Episode 075 – To Save Skeletor

In which Skeletor bites off more than he can chew.

In Snake Mountain, Skeletor and Evil-Lyn open a portal to another dimension, with intent to summon forth an evil entity with sufficient power to defeat He-Man and conquer Eternia. In this, they are successful: a gigantic, one-eyed, tentacled demon named Sh’Gora appears. Unfortunately, Sh’Gora is unwilling to accept Skeletor’s leadership, and Skeletor’s attempts to tame it simply make it laugh. Skeletor then orders all his minions to destroy Sh’Gora, but they are defeated with ease.

To Save Skeletor
Skeletor: “This isn’t going to end well, is it?”

Only Whiplash escapes, and – badly injured – he makes his way to the Palace to beg King Randor’s assistance. As Adam and Man-at-Arms debate the issue, the Sorceress pops along to verify that Whiplash is telling the truth, and informs Adam that the powers of good and evil must unite to defeat Sh’Gora.

Adam transforms into He-Man, and gathers a motley crew consisting of Man-at-Arms, Teela, Orko, Fisto and Battle-Cat to travel to Snake Mountain with Whiplash. Once inside, they discover Skeletor, Evil-Lyn and Trapjaw imprisoned in crystals, from which He-Man releases them. Skeletor notably does not say thank you, but he agrees to form a temporary alliance.

To Save Skeletor 2
Fisto: “Who the hell does that purple-booted leg underneath Skeletor belong to?”

Sh’Gora summons a host of shrieking things that look like flying eels, which distract the heroes and villains while Sh’Gora gets on the next South West Trains service to Castle Grayskull. On arrival, Sh’Gora opens the jawbridge, enters and casts a spell on the Sorceress. Shortly thereafter, He-Man arrives, and leads the assembled multitude inside, where they encounter the Sorceress transformed into an evil bird woman.

Evil-Lyn restores the Sorceress to normal, after which they both combine their powers with those of Skeletor’s to reopen the portal to Sh’Gora’s dimension. While the heroes watch Sh’Gora being sucked back to wherever he came from, Skeletor and his crew skulk off to try to find the secrets of Grayskull. They are, unfortunately, deceived by a cunning double-bluff from He-Man, who warns them not to enter a specific room. Skeletor – not being one for subtlety – enters that very room and finds himself teleported back to Snake Mountain, to his distinct displeasure.

To Save Skeletor 4
He-Man: “No secrets here, Skeletor. No. None at all.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Fisto dispenses the moral that we should never be afraid to ask for help if we need it. He stops short of pointing out that this sound advice was demonstrated in today’s story by Whiplash, of all people. Instead, he adds that if we ever need his help, we should let him know. I’m sure that subsequently, Filmation were flooded with letters from anxious four year olds asking for Fisto’s help.

 

Character checklist

This fairly epic episode has pretty much everybody in it, but being more specific, it’s Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Battle-Cat, Man-at-Arms, Teela, Orko, the Sorceress, King Randor, Queen Marlena, Fisto, Skeletor, Evil-Lyn, Whiplash, Trapjaw, and Sh’Gora. There’s also a load of nameless extras at the Palace at the beginning, if you’re the sort of person who needs really extensive details.

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

While there’s no actual excuse, Teela does comment that she bets Adam’s been having a wonderful time while they have been fighting Sh’Gora. He-Man responds, “Given the choice, Teela, I’m sure he’d much rather have been with you.” He then revives his old irritating habit of winking at the camera.

To Save Skeletor 5
He-Man: “Winking at the camera is a great way to come across like a creepy old uncle.”

 

Insults

Today’s episode is fairly thin on the ground for insults. Man-at-Arms calls Whiplash a “monster”, Sh’Gora calls Skeletor a “foolish creature”, and Skeletor offers “fools” to encompass all of He-Man’s crowd.

 

Does it have the Power?

