Episode 76 – Brigis

In which Mantenna gets something right for a change.

It’s time for another hare-brained scheme from Shadow Weaver, which on this occasion revolves around the magical village of Brigis. According to legend, a good witch once hid her power source in Brigis, granting the villagers health and long life, as well as security. The security comes in the form of making the village vanish entirely except for one day every 500 years, but if any villager ever leaves Brigis, this spell will be broken. Hordak plans to capture a villager, thus breaking the spell and leaving him able to steal the witch’s power source.

For some demented reason, Hordak entrusts the capturing-a-villager task to Mantenna and Grizzlor, who do not have the best track record in getting things right. Still, Mantenna surprisingly manages to lure away a little girl called Jarine, in a rather well done scene which demonstrates stranger danger effectively. Of course, Grizzlor ruins it, allowing the girl to escape.

Brigis 1
Mantenna: “Come with me, little girl. At least I’m less creepy than Bow.”

As she runs away, Jarine shrieks, “Help! Help!” which brings Adora and Bow charging to the scene. Once he sees them, Mantenna decides to disregard his instructions and makes an ill-advised attempt to capture Adora instead. This does not end well for Mantenna and Grizzlor, but while Bow and Adora are busy, Shadow Weaver nips in, kidnaps Jarine, and takes her back to the Fright Zone.

Finding that Jarine is missing, Adora, Bow and Madame Razz go galloping off to Brigis, where the villagers explain once again, for the benefit of the slower viewers, that if Jarine doesn’t return by the end of the day, the spell will be broken and Brigis will be unable to disappear. Seemingly oblivious to this, Adora decides to move all the villagers into Whispering Wood to keep them safe from the Horde.

Brigis 2
Villager: “How can I best get these idiots out of Brigis?”

There follows one of those tedious fights in which She-Ra makes mincemeat of some Horde Troopers, while Hordak stamps about impotently and intermittently turns himself into a tank. After this, the episode indulges in some more blatant time-wasting, until She-Ra decides to go to the Fright Zone to rescue Jarine. She does this so easily that it was barely worth even showing.

We then finish up with a grand finale in which Hordak attacks Brigis again, with a variety of improbable tactics which are countered by even less plausible responses from She-Ra. Eventually, She-Ra repels the Horde, Jarine gets a quick lecture on the perils of breaking the rules, and then Brigis fades away, leaving the villagers to continue their inbreeding for another 500 years. Hurrah.

Brigis 3
She-Ra: “At least I won’t have to deal with this lot again, unless I live to be 500.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Loo-Kee is hiding under a bush, right at the end of the episode. He witters on and on about how we should always stick to the rules, for example by only crossing the street when the stoplight is in our favour. He doesn’t mention stranger danger, which I really think he should have, given its perfect demonstration in that early Mantenna scene.

 

Character checklist

Today’s episode is a showcase for Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Kowl, Madame Razz, Broom, Loo-Kee, Jarine, the other villagers, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Mantenna, Grizzlor, Catra, and an endless parade of Horde Troopers.

Brigis 4
Madame Razz: “A better landing than usual, Broom.”

 

Insults

Very boring insults today. Mantenna calls Grizzlor a “fool”, and then Shadow Weaver calls both Mantenna and Grizzlor “fools”. I don’t even know why I bother to report this sometimes.

 

Oh No, Bow!

When Adora reappears at the end of the episode, Bow attempts to take the credit for She-Ra’s victory. Adora puts on a very shrill, brittle voice when she responds, “Oh, really?” Realising that he’s made a tactical error, Bow tries to make out that he was only joking. Just my opinion here, but there are times when I think Bow is more slimy and loathsome than the vast majority of the Horde.

Brigis 5
Bow: “Make sure you sign your name on any work you do in the office. Otherwise I’ll pretend I did it.”

 

Does it have the Power?

Well … it’s about seventeen thousand times better than any of the last three episodes we’ve had, but that’s still not to say it’s any good. The highlight is the stranger danger scene where Mantenna persuades Jarine to leave the village by telling her there’s some lovely flowers just over the hill; this is relatively subtle, and it’s good to see Mantenna being competent for perhaps the first time ever. Otherwise, there’s nothing really to recommend this episode, the second half of which in particular is dominated by endless scenes of She-Ra beating up Horde Troopers and destroying tanks. I’d probably miss this one, if I were you.

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Episode 75 – Day of the Flowers

In which Orko yet again earns a special place in hell.

Prince Adam, Snout Spout and Orko have come on a special trip for a festival called the Day of the Flowers, in which the beauty of Etheria will be celebrated. Previous episodes of She-Ra had led me to believe that Snout Spout already lived on Etheria, but let’s gloss over petty whinges like that, since as this episode goes on, we’ll have plenty more to complain about.

Flowers 1
Prince Adam: “Sane people would bring their parents with them to visit their sister. But not me! I bring this guy.”

Let’s start with complaining about Orko. After his last atrocity of an appearance, in The Greatest Magic, I was ready to sign up for an Orko-free future, but no – here he is again, playing stupid magic tricks and setting the episode’s plot in motion by making Adam and Adora’s swords disappear. You cock, Orko. Can’t you just leave well enough alone?

I feel like I’ve been getting ever more furious over the last few episodes of She-Ra, but you’ve got to admit I’m being sorely provoked.

An old man arrives at the festival, begging for help because a group of gigantic evil robots known as the Monstroids have kidnapped all the men and boys from his village to work in Hordak’s nucleon mines. Adam and Adora try to transform, but of course their swords have gone, resulting in a mildly satisfying scene where they get livid with Orko, and then decide to try to defeat the Monstroids as themselves.

Flowers 2
Adora: “Right. You didn’t bring Mother. You didn’t bring Father. You brought Snout Spout. And you brought this div. Don’t bother to visit again, Adam.”

The Monstroids approach the site of the flower festival, so Adam, Adora, Snout Spout and Frosta stand on a mountain looking down at them, in a misguided attempt to look intimidating. No doubt realising that no one would ever be intimidated by a man with Adam’s dress sense, however, they quickly move on to making more elaborate plans, which involve Frosta and Snout Spout making ice bombs, and Adora throwing them at the Monstroids. This is very boring, but it’s at least mildly better than Adam’s role in the plan, which is to stand around shouting at Orko.

