Episode 15 – He Ain’t Heavy

In which Shadow Weaver unleashes a powerful hoover.

Shadow Weaver and Grizzlor break into a retired wizard’s house, and – despite his warnings of danger – steal an artefact called the Moon Mirror. In the Fright Zone, Hordak congratulates Shadow Weaver on her unexpected competence and reveals his plan: when the moons are aligned, the Moon Mirror can create a bridge between universes, so Hordak is going to use it to kidnap Prince Adam. He will then capture Adora when she comes charging to the rescue.

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Shadow Weaver: “Pretty sure the background in here is where Granamyr used to live.”

Hordak achieves the first of these objectives, successfully kidnapping Adam, and even managing to steal his sword. He then sends a letter to Adora, informing her of Adam’s capture and demanding her surrender. Also included with the letter is a bomb, which might have made her surrender difficult if it had worked.

Adora, of course, heads off to the Fright Zone, after telling Bow and Glimmer that they mustn’t come with her. Once out of sight, she turns into She-Ra and flies off, managing to reach the Fright Zone’s dungeons with very little effort. Adam has been spending his time trying to reach his sword through the bars of his cage, without success, but this becomes unnecessary when She-Ra arrives and rips the door off. Adam then turns into He-Man with a faint air of irritation.

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Prince Adam: “I’m literally fuming.”

Bow and Glimmer remain in the Whispering Woods, studying a map to try to work out where they can get some food. They are interrupted by the retired wizard from the first scene, who introduces himself as Cattelus. He asks for help in retrieving his Moon Mirror, informing them that if used incorrectly, the Mirror could destroy Etheria. Bow leaps at the chance and hurtles off to the Fright Zone with Cattelus, hoping to recover the Mirror and help Adora at the same time.

Learning of Adam’s escape, Hordak orders Shadow Weaver to reactivate the Mirror and kidnap King Randor. Shadow Weaver warns Hordak that the moons are no longer aligned, and so the Mirror will be uncontrollable, but being a first class nitwit, Hordak tells her to do it anyway. Naturally, Shadow Weaver can’t control the Mirror, and opens a bridge to somewhere less than pleasant identified as the Doom Dimension.

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Shadow Weaver: “Properly love a good night down the Hacienda.”

It would seem that the Doom Dimension would be more appropriately named the Vacuum Cleaner Dimension, since its chief characteristic is to suck everything into it. Bow and Cattelus don’t do anything except cling desperately to pillars, while He-Man and She-Ra solve the situation by throwing an enormous statue of Hordak at the Mirror, which makes the Mirror explode.

The episode doesn’t see fit to explain what happens to Cattelus, or how He-Man gets back to Eternia, instead choosing to end with Adora back in Whispering Woods, making stupid jokes which only work if the rebels are familiar with the musical output of the Hollies, which logic would suggest they aren’t.

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Glimmer: “You’re talking as if you think you’re being funny, Adora, but these jokes make literally no sense.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Today, Loo-Kee was in a shot of Whispering Woods that I don’t even recall being in the episode. Obviously, I didn’t see him. He yammers on to us about safety, specifically mentioning knives, tools and matches as examples of things in the house that might hurt us. I assume this was supposed to be vaguely linked to the baddies not using the Moon Mirror safely, but in that case, surely Loo-Kee should have mentioned magical artefacts in his list of unsafe household objects.

 

Character checklist

Well, as you’ll have surely deduced by now, we have another guest appearance by Prince Adam and He-Man today. Teela also puts in a showing. The regulars are Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Glimmer, Bow, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Grizzlor, and some Horde Troopers. Cattelus is the one hit wonder.

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Bow: “I don’t know, Glimmer. It’s a nice enough table, but I’m sure we could get a cheaper one at Ikea.”

 

Excuse given for Adora and Adam’s disappearances

Bow asks He-Man and She-Ra where Adam and Adora are; He-Man seems only capable of smirking in a stupid way, while She-Ra gives the most minimal reply possible: “Safe.”

I know I’ve been down this road before, but I really do have to wonder about this secret identity business. Okay, maybe it’s plausible for Adora and She-Ra to be different people, in the eyes of the rebels, but surely they can put two and two together that He-Man only seems to come to Etheria when Prince Adam does?

