In which Skeletor contents himself with shouting insults from a video screen.
Skeletor is at perhaps his most confident ever in the opening of this episode: he says he actually hopes He-Man will try to stop him this time. I hope you’ll all join me in saying, “Be careful what you wish for, Skeletor.” Specifics at this stage remain vague, but it has something to do with an army that Trapjaw has allegedly gathered.
The Sorceress summons He-Man to Castle Grayskull to fill us in on a few more details, and also to give a spot of enigmatic advice. Apparently, Skeletor’s army is being assembled by Beast-Man and Trapjaw in an abandoned fortress in the region of Starjeeka, and also “things are not always as they seem.” Well, thanks a bundle, Sorceress. Armed with that precious morsel of info, He-Man’s bound to prevail.
He-Man heads to the Palace, where he finds Man-at-Arms and Teela working on a new invention – a laser-based lasso. Teela wants to come to Starjeeka, but Man-at-Arms decides that the lasso is more important than a massive army threatening Eternia, and forbids her to come. Of course, Teela finishes the lasso in record quick time, and follows He-Man and Man-at-Arms.
In the fortress at Starjeeka, it turns out that Trapjaw is literally assembling his army: he’s building some stupid mechanical things called Serpentoids. Skeletor has concocted a pretty half-baked plan: he asks Beast-Man to get a goofy red dragon to kidnap Man-at-Arms, so that He-Man will be lured in to rescue him. There was absolutely no need for this kidnap, since He-Man was already barrelling along like a bull in a china shop, but if it keeps Skeletor happy, I suppose it’s a good thing.
Once inside, He-Man and Battle-Cat proceed to turn about 100 million Serpentoids into scrap metal. This is by no means an unnecessarily long and not terribly interesting scene, which is only brought to an end by the arrival of Teela. She passes He-Man the laser lasso, which he uses to tie up the remaining Serpentoids.
He-Man and Teela corner Beast-Man and Trapjaw in the factory, but Skeletor teleports them back to Snake Mountain before they can come to serious harm. Teela stops the production line of Serpentoids, He-Man sets off the factory’s self-destruct system, and Man-at-Arms is rescued. Back at the Palace, Teela starts bitching at Adam, who simply responds by quoting the Sorceress’s stupid advice from earlier, then sticking his front teeth out like a rabbit and winking at the camera. Which is nice.
In today’s adventure …
Teela explains that if our parents tell us not to do something, it’s usually for a good reason. She illustrates this by informing us that she was wrong to head off to Starjeeka after Man-at-Arms told her not to. She is at least sufficiently rooted in reality to admit that the episode didn’t really demonstrate how this was a bad thing: she states that nothing happened, but adds in tones of dark foreboding, “something could have.”
The odd thing is that this moral could have been easily demonstrated in the episode: when she passes the laser lasso to He-Man, it briefly gets into Beast-Man’s grubby mitts first. If the writer had simply had Beast-Man use the lasso on Teela at this point (rather than using it on his own wrists like the giant furry idiot he is), the lesson could have been drilled into the viewer most effectively. Why, oh why, didn’t they employ me to write these things?
Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Battle-Cat, Teela, Man-at-Arms, Orko, the Sorceress, King Randor, Skeletor, Beast-Man, Trapjaw and Zooey Deschanel. Just seeing if you’re paying attention.
Excuse for Prince Adam’s disappearance
“I have an important appointment,” says Adam, as he sidles off. This is notable for being the first time in absolutely ages that any kind of excuse is offered, and it is accepted by all concerned.
Skeletor gets on the wireless to call Trapjaw and Beast-Man idiots when Teela uses her freeze ray on them, and similarly tells He-Man and Teela they are fools when they set off the self-destruct.
Does it have the Power?
I did rather enjoy this one. It’s quite fun to see Skeletor taking a co-ordinating role; rather than being at the factory, he’s simply hanging out at Snake Mountain shouting instructions and insults down the video conference link. It reminds me of my old boss. Otherwise, there’s a slightly odd scene which comes across as Orko trying to seduce Teela, which is moderately disturbing, especially since the animators have chosen to give Teela heavy eye make-up as she casts sultry glances in Orko’s direction. The scene of He-Man and Battle-Cat fighting the Serpentoids is a bit tedious, though. In short, it’s not a classic, but it’s by no means bad.