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.

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9 thoughts on “Episode 17 – A Loss for Words

  1. Your spot on Owen this episode has one of the cleverest ideas of the series is gagging the rebels by literally taking there voices away, but I too agree while this idea is genius the rest of the episode isn’t outstanding, it’s a good episode but not in my opinion one of the classics, don’t you think tho the highlight of this episode Owen was the ending of all the times hordak puts Montana through the trap door and Montana got to do this to hordak, this was a brilliant ending and with him laughing! Overall Owen I agree with you not a series classic for me but still well worth a watch..hordak I noticed really put shadow weaver in her place in this episode too he seemed really evil an threatening! Out of ten I’d probably score this a 7..

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  2. I think the he man characters made us laugh more as we’ve both explained before thus tho us the thing for me there was comedy in she ra but I think I had more emotional interest in he man so therefore they made you laugh more bigger characters bring bigger personality, just lastly a thought I have on this series Owen if you have this same kind of view not all but a lot of the she ra episodes are quite “samey” ie a capture an rescue plot ending up in the fright zone, while I know too he man had this (before anyone thinks I haven’t forgotton this) info feel at least the he man series had a bit more imagination overall in my opinion certainly anyhow at least the next one is a real treat to look forward to I call these cross over eps there like a he-ra episodes where you get a bit of both I think the next episode is one of the best to show somebody who hasn’t seen neither he man or she ra, a classic skeletor hordak fight, horde prime himself, he man and she ra using there strength to the full to hold the ship an a fantastic adventure to boot as well as some of the best comedy- yep can’t wAit for the best episode Owen!! Just a lastly in she ra herself like you said I feel she’s almost a but too invincible at times which is why whenever she is in a bit of bother I find it refreshing I noticed that in the sea hawk episode I thought it was good to see her get captured every now an then, there are a few episodes in this series when she’s in a bit of trouble but I personally anyway felt with her “sword to absolutely everything” they could of made her a bit less invincible if that makes sense!! Great review again too..

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    1. @ John thompson
      ” a thought I have on this series Owen if you have this same kind of view not all but a lot of the she ra episodes are quite “samey” ie a capture an rescue plot ending up in the fright zone”
      Agreed.

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    2. @ John thompson
      “I think the he man characters made us laugh more as we’ve both explained before thus tho us the thing for me there was comedy in she ra but I think I had more emotional interest in he man so therefore they made you laugh more bigger characters bring bigger personality,”
      Well it also could be that there are many funny main characters in He-man (Skeletor, Cringer, Orko, Man-at-arms (When Orko mess with his inventions.) and even sometimes Adam.), while it seems to me that there are no funny main characters in Shera.

      “at least the next one is a real treat to look forward to I call these cross over eps there like a he-ra episodes where you get a bit of both I think the next episode is one of the best to show somebody who hasn’t seen neither he man or she ra, a classic skeletor hordak fight, horde prime himself, he man and she ra using there strength to the full to hold the ship an a fantastic adventure to boot as well as some of the best comedy- yep can’t wAit for the best episode Owen!! ”
      I also like Horde Prime Takes A Holiday. The action is good. Shera and He-man form a great duet. And Skeletor is so much Skeletor.
      Also, this episode was written by J. Michael Straczynski (and the teleplay was done by Bob Forward.) and I rather like this writer. Straczynski has written 8 Shera episodes. In particular, he has written 3 cross over episodes: “King’s Miro Journey”, “Gateway to trouble”, “Horde Prime Takes A Holiday”. He also has written “The price of Power”, “Magicats” and I like those two episodes.

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      1. All the episodes you say jean paul are all good episodes I agree and micheal straczynski is also an excellent writer in my opinion as well, theres been many many scrip writers but loking back on both these filmation series of he man and she ra iv noticed there are 5 main writers that id consider the best bob forward, paul dini, larry di tillio, Robert lamb and micheal straczynski imo id consider these the most consistently good of all the writers and id probably rank these 5 writers in this order with forward probably being my favourite closely followed by paul dini but they all have there qualities these 5 writers and there strength, personally I see similarities of style in straczynski and larry di tillio`s writing these two are excellent at creating humour I think I slightly edge larry as he can create incredible tension between characters as well but there both excellent Robert lamb and bob forward were debatably the best at character development (in to the abyss Robert lamb not so blind) and the problem with power, the price of freedom bob forward) but he man alone I feel paul dini understood the he man characters better than any altho as iv said before I conced my favourite he man episode comes from bob forward but as I say season one he man I felt paul dini was just a natural story teller but anyway all these 5 writers have there own qualities and I feel were the strongest writers in this series the famous 5 if you like but anyway these were my personal favourite writers, the she ra episode into the dark dimension was also written by straczynski this is also a phenomenal episode almost entirely based on just she-ra and hordak we learn so much about them both in that one..

