Episode 112 – The Eternia Flower

In which we return to the rich and exciting storyline potential offered by the need to stop 5-year-olds taking cocaine.

Teela, Orko and Prince Adam are eagerly awaiting the arrival of some children named Jonno and Chad. Cringer is quite sensibly not looking forward to the appearance of these no-doubt dreadful individuals, but Teela tells him that he’s got to at least try to be nice. I hope this is the episode where Cringer reverts to his animal instincts and tears the children limb from limb.

Flower 1
Cringer: “I may look benign, but I’m well savage.”

It transpires that Jonno is at the Palace to receive the disturbingly titled Boy of the Year Award, but after dropping Chad off, he mysteriously flies off again. Knowing that the audience would be unable to contain their excitement as to Jonno’s destination, the writers wisely reveal that he has gone off to meet Count Marzo, last seen in The Once and Future Duke.

Marzo has evidently remembered how to be evil again, after forgetting at the end of his previous appearance. He offers Jonno the opportunity to sniff a black flower, so long as Jonno promises to arrange for Marzo to meet all the other children at the awards ceremony. Jonno strikes the bargain, and wanders off, happily inhaling the flower. Marzo helpfully explains to the camera that his plan is to make the children of Eternia so dependent on his flowers that they will do anything he tells them. This will somehow lead to Marzo ruling Eternia. Great plan. I bet He-Man won’t see through it.

Flower 2
Count Marzo: “This plan is so dull, even my sidekick looks bored out of his mind.”

Jonno shows up at the awards ceremony, stoned off his tits. He stands on top of a high wall and nearly falls off. He-Man arrives just in time, but instead of saving Jonno himself, he opts to pick Teela up and throw her onto the wall as well. Then it’s down to Teela to save Jonno, while He-Man stands at the bottom of the wall with a really odd smirk on his face.

Back at the Palace, Prince Adam finds the black flower in Jonno’s shuttle. Orko is able to identify it as a Black Nightmare, a plant from Trolla that can affect one’s mind. In some ways, it’s a bit like a drug, guys, and DRUGS ARE BAD. Orko reveals, however, that all the Black Nightmares were eradicated from Trolla years ago, and goes off to call his Uncle Montork about it. It had me worried for a moment there, but luckily, Montork doesn’t actually appear. Offscreen he informs Orko that Count Marzo must be responsible.

Flower 3
Orko: “Yeah, yeah, it’s a Black Nightmare. This one time, me and Dree Elle did a fuckload of these in Amsterdam, and, well, anyway, let’s just say Interpol have advised me never to return to the Netherlands.”

Count Marzo next decides to kidnap Jonno and Chad, and takes them to a spot out in the desert to which he claims every child on Eternia will be coming that night. He wants Jonno to introduce all the children to the flower, and recruit them into Marzo’s army. Jonno has no problem with this, until Marzo gives Chad a flower. Chad promptly goes into the worst display of acting stoned I’ve ever heard, though I admit voice-acting a stoned child is a fairly challenging brief. Anyway, on seeing this, Jonno utters the phrase uttered by every child that guest-stars on He-Man: “Oh no! And it’s all my fault!”

I’ll admit, he reacts pretty well. He seizes a radio transmitter from Marzo, and broadcasts to all the children, telling them to turn back. Marzo isn’t pleased about this, so summons a pair of wolfbats and then does a runner when he sees Adam, Teela, Orko and Cringer arriving. Naturally, he escapes, but at least Jonno and Chad are saved.

I thought this episode would be over at this stage, but for some reason Adam is absolutely determined to pursue Count Marzo to the ends of the universe. Normally, he’s happy to let the baddies get away, but not this time. So we are treated to a brief but insane diversion to the planet Erronia, where Marzo is hiding. Marzo ends up being taken to a prison planet. Naturally, I was overjoyed at this outcome.

Flower 4
Count Marzo: “It’s so humiliating to have been arrested by Teela, of all people.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Teela wants to know if we know anyone who uses drugs. She wants to know their name, their address, their national insurance number, and whether they’ve got previous. She wants to know if we think this hypothetical drug user should be locked up for ever, and if we don’t think that, Teela wants to know why not. Teela wants to know if we use drugs, and wants to let us know that if we do, the firing squad is too good for us. Teela has our best interests at heart.

 

Character checklist

This sorry excuse for a Public Information Film features Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Battle-Cat, Teela, Orko, the Sorceress, King Randor, Queen Marlena, Chad, Jonno, Count Marzo, Count Marzo’s sidekick, and all the loopy attendees of the Boy of the Year Award ceremony.

Flower 5
Chad: “Don’t look so upset, Teela, you might win Boy of the Year next year.”

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

We are treated to three transformations this week – just like we were the last time He-Man decided to Say No To Drugs. On both occasions, this is plainly because there’s not enough story to fill the time otherwise.

The first time, seeing Jonno is standing on a high wall and out of his mind, Prince Adam gives the best excuse he’s ever managed: “I’ll fetch something to reach him.” He gets out of sight and transforms, returning as He-Man. Brilliant excuse, with the minor drawback that when Adam doesn’t come back with a ladder or whatever, everyone will think he’s completely useless.

