In which the Sorceress is even less helpful than usual.
We are treated to a brief introductory scene at Snake Mountain, where Skeletor reveals his new invention, the Energiser, and crows that this will help him to rule Eternia. Skeletor is evidently not a fan of the Smiths, especially the track “Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.” Anyway, he then takes his Energiser to the Palace, where he rather pleasingly shoots Man-at-Arms with it and turns him to stone. This is also the fate of two Palace guards, but notably no one cares about them.
Naturally, He-Man enters at this juncture, and so do Stratos and Ram-Man, which I think we’ll all agree is not so exciting. Skeletor now starts shooting at all the statues in the Palace, bringing them to life. I’m going to be honest here: I’ve never spotted any statues in the Palace in the series up to this point, and I’ll be mightily surprised if I ever see any again. Unexpectedly, it’s Ram-Man, Stratos and Orko who actually defeat all these living statues, while He-Man and Teela simply go for a flight in a silly machine that promptly gets shot by Skeletor.
Queen Marlena asserts that Man-at-Arms’ stone condition will be made permanent at sundown, so He-Man heads to Castle Grayskull to ask advice, but all the Sorceress can do is make pointlessly enigmatic statements like, “This menace is larger than you know. You will walk through fire, He-Man.” In complete fairness, she also tells him to seek the Fire Jewels, but doesn’t offer any clue as to where or why. He-Man rather pointedly comments, “I will need help on this quest,” and walks out without saying thanks or goodbye.
He-Man and Teela retrieve the Fire Jewels with minimal effort, and return to Castle Grayskull, where the Sorceress uses the jewels to create a device called a ray fuser. He-Man explains multiple times that the ray fuser will fuse Skeletor’s rays back into one, though it will have to come into contact with the rays. If this is done, our stone friends will return to life. This gibberish about fusing the rays made literally no sense to me, and it’s clear from Teela’s face that she doesn’t understand either. I fear He-Man has only a shaky grip on reality in this episode.
Skeletor, Beast-Man and Panthor have meanwhile occupied themselves in returning to the Palace to turn Ram-Man, Orko and two more guards into stone. They then travel to an ancient city with the Energiser, where they use it to awaken a giant statue called Colossor. Colossor lumbers off to capture Castle Grayskull, where he encounters the Sorceress, Teela and Battle-Cat standing guard.
He-Man intercepts Skeletor’s Energiser and puts the ray fuser to good use, resulting in the happy restoration of Man-at-Arms, Ram-Man, Orko and the four Palace Guards. But there’s no time for celebration: everyone heads to Castle Grayskull so quickly that Man-at-Arms doesn’t even have to time to get into a vehicle, and instead Stratos carries him.
Once there, He-Man punches Colossor, which is all that’s needed to finish this particular threat. Clearly, the script said at this point that all the heroes cheer, but the voice actors sound like they couldn’t be bothered: Man-at-Arms’ unenthusiastic “Yeah, all right, yes,” in particular needs improvement. The episode ends with Orko mistaking Man-at-Arms for Colossor, which is just plain weird.
In today’s adventure…
He-Man and Teela have a corny dialogue about how running in the forest makes one feel close to nature and is wonderful exercise, but that of course one should always check with the doctor before doing any heavy exercise. He-Man says he wishes he could tell this to everyone, and Teela replies, “I think we just did.” This is obviously based on the false premise that “everyone” is watching He-Man, which I feel confident in saying is not the case, certainly not today and I suspect not even in its heyday.
Today, we are treated to an extensive cast including Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Battle-Cat, Man-at-Arms, Teela, Orko, King Randor, Queen Marlena, Ram-Man, Stratos, the Sorceress, Skeletor, Panthor, Beast-Man and Colossor, if you want to count him as a character. I don’t.
Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance
Adam turns into He-Man twice in this episode, and on both occasions he addresses Cringer to dispense pearls of wisdom such as “we’re needed,” and “I know of someone who can help us.” Strictly speaking, neither of these count as an excuse, and neither are they necessary, since no one’s paying any attention to Adam at these points, but still.
Beast-Man gets called a “Fur-brain” by Skeletor relatively early on. Since Beast-Man has just reiterated for the fifth time in 30 seconds that Man-at-Arms has been turned to stone – presumably for the benefit of really thick viewers – I felt some degree of sympathy for Skeletor. Skeletor also employs a number of variations on Beast-Man’s name during this episode, referring to him variously as “Beast” and “Beasty”, which probably count as insults. Finally, I’m almost certain Orko calls one of the living statues an “Apple-brain”, which admittedly doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense.
Egg on your face?
It’s not an egg, but Orko reacts badly to losing at chess to Man-at-Arms, and responds quite maturely by emptying a cup of water over his head.
Does it have the Power?
It’s a bit of a mess, this one. All the ingredients for a good episode are here, but they never seem to gel together. Colossor himself is entirely pointless: all he does is walk to Castle Grayskull and then get smashed (rather like He-Man on a Saturday night). The quest to gather the Fire Jewels begins and finishes so quickly it seems similarly pointless, and Skeletor spends too much time zipping between the Palace and the ancient city turning people into stone. Finally, He-Man’s ray fuser is just mental, beyond even the acceptable limits of insanity for this cartoon. I think we’ll rank this one towards the lower end of the scale.