Episode 86 – Glimmer Come Home

In which Glimmer falls for an incredibly stupid trick.

Today’s episode opens with some Horde Troopers confiscating food from various rebel-aligned villages, which does not sit well with Adora, Bow and Glimmer. Glimmer is all for going in guns blazing, but Adora tells her not to be reckless, and instead suggests heading back to camp to come up with a plan. Bow loves this idea, mostly because it means he can agree with Adora so she might ultimately sleep with him, but Glimmer is far less impressed, if her scowly face is anything to go by.

Once back at Rebel HQ, Adora shuts herself up in a tent and comes up with a plan, eventually conceding to meet the other rebels one by one to tell them what to do. She assigns Glimmer the low-importance-but-high-prestige job of distracting the Troopers with a light show, but Glimmer throws a wobbly and insists on being allowed to fight, despite having never shown any aptitude in this area whatsoever.

Madame Razz: “This bozz-eyed look is intended to discourage you from trying to enter this tent.”

When Adora continues to insist on the light show, Glimmer stomps out and bites Bow’s head off (sadly not literally). She then stands around in the forest whinging about how self-important Adora is – which is true, but Glimmer’s by no means any better. Glimmer then decides to come up with her own plan to recover the food, and this plan seems to involve lying around sulking at a lake.

Things take a turn for the unexpected when Glimmer’s reflection in the lake starts talking to her. Her reflection convinces her that Adora is taking all the credit that should be Glimmer’s, and suggests that Glimmer go off and start her own rebellion, and that this new rebellion should employ Horde Troopers. Glimmer doesn’t smell a rat, which is telling evidence of how mind-wrenchingly stupid she is, so she merrily trots off to find some Troopers.

Glimmer: “Hey! My eyes are shut but my reflection’s eyes are open. Should I be suspicious?”

It will, I’m sure, come as no surprise to you that this sweet-talking reflection was in fact Shadow Weaver in a cunning disguise, and she orders a pair of Horde Troopers to go along with Glimmer’s silly rebellion. Just in case the Horde Troopers aren’t up to the task, Shadow Weaver herself goes along, in another disguise which makes her look like she’s escaped from Planet of the Apes. When these three find Glimmer, they instantly sign on the dotted line to join Glimmer’s Rebellion Ltd.

Shadow Weaver: “Hello! I look excitingly insane today.”

Back at Rebel HQ, She-Ra realises that Glimmer’s been gone for longer than her usual allocated sulking time, so she starts looking for her. Once Glimmer is located, she spits venom at She-Ra (again, sadly not literally) and tells her that they’re no longer friends. She’s even gone so far as to block She-Ra on Facebook, so it’s pretty serious. Glimmer and her three fake rebels then scoot off, crowing about how good their rebellion is.

It’s difficult for me to decide whether I loathe She-Ra or Glimmer more, but at least She-Ra’s got a brain. She instantly clocks that the Planet of the Apes lookalike is bad news, and very quickly works out that it must be Shadow Weaver in disguise. Even so, she isn’t quick enough to intervene before Shadow Weaver reveals her true identity, places Glimmer under arrest, and for extra security coats Glimmer’s hands in candy floss.

Shadow Weaver: “This will work. And it isn’t mental.”

Shadow Weaver then has a very brief confrontation with She-Ra, before running away and leaving Glimmer to apologise – though I don’t think she sounds very sincere. They then work together to recapture the stolen food and deliver it back to the villages, after which we are treated to a mercifully short but nonetheless infuriating She-Ra monologue on the nature of teamwork.

In today’s adventure…

It’s easy enough to spot Loo-Kee today, standing innocently under a bush, as if butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth. I bet it was him who really convinced Glimmer to go off to the Horde. Anyway, he reinforces the message about teamwork, which was clearly being aimed at children on sports teams who have been placed in the area of least responsibility on the field.

Character checklist

Today’s little excursion into lunacy features Adora, She-Ra, Glimmer, Bow, Madame Razz, Broom, the Twiggets, Loo-Kee, a bunch of random rebels, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, and the inevitable load of Horde Troopers.

She-Ra: “You’ve been an utter moron this time, Glimmer, I don’t mind telling you.”

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

Adora graces us with an excuse for once. It’s not a very good one, but it’ll do. She simply says, “Bow, you take the other rebels to the Horde food warehouse. I’ll meet you there later.”

Insults

Bow calls some Horde Troopers “robot goons”, and then it’s all quiet on the insults for a very long time. Right at the end of the episode, Shadow Weaver suddenly gets all excited and calls Glimmer a “foolish girl” and resurrects the mildly popular “muscle maiden” for She-Ra.

Oh No, Bow!

Bow is remarkably unconcerned when he learns that Glimmer has teamed up with a pair of Horde Troopers and a weird monkey thing. His attitude is that they should just leave her to it and let her get captured. Actually, on reflection, this is a perfectly sensible attitude. Oh Yes, Bow!

Bow: “Maybe I won’t be the stupidest person on screen today.”

Does it have the Power?

It’s certainly not as much of an atrocity as it could have been. Glimmer is incredibly stupid to fall for Shadow Weaver’s trick in the first place, and it’s not particularly clear what Shadow Weaver was really trying to achieve by going through these convoluted shenanigans, but it has to be said that when Shadow Weaver is on form – as she is today – she’s a really quite intimidating and scary presence, and that makes up for quite a few of the episode’s shortcomings. Simply taking the story into account, this one’s pretty poor, but the execution is snappy enough that it’s a decent offering. You could do worse.

Episode 76 – Brigis

In which Mantenna gets something right for a change.

It’s time for another hare-brained scheme from Shadow Weaver, which on this occasion revolves around the magical village of Brigis. According to legend, a good witch once hid her power source in Brigis, granting the villagers health and long life, as well as security. The security comes in the form of making the village vanish entirely except for one day every 500 years, but if any villager ever leaves Brigis, this spell will be broken. Hordak plans to capture a villager, thus breaking the spell and leaving him able to steal the witch’s power source.

