Episode 81 – Just the Way You Are

In which Prince Adam gives himself a new and rubbish nickname.

Prince Adam is putting in one of his semi-regular visits to Etheria, this time so he can enjoy the opening of the circus. Not so he can do any rebelling, or anything useful like that. Anyway, the opening scene finds Glimmer making gooey eyes at Adam, having evidently forgotten the love of her life, Romeo, from two episodes ago. Fortunately, a dude called King Darkspur of the Hinterlands arrives at Bright Moon, prompting Glimmer to stomp her stupid feet and storm out.

Prince Adam: “I don’t know who you are, but thanks for getting Glimmer off my back.”

Queen Angela explains to Adora and Adam that Darkspur wants to marry Glimmer, but she’s not interested. Given Darkspur looks like an ogre, wears a strange sailor-like outfit, is about the size of a bus, and has no manners whatsoever, I can’t really blame Glimmer for this. Darkspur’s visit is very brief; he asks Angela for Glimmer’s hand in marriage, is given an emphatic “no” in response, and stumps off after making some vague threats. Despite this having the makings of a kidnapping plot written all over it, no one sees the inevitable coming.

Adora, Adam and Glimmer pop down to watch the circus setting up, where they meet Adora’s friend Drew. Drew is a child who can juggle, but he’s feeling miserable because his father can’t give him all his attention all the time, instead preferring to divide his time equally between his two sons. Drew’s father is very unreasonable. Adora tries to comfort Drew, but he’s far too needy to have any of it, and runs off into the forest to try to prove … well, to try to prove something. I’m not sure what he’s trying to prove, other than that he’s a first-class chump.

Of course, he gets into trouble immediately by trying to cross a rickety old bridge, which collapses under him. Adam and Adora are on the scene within seconds, and Adora comes up with the worst plan ever: “I’ll leap over the ravine and slide down to where Drew is, then you think of a way to get us both up.” This essentially lumbers Adam with having to rescue both of them, which he does with ease; then he gives Adora a stare which conveys both incredulity and passionate loathing.

Prince Adam: “Well, Adora, I can’t say I’m impressed.”

Drew throws a demented tantrum at this stage and storms off into the woods again, where he comes across King Darkspur’s men kidnapping Glimmer. To his credit, he does attempt to stop them, but only ends up getting kidnapped as well for his troubles. Once Adora and Adam hear the news, they determine to rescue Glimmer, but make out that it’ll be far too dangerous to go to Darkspur’s castle without some form of disguise.

Continuing her trend of insane plans, Adora decides that she and Adam had better join the circus and take the circus into the Hinterlands, so they can get a little bit closer to Darkspur’s castle unnoticed. Once there, Adam takes leave of his senses, adopts the name Adam of the Elephants, and uses an elephant to rescue Glimmer, while Adora becomes She-Ra and rescues Drew in a more normal way.

Prince Adam: “Visiting Etheria allows me to shake free of the shackles of sanity.”

When the whole sorry business with King Darkspur is over, there’s a touching final scene in which Drew realises how much his father really does love him. Adora stands there delivering patronising speeches, leaving Adam to fool around with the elephants again. I’m genuinely unsure whether the writers wanted us to think that Adam had gone mad.

In today’s adventure…

Ah, Loo-Kee. A pleasure to see you in that tree. Why can’t you hide underwater, or in an electricity sub-station, or at a nuclear waste disposal site, or somewhere similar? Then you might never bother me again, with your incessant rambling on about how much our parents love us. We understand, thank you, Loo-Kee. We don’t need you to tell us this every single week. Go away.

Character checklist

This little excursion to Etheria is an outing for Adora, Adam, She-Ra, He-Man, Glimmer, Loo-Kee, Drew, Drew’s dad, King Darkspur, King Darkspur’s knights, and loads of people at the circus.

She-Ra: “Go on, Drew. Jump down that hole. I dare you.”

Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance

After rescuing Glimmer, Adam decides he’d like to turn into He-Man and cause a bit of unnecessary havoc. He tells Glimmer to “wait over by the wagons. I’ll meet you there later.” If I were Glimmer, I’d be saying, “No, Adam. Let’s go home now. There’s absolutely no reason to stay here, except for the fact that He-Man is contractually obliged to appear.”

Speaking of Glimmer, it’s possibly worth noting that she has another of her semi-regular moments where she forgets to put her trousers on. Or maybe she’s only pretending to forget, and is instead attempting to seduce Prince Adam. And while we’re on the subject of Adam, is it just me or are his arms far too long in the below picture?

Adora: “There’s nothing wrong with not wearing trousers, Glimmer. I never do.”

Insults

It’s not a good week for King Darkspur’s guards, who are addressed as “fools” by King Darkspur  and as “bozos” by She-Ra. Darkspur also finds time to direct a more vicious “fool” at a specific one of his guards, a chap who seems to be called Dark.

Does it have the Power?

The above summary makes this episode sound truly dreadful, which it isn’t. It’s actually only quite bad. It feels like Glimmer is literally only in this series so she can get captured every week, and Darkspur is hardly the most interesting baddy in the world. Drew’s story is similarly familiar, although I did appreciate that he never actually ran away; he just threw a few tantrums and hung out in the forest being upset. The circus business was just slightly weird, and Adam’s attempt at rebranding himself as Adam of the Elephants was mildly odd. I think we could safely say this one’s a miss.

Episode 77 – The Caregiver

In which Adora’s nanny suddenly clocks that Hordak’s a bit weird.

Well, you’ve got to hand it to this cartoon sometimes. The opening scene of this episode certainly caught me by surprise, if nothing else. Hordak and Shadow Weaver have thrown a small retirement party for an old woman called Shakra, who appears to have reached her pension age. Hordak even gives her a shiny pendant in recognition of her services. Of course, all is not as it seems: Hordak knows that Shakra is intending to join the Rebellion as a part-time job to boost her Fright Zone pension, and the shiny pendant is a spy device which will transmit data back to Hordak.

