Episode 10 – The Prisoners of Beast Island

In which the writers introduce an S&M-inclined dragon.

Adora, Bow and a rebel lady (who doesn’t get a name) have come to a town named Bluestone, where they meet a dragon called Sorrowful, who is the campest dragon I’ve ever seen. They try to recruit him into the Rebellion, and though he remains unconvinced, he is quickly required to help out when the town comes under attack from Catra, Leech and a newbie called Rattlor. Prompted by Bow, Sorrowful spouts threats at the Horde, but he is pitifully bad at it, and Catra gives the order to advance.

Prisoners 1
Kowl: “Bow, who is this interloper?”

Naturally, therefore, it’s down to She-Ra, who shows up and uses her sword to freeze the Horde tanks in blocks of ice. I didn’t know her sword could do that, and it rather renders her friend Frosta obsolete. Still, it does the trick, and so long as Frosta doesn’t launch a constructive dismissal case against She-Ra, I imagine all will be well. Anyway, in the ensuing battle, Catra manages to capture Sorrowful and whisk him away to the prison on Beast Island.

Catra presents Sorrowful to Hordak, and explains that she plans to capture the other rebels when they inevitably pop along to rescue their dragon friend. Naturally, even as she speaks, She-Ra and co. are flying across the ocean to Beast Island, which they reach without incident. However, immediately on arrival, they are treated to a massive fight with a vast array of Horde Troopers, which ultimately goes very well for the rebels, as I’m sure you expected.

Prisoners 2
Horde Trooper #582: “Pretty confident about this upcoming fight, actually. Just wait till She-Ra tries to tangle with ME.”

Bow manages to locate Sorrowful, but only by getting himself trapped in the same dungeon as him. It’s down to Kowl, as usual, to go to She-Ra and beg for help, but She-Ra is more interested in going for a swim. Admittedly, she has a reason (to reach some Horde destroyer ships and sink them, if you’re interested), but I think it speaks volumes on her regard for Bow’s welfare. While She-Ra is thus occupied, Catra manages to capture the nameless rebel lady, as well as Kowl, Madame Razz and Broom, so that’s great. Well done, She-Ra.

In the meantime, Bow and Sorrowful have been having a cosy heart-to-heart about how they’re both quite scared, and the inevitable truth that it’s actually okay to be scared. Who knew? I certainly didn’t – it’s not as if I’ve watched eight thousand episodes of He-Man which made the exact same point. Anyway, snarkiness aside, Sorrowful finds his inner strength, and uses his dragony powers to bust himself and Bow out of the prison.

Prisoners 3
Sorrowful: “Maybe I could learn how to be scary by eating Bow?”

She-Ra, meanwhile, has busied herself by throwing some more Horde battleships around, and having a bit of a barney with Catra, which ends with a slight degree of inappropriately sexuality when Sorrowful shows up and threatens to give Catra a good spanking. Catra doesn’t seem keen on this suggestion, and scarpers.

Once the crowd of rebels are safely back at Bluestone, Bow congratulates Sorrowful on his finding the courage to fight the Horde. Sorrowful responds that he will be happy to help the Rebellion any time in the future, which presumably means some more appearances from him. Which is understandable; having created an S&M-inclined dragon, the writers would be foolish not to use him as often as possible.

Prisoners 4
Catra: “Er, no thanks, Sorrowful. What goes in my bedroom stays in my bedroom.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Yet again, I didn’t see Loo-Kee, so the whole thing is getting pretty tedious. This time, he was next to some tree stump at some indeterminate point in the episode. More importantly, his moral lesson is that we must always be loyal to our friends, especially when they need us the most. I don’t know what I’m expecting in these morals anymore, but this didn’t thrill me.

 

Character checklist

Loads of them today. Just loads. If you want me to be more specific, it’s Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Kowl, Madame Razz, Broom, that nameless new rebel, Sorrowful, Hordak, Catra, Leech, Rattlor, Grizzlor, and Loo-Kee.

