This is one of the most awesome series I've ever come across, and I've been watching these videos since elementary school. Four spunky and intelligent kids are always seeking out mysteries, learning new lessons, and often getting themselves in deeper trouble than they ever bargained for. It should be noted that this series has a great, though not overdone, Christian tone. The main character, Mike, often seeks help from older Christians and the Bible when he's in a moral dilemma. That being said, as much as I love this series, the solution to the moral dilemma in this particular episode honestly left me furious.
As you could tell from the title of this episode, the big mystery is whether an actual Bigfoot is terrorizing the town in which Mike and his friends live: an elderly man claims to have been attacked by one, some campers were terrorized during their bonfire, and another man's trailer was wrecked, with long scratch marks and mysterious animal hair left behind. The suspense (and humor!) mounts as Mike and his three friends set out to discover what exactly is at large in the town.
The moral dilemma I mentioned has to do with the minor subplot in the story: remember the elderly man I mentioned who first claimed to have seen Bigfoot? When Mike and his friends first go to question him about what he saw, they find that he has a weak and dehydrated dog chained to a pole. The dog has a muzzle on his snout and clearly can't drink. When the kids question the man about Jake (his dog), he appears to think there's nothing wrong with him and orders the kids to leave him alone. Seeing that Jake is on the point of death, however, Mike unchains him and the kids take him to the vet inspite of the owner's loud protests, with the promise of bringing him back when he's well.
As Mike finds himself growing fonder of Jake, he asks his owner if he can keep him and is flatly refused and threatened with legal action if he doesn't bring Jake back. Feeling utterly discouraged, Mike goes to his mom for a sympathetic ear and some advice. This was where the story sorely disappointed me: I fully expected Mike's mom to tell him he had to take the dog back; I did NOT expect her to tell him he shouldn't have taken the dog to begin with! According to her, what Mike did was the same as stealing because Jake was the property of his owner! Her simplistic advice was for him to follow God's rules and "leave the rest to God". In other words, leave the dog to die?? What was going on was blatant animal abuse and he had every right to take Jake to the vet! The vet even said he was on the point of death and wouldn't have lasted much longer, yet Mike's idiotic mother would have had him just leave the dog there? Stealing, my foot; he was saving Jake's life!
I really couldn't believe this pathetic advice was considered Christian; who are they kidding? Animals are NOT just property, they are living, feeling beings and if anyone abuses them, they deserve to not only be punished, but relieved of any rights of ownership. What if you found a child who was abused, or at least neglected and in danger? If you took them to a hospital, would you consider that kidnapping?
A nature photographer told me once that some of the people who are abusing nature the most are the Christian Right, merely because they abuse the passage in Genesis in which God says mankind would rule the earth. I find it tragic that Christians would abuse God's word in such a way, but it seems clear to me that some of the writers of this movie have the same mindset: humans are almighty and animals are at our disposal. They seem to think even if an animal is abused, a human's "rights" of ownership should be honored above the suffering creature's right to live. This is truly abhorrent, shameful behavior. I'd like all Christians to remember that the world and all its creatures belong first and foremost to GOD, not us. God gave the earth to us so we could cherish and nurture it, not rape it in His name; Genesis does NOT give us the right to do that. I suggest the writers of this particular episode examine their faith and morals.
I don't want you to think I hate this series as a whole; it's honestly one of my favorites. This particular one just had a terrible flaw that I now skip over every time I watch it. If you get this for your kids, I suggest you watch it with them.