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.

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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 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 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 72 – The Pearl

In which She-Ra demonstrates yet another unfeasible skill.

Our episode today opens with Adora chatting away to Mermista, who reveals that though she herself supports the Rebellion, her people as a whole – led by her father, King Mercia – do not wish to start trouble by opposing the Horde. It seems that Mercia has an arrangement with the Horde that so long as they don’t bother his people, he won’t bother them.

Pearl 1
Mermista: “Yes yes yes I do look a tad more sensible when I’m half a fish.”

With this in mind, would you care to guess what Hordak starts doing this week? Yes, that’s right, he’s bothering the fish people. Admittedly, initially he’s not outright bothering the fish people, but he has adopted the Japan approach and is out fishing for whales. Naturally enough, this doesn’t get the Mermista Stamp of Approval, so she and She-Ra intervene to rescue the whale and take it to Mercia’s kingdom. Incidentally, this episode reveals that – in addition to She-Ra’s many other improbable and annoying skills – she is capable of speaking underwater.

On arrival in the Sunken City, Mercia welcomes She-Ra and instantly launches into a borderline irrelevant conversation, in which he casually mentions that the power of the mer-folk is dependent on the Power Pearl, a trinket which must be kept out of Horde hands. Hordak, of course, has attached a spy robot to the whale, so he immediately learns of the Pearl and decides he wants it. The whole ensuing debacle could, therefore, have been avoided if Mercia had just kept his trap shut about the Pearl.

Pearl 2
Mercia: “Hello, She-Ra. Oh, by the way, here’s some important plot details that are in no way relevant to our conversation.”

Hordak manages to get something right for a change, by successfully stealing the Pearl. Whether he holds onto it is of course another matter, but for now he’s doing rather well by his standards. If nothing else, the voice actor gets the opportunity to cry, “The Power Pearl! And it’s mine! All mine!” which is the sort of pantomime villain dialogue that all respectable actors must crave. He then summons Shadow Weaver and instructs her to figure out how the Pearl works.

Shadow Weaver learns enough about the Pearl’s magic to use it to summon a giant crab to distract She-Ra and Mermista, but that’s good for only about 30 seconds. Hordak’s next move is to shoot at She-Ra with torpedoes, but while he’s so occupied, Mermista and the baby whale leap aboard Hordak’s ship and steal back the Pearl.

Mermista arranges for the baby whale’s mother to show up and eat Hordak’s ship, though of course Hordak turns himself into a rocket and escapes. The Pearl is returned to the Sunken City, where She-Ra and the baby whale are given medals for being so awesome. The episode concludes with something that I assume was meant to be a joke, given everyone laughs, but it’s nothing more than a statement of fact. Morons.

Pearl 3
She-Ra: “Yeah, thanks for the medal, Mercia. I’ll put it in the loft with my literally billions of others.”

In today’s adventure…

Loo-Kee is, as per usual, hanging around in a tree, like some kind of freakish monkey. His advice today is that we should ask a policeman for help if we get lost. Pretty sensible, actually, and with some bearing on the episode’s story, given the baby whale was lost. Yep, I’m happy with this one.

Character checklist

This week we get Adora and She-Ra, without Spirit or Swift Wind. This is a shame, as I’d have loved to see the animators trying to depict these horses underwater. Never mind. Otherwise, there’s Mermista, Mercia, other fish people, the baby whale, Hordak, Shadow Weaver, and some Horde Troopers.

Pearl 4
Hordak: “No need for that silly dancing, Shadow Weaver.”

Insults

Hordak’s the only one doling out insults today, starting with “fool” and “iron fool” for a Horde Trooper, moving on to “fish-tail” and “fish lady” for Mermista, and finishing up with “blasted female” for She-Ra.

Does it have the Power?

It’s nice to get some background on Mermista and her people, though notably the episode doesn’t end with Mercia and his crowd joining the Rebellion. Hordak is quite fun today, despite a large number of pig snorts, and She-Ra is at her least irritating too. The episode veers awfully close to saccharine sweetness with the baby whale and its mother, but never quite crosses the line. All in all, this is a pretty reasonable effort – but really? Talking underwater? Is there anything She-Ra can’t do?

Episode 71 – Loo-Kee’s Sweety

In which we are subjected to the most left-field plot twist in the entire Masters of the Universe franchise.

The episode opens with a slow-pan towards some bushes, which are swaying energetically, and from behind which comes the sound of some heavy grunting. Given the episode’s title, I was half-wondering if we were going to see some Loo-Kee-based X-rated action. Fortunately, this was not the case: a bunch of pixies similar to Loo-Kee are indeed in the bush, but they are being chased by a pack of robotic dogs, rather than doing anything more explicit than She-Ra usually goes.