For some demented reason, Hordak entrusts the capturing-a-villager task to Mantenna and Grizzlor, who do not have the best track record in getting things right. Still, Mantenna surprisingly manages to lure away a little girl called Jarine, in a rather well done scene which demonstrates stranger danger effectively. Of course, Grizzlor ruins it, allowing the girl to escape.

Brigis 1
Mantenna: “Come with me, little girl. At least I’m less creepy than Bow.”

As she runs away, Jarine shrieks, “Help! Help!” which brings Adora and Bow charging to the scene. Once he sees them, Mantenna decides to disregard his instructions and makes an ill-advised attempt to capture Adora instead. This does not end well for Mantenna and Grizzlor, but while Bow and Adora are busy, Shadow Weaver nips in, kidnaps Jarine, and takes her back to the Fright Zone.

Finding that Jarine is missing, Adora, Bow and Madame Razz go galloping off to Brigis, where the villagers explain once again, for the benefit of the slower viewers, that if Jarine doesn’t return by the end of the day, the spell will be broken and Brigis will be unable to disappear. Seemingly oblivious to this, Adora decides to move all the villagers into Whispering Wood to keep them safe from the Horde.

Brigis 2
Villager: “How can I best get these idiots out of Brigis?”

There follows one of those tedious fights in which She-Ra makes mincemeat of some Horde Troopers, while Hordak stamps about impotently and intermittently turns himself into a tank. After this, the episode indulges in some more blatant time-wasting, until She-Ra decides to go to the Fright Zone to rescue Jarine. She does this so easily that it was barely worth even showing.

We then finish up with a grand finale in which Hordak attacks Brigis again, with a variety of improbable tactics which are countered by even less plausible responses from She-Ra. Eventually, She-Ra repels the Horde, Jarine gets a quick lecture on the perils of breaking the rules, and then Brigis fades away, leaving the villagers to continue their inbreeding for another 500 years. Hurrah.

Brigis 3
She-Ra: “At least I won’t have to deal with this lot again, unless I live to be 500.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Loo-Kee is hiding under a bush, right at the end of the episode. He witters on and on about how we should always stick to the rules, for example by only crossing the street when the stoplight is in our favour. He doesn’t mention stranger danger, which I really think he should have, given its perfect demonstration in that early Mantenna scene.

 

Character checklist

Today’s episode is a showcase for Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Kowl, Madame Razz, Broom, Loo-Kee, Jarine, the other villagers, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Mantenna, Grizzlor, Catra, and an endless parade of Horde Troopers.

Brigis 4
Madame Razz: “A better landing than usual, Broom.”

 

Insults

Very boring insults today. Mantenna calls Grizzlor a “fool”, and then Shadow Weaver calls both Mantenna and Grizzlor “fools”. I don’t even know why I bother to report this sometimes.

 

Oh No, Bow!

When Adora reappears at the end of the episode, Bow attempts to take the credit for She-Ra’s victory. Adora puts on a very shrill, brittle voice when she responds, “Oh, really?” Realising that he’s made a tactical error, Bow tries to make out that he was only joking. Just my opinion here, but there are times when I think Bow is more slimy and loathsome than the vast majority of the Horde.

Brigis 5
Bow: “Make sure you sign your name on any work you do in the office. Otherwise I’ll pretend I did it.”

 

Does it have the Power?

Well … it’s about seventeen thousand times better than any of the last three episodes we’ve had, but that’s still not to say it’s any good. The highlight is the stranger danger scene where Mantenna persuades Jarine to leave the village by telling her there’s some lovely flowers just over the hill; this is relatively subtle, and it’s good to see Mantenna being competent for perhaps the first time ever. Otherwise, there’s nothing really to recommend this episode, the second half of which in particular is dominated by endless scenes of She-Ra beating up Horde Troopers and destroying tanks. I’d probably miss this one, if I were you.

Episode 75 – Day of the Flowers

In which Orko yet again earns a special place in hell.

Prince Adam, Snout Spout and Orko have come on a special trip for a festival called the Day of the Flowers, in which the beauty of Etheria will be celebrated. Previous episodes of She-Ra had led me to believe that Snout Spout already lived on Etheria, but let’s gloss over petty whinges like that, since as this episode goes on, we’ll have plenty more to complain about.

Flowers 1
Prince Adam: “Sane people would bring their parents with them to visit their sister. But not me! I bring this guy.”

Let’s start with complaining about Orko. After his last atrocity of an appearance, in The Greatest Magic, I was ready to sign up for an Orko-free future, but no – here he is again, playing stupid magic tricks and setting the episode’s plot in motion by making Adam and Adora’s swords disappear. You cock, Orko. Can’t you just leave well enough alone?

I feel like I’ve been getting ever more furious over the last few episodes of She-Ra, but you’ve got to admit I’m being sorely provoked.

An old man arrives at the festival, begging for help because a group of gigantic evil robots known as the Monstroids have kidnapped all the men and boys from his village to work in Hordak’s nucleon mines. Adam and Adora try to transform, but of course their swords have gone, resulting in a mildly satisfying scene where they get livid with Orko, and then decide to try to defeat the Monstroids as themselves.

Flowers 2
Adora: “Right. You didn’t bring Mother. You didn’t bring Father. You brought Snout Spout. And you brought this div. Don’t bother to visit again, Adam.”

The Monstroids approach the site of the flower festival, so Adam, Adora, Snout Spout and Frosta stand on a mountain looking down at them, in a misguided attempt to look intimidating. No doubt realising that no one would ever be intimidated by a man with Adam’s dress sense, however, they quickly move on to making more elaborate plans, which involve Frosta and Snout Spout making ice bombs, and Adora throwing them at the Monstroids. This is very boring, but it’s at least mildly better than Adam’s role in the plan, which is to stand around shouting at Orko.