Shadow Weaver: “It’s far too late to be trying to win Employer of the Year, Hordak.”

Shakra arrives in Whispering Wood, and has a touching reunion with Adora. It turns out that Shakra was responsible for raising Adora through childhood – and considering how evil Adora was in the early episodes of She-Ra, I’m not convinced she did a great job. Anyway, despite misgivings from Bow (and possibly Glimmer, who’s pictured in the background looking concerned but as usual not saying a bloody word), Adora allows Shakra to join the Rebellion and lets her know about a forthcoming plan to attack some Horde robots.

Well, of course, Hordak learns of the plan through the shiny pendant spy device, and comes along to Whispering Wood to set a trap. Bow, Glimmer and Shakra are captured, but Adora and Madame Razz escape, and so it’s not long before the inevitable arrival of She-Ra. She-Ra manages to free Shakra, but Hordak gets away with Bow and Glimmer. If I’m honest, the phrase “good riddance” flitted through my mind.

Glimmer: “Always pleased to fulfil my sole function of being captured.”

After Madame Razz goes through the usual plot point of calling Shakra a traitor, and She-Ra responds with the other usual plot point of defending Shakra, they all bomb off to the Fright Zone to undertake a daring rescue. Shakra takes them to a secret entrance, though I’m not certain how secret it can possibly be, given it’s a huge door with the Horde symbol prominently placed in the middle. Still, in they go, and it does seem to be going well, until Hordak learns of their location through the pendant.

In the course of the subsequent debacle, Shakra suddenly realises that it was really fucking weird of Hordak to give her a retirement present, and voices this concern. I genuinely can’t believe it took her this long to wonder whether Hordak might not have been just being nice. Anyway, She-Ra smashes the pendant, prompting Hordak to come along with a squadron of Horde Troopers.

Naturally, the Horde Troopers prove less than effective, and Hordak himself doesn’t put in a good showing, since he chooses to transform himself into a spinning top with four arms, which is of limited use, to put it mildly. Once that’s dealt with, She-Ra and Shakra come bounding into Shadow Weaver’s lab, where Shadow Weaver is trying to dissect Glimmer. She claims this is so she can extract Glimmer’s magic, but I suspect it might be just because Glimmer is a bloody nightmare.

Bow: “I actively quite like being in Shadow Weaver’s bondage dungeon. Hope She-Ra doesn’t rescue us too quickly.”

To the soundtrack of She-Ra’s funkiest 80s beats, Bow and Glimmer are rescued, and our heroes make their escape. Back in Whispering Wood, Glimmer gushes to Adora about how exciting the whole thing was (could have fooled me), and Madame Razz apologises to Shakra for calling her a traitor. Finally, Adora welcomes Shakra to Whispering Wood, at which point the camera focuses on Shakra’s face while all the other rebels say various mental things like, “We’re glad you’re here!” and “We really like you!” I was particularly taken with Bow, whose voice booms out loud and clear above the others to make the enigmatic statement of “Hey, Shakra! Glad to see you again!” which for some reason came across as outstandingly demented.

In today’s adventure…

Oh, God almighty, I don’t know how to make this entertaining anymore. Loo-Kee is under a bush in Whispering Wood, and I swear that if I have to type “Loo-Kee is under a bush in Whispering Wood” one more time, I’m going to … I’m going to … I don’t know what I’m going to do. There’s not really a lot I can do, short of stop watching, and that seems a trifle perverse, having got so far. Maybe I should just watch and quietly accept it, rather than unnecessarily raising my blood pressure by raging against a 30 year old cartoon. Anyway, his pearl of wisdom is all about not judging people because they look different, which I think is a notion we can all recite in our sleep by now.

Loo-Kee: “Bet you’re pleased to see me, as usual.”

Character checklist

Other than Shakra, there’s no one particularly out of the ordinary here: Adora, She-Ra, Spirit, Swift Wind, Bow, Glimmer, Madame Razz, Broom, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Shadow Weaver and some Horde Troopers.

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

“Adora is safe,” says She-Ra. It’s a pretty boring excuse, but since we rarely get anything these days, I’ll let it slide.

Insults

Madame Razz leads the way this week, randomly addressing a Horde tank as an “overgrown swamp turtle”, and getting pretty personal by telling Hordak that he is “dirt”. Hordak’s response seems fair enough to me, calling Madame Razz a “ridiculous witch”. Finally, Shakra describes Hordak as a “strange man”, which is probably the understatement of the century.

Shakra: “You know, I think there is something a bit weird about this guy who literally has a hood made of bones.”

Oh No, Bow!

When Shakra first arrives in Whispering Wood, she asks to see Adora. Bow’s instant response is, “How do you know Adora’s name?” Well, Bow, given Adora is Public Enemy Number One on Etheria, I would suspect that the entire population knows her name. Added to that, Shakra has clearly come from the Horde, where Adora used to work, and where her notoriety is at its peak. I’d be more suspicious if Shakra didn’t know who Adora was.

Does it have the Power?

It’s not a classic, but it’s by no means a bad way to spend 20 minutes. Well, actually, it is a pretty bad way to spend 20 minutes, but if you’re committed to spending 20 minutes watching She-Ra, it’s not bad by those standards. I enjoyed the bizarre retirement party scene, and Shadow Weaver’s lab experiments on Glimmer gave hints of a darker tone, which I’d have liked to see more of. I can do without storylines of the “this random character is a traitor” variety, as they’ve been done to death, but all in all, this one’s a fairly entertaining episode, which is worth a watch.

Apologies if this review comes out in a weird format: WordPress has changed so I now have to use something called ‘Blocks’, which isn’t very user-friendly as far as I’m concerned. Hopefully I’ve managed to get my head around it, but I won’t know for sure till I press the ‘publish’ button.

Also please note that reviews from hereon may not keep to the ‘every 6 days’ timetable that I’ve been trying to keep to. I have a lot to do at the moment and the upkeep of this blog may have to take a backseat for a few months – but I will be attempting to keep it going as best I can!

