Episode 16 – Signals

In which the gang go ghost-hunting.

Despondent at the recent news of Entrapta’s defection, Adora, Glimmer, Bow and Swift Wind are out on a mission to investigate what has befallen the outpost of Alwyn. The village has been out of contact with Bright Moon for a week, but there’s no indication of Horde involvement – and when they arrive, they find the place eerily deserted. Adora tries to lighten the mood by telling creepy ghost stories, but this proves distinctly unpopular.

Glimmer: “Okay, you may have scared Bow with that ghost story, but I’m just angry, and Swift Wind’s off his tits as usual.”

As they explore, they discover that the inhabitants appear to have abandoned the village in a hurry, and eventually they begin to hear the strange sound of singing. This soon gives way to the arrival of scary figures composed entirely of light and energy, by whom they are soon surrounded. Fortunately, Bow figures out that the area is a First Ones ruin, and that the figures are holograms rather than ghosts.

The gang investigate further, and find that the ruin is an old communications relay, and that the holograms were supposed to be messages sent by the First Ones to their loved ones. These message were never sent because of the destruction wrought by Mara, and they’ve powered up again now because of the messing about with the Black Garnet a few weeks ago. Bow and She-Ra manage to power down the relay, concluding that the current inhabitants of Alwyn must have fled when the holograms activated.

Bow: “It takes a special level of twattery to get a smirk this good.”

Over in the Fright Zone, meanwhile, Catra is in a bad mood after a less than complimentary performance appraisal from Hordak. Her attempts to progress the fight against the rebellion are being thwarted by the constant need for administrative work, and to make matters worse, Entrapta is a little dissatisfied with the tools she’s been provided. Having spotted an instrument she needs in Hordak’s lab, she breaks in – against Catra’s specific instructions – and witnesses Hordak trying and failing to run an experiment, before getting in a temper and storming out.

Interested in the experiment, despite her better judgement, Entrapta remains in the lab and tries to fix the problem, but naturally enough, it’s not long before Hordak returns and catches her at it. Luckily, Entrapta’s efforts have succeeded, and Hordak is sufficiently impressed with her work to invite her to work with him on his mysterious project, which involves multidimensional portals and other planets.

In today’s adventure…

Today we learned that if you break into your boss’s office and prove you’re better at doing their job than they are, you won’t get fired. I’m sure there were some other handy life lessons here, but it really is difficult to tell what they are without Loo-Kee spelling them out for me.

Hordak: “Hmm – breaking and entering? Here, have a raise.”

Character checklist

A reasonably tight cast today, featuring Adora, She-Ra, Glimmer, Bow, Swift Wind, Catra, Scorpia, Hordak, Imp, Entrapta, Emily (the bot that Entrapta created, which I’m not sure I’ve mentioned before), and Shadow Weaver.

Insults

Not much going on here today, just Hordak suggesting that Catra is “pathetic”.

Oh No, Bow!

Just shut up about your endless variations of “best friend squad”, Bow. Just shut up. Please.

Bow: “We may be best friends, but damned if you’re having a go on my iPad.”

Does it have the Power?

Again, we have two separate plotlines here. I must say I preferred the one set in the Fright Zone: it’s quite interesting seeing Catra realising that running a team is not all fun and games, and the Entrapta/Hordak scenes are intriguing setup for stuff that I assume is coming in the future. The story set in Alwyn is reasonable enough, but didn’t exactly enthral me. The episode does a decent job of generating a spooky atmosphere as the team explore the village, but the end payoff is hardly that exciting, and it must be said that there are a few too many scenes of the gang all creeping along quietly and then getting terrified by a loud noise, which isn’t particularly funny the first time and only gets less so.

So, in summary, the Fright Zone scenes are good, and the Alwyn scenes are not so much. However, the episode does end with the communications relay transmitting a First Ones message to a mysterious location out in a desert: this is presumably relevant for the future, and as a vehicle to get that message sent, I suppose I’d concede that the episode is not at all bad.

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