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.

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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.

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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!)

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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.

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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.

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25 thoughts on “Episode 20 – Three Courageous Hearts

  1. Great review Owen Morton again and agree with your feelings with this episode also, I’ll just keep my own review pretty short and say I personally thought this was an absolutely terrific episode of she ra , it was definetly a great story for the underdogs kowl, Madame razz, and broom, undoubtably the three courageous hearts although I’m tempted to rename this episode just two courageous hearts I wonder what one of the three characters I’m tempted to leave out! Anyway yes this was a real triumph for these less powerful characters and Madame saving she ra at the end was fantastic too from the sixth dimension I think!! Yep they been a few other stories that have tried this theme but there’s no doubt this one for me does it best and effortlessly one of Madame razz strongest episodes of the series too comfortably gets an 8/10 for me super ep well worth watching..

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  2. Also I’ve never heard so much relief in she ra’s voice when Madame razz rescued her at the end, it was nice too hear she ra this way you could almost hear a bit of adora coming out of her!! Interesting what the horde troopers said at the end, “this place gives me the creeps, give me the fright zone anyway” interesting piece if dialogue! There seems to be a lot of love out there for this episode in the threads and with pop fans in general it’s easy to see why this is such a popular episode amongst many fans, there’s been some many attempts from writers to achieve an episode like this but fails – finally we get an episode that does it right! In my opinion one of the best episodes of it’s kind takecare..

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  3. That’s interesting – I didn’t know this one was particularly popular with fans. That being said, I don’t know fan opinion about She-Ra as well as I do He-Man. It makes sense Three Courageous Hearts is popular – it’s definitely a good episode, and perhaps a bit more imaginative than many She-Ra episodes tended to be. And definitely better than your average episode about people feeling useless…

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    1. Yeah it`s on the threads of best she ra episodes and pop fans choose there favs, and theres more than a few mentions this episode comes up, it actually is just short of my personal favourite she ra episodes but is again is one of those strong honorary mentions! The episodes that youd expect to hear are on many lists ie episodes like the crystal castle, stone in the sword, the price of freedom, sweet bee`s home to mention a few and rightly so as they are all some of the very best but it`s interesting to read a few surprises as well at the end of the day its peoples choices! Good point you mention owen regarding this episode being one of the better ones about people feeling useless and a great example to compare this episode with is one of the episodes we talked about before welcome back, kowl – this is just at best an average episode but in that one madame razz just decides to run away for virtually no reason and it was plain ridiculous her doubting herself over her getting a harmless spell wrong it felt forced and made no sense but yes I think this episode is the best one of its type simply cos it does it right in welcome back, kowl shes a joke but in three courageous hearts she just gets on with it as you said an doesn’t mope around.. regarding the episode order I think were in a good moment with the episode in that a lot of the strong she ra eps were early on while season 2 was considerably weaker takecare..

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      1. Oh yes. The small resort village Kurortnoye near Feodosiya, on Black Sea. Hot sun, warm sea (until the last two days), green mountains… Sadly, today I’m returning to Moscow.

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      2. Sounds lovely! I’ve never been to that part of Ukraine – only to Lviv, which I liked. About 5 years ago we went to Nesebar in Bulgaria, but that’s the only time I’ve ever actually seen the Black Sea. Glad you enjoyed your holiday, hope your journey home goes well!

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  4. Well, I’m back from sun, sea, and adorable lion cubs (Safari park Taygan is really cool!) and could return to Madame Razz spell count. Must admit, that we didn’t see much of her later, so a Razz-centric episode is rather (sorry for the pun) welcomed.

    * Bed/Sled spell – while the result was not what Madame Razz intended, it worked… actually, even better than a sled might. As Kowl pointed out, the bed not only saved them from the polar beast, but also softened their -rather hard – landing in the Valley of the Lost. With the sled, the results might be much worse. I’m really tempted to call this spell a “success”, but must admit, that it was still not completely flawless. That’s why – the B) category – spells, that worked (with additional plus for soft landing).

    * Trans-dimension spell – worked flawlessly, without any problems. Especially important, that the spell was obviously complex and new to Madame Razz – and she preformed it excellently, without any glitches. So, A) – flawless spell without any doubt.

