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.

Advertisements

Episode 66 – One to Count On

In which we meet Peekablue, Entrapta and a pink lion.

Adora, Bow, Glimmer and Kowl have taken Queen Angela’s crown to a village, where a metalsmith is resetting its jewels. Unfortunately, if not unexpectedly, Hordak decides that he’d like the crown for himself, and accordingly sends Leech and a bunch of Horde Troopers out to get it. Perhaps more surprisingly, Leech successfully nicks the crown, and beetles off with it.

Count 1
Leech: “Me up against Bow. This is truly a clash of titans.”

Glimmer and Bow head off to retrieve the crown, taking with them a new addition to the rebels’ ranks called Peekablue, who is essentially a human peacock, complete with green hair and blue feathers. Being female, you’d think she’d be based on a peahen, but logic doesn’t always run strong on Etheria. Anyway, Kowl declines to join the crown recovery mission, and flies off to tell Adora, who has bizarrely returned to the rebel camp, evidently not giving two hoots about the crown.

For some reason, this week Madame Razz and Adora are on their high horses about the rebels always depending on She-Ra, rather than relying on themselves. That’s possibly because whenever anything goes wrong, She-Ra sticks her long nose into it, without ever giving anyone else a chance to sort it out. Anyway, they decide that this time, Bow, Glimmer and Peekablue must complete their mission without She-Ra’s help – though Adora goes along “just to keep them on the right track”, as she patronisingly puts it.

Count 3
Adora: “Stop posing like this is a wedding photoshoot, you idiots.”

Once they reach a desert where the baddies are lurking, the rebels instantly run into trouble – specifically an enormous pink lion, which prances merrily along and then starts attacking. Adora transforms into She-Ra, chases off the pink lion, and then tells Bow and Glimmer off for being so reckless and always relying on She-Ra. Then she bounces off, leaving the pink lion to return, along with Catra.

Bow and Glimmer successfully defeat both Catra and the pink lion, but Catra takes Peekablue prisoner and toddles off. Peekablue becomes the bait of a trap set by Catra and her new Horde friend, Entrapta, whose special ability is – wait for it – setting traps. Our heroes come along and waltz right into it, necessitating another appearance from She-Ra, who announces that she’s happy to help now that the rebels have previously tried to help themselves.

Count 4
Adora: “Don’t look so miserable, you two. I’m here now.”

She-Ra wins the ensuing fight easily, and the rebels rescue Peekablue and steal back the crown. Back at Whispering Wood, Bow and Glimmer admit that they have learned an important lesson about self-reliance, and Adora considers that this is an appropriate time to spout some patronising bollocks and then wink at the camera. Yeah, thanks for that, Adora.

 

In today’s adventure…

I’m afraid I didn’t see Loo-Kee this week, though I can now reveal that he was messing about in Catra’s hideout. He sounds curiously downbeat as he dispenses a moral about stealing, explaining that you’ll normally get caught out. In fact, he sounds so downcast about this that I wonder if he himself has recently been interviewed by the police about a spate of burglaries or something. Even his usual demented giggle at the end sounds more like a nervous squeak. You mark my words, we’ll be seeing Loo-Kee on Crimewatch by the end of the year.

 

Character checklist

The opening episode of the second season includes Adora, She-Ra, Bow, Glimmer, Kowl, Madame Razz, Broom, Peekablue, a Twigget, Loo-Kee, Catra, Leech, Entrapta, some Horde Troopers, and of course the pink lion.

Count 2
Leech: “This is the worst carnival tent I’ve ever seen.”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

Adora changes into She-Ra three times this week, and it’s only on the last occasion that anyone asks where she is. Kowl responds, “Don’t worry, she’s in good hands,” which seems to be all the information anyone needs on the subject.

 

Insults

It’s a bad week for the Horde Troopers, who are addressed as “ruffians” by Kowl, and as “bunglers” and “fools” by Leech. Catra tells Bow he is a “miserable rebel” and considers Adora, Bow, Glimmer, Kowl and a random Twigget to be “soft-hearted rebels”. Finally, Kowl tells some robotic tentacles that they are “mechanical maniacs”.

 

Oh No, Bow!

After beginning the episode with one of his regular overconfident boasts, Bow puts in a pretty poor showing during the subsequent fight with Leech and the Horde Troopers. In particular, he completely fails to pick up the crown, and even manages to get himself stuck inside some kind of weird magnetic cage. The rest of the episode actually has him learning some humility, though we all know that won’t last.

Count 5
Bow: “I can always rely on my old friend Rohypnol.”

 

Does it have the Power?

It’s certainly an entertaining watch, but I don’t think it’ll make the Greatest Hits. The storyline about the theft of the crown and the kidnap of Peekablue are very familiar, of course, but it’s done competently and relatively snappily. Of our two new characters, Entrapta is the more interesting, but only slightly, and possibly only because Peekablue seems to be a complete nonentity. I preferred the appearance of Catra, who is always a pleasure, especially when she’s accompanied by a rather camp pink lion for no readily apparent reason.

The other storyline, concerning Adora not wanting her friends to always rely on She-Ra, seemed a little peculiar. I understand the principle behind it: the notion was that the crown was just some treasure, and it wasn’t worth risking lives over it, especially if the rebels were just depending on She-Ra to save them. The problem is that any other week, our heroes would have happily gone blundering in to get the crown back, and She-Ra wouldn’t have had any issue with it. This new-found obsession with self-reliance simply gave She-Ra the opportunity to flounce around patronising people, yet again, which never sits well with me.

Nonetheless, this episode is pretty good fun, and a good solid start to the second season. If there’s nothing worse than this here, we’ll all get along fine.

Episode 62 – Magicats

In which She-Ra discovers an underground kingdom of cats.

Prince Orwell of somewhere or another has come to meet Adora, providing supplies for the Rebellion. Unfortunately, Catra and two Horde Troopers have followed him, and so it’s swords drawn and references to the honour of Grayskull all round. In the course of the ensuing kerfuffle, Catra uses a new device – which looks like a fork – to open a massive chasm, down which both she and She-Ra fall.

They both land at separate positions in a vast underground maze. Catra quickly finds her way to a large city, populated by a cat people, and consequently feels she’s landed on her feet somewhat. She assumes her large purple cat form, and starts slinking around the city, which for whatever reason makes the populace decide that she is their long-lost queen. Catra is only too pleased to play along, feigning memory loss.