This episode is such a tedious mess that I rather lost interest around about this point, but suffice it to say that there’s a whole lot more of Adam and Adora alternately yelling at and encouraging Orko, while the Monstroids continue to stamp around the flower fields with zero sense of urgency. In the meantime, Madame Razz hangs around, having evidently been written as a fusty old-fashioned eight-year-old who’s been given too much lemonade: “Oh dearie my! This is so exciting!” I can assure you, Madame Razz, that it’s not exciting in the slightest.

Flowers 3
Monstroid: “If you find us boring, just pretend we’re mechs from Scythe. That might make us interesting for up to 3 seconds.”

As you have no doubt predicted, Orko eventually manages to get the swords back, and Adam and Adora are free to turn into She-Ra and He-Man. The writers appear to have finally realised that cutting the transformation sequences together just plain doesn’t work, so at least they are good enough to take turns. Once these two are on the scene, of course, the Monstroids are turned into scrap metal, and I hope I never see them – or Orko – again.

In today’s adventure…

Loo-Kee was hiding in a tree, again, but I didn’t see him. I’m willing to let it pass this time. He suggests that we should believe in ourselves, and then we can do anything. If only I’d believed in myself, I could have turned this tripefest of an episode off.

Character checklist

Adora, Prince Adam, She-Ra, He-Man, Snout Spout, Orko, Madame Razz, Broom, Bow, Glimmer, loads of rebels, Loo-Kee, Hordak, the Monstroids, some Horde Troopers, and some poor unfortunate soul who’s been christened with the name of Ore Captain Sludge-Man, and as such had some pretty insurmountable obstacles right from the beginning of his life.

Flowers 4
Frosta: “He-Man looks like he’s going to propose to his sister.”

Insults

Hordak refers to the Monstroids as “drumheads”, and that’s all you’re getting on the insults front. However, if you fancy a spot of innuendo, we do bear witness to Adora saying, “Making things big is something you’re very good at, Orko.” Do with that as you wish.

Oh No, Bow!

If I really wanted to stretch a point, I’d argue that Bow drives like a complete maniac in the opening scene of this episode. Thereafter, he has sufficient wisdom to absent himself from the remainder of this thrilling instalment.

Does it have the Power?

Towards the beginning of this episode, Hordak snaps, “You’re not getting enough nucleon out of those mines, Ore Captain Sludge-Man!” It’s dialogue like this that makes me wonder if the voice actors ever had sudden flashes of despair, a la Alan Rickman in Galaxy Quest. “I was Richard III …”

Flowers 5
Ore Captain Sludge-Man: “Lost wealth may be replaced by industry, lost knowledge by study, lost health by temperance or medicine, but lost time is gone forever.”

Unfortunately, that little insight into the minds of the voice actors was the only entertaining thing about this episode, which is the third appalling effort in a row. It is at least different from the other two rubbish episodes, though. Unlike The Time Transformer, which was insane, and Above It All, which was disjointed, Day of the Flowers is just achingly boring. There are endless shots of the Monstroids trampling through the flower field, and of Orko again and again trying to get the swords back. Adora and even Adam are really patronising too, in their efforts to encourage Orko. This is another dreadful episode. She-Ra needs to pull her socks up.

Episode 74 – Above It All

In which three or four badly told stories combine into one unwatchable mess.

Shadow Weaver has yet another plot to destroy the Whispering Woods; she will open the Cave of Winds, and the Winds will blow all the trees away, leaving the rebels with nowhere to hide. Of course, as soon as she opens the Cave and a hurricane is unleashed, Kowl pipes up, “It’s as if the Cave of Winds has been opened!” I’m beginning to feel sorry for the Horde. Their plans barely have time to get going before the rebels take a random but correct guess as to what’s going on.

Even so, the Winds do manage to cause a spot of bother for Bow, Glimmer and Madame Razz, but that infuriating bitch She-Ra shows up and rescues them. She then flies off again with intent to ask Queen Angela to use her magic to stop the Winds. Unfortunately, before she can get to Bright Moon, She-Ra is grabbed by the long brown tentacles of a flying island, then captured by a walking tree and put to sleep with a blast of pollen. Take the pills, Owen. Take the pills.

Above It All 1
She-Ra: “This had better not be anything to do with Bow’s sordid little fantasies.”

Bow, Glimmer and Madame Razz are by now hard-pressed to defend a village from some Horde Troopers, while She-Ra is wasting her time being dragged around by the walking trees, who don’t seem to have anything better to do than repeatedly tie her up and pull her through the air. Eventually, the trees start talking, and explain that they don’t think humans can feel love, but are only good for fighting. This prompts one of She-Ra’s unhinged monologues, but she’s only just getting going before the trees release her and claim they only wanted to borrow Swift Wind to take them to another flying island.

She-Ra then strikes a deal with the walking trees, agreeing that Swift Wind will fly them around if they help with the Cave of Winds situation. Once the trees have been transported to the new flying island, She-Ra takes possession of the old one, and plugs the hole in the Cave of Winds with it. I’d say this is only a temporary solution at best; it surely can’t be beyond Shadow Weaver’s ability to create another hole in the Cave? Still, Shadow Weaver takes it as a stunning defeat, and runs away hissing ineffectual threats, which is what I feel like doing too.

Above It All 2
Shadow Weaver: “I think my number’s up.”

 

In today’s adventure…

I didn’t see Loo-Kee today, and I’m not going to whinge about him being hidden in a ridiculously difficult spot. I’m going to move on maturely, after saying HOW THE CHRIST IS A FIVE YEAR OLD SUPPOSED TO SEE HIM THERE????? He tells us all about how people might look different, but they’re all beautiful. Apart from Bono. He’s not beautiful. He’s a dick. Loo-Kee doesn’t say all this, but I can see it in his eyes.

 

Character checklist

We’re subjected to appearances from Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Kowl, Glimmer, Madame Razz, Broom, Loo-Kee, the walking trees, some random children, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, and some Horde Troopers. There’s also a cameo return for Vultak, the vulture-like Horde zookeeper last seen in Zoo Story.

Above It All 3
She-Ra: “This shot is definitely going on my 2020 calendar.”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

“Get back to the village. I’ll join you later,” says Adora to her friends, when the Winds first start to blow. They all run off without questioning this, and never ask about Adora again. For all they know, she got blown off a cliff. The rebels may spout off a lot about love and goodness, but when it comes to Adora, they’re clearly callous, cold, and dead inside.

 

Insults

As mentioned above, this week begins with a cameo return for Vultak, who was pretty good when he first appeared in Zoo Story. Far from being the quite entertaining figure he was in his previous appearance, though, Vultak manages only to shout “miserable witch” at Madame Razz before being speedily despatched, as detailed below.

