Episode 67 – Return of the General

In which Glimmer reveals she can fly.

I’m afraid that I thought the first scene of this episode had been dubbed into an incomprehensible language, because it consists entirely of a mother and daughter squeaking at each other in sickening voices that defy understanding. Things become marginally more intelligible, though not any less annoying, when the father arrives on the scene, and blow me down if he’s not General Sunder from the episode Unexpected Ally. He explains for the benefit of the audience that he used to be a soldier, but now his family live in the peaceful kingdom of Bright Moon, and they don’t have to worry about the Horde anymore.

General 1
Tandy: “Look at me! I’m so cute! Love me!”

Meanwhile, Hordak is putting all his forces into a serious assault on Castle Bright Moon, but with She-Ra and Bow on the scene, this doesn’t exactly go his way. She-Ra’s unique move of the week is to distract the Horde Troopers by taking her strange winged tiara off, which makes her look unsettlingly naked. Once this has had the desired effect, Hordak beats a hasty retreat, but She-Ra is well aware that this is likely to be only a temporary respite.

General 2
She-Ra: “This non-tiara look is one of those things that’s not illegal but is definitely not right.”

She-Ra decides that she needs to recruit General Sunder to fight back against Hordak, but Sunder is unwilling to help, preferring to stay with his family. It’s therefore lucky for She-Ra’s recruiting drive that when Sunder arrives at his home, he finds that the Horde have burned it down and captured his wife Mally and their atrocious daughter Tandy, or whatever the hell her name is.

Sunder accordingly puts his armour on, shoots a load of bottles off a wall, and starts gabbling about how sometimes you have to fight in order to keep the peace. Thanks, Sunder. If only Neville Chamberlain had watched this episode, history could have been very different. Once he’s finished pontificating, he comes along with She-Ra to Castle Bright Moon and then flies off to rescue the prisoners, leaving the rebels to defend Bright Moon.

General 3
General Sunder: “Don’t even ask what the hell I’m sitting on.”

The rebels’ defence of Bright Moon is nothing to write home about, except that it emerges that Glimmer can fly, an ability she’s never demonstrated before and would have come in handy in – for example – Micah of Bright Moon when she fell down a chasm. Suffice it to say that She-Ra and her mates destroy a shedload of Hordak’s flying assault ships, and even Bow manages not to cock anything up.

Sunder, on the other hand, hasn’t been as successful in his rescue mission as perhaps one would hope, and so it proves necessary for She-Ra to head to the Fright Zone and help him out. With She-Ra involved, Sunder and the prisoners manage to escape to Bright Moon with relative ease, where they occupy themselves with a somewhat unenthusiastic cheer for She-Ra. Sunder concludes his story by becoming a farmer again, and She-Ra treats the viewer to a random wink and a frankly infuriating smirk.

General 4
General Sunder: “I may be smiling, but I’m screaming inside.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Oh, hi there, Loo-Kee, so nice to see you lurking in the bushes, like a blue-tailed stalker. He’s obsessed with suggesting we hug our family, since this is at least the third time he’s wheeled this idea out as his moral. I have ignored him this time, as I did on the previous occasions.

 

Character checklist

Today’s trip to Etheria features Adora, Spirit (briefly), She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Glimmer, Queen Angela, General Sunder, Mally, Tandy, Loo-Kee, loads of random rebels, Hordak, Mantenna, and a fair number of Horde Troopers.

General 5
She-Ra: “Yeah, good one, Glimmer. Any more hitherto unmentioned abilities you want to demonstrate?”

 

Insults

She-Ra calls Hordak a “fiend” with considerable feeling. Other than that, we only have Hordak calling his captives “pitiful prisoners” and referring to She-Ra, Glimmer and Queen Angela as “dratted rebels”.

 

Does it have the Power?

While it’s great that the series picks up on and continues previous threads, Sunder’s storyline seems to have been tweaked a little for the convenience of this episode; in Unexpected Ally, I seem to recall that Mally was about 12 years old, but this week she seems to be married to Sunder with a roughly 4 year old child of their own. Sunder obviously moves fast. In addition, at the end of his previous appearance, Sunder actually joined the Rebellion, but here he’s messing about being a farmer. If it weren’t for the fact that She-Ra, Bow, Glimmer, etc haven’t aged, I’d conclude this episode takes place about 10 years after the rest of the series, which would be weird.

Needless nitpicking aside, the episode is pretty good fun, with a good, exciting battle against the Horde. It’s good to see Hordak properly taking the offensive again, trying to wipe out one of the rebel strongholds, rather than messing about like he has done so much lately. I’m still not sure what purpose taking all the prisoners was supposed to serve, other than aggravating General Sunder into attacking, but we’ll let him off with a generic “he’s evil”.

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Mantenna: “Hope Hordak doesn’t catch me watching this video.”

In summary, I liked this episode, but I didn’t love it. If it’s a decent offering you’re after, this will satisfy your appetite, but if you want a real classic, you’d better move on.

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Episode 63 – Flowers for Hordak

In which the Fright Zone becomes the Flower Zone.

It’s becoming a noticeable pattern with episodes written by Bob Forward that they begin with an extended scene in which Hordak demonstrates how unpleasant he is, usually by bullying Mantenna in an amusing way. This episode is no exception, but after the laughs are over, we move onto the plot line. Shadow Weaver has found a black ruby, which will allow her to darken the air around Whispering Wood and stop the trees growing. If the trees die, the magic of Whispering Wood will no longer protect the rebels. The only problem is that one of the rebels, called Perfuma, has a magical power which will enable her to keep plants alive even if they have no light. Accordingly, Hordak decides that Stage 1 of this cunning plan will be to capture Perfuma, so he sends out a strike force of Horde Troopers to do so.

Flowers for Hordak 4
Mantenna: “I assure you, there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for this.”

Perfuma is hanging out at a beautiful location called the Crystal Falls, along with Adora, Bow and a mermaid called Mermista. Mermista speaks with a vague Russian accent and isn’t annoying, but Perfuma talks like she’s got no brains, and spends her time obsessively adding flowers to everything, including Adora’s head. It is perhaps a relief for the rebels, therefore, when a Horde Trooper successfully kidnaps Perfuma; they certainly don’t seem inclined to go to too much trouble to get her back.

Both Bow and Glimmer seem incredulous at this turn of events; independently, they both ask, “Why would the Horde want Perfuma?” The implication here is that Perfuma is no use to man nor beast. She-Ra is at a loss to explain the kidnap, but all becomes clear when Shadow Weaver casts her spell to block out the sun. She-Ra turns to directly address the camera, and looks distinctly cross-eyed – and even possibly a bit drunk – as she proclaims that she is going to ask Light Hope what to do.

Flowers for Hordak 1
She-Ra: “Oh Christ, I’m off my tits again.”