The second time, Adam tells Teela and Orko to chase Count Marzo, and once they’re out of sight, he transforms into He-Man. He’s overlooking the fact that Jonno and Chad are less than five metres away from him, so they are guaranteed to see this transformation. Admittedly, Chad is still stoned out of his skull, and Jonno is very concerned about him, so perhaps they didn’t notice?

Flower 6
Jonno: “I’m really sorry, He-Man. Look how repentant I am.”

The third time, there’s no attempt at an excuse offered, and on top of this, it’s completely inconceivable that Teela wouldn’t work out the dual identity situation. It’s so bloody stupid that I’m not even going to discuss it.

 

Insults

I think this episode must hold the record for the number of uses of the word “fool”, which really is saying something in a series this obsessed with fools. Marzo calls Jonno a “young airhead” early on, but thereafter it’s all about the fools. Marzo addresses his giant pink sidekick as a “fool”, then calls Jonno a “young fool” and a “fool boy”. Then Jonno calls himself a “fool” an astonishing four times, three of which are in the course of the same sentence.

 

Does it have the Power?

Well, in its favour, this episode is big on continuity with previous episodes. Chad is the same character as the one from Double Edged Sword, Marzo has previously appeared in The Once and Future Duke, and we get a reference to Uncle Montork from various tripefests such as Orko’s Favourite Uncle. So if continuity is your thing, you’re in for a treat.

Flower 7
Teela: “Look, Jonno, if you keep on taking drugs you’ll soon enough have to deal with Gustavo Fring. And believe you me, you don’t want that.”

Equally, if ridiculously unsubtle drugs stories are your thing, then this is the episode for you. It’s not quite as bad as A Friend in Need, though it does come dangerously close, and it’s still fair to describe this episode as an utterly appalling waste of time. I remain convinced that the target audience for this programme (4 or 5 year olds in 1980s America) were not threatened by the use of illegal drugs, and even if they were, they wouldn’t refuse to take them simply because a cartoon muscle-bound oaf told them not to. The episode is boring and irritating in equal measure, and its message is unnecessary. So don’t bother.

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9 thoughts on “Episode 112 – The Eternia Flower

  1. Its only my opinion, or Trollans on Trolla generally seems to be much more rational & pragmatic than Trollans outside their homeworld? Maybe something in Eternia environment affect them?

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    1. It’s a good thought, Dilandu, and there’s plenty of evidence for it – Trouble in Trolla and Dawn of Dragoon spring to mind. On the flipside, there’s She-Ra’s The Greatest Magic, which as I recall was set on Trolla and featured Uncle Montork being a complete idiot – though I may be misremembering; I’ve only seen it once and I’m not keen to see it again….

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  2. Your both absolutely right and The episode dawn of dragoon is a perfect example for this, orko was much more capable in this episode on trolla using his magic as it’s his homeland where as we all know away from his home on eternia his magic most of the time is absolutely useless!! Anyway I agree this episode was a pretty weak affair to say the least pretty close to my personal bottom ten. Another good point you mention Owen as a thought to Adams transformations as you say three of them in this episode an your right this episode was a great example of careless writing with adam basically transforming into he man right infront of johnno and Chad this I’ve noticed happens a lot more in season two it’s like adam just doesn’t care who knows that he’s he man!!

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    1. To be honest, John, I suspect he’s just finally figured out that everyone else on Eternia is too dim to work out the secret identity business, so he’s decided he can’t be bothered even trying to hide it!

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      1. Or, he finally concluded that everyone already know that (except naive Skeletor…) but because everyone assumed that there are some hidden reason in it, they pretended to be ignorant.

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  3. A bit of he man trivia here, the funniest thing about the whole prince adam/ he man disguise in the season one episode quest for the sword I think it was of all the characters in this series the one character who almost (officially) worked it out was… ram man!! That is just hilarious in itself! As dilandu said maybe everyone secretly just knows and they just think yeah it’s a children’s tv cartoon so wel just all go along with it just to humour adam makes me laugh tho another season two ep coming up think it’s monster on the mountain there’s a crowd of people stuck on a ledge an I’m sure he just transforms right in front of all of them! Officially as they announce in the introduction it’s 3 people who know orko, man at arms and the sorceress, but we later learn the rider of the cosmos in space zodac also knows.

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    1. And yet Ram-Man doesn’t even notice when Cringer becomes Battle-Cat on another planet in Quest for He-Man….

      Yes, you’re right, it’s Monster on the Mountain when Adam puts on a He-Man show for a crowd of villagers. And the stupidest thing about that is that he doesn’t even do anything once he’s become He-Man. He just stands there claiming there’s nothing he can do. But we’ll get to that in a few weeks….

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  4. That transformation the one your talking about in quest for he man is the most hilarious agreed owen it tops the lot lol.. there actually on another planet yet ram man doesn’t suspect a god dam thing too funny!! the monster on the mountain ep regards to that yep the villages of ruxtown are so backward in there thinking they probably watched the transformation and said “well at least we know he isn’t the tingler” !! (my lame attempt at humour) but as you say that ep is coming up later on..

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