Above It All 4
Vultak: “I can barely arse myself to stay awake through an episode this dull.”

 

Egg on your face?

Thanks to a conceit of Madame Razz’s dreadful magic, Vultak manages to embed himself in a very large pie, and that’s the last we see of him, rendering his appearance pointless at best, and a complete fucking waste of time at worst.

 

Oh No, Bow!

In the opening scene, Bow combines his dual talents of being creepy and not being funny, by telling some children some appalling jokes while keeping both his hands uncomfortably close to his crotch.

Above It All 5
Adora: “Glimmer, you keep an eye on him. I’ll alert IICSA.”

Later on, the strong Winds from the Cave blow a log right into Bow, and it knocks him down. Serves him right. By God, I haven’t got any time for any of these clowns today.

 

Does it have the Power?

No, it really doesn’t. I was pretty stumped as I was watching it as to what story it was trying to tell. We start with three minutes of Bow entertaining the kids in his uniquely disturbing way, then cut to Madame Razz’s irrelevant set-to with Vultak, and then move on to the entirely disconnected Cave of Winds plot. Even once that starts, the writers seem to forget about it quite quickly, shifting focus to Glimmer, Madame Razz and Bow being under siege from Horde Troopers in a village, while She-Ra has her LSD trip with the walking trees and the flying islands. In complete fairness, these latter plots do manage to come together at the end, but not terribly satisfactorily. This one is one to miss.

Episode 73 – The Time Transformer

In which She-Ra demonstrates a hitherto unsuspected talent for flying.

Reeling from a defeat at Valley View Castle, Hordak goes a little OTT and arranges for a Horde scientist called Professor Tempest to build a machine that can change the past; specifically, changing Hordak’s losses into victories. This machine is called the Time Transformer, and it works by displaying images of the past, onto which the Professor can draw things such as extra guns. Like the Magic Paintbrush, the things the Professor draws come into existence.

Time Transformer 3
Tempest: “Hello, I’m Professor Tempest, and I’m here to welcome you to one of the worst episodes of She-Ra.”

Using this device, Hordak reverses his loss at Valley View Castle, causing Horde Troopers to appear as a garrison there. Using a degree of prescience bordering on the supernatural, Adora instantly concludes, “It’s as if history were being rewritten,” rather than any other random but equally plausible conclusion such as “They must have teleported in,” or “They must have taken off their invisibility cloaks.” Honestly, I ask you, with the data she has, how could Adora possibly have plucked the correct answer out of so many insane possibilities?

Armed with her freaky super-knowledge, Adora announces that she and Bow must go straight to the Fright Zone. And so they do, and by God the animation is appalling when they get there. Just look at Bow’s head. It looks like it’s been squashed in a vice (which is, admittedly, something I’d do to him given half the chance). Anyway, they overhear Hordak plotting to use the Time Transformer to destroy Castle Bright Moon, and then they get captured.

Time Transformer 1
Bow: “Having a ridiculously thin head doesn’t stop me indulging in my usual pervy ways.”

Hordak decides to demonstrate to Adora and Bow how the Time Transformer works, and shows them a clip from the massively mental episode Bow’s Farewell, in which – as you may recall – She-Ra flew into outer space to stop an eclipse of the moon from draining Bright Moon’s batteries, or some such. This time, however, Hordak draws a meteor shower which will allegedly prevent She-Ra from saving the day. Much as we’d all like to erase the events of Bow’s Farewell from our memories, I have the feeling this isn’t going to work out.

Adora and Bow escape very easily, and Adora gets Bow out of the way so she can turn into She-Ra. This done, she jumps in the air and starts flying. Like bloody Supergirl. Look, She-Ra can’t fly. She’s never been able to fly before. If you want her to fly, put her on Swift Wind. Swift Wind is even present at this moment, and She-Ra has just told him, “Wait here, Swift Wind.” Why does Swift Wind have to wait there? Why can’t he do the flying? I just don’t understand why She-Ra has to be capable of absolutely everything. I think I’m getting unaccountably worked up about this, but it completely defies all internal logic of this cartoon, admittedly shaky though that internal logic is.

Time Transformer 4
She-Ra: “I’ve always been able to do this, you know.”

Once She-Ra arrives in the throne room, she stands in front of the Time Transformer, and then moves when Hordak shoots at her. Totally unexpectedly, Hordak destroys the Time Transformer instead. He isn’t as upset about this as you might think, though, because with the Transformer destroyed, She-Ra has no way to reverse the meteor shower and stop Hordak from having captured Castle Bright Moon in the past.

Did I say she has no way to reverse the meteor shower? Well, that was a trifle misleading. Actually, she does, but it’s a very stupid way indeed. She gets on Swift Wind and instructs him to fly into orbit, then fly very quickly round and round Etheria backwards. I presume the idea here is that the momentum Swift Wind builds up will cause Etheria to spin backwards. I’m no physicist, but I’m certain that even allowing for this dubious premise, causing Etheria to spin backwards would simply alter its rotation. It would not make time run backwards. If I’m wrong, I’m willing to be corrected.

At any rate, we are now treated to a shot of Etheria with She-Ra flying round and round it, with her voiceover sounding increasingly orgasmic as she builds to a crescendo with the phrase, “Faster, Swifty! Faster! Faster! We’re getting there!” Once that’s over, She-Ra adds to the general air of lunacy by turning her sword into a baseball bat and knocking the meteor storm out of the way. Then, just to round things off, she returns to Etheria’s surface and starts randomly taking the piss out of Madame Razz.

Time Transformer 2
She-Ra: “I have nothing to add, your honour.”

 

In today’s adventure…

I don’t need to say anything here other than that Loo-Kee’s in a tree, and he references events in the episode that I genuinely don’t remember happening. He claims that Madame Razz told a villager’s fortune, and that the villager was told he’d have a happy life if he treated others kindly. He suggests that we follow this advice too. I was so convinced that this didn’t happen that I actually went back and checked, and it definitely didn’t. Hordak must have used his Time Transformer to erase that bit of the episode.

 

Character checklist

This utter claptrap features Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Kowl, Madame Razz, Broom, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Imp, Catra, Professor Tempest, and the usual mass of Horde Troopers. Grizzlor, Leech and Entrapta are hanging around too, though rather unproductively.

