This is a surprisingly Kumbaya episode of “He-Man,” everybody’s holding hands and talking about their feelings, even the villains.
Note: I accidentally thought this was the second episode when I recapped it. Sorry for the confusion.
It feels good to be live-blogging shows again! I used to do this all the time, culminating in 2010 when I recapped every episode of The A-Team, but as the family got bigger and life got busier, I had to put this hobby of mine on the back burner for a while.
Of course, when I tried to explain this to my now 10 year old, he summed it up more succinctly: “Basically, once every 10 years you watch a TV show and write about it?”
The Cosmic Comet
It’s a dark and stormy night outside Castle Greyskull, where two of Skeletor’s minions are… skywatching? “The stars are in the right position,” Evil-Lyn tells Beast Man as a comet flies overhead. “Now it’s time to finally open the gates of Greyskull!” She uses her LASER EYES to blast open the front door to the castle… where He-Man is standing, waiting for them.
“Well, well, look who’s here!” he says. Beast Man blanches at being called “fur face” and rushes the big guy, but, just like in the last episode, gets thrown for his troubles, this time into a big pool of mud. Our hero then deflects one of Evil-Lyn’s spells and she ends up in the muck too. “We’ll be back, He-Man!” she shouts. “Make sure you wash up first,” he replies. The villains are completely owned here.
And that’s our episode! No, wait, the head of He-Man’s trusted friend, The Sorceress, is floating in mid-air. “This attack was only a test,” she explains. Skeletor is planning to use something called the Cosmic Comet against Eternia, and to stop him He-Man will need to seek out Zagraz the wizard, “keeper of the comets,” who, from the sound of things so far isn’t really keeping up with his workload.
Dude, this comet is, like, so cosmic
Man-at-Arms tells King Randor he wants to take Prince Adam along on a secret mission that will protect the kingdom. Randor, who spent episode one grumbling about how his kid was a big load who ran off at the first sign of danger, is impressed: “It looks you’re finally taking a bit of serious responsibility!” But he still wants Teela, the top warrior on Eternia’s payroll, to come along. He also sends Orko, who is unable to successfully produce magic tricks for parties, much less in battle, because “one can never tell what might come in handy.” The king’s rationale here is not too far off from “let’s just do this and be legends;” hopefully he won’t put himself in charge of organizing Eternia’s Fyre Festival.
Meanwhile, at Snake Mountain, Skeletor wants to reach out and touch his cohorts: “Join hands and we bring together our mystic powers.” Their fiendish Ring Around the Rosie creates a glowing orb that zaps the Cosmic Comet, putting it under the bad guys’ control. I don’t quite get why the Comet is such a big deal – doesn’t it just sort of fly around in its orbit? – but anything that gets Skeletor snickering again must be useful.
We have to do something about the comet! It’s cosmic, even! Exit stage left already!
The heroes are off to see the wizard, riding in the Attack Track, which is basically the Scooby Gang’s Mystery Machine with tank-like tracks instead of tires, and a computer voice. Zagraz is a trip: he looks and sounds like he’s from a completely separate cartoon, sort of like the Snagglepuss of this universe. “Once there were two happy comets wandering the universe,” he explains. He tried to bring them under his control, but his spell accidentally destroyed one of them. “The one that remained grew lonely and evil without its friend,” he said. “It lost its heart.” So he can’t control the Cosmic Comet, but Skeletor can, and neither of them feel the need to explain why this matters.
To this universe of hope… I have become the villain
Oh, scratch that: Skeletor wants to send the Comet after Zagraz, even though the zany old wizard just said he doesn’t have powers anymore. “Send creatures to capture Zagraz!” he tells the comet, and it creates three “unliving monsters” that look like Doctor Manhattan from Watchmen. The heroes scatter, especially Adam, who invokes the power of Greyskull to turn himself into He-Man (and Cringer the cowardly kitty into the mighty Battle Cat.) “You’ve got a friend of mine, rock head!” he says, rescuing Zagraz by punching and (of course) throwing one of the creatures. Teela asks where Prince Adam is. “Don’t worry, he’s safe.” As He-Man carries a very despondent and suddenly very weak Zagraz back to Castle Greyskull, while Orko turns his hand into a vacuum and scoops up all the pieces of the rock creatures.
