Episode 04 – Reunions

In which Glimmer, Madame Razz and Broom unleash the full extent of their infuriating natures.

Hurrah! We finally get the full introduction sequence. Adora approaches the camera, introduces herself, and explains how she becomes She-Ra (by drawing her sword and crying, “For the Honour of Grayskull!”, in case you’ve forgotten). She also reminds us that Spirit becomes Swift Wind, and informs us that her secret is shared by Kowl, a glowing mass of energy called Light Hope, and that bloody Madame Razz. Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Mantenna and Leech are shown to us to represent the Horde, and we are reminded that they are evil. All of this information is dispensed in an enormously patronising tone, and thus I much preferred it when there was no introduction.

After a lengthy recap of last week’s events, we open with He-Man and She-Ra hanging out in a clearing in Whispering Woods. Evidently not being quite sure whether he believes She-Ra’s claim that she is his twin sister, He-Man uses She-Ra’s sword to contact the Sorceress, who confirms that it is true, and moreover embarks on a flashback to fill He-Man in on the story.

Reunions 1
She-Ra: “Listen, He-Man, have you ever seen Blood Brothers? It’s basically like that.”

Adam and Adora were born to Queen Marlena and King Randor, but soon after their births, the Palace of Eternia came under attack from an evil force from another dimension – the Horde. Hordak was their leader even then, and Skeletor was his subordinate and favourite pupil. Knowing Adam and Adora were destined for greatness, Hordak and Skeletor crept into the Palace to kidnap them. Interrupted mid-kidnap, Hordak escaped with Adora, abandoning Skeletor to the tender mercies of the royal family and Man-at-Arms. Despite a lengthy search, Hordak and Adora could not be found.

Reunions 3
Hordak: “It’s always embarrassing looking back at old photos and seeing the dorky fashions you used to think were cool.”

Once all this backstory has been related, He-Man asks She-Ra for a big hug. I’ve often found He-Man a little creepy, and never more so than now. Once that’s over with, they turn back into Adam and Adora and return to the rebel camp. With Adam vouching for her, the rebels are easily persuaded that Adora is now on their side.

With this resolved, we move on to a short subplot: Queen Angela of Bright Moon, where Glimmer comes from, disappeared during a major battle with the Horde, and it has been determined that she is now a slave to an individual called Hunger, the queen of the Harpies of Talon Mountain, or some such. Glimmer, who is Angela’s daughter, wants to rescue her, and Adora and Adam offer to do so. They turn back into their alter egos, and fly off on Swift Wind.

Despite a great deal of footage featuring Hunger and the other Harpies screeching their idiot heads off, He-Man and She-Ra have very little difficulty in carrying out their rescue mission. Returning to Whispering Woods, Angela and Glimmer have as touching a reunion as is possible when you’re both voiced by massively irritating actresses. Despite the high level of fury Glimmer and Angela inspired in me at this point, they are still upstaged by Madame Razz, who weeps buckets for no reason.

Reunions 2
Queen Angela: “Why don’t you have wings like me, Glimmer?”

Touched by the mother-and-daughter reunion, Adora decides that now would be a good time to visit Eternia and meet her own parents. She, Adam, Spirit and Cringer all return to Eternia through the Sorceress’ gateway, where Adora is introduced to her parents – as well as Man-at-Arms and Teela – and they all weep so much that it looks like their eyes have been replaced with taps. Randor even tells Adam that he’s really pleased with him for bringing Adora home, which has to be a first.

Reunions 4
King Randor: “Hurrah! A child who might not be as useless as Adam.”

Unbeknownst to them, Hordak has opted to come through the gateway as well. Once on Eternia, he makes his way to Snake Mountain, where he has a slanging match with Skeletor, followed by a short battle. Finally, the two agree to work together to recapture Adora, after which Hordak promises to leave Skeletor in peace. He also snorts like a demented pig for our delight and delectation, as the words ‘To be continued’ flash across our screen.

 

In today’s adventure…

I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise, but there is no moral again. I, however, did pick up a few helpful life hints from the episode, chief among them being that if I go through an interdimensional portal, I should always check behind me in case my mortal enemy has come too.

Reunions 5
Skeletor: “Check out my big stupid stick, Hordak.”

 

Character checklist

Everyone and his mother is invited to this party. We’ve got Adora, She-Ra, Spirit, Swift Wind, Bow, Glimmer, Queen Angela, Madame Razz, Broom, Kowl, Prince Adam, He-Man, Cringer, Teela, Man-at-Arms, King Randor, Queen Marlena, the Sorceress, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Hunger the Harpy, Skeletor, and loads of Horde Troopers, rebels, etc. I may well have forgotten someone from this list, but it’s probably the largest cast in any episode so far.