Light Hope is bafflingly insane this time, though; he agrees that the trees will die without Perfuma, but insists that She-Ra must do absolutely nothing to try to sort the situation out. Bemused, She-Ra leers drunkenly at the camera again, then returns to the rebel camp, where she convinces Glimmer to cast a spell to simulate sunlight. After Glimmer does this, she claims exhaustion, and retires to bed with what looks like a McDonalds takeaway on her bedside table.

Flowers for Hordak 3
Glimmer: “I said a Big Mac, not the bloody chicken nuggets.”

In the meantime, Perfuma has decorated her cell with a huge flower display, and for some bonkers reason, is leading a Horde Trooper in a waltz. Needless to say, Hordak is not amused, and becomes even less so as the episode progresses and Perfuma spreads her flowers across the entire Fright Zone. Hordak sends increasingly desperate messages to the rebels, offering to swap Perfuma for She-Ra, and eventually just offering to release Perfuma if someone would just come and get her.

She-Ra takes him up on this latter deal, and arrives in the Fright Zone to find the entire place is covered in flowers, and Hordak is not at all pleased about it. And so begins the oddest prisoner release negotiation in history, with neither side wanting to have possession of the prisoner. She-Ra drives a hard bargain, and eventually agrees to take Perfuma away in return for the black ruby, money and supplies for the Rebellion. Shadow Weaver also lifts the sun-blocking spell, and She-Ra once again drunkenly mugs at the camera.

Flowers for Hordak 2
Hordak: “I’m willing to accept that this time I’ve screwed up.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Christ alone knows what we’re supposed to have learned from this little excursion into the world of the genuinely mental. Loo-Kee (who was lurking around at the Crystal Falls) goes for the obvious, suggesting that maybe we should take the time to enjoy trees and flowers. Sadly, he stops short of suggesting we decorate our worst enemy’s house with them.

 

Character checklist

It’s a triumphant introduction for Perfuma, and not a bad intro for Mermista. Our regulars are Adora, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Glimmer, Bow, Light Hope, Madame Razz, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Mantenna, some random rebels, and some Horde Troopers.

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Mermista: “I think I’m going to bow out of this episode early on.”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

She-Ra offers only a terse, “No time to explain” when asked where she came from.

 

Insults

Mermista calls a pair of Horde Troopers “dirty tin cans”, which is pretty par for the course. Otherwise, the start of the episode features Hordak happily describing Mantenna as a “bug-eyed bungler”. Later on, there’s a lot more irritation in his voice when he calls some Horde Troopers “idiots”, but this is understandable since he’s had to put up with Perfuma calling him an “old grouch” and the enormously insulting “Hordikins”.

Flowers for Hordak 6
Hordak: “This is the lowest point of my entire life.”

 

Does it have the Power?

Well, wow. Sometimes the writers surpass themselves. This episode is a serious contender for the most insane thing I’ve ever seen. It makes absolutely bugger-all sense, of course, but the scenes of Perfuma leading a squadron of Horde Troopers in a conga are so hilariously demented that you can’t help but love it. Hordak is extremely funny in his OTT hatred for flowers in general and Perfuma in particular, and it somehow adds to the general hilarity that even the rebels seem less than enthused about Perfuma’s presence in their lives. Perfuma is a hugely irritating character, but since the writer clearly intended her to be that way, it’s absolutely fine, so long as she never appears again – I’m convinced the joke will wear extremely thin if she makes a return showing. This episode, though, is one of the greats. Well done.

Episode 55 – Loo-Kee Lends a Hand

In which Loo-Kee takes a trip to Eternia.

Oh, well this is going to be good. I’m sure Loo-Kee’s contribution will prove invaluable. What’s he going to do? Leap out of hiding and recite moralistic gibberish at Hordak? Maybe She-Ra will be using him as a distraction so she can sneak up on Hordak while Loo-Kee’s getting blasted to smithereens. I don’t imagine I’d be the only one happy with that.

The story begins with She-Ra and Frosta rescuing some Horde slaves and taking them into Whispering Wood, where Bow entertains them by playing a harp. Poor slaves. After all they’ve been through, making them listen to Bow is perhaps taking things a tad too far. Anyway, She-Ra realises that with so many released slaves hanging out at Rebel HQ, they’re going to need some extra food, so she despatches Glimmer off to Sainsbury’s to buy supplies.

Loo-Kee 1
Glimmer: “I thought Sainsbury’s did home delivery these days.”

In the meantime, Hordak has invented something called a Time Stop Device. I’m sure you can deduce what this does, but in case you’re having difficulty, it can be used to freeze its target in time. Shadow Weaver and Imp take the Device to the market, where they plant it in Glimmer’s shopping cart. They then engage in some pointless bickering before returning to the Fright Zone.

When Glimmer returns with her shopping, she opens the box containing the Device, and it instantly activates, freezing the entire rebel camp. Shortly thereafter, Loo-Kee ambles along, looking for somewhere to hide, and he quickly deduces that something’s not right. At this point, a portal opens for Loo-Kee and takes him to the Crystal Castle, where Light Hope blabs the Adora/She-Ra secret, and sends Loo-Kee to Eternia to fetch He-Man.

Loo-Kee 2
Loo-Kee: “No one’s happy about me taking centre-stage this week, least of all me.”

Light Hope is evidently flirting with incompetence this week, since he decides that Snake Mountain is the most appropriate Eternian location to which to send Loo-Kee. On arrival, Loo-Kee manages to teleport himself to the Palace, where he explains the situation to Prince Adam and Orko. They all pop off to Castle Grayskull, where Adam turns into He-Man, and the Sorceress opens a portal back to Etheria for the three of them.

He-Man manages to release Adora from the time freeze by way of some technobabble reason, and she becomes She-Ra. The two of them then locate the Time Stop Device and start pulling it around, which is very difficult, because – as Orko wisely points out – it’s not easy to move something that’s stuck in time. He says this so sagely that the implication is that it’s useful advice with practical value to viewers, as opposed to complete nonsense.

Loo-Kee 3
He-Man: “Thanks for inviting me to Etheria, sis, but you didn’t really have to show me this bit of your weird bondage kit.”

The Time Stop Device doesn’t react well to He-Man and She-Ra hauling it around; suddenly, She-Ra realises that it’s causing a massive storm and might make Etheria blow up. They therefore do what they ought to have done all along and just smash the Device to pieces. This sets time moving again, which has the unfortunate side effect of allowing Bow to resume his harp playing.

 

In today’s adventure…

Well, I’d have to have been seven kinds of stupid to not spot Loo-Kee today, and perhaps in recognition of this, he doesn’t use his monologue to explain where he was. Instead, he discusses the fact that although he doesn’t have many powers, and is very small, he was still able to help He-Man and She-Ra. He seems to be channelling The Lord of the Rings in his conclusion that little people can do big things.

Loo-Kee 4
Orko: “Wow! Someone just as annoying as me!”

