Episode 47 – Shot in the Dark

In which Bow needs to have his head ripped off.

After last week’s debacle, the remaining members of the Rebellion are – understandably – disheartened. Only Shadow Weaver (long time, no see) and Castaspella (even longer time, no see) have much in the way of fight left in them, and the two of them head off on Shadow Weaver’s instigation deep into the Whispering Woods. Once there, Shadow Weaver suggests doing some magical jiggery-pokery to unleash Etheria’s innate magical resources against Horde Prime. This sounds like a rerun of that incomprehensible Heart of Etheria business, but we’ll see.

Shadow Weaver: “Why don’t the two of us piss off out of the story for a while?”

In the episode’s main plotline, meanwhile, Adora and the gang are trying to come up with a sensible plan to get around the Horde blockade and return to Etheria. Their brainstorming session isn’t going well, until Wrong Hordak pops up conveniently to drop some tantalising hints about a planet called Krytus, which holds the key to Horde Prime’s only weak point. Entrapta and Adora use the spaceship’s computer to locate Krytus, and before long, they’re on their way.

Krytus turns out to be a desolate planet, once a First Ones colony, but now devastated by Horde bombing. Finding the ruins of a half-destroyed building on the surface, Team Adora start exploring – and Entrapta quickly picks up lifesigns indicating there’s somebody still alive on the planet. Assuming that this somebody can help in the fight against the Horde, our heroes redouble their exploration efforts, despite Catra’s rather wise warning that reminds the others that they have no idea what they’re dealing with here.

As they troll around the building, the gang keep thinking they see things out of the corner of their eye – there’s definitely something here. It’s all very creepy, until the mysterious presence makes itself visible, and turns out to look a bit like a sperm wearing a bridal veil. Admittedly, that is a fairly creepy image, but it’s perhaps not what they were aiming for.

Glimmer: “Er, hi. Please would you go away?”

Fortunately, before we can get too familiar with the sperm thing, it transforms into a pleasingly nostalgic blast from the past. Remember Filmation Catra could mutate into a big purple cat? Well, that’s the shape the sperm thing now adopts, and it’s bloody furious. Luckily, Catra quickly figures out that the big purple cat responds to emotion, and that if the gang stay calm, the cat will be calm too.

So once that’s sorted out, the gang make friends with the cat. For whatever demented reason, the cat can only talk to Catra, so – speaking through her – it introduces itself as Melog and explains the history of Krytus. In case you care, the story goes that the First Ones came along, stole the planet’s magical resources, and then were followed by Horde Prime. Horde Prime was unable to control the magic and was driven off by Melog. Glimmer concludes that magic is Horde Prime’s weakness, which is mighty convenient, given Glimmer’s just got her magic back. I’ll be honest, I either hadn’t realised or hadn’t remembered that she’d lost it, but I’m dead pleased for her now she’s got it back, obviously.

Glimmer: “Look happy for me, guys, please.”

Anyway, Melog invites itself along on the return trip to Etheria, which is also mighty convenient, because Melog’s magical powers are precisely what’s needed for the spaceship to get through the Horde blockade undetected. As the episode ends, there’s a real sense of achievement as the team finally arrive back on Etheria.

In today’s adventure…

Oh good god, I don’t know. Maybe the lesson this week is that creepy old buildings actually might be great places where you can meet friendly shapeshifting cats? That probably makes about as much sense as anything else, frankly.

Catra: “This feels a bit ridiculous, if I’m honest.”

Character checklist

The bulk of the episode is carried by Adora, Glimmer, Bow, Catra, Melog, Entrapta and Wrong Hordak.  There are a couple of shorter scenes on Etheria featuring Castaspella and Shadow Weaver, while Perfuma, Frosta, Netossa, Swift Wind and Sea Hawk also show up briefly.


Wrong Hordak describes Horde Prime as a “false ruler”, which doesn’t really count as an insult at all, but hey, you take what you can get in this series.

Oh No, Bow!

And once again, here’s Bow, being an insufferable prick with a whole host of twattish behaviours, all of them directed at Catra and here listed for easy reference:

  • He starts by taking the piss out of Catra’s space helmet, which appears to have been specifically designed to accommodate her feline ears. I should note that Adora and Glimmer join in too.
  • Shortly thereafter, he (and Glimmer) manhandle Catra into a weird chanty dance.
  • Five minutes later, he’s engaging in some borderline pervy attempts at flirting revolving around saying her sneezing is cute. Bet he wouldn’t say that in a post-Covid world.
  • He even says, “The angrier you get, the cuter you are,” which is a sentiment I believe should have died a death even before 1980s Bow sleazed onto the scene.
  • Quite clearly against her will, he gives her an enormous hug while squealing “BEST FRIEND SQUAD!”

There are times I feel a Horde invasion is no more than these guys deserve.

Catra: “One more word, mister, and I’ll scratch your eyes out.”

Does it have the Power?

Right, well, let’s get the bad news out of the way first – Bow genuinely is a complete cock this week. I’ve been gradually losing patience with him for I don’t know how long, but his performance in this episode is enough to make me want to throttle him. His behaviour goes so far beyond gentle teasing that it’s bordering on out-and-out harassment. And he’s meant to be one of the good guys?

Otherwise, the episode is decent enough. I liked the creepy atmosphere as Adora and co. explored the ruins on Krytus, and I appreciated the callbacks to Filmation She-Ra with the Melog’s appearance and, indeed, its name – if I’m not mistaken, She-Ra faced up against a shapeshifter called a Malog in one of the classic episodes. The revelation that Horde Prime’s weakness is magic isn’t really the big rug-pull that the episode seems to want us to think it is, though: frankly, I had always rather anticipated that Horde Prime will be defeated by our heroes blasting loads of weird magical energy at him, and this just seems to prove it.

Still, this is a pleasant little episode that doesn’t do much wrong (except allow Bow to participate), and it finds the right balance between having a reasonable story of its own and keeping the big plot moving along. Not a classic, but not a miss either.


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