Episode 89 – Hordak's Power Play

In which one of the worst people in the galaxy arrives on Etheria.

Observing an Argonian spaceship fly close to Etheria, Hordak decides to shoot it down and steal the ship’s power cell. He is successful in the first half of this plan, but the ship lands in the village of Flax, near the home of an old man called Doctor Blankford. Doctor Blankford immediately goes to fetch Adora, Bow and Kowl, and thus it is that Hordak is unable to complete the second half of his scheme. Having said that, he does give it a reasonably good try.

In the meantime, the pilot of the spaceship emerges. He is a handsome square-jawed individual called Larg, who carries with him the air of public schools, rugger every Wednesday afternoon, and lashings of ginger beer. In short, he’s a complete twat. He is aware that the Horde rules Etheria, and as such concludes that everyone on the planet must be an evil Hordesman. Consequently, he sets himself up as Head Boy and starts bossing the villagers around. I’m sure this is logical in the mind of someone who’s essentially Julian from the Famous Five, but it made no sense to me.

Larg: “Hang on, hang on, I’m getting a weird sensation in my brain…. What’s happening? Oh, I remember – this is what having a logical thought feels like. Don’t like it. Better not let it happen again.”

Bow and Adora arrive in Flax to find two villagers loading stuff into a cart, under Larg’s instructions. They seem absolutely terrified of Larg, which is just plain odd. Adora sends Bow off to check something nicely non-specific, while she transforms into She-Ra and goes to have a chat with Larg. During the course of this chat, she persuades Larg that she does not work for the Horde and also tells him off for forcing the villagers to work for him.

Before Larg can defend himself, Hordak and his army of Troopers show up, and there follows a long tedious fight in which She-Ra smashes billions of tanks to pieces. Eventually, however, a Horde Trooper manages to shoot She-Ra with a sleep ray, and she tumbles to the ground. Good. Of course, Hordak doesn’t drop her in the sea or a volcano at this point, like any self-respecting villain would; in fact, he doesn’t even bother to lock her up. He just leaves her on the ground. What is his problem?

She-Ra: “I really need to stop with these all-nighters at Wetherspoons. I never know where I’m going to wake up.”

With She-Ra temporarily out of action, Hordak nicks the Argonian spaceship and takes it off to the Fright Zone. Larg chooses this moment to reveal that the ship’s power cell is not working properly and is liable to explode, and if it does, it will take all of Etheria with it. I can’t imagine Hordak would be very keen for that to happen, so here’s hoping an amicable solution can be reached this week.

She-Ra, Bow and Larg sneak into the Fright Zone. Well, I say sneak. What they actually do is walk into the Fright Zone with zero regard for secrecy, and as a result have to have a pointless fight with Catra and some Horde Troopers. Obviously, they win the fight, but it alerts Hordak to their presence, and he decides to plug the Argonian power cell into a massive forcefield, and turn it on. I don’t know why he does this, since She-Ra is already inside the Fright Zone, so it’s hardly going to afford him any protection, but we’ve already established that logic is not Hordak’s strongest point.

Hordak: “When weird machinery glows like this, it’s usually good news, right?”

Of course, the forcefield overloads the power cell, and so She-Ra is forced to cut a hole in the forcefield and throw the power cell into outer space. Once that sensible solution has been enacted, She-Ra contacts the Argonian home world and tells them to come and collect Larg before he converts the entire Rebellion into public school alumni.

In today’s adventure…

I happened to see Loo-Kee lurking behind a rock today, largely only because I paused the episode at precisely the right moment when I wanted to write my character assassination of Larg. Loo-Kee is also interested in a character assassination of Larg: he tells us that Larg was wrong to boss the villagers around, and suggests that we should treat people with respect. Heard it before, Loo-Kee. Hopefully never hear it again.

Larg: “How dare that freaky little pixie say such unkind, if accurate, things about me?”

Character checklist

Today, it’s all about Adora, She-Ra, Bow, Kowl, Larg, Doctor Blankford, Loo-Kee, some villagers, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Catra, and some Horde Troopers. A nice and simple cast after last time’s extravaganza.

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

There’s no excuse, and while I know normally I wouldn’t bother with this section if there’s no excuse, I just think it bears special mention that Adora stands right in the village square to turn into She-Ra, with even less regard for the “secret” part of the “secret identity” business than usual.

Insults

The Horde are a little more imaginative than usual this week: Catra calls a Horde Trooper a “clumsy can of cogs”, while Hordak opts to call She-Ra a “muscle-maiden” and an “irritating Amazon”. Not bad, guys. Better than “fool”, at any rate.

Catra: “I can explain.”

Does it have the Power?

There are times when I’m in the middle of these episode summaries and I stop and really think about the nonsense I’m writing. This was one of those times. This episode is sheer gibberish from start to finish, and yet, despite its insanity, it isn’t at all entertaining. Larg is irritating, She-Ra is irritating, and above all, Hordak is irritating. Bow, rather surprisingly, isn’t irritating, but he doesn’t do anything of note either. The plot meanders about a bit aimlessly, and there are several attempts at humour that fall really flat. I couldn’t say this episode is a complete trainwreck, but equally I can’t think of any reason why you might ever want to watch it.

6 thoughts on “Episode 89 – Hordak's Power Play

  1. Happy New Year!

    Oh, come on, you are too harsh with Larg. He was shoot down over the Horde-controlled planet of which he knew nothing, and stranded with the ready-to-explode starship. I think, his behavior is completely undestandable…

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  2. I know everyone seems to hate larg lots of fans I ask!! well I have to agree with you tho owen on the actual episode this really isn’t one of the best is it, the dialogue is at times more than questionable the only good positive scene I could think of note was when she-ra got knocked out for a few seconds this did make for a refreshing change obviously as shes almost a bit too indestructible she hardly ever seems in trouble one of many reasons I preffered he-man the characters tho the main reason man at arms teela yes even orko skeletor the main prize and the sorceress and yes even orko they were so much more likeable youactually cared for these characters more and made you want to root for them more, its still a fairly good series overall but I don’t love she-ra like I did the he-man episodes… hordaks power play I think just escaped my personal bottom ten but was very very close id probably score it 4.5/10 it isn’t one of the very worst lie say garbage like the time transformer, day of the flowers or the missing axe imo the worst 3 she-ra episodes by far but id still say hordaks power play is not very good and not worth watching… was funny when catra ended up sitting on one of the horde troppers, but again this is where it fails you can see it tries to be funny but it doesn’t really work..

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    1. I seem to recall a long time ago reading somewhere – maybe on James Eatock’s old site, perhaps? – that this one was considered the very worst She-Ra episode. I may have got confused in the intervening time, because while it’s not great, as you say it’s really not atrocious either.

      As to the He-Man vs She-Ra thing…. well, He-Man was always my favourite, and I’m far more familiar with it than I ever will be with She-Ra. I think it may be fair to say that the series mythology with She-Ra is tighter and has the potential to be more interesting, but all too often we get stories about Hordak capturing people and then simply waiting for She-Ra to rescue them. And I unfortunately just don’t like She-Ra herself most of the time. So for my money, I agree that He-Man is the better series, but She-Ra isn’t bad at all.

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  3. Larg, who carries with him the air of public schools, rugger every Wednesday afternoon, and lashings of ginger beer. In short, he’s a complete twat.

    God, I know that guy. Probably wears a rugby shirt with a popped collar to the pub, and only drinks “real” ale too. Talks about how his investments are paying out properly and he is cutting back by only going to Mauritius once this year and no skiing at Easter, yah? I hope his spaceship does blow up and take his thick as mince face with him.

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