This episode is such a tedious mess that I rather lost interest around about this point, but suffice it to say that there’s a whole lot more of Adam and Adora alternately yelling at and encouraging Orko, while the Monstroids continue to stamp around the flower fields with zero sense of urgency. In the meantime, Madame Razz hangs around, having evidently been written as a fusty old-fashioned eight-year-old who’s been given too much lemonade: “Oh dearie my! This is so exciting!” I can assure you, Madame Razz, that it’s not exciting in the slightest.

Flowers 3
Monstroid: “If you find us boring, just pretend we’re mechs from Scythe. That might make us interesting for up to 3 seconds.”

As you have no doubt predicted, Orko eventually manages to get the swords back, and Adam and Adora are free to turn into She-Ra and He-Man. The writers appear to have finally realised that cutting the transformation sequences together just plain doesn’t work, so at least they are good enough to take turns. Once these two are on the scene, of course, the Monstroids are turned into scrap metal, and I hope I never see them – or Orko – again.

In today’s adventure…

Loo-Kee was hiding in a tree, again, but I didn’t see him. I’m willing to let it pass this time. He suggests that we should believe in ourselves, and then we can do anything. If only I’d believed in myself, I could have turned this tripefest of an episode off.

Character checklist

Adora, Prince Adam, She-Ra, He-Man, Snout Spout, Orko, Madame Razz, Broom, Bow, Glimmer, loads of rebels, Loo-Kee, Hordak, the Monstroids, some Horde Troopers, and some poor unfortunate soul who’s been christened with the name of Ore Captain Sludge-Man, and as such had some pretty insurmountable obstacles right from the beginning of his life.

Flowers 4
Frosta: “He-Man looks like he’s going to propose to his sister.”

Insults

Hordak refers to the Monstroids as “drumheads”, and that’s all you’re getting on the insults front. However, if you fancy a spot of innuendo, we do bear witness to Adora saying, “Making things big is something you’re very good at, Orko.” Do with that as you wish.

Oh No, Bow!

If I really wanted to stretch a point, I’d argue that Bow drives like a complete maniac in the opening scene of this episode. Thereafter, he has sufficient wisdom to absent himself from the remainder of this thrilling instalment.

Does it have the Power?

Towards the beginning of this episode, Hordak snaps, “You’re not getting enough nucleon out of those mines, Ore Captain Sludge-Man!” It’s dialogue like this that makes me wonder if the voice actors ever had sudden flashes of despair, a la Alan Rickman in Galaxy Quest. “I was Richard III …”

Flowers 5
Ore Captain Sludge-Man: “Lost wealth may be replaced by industry, lost knowledge by study, lost health by temperance or medicine, but lost time is gone forever.”

Unfortunately, that little insight into the minds of the voice actors was the only entertaining thing about this episode, which is the third appalling effort in a row. It is at least different from the other two rubbish episodes, though. Unlike The Time Transformer, which was insane, and Above It All, which was disjointed, Day of the Flowers is just achingly boring. There are endless shots of the Monstroids trampling through the flower field, and of Orko again and again trying to get the swords back. Adora and even Adam are really patronising too, in their efforts to encourage Orko. This is another dreadful episode. She-Ra needs to pull her socks up.

Episode 74 – Above It All

In which three or four badly told stories combine into one unwatchable mess.

Shadow Weaver has yet another plot to destroy the Whispering Woods; she will open the Cave of Winds, and the Winds will blow all the trees away, leaving the rebels with nowhere to hide. Of course, as soon as she opens the Cave and a hurricane is unleashed, Kowl pipes up, “It’s as if the Cave of Winds has been opened!” I’m beginning to feel sorry for the Horde. Their plans barely have time to get going before the rebels take a random but correct guess as to what’s going on.

Even so, the Winds do manage to cause a spot of bother for Bow, Glimmer and Madame Razz, but that infuriating bitch She-Ra shows up and rescues them. She then flies off again with intent to ask Queen Angela to use her magic to stop the Winds. Unfortunately, before she can get to Bright Moon, She-Ra is grabbed by the long brown tentacles of a flying island, then captured by a walking tree and put to sleep with a blast of pollen. Take the pills, Owen. Take the pills.

Above It All 1
She-Ra: “This had better not be anything to do with Bow’s sordid little fantasies.”

Bow, Glimmer and Madame Razz are by now hard-pressed to defend a village from some Horde Troopers, while She-Ra is wasting her time being dragged around by the walking trees, who don’t seem to have anything better to do than repeatedly tie her up and pull her through the air. Eventually, the trees start talking, and explain that they don’t think humans can feel love, but are only good for fighting. This prompts one of She-Ra’s unhinged monologues, but she’s only just getting going before the trees release her and claim they only wanted to borrow Swift Wind to take them to another flying island.

She-Ra then strikes a deal with the walking trees, agreeing that Swift Wind will fly them around if they help with the Cave of Winds situation. Once the trees have been transported to the new flying island, She-Ra takes possession of the old one, and plugs the hole in the Cave of Winds with it. I’d say this is only a temporary solution at best; it surely can’t be beyond Shadow Weaver’s ability to create another hole in the Cave? Still, Shadow Weaver takes it as a stunning defeat, and runs away hissing ineffectual threats, which is what I feel like doing too.

Above It All 2
Shadow Weaver: “I think my number’s up.”

 

In today’s adventure…

I didn’t see Loo-Kee today, and I’m not going to whinge about him being hidden in a ridiculously difficult spot. I’m going to move on maturely, after saying HOW THE CHRIST IS A FIVE YEAR OLD SUPPOSED TO SEE HIM THERE????? He tells us all about how people might look different, but they’re all beautiful. Apart from Bono. He’s not beautiful. He’s a dick. Loo-Kee doesn’t say all this, but I can see it in his eyes.

 

Character checklist

We’re subjected to appearances from Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Kowl, Glimmer, Madame Razz, Broom, Loo-Kee, the walking trees, some random children, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, and some Horde Troopers. There’s also a cameo return for Vultak, the vulture-like Horde zookeeper last seen in Zoo Story.

