THE MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE CHRONICLES ARE BACK! After an extended vacation, He-Man and his crew have returned to X-E to prove, once and for all, that Panthor was writing the shows. Rocket's uploaded the latest episode, which took me nearly five hours to watch. We've reviewed a bunch of these episodes on the site, but this is by far the weirdest, most ridiculous He-Man cartoon that could possibly exist. First, let's backtrack to some past eps we've talked about...
In The Diamond Ray of Dissapearance, Skeletor uses a special diamond lazer to make his enemies disappear. For some reason, he chooses to summon every villain in a 50-mile radius to watch him do this. And just as he nails even He-Man with the ray, our mighty Eternian simply crushes it with his bare hands. Undaunted, Skeletor immediately turns a mountain into a giant rock monster, which He-Man destroys three seconds later with a single punch. In the background, Mer-Man raises his fists in a show of agitation.
In The Gamesman, some weirdo is shown in Eternia playing chess with King Randor. The weirdo invites Teela for an afternoon of fun, and she accepts, since this is a friend of the king. Well, I guess the king didn't know the guy all that well, since his intentions are to turn Teela into a chess piece for his monstrous chessboard of doom! In the end, its revealed that the weirdo is not a human at all. He rips his face off to reveal a giant, peanut-faced alien underneath. Plot twists in abundance!
Now its time for our next episode, with full download! I just watched it again, and this just might top all the previous ones we've reviewed in the ludicrous department. Its titled 'Dissapearing Act', and features at least five different stupid weapons that Skeletor pulls from behind his back, Stratos, and a completely unnecessary He-Man subplot.
First the review, then the download file. Rocket's been tampering with the format a bit, this one streams a little cleaner than the previous episodes we've put up.
Break out the drinking game, it doesn't take long for Skeletor to insult Beast Man and giggle in a totally inappropriate context. Almost every episode starts out the same - Skeletor showing Beast Man his latest way to fail. What's even better is the fact that they reuse the same footage over and over again for different episodes. Beast Man's words of wisdom from the bottom right of the screen appear in virtually every environment on Eternia at some point.
Once again, Skeletor's out to uncover the secrets of Castle Greyskull. Alright, that's enough. For the last time, what secrets could Greyskull possibly boast? Honestly, we've seen the place. There ain't shit in there. What 'secrets' is Skeletor after? Does Castle Greyskull know how to get blood stains out of jeans? Can it tell you lucky lottery numbers? How does Skeletor even know it has a secret? What if its all a big hoax?
It might be a big prank, but Skeletor can't take that chance. That's why he's devoted his entire life to trying to infiltrate those castle walls. To do that, he needs to take out He-Man and Eternia's greatest heroes. His method of action? Stupid inventions. This time, Skeletor's got a few tricks up his sleeve. His new toy? Magic helmets! When placed upon his cowl, the helmet allows Skeletor to become invisible and literally walk into Eternia unnoticed! Of course, he would've been better off just walking into Greyskull itself, but where's the drama in that?
If you're curious as to why Skeletor's particularly pissed off in this episode - He-Man foils a plot in the first minute of the show that Skeletor had previously hatched. It involved something about making a volcano explode. Beast Man says that He-Man is just too smart for them, leaving Skeletor feeling down and with more to prove than ever. Being beat by He-Man is one thing...but insulted by Beast Man? Nobody would stand for that. How will he do it?!
Beast Man doesn't look excited. And who can blame him? Skeletor's plots flop at a rate of around five per episode. Anyway, time for a scene change, we're back to Eternia now.
Man-At-Arms is bitching again...the only thing he can do with any degree of success. This time, Orko's taking the tongue-lashing. Man-At-Arms is pretty miffed that Orko's let his bedroom become such a mess. Ironically, later in this episode we'll get a look at Man-At-Arms' workshop, which is more cluttered with trash than a Mexican pawn shop.
