In which our heroes persist in bothering a dude who just wants to be left alone.
The episode opens with Madame Razz and Broom being chased through the sky by a Horde Trooper on a flying machine. They are saved when a tree fires an energy bolt at the Trooper. This strikes them as unusual, even for Etheria, so they head straight to Whispering Wood and tell Adora and Bow all about it. Madame Razz reckons that they have discovered the secret home of a wizard who, according to legend, has created his own entire world inside a tree.
Adora thinks this wizard sounds like a promising ally, and turns into She-Ra to go to ask Light Hope about it. Light Hope is his usual useless self, however, offering merely the advice that the wizard hates visitors, which I generally think is a given for people who retreat from the world to live inside a tree. She-Ra decides to disregard this advice, and sets off with Bow, Kowl and Madame Razz to see the wizard and his amazing tree.
En route, the party come up against a wide variety of silly visitor deterrents, such as a massive chasm, a wall of fire and a walking cactus. These distractions do not prove to be terribly diverting, however, and our heroes soon get the privilege of talking directly to the wizard’s tree. Because they start from a ridiculously adversarial position, they are quickly transported inside the tree and forced to do battle with an army of stupid mud monsters.
She-Ra apologises for being rude, and the wizard finally shows himself. He explains that he has hidden away because people think he’s ugly. Frankly, he’s right, but on the other hand, I’ve seen uglier specimens on the Southwestern Railways London to Portsmouth service, so things could be worse. Still, our heroes have no success in their attempts to persuade the wizard to join them against the Horde, thanks in no small part to Bow’s efforts (see Oh No, Bow! below).
At this point, having heard the tree story from the unfortunate Horde Trooper at the beginning of the episode, Hordak, Shadow Weaver and Catra arrive and attack the wizard’s tree. Team She-Ra instantly leap to the wizard’s defence, and defeat the Horde in a selection of humiliating and/or implausible ways. Countering the viewer’s expectations, once the battle is won, the wizard does not agree to help the Rebellion – though, admittedly, he doesn’t rule it out either.
In today’s adventure…
Ha! I’m getting wise to your sneaky ways, Loo-Kee. The animators reused an establishing shot of Whispering Wood today, and it happened to be that one which features Loo-Kee’s nose poking out from behind a tree. So basically, I found him because I recognised the background shot in which he has previously appeared. I think I may have been watching too much of this cartoon.
Anyway, Loo-Kee’s message for us this week is that if we can’t say anything nice, we shouldn’t say anything at all. Perhaps anticipating that this advice would result in children simply refusing to talk to each other, he then goes on to add that we should probably just say something nice. In other words, Loo-Kee tells us to lie.
Most of the familiar faces show up today – Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Madame Razz, Broom, Bow, Kowl, Light Hope, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Catra, Shadow Weaver, the wizard, and of course those ubiquitous Horde Troopers.
Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance
“It seemed like a better idea for me to come instead,” says She-Ra, when Bow whinges that Adora isn’t coming with them to the wizard’s home.
Catra calls She-Ra a “miserable insect”, and the wizard refers to She-Ra, Bow, Madame Razz, Broom and Kowl as “weaklings”. He also takes the time to address Bow to say, “You aren’t as smart as you look.” I’m sure I can’t be the only one who doesn’t think Bow looks particularly smart in the first place, so this is pretty insulting.
Oh No, Bow!
There’s a genuinely entertaining scene in which She-Ra, Madame Razz, Broom and Kowl all make Bow dig a massive hole for himself concerning whether he likes Adora or She-Ra better. Bow proves completely incapable of dealing with this unfair exercise in comparisons, and it presumably comes as an enormous relief to him when an earthquake starts.
In addition to this, when the wizard says, “I’m really ugly, so I hid myself away,” Bow responds with, “Yes, I can understand that.” Seriously, Bow? This is the best pep talk you can manage? No wonder the wizard tells our heroes to get lost.
Does it have the Power?
It’s pretty good in that it looks like it’s building to the all-too-common conclusion in which the wizard would agree to help the Rebellion after they help him defeat the Horde, and then yanks the rug out from under us by simply having him announce, “I’ll think about it!” and turn invisible. Whether we see him again in the future or not, it’s a nice and pretty rare example of Etheria not being a completely black-and-white place. In addition, I’m happy to report that the dialogue is snappy, the animation is fun, and it’s well-paced. I think we have a winner here.