Episode 105 – No Job too Small

In which Panthor learns that Prince Adam and He-Man are one and the same.

In Snake Mountain, Evil-Lyn, Beast-Man and Whiplash are gathered miserably round the spyglobe. Skeletor has gone away for a weekend break in Skegness, but before going, he has instructed his employees not to do anything to aggravate He-Man. However, on learning from the spyglobe that King Randor is sending Prince Adam to Phantos (last seen in the early disappointing effort She-Demon of Phantos), Evil-Lyn decides to disregard Skeletor’s orders, and forms an ill-advised plan to kidnap Adam.

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Prince Adam: “My gearstick is absolutely enormous, Teela.”

Arriving on Phantos, Adam, Man-at-Arms, Teela and Orko indulge in a spot of sightseeing in the Phantosian desert. After talking in a ridiculously high-pitched voice for no apparent reason, Adam decides to make things easier for his kidnappers by wandering out of sight of his friends. Evil-Lyn doesn’t capitalise on this opportunity though, instead choosing to wake some dinosaurs up, who chase our heroes around for a while, until He-Man shows up to deal with them.

With He-Man occupied with the dinosaurs, Evil-Lyn, Beast-Man and Whiplash successfully kidnap Man-at-Arms, Teela and Orko and take them back to Snake Mountain. Once there, Evil-Lyn makes the unexpected decision to use her new invention – the Reducto Ray – to shrink our heroes so they’re only about a foot high. She offers absolutely no explanation for this behaviour, though in fairness He-Man breaks into Snake Mountain and interrupts before she can finish gloating.

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Teela: “There’s got to be some pun here about being too big for your boots.”

Evil-Lyn somehow has time to set up an elaborate trap, involving boulders, the Reducto Ray and a cage containing the miniature heroes. She and Beast-Man then proudly explain how the trap works, in the belief that it leaves He-Man completely unable to save his friends. Evil-Lyn offers to release her prisoners in exchange for the surrender of Eternia, so He-Man is sent off to check whether this would be acceptable to King Randor. Knowing King Randor’s usual idiocy, he’ll probably agree.

Once He-Man has gone, Evil-Lyn, Beast-Man and Whiplash stand around laughing evilly for ages, then go off to have a party to celebrate the imminent surrender of Eternia. They’ll be waiting a while though: instead of going to Randor, He-Man has nipped behind a rock, turned back into Adam, and re-entered Snake Mountain. His reasoning is that for this conundrum, he needs brains rather than muscles. I have to say that He-Man – despite looking like a complete moron – has in the past demonstrated some reasonable degree of brainpower. Moreover, Adam’s allegedly “brainy” solution to the problem is to use the Reducto Ray on himself so that he is also tiny.

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Prince Adam: “This escapade will guarantee me a guest spot in Honey I Shrunk the Kids.”

Once he has conferred this dubious benefit on himself, Adam manages to release his friends from the cage. He then successfully restores them all to their original size, and quickly ushers his friends out of the room, with the vague promise that he’ll catch up later. He then transforms back into He-Man, with no evident purpose other than to use the Reducto Ray on Panthor, Beast-Man and Whiplash and to taunt Evil-Lyn.

 

In today’s adventure…

Man-at-Arms explains that muscle power is all very well, but imagination and inventiveness are much better. He advises us to exercise our bodies to become strong, but also to exercise our minds by reading books and doing our homework. And, presumably, by not watching cartoons like this one.

 

Character checklist

On Team Goody, we’ve got Prince Adam, He-Man, Man-at-Arms, Teela, Orko, King Randor, and a big guy called Mishy or something similar. On Team Baddy, there’s Evil-Lyn, Beast-Man, Whiplash and Panthor.

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Prince Adam: “No, Mishy, you may not have any lines.”

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

He-Man can’t be bothered to offer an excuse this week, and leaves it to Man-at-Arms, who manages the pathetic, “Don’t worry, Teela, I’m sure he’s okay.”

 

Insults

Evil-Lyn gets the obligatory “fool” out of the way early on, addressing Beast-Man. Beast-Man retaliates with “foolish witch”, and then refers to He-Man as “that cursed He-Man”, and I must say it was quite a surprise to discover that his vocabulary stretches that far. Evil-Lyn mockingly calls Orko “little one” twice, and He-Man refers to Skeletor as Evil-Lyn’s “misguided master”, which was a quite pleasing use of alliteration. A less pleasing alliterative insult from He-Man to Beast-Man was “beast-brain”, which is not particularly original by this stage of the series. Finally, Teela calls Orko a “silly little thing”, which was plainly meant to be affectionate, but I prefer to interpret it as vicious.

 

Does it have the Power?

I really enjoyed this episode. Evil-Lyn has rarely been better: she’s intelligent and very unpleasant, and her voice work and animation combined to portray her as a purring, seductive villainess. Her one error was her odd decision to leave her prisoners unguarded while she went off to have a party; overconfidence is always the downfall of Eternian baddies.

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Evil-Lyn: “I’m going to have a party. And no, He-Man, you’re not invited.”