    * Awake/shake spell – interesting one, cause it’s pretty unclear, was Madame Razz intended for a spell to have such effect, or not? Still, the spell obviously worked; Rebels awakened without any noticeable side effect. So, let’s be generous and give it an A) – flawless spell.

    Total count is:

    A) Flawless spells – 4 (four)

    B) Spells, that worked – 6 (six)

    C) Failed spells – 2 (two)

    D) Unclear – 1 (one).

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    1. I completely agree with dilandu the Madame razz spell most definetly worked (trans dimension spell) and it’s interesting to read and see Madame razz overall readings with 6 of hers being a success to only 2 failing she’s doing well at the moment! I wanted to add I to would be really tempted to give the bed sledge spell a success although it wasn’t what she intended I agree the bed worked out do much better for them all lol I think a sledge would of been a much rougher landing for them! This was definetly one of her best episodes Madame razz was definetly the star in this one..

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      1. “and it’s interesting to read and see Madame razz overall readings with 6 of hers being a success to only 2 failing she’s doing well at the moment!”

        To be exact, 10 of her spell worked; four flawlessly (i.e. the intended effect was achieved by intended means), and six partially (the effect was achieved, but through non-intended means). And it gave 5:1 success:failure rate. Quite good for such old lady, which constantly participated in dangerous guerrilla actions!

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  5. A bit about the “other dimensions”, which are usually portrayed in fiction (cartoons especially) as some “parallel worlds”. This is just plainly wrong; the idea of “other dimensions” is exactly that they MAY exist in our own world – we just are not suited to sense them.

    Our world is four-dimensional. We have three spatial dimensions – length, width, height – and fourth, the time. Around three spatial dimensions we could move in any direction; in time, we could just move forward.

    But it is theoretically possible, that there might be some OTHER dimensions in our world, which we just could not comprehend. In that dimensions (if they exist, of course), we could not move at all; we are just points in them. If some object is (somehow) moved in, say, fifth dimension (whatever it is), it would disappear from our comprehension – but NOT FROM OUR WORLD. It’s just here; it’s just moved “sideway”.

    To illustrate this model better, imagine three-dimensional world, where there are only length, width and time. No height. All inhabitants of such world are absolutely flat and comprehend their world only as absolutely flat surface (a classic “Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions”). Now, let’s assume that somehow one of this world inhabitants is RAISED over the surface – i.e. moved in height. For the comprehension of others, he disappeared; his comrades could not see him (their vision could not be aimed upward), they could not contact him in any possible for them way (he is above them, and the therm “above” is incomprehensible for them!), they could not interact with him in any way. Still, he is here, in the same universe – just moved in the dimension, that is incomprehensible for others.

    So, that’s what the other dimensions are. They aren’t parallel worlds with badly dressed gray dwarfs, floating islands and ridiculous monsters. Rather, they are coordinate systems, that we could not even comprehend.

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  6. If that episode were an He-man episode, I would say that “Three Courageous Hearts” is a slightly under average He-man episode. It indeed is fine to give us some character development about Madam Razz (though equally it wasn’t something I was clamouring for), but it’s just really a rather boring story.

    For me, this episode wasn’t enough entertaining. The action was under average. I mean: There wasn’t enough action. And Shera rather easily beat her bizarre ennemies (the pink ghost and the ugly green little monsters.), thus there was no tension. Also, Madam Razz was able to escape (with Kowl and Broom) from the bear with a spell.

    Also, there was little serious character development and characterization in this episode.
    Adora tried to encourage Madam Razz, Kowl and Broom. Later, she rushed to attack Shadow Weaver, thus Shadow Weaver managed to get Shera down. Also, Shera rather easily was able to jump trough the force field. She also rather smartly got read of he pink ghosts by giving them a shower. Also she used smartly her sword as a pole to escape from the green little monsters, and she was sassy to Salisticar. Thus, for me, what Shera did was more of the same.
    Madam Razz was discouraged at the beginning of tis episode about what Shadow Weaver told her. However, when Madam Razz heard that Shadow Weaver had sent Shera in another dimension, Madam Razz had the courage to decide to help Shera. Also Madam Razz had the wits to understand that the nameless glowing book could be used to save Shera. Also, she was able to understand the language of the book of spell and thus, she was able to save Shera. Finally, she managed to awaken Bow, Glimmer and Queen Angela.
    Kowl was too pessimistic about Kowl, Madma Razz and Brooom’ chances to save Shera. Otherwise, Kowl was raher useless in this episode
    Shadow Weaver mocked Kowl, Broom and Madam Razz. Later Shadow Weaver was able to lure Castapella and to use her sleeping gaz. Then she efficiently sent Shera into the sixth dimension. However, after that, Shadow Weaver didn’t stay into Castaspella’s castlle. For me, Shadow Weaver’s behaviour was uncomprenhensible. I mean: If she had waited for the Horde transport to arrive, she would have been sure that Castaspella (=a dangerous foe) would have been sent to Beast Island. Thus, it seems to me that the writer used Shadow Weaver as a plot device in this episode.

