Episode 077 – Trouble in Trolla

In which Whiplash puts in an unnecessary appearance and ends up locked in a chest.

Dree Elle makes an unwelcome reappearance at the Palace this week, though to her credit she doesn’t bring Yuckers with her. She bears the bad news that Uncle Montork has been replaced as head of the Academy of Magic by a younger Trollan called Snoob. On hearing this, Orko determines to return to Trolla to comfort Montork, and Adam and Cringer make the demented decision to come too, in He-Man and Battle-Cat form.

Trolla 1
Dree Elle: “Oh, Orko, I’d love to marry you, but I can’t shake the feeling that you’re really annoying.”

Uncle Montork indulges in a quick flashback, in which he reveals that Snoob challenged him to a magic contest. During the course of this contest, Montork started to feel weak, and his magic tricks began to fail. On hearing this, Orko concludes that something nefarious has clearly taken place, and feels the next step is to visit Snoob.

Orko and Dree Elle are rudely rebuffed by Snoob, so they teleport inside his house, where they quickly discover that Snoob is attempting to teach magic to Whiplash. Making the insane decision to confront Whiplash rather than waiting for He-Man, Orko and Dree Elle quickly find themselves captured by a bunch of pigs who would appear to be working for Whiplash.

Trolla 2
Orko: “I can’t believe I’ve been shown up in front of Dree Elle by a load of distinctly unintimidating pigs.”

Once Orko and Dree Elle are safely tied up, Whiplash takes the time to explain his plan, such as it is. Whiplash wants to learn magic in order to get better at being evil, and he knew Montork would never teach it to him. So instead, he hid in the room in which the contest was held, and used a Plot Device Ray to temporarily weaken Montork’s powers, resulting in Snoob winning. Then, Whiplash started bullying Snoob into teaching him magic. I’m not certain where the pigs fit in, but I’m sure it’s very sensible.

With the plan revealed, Snoob realises what an idiot he’s been, and turns on Whiplash, but being a bit rubbish, he is quickly captured by the pigs and tied up as well. Once Whiplash turns his back, however, Orko manages to free all three of them – just in time for them to be attacked by Whiplash’s new pet, a giant caterpillar.

Trolla 3
Orko: “First pigs, now caterpillars. I’m not having a good day with wildlife.”

Luckily, He-Man and Montork are in the vicinity to effect a rescue. While He-Man has a seemingly endless battle with an enormous quantity of pigs, Montork helps Orko and Snoob to defeat the caterpillar. Whiplash opts to do a runner, but comes up against He-Man and inevitably gets the worst of it. He ends up locked in a metal chest, in which he is forced to listen to He-Man and the Trollans yammering on about forgiving and forgetting, Orko’s love for Dree Elle, and the prospect of a roast gooble.

 

In today’s adventure…

Orko delivers a borderline ageist moral this week, explaining that though Snoob was young and powerful, Montork’s age and experience worked in his favour. Therefore, if old and young people work together, great things can be accomplished. Essentially, this boils down to “listen to your elders, because they might occasionally say something worthwhile in the midst of their crazed jabbering.”

Trolla 5
Orko: “Hey, Man-at-Arms! What’s it like being old and useless?”

 

Character checklist

Well, there’s Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Battle-Cat, Man-at-Arms, Teela, the Sorceress, King Randor, Queen Marlena and Whiplash. Unfortunately, there’s also Orko, Dree Elle, Uncle Montork and Snoob. And those demented pigs.

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

The transformation occurs today in Castle Grayskull, with only the Sorceress present. Consequently, Adam doesn’t feel the need to give an excuse.

 

Insults

Whiplash dishes out an awful lot of mild insults this week, including “wimp” and “fool” for Snoob, “twits” for Orko and Snoob, and “little pests” for Orko, Snoob and Montork. He is also the recipient of every insult made by our heroes, being called a “villain” by both Montork and He-Man. He-Man also calls him a “scale-head”, but it’s Orko who seems to have major anger management issues when it comes to Whiplash, referring to him variously as “lizard-breath”, “alligator-breath” and “crocodile face”.

Trolla 6
Snoob: “Chill out, Whiplash! It’s Orko calling you names, not me!”

 

Egg on your face?

It’s a bit of a stretch for this category, because it doesn’t involve food, but the episode does open with a genuinely amusing scene in which Orko’s magic backfires, resulting in the entire royal family vanishing and reappearing inside a very small box.

More appropriately, Uncle Montork’s flashback to how he lost the contest with Snoob includes a sequence in which the three Trollan judges are covered with various unspecified foodstuffs.

 

Does it have the Power?

The title Trouble in Trolla didn’t fill me with joy when it popped up on screen, and the reappearance of Uncle Montork was a distinctly displeasing prospect. As it turned out though – perhaps due to the absence of Yuckers – the whole thing wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d expected. I quite enjoyed the notion of Snoob being led astray by his ambition, and liked his ultimate redemption, which was done with relative subtlety and wasn’t sickening. It was also quite refreshingly different in that He-Man didn’t really need to be present – I feel Orko and his family would actually have been capable of dealing with the situation on their own.

Trolla 4
He-Man: “I wish I hadn’t had to be here for this.”

What I didn’t particularly like was the inclusion of Whiplash. Putting aside the fact that this is now his fourth appearance in a row (gotta sell those action figures, guys!), the world of Trolla seems completely unconnected to that of Eternia, so it seems implausible that Skeletor and his men would have any interest in it – or indeed, any knowledge of it. I’m generally not a fan of episodes that don’t involve Skeletor, but these Trolla ones really would be better without him and his crew being shoehorned in.

