Episode 46 – Micah of Bright Moon

In which Glimmer’s absentee father returns.

We begin with a relatively lengthy scene of space combat, which – while not exactly Star Wars – is pretty tense and exciting. A gentleman named Micah has escaped from a prison on Horde World, stolen a ship, and now is making his way to Etheria, while a squadron of Horde Troopers, directed by Horde Prime himself, is trying to recapture him. Eventually, Micah reaches Etheria, and Horde Prime delegates the recapture mission to Hordak. If Hordak were in any way competent, Micah might worry about this, but I expect he can breathe a big sigh of relief now.

Micah 1
Micah: “Pretty smug about this outfit.”

We cut to Whispering Wood, where Glimmer is coincidentally telling Bow all about her missing father. Bow doesn’t particularly care, and wanders off, leaving Glimmer to randomly start pretending to dance with her father. This goes on for longer than is entirely sane, and only comes to an end when Glimmer falls down a ravine because she wasn’t paying attention to where she was dancing. Serves her right.

Glimmer forgets for the moment that she has the power of teleportation, and instead requires rescue from She-Ra. She gets She-Ra’s attention by flashing her. No, not like that: she flashes her with a glittering crystal, of course, though in the next scene the animators get the colours wrong and consequently depict Glimmer without her trousers on, so maybe it was the other type of flashing after all. Anyway, let’s move on.

Micah 2
She-Ra: “Glimmer, I know we all walk around with just our pants on, but when you do it, it just looks … wrong.”

She-Ra gives Glimmer a lift to Bright Moon, where they find Queen Angela moping about sadly because it’s her 20th wedding anniversary, but her husband Micah has been missing for most of those years. Don’t worry though; this is Micah’s cue to crash his stolen Horde ship on Etheria, though he isn’t considerate enough to do so anywhere near Bright Moon.

Instead, he lands in the Talon Mountains, where he is quickly found by Queen Hunger of the Harpies, last seen in Reunions. In case you don’t remember, the Harpies were keeping Queen Angela prisoner in that episode, so it’s quite fun that they now manage to capture her husband Micah. Perhaps they’re playing Bright Moon Bingo. Glimmer had better watch out.

Micah 3
Hunger: “What do you think of this lovely ornament, Micah?”

Hunger contacts Bright Moon and offers to release Micah if Angela surrenders herself in his place. Unless they genuinely are playing Bingo and Micah isn’t on Hunger’s card, I can’t think why there’s any purpose to this exchange, but there we have it. Angela agrees, and Glimmer immediately starts bawling her eyes out and making snorting noises that are worryingly reminiscent of Hordak. She-Ra stands in the background, looking like she despises the pair of them.

Angela sets off to Talon Mountain, where Hunger predictably goes back on her word and detains her as well as Micah. She-Ra seems oddly reluctant to even try to rescue Micah and Angela, but eventually Glimmer persuades her to give it a go. Luckily, when She-Ra and Glimmer arrive at Talon Mountain, they find Hunger has been distracted by Tung Lashor, who is attempting to carry out Horde Prime’s orders to recapture Micah.

Micah 4
Tung Lashor: “There’s a perfectly rational explanation for this.”

With Angela and Micah successfully rescued, the whole bunch of them return to Bright Moon. Unfortunately, it isn’t allowed to change the status quo in this cartoon, so King Micah cannot remain in Bright Moon for longer than a few days. Instead, he abandons his wife and daughter again, and skulks off to fight the Horde in some non-specific location. Bye, Micah. Have a nice life.

 

In today’s adventure…

Today, Loo-Kee is in his usual position in a tree in Whispering Wood. His pathetic attempts to evade me are doomed to constant failure. His moral is all about how important family is, which I think might have had a little more impact if Micah had actually stayed in Bright Moon.

 

Character checklist

This one’s all about the Bright Moon family, so as well as the standard old Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind quartet, we also see Glimmer, Queen Angela and Micah. Filling out the ranks are Bow, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Imp, Tung Lashor, Horde Prime, Hunger, and a load of Harpies and Horde Troopers.

