Episode 21 – The Stone in the Sword

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.

Stone 1
Adora: “I may be laughing, but I’m seeing red.”

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.

Stone 2
She-Ra: “I think I’ll use this for the cover of my 2019 calendar.”

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!

Stone 3
Adora: “And I will walk through the fire… ’cause where else can I turn? … Oh wait, I’m not Buffy.”

 

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.

 

Character checklist

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.

Stone 4
Hordak: “Hello. We’re from the Pupil-Less Eyes Toy Collectors Club. Can we interest you in this Horde Trooper figure?”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

Despite two transformations, we aren’t graced with any excuses this week.

 

Insults

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.

Stone 5
Bow: “If I had a brain, I’d escape by squeezing through one of these massive holes in the bars. But I don’t.”

 

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.

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Episode 20 – Three Courageous Hearts

In which She-Ra goes on a dinner date.

This episode might as well start right where last week’s left off; all the rebels are still in Mysticor, being entertained by Castaspella. It appears to be an entirely different occasion though, this time being Mysticor’s annual Trickster competition. This gives all the rebels the opportunity to show off their skills, but since none of them have any skills, it’s going to be a pretty short competition.

Outside, Madame Razz, Broom and Kowl have met a young lady who is, let’s be honest, blatantly someone evil in disguise. My money’s on Catra, because her voice is most similar, though it could be Shadow Weaver. I’m ruling Scorpia out, because she’s far too dense to come up with anything this intelligent.

Courageous 1
Broom: “How is Kowl asleep when he’s flying?”

Anyway, whoever this disguised bad person may be, they take the time to remind Madame Razz and co. that they’re completely useless. Adora doesn’t really help matters by telling them, “Don’t be discouraged. All that matters is that you do your best.” She might as well have said, “Yes. Yes, you are.” She then engages in further tactlessness by inviting them to come inside and watch She-Ra perform some feats of awesomeness. To her surprise, if not mine, they decline this kind offer and slink off back to the rebel camp.

She-Ra’s feat of awesomeness is genuinely rubbish; she jumps from a high window into the middle of the room. Nonetheless, the assembled masses applaud as if she’s just demonstrated the proof to Fermat’s Last Theorem. At this point, the disguised bad person appears and requests permission to enter the competition. Once this is granted, she casts a sleeping spell on all the rebels, and reveals herself to be Shadow Weaver. I suppose that makes more sense than if she’d been Catra, really, given Shadow Weaver is a sorceress, and Catra isn’t. Catra’s better, though.

Courageous 2
Shadow Weaver: “Finally! For once, I’m winning.”

Once the rebels are asleep, Shadow Weaver opens a portal to the sixth dimension, and sends She-Ra through it. It’s thus down to Madame Razz, Kowl and Broom to save them, which I’m sure will coincidentally boost their confidence and make them realise that they’re not useless after all. In case you’re interested, Madame Razz already seems pretty cocky, but Kowl requires extra pep talking. Broom doesn’t appear to have much of a personality at all.

The remainder of the episode flits between our three unlikely heroes attempting to save the day, and the increasingly weird adventures of She-Ra in the sixth dimension. Initially, She-Ra has to contend with a group of three ghostly pink sperm who shout incoherent nonsense at her. This is bad enough, but shortly thereafter she comes up against a small grey dude who appears to be dressed in a skin-coloured onesie. His master plan appears to be to have dinner with She-Ra, and as such, he can’t be regarded as the greatest evil mastermind in the history of television.

Courageous 3
Dinner dude: “More Ribena, She-Ra?”

Once she’s had dinner, She-Ra moves into an area that was plainly intended to be remade into a platformer game, in which she has to jump over voids onto moving rocks, while stupid vomit-coloured octopus creatures pursue her making revolting slopping noises. After that, She-Ra reaches an iron door, and the grey dude appears to shout pointless threats.

In the meantime, Madame Razz, Broom and Kowl have made their way over some icy mountains to an ancient library, where they eventually come across the book needed to reopen the portal to the sixth dimension. They cast the relevant spell, pop through the portal, and give She-Ra a lift out. They finish up by waking the other rebels from Shadow Weaver’s enchanted sleep, and Castaspella awards them the top prize in the annual Trickster competition, an outcome with which I bet they’re just thrilled.

