Ode to a Koala Bear
Episode 5 of Koala Man Season 1, Vicky and Kevin send the kids off to band camp. Vicky wants to have a talk with Kevin about Koala Man. She starts the discussion, but Kevin gets distracted by the fact that Liam forgot his jacket.
Vicky advises him to think about who he is, but he insists he’ll have no time during this important mission. Kevin pursues the camp bus and wonders what is up with Vicky and her prompt to evaluate why he is the way he is.
The song on the radio reminds him of an old kids’ show he used to watch featuring the Tigglies and Uncle Bumpy with his friend Christopher. His dad berated him for watching an annoying show, so Kevin suppresses the bad memory.
Kevin is about to catch up with the bus, but finds an injured kangaroo on the side of the road. He stops to help it, but he was only pretending to be injured so he and his friends could mug him. The kangaroos take everything but Liam’s jacket, and then drive away in Kevin’s car.
Kevin recalls another memory, this time of his dad going to prison and insisting the Dapto police force is a dirty organization. Kevin promises to his dad that he’ll devote his life to true justice. He’s shaken back to reality and decides there’s still justice to be served.
Briefly, he thinks he sees a koala in the desert, and he calls her Mindy. But there’s no koala there.
Kevin travels in the hot desert, eventually coming across Tiggly HQ, “the most joyous place on earth.” He’s invited to the Tigglies’ hideaway, where they work on new music. The red Tiggle reminisces with him about the Australian kids’ music scene and how the Tigglies managed to prevail even when the rest of the industry failed.
He introduces Koala Man to the rest of the Tiggles, who seem overly interested in the fact that there’s a kids’ music camp near them. They excitedly agree to give Koala Man a ride there.
When Kevin uses their restroom, he remembers being a hall monitor at school as a kid. He refused access to the restroom without a hall pass and caused one student to urinate in front of his entire class. Kevin still insists to himself that he did the right thing back then.
Koala Man comes across a prisoner named Dennis, who claims The Tigglies and Uncle Bumpy captured him. They’ve been using kids to suck their youth from them and stay young. They kept Dennis alive for Uncle Bumpy, who is the most evil of the bunch.
Suddenly, Spider shows up to save Koala Man (he knew something was up when kangaroos answered his phone). Spider and Koala Man free Dennis and head to the band camp.
Spider wonders why Kevin had to stop to help that kangaroo. Kevin responds that it’s his koala code to help people in need. He remembers the time he saved a koala from getting run over by a truck. He then nursed Mindy the koala to health. Vicky even sewed him a koala mask so Mindy would accept food from him.
When they arrive to camp, the Tigglies are already there, and they’ve chosen Liam and Little Nina to join them on their “show.” They try to kidnap the kids, but they’re interrupted by Koala Man.
Three of the Tigglies get away with the kids, so Koala Man goes after them in the camp bus. Spider and Dennis help him gain speed. While Koala Man jumps on top of the Tigglies’ van, Uncle Bumpy arrives in his own van to lend the Tigglies help. Dennis takes the opportunity to go after Uncle Bumpy himself, sacrificing himself to bomb the creepy mascot. The kangaroos then crash into the Tigglies’ van, killing all but the Red Tiggle.
Liam confesses his love to Little Nina, but Red Tiggle eats her to gain her power to play the bassoon. Liam gets away, and Koala Man crashes the bus into the Tigglies’ van to save his son. Spider then crashes into Red Tiggle again to ensure his death.
Liama and Kevin reunite, and Kevin finally gives him his jacket. Liam is surprised he came all this way to return his jacket. He thought Kevin arrived to make him tough it out.
This reminds Kevin of when he tried to set Mindy free and make her toughen up so she could live in the wild. But instead, Mindy tried to cross the road and died getting hit by a truck. Kevin tells Liam he doesn’t have to be tough if he doesn’t want to, and they hug.
Kevin tells Vicky he’s ready to have that talk. He says he doesn’t know why he is the way he is. But what he does know is that he loves her. She tells him not to worry about that talk now. She’s just glad they’re alright.
The episode ends with the Kookaburra ruminating that, while Koala Man may have escaped the Tigglies, he won’t escape the Kookaburra.
The Episode Review
Well, I don’t believe I’ll ever look at The Wiggles the same way ever again. Koala Man has done it again … at least, he saved his own son. It gets me every time how this show is willing to kill everyone off except those close to Koala Man, and he can still walk away happy.
For the first time in the series, we get a little bit of Koala Man’s origin story (RIP Mindy the koala). It’s lovely to see Vicky’s role in Kevin’s journey.
Seeing that she sewed his mask for him adds helpful context to her struggle with his superhero persona. We can see she wants to be that supportive figure in his life–but she also wants that support to be returned, leading to complex feelings about Koala Man.
For now, she’s content to let it go so Koala Man can continue to keep Dapto (relatively) safe. But not if the Kookaburra has anything to say about it.