Welcome back, survivors of the Mayan apocalypse, and Happy New Year! To 2013 and beyond!
In Eternia, the mustached guy I pointed out last week is playing a stringed instrument for the Earth children while they hang out in the snow covered woods with no coats on. Well, the kids are wearing coats, but not the Eternians. Oh, and I’ve been told that mustached guy is a She-Ra character, but I bet he’s only friends with her to get to Prince Adam. The children complain about missing their mom and dad, so the woman hanging out with them, Perfuma, uses some rainbow magic to make it feel like Spring so they will feel more at home. The children tell her she’s stupid because Christmas is in the winter. Actually, children, religious scholars believe that Jesus was born in the Spring. His birth is really only celebrated in December because it was necessary to convert pagans by putting a new celebration (Christmas) right on top of their old one (Winter Solstice, December 21st). Unfazed by their insults, Perfuma turns it back to winter, but this time there is mistletoe and poinsettias all over. I think Perfuma had it right the first time when she made it into Spring.
The mustached man proclaims it the perfect setting to play his new Christmas song, and they sing a nauseating song about love and caring, peace and sharing. As soon as they finish their song, Hordak’s helicarrier shows up and projects some tractor beams, which he uses to abduct Orko and the children. Inside the helicarrier, Catra, Hordak’s version of Evil-Lyn, confirms the successful capture of the perpetrators of all this Christmas cheer. Hordak orders her to take them back to Etheria, and off they go. Back at the palace, the mustached man tells Prince Adam that Hordak was too fast with his tractor beam and they couldn’t stop him. Man-At-Arms says they were only able to track him for a short time, so they aren’t sure where they went. Princess Adora suggests they consult with Peekablue to see if her “multivision” can locate them.
On their way back to Etheria, Hordak’s helicarrier is detained by the Monstroids as they pass over Monstroid Central. Catra seems genuinely concerned about it, so I presume that they are not friends. Hordak steps off the ship and demands to know the meaning of this, as they are on official business for Horde Prime. One of the Monstroids allows that they, the villans, may go, but that the captives must remain here with them. Hordak objects, and the Monstroid tells him he doesn’t give a shit what he thinks and they train a number of lasers on Hordak and give him ten seconds to scram. Obligingly, Hordak turns tail and takes off, shouting that he’s going to tell Horde Prime on them, and they they’ll be really, really sorry. It would seem that the Monstroid’s plan is to lure Horde Prime there so they can eliminate him.
On Eternia, Peekablue reveals to He-Man and She-Ra that the children and Orko have been captured by the Monstroids. She-Ra reminds us that she foreshadowed additional trouble with the Monstroids last week. Peekablue further reveals that the Manchines have gone to rescue the children, but they will need help, because the Monstroids are very powerful. Back at Monstroid Central, Orko apologizes to the children for getting them into so much trouble (it’s about time), when this blue-faced, pink-headed being shows up at the cell-door bars offering to rescue them. He explains that he is one of the Manchines, and that the Monstroids are their enemies, and so they’ve come to rescue them, just to piss of the Monstroids. Kind of like if bees were my enemy so I knocked their hive down, just for the hell of it. Actually, I did used to do that. It’s amazing I never got stung, fucking with bees the way that I used to as a kid.
The pink Manchine, Cutter (oh, how emo!), frees them from the cell and they mount up on his cousin, Zipper, to make their escape. On their way out, the Monstroid leader attempts to stop them, but they just zip around, and in and out of his legs until they get surrounded by the other Monstroids. Good going! I guess if their plan was to piss off the Monstroids for the hell of it, they have succeeded. However, before they can all be captured again, He-Man shows up, hurling mild insults at the Monstoids. He-Man tussles with the Monstroids a bit, but while he’s busy making bad puns and wisecracks, he gets surrounded. She-Ra comes to the rescue, commanding her sword to turn into a lasso, which she uses to trip up one of the Monstroids.