This is a great episode, which I’d put among the top ten of all the series. The notion of He-Man and Skeletor having to work together is fantastic, allowing for a great deal of entertaining banter between the two. It contains one of the funniest lines in He-Man ever: He-Man tells Skeletor to follow him to Castle Grayskull, and Skeletor simply responds, “I know the way, He-Man; I’ve been there before,” and then collapses in giggles, which He-Man finds not at all amusing.

To Save Skeletor 3
Sh’Gora: “It’s Black Friday on Eternia! Let me in!”

The sequence in which the Sorceress is transformed into an evil version of herself is pretty creepy, and Sh’Gora conveys an air of genuine menace that is rarely seen on He-Man. The animation of his body is admittedly not a 100% success, but his facial expressions are very well done, putting across his evil and unpleasant nature very effectively. In addition, the early references to Skeletor being near death, and Whiplash’s injury, give the episode a rather dark feel that isn’t matched in any other episode so far.

In short, if you’re looking for a fine example of He-Man – perhaps in order to try to hook some poor unsuspecting soul into watching the entire series – you probably couldn’t find a better one than this.

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3 thoughts on “Episode 075 – To Save Skeletor

  1. excellent review owen and couldn’t of summed it up any better a great episode a true classic in the series undoubtably one of the best! as you say a person coming to near death is very deep and extremely rare for a he man episode but when on top of this its one of the main characters in skeletor it is really special! Shogora is probably the most powerful monster both he man and skeletor have come up against I can at the top of my head only think of mulcram coming anywhere near from reign of the monster. Anyway like evilseed this is another excellent team up one between the good guys and the bad guys demonstrating that sometimes it has to be done an evil being so powerful that he cant be controlled and they have to join alliances to destroy it! the other excellent point you touched on yes an evil sorceress I of course loved this, it does on one hand begger the question how powerful evil lyn is that she could reverse the spell still I guess its evil magic on evil magic anyway it worked the whole episode did, the opening with whip lash stumbling into the palace is one of my favourite openings to an episode as it kiced off the plot instantly so it got going straight away no silly little magic tricks straight in! yes I loved that line to when skeletor reminding he man he knows the way to grayskull as hes “been there before” hilarious! One other thing that was great just before that was when skeletor killed that creature for he man, he mans saved bony loads of times sure but this is the first and only time skeletor did anything for he man noting what a special moment it was to quote “you saved me before from sho goras trap now wer even”! im guessing by that what he means is he doesn’t want to be in he mans debt or owe him anything hense why he did this! Anyway I too love this episode It would be hard to individually rank all 130 of these episodes but out of all 130 I have this at number 11 so that’s still incredibly high up! It was a spin of a coin between to save skeletor and the arena for my number 10 slot and I just give it to the arena as its just so epic with breathtaking action that you don’t usually see, but this ep is amazing I rate it 9.5 out of 10! excellent review and as you rightly say owen one of the very best he man episodes that I think the overall majority of he man fans would say the same takecare..

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  2. This is truly one of the best episodes of He-Man. I don’t have anything to add to your review, except that I think that purple boot is Evil-Lyn’s. Although I have no idea how exactly it could be in that position.

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  3. There is one minor error in the episode that bugs a few but it has no bearings on the enjoyment of the episode whatso ever it’s more an interesting observation that’s been pointed out more to do with attention to detail, when sho gora rips off the jaw bridge and gets into grayskull when the heroes and villains turn up a bit later (he man an skeletor) the jaw bridge is back on!! Maybe as my lame attempt at an excuse maybe sho gora put it back on after entering but I doubt it as it’s probably more likely an error! Anyway this is without question one of the very best he man episodes I think we’d all agree on an one of the darkest similar house shokoti part two these are probably the darkest two episodes of he man! I think this episode did make the original best ten discs of he man. Also liked how he man bluffed skeletor into thinking the power of grayskull was through that door instead sending them back to snake mountain! You can really tell a lot of thought was put into this episode..

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