Micah 5
Micah: “No, I think I preferred my outfit from earlier.”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

None. I ran out of witty things to say about this excuse drought about 20 episodes ago, if not longer. I’m sure I have critics who might argue I never had anything witty to say, about this or anything else. I don’t want to hear from said critics, because I have a horrible feeling they may be right.

 

Insults

This is a pretty sparse category today, featuring only a terse “fool” from Hordak to Tung Lashor.

 

Does it have the Power?

It’s mostly good; I enjoyed the space combat bit at the start, and given I’ve whinged in the past about Glimmer basically having no character, it would be churlish of me to deny that this episode goes some way towards redeeming that. It was also a good bit of continuity to see Hunger and the Harpies again, not that they’re particularly enthralling, but it’s nice that the writers remember things like this.

Micah 6
Bow: “Well, hello there, little lady. Adora’s not around, so I’ll be creepy with you instead.”

The only problem, I think, is the fact that Micah disappears again at the end. How much would it really have hurt for him to have stayed in Bright Moon and joined the list of recurring guest characters? It’s not like we see Queen Angela that often anyway, thankfully, and we wouldn’t necessarily have to see Micah every time she shows up. It just seems all too convenient for him to leave once the episode’s action is over.

Two other minor points: firstly, all too predictably, Tung Lashor is now a far cry from his sinister and pretty scary first appearance in Book Burning. He’s now a moronic clown who is reduced to cleaning computer equipment with a cloth and an anti-bacterial spray. That being said, the recurring joke about him using his tongue to operate machinery, much to Hordak’s disgust, is actually fairly funny.

Micah 7
Tung Lashor: “Not sure I could possibly be more pleased with myself.”

Secondly, She-Ra’s pronunciation of “parents” in this episode is less than satisfactory. It sounds like she’s saying “parrots”, which makes for some fairly entertaining reinterpretations. There was one notable point where I thought She-Ra said, “Glimmer, let’s get your parrots,” which struck me as a completely insane notion and nearly made me laugh out loud. Given I write these reviews on a pretty busy train, I’m glad I managed to restrain myself.

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Episode 45 – Huntara

In which Hordak tells some porkies.

Hordak spends the first few minutes of this episode insulting his minions, berating their regular failure to capture She-Ra. Apparently, Horde Prime is most displeased, so Hordak has gone to the trouble of contacting the planet Sylax, well-known throughout the galaxy for the skill of its hunters, and asked them to send their very best hunter to track down She-Ra. Because the Sylaxians are hunters, naturally their representative is called Huntara.

When she arrives, Huntara makes it clear that she will only hunt and capture She-Ra if she is evil, so Hordak shows her some videos. These videos depict She-Ra as evil and are consequently as divorced from reality as a Southern Rail timetable, but they do the job, and Huntara sets off to confront She-Ra. She specifies only one condition: to satisfy her Sylaxian honour, the battle must be between her and She-Ra alone, with no interference from any of the Horde.

Huntara 1
Huntara: “I’m well honourable. Like a Klingon.”

Huntara’s first move is to capture Glimmer, who she uses as bait to lure She-Ra out of Whispering Wood. The two meet in the Crimson Waste, and after She-Ra’s obligatory attempts to persuade Huntara that fighting is bad, they engage in a pretty protracted fight. Once She-Ra finally wins, Huntara surrenders herself as a slave to She-Ra, in line with the Sylaxian code. Of course, She-Ra isn’t interested in having Huntara as a slave, an action which finally persuades Huntara that she has been tricked and that it is Hordak who is the evil one.

Catra and Scorpia – concerned about what will happen to their own job prospects if Huntara wins – have been watching the battle, and now swoop in. Surprisingly, they manage to knock She-Ra, Huntara and Glimmer out, and take them all back to the Fright Zone. Unfortunately, Hordak is stupid enough to bring them all into the throne room for a good gloat, and naturally enough they simply escape and cause havoc.

She-Ra offers Huntara a position in the Rebellion, but Huntara claims she is needed back on Sylax. She then puts a binbag over her head, gets into her ship and flies away. I think the binbag was meant to look like some kind of ninja outfit, but it doesn’t quite work.