 

Excuse given for Adam and Adora’s disappearances

Adora and Adam happily turn into She-Ra and He-Man and back again repeatedly in this episode, but only in each other’s company, and mostly offscreen, luckily. They therefore don’t give any excuses. Still, the subject is touched upon shortly before they go to Eternia, when Adam explains that Adora mustn’t tell Randor and Marlena about her secret identity, or that of He-Man. Instead of saying, “Well, why the bloody hell not?”, Adora simply agrees. That’s a missed opportunity for the writers to explain that one. Unless, of course, the writers can’t explain that one.

Reunions 6
The Sorceress: “No, I will not explain why your identities have to be secret. There definitely is a reason though.”

 

Insults

The Sorceress kicks things off by referring to Hordak as a “vicious tyrant”. The next insults come with Bow and Glimmer each calling each other a “fool”, and Queen Angela calls the Harpies “vile minions”. Hunger is the most prolific insulter of the episode, given she shouts at her Harpies when they fail, calling them “blunderers” and “birdbrains”, then turns her attention to He-Man and She-Ra with “fools” and “dolts”. In his final scene, Hordak calls Skeletor a “traitor to the Horde”, and refers to Adam and Adora as “Eternian fools”. It’s good to see that this cartoon is going to continue the obsession with fools.

 

Oh No, Bow!

In his only scene, Bow doesn’t want to rescue Queen Angela because he thinks the rebels aren’t strong enough to defeat the Harpies. He’s completely wrong, of course, given He-Man and She-Ra manage it within three minutes.

Reunions 7
Bow: “Don’t undermine me, Kowl.”

 

Does it have the Power?

It’s nice to get the full story behind the Horde’s kidnapping of Adora, and particularly fun to see a vague origin for Skeletor – who’d have thought he was a former pupil of Hordak? It’s a great decision for Skeletor and Hordak to now hate each other; it would have been rather too neat if they’d been allies, and it’s far more in character for Skeletor to refuse to share power with anyone.

I’m not quite sure why the Queen Angela bit was here, as it didn’t feel relevant to the rest of the episode’s story. Still, as part of a complete film, it possibly makes more sense. We’ll have to find out next week. As it stands, it’s simply another demonstration of how annoying Glimmer and Madame Razz are.

And speaking of annoying, Hordak’s pig noises are really beginning to get on my tits now. His habit of transforming himself into machinery (in this episode, he becomes a rocket, a drill, and uses his stupid arm cannon again) is also not as funny as the writers evidently think it is. I feel that this cartoon could be a really long slog if Hordak doesn’t get a better voice and character soon.

13 thoughts on “Episode 04 – Reunions

  1. Frankly, I always loved this episode; one of the very few when Adam could actually claim the long-deserved glory & receive his father admiration… The scene when Randor impulsively hug Adam almost made me crying first time I re-watch this episode…

    And Hordak clearly have typical tail-sitter VTOL aircraft problems; no downward view while landing (that’s why tail-sitting VTOL fighters, despite being rather simple in comparison with other VTOL’s, never actually gained any popularity…)

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  2. Again, no Madame Razz spells in this episode, so the last count (from the Episode 02 – Beast Island) still stand:

    A) Flawless spells – 1 (one)

    B) Spells, that worked – 2 (two)

    C) Failed spells – 1 (one)

    “In his only scene, Bow doesn’t want to rescue Queen Angela because he thinks the rebels aren’t strong enough to defeat the Harpies. He’s completely wrong, of course, given He-Man and She-Ra manage it within three minutes.”

    To Bow’s defense (not that I’m especially inclined to defend him… contrary to Madame Razz he is actually rather useless and have little redeeming qualities short of “being generic good guy”), but he just recently meet He-Man and does not meet She-Ra yet, so he could not took their capabilities into account.

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  3. 2 excellent points that dilandu makes for me.. the first regards to adam yes it was a very touching scene when he takes adora back to eternia to meet king Radnor and queen Marlena (her parents) when they opened there eyes and saw her king Radnor came up to Adam and said something on the lines of “son you have made me the proudest man on eternia” was nice to see Adam recieve some praise as well from his father! And the second point you made regarding now I totally agree, he doesn’t know he man and she ra at this stage an regards to there capabilities so yes I too believe bow is sensibly (for once) airing on the side of caution from rescuing angela interesting tho. The good point Owen you made in your review that i agree with you on it’s a well thought out story showing that hordaks kidnapping adora excellent writing this and your other point I agree it’s so much better that they hate each other rather than becoming friends it would of been a lot worse you get some great exchanges of dialogue with hordak and skeletor digging the other one out and you certainly wouldn’t hear any of that if they were friends! Good points you both make and a fair review Owen pretty good one this episode for me with some very moving scenes takecare..

