In which He-Man reveals an unnecessary talent for baking.
Oh, what? Really? This is actually genuinely unfair. After last week’s less than enthralling foray into the world of the Widgets, we are treated to a second episode all about them today. This time, the focus is on Squinch, with whom the viewer is clearly supposed to identify. His problem is that he’s really small – though in comparison to the other Widgets, he’s pretty average – and he believes that if he were as big as He-Man, he’d be a hero too. He’s probably right, but do you care? I don’t.
When a massive tree blows down in a gale, blocking the entrance to the Widgets’ fortress, Squinch tries to chop it in half, but completely fails. The other Widgets summon He-Man, who clearly hasn’t got anything better to do, because he arrives almost immediately and moves the tree, giving Squinch deep-seated feelings of inadequacy. Again I ask though – do you care?
The plot now takes an unexpected if completely nonsensical turn: Squinch goes to Snake Mountain to ask Skeletor to make him as big as He-Man. Evil-Lyn gives Squinch a golden box and tells him to give it to He-Man – without telling him where it came from – and in return, she will grant Squinch’s wish. Disregarding the numerous times Skeletor and Evil-Lyn have messed with the Widgets, Squinch believes them and runs off to give He-Man the box.
The animators give He-Man a look of utterly insane delight when Squinch gives him the box, but once he opens it, it’s a completely different story. The box contains some evil magic which knocks He-Man and Battle-Cat out, after which Skeletor loads them into his flying machine and zooms off, crowing happily and doing utterly unnecessary loop-the-loops.
Of course, Skeletor goes wrong at this point. The logical next step is to drop He-Man into a lava pit or something equally concerning, but instead he opts to put He-Man in a cage made out of laser beams. Evil-Lyn then magics up a brick wall to surround the laser cage, just for good measure. Skeletor then decides that this week his objective is to steal King Randor’s crown, rather than the secrets of Grayskull, so he heads off to the Palace accordingly.
In the meantime, the Widgets have gone to the Palace to warn Man-at-Arms, Teela and Orko. Working off the usual model in He-Man where forgiveness is just one sentence away, Squinch admits that it’s his fault – and is then subjected to a barrage of abuse from our three heroes. Once that’s over with, Man-at-Arms decides that he doesn’t really want He-Man to be rescued, because he sends Teela, Orko and Squinch to do the job. I wouldn’t trust these clowns to fetch a pint of milk from Sainsbury’s, and he thinks they can get He-Man out of Snake Mountain?
Sure enough, Evil-Lyn manages to tie Teela and Orko up within half a second of their arrival. Squinch, on the other hand, manages to release He-Man, and the whole crowd of them return to the Palace just in time to find Skeletor lounging about on the throne. There follows a really stupid fight in the Palace kitchen, which culminates in He-Man baking a giant loaf of bread with Skeletor, Beast-Man and Panthor inside it.
He-Man then congratulates Squinch, in a piece of dialogue which sounds slightly dubious: “It doesn’t matter how big your body is, but how big you are inside.” I’ve tried and tried, but I can’t come up with a double entendre for this. There must be one there somewhere though. Any ideas?
In today’s adventure…
As a special treat, Squinch is allowed to do the moral segment of this episode. He wastes it though: if I’d been him, I’d have taken the opportunity to say, “If you’re a hugely annoying cartoon character like me, why not just piss off?” or something of the like. Instead, he goes through the predictable motions of mumbling about how it doesn’t matter what you look like, so long as you always do your best. He then concludes by suggesting that there’s probably someone who wants to be just like you, so you should always be on the lookout for stalkers.
This time, it’s Prince Adam, Cringer, He-Man, Man-at-Arms, Teela, Orko, King Randor, Skeletor, Beast-Man, Evil-Lyn, Panthor, Squinch, the other Widgets, and a bunch of Palace guards. Jacob from last week does not appear, thankfully.
Excuse given for Prince Adam’s disappearance
Yet again, nothing. Prince Adam’s getting really lazy about this.
There’s a lot of people, mainly baddies, referring to Squinch as “little one”, though only Skeletor does this with sufficient sneer to make it a definitive insult. Evil-Lyn does up the ante with “little fool” though.
The episode concludes with He-Man calling Orko a “big clown”. This is accompanied by some absolutely terrifying animation of Orko, half-hidden in shadow, laughing in an actively sinister way about nothing at all. I am definitely going to dream about this tonight, and it’s not going to be fun.
Does it have the Power?
If I’m going to be absolutely fair, it’s not that bad. I maintain that Squinch and the Widgets are really annoying, and putting them in two episodes in a row is completely uncalled for. On the other hand, this one’s a lot more watchable than last week’s effort, even if the plot relies on Squinch trusting Evil-Lyn, which is something that would genuinely never happen, given their history (which stretches all the way back to the twelfth episode of the series, Evil-Lyn’s Plot). It did entertain me to see Skeletor being baked into a loaf of bread, which happened for absolutely no purpose other than for He-Man to be a dick. In addition, if you’re the sort of person who desperately wants He-Man and Teela to get it on, this episode contains some blink-and-you’ll-miss-it animation of the two of them lying on the ground in a sultry fashion, Teela’s arm round He-Man. This is about as X-rated as this cartoon gets, so enjoy.