In which She-Ra breaks her sword.
Let’s start here by saying that I like the episode’s title. It’s very pleasing, somehow. The same cannot be said of the opening scene, which features Hordak, Grizzlor and Shadow Weaver messing about in the Fright Zone and preparing to use Hordak’s new weapon, the Doom Balloon, on the rebels. For whatever reason, the Doom Balloon can only be used when there’s a lightning storm, and as luck would have it, there’s one due that very evening.
That first scene was merely boring, but the second scene tips the balance into irritating. Bow, Adora and Glimmer have learned of the forthcoming Doom Balloon attack, and are preparing for it, when one of the Twiggets bursts in and accidentally drops a great big handful of laughing powder. Our three moronic heroes start chuckling their heads off, and it was at this precise point that I realised that I hate them all.
Evidently, the laughing powder left our heroes no time to plan, since by the next scene, it’s evening, and Hordak is already attacking. His Doom Balloon is able to capture lightning and redirect it to specific spots, so he’s using it to burn down the trees of Whispering Wood. This sort of behaviour naturally leads to the appearance of She-Ra, who destroys the Doom Balloon by using her sword as a lightning rod to overload the Balloon’s circuits – but in the process, the gemstone in her sword is cracked and she is transformed back into Adora.
With the gemstone damaged, Adora cannot become She-Ra. Her solution is to go to visit Light Hope, who lives in the Crystal Castle at the top of Skydancer Mountain. Light Hope is mentioned in the credits every week as knowing She-Ra’s secret identity, but we’ve never met him before in the actual cartoon, so hot damn, this should be exciting. Unfortunately, it isn’t particularly. Light Hope is an amorphous mass of glowing light, and all he does is recommend that Adora visit some people called the First Ones in the Etherian Underworld, who may be able to restore her powers.
The First Ones are naturally given to setting up a wide variety of half-witted traps on the route to their kingdom, but Adora is skilled enough to navigate them all with ease, which I expect comes as quite a surprise to you. Once she reaches her goal, she discovers that the First Ones are composed of living flames, and they embark on a lengthy and unnecessary recap of the episode’s events to this point, before fixing the sword. Hurrah!
In today’s adventure…
Finding Loo-Kee this week was a lot easier than the norm; I saw him with no problems as the camera panned through an establishing shot of the Etherian Underworld. I had a lot more trouble understanding what the hell he was saying though: I’m pretty sure he was making up words rather than conversing in a real language. The best I can do is to say that I think it was about persevering with tasks when they seem difficult, which is what Adora did when navigating the stupid traps.
Here we have Adora, She-Ra, Kowl, Bow, Glimmer, Light Hope, the Twiggets, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Grizzlor, and the First Ones. Possibly some other people too. I can’t remember now.
Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance
Despite two transformations, we aren’t graced with any excuses this week.
Grizzlor is the target of four blistering verbal assaults from Hordak, including “clumsy clot”, “peabrain”, “twit” and “bumbling boob”. Bow calls Hordak a “tin man”, which doesn’t really fit Hordak’s characteristics. She-Ra also gets in on the act, telling Hordak he’s a “happy loser”.
Oh No, Bow!
In a subplot that I couldn’t be bothered to mention in the episode summary, Bow manages to get himself captured by the Horde, even after She-Ra has defeated them.
Does it have the Power?
Despite a few annoying moments, I think that we could conclude this one’s all right. It’s good to finally meet Light Hope, though some explanation of why he knows about She-Ra might have been nice. Equally, the Crystal Castle where Light Hope lives is obviously somehow important to Etheria, given it appears in the background when Adora is transforming into She-Ra, but we don’t yet know why. Maybe at some point in the future we’ll learn these things. I do note that the next episode is called The Crystal Castle, so there’s potential there.
The main case against this episode is the use of the laughing powder, or giggleberry powder as the episode refers to it. It’s annoying enough at the start when Adora, Bow and Glimmer take a great big inhalation of it, but it goes that extra step into infuriating at the end of the episode, when Hordak is subjected to it and starts snorting his demented head off. All four of these characters doing massive fake belly laughs is incredibly irritating, and calling the stuff giggleberry powder is so cute it hurts. I hate it.