 

Character checklist

Today’s episode features pretty much everybody you could think of. For clarity’s sake, that’s Adora, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, the Sorceress, Loo-Kee, Glimmer, Bow, Madame Razz, Broom, Kowl, Frosta, Light Hope, Orko, Hordak, Catra, Shadow Weaver, Mantenna, Imp, Skeletor, Beast-Man, some Horde Troopers, and loads of rebels.

 

Insults

Shadow Weaver calls Imp a “squirt” and a “toad”, and Hordak calls Mantenna a “fool”. Far more entertaining, of course, is Skeletor’s brief cameo, in which he calls Beast-Man an “imbecile”.

Loo-Kee 5
Beast-Man: “Skeletor, could I draw your attention to paragraph 5 of the Bullying in the Workplace pamphlet that Unite passed out last week?”

 

Oh No, Bow!

Special points are awarded this week because Adora actually utters the phrase “Oh no, Bow!” That being said, Bow doesn’t actually do anything particularly stupid, apart from playing his harp in the deluded belief that he’s good at it.

 

Does it have the Power?

Last time Filmation attempted a storyline concerning time stopping, in He-Man’s Time Doesn’t Fly, the result was simultaneously insane and incredibly dull. This episode is definitely an improvement on that effort, but I can’t quite make up my mind as to whether it’s actually any good. It’s so easy to be blinded by joy at the appearance of He-Man and Skeletor, and thus lulled into a false impression. I think I’d say that this is certainly worth watching, but it’s not perhaps the special event it seems to think it is.

Episode 53 – Unexpected Ally

In which we meet a decent man who works for the Horde.

A young lady called Mally comes to Rebel HQ, asking for help. Her father and mother have been arrested for assaulting some Horde Troopers, and Mally herself was taken prisoner by the Horde commander, General Sunder. Unfortunately, Sunder forgot to lock the door of Mally’s cage, and she was able to escape.

Adora is suspicious of this story, as she remembers Sunder from her days in the Horde, and apparently he wouldn’t make such a mistake. She waddles off to become She-Ra, and then joins Bow, Glimmer and Mally as they prepare to attack Sunder’s camp and rescue Mally’s parents. During this attack, Mally manages to free her parents, but Bow manages to get himself captured, so it’s a bit of a win-some-lose-some situation for the rebels. Or a win-win situation, depending on your opinion of Bow.

Unexpected 1
General Sunder: “Right. You’re nicked.”

Sunder then demands that She-Ra surrender, the alternative being that Bow remains a prisoner for ever. She-Ra instantly gives herself up, and Sunder keeps his word, letting Bow go free. She-Ra, on the other hand, is dragged before Hordak, and in the ensuing scene, we learn that Sunder is a man of honour, even willing to go up against Hordak when he perceives something as unfair. Christ alone knows why this guy is working for the Horde in the first place, but I suspect he won’t be by the end of the episode.

Of course, Bow, Glimmer and Mally show up in the Fright Zone pretty quickly, and are so monumentally inept at carrying out their moronically simple plan that it’s lucky Sunder chooses this moment for his inevitable switching of sides. He releases She-Ra, and even agrees to join the Rebellion. Even more surprisingly, there isn’t one of those sudden last-minute revelations that means Sunder has to go off somewhere, for fear of changing the status quo.

Unexpected 2
Sunder: “So, wait, now I have to hang out with you buffoons?”

 

In today’s adventure…

Loo-Kee is just outside the Fright Zone today, and his take-home from this little adventure is that it’s never too late to change your ways, just like General Sunder did. Good point, Loo-Kee. I might change my ways and stop watching this beastly cartoon.

 

Character checklist

If you’re a fan of General Sunder, then this is the episode for you. It’s also not bad if you’re keen on Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Glimmer, Loo-Kee, Mally, Mally’s parents, Hordak, Catra, Mantenna, Grizzlor and a whole boatload of Horde Troopers. Being honest, I’m not particularly keen on any of these people.

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

It’s typical that the moment I decide to retire this section, Adora starts giving excuses all the bloody time. This week’s isn’t a particularly good one – “I’m going to find the one person who can make sense of all this: She-Ra” – but it still counts.

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Glimmer: “Why are you wearing a blanket, you interloper?”

 

Insults

Once again, the Horde Troopers come off pretty badly; Mally’s father refers to them as “metal monsters” and Bow later calls one a “bucket of bolts”. Unusually, the Horde Troopers do get their own back a bit: one of them calls Bow a “fool” and another refers to She-Ra as “stupid”. Mally’s mother calls General Sunder a “monster”, and Bow refers to him as a “fiend” and “Horde scum”. Finally, Mantenna makes the mistake of referring to Hordak as “unreasonable”, and gets dropped down the trapdoor as a consequence.

 

Oh No, Bow!

Bow and Glimmer come into the Fright Zone hidden inside a cart full of hay. For no purpose whatsoever, Bow sticks his head out of the hay, allowing General Sunder to see him. If it weren’t for the fact that Sunder was having misgivings about renewing his Horde membership subscription, the game would have been up there.

Unexpected 4
Bow: “Hey, stop picking on me! Glimmer’s stuck her head up too!”

 

Does it have the Power?

Frankly, anything would have had the Power after last week’s appalling showcase, but even bearing that in mind, this episode is a good solid entry. I’d perhaps have liked it a bit better if it weren’t called Unexpected Ally, since between this and the fact that Sunder quickly demonstrates himself to be honourable, the twist when he changes sides was not in the least a surprise. Still, it was very pleasing that he actually joined the Rebellion at the end and was going to stay with them; I recall that it annoyed me in Micah of Bright Moon when Micah decided at the end of the episode that he had to go wandering pointlessly round Etheria. I don’t imagine we’ll see Sunder ever again, but if we do, it’ll be a nice little detail that will help to show the set-up of the cartoon doesn’t have to be static. Anyway, enough rambling on that: in summary, this episode is well above the average, but not a stone-cold classic.

Episode 46 – Micah of Bright Moon

In which Glimmer’s absentee father returns.

We begin with a relatively lengthy scene of space combat, which – while not exactly Star Wars – is pretty tense and exciting. A gentleman named Micah has escaped from a prison on Horde World, stolen a ship, and now is making his way to Etheria, while a squadron of Horde Troopers, directed by Horde Prime himself, is trying to recapture him. Eventually, Micah reaches Etheria, and Horde Prime delegates the recapture mission to Hordak. If Hordak were in any way competent, Micah might worry about this, but I expect he can breathe a big sigh of relief now.

Micah 1
Micah: “Pretty smug about this outfit.”

We cut to Whispering Wood, where Glimmer is coincidentally telling Bow all about her missing father. Bow doesn’t particularly care, and wanders off, leaving Glimmer to randomly start pretending to dance with her father. This goes on for longer than is entirely sane, and only comes to an end when Glimmer falls down a ravine because she wasn’t paying attention to where she was dancing. Serves her right.

