In which Teela nearly succeeds in removing Orko from the episode altogether.
Adam, Cringer, Teela and Orko are having a day out exploring an archaeological site, when they receive word that a horde of space pirates have descended on a peaceful farming village to steal food supplies. Teela very sensibly decides to send Orko back to the Palace to alert Man-at-Arms, perhaps in the naive hope that Orko will then remain at the Palace and not appear in the rest of the episode. This hope is entirely unjustified.
Adam, Cringer and Teela show up at the village, where they completely fail to defeat the pirates – all of whom put together are, I must say, less intelligent than Ram-Man. In this display of ineptitude, Adam manages to lose his sword, and a big red rock-like pirate nicks it. Then the lead pirate, imaginatively named Sticky Fingers, shoots tar out of his fingers and roots our idiot heroes to the spot, while the pirates load their ship with food.
I must have glanced away from the screen for a moment and missed some crucial information, because the next thing I knew, Adam, Teela and Cringer were in jail in some unspecified location. Luckily, two of the villagers – Rose and Harel – arrive to bust them out, take them to a warehouse to hide, then explain that the other villagers are too frightened to stand up to the pirates.
Before an intelligent discourse on how to stand up to bullies can begin, this notion is abandoned in favour of the introduction of a stupid two-legged monster with an elephant’s trunk and a rhino’s horn, which tracks our heroes to their hiding place. Thankfully, this ridiculous creation is defeated with the judicious use of some pepper, clogging up its trunk and rendering it incapable of further troublemaking.
Adam, Teela, Rose and Harel give the other villagers a pep talk in Bullying 101, advising them to work together and present a united front to the pirates. Adam then reveals that he has an idea, which is evidently inspired by frequent viewings of Home Alone, consisting as it does of the construction of a variety of stupid traps including jail cells suspended on ropes and deep pits, in which a good proportion of the pirates very shortly manage to get themselves trapped.
In the meantime, Cringer successfully recovers Adam’s sword, and He-Man appears on the scene very shortly thereafter. He quickly captures Sticky Fingers, after which Man-at-Arms finally arrives and promises to bring the pirates to justice. He-Man then congratulates the villagers on their newfound skills in working together to build traps, and Orko pops up again for a grand finale in which he idiotically makes Man-at-Arms invisible. Man-at-Arms probably welcomes this, since he can now punch Orko in the face without anyone ever knowing he was there.
In today’s adventure…
Adam is very proud of his efforts with the villagers this week, and comes along to tell us all about cooperation. Lifting heavy objects and doing boring jobs are easier if you get someone else to help you. They’re even easier if you get someone else to do it instead of you, but Adam doesn’t say that.
Right, well, it’s Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Battle-Cat, Teela, Orko, Man-at-Arms, Rose, Harel, Sticky Fingers, and a whole host more pirates and villagers, the names of whom I remain entirely uninformed and uninterested.
Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance
When the space pirates first appear on the scene, Teela runs off telling Adam to stay right where he is. This should be all the excuse Adam needs, but he still decides to try to give the game away by commenting, “All right, Teela. Adam will stay right where he is.” Fortunately, Teela is out of earshot by this stage, so doesn’t start questioning why Adam’s started referring to himself in the third person.
Some pretty mild fare this week, with nothing more serious than Sticky Fingers referring to his entire cabal as “fools”, and Orko calling Sticky Fingers a “miserable pirate”.
Does it have the Power?
It’s an unpromising storyline which actually turns out to be relatively good fun. The writer clearly put himself into a corner with his introduction of these pirates, who never even approach being threatening. He must therefore have realised that He-Man would make mincemeat of them in an instant, so conjured up the subplot concerning the theft of the sword. This has the pleasing (if possibly unintended) by-product of portraying Adam as surprisingly competent; it’s nice to see what he can do when he’s forced to by an inability to He-Manise himself. Cringer too gets a moment in the limelight, successfully stealing the power sword back from Sticky Fingers.
On the downside, the pirates – despite some interesting animation designs – are all entirely lacking in personality, with the exception of Sticky Fingers, who’s not that exciting. The whole storyline is pretty slow as well: the episode is forced to pad things out with an irrelevant five minute section at the start where He-Man has to rescue Rose from falling down a chasm.
In short, though, this episode is better than you might expect. Don’t think you’re getting a classic, but you’ll probably enjoy it.