Episode 20 – Reunion

In which Bow reveals his double life.

Adora and Glimmer find that Bow has disappeared – but fortunately, owing to his complete lack of ability to cover his tracks, they’re able to follow him to a huge mansion house in the forest. Heading inside, they find Bow hanging out in a massive library, where he explains that the mansion is the home of his dads – Lance and George – and that they think Bow is attending the Academy of Historic Enterprises, rather than living in Bright Moon fighting for the Rebellion.

Bow: “Wonder if I could manage some kind of stupid pot joke?”

Bow tries to usher Adora and Glimmer out, but they’re pretty slow to grasp the situation and they haven’t left the house before Bow’s dads find them. Left with no other choice, Bow introduces Adora and Glimmer and claims they’re his friends from the Academy, which results in them being issued an invitation to stay.

The next step is an excruciatingly awkward tea party, at which it emerges that Bow is the youngest of 13 children (13! Thank Christ it’s this Bow, not the Filmation one. I reckon finding out that Filmation Bow had 12 brothers would give me an absolute seizure) and that he’s expected to become an historian – just like his fathers – and take over the management of the library when he’s older. Furthermore, it’s revealed that Lance and George are opposed to the Rebellion’s fight against the Horde, thanks to devastating losses that George suffered during the first, failed, Princess Alliance.

Bow manages to sneak a quick chat with Adora and Glimmer, explaining that his dads made their minds up about Bow’s future while Bow was still very young, and that they’re unlikely to look favourably on his choice of career – so Bow has spent some time pretending he’s at boarding school, and he doesn’t want his cover blown now. He therefore begs Adora and Glimmer to play along, sweetening the pill by noting that the library has a huge collection of First Ones writings, some of which might provide further background on She-Ra and Mara, and possibly explain the mysterious “Serenia portal Mara” message.

Lance: “I know books are scary, but you don’t have to hide under the table.”

Lance gives the team a personal tour of the library, involving the display of some important First Ones artefacts – but when Adora makes an effort to find out more about She-Ra, her conversation quickly degenerates into embarrassed babble. Bow intervenes, asking his dads what Serenia might mean, and they explain that Serenia was a mythical – though possibly real – First Ones figure, and happily supply hundreds of scrolls on the subject.

When it emerges that Adora can read First Ones writing, Lance and George excitedly lead her to a big metal sphere and ask her to translate the word written on it. Adora does so – the word is “Eternia”, which is very pleasing – and the sphere cracks open, unleashing one of those infernal First Ones caterpillar monster things. Adora turns into She-Ra and leaps into battle, and Glimmer jumps at the chance to drop the scholar charade and joins in.

Glimmer: “God, Bow, your dads could have put a bit more effort into their hairstyling.”

In the ensuing battle, Bow is left with no choice but to reveal to his fathers that there is no Academy and that he’s really a fighter with the Rebellion. After the initial shock, Lance and George tell Bow that he didn’t need to lie to them about who he was and what he wanted to do with his life. Once all is well with this little family drama, we get the answer to the big question: what’s Serenia? Turns out, it was a constellation only visible from the Crimson Waste, which is of course a very dangerous place – and that’s where our team will be going next.

Meanwhile, in the Fright Zone, Hordak learns that Shadow Weaver has escaped and furthermore finds that it’s Catra’s fault. When Catra attempts to lie her way out of the situation, Hordak gets very cross. Very cross indeed. Uh oh.

In today’s adventure…

Two lessons today. One: if you’ve got kids and you want them to become historians, don’t try and force them into it. Two: if you are a kid and your parents want you to be an historian but you want to be a soldier, just pretend to be an historian while secretly training to be a soldier until the day your soldiery skills can save your parents’ lives.

George: “We are all very normal and like to go to sleep while standing up in a huddle in the library.”

Character checklist

The bulk of the episode is carried by Adora, She-Ra, Glimmer, Bow, Lance and George. In the short Fright Zone scenes, we see Catra, Scorpia, Hordak, Lonnie, Kyle, Rohalio and Imp. There’s also a last-minute appearance for Shadow Weaver, who pops up in Bright Moon hanging around ominously by Adora’s bed.

Oh No, Bow!

Surprisingly for such a Bow-heavy episode, he doesn’t do anything that I’d consider particularly stupid. Except that he expects Adora and Glimmer to be able to convincingly pretend that they’re students rather than morons, of course.

Does it have the Power?

Oh yes. Very much so. I liked this one a lot. Bow’s dilemma is well drawn and convincing; his dads are both quite forceful personalities, so it makes sense that he’d not feel confident telling them of his true path, but it also certainly doesn’t feel right that he’s lying to them. When he finally comes clean, it’s a great – if predictable – moment that they both tell him that they love him no matter what. It’s also nice to get a little bit more long-term story progression, with the clue about the Crimson Waste and the development in the Catra/Shadow Weaver storyline. The only slight blot on the copy book is some quite annoying voice acting from Adora, with her exaggerated pronunciation of “scholar” and various other words. That’s very minor though. All told, this is a very good episode.

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