Episode 078 – Betrayal of Stratos

In which Skeletor demonstrates an unexpected desire to learn how to fly.

I’m very much hoping that this will be an episode about Stratos betraying He-Man and turning evil, so He-Man can finally punch his stupid goggled face. Unfortunately, it seems far more likely that it will actually be about someone betraying Stratos, especially since the episode begins with Skeletor, Beast-Man, Trapjaw and Tri-Klops attacking Stratos’ home of Avion, and someone has destroyed the defensive shield generator.

The bird people see Skeletor’s attack off easily anyway, while Stratos attempts to repair the shield generator. Hawk, a bird woman with a suspiciously evil voice, finds Stratos making the repairs, and interprets this as meaning that Stratos must have been responsible for the sabotage. The bird people put Stratos on trial, and dismissing his absolutely pathetic attempts to defend himself, sentence him to exile.

Betrayal 1
Stratos: “Come on guys, you may all look the same, but you don’t have to dress the same too.”

Like an idiot, Stratos’ next move is to land for a rest in the nest of an enormous flying monster, which means that He-Man has to get involved. He-Man sees off the monster by throwing some melons at it, then listens to Stratos’ story and decides that he and Orko will help Stratos to unmask the real culprit.

Meanwhile, Skeletor and his army return to Avion, and the bird people discover that now their guns have been sabotaged as well. This means two things: firstly, Stratos couldn’t possibly be the saboteur, and secondly and more importantly, Skeletor is able to steal the Egg of Avion, which is a ridiculous item that will apparently allow Skeletor to grow wings. Exactly how he thinks this will help him is beyond me, given he’s already got a wide range of flying machines. Maybe it’s just for the sheer joy of feeling the wind between his feathers. Anyway, since I suspect his plot won’t reach that stage, it doesn’t matter too much.

Betrayal 2
Skeletor: “This is going to net me so many points in the Eternian Easter Egg Hunt this year.”

Learning of the loss of the Egg, He-Man, Stratos and Orko go to see the Sorceress, who says that Skeletor will have hidden the Egg in the Demon Zone. The Demon Zone is apparently the home of Whiplash, and it can only be entered through a door in the Mountains of Doom (or possibly Mountains of Dune; I tend to stop paying attention whenever the Sorceress is talking). Oddly, it transpires that the door can only be opened twice a year, which means that given his excessive presence in recent episodes, Whiplash probably can’t go home all that often.

When they reach the door, He-Man and Stratos enter like normal people but Orko manages to be so slow that he gets left outside. Given the door’s limit of two openings per year, I’d guess this means He-Man and Stratos are now trapped in the Demon Zone till next year – the door must have been opened once already to allow the Egg to come in. I am fully prepared for this logical conclusion to be ignored.

Betrayal 3
Orko: “It’s a shame I’m so stupid I can’t even go through a door successfully.”

Sure enough, in the very next scene, the door opens again, as Whiplash sends a snake out to deal with Orko, which leads to a genuinely amusing scene as the snake chases Orko around the forest. In the meantime, He-Man and Stratos confront Whiplash, who finds himself tied to a pole by his tail. I think Whiplash has quite a sad time really. That tail is too easy a target.

He-Man and Stratos then find Hawk in a cage, who admits to sabotaging the shields and to bringing the Egg to the Demon Zone, where instead of the riches she was promised, she was imprisoned. Stratos starts gleefully rejoicing in Hawk’s downfall, but He-Man releases her with his trademark, “Everyone deserves a second chance.”

Betrayal 4
He-Man: “Welcome to my kinky dungeon, Hawk.”

After recovering the Egg, He-Man, Stratos and Hawk return it to Avion, where Hawk admits before the people that she was responsible for the sabotage. Then all the bird people cheer for He-Man, causing his already immense ego to expand to a whole new level of smug.

 

In today’s adventure…

He-Man’s message this week is all about forgiveness, and once again utters the phrase, “Everyone deserves a second chance.” I genuinely wonder how many chances he gave Skeletor on their first encounter. Though in fairness, given he basically allows Skeletor to escape every week, he’s actually given Skeletor about five thousand chances now.

