Episode 053 – Dree Elle’s Return

In which Orko and Dree Elle bring the series to its most soul-crushing low point.

The opening scene of this episode is among the least promising in recent memory. It’s set on Trolla, where a Trollan guard is talking to Dree Elle (Orko’s love interest, last seen in Dawn of Dragoon), explaining that Trapjaw and a new baddy called Clawful have stolen the Horn of Evil, with intent to use it to conquer Eternia. Dree Elle resolves to travel to Eternia to warn Orko, and because she’s completely out of her skull, she decides to take her little brother with her. Her brother is called Yuckers, he wears a baseball cap, and he has a reputation for playing “dumb jokes”. Somebody needs to just shoot me now.

Dree Elle and Yuckers arrive in the Palace on Eternia to find Orko home alone. True to form, Yuckers immediately plays what is undeniably a dumb joke on Orko and then laughs his dreadful head off. Dree Elle makes him promise not to play any more jokes, which is precisely the sort of promise I can see being broken a mile off.

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Yuckers: “As well as promising not to play any dumb jokes, I promise not to be the absolute worst character in the history of He-Man up to this point. Shall we see if I can keep my promises? Spoiler: I can’t.”

Once Orko learns of the Horn of Evil’s disappearance, he and his crowd head for Castle Grayskull, where they find that Trapjaw has blown the Horn and produced a cloud of black smoke, which has defeated the ever-useless Sorceress. Before they can open the jawbridge, though, Orko snatches the Horn and does a runner. But, of course, Yuckers plays two more dumb jokes which result in himself, Orko and the Horn being captured.

Dree Elle flees back to the Palace, where she raises the alarm, resulting in He-Man, Battle-Cat and Teela all heading to the rescue. Teela releases Orko and Yuckers, while He-Man wrestles with Clawful for an unnecessarily long time, eventually disposing of him in a mud puddle. Meanwhile, Yuckers plays a dumb joke on Trapjaw, at which I expect we’re supposed to cheer. I didn’t.

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Clawful: “This is the face that literally everyone pulls when they see Orko and his idiot clan.”

With the baddies defeated, that should be the end of that, but since there was five minutes left on the episode’s run time, I didn’t for a moment think I’d be that lucky. Sure enough, thanks to yet another dumb joke, Yuckers accidentally blows the Horn of Evil, which results in everything in the surrounding forest turning evil and indulging in a spot of misbehaviour.

He-Man and Teela occupy themselves in battling off the various evil trees, rocks, giants, vampire bats and randomly mutated wallabies, while Orko and Dree Elle attend to the actual problem. They do this by singing the worst song I’ve ever heard. I couldn’t make out any of the words because of their dreadful voices, but it was the most hideous racket outside of a Steps reunion concert. The terrible effect of this song is even apparent on He-Man; the next scene shows him looking haggard with massive bags under his eyes.

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He-Man: “That song is the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.”

The episode ends back at the Palace, where Orko plays a dumb joke on Yuckers, who instantly throws a tantrum and whinges that jokes aren’t fun when they’re on him. Boo hoo, Yuckers. My heart bleeds for you. To my huge relief, Dree Elle and Yuckers return to Trolla, where I hope they instantly get eaten by some giant dragon or something.

 

In today’s adventure…

Orko pops along to tell us that Yuckers messing about with the Horn of Evil resulted in all sorts of dreadful trouble, so advises us not to play with any knives or Horns of Evil we might find in our house. All well and good, but nowhere does Orko mention practical jokes, which was definitely the real focus of this episode. Obviously the writers trusted us to have grasped this bit of the message all by ourselves.

 

Character checklist

We have the pleasure of seeing Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Orko, Man-at-Arms, the Sorceress, Trapjaw and Dree Elle, as well as the random Trollan guard. There are also debut appearances from Clawful and Yuckers, the latter of which I do not wish to ever see polluting my screen again.

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Teela: “Remind me again why we have to associate with these imbeciles?”

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

Despite two dramatic transformations into He-Man, Adam is unable to summon up the energy to give an excuse for either.

 

Insults

Clawful definitely leads the field this week, with some properly cutting remarks to Trapjaw, including “cowardly hunk of tin” and “Dim-brain”. He also calls Orko a “little runt”. Still, he gets what he deserves shortly thereafter, when Teela refers to him as “Crust-face”, which I assume is short for “Crustacean-face” rather than being an oblique reference to him having eaten all the pies.

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Teela: “I understand, He-Man. I want to put these morons into a liquidiser too. But we can’t, because it’s before the watershed.”

 

Does it have the Power?

Yes and no. Mostly no. On the plus side, on the strength of his first appearance, you can chalk me down as a big fan of Clawful, Skeletor’s red lobster-inspired henchman. He’s incredibly rude to everyone, his animation and voice acting is great, and his behaviour and general attitude come across as genuinely evil (as opposed to most of Skeletor’s men, who only really achieve being moderately naughty). I’ll be interested to see if he retains this strong character, or if he quickly becomes a bumbling idiot like the others. I’m not holding my breath.

On the minus side, towards which the episode is very strongly weighted, there’s Yuckers. What were the writers thinking? Orko is infuriating enough; why did anyone think it would be a great idea to introduce a much more annoying version of him? Yes – I know he’s meant to be an annoying younger brother who learns his lesson, but that doesn’t make it any easier to watch. His idiotic jokes and his dreadful voice were hugely grating.

And speaking of grating, there’s that song at the end. It was literally awful – relentlessly bouncy and cheerful and saccharine. And once it was over, He-Man invited Orko and Dree Elle to sing it again! Never have I wanted to join Skeletor’s side quite so much as when that was going on.

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Dree Elle: “Hey, Orko! I’ve got a great idea! Let’s sing a song so bad that the lyric sheet starts to spontaneously combust!”

So in conclusion – watch the bits with Clawful in them. As soon as He-Man throws Clawful into a mud puddle, you can stop.

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4 thoughts on “Episode 053 – Dree Elle’s Return

  1. Iv just read your review it’s had me in stitches! An yes agree yuckers is one of the most annoying characters in the entire series, but on to this episode sadly this for me is one of the series weakest episodes I have many issues with it but to name an important few as you ritely say yuckers firstly is very annoying and very forgettable, the horn of evil had the potential to be an excellent idea that was just completely wasted in this episode an a series for the song o my god!! The two characters orko an dree Elle in this episode you didn’t feel there connection the same as you did in dawn of dragoon (which was excellent) the only plus I can think of is there was an evenly matched contest between clawfal and he man this was refreshing to see but it’s certainly not enough anyway I couldn’t score this any higher than a four in fact no I’d have to score dree Elle’s return a very low 3/10

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  2. I personally liked dree Elle as a character but I feel the same as yourself I just couldn’t stand this ep everything about it def one of the worst but again I know there’s some that like it! Never worry about opinion being unpopular if you didn’t like dree elles character your entitled to your opinion as much as anybody else that’s how I see it I’m guessing there’s many that don’t like teelas trial but I personally found it a great ep! Anyway I feel the same with this episode I just didn’t feel the chemistry between orko and dree Elle as they displayed in dawn of dragoon! The song at the end just about sums up the whole episode a huge disappointment from dree Elle’s first outing.

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