Glimmer forgets for the moment that she has the power of teleportation, and instead requires rescue from She-Ra. She gets She-Ra’s attention by flashing her. No, not like that: she flashes her with a glittering crystal, of course, though in the next scene the animators get the colours wrong and consequently depict Glimmer without her trousers on, so maybe it was the other type of flashing after all. Anyway, let’s move on.

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She-Ra: “Glimmer, I know we all walk around with just our pants on, but when you do it, it just looks … wrong.”

She-Ra gives Glimmer a lift to Bright Moon, where they find Queen Angela moping about sadly because it’s her 20th wedding anniversary, but her husband Micah has been missing for most of those years. Don’t worry though; this is Micah’s cue to crash his stolen Horde ship on Etheria, though he isn’t considerate enough to do so anywhere near Bright Moon.

Instead, he lands in the Talon Mountains, where he is quickly found by Queen Hunger of the Harpies, last seen in Reunions. In case you don’t remember, the Harpies were keeping Queen Angela prisoner in that episode, so it’s quite fun that they now manage to capture her husband Micah. Perhaps they’re playing Bright Moon Bingo. Glimmer had better watch out.

Micah 3
Hunger: “What do you think of this lovely ornament, Micah?”

Hunger contacts Bright Moon and offers to release Micah if Angela surrenders herself in his place. Unless they genuinely are playing Bingo and Micah isn’t on Hunger’s card, I can’t think why there’s any purpose to this exchange, but there we have it. Angela agrees, and Glimmer immediately starts bawling her eyes out and making snorting noises that are worryingly reminiscent of Hordak. She-Ra stands in the background, looking like she despises the pair of them.

Angela sets off to Talon Mountain, where Hunger predictably goes back on her word and detains her as well as Micah. She-Ra seems oddly reluctant to even try to rescue Micah and Angela, but eventually Glimmer persuades her to give it a go. Luckily, when She-Ra and Glimmer arrive at Talon Mountain, they find Hunger has been distracted by Tung Lashor, who is attempting to carry out Horde Prime’s orders to recapture Micah.

Micah 4
Tung Lashor: “There’s a perfectly rational explanation for this.”

With Angela and Micah successfully rescued, the whole bunch of them return to Bright Moon. Unfortunately, it isn’t allowed to change the status quo in this cartoon, so King Micah cannot remain in Bright Moon for longer than a few days. Instead, he abandons his wife and daughter again, and skulks off to fight the Horde in some non-specific location. Bye, Micah. Have a nice life.

 

In today’s adventure…

Today, Loo-Kee is in his usual position in a tree in Whispering Wood. His pathetic attempts to evade me are doomed to constant failure. His moral is all about how important family is, which I think might have had a little more impact if Micah had actually stayed in Bright Moon.

 

Character checklist

This one’s all about the Bright Moon family, so as well as the standard old Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind quartet, we also see Glimmer, Queen Angela and Micah. Filling out the ranks are Bow, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Imp, Tung Lashor, Horde Prime, Hunger, and a load of Harpies and Horde Troopers.

Micah 5
Micah: “No, I think I preferred my outfit from earlier.”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

None. I ran out of witty things to say about this excuse drought about 20 episodes ago, if not longer. I’m sure I have critics who might argue I never had anything witty to say, about this or anything else. I don’t want to hear from said critics, because I have a horrible feeling they may be right.

 

Insults

This is a pretty sparse category today, featuring only a terse “fool” from Hordak to Tung Lashor.

 

Does it have the Power?

It’s mostly good; I enjoyed the space combat bit at the start, and given I’ve whinged in the past about Glimmer basically having no character, it would be churlish of me to deny that this episode goes some way towards redeeming that. It was also a good bit of continuity to see Hunger and the Harpies again, not that they’re particularly enthralling, but it’s nice that the writers remember things like this.

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Bow: “Well, hello there, little lady. Adora’s not around, so I’ll be creepy with you instead.”

The only problem, I think, is the fact that Micah disappears again at the end. How much would it really have hurt for him to have stayed in Bright Moon and joined the list of recurring guest characters? It’s not like we see Queen Angela that often anyway, thankfully, and we wouldn’t necessarily have to see Micah every time she shows up. It just seems all too convenient for him to leave once the episode’s action is over.

Two other minor points: firstly, all too predictably, Tung Lashor is now a far cry from his sinister and pretty scary first appearance in Book Burning. He’s now a moronic clown who is reduced to cleaning computer equipment with a cloth and an anti-bacterial spray. That being said, the recurring joke about him using his tongue to operate machinery, much to Hordak’s disgust, is actually fairly funny.

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Tung Lashor: “Not sure I could possibly be more pleased with myself.”

Secondly, She-Ra’s pronunciation of “parents” in this episode is less than satisfactory. It sounds like she’s saying “parrots”, which makes for some fairly entertaining reinterpretations. There was one notable point where I thought She-Ra said, “Glimmer, let’s get your parrots,” which struck me as a completely insane notion and nearly made me laugh out loud. Given I write these reviews on a pretty busy train, I’m glad I managed to restrain myself.

Episode 41 – Glimmer’s Story

In which Glimmer gives herself a new and demented haircut.

This week, Glimmer has got herself all hot and bothered over the impending arrival of Prince Highcliff from Blue Mountain. None of the rebels have ever met Prince Highcliff before, but word has it that he’s very handsome. Glimmer has dyed her hair purple for the occasion, and given herself a splendidly insane haircut, which serves very little purpose story-wise and must have given the animators a right headache.

Glimmer 1
Angela: “This is my daughter, Bellatrix Lestrange… er, sorry, Glimmer.”

Unbeknownst to the rebels, however, Highcliff has been captured by Hordak and introduced to a gentleman called Falseface. Falseface is essentially a better version of Man-e-Faces, in that he can mimic a person’s entire appearance, not just their face. This makes him far more useful as a master of disguise than Man-e-Faces ever was. Assuming Prince Highcliff’s appearance, Falseface trolls off to Bright Moon to do something nefarious, though he isn’t given any specific aim.

When Falseface arrives, he is welcomed by the perpetually thick-sounding Queen Angela, who assigns Glimmer to guide him round. The first thing Glimmer shows him are the floodgates, which are currently closed to defend Castle Bright Moon from a watery deluge. Naturally, Falseface opens the floodgates, necessitating She-Ra’s intervention. She-Ra saves the castle, though she nearly drowns a child in the process, so I don’t think this one can be called an unmitigated success.

Glimmer 2
Bow: “That’s fine, I’ll just clear up She-Ra’s mess, like usual.”

Falseface pretends to cheer along with all the other happy idiots in Bright Moon, but he is already hatching his next plan: to turn off Bright Moon’s defensive shields in order to allow a full-scale Horde assault. He sleazes up to Glimmer and asks how the shields work, and learns that they are powered by a magical device called the Moonstone, so he kidnaps Glimmer by putting her in a big red blanket, and steals the Moonstone.

