Episode 04 – Flowers for She-Ra

In which Perfuma learns to do it herself.

Glimmer and Bow take Adora to the weekly Rebellion meeting, which Adora notes is somewhat under-attended. Glimmer explains that due to a massive defeat many years ago, most of the Princesses of Etheria now keep themselves to themselves, preferring to defend their own territories rather than unite to drive the Horde from the planet. With this new information revealed, it’s only a matter of time before Adora decides to bring all the Princesses back into the Rebellion. I can see it coming.

Glimmer: “Yeah, I’d probably be miserable too if I wore such horrible socks.”

In the meantime, though, the mission of the day is humanitarian aid. The kingdom of Plumeria is under attack by the Horde, and Princess Perfuma has asked Bright Moon for help. Queen Angela sends Adora, Glimmer and Bow to lead the mission to deliver supplies to Plumeria, leaving them with strict instructions not to get into a fight with the Horde. I’m pretty sure they’re not going to stick to that.

When the trio reach Plumeria, they discover that the once-verdant kingdom is now full of withering plants. The only tree that remains alive is the Heart Blossom, which luckily is the tree from which Perfuma draws all her powers. Perfuma explains that after the Horde began laying siege to the kingdom, the plants all developed a blight. She then drops the subject, preferring to throw a party and cover She-Ra, Glimmer and Bow in flowers, only returning to the topic of the blighted land by casually revealing that she expects She-Ra to heal all the plants. Obviously, She-Ra hasn’t got a clue how to do this, but agrees to try.

Perfuma: “Yeah, social distancing’s not really a thing here.”

Over in the Fright Zone, Shadow Weaver receives orders from an impatient Hordak, who wants the siege of Plumeria to come to a triumphant end. Consequently, Shadow Weaver steps up the assault, and very soon the Heart Blossom becomes infected with the blight. She-Ra’s attempts to heal it end in failure, and the Plumerians become disillusioned and despondent, even more so when She-Ra transforms back into Adora and admits she doesn’t know what she’s doing.

Adora does have one suggestion, though: why not attack the Horde and destroy their machinery causing the blight? This is such an obvious solution that it seems weird no one’s thought of this before. Perfuma and her people argue that they’re not strong enough to fight the Horde, but Adora and Glimmer persuade them that they need to at least try. With the Plumerians fighting alongside them, She-Ra, Glimmer and Bow easily defeat the Horde and cure the kingdom, after which Perfuma agrees to join the Rebellion and be the first to sign up to the reformed Princess Alliance.

Perfuma: “Hang on, wait, you’re Horde now?”

In today’s adventure…

This one’s a very clear example of “don’t expect the universe to solve all your problems for you if you won’t lift a finger to help yourself”. It’s pretty much that harsh as well; no point in kid gloves this week, apparently.

Character checklist

On the goody side, we’ve got Adora, She-Ra, Glimmer, Bow, Perfuma, Queen Angela, Spinnerella, Netossa, and the various inhabitants of Plumeria. Showing up for the baddies are Catra, Shadow Weaver, Hordak, Imp, and innumerable Horde Troopers. Adora’s old cadet squad also shows up: that’s Kyle, the as-yet-unnamed lizard guy, and a girl who we learn this week is called Lonnie.

Queen Angela: “To my left, the useful people. To my right, er, well, let’s move on.”

Insults

We only learn Lonnie’s name because Catra addresses her as “sweet, dumb Lonnie”. Otherwise, there are no insults this week.

Oh No, Bow!

Bow decides to boost his own status in Plumeria by telling stories (a.k.a. lies) about She-Ra’s enormous prowess against the Horde. I’m not really sure what he thinks he has to gain from this, but the result is that the Plumerians mob She-Ra, giving her vast quantities of fruit and forcing her to hold a baby. It’s left to Glimmer to defuse the situation, which isn’t much better, since Glimmer’s solution is to ask the Plumerians to form an orderly queue for their mobbing. If I were She-Ra, I’d be questioning my friends’ sanity.

It’s also worth noting that Bow makes another reference to the “best friend squad”, which really is dreadfully annoying. Luckily, this time Adora and Glimmer call him out on it, so hopefully he’ll drop it soon, but being honest, he seems to be awfully keen on this phrase.

Bow: “Wait, what? ‘Best friend squad’ is irritating? I had no idea.”

Does it have the Power?

Certainly does; we’re back on form after last week’s slightly less good offering. Taking the amazing Filmation episode Flowers for Hordak as its jumping-off point, the introduction of Perfuma serves as a great way in for what would appear to be the series format: every week, She-Ra and co. will meet and recruit a new Princess to the Rebellion. This will presumably continue until every Princess that we see in the opening credits has joined the team.

This episode remains as funny as the others have been, and it’s a lot easier to sympathise with Adora/She-Ra in this series than it was in Filmation, because she’s not all-knowing and is prone to making mistakes, as opposed to the smugly self-confident character in the earlier series. Here, we get to know Adora and really feel for her when things go wrong. Glimmer says it best at the end of the episode: “do you have any idea how annoying you’d be if you were perfect?”

Bow: “Hurrah! Wanton violence!”

It’s slightly harder to sympathise with Perfuma and her kingdom, who seem to be too stupid to see that they need to stand up against the Horde. I know the idea was that they were too scared – Perfuma touches on this at one point, noting that her power is to create flowers, rather than fight – but this mostly doesn’t come across, and they thus seem to be simply whinging. When they do get their mojo on, though, it’s a great moment. The victories in this series really seem to be earned, which means we care and – if we weren’t watching on the train – we might even cheer.

We’ve also got a bit more setup and back story: we learn here that Queen Angela’s husband, King Micah, was an early casualty of the Horde, and Angela is still rather upset about it. It’s just ambiguous enough that he might not be dead: maybe we’ll eventually meet him, though hopefully if we do he won’t be as useless as he was in Filmation. Meanwhile, Shadow Weaver assigns Catra the long-term task of bringing Adora back in, and sends out some creepy shadow creatures to spy on Adora’s every move. I expect this will form important plot points shortly.

All in all, it’s another great success. Let’s hope it remains this good all the way through. I’d say the chances are high.

Advertisement

2 thoughts on “Episode 04 – Flowers for She-Ra

  1. “The Curse of the Tree Fellers” segment should return. The way She-Ra just blatently destroys various trees on purpose was the complete opposite of the Filmation message.

    Like

    1. That’s a very good point… wish I’d thought of it! Unfortunately, I’ve written all the reviews now, and I’m not going to re-watch the series again to check tree destruction stats. My dedication only goes so far…..

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.