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  4. Thanks for thoughts, guys – yes, maybe I was a bit harsh on Bow. But he deserves it.

    And yep, I should have made more of how touching the scene with Adam, Adora, Randor and Marlena is. It’s a good piece of work!

    Oh, and Dilandu, great work with the Madame Razz tally!

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  5. The episode does raise one question: If all knowledge of Adora was wiped from the people of Eternia, would that also include Skeletor? If it did, they could also remove all knowledge of the existance of Grayskull from him.

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    1. Interesting! Imagine the fun and games they could have wiping Skeletor’s memories! He’d probably come up with the same plan over and over again every day, making it easier to defeat him. Not that it’s ever that challenging anyway.

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  6. If that episode were an He-man episode, I would say that “Reunions” is a slightly above average He-man episode.

    For me, this episode was entairtaining. I mean: There was some good action, the fight between Shera and He-man vs the harpies was a good and fun fight sequence. Also, the harpies were creepy. Also, Hordak turning into a missile to go through the dimensional gate was somewhat amazing (In this sentence, I talk about the POV I had when I was a child and I watched for the first time this scene.). Also, the fight between Skeletor VS Hordak was funny and amazing.

    Also, there was some characterization and lore.
    The Sorceress didn’t talk in riddles. She clearly explained Adora and Adam’ backstories.
    It was interesting to know that Skeletor and Hordak were like pals. It seems to me that Skeletor was Hordak’s protege. Also, it seems to me that in the flashback, Hordak looked like more human. Thus, it seems to me that his character is like Dark Vader in Star Wars. Also, Hordak’s obsession to purchase Hadora made him a bit creepy.
    Also, Bow and Glimmer had some interactions and acted more like rebels than in episode 3.
    Also, it was interesting (and important for the next episode) to meet Queen Angela.
    Also, the family reunion was beautiful in the end.
    Also, there was hardly any Madame Razz in this episode, which was rather a good thing.

    However, I have some issues about this episode too.
    Firstly, He-man wasn’t needed to fight against the Harpies. After all, the harpies
    were a soft target. Thus, I would have better if only Shera, Bow and Glimmer (and certainly not He-man.) had saved Queen Angela. For me, in term of character development, the sooner Shera, Bow and Glimmer fight together, the better!
    Secondly, it is a minor problem, but why do they talk about Light Hope in the introduction, since his character doesn’t appear before the Shera episode 22 of season 1? For me, it doesn’t make sense.

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    1. Agreed on Light Hope. That confused me for ages when I was watching this series! And – if I remember rightly – when we do get to Light Hope’s introduction episode, it’s a flashback! So it could easily have been scheduled right after Battle for Bright Moon and needn’t have been a flashback.

      Also agreed on the Sorceress. She’s actually clear and concise for a change here.

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  7. Correction:
    This sentence is not correct: “Thus, I would have better if only Shera, Bow and Glimmer (and certainly not He-man.) had saved Queen Angela. ”
    The right sentence is: Thus, it would have been better if only Shera, Bow and Glimmer (and certainly not He-man.) had saved Queen Angela.

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  8. @ Owenmorton
    “In his only scene, Bow doesn’t want to rescue Queen Angela because he thinks the rebels aren’t strong enough to defeat the Harpies. He’s completely wrong, of course, given He-Man and She-Ra manage it within three minutes.”

    Well, you forgot to mention one thing: Bow didn’t know that Shera and Swiftwind existed. He said: “Even if we could get to Talan mountain, we couldn’t take on the harpies they are too powerfull.” Thus, since he knew nothing about Swiftwind, he was true to say that the rebellion (without Swiftwind of course.) couldn’t get to the mountains, wasn’t he?

    Also, it seems to me that when Bow said that he thought the rebels weren’t strong enough to defeat the Harpies, he didn’t consider He-man (i.e. a rogue fighter allied to Adam.) to be part of the rebellion, but maybe I’m wrong. But if he didn’t consider He-man to be part of the rebellion, do you seriously expect the rebels to take on the harpies? For me, it would be impossible, since the Harpies are numerous and they can fly while the rebels cannot fly and would have to fight in the mountains.

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    1. Yeah, okay, all fair points.

      On the other hand, if the Rebellion don’t have any hope of winning against the Harpies, they might as well give up on defeating the Horde!

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      1. Yeah,
        in episode 1, Glimmer (i.e. The leader of the rebellion.) didn’t seem to consider that the rebellion was “great”.

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