Above It All 3
She-Ra: “This shot is definitely going on my 2020 calendar.”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

“Get back to the village. I’ll join you later,” says Adora to her friends, when the Winds first start to blow. They all run off without questioning this, and never ask about Adora again. For all they know, she got blown off a cliff. The rebels may spout off a lot about love and goodness, but when it comes to Adora, they’re clearly callous, cold, and dead inside.

 

Insults

As mentioned above, this week begins with a cameo return for Vultak, who was pretty good when he first appeared in Zoo Story. Far from being the quite entertaining figure he was in his previous appearance, though, Vultak manages only to shout “miserable witch” at Madame Razz before being speedily despatched, as detailed below.

Above It All 4
Vultak: “I can barely arse myself to stay awake through an episode this dull.”

 

Egg on your face?

Thanks to a conceit of Madame Razz’s dreadful magic, Vultak manages to embed himself in a very large pie, and that’s the last we see of him, rendering his appearance pointless at best, and a complete fucking waste of time at worst.

 

Oh No, Bow!

In the opening scene, Bow combines his dual talents of being creepy and not being funny, by telling some children some appalling jokes while keeping both his hands uncomfortably close to his crotch.

Above It All 5
Adora: “Glimmer, you keep an eye on him. I’ll alert IICSA.”

Later on, the strong Winds from the Cave blow a log right into Bow, and it knocks him down. Serves him right. By God, I haven’t got any time for any of these clowns today.

 

Does it have the Power?

No, it really doesn’t. I was pretty stumped as I was watching it as to what story it was trying to tell. We start with three minutes of Bow entertaining the kids in his uniquely disturbing way, then cut to Madame Razz’s irrelevant set-to with Vultak, and then move on to the entirely disconnected Cave of Winds plot. Even once that starts, the writers seem to forget about it quite quickly, shifting focus to Glimmer, Madame Razz and Bow being under siege from Horde Troopers in a village, while She-Ra has her LSD trip with the walking trees and the flying islands. In complete fairness, these latter plots do manage to come together at the end, but not terribly satisfactorily. This one is one to miss.

Episode 70 – Something Old, Something New

In which Etheria falls out of its orbit.

This week we meet a wannabe magician called Eli, who has stolen a glowing red rock from Shadow Weaver and as a result is being chased down by some Horde Troopers. Eli casts a spell to turn the Troopers into trees, which to his surprise actually works. As the audience, we are aware that the spell worked only because of the red rock, and not because of Eli’s powers.

Adora and Bow charge in at this point, and congratulate Eli on his magic, prompting Eli to claim to be the best magician. He also reveals that his teacher Candor has sent him for further tuition with Madame Razz, so he accompanies Adora and Bow back to Whispering Wood. Once there, he does some tricks and ponces about arrogantly, failing to endear himself to anyone (except Bow, of course, who has a natural affinity with arrogant morons).

Something Old 1
Adora: “Eli, you can’t expect anyone to take you seriously with that ridiculous quiff.”

Eli continues to spend his time at the camp irritating people, including a moment in which he suggests altering a river’s course to help the rebels do their washing, but Adora immediately vetoes this idea on the pompous basis that “There’s always a danger when you change Mother Nature.” Quite right, Adora. Now why don’t you pop back in time by all of two episodes and tell She-Ra not to piss about with that river in Out of the Cocoon?

Of course, Eli doesn’t listen and rather pleasingly floods the entire rebel camp, which – to my deep dismay – means She-Ra has to get involved. After dealing with the flood, She-Ra and Madame Razz discover that Eli has disappeared, and they fly off to look for him, correctly intuiting that Shadow Weaver must be involved.

It turns out that Shadow Weaver is interested in recovering her glowing red rock, now introduced as the Stone of Serenity, which amplifies the magical ability of anyone using it. She has tricked Eli into coming to her by pretending to be his teacher Candor, and instructing him to come to a cave in the mountains. Once he’s there, Shadow Weaver nicks the Stone of Serenity back from him.

Something Old 2
Eli: “Hmm, a floating face telling me to come to an isolated location with an artefact of great value? Sounds legit.”

Meanwhile, as She-Ra and Madame Razz fly along, they are suddenly enveloped by a big red glowing ball, and carried into a pyramid, which Madame Razz identifies as the Balance Centre of Etheria. The Serenity Stone should be in the Balance Centre, but Madame Razz notes that it is absent, which might result in Etheria tipping to one side. This is the sort of plot development that ought to feel absolutely bloody ridiculous, but by this stage I’ve just started accepting this kind of thing as completely normal.

She-Ra and Madame Razz exit the Balance Centre and quickly find their way to the cave, where they confront Shadow Weaver. Allegedly, Shadow Weaver’s powers are greatly amplified by the Serenity Stone, but she doesn’t seem much more powerful than usual. Anyway, during the battle, Etheria starts to fall out of orbit, but She-Ra manages to get her grubby paws on the Stone and return it to the Balance Centre before it’s too late.

Something Old 3
Madame Razz: “I thought the Balance Centre was an inner ear hospital department.”

I don’t expect you’ll believe it, but the episode ends with Eli admitting that he’s been a bit of a div, and promising not to be one in the future. There’s also some random yammering about never being too old to learn things, and then a stupid joke from Madame Razz at which everyone laughs, except the audience.

In today’s adventure…

This Loo-Kee business is getting pretty tedious now. I really don’t care where he is, and I can’t imagine you do either. Still, if you must know, I found him today, standing behind a big rock. He suggests that we shouldn’t brag about our achievements, because if we do, no one will like us. No one likes me anyway, so I might as well carry on bragging. God, I’m awesome.

Character checklist

Well, would you look at that? It’s Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Madame Razz, Broom, Bow, Eli, Candor, Loo-Kee, Shadow Weaver, and some Horde Troopers. Glimmer, Perfuma, Peekablue and Flutterina also appear in the background, but they don’t add much.

