Episode 09 – The Missing Axe

In which I have amended the spelling of the word ‘ax’ in the episode’s title.

Adora is prancing about in the forest, when she comes across a Horde Trooper trying to capture a dog-like creature called a squipper, in order to put it in Hordak’s zoo. Adora transforms into She-Ra, humiliates the Horde Trooper, blows up a robot, receives a great big possibly rabies-infected lick from the squipper, and then stands around congratulating herself. Finally, she turns back into Adora and trots off to meet Bow.

Axe 1
She-Ra: “This animal has the most soulless eyes I’ve ever seen.”

Bow is hanging out with a woodcutter and his two sons, as you do. One of the two sons appears to be permanently stoned, and the other looks disconcertingly like Chris Martin, at least to my poor demented eyes. The woodcutter offers Bow and Kowl a meal, and as they settle down to eat, the sons borrow the woodcutter’s axe and go off to chop some kindling. The woodcutter specifically warns the sons not to lose the axe, so what do you think they do? That’s right.

Axe 2
Woodcutter: “Meet my sons, Yellow and Stoner.”

In complete fairness, it’s not totally their fault. Yes, they leave the axe alone while they go off to swim, but it would be okay if those stupid green dwarves, the Twiggets, were sensible enough to keep their noses out of other peoples’ business. The Twiggets amble up, see the axe, conclude it’s valuable and therefore might get nicked, and decide to take it to Madame Razz to find out who it belongs to. I ask you, would you do this? Or would you use your mind and realise that nicking something is not the best way to prevent it being nicked?

When Chris Martin and his stoner brother discover that the axe is gone, they decide to tell their father that it was stolen. They give a made-up description of the thief: tall, with a long purple cloak, and claim he headed off towards Greenthatch, a town still under Horde control. On hearing this, Bow immediately determines to do something about the robber, and rides off to Greenthatch, where he is pretty speedily captured by Mantenna, and packed into a slave transport ship.

We now cut back to Adora, who is pissing about in the forest picking up sticks and giving them to some deformed beavers. There’s no reason whatsoever offered for this behaviour. Once she’s finished being mental, she decides that she should start looking for Bow, who’s late for their appointment. She therefore turns into She-Ra, mounts Swift Wind, and soon arrives at the woodcutter’s house.

Axe 3
Spirit: “Er, Adora, are you sure this isn’t mental?”

Being considerably more intelligent than Bow, She-Ra quickly learns the truth from Chris Martin and his drug-crazed brother. The woodcutter is clearly itching to beat the boys senseless, but Kowl arrives in the nick of time, bearing the news of Bow’s capture. She-Ra sets off to intercept the slave transport, from which she frees Bow with considerable ease. As an afterthought, she also releases loads of other prisoners, who charge off the transport ship with expressions of gleeful insanity.

Back at the woodcutter’s cottage, Bow hunkers down in the saddle of his horse as if he’s expecting to be smacked, and then performs some magic and smiles sleazily in She-Ra’s direction. She-Ra doesn’t make any kind of response. Chris Martin and Drugs Boy get grounded by the woodcutter, and finally, the Twiggets show up, carrying the axe, and ask who it belongs to. This is our cue for everyone to laugh their heads off, rather than using the axe to murder the Twiggets.

Axe 4
Kowl: “Bow, if you make that face outside schools, you’ll be arrested.”

 

In today’s adventure…

I was looking really hard for Loo-Kee, but with zero success. This is really difficult. He was behind a basket in Greenthatch, in case you care. I daresay you can predict what today’s moral was, but if not, then it was another self-righteous lecture on the importance of telling the truth, even if you’ve done something wrong. I think another lesson can be drawn from this week: if you are a green dwarf thing, She-Ra will be absolutely fine with you nicking an axe and causing a massive problem.

 

Character checklist

This silly little outing features Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, his horse Arrow, Kowl, Madame Razz, the Twiggets, the woodcutter, Chris Martin, the stoner brother, Mantenna, some Horde Troopers, and the various rabid animals (other than Bow) that Adora spends her time with.

Axe 5
Twigget: “It wouldn’t be stupid and annoying for me to nick this axe, would it?”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

I think Adora has it easier than Adam. She doesn’t have people hanging round her all the time wanting to know where she is, and she doesn’t have royal appointments and training that she needs to attend. On top of that, she seems to be a loner and a borderline headcase anyway, always hanging around on her own in the forest and messing about with animals, so no one actually notices when she’s not where she’s supposed to be. All this is by way of saying that despite two transformations this week, there’s no excuses needed or offered.

