Episode 29 – The Price of Freedom

In which He-Man lies around in a cave.

It’s like the good old days at the start of this episode. We begin with Prince Adam and Orko out for a spin in the Wind Raider, having one of those frequent inconsequential arguments about whether Orko has tidied his room or not. The Sorceress then contacts Adam, demanding he come to Castle Grayskull immediately. On arrival, the Sorceress informs Adam that she has picked up some kind of distress signal from She-Ra, so Adam leaps through the magic portal to Etheria. You’ll be pleased to know that he does not take Orko with him.

Freedom 1
Orko: “Adam, didn’t you get the memo about our series being finished?”

Adam arrives on Etheria in the middle of a devastated village, and She-Ra explains to him that the Horde have launched an all-out war on the inhabitants. Adam decides that He-Man might be a little more useful in this scenario, and metamorphoses. With Horde Troopers surrounding them, our heroes evacuate the village and take the people to hide in some mines. From there, they watch as the Horde burn down the remains of the village.

Freedom 2
She-Ra: “Adam, haven’t you got someone else you should be?”

The villagers explain that, even though they are sorry to have lost their homes and possessions, they prefer to have their freedom. He-Man seems to have difficulty understanding this concept, but that’s presumably because he’s playing dumb so the villagers can explain to the audience. Once he finally gets it, he sends She-Ra off to Bright Moon to fetch some more rebels to help defeat the Horde army, while he stays behind to defend the villagers.

He-Man does a pretty poor job of the defence, though; Hordak unveils an enormous freeze cannon and shoots him with it. As well as paralysing He-Man, this demolishes the entrance to the mine and seals the villagers inside. Considering that he has successfully made an example of the villagers, Hordak concludes his work is done, and orders the army back to the Fright Zone.

Freedom 3
Hordak: “There’s nothing mental about putting my face on this massive cannon. No, no. Not mental at all.”

Inside the mine, the villagers start complaining because the air is running out, which seems fair enough. They come perilously close to turning against She-Ra, who they note is not there to save them. Luckily, the head villager gives a rousing speech about how freedom is precious, but has to be worked for, and essentially means that they must be able to count on themselves, without always relying on help from He-Man and She-Ra. Suitably invigorated, the villagers set to work digging themselves out of the mine.

They are successful in digging to the surface, but in so doing, they cause a cave-in. He-Man fights off his paralysis and holds the roof up long enough for the villagers to escape. She-Ra finally gets back at this stage, notably without bringing any help, and helps He-Man to stabilise the mine shaft, before making some feeble jokes at which He-Man grins goofily. Afterward, She-Ra welcomes the villagers to join the Rebellion and live in Whispering Wood.

Freedom 5
She-Ra: “He-Man, why are you meditating in front of these planks of wood?”

 

In today’s adventure…

I’d assumed I’d missed Loo-Kee, since he’s normally towards the beginning of episodes, but there he was in Whispering Wood about a minute from the end. I feel very proud of myself for finding him. Instead of giving us one of the more abstract morals about the importance of freedom, Loo-Kee opts for the more prosaic “don’t play with matches or lighters”. This is presumably because the message about freedom was repeatedly rammed down our throats during the episode, so the writers didn’t feel it needed yet another outing from Loo-Kee.

 

Character checklist

This one’s a little unusual, in that Adora doesn’t show up at all. She-Ra’s here though, as are Prince Adam, He-Man, Swift Wind, Bow, Kowl, Orko, the Sorceress, loads of villagers, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Mantenna and the inevitable Horde Troopers.

Freedom 6
She-Ra: “Don’t even try to upstage me, villagers.”

 

Excuse given for Adora and Adam’s disappearances

As noted above, Adora doesn’t even feature this week, and no one sees Adam on Etheria before he becomes He-Man, so there’s definitely no need for an excuse today.

 

Insults

He-Man calls the Horde Troopers “tin cans”, which is a pretty common insult for them. More entertainingly, Hordak disparagingly refers to He-Man as “Eternia’s golden boy”.

