In which Skeletor sneezes his way to defeat.
It’s carnival day in Eternia! A gentleman with a distinctly evil face wheels a vast array of monsters in cages into the the Palace. Hands up who guessed in advance that this gentleman is in fact Beast-Man in disguise. Well done, you all get 10 bonus He-Man points. Anyway, in one of the cages is a giant white female cat, who catches Cringer’s attention. Just in case we hadn’t grasped where this is going, Skeletor quickly gets on the videophone to tell Beast-Man to capture Cringer in order to lure in Prince Adam, and use the captured Prince Adam to lure in He-Man. This of course worked out very well in Disappearing Act, so why not do it again?
At show time, Beast-Man introduces the white cat as Pretty Kitty, and arranges for Cringer to go up to her and make stupid faces. That night, as Adam lies peacefully sleeping, Pretty Kitty comes to the window and lures Cringer out. She leads him straight to her cage, which Cringer enters on Beast-Man’s suggestion, despite this suggestion being followed with a chuckle that anyone in their right mind would interpret as somewhere between ominous and outright psychopathic.
In the morning, Adam receives a note from Skeletor, inviting him to come to Snake Mountain to retrieve Cringer. Brightly, Man-at-Arms deduces that this is a trap. Well, of course it’s a trap, you doughnut. Skeletor clearly isn’t in the business of taking Cringer to Snake Mountain just so Adam can bring him back. Adam decides to cut right to the point, and transforms into He-Man.
The burglar alarm goes off at Snake Mountain, alerting Skeletor, Beast-Man and Evil-Lyn to He-Man’s presence. Cringer is in a glass case on a cliff edge, and the plan is simple in that He-Man will see Cringer, walk towards him, and fall into a pit containing Octobeast. Naturally, it doesn’t work out that way; Cringer topples himself over the cliff and He-Man catches him. He then turns Cringer into Battle-Cat, and they go off to inflict some violence on Skeletor.
In the meantime, Teela has come to Snake Mountain to help. In fact, she does anything but, instead getting captured by Octobeast and used as bait. And so begins a delightful romp for He-Man as he trolls through Snake Mountain, defeating Beast-Man and Evil-Lyn in amusing ways, and spouting stupid comments that are only peripherally related to the events in question.
Finally, He-Man makes his way to Skeletor’s throne room, which Skeletor swiftly transforms into a Hall of Mirrors in order to evade He-Man. For added drama, he also arranges for the walls to close in on He-Man. Fortunately, He-Man is able to detect the real Skeletor by throwing pepper at the mirrors, which rather oddly take it in turns to sneeze until only the real Skeletor is left. Skeletor legs it, leaving it to He-Man to rescue Teela.
In today’s adventure …
He-Man takes a moment to discuss courage with us. He glosses over the aspect of courage which is being brave in the face of danger, and is far more interested in us being able to say no when our friends are doing something wrong. All well and good, and vaguely connected to the episode (Cringer toppling himself off the cliff was described as brave), but more relevant perhaps would be stranger danger? Cringer was lured away by a stranger, for goodness sake. What’s more, I’ll bet that stranger danger does come up in a later episode that has nothing to do with it.
Today features Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Battle-Cat, Man-at-Arms, Teela, Orko, Skeletor, Beast-Man, Evil-Lyn and Pretty Kitty. And Octobeast, if he counts.
Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance
Orko tells Teela that Adam has gone to rescue Cringer from Snake Mountain, which isn’t enormously far from the truth. As they leave Snake Mountain, He-Man tells Teela that he will arrange for Adam and Cringer to get back to the Palace safely. Both of these statements are more evasive than outright excuses, but I’m sure you were dead keen for me to report them nonetheless.
Beast-Man continues his trend as most abused character in fiction, receiving a “Fur-brain”, a “Fur-face” and a “fleabag” from Skeletor. Teela joins in to call him an “overgrown chimp” and Evil-Lyn gets in on the act with “fur-brained fool”.
Moving onto other characters, Teela calls Evil-Lyn a “witch”, which is plainly intended as an insult, though Evil-Lyn takes it as a compliment. Shortly thereafter, Evil-Lyn struggles to find words for Battle-Cat more insulting than “big cat”, though the sentiment is there.
Does it have the Power?
There’s little more entertaining than watching He-Man organising a team away day to Snake Mountain to basically trash the place, and this episode doesn’t disappoint. The entire second half is devoted to this goal, and it’s glorious fun. On the other hand, the first half, dealing with the carnival and the mysterious Pretty Kitty – who disappears from the story about 5 minutes in – had a lot of potential for an interesting and unusual story, so perhaps it’s a shame this was dispensed with so quickly. Still, I’ll give this episode a good thumbs-up.