Episode 63 – Flowers for Hordak

In which the Fright Zone becomes the Flower Zone.

It’s becoming a noticeable pattern with episodes written by Bob Forward that they begin with an extended scene in which Hordak demonstrates how unpleasant he is, usually by bullying Mantenna in an amusing way. This episode is no exception, but after the laughs are over, we move onto the plot line. Shadow Weaver has found a black ruby, which will allow her to darken the air around Whispering Wood and stop the trees growing. If the trees die, the magic of Whispering Wood will no longer protect the rebels. The only problem is that one of the rebels, called Perfuma, has a magical power which will enable her to keep plants alive even if they have no light. Accordingly, Hordak decides that Stage 1 of this cunning plan will be to capture Perfuma, so he sends out a strike force of Horde Troopers to do so.

Flowers for Hordak 4
Mantenna: “I assure you, there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for this.”

Perfuma is hanging out at a beautiful location called the Crystal Falls, along with Adora, Bow and a mermaid called Mermista. Mermista speaks with a vague Russian accent and isn’t annoying, but Perfuma talks like she’s got no brains, and spends her time obsessively adding flowers to everything, including Adora’s head. It is perhaps a relief for the rebels, therefore, when a Horde Trooper successfully kidnaps Perfuma; they certainly don’t seem inclined to go to too much trouble to get her back.

Both Bow and Glimmer seem incredulous at this turn of events; independently, they both ask, “Why would the Horde want Perfuma?” The implication here is that Perfuma is no use to man nor beast. She-Ra is at a loss to explain the kidnap, but all becomes clear when Shadow Weaver casts her spell to block out the sun. She-Ra turns to directly address the camera, and looks distinctly cross-eyed – and even possibly a bit drunk – as she proclaims that she is going to ask Light Hope what to do.

Flowers for Hordak 1
She-Ra: “Oh Christ, I’m off my tits again.”

Light Hope is bafflingly insane this time, though; he agrees that the trees will die without Perfuma, but insists that She-Ra must do absolutely nothing to try to sort the situation out. Bemused, She-Ra leers drunkenly at the camera again, then returns to the rebel camp, where she convinces Glimmer to cast a spell to simulate sunlight. After Glimmer does this, she claims exhaustion, and retires to bed with what looks like a McDonalds takeaway on her bedside table.

Flowers for Hordak 3
Glimmer: “I said a Big Mac, not the bloody chicken nuggets.”

In the meantime, Perfuma has decorated her cell with a huge flower display, and for some bonkers reason, is leading a Horde Trooper in a waltz. Needless to say, Hordak is not amused, and becomes even less so as the episode progresses and Perfuma spreads her flowers across the entire Fright Zone. Hordak sends increasingly desperate messages to the rebels, offering to swap Perfuma for She-Ra, and eventually just offering to release Perfuma if someone would just come and get her.

She-Ra takes him up on this latter deal, and arrives in the Fright Zone to find the entire place is covered in flowers, and Hordak is not at all pleased about it. And so begins the oddest prisoner release negotiation in history, with neither side wanting to have possession of the prisoner. She-Ra drives a hard bargain, and eventually agrees to take Perfuma away in return for the black ruby, money and supplies for the Rebellion. Shadow Weaver also lifts the sun-blocking spell, and She-Ra once again drunkenly mugs at the camera.

Flowers for Hordak 2
Hordak: “I’m willing to accept that this time I’ve screwed up.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Christ alone knows what we’re supposed to have learned from this little excursion into the world of the genuinely mental. Loo-Kee (who was lurking around at the Crystal Falls) goes for the obvious, suggesting that maybe we should take the time to enjoy trees and flowers. Sadly, he stops short of suggesting we decorate our worst enemy’s house with them.

 

Character checklist

It’s a triumphant introduction for Perfuma, and not a bad intro for Mermista. Our regulars are Adora, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Glimmer, Bow, Light Hope, Madame Razz, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Mantenna, some random rebels, and some Horde Troopers.

Flowers for Hordak 5
Mermista: “I think I’m going to bow out of this episode early on.”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

She-Ra offers only a terse, “No time to explain” when asked where she came from.