Courageous 4
Madame Razz: “Kowl, you may look like you’re doing research, but I know you’re just reading Fifty Shades of Grey.”

 

In today’s adventure…

I’m getting good at accidentally pausing the episode in precisely the right place! I saw Loo-Kee, lurking in a tree right at the edge of an establishing shot of Whispering Woods. Loo-Kee’s random gibber this week concerns courage, such as when we learn to swim or ride a bike. Since we’ve heard this sort of thing about 8 billion times before, I would like to propose an alternative moral. I used to work in a library, and frankly, the state of the library featured in this episode was an absolute disgrace. I think the moral should have been that you should always keep libraries tidy and put the books in the right place, and then you’ll be able to find the information you need quickly, and thus perhaps negate the need for She-Ra to have dinner with mental grey dwarves.

 

Character checklist

Today brings us the chance to take a good look at Adora, She-Ra, Madame Razz, Broom, Kowl, Castaspella, Frosta, the librarian, Loo-Kee, Shadow Weaver, the pink sperm, the dinner dude, and some Horde Troopers. And Queen Angela (thanks for noting, Jean-Paul!)

Courageous 5
She-Ra: “I vaguely wonder if there were any drugs available in the animators’ office while they were doing this episode.”

 

Insults

She-Ra calls the horrible octopus creatures “uglies”, and while I don’t think much of She-Ra’s opinions in general, I’m pretty much in tune with her here. Otherwise, all we’ve got is Broom making an ageist comment concerning Madame Razz, whispering to Kowl to say that she’s “pretty ancient”.

 

Does it have the Power?

Unexpectedly, I think it’s actually above the average. You would think that an episode centring around Madame Razz would be a pretty annoying affair, but surprisingly it’s not. Of course, we’ve all seen this story before: people thinking they’re rubbish and then proving their worth is not exactly new to Filmation, but there’s very little time spent moping here; the characters just knuckle down and get on with it, which is a degree of maturity that I appreciated.

Courageous 6
Madame Razz: “When I got up this morning, I didn’t exactly anticipate this.”

The recurring joke of Madame Razz’s spells going wrong is not at all funny, but in complete fairness, I would probably have thought it was when I was five. She-Ra’s adventures in the sixth dimension, however, are completely deranged and have the air of time-wasting. I’d have cut that part of the story down and concentrated more on Madame Razz, Kowl and Broom, if I were in charge. But nonetheless, I’d say this is a good episode, and worth your time.

Episode 19 – Enchanted Castle

In which we learn about Castaspella’s history, which is of course something we all wanted to know.

The rebels have all come to a party in Mysticor, which is ruled by Castaspella. The party is in honour of the day Mysticor was freed from evil, and since we’re all champing at the bit to know about that, Adora sees fit to tell Kowl the entire story. The ensuing flashback comprises the remainder of the episode.

Enchanted 1
Glimmer: “Adora, why do you look quite so irritated with Kowl?”

Apparently, there was a time when Bow was standing around in a village square, playing a harp. The villagers were surprisingly appreciative of this, clapping delightedly as Bow finishes his performance. Perhaps they know from experience that this is the best way to make him go away. Anyway, Adora came across Bow at this point, and the two decided to travel back to Whispering Woods together, on a route that led through the Dark Forest.

Shortly before reaching the Dark Forest, the two of them came across an old woman, who had fallen down a gully. On being rescued, the woman warned Adora and Bow that the Dark Forest was dangerous, and then turned to smile mysteriously at the camera.

Enchanted 2
Old woman: “Bye! And please don’t come back.”

Once in the Dark Forest, Adora and Bow were captured pretty quickly by knights in armour, and taken to a castle full of evil magic. There they met Mortella, an evil sorceress who informed them that they were now her slaves, tasked with ensuring that a blue fire never burned down. Adora’s sword was confiscated, and the two taken to a 5-star dungeon for the night.

The old woman from earlier, however, learned that Adora and Bow were locked up in the castle, and came to rescue them – revealing in the process that she possessed magical powers. After recovering her sword, Adora asked the old woman what was so important about the blue fire, and learned that it was the source of all Mortella’s power.