Time Transformer 5
Adora: “Well, nice to have an audience, I suppose.”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

“Bow, you’d better go and warn Queen Angela. I’m going to try and find a way to destroy that machine,” says Adora, trying to get her moronic companion to exit, stage left. As soon as she’s convinced him that he’ll be making a valuable contribution simply by pissing off, she is able to turn into She-Ra in peace.

 

Insults

Catra calls Imp a “little worm”, while Hordak addresses his Horde Troopers with “fools”, “metallic nincompoops” and something that sounds very much like “bunkbags”, but it couldn’t possibly be that because that doesn’t make sense, and of course the rest of this episode is a statesmanlike exercise in making sense.

Hordak also calls She-Ra a “foolish woman”. This isn’t really the place to go off on an extended rant about the gender politics of this cartoon, but I have noticed a tendency for Hordak to append “woman” to his insults for She-Ra, and it does occasionally leave a bad taste in the mouth. No one ever called He-Man a “foolish man” – “fool” was always enough. (It has also just occurred to me that Skeletor never called Evil-Lyn or Teela a “foolish woman”. Skeletor may have been many bad things, but he does appear to have been a big believer in gender equality.)

Time Transformer 6
Hordak: “All right, all right, I’ll sign up for the feminism symposium if you just get out of the Fright Zone.”

 

Oh No, Bow!

When Adora and Bow are captured, the Horde Troopers slap handcuffs on them. Bow sidles up to Adora and says, “See if you can reach into my pocket.” When Adora obliges, he reveals that he doesn’t have a plan but just wanted her to get her hands close to his skin. That latter sentence is not true, but I bet you believed me. That’s how creepy Bow is.

 

Does it have the Power?

Oh, God. Sometimes, I like the mental ones. I’m pretty sure we had one that was utterly bonkers not long ago, and that I liked it. But for some reason, the mental bits in this episode come across as fundamental flaws rather than light-hearted silliness, and I found the whole thing just incredibly grating. I think it’s probably because it features so many stupid She-Ra feats in the space of five minutes: she does her regular breathing in outer space trick, she turns her sword into sports equipment, and most of all, she flies of her own volition. She’s just unbeatable, and that’s tiresome. I could also go on and mutter about the complete lack of logic applied to Hordak’s time alterations, and the dodgy physics with the backward planet spinning, but I have this feeling that if I do, I’ll actually go mad.

Bonus Update: Skeletor Goes to Azerbaijan

After He-Man’s recent trip to Armenia, Mega-Construx Skeletor felt that he could do just as well, if not better. Consequently, he accompanied me on a tour of Azerbaijan, which culminated in a remarkable discovery…

And here we go! Skeletor is on a very empty flight to Baku.
Skeletor is loose in Fountains Square. He’s a bit disappointed that the fountains aren’t on right now. He’ll try again later.
Skeletor has found his way to the Maiden’s Tower in Baku.
Skeletor loves Baku’s Old Town walls.
Quick trip down to the Caspian Sea for Skeletor.
Great, so not only is Skeletor a wino like He-Man, he’s an exhibitionist too.

We’re going to get on so well.
Skeletor is not really helping this girl do her make-up.
Skeletor has popped in for a quick drink at the nostalgia-heavy, jazz-playing Old School Cafe.
Skeletor has climbed up high to get a panoramic view of the Bay of Baku.
Skeletor may be slightly out of focus, but he’s still enjoying his visit to the Flame Towers.
Skeletor is feeling a little intimidated by his dining companion in this ice cream parlour.
Skeletor has come to visit the Palace of the Shirvanshahs.
Skeletor does not need to visit the Cool Barber Shop because he has no hair (or skin, eyes, etc). However, he would like it to be noted that he still has a better haircut than He-Man.
Skeletor is rather impressed with the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre.
This is Skeletor’s first photo in almost 24 hours. Angry at his lack of prominence, he has come to the town of Qala and conjured up this statue to exact his vengeance.
Skeletor has some new wheels.
“Let destruction reign!” cried Skeletor, as he stood before the burning hillside of Yanar Dag.
Skeletor has considered a dip in the Caspian Sea at the beach resort of Sumqayit, but decided against it.
Skeletor has his head in his hands because he came to Shahdag Ski Resort but forgot to check whether there would be any snow.
Skeletor is rather surprised to find a Tower Bridge replica in the town of Xacmaz.
Skeletor found it easy conquering this rock, and associated castle and fountain, in Ismaylli. Admittedly, there was no sign of He-Man.
Sure, sure, Skeletor, you help yourself. What’s mine is yours. Never mind that I need that coffee to function. You go ahead.
Skeletor is enjoying a day out in the mountain village of Lahic.
Skeletor has trekked up to the tea house at Yeddi Gozel Falls. As you can see, he’s well pleased with himself.
Another victory for Skeletor, having come to another ski resort (Qabala) at an inappropriate time of the year.
Nice day out at the Udi Ethnographic Complex for Skeletor.
Skeletor considers that the Winter Palace in Sheki would be just about suitable lodgings for him.
Big plate of nice cheesy pide for Skeletor’s lunch.
Skeletor on his evening outing to Kutmukhi Church.
Skeletor isn’t quite sure where to start with his bowl of Sheki local delicacy, piti.
Skeletor is well impressed with the Caucasian Albanian church at Kis.
Skeletor has made his way to Ganja, where he is enjoying looking round the 17th century buildings in the main square.
Paws off, Skeletor! This crazy generous portion of cake is all mine!
Quick trip to the seaside town of Astara on the Iranian border for Skeletor today.
Skeletor is pleased with the utterly ludicrous number of sugars that have been supplied for his coffee in Lankaran.
Skeletor has popped up to Lerik in the Talysh Mountains for the afternoon.
Skeletor feels at home around the mud volcanoes of Qobustan.
Just chilling out at Qobustan Petroglyphs Park.
“Good morning, Baku,” says out-of-focus Skeletor.
At Shikhov, Skeletor has found his ideal beach: sandy with blue sea, but with just the vaguest hint of terrible desolation.
Skeletor is disappointed that he’s been told in no uncertain terms that he can’t have any of my pomegranate chicken at the excellent Nakhchivan Restaurant.
However, Skeletor will not be denied a cocktail.
Skeletor is on the mountain roads.
Mountain vistas in Europe’s highest village, Xinaliq.
Skeletor getting properly ambitious now.
Spicy times for Skeletor at Baku’s market.
After a long delay, Skeletor arrives at the obsessively neat enclave of Nakhchivan.
Skeletor has come along to view the suspiciously new looking Tomb of Noah.
Day trip out to Lake Batabat. Let’s hope it’s not Lake Batrosabatros.

