In which Orko goes looking for drugs and finds a friendly giant.
Adam, Cringer, Man-at-Arms and Orko are out in the Eternian wilderness, looking for a bright orange weed that grows on trees. The only explanation offered as to why they want this weed is that Man-at-Arms needs it for one of his “experiments”, no doubt the same type of “experiment” that a lot of liberal-leaning students set up.
In the course of searching for the weed, Orko encounters a giant, who he instantly assumes is a monster. Nothing could be further from the truth, however; Orko manages to knock himself out, and the giant brings him back to his friends safely, then disappears into the undergrowth. Adam decides that they need to poke their noses into the giant’s business, to find out who he is. God alone knows why Adam should think this: perhaps it’s time for Eternia’s regular census? Pausing only to transform into He-Man and Battle-Cat, our heroes go off to look for the giant.
Hovering above the jungle in a bizarrely shark-shaped flying machine is the baddy of the week. He is a collector of strange creatures, and the episode’s writer doesn’t bother to give him a name, so I’ll refer to him as Boring-Man. The creatures he’s collected are reuses of individuals from various other rubbish episodes: there’s Gorgon from The Defection, the two-headed man from Orko’s Missing Magic, and a four-armed dude who might well also have featured in Orko’s Missing Magic, but I can’t remember and don’t want to watch that episode again to make sure. Anyway, Boring-Man wants to add the giant to his collection.
He-Man and co. are just in time to see the giant being captured, at which point Boring-Man decides that He-Man and Orko would also be worthy exhibits. He captures Orko, then throws a giant scorpion out of his airship to distract He-Man, Man-at-Arms and Battle-Cat while he flies away. He-Man defeats the scorpion using his favourite tactic of diverting a river at it, then sets off after Boring-Man.
On board the ship, Boring-Man explains to Orko and the giant that they are now permanent fixtures in his circus, and then announces an inexplicable intention to add Stratos to the collection as well. Once Boring-Man leaves the room, Orko strikes up a friendship with the giant, who introduces himself as Canbro and explains that he is an outcast, because people ridicule or fear him. Once these pleasantries are over, Orko and Canbro escape their cage and set about building a radio with which to contact He-Man.
Orko informs He-Man via radio that Stratos is next on the hit list, so our heroes head for Avion, arriving in time to rescue the ever-incompetent Stratos from Boring-Man’s clutches. He-Man then boards the ship and immediately gets entangled in cords of solid titanium, from which Boring-Man claims “even he cannot escape”, and all I’m going to say about that statement is that it’s a classic case of misplaced confidence.
He-Man opens all the cages and takes all the creatures to see Boring-Man, who collapses on the floor shrieking “No!” Just as the creatures are about to attack Boring-Man, however, Canbro intervenes to stop them, demonstrating his peaceful and merciful nature. As the episode ends, Man-at-Arms offers Canbro a job as a lab assistant, which Canbro accepts, though I’ll bet we never see him again.
In today’s adventure…
Orko provides the very sane and relevant moral that judging people by their appearance – as he initially did with Canbro – is not a good way to behave. This is a perfectly sensible lesson, demonstrated nicely by the episode’s story, for the first time in a while.
Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Orko, Man-at-Arms, Stratos, Canbro and Boring-Man are our principal movers and shakers this week. Well, Stratos isn’t exactly a mover or shaker, though I imagine you could have guessed that.
Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance
Adam doesn’t give an excuse, and he doesn’t even have a sensible reason for turning into He-Man this week. He just does it on a whim.
All the insults this week are dished out by Boring-Man, who calls his Gorgon animation reuse a “mindless brute”, calls Canbro “big but dumb”, and refers to his entire collection as “dumb beasts”.
Does it have the Power?
It’s not the most enthralling of episodes, but neither is it anywhere near as rubbish as some recent offerings. It’s obvious from the moment Canbro shows up that he’s not going to be a baddy, so it’s fortunate that the episode doesn’t waste much time trying to pretend he is. The real villain of the piece is genuinely nondescript – Boring-Man is an apt name for him – and his whole plot feels pretty tired, being too similar to the recent Pawns of the Game Master and Castle of Heroes. In addition, He-Man’s fight with the scorpion isn’t very exciting, and Stratos seems to have been dropped in just for the sheer why-not of it. All in all, I’d call this one pretty determinedly average.