Episode 032 – Search for the VHO

In which Prince Adam uses Orko as a kite, for no particular reason.

We open at Selkie Island, where Hovar the Royal Historian and his son Justin are in a research lab under siege by a Pick ‘n’ Mix of stock monsters that we’ve seen before on He-Man. They are attempting to reach Man-at-Arms via radio to request help, but though the Palace can receive their request, they are unable to send a response back.

Instead of sending He-Man along to deal with the monsters in the interim, Man-at-Arms and Teela waste time trying to create a high-tech dog whistle called a VHO which – when complete – will repel all the monsters from Selkie Island. Teela tests the VHO on Cringer and when he runs off, pronounces it a success. Since Cringer runs away from absolutely everything, I wouldn’t be so confident.


Hovar gets on Skype again to point out that the force field is failing and the monsters are getting in, so some help at some point in the not too distant future would be appreciated. Still Man-at-Arms doesn’t seem to consider the situation that urgent, eventually getting around to suggesting that Teela and Adam could go on the newest ship in the Eternian navy to take the VHO to Selkie Island.

For some reason, Adam decides to mess about putting on a sailor’s cap and pretending to work on the ship. He also sees fit to indulge in a goofy grin and wink directly at the camera, as if he’s sharing some hilarious joke, which he isn’t.


But of course, it’s not all fun and games and dressing up as sailors today. Mer-Man has hatched a cunning plot to get hold of the VHO, so that he can control every animal on Eternia. You know, like Beast-Man already does, and look at all the good it does him. This isn’t really a talent that Skeletor’s crew need to add to their skill set.

Mer-Man sends a Kraken and a couple of robotic Razorfin fish to sink the newest ship in the Eternian navy, which they actually accomplish. I think you should know that the Razorfins are capable of roaring underwater, which certainly adds drama, if not realism, to this scene. On noticing that in the course of the wreck, Teela and the VHO have gone missing, He-Man turns down a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get in a lifeboat with four miserable sailors and swims off to look for her.


He-Man destroys one of the robot fish and finds a convenient homing beacon inside one of them, which he uses to find the way to a cave in which Mer-Man has trapped Teela in a glass case. He-Man proposes to Mer-Man that they engage in a bout of single combat, the prize being Teela. Mer-Man takes leave of his senses and replies that he accepts, since he cannot possibly lose. He’s clearly been at Skeletor’s stash of mind-altering drugs again, because he’s got literally nothing up his sleeve here, except the stolen VHO, which only works on animals. Sure enough, it takes He-Man less than 4 seconds to claim the victory.

Once released, Teela and He-Man recover the VHO and then swim for the surface, where they encounter Mer-Man again, riding the Kraken. He-Man uses the VHO to scare the Kraken away, then swims off after it and gratuitously picks it up and throws it. While he’s been doing this, Teela reveals that she’s been doing nothing but treading water and moronically dropping the VHO into the depths of the ocean. He-Man is obliged to swim down and get it back, after which he and Teela deliver and install the VHO at Hovar’s lab.



In today’s adventure…

Man-at-Arms completely misses the point of a moral segment this week, by telling us all about how throughout history, explorers have always been willing to face danger to find new things. He utterly fails to link this in any way to a viewer’s life, not even suggesting that maybe the viewer could go and find out about these explorers. He also bizarrely claims that explorers are unsung heroes, though I’d argue that names like Columbus, Cook, Magellan, etc are all very well known. So that’s brilliant, Man-at-Arms. Keep it to yourself next time, please.


Characters appearing

As usual, there’s Prince Adam, He-Man, Cringer, Teela, Orko and Man-at-Arms. Mer-Man is a less common participant, and unless I’m very much mistaken, we’ll never see Hovar, Justin, or the four sailors ever again.



Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance:

Adam doesn’t offer an excuse, and when he disappears and presumably drowns in the sinking ship, Teela doesn’t even ask He-Man about it. She does, on the other hand, get noticeably upset when He-Man vanishes and Adam reappears, which I think tells us all we need to know about Teela’s opinion of Adam as opposed to He-Man.



For the first time in a while, we have an episode devoid of the usual cutting remarks. No one can even muster up the traditional half-hearted “fool” this week.


Does it have the Power?

It’s a pretty entertaining episode, this one. It’s nice to have a change of setting, and as most of the action here takes place underwater, it’s a very different location. Mer-Man’s desire for the VHO seemed a touch strange, though he did claim at one point – optimistically, I think – that he might be able to use it to control Beast-Man and Skeletor, so I suppose that’s enough of a motive. I also rather enjoyed the opening scene in which Adam is lounging about, using Orko as a kite, but perhaps that’s because I’ve always thought Orko needed to be strung up. So yes, I’m happy to issue a recommendation for this one.