Episode 49 – Return to the Fright Zone

In which the gang meet some old friends.

Planning their next move, the rebels learn that after wreaking havoc along the coast, the newly chipped Scorpia has headed to the ruins of the Fright Zone. Theorising that there must be a reason for this, Adora, Catra, Netossa, Perfuma and Melog make their way there, while Bow and Glimmer set off on a side mission to check that Bow’s dads have survived the occupation.

On arrival, Team Fright Zone discover that Scorpia has discovered how to use her innate magical abilities, and is now really really good at shooting red lightning bolts at people and leaping about with silly jumps reminiscent of the sort of nonsense usually seen in Marvel films. Mermista and Spinnerella are present too, and thus we’re treated to a hefty fight scene between the chipped and unchipped rebels.

Scorpia: “All back to mine on November 5th, okay?”

Netossa defeats Spinnerella and disables her chip, but the other rebels don’t fare as well. Gaining the upper hand, Scorpia herds Adora and Perfuma into Hordak’s former throne room, where – unexpectedly – Horde Prime is sitting in state. He explains that he’s been checking out Hordak’s research laboratory, and now has the knowledge to activate the Heart of Etheria without even needing the Princesses. I’m pretty sure this is bad, but I lost interest in the Heart of Etheria and associated nonsense long ago, so I’m going to just keep my head down on that one. Instead, let’s concentrate on the fact that Adora and Perfuma escape, thanks to briefly breaking through Scorpia’s mind control and appealing to her true nature.

Meanwhile, Bow and Glimmer track down Lance and George (that’s Bow’s dads’ names, in case you’ve forgotten, like I had), hiding in one of the First Ones ruins. While they’ve been there, they’ve been excavating, and rather conveniently have discovered a computer system, in which they’ve learned a lot more of the history of Mara and the First Ones. I’ve rather lost interest in that bit too, unfortunately, so you’ll forgive me if I don’t summarise it all. The upshot is that there’s a failsafe system built into the Heart of Etheria, and it can be found at the Arxia outpost. If the failsafe is activated, the Heart of Etheria can be stopped. Sounds like a deus ex machina waiting to happen.

George: “Wake up Bow, this is interesting.”

In today’s adventure…

No sign of Loo-Kee today – but was he here? Who knows? I’m still suffering some doubt after last week, and that could have been distracting if the moral were somehow too subtle for me to detect. Luckily, it isn’t: it’s spelled out loud and clear by Perfuma, who bellows that “There’s power in love, joy and friendship!” So the moral, I suppose, is to be loving, joyful and friendly, and then you too can have the power.

Character checklist

The cast today is pretty extensive: main roles go to Adora, She-Ra, Catra, Glimmer, Bow, Netossa, Perfuma, Scorpia, Mermista, Spinnerella, Melog, Horde Prime, Lance and George. Shadow Weaver, Castaspella, Frosta, Entrapta, Swift Wind, Emily the bot, and a computer like Light Hope all get a small look-in, but not much. Barely worth mentioning, in fact.

Perfuma: “Join me in a spot of kumbaya, Catra?”


None of these today, not that I noticed anyway.

Oh No, Bow!

A relatively minor offence this week, but during the mission briefing, Bow is paying absolutely zero attention and has to be prompted to say his lines. This is because he’s distracted by his worry about his dads, so you know, fair enough, but still, it’s Bow, so we’ve got to mention it.

Does it have the Power?

Again, it’s nothing special as far as the plot is concerned, but some great lines (Perfuma’s “She-Ra! Drop it! We don’t throw tanks at our friends!” is perfection) and some pretty entertaining scenes (particularly the early one when Netossa reveals she’s got some overly detailed dossiers on the weaknesses of the other Princesses) elevate what could have been a fairly standard outing.

Netossa: “What, you don’t keep extensive notes on your friends too?”

Being honest, I’m not a fan of massive fight scenes where people throw magical energy around, and there’s a lot of that going on today, but fortunately there’s enough character work here as well to keep me interested. Perfuma’s continued rabbiting on about the power of friendship is bordering on saccharine, and Netossa’s affection for Spinnerella is a little too sweet, but it’s just about counteracted by enough snark from Catra and (surprisingly) She-Ra, ensuring the episode doesn’t overdo it.

I’m not happy about the reintroduction of the Heart of Etheria, because it’s confusing and boring, and I’m also not particularly happy about this failsafe, which sounds like it’s been introduced now to act as a magic get-out clause in the series finale in a few weeks’ time. But we shall see. In the meantime, let’s chalk this episode up as another winner.


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