Prisoners 5
Guy on the left: “Why have I been left out of the character checklist?”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

Adora doesn’t give an excuse; she just legs it as soon as the Horde approach. Weirdly, no one comments on her apparent cowardice.

 

Insults

Catra leads the field this week, but she’s pretty single-track. She uses the traditional “fool” on Grizzlor and Leech twice, and Rattlor receives this one three times. All three of them also get called “dolts”, “worthless” and “empty-headed”. To make matters worse for Grizzlor, Catra goes further and refers to him as a “worthless piece of nothing”. Catra gets her comeuppance, when shortly before the spanking comment, Sorrowful tells her she is a “mean, mean person”. After a burn like that, it’s no surprise that Bow’s only contribution – “revolting robot” to a Horde Trooper – is a bit of an anticlimax really.

Prisoners 6
Leech: “Whoa, Catra! I did not need to see your sex tape.”

 

Oh No, Bow!

Very early on in the episode, Bow tells Sorrowful that he will protect him. As far as I can tell, he doesn’t even try, and consequently feels pretty guilty when Catra carts Sorrowful away. This is exacerbated by She-Ra, who doesn’t say anything to Bow at this stage, but just stands there giving him the evils.

During the battle with the Horde Troopers on Beast Island, Bow also distinguishes himself by needlessly emerging from his hiding place, walking directly into a Horde Trooper, and knocking himself out. Kowl rescues him, though not before taking the opportunity to hurl a coconut at his head.

Prisoners 7
Bow: “Big night out last night, actually.”

Seconds later, Bow moronically walks into a pit and falls into Sorrowful’s dungeon. Seriously, there doesn’t seem to be anything that this tool can’t completely cock up. At least he displays a slight modicum of self-awareness at this point by commenting, “This just isn’t my day.”

 

Does it have the Power?

Yes, it does. It’s an exciting, if not particularly original, plotline, which moves along at a decent clip. The most annoying characters in this cartoon (Hordak and Madame Razz) did appear but didn’t irritate me at all, which is a big step forward. She-Ra also seems to have toned down her patronising voice acting of late. Sorrowful himself had the potential to be really annoying, but neatly sidestepped this pitfall.

Catra remains an excellent baddy; she’s relatively competent, and she’s very scathing of her assistants, as the above Insults section shows. Although she doesn’t look too terrifying, there’s a definite air of implied threat about her. I’m pretty sure she’s my favourite character at this stage.

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11 thoughts on “Episode 10 – The Prisoners of Beast Island

  1. Spot on Owen I completely agree this one definetly has the power! I wouldn’t quite put it up there as a she ra classic but this is a very entertaining episode as you say comfortably say a 7/10 rating I’d say! Sorrowful is a very interesting character and a heart warming dragon cos of the episode order changes his actual origin story is two episodes later in the laughing dragon both of these are very good unlike the very forgettable the locket episode much later in the series! Anyway there’s some very nice scenes with him and now and the stand out scene was when sorrowful stood up to catra (who I agree too Owen is a stand out villain of hordaks) this moment was funny and loo endearing, catras reaction to sorrowful made the scene as well, anyway overall if totally agree with you a very entertaining she ra episode that has a lot of laughs, comedy and some very heartwarming scenes well worth watching.. just one thought for your point Owen on she ra who’s voiced by Melendy Britt overall I’d say she was excellent doing a great job you couldn’t imagine anyone else doing she ra but I would agree she started out alittle rusty in the early episodes (as you say little patronising) but I feel just like john Erwin voicing he man it took a few episodes for them to really find the characters true voice this was the same for some of the early he man episodes (watch like father like daughter and she demon of phantos for instance) he mans voice is very different to how it is now I’d say melendy britt is starting to settle into the role of she ra and I personally think her very best voice acting of she ra is in the final episode swiftys baby that although it has a few minor continuity issues I think is one of the most touching pieces of story writing in both the he man and she ra series and in my opinion melendy britt voice acting if she ra in swiftys baby is at her very best!! I personally found the prisoners of beast island very bit as good as beast island episode two..

