Episode 026 – Ordeal in the Darklands

In which Evil-Lyn does some Photoshopping.

With Skeletor away for a few days on his annual trip to Butlins, Evil-Lyn and Tri-Klops have been left in charge. Evil-Lyn swiftly reveals that she plans to use Skeletor’s absence as an opportunity to conquer Eternia for herself, which she will do with the aid of the wizard Quor, Keeper of the Crimson Scourge. Tri-Klops points out that Quor is a peaceful man, but Evil-Lyn suggests that may change if he believes He-Man has kidnapped his daughter Meera.

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Accordingly, Tri-Klops heads to the Darklands, where he surprisingly efficiently kidnaps Meera, and takes her back to Snake Mountain. Subsequently, Evil-Lyn goes to see Quor and shows him some Photoshopped footage alleging to show He-Man and Man-at-Arms kidnapping Meera. Quor takes very little persuasion to determine that he must hunt He-Man down.

Over at the Palace, Teela tells Orko that she’s thinking of going to the Darklands for a few days, just to see if she’ll survive. Man-at-Arms, listening in on this conversation, tells Teela that it’s too dangerous, though he doesn’t point out that there seems to be no reason whatsoever for her proposed trip. Teela’s insane trip to the Darklands is comparable to Britain leaving the EU: pointless and dangerous.

Well, guess what, kiddoes? For the fifty millionth time, Teela decides that she doesn’t like people telling her what to do and sets off for the Darklands anyway. Orko follows her with the intention of keeping her safe, and I’m sure she’ll be very grateful. Naturally, it takes all of 10 seconds in the Darklands for Teela to be kidnapped by some odd blue people with shark fins on their heads, and Orko whizzes off to fetch the inevitable He-Man.

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Teela is taken before Quor, for whom the walking sharks appear to work. He is prepared to let her go, until he learns of her association with He-Man, after which she becomes He-Man bait. In the meantime, Man-at-Arms provides some exposition, explaining that years ago, the Red Scourge ran rampant across Eternia, but into every generation a Slayer is born. No, wait. Into every generation, a wizard is born, and currently it’s Quor who must contain the Scourge.

Once in the Darklands, He-Man, Man-at-Arms and Orko allow themselves to be captured and taken to Quor’s headquarters. Quor accuses our heroes of kidnapping Meera, but they quickly deduce that Evil-Lyn is to blame. Naturally enough, Quor won’t listen, so He-Man beats up some shark people, while Teela and Orko escape. They head straight to Snake Mountain, where they rescue Meera. I would be impressed at their achieving this without He-Man, if it weren’t for the fact that the only resistance they encounter is Tri-Klops saying, “Stop,” very unenthusiastically.

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In the meantime, Quor has teleported He-Man into a dungeon containing a massive red fire-breathing cat, which turns out to be the Crimson Scourge. He-Man spends the remainder of the episode carefully demolishing the wall of the dungeon brick by brick, which is odd given he’d normally just knock it down with a single punch. By the time he finally gets out, Teela and Orko have brought Meera home.

There’s just time for He-Man to have a quick barney with the Scourge, which he defeats by diverting a river at it. He uses his bare hands to divert the river. I’ll let you consider whether you think that would work, but my money’s on not. Then there’s apologies all round, from Teela for disobeying her father, and from Quor for being a tosser. The episode ends with Orko opening his hat, shaking a mechanical hand inside it, and then laughing like a complete maniac.

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In today’s adventure…

Teela and Man-at-Arms have a touching little dialogue in which Man-at-Arms reveals that parents usually have a good reason for refusing their little darlings anything. Teela claims that she should have listened to him in the first place, though we all know that we’ll see this moronic plot line again, probably next week. In addition, it’s not as if Teela being in the Darklands would have particularly affected anything in this story – Quor would still have thought He-Man was a kidnapper even if Teela hadn’t been prancing around. The real moral is that you shouldn’t listen to blatantly evil women when they show you doctored CCTV footage.


Characters appearing

This week treats us to the delights of Quor, Meera and the Red/Crimson Scourge, as well as the more regular appearances of Adam, He-Man, Man-at-Arms, Teela, Orko, Evil-Lyn and Tri-Klops. And the shark-finned weirdos, who don’t get or deserve names.

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Excuse for Prince Adam’s disappearance:

No excuse today. Adam barely appears before turning into He-Man, and there’s only Man-at-Arms and Orko around when he transforms.



This one got off to a good start, with Evil-Lyn calling Tri-Klops a “coward” within the first minute or so, but there the insults stopped. Without Skeletor about, this perhaps isn’t surprising.


Does it have the Power?

It’s a pretty average outing this time. I can’t specifically remember, but I’m almost entirely certain we’ve seen Teela disobeying Man-at-Arms before, with tragic consequences, and as noted above, I’m sure it’ll happen again. It’s thus rather difficult to be invested in what is basically a cut-out-and-reuse plot line. Quor was all right, in that the episode went to great length to show that he was not evil, just deceived, and as such he’s a much better executed version of Malik from that Stone Mountain debacle a few weeks back. A tighter script might have benefitted things – everything was very slow to unfold, for one thing, and for another, no one seemed quite sure whether the Scourge was Red or Crimson, leading me to suspect there were a few careless rewrites. In short, I wouldn’t really recommend it, but if you like He-Man, you probably won’t be infuriated by it either.