Episode 052 – Teela’s Trial

In which Teela reacts disproportionately to a simple mistake.

I think it’s only fair to inform you right now that if you’ve been lured to this episode by the title and are expecting 20 minutes of courtroom drama – Law and Order: Eternia, for example – then you are liable to be disappointed. With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s proceed.

Man-at-Arms is back to his old tricks again, inventing things that already exist. This week he’s devised a teleporter. Now, in complete fairness, I can only ever recall the baddies using teleporters, so I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that this is the first teleporter possessed by the powers of good. Even if this is the case, though, it doesn’t explain why the ubiquitous Trapjaw, who is hanging around, is so eager to get his paws on the teleporter.

In the course of a fight with Trapjaw, Teela uses the teleporter to transport Man-at-Arms to a random location. Instead of making his way home, Man-at-Arms occupies himself picking up rocks and looking at them like a simpleton. This he does until Trapjaw finds him, kidnaps him and takes him to Snake Mountain, where Skeletor welcomes him unexpectedly politely and asks him to design a new teleporter.

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Man-at-Arms: “I wonder what this is. I also wonder why I’m at all interested in it.”

Devastated by her mistake in using the teleporter on her father without fully understanding how it works, Teela resigns her post as Captain of the Guard and exiles herself to the Wastelands. Randor and Marlena make only nominal attempts to stop her, and Adam’s effort isn’t a whole lot more convincing. Teela therefore makes her way to a desert and melodramatically sighs, “Well, I guess this’ll be my home now.” I understand what the moral is going to be in this episode, but the idea that anyone could possibly think this is a sensible solution to the problem is beyond me.

Luckily, Man-at-Arms manages to get a communicator working and gets in touch with Adam, who becomes He-Man and arrives at the Wastelands just in time to save Teela from a stupid snake. The two of them head straight for Snake Mountain, where Skeletor is testing a new heat ray and complaining that he keeps on burning his walls. Em, maybe test your stupid weapons outside then, Skeletor?

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Skeletor: “Looks like the heat ray works after all. Probably don’t need Man-at-Arms, frankly.”

Outside, He-Man decides that this week he can’t be bothered to go in through the usual entrance of Snake Mountain, so instead he’s going to punch a hole in the wall. Once inside, they quickly locate Man-at-Arms and prepare to teleport out – but the teleporter has only sufficient energy for two people. There is of course much discussion over who will be left behind, but it’s noteworthy that while both He-Man and Teela volunteer, Man-at-Arms pointedly does not.

He-Man decides that now is the time for a lesson in life skills and insists that Teela set the controls on the teleporter, informing her that just because she got it wrong the first time, that’s not an excuse for not trying again. Eventually, Teela agrees to give it a go, and wow, she gets it right. She and Man-at-Arms return to the Palace.

He-Man jauntily saunters out of Snake Mountain and is immediately greeted by Skeletor, sitting in a ridiculous tank-like vehicle. Skeletor has supreme and ill-judged confidence that this tank will put pay to He-Man once and for all, which is quite decidedly not the case. It takes He-Man less than a minute to hang the tank from a rocky outcrop, and he departs Snake Mountain making comments that make literally no sense: “Mind that first step, Skeletor, it’s a lulu.” What does this mean????

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He-Man: “Don’t try to pretend you didn’t see this coming, Skeletor.”

 

In today’s adventure…

I was right. As predicted above, the moral this week – delivered by Man-at-Arms – is that stopping trying or running away when you make a mistake is no way to behave. It’s another sensible moral, tied into the storyline effectively. It would seem the writers are getting the hang of these.

 

Character checklist

There’s very little amusing I can say about the fact that this episode features the all-too-standard line-up of Prince Adam, He-Man, Man-at-Arms, Teela, Orko, King Randor, Queen Marlena, Skeletor, Beast-Man and Trapjaw.

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Prince Adam: “With Teela in exile in the desert, I can probably get away with watching Deal or No Deal for ten hours straight.”

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

The transformation today occurs when there’s no one nearby, and so once again, there’s no excuse supplied.

 

Insults

With Skeletor on the scene, there’s an average number of insults, none of them too imaginative. Man-at-Arms calls Skeletor a “bonehead”, while He-Man refers to Beast-Man and Trapjaw as “goons”. Skeletor himself calls his comrades “fools”, and reserves “muscle-bound oaf” for He-Man.

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Beast-Man: “My underpants are a little too tight.”