Huntara 2
Huntara: “Look how terrifying I am in this binbag.”

 

In today’s adventure…

I couldn’t find Loo-Kee today, not that I care where the little idiot was. He explains to us that Hordak got himself into some major trouble by telling Huntara lies, which is an accurate summary of this week’s events. Loo-Kee thus concludes that we should always tell the truth, though I would argue that the episode’s real lesson is that it’s much easier to hire your expert hunters and warriors from a planet that doesn’t care who’s good and who’s evil.

 

Character checklist

Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Glimmer, Bow, Kowl, Loo-Kee, Huntara, Hordak, Catra, Scorpia, Imp, Shadow Weaver, Leech, Grizzlor, some Horde Troopers, and a variety of weird people I’ve never seen before.

Huntara 3
Adora: “Who are you? Get out.”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

Would it surprise you beyond measure if I reveal that there is no such excuse?

 

Insults

It’s another zinger-packed week on Etheria. Hordak begins proceedings by referring to Catra, Scorpia, Mantenna, Grizzlor and Leech as “fools” and “dolts”, sentiments which Imp gleefully repeats and adds “wimps” into the bargain. Catra is the only one with sufficient brains to retaliate, referring to Imp as a “pig-faced snoop”. The Horde are in general none too fond of Huntara, Catra dismissing her as an “outsider” and Scorpia referring to her as an “arrogant witch”.

In reference to events depicted in the mocked-up videos, Huntara calls She-Ra a “town-burner”, which apparently means so little to She-Ra that she completely ignores it. The final scene sees Hordak calling Huntara a “foolish woman”, telling a pair of Horde Trooper that they are “nincompoops” and “bunglers”, and addressing nobody in particular as “fools”.

The best insult of all, however, comes from Scorpia, who addresses Catra to say, “I don’t like you much.” Ouch, Scorpia. I bet that hurt. Catra will be crying at night for years about that one.

Huntara 4
Catra: “Is that honestly the best you can muster?”

 

Does it have the Power?

Yes, it does, rather surprisingly for an episode with a simple and incredibly signposted plot. The moment Huntara arrives and decrees she will only hunt She-Ra if she’s evil, only the stupidest viewer wouldn’t be able to see precisely how this story is going to end, but it’s a still very effective episode. The fight between Huntara and She-Ra is sufficiently varied and interesting to not seem too long, and I enjoyed Catra and Scorpia deviously watching the fight, intending to take the credit whoever wins. Needless to say, this was Catra’s idea; I don’t think Scorpia’s ever had an idea. In short, this one is worth a watch.

Episode 44 – The Rock People

In which we are invited to buy some Rock People action figures.

Hanging out with Bow in Whispering Wood, Adora receives word that Catra has gone to the Valley of the Lost looking for some rocks from outer space. Adora considers that this is the sort of situation which requires her immediate attention. Perhaps this is why Adora’s a leader of the Great Rebellion, while I’m a bitter civil servant, but frankly my reaction to this news would be that Catra’s clearly gone mental and might as well be allowed to amuse herself with meteors as much as she likes. Even Spirit asks, “Why would the Horde want rocks?” suggesting he too thinks Catra could be left to get on with it.

Rock People 1
Bow: “Wait, wait, wait. You mean people make those weird squiggles on paper, and you can actually look at them and they mean WORDS? How does this reading and writing magic work?”

Adora sends Bow, Kowl, Madame Razz and Broom on ahead, while she transforms into She-Ra. Once they arrive at the Valley of the Lost, they encounter a big brown dinosaur, which has a friendly chat with She-Ra and reveals where Catra is. Our heroes get moving, and arrive just as Catra and her various friends unearth the rocks. Given the episode’s title, I expect it won’t come as a surprise to you to learn that the rocks now reveal themselves to be Rock People.

Catra’s immediate reaction is to try to capture the Rock People, which results in the rebels having a nice big fight with the Horde. The Rock People – introduced as Rokkon, Stonndarr and Granita – simply stand around complaining that fighting is horrible. You’re singing to the choir there, lads. Anyway, to my distinct surprise, Catra actually manages to kidnap Rokkon, and takes him away to the Fright Zone.