 

 Insults

There are no insults in this episode either, which is disappointing.

 

Oh No, Bow!

Bow loses his fight with Mantenna in the town of Greenthatch, although I suppose I should mention that he does put in a relatively decent effort, evading Mantenna for a good 90 seconds before being shot while he’s pointlessly trying to climb a wall.

Axe 6
Bow: “Well, how did it come to this?”

 

Does it have the Power?

I think it’s safe to say that this is a story we all recognise, from its billions of appearances on He-Man, and it’s not really a story I wanted or needed to see again. Still, I suppose it’s a reasonable effort. I’d have liked to see the Twiggets get told off for stealing the axe, since the whole thing is their fault, but they seem to have free rein to do as they please. Incidentally, I’m sure that in previous episodes they were Spriggets, not Twiggets.

The story was clearly not quite long enough to fill the full 20 minutes either, given the completely irrelevant rubbish at the start with the squipper animal, which took up three minutes for no purpose whatsoever. I would also like to know what the deal with the beavers was. Despite these minor misgivings though, I’d say this is a passable effort.

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15 thoughts on “Episode 09 – The Missing Axe

  1. Fair review Owen and agree the correct spelling too ie axe not ax! Anyway Im not a fan of this one at all. In fact I’d go as far go say this could be an early contender for worst episode of the series! The story yes has been done a billion times agreed but that’d be ok had it been any good, but there’s no heart to this episode at all a soulless effort which feels like filling for the entire 20 minutes and that is not what this series is about! You’ve not answered my other response so anyway I’ll safely chip in with my opinion on this one that it’s a pretty poor effort were not quite at the greatest show of eternia drivel but by along way the worst she ra episode so far in my honest opinion..

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    1. Hi John, sorry, what other response didn’t I respond to? I only see the one?

      This one is indeed on my “worst of” list for the first season, primarily because it’s a rehash of so many other episodes, and a massively dull rehash at that…

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  2. It’s no worries but yes it was the red knight episode where I was discussing who you think the red knight is it seems to be such a talked about topic in this series!! Yep I just feel this episode the missing ax had absolutely nothing going for it whatsoever! Probably should put this comment in the red knight episode but many fans of pop believe he may of been glimmers father but further on in the series an episode Micah of bright moon contradicts this as he was a prisoner so if the red knight is Angela’s husband how could that be if he was locked up??? There’s no actual answer to this Owen anyway as they never revealed the red knight.. anyway having seen most of the series now at least once through I don’t think there’s an episode worse than this one but that’s just my opinion.. comparing the two series although I think there aren’t as many “bad” she ra episodes as there are “bad” he man episodes but at the top end there are more “top” he man episodes than “top” she ra episodes overall tho I much prefer the he man series but there were a special few she ra episodes that were every bit as good as any top he man episode eg the price of freedom, into the dark dimension, huntara, the crystal castle horde prime takes a holiday to name a few…

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    1. I think you’re probably right about there being nothing so bad as He-Man’s worst episodes … though frankly there’s a run of about 5 in the early second season that are just utterly dismal.

      As to the red knight, it certainly seemed as though they were hinting at it being Glimmer’s father, but yup, Micah of Bright Moon does rather put the nail into that idea’s coffin! On the other hand, I think Micah of Bright Moon is the one where Glimmer falls down a pit and forgets she can fly out, so there’s something just deeply wrong with that episode in general…

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      1. As you say Micah of bright moon is a bit of a mess for example like you say glimmer forgetting she can fly but at least that episodes an entertaining mess! As for brigis again I agree it’s definetly down in the lower end category of she ra episodes but I probably a bit more lenient on that one cos I find the idea of the village disappearing very appealing and interesting that they can’t leave the village or they break the witches spell yes it’s down the lower end but there’s far worse episodes imo than brigis! Your spot on tho Owen in regards to the red knight, I feel the same that at the start I believe they had planned the red knight to be queen Angela’s husband but as we both said Micah of bright moon kinda kills that idea! Unfortunately none of us will ever truelly know and it’ll always just be open to interpretation.. interesting thoughts from dilandu as well but I agree think they were just trying to find its owner! I honestly feel the missing ax wasn’t much better than the greatest show on eternia imo takecare..

