Episode 40 – Treasures of the First Ones

In which She-Ra and Sea Hawk go treasure-hunting.

This week’s hilarious Etherian japes concern Mystic Isle, a storehouse of the greatest treasures from Etheria’s ancient inhabitants, the First Ones. Mystic Isle only rises from the sea once every billion years or something, and Shadow Weaver has calculated that the big day is tomorrow. Hordak is naturally very interested in this, and plots to steal all the treasures and use them to rid himself of the Rebellion. I’m kind of rooting for Hordak here. She-Ra’s been getting on my tits lately.

Treasure 2
Shadow Weaver: “Alexa, show me a funky light show.”

Light Hope gets wind of the plan, and summons She-Ra and Swift Wind to the Crystal Castle. Once there, Light Hope dishes the dirt on Mystic Isle, and reveals that Hordak has equipped himself with a Horde Dreadnought ship. This doesn’t sound beyond She-Ra’s abilities, to be honest, but for whatever reason she decides she’s going to need help.

Help, in this case, comes from her old pirate mate, Sea Hawk, who was last seen about 25 episodes ago heading off to a night of passion with Adora. He’s only too willing to help out once the situation is explained, though he does express some degree of disappointment that Adora isn’t present again. Sea Hawk and Swen cloak their flying ship in an artificial cloud, and thinking themselves unobserved, they follow Hordak’s dreadnought across the ocean.

Hordak’s new friend, Octavia, a green lady with super-long tentacles, quickly detects the ship, and shoots a plasma missile at it. She-Ra’s response to this is, oddly, simply to walk up behind Sea Hawk and grab his hips. It doesn’t help, but perhaps it made her feel better. With a huge hole blasted in the side of the ship, it plummets to an island and is only saved by She-Ra, who manages to get there first and catch it.

Treasure 3
She-Ra: “I don’t even know what I’m doing anymore.”

Leaving Swen and the rest of the crew to repair the ship, She-Ra and Sea Hawk mount Swift Wind and continue their pursuit of Hordak, who has by now watched Mystic Isle rise from the sea and has begun to explore. She-Ra and Sea Hawk confront him, but quickly get embroiled in a fight with Octavia and some Horde Troopers, while Hordak heads off looking for treasures.

Once Octavia is defeated – a process which takes considerably longer than I’d have expected – She-Ra and Sea Hawk catch up with Hordak. As it happens, there was no need to worry anyway: the treasure of the First Ones turns out to be cultural artefacts, such as paintings and statues, all of which doesn’t interest Hordak one bit. I’m not surprised, to be honest; I’m not sure I’d be that interested in a load of paintings that had been under the sea for millions of years.

Treasure 4
Hordak: “Play that funky music white boy.”

On cue, She-Ra launches into her lecture about the value of items that show love, beauty, freedom and truth. Before she can really get going, though, Hordak interrupts her to say he’s going to destroy all the treasures, just to shut her up. In the end, of course, She-Ra saves the treasures, and then loads them all onto Sea Hawk’s newly repaired ship to take them back to Whispering Wood, so that halfwits like Bow can gawp over them.

 

In today’s adventure…

No sign of Loo-Kee today, though at the end he reveals he was in a tree in Whispering Wood. Surprise, surprise. After last time’s random and meandering rant about drugs, Loo-Kee is far more on-target this week, with a short discussion of the value of art and a recommendation that we all go to our local art museum to see what art is all about. I’d be surprised if anyone took him up on it, since he doesn’t make much effort to sell this notion, but points for trying, I suppose.

 

Character checklist

There’s a reasonably interesting cast list this week, featuring Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Sea Hawk, Swen, Light Hope, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Octavia, and some Horde Troopers. I didn’t notice any other pirates on Sea Hawk’s ship, so it would appear that he and Swen now form just a two-man operation.

Treasure 5
Sea Hawk: “Seeing as we’re the only three people on this ship, couldn’t you two make yourselves useful?”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

Sea Hawk asks whether Adora might be coming along, but She-Ra simply says, “I’m afraid not,” without offering any explanation. This is a shame, since it might have been funny if She-Ra had tried to bait Sea Hawk by saying, “Sorry, no, she’s too busy with Bow. Now there’s a guy who really knows how to shoot his arrows,” or some other appalling innuendo. On the other hand, I’ve now got a mental image that I don’t want, so perhaps it’s best this wasn’t elaborated on after all.

 

Insults

Octavia kicks things off by calling Swift Wind a “foul beast” and Sea Hawk a “braggart”. Sea Hawk retaliates by referring to Octavia as “our gruesome friend”, while She-Ra opts for the more descriptive but less insulting “octopus lady”. Hordak doesn’t think much of Octavia either, calling her a “fool”. His insult to She-Ra is along the same lines: “sentimental fool”, to which Sea Hawk retorts that Hordak is a “tin can”. Finally, She-Ra addresses Hordak as a “cheap villain”, which is the sort of comment on Hordak that is probably best left unmentioned, lest the viewers realise it’s true and desert the show in droves.