Once this treachery is discovered, She-Ra attends to defending the castle from Hordak’s army, first getting Bow out of the way by telling him to go and rescue Glimmer. As it turns out, Bow only provides minimal help: Glimmer proves entirely capable of rescuing herself, and retrieves the Moonstone and the real Prince Highcliff into the bargain. She brings the Moonstone back to Bright Moon, where it is recharged and used to put the castle’s defences up again.

Glimmer 3
Prince Highcliff: “Glimmer, it’s lovely to meet you, but did you have to bring that loony in the paper aeroplane?”

 

In today’s adventure…

Loo-Kee’s in the very first shot of the story today, perhaps thinking that we wouldn’t be ready for him at that early stage. Too bad for him, because I was. He rabbits on about how appearance isn’t everything. It’s a while since we’ve heard this one, and since it makes sense in the context of this episode’s story, I think we’ll accept it this time.

 

Character checklist

Lots of familiar faces today, and a few less so. There’s Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Glimmer, Bow, Queen Angela, Kowl, Madame Razz, Prince Highcliff, Hordak, Catra, Grizzlor, Falseface, Imp, and the various inhabitants of Bright Moon.

Glimmer 4
Prince Highcliff: “Why is this guy making a gesture implying he’s got a hefty pair of tits?”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

I think I’m going to have to start giving an excuse for the disappearance of this section if she doesn’t start making excuses soon.

 

Insults

All we get this week is Imp calling Catra “ugly”, which seems unnecessarily harsh, not to mention untrue.

 

Oh No, Bow!

The episode opens with Bow testing his new invention, a hang glider. Secure in his genius, Bow launches himself off a cliff, only to find that his hang glider doesn’t work, and he plummets into a lake. This qualifies for inclusion here for two reasons: firstly because it doesn’t work, though I think we could have all seen that coming, and secondly because his choice of location for his first test was ridiculously dangerous. If there was any sanity in this world, Loo-Kee’s moral would have been “don’t jump off cliffs in stupid machines you’ve just invented”.

Glimmer 5
Bow: “I honestly thought this would work.”

Not to be deterred, however, Bow unleashes his hang glider again at the end of the episode, in the big battle against the Horde. This time, he fares a little better, but frankly he still ends up falling out of it and needing to be rescued by Guess Who. I think he needs to give up on this idea, though it seems all the inhabitants of Bright Moon disagree with me, since they spend the final scene making out they’re really impressed by the hang glider.

 

Does it have the Power?

It may be called Glimmer’s Story, but she doesn’t really get a starring role. On the other hand, I think it is the first time we see her being competent: her escape from Falseface and her rescue of Prince Highcliff in the Fright Zone was achieved all by herself, without any backup from She-Ra, and that was rather refreshing.

Falseface was pretty irritating in his original form, and it didn’t help that he looked uncomfortably close to cruel caricatures my classmates used to draw of me. Once he was disguised as Prince Highcliff, though, he proved himself a pretty useful member of the Horde, so I’m not sure which way to jump with him. Let’s be generous and say he’s a worthwhile addition to the series, not that I expect we’ll be seeing him again.

In summary, this episode isn’t as good as some recent outings, but it’s still fairly entertaining, and I’d recommend you give it a watch.

Episode 25 – Small Problems

In which She-Ra picks a fight with a weasel.

The episode begins with Glimmer rescuing Bow and Kowl from certain capture at the hands of Mantenna, and it’s very nice to see someone other than She-Ra achieving something. The success goes to Glimmer’s head, however, and on returning to the rebel camp, she starts boasting her ridiculous pink-haired head off about it. Adora, Bow and Kowl all agree that Glimmer needs putting back in her place. Unfortunately, the writers seem to have forgotten that before Adora came along, Glimmer was the leader of the Rebellion, so perhaps she’s just trying to recover her position.

Small 1
Glimmer: “Get lost, Adora, you usurper.”

Adora takes Glimmer off and tries to subtly persuade her to stop bragging, but since Adora has no conception of how to do subtle, it quickly degenerates into a raging row. This only comes to a halt when Bow reports that the Horde have set up a research base in Smalloak, and are working on a chemical weapon. Adora and Glimmer, barely on speaking terms, head to check it out.

When Adora and Glimmer reach the research facility, Glimmer tries to outperform Adora and instantly gets captured by some robots. Adora sighs heavily, transforms into She-Ra, and comes to the rescue. Glimmer then wastes time relating her boastful story to She-Ra, allowing Catra time to show up and spray them with the Horde’s new chemical weapon, a miniaturisation powder, which – given the title of the episode – I really should have seen coming.

Small 2
Catra: “Hey, She-Ra, what do you think of our new party trick guns?”

The miniaturisation powder is still at an experimental phase, which means She-Ra, Glimmer and Swift Wind have time to fly to a lake where a half-man, half-elephant individual called Hose Nose awaits them. I’ll defer to what the episode said, but I had this guy’s action figure when I was younger, and the figure was called Snout Spout, which is a much better name. Either way, I must say I’m surprised that he ever made it into the cartoon, because he’s just really odd.

Small 3
Hose Nose: “I won’t say anything, which will save the voice actors the hassle of trying to figure out what a humanoid elephant would sound like.”

Anyway, Hose Nose washes the miniaturisation powder off our heroes, then buggers off without saying a word. For some reason, the powder only now takes effect, and She-Ra, Glimmer and Swift Wind shrink to a tiny size. The episode now runs through some less-than-necessary sequences in which She-Ra does battle with a creature vaguely resembling a frog, some kind of weasel thing, and a crow, before they finally get picked up – literally – by Bow.

Bow puts on a disguise and manages to gain entry to the base, with She-Ra and Glimmer in his pockets. Luckily for them, it’s his shirt pocket, not his trousers. Bow then successfully finds the science lab, flatters the scientist, acquires some growth serum and uses it on She-Ra, Glimmer and Swift Wind to return them to normal. It’s at this point that Catra, Scorpia and two Horde Troopers corner them, and She-Ra makes a bizarre comment: “They can’t fire in four directions at once.” Well, yes they can actually, She-Ra, because there’s four of them, and they all have a gun.

Small 4
She-Ra: “My, my, what a massive helmet.”

Catra and Scorpia waste time arguing, which gives our heroes the opportunity to escape – though not before they blow the entire research base up. Back at Whispering Wood, Glimmer promises not to boast anymore, and then Bow says, “For the first time, I had She-Ra right in the palm of my hand.” I thought that was pretty funny, actually, but Glimmer and Adora don’t. They stalk off, but not before giving Bow a disgusted look, as if he’d just admitted to having had a threesome with Orko and Hordak.

