Episode 116 – Here, There, Skeletors Everywhere

In which Skeletor goes above and beyond in his efforts to cause mental havoc.

Well now, this is a promisingly mental title. I have a good feeling about this episode. We begin with Man-at-Arms demonstrating his new Duplication Machine, which makes a half-size duplicate of anything. Initially, this is put to use making lots of rangleberries for Cringer to gorge himself on, but Skeletor and Whiplash are in the vicinity and decide they want the machine for themselves.

Despite Skeletor’s singularly incompetent attempt to force them to crash land in the Tar Swamp, our heroes return to the Palace without too much trouble. Once there, they find that King Randor and Queen Marlena are talking to three teddy bears called Jerba, Jeeba and Jay. Jerba, Jeeba and Jay apparently live in a forest where they avoid being eaten by other animals by using a mineral called vambite to become invisible. At this point, I was beginning to wonder if I’d watched too much He-Man and was experiencing a completely insane delusion.

Skeletors 1
Jeeba: “Don’t mind us, we’re just passing through on our way back to the Land of Sylvanian Families.”

Jerba, Jeeba and Jay are visiting the Palace to ask for help, because their supply of vambite is mysteriously disappearing. Rather than voicing the saner opinion that he doesn’t want a crowd of invisible teddy bears cluttering up Eternia, Prince Adam suggests using Man-at-Arms’ Duplication Machine to make some more vambite.

Unfortunately, before they can do so, Skeletor and Whiplash cut a hole in the Palace floor and nick the Duplication Machine. He-Man obligingly gives chase in the Attack Trak, and despite no one inviting him, Mechaneck tags along too. Mechaneck has a noticeably different voice from his last appearance, but in fairness, there’s only five or six voice actors to do the entire cast of He-Man, so it’s no surprise that they’d forget how to do one of the voices every now and again.

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Prince Adam: “A large hole has appeared in the Palace floor. The royal family are looking into it. Oh, fine, you make a better joke then.”

And now, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. In an act of complete lunacy, Skeletor gets into the Duplication Machine and creates a vast quantity of half-sized duplicates of himself, which he then instructs to follow him to the Palace. This is behaviour so ridiculous and so utterly pointless that it doesn’t even qualify as a plan: it’s just a random act of mayhem.

After messing about in the Attack Trak for a while, He-Man receives a call from Moss-Man, who is one of He-Man’s more useless allies. Moss-Man is hanging out at the Palace pretending to be a bush, and has observed Skeletor and his miniatures arriving. He-Man and Mechaneck turn the Attack Trak back round, and return to the Palace to find that about fifty miniature Skeletors are standing around, waving their staffs and muttering.

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Skeletor: “There is no way I’ll ever be able to top this.”

For some reason, He-Man says he doesn’t fancy his chances against all the little Skeletors, but frankly I don’t see why not. Nonetheless, he and Mechaneck opt to enter the Palace by a secret tunnel, and join the King and Queen in the throne room. Man-at-Arms is also lurking about there, and lest you had forgotten about them, Jerba, Jeeba and Jay are there too.

Man-at-Arms advises He-Man that if he destroys the Duplication Machine, all the mini-Skeletors will disappear. He-Man claims he can’t get past all the Skeletor Juniors who are guarding the throne room, but he definitely could if he tried; I reckon he secretly finds the whole thing pretty amusing and can’t be bothered to sort it out. Anyway, Jerba, Jeeba and Jay give He-Man their last piece of vambite, and he becomes invisible long enough to sneak out of the Palace.

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Mechaneck: “He-Man, I’ve had enough of this. I’m leaving. Want to come too?”

Finally, He-Man, Battle-Cat and Jerba (or Jeeba or Jay) go to Snake Mountain, where Skeletor is happily occupied in creating even more tiny versions of himself. He-Man manages to get all the mini-Skeletors arguing amongst themselves, after which he is free to destroy the Duplication Machine. If you care – which I most decidedly did not – it also transpires that Skeletor has been nicking vambite, so the Jerba, Jeeba and Jay plotline gets a happy end too.

 

In today’s adventure…

Man-at-Arms hangs out in the Palace courtyard to inform us that no matter how much we want it, having too much of something will usually lead to it disagreeing with us. He’s talking about sweets, but it’s nicely illustrated by a shot from the episode of all the mini-Skeletors disagreeing with each other. I like this very much.

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Skeletor: “This is simply glorious.”

 

Character checklist

This outstandingly crazy episode features a bumper cast list, including Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Battle-Cat, Man-at-Arms, Orko, King Randor, Queen Marlena, Mechaneck, Moss-Man, Sy-Klone, Whiplash, Two Bad, Modulok, Jerba, Jeeba, Jay, and more Skeletors than you can shake a Havoc Staff at.

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

On the first occasion, Adam is accompanied only by Man-at-Arms, Orko and Cringer, none of whom need to hear an excuse. The second time, as soon as he sees Skeletor, Adam doesn’t bother to give an excuse but simply legs it. No wonder King Randor thinks he’s a coward.

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Prince Adam: “Got to dash, there’s a special offer on Honey Nut Loops at Sainsbury’s.”

