Episode 07 – The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword… Or is It?

In which Skeletor bullies a rabbit.

Well, that’s a mouthful of a title, and it also leaves me unsure which words should be capitalised. The opening scene does nothing to dispel that sense of uncertainty: it features Skeletor and Flogg cruising the streets of Gorn City looking for new recruits. In this, they are disappointed, but Skeletor stops outside an art gallery, entranced by a picture of a dragon. He’s not nostalgic for Granamyr; he seems more interested in the fact that the picture is moving. Popping inside, Skeletor learns that the artist is a gentleman named Helm, who is currently on Primus.

Pen 1
Flogg: “No, it’s too realistic. I prefer the impressionists.”

That’s our cue to cut to Primus, where Master Sebrien, Prince Adam and Mara are welcoming Helm to their world, and asking him to do some paintings while he’s there. Helm gives moving pictures as presents to Sebrien and Mara, and apologises to Adam for not bringing him anything. His explanation is that he didn’t know Adam would be present, which is perfectly reasonable, but Adam sounds mightily pissed off, and responds by stalking out in a huff.

In fact, Adam seems to be in a right mood this week; we next see him taking a walk with the robot Gleep, and being needlessly belligerent in their conversation. Gleep theorises that Adam is being such a dick because he’s thinking about Mara, a suggestion which Adam neither confirms nor denies. So it looks like we have a love triangle, in which Drissy fancies Adam, while Adam has the hots for Mara. This will either end badly, or end in the writers forgetting all about it.

Pen 2
Helm: “Guys, I’ve got to ask, why have you got these armchairs and sofas in the garden?”

In the meantime, Skeletor and Slush Head have managed to intimidate a space rabbit into giving them a lift to Primus. Once there, Skeletor uses some ill-defined magic to make the dragon in the moving picture come to life, and sets it loose to cause some chaos. Hydron and Flipshot quickly get wind of the dragon’s approach, and leap into action. Naturally, their useless flapping about doesn’t achieve anything, except to alert Adam, who instantly turns into He-Man and shoots the dragon, which dissolves into tiny pieces.

Pen 4
Flipshot: “Maybe if I stand here and gawp stupidly, people will think I’m a hero.”

The scientists, working with Adam and Helm, take an unconscionably long time to work out that the dragon was formed from paint. Adam takes the opportunity to have a right go at Helm, hinting passive-aggressively that Helm is responsible for the dragon attack. Helm retaliates by taunting Adam about his feelings for Mara. This jolly scene ends when Skeletor brings another painting to life, this one a picture of a butterfly, and consequently rather less threatening than the dragon.

Nonetheless, it’s still sufficiently serious to warrant another appearance from He-Man, but – surprisingly – it’s Gepple who manages to destroy the butterfly. He-Man’s all up for carrying on with Adam’s work in blaming Helm, but the scientists point out that the paint contained Quagmi Swamp particles, thus implicating Skeletor.

There’s just time for a grand finale in which Master Sebrien and Mara are threatened by a painting-come-to-life of a snow leopard, which is only defeated by Helm quickly drawing a soldier to shoot the poor leopard with a crossbow. Wow. Way to encourage environmental responsibility and wildlife protection, guys. Once this miserable little scene is over, He-Man yells at Helm like a right bully, until Helm snaps his paintbrushes in half, thus ending the threat from any other living paintings.

Pen 5
He-Man: “Listen, Helm, either you snap your paintbrushes or I snap your neck. Because I’m a right dick this week.”

The episode ends with Skeletor and Slush Head falling off a cliff, at which He-Man, Master Sebrien, Mara and Helm erupt in hysterics. Any claim these guys once had to the moral high ground is now long gone, what with the disregard for wildlife, the bullying and the schadenfreude. Great heroes.


In today’s adventure…

There’s no moral with this one, at least not on the one I watched on YouTube. Still, that gives me the opportunity to dispense my own moral: do NOT do anything that Adam or He-Man does in this episode. Seriously, they both act like complete bell ends from start to finish. And don’t shoot snow leopards with crossbows either, as if that needed spelling out.


Character checklist

This one is an outing for Prince Adam, He-Man, Master Sebrien, Mara, Hydron, Flipshot, Gleep, Gepple, Meldock, Helm, Skeletor, Flogg, Slush Head, and the space rabbit. There were also three new boys on the heroes’ side – including one with elephant tusks – but I didn’t catch any names.

Pen 3
Space rabbit: “Hope I get my own spin-off.”


Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

“He went to call Hydron and Flipshot on the visionphone,” He-Man offers, with a touch of panic in his voice, as if he’s never had to think about coming up with excuses before. By this stage, he ought to be a pro at it.



The only insult I noticed was Slush Head rather mildly telling the dragon that it is a “bad dragon”.


Silence, Scientists!

Gepple and Meldock each get a point this week for having an irritating argument over who invented a surveillance device. The scientists have a variation of this argument every week, and it’s getting mighty tedious. I suggest they should each go off into an isolation chamber and try to invent things on their own. To add a degree of incentive, the one who’s invented the fewest things after a week should get vaporised. Our heroes should then repeat the procedure for three further weeks, after which they’ll have loads of new inventions and four vaporised scientists. Happy ending all round.

Anyway, the scores are now thus:

Meldock: 12

Gepple: 5

Krax: 5

Elcon: 5

Pen 6
Meldock: “Oh yes, He-Man might be a wanker, but don’t worry, I’m one too.”


Does it have the Power?

Unfortunately, despite a pretty interesting premise, I’m going to have to say no. I have always liked the story of the Magic Paintbrush, and enjoyed it when She-Ra touched on the concept in Portrait of Doom, so that’s a positive. The negative, however, far outweighs it. Firstly, there’s zero attempt to explain how Skeletor brings the paintings to life: it’s simply a case of “he just does”. Secondly, I really can’t get behind the shooting of a snow leopard with a crossbow. I know it wasn’t a real snow leopard, but it just feels so wrong anyway. Thirdly, there’s Adam and He-Man. What the hell has got into them this week? Being the Most Powerful Man in the Universe doesn’t mean you can be a massive tosser. Ordinarily, I’d welcome the deepening of their characters with the introduction of Mara as a love interest, but since it appears to just make He-Man into a complete wanker, I think I’ll pass, thanks. In conclusion, this episode is essentially a character assassination of our hero, and as such is best avoided.

4 thoughts on “Episode 07 – The Pen is Mightier Than the Sword… Or is It?

  1. “Well, that’s a mouthful of a title, and it also leaves me unsure which words should be capitalised”

    The third word is capitalised. Otherwise it looks like it says … something else

    Liked by 1 person

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