 

Insults

Hordak addresses his letter to “the traitorous outlaw rebel Adora”. Otherwise, there’s nothing to report here, unless we really want to stretch a point and allow He-Man’s description of the Hordak statue as an “ugly monument”.

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He-Man: “Ugly it may be, but a genuine collector’s item too.”

 

Oh No, Bow!

Bow claims he’ll cause a distraction so he and Cattelus can break into the Fright Zone. What he actually does is cause a rock fall that nearly kills him and Cattelus. Remarkably, Bow seems to consider this a success.

 

Does it have the Power?

I felt like I was watching a vastly improved version of the previous episode, Friendship. It’s exactly the same plot, even following several of the same story points: for example, the Horde sending Adora a letter, and Bow being told to wait behind and then coming anyway. Still, it somehow had a lot more pizzazz to it, possibly because the person being rescued was Prince Adam and not some random “friend” who we’d never seen before and doubtless will never see again. The final crisis with the Doom Dimension was also much more interesting than the grand finale to Friendship, whatever that was. I can’t even remember now.

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She-Ra: “Putting my hairdryer on full strength was possibly a mistake.”

This is probably as good a place to mention as any, but I’m still waiting for most of the Rebellion to play anything other than a supporting role. Bow, of course, is getting a fair amount of screen time, but it does seem like the writers don’t know what to do with Glimmer, Madame Razz or any of the others. Additionally, the opening credits say that someone called Light Hope knows Adora’s secret identity; why have we not even met this Light Hope individual yet?

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26 thoughts on “Episode 15 – He Ain’t Heavy

  1. Hi owen, really enjoyed reading this review an liked some of the funnys particularly your quote saying im sure this used to be granamyrs back ground laugh out loud yep I get it!! Anyway I left the last episode cos I was pretty much the same with yourself in that it was just average (regarding friendship) as you said the friendship episode wasn’t great but I agree with 2 things you said one it doesn’t deserve a beating either and it did have a gem of a plot which im not surprised could get reused but I too accept it was just average, altho reading everyones feelings on that episode I though it still took a bit of an unfair beating it wasn’t that bad guys was it??? anyway my thoughts on this on it is a big improvement on the last episode and I thought your review owen is pretty much on the money, as you say the similarities to the last episode are there to see but this was done so much better! for any fans info who don’t know this but the last episode friendship was written by Robert white (the ice age cometh fairly good and the horrible once and future duke) and this episode he ain`t heavy is written by bob forward easily one of the best if not the best writer on the she ra series (the problem with power, the price of freedom, assault on the hive sweet bees home to name a few) and that is the difference it was bob forward who wrote he aint heavy and some of these writers naturally I felt understood the characters and the show a lot better than other writers (bob forward, larry di dillio and Robert lamb for instance these were the better writers) I love these race against time plots you have this in talent for trouble where there sending orko off into horde world and its the same situation here they must destry the moon mirror before it sucks in all of etheria! these types of stories offer great drama and tension to an episode so undoubtably the moon mirrot is an excellent plot device and gives us real drama and a treat of an episode! its nice to get a cross over again and see adam in etheria, shadow weaver seems at her most menacing best too at the same time I loved hordak he was really evil and dumb too insisting shadow weaver uses the moon mirror before the moons were aligned she looked frightened of hordak in this scene and the animation on weaver I thought was fantastic at the same time hordak letting her know there is no doubt who is in charge! Anyway on close I think this is a great all round episode its pretty solid on the whole from start to finish, id give this easily a 7 maybe even an 8/10 id say.. just a last thought owen iv noticed with shadow weaver and hordaks relationship have you noticed I love it how shadow weaver comes up with all the ideas and hordak takes the credit for them ie “excellent im glad I though of it” then at the end when it goes wrong hordak turns on weaver saying “this is your worst idea yet” they seem to make a great pair actually! Anyway overall a great episode this one for me and really enojed your review owen and your funny quote captions below the pictures especially hordaks statue with he man quoting ugly it maybe but a genuine collectors item!! lol.. the next 3 episodes I think are all pretty good especially horde prime takes a holiday oone of the very best episodes and all that is great about this series so I hope people will be more upbeat with there feelings on these next few episodes….