He-Man destroys another of the Monstroids, which I’m counting as a murder, as these Monstroids seem to be a sentient, autonomous race of robot beings (like the Transformers – and actually the Monstroids are able to transform in to various vehicle types). The two Manchines, Cutter and Zipper, call for back up from their cousins (are all the Manchines related? Scandalous!) to help He-Man and She-Ra as more Monstroids move in to attack. Wait a minute, who came to help who, here? I thought it was the Manchines that needed help from He-Man and She-Ra. Anyway, they all work together to destroy a multitude of Monstroids, which amounts to several more murders. It’s tough to count the additional slayings, but I’ll try; let’s see, one, two, three, four, five… But only one of these additional murders is directly attributable to He-Man. Geez, who would have thought there would be a murder in the Christmas Special, much less multiple murders?
While the heroes are distracted with the mass murder of Monstroids, Skeletor shows up, captures the children, and takes off with them on his sky sled. Skeletor delays the heroes form pursuing him by trapping Swifty as he makes his escape. Hordak has been observing from his helicarrier and, in the spirit of good old-fashioned rivalry, attempts to steal the children back from him so that he can present them to Horde Prime and collect his reward. Hordak fires on Skeletor’s sky sled, causing some minor damage. Not to be outdone, Skeletor fires back causing greater damage to Hordak’s ship, thus forcing him to turn back, but not before further damaging Skeletor’s sky sled, forcing him to land. He-Man and She-Ra free Swifty (which I guess is She-Ra’s pet name for him, his full name is Swift Wind) and they take off after Skeletor and the children.
Skeletor, the children, and a Manchine puppy have crash landed on a harsh, snowy plain. Skeletor orders to them to continue on foot, but the children protest because it’s freezing. They tell Skeletor it’s Christmas, and so can’t he be just a little bit nice? Skeletor is all like, “Christmas, what’s that”? Really? I mean, maybe he doesn’t know every little detail, but Skeletor’s whole mission is to stop Christmas from occurring on Eternia so that Horde Prime’s reign isn’t threatened by all the good will toward men, and now he acts like it’s the first he’s heard of it. After they explain that Christmas is all about love and joy and caring, the little girl, Alicia, collapses.
Skeletor, expresses his disgust at a season that is all about love and caring, and assures them that there’s none of that here and orders to the children to get marching. Skeletor may have a point, in at least that, by walking, the kids should generate some body heat, which might warm them up a bit. Miguel, the white boy with an ethnic name, continues to whine about how cold it is. I guess Skeletor sympathizes with, and relates to, Miguel’s whiney personality a little bit, because he takes a small amount of pity on them and uses his magic staff to conjure some Costanza worthy gore-tex coats to keep them warm. Never mind that Skeletor is basically just wearing a hood and underwear and seems to be just fine with the cold.
The additional warmth instantly revives the girl and they thank Skeletor, telling him that he is “very kind”. Skeletor objects, orders them never to call him that again, then mandates that they leave the little Manchine puppy behind, because it’s cuteness is fucking obnoxious. As they walk away, the little puppy whines and whines. Alicia begs Skeletor to rescue the puppy. He starts and stops several times, feeling conflicted, then finally goes back and picks up the puppy to bring it along, saying, “I don’t know what’s coming over me, but what ever it is, I don’t like it”. This marks the first point that I have a memory of the Christmas Special. It’s not so much this specific scene, but rather Skeletor whining about all the gooey, warm feelings of goodness he is forced to feel, and how much he dislikes it.
Adding insult to injury, the puppy continually licks Skeletor’s face as they trudge on. Not one for rules, Alicia continues to tell “Mr. Skeletor” how nice he his and how nice it was of him to rescue the puppy. The puppy continues to lick his face while Skeletor protests, so Alicia offers to carry the puppy for him. Mr. Skeletor rejects her offer of assistance, making the excuse that they will move faster if he carries the puppy himself. Betraying his stated motive a little, Mr. Skeletor asks the kids to tell him more about this Christmas nonsense. Miguel explains that Christmas is about fun and presents, which Skeletor interprets as involving fights and exploding gifts, because those are fun to him. As Skeletor continues to argue with the children about what “fun” is, a snow beast shows up to hassle them.
