'Meerkat Manor: The Next Generation': Desert Submarine

Orinoco_meerkatmanor_240It's probably a good thing that I love the little tykes of the world, and better that they love me back. Otherwise, Meerkat Manor: The Next Generation would have grated on my every last nerve tonight. Instead, I'm working in a room without any cool air whatsoever, so let's get this show on the road!

Ooohhh I need your love, babe... and these Spoilers! Guess you know it's true.

Even with the troubles that normally come with a new group, one would think the Aztecs could catch a break and finally find some land to truly call their own, if to only give old man Zaphod a break. Maybelline looks as if she could use a good day or two off as she's about to give birth any time now.

Of course, as per usual, nothing ever comes easily for Maybelline. Usually there's only one female in a group that's allowed to give birth... that being the dominant female. With the Aztecs, Maybelline is joined in the Manor baby shower by sisters Angie, Bananas and E.J. It's a good thing Zaphod can still perform his sentry duties at the top of his game as the Lazuli family make their first appearance of the new season. Apparently, the Aztecs are on their land (surprise, surprise), and taking no chances with kids on the way, Zaphod leads them in retreat.

Maybelline needs to find a new burrow to give birth, and soon. With little time to decide, she's forced to lead the Aztecs either back to Lazuli territory or risk wandering into the Whiskers domain. She opts to take them back the way they came, and to no one's surprise, the Lazuli are ready and waiting to strike. The first strike Aztecs go after the new dominant Lazuli female, Aretha. Zaphod makes his own stand, and to this writer's shock, the Lazuli beat a hasty retreat.

Hey, when you have everything to lose by taking no action, you do what you can and hope for the best. Unfortunately for E.J., the battle ended with the likely loss of her unborn pups.

On the other side of the Manor, the Commandos welcome Nikita's newest offspring to the family and it's up to the lone female evictee allowed to return to baby-sit them. Venus knows that second chances with Nikita are a rare occurrence. However, Nikita is too preoccupied with the thought of who can impregnate her next. The safe bet is that one of the Jazz Quartet will get past Zorro and knock her up once again... that is, unless Zorro gets to her first.

From the Quartet, Miles is the first to make a go of it, and is promptly rejected by Nikita. Miles reminds me of the guy at a party (read: me) who just wishes the girl would make the first move instead of him. He builds up the courage to make a second go at Nikita, but this time is chased away by Zorro. Baker is next up to bat and immediately swings and misses.

Duke is noticeably missing from the Nikita lovefest, as he's focused his attention on her sister, Rosie and Rosie's daughter, Samba. If it weren't for the meddling kids they were babysitting, Duke would have much better odds at getting in good with either of the gals.

Taking just one look at the feisty little buggers and it's clear the Commando kids are a product of Nikita. Barely two months old and already they're battling for a bigger place within the family. Most pups would normally get more time to really assimilate into their roles within the family. Then again, Nikita is already preggers once again! Miles is most likely the baby daddy, and Zorro is none too pleased with this shocking development. Like the mature, responsible adult he is, Zorro focuses all his rage on Miles.

Back with the Aztecs, Maybelline has finally given birth to her very first litter of pups. With Angie and Bananas nowhere to be found, Maybelline's pups now have the best chance of survival. The new Aztec pups make their debut to the surface, but are just as quickly whisked away when an owl threatens their safety. When the owl is dispatched, the Fab Four kids make their return to the top of the burrow. Even though E.J. lost her own pups in the Lazuli battle, she still provides extra milk to the kids.

It seems McCartney, Lennon, Ringo and Harrison have quite the bright future, eh?

Next time on MM:TNG, it's Zorro versus Miles once again and the newest Whiskers have a rude awakening from some nasty neighbors.

Are we going to need a "Baby Borrowers" spin-off for the meerkats? The newest Commandos... proof that it's actually nurture over nature? Were you as surprised to see the Lazuli as the writer was?