In which it definitely is her fault.
This week finds Orko playing some version of tennis with a child of ambiguous gender called Pody. I’m pretty sure it’s a girl being voiced by a boy, but I’m willing to be corrected. Anyway, the game gets serious and Pody knocks the ball through the window of Man-at-Arms’ workshop. Orko wants to go and own up, but Pody has other ideas, specifically doing a runner to the Vine Jungle, the place where all infuriating children run off to, as we’ll all recall from a certain recent episode that shall remain nameless.
Orko’s natural sense of honour and justice means that he goes to take the blame himself, but since Adam had previously seen Pody playing with Orko, he quickly works out that Pody is at fault too. Orko is sent off to fetch Pody, while Adam and Man-at-Arms have a quick reminiscing session about how Adam always used to own up to stuff, but found it scary. Cool story, guys, tell it again.
Well, I know this may tax credibility, but things don’t all go to plan in the Vine Jungle. Orko and Pody venture into a cave that looks super evil, and immediately find themselves captured by a selection of idiots in Viking helmets. The lead Viking introduces himself as Pody’s father’s evil friend, Raygo, and he has been skulking about in this cave for God knows how long waiting to capture Pody, who is the daughter (aha!) of Chief Merlot, the ruler of some nondescript part of Eternia, presumably the wine-producing region.
While he’s been waiting, Raygo has occupied himself building a robotic rhinoceros called Zeegon. Apparently, Zeegon will be undefeatable if the totems of Chief Merlot’s tribe, the Morphire Stones, are fitted in his eyes. Conveniently, it is impossible to remove the Morphire Stones from their Temple unless you are the daughter of Chief Merlot, so Raygo brings Orko and Pody inside the robotic rhino and drives off. Sometimes I swear this cartoon is so ridiculous it must actually be true. You couldn’t make it up.
At the Palace, a messenger arrives from Chief Merlot, alerting Prince Adam and Man-at-Arms to Raygo’s alarming presence in the Vine Jungle. Adam does the necessaries and becomes He-Man, after which he, Man-at-Arms and Teela pop off to find Orko and Pody. The episode was clearly running a bit short at this juncture, since we’re treated to a minute-long montage of the intrepid three cutting down plants, which is so good they show it twice on a loop.
Finding Orko’s ball outside the evil-looking cave, our heroes conclude something terrible has happened, so they go to tell Chief Merlot. Merlot explains that Raygo hates him because Raygo was supposed to be in charge of the water supply, but couldn’t be bothered to do it, and blames Merlot for this. In the course of these earth-shattering revelations, the messenger appears again to report the appearance of a giant metal beast heading for the Temple of the Morphire Stones. Sensing the opportunity to hit someone, He-Man decides to go and investigate.
Again giving the impression that there wasn’t enough story here, the next five minutes or so are given over to endless scenes of the robotic rhino knocking down vegetation, while He-Man and co. leap over chasms and so on. Once the episode actually returns to the plot, Raygo reaches the Temple and forces Pody to remove the Morphire Stones. I say “force”. What I mean is that he mildly suggests it, and she just does it, while pouting.
Raygo fits the Morphire Stones into the rhino’s eye sockets, seals Orko and Pody in the Temple, then drives off to commit rhino-related misdemeanours. He-Man and co. arrive minutes later and free Orko and Pody, then barrel off after Zeegon. Man-at-Arms and a nameless flunkey kill some more time by having a gratuitous light-sabre duel, while He-Man defeats the undefeatable rhino without even breaking a sweat. Raygo is speedily despatched to the prison mines, and Pody acknowledges the importance of owning up when she’s done something wrong.
In today’s adventure…
Orko explains once again the point that has been made a few times over the episode: running away is not the solution to any mistake you may make. I’m glad he spelt this out, because honestly, the message wasn’t clear enough in the episode.
It’s the usual cast of Prince Adam, He-Man, Man-at-Arms, Orko and Teela, given some extra spice with Pody, Chief Merlot, Raygo, a bunch of nameless guys, and if you really want to include it, Zeegon the Robotic Rhino.
Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance
Yet again, no one sees fit to explain, though I suppose to all intents and purposes, Adam is safely back at the Palace throughout the entire proceedings.
For an evil mastermind, Raygo is very polite. No one says anything unkind this week.
Does it have the Power?
Well … I think the best that can be said is that it’s better than I expected when I saw the title. “It’s Not My Fault” conjures up horrifying images of an overly mawkish Orko story, but luckily it swerves that trap. On the other hand, Raygo never seems even remotely threatening, perhaps because of his choice of vehicles, and his water supply-centric reason for hating Chief Merlot is completely insane. Add to this the endless repetitive scenes of the rhino and He-Man devastating the trees and plants in the jungle, and I think we can conclude this episode isn’t really a winner.