Magicats 2
Catra: “It’s difficult to explain just how pleased I am about this.”

Minister Cloudfoot helpfully fills Catra in on their queen’s history. When the Horde came to Etheria, they attacked the cat people and drove them underground, after taking many slaves. The queen went out to look for the slaves, and has not been seen since. Catra realises that her cat mask – the source of her catty powers – must have belonged to the queen, and uses its powers to convince the people that she is the queen returned.

Soon enough, She-Ra blunders along into the cat city, and is instantly ambushed by a contingent of light-sabre wielding cats. Catra then administers the coup-de-grace, using her mask’s freeze ray to entrap She-Ra within a block of ice. After the commercial break, we find Catra has retired to a boudoir, and is lounging about plotting to abandon Hordak and remain ruler of the cat people for ever. For this plan to succeed, she determines she will have to dispose of She-Ra once and for all.

She-Ra, in the meantime, has been taken to a prison cell and restrained with chains of magical energy. Of course, she spends her time yammering away to her guard Percival, explaining that Catra is a Horde captain, and that the cat people’s queen is really in a Horde prison camp. Percival pops off to Catra’s boudoir, where he finds that she has foolishly resumed her human shape and is chatting to Hordak on an Apple iWatch. This is all the proof Percival needs, and returns to free She-Ra.

Magicats
Hordak: “Catra, there’s a weirdo at the window behind you.”

Percival reveals that Catra is about to be crowned queen in a special ceremony, and explains that it is imperative that she is exposed before the coronation. She-Ra is all too willing to help, and the two of them burst into the ceremony, to find Catra in cat form, sitting on the throne very neatly. Percival suggests that since the queen would be able to defeat a human in single combat, the cat people should let Catra and She-Ra fight it out.

This suggestion is accepted by everyone, though Catra presumably has some degree of apprehension about it, given her track record in fighting She-Ra. Not unexpectedly, She-Ra quickly gains the upper hand and knocks Catra’s mask off, reverting her to her human form. Once the cats realise Catra’s true nature, they all surround her, pretty damn ominously, I must say.

Magicats 3
Catra: “I believe the appropriate expression is ‘curses, foiled again’.”

Catra grabs her mask and runs away, but as she goes the cat people cast a spell to erase her memory of these events, ensuring that their underground city will remain hidden from the Horde. She-Ra then indulges in a very clever trick to free the real queen from prison, and also manages to involve Prince Orwell in the episode’s conclusion, in case we were desperate to see him again.

 

In today’s adventure…

Loo-Kee is the very first thing that greets the viewer when the episode begins, and it truly is a pleasure to see him. When we catch up with him again at the end of the episode, his message to us is that we shouldn’t throw litter on the ground, but should always use a bin. While I agree with the sentiment, I sometimes wonder if Loo-Kee is even vaguely aware of the episode’s story. This week had nothing to do with litter, at all. Except maybe cat litter, but that’s stretching it.

 

Character checklist

Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Prince Orwell, Minister Cloudfoot, Percival, the cat people’s queen, various other cats, Loo-Kee, Catra, Hordak, and the usual array of Horde Troopers.

Magicats 4
Prince Orwell: “I’m definitely not an irrelevant character.”

 

Insults

It’s rather light on the insults today, the only one I can be certain of being Catra muttering under her breath that the cat people are “fools”. There is also a moment when she addresses Percival and says either “keep back!” or “fleabag!”, but I couldn’t say which.

 

Does it have the Power?

Catra really is one of the most reliably entertaining villains in this series, Shadow Weaver being the other. This week finds Catra at her scheming best, and it’s all mighty good fun seeing her pulling the wool over the eyes of the cat people and setting herself up as queen. I also like that her loyalty to Hordak is – at best – dubious, as it gives her a depth of character way beyond that afforded to other Horde idiots. I do like cats a lot as well, so perhaps that helps to swing this episode for me. Even if you don’t like cats, though, I don’t think anyone could deny this one has a spark and energy that recent efforts have lacked a bit. Recommended.

Episode 54 – The Light of the Crystal

In which Bow is taken in by a stupid trick involving someone pretending to be a tree.

This week opens with Catra, Scorpia and Imp taking control of some stupid kingdom or other, called Elfwood. They capture the King, but make the elementary mistake of letting his son Storm escape, which I think guarantees their failure before anything can even get going. Sure enough, Storm runs all the way to find the rebels, and quickly teams up with a female member of the Rock People, who has the unlikely and possibly misheard name of Flaccid.

Crystal 1
Catra: “This is one of those pictures that ends up as a caption competition in Evil Horde Monthly.”

In Whispering Wood, Adora, Bow, Glimmer and Kowl are conducting a meeting with a complete nutbar called Prince Arkeon, who is also an elf. Arkeon comes from a local elf kingdom, but does not agree with his father’s policies, because his father is too serious. Arkeon just wants to have adventure and fun, but based on his behaviour in this scene, I can understand why his father might not want him around.

This less-than-enthralling, and in fact downright odd, scene comes to a close when Storm comes along, having evidently abandoned Flaccid somewhere along the way. He begs for help, which the rebels – unfortunately including Arkeon – happily agree to provide. They all pop along to Elfwood, where they find the Horde using large mining machinery to extract crystal from the neighbouring mountains.

Catra very quickly captures She-Ra inside a crystal dome from which she cannot escape, and you cannot believe how satisfying it is to see the smug smirk wiped from She-Ra’s face when she realises she’s actually been bested. It doesn’t last long beyond the commercial break, unfortunately, but it was still possibly the highlight of my day. If you want to know, She-Ra gets out thanks to Flaccid, who re-enters the episode at this point and smashes the crystal. She also reveals that she’s called Granita, not Flaccid, and I must admit it’s quite demented that I managed to mishear her name that badly.

Crystal 3
She-Ra: “I’ve been living in a bubble too long.”

While this excitement has been going on, Scorpia has successfully managed to defeat Glimmer, Bow, Kowl, Storm and Arkeon, and put them to work in the crystal mines. Another Rock Person, Stone-Dar, appears at this juncture to rescue them, which is nice, and then the episode dribbles its way to some kind of conclusion by way of Arkeon and Storm both being really scared, but getting over their fears. By this stage, I was way past caring.