Treasure 6
Octavia: “I may have stupid green tendrils, but at least I don’t look cheap.”

 

Does it have the Power?

Let’s get one complaint out of the way first: Swen’s constant use of phrases like “Stuff me with seaweed” and “Fry me as a fritter” gets irritating mighty quickly. I was incredibly pleased when he got written out about halfway through the episode. I’m sure Swen wasn’t this annoying on his previous two appearances.

Otherwise, it was good to see Sea Hawk again; Etheria seems a more realistic place with lots of recurring characters, all fighting the Horde in their own way, popping up every now and again. It’s nice that the plotline concerning Sea Hawk’s attraction to Adora is being continued, as it helps to give depth to these characters, and makes the series not seem completely episodic.

The plot was quite fun as well, seeming like a far more competent version of the He-Man episode The Ancient Mirror of Avathar. Hordak’s dismay when he discovers the treasures are worthless paintings and statues is worth the price of admission alone. There’s a decent degree of realism depicted too – at one point, Octavia freezes Swift Wind in a giant ice cube, and when he’s freed, he complains of being cold, rather than just leaping straight into action again like he normally would. It’s a very simple but effective touch.

And speaking of Octavia, I’m in two minds. Her design is quite cool and she comes across as a worthy opponent, what with her ability to hold four swords at once. Unfortunately, her voice acting is somewhat below par, and she laughs like a complete maniac all too frequently. Plus, given she’s based on an octopus, surely it would have made more sense for her to have eight tentacles? A final indignity for Octavia is the inclusion of a strange scene in which it looks like Hordak’s giving her a sound spanking. On the strength of her performance this week, therefore, I don’t think we’ll be seeing her again.

Treasure 1
Hordak: “There is no way to caption this classily.”

I’ll conclude with a thumbs up for this week’s episode, which makes three good ones in a row. Who’d have thought it possible?

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4 thoughts on “Episode 40 – Treasures of the First Ones

  1. Hi Owen, thought i would right in to say I’ve just reading your review for this episode excellent and I agree too with much of what you say, just mirroring some of your points adding my reasons why these points makes this episode extremely entertaining, Larry di tillio puts a good one out here!.. first one of our major complaints of she ra we both have touched on Owen in general she has it too easy (at least in he man he gets into danger and feels in danger) well this episode doesn’t disappoint it did for once feel that both she ra and swift wind had there work cut out this obviously is a welcome change as you rightly mentioned in your review Owen Octavia freezes swift wind (again not often they get briefly defeated) this was nice, I would also say this was arguably one if the most action packed episodes in the series which was all entertaining I must add, again the story of adora and sea hawks relationship is nicely continued as well, my final thought Owen you didn’t mention but just to put to you this story actually shares comparison with the he man episode a journey to stone city in that evil Lynn is looking for gold and treasure and later learns it’s the people who are the treasure not money or gold, and similar here with hordak learning in this episode treasure of the first ones, I immediately compared this with journey to stone city! Anyway overall this episode is very entertaining and she ra doesn’t have it all her own way which is a pleasant change would score out of ten at least an 8 for me well worth watching agree with you and great review too covering the main points of the episode keep up the great work!!..

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    1. ooh, good point John, hadn’t thought of that. You’re right, it’s very similar. Filmation did go over the same ground a number of times!

      And yup, it’s good to see She-Ra not winning so easily this time. That’s one thing the new series has fixed!

      Glad you’re still following, hope you’re doing okay. 🙂

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  2. What it shows tho is stuff that covers similar ground can still be good even if its a repeated theme SO LONG AS ITS DONE WELL!! so for instance the other she ra episode I compared to a he man story and also this one ie…. small problems (she-ra) no job too small (he-man) obvious comparisons and ofcourse treasure of the first ones (she-ra) and journey to stone city (he-man) interesting to mention as well is all 4 are excellent by the way! I havnt seen any of the new 2018 she-ra series owen, so maybe I will have to take a look I have heard a lot of positive things said about it..thanks.

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    1. No argument here, revisiting the same well isn’t a bad idea! (Unless it’s A Friend in Need and The Eternia Flower…)

      New She-Ra is a very different beast, but it’s well worth a watch. It’s affectionate enough to the old series without being afraid to do its own thing, and it gave me chills to hear “For the honour of Grayskull”… For me, it’s instantly likeable, though if you’ve been on He-Man.org lately you’ll know it’s divided the crowd a bit…

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