Something Old 4
Bow: “Can’t even be arsed to stand up while this third-rate magician performs to these credulous buffoons.”

Insults

Eli begins the episode by calling a Horde Trooper a “big metal lummox”, and Shadow Weaver soon follows this up by referring to the Horde Trooper in question, and two of his colleagues, as “fools”. Shadow Weaver also refers to Eli as a “little thief” and to She-Ra as a “meddler”. Finally, Eli manages a new low by calling himself a “fool”.

Oh No, Bow!

The only person who doesn’t seem to think Eli is a first-class tool is Bow, and this seems to be primarily motivated by the fact that Eli conjures up a massive feast, at which Bow’s eyes light up with delight.

Something Old 5
Bow: “Give me a chicken drumstick and I’m anybody’s.”

Egg on your face?

As a cartoon, She-Ra doesn’t generally go in for the hilarious concept of pelting people with food, but this week, we do at least get to see Madame Razz being soaked with water when one of her spells goes awry. Maybe I’m in a bad mood today, but it isn’t very funny.

Does it have the Power?

Yeah, I suppose why not? The Eli storyline is pretty predictable, but with the added lunacy of the Balance Centre of Etheria, the episode just about elevates itself to an interesting if mildly demented outing. Shadow Weaver is as convincingly evil as always, and She-Ra didn’t wind me up, or at least she didn’t wind me up as much as she normally does. No classic, but solid.

Episode 69 – A Lesson in Love

In which everybody gets the chance to throw things at Bow.

I’m wary of this one. It’s not long since we had an episode all about the power of love, and it was one of the worst things I’ve ever seen. This episode doesn’t help itself by starting with a scene featuring a Typical Annoying Filmation Child called Kevin, who is soon to become king of some rubbish realm or other, but he doesn’t want to spend his time studying and would prefer to play. He compounds this dickish behaviour by deciding to run away. I hope Hordak shoots him in the head the moment he leaves the castle, and the rest of the episode is all about She-Ra having a nervous breakdown because she failed to save him.

Lesson in Love 2
Kevin: “Look on my irritating sneer, ye mighty, and despair.”

Over at Rebel HQ, the rebels (this week featuring Adora, Bow, Kowl, Madame Razz, Broom, and Flutterina) are preparing to go to the Twiggets’ Spring Carnival, which will be held outside Whispering Wood. Hordak gets wind of this silly notion, and decides to send a spy to the carnival to capture the rebels. He determines that the perfect spy, for God knows what reason, is Kevin, who has now been captured and brainwashed by Shadow Weaver.

Shadow Weaver arranges for Flutterina to get into a spot of bother with a giant spider, and allows Kevin to rescue her, thus winning Flutterina’s trust. Flutterina takes Kevin along to the carnival, which is fortunate, because up to this point the carnival was being very annoying, involving an extended and irrelevant bit of slapstick featuring Madame Razz being chased by a buffalo.

Once Kevin gets to the carnival, he discovers that Bow has set himself up as one of the targets in a coconut shy, but he passes up this cast-iron opportunity to hurl things at Bow’s head. Adora realises that this is very strange, and concludes there must be something wrong with Kevin, but she doesn’t have enough time to do anything about it before Kevin summons the Horde, who begin attacking.

Lesson in Love 3
Madame Razz: “Note the massive queue of people behind me all eager to throw things at Bow.”

The Horde have just as much success as always, being routed easily by She-Ra and her mates, but they do manage to capture Flutterina and whisk her off to Horror Hall. In the aftermath, Kowl tells She-Ra and Bow that he saw Kevin summoning the Horde; Kevin doesn’t remember doing this, and She-Ra realises he must be under a spell.

Heading to Horror Hall, She-Ra takes Kevin with her and discusses his reasoning for running away in the first place. Luckily, before she can get too patronising, Hordak interrupts her with a well-deserved freeze ray, which sadly she manages to dodge. It’s then a matter of relative simplicity for She-Ra and Kevin to rescue Flutterina, though it does involve an irritating sequence in which Kevin overcomes Shadow Weaver’s spell thanks to the power of good.

Once that’s all sorted, Flutterina hops onto the front of Kevin’s flying machine, allowing him to gaze longingly at her breasts. Returning to the carnival, She-Ra contacts Kevin’s father to come and take him home. Kevin departs with the words, “I’ll be back, someday!”, a statement which I chose to interpret as a threat.

Lesson in Love 1
Flutterina: “I’ve only been in two episodes and I’ve already been ogled by two people. And to make things worse, one of them was Bow.”

In today’s adventure…

It’s a far cry from the early days of She-Ra, when I couldn’t find Loo-Kee to save my life. Now it’s easy. He’s underneath a plant in Whispering Wood, and he wants to tell us about the difference between responsibility and irresponsibility. Essentially, the difference is that responsibility is good and irresponsibility is bad. Well, great.

Character checklist

There are times I can’t really be bothered to record this, and I’ll admit it shows in my terse lists of people. This week, it’s Adora, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Kowl, Madame Razz, Broom, Flutterina, the Twiggets, Kevin, Kevin’s dad, a talking mirror, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Mantenna, Leech, and the ever-reliable Horde Troopers.

Lesson in Love 4
Leech: “It’s just a step to the left, and then a jump to the right…”

Insults

Hordak’s not in a great mood this week, especially not with Mantenna, who gets called an “incompetent fool”, a “bumbling fool” and just plain “fool”. Hordak also considers Kevin to be a “fool”, as well as a “young whelp”. Shadow Weaver thinks the rebels in general are “fools”, and that She-Ra in particular is a “muscle brain”.

Elsewhere, Madame Razz’s magic mirror suggests that she is the “ugliest” of them all, a suggestion to which Madame Razz does not take kindly and responds by calling the mirror an “impudent thing”. Madame Razz also calls Bow an “animal”, perhaps offering an unwelcome glimpse into what he’s like in the bedroom.