 

Does it have the Power?

I did enjoy this episode, though I’m a sucker for any episode which involves He-Man breaking into Snake Mountain. This incidence isn’t as much fun as The Region of Ice, but it’s still entertaining. The point about Teela making mistakes and then being upset about it is perhaps a bit overlaboured, but it’s not too irritating, and it’s a worthwhile topic to explore on this cartoon. All in all, it’s a good solid entry.

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9 thoughts on “Episode 052 – Teela’s Trial

  1. I like to see the characters explored and they certainly did this in teela s trial!! Altho I can see why her behaviour in this episode would drive some up the wall it’s all about relating to the situation, if you can do this watching this episode it is a truelly excellent story exploring the much more vulnerable teela, it’s quite simple if people don’t like teela this way as it’s not her usual way don’t watch it! The idea of this episode is teela I believe is in huge panic and shock as it even says in the quick preview on the episode cover teela believes she’s just killed her father, so the people that criticise her for bring out of character ask yourselves how would we be if it was us, I think teela would be out of character if she was bring her normal self, I would say she maybe goes slightly over the top at times but I totally get the point this episode is trying to make showing teela at her weakest ebb and her facing up to her own demons, when teela runs away she feels ashamed cos let’s not forget teela is a very responsible person much of this down to her fathers upbringing man at arms! Overall I enjoy this episode it’s not quits as good as some other battles in snake mountain that has to be said however the character exploration with teela make this quite a special story, there’s plenty of humour in snake mountain and some great skeletor lines too my favourite near the end of the episode when he says “this gives me my chance to test out my invention even man at arms would be hard pressed to top this”!!! Overall I’d score teelas trial a high 7/10 just misses an 8 only cos the action in snake mountains alittle weak great story tho and a recommended watch!

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  2. You know, when Orko runs away from home everyone chases after him and tries to bring him back, but when Teela runs away, everyone’s like, “Too late to stop her now, she’s made up her mind!” I guess Orko’s more liable to get killed, but wow, really making a girl feel loved, lol.
    I wonder why James Eatock doesn’t like this episode. Teela can be a little whiny, but yeaaah, she thinks she killed her dad. It’s far more believable than that one episode (the name is escaping me) where one of Man-at-arms’s inventions isn’t working right and he’s ready to quit his job? THAT’S out of the blue.
    Great review, it gets my wheels turning and makes me laugh at the same time!

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  3. That episode your thinking of with man at arms feeling sorry for himself when one of his inventions goes wrong is Day of the machines from season two! We all have our own opinions with episodes and as much right to them as each other and in general I have James ettocks book reviewing all the episodes it’s amazing and as it happens I agree with more than most of them (i.e. Nearly all) but I also found this a great episode and also a very interesting one exploring her at her lowest ebb, so while again I can see why James eatock and some others don’t like the way teela is in this episode I do and it’s just my opinion I mean surely if she was just the usual strong teela it would imo show to me her to not really caring I agree! It’s not the first time teelas flown off the handle in the dragons gift she got into a panic when her father got turned into a statue (if you think about it we wouldn’t be ipour normal selves either which is why I think teelas behaviour if alittle annoying is right) and in that episode she went absolutely mental at the sorceress even Larry ditillio the writer said he wanted to create some tension with the sorceress teela and he man! The episode you talk about day of the machines I personally agree isn’t done quite as well it is the same writer tho David wise the ending of the episode is hilarious tho when he man sends byte back into skeletors computers!! God bless the power of grayskull!

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  4. Ahh that’s cleared that up for me as well then I too hadn’t a clue what he man meant by saying watch out for that first step it’s a lulu glad I understand now! All the reviews are not just great but hilarious too, the funny part of this review that made me laugh was the picture of Adam talking about watching deal or no deal as teelas exiled to the desert lol!! I must admit as she always bosses him around there must of been some part of adam thinking thank god she’s gone I can finally doss around now without being moaned at!! The lulu is an odd line for a cartoon as even us lot hadn’t a clue what it meant! Completely changing the subject why does teela sometimes call her father man at arms?? Iv always noticed this in some episodes iv always found this a bit strange he’s her father o well puzzles me tho “yes man at arms”!!

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  5. Yeah no worries. The slang is actually about 150 years old so it was probably way out of use even by the 80’s. I guess Teela calls her father Man-at-Arms to help the audience to identify the character with the toy, or you could say they had to follow military protocol, cultural etiquette, etc.

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