 

Insults

Mermista calls a pair of Horde Troopers “dirty tin cans”, which is pretty par for the course. Otherwise, the start of the episode features Hordak happily describing Mantenna as a “bug-eyed bungler”. Later on, there’s a lot more irritation in his voice when he calls some Horde Troopers “idiots”, but this is understandable since he’s had to put up with Perfuma calling him an “old grouch” and the enormously insulting “Hordikins”.

Flowers for Hordak 6
Hordak: “This is the lowest point of my entire life.”

 

Does it have the Power?

Well, wow. Sometimes the writers surpass themselves. This episode is a serious contender for the most insane thing I’ve ever seen. It makes absolutely bugger-all sense, of course, but the scenes of Perfuma leading a squadron of Horde Troopers in a conga are so hilariously demented that you can’t help but love it. Hordak is extremely funny in his OTT hatred for flowers in general and Perfuma in particular, and it somehow adds to the general hilarity that even the rebels seem less than enthused about Perfuma’s presence in their lives. Perfuma is a hugely irritating character, but since the writer clearly intended her to be that way, it’s absolutely fine, so long as she never appears again – I’m convinced the joke will wear extremely thin if she makes a return showing. This episode, though, is one of the greats. Well done.

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8 thoughts on “Episode 63 – Flowers for Hordak

  1. Not much for me to add there my feelings exactly! this really is a laugh a minute! bloomin bonkers but absolutely fantastic! would get easily a 9/10 from me, and agree owen definetly one of the best she-ra episodes, an episode (not to dissimilar to the region of ice) decides to concentrate on going with humour but succeeding ! and your right perfuma is stronger with just this one appearance a return would only take the novelty away of what is so crazy yet brilliant about this one, great review and great ep..

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    1. Yep, definitely a winner – and I like the comparison to Region of Ice, in that it’s utterly deranged. Glad you liked this one too!

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  2. PS sorry about my pun… “blooming bonkers”! anyway top ep and yes again bob forward a testament to his writing he can right a really serious and emotional episode like the problem with power and then can wright something as insanely hilarious as this! super stuff.

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  3. Seriously… Owen, this is basically the retelling of the classic “The Ransom of Red Chief” by O. Henry! In this story, two con mans decided do kidnap the son of local businessman for ransom, and after few days with the boy (quite a troublemaker), they became so desperate, that they paid his father to took him back.

    “Gentlemen: I received your letter to-day by post, in regard to the ransom you ask for the return of my son. I think you are a little high in your demands, and I hereby make you a counter-proposition, which I am inclined to believe you will accept. You bring Johnny home and pay me two hundred and fifty dollars in cash, and I agree to take him off your hands. You had better come at night, for the neighbours believe he is lost, and I couldn’t be responsible for what they would do to anybody they saw bringing him back.”

    I highly recommend the story, it is quite hilarious)

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    1. I didn’t know that. Very interesting, thanks for sharing.

      Are there other MOTU episodes that are retellings of other stories? I expect so. Beauty and the Beast springs to mind, but I imagine there are some less obvious ones!

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      1. even if its a retelling tale who cares when the episodes this good! agree what dilandu says and theres a few others beauty and the beast as you said owen, a tale of two cities is another one at the top of my head that springs to mind! another one is the sheason 2 he-man episode the arena, tho I wasn’t a huge star treck fan iv heard it has a very star treck feel and is similar to one particular episode, all good for me as long as the episodes done well..

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      2. Yep, good point on The Arena. Not sure about A Tale of Two Cities – I haven’t read it so I’m unsure if they borrowed the plot or just the name!

        But yeah, if the episode’s good, it’s no problem if it’s a retelling…

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  4. Best. Damn. She-Ra. Episode. Ever. Period.

    I could write volumes about why, including the banter between an extremely facetious and obviously duplicitous Shadow Weaver and an absolutely clueless Hordak about whose idea it is to capture Perfuma at the beginning of the episode, or the completely vacant expression on Perfuma’s face throughout the entire episode, or the Horde troopers not only dancing in a conga line, but singing (a-la-la-la-la-la—LA, a-la-la-la-la-lala-LA! My daughter and I sing it together!) but I’ll simply say again – only closely rivaled by “Of Shadows and Skulls” –

    Best. Damn. She-Ra. Episode. Ever. Period.

    Like

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