Episode 041 – House of Shokoti, Part 2

In which He-Man and Ram-Man get tied onto a bondage table.

Since this episode doesn’t make any attempt to recap last week’s Part 1, I shan’t either, and I’ll just assume you know what I’m talking about. Melaktha explains that an outer wall has been built around the pyramid, probably to keep something evil inside. His immediate instinct is to remove the outer wall, which Cringer thinks is a bad idea, and I’m inclined to agree.

Shokoti 7

Disregarding his own – admittedly moronic – advice from last week, Ram-Man rams the wall down, revealing a door with an evil laughing face on it. Melaktha instantly recognises the face as Shokoti and advises that they must not enter the pyramid until morning, as Shokoti was an evil sorceress from many years ago. Why this means no messing with the pyramid until after sunrise is for now left unexplained.

Back at the camp, Stanlin is told the pyramid is too dangerous for him and that he will be going back to the Palace in the morning. He throws a major temper over this, and in a twist that no one could possibly foresee, heads out in the middle of the night to enter the pyramid. As soon as he reaches the door, however, he is entrapped by some black tentacles that erupt from the afore-mentioned laughing face and sucked into the pyramid.

Shokoti 8

Once inside, Stanlin has a pretty miserable time, finding himself chased down a load of corridors by a giant mutant rat. Things don’t really pick up for him when he runs into the clearly evil but undeniably foxy Shokoti, with her sexy black and purple leotard and red cloak. She takes Stanlin to a black pool, where she reveals her plan to wake the Sleeping Beast and allow the Living Darkness to cover the world, and then Stanlin gets tied up by three horrible pulsating green tentacley things.

Adam and Cringer witness Stanlin being sucked inside, and transform into He-Man and Battle-Cat. They break the door down and enter the pyramid, with Ram-Man bouncing merrily along behind them. They enjoy a little perambulation through a variety of entertaining illusions before arriving at the black pool, where they are quickly overcome by Shokoti’s dark magic and tied to a stone table, then put into an unnatural sleep.

Shokoti 9

Luckily, Stanlin escapes the defeat at the pool, but isn’t sure what he can do about the situation. The Sorceress contacts him telepathically, offering no more than her usual vague hints, telling Stanlin the key to defeating Shokoti is to not be afraid. Somehow, Stanlin manages to free He-Man and co. despite this unhelpful advice, leaving He-Man in a position to battle the Sleeping Beast, which is now more of a Waking Green Unconvincing Beast.

He-Man achieves the victory simply by pushing an idol of Shokoti into the dark pool, which results in the pool becoming filled with normal water and Shokoti herself fading out of existence. Once outside, Stanlin apologises for going into the pyramid without permission. Then Ram-Man makes a joke, and Prince Adam laughs more than I’ve ever seen anyone laugh, even at things that are actually funny. He laughs so much I swear he needs locking up.

Shokoti 10

 

In today’s adventure …

Adam pops up to explain that going into old dark buildings or caves can be very dangerous, even though there are no demons or monsters in our world. To be honest, pretty much any moral would be acceptable after last week’s excursion into insanity, but even so, I can’t help but feel the real lesson in this episode was that you needn’t be afraid of the dark. After all, Shokoti’s power was Living Darkness, wasn’t it? And Stanlin somehow defeated her by not being afraid? Am I the only one to connect the dots here?

 

Characters appearing

We are treated to appearances from Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Battle-Cat, Ram-Man, Melaktha, Stanlin, the Sorceress and Shokoti.

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

He-Man skirts the issue this week, offering only a terse, “No time to talk.”

Shokoti 11

 

Insults

Not a lot going on, except Shokoti calling Ram-Man a “fool!” pretty vehemently, and he deserves it. He’s more than usually annoying this week.

 

Does it have the Power?

As predicted last week, there was absolutely no need for this to be a two-parter, but assessing the episode on its own strengths, it’s pretty good. Shokoti herself is probably the scariest baddy we’ve seen on He-Man yet – her laugh echoing out of nowhere is on a few occasions genuinely creepy, and her ability to actually put He-Man out of action for some time elevates her to a position occupied by very few.

Shokoti 12

On the downside, the resolution seems a little easy, and there’s no explanation for why the Shokoti idol led to her downfall. I was expecting her to be defeated by sunrise, which would have fit the episode’s light versus dark theme rather well. It was also a bit of a shame that the rather interesting Melaktha character departed the story in the first three minutes, not to reappear. And finally, I have to take exception to the running “joke” of Ram-Man being unable to pronounce Shokoti correctly, which is as amusing as it sounds.

Still, these are minor quibbles, and I’d be happy to recommend both parts of this story as decent examples of He-Manity. Still, where’s Skeletor got off to?

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