Episode 50 – Failsafe

In which Shadow Weaver suggests blowing Adora up.

After learning of the Heart of Etheria failsafe, Bow and Glimmer return to the rebel HQ, where Shadow Weaver and Castaspella are relating how they have, er, learned of a failsafe for the Heart of Etheria. Seems like we only really needed one of these two sets of characters to find that out, but there we go, got to give everyone something to do, I suppose. At least Shadow Weaver has some additional information: the failsafe – otherwise known as the Crystal of Arxia – can be found in the First Ones tunnels beneath Mystacor.

Shadow Weaver: “Fancy going on a dangerous quest to a scary-sounding place?”

There’s a load of rumbling and grumbling from Glimmer about the wisdom of buggering about with the Heart of Etheria again (no argument from me), but within a few minutes the mission is underway. Adora and her team stealth their way through the palace at Mystacor and into the tunnels, where they begin the search for the Crystal. As they do so, Adora discovers that for some reason she can’t become She-Ra, and Shadow Weaver seizes the opportunity to claim that it’s because Catra is causing too much distraction.

Once the team find the Crystal, Shadow Weaver reveals that someone must bond themselves to the failsafe and carry it in their body to the Heart of Etheria. That someone has to be Adora, because only She-Ra has the power to absorb the amount of magical energy this will entail. Well, maybe she does. Shadow Weaver doesn’t know, but she’s pretty sure that even if She-Ra doesn’t survive, the resultant magical nonsense will result in the Heart of Etheria being defused.

Shadow Weaver: “Oh yes, now the bit I neglected to mention earlier. You’re going to die.”

Obviously, the rest of the gang are unhappy with the idea of sacrificing Adora, but she herself surprisingly seems to think it’s a pretty sound notion if the alternative is allowing Horde Prime to win. Before we can explore that, though, the team are interrupted by King Micah, who’s taken up residence at Mystacor and contrives to waste our time by tediously blasting a load of magical energy at our heroes, who retaliate by blasting magical energy at him. God, it’s exciting.

In the middle of the fracas, Adora decides that now is the moment to do the failsafe bonding business, and consequently there’s a whole load of loud noises and flashing lights which I suspect I might have found cool once upon a time but now that I’m old and bitter merely seem like a hollow excuse to mask a complete lack of intelligible substance to this plotline. With a burst of magic, Adora manages to become She-Ra again (don’t ask how or why), absorbs the failsafe, defeats King Micah, and leads the gang safely home.

King Micah: “Curses! Foiled again!”

Meanwhile, if one deus ex machina weren’t enough for one episode, there’s also a little subplot going on with Entrapta and Bow. Having removed Spinnerella’s chip, Entrapta reveals that there isn’t much time to remove chips from everybody else before their effects become irreversible – but luckily, she’s figured out a way to deactivate all the chips at the same time. She doesn’t achieve this goal this time, but I’m sure she’ll press a special Plot Shortcut button sometime in the next two weeks.

Once back at the base, though, Catra takes a leaf out of the Filmation playbook and decides to run away, having overheard Shadow Weaver’s earlier conversation with Adora. You’ll forgive me if by this stage I couldn’t care less what happens to a single one of these characters, all of whom have got on my tits quite extravagantly this week. Adora, of course, is a better person than me, and she follows Catra to persuade her to return. The big cliffhanger is that she fails to succeed, and Catra heads off alone to God knows where. Oh well, eh?

Catra: “Jesus Christ, this argument AGAIN?”

In today’s adventure…

Today we learned that if you’re going to rehash every single cliché of this She-Ra series and mash them all up together in one episode, you can’t possibly expect me to enjoy it.

Character checklist

Leading the way today are Adora, She-Ra, Catra, Shadow Weaver and King Micah. Glimmer, Bow, Castaspella, Entrapta, Swift Wind, Melog and a couple of Mystacor guards are on the second tier of players, and Original Hordak also gets a scene in which he yet again remembers his past, a plotline which has been spinning around in the background for several weeks now. Speaking of spinning, Spinnerella and Netossa appear in one shot, but they’ve by and large been relegated back to irrelevance.


Entrapta calls Swift Wind a “bird-horse”, and while she doesn’t mean it insultingly, Swift Wind certainly takes exception to it. Otherwise, as ever, it’s pretty light on burns.

Swift Wind: “Maybe I should just eat her.”

Oh No, Bow!

“We have to get out of here!” bellows Bow, when the team are pinned down by King Micah and his posse. That’s a great idea, Bow. I wonder why no one else thought of it. Thank Christ you’re here to think up such an elegant solution to the problem. Or, to put it another way, shut the fuck up, Captain Obvious.

Does it have the Power?

This one feels really tired, like it’s going over the same ground as we’ve seen before many times. I can’t count the number of creepy First Ones ruins and other tunnels the guys have explored, I can’t count how many times Adora’s lost her She-Ra skills, I can’t count the number of times Catra’s thrown a tantrum and run off, I can’t count the amount of mystical bollocks we’ve heard about the Heart of Etheria, I can’t count the number of times we’ve seen boring overblown magical battles, and I can’t count the number of times Entrapta’s allowed her love of tech to lead her into danger. I certainly can’t begin to imagine how many times we’ve had to listen to a heartfelt conversation between Adora and Catra. When the writing is good, I can go along with repetition of these themes, but this week, the writing really isn’t up to scratch, feeling as though no one’s put even the slightest bit of effort into making it interesting. As a result, the whole thing plays out enormously tediously, and is eminently skippable.

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