Episode 49 – For Want of a Horse

In which Bow puts in a truly pitiful performance.

Hordak returns to the Fright Zone in a fearful temper, having just had a conversation with Horde Prime. It transpires that it will be Horde Prime’s birthday shortly, and he wants a really good present. Hordak, of course, doesn’t know what to get him, and after fielding a monumentally silly idea from Grizzlor, who recommends getting him a tie, he accepts Shadow Weaver’s suggestion that he should kidnap Swift Wind as a birthday gift.

Horse 1
Hordak: “I’m surrounded by idiots. Myself included.”

Shadow Weaver’s plan for the kidnap involves knocking a hole in a dam, and waiting for She-Ra, Swift Wind and Bow to show up to repair it. She-Ra occupies herself fixing the dam, while Bow and Swift Wind wait in the village, giving Shadow Weaver the chance to disguise herself as a sweet blond girl and pretend to be running away from a Horde Trooper. This distracts Bow long enough for another Horde Trooper to freeze Swift Wind and drag him away.

Shadow Weaver considers taking Bow prisoner as well, but She-Ra reappears in time to prevent such an unfortunate event. Instead, Shadow Weaver contents herself with gloating that Swift Wind will make a perfect present for Horde Prime, and vanishes. She-Ra, of course, heads straight for the Fright Zone, with Bow in tow to offer help. You know, like Bow normally helps.

Horse 2
She-Ra: “No, Bow. I’m not going to ‘ride you instead of Swift Wind’.”

On arrival in the Fright Zone, She-Ra quickly abandons Bow in favour of going for a swim in a river that flows directly below Hordak’s throne room. There she meets Mantenna, who has been dropped through Hordak’s trapdoor into the river. Mantenna informs her that Swift Wind has been taken to the space port, and then realises he really ought to try to capture her. He is no more successful in this venture than you might think, and ends up running off to sound the alarm.

She-Ra finds her way to the space port and frees Swift Wind with very little trouble. On emerging from the Fright Zone, they find that Bow has come barging along trying to save them, which results in all three of them having to have a final confrontation with Shadow Weaver, not that that takes very long. They all fly off into the sunset, leaving Hordak to give Horde Prime a tie after all.

Horse 3
Mantenna: “Best day ever.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Oh Loo-Kee, you think you’re so clever, hiding next to the broken dam. But I saw you, and I’ll see you every time from now on. He explains that “there’s a very special kind of love between people and animals”, and he makes a few recommendations of specialist niche websites that cater to people who enjoy that kind of love. Just joking, of course: actually, he recommends we treat animals with patience and kindness, which may lead to them becoming our best friends.

 

Character checklist

This very enjoyable episode features Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Mantenna, Grizzlor, Horde Prime, and – of course – some Horde Troopers.

Horse 4
Hordak: “All these characters are now available at Toys R Us.”

 

Insults

It’s a bad day for Horde Troopers, especially at Shadow Weaver’s hands; one is addressed as a “fool” and a pair of them as “tin-headed cowards”. She has a point: they’re scared of Bow, of all people. She also, rather surprisingly, calls two Horde Troopers “useless balls” towards the end of the episode. Bow gets in on the act with the less imaginative but more sane “rotten robots”.

She-Ra calls Bow a “brave, wonderful fool”, though not to his face, and after Hordak throws Mantenna in the river, he calls him a “soggy simpleton”. The best insult this week is one I can’t believe we’ve never heard before: Shadow Weaver calls She-Ra “Wing-head”, presumably in reference to her silly tiara.

 

Oh No, Bow!

Bow is supposed to be guarding Swift Wind when the kidnap takes place, but he is all too easily distracted by Shadow Weaver’s disguise. It’s actually a pretty sophisticated plan, and I wouldn’t blame anyone for falling for it. Anyone except Bow, of course, who’s a first-class fool.

Horse 5
Bow: “Oh Jesus. I’ve ballsed up again, haven’t I?”

Later on, of course, Bow is responsible for coming into the Fright Zone and trying to rescue She-Ra when she doesn’t need rescuing, the result being an unnecessary fight with Shadow Weaver. He’s such an idiot.

 

Does it have the Power?

Here we have our first hands-down success in ages. The storyline is, of course, nothing special, but it’s got such wit and energy that it’s impossible not to enjoy it. The opening scene is really very funny, and has a great payoff at the end when Hordak does take Grizzlor’s suggestion and gives Horde Prime a tie. There’s other moments of great humour throughout, and yet in the middle of all this clowning, we get a scene of genuine nastiness, as Hordak gloats over Swift Wind, telling him that he will never fly again, and will be left in a dungeon to never see the sky or the sunset, where his mane will turn grey and his wings will wither. It’s definitely the nastiest and most calculatedly unpleasant we’ve ever seen Hordak being, and I feel it could even give Skeletor a run for his money. To sum up: watch it, immediately.