Enchanted 3
Mortella: “Interestingly, Blue Fire is a rollercoaster at Europa-Park, the largest theme park in Germany. I am not a very good advert for it, I must admit.”

Adora ducked behind a wall, became She-Ra, and started causing all manner of fuss in the castle, eventually putting out the blue fire. This resulted in Mortella disappearing in a puff of green smoke, and – to my distinct lack of surprise – the old woman actually turned out to be Castaspella, who had been held prisoner in old woman form by Mortella.

We return to the party, as Adora finishes the story with an explanation that Castaspella returned her realm to the more pleasant form it had held before Mortella’s evil reign. Kowl claims he enjoyed the story, which is more than can be said for me – though I did enjoy the sudden surprise moment in which Bow was drenched with a torrent of water, seemingly for absolutely no reason other than the need to end the episode with a really amusing joke.

Enchanted 4
Bow: “I enjoy a joke just as much as the next lunatic, but this isn’t even a joke, frankly.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Well, Loo-Kee was back today, not that I saw him as he skulked about in a tree. He explains to us that doing kind deeds is good, apparently largely because later on you’ll get something back for it. This was demonstrated when Adora and Bow rescued Castaspella when she was stuck in the gully, since Castaspella later rescued them from prison. I can’t muster up any enthusiasm for this.

 

Character checklist

This little extravaganza sees quite a lot of characters emerging from the woodwork, though only a few of them play a major part in the episode – namely Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Bow, Castaspella and Mortella. Lots of other rebels are at the Mysticor party that forms the episode’s framing device, specifically Kowl, Glimmer, Madame Razz, Broom, Queen Angella, Frosta, the Twiggets, and a pair of individuals that I believe are called Peekablue and Flutterina. Then, of course, there’s Loo-Kee, the villagers that Bow was playing a harp for, and a surprise appearance for some baddies called Rattlor and Tung Lashor.

Enchanted 5.jpg
Peekablue: “Don’t mind us, we’re just here to advertise our action figures.”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

Adora is on her own when the first transformation comes, so there’s no one who needs an explanation. The second time, she simply comments to Bow, “Let’s split up,” and runs off. When she returns as She-Ra, Bow seems to have completely forgotten about Adora.

 

Insults

Mortella tells her knights that they are “fools” twice, and addresses the same unexciting insult to She-Ra and Bow. Otherwise, there’s nothing to report, except for a random comment made by Bow, who says that shooting an arrow is “easy as bibbo pie”. This might possibly be a reference to the loose morals of somebody called Bibbo Pie. It might also not be, but I have no idea what it does mean, so I’m choosing to interpret it thus.

Enchanted 6
Castaspella: “Honestly, that Bibbo Pie will sleep with anybody.”

 

Oh No, Bow!

Bow offers to travel with Adora, because, as he puts it, “You’ll be better off to have a man with you.” Wow. The writers do acknowledge that this is incredibly sexist, of course, giving Adora a hugely sarcastic reply, and making Spirit laugh his head off at Bow’s immense self-importance. Naturally, it becomes even funnier later, when Bow puts in a pitiful showing against the Castle’s knights.

 

Does it have the Power?

Unfortunately, not really. It’s fine to give us the origin story for Castaspella (though equally it wasn’t something I was particularly clamouring for), but it’s just really a rather boring story. The Dark Forest wasn’t very scary – or particularly dark – and Mortella never managed to come across as an interesting baddy. I’m trying to come up with something good to say about it, but the best I can do is that it isn’t a complete clunker. On balance, though, I’d advise skipping it.

Episode 18 – Horde Prime Takes a Holiday

In which She-Ra’s arse nearly catches fire.

Hordak’s boss, Horde Prime, has summoned Hordak and Mantenna aboard his flagship, where we learn that they are to be left in charge of the Horde’s most powerful warship while Horde Prime goes on holiday to a planet called Tropica. Since Horde Prime appears to be an amorphous cloud of gas with robotic arms, it seems unlikely that he would particularly enjoy a fortnight on the Costa del Sol, but that’s what’s presented to us.

Horde Prime 1
Hordak: “No, I don’t think I will try a bout of fisticuffs with you, thanks, Horde Prime.”