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 64 – Wild Child

In which we get numerous vaguely linked plotlines, none of which work.

When white dog-like ghosts begin running at night through the rebel camp, plant life starts to wither and die. The rebels discover a gold locket, imprinted with the crest of the Green Island Kingdom, and so Adora sends Madame Razz and Broom off to the Green Islands to seek answers. Once Madame Razz has gone, however, Adora encounters the ghosts herself, and discovers them to be simply white dogs, accompanied by a ghostly white female.

Wild Child 1
White Dog: “Got her pinned down! Let’s eat her!”

This is apparently sufficient provocation to warrant a transformation into She-Ra, and there follows a weird sequence in which She-Ra doesn’t seem to know what to do about the dogs, so she waits until they nearly fall off a cliff and then leaps in to save them. She then meets a collection of woodcutters, who blame the white dogs for the dying trees. This entire scene tells us nothing we didn’t already know, and I’m tempted to delete this paragraph, but I’ve put quite a bit of effort into writing it, so I won’t.

Madame Razz returns and makes her report to Adora and Bow. The locket belongs to Princess Allegra of the Green Islands, who disappeared five years ago when her sailboat was washed away in a storm. Her father, King Arbor, is very keen to find Allegra, who was only seven years old when she vanished, and so he’s on his way to Whispering Wood to find out more.

Wild Child 2
Madame Razz: “Broom, I’ve just realised how bloody useless you are.”

Ever aware of the need to advertise the latest action figures, Adora suggests that they go and ask Mermista about Princess Allegra, not that they have any reason to imagine she’ll know anything. As it happens, though, Mermista has the power to access the memory of any sea creature, and thus it is that she is able to reveal that Princess Allegra’s sailboat did indeed capsize, but Allegra herself was saved by a pack of white dogs.

Princess Allegra chooses this moment to make an appearance, and explains that she’s not a ghost, for those of us who were still invested in the ghost plot. She then continues her expository monologue with the information that she now lives in the forest with the white dogs, and claims the dogs are not responsible for the dying trees, for those of us who were still invested in the dying vegetation plot.

Wild Child 3
Allegra: “I’m going for the fashion style known as castaway-chic.”

Adora and Bow take Allegra and a white dog to the rebel camp, and the episode lurches into a storyline about how Allegra seems uncivilised to other children, because she’s grown up in the forest with only some white dogs as parents. Fortunately, that doesn’t last too long before the episode has another abrupt change of heart and starts concentrating on the woodcutters chasing one of the white dogs around.

The woodcutters temporarily manage to trap the white dog, but at that very moment, the ground starts heating up and some plants die. She-Ra makes an unwelcome re-entry to the storyline at this stage, and determines that there are a load of lava tunnels running directly underneath Whispering Wood. Her solution is to divert the ocean into the tunnels to extinguish the lava, which is achieved with stunning ease.

The episode attempts to wrap its various meandering plotlines up by having King Arbor arrive and taking Allegra home. Allegra says goodbye to her white dog friends, and Adora promises that the woodcutters will leave the dogs alone in future. Then she smirks in a really silly way.

Wild Child 5
King Arbor: “Thanks for finding my daughter, She-Ra. What’s that? I could join the Rebellion? You must be joking, ta-ta.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Loo-Kee’s got the worst hiding place ever today. He’s in the middle of an empty green field, with only his stupid blue tail offering him the slightest degree of concealment. I saw him immediately. His moral is that we should always eat our vegetables, rather than any one of the many things this episode might have been trying to say, such as:

  1. Don’t assume people and dogs are ghosts, because they probably aren’t.
  2. Don’t assume girls who grew up in the forest are idiots, because they probably aren’t.
  3. Don’t assume She-Ra knows what she’s doing when she’s messing about with volcanoes, because she probably doesn’t.

Wild Child 4
Loo-Kee: “Sorry to lower the tone, but this week it does rather look like I’m hiding behind my own massively engorged penis.”

 

Character checklist

This rubbish features Adora, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Kowl, Madame Razz, Broom, Glimmer, Mermista, Allegra, King Arbor, Loo-Kee, some rebels and some woodcutters.

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

It’s not an excuse as such, but Adora does heartily announce “Time for She-Ra!” just before transforming. Just thought you might be interested. If you’re still reading these reviews after this long, there’s a fair chance you are.

Adora’s second transformation comes with a better excuse, since she tells Bow to wait while “I head off the woodsmen.”

Wild Child 7
Woodcutters: “Yeah yeah, we cut down loads of trees with our, er, clubs.”

 

Insults

At the beginning, Bow discovers that all the prize-winning vegetables in his garden have withered and died, and considers that this means it’s okay to call Kowl a “featherbrain”. Otherwise, we only have some rubbish from the rebel children, one of whom says that Allegra “looks like an animal,” to which Allegra retorts, “You’re silly-looking.”

 

Oh No, Bow!

“I don’t get it,” announces Bow. “How could Allegra’s locket get from the Green Islands to Whispering Wood?” Well, Bow, here’s a notion: maybe someone carried it? If you can’t conceive of a method to get a small amulet from one place to another, you really are genuinely dim.

Wild Child 6
Adora: “No need to look so smug, Bow. You’re a moron of the highest order.”

 

Does it have the Power?

This one really doesn’t work. The bit about ghosts doesn’t make sense, since when we first see them, Allegra and the dogs are animated entirely in white, to make them look ghostly, but later on, they just look normal. There’s no explanation as to why they looked completely white, and it can only be chalked up to a pointless exercise in misdirection. The episode’s plotline about Allegra growing up in the forest could have been interesting, but was sacrificed almost immediately in favour of a load of utter gibberish about volcanoes. The woodcutters also did not feel like a necessary inclusion. All in all, I suggest avoiding this episode.

Episode 60 – Anchors Aloft, Part 2

In which Sea Hawk’s father is barely relevant.

