Episode 05 – The Ultimate Challenge

In which He-Man makes sure his hair is just right.

Okay, this has just got weird. Hydron and Flipshot are out in the Starship Eternia, testing out one of the scientists’ new inventions. Apparently, it works, because Flipshot exclaims, “Great! Now we can locate the whores!” There’s every possibility I misheard this, and – frankly – no possibility at all that I heard it correctly, but it did make me wonder if He-Man was taking a new and unexpected direction.

Whether He-Man is out looking for prostitutes or not, he is distracted by Skeletor, who for whatever reason decides to project an enormous image of himself into the sky on Primus and start bellowing taunts. He challenges He-Man to a final battle on the asteroid of Cameroon, which is odd, because I thought Cameroon was an African country, not an asteroid. Perhaps in the far future, Cameroon will detach itself from Earth and fly off as an asteroid. Alternatively, and less realistically, I suppose it could have the same name but be a different place.

Challenge 1
Skeletor: “Say, it’s weird that both Prince Adam and He-Man are here, even though I didn’t see Adam arrive. Still, obviously a coincidence.”

He-Man has a conversation with Master Sebrien in which I realised that the “whores” of the first paragraph were in fact “holes”. Apparently, there are holes in Primus’ defensive shield, and now Hydron and Flipshot are able to detect them. That’s good. Anyway, in the course of this same conversation with Master Sebrien, He-Man decides to accept Skeletor’s challenge, and so he goes to Cameroon.

Immediately after He-Man’s departure, those beastly scientists contrive to overload their whore locator, meaning that Primus is once again subject to random Mutant attacks. This in turn means that Hydron, Flipshot, and a load of other random pilots can occupy themselves flying round shooting at Mutant ships for the rest of the episode, while He-Man gets on with the serious bit.

Challenge 2
Hydron: “Me and Flipshot are the only two of this bunch you need to pay any attention to.”

The serious bit at the moment consists of He-Man receiving a telepathic communication from the Sorceress, who advises him to “see with your heart, not with your eyes”. It’s good to know that she’s not lost any of her outstanding ability to be no fucking use whatsoever. Once He-Man gets to Cameroon, he has barely begun his duel with Skeletor before Mara and Caz arrive in the Starship Eternia to pick him up, bearing the news that Primus is under attack from the Mutants.

He-Man is about to board the Starship, but Skeletor activates an “asteroid rain” device, which makes all the neighbouring asteroids (called Chad, Gabon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria) come flying towards Cameroon. Mara and Caz fly off again, leaving He-Man to face the asteroids, which he does magically and nonsensically by remembering the Sorceress’ stupid advice about seeing with his heart. I don’t even pretend to understand how this helps.

Somehow, He-Man seeing with his heart allows him to teleport back to Primus, where he appears inside a municipal structure called the Fountain of Freedom. Fortunately, Skeletor decides to blast the top off the Fountain of Freedom, which allows He-Man to ascend out of it, like some weird kind of space Jesus. He then takes the time to do his hair in a ponytail before beating the living daylights out of Skeletor and the Mutants.

Challenge 3
He-Man: “First things first, always make sure your hair is perfect.”

Hydron and Flipshot celebrate the victory by doing some kind of gesture which implies they are members of a Masonic lodge, while Master Sebrien, Caz, Drissy and Mara all stand in front of He-Man, who nods sagely and annoyingly while they gibber that they have learned never to give up. He-Man replies that “it is with the heart that we see and we feel and we fight.” Allow me to explain, He-Man: no it isn’t.

 

In today’s adventure…

Master Sebrien and Drissy are featured standing in a library, yammering on about how people get heart attacks. They suggest that we should all contact our local Red Cross and go on a course to learn CPR. This is random beyond belief. I know Filmation He-Man and She-Ra sometimes gave us a very tangential moral, but this is so disconnected from the episode’s events that it seems actively mental.

Challenge 4
Drissy: “Heart attacks are bad, but also entirely irrelevant.”

 

Character checklist

Today’s little crazy-fest is a showcase for Prince Adam, He-Man, Drissy, Caz, Master Sebrien, Mara, Hydron, Flipshot, Gepple, Meldock, Elcon, Krax, Gleep, the Sorceress, Skeletor, Flogg, Slush Head, and I daresay some others. I’m not massively invested in exactly who.

 

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

When Skeletor delivers his challenge, Adam is out wandering around flirting with Drissy. However, this happy scene comes to an end after the challenge is issued, with Adam running off shrieking, “I have to go to see Master Sebrien.” Drissy is not amused, reacting in a way that suggests she’s aiming to be the Teela of the series.

 

Insults

There’s a slightly odd moment when Skeletor either forgets or pretends to forget Flogg’s name and calls him “flush”, which I presume is meant to be an insult. That being said, Skeletor has come up with better insults than this in the past, and indeed does so again shortly thereafter, when he calls He-Man a “goody-goody” and a “sucker for a fair fight”.

Challenge 5
Skeletor: “Nice jeans, He-Man.”

 

Silence, Scientists!

Oh Christ, here we go again. Meldock – swiftly proving to be the worst of an appalling bunch – gets a point for breaking the whore detector, or the hole detector, whatever it is. He’s also going to get another point for having such an infuriating voice. Elcon’s going to get one this week as well, because I’ve only just taken a proper look at his outfit, and I can think of no reason whatsoever why a scientist would dress like a perverted Smurf. Unusually, I’m going to take a point away from Gepple, because despite being present, he has the good grace to be entirely silent.

So the scores are:

Meldock: 11

Gepple: 4

Krax: 5

Elcon: 5

 

Does it have the Power?

Well, I suppose, maybe, up to a point. The first half of this is reasonably good, basically until He-Man gets to Cameroon. Once there, this much-vaunted “ultimate challenge” turns out to be a massive damp squib, since it lasts all of 10 seconds before the Starship Eternia arrives to put a stop to it. Coupled with the demented “see with your heart” business – which doesn’t make sense, no matter how you look at it – and He-Man’s entirely inexplicable teleportation back to Primus, the episode quickly becomes an exercise in complete and utter bollocks. The gibberish at the end about heart attacks is simply the icing on a cake of insanity. So no, on balance, I don’t think it does have the Power.

3 thoughts on “Episode 05 – The Ultimate Challenge

  1. I was really annoyed by the “marvellous” example of “logic” in this episode, whe He-Man stated that asteroid field is good, because “no mutant could sneak on him” (or something like that; I do not recall the phrase completely). Really, He-Man? So you are worried about a trap in open space (where is literally no places to hide at all), but not at asteroid field (where are numerous places to hide)?

    Liked by 1 person

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