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    1. You’re right – Bob Forward was one of the best, if not the best, She-Ra writer. I learned to anticipate good things if I saw his name in the credits! He was also pretty reliable on the BraveStarr series, where he wrote an absolutely brilliant episode called Sunrise, Sunset.

      But yep – He Ain’t Heavy is basically Friendship done right, with some good character points (such as that you noticed about Shadow Weaver and Hordak, which is a good spot).

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  2. Just a final thought on your last comment regarding light hope I agree and this is a problem for the series regarding production order it gets even worse later Owen!.. in episode 22 the crystal castle this is the first time she discovers light hope yet in episode 21 (the episode before remember) the stone in the sword she’s contacting light hope and climbing sky dancer so yep I agree.. an I’m sure you’d agree Owen this is probably the most blatant example to use the fact that adora doesn’t even know the crystal castle yet along light hope yet in the episode before in production she visits light hope!! As we all thought the production order was confusing in he-man!! Takecare..

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    1. Production order in He-Man was basically okay, I think? Other than the Orko’s uncle fiasco, and I’m trying hard to forget those two episodes exist anyway…

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      1. @Owenmorton
        Well, “Happy Birthday Roboto” (with Modulok in it.) was the episode number 113 and it was aired before “Mistaken Identity” (Mistaken identity was the episode number 123 and it was supposed to be the first apparition of Modulok in He-Man.).

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  3. An yep, they were the ones basically the 2 rather forgettable orko eps ! Other than the diamond ray cosmic comet pilot debate and the rather anti climatic coke zone being the actual last episode rather than the problem with power he-man was pretty straight forward she-ra production order tho (ep 21 stone in the sword ep22 crystal castle being the best and most blatant example I can think of) seems to be all over the place! Thanks for letting me know regarding the brave Starr series (which I’ve not seen) sunrise, sunset being written by forward, thanks Owen will have to check that out one day!

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  4. Sort of, I mean the crystal castle is a flashback but imo it’s still mightily confusing imo for fans who don’t know the series that well in other words it want an ideal place but yes your right it is a flashback episode maybe I should of said! I just feel fans watching this series for the first time it does confuse them anyway that’s only my opinion, the other example is episode 10 prisoners of beast island with the cringer type dragon character called sorrowful yet 2 episodes later in episode 12 the laughing dragon were meeting him for the first time!! Lol..

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  5. If that episode were an He-man episode, I would say that “He Ain’t Heavy” is a an average He-man episode.

    For me, this episode was somewhat entertaining. The action was slightly above average. The fights between Bow and the Horde were rather good (It was new for the Horde to try to kill Adora with bombs. Bow indeed protected Adora from 2 bombs. Also, “his distraction” to enter into the fright zone was average. He also efficiently saved Cattelus in the end from being sucked by the mirror ). Also, the fights between Shera and the Horde were rather average. I mean: Shera efficiently sneaked into the fight zone and freed Adam discreetly. Also, her and Adam plugging the mirror was funny.

    Also, there was very little serious character development and characterization in this episode.
    Adora and the rebels planned with a map against the Horde in the beginning (But Adora planning with the other rebels is not something new. It has already been seen before this episode.). Concerning the second bomb, Adora had bad reflexes and needed Bow’s help. Also, it was somewhat interesting and funny to see He-man and Shera cooperating to plug the mirror. Also, as a leader, Adora thanked Bow for helping her in the end. Otherwise, Adora/Shera did nothing in this episode except saving Adam, fighting with He-man and being happy to have saved Adam.
    Bow was motivated, he downed the spy bat and he protected Adora and Glimmer from the 2 bomb explosions in the beginning. Also, Bow was rightly suspicious of Cattelus in the beginning. Also, he was stubborn not to obey Adora’s orders to stay with the other rebels. However, he was right to do it, since he helped the magician to to go into into the fright zone and meet Shera. If indeed Cattelus hadn’t talked with Shera about the mirror, Shera probably wouldn’t have taken care of the mirror. Also Bow was dumb not to understand that Adam and Adora were He-man and Shera. Also, Bow saved the magician in the end. Also, Bow had very little interactions with other persons and he had very little character development.
    Adam was somewhat childish with Teela in the beginning of the episode. Also, he did nothing in the rest of the episode except fightin the Horde and cooperating with Shera.
    Also, Glimmer did nothing in this episode except agreeing with Adora and congratuling Adora for freeing Adam in the end.
    Also, Madam Razz did nothing in this episode. Thus, at least, she didn’t do crazing things, which was a good thing for me.
    Also, Kowl did nothing in this episode, but at least he wasn’t annoying.
    Also, Teela was sensible, as usual, and she somewhat outraged by Adam’s childish behaviour (=The 2 moons reminded Adam of a couple of fried eggs.).
    Hordak was very stupid to order Shadow Weaver to use the mirror when the moons weren’t aligned despite the fact that she warned him 3 different times that it would be very dangerous to use the mirror without the moons aligned. I know that Hordak was written to be stupid. Yet, he was far too much stupid for me. And I personnaly think that Skeletor wouldn’t have done such a mistake with the mirror.
    Shadow Weaver was intimidating and sarcastic to Cattelus. She also easily got the mirror from Cattelus. She also very professional about using the mirror and warned Hordak about the dangers of not not using it correctly.
    Also, Grizzlor was rather intimidating to Cattelus, which was an improvment.
    Last thing: How could Shera and swiftwind land on the fright zone? I mean: The Horde should have had alert radars to detect Swiftwind, don’t they?