 

In today’s adventure…

Today I saw Loo-Kee, again because I pressed the pause button at a fortuitous moment. He’s in a tree, just before Adora and Glimmer reach Smalloak. Not unexpectedly, his theme for the day is not getting a big head when you do well at something, such as the spelling contest.

 

Character checklist

This enjoyable little trip to Etheria involves quite a few characters, including a new face or two: Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Glimmer, Bow, Kowl, a Twigget, Hose Nose, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Catra, Scorpia, the Horde scientist, and some Horde Troopers.

Small 5
Scorpia: “Oh Christ, it’s all going wrong again.”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

“I’m sure she’s all right. I think she can take care of herself,” says She-Ra, when Glimmer finally remembers that Adora was around.

 

Insults

She-Ra calls some Horde robots “tin cans”, and some Horde Troopers are referred to as “fools” by both Bow and Catra. Other than that, we are treated to Catra and Scorpia slinging barbs at each other. Scorpia, being irritatingly stupid, can only manage the unimaginative “fool”, to which Catra responds with “miserable insect” and “bugface”.

 

Oh No, Bow!

Bow attempts to break into the Horde research base by dressing up as a Horde Inspector. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know what a Horde Inspector looks like, so he just makes a costume up. Needless to say, it fails to convince the guards, though luckily for him, Scorpia is idiotic enough to fall for it.

Small 6
Horde Trooper: “Bow, we know it’s you.”

 

Does it have the Power?

I’ve always enjoyed stories about people being made smaller than they should be. I used to love Honey, I Shrunk the Kids when I was little, except for the bit where – spoilers – the ant dies. I used to hate that bit and used to actually leave the room when I knew it was coming. My sister, who I’ve never quite forgiven, used to simply pause the video and then make me watch the ant dying bit when I came back. Despite me being two years older than her, I never failed to fall for this trick. God, I was dense.

Irrelevant reminiscing aside, I was always going to like this episode because of its gimmick. Unless you count the two or three minutes in the middle where She-Ra has fights with various normally non-threatening animals, it doesn’t actually do a lot with its premise, but it’s still good. Catra is entertaining as always, and it was fun to see how much she dislikes Scorpia. My only quibble is the entirely pointless appearance of Hose Nose, which was a return to the “here’s an action figure you need to buy” type of scene that occasionally blighted He-Man.

And, as stated above, it was nice for Glimmer to actually get a moment in the spotlight and achieve something. Bow also got a victory, in that he was the one to blow up the base, not She-Ra. On thinking about it, all She-Ra actually did this week was show up, which was a nice change.

Episode 24 – The Mines of Mondor

In which She-Ra and co attempt a remake of The Great Escape.

I’m not sure what’s wrong with me today, but I found it incredibly difficult to understand what anyone was saying for the first few minutes of this episode. This was partly down to Catra, who was rather overdoing it on her cat voice this time, but otherwise there was nothing obvious to blame. Still, the story was easy enough to pick up: Prince Azar, the son of King Duplis, is captured by the Horde. This is a bad thing, though we’ve never met Azar or Duplis before.

Mondor 1
Catra: “Azar didn’t keep up repayments on his mortgage, and now Horde Troopers are repossessing his house. Don’t be like Azar. Set up a mortgage protection plan today.”

Duplis comes to visit Queen Angela, Glimmer and Adora at Bright Moon, and explains that Azar has been set to work in the Mines of Mondor on the planet Krytus, acquiring precious but dangerous minerals for the Horde. Angela offers the Rebellion’s help, and Adora obligingly pops off to find She-Ra. Once the funky music has finished playing, She-Ra, Bow, Kowl, Madame Razz, Broom and Glimmer all make a trip through a dimensional gate to Krytus, having first been warned that they must return within three days, or not at all.

Once on Krytus, our heroes find themselves by a vast sea, so – without consulting the others – She-Ra buys a ship in order to travel to the Mines. Notwithstanding the fact that the ship is a complete hunk of junk, Glimmer reasonably points out that none of the assembled rebels knows anything about sailing. She-Ra dismisses their concerns, and tells them that they will all learn how to sail. Yes, She-Ra, I realise the point is that you can do anything if you try, but perhaps learning the art of seamanship when you’ve only got three days is a tad overambitious, no?

Mondor 2
She-Ra: “Come on lads, look lively. Learn how to sail.”

As it turns out, seamanship is really easy. I don’t know why we need naval colleges; these clowns master it within 20 seconds. Unfortunately, a storm whipped up by Shadow Weaver sinks the ship, and the rebels all huddle together on a tiny raft until they reach the island of Mondor. Once there, a giant dragon bird thing attacks, but She-Ra defeats it and heals its injured wing. I bet that won’t prove important later.

Once that’s dealt with, She-Ra and her merry band wait until night before pulling off a heist on the mines. They successfully release all the slaves, including Prince Azar, and have time for a less than enthralling fight with Hordak, Catra, Scorpia and Shadow Weaver, as well as scores of Horde Troopers. This comes to an all-too-predictable end when the dragon bird thing reappears and carries our heroes back to the dimension gate, with only a few minutes to spare.

Back in Bright Moon, King Duplis briefly claims that he and his son will not help the Rebellion, despite all that the rebels have done for him. Queen Angela starts off on a stupid and borderline irrelevant lecture about parenthood, and Duplis immediately backtracks and promises to assist the Rebellion after all, presumably mostly to get Angela to shut up. Bow then glances at Adora and appears to make the hand signal for ‘wanker’, though I suspect that’s not what was meant.

Mondor 3
Adora: “Bow, stop making insulting gestures, and while you’re at it, put your freaky teeth back behind your lips.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Loo-Kee couldn’t be more obvious this week; he’s right in the middle of the frame when the camera fades in on Whispering Wood, and he remains at the centre of the shot for a long time before the camera starts moving, infinitesimally slowly, to the left. His moral is pretty much a word-for-word repeat of the one from Enchanted Castle, when he gibbers on about helping people in order to make yourself feel good.

 

Character checklist

This little trip through an interdimensional portal provides an outing for Adora, She-Ra, Bow, Kowl, Madame Razz, Broom, Glimmer, Queen Angela, King Duplis, Prince Azar, Hordak, Catra, Scorpia, Shadow Weaver, Imp, Horde Troopers, and loads of background weirdos.

Mondor 4
She-Ra: “Bow, standing up doesn’t make you look any manlier. Sit down like the rest of us.”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

“I will find her,” says Adora, referring to She-Ra. And what do you know, she does!

 

Insults

Unless there were some hidden away in the unintelligible dialogue at the start of the episode, there weren’t any insults today.

 

Oh No, Bow!

On meeting some miserable locals on Krytus, Bow goes out of his tiny mind and decides to play them the worst song I’ve ever heard. It’s even worse than Agadoo. Naturally, the locals are less than impressed, and gather round with expressions suggesting they are all too willing to club Bow to death. Bow doesn’t take the hint, and actually seems to expect some applause, continuing to witter on about it even into the next scene. He even gets his harp out again later, in a misguided and unsuccessful attempt to seduce She-Ra.

