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The Bodyguard
Narrator
Bill Nighy/Sean Austin/Mike Goldman
Writer
Caroline Hawkins
Producer
Lucinda Axelsson
Executive Producer
Mick Kaczorowski
Season
4
Length
30 min.
Preceding Episode
Following Episode

The Bodyguard is the seventh episode of the fourth season of the hit television series, Meerkat Manor.

Summary

It’s springtime in the Kalahari, and the rebirth of the land is a sight to behold, especially for 1-year-old Axel. Born a Zappa but rescued and fostered by the Whiskers, Axel is no longer the baby of the family with the arrival of Rocket Dog’s new pups, Nugget and Beaker. It’s the perfect opportunity for Axel to step up to the plate and pitch in on the baby-sitting front to earn his keep. He has a surprising partner to help him out with the task: Sophie. The once exiled family member has been accepted back into the burrow, now no longer perceived as a threat.

For the first few weeks of their new young lives, the pups will spend their time in the underground nursery. Providing nourishment is usually a group effort, but right now Rocket Dog is the only female producing milk, so the pups’ meals are not going to be as frequent as they might have hoped.

Fortunately, the pups were born at the best time of the year, when the Kalahari is plentiful with lots of different insects to provide Rocket Dog with a healthy, balanced and fulfilling diet. The only drawback of the fertile land is a lack of camouflage – a brown meerkat stands out against the backdrop of green grass and spring flowers. However, Mitch has Rocket Dog’s back, keeping an eye on things so she can feast with little worry of predators.

Mitch has fully embraced his role as dominant male of the Whiskers with a strong and dependable demeanor. He spots something in the trees that grabs his attention, and his concern. It’s a colony of social weavers, African birds that build their nests high among the branches and have somewhat of a similar social structure to meerkats in that they assist in raising each other’s young. But these birds are no bigger than sparrows, so why would Mitch be concerned about them posing a threat? Turns out it’s what is burrowing inside their nest that’s causing his concern – the deadly Cape cobra. This unexpected visitor could prove to be a long-term issue for the social weavers, and it’s a startling reminder to the Whiskers about the important role of the burrow baby-sitters.

Axel has the best intentions for his first morning on the job, but with all seemingly quiet on the desert front, he can’t help but nod off. While he takes his meerkat nap, a stranger approaches, making his way cautiously toward the burrow. Axel stirs from his sleep but fails to spot the potential intruder and slips back into slumber land. The rogue meerkat makes his way into the burrow, but has no interest in harming the pups. In fact, he might very well be their father – it’s none other than Wilson from the Commandos, but today the object of his mission is Sophie. However, the burrow nursery is really not an appropriate place for, ahem, afternoon delight shall we say, so Wilson and Sophie take it outside.

While Axel may have nodded off during Wilson’s first approach, it doesn’t take long for him now to spot what’s brewing. With Axel on his case, Wilson makes a hasty exit, leaving Sophie in the lurch, and amid all the chaos no one notices the puff adder snake moving dangerously too close to the burrow.

In a case of terrible timing, Nugget and Beaker have decided to try and find their way to the entrance in search of nourishment. Sophie and Axel aren’t equipped to help out in that department, so the pups will just have to wait for their mother to return. Speaking of returns, Wilson has come back but this time he’s brought a wing man, Phillipe, to distract Axel so he can get some quality time with Sophie. The plan seems to be working, as Axel heads off after Phillipe, but Wilson’s scheme is interrupted with the return of the Whiskers clan. Now that Axel has a little more muscle on his side, his courage flourishes. He runs off Phillipe, while Mitch decides to show Wilson who’s boss at this manor.

Threat conditions, however, are still at high levels, with the puff adder lying in wait near the entrance to the burrow. Usual defence tactics for the meerkats would involve mobbing the snake to drive him off, but as the puff adder can move in only one direction – farther into the burrow – the meerkats’ decision to mob the snake may prove to be a deadly, with Rocket Dog’s pups paying the ultimate price.

There’s movement at the main entrance of the den, and remarkably, it’s Sophie shepherding young Nugget to safety. Beaker, however, is still unaccounted for, and though it’s a risk to her own life, Rocket Dog successfully saves her other pup, channelling some of her mother Flower’s bravery. Mitch’s return shows signs of a rough smack-down with Wilson, but he’s certainly proven he’s as tough of a warrior as his father, Zaphod.

It’s been a harrowing day at the manor but one that thankfully had a happy ending – for now. While Sophie has used her second chance with the Whiskers wisely and proved to be an invaluable member of the family, she’s also growing up fast. Her instinct to have her own pups is just going to get stronger, and with Wilson more than eager to shower her with love, can it be too long before Sophie is at odds with Rocket Dog once again?

Meerkat Manor
Season 1 A Family AffairLove Thy NeighborSome Like It HotRevolutionChildhood's EndBoys Will Be BoysDivided LoyaltiesThe Good, The Bad, And The DesperateDaisy's ChoiceFlower PowerAn Awfully Big AdventureThe Calm Before the StormMoving On
Season 2 Cold ComfortThe Three AmigosYoung BloodIron LadyNo Place Like HomeWhen Flower Met HannibalUnited We StandThe Enemy WithinThe Art of LeadershipBalance Of PowerGrowing PainsThe GodmotherThe Quiet Fields
Season 3 On Dangerous GroundThe MissionSister ActThe Death of RomanceTale of Len and SquiggySibling RivalryHeavy the CrownJourney's EndA New DayFarewell My LovelyThree Degrees of SeparationThe GraduateA Family at War
Season 4 To Have and to Have NotAll Manor of LoveRising StarThe Family WayThe Mark of ZorroGreat ExpectationsThe BodyguardDivided We FallTo The Manor BornThe BirdsThe Rovers ReturnHome AloneThe Darkest Day
Movies Meerkat Manor The Story Begins
Books Flower of the Kalahari

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