Skeletor orders the children behind him and uses his magic staff to open a hole in the snow. The snow beast falls through into a cavern and slides away on a frozen pond where he poses no further threat. The little girl again thanks Mr. Skeletor and tells him how wonderful he is. Mr. Skeletor smiles for a split second, but then continues to insist that he is not “nice”, he is not “wonderful”, and that he is still turning them over to Horde Prime so that he may do with them what he will, which likely includes their destruction. Their progress halts as the children continue to defy Skeletor and object to his delivery of them to Horde Prime.
As Skeletor furthers their argumentative discourse, things come to a head when not only He-Man, She-Ra and Orko show up to take possession of the children, but so does Hordak, with a whole fleet of henchmen behind him. He-Man suggests that Hordak and Skeletor and fight it out while he and She-Ra just take the children into custody and be on their way. Skeletor fires on Hordak, but his shot is deflected and returns to strike Skeletor, knocking him to the ground. She-Ra orders Orko to flee with the children while she and He-Man confront Hordak and Skeletor. He-Man tells Hordak that he will not allow them to deliver the children to Horde Prime.
However, Hordak points out that the “little fools” are delivering themselves to Horde Prime. Indeed, a ship descends from the clouds. The children wonder what it is, and Orko confirms that it is Horde Prime’ ship. He-Man and She-Ra attempt to go after the children, but are delayed by the attack of Hordak’s minions. As He-Man and She-Ra fight them off, Skeletor continues to lay on the ground, disoriented. The Manchine puppy licks his face, trying to revive him. It’s funny, you can’t tell if Skeletor is conscious or not, because he doesn’t have any eyes or eyelids. Despite their best efforts, He-Man and She-Ra are surrounded by Hordak’s robot army as a grappling claw descends from Horde Prime’s ship to capture the children.
The Manchine puppy is finally successful in rousing Skeletor. Skeletor verbalizes his confusion and disorientation, saying, “I don’t know what’s happening to me, but I must save the children”! With a single blast from his magic staff, he causes the grappling claw to completely disintegrate. For some reason, the blast follows the arm of the claw up like a fuse, causing an explosion inside the ship. Horde Prime remarks that his engines have been hit, and the ship goes down. Skeletor instantly begins to fret, fearing Horde Prime’s anger. He-Man, or should I say, Captain Obvious, says, “Horde Prime’s ship is down, let’s go, She-Ra”.
Indeed, Horde Prime rants about how angry he is with Skeletor and a laser cannon emerges from the ship to bring retribution down upon Skeletor. Before it can fire on Skeletor, He-Man and She-Ra combine their strength to lift Horde Prime’s ship and hurl it back out into space. Skeletor stands with He-Man and She-Ra as the children run up to him all excited, grab his legs, and thank him profusely for saving them. He-Man is kind of offended and is like, “HE saved you”? I guess He-Man wants some credit too. Skeletor makes the saddest face ever as he admits that he did save the children, but he can’t articulate why.
Skeletor determines that me must not be feeling well, which He-Man translates as the feeling of the Christmas spirit. It makes you feel “good”, He-Man says. Funny, I feel the same way as Skeletor (nauseated) every time I go out and hear Christmas music for the 45 days preceding the actual holiday. I feel for you, Skeletor, I feel for you. Skeletor whines and covers his face, protesting that he doesn’t like to feel “good”; he likes to feel “evil”. She-Ra reassures him that it won’t last, because Christmas only comes once a year (um, I’m pretty sure this is the first time it’s ever come in Eternia/Etheria, but, whatever), and that he’ll be back to feeling evil in no time. They all laugh as Skeletor sighs in relief.