Lesson in Love 5
Madame Razz: “If you don’t start being nice, I’ll make sure you never appear in any other episodes.”

Does it have the Power?

Despite an incredibly unpromising opening scene, it’s actually far better than I had feared. We’ve been through it before, so you’ll know I don’t like the children in Filmation, and I certainly don’t like plotlines about people running away – but that Kevin is far less annoying than most, so I’ll let him off, especially since he triggers a pretty exciting story involving an entertaining battle and a rescue mission to Horror Hall, where we get to see Shadow Weaver at her malicious best. The carnival is annoying, and so is the bit about the power of goodness, but it doesn’t ruin an otherwise pleasurable 20 minutes, which also contains a rather amusing bit of the ever-reliable Hordak-Mantenna double-act. Recommended.

Episode 64 – Wild Child

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

In today’s adventure…

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

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

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

 

Character checklist

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

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

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

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

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

 

Insults

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

 

Oh No, Bow!

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

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

 

Does it have the Power?

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

Episode 47 – The Price of Power

In which a familiar story is told surprisingly well.

This week’s episode follows the story of Ardin and Narwin. Narwin is an old man, learned in magic, while Ardin is his pupil. Ardin has the same beef that every wizard’s pupil has, namely, that he wants to use magic for everything, but Narwin doesn’t want him to until he can use it responsibly, and preferably not even then. This all-too-common argument results in an all-too-common storyline: Ardin tries to take the quick and easy way to power.

Price 2
Narwin: “You’re too irresponsible, Ardin. Look how happy-go-lucky you are about eating that soup.”

In this circumstance, the quick and easy way is for Ardin to approach Shadow Weaver and ask her to help. He goes to her home at Horror Hall, where he learns that a long time ago, Shadow Weaver and Narwin had some history. Unfortunately, Shadow Weaver blames Narwin for some past injustice, and now intends to use Ardin as an instrument of her vengeance. Her plan for doing so is to accept Ardin as her pupil, and turn him to the Dark Side.

Narwin, in the meantime, sends a message to the Rebellion asking them to come and meet him. She-Ra, Madame Razz and Broom go along, and Narwin fills us in on the rest of the story. Both Shadow Weaver and Castaspella were once his apprentices, but when the Horde arrived on Etheria, Shadow Weaver betrayed the planet’s defenders by handing over the Council of Kings to the Horde. In return, she received great magical power from the Horde; but would have received even more, if Narwin had not intervened at the time.

Price 3
Castaspella: “Nice hat, Shadow Weaver. You don’t look moronic at all.”

She-Ra and her posse head to Horror Hall, where Shadow Weaver quickly learns of their arrival. She sets up a test for Ardin, explaining that in order to learn great power, he must sacrifice other things such as friends. When She-Ra and Narwin confront them, Shadow Weaver offers Ardin a jewel which will give him magical power beyond imagining, and encourages him to take it. After a very short internal debate, Ardin refuses the offer, realising that at least Narwin cares for him and for others.

Shadow Weaver doesn’t take kindly to this rejection, and unleashes all sorts of hell involving flying gargoyle statues and green tentacles that grow up from the ground. She-Ra deals with this silliness with her usual aplomb, while Narwin himself vanquishes Shadow Weaver. The final scene shows Narwin congratulating Ardin for having the wisdom to reject Shadow Weaver’s quick and easy route to power.

Price 4
Ardin: “Gosh, I’ve been a bit of a goit, haven’t I?”

 

In today’s adventure…

Loo-Kee is, as ever, in Whispering Wood, this time hiding under a bush. He says that it’s important to learn from our mistakes, like Ardin did in this episode. I’d argue that Loo-Kee doesn’t learn from his mistakes, since he’s always hiding in pretty much the same place.

 

Character checklist

So here we have Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Madame Razz, Broom, Loo-Kee, Narwin, Ardin, a flashback version of Castaspella, Shadow Weaver, Mantenna, some Horde Troopers, and all manner of extras, including a bunch of people who I’m going to assume were Mumford & Sons.

Price 1
Marcus Mumford: “Getting a better reception than we did at Reading, at least.”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

Don’t be silly. Why on earth would Adora need to give an excuse? It’s not like this She-Ra business is a secret or anything.

 

Insults

It’s all very polite in Etheria today, with no insults dispensed. This is despite a short appearance from Mantenna, who usually bears the brunt of someone’s temper.

 

Does it have the Power?

I didn’t have a good feeling about this one, given the all-too-familiar set-up with a wizard’s apprentice who wants to skip the hard work, which is a story we’ve seen so many times it’s not even funny. Therefore, it’s a pleasant surprise that this episode manages to tell the same story again extremely effectively. I think this is largely down to Shadow Weaver, who is portrayed with a perfect balance of seduction and threat. Perhaps the best example of this is when she offers Ardin the jewel and hisses, “Take it! It’s so easy…” There’s a strong undercurrent of danger, but it’s still believable as a temptation. Even Shadow Weaver’s closing monologue – “We will meet again someday, and you will regret this” – comes across as a serious threat, rather than the usual impotence such a line would convey.

Price 5
Shadow Weaver: “I enjoyed my turn as Mephistopheles at the RSC, so I’ve brought some of those skills to this episode.”

There’s also an effective scene in which Shadow Weaver shows Ardin her true face, but does so with her back to the camera. Ardin’s reaction is enough to convince us that her features are hideously twisted by evil, but we don’t actually see. This is a great example of less-is-more; I have no doubt that if the animators had actually shown us Shadow Weaver’s face, it would have been less than imposing, but without seeing it, we are left to imagine its horrific nature.

It’s not all perfect, of course; there’s a pointless scene early on in which Shadow Weaver conjures up some spirits called Dark Riders, for no reason whatsoever. They’re suitably scary, but her motivation for actually doing it is less than clear. But that’s just a very minor quibble; this is a very fine episode.

