Episode 79 – Romeo and Glimmer

In which the writers don’t have the balls to stick to the ending of the story they’re adapting.

The rebels have gathered at Castle Bright Moon, where they receive intelligence suggesting that Hordak is planning an attack shortly. When huge Horde armies arrive and surround the castle, Bright Moon’s guards manage to capture a Horde soldier, called Corporal Romeo, who refuses to give up any further information on the upcoming attack. Noting that Romeo’s arm is hurt, Glimmer offers to take him to the medical room to cure it.

Romeo: “Oh no. Being captured is bad enough. Having to interact with Adora is terrible.”

At the medical room, Glimmer spends a fair bit of time staring dopily into Romeo’s face, then starts shrieking at him for his allegiance to the Horde. Romeo defends himself, apparently sincerely believing that the Horde is a force for good. You know that scene in the new She-Ra series where Bow shouts at Adora about the Horde being called THE EVIL HORDE? Romeo could benefit from that conversation. Anyway, he tries to make friends with Glimmer, but she won’t have it and stomps off to help defend the castle.

In a massive tank outside the castle, Hordak and Entrapta fire a new weapon at the protective forcefield, which rather surprisingly brings the forcefield crashing down. Of course, the first thing they find on the other side is She-Ra, poncing about with an insufferable air of self-importance. With very little effort, she picks up the tank and hurls it back to the Fright Zone.

She-Ra: “Sword to fireworks.”

We then cut back to Romeo, pacing about in the medical room. He is talking to himself, muttering, “Hordak always told us the rebels were animals.” There’s then a touch of regret in his voice as he concludes, “But Glimmer isn’t like an animal at all.” It’s clear that he has fallen for Glimmer, but decides that his duty is to escape and return to Hordak. In the course of his escape, he overhears Queen Angela saying that until Bright Moon’s forcefield is repaired, the castle will remain vulnerable, and he determines to bring this info back to the Horde.

Discovering that Romeo has done a runner, Glimmer develops a near-obsession with recapturing him. She heads off with Kowl in tow, finding Romeo just before he leaves rebel territory, and they have another impassioned debate about whether the Horde are good or evil. This ends when Romeo leaps on Glimmer, appears to grope her, and then whisks her off to meet Hordak.

Glimmer: “Hey! Personal space!”

Romeo informs Hordak of the vulnerability of the force shield, but then foolishly starts answering back when Hordak orders Glimmer to be locked up. The end result of the scene is that both Glimmer and Romeo end up being booked in for an all-expenses-paid stay in a five star dungeon. While there, they indulge in yet another discussion, after which Romeo agrees to join the Rebellion, though possibly only to shut Glimmer up.

Kowl brings word back to Bright Moon of Glimmer’s capture, and She-Ra goes barrelling along to rescue her. She releases Glimmer and Romeo from their cell, and then finds time to smash up a squadron of Horde Troopers and free a whole load more prisoners. Once they all return to Bright Moon, Glimmer makes eyes at Romeo and starts trying to act seductive, which is fairly uncomfortable viewing, if I’m honest.

Glimmer: “I’ve spent some time trying to think of a sexual innuendo involving the word ‘Horde’, but I can’t.”

In today’s adventure…

I was so engrossed in this week’s fascinating instalment that I entirely forgot to look for Loo-Kee, though I wasn’t altogether surprised when he revealed he was in a tree. He witters on about friendship and how it’s really valuable and all that. I’m getting heartily sick of Loo-Kee and his gibberish.

Character checklist

This majestic entry features Adora, She-Ra, Glimmer, Bow, Kowl, Queen Angela, Romeo, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Entrapta, Imp, and a super selection of Horde Troopers.

Entrapta: “Em, Hordak, I’m sure you did this to Octavia too at one point. It’s a little bit inappropriate.”

Insults

Entrapta calls She-Ra a “muscle maiden” and says something that sounds very much like “little fink” to Imp, but I don’t know what that means. Otherwise, we only have Kowl slightly oddly calling a Horde Trooper a “turkey”.

Oh No, Bow!

Adora has to remind Bow at the start that the rebels don’t torture people for information, which comes as something of a disappointment to Bow, judging by his face. He’s itching to beat the living daylights out of Romeo.

Does it have the Power?

