Episode 130 – The Cold Zone

In which Kobra Khan forgets to pay the leccy bill.

Adam, Cringer, Man-at-Arms and Orko are out on one of their inexplicable jaunts, doing nothing at all, when they are perturbed by the arrival of Kobra Khan, driving a ridiculous vehicle identified by Orko as a Land Shark. The plot thickens when Kobra Khan asks the assembled multitude where He-Man is, requesting his help. Apparently the Eternal Fire has gone out, which means that Kobra Khan’s people – the Reptons – will go into hibernation forever. I would define hibernation that lasts forever as being dead, but Kobra Khan clearly prefers to dance around that issue.

Cold 1
Cringer: “That vehicle is so stupid, even I’m not intimidated.”

Adam points out that – Kobra Khan himself aside – the Reptons are a peaceful people, and offers to help. After waiting for Kobra Khan to get out of sight, he turns into He-Man, and he and his team set off for the Reptons’ home. The road there involves several boring traps and monsters, and He-Man and Kobra Khan work together to defeat them. Kobra Khan notably saves Man-at-Arms from a falling tree, thus earning his trust – but it is made clear that Kobra Khan is planning a betrayal.

The home of the Reptons turns out to be the same generic cave system that we see every other episode on He-Man, and our merry band troll through it, commenting that it genuinely is quite cold, and exchanging worried remarks about whether relighting the Eternal Fire is possible. Naturally enough, Kobra Khan goes missing, so – without smelling a rat – He-Man and co. continue to explore. They eventually discover the chamber where the Eternal Fire ought to be, and conclude that it definitely isn’t burning any more.

Cold 2
He-Man: “This is the moment to panic more than we’ve ever panicked before.”

As they examine the chamber, they are cornered by lots of Reptons, who accuse them of being responsible for extinguishing the Fire. Taken to King Pythos, He-Man pleads his innocence, and rests his case on Kobra Khan’s ability to vouch for them. When questioned, however, Kobra Khan claims that he saw Team He-Man putting the Fire out. Bet you didn’t see that coming.

He-Man gets violent at this stage, which results in Kobra Khan using his sleeping gas to knock the entire lot of them out. Kobra Khan then makes an offer to the Reptons: if he is able to restore the Eternal Fire, he will replace Pythos as King. Pythos agrees, and Kobra Khan pops off to call Scottish & Southern Energy and get them to turn the gas back on. Unfortunately, Scottish & Southern tell him that due to unpaid arrears, they can’t restore power. Kobra Khan doesn’t have enough hard cash to make a payment, and he doesn’t have any credit cards either, so we really do have a problem now.

Cold 3
Kobra Khan: “Seems I didn’t think this through.”

Luckily, a nice Repton called Scales quickly discovers Kobra Khan’s treachery, and goes to He-Man’s prison cell forthwith. He details the entire plot for the benefit of the slower viewers, explaining that Kobra Khan engineered the whole situation in order to become King, but now is unable to relight the Fire. He-Man is only too willing to try to get the Fire going again, and asks Man-at-Arms how to do it. Man-at-Arms compiles a lengthy list of necessary mining equipment which they don’t have, so He-Man ignores his contribution and turns the Fire back on by turning himself into a drill and burrowing down to the centre of the planet.

As soon as the Fire is working again, Kobra Khan leaps out of a hiding place and happily crows that he will take the credit. Unfortunately, he’s idiot enough to not check whether King Pythos is standing behind him when he makes this statement – and what do you know, he is. Kobra Khan is led away by the Repton guards, then brought back about 20 seconds later for Scales to throw doughballs at him. This cartoon could be completely mental sometimes.

Cold 4
Kobra Khan: “In some ways, I suppose you could argue I had this coming.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Man-at-Arms informs us that we shouldn’t make decisions by jumping to the first or the easiest conclusion, which is what King Pythos did by believing Kobra Khan. This touches on racism – Man-at-Arms explains that Pythos trusted Kobra Khan simply because he was one of the Reptons – and is a pretty good moral.

The only downside to this moral is that Man-at-Arms closes by saying, “See you next time.” Unfortunately, this being the last episode ever, we all know that this is untrue, and so his comment has an unexpected poignancy. I wish they’d carried on making He-Man for ever and ever.

 

Character checklist

The grand finale of He-Man gives us the fairly classic hero line-up of Prince Adam, He-Man, Cringer, Battle-Cat, Man-at-Arms and Orko. The villain is, of course, Kobra Khan, and we also meet Scales, King Pythos, and plenty of other Reptons.

Cold 5
King Pythos: “Imperial robes or dressing gown? You decide.”

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

Not wishing to go out on a high, Prince Adam doesn’t bother to give an excuse.