After a speedy recap of last week’s shocking events, we are plunged straight back into the action. Admiral Scurvy has decided to chain all the pirates up and leave them on the island for a prison ship to pick up later, but he is taking Adora and Spirit back to Hordak. The moment Scurvy departs, Sea Hawk emerges and rescues the pirates. For some reason, he dresses up in the Falcon’s burglar outfit in order to do this, seemingly only for dramatic effect.

Anchors 6
Sea Hawk: “God, I look cool.”

Once the pirates are free, Sea Hawk sets them all to work converting the Falcon’s vessel into a solar flying ship, similar to the one that got blown up last week. While they are so occupied, he goes to talk to the Falcon, who is skulking about at the back of the cave, refusing to reveal himself to the pirates. He explains that he is old and ill, and only kept alive by the enchanted air of the island. I don’t know how he knows this, since he doesn’t appear to have ever tried to leave the island, but we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Unfortunately, Admiral Scurvy has got word of the release of the pirates, and turns his ship around to return to the island. With remarkable good fortune, Swen and the pirates complete their work on the solar sails in time, and head out to confront Scurvy. Naturally, pretty much the same thing happens as last week, since Scurvy’s ship massively outguns that of Sea Hawk. This time, however, Sea Hawk has learned from his mistakes, and tells his crew to get the ship out of range while he boards Scurvy’s vessel.

Anchors 7
Sea Hawk: “Listen guys, you’re all really annoying, so could you just clear off out of the episode now?”

As the battle unfolds, Adora manages to get hold of her sword and transforms into She-Ra, then goes off to demolish the guns on Scurvy’s ship. In the meantime, Sea Hawk tackles an endless array of Horde Troopers, while Davy Jones has a Tom-and-Jerry-like encounter with Scurvy’s cat Squall. All this jollity comes to an end, however, when Scurvy manages to capture She-Ra.

Scurvy loads She-Ra and Squall into a lifeboat, and tries to distract Sea Hawk with a bar of gold, in the deluded belief that Sea Hawk would rather have the gold than a chance to get into She-Ra’s pants. Sure enough, Sea Hawk chooses to rescue She-Ra, and once Scurvy is defeated, Sea Hawk suddenly remembers he has to rescue Adora as well. This means She-Ra has to run off, turn back into Adora, and put herself back into her cell, in order to be rescued. They already did that joke last week. It’s still pretty funny for a repeat performance, though.

Anchors 8
Admiral Scurvy: “Yeah, it is a bit tacky, I suppose. I can see why you didn’t go for it.”

 

In today’s adventure…

No sign of Loo-Kee for me today, but if you want to know, he was in Falcon’s cave. He explains that we should never cheat in order to win a game or pass a test, a subject which I think has absolutely zero relevance to the story we’ve just sat through.

 

Character checklist

It’s exactly the same cast list as it was last week, and so I’m going to give myself the day off and not trouble myself to type it all out again.

 

Insults

In Part 1 of this story, Davy Jones was incredibly free with his zingers, so it’s rather surprising that this week, he doesn’t say a cruel word to anyone, except perhaps a Horde Trooper towards the start, but I couldn’t make out what was said.

Anchors 9
Davy Jones: “I’d insult Squall, but I would prefer to stay hidden.”

On the other hand, Admiral Scurvy has a lot to say for himself. He addresses Sea Hawk’s crew as “pirate scum” and “pirate dogs”, as well as calling a Horde Trooper a “stupid robot” and an “idiot”. Furthermore, his entire army of Horde Troopers get referred to as “fools”. He reserves his best insult for She-Ra, who suffers the burn of being called a “blasted flying female”.

Adora calls Scurvy a “monster”, and evidently likes the way it rolls off her tongue, since she does it again later. Swen scores one for the rebels by telling Scurvy he is the “meanest shark in the twelve Etherian seas”, and then follows up by addressing some Horde Troopers as “cowardly tin cans”. Finally, a Horde Trooper gets in an “insolent rodent” aimed at Davy Jones.

Anchors 10
Horde Trooper: “Bit of a disproportionate response to me insulting a mouse, tbh.”

 

Does it have the Power?

This episode is some good solid pirate hi-jinks, but I’d hesitate to describe it as a classic. It’s certainly got ambition, since it ends with a decent change to the status quo: Sea Hawk’s crew out-and-out join the Rebellion, rather than just helping them out from time to time, and they also have their new ship. For animation purposes, it’s lucky the new ship looks just like the old one, but still. We also have a glacial advance in Adora and Sea Hawk’s relationship, for those that like that sort of thing.

There’s the usual problem with reintroducing someone’s father, though: for some gibberish reason or other, the Falcon can’t possibly leave the island, so we’re free to forget about him. To be honest, after all last week’s build-up about him, this episode virtually ignores him, featuring him in only one scene, and mentioning him in just one other. Bit of a missed opportunity there, I’d say.

While having this story as a two-parter does allow it time to breathe, I have to say it’s not entirely necessary. I was never bored throughout either part, but I don’t imagine it would have been too challenging to condense it into a single episode. Still, I’d give both parts of this story a good thumbs-up, as it’s pretty enjoyable.

Episode 59 – Anchors Aloft, Part 1

In which Sea Hawk finds his father, and an aggressive mouse.

Well, with a title like that, this episode’s just got to be about Sea Hawk. And so it proves. We join Adora, who’s popped aboard Sea Hawk’s ship for a dirty weekend, but all Sea Hawk wants to talk about is his father, who was an awesome pirate captain called the Falcon. Unfortunately, he disappeared 20 years ago. If this story doesn’t end with our heroes finding the Falcon, I’ll be very surprised indeed.

With this scene-setting reminiscence over, Swen spots a Horde tax vessel, and suggests robbing it. Sea Hawk agrees, but it very quickly transpires that it’s a trap, set by a Horde baddy called Admiral Scurvy, who comes equipped with a fat vicious looking ginger cat going by the name of Squall. It’s just as well that She-Ra happens to be in the area – but even with her help, the Horde manage to disable Sea Hawk’s ship.

Anchors 1
Admiral Scurvy: “Having been christened Admiral Scurvy, I couldn’t help but join the Evil Navy, could I?”