I’m sure the writers thought they were paying respectful tribute to Shakespeare by attempting to rework his play into this episode, but all they did was craft a really boring story. The only good thing about it was that it gave me momentary hope that they’d stick to the original and make Glimmer stab herself to death at the end. Perhaps inevitably, this doesn’t happen, and I now realise I was foolish to expect it. With that hope dashed, though, there’s no reason whatsoever to watch this.

Episode 78 – When Whispering Woods Last Bloomed

In which we meet two new recruits to Team She-Ra.

Adora and Madame Razz are out in the forest, feeding a variety of interestingly deformed animals, but have to put a stop to this when they hear the unmistakeable sound of Catra capturing Bow and a load of other rebels. That means it’s leotards off and tiaras and red capes on for Adora, who in her She-Ra guise puts Catra and the Horde to flight pretty speedily. The whole thing is watched from a vantage point by two ladies, called Spinnerella and Netossa, who decide the most appropriate follow-up to all the excitement is to go to the pub.

Netossa: “Lovely little boozer, eh, Spinnerella?”

They are met there by Shadow Weaver, who has heard of Spinnerella’s amazing power. In case you’re having difficulty with this one, I can here reveal that Spinnerella’s power is to spin round really fast, creating a hurricane. Shadow Weaver hopes to persuade Spinnerella to use this power to knock down the trees of Whispering Wood, and to this end she captures Netossa in a magical forcefield, then tells Spinnerella that Netossa has been kidnapped by the rebels.

Spinnerella offers to use her powers to shift the trees out of the way, so that Hordak can send in his Troopers to rescue Netossa. I think it’s fair to say that Spinnerella is an idiot. I reckon I could have seen through this plot, even if I hadn’t had the benefit of watching 77 previous episodes of Hordak’s silly schemes. Still, we mustn’t dwell on that. Let’s move on to the good bit.

The good bit is where Spinnerella hitches a lift in a Horde truck down to the trees of Whispering Wood. She then starts spinning, and the hare-brained plan actually works; for the first time I can remember, the Horde manage to enter Whispering Wood. Unfortunately, it all begins unravelling a few seconds later, when Spinnerella addresses Adora and Bow to demand Netossa’s release. Naturally, Adora and Bow don’t have a clue what she’s talking about, and say as much.

Spinnerella: “I’ll huff and puff and I’ll blow your tower down. Okay, I’ll spin and blow it down, but nothing sensible rhymes with spin.”

Spinnerella doesn’t believe them, so carries on spinning. Adora trots off to become She-Ra, then contacts Light Hope to find out who and where Netossa is. Light Hope supplies this information in a pretty sane manner – comparative to his last appearance, Out of the Cocoon, in which he was as loony as loony can be.

Armed with Light Hope’s information, She-Ra beetles off to the Fright Zone and rescues Netossa. After the situation is explained to her, Netossa comes with She-Ra and tells Spinnerella that she’s a complete moron, so Spinnerella obligingly changes sides and spins Hordak out of the forest. With Hordak gone, She-Ra tells Spinnerella that she’s damaged all the trees, and asks her to spin in the opposite direction to put them back to rights. Yes, She-Ra. I’m sure that’ll work. Oh. It does. But you’ve got to admit, in any world governed by sanity, it wouldn’t work.

Netossa: “Well, I hope you feel ashamed of yourself, you idiot.”

In today’s adventure…

Loo-Kee is in a tree in Whispering Wood, but sadly not one of the ones that got blown down. He tells us that we really should enjoy trees, as well as protecting them. If only Bolsonaro were watching.

Character checklist

Well, there are of course the newbies, Spinnerella and Netossa, and a decent selection of the regulars: Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Madame Razz, Broom, Kowl, Light Hope, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Catra, Grizzlor, Mantenna, Imp, and all those Horde Troopers, obviously.

Adora: “Feeding time at the zoo. You too, Madame Razz.”

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

“I’ll go for help,” Adora offers, generously. Once she’s gone, She-Ra miraculously shows up! Who’d have thought it?

Insults

Hordak addresses Catra, Mantenna and Grizzlor as “fools”, after which Catra and Imp trade barbs: Catra calls Imp a “little creep”, and Imp retaliates with “little feline failure”, which is a rather satisfying turn of phrase which I might use while addressing my cat. Elsewhere, the only contribution Netossa makes to the episode is standing in her jail cell shouting “big chunks of scrap metal”, “walking junk piles” and “walking vacuum cleaners” at the Horde Troopers.

