The Gladiators Recap

The trio is walking through the hills.

Urko maps the sightings of the trio and figures that they're heading toward the sea. He tells his assistant Jason that they think differently and must be caught, and tells him to alert every prefect in the distance and give him the humans' descriptions. Every stranger is to be arrested on sight and notification sent, and the humans to be shot "trying to escape."

Galen gathers fruit to eat and Pete admits that it's good. Alan is contemplating the magnetic disk and says that it's their only chance, but Pete is skeptical. He figures that there's a civilization with the same technological knowledge or more that can help them, just as they hear two men, Tolar and Dalton, fighting. The trio runs over and when the older man, Tolar, savagely beats Dalton, Pete leaps in. Dalton attacks Pete and throws him to Tolar, and Alan jumps Dalton. As Alan fights, he drops the disk. The chimpanzee prefect, Barlow, rides up and the two astronauts run off with Galen.

Tolar tells Barlow that they were training until two human strangers intervened. Barlow dismisses them as bandits and asks if Dalton is ready. Tolar says that he almost is.

Alan realizes that the disk is missing and says that they have to go back. He then runs back despite Pete's warning. They watch as Tolar tells Barlow that he'll be proud of Dalton someday. As he goes to his horse, Barlow sees the disk and pockets it. Alan and the others see him but can do nothing. Once they go, Alan prepares to go after them, insisting that he'll get the disk back. Pete and Galen don't see the point, but Alan insists that it's home and hope, and he can't forget it.

Jason rides toward the village of Kamak.

The trio sneaks into Kamak and finds Barlow's house. Galen offers to get it, telling Alan that he's his friend and he has a better chance of dealing with Barlow alone. The chimpanzee knocks at the door and gets himself invited in. Meanwhile, Alan and Pete hear horses and go to get them in case they have to escape.

Galen claims that his horse threw him and ran off, and claims that he was doing scientific explanation. He says that he's searching for ancient artifacts, and the older chimpanzee offers Galen something to see. As they talk, Galen sees the disk on Barlow's disk. Barlow talks about how he has been a prefect there for 25 years, and they share a toast to companionship.

Alan and Pete approach the corral and spot the gorilla guard.

Barlow shows Galen a painting that a human did, and toys with the disk. He suggests it might be an artifact, but then says that it's too new. Barlow shows Galen one of the artifacts that he found: a golf club. Galen points out that the disk is made of the same metal, and Barlow wonders why he seems so curious. He puts it away and insists that Galen stay the night.

Alan knocks out the guard and take his rifle.

As Barlow shows Galen to the guest quarters, they hear the horses whinnying. He summons the gorilla soldiers and they capture the astronauts. Barlow realizes that they're the two "outlaws" that attacked Tolar, and orders them locked up.

The next morning, Jason stops to eat and then rides on.

Alan and Pete wake up in their cage and see the human villagers outside, staring at them. When Alan asks what they're going to do to them, they ignore him. Tolar and Dalton arrive and Tolar throws dirt in Pete's face before walking off. Dalton stares at them for a moment and then follows Tolar: his father.

Barlow shows Galen his collection of human books. Galen asks about the prisoners, pointing out that they're sentient. Barlow points out that the humans war on each other and they must find safer outlets for their hostility. He says that they will serve a noble purpose, and leads Galen to the cage. Barlow says that he hopes to stay there for the rest of his life with his collection, and has a gorilla bring Pete out.

Next, Barlow takes Galen to where Tolar and Dalton are sparring. Tolar says that Dalton will soon be ready, and Dalton hesitates. His father says that his stomach is bothering him, and Barlow agrees not to make him fight. They then go to an arena where the villagers have gathered, and Barlow tells Galen that Dalton has no proper appreciation of the Games. He figures that Dalton's attitude will change with his first kill. Barlow takes his seat with Galen at his side and says that the humans are waiting for blood. He explains that he lets the humans work out their aggression in the arena and then they go back to their peaceful lives. Barlow then welcomes the humans to their games. Tolar comes out and the guards bring in the challenger: Pete. Tolar attacks Pete and tosses him around the arena.

Jason rides into Kamak and goes to see Barlow, but finds him gone. He hears the cheering and goes to the arena.

Pete finally fights back and takes down Tolar with his martial art skills. Barlow tosses a sword down to him and the humans yell for Tolar's blood. As Dalton looks on nervously, Jason arrives and Galen recognizes him. Pete tosses the sword away and the angry humans try to mob him. Jason pushes his way through the crowd and Galen runs off in the confusion and goes to Pete. The gorilla tells Barlow who Galen really is, while Pete and Galen escape the arena just in time and run off into the hills.