(That joke met with zero acclaim on my Instagram. Here, on a dedicated Masters of the Universe page, I’m hoping for a better reaction.)
And finally…

Big day for Skeletor today. He’s at Alinja Castle, and that jagged peak in the background is Ilan Dag, which translates into English as……… SNAKE MOUNTAIN!

Skeletor has found his home.

And here ends the happy story of Skeletor’s visit to Azerbaijan.

Episode 72 – The Pearl

In which She-Ra demonstrates yet another unfeasible skill.

Our episode today opens with Adora chatting away to Mermista, who reveals that though she herself supports the Rebellion, her people as a whole – led by her father, King Mercia – do not wish to start trouble by opposing the Horde. It seems that Mercia has an arrangement with the Horde that so long as they don’t bother his people, he won’t bother them.

Pearl 1
Mermista: “Yes yes yes I do look a tad more sensible when I’m half a fish.”

With this in mind, would you care to guess what Hordak starts doing this week? Yes, that’s right, he’s bothering the fish people. Admittedly, initially he’s not outright bothering the fish people, but he has adopted the Japan approach and is out fishing for whales. Naturally enough, this doesn’t get the Mermista Stamp of Approval, so she and She-Ra intervene to rescue the whale and take it to Mercia’s kingdom. Incidentally, this episode reveals that – in addition to She-Ra’s many other improbable and annoying skills – she is capable of speaking underwater.

On arrival in the Sunken City, Mercia welcomes She-Ra and instantly launches into a borderline irrelevant conversation, in which he casually mentions that the power of the mer-folk is dependent on the Power Pearl, a trinket which must be kept out of Horde hands. Hordak, of course, has attached a spy robot to the whale, so he immediately learns of the Pearl and decides he wants it. The whole ensuing debacle could, therefore, have been avoided if Mercia had just kept his trap shut about the Pearl.

Pearl 2
Mercia: “Hello, She-Ra. Oh, by the way, here’s some important plot details that are in no way relevant to our conversation.”

Hordak manages to get something right for a change, by successfully stealing the Pearl. Whether he holds onto it is of course another matter, but for now he’s doing rather well by his standards. If nothing else, the voice actor gets the opportunity to cry, “The Power Pearl! And it’s mine! All mine!” which is the sort of pantomime villain dialogue that all respectable actors must crave. He then summons Shadow Weaver and instructs her to figure out how the Pearl works.

Shadow Weaver learns enough about the Pearl’s magic to use it to summon a giant crab to distract She-Ra and Mermista, but that’s good for only about 30 seconds. Hordak’s next move is to shoot at She-Ra with torpedoes, but while he’s so occupied, Mermista and the baby whale leap aboard Hordak’s ship and steal back the Pearl.

Mermista arranges for the baby whale’s mother to show up and eat Hordak’s ship, though of course Hordak turns himself into a rocket and escapes. The Pearl is returned to the Sunken City, where She-Ra and the baby whale are given medals for being so awesome. The episode concludes with something that I assume was meant to be a joke, given everyone laughs, but it’s nothing more than a statement of fact. Morons.

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She-Ra: “Yeah, thanks for the medal, Mercia. I’ll put it in the loft with my literally billions of others.”

In today’s adventure…

Loo-Kee is, as per usual, hanging around in a tree, like some kind of freakish monkey. His advice today is that we should ask a policeman for help if we get lost. Pretty sensible, actually, and with some bearing on the episode’s story, given the baby whale was lost. Yep, I’m happy with this one.

Character checklist

This week we get Adora and She-Ra, without Spirit or Swift Wind. This is a shame, as I’d have loved to see the animators trying to depict these horses underwater. Never mind. Otherwise, there’s Mermista, Mercia, other fish people, the baby whale, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, and some Horde Troopers.

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Hordak: “No need for that silly dancing, Shadow Weaver.”

Insults

Hordak’s the only one doling out insults today, starting with “fool” and “iron fool” for a Horde Trooper, moving on to “fish-tail” and “fish lady” for Mermista, and finishing up with “blasted female” for She-Ra.

Does it have the Power?

It’s nice to get some background on Mermista and her people, though notably the episode doesn’t end with Mercia and his crowd joining the Rebellion. Hordak is quite fun today, despite a large number of pig snorts, and She-Ra is at her least irritating too. The episode veers awfully close to saccharine sweetness with the baby whale and its mother, but never quite crosses the line. All in all, this is a pretty reasonable effort – but really? Talking underwater? Is there anything She-Ra can’t do?

Episode 71 – Loo-Kee’s Sweety

In which we are subjected to the most left-field plot twist in the entire Masters of the Universe franchise.

The episode opens with a slow-pan towards some bushes, which are swaying energetically, and from behind which comes the sound of some heavy grunting. Given the episode’s title, I was half-wondering if we were going to see some Loo-Kee-based X-rated action. Fortunately, this was not the case: a bunch of pixies similar to Loo-Kee are indeed in the bush, but they are being chased by a pack of robotic dogs, rather than doing anything more explicit than She-Ra usually goes.

Loo-Kee's Sweety 4
Loo-Kee: “I’m always chasing tail. Oh fine, please yourselves.”

Shadow Weaver and Catra are behind this assault on the pixies, and they successfully capture all but one of them. The escapee is called Lar-See, and she escapes by swimming all the way to the mainland, where she meets Adora, Spirit and Loo-Kee messing about by a campfire. She details what has happened, explaining that the Horde have it in for the pixies because they have taken to nipping into the Horde dungeons and giving fresh fruit to the prisoners.

Adora and Spirit turn into She-Ra and Swift Wind, and fly Loo-Kee and Lar-See back to Beast Island. They are attacked en route by Catra and some flying robots, of course, but this proves to be a traditional She-Ra time-killing exercise more than anything else. Once they arrive, they find that all the pixies have been herded into a prison camp, surrounded by bars composed of glowing energy.

Loo-Kee's Sweety 2
She-Ra: “I deeply regret the life choices that have brought me here.”

She-Ra, Loo-Kee and Lar-See trot down a secret passage to enter the prison camp, but Catra has set up one of those all-too-obvious trapdoors that neither She-Ra nor He-Man ever seem able to spot. Pleasingly, as a result of the trapdoor, She-Ra falls face first into a puddle of strength-sapping mud, which turns out to be the Slime Pit (available now from all good retailers, £19.99). She only manages to escape thanks to the unexpected assistance of a scuba-diving pig, which is such a thoroughly deranged plot development that I thought I’d finally gone loop-de-loop.