Loo-Kee's Sweety 4
Loo-Kee: “I’m always chasing tail. Oh fine, please yourselves.”

Shadow Weaver and Catra are behind this assault on the pixies, and they successfully capture all but one of them. The escapee is called Lar-See, and she escapes by swimming all the way to the mainland, where she meets Adora, Spirit and Loo-Kee messing about by a campfire. She details what has happened, explaining that the Horde have it in for the pixies because they have taken to nipping into the Horde dungeons and giving fresh fruit to the prisoners.

Adora and Spirit turn into She-Ra and Swift Wind, and fly Loo-Kee and Lar-See back to Beast Island. They are attacked en route by Catra and some flying robots, of course, but this proves to be a traditional She-Ra time-killing exercise more than anything else. Once they arrive, they find that all the pixies have been herded into a prison camp, surrounded by bars composed of glowing energy.

Loo-Kee's Sweety 2
She-Ra: “I deeply regret the life choices that have brought me here.”

She-Ra, Loo-Kee and Lar-See trot down a secret passage to enter the prison camp, but Catra has set up one of those all-too-obvious trapdoors that neither She-Ra nor He-Man ever seem able to spot. Pleasingly, as a result of the trapdoor, She-Ra falls face first into a puddle of strength-sapping mud, which turns out to be the Slime Pit (available now from all good retailers, £19.99). She only manages to escape thanks to the unexpected assistance of a scuba-diving pig, which is such a thoroughly deranged plot development that I thought I’d finally gone loop-de-loop.

Once this crazy interlude is over, She-Ra and her pixie friends let themselves into the prison camp, and She-Ra takes care of a bunch of Horde Troopers by rolling up the ground as if it were a Swiss roll. This is stupid enough, but it’s the insufferably smug face she makes afterwards that really got my goat. She then knocks down the glowing energy fence, and the pixies make their escape, while Catra – perhaps inevitably – ends up in the Slime Pit, having a barking mad conversation with that pig.

Loo-Kee's Sweety 3
Catra: “This conversation is extremely unlikely to be satisfying.”

In today’s adventure…

Loo-Kee is good enough to acknowledge that we probably saw him this week, but he reveals that before the action even started, he was hiding behind a tree in an early shot. And then he proves it, the sneaky little bastard. Curse you, Loo-Kee. You’ve fooled me once too often. Anyway, he tells us all about stealing and how there’s never a good reason to take things that don’t belong to you. I know it’s very picky and borderline obsessive to say so, but I recall He-Man trolling off to Snake Mountain to steal some rainbow quartz in Three on a Dare. If I’m going to model my behaviour on anyone, it’ll be He-Man and not some blue-tailed freak of a pixie. So sorry, Loo-Kee, I’ll be ignoring this piece of advice, going down to Sainsbury’s, nicking stuff, and then explaining that He-Man demonstrated it’ll be all right. I might even mention that Loo-Kee’s girlfriend Lar-See is short for Lar-See-Nee. I’m sure the police will be very understanding.

Character checklist

Right, well, this bundle of lunacy features Adora, Spirit, She-Ra, Swift Wind, Loo-Kee, Lar-See, a right load more Loo-Kee-ish pixies, Catra, Shadow Weaver, some Horde Troopers, and of course the Slime Pig.

Loo-Kee's Sweety 1
Loo-Kee: “Not sure why I’m quite so insanely amused by She-Ra’s boots.”

Excuse given for Adora’s disappearance

After hearing Lar-See’s story, Adora and Spirit get up and walk off. Understandably a tad disappointed at this reception, Lar-See asks, “Where are they going?” Loo-Kee offers the evasive response, “To get help.”

Insults

A Horde Trooper refers to She-Ra, Loo-Kee and Lar-See as “rebel scum”, which is fairly vicious. Still, I expect it doesn’t sting quite so much as when Catra calls Loo-Kee’s dad Poppy a “multi-coloured maggot”.

Does it have the Power?

Luckily, this pretty super episode doesn’t focus on Loo-Kee’s love life at all, despite the title implying that it would. Instead, we get a fairly standard rescue mission which is stumping along happily and competently, until it suddenly takes a left turn into the world of utter insanity with the introduction of the Slime Pig. This proves to be a winning move. It may be nuts, but it’s certainly fun, and deserves a big thumbs-up as a result.

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.