In which Light Hope goes bonkers.
In Castle Bright Moon, Glimmer is whinging about a bunch of worms ruining her flowers. Come on, Glimmer. You’re the leader of the Great Rebellion, and should be spending your days planning how to smash the Horde, not planting flowers and shrieking about insects. It serves her right when Snout Spout blunders along and ruins her flowers by spraying them with water.
Glimmer’s random gibber is interrupted by a family arriving from Sand Valley, a location on the brink of starvation, because no rain has fallen for many months, and the soldiers of an individual named Baron Condor have stolen all the food that the villagers have. Adora instantly orders for supplies to be sent to Sand Valley, and decides to deliver it herself, in She-Ra form.
Baron Condor gets wind of She-Ra’s imminent arrival, and orders his men to put on ragged clothes and to make themselves look weak and feeble, in an effort to trick She-Ra into leaving the food supplies with him. It’s a good idea, but the execution is somewhat lacking, and She-Ra becomes naturally suspicious when she sees a couple of well-fed soldiers lounging around directly behind the allegedly starving people.
Baron Condor now directly attacks She-Ra, whose response is to start hurling fruit at him. As you may know, I don’t have a high opinion of She-Ra, but she’s never behaved like a monkey before, and it seems particularly crass of her to be throwing food around when there are starving people nearby. It’s even more galling that her fruit-wasting tactics don’t even work: Condor manages to defeat She-Ra using something called a Sun Ray, put her in the dungeons, and steal all the supplies.
Once She-Ra is in the dungeon, Condor is foolish enough to leave her unguarded. The only other person there is a serving girl called Smarlwarl or something equally demented, and she rescues She-Ra, but in the process gets knocked out by the Sun Ray herself. She-Ra decides the most appropriate step now is to take Smarlwarl to Light Hope, who starts burbling about Smarlwarl undergoing a metamorphosis. He is then helpful enough to put Smarlwarl into a cocoon, and begins bellowing, “Emerge, Smarlwarl! Emerge!”
Fearing that this time Light Hope has crossed the line into complete lunacy, She-Ra begins nervously eyeing the possible exits. Fortunately, Smarlwarl breaks out of the cocoon, complete with wings and purple hair. Light Hope introduces her as Flutterina, and suggests that she and She-Ra piss off back to Sand Valley to stop Baron Condor from attacking all the neighbouring kingdoms.
And so begins an exciting battle in which She-Ra happily knocks all Baron Condor’s men off their Sky Sleds, while Flutterina flaps around catching them and delivering them to Bow, who’s hanging out in a castle below. Condor – not unnaturally – gets fed up and wheels out the Sun Ray again, but this time She-Ra is ready for him. Flutterina and Swift Wind fly up to some clouds, flap their wings, and blow the clouds until they block the sun, thus stopping the Sun Ray from charging.
With that decisive blow, it’s all over. Realising that Condor’s warlike behaviour has been motivated by the lack of food in Sand Valley, She-Ra helpfully destroys an entire ecosystem by diverting a river from miles away to irrigate the crops in the valley. This is no doubt helpful to those in the valley, but almost certainly causes untold damage elsewhere on Etheria. Who needs Hordak to sow destruction, when She-Ra’s doing it herself?
The episode concludes with She-Ra taking Flutterina back to Castle Bright Moon, where they all have a good laugh at Glimmer for still being obsessed with those worms. Though it turns out they’re not worms, but caterpillars, and they flower into beautiful butterflies. Who’d have thought it?
In today’s adventure…
Loo-Kee has chosen to hide himself underneath the wheels of a wagon today, giving me a momentary sense of optimism that maybe the wagon would run him over. No such luck. He’s still alive and kicking at the end of the episode, when he tells us that – just like the caterpillars in Glimmer’s garden – people may look ugly, but it’s what’s inside that really counts. I seem to recall we’ve had this moral millions of times, but not for absolutely ages, and probably not in an episode which demonstrates the point quite so relevantly, so I’m happy to see it repeated.
Well, there’s Adora and She-Ra, of course, and Spirit and Swift Wind. We also have the pleasure of the company of Bow, Glimmer, Snout Spout, Light Hope and Loo-Kee, as well as the various inhabitants of Sand Valley, and Baron Condor and his gang. Moreover, let’s not forget the introduction of Flutterina.
It’s pretty lightweight stuff this week, only featuring Baron Condor uttering “fools” twice, once to his men and once to a group of random people, including Bow.
Oh No, Bow!
Not content with spending all his days perving over Adora and She-Ra, this week Bow develops a look of seedy delight as he realises that Flutterina is wearing a very short skirt while hovering directly above his head.
Does it have the Power?
Actually, yes, it’s not half bad. It’s very rare that we get an origin story for any of our characters, and Flutterina’s introduction is done pretty effectively. I’m assuming she’s a recurring character (I seem to remember there was an action figure of her, which suggests at least one more appearance), and so it’s quite good to know where she came from.
The storyline itself isn’t terribly original, but there again isn’t done badly. It gets special points from me for She-Ra actually being defeated by the Sun Ray and locked up, though I wish she’d stayed that way for ever. I enjoyed the fact that Baron Condor changed his ways at the end, making peace with his former enemies, but remained a bit prickly and didn’t instantly turn into a goody-goody like the majority of She-Ra’s friends.
The episode is a very competent mid-range example of She-Ra, and notable for being one of the very few to not involve the Horde even slightly. (We’ve had a few of these lately – Wild Child and The Greatest Magic – but this is the only one that’s been any good.) I’d recommend giving this one a watch.