Episode 14 – Friendship

In which She-Ra falls for a dead obvious trap.

Kowl is flapping about in Whispering Woods, trying to get Bow and Adora to join in with him as he mercilessly takes the piss out of Madame Razz. Bow seems up for this, but Adora is busier reading a letter while standing in a really weird pose that seems designed specifically to stick her arse in Bow’s direction, though God knows why she’d want to do that. The letter is from Lani, one of Adora’s old friends from when she was in the Horde, and I’ve got to say, it seems a little odd that there’s a regular postal service running between the Rebellion and the Horde.

Friendship 1
Bow: “Yeah, Adora, I don’t normally stand like that while reading letters.”

It turns out that Hordak blames Lani for Adora’s treachery, and is thus going to send her to the slave mines on Hordeworld. Adora – who can’t see an obvious trap even when it’s right in front of her nose – decides to rescue Lani, and turns into She-Ra. She mounts Swift Wind and off they fly to the Fright Zone. Naturally, despite being told to wait in Whispering Woods, Bow follows along behind, with the intention, if not the ability, to help.

She-Ra and Swift Wind reach the Fright Zone, only pausing to heal the wing of an injured tyrosaur on the way. Once inside, She-Ra turns back into Adora and wanders around until she finds Lani, who immediately betrays her and summons Hordak. Didn’t see that coming. Shadow Weaver knocks Adora’s sword from her hand, and she is taken into custody, amid much idiotic snorting from everyone’s least favourite pig imitator.

Friendship 2
Hordak: “This is an A1 awesome plan, lads.”

So it’s Bow to the rescue, which means that the entire series comes to an ignominious end right now. To his credit, he does manage to reach the room where Adora is being held captive, but then gets knocked out by a blast of sleeping gas from Hordak’s stupid arm cannon. Luckily, Kowl manages to snatch the power sword and fly away, while Hordak crows that he will be sending Adora and Bow to Beast Island. Given Beast Island is a less than secure prison that featured two jailbreaks in the space of 6 episodes, I don’t imagine anyone’s too worried about this threat.

Once they reach Beast Island, Hordak starts up on that old chestnut of brainwashing Adora to serve the Horde again. I’m genuinely surprised he still considers this a good idea. Before he can get to that stage, though, Kowl brings Adora her sword, and it’s time for She-Ra to start stomping her way through the prison again. After She-Ra rescues Bow, Lani reappears in the episode. She only betrayed Adora in the first place so that Hordak would release her father from prison, so She-Ra naturally forgives her, especially once she learns that Hordak has gone back on the deal.

The next step, of course, is to find and free Lani’s father. There’s a brief diversion for a ludicrous fight in which Hordak is only defeated because he’s sufficiently idiotic to turn his arm into an electric fan, which leads to his downfall. Once that’s attended to, we are treated to some stupid antics in which She-Ra surfs on light beams, or something. I wasn’t invested in this scene to pay enough attention, really. Suffice it to say, Lani’s father is rescued, and Hordak is cross.

Friendship 3
Hordak: “This will work to defeat She-Ra, provided she’s terrified of air-conditioning.”

Our heroes manage to escape the prison, but quickly come under attack from all the eponymous beasts of Beast Island. Luckily, that tyrosaur from earlier shows up, in a twist ending that I definitely didn’t see coming, no sir. As a thank you for She-Ra healing its wing, the tyrosaur carries them all off the island and to safety.

 

In today’s adventure…

I think part of my problem with Loo-Kee is that I forget to look for him until it’s halfway through the episode, and he’s usually hiding in the opening scene or shortly thereafter. In today’s case, he was messing about in the Fright Zone early on, not long before She-Ra had a gratuitous fight with some kind of squid thing.

Friendship 4
Loo-Kee: “I’m not sure why I’m always hiding, to be honest.”

Anyway, Loo-Kee informs us that teachers, doctors, policemen and our parents are all our special friends, but he doesn’t go any further in attempting to turn this into a life lesson. I don’t know what to take away from this, and I certainly don’t know why doctors and policemen have been lumped in with our special friends, whereas – for example – farmers, builders, or officials from the Department for Work and Pensions haven’t.

 

Character checklist

Always a pleasure to spend some time in the company of Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Kowl, Madame Razz, Broom, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Grizzlor and some Horde Troopers. It’s also a pleasure to meet Lani and her dad.

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

She-Ra is rude enough to ignore Grizzlor when he directly asks where Adora is, which isn’t very good role model behaviour. On the other hand, when Lani starts talking about Adora a minute later, She-Ra responds, “She’s safe.”

Friendship 5
Kowl: “She-Ra, the interior decorator around here did a really bad job.”

 

Insults

It’s all Hordak again this week, though nothing earth-shattering. The best is probably “stupid bird” directed at Kowl, though he also offers “fool” for a Horde Trooper and “traitor” for Adora.

 

Oh No, Bow!

I don’t know what he could have done to avoid it, but Bow does get knocked out by the sleeping gas. He’s also less than effective at busting himself out of his jail cell, but in complete fairness, he hadn’t actually started trying yet before She-Ra came barrelling in, thus sparing him the effort.

Friendship 6
Bow: “Look how manly I am.”

 

Does it have the Power?

It’s one of those decidedly average affairs, which doesn’t really warrant a good kicking, but equally doesn’t deserve much in the way of praise. The problem, I think, was that everything was crushingly predictable. I knew Lani’s letter would be a trap, and I knew that the tyrosaur would help to save the day in the end. I also knew Hordak would be stupid enough to go back on his deal with Lani – seriously, I know this helps the audience to spot that he’s evil, but it’s really no way to build loyalty among his troops. Essentially, I wouldn’t recommend it, but it’s not worryingly bad.