Episode 43 – Welcome Back, Kowl

In which Bow notably doesn’t leap to his friend’s defence.

Welcome Back, Kowl, indeed? While I don’t have anything against Kowl (he’s actually probably the best rebel character in this series, as far as I’m concerned), I don’t think anyone could say that he’s underrepresented in this programme. Surely, if he wants a welcome back, he’s got to go somewhere first? With that in mind, I am approaching this episode cautiously, because it’s the sort of title that leads me to suspect it’s an episode where Kowl quits in a temper and has to be coaxed back.

As it happens, however, it’s nothing of the kind. Kowl is having a nice peaceful nap, when Hordak, Imp and Tung Lashor show up. After they fail to capture Kowl, they voice their intention to test their new tanks on a neighbouring village, so Kowl flaps off to warn the rebels. Adora, Bow, Madame Razz, Broom and a pair of Twiggets promptly arrive and waste time messing about with Madame Razz’s inept spells. They then loudly discuss their own plans for combating the tanks, which for some convoluted but no doubt logical reason involves leaving Kowl to sleep in a barn overnight.

Welcome 1
Twigget: “Let’s draw a mustache on him while he’s asleep.”

Imp overhears these plans, waits until the other rebels leave, and then plants a bag of Horde gold in Kowl’s bed. In the morning, there’s a nice big battle between the rebels and the Horde tanks, which lasts for absolutely bloody ages and results in the tanks disappearing, having kidnapped Madame Razz. The rebels go back to Kowl’s barn, start randomly shrieking about the possibility of there being a spy in the Rebellion, and then they find the bag of Horde gold.

Broom and the Twiggets are quick to accuse Kowl of treachery, while Adora is quick to leap to Kowl’s defence. Bow, who is allegedly Kowl’s best friend, is quick to keep his mouth shut and not say anything at all. Angered by his friends’ lack of faith in him, Kowl does a runner and goes to the Fright Zone by himself to try to rescue Madame Razz. Luckily, he is followed by She-Ra, and the two of them break into the Fright Zone together.

Welcome 2
Bow: “If I admit that Kowl isn’t a traitor, will you sleep with me?”

During the course of the rescue mission, Kowl proves about fifty billion times that he isn’t a traitor, which seems a trifle pointless, since the only other person there is She-Ra, who already believes he isn’t. They quickly find Madame Razz, rescue her, and have a really exciting fight with Shadow Weaver, Tung Lashor and Hordak. Kowl also gets the chance to exact vengeance on Imp by throwing him into the middle of a squashy orange fruit.

There’s just time at the end for Broom and the Twiggets to apologise for their suspicions of Kowl, which is nice, though it would have been nicer if Bow had chimed in to apologise for not defending his friend. Instead, he says, “Welcome back, Kowl!” as if Kowl had been gone for 18 years, rather than about 20 minutes.

Welcome 3
Bow: “I wish I had sufficient brains to enable me to apologise.”

 

In today’s adventure…

Oh look, there’s Loo-Kee, just outside the Fright Zone, sitting in a stupid blue tree. He explains to us that nobody gets everything right all of the time, and that it’s better to try and fail than to not try at all. I’m not sure this principle is always applicable, to be honest: surely, for example, it’s better not to try to accomplish Brexit, rather than wallowing in the inevitable failure that will ensue. Feel free to come up with similar examples in the comments section below.

 

Character checklist

This little visit to Etheria is punctuated by appearances from Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Bow, Kowl, Madame Razz, Broom, some Twiggets, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Imp, Tung Lashor, and those omnipresent Horde Troopers.

Welcome 4
Imp: “Here, look at my lovely close-up face. Bet that won’t spoil your evening.”

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

Oh, for goodness’ sake, Adora. Yet again, not only does Adora not offer an excuse, she also transforms in the middle of a battlefield. The animators seem to think that so long as there’s no one in the background of the shot while Adora transforms, there’s no way anyone could see her. In this case, Bow, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, Tung Lashor and Imp are all present, as well as any number of Horde Troopers. I just don’t think Adora takes this secret identity business seriously.

 

Insults

The Horde are clearly in an angry mood today, since Tung Lashor refers to Madame Razz as a “rebel hag”, which is pretty harsh, and Hordak sounds incredibly peeved when he calls Tung Lashor an “idiot”. Kowl calls Imp a “little drip”, but Imp has some nasty words to say about Kowl, including “clumsy old bird” and “scrawny flying dustmop”. Shortly after these insults are dispensed, Kowl snorts, “Nervous stuffed featherbag, indeed”. He seems to think he has been called this, but I didn’t hear it. Perhaps it was a line cut from the script, without any attention to whether this line of Kowl’s would subsequently make any sense.

Welcome 5
Kowl: “Christ! Look, Madame, it’s the paps again!”

 

Oh No, Bow!

Bow tries to pull a Horde tank over by looping a rope round it and then pulling. Admittedly, this normally works in the He-Man and She-Ra universe, but on this occasion it doesn’t, and he pulls ineffectually for about three minutes before a tank cuts the rope and makes Bow fall over. She-Ra then runs up, grabs the rope and instantly pulls the tank over, bringing Bow’s self-esteem down with it.

 

Does it have the Power?

Maybe I wasn’t listening carefully enough, or maybe I’ve been outwitted by a 30-year-old children’s cartoon, but I didn’t even begin to understand the rebels’ plan for dealing with the tanks. I certainly couldn’t see any reason for Kowl having to hang out in the barn overnight, other than so his mates could think he was a traitor, of course.

The Kowl’s treachery storyline was pretty unbelievable, since the evidence against him was circumstantial at best, and even saying it was circumstantial is being incredibly generous. If this sort of story must be done, I’m sure the writers could have come up with more damning evidence that might have actually made people have doubts about Kowl. This story, when coupled with a pointless subplot about Madame Razz feeling worthless and considering running away, didn’t do much to interest me, and I think I could be forgiven for advising you to skip it.