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      2. @ john thompson

        “but loking back on both these filmation series of he man and she ra iv noticed there are 5 main writers that id consider the best bob forward, paul dini, larry di tillio, Robert lamb and micheal straczynski imo id consider these the most consistently good of all the writers and id probably rank these 5 writers in this order with forward probably being my favourite closely followed by paul dini”
        I agree that bob forward, paul dini, larry di tillio, Robert lamb and micheal straczynski are the best writers. Also, Paul Dini is my favorite, because he is generaly good at character development and his stories are also entairtaining. But, yes, I like Bob Forward too. Also, I liked a bit his general Sunder episodes “Unexpected Ally” and “Return of the general”.

        Also, concerning Larry Di Tillio and micheal straczynski, it seems to me that they quitted the Shera series at the end of season 1, because they wrote no episodes in season 2. Do you know why they didn’t wrote any episodes of Shera season 2?

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  3. If that episode were an He-man episode, I would say that “A Loss for Words” is an average He-man episode.

    For me, this episode was rather entertaining. The action was slightly above average. I mean: There was a lot of action: The fight Bow and Adora/Shera vs the Horde troopers was average. The fights between Bow and Shadow Weaver were rather good (with Bow acting rather smartly). The fight between Shera and Hordak was average. Also, it was a bit surprising to see that Mantena helped unintentionaly Shera to beat Hordak in the end. Also, this episode had a surprising and entertaining idea: The Horde stealing Adora’s voice, thus she couldn’t transform into Shera without geting her voice back first.

    Also, there was a little bit serious character development and characterization in this episode.
    It was interesting to see Adora really cooperating with Bow in this episode, because it doesn’t happen often. Also, Adora showed her leadership skills to Bow and the villagers (She inspired the villagers to rebel and she commanded the attack into the fright zone to recover her voice.). Also, Adora showed that she was agile in her Shera form against the Horde troopers at the beginning of this episode. And she was rather smart to dig a hole in her Shera form to trap Horde troopers. However, she became a damsel in distress when Bow saved her from Shadow Weaver in the big house. She managed to be understood by Bow by using pantomines. Also Shera was sassy and efficient against Hordak in the end.
    Bow was very brave and he was a good fighter. I mean: He saved Adora a first time against Shadow Weaver and he might have saved Shera a second time by beating Shadow Weaver into the fright zone (He was clever to use Hordak’s trap against Shadow Weaver.). Also, I liked a bit his brand of humor while he was fighting (Like: Horde soldier: “Let me go!”. Bow:”Are you sure you want me to let you go?” Horde soldier (While realizing that Bow prevents him from falling: “No, don’t let me go!”).). Also, he bragged to Adora that “Shera gave him a little help” to beat the troopers. Also, I realized that one issue I have with Bow is that he has a generally not enough emotions (He has almost no fear, no anger and joy…). Finally, I personally think that this episode was one of his strongest showing in the Shera series.
    Also, Glimmer was absent from this episode, which was a bad thing. Did the writers forget her?
    Also, Madam Razz was absent from this episode, which wasn’t a bad thing for me.
    Also, the Twiggets were little useful in this episode. I mean: One of the Twiggets helped the villagers to escape from Shadow Weaver into the big house and that’s all they did.
    Also, Hordak was rightly afraid at the begining of the extension of the rebellion in Etheria. But he was also rather incompetent as usual. I mean: How were Adora and Bow able to penetrate into the throne room of the fright zone without being detected? For me, it was utter incompetence. Also, he was randomly unpleasant to Shadow Weaver and Mantenna. I personally think that he was too harsh to Mantena.
    And his transfomations rather were ill-advised. Finally he managed to catch Shera
    but Mantena uninentionnnaly helped Shera to escape.
    Shadow Weaver was a competent magician, as usual, and she was a good Hordak advisor. I mean: She was rather clever to propose to catch Adora. Also, she was fast enough to get Adora’s voice. However, after that, she incomprehensibly let the villagers and Adora escaping from her. I mean: How could Bow’s smoke arrow prevent Shadow Weaver from catching Adora? Shadow Weaver indeed should have run after Adora instead of staying into the house. Also, she was afraid of Hordak potential reaction if she harmed Imp. Also, she tried to beat Shera, but Bow beat her first. Finally, as Owenmorton said, we got some back story on Shadow Weaver: Hordak found her as a second-rate sorceress in Mysticor and granted her magical powers and he reminded her ominously that he could take them away again if he pleased.
    Mantena did nothing in this episode, except being Hordak’s scapegoat and surprisingly managing to take revenge on Hordak at the end.
    Also, Scorpia did nothing in this episode except fighting against Shera at the begininng of the episode. She was a blank character (like Grizzlor.).

    To finish, I have one issue about this episode:
    As Owemorton said, we wasted four minutes at the start with an irrelevant fight between She-Ra and Scorpia. It seems to me that it was a “filler part” of this episode and I rather don’t like that.

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