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13 thoughts on “Episode 077 – Trouble in Trolla

  1. An excellent review Owen and I agree with you on very much of this episode, yes at first when you read the title your thinking o no orkos favourite uncle, drew Elle’s return and even the horrible return of Orkos uncle but this episode is head and shoulders better than these horrible offerings trouble in trolla is actually my 2nd best trollan episode after dawn of dragoon (hands down the best) Larry di tillio wrote this episode and while I accept Robby London captured the true magic of orkos homeland the best I still thought this was a thoroughly enjoyable adeventure and pleasantly surprisingly not annoying!! I liked the story of uncle montork losing his magic duel to snoob thanks to whip lash intervention, but it was nice that the episode was based on Orko getting to the bottom of this and trying to help out his uncle! Whiplash is a character I like very much indeed I think the run of 4 episodes in a row comes to an end with this one ! Anyway a surprisingly entertaining episode the funniest part for me was when snoob was trying to teach whiplash trollan magic “Zarga sofa simple” this was very funny to watch!! Overall 7/10..

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    1. Sorry John, but Whiplash is back again next week in Betrayal of Stratos, and he doesn’t have much of a reason for being in that one either!

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  2. Actually whiplash is in the next one then that’s the run ended of 5 episodes betrayal of stratos for me one of the best season two offerings which is a feeling not shared by every he man fan! a David wise episode delving into the vulnerability of a character and my favourite too stratos so looking forward to the next one! Takecare..

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  3. Just seen your post yes I would have to agree with you on that as much as I love betrayal of stratos whiplash appearance does feel alittle random it’s the story of this one with stratos and the bird men that makes it a great one anyway until then! Love the reviews Owen and the funny comments too!!

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  4. I think Betrayal of Stratos is actually Whiplash’s origin episode — shown out of order of course, and completely contradicted by all his other appearances.

    This reminds me of the stretch of episodes where Trap-Jaw inexplicably got a lot of run.

    On a side note, I really dislike all the Trollans other than Orko (who I can tolerate) and haven’t really ever been able to finish this (or any other Dree Elle or Montork episode).

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    1. Oh yes, Trapjaw’s weird spell in the limelight lasted far too long. Frankly I never liked Trapjaw that much anyway, so he could at least have had the decency to keep out of episodes like Keeper of the Ancient Ruins and House of Shokoti, Part 1.

      And I’m with you on the Trollan episodes, though I am at least big enough to admit that this one isn’t as bad as most of the others. I think the absolute low point for me is She-Ra’s The Greatest Magic.

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  5. I think you are correct Jeremy in thinking betrayal of stratos is whiplash origin ep, it could well be but as usual episodes are out of its order especially season two! Despite whiplash for no aparant reason being in the demon zone I think its a great ep, I think its great when a writer focuses on a characters vulnerability and very daring for a cartoon to write character development that powerful when it works its brilliant I think that’s one thing I really loved about the he man series it developed characters where you actually really cared for them as real people as we all know into the abyss is probably one of the best examples of this. regarding them other trollan eps yes I think there all pretty weak return of orkos uncle for me hits rock bottom only the star child propping it up as worst season one episode! I agree what you say about the she ra trollan ep the greatest magic pretty lame effort too.

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  6. Many episodes iv noticed where they focus on just one character iv noticed don’t have skeletor in for instance the episode battle cat, or fistos forest its nice that the next episode focus on stratos as the main character in the story and skeletors in it as well! im not as familiar with the she ra series owen but was there another orko ep shades of orko think it was with shadow weaver but it wasn’t really a trollan episode like the greatest magic!

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  7. Is it only my opinion, or episodes involving Trolla generally tends to show Orko as far less annoying and far more competent than his usual attitude on Eternia? Almost as writers actually wanted to make him more competent and useful, but for the sake of status quo they were allowed to do that only in Trolla (when they could claim “well, it was canonically established that he is powerfull wizard here!”)

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    1. You could be onto something there! I can only remember two episodes where we actually go to Trolla – this one and Dawn of Dragoon – and Orko is definitely not particularly annoying in either of them. Though I have the feeling they might go to Trolla in She-Ra’s The Greatest Magic too, and if so, then I fear your theory falls down there, because that’s among the most annoying things I’ve ever watched…

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      1. Well, by the times of She-Ra Orko clearly wasn’t a priority anymore. So, the authors may just not be particulary interested. On the other hands, because it was supposed to be a return of old character, the Filmation CEO’s might acually demand “screw character development, we must remind about old character here!”

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  8. That is correct actually as it’s been mentioned in episodes that orkos Magic only works properly in trolla so factually this is true what you say. All the episodes on eternia the joke is orkos magic is always messed up but in the 2 episodes Owen mentions in his home land of trolla Dawn of dragoon and trouble in trolla he’s much more powerful sorcerer! Think in the time corridor episode when they went back in time this also was the case as Orko even quoted “I don’t know why but my magic seems more powerful not that it was always great” interestingly that ep was on eternia but they went back in time anyway trolla is his home I guess the writers wanted him to be at his best and strongest there.

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    1. Or at least they have arguments to give him some character development here. After all, Filmation was pretty strict about mantaining status quo in their series.

      Well, at least they learned some lessons here – their later comical sidekicks were usually more useful and competent (must admit, I was pretty fond of Deputy Fuzz…)

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