The notion of a perfectly balanced trap that could not be solved with muscle power was a good idea; lately, there have been quite a few episodes that have tried to mess with the formula by making He-Man helpless one way or another (in Hunt for He-Man, he was poisoned and in need of medicine, and in Not So Blind, he was struck blind), which suggests the writers were getting bored of a hero who can defeat everything easily. This week’s move in that direction was particularly inventive. My quibble is – as mentioned above – He-Man has just as many brains as Adam, so it wasn’t really necessary for him to turn back, and it actually led to some clunky dialogue later as Adam tried to explain the constant interchange between himself and He-Man.

One final point – Adam transforms into He-Man right in front of Panthor this week. Since Panthor can’t speak, it must be hugely frustrating for him to know this secret and not be able to tell Skeletor! So that’s something on which to ponder as you enjoy this instalment.

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9 thoughts on “Episode 105 – No Job too Small

  1. One of the best episodes and nice to see adam saving the day as well! Regarding the transformation sequence Owen your right especially in season two episodes funny as you say he changed into he man infront of panther an true luckily he can’t speak frustrating for him! The point I make I’ve noticed in season one episodes at least adam would get out of sight before transforming but I’ve noticed in many season two eps he just transforms into he man infront of everyone – seemed adam just couldn’t care less!! This was a great episode tho for evil Lyn particularly as you say – I agree this one is probably her strongest episode in season two.

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    1. Spot on, John – Adam seems to have largely forgotten about the “secret” part of the secret identity business. Though in fairness, he’s not as bad as Adora – she turns into She-Ra in front of the Horde all the time! And yet they still somehow never work it out…

      But yep, this is a great outing for Evil-Lyn. Think it’s probably my personal favourite of her appearances. This episode only just misses my Top 5 of the season, but it would be comfortably in the Top 10.

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  2. You forgot to mention how Evil-Lyn makes a backhanded pass at He-Man by telling him those “great gorgeous muscles of his” wouldn’t help him in this situation. I figure that would’ve been one of the first things you would’ve commented on…

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  3. Revenge is never sweet and also the littlest giant (if you can put up with the widgets) are also two strong episodes for evil Lyn but I think this one no job too small she particularly shines! Evil Lyn plot and the witch and the warrior episodes both from season one imo with this one are probably her best episodes in the whole series.

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  4. I personnaly think that it was an above average He-man episode.

    This episode was really entairtaining. Evelyn’s plan was better than Skelettor’s usual plans. The notion of a perfectly balanced trap that could not be solved with muscle power indeed was a good and a new idea.

    Also, for once, Beast-man had some wits, which I liked. Also, I think now that Evelyn is indeed a clever and irritating person, but I didn’t like that she asked for mercy to He-man in the end.

    I specifically did like the training scene between Adam, Teela and the big fat guy in the beginning. I indeed did like that Teela encouraged him which gave him more confidence in himself. Also, I personnaly think that Teela loves more Adam than He-man (Partly because of her very huge insistence to train Adam better).

    Also, I liked that Adam took confidence in himself and that he did most of the job to free his friends while He-man almost did nothing to do it.

    Also, Evelyn had the same quote “great gorgeous muscles of yours”, in the episode “Shaping staff” and it seems to me that He-man’s animation was partly the same as in the “Shaping staff.”

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    1. I agree, Jean-Paul. This episode is excellent, and Evil-Lyn’s characterisation is just perfect. I like your thoughts on Teela preferring Adam. It would be interesting to know if the Filmation writers had an opinion on that!

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  5. I persaonally think teela prefers he man romantically but prefers Adams sense of humour and personality, as she said in the episode pawns of the game master her perfect man would be someone with Adams wit and he mans courage hope this helps!! I’ve always said this but I personally have always felt teela looks to adam as more of a brother and he man as boy friend material (contrary to some fans opinions I know) but this is just my feelings the episodes into the abyss and the problem with power would support this theory in a bid way! Anyway I agree with you both no job too small is an excellent episode season two episodes and one of the best in the series and again yes I’d agree this is debatably evil lyns strongest episode too a definite classic that just narrowly missed my personal top 10!

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  6. I honnestly don’t know what Teela thinks of He-man, because she almost always agrees with him. Thus, to me, it is hard to say if she really loves He-man or not.
    Also, yes, in “the problem with power”, Teela seemed to be romantically attracted by He-man in the end but she also was a little reserved.
    Also, in ” Into the abyss”, she seemed happy to see He-man just after saved her life. But context is important too. I mean: If I was Teela, I would be nice with the person who has just saved my life, wouldn’t you? It indeed seemed to me that she was really afraid to die in this episode.
    Also, in the “Wizard Of Stone Mountain”,
    Teela seemed to be upset in the end, when He-man tried to pick her up arrogantly.
    Also, in ” the pawns of the gamemaster”, she said that she liked He-man’s courage, but I personally don’t think that it proves that she really loves He-man. To conclude about He-man, I think that she sees him as a good friend and as an ally I’m not sure that she really loves him.

    Concerning Adam, one last thing: In ” pawns of the gamemaster” she said ” I wish you’d realize that you don’t have to show off to impress people. There’s a real charmer inside you Adam.” Thus, it seems to me that Teela might have been a bit charmed by Adam, but maybe I’m wrong.

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