In which we meet the worst character in all of fiction, ever.
Quite a lot of She-Ra episodes begin with an irrelevant scene in which She-Ra gets into a fight with the Horde, but it’s usually over within two or three minutes. This episode, by contrast, opens with a stunningly pointless six-minute drivel fest featuring She-Ra kicking Leech and some Horde Troopers about, for no purpose other than to kill a third of the episode’s runtime.
The only remotely relevant bit of this section is that Kowl was supposed to be on guard, but he was too frightened to do his job properly. Adora forgives him, of course, but his alleged best friend Bow properly lays into him, until Kowl flaps off miserably. Broom soon finds Kowl sobbing his eyes out, and suggests that he ask Madame Razz for a courage spell.
Unexpectedly, Madame Razz tells Broom and Kowl to piss off, thus leading Broom to conclude that he isn’t appreciated either, and so the appropriate reaction is for him and Kowl to – altogether now – RUN AWAY! Because this is a storyline which is fresh and hitherto unexplored on this cartoon. At least, for once, they have an objective in mind: they will go to see a wizard in Silverglade, who will make Kowl brave and give Broom a new life doing something that remains unspecified, possibly sweeping the floor.
On their way, they are spotted by the freakiest looking man I’ve ever seen. I try not to judge people on appearance, but by Christ, if I saw this dude waiting to get on my train, I’d wait for the next one. He’s like a cross between an unholy ventriloquist’s dummy and a medieval sex pest. He is called Acrobad, probably because he jumps about everywhere like he’s got springs in his feet, and he never says a word without prefacing it with “Yes sirree serroo.” It took me less than five seconds of his being on screen for me to conclude that I despise him more than I have ever despised anyone before.
Acrobad is accompanied by Doctor Drome, a leprechaun-type man in a van, who is trying his best to be just as irritating as Acrobad, but not quite getting there. These two introduce themselves to Kowl and Broom, and invite them to lunch. Broom is suspicious, but Kowl is hungry, and so they accept the invitation. Over lunch, Doctor Drome learns that our heroes are headed for Silverglade, and offers to give them a lift. The evil but mysterious person theme music plays in the background at this point, in case we were unsure.
The remainder of this atrocity of an episode is given over to Doctor Drome and Acrobad handing Kowl and Broom over to a Horde commander called Colonel Blast. Colonel Blast starts formulating some demented plans to sell them to a circus, but She-Ra, Bow and Madame Razz come to rescue them. Acrobad and Doctor Drome run away, and Bow somehow contrives to shoot all of Colonel Blast’s clothes off, Christ alone knows why.
Back in Whispering Wood, there’s ever such a nice touching scene in which Madame Razz apologises to Broom, and Bow doesn’t apologise to Kowl. Then Adora makes some kind of stupid comment and winks at the camera. I used to hate it when Prince Adam did this, but let me tell you, he’s got nothing on Adora’s winking technique. It’s actively terrifying.
In today’s adventure…
I couldn’t find Loo-Kee this week, in part because watching this episode was pretty painful so I was trying not to look at the screen. He was messing about near some barrels, if you want to know. He takes the opportunity to tell us about stranger danger, which is sensible and relevant to the episode’s plot. It’s really saying something when Loo-Kee’s moral is the best thing about an episode.
This utter nonsense gives us the opportunity to see Adora, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Kowl, Madame Razz, Broom, some Twiggets, Loo-Kee, Leech, Acrobad, Doctor Drome, Colonel Blast, some Horde Troopers, and some rebels. Given Swift Wind was present, I expect Spirit was too, but I didn’t note it down and I’m not going to watch it again to check.
Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance
“I think She-Ra can help. I’d better find her,” says Adora, and runs off at full tilt. While she’s gone, Madame Razz and the Twiggets (or Spriggets or whatever the hell they are) arrange themselves into a circle and start shrieking, “Razzle dazzle, mazzle muzzle” or some such gibberish. Bow is thus incredibly grateful when She-Ra appears to rescue him from these loonies, and says, “She-Ra! Glad you’re here!” in the most heartfelt tones I’ve ever heard him use.
Lots of insults today, many of them directed at Kowl. Leech starts the ball rolling by calling Kowl a “feathered pest”, and Colonel Blast continues with “mangy bird”. Bow offers “rotten bird”, and Kowl later describes himself as a “useless coward”, to which Bow helpfully responds, “You sure are.” Doctor Drome refers to both Kowl and Broom as “little twits”, and Colonel Blast opts for “rotting broom” to describe Broom. We also have a farmer calling some Horde Troopers “devils”, Doctor Drome calling Acrobad a “bouncing boob”, and finally She-Ra comes up with “sorriest slime in the Horde” for Leech. At no point does anyone think to come up with an insult for the episode’s writer, but they definitely should have.
Oh No, Bow!
Bow gets frozen into a giant ice cube by Leech’s weapons early on. When She-Ra breaks him out, she cuddles him for a moment to warm him up. Bow takes creepiness to a whole new level by pretending to need more warming up than necessary, and making ridiculous comments while putting on the kind of expression that gets you added to registers.
He is also ridiculously unpleasant to Kowl in the debriefing after the stupid long fight, and is in fact so nasty that Kowl runs away, thus forcing us to watch this tedious plot for the nine billionth time. Bow has a lot to answer for, in my book.
Does it have the Power?
Oh, God, where do I even start? It’s got a six minute long irrelevant section at the start. It’s got a story involving people feeling underappreciated and running away. It’s got weird baddies who are simultaneously utterly unthreatening and yet will haunt my nightmares for ever. It’s got Bow being a complete cock. It’s got Madame Razz and the Twiggets burbling nonsensical doggerel for what feels like forever. It’s got Adora winking at the camera like she’s possessed. One thing it’s not got is a wizard, so why the bloody hell it’s called The Wizard is totally beyond me. It’s also not got the Power, in case you weren’t sure. I’m genuinely amazed that an episode this bad could ever get made. Truly, truly dreadful.