 

In today’s adventure…

No sign of Loo-Kee for me today, but that’s because it turns out that he was hiding in the Whispering Wood with only his nose poking out from behind a rock. For reasons only marginally connected to the episode, he recommends that we thank our parents or tell them that we love them. In complete fairness, I’m not sure what moral lesson this mess of an episode was trying to dispense was, but I’m relatively convinced that it was nothing to do with parents.

 

Character checklist

In case you desperately need to know who was in this rubbish, then I can here reveal that it was Adora, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Glimmer, Kowl, Arkeon, Storm, Granita (or Flaccid, if you prefer), Stone-Dar, Loo-Kee, the King of Elfwood, Catra, Scorpia, Mantenna and Imp. As in another episode relatively recently, I didn’t notice Spirit but I assume he was around because Swift Wind definitely is.

Crystal 2
Storm: “So, wait, what’s your name actually?”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

“You go on ahead. I’ll see if I can find She-Ra. We’re going to need her help,” Adora says. It’s so simple, but outstandingly effective.

 

Insults

Catra achieves a personal best by ensuring that the fourth word of the episode is an insult, though unfortunately it’s only the generic “fools”, directed at some Horde Troopers. She also finds time to call Imp a “headache” and complain that she is surrounded by “empty-headed, know-nothing, worthless fools”, in reference to Imp and Scorpia. There was also a scene in which she was definitely insulting Mantenna, but I couldn’t hear a word she said because the music was way too loud.

Crystal 4
Catra: “I don’t know what’s going on here, but I’m not happy about it.”

Elsewhere, there’s Storm calling some Horde Troopers the ubiquitous “rotten robots”, Imp describing Bow, Glimmer and Kowl as “rebel fools”, and Scorpia describing the same party as “rebel rats”. I should also probably mention that there’s a strange scene in which Arkeon pretends to be a tree and tells Bow that he’s “not too bright”. Bow retaliates aggressively, calling the tree an “overgrown splinter”.

 

Egg on your face?

Bet you’d forgotten this section existed. Bow begins his appearance this week by leaping into a tree and shaking it until all the fruit falls out. Naturally, some of it lands on his head and explodes. I debated long and hard whether to put this here in Egg on your face? or in Oh No, Bow!, before deciding that I’d put it in both, for maximum piss-taking.

Crystal 5
Bow: “I hate my life.”

 

Oh No, Bow!

In what appears to be a misguided effort to impress Adora and Glimmer, Bow leaps into a tree and shakes all the fruit out of it, only stopping when a big ripe red fruit lands on his head. There you go – told you I’d put it in both sections. Bow then embarks on a strange trip into mental ineptitude by falling for an all-too-obvious trick in which Prince Arkeon pretends to be the tree and talks to Bow. This whole section of the episode is, it has to be said, really quite odd.

 

Does it have the Power?

No, it doesn’t. Most of the time it feels like it’s just going through the motions, without bothering to have much in the way of a plot, and yet at the same time it feels like it’s got loads of ingredients thrown into it without any kind of idea what they should be doing. The appearance of the Rock People seems pretty gratuitous, and the plotlines about Arkeon and Storm being scared are suddenly tacked on, and don’t do much when they do emerge. On the other hand, Catra is at her scheming and malicious best; it feels like a long time since we’ve seen her take centre-stage, and her capture of She-Ra is, just about, worth the price of admission. Especially if you’re watching on You Tube, where there is no price of admission.

And that’s your lot for a couple of weeks; there’ll be no more updates here until the second week of May.

Episode 51 – My Friend, My Enemy

In which She-Ra demonstrates her inherent goodness, and makes sure we all know about it.

Unexpectedly, this episode opens with Catra purring her head off and presenting Hordak with a nice tasty berry pie. Hordak is very pleased and gobbles up the pie, pausing only briefly to ask Catra where it came from. Catra evades this question by claiming that it was sent by a secret admirer, but it soon emerges that the pie was baked by Skeletor himself, who has popped over to Etheria.

Friend 1
Hordak: “This is definitely a trap, isn’t it.”

Naturally, Skeletor hasn’t been baking pies out of the goodness of his heart. This particular pie contains an ingredient that will make Hordak disappear, after which Skeletor intends to take his place as leader of the Horde. I’m not quite sure what’s in it for Catra; their discussion doesn’t suggest she’ll be getting a promotion, but perhaps she’s just as fed up as I am with Hordak.

While Skeletor and Catra are having a convivial chat, Hordak takes a crowd of Horde Troopers to Whispering Wood for a little set-to with the Rebellion. While there, they manage to capture Glimmer and whisk her off to the Fright Zone – but Hordak then starts to feel sick and disappear. Madame Razz successfully diagnoses Hordak as having eaten some doom berries, and gleefully pronounces that he will fade into another dimension and probably never come back.

Friend 2
Glimmer: “Gosh, wouldn’t it be convenient if I could, you know, teleport?”

She-Ra – whose mental state is as always precarious – decides to try to cure Hordak, and flies off to the Crystal Castle to consult Light Hope. Light Hope starts off by talking in his usual incomprehensible riddles, but then evidently concludes that She-Ra is too stupid to work it out, and simply tells her that Hordak can only be cured if someone cries over him. I shouldn’t imagine there are too many people queuing up to do that, but She-Ra confidently toddles off to find someone.

Hordak tells She-Ra that a wizard called Noah might be willing to cry for him, so She-Ra loads Hordak onto Swift Wind’s back and they fly off to look for Noah. Skeletor and Catra, however, get wind of this plan, and Skeletor manages to arrive at Noah’s cave in time to prepare a little welcome party. After a brief and typically unsuccessful attempt to trap She-Ra in a tunnel, Skeletor opts to try negotiation, informing She-Ra that unless she stops trying to help Hordak, she will never see Glimmer again.

Friend 3
Noah: “Let me out! I’ve got an ark to catch!”

She-Ra says, “That’s cool, I can live with that,” and asks Noah to cry for Hordak, but Noah refuses on the basis that he doesn’t like Hordak. Skeletor sniggers his head off at this turn of events, but She-Ra is moved to pity and begins to cry over Hordak herself. With Hordak cured, Skeletor doesn’t see the need to stick around, so he disappears, leaving Catra in the lurch.