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  3. “Or would you use your mind and realise that nicking something is not the best way to prevent it being nicked?”

    Well, we may assume that they were invited into the Soviet Pioneers, and tried to earn their Red Ascots by cleaning the forest & collecting scrap metal from recycling (quite common occupation of Pioneers, actually)?

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    1. Maybe…. but they definitely weren’t trying to recycle it. They were trying to find its owner, the most efficient means of doing which would be to simply stand next to it until the owner showed up.

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  4. From the interesting side; general population of Etheria obviously did not mind having Mantenna around. Seems that of all Hordak’s goons, he is the least threatening & hostile…

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    1. Mmm, interesting! I think you could be onto something there. The only time I remember him being particularly threatening is in the otherwise unremarkable episode Brigis.

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    1. Hi Dilandu! Yes, I did. I was on holiday in Iceland. Back home now and will be updating with the next review very shortly!

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  5. If that episode were an He-man episode, I would say that “The Missing Ax” is a slightly under average He-man episode. And, yes, as Owen Morton said, this kind of story (about stupid children.) has been done many times before in He-man.

    For me, this episode was rather entertaining. The action was somewhat good. I mean: The fight at the beginning (Shera vs the Horde trooper and his robot) was average.
    Also, I did like the fight in the village (Bow vs Mantena and the Horde troopers.). I mean: Bow used smartly his environment (A mirror, a fruit cart.) to beat Mantena and his troopers. Also, I liked the village sets, they were very detailled (It seems to me that Filmation did a good job, for once.). The final fight (Shera vs Mantena and his troopers.) was average and I liked a bit that Mantenna was able to confront Shera during 30 seconds.

    Also, there was a little serious character development and characterization in this episode.
    Adora/Shera had few screentime. Also, we saw more often Shera than Adora, which I disliked. Also, Adora/Shera did nothing in this episode except being nice to animals (I don’t like this kind of boring cliche.) and fighting the Horde.
    Bow’s character development was somewhat more interesting. The first time we saw him, he wanted to impress the children (It seems to me that Bow often wants to impress children.). Also, he was somewhat dumb to trust the lies of the children. Also, he was too much optimistic to think that he wouldn’t have problems in the village controled by the Horde. Yet, he was also brave to try to take back the axe and he was smart enough to go disguised in the village. Also, I liked a little his sense of humour when he told to Mantena “You really need target practice.” Also, I liked a little Arrow’s look and I liked that Arrow was smart enough to obey Kowl’s orders and to go where Shera were. Also, Bow said crazy stuff to Shera in the end, which I didn’t get it.
    Also, Kowl was a little annoying. In fact, he was less annoying than usual, which was an improvement. The only time that he was annoying was when Kowl told Bow in the beginning “Oh, no, not the best shot, only the luckiest.” Also, Kowl was right to say that Bow was going to have problems in the Horde village. Also, he was the one who alerted Shera about Bow being captured by the Horde.
    Also, Glimmer was not present in this episode. I wonder when she is going to do something in an episode. Her having no screen time indeed is not good for her character development.
    Also, Madam Razz was totally normal in this episode, which was relief.
    Also, the Twigetts were dumb for taking the Ax without trying to know if his owner was in the vicinity. It seems to me that the writer used them as a plot device.
    Also, the woodcutter was a good and just father, but he was somewhat dumb to let his children going to cut wood. I mean: An ax is not a toy, it is dangerous to handle for children, isn’t it?
    Also, Tad and Kyle were a couple of first rate liars who almost got Bow killed with their nonsense. They were a bummer. However, this kind of story (about stupid children.) has been done many times before in He-man.
    And it was somewhat a Mantenna episode. Mantenna indeed seemed more clever than usual. He was also motivated, for a change. But he was also a bad shooter.
    To finish, there was this little creature the “scruffer” in the beginning of the episode.
    It seems to me that this creature was designed to make little girls brains go wild. I mean: This creature was a combination of a unicorn, a dog, little girl (Because of the pigtails) and it was pink. I thought that this creature was bizarre and that it was somewhat ridiculous.

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    1. Agreed on pretty much everything. For this story to work, most of the characters have to act like idiots, which is just annoying.

      And yes. Good God, what was the scruffer in aid of???

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  6. Yeah, but the most idiotic persons were Tad, Kyle and their father. At least, the rebels were less idiotic than in “The Red Knight”, which was an improvement (This is my personnal opinion.).

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