Horde Prime boards his transport ship to Tropica, pausing only to inform Hordak that under no circumstances whatsoever should he actually use the warship for anything. Of course, once Horde Prime has gone, Hordak – being a complete tool – immediately voices an intention to use it to conquer both Etheria and Eternia. Luckily, the Sorceress has got wind of this dastardly notion, and sends He-Man to Etheria to resolve the situation.

Hordak takes the flagship on a very casual fly-by over the heads of some rebels, provoking Adora into turning into She-Ra. He then fires the flagship’s freeze ray at the Whispering Woods, and it’s so powerful that even He-Man and She-Ra combined cannot stop it. It’s fortunate, therefore, that Skeletor shows up at this juncture, and not wanting to be left out of the fun, decides to steal the Horde flagship himself, which rather distracts Hordak from firing the freeze ray.

Horde Prime 2
Skeletor: “I do appreciate the effort gone into drawing me from beneath to make me look imposing… but it does seem to have had the unintended side effect of making my head look really small.”

Skeletor and Hordak engage in a lengthy duel, in which they do a fair amount of cosmetic damage to the flagship whilst shrieking alliterative insults at one another. Skeletor eventually gets the better of Hordak, but in the meantime, He-Man has thrown a grappling hook onto the ship, allowing She-Ra to climb all the way up through the atmosphere, into outer space, and on board. She makes a slight concession to realism by putting on a space helmet to allow herself to breathe, but this just somehow makes the whole thing more ludicrous because she doesn’t consider putting a spacesuit on over her skimpy dress.

She-Ra finds Skeletor merrily chuckling away and crowing “Hail Skeletor!” to himself as he starts the ship’s engines. Down on the surface of Etheria, He-Man is dragged along by the end of the grappling line, until he eventually brings the ship to a halt. Skeletor pumps even more power into the ship’s engine, hoping to drag He-Man up into space, but this proves his undoing; when the moment is right, She-Ra cuts the grappling line, sending the ship flying at full speed into an asteroid.

Horde Prime 3
He-Man: “This will make a lovely shot for my 2019 calendar.”

Horde Prime’s flagship is reduced to rubble, which upsets Skeletor mightily. He’s wise enough to know when he’s beaten though, and when he spots that what remains of the ship is about to explode, he teleports back to Snake Mountain and out of our lives. Notably, he doesn’t attempt to save Hordak, but She-Ra – being completely mental – does.

There’s then an unexpected moment where She-Ra’s arse nearly catches fire as she and Hordak plummet through the atmosphere. This being a cartoon for children, she manages to resist all the obvious puns about having a hot ass, so I’ll let you substitute your own. Even without such jokes, the episode ends on a reasonably funny note as Hordak attempts to explain the destruction of the flagship to Horde Prime.

Horde Prime 4
She-Ra: “Yeah, this is one of those pictures that defies description.”

 

In today’s adventure…

I feel completely cheated this week. Despite me looking really hard for Loo-Kee – especially after I actually found him last time – at the end of the episode, it turns out he wasn’t in it at all! Instead, we get He-Man and She-Ra delivering the moral. If Loo-Kee isn’t going to be there, they need to warn us of that at the start! Otherwise it’s completely unfair! I am literally shaking with rage.

He-Man and She-Ra’s moral is that our bodies are our own, and no one should touch them without our permission. There’s also an unwelcome cameo from Orko, who threatens to punch anyone who touches us. She-Ra recognises that Orko’s contribution is less than helpful, and tells him to shut up, while He-Man points unnervingly at the camera and says that we shouldn’t feel ashamed if someone touches us in a bad way, but should tell someone we trust. He lists some bizarre suggestions of people we might trust: our parents, teachers, doctors, counsellors, ministers or rabbis. These latter two seem to be something of an afterthought, and have the air of an ad-lib, if it were possible for cartoon characters to ad-lib.

Horde Prime 5
She-Ra: “Er, He-Man, you’re coming across a bit strong, what with the finger pointing and all.”

Anyway – great message, and one we haven’t heard before from He-Man, but with zero relevance to the story, unless we’re supposed to consider Horde Prime’s flagship is his body, and Skeletor and Hordak were touching him inappropriately? And also – where the Jesus Christ was Loo-Kee?