Episode 33 – A Talent for Trouble

In which Madame Razz inadvertently refers to Orko’s sexual activities.

Orko is helping the Sorceress to spring clean Castle Grayskull, but of course he cocks up and accidentally transports himself to Etheria. He immediately meets Madame Razz, so we are faced with a character pairing that I’m sure won’t prove annoying. They are both then captured by Mantenna, who encases them in what look like giant ice cubes. Broom, luckily, escapes and flies off to warn the other rebels.

Talent 1
Broom: “Why do I have to be paired with these divs?”

Once She-Ra learns that Orko is on Etheria, she contacts the Sorceress, presumably hoping that she’ll have a clever trick to get Orko off the planet without delay. It turns out, however, that the Sorceress considers Orko should be kept off Eternia for as long as possible, so simply sends He-Man to Etheria to help out. When He-Man arrives, he wears a pained expression, as if he literally can’t believe he’s having to waste his time here again.

Talent 2
He-Man: “This is literally the worst thing that’s ever happened to me.”

In the meantime, Mantenna has taken Madame Razz and Orko to the Fright Zone, where Hordak and Shadow Weaver try to work out what Orko is. For some reason, Orko is resistant to all of Shadow Weaver’s magic, so Hordak employs a scientific tool called the mind sweeper instead. If I wanted to be unkind, I might interject at this juncture that Hordak is also a scientific tool. It goes without saying, of course, that the mind sweeper has serious problems with Orko, because he doesn’t have a mind, and the end result is that the mind sweeper explodes.

Realising that they cannot determine what Orko is, Hordak and Shadow Weaver decide to send him as a present to Horde Prime. This gives us a dramatic moment to cut for the advert break, and when we return the story progresses to He-Man and She-Ra busting into the Fright Zone and causing all manner of havoc. They dispose of Grizzlor and Leech with the usual ease, and Catra proves even less challenging. Once they find Madame Razz, she informs them of the plan to send Orko to Horde Prime, so He-Man and She-Ra head straight to the space port.

Talent 3
She-Ra: “To quote Buffy, synchronised slayage!”

On arrival, they find that the rocket containing Orko has already been launched, and that Hordak is gallivanting about on a really strange green insect creature. She-Ra attends to Hordak and the other Horde representatives with another of her trademark pant-displaying kicks, while He-Man leaps onto the rocket. It should be noted that He-Man is clearly less powerful than She-Ra, since he is incredibly concerned about going into outer space without a spacesuit, whereas She-Ra does it regularly just for kicks. Anyway, He-Man successfully redirects the rocket and rescues Orko.

The episode ends with an unwelcome moment in which Orko decides that She-Ra is gorgeous, and tells her so. She-Ra rewards him with a kiss, which prompts He-Man to join in and tell She-Ra she’s beautiful. If he was expecting a kiss, he’s disappointed, at least until after the episode fades out.

 

In today’s adventure…

I found that beastly Loo-Kee again! I can feel my heart bursting with pride. If you must know, he’s in a bush by the path just after Orko arrives on Etheria. His moral is once again pretty stupid, being all about helping people when they need a hand and thus proving that you’re their friend. He tries to link this in to the episode by claiming that Orko was giving the Sorceress a hand with her cleaning, but frankly Orko’s contribution to that task was minimal. It might have worked better if it had been He-Man and She-Ra lending Orko and Madame Razz a hand with being rescued, but even so, it would still have been largely irrelevant to the episode’s story.

Talent 4
The Sorceress: “Let’s see … Orko, mops, and buckets of water. What could possibly go wrong?”

 

Character checklist

What blimey and what a treat this is. There’s Adora, sure, and She-Ra, of course, but what’s this? He-Man too. And Orko and the Sorceress. It’s like a high school reunion. Less excitingly, we see Spirit, Swift Wind, Madame Razz, Broom, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Mantenna, Shadow Weaver, Catra, Leech, Grizzlor and some Horde Troopers. Is that an Evil Horde full house? In case you really want to know, there’s also some weird skull thing with which Orko strikes up a conversation in Castle Grayskull.

 

Excuse given for Adora and Adam’s disappearances

Prince Adam doesn’t feature this time, and Adora’s only contribution is a muttered, “I smell trouble,” to the camera before her transformation.

 

Insults

A wide range of insults this week, and a special prize to the episode for not resorting to using the word ‘fool’. We have Mantenna calling a pair of Horde Troopers “useless tin cans” and Grizzlor calling He-Man a “muscle man”. Orko and Hordak have a brief exchange of sharp words, with Orko telling Hordak he’s a “bonebrain”, and Hordak retaliating with “insect”. Finally, Orko manages to break the mind sweeper in such a way that it begins chanting, “Hordak is a meanie”, prompting Hordak to blow it up, thus rather proving the point.

Talent 5
Madame Razz: “Orko, stop lounging around in your stupid chair! Do something!”

 

Does it have the Power?

Well, Orko and Madame Razz ganging up didn’t prove as irritating as I’d feared, largely because Madame Razz took a back seat throughout most of the episode. It was also almost pleasant to see Orko again; perhaps in small doses, he’s not so bad. Or perhaps it’s simply in comparison to the idiots who populate Etheria. As for He-Man, it’s always pleasing to see him, though I think it’s time for Skeletor to put in another appearance, please.

The storyline was nothing special; it does seem like the Horde waste most of their time capturing solitary rebels, rather than just dropping atom bombs or something equally devastating on Whispering Wood. This week’s effort did have a few nicely sinister overtones, especially the decision to send Orko to Horde Prime, where it is hinted that he will be dissected.

Talent 6
Mantenna: “Yes, this was the best plan I could come up with, but in my defense, I am very stupid.”

Overall, I think I’d describe it as a pretty decent episode, except for one thing. I know it doesn’t have the same meaning in the USA as it does here, but when Madame Razz refers to Orko and says, “I like that little guy’s spunk,” I can’t help but shudder.