UNNATURAL HISTORY “Liberian Candidate” Review


Episode 7 of UNNATURAL HISTORY finds Henry reunited with an old friend Tamba, son of a Presidential candidate from Liberia visiting the Smithson museum. In “Liberian Candidate”, Henry uncovers a plot to assassinate the president, something weird is going on with his ‘brother’ Tamba and Jasper saves Henry’s life with a mancala.

If you are a fan of Unnatural History, and you want to introduce others to the show, this would be the episode to show them. It was a perfect blend of mystery, comedy, drama, action and knowledge… with perhaps a sprinkle of romance between Maggie and Tamba (‘bowling’, yeah…) Between explorations into parental separation, a brief history of blood diamonds and slavery and pistachio nut cleaning solvent, who could ask for more?

The opening, with our favorite trio exploring the Division of Unknown and Obscure Miscellanea, was absolutely hilarious. From Henry tasting fake blood and determining it is not human (“Please never tell me how you know that,” Maggie says with a priceless look of disgust) to his heroic rescue of a damsel in faux-distress, to Dean Bartlett taking it upon himself to punish the heroes by sending them out on football tryout, where Henry and Jasper must endure the harsh Stalin-esque drills of coach Maggie (this was so not a punishment for her), I never stopping smiling.

It is here we meet Tamba, Henry’s ‘beastie’ (not bestie-they were wild together, you see), who has come to live in the United States and attend the Smithson school. His father, the eponymous Liberian candidate, has come for a talk at the museum.

This being Unnatural History, of course there is an assassination attempt. After Tamba’s father drinks the toast, he collapses, leading Henry to the conclusion that he was poisoned. He reveals his fears and is labelled the boy who cried wolf.

Seeking proof, he and Jasper head to the dumpsters, where they are almost killed by a falling crate. As the would-be assassin makes an escape, Henry trips him up with a boomerang (oh yes, add that to his limitless arsenal) and he drops a baggie of uncut diamonds. Blood diamonds, it turns out, dug by slaves in illegal mines in Liberia.

Of course there are red herrings aplenty; from the security guard (a former child slave who was injured in a mine) to Tamba himself (who tries to smother Henry in his sleep with a pillow: scrutiny is, perhaps, warranted). But it turns out to me the smarmy, slimy Claude, who orchestrated Tamba’s brainwashing, forcing him to carry out various devious deeds, including blowing himself and his father up with a football bomb. You just knew he was evil from the word “lobbyist.” Nothing respectable can come from that vocation.

Maggie saves the day… well, no, not really. She’s relegated to the typical female role of saving the boys (em… she breaks a lock on the door), who save the day, whilst (literally) looking on in amazement at her male heroes (Jasper caught the football/bomb! What a man!) Puke.

Despite my quibble, this was my favorite episode of Unnatural History. It was by far the funniest, with zombie attacks, lumberjacks and jockstraps galore. I don’t think I’m alone when I say I hope Tamba and his awesome hair makes a re-appearance soon.

What did you think of Unnatural History? Are you ever going to look as a pistachio nut the same way? Do you hope Maggie and Tamba go ‘bowling’ again? Are you now wary of ringtones and footballs? Leave your comments below!