Noah teleports Hordak, She-Ra and Swift Wind to the Fright Zone, where She-Ra rescues Glimmer and flies off. Back in Whispering Wood, She-Ra tells Bow, Glimmer and Madame Razz the full story, and oddly refers to Hordak as a human being, rather than a robotic pig-skeleton. Then Glimmer makes some mindless joke or other, and they all laugh as the episode ends.

Friend 4
She-Ra: “Chicken, Bow?”

 

In today’s adventure…

Loo-Kee. Tree. Whispering Wood. I don’t think I have to say any more about that. He reminds us that this week, She-Ra got upset because Hordak didn’t have any friends, and he suggests that maybe we should make friends with someone who doesn’t have any. I think I’ll start by making friends with Hordak.

 

Character checklist

Today, it’s Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Glimmer, Bow, Kowl, Madame Razz, Light Hope, Loo-Kee, Noah, Hordak, Catra, Grizzlor, Mantenna, Imp, some Horde Troopers, and everybody’s favourite – Skeletor.

Friend 6
Skeletor: “You’re easily the best of the baddies on She-Ra, Catra. Care to join my team?”

 

Insults

Glimmer addresses a Horde Trooper as a “big tin ape”, and Bow shrieks out “metal head” to someone, either a Horde Trooper or Hordak, though I’m not sure which. This week’s obligatory “fool” is dispensed from Hordak to Catra.

 

Oh No, Bow!

During the battle, Bow decides to walk around backwards for no evident reason. This would be cause enough for inclusion in this category, but it also results in his tripping over a pillow and being shot, which makes it doubly stupid.

Friend 5
Bow: “Never forget, I’m really competent.”

 

Does it have the Power?

It’s good to see Skeletor, as always, but it’s hardly his best appearance. The first scene, in which his evil plot was unveiled, was really good fun, but thereafter he was barely involved, and even when he was on screen, he didn’t have much of his classic sneer about him. It was good to see Catra throwing in her lot with him, as it re-establishes her as a scheming villainess in her own right, and not just another henchman, but all in all, their pairing up seemed a bit wasted.

The rest of the story was fine; I believe this one is regarded as a bit of a classic, largely because of She-Ra’s speech about her sympathy for Hordak not having any friends. Unfortunately, I can’t say I particularly agree. It wasn’t awful or anything, but it didn’t move me in the way some episodes have. I’d say this one’s worth a watch, but not a lot more.

Episode 45 – Huntara

In which Hordak tells some porkies.

Hordak spends the first few minutes of this episode insulting his minions, berating their regular failure to capture She-Ra. Apparently, Horde Prime is most displeased, so Hordak has gone to the trouble of contacting the planet Sylax, well-known throughout the galaxy for the skill of its hunters, and asked them to send their very best hunter to track down She-Ra. Because the Sylaxians are hunters, naturally their representative is called Huntara.

When she arrives, Huntara makes it clear that she will only hunt and capture She-Ra if she is evil, so Hordak shows her some videos. These videos depict She-Ra as evil and are consequently as divorced from reality as a Southern Rail timetable, but they do the job, and Huntara sets off to confront She-Ra. She specifies only one condition: to satisfy her Sylaxian honour, the battle must be between her and She-Ra alone, with no interference from any of the Horde.

Huntara 1
Huntara: “I’m well honourable. Like a Klingon.”

Huntara’s first move is to capture Glimmer, who she uses as bait to lure She-Ra out of Whispering Wood. The two meet in the Crimson Waste, and after She-Ra’s obligatory attempts to persuade Huntara that fighting is bad, they engage in a pretty protracted fight. Once She-Ra finally wins, Huntara surrenders herself as a slave to She-Ra, in line with the Sylaxian code. Of course, She-Ra isn’t interested in having Huntara as a slave, an action which finally persuades Huntara that she has been tricked and that it is Hordak who is the evil one.

Catra and Scorpia – concerned about what will happen to their own job prospects if Huntara wins – have been watching the battle, and now swoop in. Surprisingly, they manage to knock She-Ra, Huntara and Glimmer out, and take them all back to the Fright Zone. Unfortunately, Hordak is stupid enough to bring them all into the throne room for a good gloat, and naturally enough they simply escape and cause havoc.

She-Ra offers Huntara a position in the Rebellion, but Huntara claims she is needed back on Sylax. She then puts a binbag over her head, gets into her ship and flies away. I think the binbag was meant to look like some kind of ninja outfit, but it doesn’t quite work.

Huntara 2
Huntara: “Look how terrifying I am in this binbag.”

 

In today’s adventure…

I couldn’t find Loo-Kee today, not that I care where the little idiot was. He explains to us that Hordak got himself into some major trouble by telling Huntara lies, which is an accurate summary of this week’s events. Loo-Kee thus concludes that we should always tell the truth, though I would argue that the episode’s real lesson is that it’s much easier to hire your expert hunters and warriors from a planet that doesn’t care who’s good and who’s evil.

 

Character checklist

Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Glimmer, Bow, Kowl, Loo-Kee, Huntara, Hordak, Catra, Scorpia, Imp, Shadow Weaver, Leech, Grizzlor, some Horde Troopers, and a variety of weird people I’ve never seen before.

Huntara 3
Adora: “Who are you? Get out.”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

Would it surprise you beyond measure if I reveal that there is no such excuse?

 

Insults

It’s another zinger-packed week on Etheria. Hordak begins proceedings by referring to Catra, Scorpia, Mantenna, Grizzlor and Leech as “fools” and “dolts”, sentiments which Imp gleefully repeats and adds “wimps” into the bargain. Catra is the only one with sufficient brains to retaliate, referring to Imp as a “pig-faced snoop”. The Horde are in general none too fond of Huntara, Catra dismissing her as an “outsider” and Scorpia referring to her as an “arrogant witch”.

In reference to events depicted in the mocked-up videos, Huntara calls She-Ra a “town-burner”, which apparently means so little to She-Ra that she completely ignores it. The final scene sees Hordak calling Huntara a “foolish woman”, telling a pair of Horde Trooper that they are “nincompoops” and “bunglers”, and addressing nobody in particular as “fools”.