Mondor 5
Locals: “If it’s not an Elvis tribute act, we don’t want to hear it.”

 

Does it have the Power?

Unfortunately, no it doesn’t. It’s one of those episodes that feels very much like it’s been put together by cutting and pasting bits of other stories, most of which weren’t that good in the first place. The rescuing a Horde prisoner storyline is very familiar by this point, and the bit about the injured dragon bird’s wing is taken pretty much verbatim from Friendship. The editing of the episode is really odd as well, with scenes seeming to finish at random. All in all, I’d class this episode as both dull and mildly incompetent, rather like me.

Episode 06 – Duel at Devlan

In which someone actually gets egg on their face.

This is exciting! I don’t have any idea what to expect from a standard episode of She-Ra. Who knows what faces us? Well, we start with a long scene showing a load of Horde Troopers being unpleasant in a pub, after which we cut to Whispering Woods, where a new member of the Rebellion, Frosta, is introduced. Frosta is capable of making it snow on demand, to the great delight of some green dwarves called Spriggets.

Devlan 1
Frosta: “I have better things to do than this.”

After a long and pointless scene which does little except reintroduce us to all the rebels, Adora turns into She-Ra for no reason whatsoever, and flies off on Swift Wind. It’s just as well she does, though, as she very quickly finds a child called Cristolla about to get sucked into a combine harvester. Once saved, Cristolla reveals that she is looking for the Rebellion to ask for help, so She-Ra flies her straight to HQ.

Cristolla is from that pub at the start of the episode, and she’d like the Rebellion to stop the Horde Troopers from bullying the inhabitants of her village, Devlan. She-Ra decides that she will teach the villagers to stand up for themselves, instead of having to call on the Rebellion, and flies off with Cristolla. They arrive at Devlan to find the Horde have frozen Cristolla’s father in a block of ice, but She-Ra solves this issue with a rather smug high kick.

Devlan 2.jpg
She-Ra: “This’ll break the ice. God, I’m funny.”

In the town square, they find that the Horde Troopers have given orders for the villagers to surrender all their valuables. The villagers are ready to give in, but She-Ra gives some vaguely motivational speeches. Hilariously, she’s rubbish at it; He-Man would have had these guys on side within 20 seconds, but She-Ra manages to persuade two people out of a crowd of about 70.

Of course, those two are all she needs. Well, actually, she seems to think she doesn’t even need them, since her plan is to make them watch from inside the pub while she defeats the Horde soldiers single-handedly. Surely this rather goes against her earlier stated principles of encouraging the villagers to stand up for themselves rather than relying on the Rebellion? As it happens though, She-Ra gets shot in the back, and needs to be rescued by the villagers. In the course of the ensuing battle, the villagers learn that they can defeat the Horde if they all work together.

Devlan 3
Villager: “Let’s hide here! I’m sure the Horde Troopers won’t see us behind these chest-high doors.”

 

In today’s adventure…

There must have been some serious head-scratching going on in the Filmation offices while they were developing She-Ra. The producers evidently felt the moral segment bit on He-Man was getting a bit stale and needed spicing up. Consequently, they came up with an individual called Loo-Kee. Loo-Kee is a small pixie creature of indeterminate gender (though I shall refer to it as a “he”, because that’s my best guess) who is hidden in the background of one shot of an episode. At the end, Loo-Kee will show us where he was hiding, and then dispense a moral.

I’m pleased to say that in this episode I did spot Loo-Kee – he was lurking nearby when Frosta was showing off her snow tricks. At the time, I thought, “What the hell is that?”, not knowing I was supposed to be looking for him. Anyway, today Loo-Kee explains that being bullied isn’t any fun, which is a staggering insight. He then advises us to tell our parents if we’re being bullied. Obviously, the writers didn’t want to go anywhere near the moral of cooperation, which has already been done to death in He-Man, but which is probably more relevant to this episode.

Devlan 4.jpg
Loo-Kee: “Hi, I’m Loo-Kee. And I’m rather irritating.”

 

Character checklist

This outing reminds us of the existence of Adora, She-Ra, Glimmer, Bow, Madame Razz, Broom, Frosta, the Spriggets, Loo-Kee, Cristolla, Cristolla’s dad, the other villagers, and the Horde Troopers, including some very odd robots.

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

About 10 minutes after the transformation, Madame Razz finally gets around to explaining to Glimmer and Bow that Adora is “off somewhere. You know how that girl likes to wander.” Glimmer and Bow are happy with this explanation, even though they know the Horde must be dead keen to recapture Adora.

Devlan 5
Madame Razz: “Welcome to Etheria’s version of Caesar’s Palace.”

 

Insults

The Horde come in for some abuse behind their backs today, being described as “horrid Hordesmen” by a Sprigget, “mean people” by Cristolla, and “bullies” by a random villager, all when they’re not within earshot. A really weird Horde robot gets his own back by describing the villagers of Devlan as “cowards”.

 

Egg on your face?

I suppose this category ought to be resurrected, if only to record that Madame Razz manages to arrange for eggs to land on the heads of herself, Broom, a Sprigget, Kowl and Bow. Kowl even makes the “you’ve got egg on your face” joke. This is followed up with an enormous pancake falling on top of the whole sorry bunch of them. Madame Razz is going to be very tiresome indeed if she keeps this second-rate-Orko malarkey up.

Devlan 6
Bow: “Actually, this isn’t a bad hat.”

 

Oh No, Bow!

Once Bow discovers that She-Ra is fighting Hordesmen in Devlan, he exclaims, “She might need us!” and charges off, obviously hoping that he can rescue She-Ra from mortal peril and perhaps get to sleep with her. This is wildly optimistic thinking on his part, since he doesn’t even get to Devlan before the battle is over.

 

Does it have the Power?

It’s a hugely simplistic story, which spends its first eight minutes (eight whole minutes out of twenty!) reintroducing the premise of the series, and demonstrating the characters again. Perhaps, of course, that’s what we need at this stage; it certainly wouldn’t have hurt for the viewers to see an easy story to remind them of the series premise. On the other hand, it’s not really very exciting, especially given it’s the exact same story as that stupid space pirates episode we saw in He-Man not awfully long ago. On the third hand, it is better than that He-Man episode. Let’s call this one a reasonable offering, and leave it there.

Episode 04 – Reunions

In which Glimmer, Madame Razz and Broom unleash the full extent of their infuriating natures.

Hurrah! We finally get the full introduction sequence. Adora approaches the camera, introduces herself, and explains how she becomes She-Ra (by drawing her sword and crying, “For the Honour of Grayskull!”, in case you’ve forgotten). She also reminds us that Spirit becomes Swift Wind, and informs us that her secret is shared by Kowl, a glowing mass of energy called Light Hope, and that bloody Madame Razz. Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Mantenna and Leech are shown to us to represent the Horde, and we are reminded that they are evil. All of this information is dispensed in an enormously patronising tone, and thus I much preferred it when there was no introduction.

