In #54 The Beginning, during the trial of Visser One, after Jake is accused of being a war criminal, he sort of loses himself a little bit. It's not described in detail what he says or does, though.

So Jake goes to his hotel room. There, Marco, in gorilla morph, knocks Jake unconscious. When he wakes up, they throw him into the Atlantic ocean, swim with him in Dolphin morph, and have a little chat on the beach.

Why did they do all this? My thoughts are:

  1. Jake was a child who had just saved humanity, lost loved ones, risked his life, been through hell on Earth and also just been accused of being a war criminal. Everyone present would have probably cut him some slack for being traumatized and acting out a little bit. Did he say or do something particularly bad during the testimony?
  2. Since the Animorphs were already alone with Jake in his hotel room, couldn't they just talk to him there? Why did they have to knock him out? Knocking people out isn't a safe way to make them sleep, they can get fractures, etc. (although Jake is always healed of injuries when he morphs.) But it seems a little over the top? What did Jake do in court that was so bad? Why did they have to go to such extreme lengths?
  3. What did throwing him in the water accomplish?

3 Answers 3


It's Morphing Therapy for his war-ravaged mind.

This is actually explained ten pages earlier.

"I can't be sure, but I have this feeling Jake hasn't morphed since . . . since." "It gives you a different perspective," I said. "I mean, I've often wondered if allowing someone to morph to dolphin or falcon or whatever might not be a good way to let them put the little stuff in perspective." "Morph therapy? I think I feel another bestselling book coming on. Oh, man, Oprah would eat that up. And you know the Andalites are saying now they may make morphing technology more widely available on Earth."

Having previously discussed using morphs to rehabilitate people, and having just seen Jake expose his PTSD at the trial, it only made sense for the team to take Jake to be in his favorite morph -- and they had to do it against his will, because he was in an entirely different mindset.

Marco spells out their reason for being there on the beach:

"I guess you guys think you're clever," I said, squeegeeing water out of my hair. "More like desperate," Marco said. "You've had your head up your butt for a long time, Jake. Which is your business. Unless it's our business. Like when you screw up testifying against Visser One."

Moreover, the gamble apparently works; for the first time in the book, Jake is excited and happy while in the dolphin morph:

Down and down, and up, up, up, into the sky! Again! Down and up, so fast, as fast as I could go. As high as I could fly. Again. Again. Again. The dolphin body was beginning to tire, but I didn't care. I wanted to be tired. I wanted to drain every last ounce of energy from the creature as I flew and splashed and flew again.

  1. Often times those who have had to make a hard decision can live to regret it, even if it was ultimately the "right" decision to make. This is made worse when others paint you in such a way that makes you out to be a monster, and then you have to go back through your own imperfect memories to try and remember what really happened, and you begin to question yourself and your decisions as well. This is what Jake was going through. Sure, people would have given him some slack (which they ultimately did), but telling someone they are forgiven is often easier than them being able to forgive themselves.

  2. Knocking someone out in fiction is a common trope that is almost always a safe way of incapacitating someone. You are correct that this is very much in contrast to real life. As to why they did it, it was ultimately to give the story a change of emotion and scenery, in a brighter happier setting away from the world and among friends.

  3. They threw him in the ocean because they were attempting to cheer him up by more or less forcing him into a situation where they expected he would react by morphing into a dolphin, which are described as naturally happy animals. Since the instincts of the animal effect the morpher, this would hopefully help put him in a better state of mind.



The animorphs hoped the happy dolphin instincts would override Jake's negative emotions, at least temporarily

  • Do you have any evidence that this is indeed the case that you could edit in?
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Aug 4, 2019 at 21:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.