Show Me Things That I Long to Explore: Appreciating Mokey Fraggle

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Abigail Maughan – Fraggle fans know all too well that poor Mokey gets the short end of the Doozer stick more often than not when it comes to supplementary products, from plush toys to DVD covers to comics. Despite what the designers of the DVD covers seem to think, however, Mokey Fraggle is one of the most influential and complex characters in the entire story of Fraggle Rock.

What makes Mokey different from the other Fraggles, and what comes up as alternatingly a point of both admiration and ridicule among her friends, is her passion for arts coupled with her stalwart romanticism. Mokey’s a firm believer in magic and meditation and the power of positive thinking, possessing a spirituality regarding nature and the world in a way that none of her friends do. Between her extravagant poetry, journaling, artwork, and the plays she writes for her friends all the time, she has the makings of a historian, a storyteller, or even a minstrel in her. Her artist’s eye is what compels her to look deeply into the intricacies of the universe and attempt to make sense of them.

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Mokey is a quick thinker and good at improvising, and she possesses an oft-overlooked daring that makes her invaluable in dealing with Gorgs and in other adventures. She’s the oldest of our leads and, while each of the Fraggle Five has no shortage of self-esteem issues, her intrapersonal dilemmas directly arise when she’s attempting to ascertain the world around her and her place in it.

From the very beginning, Mokey is the Fraggle most willing to search outside herself and her immediate surroundings, and not because she feels duty-bound to do so like Gobo does. Sometimes she does, though her endeavors are as often “for science” or “for posterity” as they are for the sake of pure curiosity or altruism. Regardless, she takes an instrumental part in the theme of connecting the world around her in the way Fraggle Rock strives so strongly to communicate. In one of the very first episodes of the show, “The Preachification of Convincing John,” Mokey’s interest in the Doozers is what gives us our first glimpse into their lives and their role in the Fraggle ecosystem, before the Doozers themselves are fleshed out as characters the following season.

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Her misguided crusade for Doozer construction preservation is one of our first indicators of Mokey’s fatal flaws. Mokey wants to help everyone, all the time, forever.  This is a wonderful attribute, but it becomes damaging when it can cause her to jump to conclusions, overexert herself, and make drastic all-or-nothing choices. She has perfectionist tendencies, and a burning desire to be liked and accepted, by her friends, by the Poohbahs, and by her fellow Fraggles in general. Many of Mokey’s stories involve her learning to reevaluate her commitments, learn that she doesn’t have to say yes to everything that is asked of her, and learn that she is in fact not on a one-woman mission destined to save the world.

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Mokey is also a pacifist who trusts in giving all creatures, and even enemies, the benefit of the doubt. This sometimes does not work in her favor, but other times is exactly what makes her such a key contributor in the bridging of the worlds. In “The Great Radish Caper,” Mokey becomes the first Fraggle to break ground with Junior Gorg, rescuing his most beloved radish from Boober’s stewpot when she learns that the radish is the closest thing Junior has to a friend. The relationship between Junior Gorg and the Fraggles becomes a crucial force in the show the longer it goes on, and Mokey and her kindheartedness, her willingness to understand and sympathize with someone so vastly different from her, are what set it in motion.

The connections Mokey makes with the other residents of the Rock span beyond her home and her friends. With the help of Red and Cave Fraggle Beige, Mokey averts a war between the Rock Fraggles and the Cave Fraggles. Mokey’s impacts of Fraggle Rock aren’t even limited to her temporal existence. When Mokey accidently teleports to the days of the ancient Fraggles in “Mokey Then and Now,” she fulfills an ancient prophecy, eliminates the concept of hierarchy among Fraggles, and establishes the modus operandi of Fraggledom (dance your cares away), all in one fell swoop. In that roundabout paradox way, it was Mokey herself who shaped Fraggle Rock as the place she and her friends know it to be.

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Because of Mokey Fraggle and her advanced interest in discovery and relating to others, and the bravery and smarts she possesses that allow her to do so, Fraggle Rock and the links between all the creatures therein develop considerably, even if it’s not always in the manner Mokey might envision. If not for the influences of Mokey and her idealism, events connecting the Fraggles to the world around them would have taken place a lot slower and much differently.

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