 

Character checklist

This fantastic crossover episode features Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Prince Adam, He-Man, Bow, Kowl, the Sorceress, Horde Prime, Hordak, Skeletor, Mantenna and a new boy called Multibot. As noted above, there’s also a brief appearance from Orko, though it would have been better had it been even briefer.

 

Excuse given for Adora and Adam’s disappearances

Adam doesn’t give an excuse, being only in the presence of the Sorceress. Adora, on the other hand, gives the plausible explanation that she is going “to find She-Ra”.

Horde Prime 6
Bow: “Jesus, I’m stoned again.”

 

Insults

It’s another of those episodes with a real wealth of stingers. Hordak addresses Horde Prime as “slime”, allegedly accidentally, and Horde Prime surprisingly lets him get away with it. Mantenna is called a “bug-eyed buffoon” by Horde Prime and a “bug-eyed boob” by Hordak, but the real joy is to be found when Hordak and Skeletor start slagging each other off. Hordak tells Skeletor he’s a “treacherous turncoat two-faced traitor”, a “boneface” and a “blasted blue bungler”, while Skeletor counters with “bat-ears”, “blasted Horde bully boy” and the possibly misheard “conniving claim-jumper”.

He-Man refers to Skeletor and Hordak as “evil monsters” and also might call them “a gaggle of evils”, though the sound seemed a bit funny at this point, so it’s quite likely that’s not what he said. Finally, what He-Man/Skeletor showcase would be complete without Skeletor calling He-Man a “pitiful fool”?

Horde Prime 7
Skeletor: “Loving my new wheels.”

 

Oh No, Bow!

Bow has a very minimal contribution to this episode, and that’s observing that the flagship “looks like some sort of spaceship”. Yes, of course it does, Captain Obvious. That’s because it IS a spaceship.

 

Does it have the Power?

This episode is essentially an episode of He-Man and his battle with Skeletor, with She-Ra and Hordak along for the ride – so of course it gets a hearty thumbs-up from me. We’ve seen He-Man often enough in recent episodes that it’s actually not all that special for him to show up, but to see Skeletor again, especially with him being at his most maliciously evil, is an absolute treat. The whole thing is just an excuse for everyone to have a massive barney with each other while hollering insults, and it’s a total romp.

Horde Prime 8
She-Ra: “This helmet will definitely stop me from freezing to death.”

I was particularly fond of the return to the bizarre and insane feats of strength that featured so often in the He-Man cartoon – He-Man throwing a grappling hook into outer space is mental, as is She-Ra climbing through the atmosphere and through the vacuum of space to reach the ship. The concessions to reality (including She-Ra putting on a space helmet, and her starting to burn up on re-entering the atmosphere) just made the mental bits seem even crazier.

In short, I very much enjoyed this episode, and I’m sure you will too.

Episode 17 – A Loss for Words

In which Hordak turns himself into an egg.

Hordak is pretty livid this week, because rebels have been going from village to village, talking to the inhabitants, and encouraging them to rebel. To cheer Hordak up, Shadow Weaver demonstrates her new spell on Mantenna, which allows her to steal the voice of her target. When Hordak sees that Mantenna has been struck dumb, he is very pleased and starts plotting to take Adora’s voice.

Words 1
Mantenna: “Hey wait, I have loads to say!”

Adora, Bow, and two Twiggets are on their way to Gailbraith village, where Adora will go to the pub to give some inspirational speeches. Unfortunately, Shadow Weaver decides to meet them there, and steals the voices of Adora and three villagers. When Adora attempts to become She-Ra, therefore, she cannot say the magical words, and is unable to make her transformation.

Shadow Weaver prepares to spirit Adora back to the Fright Zone, but Bow and the Twiggets burst into the pub, providing a distraction which allows Adora and the villagers to escape. Adora and Bow engage in an elaborate game of charades, until Bow finally works out that Adora wants to go to the Fright Zone to recover her voice. The villagers want to come too, but Bow tells them that they’re useless and that he and Adora will be better off without.

Words 2
Bow: “It’s a nice enough house, though it does look a bit like it has a pair of pointy ears.”