 

Oh No, Bow!

When She-Ra arrives at Bright Moon and tells the rebels they must hurry as quickly as possible to the village, Bow instantly chirps up to offer to fly back on Swift Wind with She-Ra. Perhaps intuiting that Bow has clocked that this would mean he’d get to lay his grubby hands on her hips, She-Ra politely if forcefully declines.

Freedom 4
He-Man: “Quick word of advice, Bow: stay away from my sister.”

 

Does it have the Power?

It’s definitely better than He-Man’s last visit to Etheria, though that’s not saying a lot. Rather than damn it with faint praise, I’ll come out and say that it was pretty good. It was a great message for the villagers to rely on themselves to get out of their situation, rather than sitting back and waiting for He-Man and She-Ra to do the work for them – even if the plot mechanics to get them to that point were a little creaky. He-Man being shot with the freeze cannon was fair enough, but She-Ra flying off to get help and then returning once the danger was past, without actually bringing help with her, seemed perhaps too obviously a plot device to get her out of the way. Other than that minor complaint, though, this was a fairly enjoyable episode with a decent message. Good fun.

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5 thoughts on “Episode 29 – The Price of Freedom

  1. If that episode were an He-man episode, I would say that “The Price of Freedom” is a slightly above average He-man episode. This episode was entertaining. Also, there was little character development, except for Heman and Shera. Also, it seemed to me that this episode had a somewhat Star wars vibe (Because of the Horde’s military.).

    For me, this episode was entertaining. I mean: There was a lot of action and the action was rather good. At the beginning, Shera saved He-man and some villagers. Shera and He-man then used a water tank to beat many Horde troopers. Later, He-man resisted alone against the Horde and Shera destroyed flying Horde robots. Finally, He-man saved the villagers from the collpase of the mine and Shera successfully helped him to escape the caving. So, I liked the action. Also, there was some suspens (because of the caving.).

    Also, there was little character development and characterization in this episode.
    Concerning Shera, at the beginning, she saved He-man and a family from the Horde. After beating a bunch of Horde troopers with Adam, she decided to go to the mine with him. It was then explained how she first met the vilagers and saved them. She later destroyed Horde flying robots and helped He-man to escape from the caving. So, yes, she was really useful in this episode. Yet, she was never in danger, which I disliked. Also, she was really afraid that Adam could die. Thus, it was interesting to see her compassion and her love for her family (It seems to me that she is never compassionate like that with Bow and Glimmer.).
    Prince Adam began this episode with Orko and he wasn’t happy that Orko hadn’t cleaned his room. He then went trough the Soreceress’s dimentional gate. As often when he goes to Etheria, he was too optimistic and was saved by Shera. Yet, he had the wits to use a water tank against the Horde. He later had to protect alone the villagers and thus he had a near death experience. Thus, I think that it was interesting to see that he had to play with real rules and not to punch trough everything like he usually does in Ethernia. Also, he really liked his sister
    Concerning Bow, he did nothing except taking the villagers to the rebel camp and help them settle in the end.
    The sorceress warned prince Adam of Adora’s problems. She sent Adam trough a dimensional gate to Etheria. Also, she gave prince Adam a clear advice: “I sense you’re heading into danger.”
    Concerning Hordak, he was meaner than usual. He wanted to punish the villagers for their rebellion and to burn their empty village. He even managed to efficiently hurt He-man, but then he strangely didn’t try to finish off He-man and he went back to the fright zone.
    The villagers were slaves forced by the Horde to work in a mine and they were freed by Shera. After He-man was hurt, it was intersting to see them to decide to take care of themselves and to escape from the mine by digging a hole.

    Finally, I pesonnallly think that the moral was not really relevant to the story.
    Also, in this episode, some things weren’t realistic: Even if Shera’s shield could stop a missile blast, she shouldn’t withstand the shrapnel and the fire of the explosion. Also, 2 beams are clearly not enough to stop a mine collapse. Also, how could the villagers dig a tunnel so quickly to escape from the caving? You indeed cannot build a tunnel so quickly.