Once this crazy interlude is over, She-Ra and her pixie friends let themselves into the prison camp, and She-Ra takes care of a bunch of Horde Troopers by rolling up the ground as if it were a Swiss roll. This is stupid enough, but it’s the insufferably smug face she makes afterwards that really got my goat. She then knocks down the glowing energy fence, and the pixies make their escape, while Catra – perhaps inevitably – ends up in the Slime Pit, having a barking mad conversation with that pig.

Loo-Kee's Sweety 3
Catra: “This conversation is extremely unlikely to be satisfying.”

In today’s adventure…

Loo-Kee is good enough to acknowledge that we probably saw him this week, but he reveals that before the action even started, he was hiding behind a tree in an early shot. And then he proves it, the sneaky little bastard. Curse you, Loo-Kee. You’ve fooled me once too often. Anyway, he tells us all about stealing and how there’s never a good reason to take things that don’t belong to you. I know it’s very picky and borderline obsessive to say so, but I recall He-Man trolling off to Snake Mountain to steal some rainbow quartz in Three on a Dare. If I’m going to model my behaviour on anyone, it’ll be He-Man and not some blue-tailed freak of a pixie. So sorry, Loo-Kee, I’ll be ignoring this piece of advice, going down to Sainsbury’s, nicking stuff, and then explaining that He-Man demonstrated it’ll be all right. I might even mention that Loo-Kee’s girlfriend Lar-See is short for Lar-See-Nee. I’m sure the police will be very understanding.

Character checklist

Right, well, this bundle of lunacy features Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Loo-Kee, Lar-See, a right load more Loo-Kee-ish pixies, Catra, Shadow Weaver, some Horde Troopers, and of course the Slime Pig.

Loo-Kee's Sweety 1
Loo-Kee: “Not sure why I’m quite so insanely amused by She-Ra’s boots.”

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

After hearing Lar-See’s story, Adora and Spirit get up and walk off. Understandably a tad disappointed at this reception, Lar-See asks, “Where are they going?” Loo-Kee offers the evasive response, “To get help.”

Insults

A Horde Trooper refers to She-Ra, Loo-Kee and Lar-See as “rebel scum”, which is fairly vicious. Still, I expect it doesn’t sting quite so much as when Catra calls Loo-Kee’s dad Poppy a “multi-coloured maggot”.

Does it have the Power?

Luckily, this pretty super episode doesn’t focus on Loo-Kee’s love life at all, despite the title implying that it would. Instead, we get a fairly standard rescue mission which is stumping along happily and competently, until it suddenly takes a left turn into the world of utter insanity with the introduction of the Slime Pig. This proves to be a winning move. It may be nuts, but it’s certainly fun, and deserves a big thumbs-up as a result.

Episode 70 – Something Old, Something New

In which Etheria falls out of its orbit.

This week we meet a wannabe magician called Eli, who has stolen a glowing red rock from Shadow Weaver and as a result is being chased down by some Horde Troopers. Eli casts a spell to turn the Troopers into trees, which to his surprise actually works. As the audience, we are aware that the spell worked only because of the red rock, and not because of Eli’s powers.

Adora and Bow charge in at this point, and congratulate Eli on his magic, prompting Eli to claim to be the best magician. He also reveals that his teacher Candor has sent him for further tuition with Madame Razz, so he accompanies Adora and Bow back to Whispering Wood. Once there, he does some tricks and ponces about arrogantly, failing to endear himself to anyone (except Bow, of course, who has a natural affinity with arrogant morons).

Something Old 1
Adora: “Eli, you can’t expect anyone to take you seriously with that ridiculous quiff.”

Eli continues to spend his time at the camp irritating people, including a moment in which he suggests altering a river’s course to help the rebels do their washing, but Adora immediately vetoes this idea on the pompous basis that “There’s always a danger when you change Mother Nature.” Quite right, Adora. Now why don’t you pop back in time by all of two episodes and tell She-Ra not to piss about with that river in Out of the Cocoon?

Of course, Eli doesn’t listen and rather pleasingly floods the entire rebel camp, which – to my deep dismay – means She-Ra has to get involved. After dealing with the flood, She-Ra and Madame Razz discover that Eli has disappeared, and they fly off to look for him, correctly intuiting that Shadow Weaver must be involved.

It turns out that Shadow Weaver is interested in recovering her glowing red rock, now introduced as the Stone of Serenity, which amplifies the magical ability of anyone using it. She has tricked Eli into coming to her by pretending to be his teacher Candor, and instructing him to come to a cave in the mountains. Once he’s there, Shadow Weaver nicks the Stone of Serenity back from him.

Something Old 2
Eli: “Hmm, a floating face telling me to come to an isolated location with an artefact of great value? Sounds legit.”

Meanwhile, as She-Ra and Madame Razz fly along, they are suddenly enveloped by a big red glowing ball, and carried into a pyramid, which Madame Razz identifies as the Balance Centre of Etheria. The Serenity Stone should be in the Balance Centre, but Madame Razz notes that it is absent, which might result in Etheria tipping to one side. This is the sort of plot development that ought to feel absolutely bloody ridiculous, but by this stage I’ve just started accepting this kind of thing as completely normal.

She-Ra and Madame Razz exit the Balance Centre and quickly find their way to the cave, where they confront Shadow Weaver. Allegedly, Shadow Weaver’s powers are greatly amplified by the Serenity Stone, but she doesn’t seem much more powerful than usual. Anyway, during the battle, Etheria starts to fall out of orbit, but She-Ra manages to get her grubby paws on the Stone and return it to the Balance Centre before it’s too late.

Something Old 3
Madame Razz: “I thought the Balance Centre was an inner ear hospital department.”

I don’t expect you’ll believe it, but the episode ends with Eli admitting that he’s been a bit of a div, and promising not to be one in the future. There’s also some random yammering about never being too old to learn things, and then a stupid joke from Madame Razz at which everyone laughs, except the audience.

In today’s adventure…

This Loo-Kee business is getting pretty tedious now. I really don’t care where he is, and I can’t imagine you do either. Still, if you must know, I found him today, standing behind a big rock. He suggests that we shouldn’t brag about our achievements, because if we do, no one will like us. No one likes me anyway, so I might as well carry on bragging. God, I’m awesome.

Character checklist

Well, would you look at that? It’s Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Madame Razz, Broom, Bow, Eli, Candor, Loo-Kee, Shadow Weaver, and some Horde Troopers. Glimmer, Perfuma, Peekablue and Flutterina also appear in the background, but they don’t add much.