Rock People 2
Rokkon: “Are we scary? Please tell me we’re scary.”

She-Ra introduces herself and her companions to Stonndarr and Granita, the voice actress sounding rather as though she’s losing the capability to speak as she does so. Stonndarr explains that the Rock People are explorers, seeking a new world on which to live, since their own sun is going to explode shortly. She-Ra suggests that they work together to free Rokkon from Hordak, but Stonndarr rejects the offer, claiming that She-Ra and her friends are too violent for his liking, so he and Granita fly off to try to persuade Hordak to listen to reason.

Don’t choke in astonishment or anything, but this doesn’t work out. Stonndarr and Granita are forced into fighting the Horde to release Rokkon, and very shortly She-Ra, Bow and Madame Razz arrive and join in. With the Rock People free again, our heroes take them to Whispering Wood where they discuss the possibility of the Rock People settling on Etheria. Eventually, She-Ra suggests that they live in Spykont, with the trolls. Everyone applauds this as an absolutely brilliant idea, though as far as I can tell, it’s average at best.

Rock People 3
Rokkon: “Trolls? Well, they’re better than Madame Razz, I suppose.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Loo-Kee is skulking about in a bush listening in on the Rebellion’s plans, towards the start of the episode. It would be awesome if at some point in the future, he is unmasked as a Horde spy and shot. I think, unfortunately, that that’s just a pipe dream. Anyway, he tells us today about how fighting isn’t the way to solve things, which would be great, if it weren’t for the fact that fighting is pretty much the only way things are ever solved on Etheria, including in this very episode, so it’s very much a case of “do as I say, not as I do” here.

 

Character checklist

This toy advert is an outing for Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Kowl, Madame Razz, Broom, Loo-Kee, Rokkon, Granita, Stonndarr, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Catra, Scorpia, Grizzlor, Mantenna, Leech, Imp, some Horde Troopers, some dude in a space helmet, and I suppose we should mention the troll at the end too.

Rock People 4
She-Ra: “Everybody look to the left, everybody look to the right.”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

To be honest, I don’t even recall the transformation sequence at all. It’s possible, therefore, that this week featured the excuse to top all excuses, but I just don’t know.

 

Insults

Wow, rocks clearly get people all worked up, given the vast quantity of insults featured this week. We start with Hordak calling Catra an “imbecile”, which Imp follows up by calling her the possibly misheard “old cat puss”. Catra is also the victim of Scorpia, who exhibits her rapier wit by calling her “rotten”.

Rock People 5
Catra: “We’re playing the O2 Academy tonight. Tickets £3.50 on the door.”

Scorpia also dishes out an accurate but unkindly meant “blondie” to She-Ra, and Hordak addresses an entire squadron of Horde Troopers as “fool robots”. Both Catra and Mantenna call the Rock People “rockheads”, which isn’t particularly insulting, but they clearly think it is. Kowl doesn’t have much time for the Rock People either, referring to them as “cowards”.

Elsewhere, we have Catra calling Mantenna a “fool”, as per usual, and Broom and Madame Razz have a pointed exchange in which Broom calls Madame Razz “old”, and Madame Razz retaliates with “Mr Bigmouth”. Finally, Granita offers the pretty mild “most unreasonable” to describe Hordak.

 

Oh No, Bow!

Bow is massively annoyed at Kowl, Madame Razz and Broom being present, since he had it in mind that he might be able to seduce She-Ra on this little jaunt. I don’t know what gave him that idea, unless he were planning on making some tasteless pun about being a representative of the Rock Hard People.

I should also probably point out that Bow is incapacitated by Leech, of all people, during this episode, and to make it even more embarrassing, he’s rescued by the dream team of Madame Razz, Broom, and Kowl. It amazes me that Bow still manages to have an ego as big as he does.

Rock People 6
Kowl: “Shall I come back when you’ve finished whatever it is you’re doing, Bow?”

 

Does it have the Power?