The crew evacuate the ship, all except Sea Hawk, who remains behind to distract the Horde long enough for the rest of the crew to escape. Unfortunately, the ship pretty much immediately blows up, prompting the crew to believe that Sea Hawk is dead. In actual fact, he’s somehow wound up on a desert island. His first concern is not for his crew or for his girlfriend, but instead what happened to his treasure chest. Leave him, Adora. You can do better. Well … actually, the only other eligible bachelor on Etheria is Bow. Okay, Adora. Stay with Sea Hawk.

On his island, Sea Hawk quickly makes friends with a needlessly aggressive talking mouse called Davy Jones. Davy Jones has a right attitude on him, but he does at least warn Sea Hawk that the Horde are on the island, searching for him, and he also helps Sea Hawk to hide. The hiding place is a cave which contains an old ship, which Davy Jones proclaims was once the finest ship on Etheria.

Anchors 2
Sea Hawk: “I was actually hoping to chat to Adora, not a lippy mouse.”

Meanwhile, the rest of the crew have been washed up on the same island, and they are very quickly captured by Admiral Scurvy and his Horde Troopers. On the old ship, Sea Hawk discovers a magic compass, which shows him that his crew are now Horde prisoners, and he resolves to rescue them. No doubt he would say more, but he is interrupted by a man in a purple cloak wearing a burglar’s mask, who challenges him to a duel.

Sea Hawk doesn’t particularly want to fight, but the burglar dude tells him that that is the only way he’ll get his crew back, so Sea Hawk accepts. It isn’t an enormously interesting battle, but it does eventually culminate in the episode’s cliffhanger ending, in which we learn that the man in the burglar outfit is, in fact, the Falcon. My oh my, what a surprise.

Anchors 3
The Falcon: “No one saw this coming.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Loo-Kee is hiding among the wreckage of Sea Hawk’s ship on the desert island, and he tells us that we will find friendship is more valuable than gold. This is an important lesson that Sea Hawk learned today at the end of the episode, but I couldn’t be bothered to include it in the synopsis because I was rapidly losing interest.

 

Character checklist

This opening part of a hopefully-only-two-part story features Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Sea Hawk, Swen, Davy Jones, the Falcon, loads of pirates, Loo-Kee, Admiral Scurvy, Squall, and the usual rank upon rank of Horde Troopers.

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

When it comes to time for the crew to abandon ship, Sea Hawk wants to know where Adora is. She-Ra looks worried, and responds, “I’m sure Adora’s fine,” but Sea Hawk refuses to leave without finding her. She-Ra thus has to turn back into Adora in order to be “rescued”, and even gets a kiss full on the lips for it.

Anchors 4
Spirit: “Oh, gimme a break, you two.”

Later on, Adora excuses her sneaking off by claiming she’s going to find a safe place to keep Spirit, in order to keep him out of Horde hands. Unfortunately, she never gets to the transformation stage, being interrupted in the middle of the phrase “For the honour of Grayskull.”

 

Insults

Davy Jones takes immediate and unprovoked exception to Sea Hawk today, calling him an “overgrown oaf”, a “fat head”, a “dummy”, “Mr Smarty Sea Hawk” and the “sorriest sap of a sea dog” in rapid succession.

Anchors 5
Davy Jones: “That told Sea Hawk. He’ll be crying for weeks.”

 

Does it have the Power?

Despite my comment above about losing interest, I found this episode pretty entertaining. It’s obviously a tad dependent on how it gets resolved next week, but it’s a decent setup for a hopefully fun Part 2. I sometimes wish this cartoon would be a little less obvious – mentioning Sea Hawk’s father at the start was a dead giveaway that he’d be appearing by the end – but that’s perhaps unfair, given the target audience.

Otherwise, the episode had a few highlights, especially the moment that She-Ra had to turn back into Adora in order to be rescued. The point at which Adora was prevented from turning into She-Ra again was also very pleasing. All in all, I’ll be tuning in next time with a reasonable degree of interest to see how this situation is sorted.

Episode 57 – Jungle Fever

In which Adora loses her memory.

With stunning competence, the Horde capture Adora in the first three minutes of the episode, and take her to a prison cell on Beast Island. Unfortunately, they put her in a cell that contains an inbuilt escape route, and Adora is loose within 30 seconds. Still, it’s not all good news: during her escape, she falls and hits her head, with the result that she forgets who and where she is.

Jungle 1
Adora: “Oh man. I shouldn’t have had that ninth Jaegerbomb.”

With a sixth sense telling her that she is in danger, Adora delves into the undergrowth of the jungle to find a hiding place. She quickly comes across a young boy called Tandy who is attempting to fight a furry dinosaur in order to become a Beast Warrior. Tandy is nearly defeated by the dinosaur, so Adora intervenes, which ruins his test. Adora is subsequently captured by lots and lots of jungle people, and taken to their village.

The villagers decide that Adora must be punished for interfering with the test, and that she must be given to the Great Beast. I didn’t know my wife was in this cartoon, but there we go. Adora quickly defeats the Great Beast, at which point all the villagers inexplicably cheer, but they change their tune when Adora refuses to kill it.

Jungle 2
Great Beast: “I’m a little too generic to be interesting, I’m afraid.”

One of the villagers, called Jamilla, is a progressive, and agrees with Adora’s beliefs – but another, called Kord, is much less so. Jamilla invites Adora to join the tribe as an honoured Beast Warrior, and explains that the villagers only fight the animals of the jungle because there isn’t enough water to go round, and Adora begins musing that there must be some other way.

While Adora explains to various villagers about the need for cooperation and not fighting animals, Kord nips off to see Hordak to inform him that there is a mysterious woman in the village. Hordak puts two and two together mighty quickly, and sends Grizzlor, Rattlor and Imp out to recapture Adora. They rile up the Great Beast again, and send it to attack the village as a distraction, and start a massive fire for good measure.

