Episode 45 – Taking Control

In which everyone gets some chips.

As their spaceship erratically flies back to Etheria, Adora, Glimmer and Bow have a little debrief sesh. Their main area of interest is Adora’s unexpected swordless transformation into She-Ra, an event which Adora is at a loss to explain, beyond a feeling that She-Ra was simply inside her and would come out when needed. This optimistic, if unhelpful, discussion is apparently all we’re getting for now on the She-Ra subject, but I’m sure there’ll be some mystical mumbo-jumbo later for those who really want it.

Glimmer: “We’re only letting Bow sit in the driver’s seat so we can blame him when the ship inevitably crashes, right?”

Instead, Adora heads to Catra’s room, where they have a nice chat. Sorry, I mean they have one of their regular screaming matches. Catra’s got the hump because Adora came back to rescue her despite being told not to, and Adora’s cross because Catra isn’t sufficiently grateful for said rescue. These two have a proper toxic relationship, if you ask me. The discussion ends in stalemate, and Adora stomps off to whine about it to Glimmer.

Bow interrupts to alert Adora and Glimmer that there are three Horde spaceships following them, which is just fine by me, TBH. If the Horde blasted this dysfunctional shipload of idiots to kingdom come, I might just throw a party. But of course, that doesn’t happen. Instead, they go to hide in an asteroid field, where Adora figures out that they’re being tracked via the chip Horde Prime installed in Catra’s neck.

I was afraid this would lead to another Adora/Catra slanging match, but luckily Catra quickly agrees to let Entrapta remove the chip, in a scene which shows that, yes, she and Adora do care for each other. Even so, the Horde ships continue to inflict damage on our heroes’ ship, until Adora transforms into a supercharged version of She-Ra and … GOES OUT IN SPACE WITHOUT A SPACESUIT! Hurrah – the one thing that really truly gets my goat!

She-Ra: “Definitely going to use this pic for my prog-rock album cover.”

While out there, She-Ra goes one step better and speaks, asking a Horde Trooper to tell Horde Prime that “this is from me”. Apparently sound can carry in a vacuum if you’re making odd threats. Anyway, she then destroys the Horde Trooper’s ship, demanding the question of how he’s supposed to convey her message. But let’s not worry about that. Super Space She-Ra saves our heroes from the Horde ships and gets back in time for tea.

Meanwhile, back on Etheria, there’s a really quite annoying subplot playing out in which King Micah suddenly starts patronising Frosta, and it’s only by their working together on a mission to retake Elberon from the Horde that he comes to respect her as a person, rather than just believing she’s a little girl. Yawn.

This subplot is unfortunately pretty tedious, which is a shame, because the backdrop against which it occurs – the discovery that the Horde have taken over the minds of the Elberon villagers – is actually quite creepy. While King Micah and Frosta may have ruined it this time, there’s always the chance that the Horde controlling the minds of the Etherian population may prove interesting in the weeks to come – especially since the episode ends with the revelation that Spinnerella has now been chipped…

King Micah: “Frosta, tell me honestly – could I have been any more irritating this week?”

In today’s adventure…

Well, I suppose what we learned this week is King Micah’s showing that if you want to be friends with children, don’t be patronising. It’s a shame he had to have a complete personality transplant in order for this lesson to be demonstrated, but never mind.

Character checklist

The main participants this time are Adora, She-Ra, Glimmer, Bow, Catra, Entrapta, Swift Wind, Frosta, King Micah, Spinnerella and Netossa. There are walk-on roles for Wrong Hordak, a selection of Elberon villagers, and some Horde Troopers. Horde Prime appears when Catra sees flashes of the hive mind.

Elberon villager: “Yes, yes, we only appear when background weirdos are needed.”


Okay, so this one’s got far more insults than pretty much any other episode of this series. Catra doles out a full 50% of them, all aimed at the core team: she revives “Sparkles” for Glimmer, says that Adora is “even dumber than [she] thought”, and inexplicably refers to Bow as “Aero boy”, which might make sense if he’d ever shown any predilection for gobbling down bubbly chocolate, but if he has, that particular characterisation has escaped me.

Adora retaliates by describing Catra as a “stubborn brat”, and rather less effectively, says that she herself is an “idiot”. Here’s a tip, Adora: when someone’s insulting you, don’t join in. Anyway, the final barb of the week comes from Frosta, who disparagingly addresses King Micah as an “old man”.

Oh No, Bow!

Delighted at their escape from Horde Prime, Glimmer offers to make a special dinner for the gang. Instead of being enthusiastic about this prospect, Bow gives Glimmer a right side eye and implies that she’s the worst cook in the galaxy. I thought this series was supposed to be about boosting peoples’ confidence, not making them doubt their abilities. Seems Bow didn’t get the memo.

Bow: “Yeah, don’t think I’ll be eating any of your slop, Glimmer. However, I will conspicuously fail to offer to make dinner myself.”

Does it have the Power?

Another episode of two halves: the first ten minutes of this are really grating and tedious, so much so that I’d almost written it off, and it was only with a supreme effort of will that I was able to grudgingly turn my opinion around when assessing the second half. You should all be proud of me. Bet you’re not, though.

Right, enough rambling. As noted, the Frosta and King Micah plot is a letdown. Their interactions simply do not work – I’m not sure if they were meant to be funny or to make a serious point, or both, but whatever was being aimed at, the result was wide of the target by some distance. However, the wider picture, of Elberon coming under Horde Prime’s control, was pretty well done, and the final reveal that Spinnerella is now chipped is a great cliffhanger.

Spinnerella: “No, no, this isn’t a Horde chip, it’s just a cute little piercing I got down at Claire’s Accessories.”

The storyline of the space gang is similar, really. I’m completely disillusioned by now with Adora and Catra’s constant bickering: we all know these two love each other really, so it would be great if they could get with the programme and realise it too. Consequently, the first half of their storyline utterly failed to get me interested. It got far more exciting – and, coincidentally, much stupider – when She-Ra showed up and went for her crazy space walk. In the old series, I used to complain about this, but here, it’s great to see some completely off-the-wall silliness lighting up a series that’s becoming increasingly po-faced.

In short, I don’t think this episode is a winner really, but it’s not the dud it was shaping up to be either. It’s not an essential instalment either: I suspect you could skip it quite happily, and in all honesty, I would probably recommend that you do so.


One thought on “Episode 45 – Taking Control

  1. Is it really a He-Man/She-Ra show if someone doesn’t go for a spacewalk without a spacesuit at some point though?

    “Instead, Adora heads to Catra’s room, where they have a nice chat. Sorry, I mean they have one of their regular screaming matches. … These two have a proper toxic relationship, if you ask me”

    Seems like a pretty standard cat owner’s relationship really. Furry wee bastards that they are.

    Liked by 1 person

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