Episode 80 – The Perils of Peekablue

In which Loo-Kee gets on about drugs again.

Good God, this episode starts with a slow pan through the Fright Zone that lasts so long I thought the entire episode was going to comprise a weird, experimental mood piece. Once the creepy music stops playing and something actually happens, after what seems like 5 minutes, we are treated to a scene in which a prisoner called Peck escapes from the dungeons, and makes a bid for freedom.

Little does this unfortunate dude know that Hordak has let him escape on purpose, simply so that he can test his new weapon, a device called the Grabber. The Grabber is good for one thing, and that’s grabbing people who are running about on the ground. Peck is grabbed, and returned to the dungeons, while Hordak declares the test a success.

Peck: “I feel like I should somehow have seen this coming.”

Shadow Weaver points out that the Grabber is only any use if the Horde can see what it is trying to grab, and notes that if Hordak wants to grab anyone in Whispering Wood, he won’t be able to because Horde magic cannot penetrate the trees. All of this rubbish is an unnecessarily long preamble to Hordak’s decision to capture Peekablue, a rebel whose ability is to see anywhere.

When the Horde Troopers show up to kidnap Peekablue, She-Ra is on the scene, and if there’s one thing She-Ra loves, it’s beating the merry hell out of Horde Troopers. On this occasion, however, the merry hell beating is counter-productive: while She-Ra is so occupied, some other Horde Troopers successfully make off with Peekablue. Once Peekablue is at the Fright Zone, Shadow Weaver casts a spell on her, enslaving her into complete obedience to the Horde.

Peekablue: “Hordak, you need a new toaster.”

With Peekablue guiding the Grabbers, Hordak starts snatching up rebels left right and centre. The first one he captures is the ever useful Glimmer, followed by the even less useful Bow, both of whom are conveyed to the Fright Zone for a scene of pointless gloating, after which they are despatched to the dungeon. Shortly thereafter, Adora allows herself to be captured by the Grabber, and joins her friends in the finest cell the Fright Zone has to offer.

 I’m not really sure what Adora was hoping to achieve by deliberately getting herself locked up, but luckily the rebels have been placed in a cell with Peck. You remember Peck, that irrelevant dude from the start of the episode? Anyway, it turns out that Peck has spent the last six years of his imprisonment digging a tunnel, but gave up when it only led deeper into the dungeons. Well, Peck, perhaps you should have angled your tunnel upwards rather than down. That’s the thing about digging tunnels that maybe Peck doesn’t know: you can actually choose what direction you dig them.

Peck: “Yes yes, this is definitely an escape tunnel and definitely not my sex dungeon.”

Well, there’s no need to dwell on Peck any longer. Now he’s revealed the existence of his tunnel, he can go back to being irrelevant. Adora nips down the tunnel and turns into She-Ra, after which she comes back to rescue Bow, Glimmer and Peck. In the course of this rescue, Glimmer reveals that she has the power to turn herself and other people invisible, which is a new one. Glimmer’s powers are so weirdly variable. Remember when she was randomly able to fly that one time?

She-Ra then goes off to rescue Peekablue, and helpfully manages to break the mind control spell as well. The whole crowd of rebels then return happily to Whispering Wood, where they discover that Peck is the father of another rebel called Keeber, though I should add there is no particular reason why the viewer should give a monkey’s about this revelation. Then there’s a very bad joke, and a lot of hearty laughter, in which I did not partake.

Peekablue: “Yeah, it’s great to be here with you lot and your tedious ‘jokes’.”

In today’s adventure…

Loo-Kee eluded me today, so I expect he’s feeling pretty pleased with himself. He’s off on one about drugs again, claiming that Shadow Weaver’s mind control spell is pretty much the same thing as drugs, and so presumably if we take drugs we might find ourselves working for the Horde. I wonder what happened to Loo-Kee in the past with drugs, since he seems very keen to involve them in pretty much any conversation, no matter how tangential they are to the subject in hand.

Character checklist

Today we are lucky enough to see Adora, She-Ra, Glimmer, Peekablue, Flutterina, Peck, Keeber, Loo-Kee, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, and some Horde Troopers. Surprisingly, there’s cameo appearances for Prince Adam, Cringer and Orko. And let’s not forget Bow, who manages to look very special indeed at the end of the episode.

Bow: “There’s a fair chance I’ve been on some of those drugs Loo-Kee was wittering about.”

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

“Adora’s safe, don’t worry,” says She-Ra, when she comes to rescue Bow, Glimmer and Peck. I think it would have been better if She-Ra had said, “Adora went back to the Whispering Woods, and left you clowns to rot in here. She hates your stupid faces.”

Insults

There’s a fair few imaginative insults this week, though Hordak sets a low starting bar by referring to Peck as a “pitiful fool” and then just a “fool”. He’s similarly dull with Shadow Weaver, who also gets a “fool”, but he then outdoes himself by calling Glimmer a “sparklehead”.

Hordak: “Just popping on Twitter to tell She-Ra she’s a fool.”

The rebels are clearly in a bad mood too; Bow addresses the Grabber as a “tin trespasser”, and then goes nuts at Hordak, calling him a “beast”, an “evil vicious monster” and “bat-ears”. Glimmer gets in on the act with “cruel creature” and “monster”, while Peekablue rounds up with “cruel, evil, heartless tyrant”. Hordak seems pretty pleased with this last description, so it’s up to you whether you’d choose to define it as an insult or not.

Does it have the Power?

No, but neither is it stupefyingly bad. It’s just a pretty average day on Etheria, really, with nothing to elevate it to the heavens or bring it crashing down into the depths. Watch it, don’t watch it, I don’t care.

Episode 66 – One to Count On

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

In today’s adventure…

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

 

Character checklist

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

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

 

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

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

 

Insults

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

 

Oh No, Bow!

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

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

 

Does it have the Power?

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

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

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