All this kerfuffle has one good effect – Adora smacks her head again and remembers who she is. Actually, that’s not a particularly good thing, because it clears the way for She-Ra to get involved, and I think we all know how irritating she can be when she gets on her high horse. She-Ra calms the Great Beast down, and then puts out the fire, solves the jungle’s water shortage and teaches the villagers to accept that they can live together in harmony with the animals. All in a day’s work for the Most Annoying Woman in the Universe.

Jungle 3
She-Ra: “Look at my smug face. Just look at it.”

 

In today’s adventure…

I spotted Loo-Kee lurking about in the jungle towards the beginning of the episode. He chooses the not unexpected theme of suggesting that we should protect animals, rather than being mean to them, which is entirely in tune with the episode’s theme, so well done there, Loo-Kee.

 

Character checklist

It’s a little similar to He-Man’s A Tale of Two Cities, in that the regular characters are rather limited. Here, it’s Adora, She-Ra, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Grizzlor, Catra, Rattlor, Imp, some Horde Troopers, Tandy, Jamilla, Kord, and various other villagers.

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

Early on in the episode, Adora is surrounded by Horde Troopers, and comments, “I can’t change to She-Ra in front of them.” That’s never stopped her before, but at least she’s demonstrating she does understand the concept of secret identity. Unfortunately, when it comes to time to actually change into She-Ra, she seems to forget about this, and does it in full view of Grizzlor and Rattlor.

Jungle 4
Grizzlor: “Just getting in some quality lurking time.”

 

Insults

Imp and Catra have a little spat at the beginning of the episode, with Imp sarcastically addressing Catra as “Madame Cat”, to which Catra retorts with “little beast”. Hordak calls Grizzlor and Rattlor “fools”, and She-Ra describes Rattlor as “Hordak’s slimy friend”. Otherwise, we have Tandy calling his pet pookah a “little rascal”, and referring to the furry dinosaur as an “ugly furbrain”.

 

Does it have the Power?

I don’t really know what to say about this one. It’s commendable for trying something different; having Adora lose her memory and fall in with a tribe of jungle people is certainly a plotline we haven’t seen before, and I’m impressed with the message the episode conveys about protecting wildlife, a subject close to my own heart.

Jungle 5
Adora: “This is the sort of picture that’s going to be hard to explain to Operation Yewtree.”

On the other hand, I’m not sure if I’m just being an easily concerned 21st century liberal, but the portrayal of the tribe as face-painted warriors seemed a little culturally insensitive. I could have also done without Kord being in league with the Horde; surely it would have been enough for him to have been rooted in traditions and not be progressive, rather than having to actually team up with the baddies? In fairness, he does realise his mistakes at the end, so he’s not evil, just misguided.

The deciding factor, I think, is that She-Ra (and Adora, to a lesser extent) are pretty irritating today, so I can’t give it a ringing endorsement. It’s still worth watching, though, just for the fact that it’s not your run-of-the-mill episode.

 

Episode 27 – The Eldritch Mist

In which we get a vague hint that Adora and Adam enjoy an overly close sibling relationship.

Adora puts in a visit to Mysticor, where she finds Castaspella using a magical device called the Pool of Vision to ogle Prince Adam. This is essentially the Etherian equivalent of hidden-cam spyware, and Castaspella certainly seems to be getting off on it. Eventually, Castaspella’s aching loins become too much for her to take, so she magically transports Adam to Etheria, where he immediately turns on the charm in a sleazy effort to get into Castaspella’s pants.

Eldritch 1
Castaspella: “Wowsers, look at that handsome hunk of man meat.”

Luckily, before things can get too vile for words, Kowl shows up to report that there’s a Horde ship just arrived at Whispering Wood. Castaspella teleports the four of them to the appropriate location, where they observe Shadow Weaver casting a spell from the Eldritch Book of Dark Magic. The spell creates an orange mist that covers the entire forest, preventing anyone from entering or exiting. Luckily, Adora, Adam, Castaspella and Kowl are on the outside, and it’s not very long before Adora and Adam make their awkward joint transformation into their heroic alter egos.

He-Man and She-Ra waste no time in ditching Castaspella and Kowl, instead choosing to go to ask Light Hope’s advice. Light Hope doesn’t really help, simply saying that the spell can be reversed if the Eldritch Book is read by someone who can use magic. This of course means Castaspella, and since He-Man suddenly realises he wants Castaspella to have his babies anyway, he puts on a truly goofy grin and insists they hurry back.

Eldritch 3
She-Ra: “He-Man, could you please at least try not to look so stupid?”

Castaspella teleports herself, He-Man and She-Ra into the Fright Zone to steal the book, but Hordak quickly becomes aware of their presence. Shadow Weaver pops up and teleports Castaspella away, leaving He-Man and She-Ra to find their way to the throne room. They have a brief fight with Hordak, but he’s so incompetent this week that he basically defeats himself.

Meanwhile, Castaspella and Shadow Weaver have appeared in Shadow Weaver’s private chambers, where the two of them have a magical duel and a good chat about old times. As previously hinted, Shadow Weaver originates from Mysticor, and it seems that she and Castaspella used to be friends before she was corrupted by Hordak. Once Castaspella defeats Shadow Weaver, by trapping her in the arms of a terrifying oversized teddy bear, she, He-Man and She-Ra are free to steal the Eldritch Book and head off to Whispering Wood.

Eldritch 4
Shadow Weaver: “Okay guys, fun’s fun, but can we send Bungle back to the Rainbow house now please?”

Castaspella uses the Book to remove the orange mist from the forest. I could harp on about the fact that she somehow gets inside the forest before doing this, but that would be a bit petty of me, I suppose. Instead, we get a scene featuring Prince Adam and Castaspella flirting ridiculously, until Adora interrupts to say, “All right, you two! He’s MY brother!” as if she thinks that this gives her 24-hour access to Adam’s bed. The only explanation that I can think of for this weird display of jealousy is that maybe the purity of the Eternian royal bloodline is maintained by incest. Luckily, before the cartoon can explore this further, Adam returns to Eternia.