Something Old 4
Bow: “Can’t even be arsed to stand up while this third-rate magician performs to these credulous buffoons.”

Insults

Eli begins the episode by calling a Horde Trooper a “big metal lummox”, and Shadow Weaver soon follows this up by referring to the Horde Trooper in question, and two of his colleagues, as “fools”. Shadow Weaver also refers to Eli as a “little thief” and to She-Ra as a “meddler”. Finally, Eli manages a new low by calling himself a “fool”.

Oh No, Bow!

The only person who doesn’t seem to think Eli is a first-class tool is Bow, and this seems to be primarily motivated by the fact that Eli conjures up a massive feast, at which Bow’s eyes light up with delight.

Something Old 5
Bow: “Give me a chicken drumstick and I’m anybody’s.”

Egg on your face?

As a cartoon, She-Ra doesn’t generally go in for the hilarious concept of pelting people with food, but this week, we do at least get to see Madame Razz being soaked with water when one of her spells goes awry. Maybe I’m in a bad mood today, but it isn’t very funny.

Does it have the Power?

Yeah, I suppose why not? The Eli storyline is pretty predictable, but with the added lunacy of the Balance Centre of Etheria, the episode just about elevates itself to an interesting if mildly demented outing. Shadow Weaver is as convincingly evil as always, and She-Ra didn’t wind me up, or at least she didn’t wind me up as much as she normally does. No classic, but solid.

Episode 69 – A Lesson in Love

In which everybody gets the chance to throw things at Bow.

I’m wary of this one. It’s not long since we had an episode all about the power of love, and it was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. This episode doesn’t help itself by starting with a scene featuring a Typical Annoying Filmation Child called Kevin, who is soon to become king of some rubbish realm or other, but he doesn’t want to spend his time studying and would prefer to play. He compounds this dickish behaviour by deciding to run away. I hope Hordak shoots him in the head the moment he leaves the castle, and the rest of the episode is all about She-Ra having a nervous breakdown because she failed to save him.

Lesson in Love 2
Kevin: “Look on my irritating sneer, ye mighty, and despair.”

Over at Rebel HQ, the rebels (this week featuring Adora, Bow, Kowl, Madame Razz, Broom, and Flutterina) are preparing to go to the Twiggets’ Spring Carnival, which will be held outside Whispering Wood. Hordak gets wind of this silly notion, and decides to send a spy to the carnival to capture the rebels. He determines that the perfect spy, for God knows what reason, is Kevin, who has now been captured and brainwashed by Shadow Weaver.

Shadow Weaver arranges for Flutterina to get into a spot of bother with a giant spider, and allows Kevin to rescue her, thus winning Flutterina’s trust. Flutterina takes Kevin along to the carnival, which is fortunate, because up to this point the carnival was being very annoying, involving an extended and irrelevant bit of slapstick featuring Madame Razz being chased by a buffalo.

Once Kevin gets to the carnival, he discovers that Bow has set himself up as one of the targets in a coconut shy, but he passes up this cast-iron opportunity to hurl things at Bow’s head. Adora realises that this is very strange, and concludes there must be something wrong with Kevin, but she doesn’t have enough time to do anything about it before Kevin summons the Horde, who begin attacking.

Lesson in Love 3
Madame Razz: “Note the massive queue of people behind me all eager to throw things at Bow.”

The Horde have just as much success as always, being routed easily by She-Ra and her mates, but they do manage to capture Flutterina and whisk her off to Horror Hall. In the aftermath, Kowl tells She-Ra and Bow that he saw Kevin summoning the Horde; Kevin doesn’t remember doing this, and She-Ra realises he must be under a spell.

Heading to Horror Hall, She-Ra takes Kevin with her and discusses his reasoning for running away in the first place. Luckily, before she can get too patronising, Hordak interrupts her with a well-deserved freeze ray, which sadly she manages to dodge. It’s then a matter of relative simplicity for She-Ra and Kevin to rescue Flutterina, though it does involve an irritating sequence in which Kevin overcomes Shadow Weaver’s spell thanks to the power of good.

Once that’s all sorted, Flutterina hops onto the front of Kevin’s flying machine, allowing him to gaze longingly at her breasts. Returning to the carnival, She-Ra contacts Kevin’s father to come and take him home. Kevin departs with the words, “I’ll be back, someday!”, a statement which I chose to interpret as a threat.

Lesson in Love 1
Flutterina: “I’ve only been in two episodes and I’ve already been ogled by two people. And to make things worse, one of them was Bow.”

In today’s adventure…

It’s a far cry from the early days of She-Ra, when I couldn’t find Loo-Kee to save my life. Now it’s easy. He’s underneath a plant in Whispering Wood, and he wants to tell us about the difference between responsibility and irresponsibility. Essentially, the difference is that responsibility is good and irresponsibility is bad. Well, great.

Character checklist

There are times I can’t really be bothered to record this, and I’ll admit it shows in my terse lists of people. This week, it’s Adora, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Kowl, Madame Razz, Broom, Flutterina, the Twiggets, Kevin, Kevin’s dad, a talking mirror, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Mantenna, Leech, and the ever-reliable Horde Troopers.

Lesson in Love 4
Leech: “It’s just a step to the left, and then a jump to the right…”

Insults

Hordak’s not in a great mood this week, especially not with Mantenna, who gets called an “incompetent fool”, a “bumbling fool” and just plain “fool”. Hordak also considers Kevin to be a “fool”, as well as a “young whelp”. Shadow Weaver thinks the rebels in general are “fools”, and that She-Ra in particular is a “muscle brain”.

Elsewhere, Madame Razz’s magic mirror suggests that she is the “ugliest” of them all, a suggestion to which Madame Razz does not take kindly and responds by calling the mirror an “impudent thing”. Madame Razz also calls Bow an “animal”, perhaps offering an unwelcome glimpse into what he’s like in the bedroom.

Lesson in Love 5
Madame Razz: “If you don’t start being nice, I’ll make sure you never appear in any other episodes.”

Does it have the Power?

Despite an incredibly unpromising opening scene, it’s actually far better than I had feared. We’ve been through it before, so you’ll know I don’t like the children in Filmation, and I certainly don’t like plotlines about people running away – but that Kevin is far less annoying than most, so I’ll let him off, especially since he triggers a pretty exciting story involving an entertaining battle and a rescue mission to Horror Hall, where we get to see Shadow Weaver at her malicious best. The carnival is annoying, and so is the bit about the power of goodness, but it doesn’t ruin an otherwise pleasurable 20 minutes, which also contains a rather amusing bit of the ever-reliable Hordak-Mantenna double-act. Recommended.

