In which She-Ra discovers an underground kingdom of cats.
Prince Orwell of somewhere or another has come to meet Adora, providing supplies for the Rebellion. Unfortunately, Catra and two Horde Troopers have followed him, and so it’s swords drawn and references to the honour of Grayskull all round. In the course of the ensuing kerfuffle, Catra uses a new device – which looks like a fork – to open a massive chasm, down which both she and She-Ra fall.
They both land at separate positions in a vast underground maze. Catra quickly finds her way to a large city, populated by a cat people, and consequently feels she’s landed on her feet somewhat. She assumes her large purple cat form, and starts slinking around the city, which for whatever reason makes the populace decide that she is their long-lost queen. Catra is only too pleased to play along, feigning memory loss.
Minister Cloudfoot helpfully fills Catra in on their queen’s history. When the Horde came to Etheria, they attacked the cat people and drove them underground, after taking many slaves. The queen went out to look for the slaves, and has not been seen since. Catra realises that her cat mask – the source of her catty powers – must have belonged to the queen, and uses its powers to convince the people that she is the queen returned.
Soon enough, She-Ra blunders along into the cat city, and is instantly ambushed by a contingent of light-sabre wielding cats. Catra then administers the coup-de-grace, using her mask’s freeze ray to entrap She-Ra within a block of ice. After the commercial break, we find Catra has retired to a boudoir, and is lounging about plotting to abandon Hordak and remain ruler of the cat people for ever. For this plan to succeed, she determines she will have to dispose of She-Ra once and for all.
She-Ra, in the meantime, has been taken to a prison cell and restrained with chains of magical energy. Of course, she spends her time yammering away to her guard Percival, explaining that Catra is a Horde captain, and that the cat people’s queen is really in a Horde prison camp. Percival pops off to Catra’s boudoir, where he finds that she has foolishly resumed her human shape and is chatting to Hordak on an Apple iWatch. This is all the proof Percival needs, and returns to free She-Ra.
Percival reveals that Catra is about to be crowned queen in a special ceremony, and explains that it is imperative that she is exposed before the coronation. She-Ra is all too willing to help, and the two of them burst into the ceremony, to find Catra in cat form, sitting on the throne very neatly. Percival suggests that since the queen would be able to defeat a human in single combat, the cat people should let Catra and She-Ra fight it out.
This suggestion is accepted by everyone, though Catra presumably has some degree of apprehension about it, given her track record in fighting She-Ra. Not unexpectedly, She-Ra quickly gains the upper hand and knocks Catra’s mask off, reverting her to her human form. Once the cats realise Catra’s true nature, they all surround her, pretty damn ominously, I must say.
Catra grabs her mask and runs away, but as she goes the cat people cast a spell to erase her memory of these events, ensuring that their underground city will remain hidden from the Horde. She-Ra then indulges in a very clever trick to free the real queen from prison, and also manages to involve Prince Orwell in the episode’s conclusion, in case we were desperate to see him again.
In today’s adventure…
Loo-Kee is the very first thing that greets the viewer when the episode begins, and it truly is a pleasure to see him. When we catch up with him again at the end of the episode, his message to us is that we shouldn’t throw litter on the ground, but should always use a bin. While I agree with the sentiment, I sometimes wonder if Loo-Kee is even vaguely aware of the episode’s story. This week had nothing to do with litter, at all. Except maybe cat litter, but that’s stretching it.
Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Prince Orwell, Minister Cloudfoot, Percival, the cat people’s queen, various other cats, Loo-Kee, Catra, Hordak, and the usual array of Horde Troopers.
It’s rather light on the insults today, the only one I can be certain of being Catra muttering under her breath that the cat people are “fools”. There is also a moment when she addresses Percival and says either “keep back!” or “fleabag!”, but I couldn’t say which.
Does it have the Power?
Catra really is one of the most reliably entertaining villains in this series, Shadow Weaver being the other. This week finds Catra at her scheming best, and it’s all mighty good fun seeing her pulling the wool over the eyes of the cat people and setting herself up as queen. I also like that her loyalty to Hordak is – at best – dubious, as it gives her a depth of character way beyond that afforded to other Horde idiots. I do like cats a lot as well, so perhaps that helps to swing this episode for me. Even if you don’t like cats, though, I don’t think anyone could deny this one has a spark and energy that recent efforts have lacked a bit. Recommended.