In case you're curious, yes, Teela is an idiot. There was pretty substantial evidence available to her before than clearly proved Prince Adam was He-Man, but now the guy's walking around the palace with his sword. Teela would be a great wife for a cheating husband. 'Oh, that's not a girl's lipstick Teela. Its mine.' Seriously, if I started walking around in a pink velvet vest, I sincerely doubt I could pull a ruse on my friends like that. Anyway, Orko's spell ultimately ends up making Adam's all-important sword disappear. You know what that means, right? He can't turn into He-Man!
Around this point, Skeletor shows up hiding in Orko's bedroom behind a curtain. I guess he was hiding as a backup plan, since he's supposedly invisible. Anyway, he's visible now, and with evil intentions. He zaps Adam with yet another stupid RAY OF DOOM, which freezes Adam dead in his tracks. For added measure, he also uses the ray on Orko. Here's how it went down:
1) Skeletor uses the mysterious stone ray on Prince Adam. Apparently, Skeletor put one of those invisibility helmets on the travel bag he uses to hold all this stuff. Unless that sexy underwear has some seriously deep pockets.
2) Skeletor presents two spaghetti strainers, renaming them 'special invisibility helmets'. Oddly, these helmets appear to also give their wearers the power to teleport, something Skeletor forgot to mention when he was going through his usual ritual of blatantly announcing his intentions to everyone who shouldn't hear them.
3) Skeletor places one of the helmets on the frozen Prince Adam, telling Orko that if Eternia wants him back, they better send He-Man to get him. Skeletor, you're asking the impossible!
4) Skeletor puts the helmet on himself. Like I said, I'm guessing it lets you teleport. If not, Skeletor must prepare himself to carry the frozen Prince Adam on his back for miles. It's oversights like this that make Masters of the Universe so wonderful.
A revived Orko, Cringer, and Man-At-Arms seek the help of the Sorceress. This is where things start getting really good. They need to find He-Man's lost sword, and the Sorceress relays the unfortunate news that its trapped in Eternia's past. So, she does what any good sorceress would do, and creates a portal back in time. But! She announces that Man-At-Arms can't go with Cringer and Orko to help! FINALLY, someone with a brain! The Sorceress realizes that any mission including Man-At-Arms is destined for failure, and in this case, failure really isn't an option. She says she needs Man-At-Arms to help in 'another way', but as we'll soon find out, she just wanted to occupy the poor guy's time so he wouldn't have a chance to fuck up the important stuff.
Meanwhile, Skeletor's imprisoned Prince Adam in a cave which for some reason came equipped with chains attached to the walls. These cave prisons are all over Eternia. The bad guys take off, and Adam realizes he still has one of Man-At-Arms' inventions from earlier in the episode - a beeper than summons anything that flies! Holy Christ, a beeper than summons anything that flies. This episode is panning out like one of those games where you tell part of the story and pass it to someone else. Adam gets a great idea - what if he could use the beeper to summon Stratos? Stratos flies! An ingenious plan...we'll see how it unfolds a little later.
Elsewhere, Orko and Cringer enter Eternia's past to look for the sword. In what amazingly is only the second most unnecessary plot development in this episode, they steal it back from the clutches of a giant monster who's also wearing one of Orko's hats.
Now, for the ultimate treat. I'm still cracking up about this one. Man-At-Arms is shown creating a robot version of He-Man. I guess this is what the Sorceress had in mind for him. Its a pretty good duplicate, especially considering that Man-At-Arms had about 4 minutes to create it. Guess he works better under pressure, unless he had a backstock of He-Man robots just laying around his workshop. Man-At-Arms meets up with Orko and Cringer, who are fooled by the He-Man robot. At last, the guy's done something right.
Back at the ranch, Prince Adam's magic beeper hasn't attracted Stratos just yet - but it has summoned about 50 giant monster bats! Adam looks worried, altogether forgetting the fact that he's safely behind lazer bars that nobody could break through without being obliterated. But Stratos arrives anyway, blasts the bats, and proves he's the only guy in Eternia stupid enough to be attracted to a droning beeping sound. Stratos is the first person ever who is influenced by the use of a dog whistle.
In this episode's third most useless plot development, we find that Stratos' appearance is completely pointless. Adam tells him to find Man-At-Arms. That's all Stratos does in this episode. If anyone bought his action figure, it certainly wasn't over these kinds of heroics.