Oh No, Bow!

Adora tells Bow to “do your best” while she goes to get help. When she returns after having turned into She-Ra, gone to the Fright Zone, rescued Netossa and come back again, Bow has achieved absolutely nothing. He hasn’t even moved. If this is his best effort, I dread to think what his worst is.

Adora: “Bow, did you leave your hairdryer on again?”

Does it have the Power?

It’s a decent enough introduction to Spinnerella and Netossa, though the emphasis is very much on the former; we learn that she’s capable of generating a whirlwind and is incredibly gullible. I’m not really sure how much use Spinnerella will be: I’m pretty sure that She-Ra is more than capable of spinning and generating a whirlwind by herself. I can’t think of a specific episode to prove it, but She-Ra can do everything else, so the whirlwind trick seems likely.

Anyway, all we learn about Netossa is that she’s got a net (hence her name, presumably) and she’s good at getting captured. Admittedly, that’s pretty much all she needs to be one of She-Ra’s sidekicks, but since there’s plenty of other clowns who fulfil this role, I don’t expect we’ll be seeing Netossa again. I’m going to be honest here: I don’t actually care if we see Netossa or Spinnerella again or not, so either way is a win for me.

The story is not very exciting, really. For one thing, Hordak tricking people into helping him is not a new idea, and for another, it’s not long since we had an episode about Shadow Weaver using the wind to defeat the rebels, and while this episode is much better than Above It All, it’s still not good by any objective standards. Unless you really want to know where Spinnerella and Netarsa came from, I’d conclude there’s no need to watch this episode.

As noted last review, I haven’t got loads of time at the moment; we’re still on a very much as-and-when basis. I’m hoping to have another review up next week, but no promises.

Episode 77 – The Caregiver

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In today’s adventure…

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

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

Character checklist

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

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

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

Insults

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

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

Oh No, Bow!

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

Does it have the Power?

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

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

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

Episode 73 – The Time Transformer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

In today’s adventure…

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

 

Character checklist

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

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

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

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

 

Insults

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

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

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

 

Oh No, Bow!

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

 

Does it have the Power?

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

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.

Flowers for Hordak 5
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 56 – Of Shadows and Skulls

In which Skeletor gains the upper hand.

The episode begins with the rebels under attack, but thanks to a bit of a blunder from Shadow Weaver, they manage to escape. Hordak is properly livid with Shadow Weaver as a result, and after the ensuing discussion, Shadow Weaver decides to throw in her lot with Skeletor instead. She contacts him in Snake Mountain, and offers him anything he needs to conquer Eternia, in exchange for his help in toppling Hordak.

Skeletor agrees, but secretly plans to betray Shadow Weaver and conquer both Eternia and Etheria for himself. I say “secretly” – what I mean is that he manages to refrain from shrieking out this cunning plan for at least 20 seconds. Still Shadow Weaver remains unaware, and merrily transports Skeletor to Etheria.

Shadows 1
Skeletor: “I’m considering installing Shadow Weaver with that effect here permanently to save on light bulbs.”

Light Hope somehow gets wind of this development, and summons She-Ra to tell her all about it. She-Ra reacts with an air of weariness, barely restraining herself from saying, “For God’s sake, Skeletor again?” Instead, she flies off on Swift Wind to try to find Skeletor and Shadow Weaver, and stop them from doing whatever they want to do.

Our dynamic duo are in Snake Tongue Pass, happily occupying themselves in ambushing Hordak and a convoy of Horde tanks. Skeletor is enjoying this mightily, laughing his fool head off and waving his arms around like a complete maniac, but then has to get down to the serious business of a full-on duel with Hordak. After a pretty mental battle, Skeletor prevails, but is interrupted by the arrival of She-Ra – and then, to my surprise, he defeats her too.

Shadows 2
Skeletor: “I really have to wonder why Hordak has such ridiculously flat feet.”

With Hordak and She-Ra out of action, Skeletor cuts to the inevitable betrayal bit. He asks Shadow Weaver to put Hordak in a magic cage, and when she does so, he slams the door on her as well. He then indulges himself in a completely demented chuckle, before carting She-Ra off to the Fright Zone, where he seats himself in Hordak’s throne and introduces himself to Catra, Mantenna, Leech, Grizzlor and Scorpia as their new boss.