Adora and Bow quickly make their way to Hordak’s throne room, where they watch for a good long while as Hordak is randomly unpleasant to Shadow Weaver and Mantenna. Finally, they get down to another game of charades, which lasts some time before Bow works out what Adora wants, which is for him to fulfil his usual role of creating a diversion. Adora then manages to nick the box containing her voice, opens it, and merrily transforms into She-Ra.

Hordak, exhibiting once again his complete lack of judgement, turns himself into a stupid egg-shaped machine with four arms. God knows what he was hoping to achieve with this, but I don’t expect he wanted She-Ra to simply bury him up to his egg-shaped neck, which is what happens. Hordak then cycles through a few more ill-advised transformations, but unexpectedly comes a cropper when Mantenna presses a button to open a trapdoor underneath him.

Words 3
Hordak: “All quail before me! Oh, fine, you think of a better egg pun then.”

In the meanwhile, Adora and Bow return the voices to the villagers of Gailbraith, and receive in return their undying gratitude and allegiance to the Rebellion. I think I should point out that one of the villagers looks exactly like Man-at-Arms would, if Man-at-Arms would just for one day wear some normal clothes and forget about that idiotic helmet.

 

In today’s adventure…

Thanks to my coincidentally pressing pause at precisely the right moment, I actually caught sight of Loo-Kee today! He was in the forest at the start, and you could literally only see his nose. It’s ridiculous, expecting five year olds to find him. I genuinely felt incredibly pleased with myself, and I’m 35 years old.

Words 4
Loo-Kee: “Congratulations to Owen! No prizes, though.”

Anyway, Loo-Kee is here today to tell us about freedom of speech. Actually, he’s not. He’s here to tell us to ask our parents or teachers about freedom of speech, since he evidently can’t be bothered to tell us himself. There’s literally no useful information that you could take away from Loo-Kee’s little monologue, which is a shame. Still, it’s a relevant topic, so points for effort, I suppose.

 

Character checklist

Today is a chance for Adora, She-Ra, Bow, the Twiggets, the villagers of Gailbraith, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Mantenna, Imp, Scorpia, and the Horde Troopers to strut their funky stuff.

Words 5
Scorpia: “Didn’t anyone ever tell you not to pull animals’ tails?”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

“She’s safe,” says She-Ra, which is exactly what she always says. The second transformation gives She-Ra the opportunity to explain, “She’s fine,” which is not a lot better. I wish she’d say something like, “She’s gone to the Co-Op to take advantage of their amazing 2 for 1 deals,” or something, and then wink at the camera and pocket some advertising revenue.

 

Insults

Aside from Hordak calling Mantenna a “worm”, we only have the usual recitals of “fool” today. Shadow Weaver refers to the villagers as “fools of Gailbraith” and Bow and the Twiggets as “rebel fools”. This is counterbalanced when Imp calls Shadow Weaver a “fool” as well, just so she knows how it feels.

Words 6
Imp: “I’m sure I could stretch to calling you a fool too, Adora.”

 

Oh No, Bow!

Bow and Adora came to Gailbraith to try to recruit rebels. Therefore, when the villagers volunteer to come to the Fright Zone to help recover the voices, it’s pretty stupid of Bow to tell them that they’re not needed.

It’s also worth noting that Bow is incredibly bad at charades, though I think anyone would struggle with these particular charades, because Adora isn’t much good at it either. To be honest, I’m surprised no one thinks of writing things down, though that rather assumes Bow can read.

 

Does it have the Power?

It’s an episode with a very interesting idea behind it; it’s always fun when our hero can’t become She-Ra or He-Man for one reason or another. Unfortunately, once it’s got this good idea, the episode doesn’t seem to really know what to do with it, and a lot of it comes across as padding. We waste a good five minutes at the start with a completely irrelevant fight between She-Ra and Scorpia, and the rest of the story just seems to meander around comfortably and competently without doing anything remotely exciting.

Words 7
Adora: “I wish Bow had lost his voice.”

Still, I’m going to recommend it, partly because at least it has an interesting idea, and also because of the characterisation of the villains. We get some back story on Shadow Weaver: Hordak found her as a second-rate sorceress in Mysticor and granted her magical powers, and he reminds her ominously that he could take them away again if he pleases. Mantenna’s use of the trapdoor on Hordak is hilarious, especially his crafty facial expression as he does so. It made me chuckle, which I don’t think She-Ra has managed before.