Episode 68 – Out of the Cocoon

In which Light Hope goes bonkers.

In Castle Bright Moon, Glimmer is whinging about a bunch of worms ruining her flowers. Come on, Glimmer. You’re the leader of the Great Rebellion, and should be spending your days planning how to smash the Horde, not planting flowers and shrieking about insects. It serves her right when Snout Spout blunders along and ruins her flowers by spraying them with water.

Cocoon 2
Snout Spout: “I was just trying to get you to concentrate on something that’s actually important.”

Glimmer’s random gibber is interrupted by a family arriving from Sand Valley, a location on the brink of starvation, because no rain has fallen for many months, and the soldiers of an individual named Baron Condor have stolen all the food that the villagers have. Adora instantly orders for supplies to be sent to Sand Valley, and decides to deliver it herself, in She-Ra form.

Baron Condor gets wind of She-Ra’s imminent arrival, and orders his men to put on ragged clothes and to make themselves look weak and feeble, in an effort to trick She-Ra into leaving the food supplies with him. It’s a good idea, but the execution is somewhat lacking, and She-Ra becomes naturally suspicious when she sees a couple of well-fed soldiers lounging around directly behind the allegedly starving people.

Baron Condor now directly attacks She-Ra, whose response is to start hurling fruit at him. As you may know, I don’t have a high opinion of She-Ra, but she’s never behaved like a monkey before, and it seems particularly crass of her to be throwing food around when there are starving people nearby. It’s even more galling that her fruit-wasting tactics don’t even work: Condor manages to defeat She-Ra using something called a Sun Ray, put her in the dungeons, and steal all the supplies.

Cocoon 3
She-Ra: “Ah, grapes. Equally good for feeding the needy and for throwing in people’s faces.”

Once She-Ra is in the dungeon, Condor is foolish enough to leave her unguarded. The only other person there is a serving girl called Smarlwarl or something equally demented, and she rescues She-Ra, but in the process gets knocked out by the Sun Ray herself. She-Ra decides the most appropriate step now is to take Smarlwarl to Light Hope, who starts burbling about Smarlwarl undergoing a metamorphosis. He is then helpful enough to put Smarlwarl into a cocoon, and begins bellowing, “Emerge, Smarlwarl! Emerge!”

Cocoon 4
She-Ra: “Smarlwarl needs help, not incoherent bellowing.”

Fearing that this time Light Hope has crossed the line into complete lunacy, She-Ra begins nervously eyeing the possible exits. Fortunately, Smarlwarl breaks out of the cocoon, complete with wings and purple hair. Light Hope introduces her as Flutterina, and suggests that she and She-Ra piss off back to Sand Valley to stop Baron Condor from attacking all the neighbouring kingdoms.

And so begins an exciting battle in which She-Ra happily knocks all Baron Condor’s men off their Sky Sleds, while Flutterina flaps around catching them and delivering them to Bow, who’s hanging out in a castle below. Condor – not unnaturally – gets fed up and wheels out the Sun Ray again, but this time She-Ra is ready for him. Flutterina and Swift Wind fly up to some clouds, flap their wings, and blow the clouds until they block the sun, thus stopping the Sun Ray from charging.

With that decisive blow, it’s all over. Realising that Condor’s warlike behaviour has been motivated by the lack of food in Sand Valley, She-Ra helpfully destroys an entire ecosystem by diverting a river from miles away to irrigate the crops in the valley. This is no doubt helpful to those in the valley, but almost certainly causes untold damage elsewhere on Etheria. Who needs Hordak to sow destruction, when She-Ra’s doing it herself?

Cocoon 5
Baron Condor: “Please don’t kill me, She-Ra. I’m sorry.”

The episode concludes with She-Ra taking Flutterina back to Castle Bright Moon, where they all have a good laugh at Glimmer for still being obsessed with those worms. Though it turns out they’re not worms, but caterpillars, and they flower into beautiful butterflies. Who’d have thought it?

 

In today’s adventure…

Loo-Kee has chosen to hide himself underneath the wheels of a wagon today, giving me a momentary sense of optimism that maybe the wagon would run him over. No such luck. He’s still alive and kicking at the end of the episode, when he tells us that – just like the caterpillars in Glimmer’s garden – people may look ugly, but it’s what’s inside that really counts. I seem to recall we’ve had this moral millions of times, but not for absolutely ages, and probably not in an episode which demonstrates the point quite so relevantly, so I’m happy to see it repeated.

 

Character checklist

Well, there’s Adora and She-Ra, of course, and Spirit and Swift Wind. We also have the pleasure of the company of Bow, Glimmer, Snout Spout, Light Hope and Loo-Kee, as well as the various inhabitants of Sand Valley, and Baron Condor and his gang. Moreover, let’s not forget the introduction of Flutterina.

Cocoon 6
Flutterina: “I wonder if I’ll ever appear again.”

 

Insults

It’s pretty lightweight stuff this week, only featuring Baron Condor uttering “fools” twice, once to his men and once to a group of random people, including Bow.

 

Oh No, Bow!

Not content with spending all his days perving over Adora and She-Ra, this week Bow develops a look of seedy delight as he realises that Flutterina is wearing a very short skirt while hovering directly above his head.

Cocoon 1
Bow: “Sir Christopher Chope and I would get along rather well.”

 

Does it have the Power?

Actually, yes, it’s not half bad. It’s very rare that we get an origin story for any of our characters, and Flutterina’s introduction is done pretty effectively. I’m assuming she’s a recurring character (I seem to remember there was an action figure of her, which suggests at least one more appearance), and so it’s quite good to know where she came from.

The storyline itself isn’t terribly original, but there again isn’t done badly. It gets special points from me for She-Ra actually being defeated by the Sun Ray and locked up, though I wish she’d stayed that way for ever. I enjoyed the fact that Baron Condor changed his ways at the end, making peace with his former enemies, but remained a bit prickly and didn’t instantly turn into a goody-goody like the majority of She-Ra’s friends.

The episode is a very competent mid-range example of She-Ra, and notable for being one of the very few to not involve the Horde even slightly. (We’ve had a few of these lately – Wild Child and The Greatest Magic – but this is the only one that’s been any good.) I’d recommend giving this one a watch.