Episode 05 – The Sea Gate

In which Sea Hawk explains that setting ships on fire is sensible.

Glimmer’s clearly been thinking about the Princess Alliance: today, she comes to the council meeting with a fully-formed plan, which is streets ahead of anything her old Filmation counterpart achieved. I like this far more capable Glimmer. Anyway, the plan is to recruit Princess Mermista to the rebels’ cause, since anyone coming to Bright Moon by ocean would have to pass through the Saelenius Sea Gate and would thus have to have Mermista’s permission. With Mermista on the Rebellion team, Bright Moon would be secure against Horde sea incursions.

So off go Adora, Glimmer and Bow to the port of Seaworthy, where they are seeking to hire a captain with a ship. This means the reintroduction of Sea Hawk, who has been reimagined as a gloriously insane braggart with unrivalled self-confidence. He does, however, claim to know Princess Mermista personally, so the deal is soon struck, and our team board Sea Hawk’s ship and begin their journey to Saelenius.

Bow: “This guy is just literally the coolest person I’ve ever seen!”

Shadow Weaver’s shadow spies have witnessed this conversation, and when they report back, Shadow Weaver sends Catra out to Saelenius as well to recapture Adora, accompanied by Scorpia – and I know I keep saying it, but this Scorpia is much better than the Filmation one, who was probably my least favourite member of the Horde due to her never doing anything interesting, coupled with sounding perpetually thick. The Dreamworks version of Scorpia is an exuberant, chatty, even friendly soul who genuinely made me laugh within her first two sentences.

When Adora, Bow, Glimmer and Sea Hawk arrive at Saelenius, they find the place eerily deserted – inhabited only by Mermista and one guard/butler/odd-job man. Mermista reveals that everyone else has fled because the Sea Gate is collapsing, so Glimmer strikes a deal: Mermista will join the Princess Alliance in exchange for Adora repairing the Sea Gate. Adora considers this possible because she’s found a bit of First Ones writing explaining how the Sea Gate works, just in case you were wondering: it would be a bit of a random deal if Adora didn’t have a clue how to do it.

Mermista: “Okay – this is odd.”

Adora transforms into She-Ra and channels energy through her sword back into the Sea Gate, which would probably have done the trick if Catra and Scorpia didn’t show up at this point, blasting energy bolts at the Gate and further destabilising it. Catra tries to distract She-Ra by wittering at her, while Bow, Sea Hawk, Glimmer and Mermista take on Scorpia and her massive Horde warship. Naturally, it’s an ultimate victory for the Rebellion, and Mermista decides to sign up. The whole thing ends with a completely mental sea shanty sung by Sea Hawk and Bow, so that’s nice.

In today’s adventure…

If today’s story taught me anything, it’s that being a demented sea captain with a predilection for setting your ships on fire is actually a great career choice. It seems to work out well enough for Sea Hawk. There’s also some inspirational stuff in there about being better off with friends, but I’m preferring to focus on the arson aspect.

Character checklist

The main players today are Adora, She-Ra, Glimmer, Bow, Sea Hawk, Mermista, Catra, Scorpia, Shadow Weaver, Lonnie, Kyle, and the lizard guy. There’s also a scene in the council chamber for Queen Angela, Spinnerella, Netossa, and someone else who I couldn’t identify.

Scorpia: “Yes, I do struggle to use a knife and fork.”

Insults

Once again, it’s Catra leading this rather limited field, with a heartfelt “dumb” addressed to She-Ra.

Oh No, Bow!

While She-Ra is repairing the Sea Gate, Bow sees fit to interrupt her and ask how it’s going. This distracts She-Ra and nearly causes her to do something wrong. Bow’s lucky it’s not his fault the entire Sea Gate falls down, otherwise I’d be ripping him to shreds.

And damn him, but he’s still on about the best friend squad, and seems to have even recruited Sea Hawk to join him in this ill-advised phrase. Bow, please just drop it.

Mermista: “I’m already having second thoughts about this rebellion business.”

Does it have the Power?

Here’s a great indication that this series isn’t afraid to sometimes go completely out of its mind. Sea Hawk is a fantastic character, larger-than-life and extremely funny. His voice actor understands exactly what level he needs to be played – or rather, overplayed – and the result is brilliant. And he’s not completely one-note either: a late scene with Glimmer reveals unexpected depth to him. He’s a great addition to the series.

I’m less convinced by the deadpan Mermista: she’s fine for now, but I can anticipate she might get a bit irritating if she doesn’t do anything other than offer bitingly sarcastic comments. On the Horde side of things, Scorpia’s great too: a really funny character, who rather lulls you into a false sense of security with her cuddly nature, so much so that you can’t quite believe she works for the Evil Horde – that is, until she fires energy bolts at the Sea Gate without so much as a second thought.

The story itself is no more than workaday: something’s broken, She-Ra fixes it. There’s nothing here that really feeds into the greater back story surrounding the First Ones, or She-Ra’s powers. All we really see that moves the main story along is Catra once again trying to persuade Adora to return to the Horde, which is a conversation I kind of wish they’d stop having now. As a standalone episode, though, this is excellent, quite possibly my favourite episode of the series to date.

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4 thoughts on “Episode 05 – The Sea Gate

  1. Frankly, it seems that there is something weird with water on Etheria. There were two ships in this episode, and neither of them actually FLOATED. The Horde’s ship levitated a few meters above surface, and Sea Haw ship used some weird float on pillars. Why not rely on plain old buoyancy?

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    1. The boats are obviously made by, or possibly of, highly hydrophobic wizards.
      (with apologies to the late Sir Pterry)

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      1. The only explanation I could come with is that they used some kind of magnetic levitaion, and water on Etheria is extremely conductive (after all, its an alien planet), so they could get magnetic field of epic magnitude within reasonable energy spending.

        Liked by 1 person

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