Shadows 3
Skeletor: “Hands up anyone who’s more competent than Beast-Man.”

With only four minutes of the episode’s runtime left to sort out this whole mess, it’s worryingly up to Bow and Madame Razz to break into the Fright Zone and release She-Ra. This task is made easier since the Horde team are taking advantage of Hordak’s absence to beat Imp up, and are thus not guarding the Fright Zone as efficiently as they should.

Once Bow manages to free her, She-Ra starts putting all the Horde Troopers out of action with her traditional high kicks, and uses a convenient seesaw to catapult Skeletor out of the Fright Zone. Once he’s outside, he is met by Hordak and Shadow Weaver, who have managed to free themselves from the magic cage. Fearing that Skeletor will give the game away, Shadow Weaver quickly teleports him back to Eternia, while She-Ra and her crowd sneak off back to Whispering Wood.

Shadows 4
Shadow Weaver: “Me? Up to something? No, definitely not.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Loo-Kee is in Whispering Wood, not that that will come as a particular surprise to you. He talks to us today about revenge, explaining that trying to get revenge didn’t help Shadow Weaver and it won’t help us either. He counsels us to instead try to forgive and forget, and says “because that usually works.” It’s incredibly hard not to read a sarcastic undertone to this phrase.

 

Character checklist

This excellent episode features Adora, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Kowl, Madame Razz, Light Hope, Loo-Kee, Skeletor, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Catra, Mantenna, Leech, Grizzlor, Scorpia, Imp and Spikor.

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

“I’m going to try and find a way out of here,” says Adora, when the rebels are pinned down at the beginning. It’s not a particularly good excuse, and it’s pretty unbelievable that the rebels wouldn’t already have tried to find a way out.

Shadows 5
Adora: “Bow, why do you look so worried about Kowl landing on your head?”

 

Insults

Perhaps inevitably for an episode that finds Skeletor in such fine form, there are vast swathes of insults flying about today. Shadow Weaver calls Imp a pretty scathing “pig-faced little worm”, and Imp retaliates with the far less effective “Shadow Wimpy”. Hordak gets in on the act too, calling Shadow Weaver a “useless trickster”. At the end of the episode, Bow refers to Hordak as a “villain”.

All the remaining insults in the episode are dispensed by or directed at Skeletor. She-Ra opts to call him a “villain”, a “bone brain” and a “bonehead”, to which Skeletor responds with the pretty mild “fool”. He reserves greater ire for Hordak, who also receives a “fool”, but is further burned with “dolt” and something that sounds like “bone breath”. Hordak responds with “bone-headed bogwobbler” (which I think we’ve heard before) and “bony buffoon” (which, oddly, I don’t think we have heard before).

Skeletor also finds time to describe his new army of Catra, Mantenna, Leech, Grizzlor and Scorpia as “slugs”, and early on in the episode we are treated to an unexpected and unwelcome cameo appearance from Spikor, who unceremoniously departs the story after being called a “nail-head”.

Shadows 6
Spikor: “To be honest, I’m only here to try to shift my peg-warming action figures.”

 

Oh No, Bow!

The episode opens with the rebels hiding from some Horde Troopers in a quarry. Kowl thinks that the Troopers don’t know where the rebels are, so Bow immediately sticks his head up so the Troopers can see him. Sure enough, he nearly gets shot. I’m genuinely bewildered that someone this incompetent is still alive.

 

Does it have the Power?

Hell, yes. Compared to his pretty lacklustre showings in Loo-Kee Lends a Hand and My Friend, My Enemy, Skeletor is at his lunatic best in this episode. The scene in which he battles Hordak is particularly good, and it’s very satisfying that he always beats Hordak whenever they have a duel. It’s almost as if, deep down, the writers knew Skeletor was infinitely better. It’s also very pleasing that he managed to capture She-Ra. He’s portrayed as thoroughly evil, entirely competent and completely hilarious – a winning combination.

The rest of the characters have their moments. I loved Shadow Weaver’s duplicity, and her cunning move at the end to prevent her betrayal being uncovered. Catra and Scorpia leading the charge to beat Imp up is hilarious as well, and She-Ra and her cronies aren’t annoying. This one’s a definite winner.

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 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.

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.

Micah 2
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.

Micah 6
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.

Micah 7
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 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.