This one’s a 20 minute long advert for the action figures of Rokkon and Stonndarr, which – as far as I can gather – were incredibly unpopular figures. Whether that’s because this episode depicts them as pretty rubbish, or whether this episode was made as a desperate attempt to boost unsatisfactory sales, I don’t know. At any rate, the episode didn’t fulfil its evident objective since I have not been seized with a desire to buy Rokkon or Stonndarr, even though I’m a sucker for buying pretty much anything He-Man related.

On the other hand, I’d say it’s actually a surprisingly good episode. It’s got some fight scenes which are pretty entertaining, and it moves along nicely without ever getting boring. It might have been nice if the writer had managed to tie in the moral by having the Rock People win by not fighting, but other than that, I have no complaints. Definitely above the average.

Episode 43 – Welcome Back, Kowl

In which Bow notably doesn’t leap to his friend’s defence.

Welcome Back, Kowl, indeed? While I don’t have anything against Kowl (he’s actually probably the best rebel character in this series, as far as I’m concerned), I don’t think anyone could say that he’s underrepresented in this programme. Surely, if he wants a welcome back, he’s got to go somewhere first? With that in mind, I am approaching this episode cautiously, because it’s the sort of title that leads me to suspect it’s an episode where Kowl quits in a temper and has to be coaxed back.

As it happens, however, it’s nothing of the kind. Kowl is having a nice peaceful nap, when Hordak, Imp and Tung Lashor show up. After they fail to capture Kowl, they voice their intention to test their new tanks on a neighbouring village, so Kowl flaps off to warn the rebels. Adora, Bow, Madame Razz, Broom and a pair of Twiggets promptly arrive and waste time messing about with Madame Razz’s inept spells. They then loudly discuss their own plans for combating the tanks, which for some convoluted but no doubt logical reason involves leaving Kowl to sleep in a barn overnight.

Welcome 1
Twigget: “Let’s draw a mustache on him while he’s asleep.”

Imp overhears these plans, waits until the other rebels leave, and then plants a bag of Horde gold in Kowl’s bed. In the morning, there’s a nice big battle between the rebels and the Horde tanks, which lasts for absolutely bloody ages and results in the tanks disappearing, having kidnapped Madame Razz. The rebels go back to Kowl’s barn, start randomly shrieking about the possibility of there being a spy in the Rebellion, and then they find the bag of Horde gold.

Broom and the Twiggets are quick to accuse Kowl of treachery, while Adora is quick to leap to Kowl’s defence. Bow, who is allegedly Kowl’s best friend, is quick to keep his mouth shut and not say anything at all. Angered by his friends’ lack of faith in him, Kowl does a runner and goes to the Fright Zone by himself to try to rescue Madame Razz. Luckily, he is followed by She-Ra, and the two of them break into the Fright Zone together.

Welcome 2
Bow: “If I admit that Kowl isn’t a traitor, will you sleep with me?”

During the course of the rescue mission, Kowl proves about fifty billion times that he isn’t a traitor, which seems a trifle pointless, since the only other person there is She-Ra, who already believes he isn’t. They quickly find Madame Razz, rescue her, and have a really exciting fight with Shadow Weaver, Tung Lashor and Hordak. Kowl also gets the chance to exact vengeance on Imp by throwing him into the middle of a squashy orange fruit.

There’s just time at the end for Broom and the Twiggets to apologise for their suspicions of Kowl, which is nice, though it would have been nicer if Bow had chimed in to apologise for not defending his friend. Instead, he says, “Welcome back, Kowl!” as if Kowl had been gone for 18 years, rather than about 20 minutes.

Welcome 3
Bow: “I wish I had sufficient brains to enable me to apologise.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Oh look, there’s Loo-Kee, just outside the Fright Zone, sitting in a stupid blue tree. He explains to us that nobody gets everything right all of the time, and that it’s better to try and fail than to not try at all. I’m not sure this principle is always applicable, to be honest: surely, for example, it’s better not to try to accomplish Brexit, rather than wallowing in the inevitable failure that will ensue. Feel free to come up with similar examples in the comments section below.

