Episode 03 – Razz

In which Catra succeeds by failing.

Adora, Glimmer and Bow arrive at Bright Moon, but it suddenly occurs to Bow that the people of Bright Moon really hate the Horde and it thus might not be a great idea if Adora comes waltzing in through the front gate wearing her silly white Horde uniform. They consequently smuggle her into Glimmer’s bedroom, where they tell her to turn into She-Ra while they go to get Queen Angela.

Glimmer: “Bow, you’ve actually got a brain? You ARE different.”

Unfortunately, once left alone, Adora can’t turn into She-Ra, no matter how often she shouts about the honour of Grayskull. In the course of her attempts, she accidentally turns Horsey into a winged unicorn (that’s Swift Wind to you and me, not that anyone says so until the end of the episode), and he panics. In the ensuing debacle, Swift Wind destroys a marketplace, and the angry townspeople discover that Adora is a Horde soldier.

Run out of town by the townsfolk, Adora escapes into the woods, where she finds a ramshackle little hut inhabited by an old lady who calls herself Madame Razz. She’s immediately less irritating than our old friend Filmation Madame Razz, so plus points there. On the other hand, she has a fan with a picture of Loo-Kee on it, so that’s a minus for reminding me of that little wanker, and another minus comes a second later when she actually says Loo-Kee’s name. Hasn’t she ever heard of the saying about speaking of the devil and he shalt appear? For God’s sake, keep quiet about Loo-Kee.

Adora: “I feel like you could become annoying, given half the chance.”

Madame Razz also believes that Adora is someone called Mara, and despite Adora’s protestations, this idea persists. Even so, Madame Razz isn’t as mental as she first appears, and she soon takes Adora to a First Ones ruin where Adora has another vision, though it’s a montage of images that can’t mean much to her. After this, Adora and Madame Razz stumble upon a unit of Horde Troopers trying to capture Swift Wind.

Adora decides once and for all that the Horde are evil, and with that conclusion drawn, she’s again able to transform into She-Ra. This cues another epic session of tank destruction, after which she realises that she must return to Bright Moon and pledge herself to the Rebellion. Entering the hall as She-Ra, she quickly reveals her true identity as a former Horde soldier, but even so, Queen Angela accepts her service.

In the meantime, Catra has spent a few moments throughout the episode venting her displeasure at Adora’s departure, and Shadow Weaver isn’t that pleased either, given Catra’s failed mission last week to retrieve Adora. Catra is brought before Hordak himself, but instead of punishing her, he rather surprisingly promotes her to Force Captain – a decision which brings a smug smile to Catra’s face.

Hordak: “Today’s lesson for evil overlords: always stand ominously in the shadows.”

In today’s adventure…

I think this episode’s message is along the lines of believing in yourself: Adora could only become She-Ra once she was fully sure that helping the Rebellion was the right thing to do. On the other hand, Catra got promoted for failing, so I’m not totally sure how that fits. Let’s just forget about that bit, and then my theory works.

Character checklist

It’s a fairly long roll call today: Adora, She-Ra, Glimmer, Bow, Queen Angela, Swift Wind, Madame Razz, Catra, Shadow Weaver, Hordak, Kyle, the rest of Catra’s Horde unit, numerous Bright Moon inhabitants, and some Horde Troopers. We also get a brief appearance for a redesigned Grizzlor, and Imp makes a short cameo at the end. In addition, I feel like I may have spotted a reimagining of Netossa too, but I can’t be certain on that one. As noted above, there’s a mention of Loo-Kee and a short sighting of his face, which is linked to a sneaky reference to Broom as well. Finally, there’s a stuffed toy of Kowl in Glimmer’s bedroom, which is both nice to see and a disappointment, since it presumably means we won’t get a real Kowl, and he was one of my favourites from the original series.

Adora: “Is this really all the Kowl we get? No wonder I look so depressed.”

Insults

Nothing too serious here: just Catra calling Shadow Weaver an “old lady”, and Madame Razz referring to a Horde Trooper as a “great lump”.

Does it have the Power?

Yes, it does, but not as much as the opening two-parter. It doesn’t actually progress the story very much: aside from the final scenes – in which Adora is accepted into the Rebellion, and Catra becomes a Force Captain – there isn’t much change to the situation as it stood at the end of last week. Adora’s inability to become She-Ra seems to be a bit out of nowhere: it’s implied it’s due to self-doubt, but I didn’t really get much of a feeling for that from the beginning of the episode.

What this episode does do is throw out lots of fan-pleasing stuff: Madame Razz is back, and the references to Loo-Kee, Broom and Kowl are all great for those of us who remember the 1980s series – and better yet, it’s done subtly enough that a new fan wouldn’t be left thinking “What’s that about?” It’s also good to see Grizzlor and, of course, Hordak, especially since in this incarnation he’s darkly menacing and not a snorting pig boy.

She-Ra: “What’s with this guy?”

So, to conclude, it’s an enjoyable enough episode, but I don’t think it’s an essential one – though it serves to build up the series mythology a little, and it’s always possible that Madame Razz is more important than she seems. This Mara business definitely seemed significant: unlikely as it sounds, I couldn’t help wondering if this was a reference to the New Adventures character. With any luck, all will be revealed later on.

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2 thoughts on “Episode 03 – Razz

  1. Ah Swift Wind, or as I know him, Shut-Up-Horse. I was not a fan of Swifty in either show, I must admit. Still better than Lookee, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, come on – Swift Wind in the new She-Ra was awesome, especially in the early eps, though I’ll admit the joke wore a bit thin towards the end. He was entirely devoid of character in the 80s series, though, which does indeed make him better than Loo-Kee.

      Liked by 2 people

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