After a lengthy recap of last week’s events, we open with He-Man and She-Ra hanging out in a clearing in Whispering Woods. Evidently not being quite sure whether he believes She-Ra’s claim that she is his twin sister, He-Man uses She-Ra’s sword to contact the Sorceress, who confirms that it is true, and moreover embarks on a flashback to fill He-Man in on the story.

Reunions 1
She-Ra: “Listen, He-Man, have you ever seen Blood Brothers? It’s basically like that.”

Adam and Adora were born to Queen Marlena and King Randor, but soon after their births, the Palace of Eternia came under attack from an evil force from another dimension – the Horde. Hordak was their leader even then, and Skeletor was his subordinate and favourite pupil. Knowing Adam and Adora were destined for greatness, Hordak and Skeletor crept into the Palace to kidnap them. Interrupted mid-kidnap, Hordak escaped with Adora, abandoning Skeletor to the tender mercies of the royal family and Man-at-Arms. Despite a lengthy search, Hordak and Adora could not be found.

Reunions 3
Hordak: “It’s always embarrassing looking back at old photos and seeing the dorky fashions you used to think were cool.”

Once all this backstory has been related, He-Man asks She-Ra for a big hug. I’ve often found He-Man a little creepy, and never more so than now. Once that’s over with, they turn back into Adam and Adora and return to the rebel camp. With Adam vouching for her, the rebels are easily persuaded that Adora is now on their side.

With this resolved, we move on to a short subplot: Queen Angela of Bright Moon, where Glimmer comes from, disappeared during a major battle with the Horde, and it has been determined that she is now a slave to an individual called Hunger, the queen of the Harpies of Talon Mountain, or some such. Glimmer, who is Angela’s daughter, wants to rescue her, and Adora and Adam offer to do so. They turn back into their alter egos, and fly off on Swift Wind.

Despite a great deal of footage featuring Hunger and the other Harpies screeching their idiot heads off, He-Man and She-Ra have very little difficulty in carrying out their rescue mission. Returning to Whispering Woods, Angela and Glimmer have as touching a reunion as is possible when you’re both voiced by massively irritating actresses. Despite the high level of fury Glimmer and Angela inspired in me at this point, they are still upstaged by Madame Razz, who weeps buckets for no reason.

Reunions 2
Queen Angela: “Why don’t you have wings like me, Glimmer?”

Touched by the mother-and-daughter reunion, Adora decides that now would be a good time to visit Eternia and meet her own parents. She, Adam, Spirit and Cringer all return to Eternia through the Sorceress’ gateway, where Adora is introduced to her parents – as well as Man-at-Arms and Teela – and they all weep so much that it looks like their eyes have been replaced with taps. Randor even tells Adam that he’s really pleased with him for bringing Adora home, which has to be a first.

Reunions 4
King Randor: “Hurrah! A child who might not be as useless as Adam.”

Unbeknownst to them, Hordak has opted to come through the gateway as well. Once on Eternia, he makes his way to Snake Mountain, where he has a slanging match with Skeletor, followed by a short battle. Finally, the two agree to work together to recapture Adora, after which Hordak promises to leave Skeletor in peace. He also snorts like a demented pig for our delight and delectation, as the words ‘To be continued’ flash across our screen.

 

In today’s adventure…

I’m sure it won’t come as a surprise, but there is no moral again. I, however, did pick up a few helpful life hints from the episode, chief among them being that if I go through an interdimensional portal, I should always check behind me in case my mortal enemy has come too.

Reunions 5
Skeletor: “Check out my big stupid stick, Hordak.”

 

Character checklist

Everyone and his mother is invited to this party. We’ve got Adora, She-Ra, Spirit, Swift Wind, Bow, Glimmer, Queen Angela, Madame Razz, Broom, Kowl, Prince Adam, He-Man, Cringer, Teela, Man-at-Arms, King Randor, Queen Marlena, the Sorceress, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Hunger the Harpy, Skeletor, and loads of Horde Troopers, rebels, etc. I may well have forgotten someone from this list, but it’s probably the largest cast in any episode so far.

 

Excuse given for Adam and Adora’s disappearances

Adora and Adam happily turn into She-Ra and He-Man and back again repeatedly in this episode, but only in each other’s company, and mostly offscreen, luckily. They therefore don’t give any excuses. Still, the subject is touched upon shortly before they go to Eternia, when Adam explains that Adora mustn’t tell Randor and Marlena about her secret identity, or that of He-Man. Instead of saying, “Well, why the bloody hell not?”, Adora simply agrees. That’s a missed opportunity for the writers to explain that one. Unless, of course, the writers can’t explain that one.

Reunions 6
The Sorceress: “No, I will not explain why your identities have to be secret. There definitely is a reason though.”

 

Insults

The Sorceress kicks things off by referring to Hordak as a “vicious tyrant”. The next insults come with Bow and Glimmer each calling each other a “fool”, and Queen Angela calls the Harpies “vile minions”. Hunger is the most prolific insulter of the episode, given she shouts at her Harpies when they fail, calling them “blunderers” and “birdbrains”, then turns her attention to He-Man and She-Ra with “fools” and “dolts”. In his final scene, Hordak calls Skeletor a “traitor to the Horde”, and refers to Adam and Adora as “Eternian fools”. It’s good to see that this cartoon is going to continue the obsession with fools.

 

Oh No, Bow!

In his only scene, Bow doesn’t want to rescue Queen Angela because he thinks the rebels aren’t strong enough to defeat the Harpies. He’s completely wrong, of course, given He-Man and She-Ra manage it within three minutes.

Reunions 7
Bow: “Don’t undermine me, Kowl.”

 

Does it have the Power?

It’s nice to get the full story behind the Horde’s kidnapping of Adora, and particularly fun to see a vague origin for Skeletor – who’d have thought he was a former pupil of Hordak? It’s a great decision for Skeletor and Hordak to now hate each other; it would have been rather too neat if they’d been allies, and it’s far more in character for Skeletor to refuse to share power with anyone.

I’m not quite sure why the Queen Angela bit was here, as it didn’t feel relevant to the rest of the episode’s story. Still, as part of a complete film, it possibly makes more sense. We’ll have to find out next week. As it stands, it’s simply another demonstration of how annoying Glimmer and Madame Razz are.

And speaking of annoying, Hordak’s pig noises are really beginning to get on my tits now. His habit of transforming himself into machinery (in this episode, he becomes a rocket, a drill, and uses his stupid arm cannon again) is also not as funny as the writers evidently think it is. I feel that this cartoon could be a really long slog if Hordak doesn’t get a better voice and character soon.