Back at the Royal Palace, decorations, including topping a Christmas tree with a star, are being completed for the celebration of Christmas/the twin’s birthday. Prince Adam wears a Santa outfit complete with fake beard and says, “Ho, ho, ho” in that nasally voice of his. He gives each of the kids a flying belt for their present. Apparently, the kids won’t be staying for the festivities, as Man-At-Arms has the transport beam up and running again, just in time to get them home for Christmas Eve. They all wish each other Merry Christmas, then the children are teleported back to earth. The Eternians watch on a monitor as the kids materialize in their living room.
On Earth, the children’s parents are relieved that the kids are back, but don’t acknowledge that they just materialized in the living room. I need to admit that I stand corrected as to Miguel’s ethnicity, as his father appears to be a very rotund, mustached Hispanic man. But you can see how I would be confused, because the boy certainly looks Caucasian, and his sister does have blonde hair. Miguel says, “Mother father” without a pause in between, which makes it sound like and insult, and explains that they went to another planet and had a crazy adventure. His parents tell him they don’t believe him and that tomorrow (why not now?) he can tell them where they really went.
Alicia backs him up, saying that they met Orko, and Santa gave them flying belts. Their parents continue to discount their story and tell them it’s time for bed. Wow, these parents seem really unphased that their children have been missing for what, I presume, was a couple of days and materialized in the living room with a fantastical story about their journey. These parents are back to business as usual. The children agree to go to bed as their parents turn their backs on them and walk away. The kids activate their flying belts and float past their parents, wishing them good night and merry Christmas. Miguel and Alicia’s parents gape in disbelief as their children go flying out of the room. That’s it, the only other part if the Christmas Special I remember from my childhood, the two kids flying out of the room with their belts. Perhaps it is because I wanted my own flying belt really badly. Fuck, I still do!
Back on Eternia, Prince Adam is still masquerading as Santa and walks up to Princess Adora, shouting, “Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas, young lady”! She rips his fake beard off his stupid face and says, “Merry Christmas, brother”. Prince Adam is strangely surprised that she knew it was him, on account of how he dyed his hair white. Orko gets all up in the camera, breaking the fourth wall, and says the classic line, “Merry Christmas, everybody”! The camera cuts back to the exterior of the Royal Palace where it continues to snow, and the screen fades to black.
I wonder if there will be a traditional moral, now that we have reached the official end of the Christmas Special. Regardless, I think it should be about how if you get captured by an evil, skull-faced man, who is at odds with another villain, competing with each other to turn your immortal soul over to an evil, cosmic, Mayan-esque devil, a little bit of Stockholm Syndrome may actually go a long way. Indeed, there is a moral to be presented! Prince Adam is seated in a chair, telling Orko that this is how Christmas first came to Eternia, even though Orko was not only present through the whole thing, but was pretty much responsible for it as well. I really hope that, like the children brought Christmas to Eternia, they also bring the twin’s birthday to Earth. It could be a rival holiday for Christmas. Then people who think there’s a “war on Christmas” would have a nice scapegoat.
Anyway, Prince Adam clarifies that not everybody celebrates Christmas, which is why they danced around the religious background of the holiday, but that spirit of Christmas is within us all: love and caring, peace and happiness, and “presents”, Orko interrupts. Prince Adam shoots him down saying that presents are nice, but are not really what Christmas is about. Then he asks Orko what he wants most for Christmas, to which Orko responds, “presents”, thus proving that presents are really all that matters. Santa: 2, Jesus: 0.
He-Man murder count: 15 and 1 attempted murder
Episodes missing Skeletor: 12
IMDB Cast List:
John Erwin: He-Man, Prince Adam, Cutter, Webstor
Alan Oppenheimer: Skeletor, Man-At-Arms, Zipper
Linda Gary: Teela, Queen Marlena
Lana Beeson: Alicia
Melendy Britt: She-Ra, Princess Adora, Mermista, Catra
George DiCenzo: Hordak, Bow
Erika Scheimer: Peekablue, Perfuma, Mother
R.D. Robb: Miguel