In which nobody wants any chips.
She-Ra kicks off this week by summarising the whole Heart of Etheria and failsafe business, which is mighty convenient for anyone who’d a) forgotten and b) still cares. Once she’s given what she no doubt imagines to be an inspiring pep talk, She-Ra goes into the detail of the Big Plan. This is twofold: most of our heroes will escort Entrapta to a Horde spire, where she will broadcast a jamming signal to disable all the chips on Etheria, while Glimmer, Bow and She-Ra herself will take the failsafe to the Heart of Etheria and destroy it. This will enable the series to come to an end, and that’s perhaps why everybody greets She-Ra’s announcement with excited cheering.
But first, let’s check in with our favourite feline, Catra, who’s still moping around and being angry that Adora doesn’t need her. Luckily, this comes to an end when she spots a Hordak clone sneaking through the woods. She follows him because why not, and soon comes across a massive green machine which digs down into the earth in something ominously called the Acquisition Process. This taps into Etheria’s magical energy, channelling it direct to Horde Prime. After watching this begin, Catra decides she’s going to have to warn She-Ra, and speeds off to find her.
In the meantime, Entrapta’s part of the Big Plan hasn’t gone too well. While the other rebels cause a distraction by mounting a major assault on the guards around the spire, Entrapta sneaks inside and begins work on jamming the chips, but before she succeeds, the Acquisition Process chimes in and somehow teleports Entrapta up to Horde Prime’s flagship. Horde Prime then transmits an Evil Overlord message to Etheria, telling the rebels that their miserable plan has failed and that they should prepare for Horde domination.
And in the other plotline, She-Ra, Glimmer and Bow have headed off to a First Ones ruin to gain access to the Heart. As they make their way through the tunnels, She-Ra suddenly starts re-experiencing her memories, which leads her to decide that she has to ditch Glimmer and Bow and find the Heart of Etheria all by herself. I’m not sure why, but it probably makes sense.
Once She-Ra’s headed off on her own, the First Ones ruin suddenly starts being a dick and attacking Glimmer and Bow. As they run away down a corridor to a heavy rock soundtrack, Catra and Shadow Weaver teleport in to offer their help; they agree that Catra will stay and find Adora, while the others will return to the surface and try to finish Entrapta’s job of unchipping the other Princesses. Once there, Bow and Glimmer take the time to tell each other that they love each other, then separate to get on with the unchipping and have a massive fight with loads of Horde Troopers, respectively.
She-Ra, meanwhile, is enjoying hallucinatory conversations with Mara and Horde Prime, which I think were aiming at deep and meaningful but come across really rather vacuous. The episode ends with a variety of cliffhangers, including She-Ra facing off against some great big First Ones monster, Scorpia cornering Bow in the spire, and Glimmer watching in dismay as all the other rebels turn monochrome thanks to some twattery courtesy of King Micah.
In today’s adventure…
Mara tells She-Ra that she’s worth more than what she can do for other people, so I think we’ll take that as our moral: don’t be a people-pleaser. I’m tempted to go one step further and actively try to displease people.
Fittingly for a finale, we see pretty much everyone today. If you need reminding, that’s Adora, She-Ra, Glimmer, Bow, Catra, Perfuma, Frosta, Spinnerella, Netossa, Entrapta, Wrong Hordak, Castaspella, Sea Hawk, Swift Wind, Melog, Shadow Weaver, Horde Prime, Mara, Scorpia, Mermista, and even a computer programme that might or might not have been Light Hope. There are also, of course, loads of Hordak clones and Horde Troopers.
Glimmer addresses Catra as “Horde scum”, and Catra retaliates with “Sparkles”, but both of these are rather cutesy and meant in a friendly way. It’s Frosta who’s a bit less friendly, though not particularly imaginative, when she calls the Horde Troopers “bot-faces”.
Oh No, Bow!
Within the first five seconds of the episode, Bow rubs me up the wrong way by playing a tune on a little mandolin. He’s admittedly not too bad at it, but unfortunately it reminds me of the frequent sonic crimes the old Bow used to commit by singing stupid songs, and therefore new Bow is going to be dragged down by association.
On the other hand, it’s entirely off his own bat that new Bow earns my ire later, by dredging up that old best friend squad stuff again. Just for once, I wish someone would stuff a massive sock down his throat when he starts on that.
Does it have the Power?
“This is so exciting!” exclaims Castaspella at one point, and I dearly wish I could agree. In its favour, it’s better than last week, since there’s at least a bit of energy to it, but it still suffers from feeling like it’s repeating overly familiar territory: First Ones ruins, Adora soul-searching, big magic battles, Heart of Etheria technobabble. It’s all fun enough, and there really is nothing technically wrong with it, but the investment I had in these characters back at the start of the series has all but evaporated now, and as such I’m finding I just don’t care anymore. Hopefully the final episode next week will offer an exciting conclusion – and maybe even an interesting plot twist – but most of all, I’m simply looking forward to the series being over, which is a shame.