Episode 121 – The Magic Falls

In which Orko loses his magic, and we’re all expected to give a toss.

Today’s episode opens on Eternia Day, a day of special celebration on which King Randor invites the needy amongst his people into the Palace and does whatever he can do to help them. At Snake Mountain, Skeletor and Evil-Lyn hatch a diabolical plot to steal the Sceptre of Power, an artefact of immense power which is wielded by Randor only on Eternia Day. Evil-Lyn uses her magic to disguise Kobra Khan as a needy citizen of Eternia, and off he pops to the Palace.

Magic Falls 1
King Randor: “Tell me honestly, Adam, is this sceptre a bit tacky?”

This is all well and good and pretty much in line with every other plan Skeletor and Evil-Lyn have ever come up with, but it suddenly varies from the norm when Evil-Lyn claims that Orko will probably be able to see through the disguise. This is despite the fact that Orko has been completely oblivious every single other time one of Skeletor’s cronies has disguised themselves to come into the Palace. This lapse in logic notwithstanding, Skeletor and Evil-Lyn ambush Orko out in the forest, and remove his magic powers.

Magic Falls 2
Skeletor: “We’ve been waiting here hours, Evil-Lyn. Are you sure this is a bus stop?”

Man-at-Arms gleefully claims that he can’t do anything to restore Orko’s powers, but Orko himself suggests that they visit a legendary magic waterfall, the gateway to which is somewhere beneath the surface of Eternia. That’s pretty vague, though Adam optimistically claims it’ll only take a few hours to find. He turns into He-Man, and takes Orko on an expedition to find the falls.

They very quickly find a magic door, which refuses to let them in until they say “please”. Orko manages this simple feat, but He-Man instead succumbs to a fit of temper and tries to wrest the door off its hinges. He is consequently denied entry, and so turns back into Adam to get round the “no He-Man” rule. Once inside, he smugly transforms into He-Man again, flicking Vs at the door as he does so.

Magic Falls 3
He-Man: “Whoa, that was some party last night. Now, where am I?”

The two of them navigate a number of stupid hazards in the caves, eventually meeting a loopy old man who identifies himself as the Gatekeeper. He’s really annoying, so we won’t dwell on him too much, but suffice it to say that he transports He-Man and Orko (after a great deal of time wasting) into another dimension, where they find the magic waterfall. Orko submerges himself in its waters, sadly doesn’t drown in the process, and gets his magic back.

In the meantime, Kobra Khan has assumed his disguise, and barged his way to the front of the queue of the needy people of Eternia. The Eternia Day ceremony begins, and Kobra Khan is just about to do something nefarious, when Orko arrives and immediately unmasks the villain. The episode ends with Kobra Khan being sent off to the tender mercies of the Gatekeeper, which I think is a far worse fate than he deserves.

Magic Falls 4
Kobra Khan: “Let’s not overreact, Orko.”


In today’s adventure…

Man-at-Arms and Orko conclude that they learned all about cooperation today. This is largely due to a very short scene in which Adam and Orko had to work together to defeat some tentacles. We’ve had this lesson eight billion times before, so it doesn’t really seem necessary. My pick for moral would have been the importance of persistence: there was a point in the episode when Orko despaired of ever getting his magic back, and had to be persuaded not to give up. I don’t recall that theme ever being discussed in the morals before.


Character checklist

A nice wide-ranging cast today brings us Prince Adam, He-Man, Orko, Man-at-Arms, King Randor, Queen Marlena, Skeletor, Evil-Lyn, Kobra Khan, Beast-Man, Trapjaw, the Gatekeeper, and some random unnamed Eternian citizens.

Magic Falls 5
He-Man: “Gotta say, I’m not a massive fan of this latest addition to the National Portrait Gallery.”


Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

Despite two transformations, we aren’t lucky enough to get an excuse for either.



It’s fairly thin on the ground today, the only offerings being “cowards” from Kobra Khan to Beast-Man and Trapjaw, and a gratuitous “meddling fool” from Skeletor in reference to Orko.


Egg on your face?

I didn’t think we’d get anything in this category, but suddenly – in the moral segment, no less – we were treated to the familiar and hilarious sight of Orko accidentally throwing an egg into Man-at-Arms’ face. It was no more and no less amusing than usual.

Magic Falls 6
Orko: “Laugh, go on. You know it’s funny.”


Does it have the Power?

It must have been getting very difficult for the writers at this stage in the series. After 120 episodes of He-Man, they were clearly running out of possible storylines, and were forced to borrow from everything that had gone before. This one helps itself liberally to Orko’s Missing Magic and The Shaping Staff, and I’m pretty confident we’ve had one previously that contained a concept similar to the Gatekeeper as well. This repetition is understandable, but it does give episodes such as The Magic Falls an air of tiredness. It’s perhaps unfair, but if this episode had come a lot earlier in the show’s run, it would have been much more enjoyable. As it is, it’s fine, but not a must-see.

6 thoughts on “Episode 121 – The Magic Falls

  1. owen you are absolutely right ! an iv got to bring some normality back to he man if that’s possible, this as you rightl say seemed like a kind of rip off from one or two other episodes im with you on the two you mention orkos missing magic (for obvious reasons both episodes he loses his magic and its getting it back) and again yes the shaping staff/ the septer of power, which I must add seemed utterly pointless! it sounds like I absolutely hate this episode , well I wouldn’t go that far there are a few nice scenes with orko and he man along the way and I like kobra khan as a character as well but this isn’t one of my favs one of the weaker he man episodes for me the game keeper is basically zargrass from the cosmic comet episode, anyway overall I agree owen it seemed like they were short of ideas and this was kind of put together in a very rushed way, Its not quite so bad that its a bottom ten episode but its pretty close! definetly doesn’t have the power lol a yawn fest this one for me!.


    1. Yeah, I just couldn’t really see the point of this one even existing. It’s fine enough, but it just doesn’t add anything new, and it feels so tired. It’s a shame how lacklustre the second season often is.


  2. Well, considering that bad guys tried to camouflage Cobra Khan this time – who isn’t even a mammal, but a cold-blooded reptile! – they nay be reasonably worried that ammount of magic for such trick would be excesdive, and Orko could feel some leakage.


    1. Then why send Kobra Khan? Why not send Evil-Lyn, who could just put on a hood for a disguise? That Skeletor, never thinking things through.


      1. The most probable answer is “because his toy sales dropped”, but if we speculate a little – because she and Skeletor are already too well-known in the Palace to fool even the Eternian guards.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah I mean like Owen says kobra Khan did volunteer after skeletors other henchmen bottled out, but as you say Owen why not evil Lyn as she’s disguised herself many times, Kobra Khan kind of gives it way a little when he starts talking!! “Niccce” lol. And I really like kobra Khan as a character he’s involved heavily in the final he man episode the cold zone which personally I think is a very good episode that only gets a more negative press just because it’s not a suitable last episode to end the series but anyway getting back on topic Khan is a very interesting character just not a suitable choice for this particular quest! I must say I think evil Lyn surely should of been the obvious choice she’s been successful with her disguises many times in past episodes evil Lyns plot, the curse of the spellstone, a friend in need to name a few..dilandu comment was interesting in regards to the amount of magic tho, orko did get a quick supercharge from the magic falls after regaining his magic in this he managed to make kobra Khan disappear at the end! As you say Owen tho overall I too felt this episode was pretty pointless too Samey from other stories a pretty weak affair really I think orkos missing magic episode was slightly better..


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