The best insult of all, however, comes from Scorpia, who addresses Catra to say, “I don’t like you much.” Ouch, Scorpia. I bet that hurt. Catra will be crying at night for years about that one.

Huntara 4
Catra: “Is that honestly the best you can muster?”

 

Does it have the Power?

Yes, it does, rather surprisingly for an episode with a simple and incredibly signposted plot. The moment Huntara arrives and decrees she will only hunt She-Ra if she’s evil, only the stupidest viewer wouldn’t be able to see precisely how this story is going to end, but it’s a still very effective episode. The fight between Huntara and She-Ra is sufficiently varied and interesting to not seem too long, and I enjoyed Catra and Scorpia deviously watching the fight, intending to take the credit whoever wins. Needless to say, this was Catra’s idea; I don’t think Scorpia’s ever had an idea. In short, this one is worth a watch.

Episode 44 – The Rock People

In which we are invited to buy some Rock People action figures.

Hanging out with Bow in Whispering Wood, Adora receives word that Catra has gone to the Valley of the Lost looking for some rocks from outer space. Adora considers that this is the sort of situation which requires her immediate attention. Perhaps this is why Adora’s a leader of the Great Rebellion, while I’m a bitter civil servant, but frankly my reaction to this news would be that Catra’s clearly gone mental and might as well be allowed to amuse herself with meteors as much as she likes. Even Spirit asks, “Why would the Horde want rocks?” suggesting he too thinks Catra could be left to get on with it.

Rock People 1
Bow: “Wait, wait, wait. You mean people make those weird squiggles on paper, and you can actually look at them and they mean WORDS? How does this reading and writing magic work?”

Adora sends Bow, Kowl, Madame Razz and Broom on ahead, while she transforms into She-Ra. Once they arrive at the Valley of the Lost, they encounter a big brown dinosaur, which has a friendly chat with She-Ra and reveals where Catra is. Our heroes get moving, and arrive just as Catra and her various friends unearth the rocks. Given the episode’s title, I expect it won’t come as a surprise to you to learn that the rocks now reveal themselves to be Rock People.

Catra’s immediate reaction is to try to capture the Rock People, which results in the rebels having a nice big fight with the Horde. The Rock People – introduced as Rokkon, Stonndarr and Granita – simply stand around complaining that fighting is horrible. You’re singing to the choir there, lads. Anyway, to my distinct surprise, Catra actually manages to kidnap Rokkon, and takes him away to the Fright Zone.

Rock People 2
Rokkon: “Are we scary? Please tell me we’re scary.”

She-Ra introduces herself and her companions to Stonndarr and Granita, the voice actress sounding rather as though she’s losing the capability to speak as she does so. Stonndarr explains that the Rock People are explorers, seeking a new world on which to live, since their own sun is going to explode shortly. She-Ra suggests that they work together to free Rokkon from Hordak, but Stonndarr rejects the offer, claiming that She-Ra and her friends are too violent for his liking, so he and Granita fly off to try to persuade Hordak to listen to reason.

Don’t choke in astonishment or anything, but this doesn’t work out. Stonndarr and Granita are forced into fighting the Horde to release Rokkon, and very shortly She-Ra, Bow and Madame Razz arrive and join in. With the Rock People free again, our heroes take them to Whispering Wood where they discuss the possibility of the Rock People settling on Etheria. Eventually, She-Ra suggests that they live in Spykont, with the trolls. Everyone applauds this as an absolutely brilliant idea, though as far as I can tell, it’s average at best.

Rock People 3
Rokkon: “Trolls? Well, they’re better than Madame Razz, I suppose.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Loo-Kee is skulking about in a bush listening in on the Rebellion’s plans, towards the start of the episode. It would be awesome if at some point in the future, he is unmasked as a Horde spy and shot. I think, unfortunately, that that’s just a pipe dream. Anyway, he tells us today about how fighting isn’t the way to solve things, which would be great, if it weren’t for the fact that fighting is pretty much the only way things are ever solved on Etheria, including in this very episode, so it’s very much a case of “do as I say, not as I do” here.

 

Character checklist

This toy advert is an outing for Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Kowl, Madame Razz, Broom, Loo-Kee, Rokkon, Granita, Stonndarr, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Catra, Scorpia, Grizzlor, Mantenna, Leech, Imp, some Horde Troopers, some dude in a space helmet, and I suppose we should mention the troll at the end too.

Rock People 4
She-Ra: “Everybody look to the left, everybody look to the right.”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

To be honest, I don’t even recall the transformation sequence at all. It’s possible, therefore, that this week featured the excuse to top all excuses, but I just don’t know.

 

Insults

Wow, rocks clearly get people all worked up, given the vast quantity of insults featured this week. We start with Hordak calling Catra an “imbecile”, which Imp follows up by calling her the possibly misheard “old cat puss”. Catra is also the victim of Scorpia, who exhibits her rapier wit by calling her “rotten”.

Rock People 5
Catra: “We’re playing the O2 Academy tonight. Tickets £3.50 on the door.”

Scorpia also dishes out an accurate but unkindly meant “blondie” to She-Ra, and Hordak addresses an entire squadron of Horde Troopers as “fool robots”. Both Catra and Mantenna call the Rock People “rockheads”, which isn’t particularly insulting, but they clearly think it is. Kowl doesn’t have much time for the Rock People either, referring to them as “cowards”.

Elsewhere, we have Catra calling Mantenna a “fool”, as per usual, and Broom and Madame Razz have a pointed exchange in which Broom calls Madame Razz “old”, and Madame Razz retaliates with “Mr Bigmouth”. Finally, Granita offers the pretty mild “most unreasonable” to describe Hordak.

 

Oh No, Bow!

Bow is massively annoyed at Kowl, Madame Razz and Broom being present, since he had it in mind that he might be able to seduce She-Ra on this little jaunt. I don’t know what gave him that idea, unless he were planning on making some tasteless pun about being a representative of the Rock Hard People.

I should also probably point out that Bow is incapacitated by Leech, of all people, during this episode, and to make it even more embarrassing, he’s rescued by the dream team of Madame Razz, Broom, and Kowl. It amazes me that Bow still manages to have an ego as big as he does.

Rock People 6
Kowl: “Shall I come back when you’ve finished whatever it is you’re doing, Bow?”