 

Character checklist

Today we are witness to the antics of Prince Adam, He-Man, Stratos, Orko, the Sorceress, Skeletor, Beast-Man, Trapjaw, Tri-Klops, Hawk, loads of Stratos clones, a big red demon, and the ubiquitous Whiplash.

Betrayal 5
Skeletor: “Come on lads, it’s 2-for-1 at Burger King today!”

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

It’s not an excuse as such, but He-Man explains his presence by saying, “I was just in the neighbourhood.”

 

Insults

Skeletor considers that the inhabitants of Avion are all “bird-brains”, which seems reasonable. He also refers to Trapjaw and Tri-Klops as “imbeciles”, which again is accurate. A fire demon has the temerity to call Whiplash a “fool”. Whiplash develops an entertaining habit of talking to himself, muttering about He-Man, Stratos and Orko being “pests” and Orko being a “half-pint sorcerer”. Whiplash also says, “Now it’s time to find that muscle-headed moron”, which presumably refers to He-Man, but the target of this remark is not actively specified.

Betrayal 6
Fire Demon: “I fear I’m not as scary as I should be.”

 

Does it have the Power?

It all starts well enough, with Skeletor’s assault on Avion and the subsequent exile of Stratos, but it goes downhill a bit with the introduction of the Demon Zone, especially with its nonsensical rules concerning the door. I’m genuinely getting fed up of Whiplash now; he’s not that interesting, so we don’t need to see him week-in week-out. Still, I’d chalk this one up as worthwhile enough, if only for the mental image of Skeletor growing wings, which appears to be his overall ambition this week.

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13 thoughts on “Episode 078 – Betrayal of Stratos

  1. Well in all honesty this us whiplash last appearance in the run but to be fair I guess it was 5 episodes in a row! why are you fed up with whiplash is it you don’t like this character Owen or is it the amount of consecutive appearances?? I hope your not gonna say next you don’t like beastman and trap jaw skeletors two most popular henchmen hehehe.. I hope not anyway!.. well I am gonna be a bit biased towards this episode as I’m a huge stratos fan he’s one of my favourite characters I prefer characters that don’t have annoying voices i.e. Buzz off, locus from Stone Mountain, Azzrog from return of orkos uncle, rago it’s not my fault I could go on.. anyway I think this is a great episode if I may say I think it’s fair tho to say the first acts stronger than the second act I’d go along with that and there are contradictions getting in an out of the demon zone but not for one moment oes this spoil the enjoyment of this story I like the personal story involving stratos getting over thrown and banished I really felt for him although I would acknoedge considering he’s king of the bird men hawk did sway the crowd alittle too easy! Anyway skeletors plan to steal the egg leaving the bird people without the power of flight was original, I thought he man was great in this episode an I like the way he supported stratos throughout overall it’s not quite a classic episode like into the abyss or the problem with power say but I still thought it was excellent as I say it wouldn’t quite make even my top ten and I’m probably a little biased cos stratos is one of my favourite characters but anyway wise the writer explores his character once again at his weakest and most vulnerable which I like and a great story to boot as well with a happy ending for stratos for once!! Out of ten i enjoyed this episode enough to give it an 8/10 !

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  2. O an liked the review also made me laugh it’s just my opinion on what I feel about this episode ! One point I must say tho I forgot to mention the fire demon think his name is spelt kraal at least he was scarier looking than the fire demon “evil” in wizard of Stone Mountain which was nothing short of ridiculous! Anyway a very good episode this one I felt..

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  3. Perhaps the most lasting effect of this episode is to introduce the character of Hawke, which later generations of He-Man will mistakenly think is Stratos’s sister (actually named Delora and a blonde clone of Hawke from season 1).

    Skeletor’s plot in this episode is sufficiently outlandish. He doesn’t even keep the Egg to grant him the power to fly. Plus, if Stratos’s people need the egg to fly and lose the power when they are away from it, how has Stratos been around so much in the earlier episodes?

    The writers didn’t really think this through.