 

In today’s adventure…

Jesus Christ, Loo-Kee, how the bloody hell was I supposed to see you there? He was literally behind a tree, with his nose poking out. Honestly, it’s ridiculous. He doesn’t have much of use to say either, simply advising us to seek help from experienced people when we need it. Yes, yes, yes. I think devotees of He-Man and She-Ra would by this stage have got this message into their thick skulls.

 

Character checklist

This episode is a lovely day out for Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Prince Adam, He-Man, Castaspella, Bow, Kowl, Glimmer, Madame Razz, Broom, Light Hope, the Twiggets, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, and the ever-present Horde Troopers. And Bungle.

Eldritch 2
Prince Adam: “Shall we use this shot for our album cover?”

 

Excuse given for Adora and Adam’s disappearances

I’m convinced that they don’t bother giving excuses because they’re well aware that everyone on Etheria knows the secret. I swear, they’re so obvious about it that it can only be because they don’t care.

 

Insults

No insults this time, though there’s a touch of good-natured ribbing from She-Ra to He-Man when she realises that He-Man is drooling over Castaspella.

Eldritch 5
He-Man: “She-Ra, does the term ‘third wheel’ mean anything to you?”

 

Does it have the Power?

While it’s always a treat to see He-Man livening up Etheria, I’m not generally that interested in his love life. Maybe there’s a hugely entertaining story to be told about a love triangle involving him, Castaspella and Prince Adam, but if so, this wasn’t it. It didn’t help that the voice actor seemed to have forgotten how to do He-Man’s voice, sounding pretty weedy throughout.

The storyline about the orange mist was very by-the-numbers, but the hints of Shadow Weaver’s back story were more interesting; it doesn’t particularly build on what we learned in A Loss for Words, but it’s nice to get a sense that there is some history behind these characters that we don’t yet fully know. The former friendship between Shadow Weaver and Castaspella could potentially make for an interesting episode in the future; even if not, it’s good that the characters aren’t complete blank slates.

My final verdict, I suppose, is that it’s no classic, and probably very slightly above average. I doubt anyone would rush to endorse it, nor condemn it.

Episode 21 – The Stone in the Sword

In which She-Ra breaks her sword.

Let’s start here by saying that I like the episode’s title. It’s very pleasing, somehow. The same cannot be said of the opening scene, which features Hordak, Grizzlor and Shadow Weaver messing about in the Fright Zone and preparing to use Hordak’s new weapon, the Doom Balloon, on the rebels. For whatever reason, the Doom Balloon can only be used when there’s a lightning storm, and as luck would have it, there’s one due that very evening.

That first scene was merely boring, but the second scene tips the balance into irritating. Bow, Adora and Glimmer have learned of the forthcoming Doom Balloon attack, and are preparing for it, when one of the Twiggets bursts in and accidentally drops a great big handful of laughing powder. Our three moronic heroes start chuckling their heads off, and it was at this precise point that I realised that I hate them all.

Stone 1
Adora: “I may be laughing, but I’m seeing red.”

Evidently, the laughing powder left our heroes no time to plan, since by the next scene, it’s evening, and Hordak is already attacking. His Doom Balloon is able to capture lightning and redirect it to specific spots, so he’s using it to burn down the trees of Whispering Wood. This sort of behaviour naturally leads to the appearance of She-Ra, who destroys the Doom Balloon by using her sword as a lightning rod to overload the Balloon’s circuits – but in the process, the gemstone in her sword is cracked and she is transformed back into Adora.

Stone 2
She-Ra: “I think I’ll use this for the cover of my 2019 calendar.”

With the gemstone damaged, Adora cannot become She-Ra. Her solution is to go to visit Light Hope, who lives in the Crystal Castle at the top of Skydancer Mountain. Light Hope is mentioned in the credits every week as knowing She-Ra’s secret identity, but we’ve never met him before in the actual cartoon, so hot damn, this should be exciting. Unfortunately, it isn’t particularly. Light Hope is an amorphous mass of glowing light, and all he does is recommend that Adora visit some people called the First Ones in the Etherian Underworld, who may be able to restore her powers.

The First Ones are naturally given to setting up a wide variety of half-witted traps on the route to their kingdom, but Adora is skilled enough to navigate them all with ease, which I expect comes as quite a surprise to you. Once she reaches her goal, she discovers that the First Ones are composed of living flames, and they embark on a lengthy and unnecessary recap of the episode’s events to this point, before fixing the sword. Hurrah!

Stone 3
Adora: “And I will walk through the fire… ’cause where else can I turn? … Oh wait, I’m not Buffy.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Finding Loo-Kee this week was a lot easier than the norm; I saw him with no problems as the camera panned through an establishing shot of the Etherian Underworld. I had a lot more trouble understanding what the hell he was saying though: I’m pretty sure he was making up words rather than conversing in a real language. The best I can do is to say that I think it was about persevering with tasks when they seem difficult, which is what Adora did when navigating the stupid traps.

 

Character checklist

Here we have Adora, She-Ra, Kowl, Bow, Glimmer, Light Hope, the Twiggets, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Grizzlor, and the First Ones. Possibly some other people too. I can’t remember now.

Stone 4
Hordak: “Hello. We’re from the Pupil-Less Eyes Toy Collectors Club. Can we interest you in this Horde Trooper figure?”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

Despite two transformations, we aren’t graced with any excuses this week.

 

Insults

Grizzlor is the target of four blistering verbal assaults from Hordak, including “clumsy clot”, “peabrain”, “twit” and “bumbling boob”. Bow calls Hordak a “tin man”, which doesn’t really fit Hordak’s characteristics. She-Ra also gets in on the act, telling Hordak he’s a “happy loser”.

 

Oh No, Bow!

In a subplot that I couldn’t be bothered to mention in the episode summary, Bow manages to get himself captured by the Horde, even after She-Ra has defeated them.

Stone 5
Bow: “If I had a brain, I’d escape by squeezing through one of these massive holes in the bars. But I don’t.”

 

Does it have the Power?

