In which we meet Eternia’s most dubiously named hero.
An irritating Eternian child (TM) falls out of a tree and is attacked by a Grazzlor, but luckily for him along comes a man called Fisto. Just in case you had any funny ideas, Fisto has his name because one of his hands is an enormous metallic fist. The child admires Fisto, claiming that he is almost as much of a hero as He-Man, and with little to no provocation, Fisto then embarks on an episode-long flashback recounting how he used to be evil, but now he’s good.
It seems that a few years ago, Fisto was messing about in a forest, being evil by damming rivers and thus killing crops. It’s not really evil mastermind level, but I suppose it’s unpleasant enough. Skeletor is apparently behind this, having imprisoned the Elf Lord in a crystal ball and installed Fisto in the forest in the Elf Lord’s place, but quite what Skeletor intends to gain from this little arrangement is anyone’s guess.
A little girl called Rayna heads to the Palace to ask for help, and Randor dispatches Adam, Cringer, Orko and Teela. In the meantime, Rayna’s father goes into the forest where he is attacked by Fisto’s pet giant spider. The heroes arrive to effect a rescue, but because no one on Eternia except He-Man has the slightest degree of competence, Teela and Rayna manage to get themselves trapped by some kind of glue spat out by the spider. He-Man and Orko help them out, and they head off to save Rayna’s father.
Imprisoned in a tree, Rayna’s father asks Fisto a very pertinent question: “Why are you doing this?” Fisto responds with the absolutely insane reasoning, “Because people will stop me if I let them, but they never get the chance.” Well, perhaps if you stop yourself, Fisto, then other people won’t need to stop you, and then everyone would be happy, no? This makes so little sense that I wonder if this bit of the script simply said [insert villain’s motivation later], and then the voice actor had to improvise on the spot when it came to recording.
Anyway, Fisto now indulges in a bit more craziness, flooding a valley in which Teela, Orko, Rayna and Battle-Cat are standing, in the hope that the water will wash them directly into his dungeon. Which it does, mightily conveniently. Fisto then rigs up a stupid trap to fill the dungeon with water, with the intention of drowning his prisoners, but being an idiot, he winds up trapping himself under a log and in danger from drowning himself.
Orko reveals a hitherto unknown talent of contacting He-Man telepathically, and calls for help. Before He-Man can show up, however, Rayna manages to squeeze through the dungeon’s bars and helps Fisto out from under the log. This act of kindness prompts Fisto to change his ways with immediate effect, and he releases Teela and Orko from the dungeon. He-Man then rescues Rayna’s father and the Elf Lord, and Fisto becomes a good person forever after.
We now fade back to the present day, where Fisto has just finished telling this story to the irritating Eternian child, who politely claims that it’s a nice story, and tries to get the hell out of there before He-Man and Fisto start telling pointless and unfunny jokes about the size of Fisto’s hand. In this, however, he does not succeed.
In today’s adventure…
Teela comes along to tell us all about how we should do unto others as we’d have them do unto us. This is precisely what Fisto did in this episode, and it seems a reasonable conclusion from the events depicted, I suppose. It’s a bit boring, though. I wish, just once, they’d go mental and say, “If you live in a forest near an evil man with a giant metal fist, the best thing to do is to go to the Palace and get help. Until next time!”
Well, obviously, there’s Fisto. But more importantly, there’s Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Battle-Cat, Teela, Orko, King Randor, Queen Marlena, Rayna, Rayna’s dad, the Elf Lord, the Irritating Eternian Child, and let’s not forget Skeletor’s most pointless appearance ever.
Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance
Teela hands it to Adam on a plate this week, actively telling him to go and head off the giant spider. This is all the excuse Adam needs to get out of sight. Then, when He-Man appears, Teela comments, “It looks like Adam and Cringer have gone on to the village.” It’s as if she’s so used to the standard excuses that she’s started giving them herself.
Fisto sounds very much like he nonsensically calls He-Man and Teela “metal do-gooders”, though I suspect it’s “meddling”. Otherwise, there’s nothing to report here.
Does it have the Power?
This episode is nothing more than an advert for the Fisto action figure, and since Fisto is not an enormously interesting character, it really struggles. Fisto’s problem is that his ability is to hit things really hard, which also happens to be He-Man’s ability, except that He-Man doesn’t require an enormous deformed hand in order to do so. Consequently, children are far more likely to be interested in He-Man, rather than this second-rate replacement. Giving him an evil past doesn’t make him any more exciting, especially since his evil past lacked any kind of ambition or motivation.
One thing I will say, though, is that in the five episodes of Season 2 so far, I’ve noticed a definite step up in the quality of the animation. Fisto’s evil forest this week was beautifully done, there are new and interesting panning shots of the Palace being used, and new locations have been created, like the village this week. Whereas in Season 1 we got a lot of recycled animation, Filmation have made a definite effort so far to keep things fresh and varied. It can’t make episodes like Fisto’s Forest into classics, but it does make them at least worth a watch.
And with that, I’m on holiday for a couple of weeks. Reviews will resume in early May. Bet you can’t wait.