 

Character checklist

This little visit to Etheria is punctuated by appearances from Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Kowl, Madame Razz, Broom, some Twiggets, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Imp, Tung Lashor, and those omnipresent Horde Troopers.

Welcome 4
Imp: “Here, look at my lovely close-up face. Bet that won’t spoil your evening.”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

Oh, for goodness’ sake, Adora. Yet again, not only does Adora not offer an excuse, she also transforms in the middle of a battlefield. The animators seem to think that so long as there’s no one in the background of the shot while Adora transforms, there’s no way anyone could see her. In this case, Bow, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Tung Lashor and Imp are all present, as well as any number of Horde Troopers. I just don’t think Adora takes this secret identity business seriously.

 

Insults

The Horde are clearly in an angry mood today, since Tung Lashor refers to Madame Razz as a “rebel hag”, which is pretty harsh, and Hordak sounds incredibly peeved when he calls Tung Lashor an “idiot”. Kowl calls Imp a “little drip”, but Imp has some nasty words to say about Kowl, including “clumsy old bird” and “scrawny flying dustmop”. Shortly after these insults are dispensed, Kowl snorts, “Nervous stuffed featherbag, indeed”. He seems to think he has been called this, but I didn’t hear it. Perhaps it was a line cut from the script, without any attention to whether this line of Kowl’s would subsequently make any sense.

Welcome 5
Kowl: “Christ! Look, Madame, it’s the paps again!”

 

Oh No, Bow!

Bow tries to pull a Horde tank over by looping a rope round it and then pulling. Admittedly, this normally works in the He-Man and She-Ra universe, but on this occasion it doesn’t, and he pulls ineffectually for about three minutes before a tank cuts the rope and makes Bow fall over. She-Ra then runs up, grabs the rope and instantly pulls the tank over, bringing Bow’s self-esteem down with it.

 

Does it have the Power?

Maybe I wasn’t listening carefully enough, or maybe I’ve been outwitted by a 30-year-old children’s cartoon, but I didn’t even begin to understand the rebels’ plan for dealing with the tanks. I certainly couldn’t see any reason for Kowl having to hang out in the barn overnight, other than so his mates could think he was a traitor, of course.

The Kowl’s treachery storyline was pretty unbelievable, since the evidence against him was circumstantial at best, and even saying it was circumstantial is being incredibly generous. If this sort of story must be done, I’m sure the writers could have come up with more damning evidence that might have actually made people have doubts about Kowl. This story, when coupled with a pointless subplot about Madame Razz feeling worthless and considering running away, didn’t do much to interest me, and I think I could be forgiven for advising you to skip it.

Episode 42 – Enemy With My Face

In which there is no enemy with anyone’s face.

You might think that Enemy With My Face would be a more appropriate title for last week’s episode, what with its plotline concerning Falseface stealing Prince Highcliff’s identity. That minor quibble aside, we leap straight into the action this week, with Scorpia and Catra driving along in some Horde tanks, crowing about a new weapon that Scorpia has invented. Within 15 seconds of the episode’s start, She-Ra has defeated them and sent them packing back to the Fright Zone.

Enemy 1
Scorpia: “Might as well have not bothered.”

It would be nice for all of us if that were the end of the episode. I’d have described it as a little simplistic but no worse than episodes like The Red Knight or Friends Are Where You Find Them. But no: there’s another 19 minutes or so to endure, so I suppose I’d better get on with it. Royally pissed off at She-Ra’s defeat of Scorpia and Catra, Hordak sets Shadow Weaver to work on a plan for the destruction of the Rebellion. Shadow Weaver pops off to a swamp, where she summons a Malog.

A Malog, if you must know, is a creature composed of mud and clay, with the ability to duplicate the strength of anyone it touches. Shadow Weaver gives the Malog a lift to Whispering Wood, where it wrestles She-Ra, absorbs her power, and takes on a slightly less mud-monstery form. It still doesn’t have She-Ra’s face, but perhaps that comes later. Once the Malog has She-Ra’s strength, it and Shadow Weaver disappear, presumably off to do some mischief elsewhere. I’m holding out hopes that such mischief will be interesting, but I’m not counting on it.