 

Does it have the Power?

This one’s a 20 minute long advert for the action figures of Rokkon and Stonndarr, which – as far as I can gather – were incredibly unpopular figures. Whether that’s because this episode depicts them as pretty rubbish, or whether this episode was made as a desperate attempt to boost unsatisfactory sales, I don’t know. At any rate, the episode didn’t fulfil its evident objective since I have not been seized with a desire to buy Rokkon or Stonndarr, even though I’m a sucker for buying pretty much anything He-Man related.

On the other hand, I’d say it’s actually a surprisingly good episode. It’s got some fight scenes which are pretty entertaining, and it moves along nicely without ever getting boring. It might have been nice if the writer had managed to tie in the moral by having the Rock People win by not fighting, but other than that, I have no complaints. Definitely above the average.

Episode 32 – Friends Are Where You Find Them

In which She-Ra meets another irritating child.

I’m sorry to start with a vulgarity, but really, what the absolute fuck? This time, we open with She-Ra and Swift Wind flying through outer space for no purpose whatsoever, just for the sheer demented delight of it. And are they wearing space suits? Are they buggery. Are they merrily talking to each other as if sound carries in a vacuum? Yes they are. I’ve just about accepted She-Ra’s previous forays into space – implausible as they are – as being at least slightly justified by the plot. But this? It’s lunacy.

I think that to get over this insane beginning, I’m going to have to suppose that She-Ra has gone mental and this episode takes place entirely in her head. With that ground rule established, anything in this episode that’s completely nuts can be accepted. This is just as well, because She-Ra next comes across a platoon of Horde space robots, so she turns her sword into a tennis racquet and belts them halfway across the cosmos.

Friends 1
She-Ra: “45 love.”

It turns out the Horde space robots were attacking a spaceship, which now explodes, leaving behind only an escape pod which begins to plummet down to Etheria. She-Ra returns to the planet’s surface herself and is on hand to meet the inhabitant when he emerges. The inhabitant introduces himself as Prince Joel of Antares and he appears to have Filmation Irritating Child Syndrome. She-Ra takes him to see Queen Angela at Bright Moon to contact his parents and get him off Etheria asap.

In the meantime, Bow takes charge of Joel, and takes him to meet a bunch of Bright Moon’s local children, who are happily occupied in cleaning the castle. They offer Joel the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help them, but he explains that he has a RoboFriend who normally does that sort of thing for him. When the children ask Joel to lend them his RoboFriend to do the cleaning, Joel has a massive strop because this is a breach of etiquette. It seems that on Antares, borrowing a RoboFriend is akin to borrowing a dildo or something. In any case, his RoboFriend was damaged when his ship was destroyed, so the whole point is moot.

Friends 2
Bow: “I love hanging around ominously behind groups of children.”

After Adora and Bow retrieve and fix the RoboFriend, the rest of the episode divides its time between Joel learning how to share and Hordak trying to steal the RoboFriend. These plots come together when Adora and Bow take Joel and five other Etherian children on a hike to Big Ditch Canyon. Catra, Grizzlor and Leech cause a distraction, and Imp plants a remote control receiver on the RoboFriend, bringing it under Hordak’s command.

The RoboFriend starts off by grabbing Bow to take him prisoner, a development which pleases Catra immensely but doesn’t please She-Ra at all. She forces the RoboFriend to release Bow, but before she can smash it to smithereens, Joel comes running up to it and it immediately takes him prisoner instead. To the accompaniment of a funky She-Ra theme tune remix, She-Ra gives chase to the RoboFriend and rescues Joel.

Friends 3
Leech: “I regret to inform you, Catra, that you have failed your driving test.”

Back at Bright Moon, Joel gets on a ship to return to Antares, but not before he utters a pearl of complete bollocks disguised as wisdom: “robots are only friendly because they’re programmed to be.” This has the air of a writer desperately trying to make the episode’s events somehow relevant to the real life of 1980s American children, but forgetting that in the real world, the closest equivalent to a RoboFriend in the 1980s was a microwave. Though I’ll be the first to admit the 1980s were a bit weird, I have my doubts that there was a particular problem with children trying to programme their microwaves to be their friends.

 

In today’s adventure…

Got him again! There ain’t a place in this universe Loo-Kee can hide from me now. He’s in a tree outside Bright Moon. (Hint, for those of you who haven’t grasped the pattern yet: he’s pretty much always in a tree.) Anyway, Loo-Kee wants to let us know that people need friends. He stops short of saying that if you haven’t got any friends, you’re a complete failure of a person, but you can see it in his eyes.

Friends 4
Loo-Kee: “Get some friends, you losers.”

 

Character checklist

This excursion into lunacy features Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Queen Angela, Loo-Kee, Prince Joel, some other children, Hordak, Imp, Catra, Grizzlor, Leech and – no surprises here – some Horde Troopers.

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

Adora develops a stupid habit of directly addressing the camera for no reason whatsoever today. For her first transformation, she states, “I’ve got a strong feeling She-Ra’s going to be needed here,” and for her second she offers, “We’re going to need reinforcements.”

 

Insults

Hordak addresses a Horde Trooper as a “fool”, and seconds later, as a “worthless fool”. These are obviously pretty standard insults, but Hordak does put an impressive degree of vehemence into them, so points for effort, I suppose. Otherwise, it’s Grizzlor who gets a tough time of it, being called a “fuzzface” by Bow and a “furbrain” by Leech.

Friends 5
Catra: “Just gearing up for our big appearance on Jools Holland tonight.”

 

Oh Yes, Bow!

It’s only fair to point out that, far from being useless, Bow actually fixes the RoboFriend twice this week. Well done, Bow! Keep it up, and you’ll be as multi-skilled as Man-at-Arms in no time!

 

Does it have the Power?

Well, it’s completely crazed for its opening few minutes. What particularly got my goat about those minutes is that there was no reason at all for She-Ra to be in space. She could have simply seen the escape pod landing and had the episode proceed from there – but no, she had to be joyriding in space on her unicorn, and had to do that stupid thing with the tennis racquet.