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  2. hi owen Morton and all, just to briefly say iv not written in for a fair while due to personal reasons in my family it hasn’t been easy time! Anyway owen I wanted to explain to you owen as iv always regularly contributed with my feelings on this wonderful series and explain properly as I didn’t want you thinking anythings wrong so no offense whatsoever but that’s the reason why iv not been writing in and can only do sparingly from now o if I can! Anyway I would like to briefly mention my feelings with this one as this is my personal favourite she ra episode of this series I think this is a phenomenal episode of she ra the writer is of course the excellent bob forward too altho it doesn’t quite reach the level of say his brilliant masterpiece the problem with power this for me is most definetly my personal number one she ra episode! its a beaufifully constructive story of these villagers and you see just like book burning the evil horde at there most vicious again destroting there homes, she ra has to remind he man too that this is etheria ruled by the horde bob forward putting a great scene here again mentioning the differences to the constant war on etheria and the generally peace loving eternia! the story is fantastic the action is great, my favourite moment was when she ra thought her brother was dead and instead of her crying out “he man” she whispers her brothers name “adam” this had a so much more powerful effect, I cant believe you didn’t mention this in your review owen this was a huge moment for the episode and the series and the emotion was captured I feel brilliantly anyway great review owen overall, I felt this was one of the most powerful episodes of this series! Anyway will write in when I can just lot going on in my life at the moment! but I wanted to say I really have appreciated as im sure we all have you doing all these reviews owen and reliving these episodes again it is quite a marathon for you im sure but its well worth it I think as fans it is great to see these episodes getting reviewed again so many thanks! My favourite ten episodes having seen them all now at the moment would be 1 the price of freedom 2 into the dark dimension 3 horde prime takes a holiday 4 of shadows and skulls 5 assault on the hive 6 sweet bee`s home 7 unexpected ally 8 the crystal castle 9 huntara 10 the stone in the sword – these would probably be my top 10 she ra episodes of the series but there are plenty of honary mentions like book burning, my friend, my enemy, flowers for hordak, just like me and one to count on as well that just miss out but would definetly make my top 20! Anyway I feel iv contributed a lot to this too so I hope iv made some good points on these fantastic episodes too – keep the great work up owen Morton!..

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    1. Thanks John, it’s great to know you’re enjoying the blog. I had noticed your absence, glad you’re back but sorry to hear things have been difficult lately. I hope things pick up for you and your family soon.

      I liked this episode (The Price of Freedom) but I can’t say I really loved it. I don’t know why, it just doesn’t quite do it for me. I must say, I missed that moment (the “Adam” one) that you refer to, but that is a great character touch. I will have to watch again and look out for it.

      All the best, and look forward to hearing from you when you can drop in.

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      1. Thanks Owen Morton, nice touch Jean Paul as well..anyway yes thus has always been one of my absolute favourites of both the he man and the she ra series while I do have at least 5 cross over she ra episodes in my personal top 10 as like yourself Owen I am at heart a true he man fan I will acknowledge there were a few fantastic she ra episodes for instance episodes like unexpected ally and into the dark dimension are definetly two for the she ra pureists if I was not to include cross overs and just pure she ra stand alone episodes these 2 also the crystal castle, huntara and also stone in the sword are probably my top 5 she ra stand alone episodes but that’s abviously not including the classic cross over she ra episodes and there’s 5 of them for me that really stand out and tower above all the others.. this episode the price of freedom, horde prime takes a holiday, of shadows and skulls and if course assault on the hive and sweet bees home takecare…

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    2. Hi john,
      I also hope things pick up for you and your family soon.

      I also liked the story of the villagers. And I liked He-man and Shera’s interactions. But my only problem with that episode is that He-man and Shera were the only characters (from the main cast.) who had character development.

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