Episode 048 – Return of Evil

In which we are treated to a confusing but entertaining mess.

Before we begin, I’d like to reassure readers that the Evil in question here is not the less than compelling manifestation of Evil that we saw in Wizard of Stone Mountain. On the other hand, it’s still not a very interesting Evil: it’s Aramesh, from Orko’s dimension. One thing we should bear in mind about Aramesh is that he’s an electroid, which is a robot made from pure energy. I’m not a scientist, so I don’t want to comment if such a thing is possible. Answers on a postcard, please.

Aramesh appears in the Palace, looking like a low-budget knock-off of the Yellow Power Ranger, and you’ll be pleased to hear I couldn’t understand a word he says. The gist would appear to be that he wants to capture Orko, and he successfully does so.

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Aramesh: “Hello! I am Aramesh and I want to kidnap Orko. I don’t know why.”

Over at Snake Mountain, Skeletor, Beast-Man and Evil-Lyn have watched this little interlude on Skeletor’s magic globe (you know, the one that lets him see everything going on in Eternia, except little things like watching Adam turn into He-Man), and they determine that if Aramesh is interested in capturing Orko, there must be something interesting about him.

He-Man puts in his not unexpected appearance and gallops off on Battle-Cat in pursuit of Aramesh and Orko. Man-at-Arms and Teela promise to follow in the Wind Raider. Ignoring the fact that not a single one of these people know which direction Aramesh has gone in, they all manage to catch up with their quarry just in time for Skeletor to teleport him out from under their noses.

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Skeletor: “Don’t interrupt me while I’m watching Neighbours, Beast-Man.”

Aramesh and Orko appear at Snake Mountain inside a giant jam jar which Skeletor has prepared for their delectation. Aramesh starts making whimpering noises that are unbecoming for a robot, until Skeletor offers Aramesh the opportunity to work together. Aramesh agrees to help Skeletor conquer Eternia, in return for some secret which I think has something to do with Orko. There’s just time for a quick burst of mental laughter from Skeletor before the commercial break.

Back at the Palace, He-Man, Man-at-Arms and Teela are discussing the situation when Skeletor and Beast-Man teleport in, bringing Orko with them. Skeletor demands “the secret thing from the other dimension” in return for Orko, which is nicely non-specific. Man-at-Arms negotiates an hour to think this over, presumably so they can work out what the hell Skeletor is gibbering on about. Orko reveals that the “secret thing” is hidden at Castle Grayskull, so he and He-Man head there.

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Skeletor: “What the hell is wrong with your face, Beast-Man?”

Faced with this conundrum, the Sorceress reveals that the “secret thing” is a Dimension Sphere, and there follows a quite astounding recital of gibberish, the upshot of which is that the Dimension Sphere can be used to return Aramesh to Orko’s dimension, but there will be only one chance to do so. Do you think they’ll manage it?

Back at the Palace, Man-at-Arms “accidentally” lets slip that the secret thing is at the Tar Swamp. Skeletor is delighted with this information, even pausing briefly to mug at the camera, a pause which proves a mistake, as Aramesh takes the opportunity to hurtle off to the Tar Swamp. Skeletor enters into hot pursuit, while Man-at-Arms calls He-Man to reassure him that the plan is working.

Aramesh enters the Tar Swamp with an inarticulate noise that might have been supposed to have been a roar, if only the voice actor had put the slightest bit of effort into it. Skeletor arrives too, at which point there begins a whole lot of people going through dimensional portals, the end result of which is that Orko is on Eternia, while Aramesh and Skeletor remain trapped on the other side.

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Aramesh: “I don’t even know what’s happening anymore.”

I’m sure Skeletor will find a way to get back from the other side of the portal, but the episode didn’t bother to dwell on this, instead choosing to close with a scene where Orko is dubbed Sir Orko for his bravery during this episode. He then gets frightened at a loud noise, at which everyone in the room collapses in fits of helpless laughter – everyone, that is, except for one Palace Guard standing off to the far left, who is clearly thinking, “What a bunch of morons.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Teela begins by saying, “Today, Orko was being chased by an evil robot.” I thought she was going to go on to give advice about what we should do if we find ourselves in a similar situation, but no – nothing so useful. Instead, we learn that we shouldn’t be ashamed of being frightened, and that fear is helpful in keeping us out of trouble. That’s great, but I did need to know about evil robots.

 

Character checklist

We lucky viewers are treated to appearances from Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Battle-Cat, Teela, Man-at-Arms, Orko, the Sorceress, Skeletor, Beast-Man, Evil-Lyn, and that crazy Aramesh guy.

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

Adam takes the opportunity to turn into He-Man when Man-at-Arms and Teela have been knocked out cold, and doesn’t see the need to explain when they wake up.

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Prince Adam: “Maybe I used too much Rohypnol.”

Insults

My goodness, things got nasty this week! It must be the combination of Skeletor, Beast-Man and a new adversary with an unusual feature that did it. As usual, Skeletor gets some of the best burns, calling Beast-Man the traditional “Fuzzbrain” and the more imaginative “overgrown fur coat”, and also dishes out “little bag of wind” to Orko and “overgrown alley cat” to Battle-Cat, the latter of which leads Battle-Cat to make a noise like Muttley from the Wacky Races.

All the characters act a bit like teenage girls, bitching behind each other’s backs at various points. When his target isn’t present, Skeletor calls Orko a “floating runt” and a “little mischief maker”, and refers to Aramesh as a “walking light bulb”, while Aramesh says Skeletor is a “fool”. He-Man also gets in on the act, calling Aramesh an “overgrown short-circuit” when he’s not there to defend himself.

When it’s time to do some face-to-face insulting, the goodies fall down a little in their name-calling for Aramesh. Adam calls him a “bright boy”, which tonally was definitely not complimentary, but at face value it certainly is. He-Man’s effort of “bright face” is not a whole lot better.  Finally, He-Man comments, “You’re not known for doing favours, Skeletor”, which I think counts as an insult, albeit a fairly passive-aggressive one.

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Skeletor: “You, He-Man, are a complete twat.”

 

Does it have the Power?

It’s difficult to know what to say about this episode. While I was watching it, I got the distinct impression that it’s completely off its head, but when I came to summarise it, it didn’t seem any more mental than other recent offerings. Aramesh was a less than compelling baddy, but the presence of Skeletor more than made up for that.  It seemed utterly nuts when everyone showed up at the Palace demanding the “secret thing”, and the end fight sequence in the Tar Swamp was a little bit crazy as well.

But on the other hand, the episode’s sheer insanity has to stand as a wholehearted recommendation. It’s mad – not to the point of being irritating, just mad enough to be a very enjoyable ride. Definitely worth a watch.

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3 thoughts on “Episode 048 – Return of Evil

  1. Return of evil isn’t one of my favourites personally but I loved the review an I agree the episode is totally off it’s head!! I’d like to of known what the secret thing is I don’t think they ever actually uncovered this none the less there’s nothing too annoying about this episode, that end scene I noticed that too when everyone was in fits of laughter over orko getting scared over a little lightning (thinking it was aramesh again) an there was that one royal guard it’s like he was thinking yeah whatever!! Looking forward to next ep the gryphon which iv always found criminally underated a very true to life story for some reason is low down in the ratings for some reason gets overlooked anyway back to the return of evil it is a wired an wacky episode not a classic but entertaining enough all the same made me laugh when battlecat dumped skeletor into the swamp lol! I’ll give it 6.5/10!

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  2. It’s like when you turn a shark over on to its back and it goes catatonic. Orko can’t deal with having his arms touched.

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