Joel is your usual spoiled Filmation brat, and I don’t believe I’ve mentioned it before, but Imp is incredibly annoying. His voice actor seems to play him as an irritating young child; Kevin from Home Alone springs to mind, and I simply want to punch his stupid blue head off. Other than that, it’s a pretty middling offering, which hits every usual standard episode beat exactly when you expect it to. It does it all fairly competently, so it can’t be termed a failure, but I wouldn’t imagine it makes anyone’s list of favourites.

Episode 30 – Play It Again, Bow

In which Bow does indeed play it again, though he definitely shouldn’t have.

Adora is playing hide and seek with a pair of ridiculously delighted Twiggets, but is mercifully distracted from this soul-sapping pastime when She-Ra’s services are needed to save an old man from a runaway wagon. The old man introduces himself as Fritt the Bottle Man, because he collects old bottles from villages. Unfortunately, the Horde have recently stolen his pack animal, True Blue, and he’s now finding it difficult to travel between the villages.

Play 1
Fritt: “I’m certainly not crazy. Don’t even suggest it.”

She-Ra leaps at the chance to escape the hide and seek more permanently, so offers the help of the Rebellion in recovering True Blue. Fritt happily comes along to the rebels’ camp, where he entertains the Twiggets with stupid stories and then asks Bow to sing a song. If Fritt did this in my house, I wouldn’t invite him back again. Bow, of course, is only too happy to oblige with one of the most unholy rackets I’ve ever had the misfortune to hear – and yes, that does include Spice Up Your Life.

Things get even worse when seconds later, Madame Razz shows up, and it emerges that Fritt is her ex-lover, conjuring up a whole world of mental imagery that I really didn’t need. I’m not entirely sure why the affair ended in the first place, but suffice it to say that the rest of the episode meanders pointlessly towards a reconciliation between Madame Razz and Fritt, via several less than amusing comedy set pieces.

Play 2
Madame Razz: “Don’t come near me, Fritt Stick.”

Fritt takes Bow and the Twiggets to see what he does with the bottles he collects; it turns out that Fritt has built a monument to freedom with them. He tries to claim that the bottles represent the people of Etheria, but frankly the whole thing looks essentially like a bottle-crazed loon has got into the glass recycling plant and indulged his passion for building demented structures. Bow pretends to be impressed, but I think he’s secretly pleased when Catra shows up proclaiming her intention to destroy the monument.

In the meantime, Adora and Kowl skulk off to a village to recover True Blue, and find him being forced to walk on a treadmill, for no particularly apparent reason. In order to rescue him, Adora becomes She-Ra and performs some unnecessary acrobatics before beating up some Horde Troopers. She then flies off on Swift Wind to attend to Catra and the potential glass bottle monument destruction, while Kowl and True Blue follow at a more sedate pace.

Play 3
Catra: “This looks like a rubbish version of the Sagrada Familia.”

On the one hand, She-Ra is too late, since Catra has started destroying the monument. On the other hand, Catra has elected to destroy it one bottle at a time, and since I estimate there’s about six billion bottles in the structure, this is going to take her a while. Needless to say, She-Ra arrives on the scene pretty smartish, but Catra threatens to shoot the rebels if She-Ra makes a move towards saving the bottles. This is an unexpectedly smart move, though it does rather rest on the notion that She-Ra wouldn’t want Bow and Madame Razz to get shot.

She-Ra doesn’t care for this ultimatum, and defeats Catra and her Troopers through a very stupid method that defies description. Unfortunately, Catra manages to get off one good shot before her ignominious exit from the episode, and nearly causes the monument to collapse. If you care even vaguely, She-Ra saves it, by propping it up with a cart, and then Madame Razz magically transforms the entire monument into crystal. This is ostensibly to make it so that the Horde can’t destroy it, but I wouldn’t mind betting it’s at least partly to make it less offensively ugly. Finally, Bow concludes the episode by singing that bloody awful song again, even less tunefully than before.

Play 4
Bow: “Just recording my audition to join Mumford & Sons.”

 

In today’s adventure…

It’s one of those weeks where Loo-Kee evidently wants to be found, since the camera lingers on him for about 15 seconds while he sits in a tree by the side of the road. He tries to suggest that the many colours of bottle in the ridiculous monument represent the many colours of people, and suggests that – just like the monument – we can become stronger when we all live and work together. He does not mention that when the monument became stronger by being turned into crystal, it also assumed a uniformity of colour, which I do not think is the message he was trying to convey.

 

Character checklist

Today’s visit to Etheria gives us a chance to spot Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Madame Razz, Broom, Kowl, Glimmer, Fritt, True Blue, the Twiggets, Loo-Kee, Catra, and – as always – a truckload of Horde Troopers.

Play 5
Kowl: “Don’t look at me so seedily, you weird horse.”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

Yet again, it’s two transformations and no excuses. Adora is really rubbish at this.

 

Insults

A Horde Trooper addresses True Blue as a “broken-down nag”, while Catra calls She-Ra a “fool”, and elaborates with “hopeless fools” for Fritt, Madame Razz, Broom, Bow and the Twiggets.

 

Oh No, Bow!

I think a very special mention has to be given here for Bow’s dreadful song. I bet the voice actor was horrified when he got the script for this episode. He must have known that he can’t sing for toffee.

 

Does it have the Power?

Hmm, let’s see. Bow singing twice, in an episode all about Madame Razz’s love life, also featuring a lunatic who has wasted his entire life building a demented sculpture out of bottles. Do you think it has the Power? In case you’re unsure, allow me to explain: NO IT DOESN’T.

Episode 28 – Bow’s Farewell

In which Bow and She-Ra go utterly mad.

Adora finds Bow in a village, trying to teach a Twigget a song before embarking on a boring physics lesson about sound frequencies. Unfortunately, this village is known Horde territory, and Adora is concerned that Bow will be found and captured. It seems she is right to be concerned, since a Horde patrol shows up pretty soon. On the other hand, the patrol is singularly incapable of capturing Bow or Adora, especially not when She-Ra makes an entrance.

Bow's Farewell 1
Bow: “What do you mean, I have literally no idea what sound frequencies are?”

The next five minutes are given over to a long fight between She-Ra and Bow on one side, and Catra and some Horde Troopers on the other. Despite the writers managing to make Catra act even more mental than usual, this is unfortunately rather dull. Eventually, our heroes escape into Whispering Wood, at which point Catra hisses that the Horde has plans to deal with the Rebellion. There’s a chance that in the script this sounded threatening and ominous, but once on screen, it’s such familiar dialogue that it just washes over us.

