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“Praying Mantis” is the 23rd episode of Season 3 of Wild Kratts, originally airing on PBS Kids on August 12, 2014. Overall it is the 89th episode of the series. The episode was written and directed by Martin Kratt.
In this episode, Wild Kratts kids Gavin and Ronan wake up to find praying mantis hatchlings all over their room. The Wild Kratts arrive to get the two out while not trampling over any hatchlings. Meanwhile, Zach Varmitech develops an increasing grudge against the Wild Kratts.
The episode begins with a live-action segment. Chris Kratt finds a praying mantis on Martin’s back. Afterward, they ask their “What if?” question, and the show transitions into the cartoon segment.
Wild Kratts kids Gavin and Ronan wake up to find a praying mantis cocoon has hatched in their room, and praying mantis hatchlings are everywhere. They do not want to hurt the mantises so they decide to call the Wild Kratts for help in getting them out of bed. The Kratts suit up with Gecko Powers and the Tortuga lands near the boys’ house. They climb on the ceiling of the boys’ room and carry them out the window, avoiding the babies on the floor of the room. After deactivating their Creature Power Suits, Chris, Martin, Aviva, Gavin, and Ronan miniaturize. They head into the room and start collecting the hatchlings while Koki and Jimmy guard the Miniaturizer and help move the baby mantises out into the trees. After safely bringing the mantis hatchlings outside, the Kratt brothers show the kids and Aviva the features of praying mantises. Unbeknownst to them, one of Zach Varmitech’s Zachbots pinches off a leaf with a praying mantis on it and brings it to Zach’s ship.
Aviva and Martin return to normal size and head back to the Tortuga to start designing Praying Mantis Creature Power Suits. On the other hand, Zach inserts a praying mantis he captured into a pair of extending arms. He drops down in front of Koki and Jimmy, who are still guarding the Miniaturizer, and uses the extending arms to seize the Miniaturizer. He then kidnaps the two Wild Kratts members and confines them in his ship. Chris and the boys find out and head up to his ship. Aviva finishes the Praying Mantis Power Disc, and Martin activates his Mantis Power Suit. He attacks the Zachbots guarding Zach’s ship. Zach uses the Miniaturizer to enlarge his Zachbots to attack Martin, but Martin makes a quick work of the large Zachbots, but once they reach a much larger size than him, Martin gets captured. Suddenly, Aviva appears out of the Tortuga in her own Mantis Power Suit. She is much larger than Martin and frees Martin after destroying the Zachbots that bound him. Greatly intimidated by her size, Zach admits defeat and gives up the praying mantis he captured for his extending arms. Koki and Jimmy are freed, and afterward, Zach retreats in his ship.
The show transitions into the ending live-action segment, which shows the Kratt brothers and some kids finding praying mantises in the bushes. Afterward, they conclude the episode by saying “Keep on creature adventuring; we’ll see you on the creature trail!”
Note: Featured animals are in bold.
- Jaguar (melanistic cub)
- Geoffroy's Spider Monkey
- Spotted Eagle-owl
- Pileated Woodpecker
- Polar Bear (cub)
Note: Live action animals are linked to Wikipedia.
- Giant Asian mantis (called Giant praying mantis)
- Indonesian double shield mantis (called Double shield praying mantis)
- Prickly stick insect
- After the Kratt brothers activate Gecko Powers, they do some poses from “The Gecko Effect” after they activated Gecko Powers. This is the second time they use Gecko Powers.
- Chris and Martin wear their top part of their Creature Power Suits without the gloves for more than a second.
- Aviva made two Praying Mantis Discs, but Chris was not there (because miniaturized) to use the disc so she decided to use it instead.
- Aviva's power suit was inaccurate in size as female praying mantis are only twice as big a males which would make Aviva around 10-12 feet tall rather than big enough to hold a jet back. However, it was previously shown that there is an innate size-altering function in the creature power suits, which, while mostly used to miniaturize the user into the creature's size, can also be adjusted in order to allow them to remain in their normal size, and, as was shown in "Puffin Rescue", can be used to enlarge the user.
- A black jaguar cub (possibly Shadow) makes a cameo on a Wild Kratts poster.
- This is the second time Aviva appears using her own creature power suit in Season 3. This could support a theory that Aviva made a spare Power Suit.
- This is the first time any of the Wild Kratts kids get miniaturized.