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    1. Ooh, interesting that you liked Swifty’s Baby, John! We’ll have to wait a long time for my full review, but a sneak preview for you: I loathed it.

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      1. Yep an don’t worry your not the only one some fans love the unicorn episodes (I am one) and some don’t see the need, my reason simply is in general spirit/swiftwind as a character gets criticised rightly so for not being given more screen time ie episodes to shine in this entire 93 episode series it is a grand total of just 3 episodes were wrote for want of a horse, the unicorn king and swiftys baby I thought all 3 were excellent particularly for want of a horse and swifts baby and my point is this character isn’t used much to shine on its own yet when swift wind finally gets an episode to shine some fans criticise I just don’t understand! Battle cat got a lot more chance to be heroic if anything I don’t feel they used swift winds character anywhere near enough anyway my swift wind rant over! Still think the reviews are great and agree completely with the prisoners of beast island a great watch.

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  2. And again the Horde make a classic mistake – sending tanks without any infantry support. On Eastern Front in 1942 they wouldn’t survive a week.

    And assigning all warships to the station without any forward-deployed patrol…

    She-ra continued her practice of destroying perfectly usable Horde hardware. Seriously, she captured a whole destroyer, and then just threw her away. Great Rebellion logistic crew would most clearly be not pleased.

    No new spells from Madame Razz, again.

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    1. It would be genuinely brilliant if someone did a mash-up of Filmation She-Ra and a Great Patriotic War film.

      Well, maybe it would. The joke might wear thin pretty quickly.

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    2. Yeah, and the Horde didn’t use anti-aircraft guns and missiles to protect their tanks and warships. Also, it seems to me that the Horde didn’t have any counter-air defences on Beast island (A strategic area.). Also, they didn’t use aircrafts to cover their boats, tanks and Beast Island.
      It seems to me that Horde commanders are incompétent…

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  3. I agree with dilandu the horde are very clumsy at times and with there attacks but we mustn’t forget this was a kids cartoon! It’s like skeletor yes he isn’t one of your worlds best thinkers either but we love skeletor the way he is his comedic lines and his design sets him apart from the rest! Hordak tho I too agree isn’t always very smart!! Great episode tho thus one..

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  4. @Owenmorton
    I will comment later about some of your Shera’s reviews.
    But why do you make a section only about Bow? I agree with you that he sometimes dumb. But it is the same about Glimmer.
    So why don’t you call your section: “Oh, no Bow! or Oh, no Glimmer!”?
    I indeed think that there are many things to say about Glimmer’s behaviour in some episodes too.

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    1. It’s a fair question, and the answer is that I wrote these in order as I watched them. At the beginning of the series, Bow got more screen time than Glimmer, and spent most of that time being incompetent. I immediately got the impression that Bow was a fool, an impression backed up by most of the other characters’ reactions to him (especially Kowl).

      By contrast, when Glimmer did appear, she didn’t give off the same air of idiocy as Bow did – and even when she does do stupid things, no one seems to consider her as much of a fool as they do Bow. So I’m kind of following the series’ lead – as I perceived it, anyway – in making Bow a figure of fun.

      Plus, to be honest, I found it was funnier to continually target one character, and look out specifically for everything he did wrong. This might have got diluted or a bit tedious if I had listed everyone’s failures. Though of course where Glimmer does do foolish things, I will be mentioning it!

      And, of course, “Oh no, Bow!” rhymes…….

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      1. No problem.

        Also, the “rebel lady who doesn’t get a name” is Queen Castaspella. She indeed is a member of The Great Rebellion. As her name implies, she is a very powerful sorceress and is the queen of Mystacor. Also, I like a bit her character.

        Also, she was somewhat efficient against the Horde in this episode, she saved Kowl in the end, but yet you didn’t comment about that. Also, if she was captured, it seems to me that she surrendered only because Catra had caught Kowl and was threatening Kowl’s safety.

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  5. I completely agree with Jean Paul regarding castaspella I think she’s an excellent character and the reasons you just said she’s done plenty of useful things and contributions in her helping the rebellion she seems very capable and competent so she has her uses in this series..

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