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Recap / The Sarah Jane Adventures S 3 E 9 E 10 Mona Lisas Revenge

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The Mona Lisa comes to life and seeks out her "brother."

One of Clyde's drawings has won a prestigious art contest. His prize is a trip to the International Gallery for his whole class and a change to see the Mona Lisa, which has been loaned to the Gallery by the Louvre. However, Mona Lisa comes to life, forcing the curator's assistant Phyllis to take her place in the painting. When the curator, Lionel Harding, sees the painting, he assumes the real Mona Lisa has been stolen and calls the police. However, Mona Lisa uses her powers to imprison the police and everyone in the gallery inside paintings. Rani, Luke, and Clyde sneak back into the exhibit to investigate.

Sarah Jane hears about the "theft" from Mr. Smith and goes to investigate. She finds Mona Lisa, armed with a Sontaran blaster from Clyde's painting, telling Harding that she needs his help to find her brother, who she knows nothing about except that he was painted at the same time as her and by someone living near Leonardo da Vinci. Sarah Jane tries to stop her but is imprisoned inside a painting. Luke manages to take the painting but Mona Lisa animates a painting of a pistol-wielding highwayman called the Dark Rider and sends it after the three friends. Clyde splits off from his friends, allowing them to escape while he is captured by the Dark Rider. Mysterious roars echo throughout the museum as Mona Lisa's brother comes to life.

Rani and Luke manage to escape and, researching a book in the gift shop, learn about the Abomination, a painting made by Giuseppe di Cattivo which was believed to drive anyone who looked upon it insane. As di Cattivo and da Vinci were friends and neighbors, Luke theorizes that the paint used in the Abomination and the Mona Lisa contained minerals from a sentient meteorite. When the Mona Lisa was brought to the International Gallery, being so close to her brother caused them both to come to life.

The Abomination was considered so terrifying that di Cattivo locked it away, using a Chinese puzzle box as a key. Luke realizes that the puzzle box is on display at the gallery, mistaken for another work of art. He and Rani find the puzzle box but are confronted by Mona Lisa and Harding. Harding, who has had enough of the Mona Lisa's rampage, destroys the puzzle box. Before Mona Lisa can kill them, Luke tells her there is another way to free her brother. They join Clyde in the museum cellar, where he is being held prisoner by the Dark Rider. Luke orders Clyde to draw in his sketch book another puzzle box based on an illustration in the book from the gift shop. Mona Lisa then brings the box into reality and unlocks the Abomination. However, the drawing of the puzzle box was right on top of a sketch of K9 in Clyde's sketchbook, causing K9 to be brought to life as well. K9 fires on the Abomination, causing "pigment dispersal." This forces all animated drawings, including himself and the Mona Lisa, to return to normal.


  • And I Must Scream: The Mona Lisa emerges from her painting and traps gallery visitors into numerous different paintings, including Sarah Jane Smith. She is later freed at the end of the episode and mentions that she was conscious the whole time.
  • Art Attacker: As a work of art herself, Lisa has mild reality warping powers that allow her to animate items depicted in paintings into the real world or trap living people within paintings. This backfires when she accidentally brings a drawing of K9 to life.
  • Broken Pedestal: Lionel Harding is obsessed with the Mona Lisa. When the Mona Lisa comes to life, he follows and tries to help her until he has enough and realises she was not what he had imagined her to be.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Clyde's drawing of K9 becomes important to saving the day.
    • The freebie that Clyde takes is a map that helps the trio navigate their way round the museum.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Mona Lisa is a Renaissance painting brought to life, so she's bound to be a little strange. Just how strange, nobody could have predicted.
  • Continuity Nod: The art gallery used to house the Cup of Athelstan, stolen in "Planet of the Dead", and its theft is referenced.
  • Covert Pervert: Phyllis, Harding's frumpy assistant, has an online dating profile which says she's "open-minded and willing to try anything."
  • The Faceless: We only see the Abomination's hand and what might be a pair of horns.
  • Gambit Pileup: The whole Living Paint issue got mixed up with Scaroth's scheming, as the living paint infected at least one of the seven Mona Lisas.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: The Abomination was created with the same alien minerals as Mona Lisa and it is said to be so indescribably hideous that it drives people mad on sight, prompting an elderly da Vinci to seal it away.
  • It's Personal: Luke gets really upset when Mona Lisa imprisons Sarah Jane in a painting.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Clyde was a cub scout, until he was kicked out.
    • Harding went to see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre and did something that got him thrown out.
  • Oblivious to Love: Despite her clearly having feelings for him, Lionel ignores Trupp's attempts at a kiss. Despite his apologies and eagerness to start a relationship, Phyllis angrily leaves Lionel in the chamber.
  • Snap Back: An unusually serious example when K9 is turned back into a drawing.
  • Unexplained Accent: Mona Lisa inexplicably has a nasally Yorkshire accent, despite her likeness being based on an Italian noblewoman. It's seems to be purely for Rule of Funny.
  • The Voiceless: While the Dark Rider guards him, Clyde remarks the painting can't talk as it has no visible mouth, for which it's ready to shoot him. The others arrived before it does.