Episode 100 – The Greatest Show on Eternia

In which we meet the most annoying character in all of fiction ever.

An interplanetary circus arrives on Eternia, and because he’s an idiot, Man-at-Arms promises Orko that he can attend if he tidies up his room. Surely he knows that saying this will inevitably result in Orko using magic to attempt to tidy his room and causing some dreadful mess. But before we even reach that stage, the circus rocket train (I didn’t think a “circus rocket train” was even a thing) arrives, and Orko starts messing about with the various props.

Greatest 1
Orko: “Boy oh boy! Someone more irritating than me!”

Over at Snake Mountain, Skeletor is pacing around, mixing cocktails and shrieking that there’s no one about to cooperate with him. This is just plain weird, to be honest, though it gets odder seconds later when Evil-Lyn shows up to inform Skeletor that the circus has refused his kind invitation to perform at Snake Mountain. I can’t see him as the sort to really want to watch a circus, but I suppose it adds another layer to his complex characterisation. Skeletor is inexplicably livid about the circus’ refusal to perform, and decrees that if he can’t enjoy the circus, no one can. As tense and dramatic scenes go, I think the only comparable television moment ever achieved is the Red Wedding.

Greatest 2
Skeletor: “Sex on the beach, Beast-Man?”

If you think Orko isn’t annoying enough, you may be interested in meeting Crackers the Clown, who shows up to introduce himself to Orko and perform a variety of distinctly unfunny tricks. Orko says he wishes he could work at the circus, and I wish he could too, but Crackers isn’t interested without Orko going through the full recruitment process. Adam then properly starts doing a hatchet job on Orko’s job application, reminding him that he hates putting an effort into anything.

Skeletor orders Evil-Lyn and Beast-Man to go to the circus and make sure it never opens. They start by using Beast-Man’s animal-controlling powers to stop a three-trunked elephant from putting up the Big Top, but they are detected within 20 seconds, tied up in metal, and thrown back to Snake Mountain. Once he’s dealt with the villains, He-Man decides to help out at the circus, and we are treated to endless scenes of him putting up tents, which is truly a fitting task for the Most Powerful Man in the Universe.

Greatest 3
He-Man: “This is so below my pay grade.”

He-Man then persuades Crackers to give Orko a job, so that Orko will learn that working in the circus is not as glamorous as he seems to think. This leads to a load of hugely boring and/or irritating scenes in which Orko has his dreams cruelly shattered by Crackers, Adam and a trapeze artist called Orlando, who laugh their heads off at him pretty much continually.

This mercifully comes to an end when Skeletor intervenes to kidnap Crackers, sending him to a place called Echo Valley. Skeletor then feels confident enough to announce the rest of his plan – to take over the circus – to Orlando, Orko and Adam, whose pose suggests deep disinterest. Skeletor attempts to ramp up the tension by shrieking, “Prepare for the Skeletor Circus!” but no one cares.

The inhabitants of Eternia gather for the circus, only to find that Skeletor has cancelled the performance. If the ill-judged animation of their beaming faces is anything to go by, I’d say the inhabitants of Eternia are overjoyed at the circus’ cancellation. We then cut to the interior of the Big Top, where Skeletor is attempting to convince the circus artists to perform for him, but he is interrupted by the return of Crackers, who has been rescued by He-Man.

Greatest 4
Orko: “Er, Man-at-Arms, the townspeople seem quite pleased about the circus being cancelled.”

He-Man and Skeletor inexplicably decide to have a go on the trapezes trying to defeat each other, and when this doesn’t work out, Skeletor opts for a quick try on the tightrope. It all comes to a hugely hilarious conclusion when Skeletor accidentally sets off a load of fireworks and ends up being blasted out of the Big Top clinging desperately to a rocket. How we chortled.

 

In today’s adventure…

Adam and Orko take inspiration from Orko’s circus training to explain to us that if we want to be good at something, we have to be prepared to put in the hard work. This was demonstrated in the episode, I suppose, but Orko’s experience was little more than a subplot. The main storyline also taught us a moral lesson, which was that being selfish tends to lead to being shot into the sky on a giant firework.

Greatest 5
Skeletor: “Hmm. Fireworks, me, and upcoming obligatory end of the episode joke. Nope, definitely can’t see what’s in the pipeline here.”

 

Character checklist

This complete abomination of an episode involves Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Battle-Cat, Teela, Man-at-Arms, Orko, Skeletor, Evil-Lyn, Beast-Man, Crackers, and loads of circus folk. They should all be ashamed of themselves.

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

There are three transformations this week (though luckily they only treat us to the actual animation sequence once). On one of these occasions, Adam comments, “I’d better do something about this,” which pretty much gives the game away.

Greatest 6
Adam: “Good God, this is a waste of my time.”

 

Insults

Evil-Lyn evidently feels pretty confident in her abilities this week, since she calls Skeletor a “bonehead” at an early stage. Skeletor doesn’t even lower himself to retaliate, suggesting that perhaps he’s maturing. Although, given the aims of his grandiose plan this week, perhaps not.

 

Does it have the Power?

This episode is equal measures irritating and bizarre. Firstly, the irritating is of course Orko and everything he says or does, and this is exacerbated by Crackers and the other allegedly amusing denizens of the circus. The bizarre is the very premise of Skeletor wanting the circus to come to Snake Mountain, which seems completely at odds with everything else he’s ever wanted, and it only gets weirder when he starts putting in massively disproportionate efforts to ruin the circus.

Greatest 7
He-Man: “Listen, Crackers, I’ll tolerate you this week, but if you ever show up again I’m going to get Battle-Cat to bite your stupid head off.”

