In which I begin to develop homicidal tendencies.
Prince Adam and Cringer are, as usual, hanging out in the jungle. Obviously, story-wise, this is so He-Man can be where he needs to be when the action kicks off, but just once, it would be nice if someone gave an explanation for why they seem to like it there so much.
Anyway, this time, they come across a band of Tree People and a band of Cave Dwellers, led respectively by persons called Willan and Pailos. Pailos has a young girl clutched in his arms; she is the Starchild, and she is the subject of an argument between Willan and Pailos. The argument comes to a speedy close when the Starchild wriggles out of Pailos’ grip and falls down a hole in the ground.
Enter He-Man and Battle-Cat, stage left. They leap down the hole and find themselves in the Old Vine Jungle. It seems that the writers have misunderstood about jungles and believe that new jungles grow on top of old ones. Anyway, He-Man finds the Starchild and questions her, learning that she has no parents and looks after herself.
Returning to the surface, Willan and Pailos resume arguing over custody of the Starchild, so they all go to the Palace for Randor and Marlena to decide the issue. When Orko and Teela meet the Starchild and proclaim that they like her, the Starchild projects a weird yellow glow onto them, and they make vaguely orgasmic noises, which was disturbing. I wouldn’t mind betting that some He-Man/Teela shippers have used sound effects from this episode.
The Starchild explains that this glow is a power that gets people to like her, and that both the Tree People and Cave Dwellers want to use the power to defeat the other. Bringing the case before the King and Queen, Pailos manages to say about two words before the Starchild shrieks, “No!” and runs off, prompting an endless sequence in which our heroes search the Palace for her while she uses a variety of irritating magic powers to stop them.
Literally half the episode later, He-Man finally manages to find the Starchild whinging behind a curtain. He pretends to sympathise with her, but you can see the hate on his face. As He-Man returns her to the throne room, they find Willan and Pailos arguing over who should be allowed to teach the Starchild how to use her powers properly. And then she runs off again, back to the Old Vine Jungle this time. For God’s sake.
In the course of recovering the Starchild from the inexplicably underground Old Vine Jungle, both Willan and Pailos risk their lives to save her. And then comes the twist – both the Tree People and the Cave Dwellers actually just want to live in peace. The Starchild goes off with both Willan and Pailos, while for no reason whatsoever, He-Man smirks at the camera and winks. He’s taken to doing this lately, and I wish he’d stop. It’s off-putting.
In today’s adventure…
This week’s moral is presented by the Sorceress, and it’s just as useful as her advice is in the cartoon. She points out that the Starchild’s weird yellow glow was a power called love, which can be used to bring people together, and reminds us that we all have this power. If I have to watch many more episodes like this one, I will no longer have that power concerning this cartoon.
As you will have no doubt anticipated, there was Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man and Battle-Cat. There was also Teela, Orko, Man-at-Arms, King Randor, Queen Marlena, Willan, Pailos and the Starchild. As noted above, the Sorceress did the moral.
Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance:
There wasn’t time in this fast-paced episode for an excuse to be offered, because the writers naturally wanted to concentrate on never ending scenes of He-Man and Teela running round the Palace bellowing “Starchild! Where are you?”
No one in the episode uttered an insult, but I’ve got one: the Starchild is a whining brat and this episode is appalling.
Does it have the Power?
I think I may have covered this already, but in case you haven’t quite identified my feelings, I’ll explain one more time: this episode is a real low point, probably worse than our previous contender, A Friend in Need – which, incidentally, was written by the same person. Just as that was a thinly veiled drugs allegory, here we have a thinly veiled divorce allegory. The problem is that the Starchild herself is literally infuriating, and I couldn’t understand why the Tree People or the Cave Dwellers (or He-Man and co., for that matter) might be even vaguely inclined to let her live anywhere near them. It’s really badly paced as well, with the entire second half of the episode being pointless running around. I can’t begin to emphasise how much you don’t want to watch this.