Despite a few annoying moments, I think that we could conclude this one’s all right. It’s good to finally meet Light Hope, though some explanation of why he knows about She-Ra might have been nice. Equally, the Crystal Castle where Light Hope lives is obviously somehow important to Etheria, given it appears in the background when Adora is transforming into She-Ra, but we don’t yet know why. Maybe at some point in the future we’ll learn these things. I do note that the next episode is called The Crystal Castle, so there’s potential there.

The main case against this episode is the use of the laughing powder, or giggleberry powder as the episode refers to it. It’s annoying enough at the start when Adora, Bow and Glimmer take a great big inhalation of it, but it goes that extra step into infuriating at the end of the episode, when Hordak is subjected to it and starts snorting his demented head off. All four of these characters doing massive fake belly laughs is incredibly irritating, and calling the stuff giggleberry powder is so cute it hurts. I hate it.

Episode 19 – Enchanted Castle

In which we learn about Castaspella’s history, which is of course something we all wanted to know.

The rebels have all come to a party in Mysticor, which is ruled by Castaspella. The party is in honour of the day Mysticor was freed from evil, and since we’re all champing at the bit to know about that, Adora sees fit to tell Kowl the entire story. The ensuing flashback comprises the remainder of the episode.

Enchanted 1
Glimmer: “Adora, why do you look quite so irritated with Kowl?”

Apparently, there was a time when Bow was standing around in a village square, playing a harp. The villagers were surprisingly appreciative of this, clapping delightedly as Bow finishes his performance. Perhaps they know from experience that this is the best way to make him go away. Anyway, Adora came across Bow at this point, and the two decided to travel back to Whispering Woods together, on a route that led through the Dark Forest.

Shortly before reaching the Dark Forest, the two of them came across an old woman, who had fallen down a gully. On being rescued, the woman warned Adora and Bow that the Dark Forest was dangerous, and then turned to smile mysteriously at the camera.

Enchanted 2
Old woman: “Bye! And please don’t come back.”

Once in the Dark Forest, Adora and Bow were captured pretty quickly by knights in armour, and taken to a castle full of evil magic. There they met Mortella, an evil sorceress who informed them that they were now her slaves, tasked with ensuring that a blue fire never burned down. Adora’s sword was confiscated, and the two taken to a 5-star dungeon for the night.

The old woman from earlier, however, learned that Adora and Bow were locked up in the castle, and came to rescue them – revealing in the process that she possessed magical powers. After recovering her sword, Adora asked the old woman what was so important about the blue fire, and learned that it was the source of all Mortella’s power.

Enchanted 3
Mortella: “Interestingly, Blue Fire is a rollercoaster at Europa-Park, the largest theme park in Germany. I am not a very good advert for it, I must admit.”

Adora ducked behind a wall, became She-Ra, and started causing all manner of fuss in the castle, eventually putting out the blue fire. This resulted in Mortella disappearing in a puff of green smoke, and – to my distinct lack of surprise – the old woman actually turned out to be Castaspella, who had been held prisoner in old woman form by Mortella.

We return to the party, as Adora finishes the story with an explanation that Castaspella returned her realm to the more pleasant form it had held before Mortella’s evil reign. Kowl claims he enjoyed the story, which is more than can be said for me – though I did enjoy the sudden surprise moment in which Bow was drenched with a torrent of water, seemingly for absolutely no reason other than the need to end the episode with a really amusing joke.

Enchanted 4
Bow: “I enjoy a joke just as much as the next lunatic, but this isn’t even a joke, frankly.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Well, Loo-Kee was back today, not that I saw him as he skulked about in a tree. He explains to us that doing kind deeds is good, apparently largely because later on you’ll get something back for it. This was demonstrated when Adora and Bow rescued Castaspella when she was stuck in the gully, since Castaspella later rescued them from prison. I can’t muster up any enthusiasm for this.

 

Character checklist

This little extravaganza sees quite a lot of characters emerging from the woodwork, though only a few of them play a major part in the episode – namely Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Bow, Castaspella and Mortella. Lots of other rebels are at the Mysticor party that forms the episode’s framing device, specifically Kowl, Glimmer, Madame Razz, Broom, Queen Angella, Frosta, the Twiggets, and a pair of individuals that I believe are called Peekablue and Flutterina. Then, of course, there’s Loo-Kee, the villagers that Bow was playing a harp for, and a surprise appearance for some baddies called Rattlor and Tung Lashor.

Enchanted 5.jpg
Peekablue: “Don’t mind us, we’re just here to advertise our action figures.”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

Adora is on her own when the first transformation comes, so there’s no one who needs an explanation. The second time, she simply comments to Bow, “Let’s split up,” and runs off. When she returns as She-Ra, Bow seems to have completely forgotten about Adora.

 

Insults

Mortella tells her knights that they are “fools” twice, and addresses the same unexciting insult to She-Ra and Bow. Otherwise, there’s nothing to report, except for a random comment made by Bow, who says that shooting an arrow is “easy as bibbo pie”. This might possibly be a reference to the loose morals of somebody called Bibbo Pie. It might also not be, but I have no idea what it does mean, so I’m choosing to interpret it thus.

Enchanted 6
Castaspella: “Honestly, that Bibbo Pie will sleep with anybody.”

 

Oh No, Bow!

Bow offers to travel with Adora, because, as he puts it, “You’ll be better off to have a man with you.” Wow. The writers do acknowledge that this is incredibly sexist, of course, giving Adora a hugely sarcastic reply, and making Spirit laugh his head off at Bow’s immense self-importance. Naturally, it becomes even funnier later, when Bow puts in a pitiful showing against the Castle’s knights.

 

Does it have the Power?

Unfortunately, not really. It’s fine to give us the origin story for Castaspella (though equally it wasn’t something I was particularly clamouring for), but it’s just really a rather boring story. The Dark Forest wasn’t very scary – or particularly dark – and Mortella never managed to come across as an interesting baddy. I’m trying to come up with something good to say about it, but the best I can do is that it isn’t a complete clunker. On balance, though, I’d advise skipping it.