Later, the gorillas clear all of the humans off of the streets. When Jason learns that a soldier was hurt by a human, Barlow says that guns are only used against humans as a last resort. Jason says that apes can't govern using games and Barlow let two important prisoners escape. Jason demands to see Alan.

At home, Dalton finds Tolar lying in the darkness. Tolar finally says that Pete disgraced him by letting him live, and insists that he's a dead man who breathes. Dalton points out that Pete let him live, but Tolar says that a man without honor should not live. The younger man leaves his father.

Jason interrogates Alan, demanding to know where Pete and Galen are. Barlow objects to Jason's beatings and forbids it, and Jason warns that once he makes his report Barlow will no longer be prefect. Once he leaves, Alan thanks Barlow for his intervention. Barlow disgustedly wonders why Alan ever came there and leaves.

Pete and Galen go to Tolar's home and knock at the door. Dalton lets them in and stares at Galen in surprise, and Pete says that they need to speak to Tolar and Galen is his friend. Tolar comes in and says that he won't help them, and they're loyal citizens. Pete points out that Tolar owes him his life, and Tolar prepares to attack him. Dalton intervenes, saying that they'll stay and he'll help them. Shocked, Tolar walks away.

Barlow returns to his office and finds Jason at his desk, writing his report. The prefect says that some men do not respond to force, and his way controls humans with minimum force. Jason isn't interested in his games, but then gets an idea and says that they'll let the humans have the prisoner. Barlow says that Jason will see how his theory works and he'll keep his position.

Pete tells Dalton about the world that he came from, and how men destroyed themselves. The astronaut says that he had no reason to kill Tolar. Pete admits that there were some pacifists in his time, and Dalton says that his mother was a pacifist. Galen sees Barlow coming and Dalton has them hide in the next room. Barlow comes in and Tolar comes out of his room. Tolar says that he's ashamed, and Barlow tells him that Pete is the one who should be ashamed. The older man starts to tell Barlow about the fugitives, and Dalton interrupts him. Barlow says that the people will forget the disgrace and that Dalton will fight Alan and kill him. He insists that there will be a death and leaves.

Barlow visits Alan and asks if the astronauts' time is better than there's. Alan says that it's home, and Barlow says that he's sorry that they came to the village. The astronaut explains about the disk, and Barlow realizes that Galen is working with the astronauts. Alan asks him to give him the disk and let him go, but Barlow refuses to let Alan go while he loses his home.

Galen and Pete return to Kamak and spot Barlow leaving the cage. Pete gets an idea and goes back to the cottage. Tolar and Dalton are gone.

The two men go to the grave of Dalton's mother, and Tolar says that he loves her very much. Dalton asks what she would tell him to do, and reminds her father that he said there was no honor in killing. Tolar figures that she would never have noticed him except for the games, and Dalton asks him how many men he's killed. His father says that he has killed as many as he's fought, just as Dalton will kill Alan.

Dalton goes to Barlow and Barlow insists that it's the nature of Man to kill. His visitor says that the games are wrong and he won't fight, and has to make the other humans understand. Barlow calls a gorilla in and has Dalton arrested.

When Tolar returns to the cottage he accuses Pete of destroying him and his son. Galen comes in and tells them that Dalton has been arrested for being against the games and thrown into the cage with Alan. Shocked, Tolar leaves.

Dalton tells Alan that Alan's friends didn't have a plan. Alan hopes that they'll leave rather than try to rescue him, and Dalton asks if men might still be important if they hadn't fought and killed. The astronaut admits that it's possible. Outside, Tolar approaches the cage and demands to see his son. The gorillas refuse to let him approach... and Pete and Galen jump down on them from behind. Tolar helps knock the gorillas out, and they let Dalton and Alan out. The older man tells his son that he won't ever understand him but he won't let him become a prisoner.

As the fugitives run, a soldier spots them and opens fire. The group takes cover, and Jason and Barlow approach. Tolar tells the others to run and as they go, Jason shoots Tolar. Despite his mortal wound, Tolar grabs Jason and when the soldiers comes over, Barlow tells him to hold his fire. In the struggle, Tolar manages to shoot Jason with his own gun and then collapses, dead. Barlow tells the soldier that as he saw, Jason died fighting a crazed human. He assures the soldier that he is properly cited, cutting off his objections, and dismisses him as the villagers come over to look at their fallen hero.

The trio and Dalton hide as they hear a horse approaching. Dalton insists on going out and discovers that it's Barlow. The prefect says that Tolar was a brave man and the games died with him, and figures that there's a better way to govern. Barlow tells Dalton to tell him that they never met and to wish them good luck, and gives Dalton the disk.

Later, Dalton shows the trio where to go next. He says that he will stay behind to consider what he's learned, and that it's important that people know the killing should stop. Once Dalton heads back to Kamak, the trio head off.

Written by Gadfly on Dec 28, 2016