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  4. That’s a good point you touch on with hawk, she is recycled from reign of the monster episode where she’s called Delors as you say stratos sister. The obvious difference is when they they talk there voices are totally different hawks voice sounds evil but your correct there identical shame stratos sister Delors wasn’t in this episode and they just designed Delors a bit different!! There is a lot of stock that gets recycled in the series..

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    1. MYP Cartoon clearly indicated in script they were using Hawke. Marked as “Stratos’ second-in-command”. For in cartoon they never say anything she is related to him.

      Its the fans who mistook her as his sister with a different name and blamed cartoon creators.

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      1. All of the Wiki entries for Hawke make it clear that MYP intended her to be his sister. I haven’t seen the episode Sky War enough to be 100% sure, but I thought she was introduced as his sister there, or at least in the other two episodes she appears in.

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  5. I don’t know much about the myp cartoon myself but I too imagine that it’s more fans just simply mistaking hawke for stratos sister delora as they look the same! I was thinking a lot about this and this episode it would if been nice it they had done an episode with all three stratos his sister delora and hawke, obviously they would of had to look different tho!! Again tho I have to say I watched this episode again just to see if I’m in another galaxy to everyone else why are so many so down about this episode? I mean I agree about the demon zone being confusing but there are many episodes that are confusing and lack continuity I’d mark it down a bit for this but at the end of the day in my opinion all that matters is weather an episode is entertaining or not and imo this was a very good ep I’m not saying the best but certainly at the upper end. It’s a shame they got rid of stratos in the 2nd season and replacing him for buzzoff I guess they were promoting the action figure..

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    1. To be fair, I thought this episode was okay. Whiplash has overstayed his welcome but that’s largely due to his unnecessary appearances in The Ice Age Cometh and Trouble in Trolla, rather than him being particularly irrelevant here. I never cared much for Stratos so he doesn’t help (though he doesn’t exactly hinder). But the Demon Zone was seriously nonsensical, and that’s what brings the episode down in my opinion. But I reiterate, I don’t think it’s awful.

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  6. That’s fair enough Owen an I’m not saying for one minuite it’s a top classic for the series but certainly in the top half! It’s the age old horses for courses thing isn’t it. To be fair I agree with everything you say Owen re the demon zone just it doesn’t bother me as much as others to be honest even James eatock mentions the confusion of the demon zone in his review and I agree with most of his he’s a pretty good judge but this was one episode I guess I enjoyed more than most! Interesting what you say with whiplash tho maybe if you saw it before the ice age and trouble in trolla you may of liked it a lot more but to be fair your right 5 episodes on the bounce for whiplash is a lot!! Just another thought it would of made this episode more interesting maybe if delora was in it maybe she could be in the crowd sticking up for her brother maintaining stratos innocence this would if made the story more powerful.

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  7. If I’m honest It’s hard for me to comment on this one as I’m not familiar with the myp cartoon so I’m not gonna get involved in the was hawke introduced as stratos sister debate like Jeremy and scrolls of eternia you both know more about this than me as I haven’t seen this myp cartoon but anyway this was a great ep! I may look it up myself out of curiosity!! What I would say and I’m not saying it isn’t true but if hawke is introduced as stratos sister that’s strange as in the season one episode reign of the monster stratos sister is called delora. Interesting tho what you say I’d like to know now for myself!

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  8. I looked up on one of the old he man threads on stratos sister? The general concencious is in the filmation series delora was stratos avionian sister and in the myp cartoon series hawke is mentioned as stratos avionian sister very confusing so the answer seems to be they both are so your right Jeremy about hawke! Wheather it’s the same person or stratos maybe has more than one sister I don’t know. Apparently filmation originally was going to have the character delora as stratos wife but she ended up being his sister I’m glad! As for hawke yes it’s true she’s stratos sister it’s claimed in the myp cartoon so they both are!! Very confusing indeed. In my personal feeling hawke is just an avionian that betrayed stratos but that’s just in the filmation series (these 130 eps) as for whiplash I think he was one of skeletors most used henchmen after beastman an trap jaw around half dozen appearances! Takecare..

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