  • Screenwriter Cameron McAllister
  • Main Cast

  • Additional Cast

The Story

Friday rigs a catapult defense mechanism and shows it to Crusoe, who thinks he can design them better than Friday. He shows Crusoe, and it fails, toppling the intended target instead of launching it. Crusoe tells Friday he had a great idea, but that his calculations were off. He rigs it with the correct counterbalance and it catapults a skull far into the distance. They follow the trajectory and find it floating in a lake. A huge crocodile surfaces and swallows it whole. "That's even better than I thought," Crusoe says, as Friday looks on, frightened.

While Crusoe marvels at the size of the croc, Friday remembers a childhood incident when, during a manhood test, a boy his age had to swim to a marker in a crocodile-infested pond, and was attacked. Crusoe sees Friday is upset and mistakes it as him being mad that Crusoe made his trap work when he couldn't. Crusoe tells him not to feel bad, as he went to school, studied hard and had to pass examinations. At this, Friday becomes angry and said that he too had to pass tests, and it was no joke. "I will show you," he says.

Friday sets up a walk of courage on the beach, which is a path of hot coals. The goal: to walk it and not get burnt. As Friday demonstrates this in front of Crusoe, he remembers doing it as a child in front of his proud father. Then and now, he emerges free of blisters on his feet. Crusoe's amazed, but tries it, applying not courage, but physics on how not to get burned. Friday objects to him trying, but he does and emerges unharmed. It angers Friday that Crusoe, an Englishman, was able to complete the walk.

Flashback to England. Susannah is living at Blackthorn's house as she waits to hear of Crusoe's fate. She wears a 3000-year-old pharaoh's necklace. Blackthorn leers over her and says by wearing his precious things she's earning her keep. She makes them take on life. Susannah says she's received no news from the agents in the West Indies. Blackthorn suggests Crusoe is probably dead, as he wouldn't be alive and not get a message to her. Blackthorn says to consider her childrens' and her own future, but Susannah won't give up on Robin. Meanwhile, Gallerne, a French priest, surprise visits James Crusoe, asking if he remembers him.

Crusoe learns that Friday was twelve when he walked the path of courage. Friday says his science has nothing to do with completing the test, so Crusoe shows him a cheap trick with a stone to prove his point. Friday challenges him to another test, where both stand on platforms and try to knock the other off with staffs. They both take some blows, but Friday knocks Crusoe off, and with a little malice behind it. Even so, Crusoe is up for more. Crusoe wonders why Friday takes it so seriously. Friday says his father taught him to be that way. Crusoe says his father taught him kindness.

Samuel Tuffley visits Crusoe's father, James, who is gravely ill now. Tuffley acknowledges that James has been sending his sister letters. James notes that all have been returned to him. Tuffley says he has a letter from Susannah, saying that she's made a new life and is happy. And, that she's forgetting all about being married to a traitor. James doesn't believe him, and says he knows Blackthorn is behind it. Tuffley feigns ignorance. Tuffley pretends to smell the death upon James and says, "You haven't got long, old man."

Crusoe wants to know about the next challenge of Friday's childhood. Friday wants to stop before someone gets hurt. Crusoe says he was only asking, so Friday tells him a tribal legend of a beautiful woman who tricked her husband into jumping to his death by jumping before him, but tying liana vines to her ankles. So, the tree dive has become one of their manhood rituals. Crusoe is intrigued. Friday tells him to forget it. Friday flashes back to that horrible day at the pond again. He's interrupted by Crusoe yelling at him from the treehouse, vines around his ankles.

Friday tries to stop Crusoe from jumping, but he says, "It's okay, I measured!" To Friday's horror, he dives and smacks his head on the ground. He has a sore head, but is okay. Friday says that he forgot to compensate for the vines stretching. Friday's angry at Crusoe for acting like the manhood challenges are a game. Crusoe says he's acting like there's something else to it. Friday snaps at him for presuming what he's thinking. Crusoe asks him what's wrong, but Friday walks off, leaving Crusoe confused as to what is bothering him.

On the beach, Friday sits alone and thinks he sees his father approaching with a torch, but it's Crusoe, who's come to make amends and find out what's bothering his friend. Friday tells him he failed the final challenge of his tribe; that he failed in front of his father. And, how ashamed he was at never becoming a man in the eyes of his tribe. And, he's not a warrior in his father's eyes. Crusoe begs to differ on all accounts, but Friday isn't consoled. Crusoe offers to set the last challenge up and do it together, but Friday says no.

Friday searches for his lost machete, while Crusoe admits he doesn't feel like much of a man either, as a real man would have stayed to protect his wife and children. Flashback to England, where Tuffley has intercepted a letter and money from Crusoe to Susannah. He tells Blackthorn, who wants to make sure Crusoe never sees it. They want to kill him, but don't know where he is. At a plantation, a detached Crusoe sits down to read the paper sent from England. In it, a message to him reads," Robinson, Born Kreutznauer. Beware false friends. Your children in danger."

Crusoe tries to get the attention of Nugent, a Scottish sea captain, to take him to England no matter the cost. Problem is, they're bound for Guinea. Crusoe says he knows that he's brokering slaves without permission from the King of Spain. That gets Nugent's attention. Still, he can't take him to London. Crusoe pulls out his last straw. He signs over the deed to his plantation, worth over four thousand pounds, for a trip to London. Nugent, incredulous, agrees and wonders aloud what makes a man so desperate to be in England.

Friday is searching another part of the treehouse for his machete when Crusoe tells him he has it. He holds it up, saying he knows what it means to him since he watched him make it with skill and care. He challenges him to take it back, even cutting him to get him to take the bait. Friday won't bite, until Crusoe says when they see his father again, he'll tell him his warrior son gave up his weapon without a fight. Friday goes at him, and they fight. Crusoe says he has to beat him to get it back. Friday stops, saying he appreciates what Crusoe's trying to do, but he'll never be the son his father wanted.

Friday recalls the funeral of the boy killed by the crocodile. On his way back to the treehouse, Crusoe sees a snake in a tree and backs right into the catapult trap. He's launched into a tree over the pond and clings to a branch. Bleeding, he's attracted the huge crocodile's attention. He gets topside and passes out on the branch, teetering and dangerously close to falling in. Friday goes to look for him, and sees Crusoe's precarious situation, as well as the enormous croc watching from the shore.

Friday remembers the day he was too afraid to finish the last task, swimming to the mark in croc-infested waters. Unconscious, Crusoe falls in. The crocodile slides into the water and Friday has no choice but to face his fears. He swims and intercepts the crocodile just as it's about to reach Crusoe. After a man-against-beast struggle on the beast's turf, Friday uses his warrior's weapon and kills the crocodile. He then pulls Crusoe to shore and takes him to the treehouse.

Crusoe says perhaps now both of their fathers would be proud of them. Crusoe, now healed, asks a much happier Friday what warriors do again. Friday says they work together, survive and fight when they have to. But not each other. Crusoe shows Friday a sketch he's working on for a device that would let him breathe underwater. All Friday can keep saying is, "giant, killer, crocodile." But, with an old weight off his shoulders and happy that Crusoe's alive, Friday lets his friend dream.






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