In which She-Ra demonstrates a hitherto unsuspected talent for flying.
Reeling from a defeat at Valley View Castle, Hordak goes a little OTT and arranges for a Horde scientist called Professor Tempest to build a machine that can change the past; specifically, changing Hordak’s losses into victories. This machine is called the Time Transformer, and it works by displaying images of the past, onto which the Professor can draw things such as extra guns. Like the Magic Paintbrush, the things the Professor draws come into existence.
Using this device, Hordak reverses his loss at Valley View Castle, causing Horde Troopers to appear as a garrison there. Using a degree of prescience bordering on the supernatural, Adora instantly concludes, “It’s as if history were being rewritten,” rather than any other random but equally plausible conclusion such as “They must have teleported in,” or “They must have taken off their invisibility cloaks.” Honestly, I ask you, with the data she has, how could Adora possibly have plucked the correct answer out of so many insane possibilities?
Armed with her freaky super-knowledge, Adora announces that she and Bow must go straight to the Fright Zone. And so they do, and by God the animation is appalling when they get there. Just look at Bow’s head. It looks like it’s been squashed in a vice (which is, admittedly, something I’d do to him given half the chance). Anyway, they overhear Hordak plotting to use the Time Transformer to destroy Castle Bright Moon, and then they get captured.
Hordak decides to demonstrate to Adora and Bow how the Time Transformer works, and shows them a clip from the massively mental episode Bow’s Farewell, in which – as you may recall – She-Ra flew into outer space to stop an eclipse of the moon from draining Bright Moon’s batteries, or some such. This time, however, Hordak draws a meteor shower which will allegedly prevent She-Ra from saving the day. Much as we’d all like to erase the events of Bow’s Farewell from our memories, I have the feeling this isn’t going to work out.
Adora and Bow escape very easily, and Adora gets Bow out of the way so she can turn into She-Ra. This done, she jumps in the air and starts flying. Like bloody Supergirl. Look, She-Ra can’t fly. She’s never been able to fly before. If you want her to fly, put her on Swift Wind. Swift Wind is even present at this moment, and She-Ra has just told him, “Wait here, Swift Wind.” Why does Swift Wind have to wait there? Why can’t he do the flying? I just don’t understand why She-Ra has to be capable of absolutely everything. I think I’m getting unaccountably worked up about this, but it completely defies all internal logic of this cartoon, admittedly shaky though that internal logic is.
Once She-Ra arrives in the throne room, she stands in front of the Time Transformer, and then moves when Hordak shoots at her. Totally unexpectedly, Hordak destroys the Time Transformer instead. He isn’t as upset about this as you might think, though, because with the Transformer destroyed, She-Ra has no way to reverse the meteor shower and stop Hordak from having captured Castle Bright Moon in the past.
Did I say she has no way to reverse the meteor shower? Well, that was a trifle misleading. Actually, she does, but it’s a very stupid way indeed. She gets on Swift Wind and instructs him to fly into orbit, then fly very quickly round and round Etheria backwards. I presume the idea here is that the momentum Swift Wind builds up will cause Etheria to spin backwards. I’m no physicist, but I’m certain that even allowing for this dubious premise, causing Etheria to spin backwards would simply alter its rotation. It would not make time run backwards. If I’m wrong, I’m willing to be corrected.
At any rate, we are now treated to a shot of Etheria with She-Ra flying round and round it, with her voiceover sounding increasingly orgasmic as she builds to a crescendo with the phrase, “Faster, Swifty! Faster! Faster! We’re getting there!” Once that’s over, She-Ra adds to the general air of lunacy by turning her sword into a baseball bat and knocking the meteor storm out of the way. Then, just to round things off, she returns to Etheria’s surface and starts randomly taking the piss out of Madame Razz.
In today’s adventure…
I don’t need to say anything here other than that Loo-Kee’s in a tree, and he references events in the episode that I genuinely don’t remember happening. He claims that Madame Razz told a villager’s fortune, and that the villager was told he’d have a happy life if he treated others kindly. He suggests that we follow this advice too. I was so convinced that this didn’t happen that I actually went back and checked, and it definitely didn’t. Hordak must have used his Time Transformer to erase that bit of the episode.
This utter claptrap features Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Kowl, Madame Razz, Broom, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Imp, Catra, Professor Tempest, and the usual mass of Horde Troopers. Grizzlor, Leech and Entrapta are hanging around too, though rather unproductively.
Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance
“Bow, you’d better go and warn Queen Angela. I’m going to try and find a way to destroy that machine,” says Adora, trying to get her moronic companion to exit, stage left. As soon as she’s convinced him that he’ll be making a valuable contribution simply by pissing off, she is able to turn into She-Ra in peace.
Catra calls Imp a “little worm”, while Hordak addresses his Horde Troopers with “fools”, “metallic nincompoops” and something that sounds very much like “bunkbags”, but it couldn’t possibly be that because that doesn’t make sense, and of course the rest of this episode is a statesmanlike exercise in making sense.
Hordak also calls She-Ra a “foolish woman”. This isn’t really the place to go off on an extended rant about the gender politics of this cartoon, but I have noticed a tendency for Hordak to append “woman” to his insults for She-Ra, and it does occasionally leave a bad taste in the mouth. No one ever called He-Man a “foolish man” – “fool” was always enough. (It has also just occurred to me that Skeletor never called Evil-Lyn or Teela a “foolish woman”. Skeletor may have been many bad things, but he does appear to have been a big believer in gender equality.)
Oh No, Bow!
When Adora and Bow are captured, the Horde Troopers slap handcuffs on them. Bow sidles up to Adora and says, “See if you can reach into my pocket.” When Adora obliges, he reveals that he doesn’t have a plan but just wanted her to get her hands close to his skin. That latter sentence is not true, but I bet you believed me. That’s how creepy Bow is.
Does it have the Power?
Oh, God. Sometimes, I like the mental ones. I’m pretty sure we had one that was utterly bonkers not long ago, and that I liked it. But for some reason, the mental bits in this episode come across as fundamental flaws rather than light-hearted silliness, and I found the whole thing just incredibly grating. I think it’s probably because it features so many stupid She-Ra feats in the space of five minutes: she does her regular breathing in outer space trick, she turns her sword into sports equipment, and most of all, she flies of her own volition. She’s just unbeatable, and that’s tiresome. I could also go on and mutter about the complete lack of logic applied to Hordak’s time alterations, and the dodgy physics with the backward planet spinning, but I have this feeling that if I do, I’ll actually go mad.