In which Skeletor builds a Lego model of Castle Grayskull.
Like me last week, our heroes (Prince Adam, Cringer, Teela, Orko and Lizard-Man) are on holiday. Well, they’re actually making a state visit to Toron, where Prime Minister Pangus is waiting. After the usual pleasantries, which of course involve a demonstration of Orko’s rubbish magic, an earthquake breaks out. Adam gets halfway through the Power of Grayskull bit, but is then distracted by a sexy woman standing on top of a pillar and singing, which stops the earthquake.
Pangus explains that beneath Toron, a creature named Yog is attempting to rise, and if he does, Toron and Eternia will be destroyed. Only Celice the singing lady can calm him, and when she joins our party, she demonstrates other powers, such as making flowers open at will, and also not speaking at all clearly. Adam is very taken with the singer, though Teela is less impressed, seeming rather jealous.
Another person taken with the singer’s power is Skeletor, who is watching on his spy-glass. He sends Evil-Lyn and Trapjaw to Toron, where they attempt to capture Celice. In a departure from the usual, they actually manage it, even when Adam turns into He-Man. Pangus explains again that without the singer, Yog might wake up, and right on cue, the earthquakes start again. Clearly, action is required. He-Man sends Teela and Man-at-Arms to Snake Mountain to rescue Celice, while he takes Orko and Lizard-Man down into the caverns to face Yog.
At Snake Mountain, Skeletor welcomes Celice and explains his plan: she will sing for him. If that’s all he wants, surely he could just put on his Steps CD. But it turns out that actually Skeletor wants Celice to sing Castle Grayskull’s jawbridge open. Once Celice is hypnotised to Skeletor’s will, she is allowed to practice on Skeletor’s scale model of Grayskull, and she succeeds in opening the jawbridge. The tension is definitely mounting.
En route to Snake Mountain, Man-at-Arms is predictably captured by one of Beast-Man’s monsters, and is taken to the rather improbable sounding “Ice Island in the middle of the Lake of Fire”. This is good for a waste of two or three minutes’ screen time, after which Man-at-Arms and Teela return to their task of rescuing Celice. Perhaps hoping that the delay with the monster will have caused the viewers to forget they were supposed to be going to Snake Mountain, Man-at-Arms and Teela show up at Castle Grayskull just as Celice breaks Skeletor’s hypnosis and refuses to open the jawbridge.
He-Man and team navigate a variety of dull hazards in the caverns, before deciding not to bother with Yog and to go to Castle Grayskull instead. They also arrive just in time to distribute a few punches in Skeletor’s direction, but then Yog starts rising through the ground. Skeletor and co. all head for home, while Celice and He-Man contrive to send Yog plummeting to the centre of the planet.
In today’s adventure…
Teela gives perhaps the most useless advice this cartoon has yet come up with: if you’re feeling bad, why not try singing a song, whistling, or just smiling? At best, this advice would have resulted in a horde of infuriating kids making a right racket or moping about while smiling like deranged serial killers. It’s admittedly difficult to think of a moral that is appropriate for this episode, but this decidedly isn’t it.
Well, such a range here. Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Battle-Cat, Teela, Man-at-Arms, the Sorceress, Orko, Skeletor, Beast-Man, Evil-Lyn and Trapjaw make up our regular attendees. Less common and less welcome are Lizard-Man, Celice, Prime Minister Pangus, and Yog. There are also a bunch of troglodyte-style creatures in the caves, but I don’t know their names, which just proves I’m not obsessive.
Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance:
Even though there was a frisson of sexual tension between Adam and Celice early on, He-Man didn’t bother to explain Adam’s absence later. Perhaps he was calculating that once Celice saw him, she’d forget all about that wussy Adam.
After a slow start on the insults front, this episode blossoms into a veritable crop. Skeletor offers the now traditional “fools” concerning Teela and Man-at-Arms, and reintroduces “beast” for Beast-Man. Man-at-Arms considers Beast-Man’s monster an “overgrown garden pest”, but it’s in the final battle at Castle Grayskull that things get a bit crazy. He-Man starts us off with “rock-face” for Beast-Man, which makes literally no sense. Then Skeletor gets in on the act with “flesh-face” for He-Man. I really was not sure about this one. Maybe Skeletor said “fresh-face”, referring to He-Man’s clean complexion? Finally, He-Man calls Skeletor a “lightweight”, after trapping him in a zero-g bubble. He then disproportionately laughs so hard I thought his jaw was going to fall off.
Does it have the Power?
There were some super things about this episode; in particular, I absolutely loved Skeletor’s scale model of Castle Grayskull, which he claims to have made himself. The notion of Skeletor painstakingly building a mini-replica of Grayskull so he can practice his demented schemes is absolutely hilarious. To be honest, the idea of him practicing at all is distinctly amusing. You can imagine him keeping the villains back after school each day: “Now then, you fools! You’re staying here until you open the jawbridge! Mini-Grayskull will be mine!” Beast-Man: “But, uh, Skeletor, mini-Grayskull already is yours.” Skeletor: “Silence, Beast-Fool!”
Otherwise, the only thing I can really complain about here is that Celice’s singing was pretty irritating, and I could only understand Celice’s voice about half the time. Yog didn’t seem enormously necessary either, and I have yet to figure out why Lizard-Man is making repeated appearances but they never made an action figure of him. But in short, this episode is well worth a watch.