He-Man decides it’s time to go straight to Skeletor and clobber him. Beast Man, who hasn’t been thrown for at least five minutes, tries to head him off, but ends up in the mud again. Skeletor is more successful; he absorbs the power of the Cosmic Comet and grabs Evil-Lyn’s hand. “Do you feel it, Evil-Lyn?” he says, in a creepy way that Lyn should probably report to HR. They zap He-Man, Teela and Man-at-Arms, who crumple to the ground, but fortunately the Sorceress is able to teleport them back to the castle.
Orko is all eyes for Teela. Of course, I think he’s pretty much all eyes anyway.
The heroes know Skeletor is about to send the Comet against Castle Greyskull. Zagraz, who has insisted all along that he can’t stop this evil scheme, suddenly announces he can. “If we could make another Cosmic Comet and fill it with the power of good, we might be able to use it to cancel out the evil in this Cosmic Comet.” But, he says, “we’d need some pieces of the comet itself.” Like the ones Orko Hoovered up? “Orko, I could kiss you,” Teela says. “Please do,” he says, cuddling up to her. The Sorceress fuses the shards of comet together, the heroes join hands and think of the good people of Eternia, as Zagraz suggests. The new comet comes to life and talks! “Because of the goodness in your hearts,” it says, “my heart beats again.” This is the Kumbaya episode of “He-Man,” everybody’s holding hands and talking about their feelings.
I HAVE THE POWER… AND I FEEL FAB-U-LOUS
Zagraz needs Team He-Man to buy him some time to get the new comet into the sky, so Sorceress gives He-Man the ability to fly toward Skeletor’s evil comet. He twinkles, takes off and shoulderblocks the villainous comet. Then, after a pep talk from Teela, Zagraz gets the good comet up into the air, and the two comets EXPLODE and fly off to be happy and good together. “That’s the last time I try to wrestle a comet!” says He-Man, who feels awful. Not Zagraz, though: “I feel terrific! I guess I’m not old and useless after all.”
Skeletor is flying up to the castle, sure that his comet has turned the gates of Castle Greyskull into “cosmic dust,” but nope. The two happy comets fly by and spin his ship in mid-air. “HE-MAAAAAAAAAN!” shouts the dizziest skeleton Eternia ever saw.
Along with keeping comets, Zagraz can turn people into living anniversary clocks
Back at the castle, Zagraz is repaying his new friends’ kindness by… teaching Prince Adam how to control yellow balls with the power of his mind. King Randor, whose priorities seem more out of whack with every scene he’s in, is impressed, but when Adam says “Thanks, Father,” one of the balls starts chasing Orko around the throne room. Which means it’s time for this week’s lesson, presented by the chill, folksy Man-at-Arms: Zagraz, he says, thought he was washed up because he made a mistake. “Well, now, we all fail sometimes, but we should never be afraid to try again. And we should always keep believing in ourselves.” “Until later, bye.”
Two episodes in and we’re establishing a pretty solid standard structure here: once again, Skeletor tries to magic his way into Castle Greyskull, only to be stopped by He-Man and company. It’s interesting that, other than the debut of the Attack Track, this episode doesn’t try to build out the He-Man character/toy line; in fact, there are fewer characters here than there were in the pilot. Zagraz the jolly wizard was a surprise, but pleasant one; the He-Man universe is very square-jawed and Serious with a capital S, so a magical character who wouldn’t be out of place on Laff-a-Lympics is fine with me.
Now that I see him, Beast Man is really more a fur beard than a fur face. He-Man needs to issue a correction.
Previous episode: The Shaping Staff