Enemy 3
She-Ra: “This experience is making me even less interested in mud wrestling than I was before.”

She-Ra, irritated beyond reckoning, goes to the Crystal Castle, where Light Hope reiterates the plot for anyone who hadn’t been paying attention. He then starts jabbering about the strength of She-Ra coming from the heart, and asks She-Ra some pointless riddles about the nature of the Malog. Only once she solves them will she be able to conquer the Malog. It would be so much easier, Light Hope, if you could just tell She-Ra what she needs to know. You obviously know how to do it. Why waste time?

Enemy 4
Light Hope: “As a non-corporeal amorphous energy creature, I don’t get many chances for fun. And being pointlessly evasive is the most fun I can think of.”

In the meantime, Hordak and Shadow Weaver are hatching a cunning plan to use the Malog to send She-Ra to the Mines of Mondor, from which Hordak claims no one has ever escaped. Who are you kidding, Hordak? We’ve all seen the episode entitled The Mines of Mondor, in which about fifty billion prisoners escaped that very establishment. The plan involves She-Ra and the Malog having another fight, in which the Malog tries to drive She-Ra inside a forcefield generator.

I’d love to say it’s an exciting fight, but it really isn’t, and to make matters worse, there’s an idiot child hiding in an urn and offering a less than enthralling commentary throughout. Even Shadow Weaver starts complaining that the fight is going on forever, so she intervenes and creates a wind storm which results in She-Ra flying into the forcefield generator. With She-Ra trapped, everything looks hopeless, until it emerges that the Malog not only has She-Ra’s strength, it also has her awesomeness.

Enemy 2
Child: “Could I be any more smug?”

The Malog thus sets She-Ra free, and Shadow Weaver vanishes in a hissy fit. As a reward, She-Ra uses the honour of Grayskull to transform the Malog into a real woman, and sends her off into the world to “see people, learn things” and “find out what it is to be alive”. Hope that works out.

 

In today’s adventure…

I didn’t spot Loo-Kee today, which is surprising because he was in the swamp, where the colours were mostly brown, unlike his bright blue, yellow and red colouring. He suggests that we should think twice before we call people names and put them down. He tries to suggest that Shadow Weaver did this to the Malog in the episode, but to be honest, I didn’t notice that happening. Perhaps I was asleep at the time.

 

Character checklist

All our favourites today – Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Kowl, Madame Razz, Broom, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Catra, Scorpia, Mantenna and Modulok. There’s also the Malog and the afore-mentioned irritating child.

Enemy 5
Hordak: “Hey DJs, could you play Brown Eyed Girl?”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

Two transformations and no excuses. This really is getting tedious.

 

Insults

Bow calls a pair of Horde Troopers “villains”, and Shadow Weaver tells one of those Troopers that he’s a “fool”. She also shrieks out “cowards” at one point, though frankly I’m not totally sure who she was referring to.

 

Does it have the Power?

I think this one’s a bit of a shame, because I can definitely see what they were going for, but I just don’t think it quite got there. The idea of an evil duplicate of our hero, possessing all their strength, goes right back to Faker in The Shaping Staff, and I’ll admit it’s quite a fun twist to have the evil duplicate actually copy She-Ra’s moral fibre as well. Or at least, it should be fun. Instead, it’s infuriating, as She-Ra encourages the Malog to live, breathe, etc, in her most over-acted tones.

Enemy 6
Malog: “I’m just about ready to deck you, She-Ra, and I will if you don’t stop rabbiting.”

It’s also a trifle odd that the writer seemed to think the Malog should look just like She-Ra (for one thing, Swift Wind says, “She has your features”, and the episode’s title is another hint), but this wasn’t communicated to the animators, since at no point does the Malog come even close to looking like She-Ra.

I still like Shadow Weaver, who comes across as a not completely straightforward villain, and it’s good to see a brief cameo from Modulok, who’s been demoted to Horde Cook as a result of the debacle in Gateway to Trouble. They’re not enough, though, to save this episode from being what I’d call a near miss.