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    1. I must admit I do agree with you there on that bit regarding hordaks stupidity and I too think that even skeletor wouldn’t if done such a thing ie without the moons aligned, it doesn’t bother me tho at all personally that hordaks this way in fact I feel it’s a good thing regards to his partnership with shadow weaver I feel anyway they complement each other very well, as has been touched on before it seems quite clear to me the writers made hordak to be the reckless one (he’s always in a hurry only with destruction on his mind) shadow weaver on the other hand is there “thinker” she at least thinks more before she acts hordaks more impulsive or reckless if you like, yes I feel these two characters compliment each other very well.. as it happens by bob forwards incredibly high standards this wasn’t anywhere near his very best episodes but yet this was still a great ep! Of course even great writers like Larry di tillio and forward don’t always get it right even the best can get it wrong sometimes but if I’m honest the only one bad episode imo bob forward wrote and it is currently at the mo one of my bottom ten episode contenders is loo-kee’s sweety an all I’ll say is it ain’t great but the rest of his episodes in my opinion range from solid to outstanding I wouldn’t say this episode is outstanding or a top ten contender but it’s still way way above average ep I love the drama and stories with urgency always offer that raw excitement and entertainment.. on a side thought I love shadow weavers laugh of course it’s Linda gary so that’s why it’s awesome she voiced shokoti too and every now and then I catch a little bit of shokoti voice occasionally coming out of weaver both really creepy but again testament to her one of a kind voice acting..

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      1. @ John Thompson

        I agree that Bob Forward is a good Shera writer. In particular, I did like his shera episode “She-Ra Unchained” and the magna beam subplot. And maybe I’m wrong, but it seems to me that Bob Forward’s He-man and Shera episodes are generally full of action/entertainment, aren’t they? What’s your opinion about it?

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  6. @Owenmorton:
    “Still, it somehow had a lot more pizzazz to it, possibly because the person being rescued was Prince Adam and not some random “friend” who we’d never seen before and doubtless will never see again. The final crisis with the Doom Dimension was also much more interesting than the grand finale to Friendship, whatever that was. I can’t even remember now.”
    Agreed.
    Also the “grande finale” to Friendship was that Adora, Bow and her friend were saved by a Tyrosaur. So, yeah, of course, the final crisis with doomed dimension was better than the finale to Friendship.

    Otherwise, you forgot to mention Teela in your character checklist. It indeed was one of her very few appearances in the Shera series.

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    1. Thanks again for all your well made points and arguments, Jean-Paul. I sometimes think you and John Thompson put a lot more effort into this blog than I do!! 🙂

      I will update the character list with Teela, how could I forget her??

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      1. I must admit i see how you can forget teela owen, now I’m not 100 percent sure about this but off the top of my head not including the secret of the sword (the first 5 episodes) this I think might be her only appearance in the she ra series?? Maybe..

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      2. Off the top of my head, I’d agree with you … but then again, off the top of my head, I wouldn’t have included her in this episode either, so I’m clearly not a reliable head-top-person….

