In which He-Man is essentially dispatched on an urgent mission to the chemist’s shop to buy some paracetemol for Man-at-Arms’ old mate.
Man-at-Arms’ former teacher Rohan is desperately ill with a mysterious disease, so Man-at-Arms, Teela and Adam pay him a visit. There they learn from Rohan’s assistant, a gnome called Meetro, that Rohan’s disease came on very suddenly after a bite from a strange insect. I must say, I have the distinct suspicion that “bite from a strange insect” is a euphemism for “night on the tiles”, and that frankly Rohan has nothing worse than a severe hangover. Nonetheless, Adam and Man-at-Arms take the matter seriously and troll off to Castle Grayskull, where the Sorceress informs them that only a herb called fenwood from a cave on the top of Mount Zelite can save Rohan.
Adam decides that this is sufficient provocation to necessitate a change into He-Man, and he and Man-at-Arms fly off to Mount Zelite. En route, Man-at-Arms realises there’s no way this story is going to fill a 20 minute runtime, so he indulges in a flashback about the happy days of his youth, blowing stuff up in Rohan’s lab. He-Man listens to this reverie but doesn’t comment, perhaps tacitly implying that it’s a really boring story.
The next few minutes are taken up with storytelling on a pre-school level: He-Man comments, “I hope we don’t meet a tactryl,” and they immediately do meet one. Then Man-at-Arms adds, “I hope we don’t get caught up in a swirl,” and lo and behold, they instantly do. Who’d have thought it? Anyway, the Wind Raider crashes, and Man-at-Arms flat out refuses to go any further. He-Man sets off to Mount Zelite, running so fast that he leans forward at a 45 degree angle.
The episode now treats us to a seemingly endless succession of excruciatingly dull scenes in which He-Man has a fight with an octopus, runs past some deer, gets sucked into a whirlpool, swings like an ape through the Vine Jungle, fights a giant spider, jumps over a chasm, and finally reaches the cave at the top of Mount Zelite. These scenes are interspersed with equally dull scenes of Man-at-Arms, Teela and Meetro handwringing at Rohan’s bedside.
Once in the cave, He-Man’s passage is impeded by an invisible barrier. A ghostly floating head appears and introduces itself as one of the Ancients, informing He-Man that mortals do not respect the ways of the Ancients. He-Man comes up with the most obvious rejoinder, “I do respect the ways of the Ancients,” and he’s damned lucky that the Ancients don’t bother to ask him if he even knows what the ways of the Ancients are. Instead, they just give him some fenwood and tell him to piss off.
He-Man gets on the back of a friendly tactryl and flies back to Rohan’s house through a selection of yet more tedious perils, arriving just in time to apply the fenwood, though he pauses first to indulge in a really odd meandering rant. Then Rohan gets better and everyone says thank you, really intensely. I also said thank you, because the episode was finally over.
In today’s adventure…
Teela decides to indulge in a little spot of gibberish, ranting on about how this episode taught us the true meaning of friendship, and that our parents are our two best friends. I think the real moral to be drawn from this irredeemably rubbish episode is that no matter how hard you try, it’s impossible to be even vaguely interested in a show in which He-Man is reduced to the role of a glorified medicine distribution company.
The cast this week is limited to Prince Adam, He-Man, Man-at-Arms, Teela, the Sorceress, Rohan, Meetro, and the Ancient Spirit. Probably no one else would agree to be in it.
Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance
Man-at-Arms tells Teela that Adam has gone back to the Palace, not that Teela asked.
The episode mostly consists of He-Man rabbiting on to himself about the various unexciting hazards he’s facing, and even He-Man isn’t mental enough to start insulting himself. So nothing to report here.
Does it have the Power?
What do you think? In case I haven’t made myself sufficiently clear, this is absolute drivel. It makes The Once and Future Duke look like Shakespeare, and even gives The Starchild a run for its money as worst episode yet. Its approach to storytelling boils down to something a really stupid child could achieve: “and then this happened, and then this happened, and then…” with utterly no effort to link it all together into any kind of a cohesive narrative. In summary: it’s dull and entirely without redeeming features. Don’t watch it.