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  7. Also, “Three courageous hearts” reminded me of the not good episode “Quest For He-Man”.
    In three courageous hearts, the main heroe was indeed sent in another dimension by a sorceress (Shadow Weaver) and it was almost the same in three courageous hearts where the main heroe was sent into another dimension by a sorceror (Skeletor.)

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  8. Correction:
    When I said: “In three courageous hearts, the main heroe was indeed sent in another dimension by a sorceress (Shadow Weaver) and it was almost the same in three courageous hearts where the main heroe was sent into another dimension by a sorceror (Skeletor.)”.
    I meant: In three courageous hearts, the main heroe was indeed sent into another dimension by a sorceress (Shadow Weaver) and it was almost the same in Quest for He-man where the main heroe was sent into another dimension by a sorceror (Skeletor.)

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  9. Yeah I forgot her other 4 flawless spells dilandu so yeah it’s 10 successful spells she’s having a good run of it so far! Jean Paul, you said you find three courageous hearts a slightly below average episode, while I strongly disagree with you everyone’s entitled to there opinion. What I will say is I think this episode sits well with the majority of pop fans as a far above average episode, and as I say it’s in black And white on the she ra threads of fans best episodes and this one gets more than few mentions!! I have to say I agree with you tho Jean Paul on the episode quest for he man I actually think that episode gets far far too much credit and in my opinion is one of the series most overrated episodes, but again to each our own. This episode tho I personally thought was excellent a nice story a heartwarming, and had a nice adventure feel to it also, just my opinion takecare..

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    1. @john thompson

      I didn’t say that “three courageous heart” was a bad episode, it’s just that for me, that episode is not enough entertairning. In particular, there was not fight in the end, which I didn’t like.
      Sure, the madam Razz subplot is a rather nice one, but it is not enough for me to rank it above average. Also, it’s just my personal opinion.

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  10. Quest for He-Man had only two things going for it: the important message about saving the environment, and the fact that it’s complete, no-holds-barred, insanity. I can think of no better way to experience hallucinogenic drugs than to watch that episode. (Other than actually taking drugs, of course, which He-Man would strongly advise us against.)

    I certainly see the similarity with this episode, though for me, in Three Courageous Hearts, the She-Ra in the other dimension business was a sideshow which distracted from the main plot, whereas in Quest for He-Man, the other dimension was a plot vehicle to get him to an alternative location where he could face off against that giant pink rabbit. Basically – He-Man remained the plot focus in his version, whereas She-Ra is not the central storyline in hers.

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    1. Owen, my feelings exactly! The similarities are there as you say aside from opinions on the better episode of the two it’s true what you say in that she ra in the sixth dimension is like a side plot and he man on another world is the main storyline, on quest for he man I too would have to say is one of the craziest if not mentalist he man episode of all time true!! O yeah an the end message and end of episode morale from zodiac I think is one of the most serious but also one of the best in the series.. the actual episode is nothing special for me but yes there’s no doubt it has a fantastic and important message on pollution.. I can’t think off hand what episode but I’m sure that bird/ human Gleedale (similar design to the sorceress) on the planet trainus was recycled and used again in another episode.. I still can’t get past even tho this is a children’s cartoon that he man turns cringer into battle cat and ram man is none the wiser dumb yes but you’ve gotta admit it’s funny!!

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  11. Probably the funniest way to put my point across regarding ram man in quest for he man in a way that makes it seem one of the craziest things to not notice… battle cat just happens to turn up on another planet in another galaxy and ram man doesn’t suspect a thing!! Madness.. just like the episode itself!

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