Once all that excitement is over, Adora harangues Bow for having gone to the Twigget village in the first place. Bow retorts that maybe the Rebellion would be better off without him, which sounds like a good idea to me, but Kowl quickly intervenes and suggests that Bow take a holiday “communing with nature in the Mystic Stones”. I suspect this is a code that Bow and Kowl have previously established for “We’re going to get off our tits on smack and visit Amsterdam’s seedier quarters.”

Bow's Farewell 2
Kowl: “Got the drugs in that bag, Bow?”

Not knowing the code, Adora agrees that this is a great idea, so Bow and Kowl head off together on their Big Lads’ Weekend. On arrival at the Mystic Stones, however, they discover that a bunch of Horde Troopers have enslaved the Twiggets and are forcing them to carry out some nefarious task. Kowl is despatched back to the camp to fetch Adora, while Bow takes leave of his senses and dresses up as a cliché magician to infiltrate the Horde camp. Rather surprisingly, this works.

Bow learns from one of the Twiggets – who has the unfortunate name of Spunky – that the Horde are building an eclipse beam, which will channel the power of the moon’s eclipse into destroying Castle Bright Moon. Bow then makes the strange choice to occupy himself in performing magic tricks for the assembled Horde Troopers, until Catra figures out who he is and prepares to cart him away.

Bow's Farewell 3
Bow: “No! Wait! This isn’t part of my act!”

Luckily, the enslaved Twiggets choose this moment to rebel, and with the arrival of She-Ra and Kowl on the scene, it’s curtains for the Horde Troopers. Catra gets the chance to fire her stupid eclipse beam, and even gets some super villainess dialogue (“Nothing can save Bright Moon now!”), but of course She-Ra destroys the machine with a good solid kick.

In an unexpected twist, however, it turns out that the machine is a fake, and the real controller is in an entirely different location. This does rather beg the question of why the Horde were forcing the Twiggets to build a fake machine; if they hadn’t drawn attention to themselves by enslaving the Twiggets, She-Ra would never have got wind of this plan until it was too late. Never mind! I suspect that logic is not one of Catra’s strengths.

Having said that, logic is clearly not a strength for anyone in this episode, since the next step is for She-Ra to fly on Swift Wind into outer space and use a grappling hook to pull the moon to stop it going into eclipse. While so doing, She-Ra says, “Come on, Swifty, we’ve got to pull like we’ve never pulled before,” which is incidentally what she says on a Saturday night down at Wetherspoons.

Bow's Farewell 4
Swift Wind: “She-Ra, is it just me or is this episode completely off its head?”

Bow observes that She-Ra is doing something completely mental, and not to be outdone, he decides that his best next step is to build a giant amplifier and play his harp through it. This has the outstandingly fortuitous effect of blowing up the real eclipse machine, wherever it is. Bow and Spunky perform a stupid jig, and She-Ra comes back to Etheria, incidentally without setting fire to her arse, unlike last time she tried a stunt like this.

 

In today’s adventure…

I was too busy watching the various other acts of total lunacy to be concerned with trying to find Loo-Kee today, so I missed his hiding place in the Twiggets’ village. He informs us solemnly that Bow used his knowledge of science to blow up the eclipse machine, and adds that we can find loads of books about science at our local library. He probably shouldn’t be encouraging us to read them, though, because we might then find out, for example, that:

  1. You can’t channel the power of an eclipse through an eclipse beam, because an eclipse is simply a shadow and thus doesn’t have any power.
  2. You can’t blow machines up by playing music at them really loudly.
  3. You can’t talk when you’re in outer space.
  4. You can’t breathe when you’re in outer space.
  5. You can’t maintain your body temperature when you’re only wearing a skimpy dress and a red cloak when you’re in outer space.
  6. You can’t use a grappling hook to tow a moon.
  7. Even if you could use a grappling hook to tow a moon, you’d cause all manner of havoc such as tidal waves on the surface of the planet below.
  8. More generally, you can’t become someone else entirely by shrieking about the power or honour of Grayskull. I know. I’ve tried.
Bow's Farewell 5
Loo-Kee: “I can definitely read books. Honest.”

 

Character checklist

What a lot of specialtons show up this week. Specifically, it’s Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Kowl, Glimmer, Queen Angela, Loo-Kee, the Twiggets (including Spunky), Catra, and the ever-present Horde Troopers.

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

It’s a standard display of two transformations and no excuses.

 

Insults

Catra is, as always, pretty free with insulting comments, though today they’re not very imaginative. She calls her Horde Troopers “fools” three times, as well as addressing them as “bunglers” and “cowards”. She also calls She-Ra and Bow “fools”, which – given the insane things they do this week – seems a reasonable assessment.

Bow's Farewell 6
Horde Trooper: “I’m really sorry.”

 

Oh No, Bow!

Bow’s little trip to the Twigget village at the start is presented as reckless behaviour and thus warrants a mention here, though I’d argue it doesn’t seem to be any worse than the rebels’ usual modus operandi. On the other hand, his later decision to dress up as a wizard is pretty strong evidence of his devolution into complete insanity.

 

Does it have the Power?

Let’s start by pointing out that the title is completely disconnected to the episode’s events. It leads one to conclude that Bow is going to quit, and admittedly the story looks that way for a brief second before Kowl brings up the notion of going on a lads’ weekend away. Thereafter, the episode would be more accurately called Bow’s Holiday or Bow’s Gone Nuts or something similar.

Bow's Farewell 7
Adora: “Bow, what the hell are you doing?”

Petty quibbling aside, this is a real episode of two halves. The first half is shaping up to be one of the dullest episodes we’ve seen in a long time, possibly ever, what with its pointless fight between She-Ra and Catra, and the subsequent haranguing of Bow for no particularly apparent reason. Once Bow finds the Horde slave camp, though, the whole thing picks up considerably by opting to ramp up the craziness to hitherto unexplored levels. In essence, the episode then becomes a far less sane version of The Crystal Castle, an episode which was itself pretty deranged.

In short, you should watch this episode, but probably only from the 10-minute mark or thereabouts. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and most of all, you’ll wonder if you’ve accidentally ingested some mind-altering drugs.