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      3. Also, Teela was in “He-Man & She-Ra: A Christmas Special”, but it wasn’t really a Shera episode. And the writers were Bob Forward (Like in He Ain’t Heavy) and Don Hechkman. By the way, Owenmorton, will you review He-Man & She-Ra: A Christmas Special too?

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  7. Absolutely! My opinion Jean Paul is just like you say bob forwards episodes always seem entertaing and enjoyable to watch, there’s only so much any if these writers can get into 20 minutes but forward episodes as you say are great, they all have a great structure to all of them with almost perfect pacing as well (pacing of an episode is very important too otherwise it feels disjointed) so.. in answering you yep this is my general opinion if this writer, bob forward seemed to have a natural understanding of all the characters as well ie he knows when to put feeling into a certain character which heightens the feeling of an episode many of his episodes have you know are very powerful and emotional the problem with power, the price of freedom she ra unchained to name you a few.. yes this writer was one of the best not just she ra but both filmation he man and she ra series, he man alone I would maybe say that Paul Dino understood these characters amazingly well and penned for me the very best he man episodes (although forward wrote the problem with power which is my fav) but overall I’d have to go with Paul Dino for he man series alone but just for the she ra series alone, I think bob forward was the best she ra writer..

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  8. Id say theres a high chance were right and he aint heavy is her only she ra episode appearance, but one thing I am absolutely certain about teela never set foot on etheria! think it was just this one episode a 20 second cameo on eternia lol. Just a quick thought on the production order yeah theres wrong and theres blatant to the point that its funny, the dragon one is the best example for me sorrowful makes that appearance in episode 10 then he gets his origin episode in episode 12 jokes.. can you imagine if they aired return of the sea hawk episode before the sea hawk episode that would be the most ridiculous ever!! doesn’t overly bother me personally tho it can cause confusion for fans less well known to this series!. thanks for your thought/reply owen its a shame that teela never got an appearance on etheria I think, I wonder why they didn’t? who knows..

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  9. Teela going to Etheria would be too dangerous. We already had the repeated joke about how Adora was “safe” from Skeletor when introduced to She-ra. It had been done; and really, why would Teela need to go to Etheria with Adam unless there was a reason. Adam was the prince and she was captain of the Royal Guard. We had already seen what could happen when Teela goes out on her own.

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    1. Cam Farr

      The only reason I see that Teela would need to go to Etheria would be that the rebels needed to build an airforce to fight the Horde. Since she is very good pilot (Remember “the rainbow warrior”) and she have trainer skills, it seems to me that she would be a suitable person to train the pilots of this new rebel airforce. But it’s just my personal opinion.

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  10. Cam Farr yeah you make good points, still.. personally I just would of liked to have seen at least one episode with her but interestingly maybe the reasons you stated. I completely agree it would be dangerous for teela, etheria is a much more aggressive an violent world than eternia that’s many times mentioned as the free planet eternia, an etheria is run by the horde yeah I guess it was trying to find a valid reason still from a selfish point of view (as a viewer) I think many would of liked to of, as you correctly said at the end even on eternia she seems to get captured quite easy when she goes out by herself three on a dare, ordeal in the darklands episodes for examples. Of all the eternia baddies I’d of liked to of seen evil Lyn as well an evil Lynn/skeletor partnership vs hordak/shadow weaver would of been awesome!!

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  11. @JohnThompson

    “she seems to get captured quite easy when she goes out by herself three on a dare, ordeal in the darklands episodes for examples. “.
    Concerning ordeal in the darklands, you’re right, she was captured in the beginning of the episode. But I disagree about three on a dare, if she was captured, it was basically the fault of those three stupid children. They indeed stole her vehicule.

    Also, she’s not always easily captured when she goes out by herself, “Day of the Machines” (She went into Snake mountain to spy Skelettor and his minions.), “Trouble In Arcadia” (She was captured in the end of the episode by Queen Sumana only because Teela tried to rescue Adam.).

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  12. The episodes you say trouble in Arcadia and day of the machines are true you are right, but all I was saying is she does at other times get captured fairly easy an becomes the damsel in distress but as you say Jean Paul the episodes you say particularly trouble in Arcadia she was rescuing adam, so there’s both for teela, interesting you mentioned day of the machines cos I think that is the one and only time teela rides on battle cat!! Fair enough tho the episodes you say, it just shows there’s some stories she gets captured easily and others she proves she’s a good warrior…

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