 

Insults

It’s not the most bountiful episode for insults, sadly. Battle-Cat implies that Kobra Khan is a “big mouth”, without coming out and actually saying it to his face. Orko calls Kobra Khan a “snake”, but that’s hardly insulting, and the Attack Trak decides to get personal by calling the Land Shark “Smiley”.

 

Does it have the Power?

For the last episode of the series, He-Man goes out with neither a bang nor a whimper. It’s not the show-stopping finale that we were all secretly hoping for, but luckily neither is it on a par with the poor efforts we’ve seen lately. I do appreciate that the writers didn’t know the show was finishing, and so it’s not particularly surprising that we don’t get an amazing last episode, but it does seem a shame that we finish without seeing Skeletor messing with Castle Grayskull one last time.

Cold 6
Prince Adam: “Let’s all look down on Cringer.”

Still, judging this episode without considering its position in the series, it’s all right. It’s quite nice to see where Kobra Khan came from, and the reference to him being the “black snake of the family” was entertaining. It’s easy to see the double-cross coming a mile off, so perhaps it’s fortunate that the writer signposted it by allowing us to hear Kobra Khan’s thoughts from quite early on – that way, we actually had a sense of anticipation building for the inevitable betrayal, instead of the episode expecting us to be surprised when Kobra Khan turns out to be a baddy. I’m happy to say, then, that I recommend the final episode of He-Man.

8 thoughts on “Episode 130 – The Cold Zone

  1. This final episode of he man for me is often alittle under appreciated and gets overlooked, things start out like any other episode adam, man at arms orko and a trade Mark magic trick, but things soon get interesting Khobra Khan wants the aid off the heroes to help his people and to relight the eternal flame the plot is set!.. the first thing I liked was the transformation sequence for what is to be the final time cringer actually pretty much refuses to be battle cat, this idea was only done once in temple of the sun, all other episodes yes he’d make a comment but in this episode cringer says to adam “are you sure you want to do this?” To which adam replies “of course”! Then cringer simply responds with “well that’s good cos I’m not sure I want to”!! I thought this was hilarious to hear and at the same time believable. As you correctly mention in your review Owen You get a good background knowledge of khans reptons family, I think it was really nice to see a writer give one of skeletors henchmen a huge background so again thumbs up for me plenty of character development. I must admit not including beastman, trap jaw and evil Lyn, (I could take or leave mer man) who are regulars my 2 most interesting if skeletors henchmen have always been clawfal and kobra Khan so I was pleased to see one if them get an entire episode story! To close yes it isn’t one of the classics like the problem with power which is the perfect last episode and my fav by the way but it’s certainly a very good episode with a really interesting story, if this was in the middle somewhere in the series I’d feel it get a lot more appreciation, scales you can see is the orko of the reptons and I really liked the character king phythos too! Against it well it does take a while to get going i.e. Into the reptons home and there could be a bit more action, it’s not quite on the level if the very top episodes but still a hold watch none the less, I’d probably score the cold zone a 7/10 enjoyed these reviews once again Owen and looking forward to some of the she ra episodes hope you appreciated some of these points for this last he man episode takecare….

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  2. The weirdest thing – I decided to watch this episode today. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this, but it’s a rare treat to see reptile people being protrayed as anything other than outright villains. I would have welcomed more of King Pythos and his group.

    Sure it’s technically the ‘final’ episode, but I think these things got shuffled around a fair bit. I heard somehwere that ‘The Problem With Power’ was intended to be the last one, which makes sense.

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  3. I agree with Andrew yes definetly the problem with power would of been the perfect last episode of he man it’s often regarded as the last episode cos of the perfect episode directly affecting he man and the ending carrying teela off into the sunset! I’ve always myself seen the he man series beginning with the diamond ray of disappearance and finishing with the problem with power. The cold zone is still a pretty decent ep tho in its own right in my opinion.

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    1. The Problem With Power is indeed a perfect finisher, and can’t argue with Diamond Ray being a great introduction!

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  4. I personally consider that the He-man series have no real ending. It does seem a shame to me that we finish without (1) Adam telling to Teela that he is He-man (Does Adam/He-man intend to lie forever to the person who love him? I certainly couldn’t if I were him.). Also, it does seem a shame to me that we finish without (2) a proper ending for Skeletor and without (3) the Sorceress telling to Teela that she is her daughter. Thus my issues are clear and I personaly don’t consider “the problem with power” as a proper ending. Also, I don’t consider “The cold zone” as a proper ending.

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    1. Thanks Jean-Paul! It’s been great to have your thoughts on them! Please stick around for She-Ra! (And then the New Adventures, and then MYP, etc…..) 🙂

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