I can only assume the episode was meant to be a light-hearted romp, which might have worked if only they’d remembered to put some jokes in. In summary, this one is a complete waste of time, and I might suggest you find something else to do with your life than watch it, let alone review it.

Advertisements

10 thoughts on “Episode 100 – The Greatest Show on Eternia

  1. Iv given this a fair bit of thought as I cant stand this episode with a passion, theres just far too much so all I will say is in my opinion this is the worst he man and the masters of the universe episode ! I will say the circus teeling skeletor they turned him down (as evil lyn stated in the episode) and that being his reason to spoil the circus performance is more than ridiculous but the biggest crime for me is what happens to skeletor, im all for comedy and humour but this episode makes our legend that is skeletor out to be a complete laughing stock! Reason enough? This is where the series for me hits rock bottom, theres an episode that id say is middle of the road called double trouble which is quite funy but not great, well in it there is a mirror called the mirror of morivad and it reflects back the opposite of what it sees so lets just say if you put the problem with power through the mirror of morivad youd get the greatest show on eternia!! In reflection I was alittle harsh on the star child its still the weakest season one ep but id probably score that 2/10 and troubles middle name getting 1.5/10 but this is te only ep that id give just a 1/10 this for me is without question the worst he man episode the clown is quite disturbing too! If any fans out there like this ep id more than be happy to hear there reasons why but for me yep when an episode makes even the star child and troubles middle name look good it really is saying a lot! I don’t mind the writer roby goren to my knowledge wrote 4 episodes the shadow of skeletor being his best work and iv nothing against the other two episodes either (energy beast and monster on the mountain) but this is really really bad, the worst he man episode for me which id score just 1/10 sorry any fans out there remember its just my opinion! takecare.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Phew I’m glad someone else thinks so too! This is a terrible episode agree with Jeremy this episode is by far the worst imo and the all time low of the series, I guess there has to be one at the bottom of the 130 episodes.. funny enough roby gorens other episode monster on the mountain which is more than often deemed as one of the worst I find gets a harsh press but this episode deserves the tag of being the absolute worst episode and your right not just he man but in the entire he man and she ra series.

    Like

  3. I have a slightly different opinion, because I’m contrary like that…

    I agree with John that this episode is worse than Monster on the Mountain – though only just – but I don’t regard this as the absolute worst that He-Man has to offer, or even the worst in Series 2.

    You’ll find my picks for worst of Series 2 in my end of season summary, which will show up in about 6 months time, I expect. Got to keep you in suspense till then! But I think The Starchild is worse than this, as is The Remedy, The Return of Orko’s Uncle, and A Friend in Need…

    My view of Series 2 in general is that it’s mostly very average, with very few highlights or lowlights. Though there are obvious exceptions!

    Like

  4. We will be waiting with baited breath im sure owen very intrigued to hear your pick of the worst second season eps when the time comes around! Fair enough in regards to the greatsest show its ironic its episode 100 youd wish the 100th episode of he man would be a great but ironically the 100th he man episode is the worst ans as Jeremy said by far the worst too! The episodes you mention in season one tho apart from the remedy are very weak particularly the return of orkos uncle and the star child owen I 100 percent agree with you these two episodes are terrible! Your right about a lot of season two eps as well being more middle of the road I see it as the bottom season two eps are worse than the bottom season one and the best season two eps are slightly highter than the best season one eps interesting..

    Like

    1. I agree with you on the irony of the 100th episode being so bad! There’s plenty of other picks from this era that would have made a far more fitting celebratory episode…

      Like

  5. I’m no fan of any of the episodes you mentioned, but this has just a lot worse of a plot (Skeletor is completely bizarre in this episode, if still occasionally funny) and Crackers takes the cake for awful characters.

    I’m more tolerant of Orko than Owen, but this episode even showcases Orko at one of his lower points.

    Just total drivel. I think this is the only episode that Filmation should actually be ashamed of. There are other bad ones, but this one just wasn’t even trying.

    Like

    1. I’ll agree that this really is a low point for characters: Crackers and Orko are dreadful, and it’s a major character assassination of Skeletor.

      I think that perhaps the reason this episode doesn’t earn the top spot on my vitriol list is that it’s not boring (most of the time), nor is it banging on about the power of love for the vast majority of its runtime. In my book, those are the two cardinal sins in He-Man.

      But I think we’re all essentially arguing the same point here: this episode is absolutely appalling!

      Like

  6. It’s nice to see a very unpopular episode get plenty of feed back, it’s often that way the top top episodes I think the majority consensus will all agree are great but the poor episodes often get a lot of comments simply cos it’s handy to give reasons for it being so bad rather than just say it’s bad it gives plenty to comment on even if all negative and rightly do!! I can’t really think of anything genuinely positive but if there is a “best part of this episode” for me it has to be the scene in echo valley this was the only reason it gets a mark 1/10! As Jeremy said tho it isn’t just bad it’s embarrassingly bad and far worse than the rest, yes I wonder if even filmation cringed looking back on this one! When you think of episodes like teelas quest, the problem with power, rainbow warrior, at one end of the scale and thus one the star child and troubles middle name the gap is huge, may be it would be fun if they released a DVD of fans bottom ten he man eps after a vote (5 from each season) tho I’m not sure how many would wanna buy it even die hard he man fan collectors haha! Finally in regards to orko, I would have to say I think they made him a little more annoying in season two than the fun loving orko from Season one in general. I’m probably the same my feelings towards orko I’m probably not as big a fan as eatock but yes alittle more than you Owen! Enjoying the reviews..

    Like

  7. IMHO, they ciould save this episode just by showing that Skeletor did not want to take over the circus SERIOUSLY, and basically just having fun (in his own style) by messing up the long-awaited visit for other Eternians.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.