Eye of the Cobra (Italian: Il tempio del cobra) is the twentieth episode of the third season (The Two Tigers) and the seventy-second overall episode of the animated series, Sandokan.
A herd of babirusa is drinking at a waterhole when the trumpeting of an elephant sends them running off in terror. Now he’s the one drinking at the waterhole when suddenly he hears the low roar of a panther behind him. He is attacked by the animal and a flash of green light invests the beast.
Their initial impact with the Burmese jungle is certainly not one of the best experiences: in the first place, the hot air balloon loses altitude and hastily unloads our heroes over some tree tops. Babar seems to have disappeared and Sandokan is attacked by the panther possessed by Suyodhana. The beast’s strength is doubled by the presence of the demon and the only reason Sandokan saves his life, after having lost the dagger in the river, is because Randi steps in and fights with the panther. The two wild animals also fall into the river and they continue fighting as the current drags them along. But Randi successfully gets a grip on something and Kammamuri helps him out. Deep in his heart, Sandokan is convinced that the dagger has been lost for good. But Morugan, who dives in at the right moment, manages to fish it out. Our friends have yet to get over their bad adventure when an explosion makes the ground beneath them quiver.
It’s dynamite and smoke billowing out of the thick jungle vegetation captures their attention. So they become acquainted with Archibald Lester, a friendly and quite eccentric British archaeologist who is in turn looking for the door that leads to Narayama. Sandokan feels he can trust the fellow and shows him the reproduction on parchment paper of the cobra head. Archibald doesn’t know what that picture is referring to but Siman, the excavation leader, knows where the ruins of a small ancient temple called the Temple of the Cobra stand. The panther possessed by Suyodhana is about to die and, after having dragged itself into the thick of the vegetation, a black cobra appears and sinks its teeth into the panther. Again, the green light shines...
During the journey that leads to the Temple of the Cobra, in addition to various incidents that do not forebode anything good, Sandokan is attacked by a mysterious assailant who wants to take the magical dagger. In pursuit, Yanez clashes into Archibald, but Sandokan frees him from blame and they concentrate their suspicions on Siman whose hand is visibly wounded the day following the attack. They finally get in sight of the temple, where the climb is rather steep and the Indian labourers state that they’re too exhausted to face it. So our heroes face the climb, along with Archibald Lester.
Once they reach the top, all they find is a stone building partially in ruins and a niche containing the statue of a black cobra that is so perfect as to seem alive. In that moment, the cobra slithers out its forked tongue and Kammamuri jumps back in fright. The green light shining in the cobra’s eyes makes it dawn on Sandokan that they’re facing Suyodhana. Using his magical dagger, Sandokan neutralizes the cobra’s attacks. But soon they are surrounded by Siman and the other labourers, who prove to be none other than thugs. Sandokan is already praying for some divine intervention when a rope slides down from above.
It’s Babar. He successfully got the hot air balloon flying again and manages to save them. The last one to climb up the rope is Sandokan, and the only way for him to get rid of the cobra-Suyodhana who is clinging on the rope is to cut it. From above our heroes see the head of a cobra that outlines a path in red earth. They’ve found the door that leads to the kingdom of the dead!
- Archibald Lester
- Suyodhana (who possesses the cobra)