Episode 22 – Huntara

In which Adora, Glimmer and Bow go to the pub.

After last week’s infodump, Adora has concluded that she and Mara must have come from the same place, and decided she needs to seek out answers – which means following the “Serenia portal Mara” message to the Crimson Waste. The Crimson Waste is, of course, a very unpleasant place, filled with monsters, quicksand, distinctly weird plants, and so on, and to make matters worse, they quickly find that Bow’s tracking device doesn’t work here either. Long story short, they’re lost.

Bow: “What, you honestly expected me to have done something useful?”

It therefore comes as something of a relief when they find – unexpectedly – a pub. Admittedly, it’s one of those pubs where the music stops and everyone turns to look at you when you go in (such as the Beeswing on Hull Road in York, just to name one example that still haunts me now nearly 20 years since I went in), but nonetheless Adora, Glimmer and Bow try to elicit some help from the locals.

Despite initial resistance from the pub’s drinkers, they manage to find someone who can guide them to the centre of the Crimson Waste. This someone is Huntara, who as we will all recall from the eponymous Filmation episode is a big strong purple fighty type, and she leads our team deep into the Waste – before, as I expect we could have predicted, betraying them with the use of paralysis darts. Along with two more of the pub’s denizens, Huntara steals Adora’s sword and Bow’s arrows, before throwing our hapless trio into a pit.

Huntara: “Come on, don’t tell me you didn’t see this coming.”

Back in the Fright Zone, Hordak and Entrapta’s experiments continue apace: they have now designed the portal machine and wired it up correctly, but even so, when activated, a portal begins to form but then collapses, causing an explosion. Hordak takes this setback badly and ejects Entrapta from the lab, but we all know Entrapta by now: later, overcome by scientific curiosity, she returns to perform further tests.

To her surprise, she finds Hordak undergoing some kind of augmentation, with new armour being attached to him. Something is wrong, however: he collapses, and Entrapta realises that his armour is literally holding his body together. Entrapta pushes for answers, and Hordak bursts out with the big reveal that he is a clone of Horde Prime, the emperor of the universe. On top of that, Hordak was also Horde Prime’s second-in-command – but he was eventually rejected due to an imperfection in his cloning.

Continuing the story, Hordak explains that he was sent out to die in the Horde’s endless wars, but fortuitously a portal opened and he fell through to Etheria, where he established a small Horde outpost. His aim now, apparently, is to open a portal so the rest of the Horde can finish the job of conquering Etheria, which will somehow prove to Horde Prime that Hordak is not defective. I’d say that if you need a universe-conquering army to defeat a Rebellion of about 10 people, you might not be defective as such, but you’re certainly not effective.

Hordak: “Don’t mind me, I’m just doing some creepy flashbacks.”

Entrapta listens to the whole sob story and utters the phrase “Imperfection is beautiful”, which instantly made me think of that Tears song Imperfection – which is, ironically, a ridiculously perfect song. Go and look it up. I’ll wait. Right, anyway, once she’s finished reminding me of excellent music, Entrapta uses First Ones tech to design Hordak a super new exoskeleton-like armour suit, which pleases him very much.

Meanwhile, back in the Crimson Waste, Glimmer eventually manages to teleport the gang out of the pit, and they set off to reclaim their property, but thanks to the temporary paralysis, Huntara and her sidekicks have a long head start. The gang eventually catch up with them around a camp fire, and there’s a great big brawl soundtracked by some awesome hair metal, eventually winding up with victory for our heroes.

She-Ra: “Right, are we going to be friends, or shall I beat you up some more?”

Huntara then reveals that she used to work for the Horde, but escaped into the Waste when she saw the devastation they were wreaking on Etheria. She-Ra persuades her to help – and to really help this time – in order to defeat the Horde, a sentiment with which Huntara fully sympathises. Without wasting any more time, she leads them to the centre of the Waste, where they find a spaceship half-buried in the sand. Adora proclaims that this must be Mara’s ship, a statement for which she has no particular evidence but certainly does make for an exciting cliffhanger.

In today’s adventure…

I think today gives us a lesson we can all get behind: don’t go off with people you meet in seedy pubs if you don’t want to get knocked out and robbed.

Character checklist

This week offers a pretty tight cast list: it’s just Adora, She-Ra, Glimmer, Bow, Huntara, various pub patrons, Hordak, Entrapta, Imp, and Emily the bot.

Glimmer: “Do you reckon this guy might be a one-time special guest star?”

Insults

Hordak gets the ball rolling by unexpectedly bellowing “fool” at Entrapta, but really it’s Huntara who gets the insults flying. She refers to everybody in the pub as “lowlifes”, “scoundrels”, “criminals” and “outlaws”, then says that all the combatants in the Horde war are “idiots”. Getting more specific, she says that She-Ra is a “fool”. Two uses of the word ‘fool’ in one episode. It’s like old times.

Does it have the Power?

Yes, it really does. This was an incredibly strong episode, with a pair of parallel plotlines that were both interesting and exciting. Hordak’s bonding with Entrapta in the lab gave some further back story to the series – given all the back story we’ve had lately, it’s impressive the series isn’t collapsing under the weight of it – and the animation as he recounted his past was beautifully stylish. The Crimson Waste storyline was great fun too, and Huntara’s an excellent new character, bringing a bit of grit to Team Rebellion, which can at times get a bit saccharine. And finally, there’s a fantastic cliffhanger that can’t help but make us want to watch the next episode immediately. Yep – this one’s got the Power all right.

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2 thoughts on “Episode 22 – Huntara

  1. I think today gives us a lesson we can all get behind: don’t go off with people you meet in seedy pubs if you don’t want to get knocked out and robbed.

    Where was that lesson when I was 16 and living in Deptford after having run away from home? I wish I’d learned that from a tv show and not from rolling on the ground behind the pub, trying to avoid the boots and just roll with the kicks. Ah well, we live and learn.

    Like

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