Stratos delivers his message with unbelievable finesse, and Man-At-Arms decides this is the time to employ the use of his special robot. You have to hear how proud he is of this thing. Its like a kid who just colored their first picture inside the lines. Man-At-Arms dispatches Robo-Man in one of those infernal Attak Traks, and its off to fool Skeletor! And by gosh, it does! Skeletor talks to the thing for a good five minutes, explaining how he's about to destroy it. Then, the unthinkable happens!
Yes, leave an effort of good craftsmanship in Man-At-Arms' hands, and this is what you get. A robot whose faceplate can't even stay on for more than five minutes. Skeletor realizes he's been tricked, but its a completely asinine trick, because the real He-Man, now free and reunited with his sword, is on the scene! So, that leaves us with the burning question: why did we need a He-Man robot to begin with? What purpose did it serve? The answer becomes crystal clear to everyone except Man-At-Arms: the Sorceress had to find something for him to do to keep the asshole out of trouble. You'll see when you download the episode - the creation and subsequent appearance of Robo-Man serves absolutely no purpose.
Anyway, the real He-Man and Skeletor begin to battle. Beast-Man could've helped, but he managed to get himself trapped in a cage which appears from nowhere three seconds into the conflict. Oh yeah, He-Man also makes use of his patented mega-breath blow to initially knock Skel and Beast-Man out of commission. Skeletor, if He-Man can defeat you simply by breathing towards you, it might be a good idea to pick a new adversary. Skeletor uses his helmet to get a few invisible phantom punches on He-Man, but our hero steals Orko's robe and sticks it over invisi-Skel's head. Skeletor runs off, being chased by the same giant bats as before. If you're curious as to why these bats are chasing Skeletor, He-Man the Magician stuck that beeper on his staff during battle. Of course, this isn't shown, but we'll take He-Man's word for it, just so we can end this blasphemy and get the ending credits rolling.
Oh yeah, we also get our token moral lesson at the close of the episode, courtesy of Man-At-Arms. Today's lesson? Being strong is okay - but using your brain is just as important. Somehow, they want us to believe Prince Adam used his brain in this episode. I agree. The sheer brilliance of calling on Stratos is by itself putting Adam on par with the head graduates of Harvard.
Thoughts: This episode really encompasses all the great shit we've come to expect from Masters of the Universe: really lame weapons, a plot by Skeletor that went against any semblance of ease or intelligence, and a shitload of stock footage used over 600 times. Unfortunately, aside from Stratos, there weren't any other notable guest appearances. Mer-Man could've picked this episode up for a 4.5 on the He-Mometer, but for now, we'll give it a 4.
My favorite part: Over the course of the episode, you'll notice that Skeletor often forgets which of his weapons does what. He uses both a dildo-shaped ray gun and his magic staff to turn things to stone. Incidentally, turning things to stone is Skeletor's favorite method of operation. He does this in at least 80% of all He-Man cartoons.
Dr. Rocket's favorite part: Watch closely as Man-At-Arms throws He-Man's sword to the imprisoned Prince Adam. In keeping with a lifelong tradition, Man-At-Arms manages to fuck up yet again, this time throwing it so haphazardly that Adam can't even reach it. Way to go!
Click here to download the episode! (RealPlayer file, approximately 7 MB)
If you like the episode, tell a friend about the site! We give you our bandwidth, now you give us a visitor. :) But wait - we're not done just yet. As a special bonus, check out this He-Man item from beyond!
Yes, the Eternia Playset. For those of us who collect He-Man toys instead of dating, finding this is like fucking a really hot chick. Nowadays, a complete set in the box could cost you up to five hundred bucks. Obviously, you'd have to be quite a diehard fan to spend that kind of cash, but its definitely a cool playset. This thing is giant, and literally came with more pieces than a Monopoly set. It might appear to be out of scale - but don't be fooled, even most of the pieces laying on the floor there are actually taller than the He-Man figures themselves. This set only really survived in households where kids didn't play with their toys, adding to its rarity and pricetag today. I'm still unclear on the significance of the giant blue lion at the helm, but as this show has taught us time and time again...expect the unexpected.
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