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6 thoughts on “Episode 14 – Friendship

  1. Well, nothing particulary new here. Classic twist with “forced betrayal”, albeit this one was so obvious, that even Bow was able to see it through. Absolutely senseless betrayal of the deal on Hordak’s side also add nothing good to the episode; there was exactly zero reasons given why he couldn’t just do his part of deal and release Lani’s father. Well… considering the rather special design of his cell, we could SPECULATE that he have some above-average value for Hordak (maybe some sort of political prisoner, or important hostage, or he just pissed Hordak off really bad) but nothing was revealed in the plot, so the whole “Hordak back off the deal” seems to be played “just for evulz”.

    No new Madame Razz spells, also (albeit she clearly wanted to prepare some – just in case).

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    1. Agreed – no one comes out of this episode particularly well, especially Hordak.

      Interestingly though, I could see this being a plotline that the new She-Ra cartoon revisits. There’s a germ of a good story in here, and if it was handled less carelessly, the idea of an old friend of Adora’s still working for the Horde could work well for some good character development.

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      1. Hope so… DreamWorks currently held the plot quality plank pretty high, and their remake of “Rocky and Bullwinkle” was rather enjoyable (albeit still not as good as original… they dropped almost all political satire, which made the Jay Ward original so awesome).

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      2. @Owenmorton
        I agree that Adora’s past in the Horde had a lot of writing potential.
        Yet, the writers did few things about it. Also, in my personal opinion, the two episodes with General Sunder were better stories than “friendship”.

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    2. Also, as I said in my other comment, the Horde used flaming torchs to light up some corridors of their base. So, they don’t know electricity and flashlights or what? No wonder that the Horde is unable to defeat the rebellion… So, yeah I agree that the writer of this episode made the Horde incredibly stupid!

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  2. If that episode were an He-man episode, I would say that “Friendship” is a under average He-man episode.

    For me, this episode was not enough entertaining. The action was average.
    The fights between Bow and the Horde were rather average (We had already see this kinds of fights before: For examples, when Bow used a mirror to deflect and when he threw a Horde soldier.). Also, the fights between Shera and the Horde were rather bad. I mean: Shera easily beat Hordak and Shadow Weaver. She also easily freed Lanie’s father. Thus there was no tension and supense.

    Also, there was a little serious character development and characterization in this episode.
    Shera was rather dumb to turn back into Adora before meeting Lanie. I mean: Shera should have told Lanie that Adora asked her to free Lanie from the Horde. Also, Adora should have known that she could only free Lanie in her Shera form. Thus, it seems to me that she was dumb. Also, Adora/Shera did nothing in this episode except being vaguely caring about Lanie, fighting the Horde and healing an animal (When is she going to stop that? Is she in charge of healing all the animals of Etheria? I wonder.).
    Bow was motivated but he did nothing really new. His behaviour was risky, as usual. The only interesting thing was that he had some sense of humour (Like when he deflected the Trooper’s beam, he said: “I teached you that trick, but I’m in a hurry bye, bye!”. Also, he and Shera cooperated a little bit in the end.
    Also, Glimmer was another time not present in this episode. What was she doing? I even wonder if she is still a member of the great rebellion…
    Also, Madam Razz did her usual crazy stuff in this episode, which I disliked.
    Also, Kowl was a little annoying. The only time that he was annoying was when Kowl doubted that Bow couldn’t open the door with his bow. I mean: Kowl was not constructive. Also, Kowl succesfullly helped Adora and Bow by bringing them their weapons. But, I was surprised that Kowl managed to reach the room where Adora was being held captive. I mean: Are the Horde such fools that they can’t detect and stop a spy bird (=Kowl)??
    Also, as Owen Morton said, the idea of Lannie being an old friend of Adora’s still working for the Horde was rather good. Also, the idea of her caring for her father was rather good too. Yet, I never had the feeling that Lannie was really caring for Adora’s safety or her father’s safety: For example, she was not really angry or sad when Adora was captured. She wasn’t really angry or sad when Hordak refused to free her father.
    And while Adora and Lannie were supposed to be friends and Lannie was supposed to be Adora’s second in command, it didn’t seem to me that Adora and Lannie really related to each other. Also, nothing knew was told about Adora’s past in the Horde. Also Lannie did nothing to help the rebels. Thus, for me, Lannie was rather a generic and blank character. Also, since Lannie wanted to become a member of the rebellion in the end, I think that it would have been useful to see her again in later episodes. Yet, we never saw her again.
    And Hordak was idiotic for not keeping his word on Lannie. I mean: He had no reason to go back to his deal. And sure, for example, Skeletor betrayed the toy maker in “The toy maker” for no reason too. But at least, it was in the very end of the He-man series while “Friendship” is at the very begining of the Shera series. Thus, you can guess how stupid Hordak is going to become in the end of the Shera series…
    Also, Shadow Weaver was too much self confident and she was rather useless.
    Also, Grizzlor was rather a blank character and he was completely stupid. I mean: He entered Adora’s cell, but he only found Shera. The walls were undamaged and the door was undamaged too. Thus, the only logical explanation was that Adora and Shera were the ame person. Grizzlor even said: “Where is Adora? what is this? Some kind of magic?”. And he was right about the magic: Adora turned into Shera. Yet, he never realized that Shera and Adora were the same person. It is incredible that Grizzlor couldn’t guess that Adora and Shera were the same person! Thus, for me, this episode had some serious lazy writing problems!
    Last thing, Bow extinguished the flames of of flaming torchs with his bow to blind temporarily the Horde troopers and Grizzlor. So, the Horde didn’t use flashlights to light up the corridors of their base? They don’t know electricity or what? No wonder that the Horde is unable to endanger the rebellion… Seriously, the writer of this episode made the Horde so stupid!

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