 

Insults

Skeletor addresses his miniatures as “wonderfully horrible creatures”, which is probably meant as a compliment, but if you try using it in the office as a compliment I don’t think it’ll have the desired effect. We’re on more familiar territory when Skeletor calls He-Man, Battle-Cat and Jerba “fools”, and Whiplash refers to the latter two as “mangy”. There’s also a disappointing moment, when Skeletor addresses Jerba and gears up for a sensational burn with a dramatic “SILENCE, YOU …” and then seems to lose all his momentum, finishing with the rather lame “soon-to-be-prisoner.”

 

Egg on your face?

A triumphant return for this category sees Orko accidentally create a vast quantity of rangleberries, which fall and explode on Man-at-Arms’ head. In case you were wondering, this is not at all funny. The same thing happens later, with rangleberries raining down on the miniature Skeletors, and it isn’t any funnier on its second showcasing. It is still less amusing when it happens for a third time at the very end of the episode.

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Skeletor: “I don’t know how to react to this.”

 

Does it have the Power?

Well, I was hoping for a mental episode, and by golly, it delivered. This episode is probably what madness looks like. I don’t think this cartoon has been this deranged since that one with the giant camp pink rabbit. Skeletor’s decision to create hundreds of miniatures of himself is completely unhinged and without seeming motive. It’s extremely funny just because it’s so ridiculous – but it’s also oddly menacing. The voice acting has very little humour to it, and it’s a strangely perfect decision to play this one straight, since although it’s completely crazy, it somehow comes across as a viable threat.

The episode is guilty of the semi-regular crime of extremely obvious product placement. Evil Warriors now available at Toys R Us are Two Bad and Modulok, neither of whom speak but are just casually standing around to demonstrate their existence. Heroic Warriors include He-Man’s new friend Sy-Klone, who can wave his arms around and produce a whirlwind, as well as the afore-mentioned Moss-Man, who gets a very odd introduction. He’s hanging out at the Duplication Machine test site, doing no harm, but Man-at-Arms tells him in no uncertain terms to piss off, which he does.

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Moss-Man: “Admittedly, I have no real reason to be here.”

Other than action figure adverts, this episode is brilliant, especially coming after the recent lacklustre efforts. Very highly recommended indeed.

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5 thoughts on “Episode 116 – Here, There, Skeletors Everywhere

  1. All these pointless few second appearances from these characters are for the action figure toy, still i have to agree it took me a few goes but i really enjoyed this one an contrary some I thought the skeletoids were an excellent idea but unlike the episode double trouble which was a great idea wasted, i thought they used this idea of the skeleoids rather well, as you fairly pointed out this was definetly one of the most insane episodes but i personally loved it!! I just have one comment to make on the characters pointless appearances, altho id say skylone and toobads appearances serve very little purpose (if any) modulok was for a genuine reason, in mistaken identity he was trying to join “skeletors gang” so i believe this one shot of him in this episode is simply to show the audience modulok was finally excepted by skeletor. The bear family look like they’ve come from another cartoon but this just made it even funnier a crazy episode! Overall altho it’s short of being one of the very best it was very entertaining and a lot if fun so for craziness out of 10 I’d probably rate this a 7..

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  2. //For some reason, He-Man says he doesn’t fancy his chances against all the little Skeletors, but frankly I don’t see why not. //

    Er, well, the Skeletor is a (relatively) powerfull wizard. And if each of his clones retained even a half of their’s original powers, the situation is clearly Not Good for He-Man. After all, ten half-Skeletors have the power of five full-Skeletors, and He-Man have enough problems with just one…

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  3. It appears that way doesn’t it that he man doesn’t seem to be too up for it, with his quote “well one things for sure with those kind of odds we won’t be getting to the palace through the front door” ofcourse if it wasn’t just a cartoon they could of made a lot more of this but it would probably of been considered alittle to much violence! It’s a good point as you cos it proved at the end when all the mini skeletors combined there powers with there staffs they drained he mans power, I was gonna say this was another thing that I liked about this episode it tested the strength of he mans sword (holding up skeletors impenetrable metal wall) and despite all the mini skeletors draining he mans energy he still managed to destroy it to get to the duplicating machine. This was definetly a very unique he man episode..

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  4. I see your point, guys, and perhaps I’d have agreed earlier in the series, way back at the start of Series 1 when Skeletor was actually dangerous – but he’s felt like such a buffoon for rather a long time now, I find it hard to credit that He-Man would have any problems with 10 mini-Skeletors. Perhaps this is all part of the plan, though: Skeletor’s been being an idiot for ages just to lull He-Man into a false sense of security….

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  5. Owen, that’s spot on in regards to skeletor, i think everyone accepts skeletor was much more evil (and capable) in the first season but as you say there’s no question skeletor is a lot funnier in season two and has some fantastic lines as you say you just accept skeletor in season two that he’s a very different skeletor than season one, I definetly prefer the diologue the second season skeletor has tho I must say some of his best lines are in season two, the rainbow warrior and the great books mystery and things that go bump in the night are three episodes that come to mind any fan that wants to hear skeletor cracking jokes and putting beastman down I should watch these three episodes! There’s no doubt tho skeletor was much more of a bad ass in season one..

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