Episode 11 – Promise

In which Adora and Catra have a bit of a tiff.

Catra follows Adora into the First Ones ruin, and observes as Adora turns into She-Ra to interact with a holographic computer interface. She-Ra queries the computer about how to use the power sword to heal Glimmer, but the computer is about as effective as Microsoft Encarta, and it winds She-Ra up until she suddenly remembers Light Hope and asks to speak to her instead. The computer responds that this will be possible, but She-Ra will have to “let go” first.

Adora: “So … no actual useful suggestions, then?”

This information is, obviously, even more useless than one of Man-at-Arms’ inventions, and She-Ra looks like she’s about to respond by decking the computer. Luckily, she’s distracted by Catra, who swipes a First Ones data crystal from a computer terminal and accidentally triggers the ruin’s defence mechanisms. This is the cue for Adora and Catra to spend a good long while running around the ruin’s corridors, intermittently arguing with each other and reminiscing about the good times they had back in the Fright Zone.

The ruin is full of perils, and the two of them save each other a couple of times, always debating Adora’s decision to leave the Horde. Ultimately, it emerges that they have entirely different world views, with Adora adamant that the Horde are evil and should be left behind, while Catra maintains that she is perfectly happy remaining with the Horde in her position as Force Captain. As a final blow, Catra reveals that she helped Adora escape in No Princess Left Behind simply because she didn’t want Adora to return to the Fright Zone, as she’s now happy without her.

Catra: “Nice dance moves, Adora.”

The final indignity comes as Adora fights a mechanical spider; things go wrong, and she finds herself clinging to the edge of a ledge with a nasty fall beneath her. Catra spews a vicious monologue, then throws the power sword into the abyss and walks away without helping Adora, who is left to remember the holographic interface’s words: “You will have to let go”. Taking an enormous risk, Adora lets go of the ledge and begins to fall…

In today’s adventure…

Adora learns the hard way today that you shouldn’t spend your entire life trying to “save” your best friend, because it will lead to years of built-up resentment that might manifest itself at an inconvenient time i.e. when you’re dangling over a chasm.

Catra: “Well, my oh my, this is awkward.”

Character checklist

It’s basically the Adora and Catra Show, but we also see She-Ra, the First Ones holographic interface, Entrapta and Scorpia. Appearing in flashbacks are Light Hope, Lonnie, Kyle, that green cadet who I don’t think has a name yet, other Horde officers, Shadow Weaver, and – surprisingly – Octavia, who you may remember from her appearances in such Filmation episodes as Treasures of the First Ones and She-Ra Makes a Promise.

Insults

In flashback, Catra says that Octavia has a “dumb face”, and Adora repeats the sentiment. Shadow Weaver then refers to Catra as a “nuisance”. I’m still waiting for that magic moment someone gets called a “fool”.

Octavia: “In all honesty, ‘dumb face’ is fair.”

Oh No, Bow!

Can’t be arsed to appear today, eh, Bow? Well, that’s a black mark against your name.

Does it have the Power?

This is a creditable attempt on a Big Emotional Punch episode, and I suspect it’s a pivotal moment for Catra’s story arc in her rejection of Adora and her decision to remain with the Horde. I can’t honestly say that I enjoyed it all that much though, sadly: I feel like I’ve seen enough scenes lately of our characters running away from robots through corridors, and the flashbacks didn’t quite have the weight that I think they were aiming for. Still, it’s appreciated that the writers are really trying to give fully fleshed-out back stories for the characters which inform their actions, and I’m excited to see where we go from here, so I suppose it’s fair to say that the episode isn’t at all bad. I just think it could have been better.

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